Thursday, March 09, 2006

Trash or Treasure?

I’ve recently found myself in the position of having to “defend”, if you will, the romance genre. Granted, I brought it upon myself by asking why so many people feel the need to denigrate this particular genre when many have never even read one. Or if they have, they’ve read maybe one or two of the older historical romances or category romances from our mother’s era.

I’ve never seen the disdain that’s directed at romance directed at other genres such as mystery, sci-fi/fantasy or westerns. Why romance?

Only a few people were willing to give me a straight answer. One said she thought it was because the perception of romance is that it’s nothing but the old “heaving bosoms and throbbing members” that were prevalent in the dialog of the historicals of years gone by. Another said her husband regards romances as “trash” simply because they give women the false perception that real life should be like a romance novel.

Thankfully, for the most part those euphemisms that used to be de rigeur,(and made me cringe) are now a thing of the past.

As far as giving women a false impression of real life, well, then perhaps one could argue that you shouldn’t read fairy tales to children because they would start believing there really are monsters hiding under the bed.  

Maybe people shouldn’t read sci-fi. We wouldn’t want these poor misguided souls to think that an alien might really come bursting out of someone’s chest.

At the very least, I believe it’s horribly insulting to romance readers, who for the most part, are female. It gives the impression that, as women, we don’t have much going on upstairs.

At one point in this conversation all readers of genre fiction were roundly criticized by someone who felt that anyone who reads popular fiction is doing so because they are in need of a security blanket and are afraid to read anything else.

This person went on to confess they never read anything that is considered “popular”. That’s rather sad to me because they are severely limiting themselves. They’re missing out on many excellent books and some outstanding writing.

I can’t imagine going my whole life never having read “Shauna” by Kathleen Woodiwiss, “The Moonspinners”, by Mary Stuart or “The Once and Future King” by T.H. White.

So, with that said, what books have you read that stand out in your mind to this day as being some of the best you’ve ever read? Why?


Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Demons and Addictions

Have you ever had a chore that was so daunting, so overwhelming, even though you KNOW it needs to be done, you just don't want to face it?

That's what I'm looking at. And the demon is my bedroom closet. Let's just get it out right now...I AM NOT MARTHA. My closet looks like a windstorm came through it..and that's on a good day.

But at BJ's the other day we found a closet organizer system for a mere $39.00. That is about half of what I have found for the absolute bottom of the line cheapest closet racks at Lowe's or HD.

Dh told me on Sunday as we were looking at them; "If you can get your closet cleaned out by Friday, we'll come and get this system and I'll install it for you." What's that corny old joke? The one about "free ham"???

I know there are others out there who've confessed to this predeliction...a love affair with stationary supplies. How many others are willing to raise their hands and admit that when they set foot inside Office Depot or Staples, their heartrate speeds up, their palms get a little clammy, their face flushes? It's just like a clandestine meeting with a lover, isn't it? And those slick paper catalog with all the color photos the companies send out...oh my! Is it getting hot in here or is it just me?

I confess that the sight of Post It's makes my breath catch in my throat. Fondling pens and mechanical pencils causes a sigh of rapture. Desktop organizers, reams of copy paper, highlighers, correction fluid--or better yet, correction tape! All of them have me enthralled.

Okay, so what's your secret addiction? I know a few of you are going to say the LYS....okay, but is there anything else you're secretly smitten with?