Thursday, June 08, 2017

I'll Be Your Savior, Steadfast and True

This blog post first appeared (in a differently edited form) in my e-newsletter I WAS BIGFOOT'S SHEMP, which you can subscribe to in the sidebar of this blog.

Summer has come to the Back Five.  Mowing and trimming, putting out a garden; a big chunk of tree fell in the side yard, after a storm, and a laconic elderly man with an axe came by to chop it up for firewood; the chickens are growing, so I need to read a few chapters ahead in my chicken raising book to see when they might start laying eggs.

Speaking of chickens, some friends wondered why I was so eager to read TENDER WINGS OF DESIRE, the free romance novella KFC gave away on Kindle for Mother's Day.

Something about it resonated with me.  Surely many people downloaded it for the express purpose of making fun of it, which is why some people rent movies I wrote; in this case, many have reported back that they were surprised that it is pretty good, and straight-faced.  I have been slowly poking away at it in little spurts on the Kindle app on my phone, but I would report the same thing thus far.

But like in writing b-movies, you have to believe entirely in the world you created.  In horror fandom, they can always smell a rat when you are phoning it in, and I am guessing it is the same with romance fandom, and possibly in any fan base.  So the anonymous author had to believe in what they were doing, and do the best they could for the fans.  It's my job too, and when I see somebody else doing it, I have to give a little salute.

Plus there is the thought that a fast food franchise believed that somebody might want to read a book.  Not goof around on an app, or play Angry Fried Chickens, but sit down a read a novel.  And they were right.  That is really something to meditate on.

Loyal readers of this e-newsletter know that to escape the unbelievable fiction of world events I have been reading a lot of printed fiction.  Somehow I read eight books in May and any number I could recommend for my secret book club pick for May.  GLAXO by Hernan Ronsino was such a great hard-boiled noir I keep casting around in my mind for people to recommend it to.  THE NIGHT OCEAN by Paul La Farge was recommended to me, and is this rabbit-hole metafiction that starts with the real-life friendship of H.P. Lovecraft and a gay teenager living in Florida and grows to encompass many other real figures and all of sci-fi fandom.  But my heart is with Patton Oswalt's SILVER SCREEN FIEND.  On Earth-Two, Patton Oswalt and I grew up together and played D&D and went to movies at the old downtown Rivoli.  But for any reader it explains how anybody could love movies so much.  I listened to the audiobook version, read by Oswalt, and I would suggest you do the same.

Enjoy the long summer days and we will talk soon.