(No, no, I’m not going anywhere!)
Sorry for my recent absences, and my lack of post yesterday. I was hard at work, finishing my EC Torrid Tarot novel The Eighth Wand. I told my fantastic editor that she’d have it by the end of this week, but hey, I was inspired. (And luckily I’d already edited the rest of it, so had only to write the last scene.) Now let’s just hope she likes it.
Also, the sd is here, which means my evenings are taken up with what the hubs and I like to think of as our Summer “Real Film Education” Program. At home it seems she’s rarely exposed to such classics as Jaws and Die Hard. (I believe I wrote earlier about the fun of showing her Die Hard for the first time, didn’t I?) Anyway. So we watched Jaws on Sunday. I love Jaws. And last night, we watched Speed, another film I love. I love it for its cheesiness, for the cast of stereotypes, for the sheer pleasurable cliche factor (“Pop quiz, hotshot.” Yay!)
Sd loved Speed. Which is cool. But it got me thinking, when the movie ended and, as always when that movie ends, I felt like cheering.
When I was a kid, applause at the end of the movie was pretty common. It didn’t matter that in suburban St. Louis the chances of anyone actually involved in the making of the film being in the theatre were slim to none; we threw our applause into the air just the same. Because it was fun. Because it made us all feel like we’d been through an experience together. because…well, because that’s what we did.
But aside from The Return of the King and the re-release of Star Wars, I can’t remember the last time I heard applause at the end of a movie, and I wonder why.
Are movies just not as good anymore? Are we more discriminating? Or are we too blase? Too cool to clap for a bunch of people who can’t hear us anyway? And what does that say about how much fun we actually have anymore at the movies?
Sure, maybe I just haven’t been seeing the right movies with the right audiences. It’s entirely possible. But it still makes me wonder.
Makes me wonder, too, about books. When I finish a book I want to applaud. I want someone to applaud for me; but that (hopefully) happens much later, when the book is actually released.
I have an autographed copy of my favorite novel, The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk. My friend George got it for me for Christmas a few years ago, and it remains one of my most treasured possessions. There’s a little dedication over the signature (it’s a special edition printed specifically to be autographed) where Wouk basically says (with much more grace) that writing is solitary work, that you don’t know if what you’re doing is any good or not until it’s released and even then you don’t really know. But being asked for an autographed edition says something to him: “I take it as the sound of distant applause, and I thank you.”
(This is particularly on my mind because I just finished re-reading Marjorie Morningstar for the nth time, and may blog about it this weekend.)
So what books do you applaud for? And if you’ve had a book released, what sounds like applause to you?