Paranormal Realism: A new category in fictional writing…

The first entry in the Paranormal Realism genre

The first entry in the Paranormal Realism genre

I published my first novel, Echo, in 2014, and have since published three more books. My books deal with events that could happen in real life–falling into a forbidden love, attempted sexual assault, pregnancy loss, death–except the characters have paranormal gifts. Tara, the lead protagonist, is clairvoyant as is her friend, Dori. Derek, Tara’s lover and student, is empathic. Hannah, Tara’s sister, can read minds. And there are other characters with latent paranormal talents that have yet to manifest.

My issue with publishing these books is that they don’t seem to fit into the genres already established. If you type Paranormal New Adult Romance into an Amazon search, you get page after page of vampires, werewolves, shifters, and aliens. Then thrown in there are Fifty Shades wannabes and other borderline erotica that don’t really fit into the PNR category at all.

Now some may argue that my books have an element of the supernatural and, therefore, fit neatly into that PNR category. And I wouldn’t argue strongly against that, but what about the readers who want to find characters they can feel a connection with?  They want to read about a woman who could be their best friend or next door neighbor. Or they can relate to the mistakes a character has made and sympathize with their losses. And there are readers, like me, who believe in everyday magic and ordinary people with psychic abilities. Maybe, like me, they’ve experienced something extrasensory.

So, where does that leave books like mine, that aren’t too far out there, that have regular people in normal situations who just happen to have a little extra, supernatural talent? It leaves us without a category in Amazon’s ever-changing list of genre choices.

That’s why I propose a new one.

Paranormal Realism.

Like Magical Realism, the genre suggests average people accepting the likelihood of paranormalcy in everyday life. Unlike Magical Realism, it isn’t heavy on the fantastic or mythical elements. The events described in Paranormal Realism could really happen, especially the psychic parts. Just look at the crop of TV reality shows centered around the lives of psychic mediums–Monica the Medium, Hollywood Teen Medium, Long Island Medium.

And even the idea of an empathic gift isn’t too unrealistic. Every person has the ability to sense another’s mood and adjust their own response to heighten or deflate the perceived emotional energy. So it’s not a leap to suggest that certain people can feel what others are feeling and change the mood with a touch or a few words.

So, while I continue to try to fit my writing into Amazon’s categories and reach new readers, I’m labeling my first series as Paranormal Realism. And when Amazon finally catches up with me, you can say you heard it here first.

~Be blessed.

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Another kind of creativity…

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I really like to sew. You can read that post here. The creative side of my brain craves a different kind of spark every once in a while, so I sew. To take something, like raw fabric or a used article of clothing and turn it into a new piece gives me such a feeling of accomplishment. So does repairing clothes that have been damaged. Today’s post covers a repair.

in need of a repair

in need of a repair

As a teacher I like to dress professional and adult. My company expects it and the students respect it. But I am also going through a period where I’m trying not to spend any more money on clothes. It is the end of the school year, after all. This has led to me searching my closet for garments that I haven’t worn in a while. For whatever reason, these items are no longer being used. Case in point, a pair of basic black slacks.

These pants were in the same row as the rest of my work slacks, but they were missing a button. It was the metal kind that leaves a whole when it comes out. That’s why they have been overlooked since last fall.

Anyhow, I decided to repair them since I had spent the time at the beginning of the school year to hem them to the right length. How did I fix the hole you ask?

Like this…

the patch

the patch

I found another pair of pants that were similar in color but had other issues causing me to no longer wear them. (They were too small.) To repair the hole, I cut off a small part of the hem of one of the unwearable pants to use a patch.

the repair

the repair

I then used a seam ripper and separated the waist line of the slacks I was repairing, just enough for me to slip the patch in. I sewed the patch into place and stitched the seam back together.

Then I found a button in my button jar (Does anybody still collect these?) that fit the hole of my pants. I sewed on my button and sat back, very pleased with myself.

Not only did salvage a pair of perfectly usable pants, but I saved myself the six dollars it would have cost to get a newer pair at the Thrift Store (where I buy all my clothes now).

My button jar

My button jar

Many people in today’s disposable society don’t understand or appreciate the value of clothing repair. It not only offers a sense of pride at the accomplishment, but also an extended life for the clothing item.

Later I’ll be posting more of my repair successes and failures. Check back often.

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