Words of the Week 2/5/2014 – GIF Quiz Edition!

All right. This week’s draw of words from the jar lends itself quite nicely to ridiculous GIFs, so now we’re going to have some fun.

The words:

conciliatory adj. intended to pacify

keep something on the QT v. QT being “quiet.” I have always heard this as “keep something on the DL,” with DL being “down low.” Both seem to mean the same thing: keeping something discreet.

epicurean adj. having luxurious taste/excessive indulgence, especially in food and drink

haute couture n. French, directly translating as “high seam”; means high fashion

histrionic adj. overly theatrical/dramatic

Ready?

QUIZ TIME!

Match the words above to one of the GIFs below. Play for fun or comment your answers. Bonus points for sentences and creative explanations!

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5

Writing Withdrawal: Day 11

It’s been 11 days since I finished first revisions of a book and sent it to readers.

I’m starting to feel it.

While I haven’t done a lick of story-related writing, I have been chipping away at the outline of a new book. Which is good. But unearthing the pieces and trying to fit them together is such slow, unpredictable work (The work may be counted on; progress is fickle)– I’m just left restless and impatient and itching to write!

In the meantime, I’m going to revel in my restlessness. The hunger to write tells me two things: 1) that I have found work that satisfies, compels, and is otherwise right for me, and 2) that something in me has changed. There used to be a time I would hear other people say that they wrote because they had to. There could be no other way. And while I still feel there are other ways, I better understand the notion– and feel with ever-growing conviction that writing is the one for me.

“Save It”

“Save It” is Michael Jackson’s lesser known song about writers and the importance of backing up electronic manuscripts (to be sung to the tune of “Beat It“).

Save It

[1st Verse]
They told us listen up, you reckless writers look here
Don’t wanna see your typeface, word doc disappear
The muse’s in your eyes and your words are really clear
So Save It, Just Save It

[2nd Verse]
You better backup, you better do what you can
Don’t wanna see no blue screen, don’t leave it up to chance
You know your draft’s rough, better save while you can
So Save It, Or you’re gonna be mad!

[Chorus]
Just Save It, Save It, Save It, Save It
Ctrl + S isn’t overrated!
Showin’ how prudent and wise is your mind
It doesn’t matter if your laptop dies

Just Save It, Save It
Just Save It, Save It
Just Save It, Save It
Just Save It, Save It

[3rd Verse]
They’re out to get you, all those storms and pop cans
They wanna fry your laptop, wanna drench your draft
You wanna manuscript, better save while you can
So Save It, Just Save It

[4th Verse]
You have to show them that you’re really prepared
You’re playin’ with your book, this ain’t no fanfic dare
They’ll soak you, then delete you,
Then your battery will wear
So Save It, Or you’re gonna be mad!

[Chorus]
Just Save It, Save It, Save It, Save It
Ctrl + S isn’t overrated!
Showin’ how prudent and wise is your mind
It doesn’t matter if your laptop dies

[Chorus]
Just Save It, Save It, Save It, Save It
Ctrl + S isn’t overrated!
Showin’ how prudent and wise is your mind
It doesn’t matter if your laptop dies
Just Save It, Save It, Save It, Save It, Save It

[Chorus]
Just Save It, Save It, Save It, Save It
Ctrl + S isn’t overrated!
Showin’ how prudent and wise is your mind
It doesn’t matter if your laptop dies

[Chorus]
Just Save It, Save It, Save It, Save It
Ctrl + S isn’t overrated!
Showin’ how prudent and wise is your mind
It doesn’t matter if your laptop dies

[Chorus]
Just Save It, Save It, Save It, Save It
Ctrl + S isn’t overrated!
Showin’ how prudent and wise is your mind
It doesn’t matter if your laptop dies

[Chorus]
Just Save It, Save It, Save It, Save It
Ctrl + S isn’t overrated!
Showin’ how prudent and wise is your mind
It doesn’t matter if your laptop dies
Just Save It, Save It
Save It, Save It, Save It

Well that was unexpected.

Whittling away at my To-Read List, my three most recent reads were this:

  1. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka [depressing]
  2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green [more depressing]
  3. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath [MAIN CHARACTER TRIES TO KILL HERSELF.]

I don’t know if you’re familiar with these books, but if not, let me break it down for you:

The Metamorphosis is about a guy who wakes up one morning as a monster– something like a beetle– and becomes totally useless and repulsive to his family.  They keep him locked out of sight in his room, feed him scraps and crumbs, and when he gets out he tends to upset the guests. (It’s unclear whether Gregor has had a mental lapse or is actually a bug. Some scholars think the story is a metaphor for the life of a writer. HOW ENCOURAGING.)

The Fault in Our Stars is about children (well, okay, mostly snarky teenagers) with cancer.

The Bell Jar is about a woman who loses interest in life and tries to kill herself, only to be sent to shock therapy and later institutionalized. NOT FUN FACT: author Sylvia Plath struggled with depression herself, and ended her life shortly after the book was published.

Now, while The Fault in Our Stars admittedly also made me laugh aloud more than any other book I can remember, isolationism, cancer, and mental illness are all pretty depressing subjects. Stack the three back to back and add several chapters about the violence-ridden dealings of an organized crime family (my latest beta reading which, despite its dark nature, I am very much enjoying) and you’ll get something close to the DOOM CLOUDS OF MISERY AND DEVASTATION brewing over my head.

Anyway, as I was finishing up The Bell Jar, I got an email saying that my latest library reservation was in.

Me: Oh thank god. Finally I can end this sadness.

*Opens email to see what book is in*

Me: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

The Good News: despite the morbid nature of the title and the fact that there is a dismembered arm on the cover, I’m 61 pages in and can safely report that the book is HILARIOUS. Turns out David Wong, the eponymous main character and listed author of John Dies at the End, is the pseudonym of Jason Pargin, the editor in chief of Cracked.com.

THANK JESUS.

Logan’s Run: Book vs. Film

The book Logan’s Run does something every writer should envy: it covers multitudes of ground in a very short space. In less than 150 pages it takes us from a hedonistic metropolis to outskirts roamed by “Cubs,” a New Drug-using gang of youth that don’t play by anybody’s rules, to Molly, a buckling, underwater ruin of a city, to a prison somewhere like the Arctic Circle, to caves inside Mt. Rushmore, to the village of the Devilstick-riding wild ones, to a dystopian nursery, to the jungle-consumed ruins of Washington DC, to a rocket and beyond. It does this all so well, moving so quickly from one danger and landscape to the next that even a movie—a format traditionally embraced for its ability to convey more material in less time—cannot hope to compete with it.

That said, certain changes were only to be expected when the story jumped from book to film. How successful were those changes? You be the judge…

Time and Setting

In the book, the year is 2116. In the movie, 2274. I really don’t know why the number makes that much of a difference.

It’s all future to me!

In the book, the whole world is open to travel: in fact, such adventures seem to be a rite of certain age groups.

In the movie, vague external causes (“war, overpopulation, and pollution”) force survivors to live in a single domed city whose Arcade and pinnacle looks uncannily like a shopping mall.

What’ll we do today: Jamba, or Forevsies?

Why the change? I can’t be certain, but I can think of two reasons: containing the world’s population to a single, enclosed city both condenses the story (neatly cutting out several adventure portions mentioned in the intro) and emphasizes a divide between “civilized” life inside and the renegade outside: runners, Sanctuary, and the unknown world.

Life Span

In the book, life ends at 21 years. In the film, 30. This is a change I can understand: 30 is more relatable to a wider audience.

Potentially frustrated 20-somethings: “Me? Old? But I wear Converse, know my Justins, and AM STILL PAYING FOR COLLEGE!”

Deep Sleep vs. Carousel

In the book, people who reach Lastday (i.e., turn 21) must turn themselves in for Deep Sleep: death by gas. In the film, individuals on Lastday participate in a fiery spectacle called Carousel in which everyone holds hands as in dance and then spontaneously combusts.

You know. Just like Ring Around the Rosy.

In Carousel, those going to their deaths are told that this Coliseum-style ritual will allow them to “renew” and experience life again.

In both mediums, “runners,” or those who try to evade death on Lastday, are hunted down by “Sandmen” and vaporized with special DS guns. In the book the guns have six different settings, the most fearful of which is the heat-seeking “homer” that unravels a person. In the movie, DS guns fire lurid green light, which still gets the job done, but mostly just annoys epileptics. 

Green guns: If the homer doesn’t get you, the epilepsy will!

Logan’s Decision to Track Down Sanctuary

In the book, Logan is twenty years old to begin with and begins his Lastday early on. Pocketing a key from a runner who died murmuring “Sanctuary,” he decides to see where the key goes. Maybe, if he discovers Sanctuary before his crystal goes black (or before other Sandmen can catch him), he can expose the hideout that runners go to and die a hero to the DS.

Because we can’t see Logan’s internal thought process in film, scriptwriters came up with another way to get Logan to seek out Sanctuary. First, the object that Logan picks up from the dead runner is not a key but an ankh. As part of his debriefing, Logan drops the acquired ankh on a scanning bed. This prompts a laughably one-sided conversation with a computer, who tells Logan that the ankh is associated with Sanctuary and then commands him to track it down, zapping the years left in his palm crystal (“lifeclock” in the movie) to zero as additional motivation.

Jessica

In the book, Logan meets future runner companion Jessica (dead runner Doyle’s sister) as he’s following the underground railroad: at a gathering the key he picked up led him to. In the movie, Logan meets Jessica as he is surfing through “The Circuit” looking for a booty call. True story! And the seduction is masterful: “Let’s have sex.” –Actual line (see 2:37)

Francis/Ballard

Francis’s role is actually pretty similar from book to film: he is a senior Sandman, and someone whom Logan first works with and trusts and then fears and must run from. The main difference is that in the movie, Francis dies, and in the book he turns out to be the underground alias used by Ballard, an actual living old guy (forty-TWO! Can you believe it?) who helps guide the deserving to Sanctuary.

Sanctuary: Space Colony vs. Fictional Place

In the book (spoiler alert!) the story ends with Logan and Jessica boarding a rocket bound for a colony on Mars, where people can live as long as age will allow. In the movie, whilst within the jungle-ridden ruins of Washington D.C. Logan decides that Sanctuary does not exist, despite the computer’s earlier insistence that over a thousand runners had “disappeared” and were never accounted for. Rather than going to Sanctuary, Logan and Jessica return to their domed city with a random elder they found boppin’ round the Capitol tending multitudes of cats.

Things that were not in the book at all, and which the scriptwriters pretty much just flung in there for giggles, or else because they had already diverged so far from the original that they might as well have added in the odd oh, I don’t know, senile old guy and dozens of cats

  1. Old guy.
  2. Cats.

These are only a handful of the many changes made from book to film, but they were the ones that most resonated with me.

New Entry in the Julieism Dictionary: worricane

Julieism - worricane

Example: Don’t even mention marriage around Jane right now. She’s still reeling from the worricane she had last Valentine’s Day, when her fortune cookie told her she should learn to enjoy solitude.

More Julieisms, definitions and mischief at Julie’s Online House of Awesome. If you like what you see, please Like Julie on Facebook as well!