Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I don't read scary stuff

Before talking about why I won't read scary stuff, I want to admit that my blog output has been down lately.
Most of that can be attributed to the fact that I am just now getting over pneumonia, and that my recovery time included some long times in the car, driving to Florida to visit family etc. No, I didn't go swimming, but I did see the ocean. It's big.
I did do some reading, though, which I mention in my last blog post. I reviewed several works on Amazon, but hardly any on my blog. Reasons: My blog is ALWAYS more chatty than my reviews. And what with the recuperation and sleeping most of the day, I haven't been chatty. It takes additional effort to write the blog after writing the review, and what little awake time I had, I put into reading and reviewing, rather than blogging. The writers deserve to have me promote their works through the Amazon reviews, because there is a miniscule chance that those will get read. Nobody but the faithful few read my blog, and for all of you, I am truly grateful. So, it was just a matter of putting the work in where the artists could get the best payoff.
I'm better now, so the thought of doing a blog post doesn't nauseate me. I even have a topic, and it's about reading, so duh, I guess. That's what 95 % of my blogs are, BY ACTUAL COUNT!!! (no, that was a lie).
One of the last items reviewed was a short story by Cedar Sanderson, The Twisted Breath of God. It is the spookiest work by Cedar I've ever read, and when I commented on that at Sarah's Diner, Sanford said it was one of only two spooky works she had done,. He said the other was "Mindflow."
My first reaction, which I posted without reflection, was "How do I get it? It's not on Amazon?" But then I contemplated. Scary? Hmmmm...maybe not. In fact, definitely not. I don't read scary stuff, can't watch scary movies, can't even stand to hear people talking about scary stuff.
Now, I know what you are thinking: You big baby, grow up. And here's my answer: NO!
Not in this respect, at least. I'm working along just fine without reading horror stuff. I have had no problem avoiding scary stuff on film, EXCEPT for a brief time about 35 years ago when I had a roommate who loved the art form. He dragged me to a few horror pics at the drive in, so I shot him and rolled his body into the Chattahoochee. (NOT)
As it happens, I know exactly when I began to actively avoid horror. It was in 1970, I was in the first grade at Sunset Hills Elementary School in San Antonio, Texas, and Wlad Disney (dear, lovable Uncle Wlad) came out with "Darby O'Gill and the Little People", with Sean Connery, for you film trivia people. And in the movie was....a banshee. It came to pick up those about to die, and screamed. Yes, dear Uncle Wlad, just EXACTLY what all six year old boys and girls need to have burned into their brains.
(NOTE: the 'Wlad' thing started out as a typo for 'Walt,' but then I realized that since I was responding to nightmarish terror he inculcated into my developing brain, maybe Wlad would be a good idea. so, Wlad it is.)
And, the nightmares started. I'd wake up in the night, screaming, and crying to my mama that I was afraid the banshee was going to get me. Had to have a light on. And I slept with my head under the covers so it couldn't see me.
Now, that eased up, over the years, but I never, ever developed an affection for horror stories. I had to be careful about what Twilight Zone episodes I watched. Did you ever wake up in the middle of the night, and KNOW there was something in the room with you, and that if you called out, it would get you? No? Well, maybe tonight. We can hope.
I can't say that ANY of my drug-involved behavior was ever touched by good sense. However, one of the things I did NOT do, and something that was regarded as a lot of fun by certain of my doper pals (this is 1969 -1970 ish), was to get stoned out of the gourd, and tell ghost stories. Me? No frappen way. They, of course, thought that was just the greatest fun, to start with the eerie voices and watch me run (I was almost always the biggest kid in the room). When I was 17, I kid you not, I made them take me home. I hopped out of the VW bug, screaming for my mom, running for th4e kitchen door, and that night, I made the dog sleep in my room. She was a pekingese-terrier mix, named Yum-Yum, and about as fierce as warm butter, but that night, she kept the boogey-mans away from my room.
So, now I'm 62, a fat crippled biker. The only drugs I take are the boring ones prescribed for my decrepit body. And I still don't do horror.
Well, that's all I really wanted to say, but I figure I may as well disclose this: there are a couple of other genres I don't read, besides horror. I don't read anything that's sexually explicit, BUT I did have to open up my range a bit in that area. Amanda Green, writing as Ellie Ferguson, wrote the 'Hunter's Moon' trilogy, which I read and ran from at first, convinced it was erotica. HOWEVER, I was told that a certain amount of sex is a requirement for that genre, and I read the first volume to my gift-from-God, happily-ever-after trophy wife Vanessa, the elegant foxy praying black grandmother of Woodstock, GA, and she assured me that's about right for romance. So, now, if I can read it to Vanessa, I'll do it. I won't read any rapy works, which includes bondage/s&m type stuff. In the Keldar series, Ringo writes some stuff that I just skip over, but if EVERY chapter was like that, I'd dump the book. I won't read anything that involves bad stuff happening to children, particularly sexual activity. It's for that reason that I wasn't able to get into Law & Order: SVU, although I do love the rest of the franchise. I also won't read anything that is a thinly disguised political rant. There are probably other no-go items, but I hope you get the picture. I even had to turn down a book recently that WASN'T in one of those categories, but APPEARED to be, until a late revela showed it was innocent. I just couldn't get the creepiness out of my head, and returned the book with my explanation.
A FINAL note, and I'm not kidding: I won't let one book, or one series, turn me off an author. There are some favorite authors who have written stuff I won't touch, but have a body of work I enjoy. So: if you recommend something to me, and I send it back, I will explain why it isn't my cup of tea. I write reviews primarily to give feedback to authors, and I will NEVER ambush one with an attack review. I think I've only written a single one-star review on Amazon, and it was for a lying piece of dreck that harmed people.

1 comment:

  1. I'll just say when talking about things we like and dislike, YMMV always applies.

    I've read horror in the past and it didn't bother me but I'll never say that a person is "wrong" if he doesn't want to read/watch horror or scary stuff.