Chick-Lit for Dinks

I’m going to be 35 in seven months.
I say this because it’s relevant to the rest of this entry.

I’ve always maintained that I don’t particularly like writing fiction. (This despite participating in and completing NaNoWriMo two years running.)

I’ve also always complained that there isn’t a genre of light reading for grown-ups that isn’t part of another genre already. I mean, yeah, there are people like Sara Paretsky and Janet Evanovich, but, they write mysteries, and Nora Roberts, addictive as her stories are, is still, fundamentally, a romance writer.

I enjoy the chick-lit genre, because the books are up-beat, funny, topical, and talk about fashion and clothes as much as not. But I don’t really identify with the protagonists created by Sophie Kinsella or Katie Fforde or Jennifer Weiner, because all those women are single and most are younger.

Then the other night, as I was folding laundry (a pathetic, but necessary, way to spend an evening), I caught the first episode (well, really the second, but they call it the first) of Queer Eye for the Straight Girl, and one of the newly-dubbed “gal pals” uttered the buzzphrase, “Thirty is the new twenty.”

Well, that may not be entirely true, but, I found it to be really affirming. And ever since that show, my own buzz-phrase has been needling my consciousness: Thirty-five is the new twenty-one. (I’ve got an entire essay planned on this topic, but it’s not ready yet.)

This morning, as I was waiting for the grocery delivery, I was also looking for something to read. I wanted something with a character I could relate to, but every book I picked up at a character who was single and looking, married and cheating/separated/divorcing, or dying of a dread disease. And I thought, THIS IS WRONG!!!!! (Yes, the five exclamation points were in my thought.)

And so, I began a new story today. I’m not sure how it’ll go…but I’m calling the genre “Chick-Lit for DINKS” – and it will feature characters who are witty and funny, smart, pretty, dieting (or not), working, and not trying desperately to conceive.

I’m really excited about this.
Wish you all could come along for the ride.

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 Chick-Lit for Dinks by Melissa Bartell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.