Don’t judge a book by its cover. Or…maybe do. When I bring my kids to the library, they judge books SOLELY by their covers. Is there a dragon? Right on! Is there a boy on a broomstick? Yippee! Is there a fuzzy kitten? I want that book! I’ve tried to talk them into reading books with so-so covers and they react as if I’m suggesting they take a dip in boiling beezlenut oil or, you know, voluntarily go to the doctor for a shot. So when it comes to kids books, I’ve learned to consider the cover very carefully or risk an upturned nose and a brisk ‘forget it, Mom.’
But what about adult books? Shouldn’t we be able to skip the cover and get to the heart of it: is this book any good or am I going to be bitter that I just spent hours of my life I’m never getting back to read it?? Yes. We should be above covers and yet…
…I’m guilty. I love a good cover! I mean, a good cover will get me to throw down my hard earned money and buy the damn thing. It will get me over a blah review or a boring book jacket description. If the cover sings, if it draws me in, I’m a goner. It’s one of the reasons I can’t bring myself to love ebooks the way I love the print version. I want to see that cover the way it was meant to be!
Okay, now that I’ve confessed that I’m no better than a child when it comes to judging books, I want to share the cover of Happily Ever After (release date 3/4/14) with you. The folks at Touchstone Books did such a great job, I hope you judge it at least a little by its cover! (have a look here: http://amzn.to/18GYsl7 or here: http://elizabethmaxwellauthor.com/)
I’d like to meet the guy who thought doing yoga in a one hundred and five (or whatever) degree room was a good idea. I can see him sitting in lotus position on a Himalayan peak somewhere laughing his ass off. Probably he’s wearing a down parka because it’s freezing.
There are twenty seven poses in Bikram. They are always the same so the instructors are more or less irrelevant. Actually, that’s not true. Some instructors belt out the postures auctioneer style leaving you with jangled nerves. Others come across as deeply and emotionally disturbed by your dreadful camel. Still others want to nurture your inner well being and you feel a real sense of alarm that you may be sprinkled with pixie dust any second now. Either way, you end up sweaty. Rivers run down your face. Your hair drips like a faucet. Your fingers prune up as if you’ve been swimming circles in a hot tub for hours on end. You attempt to hold your left foot high in the air while you balance on your right big toe. But you might as well try clinging to a greasy badger. It ain’t going to happen. That left foot hits the ground. Hard. People stare at you. Disapproving.
After a few poses, you start to notice things. First, the room smells. Like the soccer socks of a teenaged boy, forgotten in the trunk of your car for a hot week in August. Like the inside of a leather shoe worn without socks. Like your suitcase when you’ve stayed in the tropics for a week too long. It’s fine as long as you don’t breathe.
Second, some people are made of rubber and not just porn stars. Regular people. People you see around town. But you are not one of them. Don’t even kid about it, it just makes you look pathetic.
So there you are, getting yelled out to bend in inhuman ways, in a stinky room where you can only take baby sips of water like your in labor or something, with your contact lenses so full of sweat you’re virtually blind and suddenly a question pops into your cluttered overheated mind: why the HELL am I doing this?
I’ll tell you why. Because it feels really good. And you’re already plotting when you can come back and do it again…
I have gorged myself on summer movies. I have binged in a way that is almost inexcusable. In eight days I’ve seen five movies. I have the trailers memorized. My blood is mostly popcorn and expensive bottles of water. And I’m pissed off.
When I was a kid, way back before they invented the interwebs, summer movies were something to behold, adventures that had you holding on to your seat, characters you wanted to take home and hang out with, smart scripts, perfect execution, total escape. Think Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Alien One AND Two, Speed, Men in Black, Batman (the old one), Terminator, Back to the Future and, of course, Jaws. I still can’t go in the ocean without some Xanax on board.
But something has happened. Summer fare has gone soulless. These movies aren’t smart. They’re not even clever. And they make no sense whatsoever. Instead of trying for a story that is at least this side of comprehensible, studios simply crank up the volume and blow up Manhattan. Or the White House. Or the Golden Gate Bridge. Who’s writing this shit? A bunch of monkeys locked in a box? Of course that’s unfair to the innocent monkeys. Maybe the folks at the wheel just assume I’m an idiot and won’t notice their Grand Canyon sized plot holes.
But worst of all, folks, these movies are just not FUN. No. They are the stuff of anti-fun. A giant black hole of fun-ness. And I think somebody better get on this before we all retreat to our collective coaches, close the curtains and binge on the glory of summers gone by until the sun comes up again.