Granny complex


It seems I have an affinity with old folk. In a rejection from a magazine yesterday, I was told that I "write well for a mature audience." My theme was a little familiar, but they'd like to see more of my writing.

When the initial glow wore off, I felt a bit miffed. I mean, for heaven's sake. My writing appeals to Elderlies. I'd guessed this already to a certain extent as I have a story with Yours magazine, awaiting publication. And thrilled to bits I am too!! (In the unlikely event the editor's reading this.)

Then I realised that there is a theme in my writing. My First-Ever Novel involved a mad, ageing mother-in-law and hi-jinks in an old folks home. My current one features a funny grandma. I've also written stories over the years about winsome children reaching out to grumpy grandparents, and elderly folk having a final shot at Happiness. Hmmmmmmm. (Strokes chin thoughtfully.) What's going on here? Admittedly, I was closer to my grandma than anyone else, growing up. I also used to run errands for the old lady who lived round the corner. Old people liked me, goddammit. People used to say things like, "ooh, she's got an old head on young shoulders has that one," about me, and to this day I clean one morning a week for my friend's elderly mum. I even like Werther's Originals.

This is such a depressing realisation. There's me, thinking I'm firmly in touch with my inner sex kitten/domestic goddess/music guru/teenager/yummmy mummy, when in fact I'm channelling a bloody pensioner.

It's not fair.

Comments

TOM FOOLERY said…
LOL, LOL, oh thank you for making me laugh. I've spent most of my day on my hands and knees sanding down and waxing pine skirting boards and drinking gallons of tea and chumping my way through packets of ginger biscuits. This girl knows how to live, roll on retirement :O Tommox
Paul Capewell said…
sex kitten/domestic goddess/music guru/teenager/yummmy mummy

I know it's no consolation because we're talking about your writing here, but I just felt I ought to add that, in person at least, you definitely fall into the above categories. :)
Lane said…
This is something to be celebrated! You're obviously very hip and happening too so you'll appeal right across the board. Think of all that readership (and the silver tops have more time/money to spend on your books).

I think it's so great you clean for your friend's mum. Bless you:-)

When's the story in Yours btw????
HelenMH said…
I think the older generation are big consumers of the short story - so that's no bad thing m'dear.
Calistro said…
At least your skill is saleable :o)

For some reason I seem to write (and sell) a lot of stories about women with young children and I don't have any. Maybe I'm channelling my inner mummy and you're channelling your inner granny. Sorry, that probably doesn't make you feel any better does it?! ;o)
Denise said…
I know I'm not supposed to be laughing, but I do have a theory if it's any consolation. If you like Werther's Originals then you're safe. Grandparents only buy them for their grandchildren, they don't eat them themselves! (Plays havoc with the false teeth...)
Bernadette said…
Maybe you write about grannies because your true persona is so hip and happening you try to restore the balance with your writing.
:)

Well done with the successes and positive comments anyway. Don't spend all the money on sweeties!
KAREN said…
tommo - Thanks...I think. I'm a bit worried about your new skirting board fetish by the way. Thank god for ginger biscuits, that's all I can say.

paul - You've just made an old lady very happy :o)

lane - Well, I might NEED a new hip very soon, but I take your point :o)

The story's not out 'til October and it's going to be in their Yearbook, which costs a small fortune so no-one's going to buy the bloomin' thing anway. Oh - except old people. See??

helenmh - I know you're right - my mum's very proud anyway!

calistro - Perhaps I was a wise old lady in a previous life and you were a super-mum! Not knocking it though - being published anywhere (within reason) is cause for celebration :o)

denise - I hadn't thought of that! You're so right. My gran couldn't cope with them and my grandad hated the clacking noise they made so us grand-kids were forced to eat them :o)
Annieye said…
When I was in my mid-twenties I used to write stories for my grandma, my great aunt and my mum. They had to be 'nice' stories but I used to love to push the boundaries out a little ... you know how you do!

I'd never sent anything to a magazine, though. I was just too embarrassed to admit to friends that I was a secret writer.

My grandma sent one of my stories to The People's Friend under her own name. It got published. I was mortified. What if my trendy mates found out I'd written a story for a 'grannymag'?. (I liked the money it made though).

Anyway Karen doncha know that fifty is the new forty and sixty is when most people have their mid-life crisis? The grannies nowadays are the teenagers of the 60s and 70s (i know - I'm one of them!)

So, Karen don't worry. Just keep writing those great stories!
SpiralSkies said…
At least having 'experienced' grannydom through your writing, you'll be well versed in the potential high jinks to be had when you finally are an old dear.

Nah, I haven't even convinced myself on that one. Still, it made me larf!
Debs said…
Maybe once you have your inner granniedom out of your system then your sex kitten/domestic goddess etc can come back to the fore.

Either way, thanks for brightening up my day.
Casdok said…
Lol!! Glad they want to see more!
kallioppe said…
Being able to channel both inner granny AND yummy mummy is fab, Karen. You are slowly conquering the world by stages. Next on your list is 20 something women who love shoes. Swap the slippers for some Manolos -- the werther's for apple martinis and you are half-way there. With your charm and sense of humour they'll love you.
Tam said…
I think this may be A Good Thing. Feedback is good. Sex kittens are over-rated, anyway - so impractical and their cardigans are more expensive.
womagwriter said…
Well, better than channelling a spotty teenager, probably. More saleable at least!

And thanks for the giggle.
Faye said…
Like Werther's Originals? Who knew that put you in the "plays well with elderlies" category? So, what do you and your friends think about those new-fangled soft Werthers with swirls?

So your short story will be in the magazine Yours? Will check to see if it's available on this side of the pond.
KAREN said…
bernadette - That's a good way to look at it! Might not be able to resist the sweeties though :o)

annieye - It's lovely that you were published so young, but I know I'd have felt the same! You're right though...granny's are looking younger these days - thank goodness :o)

spiralskies - It's a thought. There's certainly no high jinks going on at the moment. Hopefully I'm still a few years off true grannydom, but maybe I need to stop wearing cardigans?

debs - I think Inner Granny only comes out in the writing - I don't want her bursting out anywhere else...whenever she sees a Werther's Original for instance :o)

casdok - That's the plus side!

kalliope - I hadn't thought of it that way, so thank you. I seem to have bypassed the 20-something shoe lover so far. Hopefully she'll make an appearance before the arthritis sets in...

tam - That's so true. All that cashmere would make me sneeze anyway :o)

womagwriter - Good point. Blimey, all that angst! Think I'll stick in granny-mode.

faye - There was a long-running tv advert over here featuring cosy granddads feeding their grandchildren Werther's Originals! Hadn't heard about the soft swirly ones...must check them out. No! I mustn't! Now see what you've done??

The story's not out until October, by the way :0)
Yvonne said…
I love Werther's Originals too. I guess that makes me a fellow pensioner-channeller.
Maddie Moon said…
You need to nurture that inner granny and write lots of lovely stories for PF!

Wasn't that a lovely comment from Paul!?
KAREN said…
yvonne - Maybe there's a lot of us about, but no-one talks about it!

maddie - I'e heard PF are really hard to crack, but I might give them a go!
And yes...that was a really lovely comment from Paul - it made my day!
Kerry said…
Ah it's not that you just write well for a mature audience. You just write well. Full stop. I'm only 27 (albiet sometimes creaky) and love your blog! :)
KAREN said…
kerry - Aw, thank you for that! I love your blog too :o)