Reading (and writing) to Escape

There is a long list of subject matter outside my ZOPA (Zone of Possible Agreement). Just ask my husband. The last Nazi-era movie we watched together was “Schindler’s List”, I gave up on “Dexter” after the first episode, and I have still never seen “Bambi” (killing off parents at the beginning has struck movies off my list more than once). You’ll never catch me watching a “Law & Order” of any kind, “Game of Thrones” became too bloody by Book 4, and while I read “The Fault in Our Stars” I cursed John Green every step of the way.

It’s not that these are not amazing, well-crafted, perfectly wonderful entertainment. They’re just not for me.

I read for the same reason I don’t watch the news: to escape the real world. I want to be entertained, not depressed. This applies to some common, popular romance tropes these days, including abuse. I know it happens and it is truly awful – but why the hell would I want to read fiction about it?! I read romance novels to cheer me up, not bring me down.

It should come as no surprise, that writing, for me, is escapism as well. There is plenty to worry about in life –school shootings, racism, hate, unemployment, aging parents, teenage drinking, the opioid crisis, cancer, heart attacks, nuclear war, terrorism –I worry about all of these things, (and more), but that is a debilitating way to live (take my word for it).

I came up with Dōjini because in real life, we don’t know what might have been. Choices both big and small, fate in all its weird incarnations, people and their fabulous idiosyncrasies: all of these impact our realities. But in Dōjini, we can see what might have been and find out if true love can conquer all, no matter what reality our heroine may be facing. If that’s not escapism, I don’t know what is.

So now, I must go. I have an “escape date” with a glass of wine and The Cad and the Co-Ed.

Happy Escapism to All!



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