Vampires on the Brain

I wrote 680 words of my Camp Nano project today. Which is okay. Not great, but okay. It’s going. Slowly. Much as I liked the slow burn yesterday, I just feel uninspired today. But it’s still going. That’s all I really want.

I spent most of today doing something I never thought I would permit myself to do, which is to cringe-binge (a phrase I am borrowing from a dear friend and her experiences with this series) The Vampire Diaries, or as I will call it this one time just to be snarky and then never again, Cullens’ Creek. It starts off weak, gets better as it goes along, and overall is a really bad show with really good elements. I like Elena. She seems like a sort of actual person, and because I am, of course, automatically comparing every single aspect of this series to Twilight as I watch it whether I want to or not, this is a refreshing thing. Stefan is so, so dull and so, so hatefully spineless and creepy and literally Edward, and I hate him. Damon belongs in a very different story, so I’m very glad he’s in this really drab, stilted one to spice things up with his incessant mugging. Like, only a few full-body contortions shy of Jim Carrey levels of mugging. He seriously does not fit the rest of the milquetoast, Dawson’s Creek tone of the show; it literally feels like he was copy-and-pasted from another story, superimposed onto the show. It’s about as jarring as if J.D. from Scrubs was a recurring character on Dirt. Remember that show? I liked that show. It wasn’t particularly groundbreaking but it was done well for what it was.

But anyway I’m enjoying it, or at least I’m enjoying myself while I’m watching it. Damon is great because he seems like a “real” vampire, and I hate arguing back and forth about what should or should not “count” as a vampire (and no that was not meant to be a pun but I guess now that I’ve drawn attention to it it will be rememebered as such), but Damon hits most of the right notes for me. He’s selfish, sociopathic, possessive, vindictive, and cruel. And I am going to be very, very angry when he turns into the other major love-interest. In fact I’m already angry about it, because seriously, dude is a … well, I’d have to lift my self-imposed profanity ban to finish that sentiment. I don’t know if I want to stick around after that point, because what I’ve found with long-form storytelling – television for instance – as hateful as a character may be, it’s really easy to lose your own hatred for them if the narrative doesn’t back you up. And Damon really does deserve to be hated, intensely, forever, while also being easily the best thing about the series.

Aside from Elena. I really appreciate Elena. And it shouldn’t be that way because a (fairly) sensible and realistic protagonist who just happens to be a teenage girl should not be as rare of a character archetype as it is in our media landscape, but there you are.

It also dawned on me tonight that I’ve spent so much time reading Vampire Academy, the first book specifically, that I’ve sort of lost the ability to dislike it. Oddly enough, this is because I spent so much time analysing all of its problematic elements so that I could rant angrily about them over the course of just shy of 2 years before turning it into a huge book review. And they’re all still there, and I still find them really frustrating. But I’ve also just put so much time, energy and consideration into my relationship with Vampire Academy that it has become transcendent in my estimation. I’m intimate with Vampire Academy, I guess, in a way that I’m not intimate with many other stories, and it’s kind of odd that it’s Vampire Academy of all things. There are definitely better books out there, but very few that have given me so much to think about. I think it’s similar to why I like Elena as much as I do; Vampire Academy, for all of its shortcomings, does things that I just don’t really see done very often, particularly making the central relationship between Rose and Lissa as opposed to Rose and Dimitri. Which is also why I don’t feel the same kind of love for the rest of the series, where Rose and Lissa’s connection remains the central plot, but not the core of the story. I just hate Dimitri. I get that he’s a romantic fantasy and that’s cool, but because he’s in a published work rather than in somebody’s head, the effect changes entirely. And I hate Adrian. In fact I hate all the men in Rose’s life except for Christian, who also loses screen-time as the series goes on. And actually I kinda like Rose’s father.

I was contemplating writing a vampire novel for Camp Nano this year, but I might save it for Real Nano this year. It was werewolves last year, it’s witches right now, so vampires to end my 20’s – I’ll be 30 next year and I do not want to think about it – seems like a neat way to do things. Or of course going back to selkies.

I am going to go back to selkies. Soon.

I realised this the other day: I really want to finish Tallulah. It deserves to be finished. I am going to have to start over from scratch, which is where I was the last time I was gearing up to make it work, but maybe the year off I’ve had will be enough to make it stick this time. Actually, has it been a year? No; almost 10 months though. The last time I posted about Tallulah was the 28th of June last year, so I’m going to assume that that’s also the last time I wrote any of it.

Man. 10 months. That is a very long time.

It’s still not quite enough though, and whether that “enough” is going to come from more time spent away from it or more effort put into detaching myself from all of the darlings that occupy the current written version of the story I do not know. But for the time being, it’s not my priority. It will be again, soon. Actually probably before I try out my vampire thing, because I have just now decided that I want Tallulah written and submitted for publishing before I turn 30, because that’ll be a nice milestone sort of thing. For now, though, I have some witches to write about. And a MA to write. And a lot of counseling homework to do.

And probably the rest of The Vampire Diaries to watch, at least until the end of season 1. I really want another Teen Wolf, which is also a bad show in many ways, but soooooo watchable. But while TVD does not add up in terms of style, pacing or characters I actually give a damn about, it does have Damon. Who I hate. But also love.

Yeah, one of these days I am definitely going to have to scratch my “write a vampire book” itch. It’s decided.


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