Tag Archives: Jannah Reid

I Can’t Help You With That Embarrassing Problem, I’m Afraid

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Last month’s Teens Can Write, Too! Blog Chain was excellent, very fun, and I couldn’t wait  for this month’s. Yesterday’s post was by Miriam Joy at A Farewell To Sanity and before that, Kirsten at Kirsten Writes! Both of whom have written really entertaining posts with some hilarious, and sometimes baffling search terms involved.

So, I am afraid to say that I don’t have nearly as many entertaining search terms. Mostly anyone who finds my blog via a search engine seems to type in entries such as ‘eat sleep write repeat’ or ‘felicity-zara stewart wordpress’, which all in all are pretty likely to redirect here somewhere along the line. Yet because of this, when strange search terms do come along, I tend to notice it quite quickly.

The first strange term was quite an early one, and while it does make sense in context, it’s far more entertaining out of it. One visitor in particular wanted to find details on;

‘Patrick Bateman lifestyle’ 

Now, I’m not suggesting for a moment that my blog is a handy all-in-one guide on how to live life as a psychopathic Yuppie who does unmentionable things to women by way of starving rats. But if it was, then I can certainly see why this search would yield results.

Unfortunately (or fortunately), my blog isn’t an all-in-one guide on how to live like a psychopathic Yuppie at all. It is but a humble writing blog, you won’t find that much torture and misogyny here (or at least not intentionally). My apologies to whoever managed to find my blog while obviously searching for something much more visceral, though; I have a feeling that reading about the writing pursuits of a certain 19-year-old aspiring author isn’t exactly what they were going for with that one. This review might prove useful, though.

The next is more than a little odd, and possibly inappropriate, too. Cover your eyes, kiddies;

‘Balls sleeping accidentally exposed’

I …  don’t have anything witty to say about this one off the top of my head, as every time I read it, it seems to make less sense. I just don’t understand this search term.

What I mean to say is; dear visitor, I am very sorry to hear about your embarrassing predicament, even though I can quite honestly say I have never found myself in such a position. This is primarily because I lack male genitalia, but also … well, no, actually, it is just because I’m a girl.

The strangest part about this search term, however, is that I really have no idea how it relates to my blog. I’ve never posted tips on how to avoid this issue, having never suffered from it myself, and in living memory, I’ve never written about anything dealing with it, either. Until today, I can’t even remember whether the word ‘balls’ appears on this blog (maybe in a quote, I’m not sure). Okay, so that book review might have had something to do with it … somewhere along the line? Very, very vaguely connecting point A (the search term) to point B (the review) is the underlining fact that the book in question is ‘about’ the porn industry. That said, I doubt exposure is a worry in said industry. More the whole point.

Next up, we have;

‘Nanowrimo cannibalism’

I swear, you couldn’t make these up.

I mean, what in the heck is NaNoWriMo cannibalism? Oh, yes, today I decided that I was going to live on a healthy, and somewhat sustainable diet of human body parts while writing like a maniac. Is that it? Or … the … you know what? I just can’t get my head around this one at all. It pains me to say this, but I’m not writing about cannibalism for this year’s NaNoWriMo (at least not yet), although I have encountered a few characters who have made cannibalism a part of their lifestyle.

And finally,

‘M love a’

Probably the most baffling one yet. As in, I don’t even have a book review (because, yes, my oddest search terms have all related to my book reviews) to link this one to, or understand what it is that this person was actually trying to ask, let alone what they were trying to find.

Honestly. I don’t think I could even guess at what m loving a actually pertains to, unless it’s some kind of special code, or initials. Could be that ‘Mia love Anthony’ … or ‘meerkat love ants’? Yes. This search term is really that strange to me.

So my take on this? The people who reach my blog via search engine are either psychopaths, people with extremely obtrusive genitals or cannibals.

I also have a feeling that several of my visitors were sorely disappointed when they searched for ‘Jannah Reid’ most likely in the hope of hitting on one of the websites included in the 90% that are porn sites. Don’t ask how I know that. It could be why I’ve been getting some rather strange notifications on my computer as of late, though …

These are probably the most notable results I’ve … well … noticed, but some worthy mentions go to;

‘Where do jackals sleep’ – I couldn’t honestly tell you. I might be able to tell you where they lie, though. My apologies, that was absolutely terrible … this blog isn’t ideal for nature enthusiasts.

‘Hunter S. Thompson sleep’ –   not really sure what they were getting at with this one, not surprised they ended up here, though.

‘Eat write or die’ – well, that’s quite an interesting form of self discipline. I don’t doubt that it gets results.

‘Writing and droning’ – how nice of you to point out that this is what I do most of the time.

‘4 storey freefall’ – something I can help you with, dear visitor! I’m not sure how the 4 storey part relates, though. But if you want to know about someone falling at least 1,000 feet, I’m your girl.

So, there you have it; the weird and sometimes wonderful world of my stats page. As a part of the blog chain this month, a quick NaNoWriMo update;

I hit 50k late on Thursday evening. I’m nowhere near done with my story, though. Actually, I don’t want to be done with it; I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t been struggling to even get 14k done over the weekend, but this has much more to do with time than it does my novel. So right now, I’m sitting on 66k and barely halfway through, in love with even the characters who are despicable human beings, and not looking forward to the end because … damn it, I just don’t want to say goodbye. I guess that’s what editing is for, though …

So that’s me punching in and out for the month! I urge you all to check out the following blogs, as they’ll all be coming up with some excellent posts, with far more interesting and amusing search terms than mine, throughout the course of this month!

November 5th —http://kirstenwrites.wordpress.com/– Kirsten Writes!

November 6th — http://delorfinde.wordpress.com – A Farewell To Sanity

[You Are Here] November 7th — https://thelitjunkie.wordpress.com – Eat, Sleep, Write, Repeat

November 8th — http://alohathemuse.wordpress.com – Embracing Insanity

November 9th — http://noveljourneys.wordpress.com/ – Novel Journeys

November 10th —- http://greatlakessocialist.wordpress.com/ – Red Herring Online

November 11th — http://taystapeinc.wordpress.com – Tay’s Tape

November 12th — http://herebefaries.wordpress.com/ – The Land of Man-Eating Pixies

November 13th – http://randominmind.wordpress.com – Random On My Mind!

November 14th – http://insideliamsbrain.wordpress.com/ – This Page Intentionally Left Blank

November 15th — http://herestous.wordpress.com – Here’s To Us

November 16th— http://incessantdroningofaboredwriter.wordpress.com –  The Incessant Droning of a Bored Writer

November 17th — http://teenscanwritetoo.wordpress.com – Teens Can Write Too! (We will be announcing the topic for the next month’s chain)

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Not Plotting.

So … on any normal occasion, I can’t glorify the benefits of having a sound plot outline before starting a new project. Such benefits should be obvious; channeling numerous and varied ideas into a coherent structure, having a sound knowledge of the plot direction and pacing, and having a thorough understanding of the project’s cast of characters.

Therefore, I doubt anybody could be more surprised than I was when I jumped headfirst into a new project without doing any of the aforementioned things.

I don’t tend to outline the short stories that I write, the main reason being I begin writing them with every intention of seeing where, exactly, they might take me; the term ‘short story’ may even be incorrect considering most are quick writing exercises to make sure I keep up the habit, not that that always goes according to plan. I have fun with them. I start with an idea and let that lead me on, allow the characters to adapt to the situation that is, essentially, dictated by the first line of the story in most cases.

Perhaps it is this, then, that had led to a new, slightly foreign, habit of mine. Perhaps it is because I’ve chosen to write at a much slower pace than usual, too, and that I don’t feel as much of a need to have some … slightly more polished thoughts at hand this time because it’s something I’m focusing on more as I write. Perhaps it is the fact that I have, essentially, written this story before, albeit with a different protagonist, a different antagonist, and a slightly different chain of events but when push comes to shove, the basic motivations of my characters remain the same. Some of the concepts are more believable, and the narrative viewpoint has changed, but the intention was always to take something I wasn’t so pleased with and rework it into something I’m at least halfway proud to put my … pseudonym on.

So for all I’ve said in the past on various forums about having a concrete plot outline, I can say just as much for not having one. I lost faith in this after my first year of NaNoWriMo; the resultant story was a mess, something I had wanted to put into action for a long time, but once I did, I handled badly and didn’t particularly want to look at it when the month was over. I still consider it irredeemable. There are a multitude of reasons why this is so, which I won’t bore you with.

I don’t feel quite so restrained to taking my story in a particular direction, said direction being the one I already set for myself perhaps a few weeks or days prior.  I had thought I might actually feel quite lost without anything to refer back to; no doubt once I get past maybe chapter three or four and things start to spiral a little more out of my control than I might like, I’ll get back to the drawing board with the outline, but by this point I think it might become something that is beyond me. All or nothing, if you will. Either I outline before I start writing, or not at all.

And who is to say where this will lead anyway? Most likely to the middle of a story that will be mercifully abandoned in the near future, forever damned to the depths of my ‘Writings’ folder, which in itself is a hellish place to be. It’s a kind of limbo between the story graveyard and the projects that came to life; anything that is still stuck there and hasn’t already been relocated to its own folder will most likely remain there for ever more and may never see the light of day again. Inadvertently, by writing this, I have probably assured that they will. I’m curios to see what I left there.

At this point in time, I can’t fully grasp what I would really need to put into the outline for this project; the most I have is a few bullet points written after harnessing the setting of the first chapter, brief things like ‘the detective’, ‘the shrink’ and ‘the tapes’ – I know what they mean, and this should suffice. The character work was mostly already done. I’ll start giving people heart attacks if I mention Jannah one more time, I’m sure, so none of that. Suffice to say, however, I look upon this more as breathing new life to characters I can’t abandon rather than recycling them; their first less-than-stellar outing, while not quite being tossed into novel limbo, is in a file that I very much doubt I will touch again for quite some time. It’s not a failure, but I’ve already shown myself what it could be, had I gone in a different direction … a direction I probably wasn’t ready to take when I first wrote it.

In conclusion? I’m not plotting. Actually, I very much refuse to until things start going awry. For once, I’m giving myself the benefit of the doubt.

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And The Moral Of The Story Is:

Never run a quick Google search of your central character’s name. You may get more than you bargained for.

I only have myself, and my own curiosity to blame, of course,  but the results were both frightening and amusing. One result I don’t even want to think about. The rest have simply caused some excessive reevaluation of whether or not I should actually keep the name.

Naturally, I’m going to indulge in a little story. I was looking through my blog’s stats for the day, redirects, search terms and the like, and one in particular caught my eye; someone appeared to have searched for the name ‘Jannah Reid’ and had been directed to my blog. This seemed all fine and good; it could be someone I know who either knows about said character or Where Jackals Lie. Fine. I’ve had stranger hits (someone searching for ‘Patrick Bateman Lifestyle’ for example. My blog is on the third page of Google’s search results which is a little unnerving) although at the same time, this caused the initial question of whether or not the name was too unoriginal. Being a curious creature, I typed the name into Google for myself.

Aside from some social networking profiles belonging to a woman who is actually called Jannah Reid, and a few posts of my own on the NaNoWriMo forums, the rest were, predominantly, adult websites … or so I can only assume from the link descriptions. I didn’t think it wise to go much further than this. I don’t want to see up-skirt photographs of someone named ‘Jannah Reid’ who I don’t even know. I also don’t like the odds of AVG blocking out so many viruses, thank you very much.

And so, here we have a kind of identity crisis. Not for me, but for Jannah; do I risk keeping the name, thus damning her to be likened to a porn star without my consent? Admittedly, she was intended to be the femme fatale. I don’t believe these are entirely one in the same, however. On the other hand, there was never meant to be a clear-cut connection to begin with; the name was, simply, one I liked the sound of. Shallow and such, but ultimately, this was what it came down to. There is also the prospect that, through establishing her as a character, that no connections will be made … or at least, very few of them. And of course, here we come back to the self-indulgence, the idea that she will even become an established character, which is doubtful.

It is quite amusing to consider, though. Embarrassing search results, spam, redirects … as long as the legal and, to an extent, ethical implications remain out of the way, and as long as my computer doesn’t somehow degrade from the inside because of them, I guess laughing is the best way in which to handle it.

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Insistent Characters

First of all, forgive me; it’s not that I intentionally neglected this place for two weeks. It’s not that I actually expect forgiveness, of course. Don’t you just love figures of speech? Anyway, I don’t have much of an explanation for the lack of updates, other than I really didn’t have much to say.

So now let me get down to it. Now, I have discovered, I have much more to say than I initially thought I did. One of my favorite parts of the writing process is designing characters; I wouldn’t call it inherent, but I will say it is something I have always enjoyed, much like a child who creates imaginary friends and thus refuses to grow up. Now, however, these friends take form within a world, within a narrative, and they suffer from all the ills that humanity is used to. Now, the characters become somewhat less imaginary, and begin to exist on the page as though they have always existed.

Sometimes, however, a particular character whose piece has long since been put to sleep, refuses to go. This is paraphrased, to an extent, in Bret Easton Ellis’ Lunar Park, but I am reluctant to call my experience with this a haunting, because it is not. It’s more to do with a character who is dissatisfied with her post; who deserves far more credit than she has received, and she knows it. Being the character she is, she wants an entire story devoted to her, and she’s going to get it.

Already, I have made the effort to place her in a short story (Girl Talk) in which I, unknowingly, did something akin to Ellis’ eventual manner of dealing with the Bateman-esque spectre. This was a mistake. She will not forgive me for it until such a mistake is rectified.

Jannah, herself, was actually one of the few characters I have written who insisted upon this, although it does seem to be a common trait in anyone I have placed in Where Jackals Lie. Maybe it is because I feel dissatisfied with the way the story turned out, and am looking for a way to re-vamp it without entirely re-hashing it. Of all the characters in that story, though, Jannah was the one who enticed me most; and, in a fit of resolution, refused to give such attention out of fear that she would detract from Bryson’s limelight. The fact remained, however, that she was simply a more interesting character, and having started her story, I have come to terms with the fact that she comes across effortlessly; that the events in her world come more naturally than I expected them to. Instead of her being the unreasonable, cruel and eventually, one-dimensional antagonist, she has become human, not just a prop, a driving force for Bryson’s misfortunes.

So, given the context of her first appearance,  it would be so easy for this to take a similar track. Yet, and I say this with caution as I have only just started working on it, there is something far more real and honest that comes across with her, that I have been unable to achieve in the past. Before, given both my age and the nature of my writing, it was all too easy for my work to come across as slightly hyperbolic in nature, unrealistic, a kind of hyper-reality that was born of a childhood immersed in anime and manga. Teen years that branched out to graphic novels and video games. Now, edging towards my twenties, my tastes have changed (though not digressed entirely) dramatically, and in a way, my work is forced to reflect this. Yet, I think this still has everything to do with Jannah. Her reasons for cruelty, for socially unacceptable behavior, for materialistic urges that border on the insane and for her capricious nature are, incidentally, all symptoms of brewing personality disorders, and also born not of any unrealistic trauma, but simply rooted in her childhood (as so many are). They are not the result of biological warfare, or any kind of trauma too far removed from what the average child may or may not go through.

But all of this would not stand if I did not have a desire to return to the character myself. While I feel that, to an extent, she is forcing my hand (yes, that sounds insane and yes, I am aware of it) I also feel that this is the only viable way for me to go, right now. A character I have become somewhat comfortable with, in spite of the fact that she almost inspires discomfort, means that I can now take the chance to observe the goings on around her, rather than, as seems to be a recurring fault of mine, taking the entire novel to get to know the character for myself.

In short, I’m enjoying this outing perhaps more than I should, given that it is yet another attempt at exploring human indecency.

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