I felt the plague of this cold coming on a week ago, but apparently didn’t take it seriously enough… It settled in with such a vengeance I spent most of my week at home, and several days with such an extreme sinus headache I couldn’t see straight. This, the week of our 18th wedding anniversary. In fact, forget the flowers and chocolates, I learned this week the true measure of my hubs is his ability to care for me when I feel like death. Regardless of the milestone we were supposed to be celebrating. I owe him big-time–and apparently get to repay him sooner than anticipated, as he’s had the bad luck to pick up the Dread Cold baton.
Luckily, he has the needles, herbs, nutraceuticals, and whole-food nutrition knowledge on hand to allow us at least some amount of productivity while our bodies go into overdrive on mucus production–and the coughing rejection of said goop. That meant I was just three words shy of my 1,000-words-a-week goal this week. And I somehow got into a blogging zone that inspired me to write about fantasy (my favorite genre) as well as write and schedule two book reviews. I’m toying with making the whole “literary term” thing a more regular feature on my blog since it seems many of my friends hadn’t known that “easy” set of writer’s lingo. Beccause I bandy these terms about on a regular basis, I might as well make sure everyone understands what I mean.
Adding weight to my decision is the news report that Sherrilyn Kenyon is suing another (successful) author writing in her (my!) genre. I’m glad to see Cassandra Clare’s lawyers fighting the claims of copyright infringement, since nowhere in the original complaint is there any evidence of actual plagiarism named or listed. Which would be another case entirely–and would actually have my support. No. This case seems to be arguing that many of the common conventions urban fantasy authors use–that humans don’t know about the supernatural, that the supernatural nonetheless exist, and that there are frequently secret wars waged to keep the hidden world… hidden–could be governed by copyright law and enforced by this kind of legal maneuvering. Romance author Courtney Milan summary-tweeted what’s been made public to this point, and pretty well summed up my feelings on the issue. I rest my case by pointing out the fact that there is a wiki called TV Tropes with a huge segment dedicated to all the common heritage references in fantasy alone. (Naturally, there are tropes for romance writers, mystery writers, and the like, in case anyone thinks there’s any genre exempt from walking in previous storytellers’ footsteps.) As the maintainers of the wiki explain: Tropes are storytelling tools, a kind of shorthand to help audiences understand and connect with whatever it is the writer is trying to convey. It’s worth understanding that nobody tells a story without relying on these to some degree; the skill comes in applying tropes in such a way that they feel new to the reader.
Aside from all that heavy stuff, we had another week of very little exercise (in deference to Dread Cold), but made up for it with more Agent Carter and snippets of the various Thor movies, since there appears to have been a Marvel Universe-themed rerun weekend here. Maybe all the superhero thoughts will see us through to health. (Carrie Vaughn had an interesting blog post this week about how the MCU movies have far outgrown the boundaries of what one normally understands as a movie experience, and lends some credence to the thought that the community is one of the enticements to enjoy the feature.)
In the meantime, I’ve gotten new words to edit from Gayla, so I’ll encourage you to go check out how the other ROW80ers are doing with their goals. I’ll be back again next week to report on my progress.