Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Desperate Housestuff

First, some news: My web site has been updated with some behind-the-scenes stuff about Once Upon Stilettos. I've got the backstory, a few little deleted scenes, and some photos of locations (and one character). You can get to all of these through the book's page (which you can get to just by hitting the book cover on the home page). The deleted scenes from this book tend to be little snippets because most of what I did in revisions was focus on the main part of the scene that mattered to the plot. I'd really beef that part up, then trim off the stuff that ultimately didn't matter. That stuff might be of interest if you're really into these characters, but it slowed down the book, which makes them perfect as "deleted scenes" material. I have a few more scenes that I'll trickle in between now and the publication of the next book.

Of course, all that behind-the-scenes stuff is spoilery, so read the book first!

The news page and the Stilettos review page have been updated, too.

It's a good sign of how scattered I seem to have been lately that I totally forgot to mention the release of a new book. Welcome to Wisteria Lane, the anthology of essays about Desperate Housewives, is available now. I wrote an essay comparing Desperate Housewives to medieval morality plays (yes, really). I wrote that back in the fall, so more recent events in the show have sort of shaken up some of my theories, but then some of them have been even more confirmed.

I should confess that I sort of have a love/hate relationship with that show. I wasn't planning to watch it at all because it didn't seem like the kind of thing I would enjoy, but then the relentless marketing campaign, the Saturday-night rerun of the pilot episode, and boredom wore me down. I was visiting my mom one weekend while my dad was off doing disaster relief work, and no matter what we seemed to watch on TV, they had to remind us that they were re-running the hit Desperate Housewives pilot that night. That night there was nothing else on, so we decided to give it a shot. I enjoyed the absurdity of it, so I kept watching the series.

I was also surprised at how well I could relate to some of the things the characters were dealing with, seeing as how I'm neither a housewife nor "desperate." I do live in a suburban enclave that in places isn't too different from Wisteria Lane (though the houses here have more of a sameness about them). I guess in a way I might be considered a housewife in the sense that if I'm married to something, it might be to the house itself. I just don't have a husband or kids to deal with. As much as I really hate to say it, I'm probably most like Susan, Teri Hatcher's character, except without the ex-husband and teenage daughter. I work at home as an author, and I have dating woes to match hers, though I think mine are a lot less self-inflicted because I'm more cautious than she is. I also have a tendency to get into weird, wacky scrapes, like the time last summer when I managed to get locked out of my house with my keys in hand. The door was unlocked but it just wouldn't open because the door latch itself broke, and going to a neighbor while holding your house keys and saying that you're locked out and need help is almost as embarrassing as being locked out naked.

This season, I might have given up if it hadn't been for this book. It had lost the fun absurdity and I'd reached the point where I wanted to throttle all the main characters. They were suffering from Too Stupid to Live syndrome and had brought most of their own problems on themselves from being impulsive, stubborn or blind (which actually backs up a lot of my essay). But I was worried that if, by chance, I ended up doing any interviews about it, I'd need to know what had happened in the rest of the series, so I kept watching. Now, curse them, the season finale has me at least mildly intrigued to see what happens next.

I do think that Desperate Housewives is wrongly classified for awards purposes as a comedy. It may not really be a drama, but I think it ultimately fails as a comedy because, absurd as it is, it doesn't make me laugh that much. I expect more laughs from something calling itself a comedy. Your average episode of House gives me more laughs, and that's called a drama (now, there's a show it would be fun to write essays about).

So, anyway, if you care to know what I and a bunch of other authors think about Desperate Housewives, check out the book. I've also got an essay in the upcoming book on Battlestar Galactica, and I'm working on one about Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series.

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