Stories OnLine Blogs

Story Writer

Story Writer

The other day I noticed that almost all the blogs I’d written for Stories OnLine had been deleted. This wasn’t a total surprise. The site deletes them after a certain time and as I’d not contributed any blogs there since I started this one on WordPress it was inevitable that they would eventually disappear. However, to make sure that the link to this blog wasn’t lost I added a new blog with the necessary plug and made a few comments about what I thought about the majority of blogs on Stories OnLine.

And the outcome is that I’ve just had a flood of visitors to this blog. This is very gratifying (but bound to be a very temporary phenomenon). I also received a few e-mails from Stories OnLine readers in response to my almost rhetorical question: “So, what should I write about?”

First of all I should state that I have no complaint about the blog facility on Stories OnLine. It’s perfectly good for the purposes for which it’s intended and for many years was the only place where I posted any blogs. The reason I stopped contributing and why I opened this one is that I came to realise that it was the wrong kind of forum for me. And for evidence of that, all you need do is scan the blogs that are invariably featured. Almost all the blogs are pretty much of the nature I mentioned in my own little contribution. They are very narrow in their range and very inward-looking. There is little attempt to entertain the reader who isn’t especially bothered about the travails of the authors, who haven’t noticed an absence of stories from that writer and don’t really care about the progress (or otherwise) of the writer’s fiction. There have been only a few authors who’ve tried to buck the trend, including the late lamented rache and Anna Siciliana.

The advice I was given by the interested readers was essentially that I should write blogs that are exactly like the blogs currently featured. I have no intention of quoting from the e-mails as I guess the writers chose to write to me rather than the whole world, but the general gist is that the kind of blog I should write is no different from all the others (and I guess becomes indistinguishable from them and just as boring).

But let’s be fair. In the absence of any other mechanism, what should the Stories OnLine writer do if they wish to promote their fiction or pass on news about themselves that they consider the world should know. Probably not the Forum on Google Groups which has a quite different focus (in which the minutiae of grammar is expounded on in great length and writers rant about what’s they think is wrong about other writers’ stories).

But all this goes to show that if I want to write blogs that aren’t like all the others on Stories OnLine, unless my intention is to annoy the average sex fiction reader, I’m better off posting my blogs elsewhere.

And that elsewhere is, of course, here.

Fifty Shades of Movie Adaptation

Marm: Spanking

Marm: Spanking

It would be very easy to mock the movie adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey. And of course many rather better writers than me have beaten me in the rush. And the reliably hilarious Hadley Freeman has already written her interesting take on the movie in the Guardian.

However, I was rather taken by an article, also in the Guardian, which takes a rather different view of the BDSM aspect of the book and the movie, and, rather more intriguingly for me, an explanation as to why all this nonsense about restraint and spanking and so on has so much genuine erotic appeal for so many people. In fact, the way Brad Sagarin describes it rather makes me wonder what I’ve been missing. There is even an associated website, The Science of BDSM, which looks rather more worthy than titillating that presumably goes into the psychological attraction of all the rituals and the associated pleasure and pain.

So, I guess we can attribute the remarkable appeal of Fifty Shades of Grey, both book and film, to the even more remarkable appeal of Bondage, Domination and Submission.

However, I’ve produced fiction in a very similar world as EL James originally did when she self-published her novels namely on FanFiction.net and also published a novel under her original nym of Snowqueens Icedragon with the title Master of the Universe which is probably every bit as good as her final published work and that I doubt whether you can now easily download. So, I can be forgiven for fantasising who I’d like to have directing a film of any of my novels and who’d perform in it.

Well, I’ve not seen the film of Fifty Shades of Grey and I’m not sure I ever will, but the accounts seem to suggest that Sam Taylor-Johnson hasn’t done a bad job and that both Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan do better than could be expected with the source material. But I’m not sure that these are really the ideal people for a film of any of my books.

However, truth be told I’d be lucky to have even one of my books directed by the likes of Axel Braun or Nick Moore starring some C-list celebrities or aging porn stars and headed straight to DVD without ever gracing an Odeon or a Cineworld Multiplex.

So, EL James (aka Erika Mitchell) has clearly done far better than me in that regard and it would be wrong to say anything unkind either about her or her fiction.

But I can’t help wondering whether I could compile a rather better soundtrack for any movies made from my fiction than that collated on EL James’ website.

 

Winds of Change

Antistasis/Resistance by Jon

Antistasis/Resistance by Jon

 

I’m probably being a bit premature here, or perhaps my optimism is getting ahead of events (as it did when Barack Obama became President of the United States), but maybe the elections in Greece do, at last, signal a change in direction.

There is an old saying that when you’re digging yourself into a deep hole, the first thing to do is stop digging. I would say that the drive towards austerity imposed on most of the Western World and especially in Europe has been shown demonstrably not to work and the places recovering best from the recession brought onto us by the wild speculation of the financial sector are those that have most disregarded the mantra of public sector austerity. And the sector of society which has done best from the austerity measures are those who are already very well-off and have benefited disproportionately from the only expansion permitted under these regimes known as Quantitive Easing, which is essentially governments printing money for the benefit of those who can afford to sink vast amounts of money into bonds.

After all, there is a disconnect here.

It isn’t an opinion that the recession was caused by the reckless activities of the financial sector: it’s a well-documented fact. And it isn’t an opinion that the misdistribution of wealth has got worse in the last few years: that is also clearly apparent from the statistics. And it is not an opinion that those least able to shoulder the burden (and were in no way to blame for the recession) are those suffering the worst.

And yet economies throughout the world are still pursuing austerity measures as if in some mysterious way not made apparent by economic measurement of any kind it were somehow working.

So, Greece at least has said that enough is enough. The hole we’ve dug for ourselves hasn’t made things any better and indeed look likely to make things much much worse (especially if economies in the UK and elsewhere continue to squeeze the public sector while still doling out largesse to private companies who squirrel away their profits in tax havens of one kind or another).

And, of course, with regards to holes, it was John Maynard Keynes who famously advocated a policy of paying people to dig holes and fill them in again just to stimulate the job market and thereby the rest of the economy. So, why did the world economies ignore the lessons of the 1930s and choose instead to follow the monetarist creed which had failed us so spectacularly?

So, let’s hope that Syriza’s victory is the sign of things to come and that the fantasy world of monetarism and trickle-down economics can be put back into the toy cupboard where it belongs.