Thursday, August 04, 2005

Short Weeks Are Murder

I was convinced today was Friday. I had my jeans picked out to wear to work, I was looking forward to the dinner the girls on the Goals loop had planned (despite having no idea how to get to Lorraine’s due to my severe directional dyslexia), the weekend stretched out before me…insert the screach of a needle whipping off a record album here. Ugh. It’s only Thursday. Why is it that the short weeks always feel longer than the regular five day weeks? It’s like some sort of cosmic torture device.

Sigh…so here I am, sitting at my desk, rolling my eyes because I have yet another day stretching out before me of renaming intranet files because some lame-ass decided they want to see entity IDs included in the description despite the fact that they are already in the title and no one save for a select few even know what the entity IDs are anyway…Grrr…they couldn’t have suggested this before I uploaded 6,845,234 files. Fine, perhaps I’m exaggerating. It may have only been in the five million range. Whatever. Then they also decide they need to have the province spelled out, not abbreviated because maybe not everyone knows the abbreviations for the provinces. I suggested we alleviate that problem by firing the idiots and hiring smarter people. I'm not sure if they'll take me up on that though.

To make it worse, I think I may have overindulged in Reno. The big breakfast, big lunch, big supper food track I was on has finally caught up with me. Or more succinctly, it has caught up with my lower half which currently feels as if it is about to bust out of my pinstripes. I was going to wait until next week to get back into my workout routine, but…uh…I think maybe I should reintroduce myself to my treadmill post haste. I see some serious kickboxing in my future. Too bad my sister is pregnant, she used to make a great target, even with the cushioned kick pad.

In other news, I have been giving the whole contemporary vs historical thing some more thought, and the more I think about it, the more I realize I’m not all that jazzed about writing contemporary, and given, for me, writing something I have no passion for equates such exciting tidbits as, See Spot. See Spot run… well I’m thinking I’ll stick for now with what I love, and that’s historical. Elaine English said the historical fiction market is booming, so if I’m looking to branch out, I think that would be the logical progression. Elizabeth Chadwick, one of my favorite all-time authors, writes historical fiction with a strong romantic element. In fact, to me, her books are really historical romance, just a lot thicker and far richer in historical detail. You know, like the way historical romance used to be back in the good ole days.

We actually discussed this in my group agent appointment and someone suggested the reason for the boom in historical fiction sales was due in large part to crossover from the historical romance audience. They no longer get the rich period detail or sense of adventure that used to prevail in the romances. Now it’s all about the relationship and keeping the word count down, and the thing that made historicals so rich has been shoved off to the side as unimportant.


I hope that swings back around. Or that new writers and established ones as well become the innovators (or re-innovators as the case may be) and simply incorporate it back into their writing then stand firm that it needs to be there. With historical fiction booming and historical romance sales leveling off or dipping, I think the writing is on the wall as to what readers want. The question is now – will the editors/publishers listen, pay attention, and do what needs to be done to bring the market back to what makes it so great: emotional stories filled with rich characters and fascinating historical detail in a variety of different time periods? Let’s hope.

7 comments:

Nikki said...

Good for you Kelly. I know I said I was glad you would try out the contemporary, but after thinking about it, you DO need to write what you really love to write - not just what's hot right now.

And it's good to hear there's lots of humour in your stories, because I definitely feel like that's one of your strengths and you should make the most of it!!!

Melissa Marsh said...

I'm glad you decided to just stick with what you love. That will make all the difference in your writing. :-)

Maxx said...

Never sell out. I was keeping my mouth shut on your decision but I'm glad you decided to stick with what you love. You gotta follow your bliss and the rest will fall into place.

Okay... Thank God I'm a Country Boy just came on the radio and I have this odd, unsettling feeling it's supposed to punctuate the sentiment here.

Erin said...

I can't imagine why they didn't take you up on the suggestion to get rid of the stupid people.

Of course, that could possibly be more time consuming that putting entity IDs into the descriptions. (just thinking about that sentence has made me think of properties... ahh, 345...28117)

Michelle said...

Good luck on the writing, Kelly, whatever you decide!

Peggy said...

I laughed on the stupid people comment too!!

I'm with everyone else. You gotta write what you love or the "emotion" won't show through. I'm new to historical writing so lets hope the boom continues!

kacey said...

I really think firing the stupid people was the answer! They should listen *g

Good luck on the whole what should I write question. Sounds like you're just not excited about contemporary...so that probably answers your question right there.