A while back, I started getting fairly heavily involved in Youtube as research for the novel that I'm currently working on. There's a character who is a young gay youtuber and I wanted to get to know a lot about the community, the terminology, etc. To get the voice right. Writing a teenager without falling back on stereotypes is hard enough, but to write one who is a part of a specific community, a community that is so visible, is even tougher. So, I dove in, head first, finding all the gay male vloggers (people who share their daily or weekly lives as their content rather than prank videos or video gaming videos) who are within the age range of the character I was writing. I paid attention for the last two years, going with them on their ups and downs, their coming out triumphs and fiascoes, their relationships beginning and ending. Now that the book is just about to go into second draft, though, the research phase is over. That's left me with an odd dilemma. Now that I don't have to keep up with the vlogs anymore, I could just unsubscribe and walk away. Only, I am finding that very hard to do. Over the last two years, I've gotten very attached to a lot of these people who are sharing their lives via the internet. You've seen them pop up in more than one entry here if you've been a reader for any length of time. I had no idea that when it came time to begin the ending of this particular project (as bizarre a phrase as that is) that it would feel this difficult to disconnect.
Don't worry, though; even though it would certainly help sales of my books, you have my solemn vow that I will never start a youtube channel. Sure John Green gets away with it, but have you seen how ridiculously photogenic that man is? Trust me...I am very aware that I am not.
My students and I just finished reading Moby Dick cover to cover together. That novel is excellent. Every time I read it (and this is, I think, the fourth time), I am swept away. Even the cetology chapters are incredible to me. I love seeing student's faces, too, when we get to those last few chapters. Ahab's fashioning of the devil's harpoon, Fedallah's prophecy and the twisted Greek-tragedy-esque way it comes true, and Ahab's final "From Hell's heart, I stabbeth thee!..." This time, though, it was Queequeg who really caught my attention. The tattoos, and that one little passage about who made them and what they mean. My imagination was more than a bit sparked.
That, of course, led me to buy Nathaniel Philbrick's excellent book, In The Heart Of The Sea
Thomas Nickerson, one of the Essex's cabin boys during her final voyage (which is a good strategy for a nonfic book so jam-packed with facts--put a human face on it and it instantly becomes more readable).
Of course, many of you are also screaming at the screen, "Hey, isn't there also a movie coming out soon based on that book?" There is. In December, the Ron Howard film will hit theaters. Here's the trailer:
It looks good, though I can already tell, just from what I've read in the book so far, that there has been some...artistic license, shall we say...taken. Still, I'm going to see it (if it comes anywhere near here, which is always a crap shoot).
So that's October. This year is passing much faster than any year I can recall up until now.
Toying with the idea of going to 2016 Saints and Sinners fest in New O. I'll keep you updated on that.