Thursday, December 5, 2013

I want to fall in love with a reader....

I want to fall in love with a reader... because there's very little else that is sexier than a megane with her nose buried in a book*, discovering worlds within her imagination and populating them with her own versions of someone else's characters.

When two minds, author and reader, meet through a story, the result is something unique... something that cannot be explained or relayed except through the most general of terms, no matter how much you try and compare, no matter how many attempts are made to share that certain special feeling.

To me, that's wondrous... and watching it happen in real time is like watching the Big Bang play out from a front row seat.

I want to fall in love with a reader... because I have this gigantic desire to share my own worlds, spreading the joy of El Hazard or magical Chi-town or The Twelve Kingdoms or Randland or Fabletown.

In my library sit hundreds upon hundreds of volumes of manga and maybe half again that number in novels and comics. Every day, I dive into these precious worlds and revisit old haunts and familiar faces, finding great joy and adventure as I go. It is this that I wish to gift to a lover and watch as she finds the similar, but slightly different, places and people in all of those worlds.

I want to fall in love with a reader... because I know that other readers know what it is to empathize with both hero and villain, to love and hate, honor and betray. It is a reader who experiences both the breadth of human experience and the potential of what could be, all from words strung together on a page.

Being with a reader means being with someone who can take all that I have and all that I could be and appreciate both the beauty and fragility of both our existences and know that I will hold her as dear as I do myself... and vice versa.

I want to fall in love with a reader... because there is nothing more intimate than being a writer and showing the inner workings of your mind to the person you wish to be closest with.

There is this dream I have where we're sitting together, this conceptual Reader-Woman and I, her giggling and gasping at my latest work while I'm typing away at another, distractedly, wondering what part she's gotten to and what turn of phrase is making her react so. I want to watch her flush at the naughty parts and cry at the emotive ones. I want to lean over and kiss her when she finally sets it down with a smile and I want to make love surrounded by manuscripts.

I want to fall in love with a reader... because creativity is my passion and to be able to complement my lover's passion with my own is the essence of what it means to be compatible.

I want to fall in love with a reader... great spirits and muses help me make it so.

* - Apologies to the friends I have who actually ARE megane with their noses often buried in books. This doesn't mean I wanna sex you up. I just wish I had someone of my very own who was the same.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Occasionally, television makes me cry...

I was watching an episode of Castle today.

It's a cheesy procedural that relies heavily on the chemistry and wit of its leads, particularly the main character, Rick Castle. Rick, played by geek icon Nathan Fillion of Firefly fame, is an author and, in this particular episode, he confesses something to his lover about an inciting incident in his past... the thing that made him want to become a writer in the first place.

You see, as a child, Rick was forced to buy a term paper and pass it off as his own in order to stay in school. It was a social necessity for him to cheat, but it went beyond just the status quo of staying in his private boarding school. The tainted piece of text was lauded by the teacher and read, out loud, in front of the entire class, garnering the young Rick heaps of praise both from his betters and his peers.

The older, mature Rick confesses this to his lover and he tells her that the guilt associated with that unearned praise drove him to become the successful, honest writer (albeit a fictional one in a scripted police procedural) that he is today.

Hearing this revealing backstory is what brought me to silent tears... it does this because the story echoed my own experience.

When I was in elementary and early middle school... well, let's just say that I wasn't having the greatest time being an outcast among outcasts, a nerdy white kid with temper problems relegated to a special education class in the Atlanta Public School system. I was picked on plenty for being a smart-mouthed, cracker SPED-kid.

At some point, one of my school assignments was a creative writing piece and I, either not knowing any better or not caring at the time, stole someone else's fiction.

If memory serves, it was an Encyclopedia Brown mystery... something about a Civil War relic and, ironically, proving it was a fake because the provenance called a battlefield by it's post-war Yankee name instead of it's mid-war Confederate name.

The rewritten story made everyone happy. Look at him, they said, he'll be a writer.

The worst of it was when my mother used it as a point of pride to friends and family. She was just so impressed and happy and smiled when she told the story of just how smart her troubled son was when it came to the written word.

I was always disappointing my family at that age... to know that one of the few things I did that made them happy was a fraud, killed me.

As well it should've, I guess... and it still gnaws away at me.

I don't remember what grade I got and it was never featured in any school journal or anything, thankfully, but it was a defining moment in my childhood that taught me two very important things: the immorality of plagiarism and the desire for true recognition.

Now, granted, twenty years have passed and I'm not a handsome, massively successful author living in a New York penthouse and sleeping with a beautiful, intelligent homicide detective, but still... every day I get up and write something.

Maybe it's just what I think is an artful comment on a discussion board, or another blog post or movie review for the site, or maybe I actually get up the gusto to create something new and work on a short story, a script, or one of the novels, but it's something.

And seeing a similar remembrance on a show I enjoy from a character I respect and want to emulate... well, it brought me to tears.

Friday, February 8, 2013

How Nancy Drew Changed My Life.

Alright, this is going to sound really cheesy, but... when I was around 8 or 9, I was big into Hardy Boys. I occasionally read a Nancy Drew or two because the books looked similar, but with a girl lead, and that didn't bother me TOO much, but I just didn't connect with her and her problems (and well, why would I? it wasn't written for me).

At some point, I started reading their team-up novels... and began noticing the romantic tension between Frank and Nancy.

Now for a bit of context... The Hardy Boys were the first non-picture books that I began reading at around age six or so. I was a fast learner and, while I could generally follow along, it was basically just an exercise. I never really GOT what I was reading until I started to reason (it wasn't until I was ten and reading Tom Clancy that plot, politics, etc., began to "click"... and even then, I didn't get EVERYTHING yet as I didn't have the knowledge base)..

Even so, I always identified with Frank because he was the smart one, the rational one.

For a kid who got picked on a lot for being a nerd, it was a good match (I even dressed up like him for my elementary school's Halloween Costume Contest... no surprise, I did NOT make it past the first round looking like Ralphie from A Christmas Story).

Back to the Hardy/Drew team-ups... while I didn't have a biological need for romance, through reading and film and the like I'd developed a social need to "find love." You know the story, right? Chasing the girl you like around the jungle gym, even though you don't know why (and certainly didn't have a tingle down south, yet)?

Cooties? Never bothered me. Girls never liking me back? Traumatic.

When I started reading those team-ups and really dialed in on the Frank/Nancy angle, I knew... I just KNEW... that someone like her was what I needed... an EQUAL. A PARTNER. Not just someone who was there, not just a convenience because they were cute or cool or available... but someone whom I could love and support and could do the same for me. Someone on the same footing.

Weird thoughts for a kid well before their majority.

So... fast forward to today and I can't tell if it's helped me or not. I've had a few short relationships that broke down because they didn't meet my standard (or what I thought was my standard) of finding a PARTNER.

Maybe I'm broken... maybe I took the right lesson but didn't learn the other ones about getting to said partner... but I can safely say, a single scene in a Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys novel completely changed my world view about what I wanted in life.

Also... I'll never vacation at a ski resort because of said scene, either.

P.S. - Man, looking back at these covers? Fashion is WEIRD.