01 02 03 Amorina Rose Writes: I live on the moon and you live on the earth and... 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

I live on the moon and you live on the earth and...


I wasn’t going to write another post for a few days but there is an idea going around in my head at the moment and resisting is impossible.  In some ways it is as much about life as it is about writing.  In fact it is, about the different ways we look at things, topics, points of views, music, and of course books.  Many of the people that follow my blog (yes I do have some although they still fear commenting) have often suggested that when I combine writing and life in general it often touches a nerve with what is happening to them.  The fact that I relate what I say to writing gives them a breather or space to look at it from a distance and so it is most welcome.  I honestly don’t know if that is true of my writing.  I do know it is too often true of what I read. Insight can be found in the most unlikely places if we are open to it and are prepared to apply it to our lives.

Just a short time ago and I mean that literally Kay (https://kaywantcheung.wordpress.com/) sent an email to Alison (https://blueinkonadragonstail.wordpress.com/) and I about books to read.  Kay wanted to try something different.  The three of us have become more conscious than ever of the competitive market place now that we are closer to publishing our Stories of the Dark and Light and our own separate works.    Consequently we have upped our research into marketing in general and also have become more active on Goodreads, a process we enjoy greatly.  Goodreads is a lot fun for the reader and I would imagine for the author it would be very uplifting (except for last night when I realised I had two profiles and could not figure out how to merge them.  This is a Barb technology problem however and not Goodreads lol).

The three of us write in specific genres although I probably vary a little more with mine.  The romances are only one small part of what I  do so in some ways my reading is a little more eclectic but for all that Alison was quicker to answer the call and much more self-assured in her reply than I could be.  I hesitated and it took me a while because I wasn’t as confident to recommend. Don’t misunderstand I follow some wonderful people so it wasn’t from a lack of confidence in them per say or even in my own ability of choice but rather that I have become very aware, almost hyper aware of differences in the way people approach differences.  It is natural that everyone has their way of doing things but often what is supposed to be a celebration often is more of a bone of contention, and a reason to criticise. 

A great example was a conversation I had the day with someone much, much younger than myself regarding tattoos.  There is a rule that when serving customers (hospitality) tattoos must be covered.  This is not about whether I agree or disagree with this, or whether or not I like tattoos.  It’s about whether or not differences make something less than it is.  It’s about whether following the rules is a real measure of what value something has.  For instance if an employee, say a bartender rolled up their sleeves so the tattoos on the arms were visible and this person was well-groomed and very efficient, and also friendly and courteous  then would the experience provided for the customer be less because of those tattoos?  Would arms, bare of design  and ink, make water taste like French Champagne?  Isn’t everything relative to time and place and choice?  My young friend was all about following the rules and the reasons they are in place and because of my age I think he expected a more rigid outlook from me, a more black and white approach.  I wasn’t questioning the rules.  Rules have their place.  I was looking at the bigger picture but my young friend wanted to stay on the narrower path about the rules. 

I let it go, the conversation that is at least with him.  The principle however stayed in my head. I like tattoos.  Do I like a body covered from head to toe in them?  No, probably not.  Would it stop me getting to know the person? Probably not.  Would I seek out the experience? Probably not!  Would I refuse the experience if it came my way? Probably not!  I have a small butterfly tattooed on my shoulder which I had done to symbolise something very dear to me.  I was forty at the time and my mother did not stop lecturing on what people would think for months. She did the same about a piercing my young cousin Alessio had on his eyebrow.  She had seen it in a photo months before and had not gotten over it.  Despite constant reassurance that he was lovely (I had lived with the family when teaching in Italy and was their devoted slave) in the end I caved and I asked Alessio to remove it whilst he visited with us which he did willing to save arguments.  He would put it on when he and his buddy Marco were doing the tourist thing around Sydney. The irony is that I arrived home one day  and the boys were sitting having afternoon tea whilst the queen of the house entertained or should I say regaled them with stories of her youth.  Italian boys are very polite and very charming to the elderly (it is drummed into them) and my mother could be very funny.  It seemed the boys had been sitting there for hours and Alessio had forgotten to remove the piercing.  Mum hadn’t noticed too entranced with her captive audience.  She was a wonderful lady but wore blinkers, a lot.  It was that generation and being Italian. Needless to say we quickly fixed the problem. And it is a great memory.  Alessio, practice your English and read this blog! You second mother demands it.

Differences in how people dress, what they listen to, what they enjoy and what they read is what makes us fascinating as human beings. I do believe there are conventions to go with those choices that give a grounding on taste and appropriateness and to be honest are just plain common sense. Whilst exploring Goodreads I had come across some reviews of books I had also read.  The comments were at total odds with my impressions of the same book.  It really resonated. What makes a book a good read?  If you were to check my reading choices you would find a variation of genres and often a high rating for books some might consider lighter reading.  You would find many romances, paranormal and contemporary and so you might question what knowledge base I come from particularly since many of my comments centre on the warmth of the characters and the nice feel of the plot.  It doesn’t sound very earth-shatteringly intelligent especially since that book may also contain syntax and grammatical errors.  But, wait a minute my tattooed bartender served me French champagne with his smile and genuine desire to please.  He added lemon, lime and mint leaves.

Having gone to what could be considered a classical high school, Latin and Greek ruled along with the Sciences and Mathematics and of course English it was only fitting that we studied books like Silas Marner, Tess of the D’Urbervilles and Pride and Prejudice.  Authors like Dickens and Shakespeare were staples as were poets like Keats, Tennyson, Yeats and TS Elliot. It gave me a platform, a wide one with treasures of the past encouraging me not to read the same but to read.  Growing up and away from school I was a big fan of Wuthering Heights and novels like The House of Brede, The Nun’s Story, The Well of Loneliness and even Erich Segal’s Love Story, and one of my favourites To Kill a Mocking Bird.   Authors like Pearl S Buck, William Faulkner, Rudyard Kipling and Ernest Hemmingway also graced my bookshelves but I admit it freely so did Mills and Boons. And yes it was quite a mixture. 

One of the experiences that stands out the most is reading authors like James Joyce. I wonder if he was self-published how well he would sell on even a big space like Amazon.  Would he make the top of the leader board with that very individual style?   It is so subjective.  Classics don’t make for easy reading despite, in most cases, a better command of language manipulation.  The breathing of life into their characters, the complexity of plots and the uniqueness of careful creativity is what makes books stand out.  Can we forgive grammar errors, phrasing and syntax?  Some of the indie authors braved it out to start with and I confess to overlooking those sorts of faults in favour of imagination and storytelling.  I still do.  Do I think the author has a responsibility to improve those things?  Of course I do.  I am aware every post I write that I may have done a million and one things wrong and I check and double check but know I have missed things.  I try.  I don’t always succeed perhaps, well maybe I don’t succeed a lot but I keep trying.  I mean there has to be a certain standard, there is a huge place for rules and conventions but let’s not forget the beauty we can find in being open minded and looking beyond what is in front of you, and employ some faith that that person is trying to get better every time the possibility crosses their path. 

I only live on the moon because I choose to have an adventure but I’m still human.

Alla Prossima


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