Lost Chapters 1: Sparkling Jorick

why should DVDs get all the fun? now presenting the deleted scenes* from Legacy of Ghosts! In other words, The Lost Chapters. – click the link for more info.

More info

Of course, since these are little snips, you don’t need to have read Legacy of Ghosts to enjoy them.

(Insert this randomly into Chapter Three between the walk and the stitches)

Katelina lay on the living room couch and stared at the book in her hands. It was another 1800’s era “classic” and, though she  liked old books, she wanted something newer. Maybe something that didn’t have the women in bustles.

The door opened and her eyes flicked from the printed words to Jorick, who strolled into the living room casually. He started for the dining room, but when he noticed her scrutiny he changed directions and came to stop next to the couch. “Hello.”

She gave him a cursory smile, then asked, “Don’t you have any books that were published after 1901?”

His brow wrinkled. “What?”

“Books,” she repeated. “Published after 1901? Maybe something from the last fifty years?”

“Of course I do,” he responded testily. “You just have to look for them.”

“That could take the rest of my life,” she muttered darkly. “It isn’t like you have anything organized around here!”

If his expression was anything to go on, the idea was a completely foreign one to Jorick. “And how should it be organized, pray tell?”

“The books could go in a book case. That would be a good start.”

He blinked at her, and then waved the conversation away. “You just have to look for them,” he repeated. “I’ve got a lot of books around here-“

“I’ve noticed.”

He ignored the interruption. “-And there’s surely something you approve of.”

Loren chose that moment to arrive, noisily banging the door open and closed. Alost tauntingly, the boys arms were laden with even more freaking books!

“You’re bringing yours over here now?” she cried. “There’s enough!”

Loren dropped the stack into one of the wing backed chairs and straightened his hoodie. “Nah, these are Jorick’s. Just bringing them back.”

Katelina couldn’t stop the annoyed eye roll. “Fantastic. Just what we need. More books.”

“There’s some good ones in here,” Loren objected. He paused to rifle through the heap and one fell to the floor with a bang. Loren left it lay, oblivious to the dark look Jorick shot at him. He seemed to suddenly find what he wanted. “Here, this one’s good.” He held up a battered paperback of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

“It’s strange,” Jorick countered, and scooped up the fallen book.

“It’s supposed to be!” Loren explained, waving the book for emphasis. “It’s funny.”

Katelina climbed to her feet and moved to examine the books. Most had unfamiliar, albeit modern covers, all except one; a black cover with a bright red apple.

“You’re joking!” she cried and hefted the heavy book. “You own this?”

Jorick peered disinterestedly over her shoulder. “Oh, that. Yes, I suppose I do.”

“Oh my God! You’ve read this? Seriously?”

“Yes, I read it. I’ve read a great deal worse, though I’ve also read a great deal better.”

“No shit!” Katelina suddenly imagined him sitting in the chair pouring over the teenage romance, a kleenex clutched in his hand. The image was too much to take and her laughter got the better of her so that she dropped onto the couch, the book clutched in her hands.

“I’m not sure what’s so funny,” Jorick remarked stiffly. “It’s a book, like any other.”

“Yeah, if you’re a twelve year old girl!”

“Hey!” Loren objected. “I read it too, you know!”

Katelina waved the objection away, and managed to choke out, “So, team Edward or Jacob?”

Jorick drew back a step, as though she’d lost her mind. “What?”

“Jacob.” Loren leaned on the back of the chair, settling in for the conversation. “That shit in the second book where he takes off and leaves her, I just can’t condone that, you know? He just leaves her there to get whacked by those other guys.” He grinned broadly. “Besides, the whole glitter thing is too gay, you know?” He jerked his head towards Jorick. “Can you imagine him glittering?”

“No,” Jorick stated flatly and snatched the book from Katelina’s hands. “She can’t.”

“Actually,” Katelina began, her grin large and evil. “I think it’s an interesting picture. Jorick in sparkles.” She held up her hands as if framing a photograph. “What do you think, Loren? Wouldn’t he be lovely?”

Loren laughed until Jorick smacked him in the back of the head. “Aw, come on man, lighten up! This is a literary discussion here!”

“It’s an imbecilic discussion,” Jorick replied. He looked at the book in his hands, then held it out to Katelina. “Here.  You were so desperate for something modern.”

Her laughter died and she cleared her throat noisily. “Well, yes, but…”

Jorick raised an inquiring eyebrow. “But?”

She shifted uncomfortably, her eyes on the floor. “But, well.” Her voice got quiet and she admitted reluctantly, “I’ve already read it.”

Jorick’s expression was one of satisfied smugness.

*However, unlike deleted scenes, these were actually written later, for fun, so I could pull off the whole “Lost Chapters” gag. None of the Lost Chapters were ever in the original manuscript, nor were they ever deleted. Thank you for reading the small print.

The Trouble with Twilight

The Twilight Saga - (I know the book covers get blasted, but I actually like the first three. the fourth one not so much.)

Twilight. That used to be a word that meant that meant the purply-hazy time while the sun sank into night, but now it conjures different images; a teen vampire with bad hair and too white skin, a heroine that even fans want to kick, and a love triangle that’s part Sweet Valley High and part Dracula vs the Wolfman.

When I think of the Twilight phenomenon, I’m reminded of a Marilyn Manson interview from the mid nineties. In it the front man, better known as “Marilyn”, said that his goal was to be so famous,  that even a random housewife in the Midwest would recognize his name. He achieved that dream, and so has Stephenie Meyers multi-million dollar franchise.   Case in point, even my father-in-law, who is only slightly more socially informed than the crypt keeper, knows what Twilight is.

And that’s the problem with it.

You may be thinking, “No, the problem is that the vampires sparkle!” or “The characters are whiny emo teens” or even “half of the plot points are so unrealistic that I want to pull my own teeth out!”, but you have to remember that this series was written for those same whiny teens with their similarly unrealistic daydreams. You know the kind; the ones where all adults are quibbling jellyfish and the kids know everything? Pop in any Disney movie from the 80’s and you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about.

No, the biggest problem isn’t the plot, the writing, or even the bizarre “love triangle solution” in the final book. The problem is the marketing. Twilight is written for teen girls, but marketed to males and adults, who then get aggravated with various points of the story, never stopping to think that the story wasn’t written for them in the first place.  This is an excellent example of what happens when you move beyond your target audience – or rather force your way beyond it.

Because, Twilight isn’t just marketed; it’s an all out blitzkrieg of advertising. You can’t log into a social network, go to the store, or even turn on your television without seeing an advertisement or reference to the franchise. Buy the t-shirt! Watch the movie! Read the books! Play the games! Get the key chain! Drink the soda! Sneeze in the kleenex – you get the idea. Everything that can have a Twilight logo slapped on it has and, if it hasn’t, it’s going to.

And this is what people are really sick of. After all, it can’t really be the story, which we all keep reading, or the movies, which we all keep watching. It’s all the blasted merchandise, and “how do you smell to Edward” quizzes. It’s that Edward and Bella and Jacob are shoved in our faces twenty four/seven, and the only way to escape is to hide in a cave, devoid of human contact. That’s the real problem with Twilight: it just isn’t deep or timeless enough to call for constant consumption.

Though, I can’t really think of any story that is. Can you?

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