Tuesday, April 12, 2011

On a stormy night in NJ

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censored billboard (final version)***This just in! You can get a free e-book of Everybody Masturbates directly from the author via LibraryThing. How exciting is that?***

I love falling asleep to the sound of rain tapping on the windows. In our house, it's easy to feel like I'm in a snowglobe because the weather floats all around us. It's one of the great things about being on a corner lot. On the downside, when it snows, we have to shovel all around the house, but that doesn't happen with rain!

We are having the same weather the characters in my current rewrite of Keeper have to contend with: summer thunderstorms. Granted, these thunderstorms aren't quite as sticky and loud as the summer ones, but they're still pretty exciting. I love the sickly sweet smell of electricity in the damp air while everything is still. It smells like anticipation. Then, a gust of wind picks up, the clouds move in, and rain pours down. I don't love this sort of weather much when I need to drive in it or walk in it, but I love watching it from my window. This also gives me a lot of inspiration for my rewrite. In fact, I was so caught up in the atmosphere, I almost walked out of Chili's tonight without my pick-up order. This world just isn't set-up for artists. I wish I had one of those programmable thingies from The Hunger Games where I can place an order and food just appears. I would be so much more productive with that.

Speaking of The Hunger Games, that book along with Sherman Alexie's work, like The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian have made it onto ALA's list of most frequently challenged books. Color me unsurprised. I know, it is horrifying. The subject-matter in these books is absolutely horrifying: senseless violence for entertainment, systematic racism, classism taken to the point where it verges on genocide. Well, thank goodness it's only fiction! Oh, wait. You mean it's upsetting because it's not just fiction. Huh? So when it's on Fox and Friends, it's okay, but when someone tries to make some meaning about of this insane screwed up world, that's a problem. Yeah, sure. Maybe that makes sense in a universe where boogers can declare themselves currency because they're green like a benji, but I'll stick to the real world, thank you very much.

Censorship is what stupid people do to exert control over a world they have no place exerting control over. "My son/daughter/granddaughter doesn't want to read about an Indian growing up on a reservation with alcoholic parents." Well, you know, that's tough. I didn't enjoy reading about a bunch of WASPS having family brawls and concluding with the family car going off a cliff with Mrs. WASP behind the wheel, but my parents didn't advocate for burning Tender is the Night. So Sherman Alexie uses the word masturbation a few times. Big deal! Masturbation, masturbation, masturbation!

Words like masturbation have a way of snapping me back to the present moment.

Somehow, I went from rain to masturbation. After years of analysis, I'm sure I will figure out the connection. In the mean time, enjoy the spring weather, keep a good thought for summer, and read lots of challenged books, especially if they include senseless acts of violence and masturbation.