General

With Our Twenties On The Horizon

We have been painting bathrooms. They needed doing. The Mrs. insisted they had to be freshened up pre-Christmas.

Much of the previous owners’ – we bought this house in April – colo(u)r taste was, well, NOT my wife’s… to be charitable.

[From my Instagram story on Friday.]

I recalled the two “magic” words that are – single men, are you paying attention? – required for a happy marriage: “Yes, dear.” LOL!

It snowed here also yesterday:

[Potton, England. November 30, 2019. Photo by me.]

[Potton, England. November 30, 2019. Photo by me.]
[Potton, England. November 30, 2019. Photo by me.]

Uh, okay, maybe “snow” is a bit of an exaggeration. LOL!

As we know, the twenties are also nearly upon us. These aren’t the Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Stein, etc., twenties, of course; they will be ours. And, as it was nearly a century ago, in our lives too writing, naturally, continues careening wildly out of control goes on:

When I see such, I always think: Well, no one is stopping you. If you believe there aren’t such characters, what are you waiting for? Get writing.

Just please, if you do, make it plain that if “strong women” venture anywhere near here… that it is fantasy. One big thing I would also like to see in our “lost generation” roaring twenties is a genuine authoring nod to human reality and even weakness. For whenever I see that sort of tweeted “kick ass” bravado, I find myself recalling an assertion made a few years back by a British writer: She had tweeted she considers the all too common portrayal nowadays in fiction of essentially a much smaller woman standing toe to toe with a man and besting him in a punch up to be “a dangerous fantasy.”

I suppose it was unfortunately necessary for a woman to note that. Because unless she is “Wonder Woman” or “Captain Marvel,” labeling that fantasy as “kick ass” female behavior warps reality to the point it may indeed be dangerous to convey to young women. As my infuriated mother had declared to me in the later 1980s after a (much bigger) boy in high school had punched/shoved my sister (she was about 15, I think) against a locker, injuring her, and livid with the school and about what Mom considered a numbheaded “golly, you’re all equal” educational climate in which she believed young women’s relative vulnerability was being under-emphasized: “They’re teaching these boys the girls are just like them. They’re also telling these girls they are just like the boys. They aren’t; they’re different. I’m a lot smarter than your father is, but he could knock me thru a goddamn wall.”

Even writing fiction, if one is portraying reality, there is a duty to portray that reality as, well, reality:

[Excerpt from Tomorrow The Grace, Copyright, 2019. On Kindle for iPhone/iPad. Click to expand.]

If it isn’t reality, it is fantasy. But in writing fantasy and claiming it is of course just “fantasy” while clearly also implying it describes some denied “reality” to which that fantasy provides a necessary outlet, is not to be truly raising consciousness or helping empower. It is to be a snake oil salesperson.

Let’s never forget as writers: fantasy is fantasy. Unless a five foot five 120 pound woman has a gun or another weapon, a six foot tall 200 hundred pound man can probably without even breaking a sweat indeed shove her through a wall. It has been so since before the beginning of recorded history… and remains so, regardless of how many fantasist tweets are shared about “equality” in all cases.

Again with a “2020.” If you want dislikable main characters… go write them. If I want to read people I despise, I venture to a newspaper’s web site. Personally, I don’t want to read novels centered around people I can’t stand.

I write assuming others feel similarly. I prefer my main characters more layered and with weaknesses, and possibly even with some secrets with which we as readers may sympathize whether they are living over two hundred years ago…

[Excerpt from Tomorrow The Grace, Copyright, 2019. On Kindle for iPhone/iPad. Click to expand.]

…or much more recently…

[Excerpt from Frontiers: Atlantic Lives, 1995-1996, Copyright, 2014. On Kindle for iPhone/iPad. Click to expand.]

Then there are other genres:

I had no idea “Young Adult” was in such a state?

I’ll stay safely in historical (adult) romance.

We’re good here.

My wife does… and I know she has read them…

“Huh, I didn’t know that?”

“Where the heck did you come up with this?”

“Who is she really? That’s not HER again, is it?”

Uh, your spouse NOT reading your fiction may not be a bad thing! LOL!

I am the devoted guy friend who watches helplessly as the girl he secretly adores chooses instead to marry the abusive idiot.

I’m not sure about where my personal traits appear. I do know they are numerous. I also know I wished I could have met…

[Excerpt from Conventions: The Garden At Paris, Copyright, 2017. On Kindle for iPhone/iPad. Click to expand.]

John and Abigail Adams.

I also wish I could have met:

[Excerpt from Conventions: The Garden At Paris, Copyright, 2017. On Kindle for iPhone/iPad. Click to expand.]

Thomas Jefferson.

I really wish I could have met:

[Excerpt from Tomorrow The Grace, Copyright, 2019. On Kindle for iPhone/iPad. Click to expand.]

George Washington.

And, reading some of her letters, and researching her, I realized I would have loved to have met…

[Excerpt from Conventions: The Garden At Paris, Copyright, 2017. On Kindle for iPhone/iPad. Click to expand.]

Rosalie de La Rochefoucauld.

Well, at least my main character got the chance. LOL!

I don’t use Goodreads. My account is “dormant” (as I have just not gotten around to deleting it entirely.) I will never use Goodreads.

I agree wholeheartedly with one observer who hates it and believes it actually does authors a disservice.

Ms. Austen was very perceptive.

My favorite?

Casablanca. (If you didn’t know that already.)

And, yes, it has influenced my writing.

I have post-graduate degrees in history and political science.

If I need any of those books now, I’ll have to give back my degrees.

I’ve seen Pocket, but had no idea what it really was. Useful to learn that. I may even have it included somewhere on my site here. LOL!

If you are going to sit in your room and stare at the same four walls and never find any new stimulation, yeh, you may find you have nothing new to write about. If you think you have it, stop trying to write, take a walk, and just relax. Likely you need some new experiences.

Those “14 points” are useful reading in their additional detail.

DON’T WRITE A MEMOIR. No one really cares about your life. Instead, fictionalize it and make it interesting reading:

[“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” Attributed to Benjamin Franklin.]

Come to think of it…

[Excerpt from Tomorrow The Grace, Copyright, 2019. On Kindle for iPhone/iPad. Click to expand.]

I wish I had met Benjamin Franklin too. 🙂

Have a good Sunday, wherever you are.

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