“Old age is no place for sissies”
– Bette Davis
Since biology has determined that I must sleep 30% of my life, I’ve given myself permission to dream big and write surreal because Bette Davis was right, and
Self-publishing is no place for sissies.
Down-to-earth is too short a visit if you bypass outer space, inner space, and surreal space. Do not pass Go. Do not collect dust. Savor middle earth. For a good time, play a little in the supernatural, wander through a distant century, or vacation in the stars. Star Trek offers future careers where there’s no money, no mortgages, and no dirty dishes. Thank you, food replicators. Now that’s freedom. That’s boldly going.
Call fiction escapism if it pleases you, but if you’re going to escape, consider taking vacations in the far reaches of an author’s wildest dreams. ‘Down-under’ the book covers in the outback of our imaginations lies time-travel, the afterlives of famous men and women, and the unlimited secrets of mind-blowing science.
And since daydreaming surely accounts for the second 30% of an earthling’s allotted years, entertainment time is well-spent in uplifting hours. There’s not a lot we can do about nightmares but we can dream with lucidity, daydream in Technicolor, and be more creative thinkers.
Finally, barring the amazing interludes of earthshattering love and art, the last, and certainly not the least, 30% of a human three-act-life is the unavoidable commerce of earthtime’s nittiest and grittiest angst.
Your life is 100% your time. Your choice: more true-to-life stories? or the world of fiction that offers WHAT YOU WISH WERE TRUE?
Nothing is stranger than fiction if we imagine with style. Death is the beginning. Ghosts who walk through walls can sit solidly on chairs without the humiliation of pratfalls to the floor below, men and women love across time, a ghost child from the Titanic can grow up, and (I know this) paintings can talk.
At least, portraits speak up when they have something urgent to say. They are, after all, the ‘flies on the wall’ who see and hear like the servants of old. They are a version of Victorian children, to be seen and not heard until an author decides it’s time to spill their beans. And then watch out. A lot of beans will die.
I’ve spent a lot of my time in fifteenth-century Florence, and I spill a fair amount of magic beans in my stories
Why wouldn’t the ‘Mona Lisa’ have an axe to grind if she’s been misidentified? Why wouldn’t she rebel when forced to live in the Louvre, denied of her true identity? Why would she entertain a perpetual state of decorum if her name was eclipsed in favor of a silk merchant’s wife?
Wouldn’t she be downhearted after her accomplishments were invisible by virtue of the time in which she lived? Wouldn’t she feel demoralized if her artistic creations were eclipsed by her brother’s, considering her brother was Leonardo da Vinci?
And since, in our most imaginatively logical hearts, we believe a canny photographer can capture a soul, can we deny the possibility that Leonardo could easily have captured the soul of his sister in a painting? And if so, is it any wonder that Lisa becomes dispirited, trapped there in the Louvre inside a two-dimensional picture plane.
Another museum visitor makes a snide quip to a stranger, and Ms. Lisa’s had enough. The straw is broken; it’s time to be known for all three of her dimensions. She waits for the opportunity to escape on the coattails of an autistic child who thinks beyond the laws of physics.
WHY SETTLE FOR DOWN-TO-EARTH WHEN FICTION DELIVERS THE STARS?