Miley Is Not Sam, the Dangers of Chick Lit, EtcApril 6th, 2008
First of all, let’s just get the latest rumor out of the way: Miley Cyrus is not starring in a Disney-made movie version of my book All American Girl.
I don’t know how this one got started, but I’ve checked with all my sources. And I still own the film rights to this book, and no one from Disney has called me about the purchase of those rights.
Rumor Control: Miley isn’t Sam. But these are the new redesigned covers of All American Girl and Ready or not, out now!
In other news, my friend Beth saw John Krasinski of The Office walking down the street. She says he was tall and smiling.
Life is so unfair. The closest I have gotten to John Krasinski is Mindy (aka Kelly Kapoor) Kaling’s blog.
Meanwhile, the new MTV reality series about a high school newspaper staff, The Paper, looks so good (premieres after The Hills April 14).
And there’s a second season of Robin Hood beginning April 26 on BBC America!
And there is still no news on the Seventeen fiction contest. I have gotten no entries to judge yet. Sorry!
A lot of you have asked me to comment on the Sweet Valley High controversy. In a nutshell, this series is being started up again, only now the twins are size 0 instead of size 6s like they were the first time around. My take on this issue is that it’s a non-issue. I weigh more now than I did in high school, but when I go clothes shopping, I can be anywhere from three to four sizes smaller than I was back then.
So the twins haven’t necessarily shrunk. They are just victims of vanity sizing, like everyone else!
The truth is, I tried to get into Sweet Valley the first time around and couldn’t. I know! Scandalous! As far as my “book series not really written by the author” choice was concerned, I was more of a Boyfriends/Girlfriends (republished as Making Out) series by Katherine Applegate kind-of-girl (I heard a rumor that Nina and Ben weren’t really supposed to have had sex. One of the ghost writers snuck that in even though it wasn’t in the story bible. I don’t know if this is really true but either way, I. LOVE. IT)
I’ve been away from my desk (er, bed) on a rest cure, seeing doctors about one of my laparoscopy scars which still has a hard painful lump in it. I’ve received many varying diagnoses, meaning no one knows what The Lump is (of course if they opened me up they could tell, but that would be too easy. For them). Almost all of the doctors agree on one thing though: acupuncture as treatment for the pain.
I know what you’re thinking…ACUPUNCTURE?????
Letting someone stick needles in you (even ever so gently) is definitely something that takes guts, especially given that my brothers and I used to stick each other with all sorts of things on purpose all the time in order to torture one another back when we were kids. So I know perfectly well what this feels like.
This just made me even more reluctant to pick up the phone and schedule my appointment. I only just got around to scheduling my baseline mammogram, a year and half late (and yes the rumors ARE true: they do squeeze your boobs as hard as they can between two plastic trays—although it’s over pretty quickly it turns out. And mine was negative, thank God, though they also had to ultrasound me, so I kind of wondered what the point of all that squeezing was).
I would like to say acupuncture worked right away, but it didn’t, it takes a lot of sessions, I’m told. Hopefully it will work eventually. Until then I’m hanging onto my painkillers…also my mint Milanos and all my DVR’d episodes of The Real Housewives of New York City and my Ace Bandage hot patches.
Although I did feel very Zen-y afterwards and craved Doritos and Letterman and kept wondering if I should just blow off my Intro to Soc class….
Wait…what were we talking about?
Something I like to do after acupuncture is go to Bree Sharp’s Myspace and play the songs Counting Back to 1 and Robots in Love. I suggest you go there too. Why? Because Bree is awesome (you might remember Bree from her hit song, David Duchovny, Why Won’t You Love Me?) When will Bree’s new album come out? I don’t know, but I can’t wait.
Finally, author Jen Weiner posted an interview on her blog, A Moment of Jen, in which she addresses the question all us women fiction writers get asked ENDLESSLY, which is “How do you feel about the term ‘chick lit’?”
Jennifer gives a lovely well-balanced response (as opposed to me, who usually says something like, “Whatever. People who have a problem with it are usually other authors who don’t write it, and no one is reading their books because they’re so gloomy and boring and don’t have fun scenes with girls spying on their boyfriends and doing pretend kung fu moves in the dark like in Megan Crane’s English as a Second Language.”):
Jen Weiner: There was an interview with another writer that I read where she said that she was dismayed by having her work called chick lit when she realized that it’s absolutely never meant as a compliment. I think that’s the problem writers can have with it – the label, even the word “chick” comes with the built-in assumption that you’ve written something frothy at best and stupid, or even dangerous, at worst (yes, my work has been called harmful to America, a comment which, I have to confess, delighted me. There’s nothing like feeling that you’re powerful enough to be a menace to your country when you’re tooling around in your minivan on your way to pick up baby wipes at Target).
The good news is, no matter how the publishers and booksellers label the books, and what the critics say (that’s if they bother to say anything at all), readers know what they’re getting with quote-unquote chick lit. They know they’ll laugh, they know they’ll identify with the heroine and her dilemmas, they know her voice will be familiar and that her story will end well. And if that’s what chick lit is, I don’t think it’s so terrible, or so dangerous.
Right on, Jen! I would only add that, in addition, there’s the added bonus of not being gloomy and boring, having kung fun moves, etc.
Maureen Dowd mentioned in her tirade against chick lit in the NY Times that we should all read The Red Badge of Courage instead. But, Maureen, I read that in the 9th grade. And besides, it didn’t even have any girls in it, that I recall. Can’t we read some funny new books? And can’t they be written by women, for women, and be about balancing romance and families and careers? And the fact that the heroines can’t stop eating Nutter Butters and feel guilty about not recycling as much as they know they should?
Is that so wrong? Or dangerous?
Meanwhile—call me, Miley! We’ll do lunch and talk!