The Bang’s the Thing

Amber here. I first met Shari at RWA this year and I’ve been sending her dirty pictures ever since. Let this be a cautionary tale against being awesome and like-minded. Then Ruthie invited her to be in Wonkomance, which was kind of like your friend getting transferred into your class. So, please welcome Shari as she stands in front of the classroom and tells us something about herself….

C’mere, let me whisper in your ear.




Okay, that’s enough dirty talk.

I know I’m supposed to love words, especially since I signed up for this writer gig, but I don’t. For me, the fewer the better. Less is more. Cut them all. Blah, blah, blah. I love the right word. The bone-knife word that flays a sentence free of so much gristle.

Mostly, I do not know this word. But when I do, God, it’s like scratching an itch and cracking my back and taking off my bra at the end of a long day all rolled into one.

This is why I love writing flash fiction. The constraint. Story, distilled down to two or three hundred just right words. All meat, no filler.

This is also why I fucking love gifs. Not reaction gifs, though I love them too. The sexy kind. You know, the ones that power tumblr.





Sorry, I descended into dirty talk again. *ahem*

Yes, I like the gifs because they are sexy with the sexiness, but also because they’re the visual equivalent of my just-right-word feeling. Some gif maker has taken a bone-knife and slivered out a capital M moment. Before there was 120 minutes of movie, or 45 minutes of show, now there is just THIS. And THIS is good.

Sometimes I know the source material for a gif, more often I don’t. Recently, a particular gif crossed my dash and I knew instantly from whence it came.

Oh Em Gee, I thought, THIS is the finger-bang from Fear!

I’m not going to lie, Fear is a terrible movie. It’s practically an afterschool special, and not the kind that’s fun to heckle. It’s full of slut-shaming and clunky dialogue. Watching it again last week made me ragey. If you haven’t already seen it there’s almost no reason to subject yourself to the torture.

Almost. It does have two things going for it: Marky Mark’s mid-90s abs and one epic finger-bang. In the movie, Good Girl™ Nicole (Reese Witherspoon) and Bad News Soon-to-be-Stalker Boyfriend David (Marky Mark) canoodle on a roller coaster before everything goes to hell. And I do mean hell, like carving her name into his chest, terrorizing her whole family, and beheading her beloved dog, hell.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Back to the finger-bang.

You’d think Smarmy David would worm his hands between Nicole’s properly resistant virginal thighs, but NO. That is not what happens at all. She takes his hand, presses it between her legs, and *cough* loops her own loop. Right on the roller coaster. Not only is it consensual, she’s in charge. It blew my sixteen year old mind. Burned right into my brain so that seventeen years later I’d be able to flail I know this thing at the sight of a three second (ever-so-slightly NSFW) gif.

Oh, sweet, sweet agency. A just-right word for a just-right moment. The fulcrum for the whole movie.

Girl wants sex.

In my mind, that glorious Top-of-The-Cyclone Orgasm is the end of the movie. The how-dare-you-want-sex punishment that comes after NEVER HAPPENS.

Everything else is gristle, stripped away, until all we have are the perfect three seconds, the right word.

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6 Responses to The Bang’s the Thing

  1. I love how you captured the perfect little essence of gifs here. And how a movie like fear, when you slice it up, can be about empowerment and screw all that comes after. I guess gifs really are a kind of transformative thing!!

    • Shari Slade says:

      Thanks, Carolyn!

      I’m not sure if it’s a flaw or a super power, but I find myself mentally editing the media I consume so that it fits within my personal bubble of joy. Self defense? Magical thinking? I don’t know. I’ll just look at these pretty gifs until I figure it out.

  2. Excellent post, honey! I snorted at the scratching an itch-cracking my back-taking off my bra part. I miss your words on my site! :-)

  3. Julia Broadbooks says:

    I love your analogy of the right word. The perfect word can shift my whole view of a page until everything seems new again.

    And I am all about ignoring the disappointing parts of a movie or book!!! One of the best things I learned from tumblr was the word headcannon. All the icky and stupid bits? I headcannon them right out.

  4. AJ Cousins says:

    I’d never actually thought about the people who make gifs before. Probably I thought they were part of the glitter-farting unicorn industry that produces everything else I like. ;) But thinking about it translates so directly to writing, and not just finding the exact right word, but finding the part of the scene that really matters. Centering the scene precisely around that moment that crystallizes something for your characters or for the reader, not starting the a mind-numbingly long way before that moment, or dragging it out forever (my downfall!) after it. Oh, I can just keep my people talking and talking and talking…if only they’d stop being so clever! Or silly.

    I think I need to start thinking more like a gif maker and being the brutal slicing editor that trims off all the excess dead weight, now matter how charming or delightful. :) Thanks for the post!