So, I’m thinking today about how much of the world I am not a part of anymore–specifically, pop culture. Liz and I talk frequently about how we are aging out of many things. She wonders if she’s aging out of romance novels–reading and writing them. I sometimes wonder if I’m aging out of being able to keep my plate as full as I do with editing gigs and writing deadlines and book promotion because stuff falls off sometimes, and more often than I like, it’s fun stuff like time with family and friends. Every now and again, I watch younger writers who go after their lives with fervor and energy and I wonder what happened to mine. Fervor and energy that is. But I plug along the best I can and hope that people don’t see a tired old lady when they look at me.
It’s been a good writing week–something I’m so grateful for. The Weavers are coming along and I’m into Jo’s story. Alex, my hero, has a dog named Boris and a cat named Natasha… I’ve always wanted to put a Rocky & Bullwinkle reference in a book. I only hope readers get it. Sometimes I really date myself in my writing, but that said, I’m the age I am–my references are timely to me, so if Sinatra and Anne Shirley and Mr. Peabody show up, what can I say? I suppose readers can google them, just like I have to google…well, truthfully, most pop culture stuff from today.
Do you ever look at the cover of magazines in the doc’s office or hairdresser’s salon or the checkout and think, “Holy shit, I do not know anyone on this People or Us or whatever magazine? “Who wore it best?” is never my question. Mine is, “Who the hell are these people?” And honestly, who cares who wore it best? I mean why does that matter in the greater scheme of life and the world today?
Sister PJ, who is five years older than me is so much more tuned into pop culture than I am, but I think that has to do with the fact that I don’t watch network TV or listen to much music that was produced after 1980–some I do, but mostly, I’m stuck in the era of the Drifters, Carole King, James Taylor, the Beatles, and yes, I confess, even earlier because I’m crazy about Big band music and Frank Sinatra makes me swoon just like he did my mom. I wrote about it on Word Wranglers this week–how that old music takes me back. I must be feeling particularly nostalgic… well, old this week. I’m wondering if that makes me more boring than usual? Or worse, irrelevant?
I don’t know… I hope not. I don’t want to be irrelevant. I love that people read and enjoy my books even if the references are dated. Maybe for most of my readers, who are probably closer to my age than not, that is one reason they read me. They find comfort in mentions of music and films and television from father back than last week. And for younger people who read my novels, maybe they don’t mind having to google the likes of Gilbert Blythe or Glenn Miller or June Cleaver or Harry Chapin.
It’s my question for the universe today, I think… how important is it to you for the romance novels you read to be full of timely pop culture references?
Gratitude for this week: Our kids are getting well; we are still negative for covid; my gardens are amazing and full of blooms; I’m writing; the old music that makes my heart sing.
Stay well, stay safe, send light to Ukraine, and most of all, mes amies, stay grateful,