16 June 2011


Writing Diary, Entry #26
(Alternatively Titled: "On Prequels and Sequels")

There's something about prequels that I just have to love. I suppose I should thank George Lucas for getting the ball rolling with The Phantom Menace, but it wasn't until this year, when I was hit with the double whammy of Spartacus: Gods of the Arena and X-men: First Class, that I became not just a fan, but also a believer.

If you want to read my thoughts on X-men: First Class, you can check out my Twelve Things post.

For the same on Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, you'll have to be living in the Philippines and willing to buy a copy of next month's Atlas TV Guide. =P

You might remember my first Spartacus-inspired assignment and the challenge of writing about a show my editor didn't really expect me to watch. (See Writing Diary, Entry #17)

This time around, however, I got a little press kit with a two-episode screener to whet my article on. What a difference it made! It certainly turned me from hired hack into hooked fan!

On the whole, an easy assignment. =)

The very next week, I received a summons from The Midnight Mike himself. Would I, one of his staunch Midnight Warriors, be willing to contribute an 80s Horror-themed guest post to his blog From Midnight, with Love?

Would I???

Of course I said yes immediately.

And of course I had an awful time coming up with 800 odd words that seemed good enough for his blog.

I really should have guessed that it is actually much harder to write for someone's beloved blog than to write for a professional magazine. You see, the magazine is looking for something that's worth serious money. The amateur blogger is looking for something priceless.

Now all I can do is hope that my review of a Friday the 13th sequel--which happens to be his favourite of the bloody bunch--meets the exemplary standard his readers have come to expect from him . . .

I hope I can count on you all for some comment love both here and at The Mike's place? ;-)

Image Sources: a) Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, b) Friday the 13th, Part VI: Jason Lives poster


Syrin said...

It's an interesting idea, to think of something written for a blog as "priceless." I don't think I could consider it that, because if I did, I would probably never publish anything!

Beyond my guest post earlier this week, I've never done a guest post before, and I certainly was nervous about it. Partially because The Mike has such a great humor to his posts that I figured there was no way I could match it, and partially because who knew if his audience would enjoy my particular style? In the end all I could do was think of a fun idea, do my best, and push send before I could chicken out of it! :)

Even on my own blog, I find I am most uncertain whenever I go to approach a new topic for the first time. If people started reading my blog for other topics, will they care about this new one?

Enbrethiliel said...


The idea of blog posts as "priceless" writing first came to me when I learned how many bloggers I used to read (Catholic bloggers) had signed publishing deals.

What I've written for The Mike is also my first guest post EVER. When I told him about my idea to do a comparison between The Blob and Jason Lives, and he got back to me about making that post Midnight Movie of the Week, I nearly panicked! I stayed up for two nights rereading all his previous Midnight Movie reviews, just to get a sense of his style. (ROFL, I know!) And while I don't think I nailed it, I'm really glad he found my post (as Tommy-centric as it is--Can you tell I have a crush? =P) "awesome." Yes, that's a direct quote!

And I know what you mean about being uncertain of new topics. This blog goes all over the place with abandon, but I still second-guess myself. What matters most, I truly believe, is the person behind the posts. If you like the person, then you'll keep coming back, no matter what he writes--and you'll be interested! =)

Syrin said...

I looked at a lot of his top fives before I wrote mine too! :)

While Jason may be the "big star" of the Friday the 13th films, I dare say your post would have to be Tommy centric.. it's not like Jason ever gets to speak or do anything other than kills things. (Right? I mean I know I haven't seen them all yet, but I'm pretty sure if Jason talked I would know about it!)

There's something Wil Wheaton likes to quote a lot, about how if you're interested in something, you will be interesting. And I firmly believe that, but then I also see the posts I make about less familiar topics get less views. So then I start thinking that people are only reading because I'm talking about something they like, and not because of me. Ad on top of that I get frustrated because the whole point of talking about something obscure is to try to get people to check it out!

I suddenly feel like I am highjacking your post to gripe about my own issues. Please forgive me on that if so, I just don't get to commiserate with fellow bloggers often enough!

Enbrethiliel said...


I was never a fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation, so I'm afraid I know Will Wheaton best from his evil nemesis role in The Big Bang Theory--and when you mentioned his name, my first reaction was righteous fury for the honour of Sheldor! (LOL!!!) But I'm sure he's a really great guy in real life . . . and I agree with what he said. =)

Writing about obscure stuff is a greater challenge--and I'm reminded of that extra forcefully this June, now that I'm trying to get my non-Filipino readers interested in books they might have never heard of before. I'm already paranoid about what seems like a lack of enthusiasm . . . but I just keep telling myself that I have readers who followed me from a religious blog to this, so I'm not really in any danger of being dropped. All of them are probably reading everything and loving it, but holding back on comments because the topics are so unfamiliar. (Yeah, I keep telling myself that.)

As you can see, I have my own share of issues! And it's a relief to be able to gripe with someone who understands. =) Thanks for commiserating. Far from minding, I appreciate it!

Syrin said...

LOL! You are not the first person I've heard say that about Wil. I actually only started watching Big Bang Theory because of his appearances so it's easier for me to separate. :) He's had a lot of acting projects lately but before that he was mostly writing and therefore used to discuss various writing challenges on his blog which I usually found pretty helpful.

I don't think you are in any danger of being dropped. I think the main issue is our generation and the one that has followed it are largely obsessed with what they already know and not so much with finding something new. It largely perplexes me, because I've always felt a strong urge to learn regardless of the topic. It was testing I always hated! :)

And I think you are also right in that it's hard to comment on something with which you are unfamiliar. I try to comment and let people know when they have made me interested in a topic, but you can only say that so many different ways before it gets repetitive.

I struggled a lot earlier this year with my writing and my perceived response to it and really let it get to me way too much. So I forced myself to turn it around - through writing my blog I've been able to start talking to a group of people that I never would have known otherwise who live all over the world. And if that's all I ever get out of it, that's still a pretty awesome thing. Thinking about them as friends rather than followers seems to have helped a lot. Of course dealing with the response to my fiction is a whole different story... :P

Enbrethiliel said...


And now I see I've misspelled his name . . . Well, never again! =)

Your comment about the younger generations, still including our own, is spot on. My younger brothers are especially frustrating, willingly insulating themselves from anything that isn't current.

So perhaps I'm overcompensating in the worst way by making them sit down with me and learn Latin (The most ancient to combat the most current--LOL!), but it's something I really do think they need. A few nights ago, the younger one asked me why Latin is any use at all, and I improvised a glorious monologue about how it is a superpower that lets you understand and be understandable to people from the same 2,000 year old tradition . . . but of course, it was lost on someone who thinks the 1980s is "old." =/

But it doesn't even have to be old stuff vs. new stuff. You know, if someone had pulled me out of my Ghostbusters and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle bubble (which I had at their age), and made me learn a new language--or a sport--or the art of motorcycle maintenance, I really don't think I would have been this resistant. Like you, I love learning new stuff. Testing? Diabolical! But also, I suppose, a necessary evil. ;-)

At home and at work, I have to deal with young people who don't seem interested in learning anything new. It's really, really frustrating! =( And no matter what practical effort I make, that old saying that you can lead a horse to water but can't make him drink just comes home to me again and again.

And it seems I've hijacked my own post! LOL! But really, thanks for talking to me about this. I was starting to feel that nobody understood.

Syrin said...

It's funny because for me, at my work, I'm usually dealing with the opposite - most of my coworkers are older than me, and I'm constantly hearing "Oh, but you wouldn't know anything about that, you weren't born yet." It makes me both frustrated and sad that older people just sort of assume that about young people.

My only hope is that somewhere along the way our culture may "bounce back" and start to realize that the immediacy of the internet meme and the reality TV show only has so much substance, and that there is a wealth of material both old and new out there for them to catch on to. But that's me desperately looking for hope. :)

This has become a little more like a chat than a comment string, hasn't it? At least it's a good one!

Enbrethiliel said...


I haven't run into anyone like your older co-workers yet, but I can see how frustrating it might be. What do we call it? Reverse ageism? Generationalism? It really is a ridiculous idea that one can't appreciate good things that "belong" to a different generation. Good is good.

Which brings me back to Latin and to the times when all students were expected to study it. The point was that a truly educated person would be able to appreciate all worthy things, no matter how distant in time. It grates that my brothers might not ever get that.

This discussion reminds me of a post I wrote a couple of months ago: Meanwhile, in Another District of Space-Time. I see that the ideas I brought up in it are a recurring theme on this blog! LOL! So you're not the only one desperately looking for hope. ;-)

This really has been (still is?) a great chat thread. Thanks for weighing in, Syrin!

Syrin said...

It will probably not surprise you at this point that I wish I had been required to take Latin. While I've picked up on a lot of similarities of the languages in my own time, I wish I had those building blocks.

I'm willing to admit at the time I was in high school there was probably at least a little bit of "why should I learn this?" in there that stopped me from taking it. But perhaps the fact that I have changed my mind is evidence that one day your brothers will too? There's that hope again!

How on earth did I miss that post? I will usually jump on any excuse to discuss The Beatles at any time! :)

Enbrethiliel said...


It's never too late! I started learning Latin when I was at uni. Students were allowed to sign up for whatever papers we wanted (as long as we had prerequisites, etc.) and it was pretty common for people to switch majors midstream; so nobody blinked when I showed up at the School of Classics for a Beginner's Latin class. And many of my classmates were senior citizens who had decided to come back to school! I guess they wish they had had Latin in their younger days, too. =)

Speaking from personal experience, I think all teenagers would rather learn something not mandated by the authority figures in their lives. Look at how many teenage boys teach themselves to play the guitar or to soup up their cars! Perhaps if we had Rock Guitar or Pimp Your Ride classes in high schools, they'd lose interest and start learning some dead languages. ;-)

But yeah, there's still that stuck-in-my-generation thing that's so discouraging. I'll try to hold on to hope!