“Artists are people who are not at all interested in the facts—only in the truth. You get the facts from outside. The truth you get from inside.” --Ursula K. LeGuin

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

I'm Mad as Hell...

I woke up this morning really pissed. And it was about books.

I was mad that books are diminishing in numbers faster than a cobra after a hen.

I was mad that Publishers and agents advertise for submissions and then say, “Because of the high number of submissions it is impossible to comment on your work.” I don’t need for them to comment on my work. But stop bellyaching on the amount of work you have to do.  You asked for it.

I’m mad that people don’t read.

I’m mad that our culture is relying on the Internet to publish, to convey information, and to handle about everything in our lives from banking to paying taxes. Do you see some danger in that?

I’m not against the Internet-whoa, what a fount of information. What I am opposed to is our dependence on it.

The other night I tried to read a book to my grandson on my digital device and it was a royal pain. It didn’t accept my finger swipe—I had to ask him to turn the pages, and then it kept giggling back to the previous page. Hey, I’ve had a book fall on my chest because I fell asleep, but I found the page again, and it didn’t argue with me.

Do people remember that books were burned in the past?

What if they decided to censor the Internet?

I know I am preaching to the choir—this being a writers blog. I’m just mad and don’t know what to do with it.

I’ve heard it said that few people read beyond the first 100 pages of a novel. Either the novel was lousy, or the person was lazy.

We are about quick fixes and small sound bites (read-bites) and How-to’s and gossip, when there is so much color, depth and message in a novel that it imbues our brain with a kaleidoscope of wonder.

Science has this to say about people who read fiction:
  • Fiction sparks self-reflection.
  • Readers of fiction tend to be more aware of other’s emotions
  • Reading fiction enhances empathy.
  • Readers of fiction tend to be more tolerant.

You have heard it said that words don’t teach experience does.

What do you have to say about that?

First I say, “Preposterous!”

Then I say, “Well sure, if those words do not evoke some spark of experience in us, we probably won’t remember them.” That is probably the reason fiction imbues the brain.

RED is just three letters put together. But I challenge you to read the word red without conjuring up an image of red.

That’s the reason words work so well, our beautiful brain fills in the pictures. Maybe whoever said, “One  picture is worth a thousand words,” had it backwards.  Maybe a thousand words create some 500 pictures.

“Jesus wept.”

Emotional picture. Two words.