Month: May 2015
I recently read a blog post that was… odd. A bit confusing. Possibly a joke?
The post, in case you’re not interested in clicking the link, is about the concept of the “book hangover,” when a reader becomes so enmeshed in the story he or she is reading that the real world seems less real than the world of the book just finished. A concept that was conveyed as confusing and immature by the poster:
With all that being said, I’ve never experienced this book hangover nonsense. It’s called being a mature individual, if you ask me. I can imagine a seven-year-old talking about a book hangover (in other terms, of course) or even a 12-year-old. But I can’t see an adult talking about being lost in the world of the book they just finished the night before. That’s what I call an excuse.”
I find this reaction… interesting. As an avid reader myself, one of the reasons I read is to get lost in the world of the book I am reading at any point in time. Some authors draw me in more successfully than others (some have even failed to draw me in at all). The idea that a book was so powerfully written, and spoke to you as a reader so strongly, that you are still thinking – in fact, can’t help thinking – about it the next day? That’s a wonderful concept to me. To read a book that causes you to see the world around you differently? Also excellent. To read a book that has a world that feels so real the world around you seems like a paltry illusion by comparison? Genius.
I know that different readers have different perceptions, and reading for any reason, not just the reasons I read, is a good thing. But it is difficult to remain open-minded and accepting of a blog post that uses phrases such as the last sentence of the above quote (“That’s what I call an excuse”), in which it seems the author of the post is not willing to extend a similar courtesy towards readers other than himself reading his blog post.
Also, an excuse for what? Being late for work? Masturbating furiously? Time travel?
Oh, and the “…all that being said?”
But really, I like books just as much as the next person. Actually, I probably like them more.
I’ll refrain from requesting clarification as to who “the next person” is, and just note that if you’re qualifying your degree of affection for books with the verb “like,” you probably don’t “like” books as much as the average voracious reader.
I’ve talked about my future intention of getting multiple literary-inspired tattoos. I’ve posted on here around 500 times. I have my little library of books right here next to me. And I have a few series that I’ve loved just like any other person.”
Um… okay. What does getting tattoos have to do with liking books? Or posting blog posts? Are the blog posts literarily related? I mean, liking to write, while it shouldn’t be separated from a love of reading, is still capable of being thus severed. Although, the correct bibliophile verb is used in that last sentence.
Then, we come to this excerpt:
In the minutes immediately following the completion of a good book I might think to myself about how great it was or I might write a post on here it if it’s from the Amazon list, but that’s it. I usually forget about the books I read after a short time because I move on to read something else. I could maybe describe the plots of ten books I’ve read because the stories were that great, but I’d need a gentle reminder for just about everything else.”
Um… what? Why do you read if you don’t remember what you read shortly thereafter? What is the pleasure, if not an escape of sorts that is apparently all too easily given up for a return to the “real” world? And ten books? I mean, I probably read more books than that in high school that I can recount the plots of (and high school was… further back than I wish to admit), not all of which I particularly enjoyed (don’t even get me started on Great Expectations).
Of course, this entire post is predicated on the premise that the post about which I am ruminating is written with completely serious intentions, and the actual intentions of the author are something of which I can never be entirely certain. Perhaps the post was written to get people commenting, sharing, etc. (and if so, it worked, because his post already has more comments than my entire blog thus far). Perhaps this post was written as a joke. Perhaps I’m more biased than I should be because I am one of the commenters on this other post, and the response to both my comment and that of other posters was condescending and included emoticons.
I don’t know. What do you think?
I recently skimmed Abby Weeks’ The Neighbor, all 3 volumes of which are currently available on Amazon. The cover is… interesting:
To me, this cover is not very erotic. Okay, there’s a beautiful woman. Okay, she’s wearing a towel (& probably no clothes underneath). But, it looks like she’s in the bathroom, which is a room prone to bacteria, mold, and wet (the bad kind of wet, guys). Plus, she looks like she’s checking out a mole, like: Do I have skin cancer? Maybe I should see a doctor. Melanoma kills!
Having said that, the story itself was interesting. The novels involve concepts of voyeurism, sharing, and a woman growing into her sexuality. All very sexy concepts, to me.
Yet I’m sure many of you noticed my use of the keyword skimmed in the first sentence of this post. “If the concepts are erotic, Bambi, why are you skimming?” you may be asking, with wide-eyed innocence just begging to be corrupted.
Remember my post earlier this week, that mentioned how often, the concept and the writing do not both work in free works of erotica? Sometimes, this critique applies to works that require payment, as well. The sex scenes in The Neighbor are generally fairly well done, and, in my opinion, make this trio of novellas worthy of compensation if you are turned on by the concepts mentioned earlier. The story itself, on the other hand, feels a bit lacking.
There is a story that ties the sex scenes together, and the story is not, in and of itself, uninteresting. It is the writing of the connecting story that did not work for me. I tend to prefer stories with a bit more poetry – not literal poetry, just that flowing, beautiful wording to prose that makes it a pleasure to read.
Why yes, unnamed woman with a quill, I am asking a lot. And not everyone necessarily asks for, or even wants, quite as much from their erotica/literature. So feel free to take my review with a grain of salt, because what works for me and what I like does not necessarily entirely mesh with your likes/wants/desires/etc.
Verdict: If the erotic concepts of voyeurism and sexual awakening turn you on, and you are really looking for a sexy read without necessarily wanting content to go along with it, The Neighbor is worth a read.
…when so much of it is available for free?
Let me preface this post by noting that as an author with the erotic genre being one of my current specialities, I am biased in favor of purchasing works of literature, including the erotic.
Yet, the simple economics of the issue seem to point in favor of my bias. If you want a supply of quality erotica, fiction, etc., then you need to make this demand evident via fiscal support.
While there is plenty of erotica available free of charge, a lot of this freely available material is, to be frank, not very well written. Some of the sex scenes on free sites such as literotica.com sound like they were (and possibly were) written by twelve-year-olds. Many people enjoy this rushed, conceptual erotica – by which I mean, if the ideas of what is erotic is what turns you on, rather than the description and writing quality, free erotic offerings may very well service your needs.
Yet I would argue that, if you are seeking well-written work, you are more likely to find it if you pay for work rather than seek it free of charge. Anyone who is charging you money for their work likely at least thinks that it is better than a lot of the free material out there. More time has likely been spent editing and reviewing work that requires payment, as well.
Ultimately, an author who is self-publishing or is traditionally published has more of his or her reputation at stake via sharing his or her work and expecting/demanding fiscal compensation for it. To take this post to a more personal level, I know that by sharing my work with the world, I am more likely to receive feedback – (hopefully) positive and (always) negative. Yet the worst response? Possibly what I am currently facing – not only no feedback, but no sales. I am just beginning, so of course, it should take time to work up to a level of known respectability. Yet those questions of whether I am good enough, whether people are interested in the work I am sharing, gnaw at the corners of my mind, like mice leisurely nibbling on a block of cheese.
In conclusion, I decidedly side on the action of paying for erotica. Specifically mine.
There was a girl who liked to read & write. She was a fan of fairy tales & a fan of kink, and she was having difficulty paying her bills. So she decided to attempt to supplement her income via self-publishing.
This is the beginning of that journey. Advice & support are welcome.
Let’s see how this goes!