off topic: blog rants

I’m not a fan of blog commenting. Weird, right, since I (occasionally) write my own blog you’d think I’d be all about the feedback of others. Eh. Mostly I write this blog to keep myself honest and to (occasionally) entertain my friends.

If I happen to find myself in the position of commenting on someone else’s blog, I try to keep it positive even if I don’t happen to agree with the opinion. We need less haters in this world, dammit! To be totally honest most of the comments I make are in the lemming vein of  “me too! LOL!”

Erudite stuff, folks.

However, there are times (occasionally) I’ll read a post and it will get me thinking and then I feel like maybe a more verbose comment is appropriate. This morning I found myself at such a crossroad.

I was rolling through my daily blogs and landed on this one from Lani Diane Rich. It apparently struck a chord with me. And so without further ado, here is the rant I posted in response to this article by Sarah Bilston:

It never fails to stun me how much vitriol is spewed when the subject of women’s fiction is introduced – and that the angriest spewers are women themselves. 

I read and write romance novels and I stand by the genre as a legitimate and profitable wing of the publishing industry. I find it sad and ridiculous that so little respect is given to – or demanded by – the writers, readers and publishers of this juggernaut of a genre. No other single genre – including the much vaunted “legitimate literature” – rakes in as much cash as romance/women’s fiction. So what does this tell us? 

People like to be entertained. 

People like to be entertained with fun and frivolity because it gives them a chance to step out of their own lives for a time, out of their responsibilities and wondering if the next paycheck is going to cover the mortgage, car insurance, daycare, whatever. I , personally, get enough of that stress in my daily life and I don’t need it to be the focus of my entertainment. 

But maybe that’s just me. 

Am I saying that if a story doesn’t come with a happy ending it’s worthless? Of course not. Because that would be *ridiculous* and erroneous. We need all types of stories because we are all types of people – and it never hurts for us to step out of our comfort zones and check out someone else’s flavor of entertainment. That’s how we grow. That’s how I have a library built on the collected works of Shakespeare, the Brontes, Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle, Nora Roberts, Jennifer Crusie, Lani-Diane Rich, Anne Stuart, PJ Tracy, Dan Brown, Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut – and those are just my keepers that I can rattle off the top of my head. I’ll pick up any book that sounds like it’s got the goods by way of story. Because the beauty is that I will likely learn *something* from the experience, even if that is simply this writer’s style is not my cuppa. 

As for Ms. Bilston’s “Americanization” of this particular novel, I have to say that that I’m actually more interested in this new altered version. I will be making the effort to find this and see if it lives up the hype. And if not, no harm no foul. I’m certainly no worse off for spending a few days reading a novel following one woman’s journey than I would be rereading Romeo & Juliet (the biggest, fattest anti-romance out there). 

Not all stories are created equal. Not all books released under the “literature” or the “romance” tags are worth the paper they’re printed on. In fact, the great majority of them are mediocre leaning into truly awful. Not all books released by renowned authors are of the same caliber. But if you don’t try, if you don’t open your eyes and mind to the endless possibilities available then you will miss the true gems that pop up. 

Closed minds are everyone’s loss.

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