The Catchup 21.11.11

by M.J. Hearle

Greetings Shadettes and Shadudes,

A week or so ago, I was scrolling through the Twitterverse reading some tweets about Breaking Dawn made by excited Twilight fans with names like Twilight1972 and Cullen4Eva21 and I started wondering what would happen if Winter’s Shadow inspired a similar passionate fan base. Specifically what would fans of the series be called. Throwing the question out to Twitter I received some very creative responses but ultimately Shadettes and Shadudes tickled me the most. A big thank you to Juliet for coming up with them.

When I’m not chumming Twitter, I occasionally try to work on the blog. Coming up with  material isn’t always easy. Sometimes its due to lack of inspiration, other times there’s simply not enough time for me to write anything worth a damn. Rather than let the blog languish unattended for days or weeks at a time I thought I might try and make things a little easier on myself.

Which brings me to the first ever Catchup. What’s a Catchup you might ask? Well, basically it’s an excuse for me to post a bunch of links to any interesting online content I’ve stumbled across during the week that you might have missed. The links will usually be related to writing, at least tangentially, but if there’s something particularly cool that has nothing to do with stories or storytelling I’ll probably included it as well.

Being as this is the first Catchup, and the concept only occurred to me a couple of days ago, it’ll be brief one. Oh, and please feel free to direct me to any interesting online stuff you’ve seen in the comments section below.

First off, let’s begin with a Twilight article. Breaking Dawn is opening this week which means there’s a lot of buzz in the old interwebby. Most of the discussion is of the ‘this is awesome’ or ‘this is crap’ variety but there is some interesting critical thought going on as well. Sometimes it can be found in the most suprising of places.

Take Film Critic Hulk for example. This fellow writes for the popular website Badass Digest in the style of the Incredible Hulk which means HE WRITES LIKE THIS FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE. It’s as though the Incredible Hulk is sitting opposite you shouting his  uncharacteristically insightful opinions. In this article, he carefully pulls apart the Twilight phenomenon, criticising the mixed messages of the book, and dissecting Stephenie Meyer’s sexual politics. The results are a little disturbing. Fair warning, it’s a long read, but worth it so long as you’re not offended by crass language and occasional lapses into contextual juvenility. It’s definitely an adult piece so don’t go forwarding it on to your impressionable nieces and nephews or anyone with delicate sensibilities.

I like Twilight and don’t necessarily agree with all of the points raised, but I thoroughly enjoyed the article regardless. I think it’s healthy to reflect on why we love the things we love and not just blithely absorb them. In any case, I suggest you click on the link if only for the awesome J.K. Rowling YouTube clip he includes towards the end. She’s a classy dame, that one.

And just to prove that I’m even handed, here’s a post defending the literary merits of Twilight.

And here’s a takedown of John Updike just to show that even literary darlings aren’t immune to criticism.

In previous posts, I’ve mentioned my admiration for Stephen King. He’s definitely numero uno when it comes to my influences, however if I was to be completely honest with myself he’s not the author I’d switch places with right now should I be given the choice. That honour would probably go to Neil Gaiman. The man has it all – gorgeous rock star wife, more literary awards than you can poke a stick at, success across all media platforms (books, comics, music, tv, and movies) and isn’t bad looking either. He keeps a journal over at It’s worth bookmarking and checking regularly as he often included cool little mp3 or video clips. For example, the clip in the current post, a 1 hour discussion between himself and speculative fiction writer Connie Willis, is a wonderful little treat.

I stumbled across this link on Chud and immediately fell in love with the concept. Apparently MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN is going to be made into a film by Tim Burton. While he’s been accused by many in the online community as slowly devolving into a parody of himself, I still hold out that he hasn’t lost his touch.  Check out the trailer below:

As you can see this sort of subject matter seems tailor-made for his creative sensibilities.

Finally, I’d like to draw your attention to this competition hosted by Harper Collins. A year’s supply of books is a pretty damn attractive prize if I do say so myself.

Until next time,

M. J.