Hello and welcome to the blog. City streets are packed with cars, parking lots are irritating to negotiate, and any trip to the store makes you feel like a human sardine. But, hey, tis the season, right? All kidding aside, I have grown to enjoy Christmas thanks to the joy it brings my wife and children. Just keep me out of the stores—if you know my day job this is especially humorous. In honor of the holiday and wanting to work a little less, I thought I would share some notes and observations from this week.
-I’m not a political person. Don’t worry, I won’t share my beliefs or views in this space. This is a writing blog after all. That’s just the point. You didn’t come to my blog to read my political views. I’m a writer. Who cares about my opinion on various political topics, aside from my family and a few friends? Do you honestly care about my opinion? Truthfully? No. I’m a writer, I’ll stick to weaving relatable plotlines without pushing my political views onto other people.
That’s great, Stephen, but what’s the point? The next bullet will put that statement into perspective.
-It should be no secret to the readers of this blog that I’m a Stephen King fan. I read my first Stephen King book in middle school—Cujo for those wondering—and have been hooked ever since. I have an entire shelf in my office dedicated to Stephen King books. The Stephen King books that I haven’t read are in the single digits. I say this to let you know I’m a fan of his work.
The other day, I was searching for a new eBook to read. It had been several months since I had read a King book. It felt like time to get my Stephen King fix. A couple of things go into deciding whether to read a book. First, the book’s description. Check. Second, familiarity with the writer. If I’ve read the writer before, did I enjoy the experience. Big check here. Lastly, I scan the reviews of the people who have read the book. Che… oh, crap.
As I writer I value the opinion of the reader. However, I will tell you that at times the person leaving the review is having a bad day or the writer and reader aren’t meant for each other. It happens. However, when multiple people comment on an issue, I would say you have an issue. Genius, right? Stephen King has never been above pushing his politics into a story. Remember, I’m a King fan. I know. Several reviews pointed to the insertion of Mr. King’s political views into the novel. I’ve noticed his books doing this more and more in recent years. Fed up with reading politics in my horror, I walked away.
-In case you’re wondering, I did buy a Stephen King book. It just wasn’t the book I talked about above. I’m early on in this new book. As a writer I have one problem with this book so far. Mr. King seems to think everyone swears. Let me set up the situation.
The body of a boy has been found; I’ll spare you the grizzly details from the book. The first chapter of the book alternates between the arrest of the suspect and interviewing of witnesses. There are five or six interviews, all of them swear, apart from a mother accompanying her child.
Look, I’m aware that I’m in the minority as an adult who chooses not to swear. I’m fine with it. My problem is given the situation, being interviewed by a detective regarding a heinous crime, if you do swear would you swear then? Or would you be on your best behavior? I think it’s clumsy to assume everyone would swear in that situation except for a mother because little ears are around. We all remember what assuming does…
-A quick side note: I got interrupted by a salesperson while writing this. I’m sure I was rude.
-I’m still trying to figure out Twitter. The writing community on there is great. My tweets, according to them aren’t.
-Last week, I read the first draft of my work in progress, as did my daughter. I thought it was a train wreck that could be salvaged with some hard work thanks to its good bones. She liked my unique characters and the story as a whole. She even found a few errors, which made me proud as a writer and father.
-It’s strange to watched someone read your book. It makes me feel like Chevy Chase in Funny Farm. Did they laugh at the right moments? Do they get it? It’s an anxiety riddled situation. My daughter laughed at the right times and quoted them back to me. Yes, I wrote it, yet she wants to share it with me. Can’t beat that.
I think that will do it for today. I’d like to thank those of you who read this. Until next time, remember to follow your dreams, even if they terrify you.
Stephen Michael Roth