This 2020 one suspects must be a lot like how it felt during the Great Depression of the 1930s amidst Hollywood’s “golden age,” when millions around the world flocked to cinemas for a few hours to forget their problems and see the “stars” they adored.
I had over the decades read far more non-fiction and historical fiction than “fantasy”… and I know that has made its mark on me.
So, yes, I hope there will be another volume.
Despite some fiction writers’ sky-high opinions of their personally towering intellects, this craft is not rocket science.
No novel is meant to address an entirety of anything.
My uncle once cornered me back in those same long ago 1990s about how for his next novel he planned to “borrow” the name of a friend of mine for a French policewoman character and base the character on her personality. “Oh, dear God, no,” I recall half-laughing and, horrified, blurting out in response.
I had never used Instagram until back in 2016, when I started that account to supplement my blog here. I approached Insta with no illusions. I knew I was not a “19 year old woman”; I was a male writer. But I thought it could used as outreach to those who had never heard of me or my blog here – and particularly to women, who are the bulk of my readers.
We decided to do it on the spur of the moment. On Tuesday, we booked a hotel and reserved a ferry there and back. On Thursday, we headed from Dover to Calais to have a night away not far from Calais, in Boulogne-sur-Mer.
“You seem to know lots about what Frenchwomen think,” my [English] wife has teased me more than once. Actually, no, I don’t believe I do…
I always think when I see such a meme or assertion: “If you actually do believe that rubbish, you’ll learn that you can’t do it. I have.”
I will always remember what I was told after I revealed in 2013 I was writing Passports and showed the initial draft first to my (English) Mrs., and then to an English woman friend. Having read it, separately they both noticed that I was inadvertently mixing American-English language forms and British-English.
The first time I ever mentioned – back in university nearly three decades ago – that I was interested in visiting France, my mother turned to me and was immediately harshly negative: “Are you nuts? They hate us.”
“In San Francisco, the first place I work in USA, I meet an American woman who loved my French accent. I learned after that to speak it with women in America more. ‘I love your accent,’ they always say that,” he chuckled.
“Are you going to be writing while we’re here?” our friends’ daughter asked me at one point as we walked in the town.
“I hope so,” I replied.
Gather ’round, kids, and let me share with you a taste 20th century living. We booked our coming trip entirely using the internet: flights, accommodation, taxi. Before the internet existed, to book an airline ticket it was commonplace in those olde days to visit a business – a physical building – that was called a “travel agency.”