Monday, July 15

A step outside the box

         


 Some of our kids and grandkids were here last night. We cooked out and sat around in the stifling heat swatting at bugs and waiting for the sun to go down. My daughter-in-law talked me into going for a walk—a mile in the aforementioned heat nearly killed me. My son set up their telescope in the side yard and we all looked at the moon, Venus, and Saturn.
          Wow.
          I’m not much of a fan of the space program. I think we should concentrate on taking better care of the planet we’re on before we go careening off and messing up any others. I remember the first walk in space only because my girlfriend had her first baby that day. Though I’m usually an optimist, I tend to remember our losses to the program as opposed to our gains.
          But last night I understood why people want to go to those places. It was amazing to see the craters on the moon, the blinky colors that were Venus, and, the rings around Saturn. “It really has them!” I said, which the grandkids thought was funny.
          We talk much these days about stepping outside the box and outside our comfort zones, but I never gave much thought to how important it is to do that.
          As a person. My politics and my religion are mine alone, I hope my ethics and morals are evident in the life that I live but you don’t need me beating you over the head with what I think. But sometimes it’s necessary to stand up and speak up and hey, too bad if you don’t like it.
          As a reader. I don’t like horror, I don’t read anything remotely paranormal (unless Shawn writes it), and I think erotic romance is boring. But if I’d never read any horror, I wouldn’t know just how good Stephen King is. If I’d never read any paranormal, I wouldn’t have read the Harry Potter series. If I hadn’t read any erotic romance, I wouldn’t know how amazing some of the voices are that write it.
          As a writer. I’ll probably never have a real brand because I skip around so much—my books are contemporary, historical, and inspirational, and the next one is women’s fiction. My career might be in better shape if I’d found a niche and stayed with it, but what fun it is to not only step outside the box but dance on top of it.
          It’s my way, I guess, of stepping on the moon, checking out the colors of Venus, and seeing that yes, yes, there really are rings around Saturn.
          What about you? When do you step outside the box and dance on its top?
         


19 comments:

  1. I've done a lot of different genres, too, and have stopped at contemporary romance. I need to build a brand. But if I hadn't tried other genres first, I never would have realized how hard it is write a good romance. I would have thought, "If romance is this hard, I could never write a mystery/historical/or whatever kind of book." I bought into the myth that romance is the easy writing, and everything else is more valid. (Which is 100% wrong!) I'm glad I have some writing experience under my belt, because if I ever get tired of this and want to do another genre as well, I won't be afraid that I'm not good enough.

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  2. Oh, good for you for the confidence you've gained. What a myth that is indeed!

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  3. Hi, Liz!

    I write historical with some paranormal mixed in because that's mostly what I like to read, but I do read horror, science fiction, mysteries and contemporaries on occasion. And now that my latest historical is getting ready to go to galleys, I'm contemplating starting work on a contemporary series. A little scary, but I'm hoping, if I can pull it off, to gain more readers.

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  4. Good luck, Susan--sounds as though you're going to dance. :-)

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  5. My heart is in Contemporary Romance, but for fun, I write a lot of short stories for my own pleasure that delve into just about everything. I think it allows me to not only get out of the box, but to explore under it as well, see how things work and why other people might find different views of the same box interesting.

    The Ocean Between – Romance for the True Romantic

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  6. That's good "exercise" isn't it, Lynda? Thanks for coming by!

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  7. Liz, our brains must be connected! LOL I'm planning to stick to contemporary romance for the time being and create a new brand, but putting myself in any kind of box rubs part of me the wrong way.

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  8. I write trad Regency, Historical Romance, Romantic Suspense, Mystery, Thrillers, Contemporary Romance, Steampunk, SciFi, and I'm currently working on the first-person Regency Gothic. So, yeah, I love it outside the box. I wrote multiple POV when that was a no-no. Historical details NY said no one wanted to hear. I had a heroine of fourteen in a grown-up book. Merciful heavens, what a to-do over that. Clearly, I've been out of the box for quite a while. If I'd stayed in . . . maybe I'd be famous. But I'd also be bored to death.

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  9. I don't step outside the box very often. I'm comfortable there, been branding myself one way, so don't see myself changing anytime soon!

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  10. @ Alison--I know what you mean. I don't think we grew up in a time that makes life in a box particularly comfortable!

    @ Grace--my goodness, what a life list! I STILL resent the POV restrictions. I adhere to them, but I'll never like them.

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  11. great post, Liz...I like being comfortable but I'm learning (this summer, in fact) that stepping outside the comfort zone is a necessary evil. And a little more fun than I'd originally thought.

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  12. Yeah, Kristi--sometimes it's a nice surprise, isn't it?

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  13. @ D, it's working for you, though you've done a little dancing around the edges lately, haven't you? :-) Hope things are calming for you and your muse is back.

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  14. "Step out of the box and dance on top of it..." Love it. Great post, Liz.

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  15. Just wait until the big comet becomes visible later this fall. It will be so big, you'll be able to see in the daylight. I love astronomy and living out in the coutry with few lights affords us a great viewing sky. It's definitely my break away from reality.

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  17. @ Carol, I DON'T love it, which makes it even more amazing in a way, because it's all such a surprise!

    @ Kyra. Thanks!

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  18. Liz--late to the party, part of my charm ;)

    great post. I've always wanted to look through a telescope and see what you described. Maybe I should add that to my bucket list. maybe I should actually make a bucket list.

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  19. LOL. Hi, Margie. It was the first time I'd looked through a "real" one, and it's definitely worth adding to your list. (I've never written mine down, either, because I keep changing it.)

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