Wednesday, September 16, 2009

You're Welcome

Are you afraid of being too corny when you write? It seems to me that critics loathe sentimentality, in any shape or form these days. Some of my favorite stories have sappy themes or endings, or both. I know such subject matter can be taken too far, but when handled properly may go a long way in representing the beauty of the human experience. How bad can THAT be?

Society on a whole is getting nastier. We don't revere decorum. Manners have flown out the window with chivalry. I hear they live on a farm somewhere in the country, with all the out-to-pasture niceties, such as: thank-you and you're welcome, handshakes, please and how-do-you-do's? Chivalry and Manner's farm must be a nice place to visit, (I found a photo that fits in with what I imagine such a farm would look like. See above.) Expect to meet some mellow types, to hear good morning, good day, or goodnight, to find yourself surrounded by those that don't interrupt or ask rude questions. In other words, a whole different world than ours.

Our world is a place where you can grab the microphone out of someone's hand at an award show and be forgiven the very next day because you're a big-bad-rich-famous-star, even if you have a history of being a pompous ass. Our world is a place where we don't fault someone for poor sportsmanship, where the weak are stampeded and usually the strong and obnoxious cross the finish line. Our world is a place where we never agree to disagree, we only agree to out shout one another. Our world is going down the tubes, or as my mother used to say, to hell in a hand basket.

I'm going to write the way I want to about the subject matter that I care about. I'm still going to say you're welcome, instead of the new preferred version, (no problem). God, I hate that phrase! I'm not going to let the sentimentality police influence the way I write. No I will not.

What's your favorite, sappy, corny, happy ending book? I know you have one, come on tell us...

All Rights Reserved. © 2009 by Elizabeth Bradley.


Tabitha Bird said...

the short story that is currently on my blog (no, it isn't written by me) I love it's ending. And I agree with you. happily ever after is worth it's weight in heart sometimes. I like a good cry followed by a great laugh and a peaceful smile :)

Alix said...

Thank you, kind and sweet Elizabeth for a lovely piece. I completely agree and am packing my bags for the farm.

And even though hell and handbasket are very near, I don't think even our all too self-consumed-no-problem society is gonna let Kanye off the hook this time.

I love your blog ma'am.

lakeviewer said...

My, you're ending the day on the right note. We are all sick of these people who have been narcissistic and selfish as well as bad mannered. Nobody is above the law; and nobody is above common decency.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

"Love Story." I adore that book/movie. :)

Mystery Writing is Murder

ellen abbott said...

Nothing specific but I do read an occasional Nora Roberts book. They're good for sappy sentimentality plus she's a good storyteller.

But I know what you mean about manners and politeness. fortunately, the are alive and well out in the country. so refreshing after being in the city all week.

Comedy Goddess said...

It is hard to choose.
Recently, I started reading Ann of Green Gables, again, because I thought my daughter might like it.

The language is beautiful and you can tell it was written by someone who had a reverence for conveying ideas to not only give information, but to please the reader.

I decided that reading Ann aloud to my daughter is the way to go!

Jennifer Shirk said...

Ooh corn me up! LOL! That's why I love reading romances. You're always guaranteed a happy ending.

Elspeth Antonelli said...

Happy endings are wonderful. It's lovely to close a book with a smile on your face then have your brain churning with disturbing thoughts.

Escaping to a world where "happily ever after" reigns supreme is a nice change from the world of mystery and intrigue where I spend most of my writing day!


P.S. I still have my copies of the Anne series from when I was growing up. Literary treasures.

Cloudia said...

Seems you and I both rebell and dare to see beauty & kindness rathr than the current rudeness. I was rude and brusque; then I grew up!
Real people like my "sappy" column "Walking in Waikiki" while "professionals" disdain its sentimenality....people enjoying it IS Too TOO prole I guess.
Aloha ha ha

Comfort Spiral

Angie Ledbetter said...

Good for you. To thine own self. And I think many readers will always love the uplifting and long as it's not "sweet" or done with a heavy hand.

Marguerite said...

Happy, oh how I love happy stories with happy endings! You are fabulous, cher! Cheers!

Maggie May said...

I love this post and I do agree with everything you said.
Please let your posts be filled with your true feelings, whatever they are. Always.
It is a great pity that this generation is so mean and impolite! (Though there are still many left like you!)
You must radiate your values from your blog. It might just be catching!
I also love stories with happy endings.

Unseen Rajasthan said...

This is a fantastic post and i agree with you strongly !! Great post !!Unseen Rajasthan

Galen Kindley--Author said...

Not sure what sappy book I like, but, you’re right, there’s gotta be at least one. I do agree with you on manners. Lack of thoughtfulness or simple courtesy is one of my hot buttons. I almost can’t stand to watch sports anymore for the individual celebration and “look at me” approach some players take. Call me old timey, but, Good manners go a long way with me. Lack of them allows me to categorize the offender pretty quickly. Being courteous cost nothing.

Best Regards, Galen
Imagineering Fiction Blog

Anne Spollen said...

I love the ending to Jane Eyre, when she marries Edward. It's especially nice because their first wedding was interrupted - I always view that as a romantic book.

Woman in a Window said...

I was talking with a friend the other day. He was on a cell phone. He was buying something. He asked me to wait. He spoke with the sales person. He called her dear and he said thank you. I was a puddle. That's how you treat strangers!

Books? Ach. I remember nothing.

Jenn said...

I am so terrible with books, they are read and enjoyed then typically purged from my brain to make room for the next adventure. Now movies on the other hand...An Affair to Remember hands down all time favorite. I cry like a blubbering idiot at the end. Every single time no matter how often I watch it. Cinderella is another good one. Riding off into the sunset in true love, seriously what could be better?

YES, please bring on the sappy & sentimental, I will be in line to read it for sure!

GutsyWriter said...

I have to agree with you about the rude behavior growing, but that's what seems to always get media attention. We need to change things back to the olden days and I have faith that will happen.

Kim said...

I am with you on this. We were at a family function a few weeks ago and a couple young teenage cousins were asked by an Aunt who lives on a very fixed income - Did you get the money I sent you. The little annoyances didn't even look up from their video game and give this poor woman a sentence of their time. They just nodded. I wanted to slap them both.

I do love a good ending. My most recent favourite books are by Thrity Umrigar. I read If today be sweet and the Space between us. The endings were somewhat satisfying but her subject matter is heartbreaking.

San said...

I'm glad to see I'm not the only one that is bothered by the phrase "no problem." What's wrong with "you're welcome"?

A sentimental ending I simply adore is that in "Little Women," when Jo finally hooks up with the Professor. I love the way it was portrayed in the Wynona Ryder movie too. I love to watch that movie over the Christmas holidays when my kids are home. I cry. Because my kids are grown-up now, like the March girls. I cry. Because it's Christmas, which always reminds me of the past that is long gone. I cry. Because even my husband cries a little at the movie. And this kind of crying just feels really GOOD.