Life v. Fiction

They say life is stranger than fiction.  I agree with this.  It’s also funnier.  Often times, even when humor is verbal, it is still situational.  I can tell people about the hilarious conversations I’ve had with say my best friend, but you still had to be there.

For instance, her and I often make jokes about things like what kind of cult leader we’d be and what would entice us to sell our souls… nothing is sacred when we are together.  On the surface, the conversations aren’t all that funny.  However, at their specific spot in time, they are hysterical.

This funny factor is why I don’t like romance.  It’s hard to take a mushy book seriously when the wife suddenly turns to the husband and asks if he realizes how much he is contributing to the green house effect.  But that is the kind of intimacy and the sorts of events that dampen romance.  Your husband could be Prince Charming six days out of seven, but on the seventh day, he is going to make up for it in some way.  We accept our partners, flaws and all, and that doesn’t really fit into a romance novel.

For example, for about six months over a year ago, when I said or did something my husband found ridiculous (this happens often just FYI), he would look at me and say “Really?”  The tone of his voice when he said it coupled with the look on his face… I would be in pain trying not to laugh.  He didn’t mean for it to be funny, he meant to highlight what he thought of whatever I had just done, but it was hysterical.  And eventually, I got where I would do and say things just to elicit that response.  I couldn’t laugh at the time, but I could when I repeated the incident to people later.  He stopped after he realized it tickled my funny bone.

With the deadpan seriousness my husband put into that one word, it wouldn’t be funny in a book, it would come across as verbally abusive.  It just wouldn’t translate onto the page very well.  Telling the story it does because there are tones in that disapproving seriousness that can be included in the retelling that just couldn’t be in a book.  Not even Nora Roberts could pull it off.

The point is, this hilarity is the reason a Dysfunctional Chronicle takes me longer than a D&R book even if it isn’t as long.  The humor has to be written in after the book is finished and edited and then it has to be edited again.  Then it has to be rechecked to make sure I’m not missing out on comedy gold.  And then sometimes it gets edited again depending on how much I’ve had to add to it.




Something Else I Failed to Consider with The Dysfunctional Chronicles

Sometimes, I just forget that we aren’t all tapped into the Akashic record, downloading information to our brain as needed.  As I continue to write The Dysfunctional Mob, I found something else, I have never addressed in The Dysfunctional Chronicles.

I know I have mentioned that Dedka Leon (Дедка is the diminutive form of grandfather in Russian) is an Orthodox priest, but that doesn’t mean much to most people.  Possibly because the Soviet Union tried very hard to stamp out Orthodoxy.  For those who didn’t spend dozens of hours listening to professors discuss Russian and Soviet History, let me try to explain a bit.

The biggest complaint the Soviets had about the Russian Orthodox Church  was it supported the monarchy.  It was also anti-death, which turned out to be a huge problem for Stalin.  Worse though, not every country annexed by the Soviet Union practiced Russian Orthodoxy.  This meant that it wasn’t a unifying feature within the Soviet Union.  The solution was to ban Russian Orthodoxy and like most of the world in the days before 1945, Russians were pretty antisemitic, particularly Stalin.  Banning Russian Orthodoxy was difficult and most followers just went underground to practice the religion.  So the Soviet Union made all religious practices illegal.  Lenin actually believed that the Russian Orthodox Church could be helpful to the Bolshevik cause.  However, Lenin died and he was not replaced by Leon Trotsky.  Trotsky and Lenin were in agreement on a number of things, including the importance of the Russian Orthodox Church in helping to unify Russians behind the Bolshevik cause.

Stalin did not share much in common with Lenin, but he had hair*, so he was made Chairman of the Commissars of the Soviet Union after a power struggle with Trotsky and a few other Old Bolsheviks.  Stalin had no use for the Russian Orthodox Church or their thoughts on the Bolshevik cause or the fact that the Russian Orthodox Church had a tendency to breed dissidents.  Stalin actually made religion illegal and to celebrate, he began sending Russian Orthodox Priests to the gulags where most died.  This just made practicing Russian Orthodoxy more dangerous and underground Russian Orthodox Church groups actually reached new highs under Stalin.

Oh, what was the point?  So coming back to the hair comment at the end though.  Orthodoxy and Catholicism.  Ah yes.

For the most part, Orthodoxy isn’t all that different than main stream Catholicism (not Roman Catholicism which is different than mainstream Catholicism and all Eastern Orthodox religions like Russian Orthodoxy), except that Russian Orthodoxy does not answer to the Pope and they reject the Filioque, which has something to do with the Holy Trinity (The Father, The Son, and the Holy Ghost, they reject or do not include The Son, because the Son is Jesus Christ who is not God).  It all makes terribly logical sense while sitting in a lecture hall listening to it…

Both Orthodox Priests and Catholic priests are allowed to be married, but there is a caveat… They cannot be married after they enter the priesthood.  Catholicism is a little more persnickety about it than Orthodoxy.  Also since Russian Orthodoxy was ferreted out quite severely in Russia, it was not all that uncommon for Orthodox Priests to get married during the years of the Soviet Union.  It was actually a good way for them to hide that they were a priest, since the priesthood was a part time gig that didn’t pay and couldn’t exactly be used as a status symbol.  This explains why Russian Orthodoxy is less particular about the whole “must be married before entering the priesthood” if you intend to be a married priest.  The other big difference is children in Russian Orthodoxy.  Russian Orthodoxy does not condemn birth control like Catholicism and they do not promote breeding the way the Catholicism does.  What hasn’t been discussed is that Dedka Leon was a practicing Orthodox Priest before he came to the US, but he was an underground practicing Orthodox priest, being married was practically a requirement.  Once his wife passed away, he became a full time Orthodox Priest in the US.


*Russians associate hair with power and no one is quite sure why.  Some have even argued that Vladimir Putin was elected more because he had hair than because anyone thought he would be good at the job.  In all of the elections for office, even minor, office, that Putin has won, his opponent has been bald.  This has given rise to the theory that if Putin’s next opponent has hair, he’ll probably lose his position, which would be interesting to see.  I guess that would prove that hair is more important than we realize, maybe, at least in Russia.

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