Saturday, July 10, 2010

I'm Litystercically, Memoirfanfictionally Yours

A woman can never be too rich, too thin, or claim too many fiction genres as her favorite! I declare my independence with a post that embraces as many genres as I can think of. Why would any free-thinking woman choose another way?

The writer in me gets lost in rich prose, deep metaphors. Lazy sunny days beg me to slouch on the front porch chair, pen in hand, and underline phrases in the latest best-selling literary fiction. Have you read The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Edwards? What is the What by Eggars? The Passion of Mary-Margaret by Samson? The Book Thief by Zusak? I cry when well-written books creep to denouement...even if tears aren't plot-driven. Sigh. There's another writerly term or two to conquer...

For stormy nights, mysteries topple other shelf volumes. I've smudged Agatha Christie's pages; ear-marked 'em, too. They've earned a spot in my night-stand bookcase--right there with my Bible and The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers.

Who can resist the satisfaction of a romance? A click of the TV channel brings horrid images of blood spills, oil spills; an ocean of catastrophes. I send an SOS by grabbing a dilemma of the heart kind, which guarantees a hero, a heroine, and that often-needed predictable ending to soften the daily news of life.

As a girl, I used to skip past historical fiction--until my grubby hands gripped Gone With the Wind...and never let go. Next came To Kill a Mockingbird and a hundred other era-opening reads.

Was there REALLY a prototype Scarlett? Creative memoirs or creative nonfiction have so captured my mind, I've based my life work upon it. Where does truth stop and imagination begin in this line-blurring genre? Sigh. If I'm hungry for footnotes and facts, I gobble up nonfiction and/or memoir offerings. Besides, the truth is often stranger than fiction.

The "too weird" genres of science fiction and fantasy won me over with books like Butler's Kindred and Hinck's The Restorer. A red-faced me these imaginative, world-opening reads, vowing never to allow great writing to be limited by my own preconceived ideas about a writing category. And we artists are supposed to be OPEN!

Speaking of open, there's one book I mentioned that has earned a space on my night stand. It's the Bible, God's love letter to us. God's Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. God's explanation of the past, hope for the present, and guarantee for the future in a mesmerizing tell-all best seller. Most nights, it's the last book that clunks next to the light. Most mornings, it's the first book whose crinkly pages open. Though the Bible reads like all my favorite fiction genres, it presents the one source of Truth, of Light, of Life and inspires those moral premises that enrich every other genre.

Yeah, I'm litystercically, memoirfanfictionally yours. Independent. Free from genre constraints. But only because I'm unequivocably, forever His.

Hey, just because I'm a wishy-washy mess doesn't mean you have to be. What's YOUR favorite genre (or two!!!)


  1. Patti's an equal opportunity reader!

    I like everything. I really really wish I had more time to read. Thanks for reminders and a few new ones.

    Happy Weekend everyone.

    Big news in Inktropolis . . . speaking of books, which we always do, come back later and find out which Inky just joined the published ranks. Oooh, I love a mystery.
    No. really. I love mysteries!

    Patti, sounds like your favorite genre is " a good book".

  2. Hey, Deb. Lord willing, you won't have to save me again this week.

    Thanks for getting this silly post up.


  3. I like many different genre's. My favorite's however are romance & non-fiction.

  4. I was thinking the same thing; that the Bible certainly encompasses them all. And it has all the plots, too, don't you think? So much to learn from the Scriptures. (And that's an understatement.)

    My favorite genre is women's fiction. I love that it's journey and living and self-discovery, and truth. The truth is what gets me most, those moments of revelation and connection, even in fiction.

  5. I'm pretty eclectic in my reading as well. My bookshelf boasts everything from Frank Peretti to Shakespeare to Mary Higgins Clark to Luanne Rice and Karen Kingsbury. However, I write supernatural that tends to be my fav to read. :)

  6. My favorite genre is women's fiction, but lately I've been reading a lot of romance. I really enjoy some of the classics, too. I started Treasure Island" the other day and am enjoying it. I also plan on reading Mark Bertrand's "Back on Murder".

  7. I love literarty fiction, historical, and romance--preferrably a mix of the three. Books like The Passion of Mary-Margaret, A Stray Drop of Blood, or Redeeming Love are my very favorites.

    I also love postmodern style narrative nonfiction ala Blue Like Jazz.

  8. I grew up loving "Gone With the Wind." Even today, it's one of my favorite reads because of its Civil War settings, its characterization, and its details. It's as if Margaret Mitchell immersed herself in Civil War newspapers for years until she could germinate history onto the page, doing so through the mind of a character I would flee in real life.

    But personally, my ultimate favorite book would not only sweep across historic settings with unforgettable characters, but would be epic in its Christian message. I guess that would be the Bible! I'm sure some of its characters, if materialized, would send me hightailing it faster than a materialized Scarlett O'Hara.

  9. Eclectic tastes have their upsides, don't they Patti! It's no surprise to anyone that I love mysteries, but what I really love are mash-ups of genres. Historical romance, mystery, adventures, being what I write and all.

  10. I read all kinds of fiction. Not sooo crazy about memoir; why is that?
    Thanks for mentioning Sharon Hinck's "Restorer". I love her writing!

  11. Great post, Patti. I have The Restorer, just haven't read it yet. I love many genres, too.

  12. Cammie, thought you were describing YOUR WIP. Have a GREAT WEEK at your one-woman writers conference/retreat!!!

    Cheryl, thanks for visiting here!
    Sharon writes SEAMLESSLY, doesn't she???

    Suzie, thanks. I'm sure you've seen that t-shirt, so many books, so little TIME!!!

  13. PATTI!! Wonderful blog, and I knew we were soul sisters ... like you, Gone With the Wind and To Kill a Mockingbird were my two top favorite books as a kid, which is saying something for Harper Lee because my genre favorite is ... BIG SHOCK HERE ... romance!!!

    You, my friend, have opened my eyes to the beauty of women's fiction and yes, Sharon Hinck has broadened my horizons to science fiction and fantasy as well. But as Rhett would say, "you need to be kissed and kissed often," which is my mantra when it comes to what I like to read most!

    I don't know, maybe I'm just that little girl who read GWTW at the age of 12 and never grew up, but I don't think so. John and Stasi Eldredge, authors of the fabulous book, Captivating, have convinced me that romance is a high calling as evidenced by a God whose heart's desire is to romance us and be romanced in return. Sigh, what a God ... sigh, what a genre! :)

    Hey, girl, you and I need to connect soon about Green Lake, so I will be in touch.



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