Thursday, March 14, 2013

My brain is an Adult Continuing Education Catalog

I have yet to surrender my Facebook as I talked about in my last post. I did however relinquish my Twitter account, am this close to getting rid of Pinterest and I actually cleaned out a large amount of the over one hundred zillion email messages I have amassed in my yahoo email account over the last 15 or so years. Wait, can 15 years be the correct guesstimate of time? I suppose it could since I remember emailing people about Y2Kand how totally bananas it all was (I do actually think I used the word "bananas"), so I suppose it was closer to 13 years. Damn. Anyway, it has been a spring cleaning of sorts. After this season of Mad Men comes and goes, I'm ditching cable and my DVR. I don't need the distractions. I need to create and absorb and not mindlessly watch shit on TV. I like the idea of knowing that what I'm watching is something I've sought out and not just something that happens to be on at any given time.

I've been  hatching all sorts of plans for my future and, as per my usual Modus Operandi, I am all over the freaking place. The only way I am going to be able to live my life as I want to is if I live 98 years and if,during that time, scientists figure out a way to put more hours in one day. Anyway, one of my latest schemes (and it may or may not have been implanted into my subconscious by a wine fueled discussion I had with my friend Marianne the other night) is to write an eBook that is not of very good quality (under a nom de plume, natch) and sell the crap out of it. In my very extensive and thorough research of what eBooks are the big sellers*, I realized that sex is the key. 50 Shades of Grey could not have sold so many copies if it hadn't been, and I use this term with GREAT hesitation, sexy. Do you think anyone would have given a shit if the story they had read had been about an abusive asshole falling for a complete, lip biting idiot had there not been vaginal balls or whatever else in the sam hell went on in that book? No. No they would not have. Most people "in the know" realize that there is now and always was a huge market for erotic fiction and the eBook onslaught of the recent past has made this the money maker. It is so easily accessible and affordable and, thanks to eReaders and iPhones and other devices that have the second initial capitalized, no one has to feel publicly shamed for reading such fare as "Thong on Fire" or "With This Collar"; they can keep that shame like the rest of us have been doing for  years, in the underwear drawer.

If I were intending to write something good, I assume I'd be intimidated. Romance writing takes skill. Erotica writing takes skill. If one's aim is to write a good story, I'm pretty sure in any genre it would take some level of skill. If your aim is to just write for money then it can't really be that hard. (Again, I refer to 50 Shades of Bleh) For the purposes of research, I recently downloaded an erotic book onto my iPhone. I picked at random and by price point, paying little to no attention to the synopsis provided. My ebook cost $3.99 and it is, improbably enough, about a race of aliens that kidnap women from a vacation resort in order to understand humans through having sex with them. (Because that has worked really well for humans, understanding each other through copulation.) Yes,  you read that synopsis correctly. I have not been able to read more than about a page and a half without laughing right out loud. It is in no way a sexy book. It has sex in it, yes. But when the main character, an alien is uttering made up words in an alien language during coitus, you laugh and then you email your friends about it and then you start thinking about how you need to clip your toenails. THAT is the book I want to sell many copies of because a)it would take me no effort to write it and b) I'd have enough money to quit at least one of my jobs to have more time to write things that don't have to be hidden in an underwear drawer.

But that's just a "plan" in its nascent stage. I have other plans. For example, I want to get certified as a yoga instructor. Nevermind that I don't have the thousands of dollars to go to yoga training nor the time to even take regular yoga classes. Forget that I can't do headstands or anything involving having the lower part of my body elevated over the upper part of my body. Forget ALL of that. My "plan" is to teach yoga to earn extra money and get in shape. Yeah, that's going to happen. Hey maybe I can somehow combine plan A and plan A.5???

I have also lately been flipping to the back of my brain's equivalent of an adult continuing education catalog to the "personal enrichment" section and have been formulating plans to improve both my Spanish and French, to learn to make sushi at home, to learn more than the two chords on the ukulele that I know, to rewatch the entire Mad Men seasons 1-5 for the fourth time, to read from cover to cover "The People's History of the United States", to watch every Billy Wilder film consecutively, to listen to the following albums in their entirety in the safety found behind my closed bedroom door just like back when I used to have time to do such things:

the new David Bowie
the new My Bloody Valentine
the new Atoms for Peace
the new Fiona Apple
the new Rufus Wainwright
insert new band that everyone likes and I should listen to.

Are you beginning to see why I need to live until I'm 98? Maybe you all should start emailing me advice on how to extend my lifespan and how to maximize that 40 minutes of free time I have between coming home from work and crashing into deep, deathlike sleep. I could use the advice.

*I did no research whatsoever.

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