I can’t believe that in the Memorial Day madness of having to go to work, I forgot to post last Monday. Yeesh. I’m a dork. But yeah, I do work on Memorial Day. I have for the last 13 years because my company puts on a big Memorial Day event. I ate something my stomach didn’t agree with at the event (been having health issues related to my stomach lately) and spent the next two days in bed in agony. Meh. I’m better now and staying away from a lot of foods I used to eat.
Anyway, you’re probably wondering about the odd title of my post. Rott came in the house the other night and said the cows were growling. Well, I grew up across the street from a dairy. I’d never heard a cow growl before. Here in the canyon, the cows come up to our fence, thrust their heads over and munch our plants and grass. I often hear them mooing and lowing. I think the growling Rott refers to is lowing. However, to his city boy eyes the cows look mean and they sound like they are growling.
I realized it’s all perception.
Perception has been the thorn in my side this week. Luckily, not a bad thorn. More a resigned eyerolling type of thorn. And no, it’s not the growling cows that pricked me. It’s Goodreads reviews or maybe it’s just reviews in general and it’s just the Goodreads ones that stuck their thorny selves into my hide.
Here’s the deal: I wrote a FREE story for the M/M Goodreads group. Someone decided to attach the stories to the author profiles so people could click on them and review them. There are two reviews on my story where the readers obviously have very different perceptions of my story than I have. They didn’t trash the story, but their comments were slightly sarcastic and showed that they weren’t happy with how I wrote the story. Mostly, they weren’t happy with it because they just didn’t see things the way I see things.
Let me break it down for you a little. First, they complained about the realism of my story because one hero doesn’t realize the other hero is the son of famous parents. Their take on this was that in the age of the internet, Daren should have known who Taylor really was. My take on this is that I don’t fucking know what KK Downing of Judas Priest’s son looks like. A lot of famous people have kids whose faces aren’t known to the public and whom you might not find if you Google them. And my character doesn’t have a reason to Google the man he’s in love with. Not everyone is into Googling the people they know. And this is a family where the famous father doesn’t want his kids in the limelight, doesn’t want them in the music business and wants him to be an attorney! A father like that isn’t going to let the press take photos of his kids. And that is exactly who my character’s father is.
Next item, the reviewers complained about how callous Daren was with his fuck buddy Wes. Well, for one, have you ever seen how unsentimental men can be about a fuck? I mean, even straight guys can be that way. I said straight up that Wes was with Daren solely as a fuck buddy. Daren wasn’t using Wes without Wes’s consent. Wes puts himself out there as a fuck buddy. I clearly said so when I said Wes flitted from man to man like a butterfly in a garden. Daren at least likes Wes as a friend. Yes, he was using him for the occasional blow job without much reciprocity, but that’s how Wes arranged the relationship. It wasn’t Daren doing something that was hurtful to Wes.
You know, a man read this story before I turned it in. A GAY MAN read the story. He didn’t see anything wrong in the way I portrayed the men and their motivations. In fact, he reminded me that men don’t use as many words as women when they talk about themselves and their relationships. He reminded me that men aren’t always as sentimental as women and can compartmentalize sex. We also had a discussion about a certain set of female readers who expect all gay romances to be as flowery and emotion baring as het romances when in reality a lot of men – including gay ones – just don’t talk like that or explain themselves that way. So whose perception of reality is actually skewed here?
The third item that they didn’t like was how Daren and Taylor react when they finally reveal they’re in love with each other. After five years, they felt the two men should be swooning over each other. In the story Daren pinches himself hard to make sure he’s not dreaming, but overall, both men are relieved everything’s going to be okay. They’re eager to get to bed. They aren’t into a long discussion of feelings right then. You love me? Great, I love you too. Can we fuck now and talk later cause I’ve had a boner for you for five years?
It’s a humorous scene which is how I intended it. So in this instance, there is a little literary license taken because the scene is meant to be funny not all that reality based. But again, a GAY MAN read this and didn’t find it to be out of the ordinary at all. Men downplay their emotions a lot and use humor to cover. So once again, the two readers have a different perception of reality than me and my gay male beta reader (who is an author as well.)
So I guess they heard growling cows. Meh. It happens. What can you do?
How about a Marcus so I can get myself off to work?
Such a fun photo! Well, that’s my perception anyway. LOL Have a great Monday!