Perception

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I was watching American Swingers1 recently.

It’s about the founder and founding of that seminal (*g*) swingers club Plato's Retreat.

In today's world, it boggles the mind that a sex club could be so prominently in the public eye, with the founder interviewed on numerous daytime TV shows and the club written up in newspaper/magazine articles.

One thing that struck me as I watched the movie/documentary was the variety of people who were interviewed for the feature. There were several older couples that not in a million years would you have looked at them and thought they had been (were still?) in the swinging lifestyle. They were your typical grandma/grandpa spend winters in Florida types.

What do swingers look like anyway, right? [/ignorance]

Not proud to admit that if I passed a few of them on the street, I’d be arrogant enough to think I could tell them a thing or two about smexxxing—and by general standards I'm about a daring as vanilla chocolate-chip or pralines n creme. [/TMI] Yet, those peeps probably curl my hair into a ‘fro if they shared even 1/10th of their sexual experiences from back in the day.

I tend to roll my eyes a bit at ménage-a-vingt-cinq erotic-romance stories. Even for fiction it feels like stretching (heh) things a bit too much to swallow. (heehee).

But judging by some of the original film footage clips from inside the club (the mattress room—aka crabs incubator, the Jacuzzi—aka bacterial stew, the community pool—aka human bodily fluid depository) ménage to the power of X was all of a night for these folks.

There was also an all you-can-eat (hur-hur) free buffet on the premises. Uh. Yeah. Pass.

After the club got shut down in the late eighties (a combination of trouble with the IRS and the AIDS scare) the owner of the club, “The King of Swing”—the man whose stated intent was to sleep with every woman in New York and seemed well on his way to achieving that dubious goal—ended up driving a cab.

How many of his fares looked at this older, overweight guy in the open collar shirt with hairy chest and gold chains on display (still living his glory disco daze/days) had a true inkling of his history?

Perception.

I like to check out the first page entries over on Dear Author on Saturdays. Sometimes I comment, sometimes I don’t. The latest entry really worked for me. I would’ve kept on reading, it just hooked me in that way.

A number of commenters pointed out issues with changes in the tense and some dialect/location/regional stuff. The mistakes re setting I never would’ve caught. But I had to go back and re-read the entry to catch the tense shifts. They bypassed me the first time around because I got caught up in the story.

That’s the power of author voice.

If it really works for you, you won’t see the mistakes/issues to craft/plot/character and even if you, you don’t care. What you perceive is a great story that you want more of.


  • I'm going to have some interesting search terms in my page visits.

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    6 comments:

    raine said...

    LMAO @crabs incubator & bacterial stew! :D

    You're right. It's the power of perception.
    I recently started re-reading a few paperbacks, all from a single mystery author, I'd saved from about 18 years ago. They still entertain me, but now I can see a few small flaws here & there. At the time I glommed everything this author wrote. She couldn't do any wrong.

    Btw, I have this photo of the cat/lion on my dresser, lol. Great thought.

    vanessa jaye said...

    There's one OOP book I bought in a UBS years ago that turned out to be an A read. It was the only book the author wrote and every time it's mentioned online several people pipe in about how the book is a keeper for them too. I've never seen someone post that they read it and didn't love it.

    I re-read it a couple years ago. Still loved it, but it dropped from an A to a B because I noticed the writing-craft flaws. I kinda of afraid to re-read it again.

    Re the pic-- the minute I saw it, I knew it was perfect for this post. *g*

    azteclady said...

    oh this is a great post! (and how I love that picture :grin:)

    Cece said...

    LOL GAGGGGGGG but point well made missy. Point well made.

    Two of my all-time fave books. ALL TIME FAVES. One written by an author who never wrote another book and it's a contemporary romance that's based on her real-life romance. The other is called Blessings by Sheneska Jackson who wrote 2 maybe 3 books and as far as I have been able to find out, never wrote another book. Blessings was one of those books I read before I was a writer that made me say, "Damn I wish I'd written that!"

    vanessa jaye said...

    CeCe- Oh, this is what you blame me for. lol.

    I've never heard of Sheneska Jackson. ::off to google her::

    Sasha White said...

    Love the post, and the humorous addons form you. Love the point about Voice. Even more LOVE the photo. LOL My cats love to sit and look at themself in the mirror. Now I know why. LOL

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