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Comfortable Shoes–Comfortable Authors

I was in the discount store picking up a few things today. I’m becoming disenchanted with this particular chain of stores here lately. It seems that in the past several months they have eliminated many of those items we normally would have found there in abundance. They’ve been discontinued, we’re told.

I couldn’t get the steel-toed shoes I always buy. No longer available. The ones “available” are ones I can’t wear. I get to go to another store next week for find something that I can wear.

I couldn’t get a fuzz shaver, either. They don’t carry those anymore either. I’ll have to find one elsewhere. It shouldn’t be a problem to find another store. There are five more stores I can check with.

That’s two items down and working on the third. We wanted thick mil clear vinyl to use outside. It’s always been in the fabric department. No longer. They don’t carry it anymore. I guess we’ll be trying the hardware store now. What about the camp dry spray for our new tent? Well, sorry. “The only thing we have is a spray down in the shoe department.”

We got the drift fast.

The funny part is that I just did a different blog about the choices one has available to them at the superstores today—how there were simply too many and that left the shopper in a quandary about the proper selection. Now, one day later, I’m complaining about not having the selection that had always been there.

Go figure. No one is ever completely satisfied. I think for us, it really came down to being discouraged that those things we’d counted on being on a shelf waiting for us, have been deemed unnecessary to our lives and we had no choice about that. Now a new search begins for those items which are either necessary or which make life easier.

Segue here to a different kind of shopping. Books and other reading material and the choices we have.

It really isn’t that tough a stretch, so don’t choke on me here. Just pause long enough to think about it. Each year another favorite writer no longer produces only the types of books that we’ve enjoyed reading. We’ve come to count on them with their shiny jackets and warm familiarity. The name across the cover gives us a tiny thrill of anticipated pleasure on which to rely.

It’s bound to happen sooner or later—this severing process. One day there will be no new Stephen King book at the local Borders. And Amazon will only have previous books. Dean Koontz will succumb to retirement and no longer chill spines or cause the reader to continually look over their shoulder in fear or consternation. Even Agatha Christy had to stop sometime and look how long we’ve managed to keep her books alive as the classics they are.

The matter of finding those works by favorite writers is continual for the active reader, regardless of genre. When the writer stops writing or shifts genres unexpectedly, as Patterson did a couple of years ago, it throws readers into confusion. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the writer won’t continue to tell the tales of the readers’ most popular characters at another time.

It only means that a different voice needed its day of expression at that time. Many readers of children’s books are stunned to find out that Jane Yolen writes marvelous science fiction/fantasy. I don’t know why that should stun anyone. When you think about it, children’s books—nay, all fiction—is fantasy, whether of the science variety or not.

This happens all the time in the publishing business. A writer needs a break from their normal fair to keep the creative juices flowing and their ideas fresh. Always using the same characters becomes both a comforting habit and a no-brainer for the writer after a while.

The reader may not understand this reasoning, though. Instead, it becomes a matter of looking for the same comfortable shoes in the same store and coming up empty, or needing a little paperback by just the right author to take on a flight.

People get used to having things a certain way. Change frightens and disconcerts. The reader needs to realize that the same change also affects the writer. Like finding different shoes for the same old feet, both writer and reader must move out of the comfortable standbys and into a new style of footwear. Remaining stuck in the same bog of words, characters, and settings can be draining to write and mindless to read.

Therefore, I’ve put away my disgust at having to go elsewhere for my new shoes and fuzz shaver. I will embrace this new adventure into consumer exploration to see where it takes me. I’ve already begun my new adventures in writing and looking at the world in new ways. I just have to get accustomed to acting on this new initiative.

So, until I pop on here to spout off again, a bientot. Let me know how you feel about writers changing directions and stores that discontinue favorite products. You may find we have much in common.

Claudsy

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  1. September 20, 2010 at 10:10 pm

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  2. September 21, 2010 at 5:45 am

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  4. September 28, 2010 at 2:31 am

    yeah my dad will like this

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