cold fusion

Writing Wednesday: Chick Lit Is Not Dead! By Liz & Lisa

Chick Lit is not dead. It's not-we swear! And although we know that y'all are dying to discover the next big author, you'd probably be shocked to discover that we're STILL being told by agents that Chick lit, or Upmarket women's fiction, or whatever the hell they want us to call it these days, just doesn't sell.

And to be perfectly honest, we're tired of our gal Chick Lit feeling like she has to hide in the corner like some dirty slut. So we're calling bullsh*t.  Chick Lit is NOT Dead!

Looking back, Chick Lit's popularity was ultimately the death of her. Because when the market became over-saturated with a bunch of copycats with predictable plots and cardboard characters, she was catapulted down to the D-list faster than than you could say Snooki. She was accused of lacking substance, of being insulting to women's intelligence and being *gasp* cliche'.

Poor Chick Lit became such an outcast in the publishing world that she couldn't even be called by her own name anymore. Apparently, if she stood any chance of transforming from unbound manuscript to sleek, published novel, she had to be disguised as Women's Fiction. And even then, the odds of her becoming Homecoming Queen again were pretty damn slim.

Aspiring novelists querying agents needed to beware! Titles that conjured images of stilettos were shunned; the mention of designer purses was literary suicide; and if the protagonist was *gulp* a quirky, single girl with dreams of meeting Mr. Right, the manuscript was sent off to die a very slow death in some slush (or should we say "slut") pile.

Chick Lit had been pronounced dead, gone well before her time due to overexposure. And her writers and readers put on their black designer dresses and went into mourning.

Her headline in the gossip columns would have read, From It Girl to Out Girl. One Too Many Knock-offs Sealed Her Fate!

But like any former A-lister, we knew she'd make a come back. (If Hugh Grant could do it, so could she!) She just had to wait for her moment and seize it.

And the time is now! Here's why we say Chick Lit has not only made a comeback, but she's going to be on the scene for a while.

She's our fantasy! Thinking about the crashing stock market and the record high unemployment rates hurts our heads. So instead of watching the nightly news, we'd rather pop open the book with a stick figure drinking a martini on the cover and give our brains the night off. If you can't take a real vacation, at least give your brain one! Let your biggest worry be over whether Jane Q Single Gal gets to marry Joe Q Bachelor; whether frenemies can become friend-ly; if it's a bad idea to get a manny.  Let her wrap your ending up in a nice red bow and don't feel guilty about it for one second!

She's a cheap date! Even though hard economic times have caused most of us to slash our budgets (Tarjay is so the new Nordys), Chick Lit is still making it into our shopping carts. She's like that friend who talks you out of your buyer's remorse.  She reminds you that it's OK to spend money on things that make you feel better. In fact, she thinks it's the American way! And even though a lot of us can't justify buying that Louis Vuitton purse or getting that $200 haircut anymore, Chick Lit still gives a frugal girl some bang for her buck. If you get her in paperback, she's only about $12. 95! This seems like an awesome price considering how often she makes us laugh, cry or even SOL (snort out loud!).  And BTW, Chick Lit is always up on the latest trends. And if she says cheap is the new chic, we believe her!

She's Secure in her Stilettos Chick Lit is proud of who she is. She makes no apologies for drinking Cosmos or wearing designer skinny jeans. She's never going to make the argument that she should win the Pulitzer or that she's invented cold fusion.   And she definitely doesn't think a book should require a thesaurus while reading! She loves a good rom-com too and couldn't be happier that her cousin, Chick Flick is back on the red carpet again.

So to the literary snobs of the world, it's time to face the truth. That Chick Lit is back and better than ever. And she's back now for the very reason she exploded onto the literary scene in the first place. No good woman can resist well-written books with high fashion and happy endings.

So say it loud and proud, *channels Ty Pennington and yells into megaphone* CHICK LIT IS NOT DEAD!

What do you think?  Do you still want your happy ending? Leave a comment and you'll be entered to win a $20 iTunes gift card!  Let's let people know that we want some brain candy!

xoxo, Liz & Lisa

Radio Silence by Liz

I love Barry Blackberry.  Or rather I'm obsessed.  I think about him when he's tucked away in my purse while I'm working and cuddle him close to my chest to keep him warm when it's cold and rainy.  He's the first thing I grab in the morning and I never forget to blow him a little kiss before heading off to bed each night. But like many others who take their loved ones for granted, I was careless with Barry's love, refusing to buy him that shiny case he'd had his eye on for months.  You don't need it, I told him. You look fine just the way you are. And each time I dropped him on my tile floor, I would gingerly put him back together and swear this was the last time I'd ever hurt him.  That I'd never again place him next to my three-year old's cup of milk.  That I'd find a appropriate place in my purse to store him where he wouldn't get all sticky.

All Empty Promises.

Then, last Sunday, Barry had enough.  He'd taken it like a man when I splashed some fresh-squeezed lemonade on him at the carnival and didn't miss a beat when  my daughter spilled sugar from her pixie stick all up in his parts.  But when I dropped him on that damn tile again, that was it.  After putting him back together, his (lcd) light just wouldn't shine again.  Barry was gone.

*Cue panicked run to Verizon store and angry tantrum when clerk informed me that I would have to wait TWO DAYS to get a new phone*

Hanging my head in my hands, I thought, How the f*ck am I going to survive two days without a phone? My sales job requires me to be in the car all day, and Barry Blackberry had always been my window into the world.  Now I was going to have to *gasp* listen to music, or God forbid, my own thoughts!

But what struck me the most in my two days of radio silence was how much I'd changed since getting Barry.  How distracted I had become in my daily life, how little I paid attention to others while I was replying to a text that I thought just couldn't wait. Now I wondered why it had been so urgent.  How often I chose to Facebook on my phone between appointments rather than preparing.  That I was so addicted to my phone that I kept reaching for it even though it wasn't there.  All in all, I felt pretty lame and promised to try to make some changes when my new Barry Blackberry arrived on my doorstep.

And since re-entering the land of the communicative, I have to admit that old habits die hard.  But I'm trying.  I even bought him a shiny pink case, although he feels it strips away his masculinity. I told him he'll get over it-it's better than having your battery case ripped opened every day, right?

The best part of my two days of silence? My productivity. I even had time to make a list about it!

During my Radio silence...

  • Actually listened to myself think. Think I may have solved that whole cold fusion thing.
  • Went to the car wash and *watched* my car get washed.
  • Endured more crunching and smacking sounds than any one person ever should.
  • Gave that guy at Starbucks the wrong idea when I stared at his Blackberry. (I may have drooled a little bit .)
  • Decided that I was too good and started judging everyone else talking on their cell phone to make myself feel better.
  • Eavesdropped on some really interesting conversations.
  • NEVER knew what time it was.

xoxo, Liz