Come A Little Closer…

Hi there, guys and dolls! Well, as you know, my girls Andrea and Heather finished up the scheduled visits on their Poppy Cove Mystery Tour through the Okanagan Regional Library system. And boy howdy, they had such a wonderful time. They met some wonderful people, saw some beautiful countryside, and even caught up with a few old friends and made plenty of new ones. Wonderfully, many new visitors aka readers are now coming to visit Santa Lucia. The more the merrier, everyone is always welcome to get to know Daphne, Margot and the rest of the gang. They are just a click away and so happy to share their world with you. There may be a little murder and mayhem, but hey, you knew they were cozy mysteries, didn’t you?

On the tour, there were so many interesting and provocative conversations with the guests. One topic that came up many times was the discussion of graphic and explicit descriptions, and how much should be left to the imagination. As my girls listened and talked, the subject was discussed in reference to books, movies, television, and other various forms of entertainment. There was talk about leaving things to the imagination, when blood, gore, overexposure and overuse of nasty words involve the viewer or reader as an active participant in the story. Their minds become engaged deeper and further, they feel a part of the story more than if everything is splayed out, which can leave the one receiving the entertainment feeling lazy, bored, and disengaged.

Hence the “Come a Little Closer.” Think of it this way – when you are reading or watching a movie and a hand goes across a mouth and someone is pulled into the dark, you are taken in, you lean forward on the edge of your seat, you imagine the details and you ‘feel’ the story, embodied in your mind. Same goes for a romantic scene – for example, the couple kisses or embraces in a deep meaningful way, a little shoulder or glance is shown, just enough for any red-blooded adult to get the drift, and your mind wanders to your own desires, or references your own experience, it becomes about your life and your mind. You’re drawn in and want to know more, not because of what you are being told or see, but because you as a person interpret the silence between the notes for yourself.

When there is too much in your face, whether a person realizes it or not, they back away, sometimes hide their eyes, their mind shuts down, and can feel uncomfortable. They detach and in the back of their heads look for distraction, not really wanting to know or see more. There is a ‘thrill’ but it is more of a repulsion than attraction. A person will sometimes seek more, but it’s about a fight or flight response, not about engagement and embodiment. And it’s not a mistake of switching pronouns in this paragraph, it flowed out as a response to the change of personalization in the thought process during writing.

Now don’t get me wrong, I believe in everyone telling and expressing themselves in whatever way they are drawn to do, and I do encourage people to read and watch whatever floats their boat, but I’m just sharing with you the way that I like to be – engaged and connecting with others, doing my best to have dear readers share in my little corner of the world.


Barbara Jean

About Barbara Jean Coast

Barbara Jean Coast is the pen name of authors Andrea Taylor and Heather Shkuratoff. She is currently hard at work telling the cozy tales of the fictional town of Santa Lucia, loosely based on Santa Barbara in the late 50's, early 60's, known as The Poppy Cove Mysteries.
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