Merlin thoughts (up to ep 2.11)

I had a long Thanksgiving break and little or nothing on the DVR to watch due to Thanksgiving week hiatuses, so I decided to start in on a new show (new for me) that I had read about on my flist.

One thing I think about now when I watch a show is, “Is this just something to pass the time (Dexter, True Blood), or is this a show I want to share with the Sculptor (Lost, Being Human)? Merlin, so far, has definitely fallen into the latter category.

Spoilers to 2.11


Finished Season 1 of Merlin. This will probably be one I eventually purchase on DVD.

It has lots of things that hit my story kinks: destiny, myth, inborn traits that must be kept as a dangerous secret (wonder where I got that one from), an ugly duckling/Cinderella protagonist, magic, legendary creatures, strong women characters, fabulous medieval d├ęcor (I want to redo my living room to look like that castle), and bonus Anthony Head!

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Reading progress notes

Latest book: “Dead Witch Walking” by Kim Harrison

OK, I started this book back in June. Then I set it aside for HP 6, HP 7, moving to Arizona, job interviews, TD 209, and selling my condo. I checked it out from both the SF and Tempe libraries. But my lack of progress had to do as much with lack of motivation to pick it back up as busy-ness. Not that it’s a bad book. It has interesting characterization and a well-realized supernatural mythology, but when I set it down to do other things, it just didn’t “call to me” to pick it back up. Hence finishing it at the end of September.

Don’t take my word for it, though. If you like Buffy or HP or other supernatural series, pick this up and give it a try. Me, I think I’m looking this year, in the books I read, for the book I want to write. And I want to write a book where the supernatural is hidden and in the shadows, rather than right out in the open, which is the crux of the mythology of Harrison’s series. Hidden subcultures are a strong kink of mine. Would I read another in this series? I might. It depends on what it’s about.

“A Wizard of Earthsea”, Ursula Le Guin
“Proven Guilty”, Jim Butcher
“Dreamchild”, Hilary Hemingway and Jeffry P. Lindsay
“Guilty Pleasures”, Laurell K. Hamilton
“The War for the Oaks,” Emma Bull
“Shifter,” by Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens
“Neverwhere,” by Neil Gaiman
“The Time Traveler’s Wife” by Audrey Niffenegger
“Eye of the Daemon” by Camille Bacon-Smith
“The Color of Magic” by Terry Pratchett
“Waking the Moon” by Elizabeth Hand
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” by J.K. Rowling
“Dead Witch Walking” by Kim Harrison

Eye of the Daemon

Latest book: “Eye of the Daemon” by Camille Bacon-Smith

OK, this book was totally cheating, as I’ve not only read it before, it’s been sitting on my shelf for years now. But I was having interlibrary loan issues, and needed something to read in the interim. Plus, a lot of this “book-a-thon 2007” is about exploring themes in fantasy novels that interest me, and revisiting a book I’ve already read for its themes fits that bill.

And how.

Suffice it to say, this book really pushes my buttons.

I’ve been thinking a lot about “story kinks” as the term is understood in the fanfic community–why we are drawn to the particular stories we are, whether as writers or readers. “Kink” here is understood in a broader sense than merely sexual, any story element that draws you in with such an inexorable power that you find yourself writing or reading stories with that element over and over whether you realize it or not. Among my many “kinks”–(1) parent/child relationships, particularly when the two finally meet after the child is an (near) adult, (2) aliens-among-us, (3) the experience of being part-human, part-alien (where by “alien” I don’t necessarily mean extra-terrestrial, but anything not commonly associated with the natural inhabitants of Earth we see in our daily lives), (4) supernatural families, especially special gifts/experiences being passed down through the generations, (5) a young person only discovering belatedly that they are half-alien or of some sort of supernatural origin, which finally makes sense of the weird/bad experiences they’ve had in their lives, (6) strong women characters who are not merely bit-parts or recurring (may be less of a kink than a prerequisite), (7) characters of invitation, (8) stories of the supernatural that take place in the real world, (9) secret identities/secret sub-cultures, (10) ordinary people becoming champions/messiahs, which may or may not include destiny/prophecy/previous foreknowledge of this as an element.

how any of this is related to ‘Eye of the Daemon’-spoilers