Last night in boogling around the vast expanse of offerings by Time Warner Cable, I ran across a channel running "Brokeback Mountain." As y'all know, as 'Olivia Outlaw' I've ventured into the world of erotic romance with my ongoing series: Sultan's Toy - Book One (Captured) and Book Two (Claimed) are available on Amazon now. (Grab 'em before you read the rest of this. I'll wait....)
And yes, I'm hard at work on Book Three as we speak. It'll be out soon - and I'll surely announce here when it's available.
Anyway, Sultan's is my first adventure into male/male romance, so I thought the time might be right to watch "Brokeback Mountain." I started watching it, but then, I had that thought, you know, THE thought. I've never heard how it ended. Oh, I recall people raving about it, but none of those raves mentioned feeling all happy, squishy and warm at the ending. And that sounded an alarm bell in my head, a loud one, like the annoying Emergency Warning System. A local TV station runs the "test" before 6:30 am when I'm trying to chug my first cup of caffeine and wondering when I'll be able to write full time and arise at a decent hour. You really can't ignore that alarm.
I paused the beginning of "Brokeback" and went to the Great Googled One to do a search. I typed in, "Does Brokeback Mountain Have a Happy Ending?' I no sooner hit enter than the first item on the list said - "one of them is beaten to death at the end." Well, great quacking ducks! Thank God for warning bells. You know what I did, don't you? Yep. I flipped back, turned off "Brokeback," kicked on "Amazon Prime" and watched an episode of BBC's Sherlock Holmes.
See, I don't "do" unhappy endings in entertainment. Never. Ever. I'm serious about that - so serious that I refuse to watch "Titanic." I hear the ship sinks.
By trade, I am a lawyer. I'm toiling away at that until I can earn enough money at my writing to allow me to do it full time. Don't get me wrong - I'm a "scrivener" which means I do legal research and writing for a living. So I write at work too. (It's the only thing I'm anywhere near good at, after all.) But none of the writing is happy. People involved in lawsuits rarely are joyous about it, of course, but so often the weight of the tragedy is nearly overwhelming - the destruction, the injuries, the sorrow.
And when I leave work and come home, to update myself, I'll flick on some news. In today's 24-hour-everything world, it's not hard to find. And I hear about school shootings and monsters planning to attack Olympic athletes who've dedicated their lives to become the best of the best and are willing to use their skills in their country's honor.
Enough. It's enough.
If I want sadness and tragedy, I'll go to work or watch the news. When I want to entertain myself, I EXPECT authors, actors, movie producers, TV showrunners, directors and all the others providing possible entertainment choices to have enough common sense to know they have one goal - Give it to me with a happy ending.
It's the one promise I make to all my readers whether I'm writing as "Mary Anne Graham" or "Olivia Outlaw" - at the end of my story, the characters will have a happy ending. Y'all can take that to the bank.
As readers or viewers, we can choose whether we want to end feeling all hopeless and despondent or uplifted and encouraged - why would we ever pick misery? Aren't all of our daily lives full of enough of that already? I'm up for almost any journey that a talented creator contrives, as long as it arrives at an ending that makes me happy.
Misery may love company but Happy Endings make you feel at home.