Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Sensory Fiction

Every once in a while I pick up a book so good, that I literally start to feel whatever the character is feeling. Fear. Anger. Happiness…. ahem… lust. (Don't give me that look, hypocrite!) The last book that grabbed me by the hair and DEMANDED that I read was Angelfall, by Susan Ee. The writing… wow… incredible. And without even getting into Raffe's totally gorgeous angel body, lets discuss the intensity of her scenes.  

Have you read it?… And do you REMEMBER that scene in the woods? Ya know what I'm talking about…. when all those creepy pigmy people are bumping up against her "like piranhas" and start taking bites outta her? 


I mighta had nightmares that night. Just sayin'.

Page turners. They're the best. Arena… Forbidden Forest… Chucky-infested dystopian town… you name it, you're there. But what if you didn't need good writing anymore to do it? 

Well MIT's new "Sensory Fiction" vest might be doing just that. Super smart MIT peeps have come up with a type of vest that lets you not only READ what you're… ahem… reading, but EXPERIENCE it as well. According to the article: 

The reader straps on a high tech-looking vest equipped with a compression system, localized body temperature control and heartbeat and shiver simulator. As you read, they vibrate, change temperature and alter pressure while the cover’s 150 LED lights put on their own show.

The book takes care of the atmosphere with ambient lighting that sets the mood of your character’s journey. Subtle changes on the vest are meant to make you feel what that protagonist is experiencing — physically and emotionally. It might vibrate to speed up your heart rate during an angry fight scene. Pressurized airbags could constrict when your leading lady is afraid. The personal heating device at your collarbone might warm you during a love scene.

Truthfully, I'm not sure how I feel about this lil' gadget. I mean, on the one hand, it could take an already grip-you-by-the-eyelids-and-MAKE-you-read kinda book and make it even better.

On the other?

Couldn't it be a crutch for authors who juuuuust can't quite seem to get their writing where it needs to be? And what would happen to the quality of our dear books then? Would it simply dumb down the craft of writing?

Either way, ya gotta admit… its a pretty freakin' sweet idea!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Radio Silence.


This has to stop. The "Me-not-posting-posts" thing. Actually, its been so long since I HAVE posted, that I seriously doubt anyone is still listening…. 

Houston? Houston? Anyone there?

Yup. Didn't think so. 

Consider this post my leaf turning. My new start. Operation "Blog Image Makeover." Readysetgo!! 

Anyway, I'm reading Outlander right now, and I have to admit, its just… meh. Seriously. I can't figure out what the hype is about. And I say that knowing full well there are thousands of women everywhere… (errrr… or at least there WOULD be thousands, if thousands actually read my blog) who are cursing my name for saying so. 


I don't get it. The story idea is fantastic. I mean, who doesn't love a good time traveler?! Add a bit o' Scottish hottie and bada boom bada bing! You got a story! 

But the writing. The sentences. The words. YOU GUYS….  ITS SO BORING. The pacing is just so off for me. The action gets bogged down in every single minute description of every single action she takes in the day. 

*pounds head against wall*

Also, I'm not a fan of the narrative-like style. It makes me feel like she's just telling me the story rather than showing. (I'm such a show-not-tell snob these days. Its sickening. I'm aware.) 

But anyway, anyone with comments actually still tentatively checking my blog for signs of life who wants to weigh in on this, please, share with the class! I know I have AT LEAST two friends who are probably shooting daggers at me for this post…. (here's lookin' at you, Mandi and Michelle!) But seriously, even if you hate me for it, I'd love to chat about it. (Cause I really gotta know… what's with the hype??)

[Side note, I DID watch the first episode of the TV series last night, and it showed promise, so I'm not completely killing the idea of it. But lets just say I'm exactly jumping to put the sequel on my "To Read" list.]

So since Outlander didn't capture my attention the way I hoped, I'm also reading The Strange and
Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender. And lemme just say… don't ever let anyone tell you "peeps don't judge books by their covers." Cause they totally do. I'm living proof. But as I'm only on like page 5 of the book (on account of I have a dear little angel that has been quite cantankerous lately), I don't have much of an opinion on it yet. But it has a solid above-four-stars rating on Goodreads, so, ya know. Can't go wrong! 

Any-whooo… I'm gonna "Julie Out!" here now, because its highly doubtful anyone is reading anyway. I must go forth and search out YOUR blogs to bribe you to comment on mine. Muahahahaha!

Julie out.