Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Give Me the Simple Life. . .Now!
Publisher's Weekly just released an article covering the fast growing trend in fiction for Amish settings. You should be able to read it here.
When I was interviewed for this article and asked why the reader interest in Amish people, the thing I kept coming back to was the base desire we all seem to have to simplify our lives. Too many of us feel trapped on a spinning wheel of full schedules, money spent before we get our pay checks, clutter of stuff all around us without knowledge of how to organize and reduce it, and loss of a sense of peace. We see a group of people like the Amish, who seem to live close to nature and God, and are curious how they do it. We hope by reading a story about them we can learn some of their secrets to a slower paced lifestyle.
I also think the search for simplicity keeps the prairie romance setting eternally popular. For the length of a book, the reader can shut out the hectic modern world and live through the characters a life where the work was hard but the satisfaction at the end of the day was high, where women didn't worry about bikinis and makeup, where men stuck to their commitments, where God was given higher priority, and so forth.
I love a good prairie romance and the escape into a simpler time that it affords me. It could also explain why I have never gotten into the chick or hen lit style of fiction. I've read Bridget Jones's Diary and a few CBA fiction offerings in the genre, but the fast pace, the character motivations, the materialism, etc. does not provide me a relaxing read. (I don't intend to overlook that many find the lit books fun and entertaining, which is relaxing for them.) Maybe I'm just old fashioned.
I've been reading a non-fiction CBA book about simplifying and going back to living closer to nature, respecting God's creation and our responsibility as caretakers. (I'll have to read it all before I know if I can recommend it to you here.) But I think there is something to be learned from much of the "go green" campaigns out there right now as Americans wake up to realize that having more and bigger stuff is not always better for us spiritually and for our environment. And I for one will not miss the big Hummers on the road.
So how do you find simplicity in your life? Does a certain story setting give you a retreat to simple relaxation? Have you found a key to simplifying your real world lifestyle for a healthier and happier you? Suggestions for finding simplicity are certainly welcomed here.
Editor Du Jour Becky