blogging

A Random Selection from Thinks Out Loud, a Blog at First

Okay, I grabbed a copy of Thinks Out Loud, closed my eyes, and twirled the book around. When I could no longer tell front from back, top from bottom, I opened the book and touched a spot on a page. Where my finger made contact became the randomly selected portion shown below. Totally random! Pure fate! Eyes closed! And here it is:

Random selection of an entry from Thinks Out Loud, A Blog at First:

After another bountiful dinner, some of the villagers made a fire and stood near it to talk and relax. Vaea was in light conversation with several of his friends over near the pool I’d bathed in. I found myself walking toward the beach with Vaitiare.

“I am still trying to decide if you are here to harm us,” she said as we followed the top of the wave line. The ocean before me, the palm trees and flowers and distant mountain behind, this intriguing woman beside me, I felt as if I were inside a Gauguin painting.

That’s it. Unless you’ve read the book, you wouldn’t know the narrator is a burned out blogger now living in the South Pacific on an island that eschews modern technologies in an attempt to maintain its traditions. Vaitiare is the island’s visionary princess.

That was fun. Should we try this random selection one more time? Here goes. . .

She came to my side and leaned toward the computer. “I have this crazy theory. Say, do you think your brother could get us into The Hive, let us take a look around?”

“Emily, I don’t know if we could get in,” I said as my vocal chords began working again.

She nodded as though she agreed how tough it would be and then kept going. “Hey, how about if we get the whole class to take a tour?” she asked, her green eyes impossibly bright.

“Well, tallboy just started. We should probably give him a couple of weeks to settle in, “ I suggested.

“I think the sooner we do a tour the better. Are you in?”

So, this scene takes place in Seattle on the UW campus where Emily and the blogger [Eddie] are taking a History of High-tech seminar. Eddie’s brother, tallboy, just started a blogging job at a mysterious startup called AltaSystemics. Trouble is, he can’t figure out what the company does or what to blog about. But the place is very cultlike and run by a flamboyant CEO who calls himself PrimeMover. Emily is keen on finding out what is going on there while Eddie is a bit hesitant. . .

All the above and much more is available via Thinks Out Loud, a Blog at First.

SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT THE BOOK AND AMAZON: If you order Thinks Out Loud from Amazon Prime, you will be receiving an older version that is out of date and whose printing is lighter than the current edition. If on Amazon, order from the Thinks Out Loud seller option which will be the newer better print version. You can also order the newer version directly from the publisher via this website, thinksoutloud.com, or from your local bookstore, which will either have the book in stock or available via a quick special order from Ingram, the wholesaler. 

A movie version of a blog novel?

Recently, two readers of Thinks Out Loud contacted me and said they thought the book would make a good movie. That was flattering! Honestly, I’d not thought of that possibility, primarily because it’s a novel written in blog form, far far afield from a film’s script format. At least by beginning with a traditional novel, a screenwriter using that as a basis for a movie’s script has a foundation for moving forward.

But a novel of blog postings? How would a screenwriter even begin to translate that into a film version? Each posting is from one of several bloggers, each with his or her own take on the world. Plus, much is going on in the characters’ heads (though revealed in their text), how could that possibly translate into the language of film? Finally, how would the sense of blogging, so essential to the essence of the book, be conveyed on screen? (Think of how woodenly texting and emailing is shown in contemporary movies.)

On the other hand, although it’s in blog format, the book does contain the basic elements of fictional construct: plot, setting, character, conflict, tension, climax, and so on. There’s the plucky band of young bloggers thrust into the role of trying to save the world from the monomaniacal designs of the brilliant but flawed high-tech CEO. The setting would shift back and forth from the fast-paced world of start-ups in Seattle to a traditional South Seas community protective of its identity that brings into its midst a lost blogger who could upset the island's carefully crafted way of life. So, yes, that could be ‘movielike,’ though capturing the book’s playfully irreverent tone might be a challenge, if that is the tone the would-be producers would want to maintain.

And then the author begins to imagine how his dear creation might fare in the midst of Hollywood’s creative ferment. I knew of a writer in Santa Barbara who was surprised to find himself being approached by a film star interested in his deceptively modest novel of unrequited love set in the high desert of Southern California. He sold the rights and the film was actually made and did well. The plot and characters, however, bore little resemblance to the original book, except for its title: Murphy’s Romance.

Where was I? Oh, I asked the author if all the changes bothered him. He said no. They’d paid him fair and square and were under no obligation to re-create the original novel on the screen.

Where does that leave me? Not anywhere really, except as the author of a novel written in blog form that I would willingly leave to others to attempt to massage into a cinematic treat while I retreat to go work on another novel.

SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT THE BOOK AND AMAZON: If you order Thinks Out Loud from Amazon Prime, you will be receiving an older version that is out of date and whose printing is lighter than the current edition. If on Amazon, order from the Thinks Out Loud seller option which will be the newer better print version. You can also order the newer version directly from the publisher via this website, thinksoutloud.com, or from your local bookstore, which will either have the book in stock or available via a quick special order from Ingram, the wholesaler. 

Thinks Out Loud, a Blog at First
by Martin Perlman

https://www.thinksoutloud.com/

To Read or Not To Read

A friend recently admitted she had started but not finished Thinks Out Loud. She said she had not gotten very far in it. She added she’s never been a reader of science fiction/fantasy.

I was sorry she hadn’t enjoyed the novel, but I also recognized that not everyone is going to enjoy a book, any book. In the case of Thinks Out Loud, many traditional readers might be put off, for example, by the blog concept, especially in the opening pages.

As for science fiction. . .myself a fan of science fiction since I was ten, I can still understand that speculative fiction does not appeal to many readers who feel the genre often sacrifices complex character development in favor of gadgetry and theoretical extrapolation of technology, often mixed with big doses of dystopia.

However, is Thinks Out Loud science fiction? In the case of TOL, I would say it borrows motifs and elements of science fiction but doesn’t go all the way. Some readers might say the book is more a high-tech suspense story. Others an adventure and romance set in the South Seas. And a few might even suggest it’s a coming-of-age bildungsroman.

And I say, let all of those genres comes out and play. Stir it up. Go beyond labels and boundaries. Have some fun. So, while there are writers who do rightfully claim their genres (mystery, suspense, romance) and do so proudly. Let’s let other writers just go for it and see what happens.

SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT THE BOOK AND AMAZON: If you order Thinks Out Loud from Amazon Prime, you will be receiving an older version that is out of date and whose printing is lighter than the current edition. If on Amazon, order from the Thinks Out Loud seller option which will be the newer better print version. You can also order the newer version directly from the publisher via this website, thinksoutloud.com, or from your local bookstore, which will either have the book in stock or available via a quick special order from Ingram, the wholesaler. 

Thinks Out Loud, a Blog at First
by Martin Perlman

https://www.thinksoutloud.com/

View Comments: The roles of commenters in Thinks Out Loud

Before the writing of Thinks Out Loud, there was the actual blog, the late Thinking Out Loud, a profound and telling commentary on culture, politics and oral health. I was always pleased, and a little shocked, when a reader would write a comment after a posting. Proof of connection.

A fun part of writing TOL was the inclusion of comments by the blog’s readers at the end of each posting. Comments gave a posting a sense of completion, again, a verification that someone was responding to the blog. (If a blog falls in a forest and no one comments, does it make a sound?)

After a while, the commenters’ roles took on a mini-plot aspect within the larger context of the book. Some commenters were real fans of the blog, others quite skeptical of the goings-on. One or two came to promote their own blobs, ahem, blogs. Some commenters appeared only once, but many of them pop up throughout the book. They even reveal aspects about themselves. Dolfan is constantly going out on auditions. FreeZone is always trying to top the bloggers’ exploits with his own adventures. And Explica, well, she’s the witty ex-wife.

Note: Two of the main characters, tallboy and Jeannie, become part of the blogging team.

Far from an afterthought, the commenters are a real part of the novel, a way to open up and enliven the blog postings, for bloggers do not want their posts to fall in a forest and not be heard, or something like that.

SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT THE BOOK AND AMAZON: If you order Thinks Out Loud from Amazon Prime, you will be receiving an older version that is out of date and whose printing is lighter than the current edition. If on Amazon, order from the Thinks Out Loud option which will be the newer better print version. You can also order the newer version directly from the publisher via this website, thinksoutloud.com, or from your local bookstore, which will either have the book in stock or available via a quick special order from Ingram, the wholesaler. 

Thinks Out Loud, a Blog at First
by Martin Perlman

https://www.thinksoutloud.com/

 

Got. . .blogger?

Here's an excerpt from Thinks Out Loud, an entry early in the book by tallboy, one of the bloggers who starts posting after Isaac, the blog's originator, goes on sabbatical. . .tallboy's references to Jeannie, another blogger, will become clearer if and when you read the book.

Entry No. 516 - POSTED AUG. 23, 2011

GOT WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A BLOGGER?

Whew, I don’t want to get in the middle of the Jeannie firing thing, although her situation did get me thinking about the art and science of blogging.

Blogging is not for everyone, especially someone we all know.

To help determine if you have the mental and physical constitution to be a blogger, here’s a revealing questionnaire based on a draft of Isaac’s I found in his Thinks Out Loud working file. (See, Isaac, I am giving you credit where credit is due.)

Choose the answer for each question closest to your personal version of the Truth. (Remember, cheaters never win, though they do sometimes come in second.)

–tallboy

I like to blog because

1. Why is this even a question? Blogging simply Is.

2. I think I have something to say.

3. I got laid off from The Daily and this is my only outlet for investigative reporting and the detailing of public health warnings.

Readers of my blog

1. Are important, no vital, to me, my raison d’être.

2. Are certainly welcome to visit. We’re all in this together. I love comments, even weird ones.

3. Consist of my second cousin in Spokane, my roommate, and an adolescent hacker from somewhere in the Midwest.

My level of blogging activity:

1. Every couple of minutes, pretty much nonstop, alternating with Twitter.

2. Two or three times a week or as the muse moves me.

3. I most recently posted during Obama's first year in office.

When someone flames one of my postings

1. It runs right off my back like Evian.

2. I try and understand the flamer’s point of view

3. It hurts, it really hurts.

Scoring

For every 1 you answered give yourself 3 points. Every 2 gets you 2 points. And a 3 equals 1 point.

Now, add up your score.

4-6: You are an anti-blogger. I’ll bet you didn’t even finish the quiz or add up your points. In fact, you probably didn’t even read this posting.

7-9: You are a bloggette, a wee little one afraid to even stick that baby toe into the big cold lake.

10-11: You are a demi-blogger, and I mean that in a nice way. Is that a new typeface? It looks good, really.

12: You are a blogging fanatic who lives for the next posting. Some might call it an addiction. You call it a calling. But don’t forget to take out the compost and recycling.

     So, there you have it. To blog or not to blog? Let’s hope we’ve answered that question.

LABELS: GEEK HUMOR, BLOGGING QUIZ, TIME SINK

VIEW COMMENTS (42)

StrongArm AUG. 23, 2011 AT 9:29 AM
Hey, I got an 11 and I’m not even a blogger. Maybe I should be.

BlueRibbon AUG. 23, 2011 AT 12:50 PM
Don’t believe in tests and scores. Visit my blog, Destiny’s Pile.

Heiress AUG. 23, 2011 AT 2:31 PM
HA! A perfect high score for a perfect lady, assholes!

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