realistic

365 Challenge: Day 252 – Contemporary (LIST: Fiction Genres )

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Contemporary: creates imaginary characters and situations that depict our world
and society, focusing on themes of growing up and confronting personal and social problems. This genre
portrays characters coming to understand themselves and others.

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Sundays are LIST days and today is no different. For this group of 5 Sundays, I will pick a favorite book genre and discuss all the reasons why I love it. In our fourth week, it’s all about contemporary fiction which has a few different names and can often be confused with other similar genres. Let’s first chat about why I adore this genre:

  • Henry James was once my favorite author; now he’s 1 of 5 favorites. He wrote realistic fiction which is very much a prelude to contemporary fiction.
  • I love dissecting reality and understanding what’s happening all around us.
  • Domestic and family dramas are my ultimate favorite sub-genre. Maybe that’s why I write in this particular one!
  • It usually takes place in the current time that the author is writing, give or take a few years.
  • It’s often about problems or issues we face daily, giving us alternative thoughts or opinions.
  • We can relate to the character and see ourselves or people we know in them.
  • It gives you a chance to see different parts of life and society happening around you, but perhaps not close enough to see it, e.g. different parts of the world or society

Sorting books into genres as been a bit confusing for me. I’ll fully admit it, but at the same time, everyone or every book reviewer/rater or publisher can be subjective about it. They often compare literary versus contemporary fiction, trying to sort a book or an author into one or the other category. Perhaps I don’t have enough knowledge or information to speak intelligently about the topic, but I tend to look at literary fiction as the author trying to make a statement while contemporary is more about a casual read. It’s not the perfect definition, but under that notion, couldn’t it be both? Then there’s the concepts of adult versus realistic fiction. If it’s adult, is that supposed to distinguish it from children’s or young adult books? Or does it mean it’s mean for a regular adult to read? All that said, I just sort of blur the boundaries in this area for my own definition for contemporary fiction:

Books about adults set in current times (when the author wrote it) talking about normal things that happen in life. It shouldn’t be other genre-specific, e.g. fantasy, science fiction, romance, historical, mystery, thriller or suspense. It can have those elements on a small scale, but not the primary driver. If it’s none of those, still fiction, and not meant for younger adults and kids, then it must be contemporary fiction.

Hopefully you find my humorous attempt just that, but I do welcome anyone else’s opinion on how to break the genres into fair groups, as well as anyone who works in the industry with a legitimate definition most people agree to!

What are some of my favorite reads from 2017?

 

What’s next on my list in this genre to read in 2017?

 

How about you? Any favorites or recommendations? Do you not like this genre? Time to share!

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Sunday posts, the end of each week, have become a theme on This-Is-My-Truth-Now, often organized by groups of five (5) focused on interesting things about my life. I’m continuing the trend of the seventh day, ending the week on Sunday, as a list (we know I love them) that provides more in depth knowledge about me. Past weeks included:

  • Weeks 1 – 5: Primary ethnicity groups and nationalities
  • Weeks 6 – 10: A to Z Favorites
  • Weeks 11 – 15: Colors with an important meaning
  • Weeks 16 – 20: Cities I’ve lived
  • Weeks 21 – 25: Jobs I’ve held
  • Weeks 26 – 30: Top 10 entertainment options
  • Week 31: How to follow or contact me across all social media platforms
  • Week 32: How to help an artist with promotion
  • Week 33 – 37: Favorite Book Genres

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks.

 

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365 Challenge: Day 10 – Pragmatic

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Pragmatic: dealing with things sensibly and realistically in a way that is based on practical rather than theoretical considerations

To set the record straight, I consider myself pragmatic. But I’m an evolved pragmatician – yes, I think I coined a new word, just deal with it – who seeks not only to find the most practical way to get from point A to point B, but to avoid World War III along that path, as well.

People who handle things in a pragmatic manner are often accused of being inconsiderate of the softer side of an approach… now there’s a line for those volatile Irish worth fighting over (see post from Day 7 so you know I’m being funny here…)! But it’s true. There’s a fine balance to being practical and pragmatic versus incorporating a good, old-fashioned bit of thoughtful insight to ensure your actions don’t overlook the potential for a negative reaction from those affected by your direct manner. And a lot of disagreements or misunderstandings happen as a result of people thinking it’s easier and quicker to do one thing, rather than take the time to prevent any possible impacts on someone’s emotions.

Spouse A is on a business trip, has a long day at work and needs to get a bunch of overtime completed before they can end their day and let their mind relax. Spouse B is used to spending time with Spouse A during most evenings. Spouse A wants to work until they are completed and more free to catch up. Spouse B wants to spend some time on FaceTime or the phone when they get home from work, rather than wait until Spouse A is finished much later in the evening, because Spouse B is planning to go out to the movies and won’t be able to pick up the phone to chat later on. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? Do you get the work done and then add in some fun? Or do you balance it along the way knowing the stop/start may result in you losing your momentum and having to work even longer than you planned?

Yeah, I know… your head is exploding, probably thinking: (a) he’s blowing this out of proportion, (b) not all spouses like to spend every evening together and would welcome the break, (c) do both at the same time… but think about it…

When I say I’m pragmatic, it’s because I take each situation, figure out the parameters, what I know and don’t know, then make an educated guess as to my decision on the best course of action. This is usually the most appropriate way of handling the situation, but in some % of those instances (no, I have no clue what it is), the information you don’t know might be the information that will change your path to enable you to make the more pragmatic choice. If you don’t know the other spouse isn’t available later, then your choice isn’t the best one.

Is pragmatic as “cut-and-dried” as the right way and the wrong way, or is it more a meandering path itself that changes based on the inputs you receive along the way? If you only have part of the information, you don’t have enough input to make a decision; so there’s inherent risk. Do you stop everything and wait until you have all the right information? No – that would not be pragmatic. It would hold progress back for what may or may not be influential data.

So what do you do?

I don’t know… what makes you think I do? JUST KIDDING.

Pragmatic is good for some things, but not for others. Choose when to be pragmatic. Be pragmatic about things and objects. Perhaps not about people. People require communication, inputs/outputs and time to think and react. Actions that minimally affect people are the core area to apply your practical nature.

Build a project plan. Write out the known facts. Prepare a quick overview of the risks. Have a back-up plan. Do those things when you are weighing options and making decisions.

But don’t be pragmatic about relationships. Apply multiple techniques to solving those questions and challenges. For example, it would be practical to move in together with the person you are dating to save money (of course, after you’ve known one another for a long enough period to ensure you think you’re compatible and will handle it). But what if your social/moral/religious values tell you it’s not acceptable to live with someone until marriage? What if you live hours from one another and this would impact your careers? Those decisions require input from tons of angles.

For me, being pragmatic is about some level of appropriate due diligence and analysis, making an informed decision and understanding the impacts and probable outcomes. Paint the room yellow or beige if you don’t know whether you’re having a boy or a girl. Ha! That’s a bad example because I’d be assuming blue is for a boy and pink is for a girl. How about you pick 5 colors that specialists all agree are good for a baby’s room, and then you put all 5 in a hat and whichever one you select, you choose as the paint color… No hurt feelings. It’s all colors that both parents (or just you if it’s only you) originally thought would work. And then you aren’t consciously applying a color based on gender or “normal” expectations. 😊

In my own case, RIGHT NOW, it would be pragmatic for me to go to bed because I am tired this evening and this post is meandering more than it should. But it would also be pragmatic for me to finish it because I am heading out on a 4-day vacation on Wednesday and need to write a few extra posts to cover the next several days so that I stay on track with the 365 Day Challenge. I intend to have flexible time while I’m out of town without a formal schedule, but this challenge is still important to me.

End result: Write the 4 additional daily drafts tonight. Review and edit them in the morning with fresh eyes. Then set them up to release each day while I’m away.

See… I know what I’m doing! ZZZzzzzzz…

Morning Follow Up:  I only wrote 2 of 4 last night. Went to sleep. Woke up. Edited a bit. Ready to post! Finish the rest today before I leave for the airport.