Monday, April 29, 2013

Fan Fiction: How Exciting

I've never read fan fiction. I've only heard about it and how some authors have turned their own version of other writers' stories into a fortune.

I've come to this post because of another blogger's post: JeffO. Jeff has some qualms about it. I don't share his worries. I'd be excited to see my characters take on new lives. I'd be flattered by it. Would I want a piece of the pie, should the author achieve monetary success with it? No. More than likely the fan fiction would probably entice new readers to read my stories. If not, oh well.

Characters in stories, movies, whatever, become public property, so to speak. They belong to everyone. Readers conjure up in their own minds while they're reading a story what characters looks like, who they are, where they're from, what their motives are, so on and so forth. And each reader has a slightly different view of a character. And that's probably where fan fiction originates, from a desire to see the characters in that reader's fantasy world.

One of Jeff's concerns is originality. Piggy-backing off another writer is not being original. But don't all of us writers piggy back off of what we see and read. Someone said there's nothing original under the sun and that the Greeks said it all. So we're just retelling old stories, sort of. I know, when I'm reading a novel, I often imagine a different scenario for what's going on. So, that scenario becomes my story, should I decide to write it. That's probably what fan fiction is.

Anyway, I have no problem with it. I think it's a fantastic way of viewing the world.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Erotica: It's A Woman Thing

I recently read a romance that was a gradual titillating buildup to sexual gratification--at last! It took a hundred or so pages to get there. And, when it finally got there--wow. I don't know if this is the way all erotic romance works, but I suppose, based on random sampling, it is, with a thousand variations, I imagine.

Here's the rub. Men cannot read like that. Not in public anyway. The constant tension on the sexual organs is too much for a man. Too much for this man, at least. I've read that e-readers are excellent for women. They read this stuff off and on during the day. No one knows what they're reading, and they are being sexually aroused all day long, I suppose. The female body can handle it. Men have a tendency, perhaps even a need, for immediate release. The woman needs a lot of foreplay. Erotic romance is perfect for this.

I look at the books in the erotica category and go to various websites: it's populated mostly by women, it seems. Women authors. A man can't very easily compose this stuff. Again, it's the tension on the sex organs. It can get downright painful after a few hours of thinking about the sex act and all it's variations, I mean painful to the sex organs. Apparently, women can write about this and think about it all day long, and it doesn't hurt their sex organs. Apparently it actually gives them great pleasure.

I've often read that female is the superior gender. In this case, it seems to be true.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Be Thankful For What You Have (Travel Story)

On a recent trip to visit my daughter in Stockbridge, Georgia, my wife, grandson, and I stayed at a motel. It was a cheaper one run by Indians (from India). The motel advertised a Continental Breakfast. When we came to our breakfast in the ten-by-eight dining area with two or three small tables, we found a few boxes of cereal, some bagels,  milk, and coffee. A man who had also come to breakfast said, "It's a real smorgasbord." A woman nearby said, "He should be thankful for what he has."

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Tao of Travel by Paul Theroux

I'm reading a most wonderful book: The Tao of Travel by Paul Theroux. He is one of my favorite travel writers. His memoir Sir Vidia's Shadow is my favorite memoir and one of my favorite books, period. In many ways, Theroux has lived the kind of life I wished I had lived, and I have managed to live in small doses. (Pico Iyer is another one of my favorite travel writers. Actually, there are many.)

I've done a little travel writing and would like to post the articles sometime. I just don't know if I should do it as a part of this blog or set up a separate blog devoted to travel writing. For now, it'll be here. How many blogs can I maintain anyway?

I relish reading travel writing. It always conjures up memories of my own travels. Sometimes it summarizes better than I can what I've been through, too, and sometimes I fill in from my own experiences what that writer missed. So, reading travel writing is a shared journey with the author.

Some of the most wonderful results of traveling are the anecdotes, the stories inspired by our travel experiences. They are more interesting than the places we've traveled to. After all, a travel story is the essence of travel. That's why we travel--to bring back our stories.

Friday, April 5, 2013

The Painted Veil, or how good can a movie be?

[Movie Review: The Painted Veil]

I know I've watched a special movie when I wake up in the middle of the night reliving some of it's scenes, thinking about the characters, and what it all means?

The Painted Veil is a deep movie: deep on an emotional level. The entire time I watched it, I was engaged in the characters, and how these two pretty ordinary people (Dr. Walter Fane and his wife, Kitty) became involved in a dangerous event. The tension between them is riveting, the outcome undecided until the very end. The ending of the movie was not surprising, although a bit ironic and, in some ways, satisfying. But everything before it was extraordinary.

This is not the kind of movie one wants to see; it's the kind one wants to live.