Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Reverting to my childhood?

I have been reading young adult/children's literature lately: Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, and now James and the Giant Peach. Why? I want to see what makes for classic children's literature, what children/young adults are reading. I've checked out from the library Deenie and tales of a fourth grade nothing by Judy Blume and a few more recently written YA books. Hopefully, I'll be able to read them. Who knows, maybe they'll tickle my inspiration.

Back in the 1970s I read a book Growing Young by Ashley Montigu. He cited studies that show how as we grow older we become more like children again. I was greatly impressed by the book and read it several times. Now, as I'm growing older, I see it happening in myself. I'm not unhappy about it; in fact, I think it's kind of neat. So, maybe this has something to do with my reading YA. When I was a child/adolescent I never read books. So, I missed all of these good children's books. Reading them now, and finding them somewhat interesting, is a pleasant surprise. And, yes, in the back of my mind I'm thinking "maybe I can do this, write children's books." I'm not sure it will ever happen, but it does offer me a semblance of hope.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Summer is gradually coming to an end. Is my writing?

I like summertime. It's a chance to swim in the pool on hot days. It's a chance to swim at the beach. Many plants flower during the summer. And I've had a good summer. My daughter, who moved to Georgia from Florida a year ago, has moved back. I had my three grandchildren around me for much of the summer. I painted in the hot garage almost everyday, my grandchildren right around me, also drawing, coloring, and painting. They produced many masterpieces, which are hanging on my garage walls. But it was hot in that garage. I came inside the air-conditioned house, sweat dripping off me, my shirt soaked. And I didn't mind it at all. The grandchildren are back in school now, so I have more free time. I'll be signing up for another drawing class, which starts next week.

The one thing I didn't do this summer was write. I wrote hardly a word of fiction. It was a thinking, reading, and wondering kind of summer. To be honest, the wondering has been about whether I'll continue trying to write fiction or give it up. My characters used to live inside my head; I temporarily became each character, feeling their feelings, thinking their thoughts; I became a different person for a while (actually, many different people), which is an amazing, emotionally satisfying kind of experience. That doesn't happen anymore. I don't become my characters. I'm not sure which is the mental illness: being able to become someone else, or not being able to become someone else. This is a serious issue. Not being able to become someone else leaves me with nothing to write about. I feel as if there's no life in what I'm writing. And, if there's no life in it, what's the point? This is what I'll be trying to figure out this fall, whether there's a reason to write anymore.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

How many "sexy" books can we read?

One thing I've noticed through my blogging/FB/Twitter, blah, blah, blah, is the abundance of books that have "sexy" as part of their description. By "sexy" I believe the blurb is saying that there is a good deal of overt sexual activity that takes place in the book. The question of whether the sex is an integral and necessary part of the plot probably isn't important; it's the fact that it's there, and probably in abundance, that is important. The assumption is that sex sells, that readers want a good dose of sex with their books.

I wonder if this "sexy" aspect is important as a marketing ploy.

Do you write sex into your novels just because it adds to the book, maybe even making an ordinary or so-so book more attractive? Do you include it just because you feel it's a requisite of books today?

I think many of us writers do believe it's needed, and we add it for the extra oomph we feel it gives our books.

What do you think?