Here in Toronto, we’re smack in the middle of Pride month. As Rodgers and Hammerstein put it eons ago, June Is Bustin’ Out All Over … with rainbow flags and tourists. The annual Pride Parade, this year in its 37th year, has become the official start to our short-lived summer.
In my local suburban mall, Purdys Chocolatier, a Canadian confectionery retail chain, flies the flag with a display of chocolates wrapped in rainbow ribbons and a sign that reads, “Love is the Answer.” Granted, Purdys is looking to push their product, but the display made me smile anyway … and made me think …
I’m old enough to remember a time before Pride, before words like transgender and homophobia became commonplace. I grew up in a era when the world was presented to the younger generation as a monolith of heterosexuality.
There were no cute books with titles like Sally Has Two Moms. Lexus didn’t run television commercials that featured a man hugging his male partner on his way out the door in the morning. Actually, now that I think about it, Lexus didn’t exist back then and the family car was a station wagon not an SUV.
The complacent fabrication I had unconsciously absorbed, the myth of a solely Adam and Eve world, was obliterated — because of a book. A pink paperback I plucked off a rack in a convenience store.
E. M. Forster’s Maurice broke the world I knew and built a better one. A more interesting, more diverse world. Turns out, I didn’t have to go into outer space with the crew from the star ship Enterprise. There was infinite diversity in infinite combinations to be found right here in my own backyard.
Happy Pride 🙂
Aimer at Amazon
The ancient Greeks appreciated the human body for the gift that it is. The body was both natural and holy, a concept that didn’t translate well to the Christian world in the dark times of the Middle Ages. A succession of Popes, starting with Pope Paul IV felt that while man was an expression of God’s creation, there was no need for that expression to be anatomically correct.
Welcome to a period of prolific art desecration, a centuries long brutal and clumsy attempt at censorship. Goodbye genitalia and hello fig leaves.
Still today, the line between art and pornography is a blurry, wavy thing dictated by taste and culture. While the ethics of depicting the phallus itself change with the tides of time, phallic images have managed to escape the scourge of the censor. They pop out everywhere, impulsive and indiscrete, and often amusing. Freud was particularly fond of them but that’s a whole other post.
With phallic images, it’s not so much what you see but what you think you see.
Phallic images, like the phallus they represent, come in all shapes, sizes, and flavours.
to accidental. The patriot in me got a giggle out of this one. See the flag in the corner there … Oh, Canada!
Personally, I’ve always found that the space ship, Andromeda Ascendant from the television show Andromeda
bears more than a vague resemblance to parts unmentionable … or maybe that’s just me 🙂
Aimer at Amazon
Google is an amazing tool, everything you will ever need right there at the click of a mouse. Also everything you don’t need, will never need, and shouldn’t be wasting your time with.
Case in point: There are only so many ways to describe the human body in motion. In motion in private. In motion in private behind closed doors. Body parts in particular are a bit of a toil. If you don’t want to get into ridiculous euphemisms, and I don’t, you find yourself writing the same words over and over… and how exciting is that?
My solution is Google and its lovely gateway to synonym heaven. Google rarely fails me, but she does lead me astray. I wish I could blame Google, but the fault is mine. When faced with the siren call of her lovely connected links, I have no self-control. I wander in her never ending forest and lose myself.
It’s shameful, but I have been known to wander Google’s paths for hours. Hours spent researching a detail that I may or may not end up using in my book. What can I say? I’m a weak, weak person.
Google’s rather like the universe’s largest department store, you go in looking for one thing and come out with something else. Sometimes that something else is pretty damn funny …
Aimer at Amazon
I read and write M/M Romance novels, what I call Bubble Bath books because — never mind. These books have zero angst and a happy ending. No child molestation, no sexual assault, no creepy serial killers; nothing that’s going to keep me up at night trying to erase an image I wish I’d never read.
No, they’re not literature. No, they won’t help me heal the ozone layer or tell me how to get that next promotion. No, they are not kernels of wisdom from the great minds of our time — and that’s the point. They are an escape from the aggravations of real life. They are a mini-vacation. They are an opportunity to turn my mind off. They keep me sane.
Is it a waste of time to sit in a hot tub, to get a massage, to go camping, or sit by a lake and torture poor unsuspecting fish? No? Oh, it’s relaxing… exactly.
It is not a waste of time to read drivel.
Gena Showalter, author of The Darkest Night, refers to romance novels as fairy tales for grown-ups. Who needs Disney? 🙂
Aimer at Amazon
What’s in a name? Shakespeare notwithstanding, a whole hell of a lot.
Aimer Boyz is my pen name. It means To Love Boys. I thought it was a natural fit for someone who writes M/M romance, but I’m just now realizing as I write this that translated into English… it makes me sound like a pedophile. Crap. Crap. Crap.
Not only did I choose a rather questionable name, but I compounded the error by deciding that a picture of two men kissing would be the perfect feature image for this blog. In my defense, I thought the picture said, “Hey, this is what I write.”
A picture, like any art form, speaks through the person who views it. While I thought the image of two men was a clear representation of my genre, some visitors to my blog assumed it was a clear representation of me. Some were annoyed when they found out I was not who they thought I was.
I do not post my picture here, I do not use my real name. I’m not trying to deceive anyone, I merely want my words to stand on their own.
I apologize to anyone who might have felt duped. It was not my intention.
Tonight, I changed my feature image to something that is hopefully more innocuous. Obviously, I still have a lot to learn about blogging.
Please tell me I’m not the only one who’s screwed up 🙂
Aimer at Amazon
It’s inevitable. It’s not always a conscious act on the author’s part, but it’s always the end result. Bits and pieces of the author find their way into their characters. This character’s favourite ice cream, that character’s height, eye colour, sleeping habits, exercise routine. All the personality quirks that make a fictional person feel real? They work because they are stolen from a real person, usually the author.
This is as true on the larger scale as it is on the small. Is the space alien an atheist, does the vampire support transgender rights, does the fictional mom running car pool in suburbia support legalized euthanasia? The answer lies in the author’s own belief system, in the author’s concept of morality.
There are also times when an author can be seen through a character that expresses the exact opposite of the author’s own feelings and beliefs.
At the base of all fiction is a kernel of non-fiction and that kernel comes from the author. No matter how dystopian, futuristic, or paranormal the novel, it is that basis of real that makes it read as true. Bits and pieces of the author filtered through their characters make the book authentic.
Case in point: The fact I write about Vampires says something about me 🙂
Are you in your books?
Aimer at Amazon