Wednesday, October 6, 2021

TO TOE OR NOT TO TOE THE LINE



Hey! It’s the monthly blog hop/ known as the Insecure Writers Support Group founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. You’re invited to join if you're a writer, insecure, or just supportive of writers. It happens the first Wednesday of each month, and it would be sweet of you to visit at least a dozen or so new blogs and leave a comment. Your words are appreciated. Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.   Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!  

 

The awesome co-hosts for the October 6 posting of the IWSG are Jemima Pitt, J Lenni Dorner, Cathrina Constantine, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, and Mary Aalgaard!


Years ago...

When I finished my first manuscript I was ecstatic..

I had NYTimes best selling author stars in my eyes...

And I sent it off to an editor feeling positive. 

But when the edited manuscript came back...

The stars turned to tears...

My manuscript had been edited to shreds...

Besides numerous typical first-time writer errors...

She said: 

“Your religious and political views don’t belong in a story.”

I wasn’t even aware I had done that, how'd they sneak in?

But guess what? I learned.

Now, if I put in opinions, they’re my character’s opinions, not mine...

And I’m judicious...

Asking myself if a character’s opinion is crucial for the plot?

But other than that..

I have a liberal criterion...

About language, scenes, or controversial characters.

If they are needed for the story they stay... 

If not >>delete, delete, delete<<

Now mind you...

I’ve written some “eh hem” scenes that were necessary... 

But after I wrote them...

I felt like I needed a shower... 

Or prayers... 

Or...

A moment alone.

But isn’t that what’s delicious about writing?

We can cross controversial lines—within reason, of course...

Without getting shamed, ostracized, or arrested. 

It’s why I have two pseudonyms. **wink**

Well, I got to thinking about authors whose books... 

For several reasons have been banned. 

So, I Googled...

And up popped Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer.



Immediately, I got a flashback...

Of me as a kid living on Long Island... 

During the summers...

When my mom would go Wednesdays to her coffee klatch... 

And knowing she’d be gone for two hours...

I’d sneak into my parent’s bedroom...

Go straight to my mom's top dresser drawer...

And find hidden under her undies... 

The book she’d currently be reading...

And because I knew those books were forbidden for me to read...

They seemed all the more tantalizing. 

BesidesTropic of Cancer, I found Lolita, one by James Baldwin, and a few others that are hazy in my memories. 

Hmm?

Thinking back

I can say my mom had a very multi-personality library. 

On the bookshelves in the living room were the classics: Chaucer, Dickens, Homer, Poe, Dante, Shakespeare, Tolstoy and more.

On the coffee table were the bestsellers of the time: Earl Stanley Gardner, Leon Uris, Hemmingway, James Mitchener, and other bestsellers.

But in the bedroom...

Was her Ooh, la, la stash. Oh, yah, yah!

So?

Where do you draw the line in your writing?

Ever cross it?

Ever read a banned book? 

Do tell.

 

Always,

Em-Musing

12 comments:

Tyrean Martinson said...

I've definitely read some banned books. My grandma had the most eclectic bookshelf I've ever seen - and she put them all together in alphabetical order in her living room. From Trixie Belden mysteries for kids, to Mrs. Mike - a Canadian historical romance, to books on prayer, to the latest bodice ripper steamy/full of sex scenes romances by her favorite authors. I was told I could read any book from her bookshelf - but it turns out she didn't mean the steamy ones. LOL.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I've read some banned books that I didn't think needed to be banned.
Did your mother ever find out you read her books?

Natalie Aguirre said...

Funny how your mom hid her books from you. I've read lots of books that have been banned. I'm not sure why most were.

Sarah Foster said...

I love how you found the book stash! Lol. I've definitely read a few banned books.

Carol Kilgore said...

Love the story about your mom and her books. I've written some scenes like you where I needed to bathe in bleach or whatever. For me, it's all about the story and characters.

Diane Burton said...

Amazing how some Big Name authors, mostly male, get away with inserting their political (or other) opinions in their fiction. It's almost like the author talking to the reader. Oh, well...

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I've formatted books that made me want to take a shower afterwards. (And yours was not one of them, so you get an idea how far some people push it.)

Pat Hatt said...

Yeah. Can write what we want and not get people all up in arms about it, within reason of course. And many a banned book seems weird that it is banned.

Rachna Chhabria said...

I've never read a banned book, I have just never been able to lay my hands on them.

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Deniz Bevan said...

I've read lots of banned books! I remember reading Lolita... I still haven't read Tropic of Cancer! You never know what's going to be published when. I just found out about a book by Diderot from centuries ago, where a magic ring gave a prince the power to hear vaginas talk (I am not kidding). (The book is available through gutenberg.) As is the way of these things, nothing's as scandalous as you expect. I skimmed a bit of the book, and mostly it's just a lot of gossip and intrigue. Not like reading the Marquis de Sade...

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