Sunday, January 16, 2011

So I've been one lazy writer the past three weeks. I haven't read any books. Started one, put it down within twenty pages. Contemporary California girl-books just aren't my interest. Never been to Rodeo Drive and that lifestyle holds no allure. Now, give me a mountain, a running brook and a cabin occupied by a fine specimen of the male persuasion and I'm all over it! Put the cabin in the high country of the west, the backwoods of the Ozarks or the clear forests of the Adirondacks -- it doesn't matter. But alone? Forced into the company of said alpha male? Oh, yeah...

I say I read books about people. I like the characters, their foibles, their problems, their solutions. I read biographies and autobiographies because I'm interested in what makes people tick. Mostly I stick to entertainers and writers because the creative process fascinates me. How does one create something from nothing? I do it all the time when I write a story, but that doesn't mean I'm anywhere closer to understanding how it happens or where it comes from.

But apparently setting is important to me as well. Last night my husband asked if I wanted to sit and watch a movie with him. It was his turn to pick but I told him, "nothing urban and gritty". I'm not much of a cops and robbers sort anyway, and some of the movies he and my son like are just too dark for my tastes. He suggested Johnny Mneumonic which is based on a book by William Gibson. I knew it was science fiction, which I do enjoy, and the blurb sounded rather cool, so I agreed.

And what was it? Science fiction set in an urban and gritty setting! Grrrr! I liked the premise of the movie, if some of the details strained credulity (amazing that they could still broadcast at the end of the movie after all the stuff that got blown up) but I didn't like the dark, distopian view of our future. I'm an optimist, people! I DO believe we'll make it as a global society. There will continue to be fits and starts, but we're making progress.

Okay, I'll get off my soapbox with this conclusion: after all my posturing on how important characters are to me, setting is equally important. Not so much the time period part of setting, but the location. Apparently the real estate agents are right.

Play safe!

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