Posts tagged Free Read

Wren & Marnie

Lauren “Wren” Sterling and Marnie Jacoby have grown up together.  They’ve been through it all – growing pains, family problems, gaining and losing friends, fighting over boys (though they deny that) and various jealousies (though they’d rather not acknowledge them).  They’ve been through thick and thin and survived it all.  But can their friendship survive college?  Seperate colleges?  When neither one of them are particularly adept at technology, and are morally opposed to things like Facebook?

Can the distance bring them closer together, or will it just tear them apart?


So, I’ve mentioned, I’ve linked, but I haven’t really talked about Wren and Marnie yet, or their Guide to World Domination.

Wren and Marnie are really, for lack of a better term, an experiment.  An experiment I have to admit I’m really enjoying.  It’s a free read, but instead of a .pdf file for you to read all in one gulp and be done with, it’s actually an on-going thing, updated on Mondays (by Wren) and Wednesdays (by Marnie).  It’s my own little foray into the small and innocuous world of Blog Fiction.

Why do it this way?  Because really I think blog fiction is fascinating.  It’s almost the hybrid offspring of orignial writing and fanfiction—something I admit to knowing more than a little bit about.  Don’t try and hide from it, fanfiction is just a part of the culture these days, and the idea of turning an already-established story into something original is as old as Shakespeare or Pushkin (who are both guilty) and even older!  But the thing that makes today’s fanfiction so interesting, in that people are studying it and writing dissertations about it, etc, is that the stories themselves are entrenched in this community atmosphere that connects the author and reader directly.  In the case of serial works, posted part by part, readers’ comments can even help to shape where the story might be going, because the internet makes it possible to give the author direct “feedback” immediately after reading, so instead of hearing a distant, well-formed review of a work as a whole, readers give to-the-point responses, usually full of emotional reaction.

Blog fiction makes that sort of  interaction possible in a non-fanfic environment, and interestingly, even goes a step further.  Because blog ficiton is basically a normal blog being “written” by a fictional person, readers can, in the comments, interact with the characters themselves—because the characters run the blogs, not the authors, or at least that’s the illusion meant to be created.

Blog fiction itself is such a new format that it’s in its own experimental phase.  Anything and everything goes, pretty much, and that’s really part of why I’m so interested in being a part of the development of this genre.  Wren & Marnie’s Guide to World Domination is my own contribution to this growing medium.  As you can probably guess from the title, this fictional blog is actually being written by two seperate fictional characters, in a more or less epistolary format.

It’s really a very simple concept – two girls dealing with the pressures of college, and the (sometimes scary) freedom of being away from everything and everyone they grew up knowing.  They both want to keep their friendship alive, but it’s difficult, because through this shared blog and each other’s letters, they’ll come to realize that they are two very, very different people.

Wren is type-A personality, studying Classical Theater and Dance at the prestigious Raeburn Institute in Montecito, California, with a minor in World Literature.  Back in high school she was a big fish in a small pond, best at everything, valedictorian, etc, etc.  Here at Raeburn she’s nothing special, though.  She’s finally in the company of the equals she’s always wanted—but can she stand to be little more than a face in a crowd?  She’s working harder than ever to get ahead, but at a high cost, maybe too high.

Marnie hasn’t been able to keep up with Wren academically since high school, at least.  And she’s okay with that, or she’s decided to be.  Her higher education is quite a different thing, too.  Marnie is going to Brenton College in Seattle, Washington.  Brenton is a small, out-of-the-ordinary liberal arts college, with a focus on creative learning and the production of art and literature, where the students have as much say in the curriculum as the professors, and even organize and teach some of the classes themselves.  Competition isn’t really a part of the package.  Much of it Wren can hardly comprehend. Marnie’s schedule is much more open and flexible than Wren’s, also, which is just as she would have it to be.

Similar interests growing up have led Wren and Marnie to become two very different individuals with very different lives.  Now the question is – can they look past their differences and still be the friends to each other that they each secretly—desperately—need?

And the wonderful thing is, I don’t know any better than you how this will turn out.  And neither do Wren or Marnie.  We’ll just have to wait and see.

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Read Coraline before you see it!

This is exciting!  I know you’ve seen the ads and you’ve been curious, but if you’re on the fence about whether you want to go see Coraline in movie theaters, why don’t you read the book first?

And to make it even easier, HarperCollins is actually presenting the book free online, so you can do just that!

Click to read!

Click to read!

I think I’m going to take advantage of this myself.  Coraline is about a young girl who finds a passage into another house that’s very like her own – only better.  At least, it’s better at first—then the darker side starts to reveal itself.  Coraline is written by Neil Gaiman, who if you didn’t know already from his extensive work, you might have heard of in relation to his last book-turned-movie, Stardust—which I’ve read in its original graphic novel form.  Very different from the movie, but a very interesting read.  Gaiman just won the Newbury Medal for The Graveyard Book, about a boy who’s the only living inhabitant in a graveyard, raised by ghosts, no less!  Gaiman definitely has a fascinating – and somewhat twisted – mind, but his stuff is more than worth a look.

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Technical difficulties and an unveiling

The wireless adapter on my PC threw a hissy fit yesterday morning, and after a long battle with trying to get the software to re-install/recognize the device which involved more computer tech-y stuff than I’ve done in all my months since graduating college… well, it still doesn’t work.  I think it must be the adapter itself.  It has a lifetime warranty, if what I read on the website is right, so hopefully that’ll be easy to deal with.  But if I’m offline the next few days, that’s why.  That was just the beginning of a very long day yesterday.

Meanwhile!  I haven’t made much noise about it yet, but I’ve started updating Wren & Marnie’s Guide to World Domination.  This is an ongoing epistolary free read I’ll be working on, about Wren Sterling and Marnie Jacoby, two friends trying to hold themselves—and their friendship—together, now that they’re in their first year of separate colleges.  I’ll be updating on Mondays and Wednesdays as best as I can.

We’re just in the starting phase right now, but I’m looking forward to this.  These are two great, quirky characters that I’m excited to be working with.

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