Thursday, June 03, 2010

My Novel's Journey: Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator: Social Comentary

When I wrote a press release for Magic, Mensa and Mayhem winning the INDIE Award, I asked my publisher for a quote. She wrote "Karina has successfully blended fantasy, humor and cultural references into a fun-filled book that people of all ages can enjoy."

It's kind of funny, because I didn't plan on writing social commentary, but when it comes to humor, there is so much in society to comment on. We are a people full of contradictions. Housing divisions pride themselves on their how their houses are "green," yet their covenants forbid you to put up a clothesline. Environmentalists are now protesting windfarms because birds don't always avoid them. I don't want to be a comedienne, because I'm not as funny in real life, but when I write my DragonEye stories, it does seem to come naturally.

Neeta Lyffe is another case where I can have fun playing with society--exaggerating common contradictions, extrapolating to ridiculous extremes, taking trends to ludicrous ends. Am I trying to make political statements? Eh, maybe--but really, I'm making jokes. Any statement runs more along the lines of, "Can we insert some common sense here?"


I'm not to the end of the novel yet, but I had a great idea for the last scene. I live in California, where touts stand outside the kush clinics on Venice Beach invite you to go into their tents to get "evaluated" and "prescribed" medicinal marijuana. Last week, I drove the kids to school, and the radio was playing "Can't Get No Satisfaction." The verse about "he can't be a man because he doesn't smoke the same cigarettes as me," got me thinking about the tobacco companies and the real irony of demonizing nicotine while working to legalize marijuana. If they succeed, I can easily see Neeta going to a local pharmacy...

Neeta paused to look at the medicinal marijuana aisle. Not that she planned on purchasing anything, but the stocker had such a great imagination when it came to labels: Cannabis for Cramps. Reefers for Relaxation. Pot for Pains. Perched on the top shelf was a long ad with several individuals from the suntanned surfer to the well-dressed businesswoman. "Medicinal Marijuana--It's for Us!" the banner declared.

Meanwhile, when she pays, she'll see the cigarettes in the locked cage behind the cashier, with a sign form the Surgeon General warning that nicotine is addictive and dangerous.

It's not the only reason I write, but it is one of the perks.

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