Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Top Ten Chick Lit Picks, Scrunchies, and How Not to Write a Book

I’m deviating a little from Top Ten Tuesday today by posting someone else’s top ten. Most influential chick lit books that is. Karin Gillespie posted this list on her blog earlier, but I thought it deserved a mention here too (if only to provide you with a great chick lit website… I’ve been wandering cyberspace aimlessly, searching for such a site since the very unfortunate demise of Rian Montgomery’s excellent chicklitbooks.com)

So, what do you think? I’ve read six and half-read two (Sex & the City; In her Shoes). How about you?

I’ve been meaning to read Nick Hornby for ages. I haven’t seen High Fidelity the movie (bows head in shame) but I loved About A Boy to pieces. Will this list finally get me to do it? I’m hopeful, but realistic. With my TBR pile growing into mythical proportions, it’s highly unlikely I will get around to this in 2007 unless someone makes me.

I can’t believe Thirtynothing made the cut… I LOVED, ABSOLUTELY LOVED that book. Plus it was one of the very first chick lits I read (which, come to think about it, may be why I loved it so much in the first place), back in the dark ages of the genre when you had to search through heaps of books, reading back cover blurb after back cover blurb (publishers hadn’t discovered the wonders of bright pastel colored covers yet) to find something that might be “chick lit” (the term was only being bandied about in small, under-the-radar circles). The novel sort of follows the framework of a romance in that it alternates hero and heroine points of view, but what’s written would make a staunch, dyed-in-the-wool traditional romance reader pinch her nose in disgust. Just the opening scene describing a one-night stand is classic. And it’s chock full of that biting British wit that turned me onto Chick Lit in the first place.

Now I’d like to interrupt this blog for a public service announcement concerning the Dixie Chicks, who, in my humble opinion, embody all that chicks should stand for. It isn’t about whether you hate George Bush or not, it’s about speaking your conscience even if what your conscience has to say happens not to be so popular… at the time (people who indulge in this sort of behavior are notorious for getting the last laugh. If they’re lucky, it will happen in their lifetime). I’m not a country music fan but all this hoopla surrounding the Dixie Chicks (not to mention how they’ve turned the big-hair-and-enough-glitter-to-fill-five-barns female country singer cliché on its head) is making me very curious about their music. Plus I’m in the mood for something a little more wholesome for the soul than my steady diet of reggaeton.

Now, what does all this have to do with scrunchies? Well, to be honest, nothing, but I couldn’t resist bragging (this one’s for you too Dona!). It seems that if you hold on to any trend long enough you will in fact be rewarded with a comeback. Check this out my friends. Dona, Sienna, Mary-Kate and I have joined the ranks of women who are defying Carrie Bradshaw’s universal diss of scrunchies, and donning them with pride. Anyone can turn any fashion item into a fashion faux pas, so I still say wearing a scrunchie with a fancy suit to a NYC restaurant (like the woman in that infamous SATC episode) is a huge fashion DON’T. But to accessorize today’s legging-and-oversized-tunics combos? Pourquoi pas? Just make sure they’re not made out of denim or are covered with Hello Kittie motifs.

Onto our final topic (how’s that for a transition?), in an effort to motivate you in case you are as stuck in your writing as I am at the moment, I’ve just stumbled on a great blog by writer Maureen Johnson, and her montage of the writing process (with a deadline looming) is priceless. And man is this a crazy process. I cannot tell you where my brainstorming of this current book is taking me. I think if I don’t decide on a course of action and go with it, I could be plotting and planning forever.

Has anyone figured out how to decide on a path when you’ve brainstormed yourself into a maze? I’d love to know…


Dona Sarkar-Mishra said...

YAY! Scrunchies of the world unite! I actually wore a scrunchie to work the other day (black, discreet), and I got absolutely zero "Welcome to the 80s" remarks :)

Also, love the list...BJ Diary is also one of my favorite chicklits and IN HER SHOES is still the book that I consider "My Holy Grail"
I want to create characters like Maggie, Rose and Grandma too....

And now I'm really dying to check out RACHEL'S HOLIDAY

Keris said...

Yay! Thanks for linking to the list and for saying such nice things about Trashionista. I'm one of the co-editors, Keris, and Thirtynothing was my pick. I loved it and the first chapter is one of the best first chapters I've ever read. Hilarious. :)

Nadine Dajani said...

Welcome Keris!! Thanks for posting!

I was in London a few months after reading Thirtynothing, and upon entering the Waterstone's (I think that's what it's called) off of Picadilly Circus there was a whole wall of chick lit and a row of Lisa Jewells. I picked up One Hit Wonder and Friend of the Family. Of course, I picked up something like 20 other books, and lots more since then, and since every time I read anything I'm racked with guilt over the fact I'm not writing, I haven't been reading nearly as much I would like to. Plus I try to read the work of writers I know before those I don't know, so to make a long story short, I keep staring at those two books longingly waiting for the chance to devour them.

Dona Sarkar-Mishra said...

TAG! Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Heroines Who Inspire Me ...your turn!