Concerning Praise (and one movie I hated)

Those of you who’ve been following this blog since its inception—way back in the early days of, well, four months ago—might have noticed a trend not only in my topics but in my tone as well. If you scroll through the entries, you’ll find far more outstandings than abhorrents, a good deal more excellents than awfuls, and you’d be wise to put your money on my praising a book than on my panning it.

So why am I so positive?

Well, part of it’s my nature. I reckon I’m an optimistic realist or a realistic optimist, but whichever way you phrase it, I’m apt to approach things with a sunnier disposition than most.

But that isn’t to say I like everything.

The Logo of Masochism

No, long is the list of things I loathe, am annoyed by, or that drive me to clench my jaw in rage. I just don’t write about them on this blog. The more I think about it, the more I understand that my dislikes come out in my fiction. Oh sure, my likes are there too. Ben Shadeland, the protagonist of The Sorrows, loves movies, his little boy, great music, and the Cubs, and if you know me, you know I tend to be obsessive about fond of those things too. But there are also dark, ugly things in The Sorrows, vile acts and sickening thoughts. Attitudes and behaviors that make me cringe when I read them, even if I do happen to be the creator of this particular universe (though I’d take issue with that view…I’m much more inclined to agree with Stephen King, who claims that authors, when the writing is pure, are only transcribers who record what is sent to them from the “boys in the basement”). But I digress…

In returning to the subject of my blog, I’d say I speak much more in my own every-day voice here, though that’s not completely true either (Didn’t you know that authors are notorious liars?). Still, my blogging voice is closer to where I eat and breathe and exist than my fiction-writing voice is. The fiction voice comes from some secret cave that I guard jealously, a subterranean cavern into which I descend to enter that trancelike, mystical state where my dreams and truest observations merge with my imagination and my subconscious (*cue Rod Serling*).

So the reasons why I don’t rip books and movies new anuses (never typed that plural before) are because a) it’s not in my nature to be extremely (read: publicly) negative, and b) I already do it to a large degree in my fiction. Another culprit in my lack of anus-ripping is the fact that I’m very selective in choosing a book or a movie. This will bother some of you, but I rarely buy a book unless I have a really good reason (like an author I trust recommending it or the fact that the author’s name rhymes with Betchum, Ping, or Spansdale). Similarly, I rarely watch a movie unless someone in whose taste I trust says it’s worthwhile ( is a fantastic resource, as are Roger Ebert and the best man in my wedding—I mean, I was the best man in my wedding, of course, but he was standing…oh, never mind).

So having said all that, and since you’ve come all this way…I guess I’ll tell you something I did watch but did not like.

Lovely Woman, Dreadful Film

Miss Congeniality, the 2001 rom-com starring Sandra Bullock. I loved Sandra in While You Were Sleeping and find her generally fun and talented and winsome.

But man, Miss Congeniality sucked. I truly hated that movie.

Happy now?

See you next blog post in which I’m sure I’ll be praising something that didn’t suck. Like the audiobook I just bought, Stephen King’s The Drawing of the Three. Let me tell you about The Dark Tower series, about how much I love Stephen King and what a spellbinding reader Frank Muller is…

Future Blog Fodder

2 thoughts on “Concerning Praise (and one movie I hated)

  1. I have to say I agree….Miss Congeniality is not my favorite Sandra Bullock movie…though it did have some funny moments….


  2. Yeah, Maria, the funny moments were probably there. But since this is the one time I’m being negative about something, I’m contractually obligated to not mention the moments in the film that worked. 😉


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