Wednesday, July 25

A NEIGHBORLY DAY

We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say “It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.”
Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes. - Mr. Rogers

#thanksmrrogers
I've had an up-and-down few years. It started with the election in 2016 and things have been...well, up and down ever since. Thankfully, things are mostly up these days, but I'm still treading lightly. However, even with learning to type with my fingers crossed against whatever new hell is approaching and with the horror the national news is to me, I've been thinking a lot about Mr. Rogers.

Caryn Capotosto
There's the movie, Won't You Be My Neighbor?, produced by Nan's cousin Caryn Capotosto, which I haven't seen yet but am looking forward to. There are all the Mr. Rogers memes on FB, which offer comfort whenever they appear. There are the cardigans--whenever I see one, I think of him and am grateful for him. There are the quotes, that make us nod and say, "Yes. Yes. That." 

There are people on a local "Positive Future of..." website who also remind me of Mr. Rogers. They are kind and funny and smart and supportive. They spread good news, good cheer, and give help where it is needed. I belong to that page. I post on it. I "like" a lot of posts. I "share" a few. Angry posts are taken down. Ones that denigrate anyone or any business are taken down. Profanity and obscenity aren't there--it's PG at its best.

Politics aren't mentioned on that page. It is the only way it can survive. It is the only way we can all remain good neighbors. It is, perhaps, an unrealistic way of seeing our community, but it's real to me. It's real if for no other reason than the fact that we all need breaks from the anger, the fear, the judgment. The only name I've been called on that page is "Liz." I like that. It has a ring to it. 

Romance has evolved over the years. I don't even recognize it as the same genre I grew up with. In all honesty, there's much I miss about "the old days," but even with my rose-colored nostalgia glasses, I know going back would be a mistake. However, some of what we so valued from those old days has stayed. There are still HEAs. Inclusiveness says there is room for every sub-genre known to a reader or writer and some we haven't thought of yet. There is, regardless of some mutual irritation going on, room for trad, indie, and hybrid.

It is up to us, just as it is up to the members of that page on FB, to keep it positive. It is not necessary for us to say out loud if we think your kid is ugly or your book is crap; rather it is necessary to give each other high fives and atta-girls. We don't have to post pictures of the ugly kid or read the book we can barely stand the first page of--we just have to shut up and be good neighbors. 
~*~
My next book, Nice to Come Home To, which takes place in the good neighborhood of Lake Miniagua, Indiana, will be released August 1. I love Cass and Luke's story. I hope you do, too. 


10 comments:

  1. You are so right! We need more Mr. Rogers and less angry in the world today. It's a harsh world since 2016--I pray for better times politically so we can breathe again. Hugs, baby. Oh, and thanks for the shout-out to Caryn. She's a great producer and I'm hoping this one will garner her another Oscar!

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  2. Love this post, Liz! I think we could all do with a little more kindness, and a little less "agree with me". I think that is what I least understand about what has been happening - listening and understanding doesn't equal agreement. It never has, and yet we used to be able to talk and debate and not agree and now...we can't. I don't like this turn, and I'm hoping we find our way back to being able to talk and debate and then agreeing to disagree.

    PS: GREAT cover! I can't wait to read this one!

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    1. I have to admit there is so much I CAN'T understand, which makes it so hard. But disagreement is not a synonym for hatred, and we need to get back to knowing that.

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  3. Sometimes I feel like we live in a bizarro USA that I don’t recognize anymore and then something cool happens like the cop lip-sync battles that restore a little faith. I think we just need to sift through the soot to find the treasures. And add me to the list of excited reader for Nice to Come Home To.

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  4. How cool that the producer of the Mr. Rogers documentary is Nan's cousin! Love it! I heard about the documentary on the CBC National news (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) and I thought it was something I'd really like to see. Now for sure I want to see it.

    Beautiful cover, Liz. Can't wait to read it!

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