The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks

First, a short summary. The main character and narrator is a vampire, but it’s not at all what it’s cracked up to be. She’s in a vampire support group and they work together to keep each other “clean” from fanging humans for blood. Like a narcotics anonymous. One of their own is killed, so they work to catch this vampire slayer and come across human beings who exploit creatures like them. I found it to be a nice little twist, so I won’t give it away.

I got this book during the Twilight hoopla when I was in high school, and I’ve always been a fan of the vampire lore, so Twilight just reminded me of the subject. I’ll admit I read Twilight, and I enjoyed some of it. Some, I stress. I’m not in love with the whole thing.

Anyway, I read this book when I got it. I picked it up again because I think I left Game of Thrones in the old apartment, and I will need to grab that my next trip back. This would be my second time reading it, but it might as well have been my first because I did not remember any of the story line. I didn’t even read the book jacket first.

The cover, the title of this book, The Reformed Vampire Support Group; seems like it’d be a funny, light hearted story. Nope. It’s pretty dark, and I liked that a lot.

I did not like the way the narrator went ahead and told me who exactly a character was at a point in the story where she didn’t even know who he was. It was pretty much a spoiler, but it also made me wonder at what point in time did she figure it out? I always have mixed feelings about spoilers. In this case, I think it would have made for a more exciting read if she didn’t skip ahead to tell me the answer.

The character development was weak. The main character looks fifteen and is meant to be fifty years old, but I didn’t believe that. I thought she was a teenage vampire; the way she narrated, the way she acted. Maybe vampires’ brains don’t age either? Being “alive” that long, there must be some maturity to make me believe you’re not fifteen. Her character change: she couldn’t even explain what came over her.

Turns out, it was meant to be a memoir of the character which makes the spoiler kind of alright. Read like a memoir definitely makes it make more sense. It was an interesting story, but the characters, and their back stories could have been executed better. I didn’t feel much for any of the characters, but the scenes made my heart stop.

Caring for characters is an important factor though. It’s what keeps me watching formulaic shows like NCIS and House. Everyday, a patient, a dead body, a crime, but I watch because I care about the characters. Of course, a book needs a good non-repetitive story, too.

Regarding my own writing, I’m not very good at character development either. I’m still trying to figure out big moments that make my main character go from hating the world to wanting to save it.

It’s NaNo season, so I won’t be picking up a new book to read anytime soon, but here’s my plan:

I have down what my story is and a couple of scenes that I want to happen. How events will lead to these scenes, I’m not sure. I’ve gotten down as much as I can short of sitting down and writing a whole scene. I’m waiting for the first of November now before I begin writing. My plan is to follow my story and just keep writing no matter how farfetched the events. Whatever research I need to do, I’m going to try not to spend too much time worrying about. I’m going to make up my own procedures and laws. This is going to be an interesting experiment.

Here goes nothing…

NaNo 2015: A Personal Reflection

I was sad to leave the BCS NaNo family behind but also determined not to disappear from the NaNo community completely, so I sought it out in my new city.

I was happy to see activity in the forums of my new home region and found them in person today at a quaint little game cafe. He was not there, but it seems like the official “leader” is a real douche bagel, but the people who were there and unofficial leaders of my region were nice, and I like them all very much. Luckily, I’ve insured this year’s sticker.

I feel very behind in my life though because most members of the group have kids; more than one who are not just babies, but can talk and walk, and in their teens. I wouldn’t think these women were much older than I am just by looking at them, and I still don’t know how old they are, but that doesn’t matter. The fact that they’re moms makes me feel like a spinster that’s joined a married moms’ book club.

I actually admire these women to be able to keep up with NaNo while still taking care of their kids while they work. I say I feel behind, not because of the kids thing, but because these people know their own life, and know what they want to do with it, career wise, and it’s not just writing for them. They also know the genres they’re writing in. I still have no idea what to call my writing. How do you know if it’s young adult or just a regular old fiction? I have no idea. I just write.

This isn’t a serious life crisis or anything; it’s just got me thinking. And I realize how young I am to be where I’m at. When I was in college, I knew people who were the age I am now and still working on the undergrad phase and still trying to figure it out. I know how lucky I am to know as much as I do about myself at this age. I realize I’m young. “You got your whole life ahead of ya. You’re young! You got time!” FALSE! I am watching a television show, as I always am, and a character did not make it to his 30th birthday. As I said, not a serious crisis; the character was deep into a conspiracy, so he was a target. I am anonymous and am oblivious to all that is around me, so surely I am no one’s target, but I could die any where. I could have too much coffee from my new job’s free coffee machine and die of a heart attack!

The real problem is that I know exactly what I want to do with my life, but I do not have the means nor resources to achieve everything I want to achieve. I need a job, my career if you will, that will make me enough to invest in a home for canines and me. It needs to be in a location where euthanasia is still practiced because my goal is to take dogs in from death row. Of course, I hope this no-kill movement will make it’s way everywhere, but I would like to lessen the amount of dogs that suffer while we wait. I also need a plan, so I know nothing can be done if I myself do not do it.

The career thing is a big one though, and it sounds like I have chosen the wrong line of work in that everything in my field of news production seems to be moving toward automation. And I’m not going to make a whole lot of money in it anytime soon because the money making people in the business have 10+ years of experience, and I am merely working on year four. If you don’t look at the money and pretend I have no other goals, then it’s a fine career. I honestly love my job very much.

I also would like to write a book, but I’ve got to have the attention span to stick to one project and to be able to sit still long enough to write it. On the bright side, this new job of mine is much like the old one in that I am allowed to write in my down time.

I feel I am falling behind in life because I would like much of my goals accomplished now. My impatience and my short attention span are futile flaws.