Culture Shock

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Joe
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Culture Shock

Post by Joe » Thu Jan 07, 2016 10:14 pm

There are many things since I've been back in Maine that are much different than what I experienced over in Colorado. Like, for example, the fresh sea food, and moose burgers almost every night, along with several accents and fashion trends that are a bit out of my familiarity.

However, the biggest culture shock that I'm having right now, is the fact that almost everybody in this state has a heavy reading habit.

You go to the B&N down the street in CS, and you might find a couple of folks there who are looking through a shelf, or maybe perhaps the sneeze of a single person from across the building, where you are free to roam as you please while you delve easily through your favorite sections on a hunt for the latest from your favorite author.

Over here, it's a big haul to go to the state capitol if you want to find a B&N, and if you're going, it's a day long adventure because it takes over an hour to get to that part of the city.

Upon my drive into the parking lot, I find myself surrounded entirely of other vehicles, in fact, the parking was so scarce, that I had to park a half mile away.

My first reaction was "Hey, is there a book signing that I didn't hear about?" But no. No, it was just a typical Tuesday afternoon filled with the hopeful payers to find their favorites as well, in fact, it was so crowded that it took me almost a full minute to get through the front door. To put into perspective, it was as if B&N had a black Friday sale event in the works, but to my amazement, It was not even a deal-breaking day. Instead, I was simply surrounded by book enthusiasts. It hadn't occurred to me until I had already brushed past the seventh or eight couple wading their own ways through the shelves and shelves of print, that it was just a state cultural thing. To pack up the gang and go into town for everyone to pick out their new favorite novel. I had forgotten that in every Maine home had a heavy book shelf in the main part of their house specifically because of the reading habit everyone was into.

I won't say that it restored my faith in humanity, but I will tell you that the only thing that gave me even a glimmer of hope for the human race was this week when I went to a simple book store.

My brother in town nearer to where I live now, informed me that the two biggest businesses in the middle of town where two used book stores.

After my coat had gotten hung up to passers bye, I was fearful to crouch to the lower shelf in angst that I would be run down by those who crowded noisily past, and the thought came to mind as I quickly gave up and resumed standing;

Why is CS not this into reading? Why is it that these places all over the U.S. are so caught up on the Kardashians? Why do we care so much about the latest T.V. show and wait for book inspired movies to come out when we have the pages right there in front of us, waiting to be explored by you, the reader for the very first time ever?

It then came to me, just as soon as I was on the verge of figuring out what that last woman's perfume was supposed to reincarnate with it's spicy, nauseating scent.

This IS our T.V...This IS our life. We live in a more poverty stricken state, and instead of twenty bucks for a movie that lasts for two hours, we spend twenty bucks on a novel that keeps us entertained for days, sometimes months at a time.

I was ashamed at what I had become, and it wasn't because of how hard I broke wind in the heavy crowd, but because I had turned into that drone, a sheep, if you will. I had completely lost sight of what was important on life. As much as I love to be busy, I was reminded by these groups of strangers who bustled past me like a Hong Kong airport, that I needed the simplicity in my life. I needed to anchor down on something solid in my life.

It is normal where I live now, to have full conversations with your host about the books they have collected on the shelf, and it is the host's responsibility to know all about each one of them. It could end in complete embarrassment if their guest finds out that they don't read.

Over here, it is socially unacceptable if you don't choose to enlighten yourself to a good book, and if a bookshelf isn't the center of your home, spilling with all it's adventures, do not let them collect those flakes of dust.

We need to read, people. We need to take our busy life aside, shut off an electronic or two, pull yourself away from the "real world" for just an hour, and magic will happen. As writers, our job is to continue to fuel these minds. To feed their imaginative cravings, to give ammunition to the adventurers with minds, ready to submit to your story telling.

To conclude what I am trying to say (and to get off of my soap box), we need to separate ourselves from the world around us that teaches us all the ways to procrastinate, and to put down a bit of knowledge so that we can sit stupid on our couches and watch the latest thing on YouTube.

Please stand with me, fellow writers, and let us make the world suffer under our will, pen in hand, ink on paper.

Let us be the bustling crowd at the book store, let us raid its shelves, and have our hearts sing to the desperate at how we perceive the world. Tell them what makes us escape reality, and show them through our ability to fly into a fictional world, filled with fictional problems.

Just remember this: You can write a novel, but until you understand the mind of other novelists through reading their work, you will only be halfway there.
This calls for cake!

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RonfarZ3
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Re: Culture Shock

Post by RonfarZ3 » Sat Jan 09, 2016 5:09 pm

Quite interesting . . . but now I know why nobody in this town wants to read what I've written . . .
Maybe I should do a few author signings in Maine :P
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JL Zenor
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Re: Culture Shock

Post by JL Zenor » Sat Jan 09, 2016 7:14 pm

Interesting.

Except people here can actually go outside and enjoy the beauty of the outside.
Hugh Howey wrote:In everything you do as an author, work harder than anyone else around you. Want it more than you want anything else in life. Even if fortune doesn’t favor you, you’ll have zero regrets, and you’ll create something you’re proud of.
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Joe
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Re: Culture Shock

Post by Joe » Sat Jan 09, 2016 10:32 pm

RonfarZ3 wrote: Maybe I should do a few author signings in Maine
I'm telling you, you'd make a killing if you'd do a signing. People would confuse you for a huge celebrity.
This calls for cake!

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Joe
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Re: Culture Shock

Post by Joe » Sat Jan 09, 2016 10:33 pm

JL Zenor wrote: Except people here can actually go outside and enjoy the beauty of the outside.
Not sure what you mean. Everything here is "The outside".
This calls for cake!

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