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Monday, May 23, 2022

ARE YOU RELUCTANT TO EXPRESS YOURSELF IN PUBLIC OR IN BOOKS THAT THE PUBLIC WILL READ?

 

Voltaire is wrongly attributed to have said:

"I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend, to the death, your right to say it."

That sentence is found in THE FRIENDS OF VOLTAIRE.  

Evelyn Beatrice Hall wrote the book under the pseudonym S[tephen] G. Tallentyre,

Oh, do any of you use pseudonyms?  

As a mask of protection or for something else entirely?


https://www.amazon.com/Stars-Bleed-At-Midnight/dp/B09NRKWZTZ/

I once had my Texas Ranger protagonist use "Oriental" for a people and a locale in my 1895 historical fantasy


and received a tart email saying "Asian" was the proper term now. 

I replied that I was writing through the eyes of a 1895 lawman who had never been accused of being proper.


Do you hesitate to write about certain topics or use certain types of characters: trans, gay, racial minority, political party member 

for fear of possible backlash?


(Sold for $46 million at auction in 2013)

Every 6 weeks or so I treat myself to an expensive kind of meal. 

So today, I went to a restaurant recommended to me.


After surviving two hurricanes, a freeze, and a tornado last year and my wipers dying as I drove on the interstate in blinding rains yesterday, 

I felt it was only right to say "Thanks" over my meal.

Silent, of course in these touchy times, but with head bowed, eyes closed, and hands clasped.


I was startled by a rough hand on my shoulder shaking me hard.

I looked up. 

A very sharply dressed businessman. "That's offensive, and you know that!"

I sighed, "I know I obviously offended you."

"That's right."

"Then, look the other way."

The businessman gestured to a man in a tie coming out from the back. "This man is engaging in offensive behavior!"

The man looked like he was having a very hard bowel movement, obviously knew the businessman, and wanted to keep him happy.

"I'm afraid you're going to have to leave."

"I just got my meal."

"That was not a request."

I sighed, got up, and left my waitress a tip. There was no point that she got punished along with me. She hadn't prayed ...


although with such a boss she might have stood in need of it.

SO, HOW WAS YOUR DAY?

Friday, May 13, 2022

HAS THE KINGDOM OF SHADOWS LOST ITS SCARY?

 


“Lover," she whispers, and closes her eyes.
It falls upon her.
"Love is like dying.”
― 
Stephen King

I could not let Friday the 13th pass without my own nodding to it:

“Last night I was in the Kingdom of Shadows.
 
If you only knew how strange it is to be there. It is a world without sound, without colour. Everything there — the earth, the trees, the people, the water and the air — is dipped in monotonous grey.
 
Grey rays of the sun across the grey sky, grey eyes in grey faces, and the leaves of the trees are ashen grey. It is not life but its shadow, it is not motion but its soundless spectre.
 
Here I shall try to explain myself, lest I be suspected of madness or indulgence in symbolism. I was at Aumont’s and saw Lumière’s cinematograph — moving photography” — Maxim Gorky, 1896
 
The first horror films are surreal, disturbing pieces, owing their visual appearance in part to expressionist painters and in part to spirit photography of the 1860s,

and drawn from Gothic literature. They draw upon the folklore and legends of Europe, and render monsters into physical form.

“Dreading dusk, fearing night, praying for dawn.”
― 
Gregory J. Saunders


The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (1919)
 
Often cited as the 'granddaddy of all horror films', this is an eerie exploration of the mind of a madman, pitting an evil doctor against a hero falsely incarcerated in a lunatic asylum.
 
Through a clever framing device the audience is never quite clear on who is mad and who is sane, and viewing the film's skewed take on reality is a disturbing experience.
 
“Within its gates I heard the sound
Of winds in cypress caverns caught
Of huddling tress that moaned, and sought
To whisper what their roots had found.
(“A Dream of Fear”)”
― 
George SterlingThe Thirst of Satan: Poems of Fantasy and Terror
 
 

Nosferatu (1922)

 
Described as the vampire movie that actually believes in vampires,
 
Nosferatu gives us a far more frightening bloodsucker than any of its successors;
 
Shreck is simply inhuman.
 
Shadow of the Vampire (2000) is a fascinating reworking of the Nosferatu legend:
 
a compelling, if fanciful reconstruction of the film's creation. Starring Willem Dafoe, John Malkovich, &  Eddie Izzard.

“Until that afternoon in October four years ago,
I hadn't known dogs could scream.”
― 
Stephen King
 
 
 Perhaps I am a cynic, but the field of horror movies has gone incredibly dry.
 
Protagonists are hard to like or sympathize with, and because of this we have no fear of the monster.
 
 What was once a genre that relied heavily on the emphasis of a musical score is now a genre that suffers from the bloat of bad thrash rock. 
 
The worst culprits are films that try to keep us scared the entire time, not seeming to realize we need room to breathe.

You may not agree that The Exorcist is the scariest movie ever, but it probably also isn’t much of a surprise to see it at the top of my list.

 William Friedkin’s adaptation of the eponymous novel about a demon-possessed child

 and the attempts to banish said demon became the highest-grossing R-rated horror film ever and the first to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars


“Alone. Yes, that's the key word, the most awful word in the English tongue. Murder doesn't hold a candle to it and hell is only a poor synonym.”
― 
Stephen King
 
 
WHAT WAS A RECENT HORROR OR THRILLER THAT MADE YOU SHIVER?



Thursday, May 12, 2022

Echoes of Mother

 


Alex's comment to the last post made me remember how 

Mother and I would use to sing a particular song when we were walking home from the movies at night. 

I thought the ghost of my mother might smile at the memory ... and some of you might need a smile as well.

Saturday, May 7, 2022

WHEN MOTHER'S DAY IS NOT HAPPY

 


Mother’s Day can be a miserable day.


Countless women and children mourn for a mother-child relationship that is not as it should be.

The Hallmark cards and commercials depict Mother’s Day as all smiles.

 But for many people, the celebration taps into pain and sorrow.

For mothers who lost children before childbirth, during, or after, the Day can be hollow and mocking. 

To those mothers if they have a world-view that includes an afterlife, 

the thought of an eventual reunion can bring some comfort.

Mother’s Day can be an opportunity to not only celebrate but to remember and comfort others. 

The day need not be happy to be important.

 To adults grieving the death of a mother, whether a few months ago or many years,

 ask them what was special about their mothers.

“What do you remember most? What lessons did she teach that remain in you?”

 To a mother whose child is across the globe fighting in a war: 

Pray for peace. Let her talk about her fears. Don’t try to take away her fear, just listen.

 An estimated 56 percent of all abusers -- physical, mental and sexual -- are women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The most common form is psychological. 

Neglect and emotional abuse are every bit as damaging as sexual abuse.

 Numerous studies have shown that maternal behaviors

 like constant criticism, withholding affection or humiliation can take a toll on children,

 adversely affecting their academic achievement, social growth and self-worth.

 Learning to move forward from a painful past is difficult, though not impossible.

And psychiatrists still don't understand why one sibling fares well psychologically and the other can be destroyed.

So if you had or have a loving relationship with your mother, treasure the blessing that so many others did not or do not have.



Tuesday, May 3, 2022

GOOD NEWS; BAD NEWS_IWSG Post

 


BOOK SALES UP; READERSHIP DOWN

Both publishers and booksellers celebrated the news that print book sales were up 9.1 percent last year.

A huge increase in fiction units sold led the way, with young adult fiction sales jumping 30.7 percent, 

adult fiction up 25.5 percent, and children’s fiction up 9.6 percent, respectively.

 All told, print book sales have risen more than 18 percent since the start of the pandemic in early 2020.

NOW THE BAD NEWS

The statistics on female readership are specifically troubling.

 For decades, women read nearly twice as many books as men, but the gap has narrowed significantly. 

The average American woman read 15.7 books last year compared to 19.3 books five years ago. 

While male readership declined only slightly over the same time period, going from 10.4 books in 2016 to 9.5 in 2021, 

This decrease in the number of books women read will particularly impact fiction sales, given that women account for 80 percent of all fiction sales in the U.S., U.K., and Canada.


My bi-sexual fae still is one of my best selling books and audio books ... so female fae readers are still interested in this book at least ...

in which I answer the question ... when two lesbians tango who leads? 

Why the most dangerous one, of course. If both disagree on who that is?

Well. it makes for an ... 
interesting tango!


MIDNIGHT WISDOM NUGGET #1

The overall decline in readership is likely due to increased interest in other at-home leisure activities, particularly digital streaming services. 

LIKE ARCANE


Just six percent claimed reading to be their favorite way to spend an evening, 

far below spending time with family (33%) or watching television or movies (23%). 

Gallup notes that this is only the second time since 1960 

that's less than 10 percent of Americans 

didn’t select reading as their top favorite evening activity.

Unsettling, right?


Paper Shortages Continue to Delay Book Publication

Even though some mills might have closed, more likely than not they’re not making book papers anymore.

SO WHAT TO DO?

DEPENDS

DO YOU WANT TO CREATE ART?


WANT TO SELL BOOKS?

Follow Elmore Leonard best rule:

Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip. 

Think of what you skip reading a novel: thick paragraphs of prose you can see have too many words in them.

Write what interests and amuses you ... someone else might have similar tastes.

If not, you will have spent time in a world that absorbs you.

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

WE ARE LIVING IN A MEL BROOKS MOVIE

 

We are the laughing stock of the world ... even Australia is getting into the act.



And Saudi Arabia ...


Sadly, I think we are all riding

the bomb.

But no one may be alive to laugh

at the ending.


What about you?