Sometimes, in the world that is not the internet, I talk to writers.
While I thoroughly enjoy most of these discussions, every once in awhile I have a conversation that sits like a burr at the back of my head.
I have been thinking over a few of these conversations for the last while.
One common theme I hear from writers is a strange fear of being seen to write “fluff”.
No one really defines what “fluff” is but they are all terribly afraid of writing it.
I assume that much like the infamous definition of pornography, it is something that they know when they see it.
I have no such fears.
Now, this is partly because although I write funny stories, they often have fairly dark undertones. However, it’s also because I’m not convinced that writing fluff is a bad thing.
Life can be a hard box to inhabit.
There is a reason we think of entertainment as ‘escapism’.
Everyday, I see the small and great tragedies play out in front of me and sometimes I just want to see a world where things work.
Why are we so afraid of joy?
Why are we so uncomfortable with admitting that we enjoy reading about success and happiness and a buoyant sense of wonder?
Why is it so much easier to count tragedy as the work worthy of our praise than the works that can help us rise out of the trenches of our own daily misfortune?
I cannot answer these questions, but I can think of myself, heart-sore and exhausted, standing in a field and watching the cottonwood fluff blow into the air.
As I watched them rise into the heat and disappear, I fiercely envied their buoyancy, their ability to grasp the currents and rise.
Some days that’s what I want to read.
Maybe you do too.
I like all types and genres of stories and sometimes I like to think about why some of them work for me and some of them don’t.
My own fluff and not-fluff can be found in my fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor. It is available here.