Just For the Fun of It

How many times have you picked up a book by an author you’ve never read before and by the end of the first page you know you’re going to love the journey you’ve embarked upon? It’s a magical and miraculous moment. You’re ready to go wherever the author leads you. Why do you think storytellers have been revered throughout the ages, accorded high esteem and regard, and treasured as no other members of society? Think of the many words you find that mean storyteller: bard, ;minstrel, troubadour, yarn spinner, fabler, novelist, narrator writer, dramatist,historian, orator, skald, author. Think of the cultures that are known through their stories: Greek myths, German fairy tales, Elizabethan England (Shakespeare), Marvel Comics.

Harrison Ford once gave and interview where he was asked if he regretted not playing critically acclaimed roles rather than the money makers. Mr. Ford’s unapologetic answer was that his goal was to entertain. If he achieved acclaim, that was fine, but he wanted people to like his movies. indiana-jones-clip-art-9TpRkqjTEWhat struck me most was the nobility of his goal. He wanted to entertain. He didn’t try to claim his work was earth shattering or would change the course of history; he simply wanted to entertain. I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but the idea of giving people something to take them away from their own lives and everyday problems, if only for a little while, is a goal worth pursuing.

And it comes down to the story and its telling.

I want the power to take people to other worlds. I want the power to make people laugh or cry. I want to be a story teller with all the responsibilities the job carries. I want to entertain.

–Gabi

Books I’m reading now:

Still can’t tell you because I’m judging for the RITAs. I did watch FANBOYS the other night. That was fun.

Is it bad…

Am I being closed-minded if I just don’t want to watch/read certain shows, films, or books just because?

Take for instance the TV show Breaking Bad. There’s no reason not to believe its hype. It’s funny (at least I’ve been told the first couple of seasons are), well-written, has rounded characters, interesting story lines; it’s critically acclaimed and its actors have received acting awards. It’s even filmed in Albuquerque, my town, and the production company has brought money into the community. All good things. But I don’t want to watch it. Stories about drugs are not my kind of thing. Stories about men who descend into darkness–not my kind of thing. So I haven’t seen it, and despite having it on Netflix, I won’t be watching it any time soon. I’m sure it deserves its accolades, but I don’t want to watch it.

There are books that do the same. Every time I pick up a book I should read (Kite Runner, Life of Pi) I’ve been disappointed. It’s not that I don’t see the merit of the books, but when I read I want to be swept away. I don’t want to search for its merits. I could see teaching these books, but not sitting down to read them for fun. My taste. I won’t apologize for it.

And don’t think I’m not as harsh on my beloved genre fiction books. I’d say more than half of them I read the first two, maybe three chapters, then just skim the rest to know what happens (unless I’m judging it for a contest; then I read every page). The book that carries me through page by page is a rarity. And one that is becoming more and more rare. So many things can pull me out of the story: a wrong fact, grammar errors (I mean the ones that aren’t deliberate), and most of all lack of logic. I just finished judging a contest and the biggest errors I found in these unpublished manuscripts was lack of logic. People I know wouldn’t behave a certain way without a good reason, and needed a behavior to further the story is not reason enough.

We all have our limits, buttons, narrow view. I’m trying to broaden mine when it comes to important things. But do I have to when it comes to entertainment? Am I being closed-minded?

–Gabi

Books I’m reading now (and although I don’t usually write whether I’m enjoying them or not, I thought I should after today’s post):

My Lady Mage by Alexis Morgan (And I’m truly enjoying it–reading every page.)