I am not biking, hiking, exploring, or being active in any meaningful way because I feel like crap. I've had the flu, and Iam not doing much of anything except laying on the couch reading trashy paranormal romance/urban fantasy novels. That sounds great, I know, and it is. But probably not for the reason you think. I no longer read each page because they all pretty much follow the same formula and they are not written particularly well. In fact, I can read one of these books in a day. I have been skipping the sex parts for years. The sex scenes are all pretty much the same.
Why do I still read this genre? Because I love reading the parts where these women beat up bad guys. They kick ass and take no prisoners. These women are not afraid of anything. Should I be ashamed to admit that is MY fantasy? And these heroines always have some kind of magical power that helps them kick bad person ass. Way fun.
I also started reading this great book on Fairy Tales (From The Beast to the Blonde, by Marina Warner). It is chock full of subversive information about what people in the Middle Ages thought of old women. Apparently we are all useless, (i.e., no longer able to conceive children), physically repulsive, scary old gossips who spread "old wives tales." The up-side is that we are also the original source of Fairy Tales.
Imagine grandmothers throughout the centuries telling their grandchildren tales the storytellers heard from their own grandmothers. These stories were dismissed by the literati of their times as the inane drivel old women used to stoke the irresponsible fantasies of young children. Still, the storytelling continued until eventually men like Hans Christian Anderson, Charles Perrault, and the Brothers Grimm decided to collect the old tales, write them down, and sell them for profit and posterity. However, the men who wrote down these stores often changed them, cleaning them up to make them more acceptable to the later Christian reading public.
It seems grandmothers in the Middle Ages used to tell it like it was: weaving and repeating tales that warned their grandchildren about the dangers of violence, greed, brutality, abuse, scam artists, and even incest. They taught children how to use their heads in a crisis and avoid becoming victims. They also taught them to be nice to old hags they might meet in the woods, because those old hags might be fairy godmothers in disguise! What great advice! THEIR grandkids were schooled in street smarts and knew who and what to avoid. Our grandkids, relying solely on Disney to tell them the watered down and revised tales, are naive at best. Our kids mistake the old hag they meet in the woods for an evil old witch who should be ridiculed, ignored, or worse. Talk about bad manners and meanness of spirit! I am surprised more young people today are not spitting out toads when they attempt to speak.
At worst, our granddaughters spend their lives obsessing over their appearance and looking for a gentleman prince who will change their lives. I think we should be telling our granddaughters to forget about getting that Princess makeover at Magic Kingdom and instead we should help them figure out how to spin straw into gold.
Plan for your retirement, my sweet! Give your future husband a break and change your own life. In the meantime, I am going to continue speed reading urban fantasy for the fight scenes. My sweet Grandma only told me Bible stories and I still have a lot to learn.