Monday, April 9, 2012

The A to Z Challenge: Today's Word: Genre

"Genre." Most writers know exactly what that word means, right? Or... do we? Do you really know exactly what genre you're writing in, all the time? Do you ever wonder if your non-fiction article is "creative" non-fiction, "narrative" non- fiction, or just factual non-fiction? What about fiction itself? Are you writing a mystery or a thriller or a detective story? Is it contemporary or historical? Is it fantasy or science fiction?

Until I did some research into the concept of "genre", I had no idea of all the kinds of genre there are. I can't go into a description of every one, so I'm just going to give you an idea of the multiple genres that do exist in today's literature. Figuring out precisely which one you're writing in is up to you. And all I have to say to that is...Good Luck!

First, a definition. As you might have guessed, there are also a variety of definitions for that word, so I'm only going with one: In literature, a genre is a specific type of literary composition that possesses all of the distinctive characteristics of that genre consistent with a particular theme or subject.

When I started reading about genres, the kinds and types, what they entailed, how they were divided by theme and/or subject, I was amazed at the number of genres that actually exist today. So now I'm going to share that amazement with you, and let you come to your own conclusions about whether these are all, in fact, true genres in today's writing world. At the same time, I can't give every single one, because there are far too many for this blog. It's just a sample to whet your curiosity!


Adventure: Epic, Imaginary voyages, Lost World
Comic novel: Black comedy, satire >political satire, parody
Cyber punk: Diesel punk, atom punk, nano punk, postcyberpunk ( ????)
Dystopian: Political (Brave New World), Post Apocalyptic ( Hunger Games), and
                    Social (Soylent Green) > to name a few
**Fantasy: Comic, magic realism, paranormal fantasy, superhero fantasy, sword 
                and sorcery, epic/high fantasy, prehistoric fantasy, historical fantasy,
                urban fantasy, romantic fantasy
Historical: Romance, mystery, prehistoric, Civil War
Speculative: Science Fiction> hard science fiction, soft science fiction, space,
                      alternate universe
Steampunk: Clockpunk
Suspense: Crime, detective, mystery
Thriller: Conspiracy fiction, legal thriller, medical thriller, political thriller>spy
                 fiction, psychological thriller, techno-thriller

** Fables, fairy tales, and folklore were also listed under Fantasy, but since most of these stories are historically based on cultural facts, myths, and legends, I think they belong in a category by themselves, and should not be listed so simplistically as "fiction."

As I said, the list of "genres" doesn't stop with what I've written. I leave it to you to decide where, when, why, and how to describe your own written work in terms of its genre.

Until next time,
That's a wrap.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter and The Sunshine Award

Happy Easter everyone! I received a great Easter present this morning. I was given The Sunshine Award, passed on by my friend and co-conspirator-in-writing, Katrina De Lallo. Thank you, Cat, I appreciate this very much!

Easter... a happy day, I think. I'm not going to talk about the religious aspect of Easter, as we all have different ways of celebrating that part of this day. But I am going to reminisce a bit. My husband and I lived on a ranch for 25 years, breeding, raising, and training Appaloosa horses. Almost every Easter, he would bring me a present... one with two wings, or four legs. Sometimes it was a bunny. We had one I named Reginald Rabbit-Rabbit, who absolutely did not stay "little" for long. Reggie outgrew one rabbit run after another, until finally we put chicken wire around the botton rails of one of the corrals and kept him in there until he died.

One Easter I received a tiny little Pygmy Goat we named Tiny Tim ( I know, don't say it, I just couldn't come up with a name right away.) Timmy had a big problem: he couldn't... or wouldn't...stay away from the horses. And the horses didn't like him. We would've put him in a pen, also...maybe with Reggie...but have you ever tried to pen up a goat, Pygmy or otherwise, when they don't want to be penned up? HA!  Unfortunately, his love of the horses ended tragically. We had several mares and their new foals down in the big arena, and I was trying to round up Timmy. He escaped me, ran down to the arena and started chasing the foals. One mare didn't think this was funny at all, and she reared up and stomped him. We buried him on the ranch, and I painted him and one of the foals on his cross. Maybe it was the wrong thing to do, but I liked to think that at least one of his lifelong loves would have ended up his friend.

Another Easter, my husband brought home two fuzzy little goslings, whom I named George and Priscilla. George was a love, Priscilla was havoc on, webbed feet. Anything she could get into, she would. Anything, or worse yet, anyone, she could chase, she would. She would spread those giant wings ( when she was an adult goose), open that orange beak, and come squawking at you full speed ahead. Priscilla HATED our equine vet, and the minute he drove in the gate, quite a ways from the house, she was chasing his truck for all she was worth. He would pull up to the barn, and she was on him as soon as he opened the door. One day she simply would not stay away from him or the horse he was working on, so he pulled out a head switch ( something you put on recalcitrant horses to make them behave) and let her have it on top of her head. Priscilla went sailing clear to the other side of the barn and lay there. Poor Mike thought he had killed her! No such luck. After a couple of minutes, Pris was alive and well, and totally pissed off. Luckily, Mike was through with the horses, so he was able to make it into the truck and close the door just seconds before Pris would have pounced on him. As it was, she jumped against the door and beat her wings, honking as loudly as she could. Several months later, we had had enough of Priscilla, and even George, and we gave them to a friend of ours. Rumor has it that while George was quite juicy, Priscilla was tough as a board.

Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and we retired from horse training and moved to the California coast. We love it, but I miss the ranch, my horses, and even all the little critters I used to get for Easter!

Now, back to the Sunshine award! A lovely picture, and a lovely gesture, thanks again, Cat. The rules are pretty simple: 1) You must thank the person who sent it to you; 2) you must answer 10 questions about yourself; 3) write a post about it; and 4) pass it along to ten bloggers. Okay, here are the questions, and my answers... hope you enjoy them!

1. Favorite Color? Lavender, all shades as long as they have blue overtones, I don't like the 'too red' lavenders at all.

2. Favorite Animal? For real, my beautiful Corgi, and my fantastic World Champion Appaloosa mare, and my National Champion Cutting Quarter horse mare...when I had them. In fantasy, always the mystical and magical Unicorn.

3. Favorite Number? Umm...I'm not into numbers. They are just what they are supposed to be ( numbers) and don't mean anything to me. But if I had to select one, it would be 2, because my husband and I were married on the 2nd of June.

4. Favorite Drink? For everyday, a Starbucks Caramel Marchiatto ( I have no idea if I spelled that right or not), and for special occasions, with GOOD Mexican food, one Frozen Marguerita.

5. Facebook or Twitter: Ugh. I hate both. I'm on Facebook...very seldom...and I refuse to Twitter or Tweet or whatever it's called.

6. What is your Passion? My husband, children, grandchildren, Corgi, and writing. Not necessarily always in that order.

7. Getting or giving? Honestly? a little of both. I LOVE to get presents, especially from my husband because they are ALWAYS different (!), and I love giving, especially when I can do so for no apparent reason.

8. Favorite pattern? Sorry, I don't like patterns. Maybe occasionally something with a butterfly or two scattered around, but no checks or stripes or plaids or whatever...yuck!

9. Favorite day of the week: That's easy. Monday, because it's the start of a brand new week and who knows what it will bring!

10.  Favorite flower: That's not fair because I have so many! Oh, all right... roses, because my husband brings me some at least once a month...yes, even after 34 years...then there are pansies, Manzanillas, Wisteria...okay, so that's not a flower, but I have one that covers one whole side of our garage, and it's beautiful. Umm, too many more to mention.

Now for the ten bloggers I've chosen to pass this award along to:

Claudine: www.carryusoffbooks/blog.html
Angela and Becca:

A looong post, but I hope you enjoyed it.

Until next time,
That's a wrap.