Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring Break for alien romance inspiration

I'm sure it has been done before. Almost everything has.

However, I believe that Spring Break is a uniquely American phenomenon. I don't recall mass collegiate exoduses (exodii?) to the coast... although, there was Club Med, now I think back. Also, there was some kind of young, singles, tour operator that once took me on an absolutely dreadful ski holiday. And that would probably make a better story than my musings on Spring Break in Florida.

No matter. I am here, I've given myself a mandate (by posting a title), so I will plow on, regardless of better ideas.

Dara Joy's brilliant alien romance "Knight of A Trillion Stars" made superb use of venue: that of a science fiction convention to set the scene for the almost-abduction of the heroine. Spring Break would work almost as well, especially if one could substitute near nudity for otherworldly costumes.

In fact, now I am brainstorming about this, I see possibilities for Viz-Igerd, the King who is too proud to wear clothing, and who lost his Queen in Knight's Fork. I'm not working on his story at the moment. I put him on a back burner because naked guys with fully retractable genitals and a Wolverine-like "warhand" are a logistical nightmare for this writer who has her mind wrapped around the cold North sea.... but, Jax Beaches in late March might work for Viz-Igerd.

Thor-Quentin would probably enjoy Daytona Beach at Spring Break. I must look into that. He's the other anti-hero on my mind, but too young to settle down. But, I digress.

What is Spring Break? Why do thousands of college students head for beaches en masse at Easter? If they don't do so in Europe, is it a matter of economics or climate? Does it hark back to some primaeval time, like our human version of bird and fish migrations? Certainly, a great deal of displaying takes place, also a lot of self- and reciprocal grooming (especially involving sun lotion).

If one were adapting Spring Break to a colony world, or to an alien culture, what would the pre-requisites be? You'd need seasons. You'd need a designated holiday period for all young people of prime mating age. They'd have to be mobile. You'd need a destination. The locals would have to be more than tolerant, because Spring Break involves the closing of roads (or parts of roads) and residental tower blocks appear to be virtually beseiged with their parking spots annexed. Roads are clogged to the point of crawl pace. Woe betide anyone who needs to get anywhere in a hurry. If there were to be a hurricane or tsunami during Spring Break, escape inland would be improbable.

Spring Break also involves an incredible amount of noise pollution. Also litter. Also vomit in the streets. A more orderly world (or society such as the Germany I loved in the 1980s) would never tolerate it... or else would make a vast amount of income in fines from vigorously enforcing the anti-litter, anti-noise-pollution laws on the books with on-the-spot fines. California should consider that!

As for my own, European "Spring Break", I cannot recall what possessed me to think that I might like skiing. My balance has never been good, and my ankles are not sturdy. The tour put me in a group which involved some highly creative and altogether delightful males from Australia, who danced on other people's (my) balcony wearing minimal clothing, brandishing beer, and comparing various bodily odours (their own) to the smell of decaying wildlife.

Our tour operator went bankrupt and ceased operations while we were away. The hotel sent us to the airport without telling the coach driver that there was no plane. While we waited at the airport, the coach driver, thinking he was off duty, went back to the resort and helped finish all the drinks left in the bar... by the time I did return to the UK, I was a day or two late and had caught the most dreadful case of laryngitis. Trying to cross Europe while totally unable to utter a word is an experience! If one is mute, one is assumed also to be deaf and stupid. But that is another story.

All the best,
Rowena Cherry


  1. The possibilities are endless. Thick of Risa and the Shoreleave episode on Star Trek.

    I only think you should remember the foundation of Spring Break and that is a wild escape from the rigors of academics for *Young People.* There isn't enough SFR for the 18 to 26 crowd, if you ask me. So, I'd put my energy into getting behind their eyes and dishing out the goods for them, if you really want to go with the Spring Break idea.

    Hey, the research could be fabulous!

  2. Thank you, Kimber An.
    As you say, if I were to go with a Spring Break milieu, I should certainly have to immerse myself in the culture.

  3. My alien Spring Break is the con I just returned from (post forthcoming on Thursday). In fact, since it's attended mainly by academics, it IS designed to coincide with spring break. Which is rather a nuisance from my POV. Flights to Orlando would doubtless be both cheaper and less crowded if they'd just postpone the thing until the second half of April.

  4. We don't seem to have spring break in England...there is a break. But when I was a student it just meant lots of studying before exams. Now - well its a time to catch up on reading!

    Bit too cold for the bewcah still.