Sunday, January 6, 2013

More Than a Diversion by Guest Author REBECCA MCKINSEY

When I was much younger, two of my all-time favorite things to do were to go to the library and the video rental store. There was nothing better than bringing home a new stack of books to read or a few video cassettes to watch. It was something special -- a new story, a new experience. When I get calls from family members asking if there's a movie I'd like them to rent, I still get the same feeling. Nowadays, my height gives me a wider range of what books I can find at the library, but that feeling is the same, too.

I don't see this same approach to entertainment in people today. Kids are more likely to retain a sense of wonder over their favorite movies and books, but I'm seeing it less and less and it's creeping backward in age. Entertainment in general is becoming nothing more than an escape. Aside from the actual creators of entertainment, which would be a subject deserving of its own time, people are losing their appreciation for storytelling as an art.
In a consumable society, we always want the next great thing. It's always about the next, no matter what it is. It's about being amused, not being thoughtful. This, of course, would be a generalization, as there are obvious exceptions: the "nerds" on a subject, or those called "experts" (though they're really the same, just seen in different light). Yet, a society is defined by its average. This one is focused on keeping up. We can see it in kids with the newest phones, newest clothes, and when they get older you can see it in the fanciest cars and striving for the most prestigious jobs.
There's nothing wrong with nice phones, nice clothes, nice cars, and good jobs, but the problems start when other things fall by the wayside. Storytelling is a part of any culture you can find, but it's more than just a diversion. It's something that teaches in ways that reach members of a society better than anything else. The stories told will tell you what a group is like. When an industry dilutes that art for little more than meeting a demand, what people are taught will suffer. When people lose their childlike appreciation for the good stories being given to them, they may learn academically but their education will be vastly lacking.
When both happens, you'll have a cycle of demand and supply that's nearly impossible to break. To preserve the integrity of entertainment, even on a small scale, there has to be people who are willing to recognize what's storytelling and what's just an item put out by an industry. There will always be different mixes, as many as books and movies and all other forms out there, but being willing to look at what's being presented is the first step in protecting how people are taught. When you can protect the sincerity of how people are taught, so many other things are possible.
ABOUT REBECCA MCKINSEY is the website for Rebecca McKinsey, a 21-year-old novelist who learned to drive a library cart before she learned to drive a car, and still prefers the library cart, if it would only get her to appointments on time. She was born in a town, raised in the country, and now lives in the city, but spends most of her time in places that don’t exist. She is a lover of words, a devoted drinker of tea, but, most notably, a storyteller. Rebecca has been a storyteller from her earliest memories, when she would make up stories to go with pictures in books before she could read the words. But reading… oh, words! They opened for her new worlds and paths to new characters and experiences. At the age of 11, she knew she wanted to be a writer someday so she could share her own stories. “Someday” finally came. She self-published The Storytellers: Anterria in December 2010, The Storytellers: Atlantis in January 2012, and Sydney West in February 2012, with Lorem Ipsum, the second book in the Sydney West series, tentatively scheduled to be self-published in December 2012. She wants her stories to draw young people into a lifetime of reading, encouraging them to read and discover the pleasure in getting lost in a story, and inspiring them to write their own stories.
When she’s not writing, plotting, or outlining her next story, Rebecca enjoys reading, crocheting, knitting, spinning, movies, and dreaming of having a cat and living in a bicycle-friendly neighborhood, where she doesn’t have to rely on that library cart or car to get around.
To purchase Sydney West, click here.
Description: Sydney WestABOUT SYDNEY WEST
Sydney West is a tall, pale stranger who collapses in the middle of a busy coffee shop, later waking in the hospital as an amnesiac. He immediately exhibits impressive observation and memory skills, along with a number of eccentricities. His new acquaintances don’t know what to think of him as his paranoia mounts and inconsistencies build around him.
In RE-learning about himself, he finds he has great difficulty in making friends, learns that he detests coffee and loves tea, and that suddenly he can play one song on the piano like a master. One song, and no others. Couldn’t this all be within the realm of “normal” with his amnesia? Certainly, he tries to convince himself. But ghosts of memory rise into his subconscious, and he has the intense feeling of someone physically being by his side when there is no one there. Fleeting memories take residence in the back of his recollection that he can’t quite get a grasp of, and when he starts to connect information, the sound in his head causes such extreme pain that he can’t think straight. Yes, there may be darker forces that have caused his memory loss, and may be planning further harm.
He is determined to piece together his history and find out who is manipulating his present, while trying to determine friend from foe, a task that seems impossible to accomplish, especially since it seems that some clues may be pointing to him as the manipulator.
Sydney West is a tale of mystery, suspicion, sarcasm, used books, and Earl Grey tea.

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