Tuesday, April 8, 2008

At the crossroads of time

Emerson said, "every revolution was first a thought in one man's mind." And I've been doing a lot of thinking about that lately--nothing to do with books. Just random philosophy. Guess it came up when my mom and I were discussing my relatives.

Nothing wrong with relatives, I mean--they're blood, just like the Stallings. But mom pointed out some people aren't really cool with romance, and that's ok--even my mom doesn't read my stuff, why would I expect my relatives to read it? Still not Amy Tan, lol--and never will be.

If one day I become a journalist, or write literary fiction, does that make me a better writer? Or just one that "other" people can boast about knowing? I think I'm secure enough in myself that I can go around saying, "yeah, I write romances." I have a bumper sticker on my car, that says, "Romance writers bring love to life". You don't think I'm proud?

But anyway--so mom and I were talking, and I started on the history of romance. My personal soapbox.

And I gave her the whole Harlequin spiel, and how one person--in the right place at the right time can influence the world. Like everything is drawn to, and converges on a center point. In the sci-fi genre, it's called synergy. In romance, it was called Intimate Moments.

Sometimes, looking back, you get this picture of how events would have turned out if the person time needed wasn't there. Maybe we'd still be reading bodice rippers, or to become s romance writer you'd have to change your name to Valerie. In classic Trek, City on the Edge of Forever, Kirk goes back in time, saves this woman, and changes the future. Billions of people die, because this one woman lived.

I don't think everyone at RWA would have died if IM hadn't birthed the romance industry as we know it, but it sure would have been different.


Alice Audrey said...

It can be argued that if Harlequin hadn't done it, someone else would have.

jodi said...

yeah, that's true, but then Spock wouldn't have to wear a stocking cap over his pointed ears, and I would have a shelf full of Valerie Sherwoods. Maybe Loveswept would have grown bigger, or Zebra Precious Moments, or maybe just the logical progression of horrible overblown writing to a more sparse, tighter storyline. I dunno. I simply think Leslie Wainger, through her choices--(sheerluck?) picked the best and brightest--Nora Roberts, Linda Howard, Janet Evanovich, all the big names, and promoted the hell out of them. It was her vision. She grew authors, trained them to go out in the world, and boy did they. I wish RWA would give her a landmark achievement award or something.

Alice Audrey said...

There's no luck where Wainger's tastes are concerned. She's just good. The luck is where she landed.

Unhinged said...

Gosh. If you two say so. I'm just here to learn.

But what about the penny dreadfuls? Ever hear of a penny dreadful referred to in a historical romance, say, set in the early 1800s?

I dunno. In this conversation, my head would just be turning back and forth between you all.

Jeanna said...

I don't think becoming a journalist makes anybody a better writer.

jodi said...

Hi Jeanna, lol--maybe not, but it's a whole lot more prestige.

How's your contract research doing?

penny dreadfuls=barbara cartland, lol, or maybe harlequin presents.

just joking.

I actually liked and still own Blue Heather, the cheesiest piece of schmaltz to come out of Cartland.

Uhm, off the top of my head, penny dreadfuls were broadsheets that sold for a penny, bad ink that ran in the rain, and they were dreadful. Naw...joking, they were more like the Perils of Pauline, in case you remember the old cliffhanger serials. Or early Savage Sword of Conan comics. Not bad. But not good. Rousing good fun matinee style for the masses.

Alice, she was in the right place at the right time. The woman is my hero. I go squealing fangirl over her, lol.

Lauren Murphy said...

I don't think that being a journalist is so great. It seems boring to me, says she who refuses to pick up a news paper!

You're the bomb Jodie and I would have totally missed out on a great story if you hadn't pursued your dream of becoming a romance writer! Rock on!

Kaige said...

Hmm.. I read romance tho, not Amy Tan. Pffft. I'm just glad there's still places to find hope in stories these days. It's a shame that the romance writers pay more attention to things like that than the journalists overall. I realize there are exceptions to every generalization.

But you've done good, Jodi. Keep up the good work. *hugs*

Lauren Murphy said...

Tag you're it! Ha! I knew I'd get you back one day!! *Runs away shrieking with evil laughter*