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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Trends by Suzanne Rossi

Hi, everyone.

Ever notice how we seem to be governed by trends? We read where such-and-such is hot right now, and then jump on the bandwagon so we can appear to be "with it." To a certain extent, we're all guilty of this.

Let's begin with fashion. Who remembers bell-bottoms? Yep, had to have every pair of slacks or jeans with a flare on the bottom of the leg to be in style. And how about platform shoes? Come on, raise your hand if you ever fell off them and either sprained or broke your ankle. (Hand raised here. I sprained my ankle twice--first one, then the other. I'm a slow learner.) Oh, don't forget mini-skirts and hot pants. I wore both even though my body shape simply wasn't designed for them. Those two articles of clothing and thunder thighs just don't go together. Stirrup pants? I actually liked them. I could wear my boots and not worry about the slacks bagging around my knees. I could go on and on--padded shoulders, chunky-heeled and exaggerated pointy-toes shoes, elastic waistbands on everything--but then this posting would be longer than forever. However, have no fear. Fashion trends ebb, flow, and inevitably return.

Home decorating is another area of trends--only this one can be expensive to keep up with in the long run. The use of bright colors in various rooms of the house comes to mind. My current master bath is lime green. Since the entire bathroom needs to be reconfigured, I won't bother to paint. Instead, I just close my eyes. Then some designer got the idea that a bright color would look great on just one wall of a room. Eventually, neutral colors replaced the garish encouraging us to paint our bedrooms boring beige. Wallpaper was a must have in the 70s and 80s. And kitchens didn't escape. We've gone from white cabinetry to dark to white again. Granite has replaced formica, and quartz (which is really a man-made substance) is replacing granite. Brass was all the rage for a while, then polished nickel took over. Brass and gold are now making a comeback.

And let's not forget food trends. I think this is the one that irritates me the most. One day, somebody decided we all need to go fat-free. Red meat became our enemy. Lowering our fat intake is a good idea, but fat is also what makes our food taste good. So, food companies used a substitute--sugar. And since sugar was expensive, they switched to high-fructose corn syrup. We were fat-free, but gaining weight at an alarming rate. Then a few years ago, quinoa hit the store shelves along with the healthy hype that went with it. I tried it once. Once was enough. Worst stuff I've ever put in my mouth. After quinoa, kale invaded our palates. I can eat kale if it's cooked and mixed with other ingredients, but raw or just sauteed alone--no thanks. Now the big thing is cauliflower. You can't find a recipe magazine without a dozen different ways to cook the stuff. I like cauliflower--raw and cooked. Many people are using it as a substitute for rice. Okay, that's healthy, but frankly, would rather eat the rice. Still others are ricing the veggie and making it into pizza crust. Hold on! Sorry, but when I eat pizza, I want real crust.

Even our own profession has trends. Fifty years ago, point of view wasn't nearly as important as it is today. Same with backstory. In 2019 even Agatha Christie, Leon Uris, and James Michener would find it hard to get published. Whatever happened to Steampunk? Or Urban Fantasy? Or New Adult? Haven't heard much about those sub-genres lately. The problem with writing trends is that by the time an author gets the story written, edited, and published, another trend has taken its place.

So what will be the next trend? Will hats reappear? Hope so. I look good in hats. Will concrete furniture be the latest rage? I've actually seen photos of this in some overly-designed houses. Maybe we'll all be enticed to eat something we'd never consider eating. And will romance novels ever lose their popularity and go out of style? Lord, I hope not or else we're all out of jobs.

Do you remember a trend you'd like to see return? Or one you hope never darkens the horizon again? Let's hear about it.

Have a good February and I'll be back in March. See you then.

Suzanne

5 comments:

  1. Great post, Suzanne. I remember all the trends you do so guess we are close in age. :) I have never written for trends but I don't sell terribly well either, so maybe I should. I agree that many of the greatest authors ever couldn't get published today by the big houses. And readers would whine that they are too wordy. March to your own drum, I say.

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  2. I agree, Beth. Today's readers want the action to happen NOW and seem to have the attention span of a toddler. Instant gratification. I liked reading "Hawaii" and learning how the islands were formed. Oh, well...

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  3. Write tight, writer quick, write short, write with a lot of dialogue. The younger generation wants it fast and easy to read--maybe because they read on their phones or have a short attention span or are used to sound bites? Gosh, I hope it's a trend that passes or we're all out of jobs. Flash romantic fiction here we come.

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  4. I think most trends circle and return. ie: bell bottom vs. gauchos, wedges vs some of the wedges today. I do think most people are losing the concentration necessary to read a full length novel. Sad, isn't it?

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    1. Very sad, Caroline. I think computers and cell phones have a lot to do with it. Our eyes and our minds get tired of reading things.

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