Saturday, December 14, 2013

Sweet Validation

It my least favo—rite time of the year!

(To be sang to, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”)

I hate when I read something in a wonderful book, and then can’t find it later.

I was doing my year-end scramble, trying to finish up all these books I have bookmarks in, you know.  One was What On Earth Have I Done? by Robert Fulghum.  You know the guy.  Everything I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.

He spends time in Crete, and the Cretans go way out for Easter more than they do for Christmas.  Fulghum’s not a Christian, but heaven help him if scandal is attached to his name because he didn’t celebrate Easter with them!

Their reasoning is that birthdays are common.  Everyone has a birthday.  Not everybody dies and comes back.  

I wish I could find the passage!

I’d never thought of it that way.  Christmas is a fomality.  Easter is a celebration.

I have my own views and thoughts about the world, about myself, near about everything that’s ever crossed my mind.  When I find something that shares my opinion, or  confirms what I thought I knew, it makes me feel like I am not alone after all, and that maybe I do have some of the intelligence everyone claims I have.

My other favorite moment of validation was looking at a list of famous INFPs (which is my personality type most often).  I’m the same personality type as Hans Christian Andersen.

HANS.  CHRISTIAN.  ANDERSEN.  It’s also the suspected personality type of Tolkien, Lewis, Rowling, Woolf, Milne, Watterson, Warhol, Van Gogh, Antoine Saint Exupery...

That’s all great too.  I know I’m a writer, a dreamer, sometimes even an artist.  I knew all that.

But I’m the same freaking personality type of Hans Christian Andersen.  It was encouraging.  Not that I ever have any doubts about what I’m meant to be (oh dear, my pants are on fire), but it’s a source of validation.  It’s in me, all I gotta do is believe in myself (and now I feel like puking for the triteness).  And follow my heart (gag).

 Validation is also my way of getting out of things.  I’ve been on the fence about the Fifty Shades of Grey books since I've heard about them.  My thing about popular books is that if it didn’t catch my attention before it was popular, and I check it out now, just to see, and it’s not something I want to read, I fail to see why I should read a book just because it’s popular.

Life is too short to read books you’re not certain you’ll care for.  Life is also too short to pass a possibly good book up.

But I don’t like BDSM.  I’ve tried to read it in the past.  I didn’t like it.  I quit.  I’ve heard things about Fifty Shades portraying an unhealthy relationship.  I don’t like those either.  I can forgive a lot in a heroine, but I will not forgive an a-hole hero.  I don’t make a habit of reading serious literature.  Give me healthy relationships, and dragons, thank you, please, ma’am.  I save the dysfunctions for real life.

I spend a lot of time on the Smart Bitches, Trashy Books website.  It’s a great resource for romance books.  “All of the romance, none of the bullshit.”

Fifty Shades got reviewed there, and they gave it a “did not finish."  So...

“Sweet validation!  Now I don’t have to read it!”  Really, those were my thoughts on the matter.

But the truth was, like anything else, I was looking for excuses not to read it.  I don’t do contemporary romance.  I don’t do popular fiction (why no, I haven’t read the Hunger Games, nor do I ever plan to).

I think it would be different if they were in genres I actually have any dream of writing.  I don’t want to write YA.  I don’t want to write BDSM Erotic romance.  Or dystopia.  Or contemporary romance.  My genres are historical (Regency) romance and fantasy.  Those are my thing.  Had it been those genres, I would have picked them up out of sheer duty to my genres (although that still doesn't explain why Game of Thrones has been sitting on my shelf since late 2011, still unread).

And I don’t like jumping on bandwagons for nothing.  When I looked up the Dresden Files, I wanted to read them.  And I only have 2 books left.  I was on the fence about Kingkiller, but I regret nothing.  Those are some intimidating books, but they're awesome too. The same went for Riyria Revelations.  Well, actually, I just saw those and wanted them once they popped up in my recommendations.  How could I not?  I finally got them, and I read Theft of Swords.  Good stuff, that.  Good, good, GOOD stuff.

I shouldn’t need validation.  I shouldn’t have to explain my actions, nor feel guilty for not liking Jesus’ birthday (but in my defense, it’s really not his birthday, as he was born in the fall), or being an insecure about my writing destiny (I’m in good company there), or even skipping a book everybody else loves (I probably won’t like it, I know I won’t, I know!).

Still, it’s human to want to be part of a group, I think.  No man (or insecure college girl) is an island.  Nor would I wish to be.

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