This Is a Good Book Thursday: Bad Book Warning

Sean Penn has published his novel.  

I generally do not diss other living writers (once you’re dead, your ass is mine), but I’m going to break my rule and say that is just . . . bad.  I won’t even use the “Lord, it wasn’t good” cartoon for this one.  This is abysmal::

“Hence his life remains incessantly infused with her identity-infidelity, and her abhorrent ascensions to those constant salacious sessions of sexual solitaire she’d seen as self-regard.”

That’s on page 11. I think it means the male protagonist is upset that some female within his grasp is masturbating, but that’s just a guess.  (More quotes at the link above.)  I thought Penn had reached the bottom of my estimation when he said that film was too important to waste on entertainment.  (Entertainment is the delivery system for ideas, you moron.)  But this, this sinks him far below that.  This isn’t just dumb pseudo-intellectualism, this is  Bad Writing.

From now on, whenever I look in despair at some of my own Bad Writing, I can comfort myself with the knowledge that at least I’m not Sean Penn.

For the love of god, tell me something good to read.  


Random First Day of Spring

Today is the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.  Tomorrow, the power company warns, we may lose power again because we’ve got another snowstorm heading straight for us.  Hail spring!  (I have Working Wed, Good Book Thurs, Cherry Saturday, and Happiness Sunday scheduled to post on their own, so if I cannot get to the internet, Argh will chug along merrily without me.)

I’ve been rereading some of my faves for comfort lately and went back to Cotillion, Heyer’s book where Freddy is the hero.  I don’t like ditzy romance heroines, and Kitty is, if not ditzy, at least very young, and I don’t like dumb romance heroes, and Freddy, while not stupid, is not deep or thoughtful.   Why then, do I love this book?  It finally came to me on this reread: it’s that knowing each other thing.  They’re nice people, and Freddy does Kitty a favor by pretending to get engaged to her so she can go to London, and then Kitty does Freddy a favor by helping his sister, and then Freddy keeps an eye on her by helping her through society and teaching her to dance, and Kitty tells him over and over again (truthfully) how terrific he is, and you can see the relationship grow as you read the screwball plot that Kitty plunges herself into and that Freddy follows her through, protesting but giving her everything she wants.  The realization hit for me when he shows up at the end of the story with the one thing that Kitty is missing to save two friends of hers, and even though it’s a complete surprise to the reader (and Kitty), once he’s there with it, you know that OF COURSE Freddy would show up with it.   It’s the way he thinks, and if Kitty needs it, he’ll get it, at great inconvenience and personal expense because Kitty won’t have thought of it.  It’s the Regency equivalent of an air conditioner.  I also love that he knocks down the Bad Suitor, even though he immediately admits that he could never have done it if the Bad Suitor hadn’t fallen over a footstool.  Freddy may not be deep, but he’s hero material clear through and Kitty knows it.    So that was a worthwhile read.

I had to through out an entire freezer full of food, and I have a big freezer.  I kept telling myself that just because the power was out, that didn’t mean that the food had gone bad because it was freezing everywhere else in the house except by the fireplace.  (Exaggeration, but in the 40s for sure.)  Krissie finally told me to quit whining and get rid of everything, so there went blueberries and potstickers and sugar free ice cream and chicken with dressing and tuna noodle cassarole and ravioli and . . . . But it did mean that I defrosted the freezer and scrubbed it out, finding some extremely old bacon froze solid to the top shelf, so that’s something.  And tomorrow I go raid the freezer shelves at Weis because . . . no, wait.  Storm coming in.  Grrrrrrrr.  Back to canned goods.

I took a break from Nita because I was getting too far up inside my own brain and when I came back to it this week, I discovered that I love it.  And her.  So it’s back to Act Three with renewed enthusiasm.  That’s the act in which Nick becomes a Stuart hero–arrogant, demanding, controlling, and always there to save her ass.  Of course, Nita is not a Stuart heroine, so there are problems, but fortunately Nick can adapt.  It’s either that or she’ll kill him.  I haven’t figured out his air conditioner yet–oh, wait, he does give her something in Act Three: amanita socks.  I’m good.

I’m researching Hell which is turning out to be a lot more interesting than I’d thought (not a fan of the concept of Hell because I think it’s stupid and illogical, the kind of concept Trump would embrace with both hands and probably grope in the bargain.)  I like the idea of Hell being an analogue of our world, organized along our structures because it’s an entity designed to serve this one, but the problem is that Hell in specific is European, probably because a lot of other cultures recognized that it’s a dumb idea.  So while I’m fine with calling it Hell since Nick and the boys are in New Jersey and that’s what that section of Earth would call the Afterlife, it can’t be just Hell, it has to be the entire Afterlife.  Maybe I need another name.  Expect a post on Hell sometime in April, once I’m out of the stormy powerless Hell that is March.

I did have lunch at the diner the other day, desperate to get out of the house.

The dogs are going stir crazy.  I don’t think Veronica has left the house since the big snowfall (I put down paper in the shower for her).  Milton and Mona are philosophical about leaping through snow that’s over their heads, but they’re not young any more and they get tired and cold and wet and exasperated.  Also, snow has no interesting smells, at least not until they get through with it.  We are sleeping in the guest room at the front of the house because the bedroom at the back of the house where we belong is all windows looking on the woods which is fabulous until the temps go into the teens, because those windows are all single pane.  I’m imagining their joy when we finally return to our own place.  Hell, I’m imagining my own joy.

I am concerned about the amount of back story in Nita.  I just started the first book in  a series that had a great premise, but I finally abandoned it about a third of the way in because the first person narrator kept stopping the story to explain things to me that I didn’t want to know.  It’s that “You need this to understand the story” stuff that authors cram in.  I cut some stuff from the first scene but now I’m afraid it’s confusing.  Don’t look down, Jenny, keep writing, the betas will tell you if it doesn’t make sense.  ARGH.

At least I know who the major antagonist is and the motivations and all that good stuff.  HUGE progress there: the story makes sense.  You know, considering it’s about a mixed-species heroine in love with a dead human who’s about to become the Devil.  The fact that I now have a logical plot is big step forward.

This is a Good Book Thursday: Grrrrrr

Power came back on Tuesday night, but the internet didn’t.  Then there was a big snow storm.  Power is out again.  NOT HAPPY.  But I am plugged in at the dinner about to have an amazing late breakfast so, hey, for the moment, I’m happy.

Thank god I have rechargeable lamps, battery lamps, headlamps.  And back-up batteries.  And paper books.

So what are you reading this week?

UPDATE: Power is on, internet is back, Jenny is happy.