Thursday, May 05, 2011

"I live my life between reality and fantasy..."

This was an awesome quote I heard from Lady Gaga on Ellen that I’ve decided to adopt as my own personal mantra. I’m not going to lie – I took a lot of flack (all good natured of course) for taking a day off to watch the Royal Wedding.

Words like… “pathetic” and “no life” were used with great frequency. Again no one was intending to be mean spirited but it did make me think a little. I mean I really really loved watching that wedding.

The sad truth is if I could - I would live my life reading books, watching movies and television. Now I’m not a total recluse. I have a fairly active life. I’ve traveled a lot and enjoyed everyplace I’ve visited. But if someone said to me you can never leave your home again – as long as I had access to books I would be okay with that. If someone said you can travel the world extensively but you can never read or write again – I would be devastated beyond anything I could imagine.

This is probably not great. I would love maybe a little more balance in my life. My mother would REALLY love for me to have more balance. (Interpret balance as husband, children, white picket fence etc). But I realize that part of my content with my single-no-kids life is the fact that it gives me more time to read.

And truly any real relationship I’ve had has always fallen flat in comparison to a really good romance novel. Real relationships are complicated and messy and tricky and up and down. Blind dates are typically boring and awkward and 99% are total busts.

A good book has romantic tension and instant chemistry and great sex. It gives me all of the complications of a relationship but ties it up in a nice ribbon at the end to my total satisfaction.

Now some might think I need therapy and please know that much of what I’m saying is tongue in cheek. Of course I know that a real relationship is better than a good book. (Except let me remind everyone you never have to pick up dirty socks from a good book. A good book doesn’t NOT unload the dishwasher… just saying.)

However, I can own up to the idea that I do live my life between reality and fantasy. I need both sides. In fact since my writing has been next to nil these last few months I find myself agitated like never before. Like I’m being pulled too far into reality and it’s chafing me. I need to go back to fantasyland.

So am I crazy or could this be the truth for all writers? That to truly produce a story (in any format) they have to spend at least part of their life in fantasyland.


Karen Whiddon said...

Hey Steph! Me too, me too. (waves madly!) I do try for a good balance, but sometimes it's tough. And I *never* have as much time as I'd like to read.

Eileen said...

You know, I got a lot of flack for being a dreamy kid. Apparently the neighbors used to talk about me because I could get fascinated by the way leaves looked in the gutter or the pattern of light and shadow in a room from a set of blinds.

Maybe I wasn't just a weird kid! Maybe I was a writer-in-training!

Molly O'Keefe said...

I'm right there with you - and frankly I'd much rather be right here between fantasy and reality. It's sort of like being an optimist to the hundredth degree (of course it's also being aware of how everything can go wrong).

As for real relationship vs. good book - never has a really good book left his stinking hockey gear in the laudry room for 5 days - the five days before my parents arrive and then LOOKED THE OTHER WAY while I hauled the bag upstairs to the porch. Never. Good books treat me much better when my parents are coming to town...

Sinead M said...

There is nothing better in the world than a glass of wine, a good book and peace and quiet..

I'm in fantasy land right now. It's my happy place. I have a pristine white condo, no noise, a pile of books to be read and no interruptions for several hours.

am I describing your life, Stephanie, is your life my fantasy land?

Stephanie Doyle said...

Sinead... yes. Including the white paint and condo. Fill it with some sleeping cats and comfortable throw blankets and there you have it.

My sister calls it Stephanieland. When she comes to visit she gets Birthday Cake Remix Icecream.

When my brother comes he gets porkroll.

Everybody loves Stephanieland.

Stephanie Doyle said...

And Molly sorry about the hockey stuff...

A good book also never left a wet towel on a recently made bed... (I mean seriously who does that!!!)

Maureen McGowan said...

WOW, Stephanie. What a great post.

I loved your trade-off question (no travel, but access to books/movies, vs. unlimited travel, but no books).

As much as I LOVE to travel, I think I'd make the exact same choice as you.

Now, if I could only find a book who can repair my back fence and fix the front door handle!

Eileen said...

Mmm. Stephanieland. One of these days I'm going to get there.

In the meantime, books so give me an escape from the twenty-seven guitars in my living room and the boxer shorts lying NEXT to the dirty clothes hamper. Although, in his defense, he has some sterling qualities. After all, he's agreed to take me to see Thor this weekend and there is a strong possibility of all-you-can-eat sushi beforehand. :-)

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