Please check out the latest YA/NA novel by Kristi Ayers: Strings of the Muse. I’ve reviewed it below. Happy reading!
A Halo Sun, the sequel to The Sharing Moon will be available for free during a five day Kindle promotion.
It’s that time of year…the time where I savor the summer songs on the radio, charcoal drifting around the neighborhood, the sound of gulls on the beach, getting out my swimsuit and most importantly, the scent of sunscreen. Not suntan lotion. Sunscreen. I have an obsession with the smell. When I open it I close my eyes and stars dance around. I would like to bottle it up as an all purpose product. Sunscreen smelling cleanser, toilet bowl cleaner, laundry detergent, cologne, diaper cream, weed killer, air freshener, engine oil…I could go on and on and on. I can only imagine life like that. The sun would shine brighter. Money would grow on trees. Taylor Swift would write a happy song. My book would make it big. How can anyone deny such a magical odor? How can anyone pass by the shelves of sunscreen in January and not open the tops and sniff. (Yes, I do sometimes). I like to pretend it’s June and I’m surrounded by Banana Boat wearing Wal-Mart shoppers. Forget the Calvin Klein Obsession! This is the Coppertone obsession! Guarantee yourself a mega social life and the miracle of your soul mate walking into Qdoba clad in a shirt that proudly boasts the Bull Frog logo.
I promote skin safety. Sunburn free. No lobster look. No going ewww at the person in line whose skin is peeling. Buy your sunscreen by the buckets and slather it everywhere. Not because of the addictive smell you see. But just for safety of course. Yeah, definitely.
I love the scent of the lotion on my kids’ skin when I cover them in 5000 SPF protection. I love the clear spray kind that doesn’t leave white gunk all over. I love that summer just isn’t summer without titanium dioxide. Oh baby, just the sound of it gets me going–to the bathroom to make sure we have a bunch of it. And hey, I’m not high maintenance. Generic brands are awesome too. NO-AD plug here. I bet A LOT of brainstorming went on in that marketing session.
I can’t wait for the season to kick in. I can’t wait to apply as directed every two hours and after swimming. Gah! I hope that you, too, can embrace your sunblock. And if you prefer that oily, cancer magnet coconut stuff, well, then you’re not my friend anymore.
Happy New Year! It’s January 2,
2014. 2015. Okay, that will happen to me a lot this month.
With Christmas, it was time again to redeem my Barnes & Noble gift card and what did I fill my Nook Glowlight with? Books about stalkers. Upon reading one particular book, I found myself drawn to another and then another, and as it turns out, the more deranged the stalker was, the more intrigued I became. The psychology behind the whole stalker’s mindset is one that I started to study a little bit. Also, the desire girls have to read on and figuratively become the stalker’s victim herself has become a fascination of mine after doing a little more digging. So let’s analyze.
The psycho stalkers in fiction are not the beastly looking guys who lurk and hide and make plans to chain you in the basement. Who they are, exactly, are a combination of princely, damaged and desperately-just-looking-for-someone-to-love-them kind of guys. But please, take note. Stalkers do not look like this:
(That’s Ryan Guzman, Jennifer Lopez’s stalker in her new movie that comes out this month. How many girls in that theater are going to say, “Wow…what a nut. She needs to do something about him.” That boy is why females pick up these books and end up wanting to take the guy home rather than to the police station).
The latest book I read involved quite a psychotic fellow. What I found so disturbing is that the writer made him a handsome bookstore clerk who became smitten with a random woman who walked in as a customer, and he was instantly starry-eyed and in love. Yes, that’s crazy. But it is also how a lot of couples who’ve been married for many years describe the first sighting of their partner. The difference here is when said smitten guy kills other people who interfere, hacks into social media and ultimately changes every aspect of the woman’s life in order to have her. How could any normal woman be okay with that? Well, as it turns out, there are many. All I had to do was go to Goodreads and read the reviews on the few stalker books I’ve just read and the summaries were all the same: they actually felt SYMPATHY for the lunatic because he was…GOOD LOOKING. SOUL-CURSED. And shockingly, I realized I’d started to head in that direction as well. Not about the killing innocent people part, or the scary ways the stalker managed to invade the girl’s life. It was that sad, dejected part of him that made me wonder why? How is someone who looks like that, and is that charming, such a menace? Apparently, I’m not alone in that territory. These authors aren’t writing about serial killers. They’re writing male characters that just-want-to-be-loved. Perfectly flawed characters.
Stolen, The Hypnotist’s Love Story, You, The Good Girl, and my current Nook download, The Twisted Window are all examples of the sympathetic, beautiful stalker. What it comes down to, is that all of the above fictional stalkers should be in prison, with no chance of parole. But throw in the beauty factor, and they all become puppies women want to take home and train to be good after all. Because let’s face it, when someone is stalking you and is obsessed with you, it’s pretty flattering…SAID NO REAL LIFE VICTIM EVER.
Bottom line, is that as females, we want to fix the bad guy. I don’t mean the murderous bad guys. But the ones who feel they need to stalk because they’re so misunderstood. So long as they aren’t completely evil, we want to save them. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case in reality. At least for the victims I read about online and truly felt such sadness for.
So am I strange because I fell into the Stockholm Syndrome category? No, I don’t think so. The whole point of fictional novels are to draw us in and send us into the make-believe minds and worlds of whatever they may be, good or bad. Which is a sign of truly brilliant writing. Don’t feel guilty.
Best wishes for
Poems are so emotional and we all know this. But some poems walk inside of and leave a footprint on your brain that never disappears. And that poet of those amazing abilities to do so is Sylvia Plath.
I have to say, one of the biggest reasons I cling to the meaning behind Plath’s poems is that they are so incredibly heartbreaking that you can understand why some folks sadly relate. Sylvia died so tragically but the way she died seems to override her work and the moods that drove her to that state of mind. Was she born with it? Did she wither away from her own tragic mind later on, her mind a curse she’d inherited because life just couldn’t pull her out from the terror of control snatched away from her. Marriage, children, a fight to understand her own mind and be driven to the point of helplessness that only could be brought to life in her writing? Let us discuss the latter. I might add that only artists, writers, poets and musicians probably relate the closest. No disrespect to those with a fully intact ability to be handed the perfect, stable mind. But to have a gift like Plath’s, you aren’t born handed the material the pain comes from. You earn it. If you have a history of depression, like me, you don’t need the training course of near crippling surges of creativity that bat around your head every.minute.of.the.day. And I truly mean that.
I’m quite fascinated by Plath’s genius form. I have been especially interested in her lately, since I dredged up some of her early poetry and find myself quoting it around social media. Yes, yes, I’ve shamefully watched the movie based on her life and although Gwyneth Paltrow is not even close as Plath, it was still terribly sad. I felt her children’s pain. As for Ted, he was kind of an a-hole who of course felt his superior ways justified any affairs. However, please understand this is just my opinion of the film. Ted Hughes just might have been husband of the year in real life. I do want to confirm though, with my very, very accurate eyesight that he did NOT in any way shape or form look like Daniel Craig. At least Gwyneth looked a teensy bit like Sylvia depending on the hairstyle. Daniel was…no. Just no. But he was incredibly handsome nonetheless.
So how does this relate to my latest book, the sequel to the first? I read a verse lately that stirred feelings about the male lead character who is pretty messed up himself. The female lead is a dreamy, poet-artsy type who’s messed up too. One big happy story! But really, there is plenty of drama yet humor as well. Plus of course the required romance doses that won’t even get your book read without them for the YA crowd. (Was I that romanticized as a teen? Hmm).
Anyway, I loved including poems in my second book and they fit perfectly at the spots I placed them in. Just little verses, not the whole bucket of dreary or newly blossomed love, etc, etc, etc. Death, etc, etc, etc. This fictional boy in question meets all the requirements for a dark poet lover’s cocktail: Cute-check! Self-absorbed at times-check! Confused-check! Cute-check! Has the ability to heal but doesn’t know it-check! Doesn’t want to be saved but has the equally confused girl who thinks she can-check! Cute-check! Paranormal dude-check! Strong-willed-check! I could go on but hey, you don’t really care, probably. On a serious note, it really is an emotionally deep story and does NOT fall into the plethora of paranormal subjects or dyst/uto/pian trends right now. So please don’t even glance at it if that’s what you’re looking for. It’s as far from fluffy as you can get. Because surely there are hundreds of people who are buying it right this second. (Insert cries of disappointment and frustration here).
I found that when my character includes poems and their meanings into her lifestyle or pain, in some cases, it shows how passionate and emotional I have made them. I used to be the same way. I wrote poetry too, decent poetry, horrible poetry. What teen girl didn’t? What I enjoyed about using my favorite prose is that others just might look them up too. I can guarantee if you read a Plath book on either poetry or her life, you will go around jotting her verses on social media too. She is just…well…there was no one like her when it came to the tormented mind and heart.
My absolute favorite quote that I must repeat everywhere I have online accounts is this from Ariel:
“If the moon smiled, she would resemble you. You leave the same impression. Of something beautiful, but annihilating.”
Perfectly sums up my boy, Damian, in A Halo Sun. How many guys in your life, have or still do FIT THAT PURELY AND UNDENIABLY? If not, you’ve never suffered a ‘Sylvia Plath broken heart.’
Be kind and be thankful this holiday weekend.