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Am I still a blogger? The Mysterious Ability to Focus and Maintain Motivation

BLOGGERBLOG

If one does not blog,

Is one still a blogger?

It’s been, yikes, four months since there has been any activity on this blog. I haven’t been reading. I got Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter for the October Owl Crate box and I was trying to read it but just couldn’t focus enough. I think it’s still sitting on a shelf, book mark half way through. I’ve gotten a couple of books since then that I haven’t even opened. Some of them look really interesting but it doesn’t seem to help.

This happens sometimes. You might call it depression or ADHD or whatever you like. But I go through periods where my brain just does not want to function correctly. Other times I read a book in a couple of days and it’s no problem. Then there are the times where it’s a struggle to even watch TV because I can’t focus or have any desire to pay attention or care at all that I’m missing something that I might at other times really enjoy. I can almost never finish TV show seasons because of this. I just can’t stick with it. Movies are a little better. Shorter timeframe, really. But a Netflix movie could languish in my possession for a couple months or more before I can dredge up the desire to watch it. Even then I might pause it and wander off a couple of times to do the dishes or tidy up or annoy the cat.

Then there are the things I obsess over. Like fandom. I read fanfiction. Adore it, really. Once I have an interest in a fandom, that’s it. It rules to the exclusion of all else. A little over a year ago I loved the Avengers Steve/Tony ship. My love for the Avengers was total, all encompassing. I devoured fanfic and fanart for Avengers like my life depended on it. I could read fanfic all day and all night long. It was hard to stop but I had no trouble focusing.

Then I saw the new Man from Uncle movie, which lead to discovering the Man from Uncle TV show from the 60’s and the lovely, beautiful ship of Illya/Napoleon. I was hooked. Now I devour fanfic and fanart for the Man from Uncle fandom. Which really sucks because it’s a substantially smaller fandom than Avengers was. I’ve already gone through the Archive of Our Own fanfics and now I’m desperately looking for more to read.

But now I have no interest for Avengers. Just Man from Uncle. My brain is fucked up.

I can read and read and read fanfic but I can’t do the same for original books. I don’t understand why, either.

I also try to write in my chosen fandom but that’s another thing I can’t focus on. I obsess over Man from Uncle but it’s a struggle to focus and complete fanfic ideas. I have a lot of started ideas but very rarely complete anything to post. You would think my ability to obsess over a fandom would carry over to writing fanfic for it but my motivation kind of trickles away.

I have two Avenger fanfics that I started posting and now I fear I’ll never finish them because my interest has moved on. I’ve sworn to never post anything that wasn’t already done because of this. Those two fanfics will probably languish forever.

Does anybody else experience this? Can you just obsess over something, absolutely adore it, but not be able to focus on other things? Or lose interest and motivation on projects? It’s not like I don’t have time to read books or write. I have loads of time. Just no follow through on projects. Is it ADHD? Depression? Hormonal? Anybody have any advice?

Thank you for reading!

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Book Review: The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

youngadult

Book Review: The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick NessThe Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
Published: October 6th 2015 by HarperTeen
Format: Paper Book
Length: 317 pages
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Romance, GLBT, Urban Fantasy
Rating: 2.5 stars
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What if you aren’t the Chosen One?

The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?

What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.

Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.

Even if your best friend is worshipped by mountain lions.

Award-winning writer Patrick Ness’s bold and irreverent novel powerfully reminds us that there are many different types of remarkable.

I seem to be stuck in a string of books where I have great expectations but end up with lackluster results. The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness has an awesome premise. What are the ordinary kids, the kids who aren’t ‘The Chosen One’, doing during those end-of-the-world adventures? It’s kind of like checking up on the rest of Sunnydale High School while Buffy and her crew were off stopping the hell-mouth from opening. They are just trying to pass math and not get eaten by a vampire. It focuses on the average, rather boring kids on the sidelines. These are the kids not in the spotlight but having to deal with the consequences of the big throw-down between the heroes and whatever evil that they are fighting this time. The problem with this is you end up with a story that is average and rather boring.

It is a clever and fascinating concept but the execution falls flat for me. For one thing, even if they are the average kids that the big, epic story is not happening to, there should still be a story. There is no plot in this. Just a meandering slice-of-life narrative that is pretty bland. Don’t get me wrong; I feel for the characters. The only saving grace of The Rest of Us Just Live Here is its characters. It’s painful to read about Mike’s OCD and hate for himself. That takes skill to write and I found myself most invested in the emotions of the characters. The cast is a diverse set of characters and they are the most interesting thing about this book. Too bad nothing interesting is done with them. I guess that may be the point; The Rest of Us Just Live Here is about the uninteresting lives that ordinary people live, as messed up as they are. But it doesn’t make for a very entertaining book.

I’m probably not the right person for a book like this. I like my books a bit more thrilling. Contemporary novels aren’t really my favorite but I was hoping for something special from this concept. I would have been happier with the clichéd and incredible campy book we see in the blurbs at the beginning of each chapter. The chapter pages was where Ness gave us an update on where the epic showdown between good and evil was progressing so we’d know where the events of our ordinary joes ran parallel. Like narrowly missing the gym being blown up during prom and then not so narrowly missing the whole high school being blown up during graduation. Epic showdowns between good and evil are very hard on schools.

My point is, that you have to enjoy character driven stories to enjoy The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness. I don’t. These characters are some of the best I’ve ever seen written. They are having a tough time with life, evil trying to take over the world notwithstanding. They are real and true and evoke strong emotional responses in the reader with their problems and anxieties. It hurt to read Mike. It hurt to read Mel. It called to my own anxieties and messed-up-ness. I applaud Ness on his characters. It was the plot that was lacking and made for an overall unexciting novel.

Thank you for reading!

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