Hey all...it's Thursday morning, and I'm slowly buzzing my way in the upward direction. Chick Corea and John McLaughlin's "Five Peace Band" is an appropriately rippling sound to go through my brain right now. Interesting stuff...
So, yes...the book came out on Monday!
You can view it there, and buy it if you choose. Currently, the manuscript is under review, which means until it passes muster, it's only available there. Soon, however, "Parasite Girls" will be available across numerous platforms, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, KOBO, and also through participating libraries. Very cool.
Well, the selling part is slow. I had to expect that, because when one goes to Smashwords, you see that EVERYONE thinks they're an author.
Now I'm not going to be a critic and shit on people's writing I have not read, if it is not my taste. But I can see why certain rules and regulations are in place for what can be published and what can not.
I'm not offended by it, but...there is an awful lot of alleged erotica for sale, in short story version, and for not much money. I say "alleged," because erotica and pornography to me are two very different things. If erotica is written well, and is experienced or imagined well, it can be very good.
Then there's the stuff I recall seeing on spinning racks in one of porn shops in Boston's former Combat Zone some 20 years ago. About like that.
I will not name the name of the person who wrote one bit I chose to sample (I don't even remember his/her name), but this lesbian erotica was nothing more than some sexually repressed individual who had no experience, and used adjectives stolen from other such writing. Blech.
I don't have a problem with you projecting your fantasies, because I won't be buying them. But you'd think there'd be a little respect for craft? Oh, that's right, what am I thinking...? My bad.
There was one guy who had a string of short stories, and I get the feeling either he hasn't had sex for a long time, or he's got a misogynist streak in him that only Adam Carolla and similar such losers can top. It's not about objectifying women (or men, for that matter), but an outright resentment, and even hatred for them.
So anyway...the great advantage of being able to self-publish means you are creatively free. For the most part, anyway. No one checks on you, unless you are willing to submit your work to a professional, in order to make sure you are doing it right.
I am thankful that I got a free shot. Christie Stratos of Proof Positive put out an offer to proof work for free to start her business. I got lucky, and was one of those people. She gave me a very strong review of something I did not learn in school, or just didn't bother to listen to.
A lot of my issue was punctuation, and the killer commas. They kill dialogue, dead. Christie helped me through her critique and examination get rid of them, so the storyline flowed better.
Most writers I'd hazard a guess don't do that. They just put it up there, under the idea that, "Oh, it's my work, it's brilliant, and people will flock to it."
Ah, no. So far, the only person who has bought "Parasite Girls" is ME. I made the buy as a test, and also a gift for a relative. I needed to make sure the system worked. It does, so it's all good.
I've found my work is in a sea of published authors, self-published authors, and wannabes. I do NOT want to be seen as the latter; I'd like to think I'm a step or two higher than THAT.
So anyway, I am going to be talking this mother up for a while, and I hope you'll forgive me. I just think "Parasite Girls," while not the greatest work of my career, is a good story that examines social concerns, some real-life issues, and an underlying theme: WE ALL HAVE A STORY.
Everyone has their reasons for why the things we do, which I noted earlier. Aidan, the main character tells his by doing, not talking. A lot of flashback scenes for him bring his life in a way, full circle. His longtime friendship with the female lead, Mima is seen through the past, and how that past becomes present.
Now, the term "Parasite Single" is one you have likely never heard of, unless you are from Japan or lived there. There is a book about it, written by a professor named Masahiro Yamada. I have not read this book, and in no way am I going after the man for what he wrote.
But he formulated the book over this phenomena he detects in Japanese society, and it is a shift. A lot of young Japanese women (and I don't doubt some men, too) seem to be staying at home a lot longer than you'd think, and allegedly living off their parents so they can live self-indulgent lives.
Okay, I can think of at least one or two of those in my own family, but I won't name names. Their business, their choice. And that's another point--these folks made their choices.
Why so different in Japan? Well, the concept of roommates is not exactly known over there, far as I understand it. Japanese folks live alone, or they live with family. This is not unusual in itself. Prof. Yamada's assertion it seems is there a fair number of "parasites" who do go to school, go to work, make good money, etc., but they stay at home.
The insinuation is they spend all their money on themselves, and offer nothing to the family in terms of rent, board, upkeep, food, and so on.
That cannot be the case in every single person. This is one thing I do not like about criticism--it's too easy to paint with a broad brush, or in some cases, a power painter.
Everyone has their reasons. In America, you often hear snarky comments in the media or from internet trolls who say that so and so lives in his mom's basement, or stupid shit like that. Anyone who does that, they assume must be a failure at life or a loser, or something.
Well, everyone has a reason. Sometimes it's money, lack of work, illness, think about it. Aidan's journey takes him back into Mima's life, and those of her dearest friends, Sora and Eko. They appear to be parasites, and are tagged as such.
Why? Both are about 30, and still live at home. We soon find out why, in Sora's case, and it's a matter that's close to me.
Eko seems the poster child for the term, but she too has a story.
Again, we paint with a very broad brush, and we have to be really careful not to. Not all people are what they seem, and behind each person's plasmic self are the reasons for what they do, or don't do.
Simple as that.
So, where to next? I hope to be making an appearance in York next month, as part of the city's First Friday series. More on that soon. In the whirlwind of getting "Parasite Girls" out for the public, I've had to consider everything else. Those mundane things like, you know, work, haha.
My personal issues are not so great at this time I can actually focus enough to sit here and write this to you. I have to be patient about the book, and do my best to stimulate some interest. Either way, I am undaunted about the next steps I plan to take, and those will be formulated over the next few months.
I do have to consider "work," because while I have some, I need to find more. Such fun there, but that's life. I have to think about the world I live in, and I mean at home. There's a lot to focus on, and yet I am having a hard time focusing on each thing. Occasionally I disappear into that wormhole, and don't stop until I get a proper conclusion.
Kinda like my writing, heehee. As I've said before, I write because I love it. It's therapy, I think I have a bit of a knack for it, and there is something really satisfying about the accomplishment.
When Alice and I saw the book drop on Monday, I felt a great relief. For better or worse, "Parasite Girls" is out there. I fucking did it.
Till next time, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.