What I Really Want

I’ve been reading a lot of craft books. Things that tell me books should be all about plot, and tension, and making characters miserable until the very end. But maybe, just maybe, that’s not what I want to read.

isthisakissingbook.jpg
Please let it be a kissing book!

Yeah, I know. Kind of a revelation to me, too.

But the deal is life has been pretty stressful.

There’s hurricanes like Irma and Harvey, issues with North Korea, Las Vegas shootings, NYC terrorist attacks, trade concerns, Russia investigations, debt ceilings, border walls, and whatever else is gobbling up the news. It feels like a constant stream of ugliness and negativity. Maybe it’s always been there, and I was better at not noticing.

There’s family and work and health issues and . . . Well, you get the idea. You probably suffer from all of it, too.

So maybe, just maybe, when I slip into a fictional world, I’m not looking for heart wrenching agony. I’m not looking for Game of Thrones level treachery, betrayal, and angst. Maybe, I just want a nice romance with a few obstacles to overcome and then a happily-ever-after.

kindle

Yeah, that’s kinda ugly to admit. But it’s true.

I have a rather large stack of books to read. Most of them romance, so I should get my happily-ever-after. Yet, I don’t want to read about a lot of things in them. I never have the stomach for rape. I’m really not looking for characters that keep making bad choices as we watch the suspense build.

I don’t really want to be on the edge of my seat. I just don’t have it in me to care. Or, if I do care, I’d rather save it for something else.

I want to slip into a book and let it be a nice ride. Give me some bumps and challenges to overcome, but that lets me escape into it. I don’t find fear or horror relaxing. Or suffering.

gotd

While maybe it’s not good storytelling and doesn’t follow the rules of craft, this is what I want right now. What I’ve been reading. What entertains me. And for me, that’s all that matters at the moment.

Maybe I’m alone. And that’s okay. It won’t be the first time, and it won’t be the last.

 

How about you? Ever find yourself too wrung out for high-intensity fiction? Am I the only one that watches reruns of Bob Ross to relax some evenings?

Game of Thrones Coward

There. I admitted it.

While I follow Game of Thrones, I’ve never actually seen an episode.

I know, I know, but here’s the deal. I’m a coward.

game-of-thrones-the-walking-dead-meme-funny

When GoT first came out, I was super excited. I was trying to figure out how to get to see it even though we don’t have cable when a couple of close friends took me aside. See, they know me pretty well, and they’d read the books.

They proceeded to tell me some of the plot, the horrible things that happen to some of the characters, and to bring it all home, they told me about the Red Wedding. At the time, they didn’t think HBO would actually show a lot of what was in the books (boy were they wrong!), but they wanted to warn me about what was in it.

wedding

Just that conversation gave me nightmares.

I don’t wish to see graphic violence, murder, death, rape, incest or gore. Among other things. I’m even less interested in the weeks of nightmares I have after seeing them.

I get that some people like to be afraid, but I can’t even sit through cheesy horror flicks from the 80s. Sure, everyone in it is too stupid to live and Darwin demands his due, but I just can’t handle it. I’ve never seen Silence of the Lambs. I made myself sit through Aliens in the theater to impress my boyfriend. I paid for it with weeks of nightmares.

I can’t even read scary stuff. I know Stephen King is an amazing author, but after reading Salem’s Lot, I kept peaking at my curtains for far too many weeks to make sure nothing was looking back at me. (No idea what I’d have done if a neighborhood cat would’ve looked in my window at the wrong time.)

And yet, I’m drawn to Game of Thrones. I eagerly await the day after the airing of a new episode to find out what happened.

I’ve learned to be careful. Sometimes just hearing about what happened from a gifted storyteller can trigger my over-active imagination.

So I “watch” from the sidelines. Enjoy the sumptuous costumes, the incredible story line, and the amazing characters at a distance.

And yes, I was very happy when Ramsey Bolton got what was coming to him. Karma also demands its due. I’m interested to see what Sansa does now, and I don’t want to love Lyanna because I don’t want her to die…

lyanna

 

How about you? Anything you’ve ever been interested in but too afraid to watch? Maybe too embarrassed? Did you watch anyway? Hang out on the sidelines? Or just move on?

Suburban Horror (Off-Topic)

As I was folding clothes, my oldest child points out the patio window.

“Momma, what’s that?”

Understand that this is the child that will point out sticks, ants, leaves, flowers, whatever to get me to stop what I’m doing. Once she has my attention, she’ll use it as a segue into me not doing whatever chore I need to get done and playing with her.

Crafty kid.

And it works.

So well, in fact, that I have three weeks worth of laundry to get through and a desperate need to get it done as my sock drawer is awfully low.

But I go over anyway, and I have to swallow back the nausea.  There, on my back patio, are squirrel bits. Some paws (yes, paws *shudder*), a couple tufts of fur . . . I couldn’t look any more as I was reminded of this garish scene in an early Laurie Hamilton book.

“So mommy, what it is?” asks my daughter, her nose pressed against the glass.

And like any good parent, I lie. “Looks like some bird was cleaning out their nest. Kind of like you need to clean your room. Oh, and take your pants I folded with you.”

After a bit more dialogue, she concedes and goes to put her pants away while I scurry off to get DH.

DH agrees. Yup. Squirrel paws. And … other… bits. He thinks it’s related to the hawk nest we saw in our backyard.

I live in suburbia. Not the city, okay, but not the country. I should not have squirrel . . . parts . . . on my back patio. And no, it doesn’t matter that I kill characters in my stories from time to time. Sometimes violently.

That’s different. Totally.

 

red-shouldered-hawk-1243387_640
He just looks innocent.