Coffee Conversation 24, The Tao of Romance Novels

2
You know, 1+2+3=6, 1+5=6, 3+3=6 and 2+4=6. No matter what order you put the numbers, they always add to the same! I mean, it’s like a law or something.

1
Uh, yes they do always add to 6. So are you saying, on a simple level, this is an example that teaches the ‘entirety’ or sum is unchanging, no matter how much the parts that make it up are rearranged or changed around?

2
Yes! Yes, that’s it! Unchanging and ineffable. Also, indescribable and beyond our meager comprehension.

1
Say, have you been reading Taoist stuff again?

2
Well, maybe, just a little. As a writing resource only, of course. (scuffing sandal in the dirt) You know, I think we western folk get this philosophy wrong all the time (except certain romance novel writers and A.A. Milne).

1
(muttering to self, ‘I just knew this post was gonna be trouble’) Ok, let’s get on to the reason for this post. Tell me how you think writing a romance novel is the same as the Tao.

2
Is simple, make up a beautiful young woman in heavy self-denial, one that tells herself she doesn’t love the tall, dark and handsome guy who irritates her, nearly to death, with his charm, superior common sense and protective attitude. Of course he saves her from some bad karma right off, like a flat tire or something, mainly because she has no real friends and certainly no family that she can call on. She could be an orphan, even.

Then, if you want to be up to date, throw in a few zombies and such, as bad guys. Vampires too. Men and women, both. If you want to be traditionalist, just make them some sort of drug dealers or such.

Then have the bad guys after the woman because of what they think she knows or saw or because the chief bad guy has a thing for her. Any one will do.

Have the good guy fall madly in love with her, unrequited. He keeps saving her ass from all the incredibly naive and foolish things she does until one day she finally figures out she has loved him all along. You know, a defining moment when he has just about given up on her. Near the end of the book. Throw in some stuff about a love scene. Make the earth move, you know what I mean? If you don’t have an idea, just watch Cleopatra or something.

Then you can wrap it up when he reveals he is secretly a billionaire and they fly off to his private island, replete with a 5,000 room house and faithful servants that have been in the family for about 10 generations that instantly love her and supply the extended family she has never had.

Think up a racy title and get the right, ‘guy photo’ on the cover, the right ‘girl photo, looking adoringly at him’. Make a zillion dollars.

1
That’s it? Nothing else at all?

2
That is it, yes. Notice all is yin and yang? The sum predetermined (sum=love which cannot be defined, as it is ultimate love) no matter how you add the parts together. Works for Dame Barbara Cartland and about 10,000 imitators, no?

1
Oh my goodness, I guess it is just as you say (or am I losing my faculties at a too rapid rate?). The Tao of romance novels, who would have thought?

Coffee Conversation 23, Reading is Fundamental

(RIF, Reading Is Fundamental is a program that encourages children to read)

2
Eek! What are you doing?
1
Drinking a cuppa Joe.

2
But, but, Doc Phoebe said no coffee after 3:00 pm if you wanna sleep good.

1
Yes, yes she did. But it’s not 10:00 pm like we used to and now we sleep all the way to 6:00 am instead of 4:30 or 5:00. Besides, it’s 3:00 somewhere.

2
Ha ha! Very funny. Just wait ’til Doctor Phoebe finds out that you are cheating.

1
She’ll be cool with it, I’m pretty sure. At least we paid attention to what she said, didn’t we?

2
OK, if you’re sure we are alright. But it would be best if we broke the old caffeine addiction, really.

1
Yes, I know. Did you notice we bought a certain prominent brand cola after our walk today, the one we used to like a whole lot and it gave us a headache by the third sip from the bottle? We had to lie down for an hour to let it pass. Fortunately we slept part of that.

2
Well good! is all I got to say. We certainly aren’t addicted to sodas and their various additives. Water, coffee or juice for me, please.

1
You notice George is counting the time until he can drink coffee again? He swore off for a month and is 3 weeks in. After 3 weeks I’d stay off if I were him. But he will be here, I bet, the first day he can have it again. Getting his morning fix.

2

Yes, well, (changing the subject completely) about yesterday’s post, it was kind of serious, no?

1
Well, kind of. But what I wrote is so obvious to anyone with 10 brain cells left that it shouldn’t even need to be said. But TV turns those 10 cells into oatmeal, I’m pretty sure. Now, bad Chinese Kungfu movies, on the other hand (pauses)

2
(interrupting) Yeah, we love ’em. We’ll even watch some of them 3 or 4 times. Good old YouTube. Of course, it would be nice if we spoke Chinese.

1
Well, reading the subtitles is good. Reading is fundamental, after all.

2
Hahahahaha. Wait! You can’t be serious?

Coffee Conversation 22, Baking Biscuits

2
Boy, if there’s one thing I can’t stand. People whose minds are made up and won’t admit there is another view.

1
Are you certain, indubitably sure that is how you feel?

2
Absolutely! You know, people who are convinced what they think is the only legit thought. If they thought about stuff, they would think differently but they just accept what someone else has told them; school, parents, religious institutions, media, sports figures, like that.

1
So, you can’t stand people who have a one-sided view, sort of like how you feel about them?

2
OMG, cut it out. You are asking for it, buddy.

1
hahahahahahahahahahahaha

2
OK, OK. Maybe I overstated it a bit but I would love people to find out for themselves and not just accept ‘the ‘authority’s version’, whoever the authority or expert is.

1
So you are saying you remember why we have liberal arts in our colleges and universities. Not to teach a skill but to allow a student to gain a broad, knowledgable view. (Of course, that was before colleges and universities thought to make a profit so anyone could go if they wished.)

2
Yes, short version. I see quotes all the time and we do them sometimes too. But, a quote can be a distilled and refined teaching or total crap, equally well. Let me give you an example of each. ‘Make America great again’ and ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself’.

1
Yes, I am thinking that some have forgotten a few things. ‘America’ could be Mezzo or Central, North or South but is not the United States. Also, if ‘America’ was great, it was built on the efforts of the working poor and later, the working middle-class.

A broad middle class, what so many wish to come back, was a direct result of the union movement in the USA. Think of who and what destroyed unions and when you have an answer, you will have become a threat to the establishment. Well, if you speak out, anyway. The only significant unions we have now are in major league sports and government.

2
Were we ever in a union?

1
No, we never were but we were better paid and had better benefits from businesses that were afraid they would be unionized if they didn’t treat us reasonably. So we benefitted from them, anyway.

2
So what really did the unions in? It couldn’t have been Reagan firing the air-traffic controllers.

1
No, it was a big-business/government pushback and the major unions were pretty corrupt so working people didn’t exactly have faith in them or see the benefits of fighting for them anymore.

2
So, is ‘America’ great now?

1
It has a big military that is a tool of foreign policy, as it always has been.

2
So you are saying we should be isolationist?

1
No, I am saying we should not meddle in other countries’ politics, but government promotes (big) business and our military is an extension of that. Just read about the banana republics if you doubt my word. Or, look at Panama, we were there a bit ago and saw the abandoned military base we didn’t find useful once we turned the (money-making) Canal back to Panama.  Also, remember  who said oil is a national security issue.

2
No wonder we are tired of being involved in political thingies.

1
Little wonder, indeed. Let’s go bake some biscuits.

2
OK, let’s do.