Saturday, January 8, 2011

Fiction vs. Reality

I was all set to deliver probably the 845,395th post on the internet about the possibility that ebooks and epublishing would soon be on par with brick and mortar book stores and the Big 6 publishers who dominate English Language print.  But then Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot in Arizona today by a gunman.  And that changed a lot.

I'm a fiction writer and I specialize in thrillers, stories of suspense and hard-boiled noir crime fiction.  It is inherent that in the stories I write, people are hurt and (quite often) killed.  Not real people though.  They are figments of my imagination.  But I do take an insanely large amount of pleasure in killing off some of these creations of my brain.  And I know dozens of people who take great pleasure in reading about the demise of these "people."  But they are not real; their deaths are not mourned by any real tears, unless I get to be a much better writer that is.

Rep. Giffords is a flesh and blood person.  She is the wife of an astronaut and the mother of two children.  She represented people in Arizona, by all accounts, pretty well.  That is to say, she wasn't involved in any scandal and apparently went about doing the job she was elected to do.  But someone saw fit to try and end her life and the lives of the people who came to see her today.  That someone, whomever he may be, is an idiot; he is crazy, and a living, breathing example of evil.  I hope he gets beat up after he is taken into custody. I hope if some of the people he shot do, God forbid, pass away, that he gets the gas chamber or however they kill people in Arizona.

Fiction, be it in book form or on TV or in the movies, is fake.  We are not responsible for people who kill people in real life.  Neither are people who might have disagreed with Rep. Giffords politically.  But real people do get killed; tragedies do happen.  And as a fiction writer, I would like to say that my thoughts and prayers are with the families of ALL of those people who were shot today.  I hope they all make it.  And I hope that one of my more elaborate and cringe-worthy death scenes awaits the moron who shot them.

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