Category Archives: Culture

Too Old for MTV

I remember thinking I would never be too old for good music.  I would never lose touch with the new stuff.  It would be my way of rebelling against Father Time.

Yeah…about that.

Tonight was the MTV Video Music Awards, or the MTV VMAs as they are called.  Once upon a time, I would sit down and watch it live, hoping that, even though I knew Tori wouldn’t win, the fact that “Silent All These Years” was even nominated made me hold out hope that maybe, this year would be the year.  The original Kanye interrupting move was done by Nathaniel Hornblower, interrupting R.E.M’s acceptance speech for Everybody Hurts.  Jared Leto was there because of his role in “My So Called Life,” not because he was in a band (though, the years have been very kind to Jordan).

Remember that awkwardness????

Remember that awkwardness????

Oh yeah and MTV showed videos 90% of the time back then.

Aside from all that…I tuned in to just check it out and talk about feeling slightly out of touch. I mean, I do know some of the artists because you’d have to live under a rock to not know Taylor Swift.  But some of these others just made me realize I’m old.  Le sigh.

The categories too have changed.  Best Video with a Social Message.  Didn’t realize that was now its own category.  Remember the days when the songs alone, without any videos, were the social message?  I mean yes, Macklemore’s song did have a social message – a very important and needed social message, but remember Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young’s “Ohio” – there was no video…yet there was quite the social message.

And now that I’ve ranted a little about this age gap, I’m cementing the fact that I’m turning into an old lady.

I wasn’t planning on watching the show. My Facebook feed though, had exploded with people who had rejoiced at the NSync reunion, hence the reason for me checking it out.  Curiosity, my name is Cat and you have killed me.  Also, I should confess I’m not too above admitting that I have come to adore JT over the years – boy can dance…and sing…and act…and entertain.  Let’s face it, the NSync reunion is much better than the NKOTB reunion (even though I feel like I’m denying my true first boy band love by saying that) just because they can ALL still sing and dance (unlike the even older NKOTB).

What will the VMAs look like when the Daughter is a teenager?  Will there still be music videos?  I hope so.  When the right song finds the right visionary, whether it be the recording artist or a director who just was moved by the song, magic can happen.  Art really can change a person and even though you may not like the song personally, you can appreciate the small video and the story created and told to the song.   I mean let’s face it, “Thriller” is a good song, but it’s epic when set to that amazing zombie dance scene.

I’ll be waiting MTV VMAs 2023 – let’s see if you can deliver.

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Did She Really Know He Was Trouble When He Walked In?

My four-year old loves to sing.  She’ll sing anything.  She made up a great song this past Memorial Day, a new family classic.  “It’s Memorial Day.  It’s Memorial Day.  Everyone shout hooray, hooray!”  It went on for about four verses and I was lucky enough to capture it on video.  I also have her on video singing along to “Call Me Maybe.”  Not my proudest moment but she begged to have a video of it.

I sometimes worry about the songs I let her listen to on the radio and after reading this article on the Huffington Post, I’m glad to see I’m not alone in my worry.

I know that I can’t keep her in a bubble but I want her to be a little girl as long as humanly possible.  I know right now, she’s just innocently singing along to Taylor Swift but I still cringe hearing that innocent voice singing those lyrics.

Parrothead-20My Mom is a Parrot head (aka a die-hard Jimmy Buffett fan).  We were raised on Jimmy Buffett music, long before the masses were singing Margaritaville and reminding us all that it’s 5 o’clock somewhere.  The staple in her car during our childhood was the greatest hits album, Songs You Know By Heart, aka the yellow case.  Almost everyone who knows Jimmy Buffett knows this album.  It’s got them all.  Mother, Mother Ocean. A Pirate Looks at 40.  Cheeseburger in Paradise.  Boat Drinks.  And then there’s the song that was always fast forwarded.  The one that Jimmy Buffett once called the New Bedford national anthem (it got a lot of laughs from the crowd at that concert).  The one that as a kid all I remember was the part about a water bed.   Now that I’m an adult, I realize that she was trying to make sure our innocent little minds didn’t come up with questions she didn’t want to answer.  I can only imagine how that conversation would have gone…

Us Kids: “Mommy, What’s ‘get drunk’ mean?”

Mom: “It means drinking a lot.”

Us Kids: “Oh, like too much kool aid?”

Mom:  “Yes. Exactly.”

A moment of silence and then the chorus comes back on “Why don’t we get drunk and screw?”

Us Kids: “So does screw mean go to the bathroom?  If he drank a lot of kool aid, he would have to pee.”

Mom:  “Yes.  That’s exactly what that means.”

Because of that glorious little fast forward button, that cassette tape hardly ever played that song.  We never had a chance to really ask that question.  Even if we had asked the question, I wonder if we would have understood the answer.

The scary thing for me is that the radio plays much more intense things now.  That would have been considered mild today.  Would have and is… It’s not just the radio though.  As the article points out, it’s tv too.  There’s so much that is said and it’s as if we forget that the English language is fortunate enough to have THOUSANDS of words to describe so many different things.  But pop culture seems to dictate speaking in text talk, hash tags, and with a profanity laced dialogue (or monologue depending on the person) that once upon a time would have made a sailor blush.

profanity

Even today, when we were driving home, Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” came on and she was soon singing along in the back seat “We’re up all night to get lucky.”  Either I have a dirty mind or she’s singing something she has no idea about.  I felt like a prude.  The song has an awesome beat and you can’t help but want to dance to it, no matter where you are.  I like it.  It’s on almost every radio station every ten minutes or so.  You can’t avoid it.   What does that mean as a mom?  Do I resort to censorship until she’s old enough to have a better understanding even though the very thought of censorship makes me feel a little nauseated?  Do I put her at a disadvantage, even at 4, because trust me, the kids know what is cool at 4.  Or do I just go along and pretend like it’s nothing until she asks?

It’s such an odd question to have to deal with. I will not worry too much about it right now but I will turn off the more “suggestive” songs (read “Blurred Lines”) even if I want to listen.  I’ll blast them when I’m driving to and from work.   In the mean time, I will continue to play the Beatles, big bands, and folk music mixed in with the occasional top 40 radio station that incessantly plays the same five songs over and over and over and over and over and over…

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Royal States of America?

Before you read on, dear reader, I have to say that this post takes on a bit of a political hot topic.  I didn’t really intend for that when I started writing but I just had to go with it because, apparently, it has been eating away at my soul for days.  It is not my intention to offend anyone.  It is just some thoughts and honest questions because I do want to have a conversation.  I hope that more conversations can be had on all levels so that some kind of solution to these issues can be achieved.  Again, I’m sorry if I offended you, it was not my intention. I respect your difference of opinion as long as you are polite about it.

So, we saw the newest member of the royal family leave the hospital yesterday.  I watched it via live feed at work.  They looked happy.  Not scared, not tired, not nervous.  Well maybe a little tired, based on the bags under her eyes.

While I love babies and think that nothing is a happier event than a new baby, I have to wonder why we as Americans are so enraptured by this royal bundle of joy.

So much is going on in our own country: fallout from the Zimmerman trial, Anthony Weiner’s wiener AGAIN, gun control, student loan interest rates, Congress still not doing anything, voters in North Carolina are on the verge of being disenfranchised, and then there’s the even more local stories like the fact that almost every other day for the past few weeks, Cape Cod has reported the death of someone either by drowning or by car accident.  Yet, we dropped everything to see this royal child.

Why?  Why can’t we care more about what is going on in our own backyard?  Why can’t we be outraged that Amazon.com sells a target that oozes blood when shot?  Why can’t we question the fact that the jurors in the Zimmerman trial had unsupervised visits with friends and family members that could have potentially swayed their opinion on the case and verdict?  Why can’t we realize that the fight against women is raging on and scarily trying to be passed in so many states that I fear for my daughter and her future.

I was never one to support abortion.  It’s a personal decision based on how I was raised and my faith.  However, I do not think that I have the right to tell other women what to do with their bodies.  Now that I have my own daughter, I have to think in a different way.  It’s not just my body I have to think about.  By that I mean, I have to make sure that procedures remain safe and available in the case that my own daughter feels there is no other option.

I know that a lot of it depends on my own parenting and the values I impress upon my daughter.  But who is to say that someday, she may find herself in a situation where she feels that she has no other choice.  What if she disagrees with the values that I hold dear?  I don’t want her to be forced to make a decision that is unsafe for either her or that child.  Again, I hope that this is all hypothetical and that I can impress upon her the values and morals that I was raised on but you never can be 100% sure that they will stick.  I know abortion is never an option for me personally but does that mean that it should be outlawed?  No! If you had asked me years ago what my thoughts on this were, people may have thought I would say yes.  But no, I never thought it should be outlawed.  What is happening in Texas is just as scary.   The scariest thing is the hypocrisy.  The fact that people want less government control but they want to say what people can and cannot do with their own bodies is laughable.  Isn’t that control in the most intimate form?  Also, if you tout a pro-life line, shouldn’t you be 100% pro-life and not advocate for the death penalty?  I’m just trying to understand, you see, because it doesn’t make sense to me.

So while His Royal Highness the Prince of Cambridge is enjoying the privileges of a family history that entitles him to the riches of England, I worry about the hundreds of thousands in America who are facing issues that should be the top news stories of the day.  The issues that should be causing conversations in America and calls to Congress and to our state houses – I hope that HRH’s generation, the ones born in America, can sort some of this out when they grow up.

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Did Pilgrims Really Wear Wool?

Today was a typical New England summer day.  It was hazy, hot, and humid.  Well, more cloudy than hazy but the humidity is definitely making the air thick and uncomfortable.  After the winter we had, I’m not totally complaining but, I really could do without the humidity.  It affects everything.  Everyone is just so drained and tired from moving in the humid air.  As I write this, the humidity is as 98%.  Gross.  Not having an air-conditioned house means we live with the constant white noise of the fans in almost every room but at least it moves the soupy air around, giving some small bit of relief.  Not to mention anyone who has some kind of curl to their hair ends up looking like this…

That's how my hair looks in this humidity.

That’s how my hair looks in this humidity.

I can’t help but think on days like this, did the Pilgrims really wear wool?  They landed in Provincetown first, where they signed the Mayflower Compact before finally settling across Cape Cod Bay in Plymouth.  That means they lived near the ocean air, where humidity can often take over a perfectly nice summer day and make it miserably hotter.    Anyone who remembers just a little of their U.S. History class will remember that the Pilgrims were very modest people and living in the 1620s, they didn’t have much in the way of fabric choices for their clothing – wool, linen, and some cotton.

Doesn't that look hot?

Doesn’t that look hot?  Image from www.plimoth.org

I know that global warming is partially to blame for the extreme weather conditions, but they must have had some of the summer temperatures we have now.  Humidity like we are currently experiencing induces lethargy of epic proportions.  Lethargy of this level was probably some kind of sin knowing the Pilgrims (despite the fact that lethargy is a fun word to say).   Even in linen clothing, they still had all their undergarments which were much more than what we call undergarments today.  I just can’t help but wonder about how hot they all must have been toiling away in their summer gardens, preparing for the lovely Massachusetts winter, which we all know can be brutal and was brutal for the Pilgrims’ first winter here, sweating under two layers of clothing.

Imagine being this woman, cooking all day long to make sure at night there was dinner prepared, or cleaning clothing in front of that boiling water…

How hot does that look???? Image from www.plimoth.org

I think the next time I am at Plimoth Plantation, I am going to have to ask how they stayed cool in the summer with the humidity.  The only cure I have ever found is to go swimming.  Did they dump buckets of water on themselves?  Did they go swimming?  And if they did go swimming, what did their bathing suits look like???

Thank goodness I was not a Pilgrim…I may have melted away.

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Boston

I may have been born in Connecticut, lived the first three and a half years of my life in Rhode Island, and be considered a “wash-ashore” on Cape Cod, but Boston is my city.

boston

Any person who grew up in Massachusetts knows that Boston is a special place.  A trip to the city as a child to visit the Museum of Science; a school field trip to the Museum of Fine Arts; high school drama festivals; a road trip with college friends for a night out in the clubs; a date at Fenway Park; getting lost on one way streets that weren’t there the last time you went; riding the T from Braintree to Copley Square and then walking up Newbury Street to window shop; concerts at the Garden (both old and new); visiting friends and family who now live in the city; watching the Marathon – all things that people who live in Massachusetts have done and look forward to doing again as often as you can.

copley square

Countless memories of happiness come to mind when I think of Boston, my capital city, full of history and strength.

Then today, my husband called me to tell me what he just heard on the radio on his drive home from Boston, where he works.  I thought of my brother and sister-in-law who live and work in the city, my other sister-in-law and her boyfriend who also live and work near the city, of friends who work in the city, of friends who might have been running or cheering people on, of the innocent bystanders.  I prayed that it wasn’t the worst case scenario but when I got home from a play date for the Daughter and was able to turn on the news quietly while she innocently watched Curious George, I realized it was bad.

So many images, thoughts, prayers, news reports, and other various outpourings of emotions of have been flooding my Facebook wall.  I was brought close to tears and definitely had goosebumps after watching some of the reports, especially the reports from later in the evening (namely the Boston Globe’s post of pictures from the scene, of which I am not including a link because they are very graphic and I almost regret looking at them).  It’s not surprising either that I would have this feeling considering how many times I have been to that city.  It’s not a surprise that the people I am friends with have a deep personal connection with Boston as well.  Not only those people but also friends I have made in other places of the country, people and business I don’t personally know, everyone is showing what America is truly about.

We must stand together.  We must not be afraid.  We must mourn for the loss of innocent lives and the injured but then we must honor their memories and their sacrifice by continuing forward.  We must stare this evil darkness in the face and show that we are stronger.  Whether through prayer, through kind acts, or through support in whatever way you feel you can give, those are the ways that we show that we are stronger and that we will prevail against these random acts of hate and violence.

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Books I Haven’t Read but Probably Should

There are books that everyone reads in high school. Or at least there are books most everyone reads in high school. Recently, I realized that I have not read quite a few of the “classic” works of American literature.

classic_literature

It surprised me to see how many of the books on the list of and on school curricula that I have never read. I have seen the movies, but we all know that they typically pale in comparison to the books.

to-kill-a-mockingbird2_9855

Over the next few months, I have decided that I am going to rectify this problem, starting with Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Yes, you read that correctly. I have never read that book. Not in High School. Not in college. Odd for someone who was an English major, isn’t it?

To_Kill_a_Mockingbirdbook

The other books only list include e Catcher in the Rye, Catch-22, Pride and Prejudice, and Brave New World (just to name a few).

I am looking forward to it, even if it seems like a daunting task to tackle some of these classics. I feel kind of like a fraud for not having ever read them and the countless others that are on this list and the summer reading lists of many students.  I want to really work through the 100 greatest novels of all time (most of those books are on the list) and over the next few weeks, I think I can begin to put a dent in that list and add to the list of ones I have already read.

What book have you never read but think it might be time to take a stab at?

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Super C Battles America’s Secret Shame

There is no question that our world is in need of some saving.  Whether you look at the ecological factors that are slowly deteriorating our living conditions.  I saw this image the other day and my jaw dropped.  (Read the article here if you want to really be shocked.)

china-jan-14

Then there are the wars and the senseless acts of violence in the name of whatever, that occur daily around the world.  It’s enough to make you want to cry yourself to sleep at night thinking about these innocent people who live in war conditions every single day.

I have to say, though, that if I woke up to discover that in my sleep I had been gifted amazing superpowers, I would turn to my own country first.  At night, when the commercials come on for the animals being abused, I have to admit, I get angry. I don’t get angry because the animals are being abused, I get angry because people seem to care more about the abused animals than they do about the rate of hungry children in our own country.  It’s like people don’t want to admit that there are hungry kids in their own town. If they did, we’d see more commercials asking people to donate to organizations that fight hunger in America.   There are some though who would rather “save the animals” before they save the kids or the elderly or the people who really are trying to change their lives but are struggling while they pay bills and school bills so they can get into a new career.

feeding america

I grew up in a very socially aware family where we were taught to give our time to helping people.  Whether it be donating to food pantries, donating old clothes, volunteering, we were taught that you should always help your fellow human without judgement.  I know that in such a heated political climate, some might call this “liberal,” “socialist,” or even “Christian” (gasp!) but you know what – that is kind of what it is.  I embrace that.  After all,  with people like St. Vincent de Paul and Mother Teresa setting such a high bar for helping people in need, it’s hard to not want to help when you see the statistics and hear the news stories [that get covered up by Kim Kardashian’s baby, Taylor Swift’s latest break-up, and Lance Armstrong’s drug abuse].

I care about the people who share this town, this state, and this country with me.  I know that we are only as strong as our weakest link.  Yes, there are those that milk the system.  I know a few, personally, who do.  Does it infuriate me?  Of course!  I hate knowing that they are able-bodied and not willing to work.  I hate knowing that they are taking advantage of programs that are in place to allow people to get back on their feet, not survive off them.  They make it hard for me to argue the value of these programs with the more conservative people I know.  But I digress.

hunger-facts-slider-2

If I had my superpower, I would start with fighting hunger in this land of plenty.  There is no reason that in this first world nation, we have people starving.  They should be able to get a meal.  I heard a story on the news a few weeks ago about children who go hungry during the holiday school break and it has haunted me to be honest. I had a dream one night that I was volunteering for this organization mentioned in the news story and I woke up crying, something that almost never happens but this dream was just so real to me. I keep thinking of how I can help because I’m almost positive that there are kids in my own county, in my own town, that are in the same boat, maybe not as extreme, or scarily maybe even worse off.

I watched my mother struggle through tough times while she tried to keep the family together, go to school to get a new career, and still keep a roof over our head.  It wasn’t easy. We lived on that edge.  We definitely could have gone on benefits but we didn’t for whatever reasons.  I know that we did get the reduced school lunches for a little while.  I know that was a help for her. She managed to come back from the edge but so many families in our great country live day in and day out teetering on that edge.

My superpower would be to make sure that every fridge in the country was stocked so that people didn’t have to go to bed hungry, wake up hungry, go to school or work hungry, and then repeat.  There should be “No Kid Hungry” in this great nation.

Check out this video from Share Our Strength.  It may help put a few things into perspective.  Next time you aren’t sure which charity to donate to or to volunteer with, consider helping out in your own backyard and fight hunger.

hungry_children_0730

We can all be a superhero to a little kid, a vet who has no work, a grandparent, a man, a woman, a child who just wants to know they will have breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day.

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My Real Secret of Energy Refills

I am a reality TV junkie.

There, I admit it.

When I feel like I’m fed up with life, I know I can always turn on Bravo and watch some form of (possibly scripted) drama going on in the lives of some over the top individual who can’t possibly live life like that every single day.  It just can’t possibly be their real life because it would take so much energy to live such a dramatic life.

I watch all the Housewives, except Orange County.  I know that they are the original ones but I really cannot handle them for some reason.  The rest play out like a badly acted telenovella and that says something.  They live in ridiculous homes.  They wear too much make up and put too much stock in designer things.  They schmooze and do the fake double cheek kiss.  Then they fight.  And when they fight, I feel relieved.  It’s like some kind of sick confirmation that even though they have all this material wealth, they still have issues.

Yes, I am fully aware that it  contributes to the downfall of our modern society.  But you know what, at least it’s not Honey Boo Boo!

These women are brave to put their lives “on display.”  They are all over tabloid magazines (which I do not read, in case you were wondering) and their lives play out real or fictitiously in front of those, like me, who watch.

I wish I could say I’m watching them as some part of elaborate sociological study of domesticated American women with too much wealth and free time on their hands, but I’m not.  I watch them to let my mind unwind.  I don’t have to think when I watch them.  I just sit back and pretend I’m in the room with some imaginary extended family that is exploding at a family gathering.  Sometimes, I wonder if that’s what happens in big families.  I had a big family when I was child but then things happened and well, thanks to Facebook, I’m slowly reconnecting at least on a virtual level.  I watch the housewives and wonder if I ever met them in person if it would end up like Tre and Melissa fighting or if it would be like Kyle and Kim full of resentment.  Or would it be more like Jacqueline and Caroline who have put the past behind them in the name of being family and enjoying what time they have with each other.  I will always wonder I suppose.  I wish I could go into more of it here, but I fear that again, dear reader, I would be turning you into my personal therapist and that you might just end up like the guy sitting next to Ted Striker.

One of the many unfortunate neighbors of Ted Striker on Airplane!

One of the many unfortunate neighbors of Ted Striker on Airplane!

The Housewives, as well as my newest obsession – the Shahs of Sunset, let me quiet my brain.  I can escape into their lavish lives and just recharge my batteries because it doesn’t really require any brain function to watch these shows.  I know some people turn to other means to get that sense of calm – yoga, wine, meditation, and other methods – but I’ll take my trashy TV. Every night, I send a Maazel to the Universe for Andy Cohen and his idea to showcase these amazingly excessive women.

I hope, dear readers, that you have not lost any respect for me.  When today’s NaBloPoMo prompt came up, I knew I had to spill my guilty pleasure because it’s how I restore my energy.  Please don’t judge me.  I promise I won’t judge you.

This post was written as part of the January 2013 NaBloPoMo.  The theme for this month is Energy.  Today’s prompt was “What is your favourite way to recharge when you feel drained of energy?”  Again, please don’t judge me – I really am a smart person who just happens to love trashy tv.  I promise.

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Marching Band Blues

It’s December 2nd.  The 12th month of the year.  I have to keep telling myself that time will slow down just for a minute and I can freeze that moment.  The Christmas season is here and with it the days of excitement for the Daughter.

Being a first-time mom, I made a very rookie mistake yesterday.  I told her that we were going to go to the Christmas parade so that meant that all night last night and even through church this morning, she kept asking when it was time to go to the parade.  Was it time to go to Falmouth yet?  Was it time to go to the parade now?  I hope we get to see Rudolph at the parade.  I need to have my elf hat.  I want to go to the parade right now.  Can we leave for the parade?  Is this the right road to Falmouth?  [After a radio commercial] We are late for the parade, they just talked about it on the radio.

Waiting for the Parade

Waiting for the Parade

For twenty minutes, this was the conversation as we drove to the parade.  I love parades.  I always have.  The Falmouth Christmas parade is the largest Christmas parade in Southeastern Massachusetts and every year, it’s a fun way to kick off the Christmas season.

Back in high school, I was a band geek.  Marching in the Christmas parade was always a fun time.  Some years it was cold, some years it was warm, every year, we had fun.  I never fully appreciated the work that went into making the band that I was a part of as fantastic as it was.  As I watched the high school band, now the start of the parade not just before Santa like we used to be, I was sad.

The band I remember being a part of was full of Pride.  I wish I could remember the little chant we used to do at band camp but it really just was about having pride.  We marched in straight lines.  We wore those crazy polyester uniforms with the round hats with our “chickens” on top, you know the uniforms with the white stripe down the leg and the white shoes so that you almost instantly spot the person who was out of step (at least that’s what we were told – maybe it was just us OCD people noticed it).  We played most of the parade.  We didn’t just march to the cadence of our kick-ass drum line.  We memorized one or two songs, Christmas songs.  We had a color guard and a dance team who were awesome.  Rifles, flags, dancing, they added to the show just as much as the music.

ASBOAfront

Today, when the band came up, they weren’t in uniform.  They were in the rain coats.  They were all wearing different shoes.  No one had on uniform hats.  No one was lined up.  It was just kind of like a bunch of kids walking with instruments.   They didn’t play (at least not within my ear shot) and their cadence was just keeping time, a far cry from the complicated cadences that our band use to march to. I know that budget cuts and the change to the school day/extra-curricular activities changed how band is run but it still made me sad.  I missed the band.  We were good (if I may toot my own horn, so to speak).

Then as I was driving home, I realized how much work went into that.  The Band Parents who worked to make sure we had the uniforms.  The teachers we had over the years to help us be musicians(even if it were amateur ones in most cases).  Our parents who drove us to band practice, who drove us to music lessons, who paid for our instruments, who cheered for us in the stands even if they couldn’t really tell what formation we were making on the field.  All of that work really made a difference and today I just wanted to say thank you to them all for their work.

I hope that people realize how important things like music programs in schools are.  How that bit of pride for a kid who takes part in a marching band can sometimes be a very amazing thing for a kid who doesn’t have much else in life.  I hope that someday the band gets its awesome back.  Someday, I’m sure it will.

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Filed under Culture, Family Activities, Random Thoughts

Researching, Accuracy, and Writing

I’ve been making the mad dash lately in an effort to really close my writing gap.  Today is official the mid-point for my 30 day writing project.  I have 15 days to get to that coveted 50,000 word mark.  As it stands today, I would have to 2,180 words per day to finish by 11/30.  Theoretically, it’s doable.  Realistically though, I am beginning to have my doubts.

Today’s challenge has been finding out more about a place I need to describe.  It’s kind of an important thing and I have it stuck in my head that this one place is so integral to the story.  It’s got to be half way around the world.  It’s got to be somewhere where there are ancient ruins of a civilization that had multiple deities.  It has to be somewhere there isn’t a lot of technology.  It’s to got to be somewhere there is the chance that people could be killed and not found for weeks or months or even eaten by wild animals.  In my head that’s somewhere in Western Asia (think India, Nepal, or one of the smaller countries in that region). For some reason, I can’t let this image go.

Something like this…that’s what I’m thinking of and stuck on.

And so begins the research.  I have never been to this part of the globe.  I have only seen it in movies and documentaries.  I have read about it through authors who have been there.  This makes for a romanticized view of this area.  Now, I see this romantic view in two different ways.

My first thought is that it could be somewhat problematic to make it semi-believable since I have no working, personal knowledge of the region or area.  Despite the genre of story I am working on now, I want it to seem somewhat plausible.  I want readers to believe that maybe it could happen or that the world in which these events are occurring is real.   I know as a reader, I love being immersed into a world.  I love believing that what I am reading is real even if the events occurring there are not even close to possible.  It’s just one of those things I like.

The second way to look at it is that maybe a romantic view of this world isn’t that bad.  Maybe since it’s just a setting, albeit an important setting, it’s not going to make or break the main story line.

A more romantic view of this region

I know that this questioning and need for research is  part of this is my inner editor shrieking in her cell, but on some level, I agree with her.  I know that this month is all about just getting the words on paper but I feel like in order to do that and move on, I need to spend time I don’t really have to research something that may or may not in the end have an impact on the overall story.  In the end, after editing, it may not be as important as it is currently is in my head.

As a reader, I know how I feel about things like setting and how accurate it is.  What do you think about setting?  Do you really care, in the end, if the setting is accurate?  Or is it the characters that make you really believe a plot?

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