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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Ashley Madison Schadenfreude

I have a real evil streak.

All writers do… It’s a consequence of absolute power. We can create worlds, universes, and the rules contained therein. We have absolute power over life and death for our characters.

That’s not strictly true all the time, mind you. Sometimes stories develop on their own and get away from you, and you find yourself writing a scene and finding out as you write how it develops. 

But writers sometimes display a bit of a sadistic side that may not be obvious in everyday conversation.

I am in the midst of writing and researching a collection of stories on the aftermath of infidelity. Some stories are easier to write than others. It isn’t coming as easily as the stories in Because She Was A Woman.

Then the security breach at Ashley Madison happened and things changed.

A rush of adrenaline and giddiness hit me all at once, and I was light headed and giggly.

I find myself rooting for the hackers and hoping they follow through on the threat to release the data that has been compromised; that it is true that the parent company has not been deleting personal and financial information for their subscribing adulterers; and that chaos shall meet the lying horndogs!

Sordid? Yes. Ah, yes, but it makes for great reading.

In reality, I cannot approve of stealing private information – not even from morally corrupt people. I approve of ethical hacking, but this is akin to a terrorist act in cyber security.

Although I will say this for the hackers: if they have caffeinated my Muse into overdrive, they will also prove to be excellent for the national economy. I predict a significant increase in the sale of expensive candies and chocolates, flowers, and even more expensive jewelry. (There may also be a rash of divorce actions and then the money will go to the lawyers, but let’s treat one demon class at a time, shall we?)

Having seen the very real aftermath of infidelity – in wives and husbands, lovers and partners, children and in-laws – I know that this is nothing to make light of it. That’s the empathic, human side recognizing that there is actual pain and grieving involved.

I know the demoralizing horror when you realize someone you loved and trusted has betrayed you. Even as your heart sinks, it doesn’t kill the love right away, and that struggle between your dignity, the truth, and the end of your commitment has no amusing parts to it. It’s all tragedy!

The writer in me, though, reading between the lines, she immediately is inspired by schadenfreude. I'm having a ball imagining the panic. I'm not sure if I can do it justice in writing just yet, but until I commit it to paper, I'll repeat what I keep hearing in my head: bwahahahahaha!

It's tremendous fun to imagine that caged rat look liars get when they feel they are about to get caught and there is nothing they can do to save themselves. Ultimately, if the hackers don’t, I have a strong feeling that I will be personally taking quite a few cheaters down.

All for your reading pleasure… That’s right, I will surrender to my inner evil witch just to entertain you. You’re welcome.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

History Drops The Mic

The last few weeks have been epic in many ways – historic, brutal, joyous, heartbreaking…

So many truly dramatic things have taken place that any of them could well be fodder for fiction.

We had a prison break that involved an unrequited threesome, and a three-week run – on foot, no less – through the woods and almost clearing the border.  (I could almost hear Tommy Lee Jones begging, “Send me in coach!”)

A misguided young man walked into a church and opened fire on the people, during Bible study, let him join them. He killed nine people and, at his arraignment, each and every family member simply forgave him for his actions.

Talk of what is racism and what constitutes heritage stall even as a rash of church burnings revisit the South.

The highest court in the land settled the biggest civil rights question of the 21st century, allowing same-sex marriage and giving the LGBT community the same privileges and advantages that other families are allowed.

The simple fact that couples that have been together for decades no longer have to worry that if one of them falls ill, that family members who may disapprove of their orientation can keep them apart when they need each other most.

It’s little things like this that makes marriage a social contract that protects all members in the family against petty prejudice. (Please notice I kept it civil.)

The road to the next American general election is already looking like a circus act, the kind generally written by Federico Fellini and populated by the casts of thousands like a Franco Zeffirelli production. It is funny and tragic, as well as heavily surreal.

There have been terrorist attacks, and unbound individual acts of kindness and heroism. Shark attacks! Natural disasters! Volcanoes erupting! Rockets exploding!

For weeks now, there has not been a single boring moment. It's like the Universe is practicing yellow journalism on us.

Everything here may shake a character or a whole story to the core. The Muse we all look for can be in the quotidian as much as in magical moments. Being observant of the world feeds the artist within!

What’s feeding my own creativity? The idea that there are parallel universes and they may interact at the quantum level. That’s right: this week I find poetry and music and images of colors and textures and the nuance of everything fueled by physics and cosmology.

This is partly the basis for one of my stories, and the research alone is fascinating.  The writing goes slowly, but getting there is still a joy: the repercussions are endless.

The heartaches we have to endure as we live, they help us grow, but just because their news (over)saturates every media outlet – from print to broadcast to web-based – doesn’t mean we need to pour all of our emotional or intellectual being into it. Excitement can quickly turn into something monstrous and overwhelming.

The year 2015 will be one school children memorize in future, just like the year 1492 when Columbus sailed the ocean blue. It has already cemented its place in history.  (What rhymes with 2015?)

You cannot live it and analyze it at the same time, speaking of quantum physics, so I look for magic in the minute to enhance my own writing. I do, however, look forward to these events making their way into epic stories for decades to come and changing the landscape of our storytelling because the events of the last few weeks look like the foundation of a remarkable literary movement once it catches on, you grok?

Child, history dropped the mic and walked away...