Thursday, April 5, 2012

Tear Me in Two

Obsession has been my middle name since the day I learned that my parents didn’t bless me with a real middle name.  Things haven’t changed much these days.  I still latch onto my flavor of the moment and, with OCD-like stealth, learn as much as I can about whatever it is until all the learning is used up.  I bleed it dry and then I move on.  Kinda like a vampire.

As a little kid I was obsessed with learning – Sesame Street singlehandedly taught me how to count, and spell the word chloroform (Or was it photosynthesis? Mum, care to weigh in on this one?) at the age of like four.  As a tween I was obsessed with reading.  Particularly the Nancy Drew series of crime fighting and mystery solving books.  As a teenager my obsession turned to Hollywood celebs, teen brat packs, and cute boys.  Born of that, of course, was my propensity for scrapbooking and quoting.

Quoting is a delicate art, one that requires impeccable timing and attention to the situation at hand.  You can’t just pull out any old movie quote at any old time and expect it to go over.  Like right now I wouldn’t be tossing out something from, say, The Lion King because it has no relevance to the situation at hand.

Anyway, after the teen years of celebrity gossip mag buying, I moved on to stuff like clubbing every weekend, partying and all that crap.  Then, as most of you who’ve been around here long enough know, Jason Mraz took over for a while.  A really, really long while.  But, like most other things, I eventually bled it dry and moved on.

Which brings us up to date with my obsessive need to get my book done so I can move on from this part of the process.

I’m still working on finishing the book.  Duh, of course I am.  And of course I’m going to talk about it ad infinitum because as I’ve already explained – “What’s up obsession?”.  I’m literally on the last step.  My mom has worked quintuple time getting my graphics done for the cover, Matt read at the speed of light to make sure spelling errors were as nil as possible and I threw myself into learning this whole business of self-publishing.  To the point of nothing else to talk about.  Nothing else to think about.  My project showed me its neck and I bit right in.

I bought books, saved about 16 billion websites to my favorites that I read and re-read as many times as I could just to be sure I had it all down.  Documents were formatted to be all perfect and I even created myself a Publishing House to put the book out under.  Ta-da right?  Wrong.

Lulu doesn’t let you look ahead.  I had my graphics created separately – front, back, spine.  Lulu doesn’t let you insert your own spine.  That is unless you create one full sized cover.  But they don’t tell you that until you’re already in there uploading the graphics your mom spent way too many hours creating already.  As if she doesn’t already have her own shit going on.  Ugh.  Oh and I still can’t figure out how to get the barcode to look right even though I’ve allegedly followed all the right steps.  Ugh times two.

So I say to hell with Lulu, “I’m Audi”, and start looking into other self-publishing options.

I started with CreateSpace.  Yeah well they don’t tell you anything either.  So I started reading…

I think you can see where this would have been going if I hadn’t gotten on the phone with my mom this morning to just talk it all out.  And Lulu it is.  She is generously going to recreate the graphic as one document because she’s frinking awesome that way.

A side note here - Frinking is my new favorite curse word that my Aunt made up one night when we were Facebook chatting real-time during the Bruins game.  She didn’t intend for it to be a curse word.  She was trying to type drinking.  But that D and F are a little too close on the keyboard and FB doesn’t really have a spell check feature.  So now I’m borrowing it as my new favorite create-a-curse word.

And let me tell ya, I’m frinking freaking out right now.

But instead of getting all nuts and taking up my long time want of practicing rooftop archery, instead I revived an old and almost forgotten obsession with vampires to take the edge off reality.

This particular fixation began back in sixth grade when I won some kind of contest in my grammar school library.  It was probably for the kid who took out and returned the most books in a month or something.  With that Nancy Drew thing going on I was an easy target.  Anyway, after winning whatever it was I was offered a prize.  I could pick from a stack of different posters.

I was eleven years old.  A girl.  Shy.  Listened to Michael Jackson.  Wore pink.  So what the hell else would I pick but the dark and ominous poster of Dracula standing full-on tooth-faced in front of a gloomy fog, right?  That puppy went right on the inside of the bedroom door.  I shared the room with my sister and we slept in bunk beds.  I was older and I guess that meant I got to pick.  Of course I wanted top bunk.  Duh, who wouldn’t?

One night I guess the poster decided it wanted out of my room because I started getting chased by zombies in my dream.  This is long before I even knew what a zombie was but let me tell you, at eleven you sure know you don’t want them chasing you in your sleep.  The dream was one of those where it was so real that even 27 years later I can still picture the entire thing in my head.

Everything around me was varying shades of gray.  It was the middle of the night.  I was running down a dirt road with a looming gray fog rolling in behind me.  Something was chasing me and it was gaining.  I couldn’t tell if it was the fog but I didn’t want to find out.  I could feel a threatening presence at my back.  Right at my back.  Fingers were reaching out to grab me, to take me into the fog.  My lungs were aching from breathing so hard from all the running but I picked up the pace anyway.  Hundreds of forest trees whipped past my sightline but just past them it was pitch black forest.  I turned to look back, to make sure I was safe and had gotten away.  When I turned back to keep moving forward is when I plunged off the side of the cliff at full speed.

I woke up face down on my bedroom floor. 

The poster went in the trash the next day.  But it was too late, I was hooked on the darkness.  I wanted to figure out if there was a way I could have escaped without plunging to my doom.  I needed to know what it was that was really chasing me because the Dracula character on the poster wasn’t it.  Of that I was fully certain.

Of course The Lost Boys came out in 1987 and blended in quite nicely with my thing for Corey Haim.  But I was really sad when they killed David, it wasn’t his fault that Max turned him and he went all crazy.  He was just a vampire trapped in the body of a bad-ass motorcycling riding teenager.  Tragic.  Yup, happens every day.

Years went by while I got all pop princess on everyone’s ass.  I started working at a movie theater in town.  What came to our theater - Bram Stoker’s Dracula.  I was curious.  I had to know what it was really all about.  So I saw it and watched with trepidation because I was convinced the nightmares might come back.  But I literally fell in love with the movie.  I was in love with the entire theme that “He was just a guy who wanted to be loved.

So much so that I tried to read the book.  But that was written in the late 1800’s sometime and I could not get into it at all.  So I just went out and bought the movie when it came out on VHS and watched it on loop.  Obsession.  Every time Dracula turns into fog and engulfs Mina I kind of wish they actually existed.  That would be so frinking cool.

And then I was introduced to Anne Rice’s books right before Interview with the Vampire was released in theaters.

Without revealing too awful much, during those club days I was what many would call, um, a big old slut.  In my early twenties I was probably going to sleep with you if you were cute enough.  So with that said pretty much anything sexually related was going to grab my interest.  Anne Rice wrote about Vampires with a slant on erotica as well as a deep seeded interest in showing that these creatures of the night actually had a soul.  Kind of.

Interview was amazingly well done as a movie, however, her other books were so much better than any movies released in their name.  But it was cool because who cared, vampires were cool.  I was a vamp groupie.

And then Quentin Tarantino had to go and fucking ruin it all by releasing From Dusk til Dawn.  Really dude?  What the hell were you thinking?  I was officially off vampires for a long time.

No matter how much my BFF tried to convince me that I’d love the Twilight series of books when they first came out, I resisted.  No matter how much my sister tried to convince me that the movies were amazing when they first came out, I scoffed.

And then there was Lost.  And there was Boone.  And then they went and killed Boone and I cried.  And then I found out that Ian Somerhalder had a new show.  And they all rejoiced.  Yea.”.  I added it to my Netflix queue anticipating watching it when the series ended.

So we’re down at my sister’s house last weekend, all three of us including Matt were stressed about work – hello, book obsession – so when Wendy put on the first episode of The Vampire Diaries I was too weak to protest.

We watched the entire first two seasons over the course of the past week.  Holy crap that show is good.  The fact that one of the hottest men on television plays a lead role as the bad-boy-turned-good-turned-bad-turned-we’re-not-entirely-sure-anymore-if-he’s-the-good-or-bad-vampire-brother was all it took.  Obsession revived.  In spades.

So what does this whole post mean?  I don’t know, maybe I’m just obsessed with blogging or something.  I certainly didn’t give you much to latch on to.

*Title is courtesy of my favorite chorus from a Stroke 9 song:
Tear me in two
Bore a little hole that I can see right through
Your diversion’s my digression
Take me apart
Suck my blood until you stop my heart
You encumber my progression
And then you save me


Judi FitzPatrick said...

A fun read!

Not sure about spelling and the words you mentioned, but the word I remember you learned to say very young was metamorphosis - your favorite bedtime tale was the one I told you about how butterflies come to be. We always ended - "and that's called metamorphosis" in unison.

Love you, Mum

Wflynnaz said...

I must interject and disagree. I never said the Twilight movies were "amazing." The books yes, the movies no... they are entertaining. Gotta protect my street cred! ;-)

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Oh I remember metamorphosis now! Maybe that's what I was thinking of after all.

Hmm, maybe the adjective you used was "sparkly" and I just thought you said "amazing" heehee. You did force us to watch those too though. Not sayin anything, just sayin...

pastrywitch said...

I really hope Sesame Sreet did not teach you to spell chloroform,..even Avenue Q didn't go there;)

The Twilght movies are a schadenfreude experience. In the first one the vampire makeup stops at the collar. Their ears and the back of their necks - no makeup. Oh, the shame....

Alice said...

I'm glad I didn't have to refute your BFF. Twilight books=good. Twilight movies=make me want to punch Kristen Stewart in the face.

Yes, it all starts with the Lost Boys and Corey Haim.

It's too bad you missed the whole Buffy and Angel timeline in your obsession though. Maybe you'll have to back up and take them in, too.

Boone rocks my world.

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

haha Kate I was wondering if anyone would pick up on that whole chloroform thing ;-) Yeah the inconsistencies like that with makeup & stuff drive me crazy. Mostly it's a good story but tough to bring any epic novel series to the big screen. Few have pulled it off as well as Peter Jackson.

Right Alice? Boone = swoon. The Twilight movies make me want to invent something that closes her mouth to be honest, if that happens to be a fist I'm totally cool with that. They were done well and all but not up there in the favorites list. Oh right Buffy! Goodness I have NO clue how I missed adding that in. Maybe because the Vampires weren't the "main character" and she was trying to kill them??? I was always partial to them, never got over Spike sacrificing himself. Never watched Angel though...I know, I know you don't have to say it lol

Linda Myers said...

Love your writer's obsession. I resubmitted my whole manuscript for a bunch more money. My husband says no one will even notice the changes.

I will!

Insomniac #4 said...

I don't know how I missed this one...must have slipped by me last week when I was getting my eyes checked. Sorry about that!

Your vampire-like approach to 'obsession' sounds a lot like me. When I find things/people I like, I go crazy trying to learn all I can about it/them. Only difference is, instead of letting me spin my wheels and burn myself out, someone always stops me (or at least points out how stupid and immature I'm being--and yes, that includes writing)

You're so lucky to have people around you who let you do your thing--your mom really went above and beyond with your cover. If just one person in my life would ever mention one of my 'obsessions' in a positive way, I'm sure I could talk for hours about it, get it out of my system, and move on a lot faster. But I guess that's what my blog is for, eh? ;-)