Tag Archives: Wednesday Blogging

Jenny Reads After chapters 10 – 12 or “Don’t Forget Where You Belong (at this party, forever)”

You may have noticed that this is not Wednesday blogging. I got behind in a bunch of stuff, so I skipped out on that one this week. However, you can read about shitty jobs my Wednesday Blogging peeps Tess Grant, Kris Norris, Bronwyn Green, Gwendolyn Cease, and Jessica Jarman have toiled away at in the past.

Before we get into the recap, I want to discuss some bullshittery. 700 million “reads.” That’s the stat on the story’s WattPad landing page.

One assumes that when the average person– someone who doesn’t worry about things like unique page views and click-throughs and ping-backs– sees that number, they’re not going to think, “Many people have clicked on each individual chapter multiple times,” but “700 million people have read this book.”

This number, and the unspoken claim behind it (because WattPad is aware that they’re trying to make people think that 700 million individual people have read this story, or else they would be presenting a more realistic statistic) struck me as so ridiculous, I had to do some puzzling to try and put this claim into perspective.

Okay, let’s take the “700 million reads” claim in the spirit with which it was intended, and that is, to dupe you into believing 700 million people have read it, and break that number down a little. I combined the estimated populations of countries in which I knew large numbers of people spoke English. These countries were selected through the very scientific process of being countries I remembered as having significant populations of first-language English speakers without having to actually look anything else up, and they are as follows: United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa. And the number I came to was 494.8 million.

Now, a note on the reason I chose populations with first-language English speakers: because I’m convinced that anyone whose secondary language skills in English are just semi-fluent wouldn’t be able to understand a flipping sentence in the grammar and spelling nightmare that is After. You’d have to have some mad proficiency skills to sift through the errors, and it’s harder to find an estimate for “mad proficiency English language” on Google. I’m an author, I work with the English language every day, it’s my first language that I have spoken for thirty-two years of my life, it was the primary language used throughout my education, yet I have difficulty figuring out what’s being said in some of these chapters.

So, let’s look at that 494.8 million figure. To reach that number, it means every single person in all of those countries would have to read After.  This would include individuals who are:

  • illiterate
  • infants
  • unable to access the internet
  • unable to access WattPad due to incompatibility with their screen reading software
  • old people who refuse to use computers
  • in comas
  • living strict religious practices forbidding the use of electricity
  • out of fucks to give for whatever the next big thing is
  • unaware of fanfic and would have no desire to seek it out
  • contrary hipsters who refuse to investigate anything popular
  • saddled with a passing regard for grammar and spelling that would normally preclude them from reading something like After

Every. single. person. But even then, even with every estimated living human being in all those countries, the number falls a little over 300 million short. Add to this the number of readers leaving comments like:

“rereading cuz I can’t wait for anna to update! haha and stop giving spoilers! I hate them”

we have to assume that at least some of these “reads” are coming from repeat offenders (who seem to believe the story might be different upon second reading, else why would they worry about spoilers?).

To put it into even more perspective, 700 million individual readers would make up 25% of estimated internet users.  Note the lack of qualifier there. Not “internet users in America” or “internet users in English speaking countries.” Internet users total, based on stats from the International Telecommunications Union.

This, friends, is basically horseshit. The 50 Shades of Grey trilogy is an international juggernaut, translated into over fifty languages, is still dominating our everyday lives with ever more outdated quips referencing its title and themes, and guess how many copies it’s sold? As of February, 100 million. It’s clear that in the bid to make “fetch” happen with After, the idea is to make its success seem not just comparable with the book it shamelessly imitates, but bigger and more important. Somehow, this tactic is convincing enough that it attracted the interest of Hollywood, who apparently believe that 700 million clicks– some by repeat readers– on three stories with approximately one-hundred separate chapters per part is going to translate into some kind of globally dominating force equivalent to seven 50 Shades of Greys.

Oh, fuck me. It probably will. Continue reading

Wednesday Blogging: These are a few of my favorite things, book edition.

I hate, loathe, and despise telling people what my favorite things are, but I’ve made a commitment to this Wednesday blogging thing and damnit, I’m going to keep it.

The reason I hate telling people about my favorite things is that I’m inconsistent and my “favorites” often change. There are a few that never change:

Les Miserables, Victor Hugo. I only read this book because when I was twelve, I saw the musical. I wanted to read the book, so I went to the library and got this woefully abridged version– and when I say “woefully abridged,” I mean the whole beginning of the book with Bishop Myriel meeting the revolutionary was gone, the passage about Waterloo, so much of it was missing. One of my teachers saw me reading this totally useless version and said, “You know, there’s a better translation.” In the past twenty years, I’ve read Les Miserables from cover to cover fourteen times, and it gets better every time.

Moby-Dick, Herman Melville. I’ve liked this book since high school, but I wasn’t as in love with it as I am now until my honeymoon. My husband and I went to the Berkshires for our honeymoon, and while we were there we visited Arrowhead and a few other sites Herman Melville had frequented with his “friend” Nathaniel Hawthorne. I reread Moby-Dick and Billy Budd and researched more about Melville’s personal life, at which point I was like, “Wow, this dude was totally gay, and he was expressing it in his work.” It gave his writing, those two pieces in particular, a completely different depth, and I’ve become a little obsessed with Melville and Hawthorne. I guess you could say I ship them. Since this huge revelation wherein I figured out what literally millions of people had already picked up on before me, I’ve read Moby-Dick several times, but I do skip over some of the whale biology.

The Vampire Lestat, Anne Rice Do I really need to give an explanation for this one? It’s Lestat. It’s Lestat. While I agree with critics who say the series began to decline with The Tale of The Body Thief, I am in this for the long haul. Because Lestat.

Those are three favorites that will never change, unless I get some kind of personality changing injury in the future. But I’ve got this habit of saying, “This is my favorite [blank],” about stuff that a few years later I’m “meh” about. Or, I look back on it fondly, but I’m not as in love with it as I once was. Examples of these books are:

The Vampire Diaries series, L.J. Smith Can I just say right off how fucking shitty it is that they kicked L.J. off the franchise that she’d made popular the second it got a frickin’ TV show? Anyway, I’ve grown and changed from the tween who devoured these books, but I still look back and remember the good times we had. They really influenced my own writing, too, so I’ll always like them.

New Moon, Stephenie Meyer Okay, I know what you’re going to say, but I don’t care. I loved the Twilight series when it came out, then I hated it after Breaking Dawn, then I read 50 Shades of Grey and I love it again because Edward is cast in a way better light when compared to Christian Grey. But New Moon was the best book of the entire series. I lived Bella’s breakup. I laid on my couch and cried when they broke up. I will always love this book out of a sense of nostalgia, even though in hindsight they’re all pretty silly.

And then there are recent favorites I worry about including and somehow slighting or hurting the feelings of the other books on the list. Which is silly, but I just imagine Jean Valjean going, “What do you mean this book is your favorite? Don’t you love me anymore?” and my heart crumples into a thousand pieces. But these are what I like to call my current favorites, since it doesn’t require a commitment that might hurt Jean Valjean’s feelings:

A Song of Ice and Fire series, George R.R. Martin I am one hundred percent obsessed with this series. I’ve mentioned before that I know the geography of Westeros better than the geography of my own country, and I feel no shame about that. Granted, it’s taken me over a year to finish A Dance with Dragons, but that’s not a reflection on the writing, it’s because I got to page 913 and threw the fucking thing against the wall in a blind, wailing rage.

Lux series, Jennifer L. Armentrout I am always the last person to catch on to any freaking trend, I swear. I just recently gave the first book in this series a try, and then I got sucked in. It’s everything I loved about Twilight with nothing I disliked about Twilight. The heroine, Katy, has an actual personality. The hot guy has a legitimate reason he needs to protect her, rather than just, “You’re a weak human, let me help you, weak human.” Plus, it’s a paranormal YA that isn’t about your traditional monster. I’m shotgunning this series.

The thing that I really hate about these favorites lists is, I have too many favorites, I guess. I’m looking at my keeper shelves right now and going, “But what about All The Sweet Tomorrows by Bertrice Small? What about Into The Forest by Jean Heglund? What about Ian McEwan’s Atonement or Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes? And how could I possibly leave Stephen King off the list?”

Well, that last question is pretty easy to answer. Stephen King is in his own class. If we do a Wednesday Blogging topic about our favorite Stephen King books, I’ll be ready to go.

Want to fill yourselves with other Wednesday Blogger favorites? Check them out:

Gwendolyn Cease • Bronwyn Green • Jessica Jarman • Kris Norris • Kellie St. James
Tessa Grant

Wednesday Blogging: You couldn’t pay me to…

This was a difficult one this week, because I was thinking of stuff I didn’t like to do, and I couldn’t really think of anything. Oh, sure, you couldn’t pay me to go to an enemy’s funeral or give my biological father a kidney, but that stuff is pretty much a given. And it’s so negative, when so much positive stuff is happening in my life right now.

Positive stuff like getting a new office set up! So I guess you couldn’t pay me to trade my office for a different set up!

Let me show you some pictures:

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That is my old desk, waiting for the rain to stop so it can go in the yard with a “free to good home” sign on it. Getting rid of it is bitter sweet. This is, to date, the desk where I’ve written every single one of my books. And that’s a lot of books. I sat at this desk to write Blood Ties book one: The Turning, right up through The Bride. But it was time for a change.

Once we moved the desk out, the dogs discovered the window:

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As you can see, Sammy is not interested in sharing the view. Also, check out the Medusa head of cords over there. Those were all under my desk. And I detangled them, but I am supernaturally good at that.

I chose to go with IKEA’s Kallax series of shelves with an attachable desk. Putting the shelves together was super easy, but easily the most time consuming.

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After the desk was assembled and attached, I added two cupboard inserts and one double drawer insert.

Oh, and my books and some goofy shit:

shelves

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In an attempt to continue my mental health journey, I actually put my books on these shelves, right where I can see them.

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Just because things didn’t go exactly the way I wanted them to in the past ten years, I still deserve to be proud of myself. Hopefully just seeing them there will condition me to be proud of the work I’ve done!

As for the drawers, one of them is full of office supplies. The other one is full of candy and pills.

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As it should be.

So now that I sit down to work, this where I’m doing it. Under the stern gazes of three Doctors who think I should definitely be writing

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Yes. That is a wooden stake next to my computer. Because you never know.

So, that’s where I’m working now. I can’t show you the rest of the place, because it’s still a total shit show. But the important thing is, I’ve got a much better groove going on here, and (so far) you couldn’t pay me to change it around.

Wanna see what you couldn’t pay the other Wednesday bloggers to do?

Bronwyn Green • Jessica Jarman • Gwendolyn Cease • Kellie St. James • Kris Norris