Sunday, March 20, 2016
Net Flix vs books
It occurs to me as I start this entry that it may end up being a rambling observation of many things. We shall see. Ashlie and Caleb gave us a device for Christmas so that Burton and I could broaden our viewing pleasure by accessing Net Flix. To say it has changed our lives would be an exaggeration but it has altered it somewhat to be sure. We have watched with much interest several BBC dramas and the whole binge watching phenomena intrigues me. I see it somewhat to be what reading was for me at one time. I remember being caught up in a good book and being so anxious to return to it. A page turner they call it. When Burton and I watch three of four episodes of a Netflix drama then reluctantly turn the TV off after midnight we can barely get through supper the next night we are so anxious to return to the story . Not having to sit through commercials helps a lot too. I used to always have a book on the go and I still do I suppose, but my reading has changed. I find myself too often caught up in the analysis and possibly even the dissecting of the writing. In some ways that takes the pleasure away from the reading. Once in awhile I stumble on to a book that grabs me so completely that I don't tear it apart , I just let myself get caught up in the story , the words and the magic. I went to a writing workshop yesterday with author Michelle Butler Hallett. She has just published a book entitled 'This Marlowe' with Gooselane. I am reading or re-reading 'A Measure of Light' by Beth Powning. These two authors write ambitious historical fiction that is smart, edgy and intriguing. I consider my writing beside these works as less ambitious but hope in its own way it is smart and important. I just read about the fact that Beverly Cleary is turning 100 next month. If you don't recognize that name you probably didn't teach elementary school or have any young readers in your home. I have been quoted saying my goal is to write a book a year for twenty years. Beverly Cleary has written a book a year for the last fifty years. Her style is simple , smart and has impacted the lives of children since she published her first book in 1950.She has sold 91 million copies so in her simple, honest approach she has certainly done something right. Yesterday in discussion with author Robert Rayner we talked about who we write for. A majority of both our books are marketed to the middle level , young adult or teen audience . We both have books more suited to adults. I believe I write for myself. I attempt to write a story that matters to me hoping it will matter to readers as well. What is it that attracts Burton and I to the dramas on Netflix? A good story well told, sometimes complicated and multi layered. A story we care about enough to stop everything else and give it our undivided attention. Books can still do that and for that I am thankful and will keep working away at the craft.