This blog has moved to Cheryl Murphy Writes: Chronicles of an Ink Slinger. It became too hard to mirror to this site. Lots of glitches and such. I don't do much to maintain this site anymore so if you're wondering why things might look a bit wonky, that would be it.

If you've navigated here and discovered this dead blog, using the "Subscribe via email" feature in the sidebar will subscribe you to the new site feed, so that's a plus. ;)

An RSS feed of the new site is embedded below.

I hope you'll join me at my new home!

RSS Feed of the new site: Cheryl Murphy Writes: Chronicles of an Ink Slinger

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Guess How Much I Love You cake

Happy Father's Day! Of course, the cake I made for my husband is based on a book.

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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Kodak - you suck! Playsport ZX5

So this is waaay OT but I thought I'd post it because, well, I'm bitter and that's just how I roll. I have to tell the world what shit Kodak support actually is in case someone decides to buy something of theirs.

Here's one of my videos and how it recorded. Mind you, it doesn't do this on all of them and when it's working properly, the video is actually quite nice. I think I had 2 videos out of a lot that had this problem. The big pisser is that it was my favorite one and it's shit. Maybe I'll get lucky and someone can tell me how to fix it.

Anyway, I was pissed. So I went to their support pages and found this.

Oh my God. At first, I was simply amazed. And then I saw the updated date. 5/26/2011! Mac hasn't had a control panel since OS9. Pfffft. So I thought I'd try the chat. Available daily. Cool.

I get this. I'm sensing a pattern. They get new products out and provide zero support, I guess. Fine. At this point I'm kind of checking out where all of this goes. I actually download Firefox 3.6, replacing my 4.0 (I didn't mind since I use Chrome, anyway) and try to chat. That was really insane. I waited for a while and then I wondered if anyone was even there. And then I started having a one-sided conversation. I took a screen shot.

I'm pretty sure that if you click it, it'll be readable. (Update: not so much. I included a link if you really want to read it.) I didn't even get anyone to say, "please continue to wait." If you look on there, you'll see I entered the chat at 1:07 and took the pic at 1:54. I'm pretty sure there wasn't anyone there manning the chat room. Daily must mean something else in Kodak speak.

Anyway, that was my adventure today. Now that I'm all super annoyed, I must get on my treadmill so that I can burn the excess annoyance from my body and then sit for a writing session in which I write 5k words.

Or not.

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Sunday, June 5, 2011

WSJ and Darkness Too Visible #YASaves

OMG. I just logged into Twitter to find a flurry of #YASaves tweets. Not knowing what all the hubub was about, I clicked. Dear lord. It seems every time I make a post, something very similar is going on in the world around me of which I'm completely unaware.

I hate that. Especially since my last post could easily be construed as being supportive of the WSJ attitude. Let me clarify that it absolutely is not. I think it's awesome that hard topics are explored. The dark doesn't bother me, nor should it be avoided. And the WSJ's idea that this is something totally new is crazy. It's not. Incest, death, violence, suicide, etc., are themes in many books older than I am.

WSJ really made me wish I hadn't even posted that blog yesterday because now I feel like I have to take it all back.

I don't think it's necessary to have gratuitous sex and language but that doesn't mean that I don't think there is a place for sex and language in YA. I very much do. I think that how it is handled is what separates it as a genre. Sometimes it does require a bit more grit than normal. But for the most part, it can be done superbly without those things. I just like the idea of knowing what I'm getting. Otherwise I really don't see a need to separate them. Most adults are reading YA and most kids are reading fiction.

I think back to Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book in which there were many complaints about the f-bomb in a book that was being marketed by some as MG. His response to that was that it was never meant to be MG. Just because it is about a kid doesn't mean it is for a kid. And that's kind of were I stand on the matter. It's not that I object to the actual content or that kids are reading it.

And let's just clear this up right now: appropriateness is going to vary by age, family views and the like. Sex is not appropriate for a a 7 year old to be reading. No one is arguing that.

Kids are going to read what they are going to read unless parents are involved and controlling their decisions (good luck with that, by the way - that rarely works out well). My parents never monitored what I read and I thank them for it because it allowed me to discover what I like and what I enjoy reading, not what they wanted me to read. I read because I loved to read. And I read everything I could get my hands on and went on way more adventures than should be legal.

It didn't change who I was or what I did. I was still me and decisions I made, I made on my own, not because a movie, a video game or a book made me think it was cool. If a kid is really like their parents, it'll show. Their preferences will be toward the books the parents want them reading anyway. I knew when I was fourteen that my parents and I had very different views on life. It hasn't changed. Give kids more credit. Kids aren't stupid, stop treating them like they are and using them as an excuse to remove all things adults find unpleasant or unfit for human consumption.

Let's face it, that's really what it boils down to, getting rid of things a group of people find distasteful. They don't just want to get rid of it with kids, that's just the excuse for right now.  If that were to ever be successful it would eventually move on to adults.

I do tend to believe that we do have more violence today than we did, say a hundred years ago. But I don't think it has to do with games, books, music or movies. I won't get into what I think is the real problem here but suffice it to say, it isn't the fucking books people read.

It's a lame excuse to say a book might trigger a relapse. Basically what that says is that no one, ever, should discuss these pathologies, as Mrs. Gurdon likes to call them. No movies, no talk shows, no nothing. Because hey, they might trigger relapse.

We should be sensitive to others. But we also can't skirt issues.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

What happened to genres?

There was a time when I could count on genres to mean something. What happened to that? It used to be I could be I could pick up a YA book and find little to no obscenities and definitely no sex. Plenty of emotion but sex, if it happened at all, happened behind closed doors.

Today, not so much. It seems like language and sex are no longer avoided and this makes me sad. I've always felt comforted knowing that if I wanted a tamer book, I could just pick up some YA and be a happy  reader. If I wanted something more adult, I knew where to go for that.

What happened to the separation? What happened to knowing that hey, the book might be about a kid but it's not YA so it's geared for adults?

Or maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm having a hard time with the whole concept of changing times.

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