A few years ago, we finally broke down and got satellite television. Before that we had a whole two channels - three on clear nights. We joked about doing a commercial for satellite television with the wife standing inside the living room, window open, shouting out to her husband who has his hands wrapped around the antennae pipe "A little to the right! -- No, No, back a notch to the Left - THERE, you got it!" Yeah, we did that a few times.
But the satellite did something I didn't expect. It highlighted the extreme differences in our likes and dislikes. He wants to watch the true to life news shows or the funny home videos or prank shows over and over. Me, I can watch the funnies and pranks on occasion but I would rather watch something with an element of fantasy or maybe something on history I can use to jump start my imagination. My husband swears he hates the sci-fi "junk" I watch for entertainment but without a doubt, he never falls asleep during the movies I choose and always falls asleep fifteen minutes into the more real-life based movies he says he prefers. Then it hit me. He falls asleep when he knows what's going to happen. The true to life things don't offer as many possibilities as the way-out-there things offered in sci-fi/fantasy.
And another thing hit me the other night when I handed over the remote to hide behind the paper of my sketchpad as I have often lately, but I couldn't escape from the volume no matter how I tried. It was then I determined I very much dislike hearing or seeing the dramas of "real-life" for entertainment. So I asked if he really must watch what he was watching. And the question was made as to how I could live so removed from real life.
I’m removed? Okay, he might have a point, but still, I laughed, shook my head and kept drawing the eye of my character who lives in the approximate year of 4352 among the ancient gods – humanity’s creators. I know it's not real. I also know pieces of it are based on a very real ancient society and that society's mythology.
I know suffering exists around the globe today. I feel the stab of helplessness so acutely when I watch the news I truly can’t stand it. I'm not ignoring it by not watching it. I do the only thing I know how to do and still stay sane. I take what I see or hear happening, what emotions that stirs, and put that emotion into my fiction books to maybe spin a new angle on topics and enable readers to look at it in new ways and truly think about things as more than just tragedies that leave people feeling crushed or powerless. I want to create a feeling of hope not so easily grasped, along with an escape from the constant hardships life will deal out to too many on a daily basis.
If this means I’m removed from real-life, then...I'm okay with that.