Archive for March 12th, 2012

Yeah, I figured that title would get your attention.

I’ll summarize the innocent Layla doings first, then move on to the juicy stuff.

Now that spring is here I’m FINALLY getting back into Layla activities.  This means that on Sunday I woulda gone wall climbing if I’d had the time, but since I didn’t I at least studied French and had a solid workout with lots of stretching.

The stretching is important, but getting more limber has been a back-and-forth battle for me.  Any look at action heroes, martial arts, etc. tells you that being very limber is a fundamental necessity.  But now, at long last, I seem to be making consistent headway.  What seems to really work for me is simply…

Doing it till it hurts.

And by that I mean stretching my body, especially my legs and hips, not to the point of injury but to the point where muscles and tendons HURT.  I get into the necessary positions and push and pull and hold it and then go deeper and then ease up and then deeper again and make myself relax into the feeling of the stretch even when it really hurts.  And I hold it long enough until the pain eases… And believe me, I’m really making progress.

This kind of talk is also a natural segue for the porn topic.

In case any of you missed it, on Sunday there was a big article in the New York Times on something that depresses the hell out of me, to whit:  yet another small-time unknown writer has received a HUGE, MILLION-DOLLAR THREE-BOOK CONTRACT and all because she wrote a trilogy that I, also a small-time unknown writer, never thought to write.  And I bet you never penned such stuff either.

Her three novels (her being E L James) are about S&M erotica.  Wags are calling it “Mommy porn” and “Twilight” for grownups.

Here’s what happened.  James wrote the trilogy, which was put out by a small publisher in Australia, where she lives.  She couldn’t even get decent distribution for hard (no pun intended) copies of them, but they were available as e-books in the U.S, where they started selling like crazy even with no advertising or marketing.  This was enough for the Big Six American publishers to go apeshit and start bidding on them.

Sure, commentators have criticized James’ plodding prose, lack of content and pacing, and “have shredded the books for their explicit violence and antiquated treatment of women, made especially clear in the character of Anastasia, an awkward naif who consents to being stalked, slapped and whipped with a leather riding crop.” But hey, but who cares about literary details as long as the books sell?

By the way, that quote is from the NY Times, and here’s the link:

You know what’s really a joke to me?  How big publishers are supposed to be such experts on what sells and what doesn’t and how they keep trying to narrowly define genres that they tell writers to stick to.  But the fact is an obscure book often turns into a bestseller before the “experts” realize that readers are onto something.  That’s what happened with everything from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and the self-published Mutant Message Downunder to the godawful Celestine Prophecy.

So for all you writers who want to get published, forget about subscribing to the useless Publishers Weekly and analyzing the market and honing your literary skills and polishing your manuscripts and perfecting your query letters.  Instead, you might as well just tell an imperfect story that comes straight from your heart.

Or from another body part.