bits and pieces

As an avid reader, I eagerly await the New York Times Book Review every Sunday. Checking out the book reviews and best-seller lists is a favorite ritual.

I noted that Fifty Shades of Grey, a novel by E L James, has been on said list for ages. Heeding my curious nature and ignoring my gut feelings, I ordered the book, the first in a trilogy. In the unlikely event that you’ve never heard of the Grey trilogy, here’s the scoop. The aforementioned book falls under the genre of erotic fiction, although I’ve heard it called, “mommy porn.” And that’s about it.

I’m not going to critique this entire book, that job belongs to the many talented book critics. However, I’m bowled over by its immense popularity. This trilogy has topped best-seller lists around the world!

I’m a gal that will plod through a book, even if I’m not particularly enjoying it. I found this book so tedious that I was groaning — not in ecstasy, but from boredom. A quarter of the way through, I called it quits. It wasn’t the author’s literary skills, or lack thereof, nor the silly inner dialogue of the protagonist. I was struggling amid two emotions: disgust and hope.

My disgust wasn’t caused by the books erotic content. I’m no prude. And if one enjoys this type of reading, (judging from the book’s popularity, many gals do) who am I to judge? Rather, my disgust stemmed from the violence, submissive role and antiquated treatment of women. The protagonist enjoyed being slapped around, tied up and spanked by a total control freak! This gal even agreed to sign a dominant/submissive contract! Jeez! Haven’t women fought long and hard for their freedoms?

2013 0112 fifty shadesYet, I am hopeful. Many folks, especially those of us who write, dream about authoring a book. I, mean, really, the popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey tells me that one has to be smart, but not necessarily a literary genius. And besides, we have editors who can make us wanna-be authors look good.

After reading some of this book, my ambition to pen the great American novel has been resurrected. However, the subject matter has me stymied. I’m thinking maybe fiction. Most times, fiction is pure fabrication; sometimes though, we find a smattering of truth running through the pages of a novel. Can I invent some interesting characters or loosely base the plot on real-life happenings? Can I come up with an exciting storyline? Can I be sued?

A memoir? I know a memoirist who is quite good; maybe I’ll pick her brain. My family, like most, was typically dysfunctional. Nuts! (No pun intended.) I just Googled “Growing up Italian,” and sure enough, a few writers beat me to the punch.

How-to books? These books guide us through life with the most mundane tips. Here’s my short list of titles: “How to Snag a Husband after your Third Marriage” or “Ten Things Men Know about Women.” Nah, don’t think so.

Books on finance are popular. I can write about making money from nothing. But I haven’t made any money, so I’ll put that idea on the back burner.

Cooking is a popular book genre. Although I watch the cooking shows, I’m no Julia Child protégé. Managing a great meal is one thing, but really… who’ll buy cookbook by Celia Iannelli. I’m not a household word, yet.

Self-help book? These books are money-makers. Self-help authors join the lecture circuits and, bonus; I don’t mind speaking in public. That’s it! I’ll write about public speaking. But wait… does this come under the genre of “how-to” books?

Erotic fiction seems to be on fire. (The gals definitely are!) But how and where will I find my inspiration? Hmm. E L James is one smart cookie, maybe I’ll email her for some advice.

Well, folks, thus far, I have a curser winking on a blank screen and a brain that’s short-circuiting. Ah, me. But I take heart: If E L James pulled it together and wrote three books; methinks I can come up with something.

I’ll keep you posted….


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Iannelli Celia hed 2013


Celia Iannelli is a native New Yorker enjoying a second career — in ‘retirement’ — as a freelance writer. She lives in Jamesport with her husband Frank.

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Celia Iannelli is a native New Yorker enjoying a second career — in 'retirement' — as a freelance writer. She lives in Jamesport.