Sorry for the rant yesterday. I was just doing my duty.
I'm going to talk just a little bit about characters and ranting today.
I have a character in one of my books who is more like me than any other character I've ever created. This guy can rant. He elevates ranting to a kind of religion, I think. He's an editor's nightmare (hmmm... just like... um, me), because he can spew out a single-sentence rant that has about 250 words in it.
Nothing says you can't have 250-word long sentences. If you doubt it, stay tuned... I'm going to lay one of those babies down before my month-long stream of uninterrupted blogging is finished.
Oh yeah. I'm going to do it.
Okay... so I had this Lit professor when I was an undergrad. He's probably dead now, but he became a character in one of my books, too. I don't really know how I feel about this, but some Lit people believe that it doesn't matter what a writer intends his work to mean, that the only thing that matters is what the reader thinks it means. Like... the mirror is the message.
But what if the reader is insane?
I ask this because my Lit professor probably was. He believed that everything written as fiction was actually some kind of thinly-veiled semi-pornographic manifesto on sex, perversion, and genitalia. I am not kidding. This guy thought everything was about some kind of sex, even Huckleberry Finn and Billy Budd. Even A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.
Hello Central! (Smith loves Twain and that bastard professor made it all into prurient pornography)
He was insane. His mirror was like one of those fun-house ones. Except, instead of making you look real skinny or real fat, I bet it made you look... um... naked.
It does matter what a writer intends, especially in light of such compelling arguments as my now-dead Lit professor put forth.
I mean, I can take being misunderstood if there is some rational basis for the interpretation. One "Lit Guy" (an actual college professor... not that I hang out with college professors ever since being so deeply emotionally scarred as an undergrad) who read Ghost Medicine (and liked the book, by the way) said he thought the novel was misogynistic. He explained exactly why he felt that way, and I guess I can understand where he was coming from, but I still think he's insane. Well... about the misogyny part, not about the actually liking my book part.
And this is exactly why, presently, I feel the need to go into a 250-word-long single-sentence rant.
I seem to never be able to express how I feel about things without someone taking it personally and getting offended or pissed-off at me. So, whatever I say, don't get pissed off (unless I call you names or make fun of your family members, which is something, like cussing, I never do) and don't assume I am crying out for help and need to be "fixed," either. I'm just blowing off steam (which, if my Lit professor was still alive, I would have to clearly and unequivocally explain is NOT an idiomatic sexual metaphor).
I recently lost a friend over something I said. I mean, come on... are you kidding me? And what I said it wasn't about my offended friend. It wasn't even about a person at all, it was about my take on a certain behavior that I interpreted (perhaps incorrectly) as being rude and snobbish. Nothing more.
Hmmm... maybe the mirror is the message. But I didn't get all bent out of shape for being called a misogynist. I laughed about it. But I laughed in a nice way.
You have to be careful around insane people.
Really insane people.
I need to rant.