I think we’ve all experienced the hard-to-shake feeling of being betrayed, whether it’s by a close friend or by someone we don’t know at all. The sensation can be devastating and can alter our future interactions, our faith in others, or maybe our belief in a system or entity. One act of betrayal can forever change your world view.
a. To give aid or information to an enemy of; commit treason against: betray one’s country.
b. To deliver into the hands of an enemy in violation of a trust or allegiance: betrayed Christ to the Romans.
2. To be false or disloyal to: betrayed their cause; betray one’s better nature.
3. To divulge in a breach of confidence: betray a secret.
4. To make known unintentionally: Her hollow laugh betrayed her contempt for the idea.
5. To reveal against one’s desire or will.
6. To lead astray; deceive.
Reading the definition, it seems rather…flat. Doesn’t it? As if there should be more there to encompass the rainbow of feeling that goes hand-in-hand. In romance novels, perceived betrayal is often the basis for storylines using my most disliked plot device- the Big Misunderstanding. For those of you not familiar with it, let me just say that generally, one or two simple questions from the hero to heroine or vice-versa would clear up a lot of hurt and misunderstanding. Of course, then the book would be only 20 pages long, but I wouldn’t want to bitch-slap the characters for their horrible communication. Was that your lover you were hugging? Oh, it was your brother? Silly me, I love you, let’s get married 😉
But in real life, betrayal comes in many forms and can be damaging to marriages, friendships, business relationships, and careers. It can be something as simple as using someone’s ideas in what you think is a harmless way (I love the idea she had for her website, I’m going to do mine like that!), using a book or plot idea that they bounced off you or outright plagiarism.Betrayall can be found in the telling of a secret that’s not meant to be told, a choice of words that takes credit for ideas that aren’t your own, or in the laughter over a friend’s choice of outfits- after you had told her it looked fabulous.
The thing about betrayal? It’s not black and white. It’s shaded in the many, many tones of gray. What one person sees as an act of betrayal, another may see as a good business move, a harmless joke, or an act the person should be flattered by. No two people will likely see betrayal the same way. We are all molded by our beliefs, values, and experiences and that makes us view things individually.
An example: A wife is on a business trip, away from her husband and kids. She’s lonely and out of sorts so she goes down to the hotel bar for a cocktail. While there, she sees an attractive man who smiles at her, giving her ego a bit of a boost. She takes her drink upstairs to her room and proceeds to fantasize about what it might have been like to kiss this man.
For some people, just the fact that she thought about kissing someone other than her husband might be perceived as an act of betrayal. Others would argue that it was a harmless fantasy and wouldn’t count as betrayal unless she actually kissed him. And still others would say that ‘just a kiss’ doesn’t count as betrayal, if she’d gone farther…say…oral sex, that would be betrayal. And yet others would say that even if she’d had sex with the anonymous stranger, it was just casual sex, a one-night stand, didn’t mean anything and didn’t have any bearing on her relationship with her husband so it’s not betrayal.
There are a number of ‘real life’ examples I could use to illustrate this as well (Judas and Jesus, Bill Clinton, King Arthur, Guinevere and Lancelot, Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie)
See how values, beliefs, etc plays a role in our perception of betrayal? In romance novels, a skilled author creates a backstory and a belief-system for their characters that makes readers find plausibility in a character’s sense of betrayal. In real life, everything that has come before in our lives decides how we will react.
Probably, at this point, you’re wondering what brought this on, why I’m ruminating on this. A variety of things actually, some of which I can’t (and won’t) discuss on a public blog. But also because of three things that I read in the past day.
First, fans of Lost might find this blog interesting (link swiped from Michelle’s blog, where I saw it posted). It’s the blog of one of the writers of Lost and he quite clearly feels betrayed by a friend and colleague. Probably something that will impact his view and trust of others.
Second, my friend Jaci was the victim of plagiarism this past week. She and several authors actually. Some random idiot on the web took their books, changed the names to N’sync group member names and claimed the work as her own N’sync fan-fiction. She took entire books and posted them as her work on her website. The stories have since been removed, but I saw Jaci’s book up there with my own eyes. Her entire book. This is what Jaci has to say about it.
But J wasn’t the only author impacted. Another author, Douglas Clegg also had his work stolen by this same thief. He writes a compelling blog entry about it here. Now, clearly, neither J or Douglass know this person, but there still seems to be a sense of betrayal that can arise from an act like this. A betrayal of a sense of what’s right or just, maybe? As an author, you expect that your fellow human beings will respect the hard work, energy, creativity and emotion that go into creating and crafting a story and that they will not claim it as their own. How …violating to realize that not everyone has the same sense of morals you do 🙁
I’ve been very introspective about things the past few days and I think betrayal can sometimes be on of the most shattering experiences but also one that can cause you to grow and empower yourself. It all depends on what you take from the experience, I guess.
I was tagged by Jay, so here we go…
1. Delve into your blog archive.
2. Find your 23rd post (or closest to).
3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions. Ponder it for meaning, subtext or hidden agendas…
5. Tag five people to do the same.
Okay, My 23rd post, fifth sentence: You can tell from the pictures below that he didn’t want to look away from her or let her go.
Kind of an intriguing sentence, actually. Especially for a blog that often discusses romance. But as it happens, my 23rd post was my dad meeting his first grandchild for the very first time. He was enchanted and it was a beautiful thing to see.
I’m going to tag Bree, Michele, Jaci, Leslie, and Sunita
Because I can!
First, a joke that was posted on Cheyenne’s yahoo group that has had me giggling all day:
A woman and a baby were in the doctor’s examining room, waiting for the doctor to come in for the baby’s first exam.
The doctor arrived, and examined the baby, checked his weight, and being a little concerned, asked if the baby was breast-fed or bottle-fed
“Breast-fed,” she replied.
“Well, strip down to your waist,” the doctor ordered.
She did. He gently pinched her nipples, then pressed and kneaded . . . and then very gently stroked and massaged both breasts for a while in a detailed examination.
Motioning to her to get dressed. The doctor said, “No wonder this baby is underweight. You don’t have any milk.”
“I know,” she said, “I’m his Grandma, but I’m glad I came!”
Okay, I wouldn’t really call it throwing down the gauntlet, but the phrase popped into my head, I liked it and decided, by God, it’s my blog and I’ll title my posts whatever the hell I want. So there 😉 But there was a reason it came to mind…
But first, my blog of the day choice was something I dug up just for Sarah.
If you’re not familiar with Freecycle, well, it might not be quite as amusing to you. But to those of us who do belong and have witnessed asinine posts, the Best of Freecycle is highly entertaining.
Now, on to my gauntlet (which really isn’t a gauntlet at all, so sue me). Yesterday I featured Jayne Ann Krentz’s new blog as my blog of the day (yes Chey, blogs do have a voice and some of them fairly sing) and I mosied over today to read her latest post and catch up on some comments. In the comment of her post from yesterday, in which she wondered how she would make her blog interesting, there were a LOT of fans who mostly just wanted to tell her how much they loved her books. She had 28 total comments when I visited. One of the comments said that any blog that had posts that garnered more than 10 comments was doing well. Hmm…
In theory, I might agree with that comment. When talking about a blog that doesn’t belong to someone that already has an established fan base. But when talking to an author who has been writing books for 20 years- or even to an author who’s only been writing for one- no. I disagree. I don’t know how to say this without sounding kind of snarky, but authors have the advantage of having a readership that is already probably willing to read anything they write. And sometimes gush about it. Even if it’s just a grocery list (anyone read my fangirl column? lol) So, I don’t necessarily think the 10 comment rule applies. Now, if we’re talking about my blog, then hell yeah, my blog RAWKS 😉 Although, I don’t know how many posts I get that recieve 10 comments. Heck, I have to beg people to enter my contest for a signed copy of J.R. Ward’s Dark Lover. And I don’t even benefit from it in any way! Sheesh.
But I digress (I do that alot), I’m not saying that authors don’t have to work to keep people interested in their blogs, because every day, more and more blogs are started and people only have a finite amount of time to spend blog-hopping. So, yeah, they still have to be interesting. But what I’m saying is that they don’t have to work to get their initial readership. Heck, people like me even do promo for them 😉 Unlike just your everyday average blogger, who has to work very hard to just bring new readers to their block (I meant blog, but when I read the typo, I decided to leave it. Kind of appropriate, don’t you think?) and then work twice as hard just to keep those readers. Oh the pressure! Ahaha.
So, basically what I’m saying is…you authors have it easy. Quit yer whining. It’s us little people who suffer. Yeah. There’s my gauntlet. Take that!
Bwahahahaha…I wasn’t really saying that at all, but do you think that would have gotten me 10 comments?
I get an amazing amount of author promo in one of my email accounts (set aside specifically for this reason). Sometimes I get overwhelmed by it all and do a mass delete. Today, my eye was caught by a promo from Jayne Ann Krentz announcing the release of Bridal Jitters. It’s not a new book, but was previously in an anthology with others. (if anyone cares, similar books were released today by J.D. Robb, Christine Feehan, and Sherrilyn Kenyon, I believe). So, I’m reading the email, trying to recall if I ever read Bridal Jitters (I still am not sure, I can’t see how I possibly missed it since I’m both a fan of her work and a paranormal romance slut)
Now, I’m not one for being a fangirl, but if ever there was an author who, going by sheer number of books on my bookshelf alone, I should be squeeing for, it’s probably Jayne Ann Krentz aka Stephanie James aka Jayne Castle aka Amanda Quick (whew, are you tired yet?). I don’t own all of her books since I know I don’t have some of the older categories, but by golly, I’ll bet I come close.
You can imagine how my interest was piqued when I read that Jayne Ann Krentz has started a blog. Although I do enjoy some author blogs, I find myself reading more blogs of aspiring authors, fellow romance readers and my fellow mommies. But I’m enough of a fan that I’ll be looking forward to seeing how JAK develops her blog ‘voice’. It’s a brand new blog, only a few posts (I’ve been finding a lot of those lately, haven’t I?) so she’s still got time to find her style! Check it out:
Krentz Quick & Castle Blog