The Wolves of Midwinter

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Anne Rice's Facebook Social Club (Formerly unpublished article)

  Author's Note:  For some time, I've been hanging unto this unpublished article from my Journalism class. For some reason, many newspapers never showed any inkling of interest within this article. Since, I don't think it deserves to remain hidden after all the effort put into it; I've decided to publish it here on my blog. For people who have not visited Anne Rice's page before, click the picture of Anne Rice above to access her infamous  Facebook page!

Anne Rice’s Facebook Social Club
Authors are often depicted as disheveled hermits who are homebound and withdrawn. They are stereotypically aloof. Best-selling authors rarely converse with common people.
Anne Rice is different. The author of the legendary hit “Interview with the Vampire,” loves interacting with her legion of mere mortals who adore her work. By nature, Anne Rice is an audacious figure.

Perhaps it should be no surprise than that Anne Rice publicly criticized the casting of Tom Cruise as the vampire Lestat. When doing this, she took space out in a newspaper to describe her dislike for the casting choice. After seeing a rough cut of the film, directed by Neil Jordan, Anne Rice changed her original feelings after being “thoroughly impressed with Tom Cruise’s wonderful performance.”
Recently, Anne Rice has found herself back in the media’s spot light after leaving Catholicism, her childhood religion. This news came two years after the publication of her memoir Called Out of Darkness where she sentimentally described her return to Catholicism.
Before this news reached popular news outlets, the message that announced this decision was posted as a status on her Facebook page. Anne Rice then had no idea that this Facebook status would spawn the attention it earned. Newspapers from all reaches of the globe were printing the story a little time after Anne Rice posted the status.
Her openness with fans though has been a large part of her appeal. In the nineties, it was not altogether abnormal for her to hold huge celebrations upon the release of a recent novel.
For example, when “Menmoch the Devil,” was published, Anne Rice transformed a small part of New Orleans into a mini Mardi gras celebration. She titled this celebration “Menmoch Ball,” after the demon that Lestat, the vampire, encounters within the novel.
Before Anne Rice entered the venue, she was carried in a casket and followed by a jazz band. The whole shebang celebrated the omnipresent New Orleans atmosphere of her novels and the macabre elements as well.
Now Anne Rice has grown weary of these celebrations due to diabetes. Therefore, she greatly limits her travels. Facebook though has allowed her to maintain that contact without the strain of traveling.
On Facebook, Anne Rice can easily communicate with fans without worries of travel restrictions. Easily, a person from some far-away country like Greece could interact with her in seconds.
Upon her page, fans commonly sprinkle her wall with general questions about her books, movie or novel suggestions, and interesting news articles. Anne Rice often will respond to some of these posts in a matter of minutes. Sometimes, she even shares these links or recommendations.
Mainly Anne Rice posts her thoughts or opinions on the Facebook page. Sometimes these thoughts have film or book suggestions. Or, she includes her opinion on a recent news article that particularly resonated with her.
“I’ve always been an obsessive person with a need to talk about my obsessions. I can go on my page and ask about the definition of conscience, and find myself in a fabulous discussion of what this means to others,” Rice commented
Similarly to the way Anne Rice treated her fans as friends within the past. Anne Rice identifies her Facebook fans as “people of the page.” With nearly every post, she tries to persuade all of these individuals to participate.
Within the past year, this receptiveness with her fans has caused the number of page fans to reach nearly 176,000 members. Not all of these members are fans of her novel. They are fans of both her honesty and authenticity.
“She is very honest with who she is, what she stands for, and what she will not stand for,” said Glenn Wood, a “person of the page.”
This brutal honesty may appear unexpected. But, this older Anne Rice is the same individual who had no reservations about responding to negative opinions of her book, “Blood Canticle.”
Back in 2004, Anne Rice wrote a lengthy response to fans who wrote scathing reviews of
the final installment of her series, the Vampire Chronicles. She did not necessarily respond to their dislike. Instead, she was responding to unsubstantiated opinions. In her belief, all reviews should be substantive to some extent.
Recently, these unsubstantiated remarks about her have sprung up on Facebook. Her audacity often provokes some of her critics to respond either on blogs or on her page. 

Christopher Rice, Anne Rice’s son and fellow writer, sometimes worries about his mother’s safety due to her forthrightness.  “I've always been concerned about someone unstable trying to do her harm. It's something that's pained me my entire life,” said Christopher Rice.

Even with this familial concern, Christopher Rice does believe that the atmosphere on his mother’s page is very civil.

Anne Rice does not feel inhibited by the presence of these negative opinions. “I’m close to 70 years old. I trust myself. Some people are much more tentative and cautious. They aren’t willing to expose themselves and perhaps they shouldn’t,” said Rice.
At this point in time, Anne Rice is busy working on a new novel about immortals who will not kill in order to survive. She hopes to involve some of her new thoughts and questions about Christianity within the novel.
As to whether the Facebook page deprives her of time to write, her son feels that his mother could become Margaret Mitchell, the author of Gone with the Wind, who never wrote another novel due to trying to answer every piece of fan mail.
Anne Rice does not feel troubled by this concern. Instead, she feels that her interaction with fans on Facebook has been very inspiring. “I can share reviews of books, good and bad, and learn from the comments. One perspective will be balanced by another,” said Rice.

Anne Rice's "Wolf Gift" is being released February 14th, 2012 just in time for the 2012 Apocalypse!!

      Whether Anne Rice is a strategist or not, she seems to be acutely aware of the waning vampire craze and the increasing popularity of werewolves. Or, she might have finally succumbed to that inner artistic desire to write a series about another supernatural creature. Either way, Anne Rice's new werewolf book is something I'm not just lightly hyping but impatiently waiting for. Certain reliable sources from her Facebook page have alluded to the fact that the book might be approximately 600 pages which is the length of one of her later Vampire Chronicle novels: Blackwood Farm.

    Knowing Anne Rice's tendency to involve philosophical and psychological concepts in her novel, I'm sure "Wolf Gift" won't merely be an artless bloodbath. Speculation aside as to the format or content of the book, I'm sure that whatever type of story we get will be something worthwhile and provocative.

    Due to the upcoming release, I'll be continuing my "Memnoch the Devil" discussion posts and also beginning a discussion series on both "The Vampire Lestat" and "Queen of the Damned," as well. With college, the posts won't nearly be as numerous as during summer break.

    When February truly comes upon us, be on the lookout for many surprises on this blog that are relevant to the "Wolf's Gift." If anyone is willing to share their expertise on werewolf lore and would love to contribute a guest post related with Anne Rice's universe, please contact me at narniafanatic(at)gmail(dot)com.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Unorthodox Fairy Tale:
Note: During the progress of writing this poem, I kept applying the wrong gender pronouns to each character. Thus, if there is a mistake, it is completely unintentional. 

Once upon a time
Within an idyllic kingdom
That bordered the other Kingdoms
That suffered from the plague of serfdom
Lived the least masculine prince ever:
Prince Danielle

Within one of the corruptive kingdoms,
An abrasive princess neither slept eternally
Nor accepted dowries
With the dreaded bonus of
An aged, royal bedmate
Her name had a bold masculine ring to it
She was the deceptively dainty princess
Named Dan

On one of Danielle’s excursion’s to buy some books,
A Vicar passed with his refined religious robes
To comment upon Danielle’s grave transgressions:
“Danielle, Do you not know that the Lord
Requires you to take up arms
For fight in the defense of his name and his devotees?
Also, you might want to respectfully alter your name, so
The Lord can remember that you are of the superior gender.”

Danielle weakly answered
“I profusely apologize for my transgression, Vicar.
But, I have not picked my name.
My dear mother who was burned at the stake
For having a heathen beard
Granted me this accursed feminine name.
Now, I am burdened with emotions and
A Pacifistic resignation from
The deadly art of war.”

The Vicar looked indignantly at the prince
Then he rebuked him:
“Well, you better find someone to marry sometime soon
Since, that is your requirement for living
If you refuse to behave in a way
More fitting to your gender.”

Danielle felt weary suddenly and rode off
Back to the castle
Once there, Danielle fitted himself with
His sinful hot pink night gown
Then, he resorted to closing his radiant rose drapes
So that the world could not see him outfitted
With such a tight-fitting night gown

Meanwhile, Dan brusquely commanded her troops to
March towards the kingdom where Danielle dwelled
She coveted other soldiers in other legions
For they had mightier swords than her
But no other man could compare
With her military prowess
For, she was one of the most formidable fighters
Within the realm

Danielle continued to restfully sleep
His snored sounded like a soprano vibrato
That beautifully echoed throughout his decorous bedroom
He dreamt of the day that a princess
Would venture to save him from
Some Dastardly foe who might
Threaten his life

While Danielle persistently slept,
The Vicar walked through the threshold of Danielle’s
Private Room quietly, but repulsively
The sinfulness of Danielle’s inner sanctum
Disturbed the vicar’s pious thoughts
As he crept closer to the slumbering Danielle
With the draught of death in hand
To subdue the existence
Of such a defiant creature of God

Dan instinctively knew that Danielle was in danger
So, she climbed the rose vines of Danielle’s rugged tower
Coming upon a small circular window,
She forcefully struck it with the sword
Tensely grasped in her right hand

The crashing sound of glass
Along with Danielle’s surprised shrieks
Indicated that she had successfully breached the area
Face-first, she plummeted into Danielle’s room
Where the vicar was caught Uncorking
The bottle of his toxic death draught
Made specifically for sinful aberrations

 The vicar hoarsely yelled
“You’ll both burn in the fiery pits of hell
For not acting in accordance with the Lord’s commandments…”
Intervention of an ungodly source stopped the vicar short
As, Dan stabbed the vicar through the heart and
Watched the vicar’s red blood Permeate the room
She felt both relieved and gratified

Danielle trembled and walked over to his
Newfound hero Dan
He bemusedly appraised her muscular body, steely blue eyes, and
Cropped brown hair
He felt Danielle stiffen as he softly caressed
Her brawny shoulders
Finally, he had found his strapping princess
Outfitted in a sexy suit of armor

On the other hand, Dan felt her
Heart rate beat rapidly against her
Rough suit of armor
While glancing at Danielle’s long blonde hair, and
Radiant Green Eyes
She carefully reaffixed her sword into the sheath
Strapped to her hip

As they kissed, they had completely
Forgotten about their royal titles
Was Dan a courageous prince?
Or a subservient princess?
Who was Danielle then?
While they continued to kiss,
Both of them had accidentally discarded their worldly garments
At this point, who were they but two people who were
Acutely aware that they were content
Life's Paradox

In the beginning,
I was bewildered by the
Concepts of the Heaven and the Earth
But mostly, I was scared stiff
Of this voice that spoke within my head
Where was me before this initial awakening?
Is everything so grandiose yet so purposeless only when I think it so?

Whether 12,34,54,76…
I still see everything vaguely
Everything, including myself
Feels like one extensive dream
That I’m only aware of
When detached from this dream of reality

Descartes struggled futilely to distinguish
His place within the membrane of this dream
But finally, he succumbed to the dream’s
Testament of its tangibility
By saying “I think therefore I am!”
He admits that either our surroundings are real
While we’re not
Or, we’re fully aware of ourselves
But deluded by the mystifying visions
Of different interpretations of reality

Often, the feelings of reality are blistering
Then, I can fully find my bearings in one set perception
Only until reality becomes despondent
Then, I begin to reconsider
The actuality of all the things my mind
Believes it is remembering from some
Long-departed scheme of reality

In church, people plaintively beseech
The invincible being of God
Only to rename him as something visible:
His begotten son, Jesus
Because it gives reality greater visibility
Until the ecstasy of a good prayer dissipates and
Leaves us barren

When death encroaches,
Does our contemplation of reality end?
Can we no longer dream of feeling cemented in a true sense of being?
In death, is the nothingness so overwhelming
That nothing depicts it better than
To think of it as the unthinkable
State of Eternal Forgetfulness

Where will it go?
What am I without the illusion of being substantial?
Does my life inevitably cease its feeble crawl towards meaning?
From funerals I've attended, I coldly recall
A sonorous tune played by the organ who
Lamented this paradoxical death
Within a universe that bursts at the seams with
Different scientific theorems which shows
Causation for all things albeit
The source of all this meaning

When we die,
Our brains explode with our theories
Of how we’ll finally conclude
The answer to the perplexing riddle of life
Like stars before death, we’ll increase in size and proportion
With all the memories of our dream-like existence

Then, our brains stop triggering thoughts for ourselves
In our place, our empty bodies become
Black holes for the remainder of humanity
Who hope fervently that within our dead selves there lies
Minute Quantum remnants that will configure
Themselves into a new kind of existence