Substance vs. Snuggles

My volume of Halloween Frights vol. 3 (or vol III if you want to get technical) arrived in the mail the other day. I have to admit, there is something mind-numbingly cool about seeing your name in print and holding a story in your hands that you wrote.  And I can go forth knowing that my story in that volume is absolutely amazing…and how do I know that, you ask?

Because my mom told me so, duh.

In all seriousness, it is a high compliment for her to gush over my stuff. She’s usually fair and will be the first to tell me if something doesn’t work. (well, second behind my own blistering self-critique). So that was a sweet moment, and I have to say it was a little frightening to have someone so close to me read my work right in front of me. I need to take the time to read through the whole thing, because I am curious and excited to look at the stories of everyone involved on that project, but for the moment it is sitting proudly on my shelf. And maybe a little smugly, it’s hard to tell with hardbacks.

I migrated to the library today, addict that I am. I’m juggling a stack of titles. The themes of the moment are dark graphic novels and, uh…romance anthologies. At least I’m well-rounded, right? Seriously, I don’t know why I gravitate to chick lit at certain points during the year, either. It’s not a bad genre, there are some genuinely good titles out there. But also to be fair you have to wade through a lot of lukewarm plots or things we’ve seen a thousand times before and reek of Meg Ryan movies to find something that’s really good. I also get frustrated that endings of what could have been good plots tend to fizzle a bit in the name of wrapping things up in a pretty bow.

I do read romance. I just tend to like some of the edgier versions of the genre. I’ve written a few things and I’m not against it per say. I’ve never been against it as a writer, weirdly enough. I’m fine with writing it, but as a reader faced with a library shelf full of it, I feel…conflicted.

However, I’m beginning to think that some of these titles are made of crack. This is very embarrassing because I’m supposed to be this tough, independent chick, yet certain titles…oh, man…I can’t help it! I love it! I love it so much! Part of the time, anyway. There’s always a point where I start analyzing and critiquing and questioning how this fits into the context of modern women and wondering why certain parts of the plot are developed in favor of others…

But then I get sucked in by the warm fuzzies and chiseled abs and tender sighs and I lurv them!!! I LURV THEM SO MUCH!

It doesn’t make it any easier that I really, really like Christmas romance titles. (hides her face in her hands). I KNOW! It’s just…It’s CHRISTMAS and it’s all HAPPY AND  SNOWING AND SPARKLY AND  PEOPLE HAVE BIG EPIPHANIES ABOUT THEIR LOVE LIVES AND IT’S ALL LOVEY DOVEY AND THE WAY LIFE SHOULD BE AND…yeah.

Sigh. This is all very frustrating for me, as you can probably tell. I’m supposed to like dark things, you know? Cute is all well and good, but the dark stuff usually has edgier choices, better plot devices (usually, not always), and is far more interesting. Angsty titles tend to feature complicated characters faced with hard choices and life decisions in weird situations. Love is good, I’m not against love or relationships, but there’s always a part of me that feels a little guilty when I go for a title that makes that the sole problem of the plot. I don’t know if I’m just trying too hard to be independent and denying my feminine self, or trying to be elitist, or what.

To be fair, if given a choice between Neil Gaiman and some of these titles, I will always go for Gaiman. But there are really weird times when all I want is the warm fuzzy snuggly seduction scenes and heated moments that still could possibly fade to black and problems that can be solved in ten pages…and…and…








~ by admin on November 16, 2011.

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