Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The night shift...

I started a new job about four months ago. Recently, I decided to take on a different shift. Midnights. Where I work, it's actually from about 11:30 to 3:45, five nights a week.

Yes, I volunteered. No, I'm not crazy...or should I say no more insane than usual? There were several factors that brought me to this decision -- one of which, of course, was money. Others included the time I'm now home while my family is awake and active. Once I get some sleep, I'm up by noon and ready to do the mom and wife gig. ;)

During all this change, I've discovered something. The night shift is very quiet compared to others I've worked. The muse seems to come to life, as well. So, while I'm waiting between customers, I write. The old fashioned way with a pen on paper -- yellow, legal pad, to be precise.

The next day, I transcribe my writing to the document -- usually doing some tweaking along the way. It's a system I think I'm going to like, and one that will work for me. It may also mean I'll get this book done and ready to sub by the end of April. :)

Inspiration comes from amazing places. Sometimes it's in a song on the radio. A sunset on a cool spring evening. A drive through a ghost-like town at four in the morning, long before most people's alarm clocks have gone off. I've noticed my inspiration is better received in the quiet of the night...during those lulls when there's nothing to do except listen.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Coming full circle...

My oldest son, age 14, pointed something out to me recently. That old 'double standard' -- or at least one form of it -- seems to have come full circle.

He saw a picture posted on-line of several 40-something women holding signs up and screaming like groupies for a certain young actor. For those Twilight fans out there, the young man in question is none other than Taylor Lautner, werewolf buddy turned one fine hunk of man. ;)

A comment posted with the picture stated that if a group of 40-something men staged the same scene for a 17-year-old actress -- the attention given by the public wouldn't be so accepting. No laughs and knowing winks. Those men would branded as disgusting perverts, if not worse.

Wow. A little harsh, but, yes, I have to admit it's probably true. I'm almost ashamed to admit that I'd likely think those exact thoughts. And yet, here I am, a 40-something mom, completely appreciating the very impressive physique and handsome face of a boy young enough to be my own child.

Huh. That revelation made me squirm just a bit.

So, anyone want to hazard a guess how this happened? When did societal values shift so that older women ogling ... even lusting after younger men became okay? But the opposite became a bad joke?

Just to clarify, I don't actually lust after young Taylor. I do admire him from afar. I do find myself wishing certain men my own age still looked half that fit, shall we say? But I do not sit around and daydream about him.

Whatever the reasons have been, the truth is that things have changed. What was once taboo is no longer. And so a whole new sub-genre of the romance novel has been born. I haven't found a favorite older woman/younger man book, yet, but I'll let you know when I do.

I once read the statement that the difference between men and women being with someone much younger is that the woman knows she'll look ridiculous. I'm sure Demi Moore would have a few choice words regarding that observation. ;) But in reality... in the lives of average, everyday, non-movie star people, I think it's likely very true.

Most women I know would never dream of initiating a romance with a man ten or more years their junior, no matter the appeal. If such a young man were to make the first advance, that same woman might wonder what he really wanted... and just how long she'd hold his attention. Yes, we have many issues involving vanity. Perhaps some trust issues, as well.

Women now, as a whole, seem to now feel confident enough to admit they find men... even much-younger men, sexy and desirable. Men, on the other hand, are given nasty looks by many of those same women, if they're found lusting for much-younger girls.

Yes, the tables have turned on this particular double-standard. Makes me wonder what will be next.