Blurbing

May. 6th, 2009 11:28 am
katiefoolery: (The power of the beta!)
I read a blurb on the book the other day that caused me to laugh out loud. Which, believe me, doesn't usually go down too well in a library... but I couldn't help it. The worst bit is that the subject matter is intended to be rather serious and heart-wrenching, so I felt bad about laughing at it.

For a second or two.

Then I laughed some more.

The blurb starts thusly: Willow O'Keefe is born with osteogenesis imperfecta...

Which is a huge laugh, right? Small child, constantly in pain. I wasn't laughing at that bit, OK?

It continues:
...[a]s her family struggles to cover medial expenses, her mother Charlotte decides to file a wrongful birth lawsuit against her obstetrician for compensation that might ensure a lifetime of care for Willow.

But it means Charlotte has to say in a court of law that she would have terminated the pregnancy if she'd known about the disability in advance. And the obstetrician she's suing isn't just her physician - she's her best friend.

It shouldn't make me laugh, right?

And yet, I can't help it. It's just one tragedy after another until it reaches ridiculous proportions. There's no way I could take a book like that seriously. I mean, you might as well write a blurb that says:
Adorable, pig-tailed child gets a kitten, which dies. She gets a new kitten which digs up the old kitten AND EATS IT. Then dies.

Blurbs are such hit and miss things, though, aren't they? One of my favourite books as a teenager was Obernewtyn and I almost didn't read it because of the blurb, which read like some stock-standard, post-apocalyptic story of the far future.

It also makes me think that I could come up with a pretty amusingly tragic blurb for that doomed first draft of Black Fiddle. Behold:
Jeannie lives a happy, carefree life with her music-loving family until a deadly plague begins to eat away at the land. She and her sister are sent to fend for themselves in the city while the rest of her family falls victim to the plague, leaving them as orphans among strangers. They face prejudice and starvation, forcing Jeannie to sell the precious family heirloom entrusted to her by her grandmother: the Black Fiddle of Barnet.

In a cruel twist of fate, Jeannie's sister is stolen away by Sidhe trapped in the mortal realm seeking a way home... and the only thing that can bring her back is the fiddle Jeannie just sold.
And so on and woe and wailing and woe on woe-tarts with extra woe topping.

Sure, we're all searching for a twist or to submit our characters to the utmost levels of torment in some vain attempt at retribution for ruining our lives and our sleep and our sanity with their insistence on having their stories written. But there's a point where it just goes too far and you break through the walls of tragedy and tension, straight into the realms of ridiculousness.

So has anyone else read any laughably melodramatic blurbs lately? Or, better still: how would you write a blurb of your current WIP (novel, short story, ficlet - whatever it may be) to make it so ridiculously tragic that people are already reaching for the tissues before they even open the cover?
katiefoolery: (Running... as you do)
Don't ask me how my writing's going unless you want me to lie and tell you how I'm at least ten chapters into the most amazing book ever and it's all going so swimmingly due to my superlative organisational skills and equally amazing self-discipline.

Don't make me lie to you like that.

In more exciting news, I present to you the calendar the ma gave me as part of my Christmas present. She seems somehow to have purchased a "caption your own lolcats" calendar. Seriously. Every picture has cats in the stupidest poses imaginable. December in particular had me crying with laughter.

In the interests of democracy and... laziness and all of that stuff, I thought I'd ask my ever-witty flist to suggest some captions for January's cat. It's probably the most boring of the bunch, but I think the angle of the paw and the fact that it's surrounded by flowers has some promise. Caption my calendarlolcat!

Please. :)

Venture under here for the pic... )
katiefoolery: (Goku is uncertain)
I don’t do memes.  Really  I don’t.

But...

Sometimes they’re just too hilarious to pass up.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, katiefoolery sent to me...
Twelve library technicians drumming
Eleven manners piping
Ten librarians a-leaping
Nine boots dancing
Eight turles a-reading
Seven books a-writing
Six libraries a-spelling
Five bla-a-a-ack books
Four teasing cats
Three charles dickens
Two strange horizons
...and a shounen-ai in an isobelle carmody.
Get your own Twelve Days:

I am beyond amused at the idea of librarians a-leaping all about the library, joyfully tossing the books back onto the shelves.  The reality is that library technicians usually do that - but it appears they’re too busy drumming, so it’s all left to the leaping librarians.

And I do believe that the eight Turleses are all reading the same book: How to Conquer the Universe Using Exotic Fruits.

I love how it begins to make sense, though.  “Seven books a-writing” - oh, if only.  If only the stupid things wrote themselves.  I hope everyone appreciates all these self-writing books I’m giving away.

As enamoured as I am of the reading Turleses (eight of them!  It’s like a dream come true...), I think my favourite is that last one.  It would certainly give Rushton and Dameon something to do when Elspeth abandons both of them to go off and save the world by angsting at it relentlessly.
katiefoolery: (Oops...)
Number of times I grinned inanely today: too many to count.  What can I say?  I was having a good day.

Number of grade five children who invaded our library: *in denial*  We’re not getting more tomorrow!  Tell me we’re not getting more tomorrow!

Actually, it’s not that bad.  They're kind of cute, really. I thought I was incredibly grown up when I was in grade five; after all, I was ten years old!  That’s double figures!  It’s a little odd to realise how small I actually was.

Number of silly things accidentally posted to LJ: only one, thank goodness.  I blame my stupid work for blocking LJ, as this forced me to use email to post work-written entries in.  Formerly, if I typed “b” into the address box while composing an email, it brought up my home email first.  Now, it brings up my posting-to-LJ email and I entirely forgot this when I quickly typed in a sentence I wanted to send home.

It wasn’t until I was waiting for my second bus that I realised what I’d done.

Number of people who stared at me while I tried not to laugh out loud at my mistake: uncertain.

Number of times I was grateful it wasn’t a line from the other fic that already involves the description “half-naked” (and is probably going to go downhill from there): Many.  Many!

Number of car number-plates sniggered at on the way home: one.  But it said ‘PWP’!  I’m allowed to snigger at that.  Maturity of mind is over-rated.

Number of Timothies accidentally snubbed: one.  I couldn’t help it.  I’d just logged into msn, was talking to two people (one of whom was my dad) and was trying to get rid of sundry evidence of earlier LJ-related stupidity.  Also, there was the small matter of the cup of tea I was trying to make.  There’s only so much multi-tasking a girl can do.
katiefoolery: (Default)
I am experiencing a bizarre idea to write silly stories.  And I mean incredibly silly stories.  The sort of things that might turn up in a really bad film pitch in a Hollywood studio or something.  For example:

Character One switches bodies with Character Two by accident; hilarity ensues!  (Also, some sort of lesson to do with respecting others, blah blah, very touching, can I fall asleep now? - will occur.)

Or:

A girl who has lost her ability to feel emotions has teamed up with a man who may or may not have a Jekyll and Hyde complex.  They solve crime!

Or:

A and B are mixing a love potion to use on their friends when an accident occurs and it affects them intead.  But they can’t stand each other!  Hi-jinks ensue...
(Rated M for abuse of dessicated animal parts)



See what I mean?  Silly stories.  Hackneyed things full of stereotyped characters and recycled plots.  And these examples aren’t simply plucked from the air: they are actual stories that I am working on.

I don’t think there’s any harm to them, though.  It occurs to me that I need to do more writing practice and there are worse ways to practise writing than to play around with unoriginal plots.  At least, I think there are...


Quick iPod update:
It’s dead.
(Told you it’d be quick.)
katiefoolery: (Default)
Dear Jane (aka the pushy damn furniture-obsessed character of mine who now thinks she’s my muse),

OK, you win.  I’ll write the cursed fic, even if it wasn’t the one you wanted.

On the up side, huzzah for making Flit snort tea up her nose when I gave her the one line summary of said fic.  Who knew that mere ten words could result in tea-drowned sinuses of Flitness?  Knowing that the [livejournal.com profile] flippyfrog now has tea-clogged sinuses makes me feel much better about the whole ‘being ordered around by an imaginary character’ situation.

* * *

Dear holidays,

Well, there you are at long last.  Thank-you for finally arriving!  For a while there, you were an hallucination, a mirage on the barren, holiday-less desert of my life.  Now, be a dear and try to last as long as you can.  There’s a twelve-week term on the horizon...

* * *

Dear TV,

Well, it was nice while it lasted.  During our many years together, you entertained me well and I have a great big basket of fond memories of that time.  I know this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me, but I think it’s time to end this.  Don’t be sad – there are so many more fish in the sea people out there who will love you and treat you well.  I’ve simply come to realise that we’ve both changed and it’s time to move on.  I need more from a relationship and you just can’t give that to me.

I’m sorry.  I hope we can still be friends after this, but please don’t ask for anything more of me.

* * *

Dear Internet,

Huzzah!  I finally dumped that poxy TV so now we can be with each other forever and take mushy long walks on the beach at sunset whilst calmly ignoring the mosquitoes and the broken shells stabbing into our feet!  We will be together forever, I know it!

*snuggles*

* * *

Dear Microsoft Word,

Hey, guess what?  When I type three asterisks in a row, I actually don’t want you to turn it into some shoddy-looking line of dodgy black rectangles.  Amazingly, I simply want to have three asterisks in a row.  I guess this is just too much for you to comprehend.

I don’t care what they told you; you can’t read my mind, so please to stop trying.

* * *

Dear Wireless Internet,

Welcome to our house! Now I’ll never get any writing done... but at least I can distract myself from this fate by being mesmerised by your prettily-blinking lights!

* * *

Dear Jane (aka the pushy damn furniture-obsessed character of mine who now thinks she’s my muse),

*shakes fist*
katiefoolery: (Don't panic!)
A while ago, I wrote a story with the rather over-long title of Why I Ran Away and Joined the Nunnery.  It was a fun story to write and I'd like to try and get it published eventually.  As it is, it needs a little work.

But this is not why I'm here today.  No, the reason for that concerns one of the characters within the story.  Namely, Ikvar, Destroyer of Worlds.

I don't know where Ikvar came from.  I really don't.  I blame the main character's grandmother, actually.  After all, she was the one who ran off and consorted with demons in the underworld.  And then brought one of them to the wedding of the main character's sister.

So there they were: Ellerie (my main character), her grandmother and Ikvar, Destroyer of Worlds, standing around making small talk.  I think Ellerie's grandmother was trying to prove something, to be honest.  Perhaps she wanted everyone to know that you're never too old to have a fling with a demon of the underworld...  It was the first scene I wrote, although it comes about half-way through the story.  And it goes a little like this:

It was easy to say when the trouble started. It was when my grandma turned up with her latest beau on her arm. Beacuse that beau just happened to be Ikvar, Destroyer of Worlds.

"Well well, a wedding," said Ikvar, exuding an actual aura of pure darkness.

"Did you bring our present, dear?" Grandma asked.

"I ate it," Ikvar said, looking malevolently sheepish.

"You ate an entire orchestra?" Grandma asked.

Ikvar blushed.

"There's my little Ellerie," Grandma said, dragging Ikvar over to meet me. We shook hands politely, which left me feeling extremely nauseous.

"So this is Ardor," Ikvar said with a sneer. "Weaklings. They have no-one who could defy me. I could destroy it with a single thought!"

"Not now, dear," Grandma said.

Ikvar burped.  The sound had a distinctly musical flavour.

(link)

I love Ikvar dearly, even though he's a minor character in the story.  He has a handy of habit of incinerating inconvenient people and setting things on fire.  I accept that this latter trait is not always handy, but it certainly would be if you were cold.  Or wanted to burn a city to the ground.  Or something.

Nevertheless, he is insanely powerful, quite evil and very black of heart.

So imagine how I felt when I saw an email from Ikvar in my email in-box this morning.

Ikvar has an email address!


It made my day, that email.  Alas, I have no idea where I got the name from: it just popped into my head and made itself at home.  I didn't even stop to think there might a real Ikvar, Destroyer of Worlds...
katiefoolery: (Back to work)
Firstly, may I just say:

Thank-you, LJ, for changing the default setting of the cursèd navigation bar to "on".  You know, there is a reason why I don’t have the navigation bar switched on and that reason (which I happen to think is a very good one) is that it is a hideous abomination and I hate having to look at it.  Ever.

Please don’t do that again.

If my kind friends and readers out there would be so good as to add a heaping of sarcasm to those two paragraphs above, I would be most grateful.

Secondly, I want to thank a student who inadvertently gave me a rather good chuckle.  She had added a title to her list of books for the Victorian Premier’s Reading Challenge and it was ever so slightly incorrect.  Instead of Secret Friends’ Stuff, she had typed Secret Fried Stuff.  Secret Fried Stuff... I can’t love it enough.  It conjures up an image of someone being served a plate of mysterious objects covered in batter.  But is that a prawn or a piece of chewing gum?  A potato cake or a frisbee?  Who knows!  Who dares to taste the Secret Fried Stuff?

10,000 Words in Ten Weeks
katiefoolery: (Entertain me)
Isn’t it bizarre the way something silly can suddenly bring laughter and strangely amusing images your way?  Well, I think it is at least.  This burning question is inspired by a silly thing I typed not five minutes ago when my fingers were mis-aligned on the keyboard.  I was one key to the left, although I didn’t realise it at the time.  Instead of typing “Eagle of the Ninth” into the search function on the catalogue, I wrote “Waffle of the Ninth” (or something close enough to that as makes no difference).

The Eagle of the Ninth is a book of historical fiction by Rosemary Sutcliff, basically dealing with the Roman invasion and occupation of England.  Each legion had a golden eagle on a staff which was borne before them as they walked.  If memory serves me (and it often does, if I threaten it), the book about the eagle of the ninth was inspired by the discovery of a real Roman eagle in ruins somewhere in England.  What set it apart was the fact that it had no wings; in short, it was a disgraced eagle behind which no no self-respecting legion would march.

So, in essence, The Eagle of the Ninth is a compelling story of misfits, Romans and wingless golden eagles in Britain’s misty past.

Now, however, I have the image of the Waffle of the Ninth in my head.  I can’t tell you if they carried it about from battle to battle on a staff or not.  Surely, it would dry out and crumble after too long, rendering it ineffective for purposes of symbolism.  Perhaps it’s a secret recipe, devised by the men of the ninth and hungrily sought after by the other legions.

Either way, the idea of Roman soldiers dealing in any way with a waffle is causing me to stifle giggles.

All because of a simple keyboarding mishap.

I’d just like to add that it’s a cold and miserable day over here and any stories of amusing mistakes caused by typos would be gratefully received by this Buneater.

The cast

Jan. 2nd, 2005 01:28 pm
katiefoolery: (Default)
In the grand old tradition of new year, everyone seems to be re-capping the year that has passed and making wild and adventurous resolutions for the year ahead. Good for them, I say. I toyed briefly with doing this too, but then realised I couldn’t be bothered. So, if anyone out there is interested in discovering what 2004 meant for this little Buneater, then I’m afraid you’re going to have to start here and work your way along.

So, instead of going to a lot of effort and musing over the things that made 2004 such an interesting year, packed full of 366 days, along with numerous nights and unseasonal hail-storms, I decided I would take this opportunity to introduce my readers to the cast of millions that features in this little blog of mine. The idea arose from a comment by the good [livejournal.com profile] poisonheadache, begging to know who “the Boy” might be. So blame her. :) The nerd in me wouldn’t let this happen without some pictures to brighten everything up, so most of the cast entries are accompanied by a handy photo. As I seem to have a knack of taking photos of people when they’re looking their silliest, several of the aforementioned photos are rather amusingly silly. And now, without any further blathering, I shall begin.

Bunhead Katiefoolery (who once was Buneater)
This is me, strangely enough. I go by “Katiefoolery” now, but I used to call myself the “Buneater”. People often ask me where the name “the Buneater” came from and I tell them it’s a long and not-very-intersting story. And it’s true. Suffice to say, I’m very happy with this most ridiculous of names and bear it with pride. I live in Melbourne and work in a secondary school library. The rest of the time I seem to spend either on the internet or in attempting to become the next J. K. Rowling, despite my inherent dislike of the phrase “the next J. K. Rowling”. Since it turned out I spent more time procrastinating instead of actually doing anything, I decided to finally finish my Bachelor of Arts degree. Now that I’ve finished that, I have to decide whether or not to do a Master of Information Management and Systems and become a librarian. In the meantime, I work in a secondary school library four days a week and spend Wednesday procrastinating.

A meme once called me a grammar god and we all know memes never lie. Worship me or, if not me, then at least worship the apostrophe.

Timhead My Timothy
Next comes my Timothy, who goes by the alias “[livejournal.com profile] bunhusband” when he’s lurking about on my journal. In case you’re wondering, yes - it’s not easy going through life with a pixelated face with a question mark sitting in front of it. In fact, it’s downright dangerous, especially when he’s driving. My Timothy, as the possessive may indicate, is my husband, soul-mate and best friend. His duties include kicking me out of bed at 7:00am to go to work, cooking, cleaning and banning me from doing the dishes. He also performs heavy lifting tasks and acts as an un-paid chef and chauffeur. When he’s not busy doing all of those things, he stands in as my inspiration for just about everything I do these days.

Picklehead Pickle
Good old Pickle. She’s our little kitty - just over two years old and incredibly gorgeous. Pickle likes looking adorable, sleeping, eating and racing around the house like a thing possessed. She also enjoys licking people and biting them in a friendly, albeit sharp, manner. Another of her habits includes sitting on my keyboard and getting annoyed when I try to type. (Although I was very proud of her the day she typed the word “pop”.)

Pickle has an alter-ego known as PSYCHOPANTS!!, who is largely responsible for the racing around and generally looking deranged.

Dahead The Da
This is my father, referred to as “my father”, “my dad”, “dad” or “the da”, depending on my mood. He had the unlucky task of raising me, along with my mother. The two of them ran away to Beechworth a year or so ago, forcing us to take three and half hour trips to visit them. On the up side, it’s very nice in Beechworth. You may be able to spot the remarkable eye-brows that adorn the Da’s face. These are eye-brows with their own personality and a habit of twirking up insanely. My Timothy aspires to these eye-brows and is actually part-way to cultivating his own.

Mahead The Ma
Here be my mother, looking relatively sane. This is completely un-representative of her normal state of being. She was given the task of bringing me up and instilling reasonably good values in me. I think she sort of succeeded. These days, I tease her for giving me a gravy mug and then asking for it back, because she hadn’t meant to give it to me in the first place. I also mock her for not having a pantry. Ma taught me that it’s fun to talk to inanimate objects, a policy I embrace whole-heartedly to this day.

Boyhead The Boy
“The Boy” is my younger (and only) brother - so named for that sketch in The Simpsons, wherein Bart is referred to as “Rat Boy”. In yet another indication of my laziness, I couldn’t be bothered calling my brother “Rat Boy”, so my mum and I settled for simply calling him “the Boy”, and just implying the “rat” bit. The Boy lives with my almost-sister-in-law, the Sonia, with one two three four cats and often spends Thursday nights at my place, eating pizza. Well, spent, since he now lives right next door to the parents in Beechy. I decided it was a tiny bit unreasonable to require them to make a six hundred kilometre round trip every week just to keep up a tradition based on eating greasy, dough-based meals.

Soniahead The Sonia
The Sonia is my almost-sister-in-law. She has an insane sense of humour and the ridiculous, which means she fits nicely into our family. It’s thanks to her that I was introduced to the term “dew-dew”, which means absolutely nothing to anyone apart from her, the Boy and myself.

Buffhead The Buffster
Ah, the good old Buffster, or Buffy, as normal people call her. Buffy, the Buffster, Wuffs, Fooffer, Tigs, Tigger, Fatso, Wuff-Wuff... this cat goes by many names and also comes when she’s whistled, mostly because she thinks she’s a dog. Buffy was our family cat for years and years and has now gone into retirement in Beechworth. She enjoys eating. A lot.

The Buffster died last year after a very long life of laziness and dirty looks.

Bindihead Bindi
The latest addition to this list is Bindi, Tim’s sister, who has recently come to live with us when she split up with her boyfriend at the start of 2005. She comes with a bonus cat, Nala, who enjoys hiding under the bed and running from us if we come within one hundred metres of her. As a result of this, I enjoy spending a lot of time running after her with my hands out-stretched, saying: Garrh! Bindi has now split up with her boyfriend, making her a permanent member of this household. Shortly after moving in with us, the good Bindi put away all the dishes and found a pair of socks, making her a useful addition to the household.

Also starring:
Glenys and Anne, my work colleagues.
Sunny and Serina (aka the stupid, stinking liar), colleagues from my previous job.
Dollie, Michelle, Bev and Margaret - colleagues from the job before that. (Also featuring in episodes from these days is the helper monkey, who attempted to kidnap my mug and its plendiferous flying cow.)
Tina, the sort of next-door neighbour from whom you hide when you see her coming. (Thankfully, she doesn’t feature that often, or I’d start arming myself with a frying pan whenever I venture outside.)


So there you have it - the major players in this little LJ here. Of course, I probably spend more time talking about fictional characters than I do about real people, but as least I now have a handy list of the poor people who are forced to turn up in my LJ without being asked first.

P.S. I’d love to see pics of the people who feature in my friends’ LJ posts, so do feel free to steal this idea. :)

April 2011

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