Friday, December 2, 2011
Penny Wins The Lottery...Ding, Ding, Ding!
Stranger: Well, hello there!
Penny: Hello. Nice to meet you.
S: I just wanted to let you know that my book club has chosen your recent release, Sweet Magik, as our December reading selection.
P: Oh my goodness! Thanks so much. I am thrilled!
S: *snicker* We'll see about that.
P: What does that mean?
S: We're not just any old book club. We are a small, very select, very superior group of readers.
P: Uh....well....that's great. Good for you!
S: Very superior. As in....we know what kinds of literature are valuable, worth-while contributions to society, and which are trashy-ass pieces of shit, also known as..."bodice rippers."
P: *stunned* Um...I'm not sure I'm following your train of thought.
S: Don't strain your brain. Obviously, anyone who reads, writes and reviews copious romance novels is lacking in basic intellect. What I'm trying to tell you is....we hate bodice rippers and we like to crush them in our ratings and reviews. It's super fun.
P: Well, I didn't actually write a "bodice ripper".....bodice ripper is a term that refers to romantic fiction published in the 1980s, that featured forced seduction scenes....
S: Silence! I'm not interested in your pointless drivel, minion.
P: What's your name, Mister?
S: Snobby Asse. What's it to you?
P: Well, Mr. Snobby Asse, I can see how you find all this good, clean fun. Reading a genre you know nothing about, ripping the books to shreds, then snickering with your friends. What exactly constitutes "real" literature?
SA: I know you will find this difficult to believe....but there are actually many other types of reading materials available in the world. Ever read a textbook? *snicker*
P: Actually, I wrote a textbook.
SA: Huh? Well...um...I find that hard to believe. Let me guess...community college? Right? *brushes dust off of Harvard diploma*
P: Uh, wrong. Ivy League. Graduate degree.
SA: Bull shit! You can call me Doctor Snobby Asse from now on, Miss Penelope Romance Pants! Ever get published in a scientific journal? Do ground-breaking research?
SA: *looks slightly frazzled* What the hell are you doing slumming with the bodice ripper crowd, you wack?
P: I love romance. I love reading romance. I love writing romance. I love talking about romance. And I love reviewing romance. As a genuine romance reviewer--someone who is well-read in all fields, and extremely well-versed in this genre, and reviews it within the context of which it was written. It's not a Shakespearean play, for Christ's sakes, and is not meant to be viewed as such. Romances are simply fiction that focus on a relationship as the basic story arc, its conflict and resolution, and finish with a happy ending. You do know that, Mr. Snobby Asse. Right?
SA: Of course! I know everything!
P: Do you also know the subtleties of all the sub-genres you are reading? Dark paranoramal? Light paranormal? Romantic suspense? Steampunk fantasty? Each sub-genre should be critiqued according to its own set of parameters...world-building, the inclusion of horror, humor, etc. I'm sure you're totally up on all that stuff and how it applies to each unique sub-genre of romance. Excuse me, I mean bodice rippers.
SA: *sputters* You talk a big game, Penelope, but that stuff is still crap. No matter what fancy words you use to dress it up.
P: Hmm. I can think of a few things that are crap.
SA: Well, I think I've wasted enough time here. I need to spend some time reading books I hate so I can ding them in a public setting for the hilarity of myself and my superior friends. You know, real authors spend years of their lives doing research. You can't just write a book willy-nilly. For example, did you really go to Bavaria to research the Klaus family? I think not. *shakes head in a patronizing manner* I am soooooooo not impressed.
P: Um, Mr. Snobby Asse. I have something to tell you. But I don't think you're going to like it.
SA: Uh huh. What might that be, Inferior Girl?
P: Santa Claus, well...um...you know....
SA: Spit it out, Smut Lover!
P: Santa isn't real.
P: I'm so sorry. My book is make-believe. Not real. I didn't do any research about the Klaus family because....well.....they only exist in my puny mind. Sweet Magik wasn't meant to be anything heavy or serious. Just a fun little romance ditty, with some tongue-in-cheek humor, celebrating the holiday season. Celebrating love, and family, and romance, and happy endings. I hope you have some fun, light-hearted plans for the holiday season. *ponders Mr. Snobby Asse* Um, has anyone ever told you that you look a little bit like Scrooge?
SA: Bah humbug! *storms off*
P: Oh, I feel sort of badly about that.
Old Man With Big White Beard: Well, hello Penelope. How are you?
P: Hi! Do I know you?
Old Man: I think so. Yes, Penelope, I think so. *scratches beard which Penelope eyes with great interest* So, Miss Lover of Bodice Rippers, what would you like for Christmas?
P: Hugh Jackman!
Old Man: I'll see what I can do.
Happy Christmas To All, And To All A Good-Night!