Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What About the Rest of Us? A Writers' Challenge

I am a reader of Historical Fiction. I cannot get enough of the stuff. I love to read the personal details about all the Kings and Queens and second sons and illegitimate daughters of Kings and other famous people of those times. I like how an author weaves the fiction in with fact and makes it all seem like it really could have happened like they described.

The thing about Kings and Queens and second sons, however, is that marriage, at least first marriages, were totally political. Countries were bound together in peace when two children of the reigning royal families were betrothed at a very young age. It stopped a lot of wars and death. These marriages were arranged before the kids really knew what was going on, but they accepted their roles in life and made the best of things. The best any of them could hope for was their betrothed grew up to be reasonably kind and would be a good caretaker. Looks had almost nothing to do with it. In fact, I believe it was the younger sister of King Henry VIII who was married off to the King of France - she was something like 15 and he was 'ancient' and 'near death'. And she had no choice!

But that was then and this is now. Have you read any love story novels lately? I'd bet at least 100%, or maybe even more, are based on the local, amazingly-still-single hunk who meets a traveling reporter, who just happens to be 20-something, slender, perfect skin, flowing hair, and a good kisser; they fall madly in love, fall out of love, have conflict, almost get killed, meet the parents, fall back in love, have wild sex, solve the mystery, save the town, and live happily ever after.

Sometimes the stories come in threes, like Nora Roberts' trilogies. I love them, but I am getting sick of them. I am no longer 20-something, or even 30-something. Heck, I am not even 40-something. Do you realize that the bulk of the Baby Boomer generation is in their 50's and 60's now? Most of us have been married, some have been divorced, some have kids, some are grandparents already. I guess what I am trying to say is: I will never be able to see myself in any of these books. They are a nice diversion, but seriously folks, WHAT ABOUT ME?

I was thinking about this on the way home this evening. Is there any hope that someone such as myself will ever find love again? (ETA: Not that I am actually looking or anything - it's a hypothetical question.) I have grown kids. I am divorced. I live alone and I have for over 15 years. I LIKE living by myself! I like making my own schedule and eating only if I want to. I like to craft 10 hours a day if I feel like it. So what are the chances I'll ever meet someone who I like to be around? Who makes me feel good. Who makes me laugh. With whom I can have an intelligent conversation on a myriad of subjects. Who has some common interests, but is different enough to make things interesting. Or who can go out with his friends and I'd stay home and that is okay?

So, my challenge to all writers is this: Write a love story about someone like ME. You know, independent, cranky, selfish, hates doesn't particularly like to talk on the phone. Is no longer a size 6 or 8 or anything close. Could not punch her way out of a wet paper bag (I seriously have no upper body strength). Who still has to work for a living. Yeah, write a story about THAT why don't you! HA! I dare you!

Oh, now maybe I'll need to figure out what to do if someone actually does write that book. I'll tell you right now: I'd buy it!

* painting byTracy Helgeson from


  1. gee............... i never knew you did not like talking on the phone :(

    Are you truely looking for a novel? or are you in some way telling the universe you are lonely?


  2. Since I can not edit my post. I eally don't like how that sounded.
    I would like to add.....

    Being alone by choice is one of the traits I admire about you. I could never be single and wonder what I will do when my DH dies.
    IF he dies first.


  3. Debbie McComber has some whole books and some subplots in other books that are about “older” romances - but the deal about ALL romances is they require one to be swept-off-feet and to suspend-real-life to read and enjoy - and these are no different. I have taken to reading mysteries myself! (I have found some super ones with historical detail - if you want lists, let me know.)

    It's astounding to me that many women will live alone to be happy while many men will live unhappily avoid living alone. (Divorce attorney knows whereof she speaks.)

    You are to be commended for being happy and content where you are planted!


  4. You could have been talking about me there. After 13 years of being on my own and bringing up my children the best way I possibly could [and they are a credit to me.] I took the plunge and married again........disaster!!!! why did I think the 'grass was any greener' little bit of heaven on earth is the perfect shade of green for me and after divorcing again, I am happy to stay on my own, apart from my furry friends, to the end of my days.
    If someone does write the book, what sort of ending will it have....I will ponder that one at leisure!!!
    Honey, you are as happy as you make your mind up to be. xx

  5. I am beginning to feel your pain...actors are now mostly younger than me, even my primary care physician is younger...

    I skipped sizes 6 and 8 (in pants); I started at size 12 at the age of 14 or 15, and I haven't seen that size since I was 17yo.

    I don't like talking on the phone either.

    Sadly, I am not a writer, so I can't help you out on the great novel :)

  6. I'll write a book about our road trip next year, but since I never lived alone a day of my life I'd not be the right one to capture the feeling.
    You made me think, though, and I believe I could not live by myself at all.

    if you like historical fiction, you should try Sharon Penman. She writes about the English Kings and Queens of the Middle Ages, and she does it very entertainingly.

  7. L. - I can tell you from experience - ENJOY the "good old days" you're living in, and don't force your way out of them. As Tom Dundee the late folksinger once penned: "don't look for Love, Love looks for you". I'd like to write that book you proposed, i've narrowly escaped the "plastic wedding cake ornament" traditional life of married oblivion, (not that I've got anything against cake...) and also the "OMG i'm almost 50 and don't have anybody" trap. I'm presently living happily ever after since True Love finally came along in '94. But on the other hand, I DON'T regret a moment of the time I spent alone when not really looking for anyone. A person is happiest when living in the "good old days" and realizing it at the time.

    thanks for the joy you bring to others


  8. duuuuuuuuude! we just gotta FLIP the template:

    in this scenario, ♥you♥ are the local, amazingly-single-again you just gotta meet the traveling reporter/sizzix repairman, who just happens to be 20-something, slender, perfect skin, flowing hair, and a good kisser; you'll perfect a whole new system of self-inking, self-cleaning, self-ribbon-attaching SU dies, fall madly in love, make cards, fall out of love, have conflict, redesign all the storage in the Other Room, almost get killed (upper shelves sabotaged by jealous cat), meet the parents, sell out of ALL cards and accessories at market saturday, restock, fall back in love, have wild sex, solve the mystery, save the town, organize a chilli-cook-off and live happily ever after! ♥♥♥

    see...not hard AT ALL...sheesh... :)

  9. oof...change ref to "Other Room" above to "capt's qtrs"...i soooooo gotta start reading these in reverse order. :)


I'd love to hear what you really think! :-)

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