Saturday, 26 July 2008

All Things Seventies


They're baaaaack...

Long straight hair, flared jeans, peasant skirts and platform shoes have been making a comeback for the last few years. That
Seventies Show still boogies across the airwaves in reruns. New shows like Swingers show the questionable side of married life when innocence took a back seat to exploration.

Late boomers are feeling nostalgic for the old Donny Osmond posters, Volkswagen buses and kitsch kitchens. Some never left the seventies -- that goddawful brown paneling is still on my basement walls.

My kids are discovering the cool sounds of the Seventies - no, not disco, but good stuff like Joni Mitchell, The Stones and The Doobie Brothers. Gotta love those classic rock radio stations.

I am currently working on a cross-genre novel in which half is written in the POV of a sixteen-year-old girl when she goes to an unfamiliar school in 1975 and falls for a boy who doesn't know she's alive.

The other half is in the POV of the boy, all grown up. He meets the girl, now a woman. He's a widower and a father of a young boy, and she's a divorced mom. They are drawn together by her son's illness and he helps her deal with the situation, since he lost his wife to cancer.

In writing this book, the seventies are taking centre stage. Memories are flooding into my brain with such clarity, I want to go back. I want to return to those days when we looked into the future and saw a million possibilities. As a young person, I still saw the world with clear eyes and mostly missed the political turmoil entangled amongst the Peter Frampton concerts and Saturday Night Live.

My daughter, who is now nineteen, says she likes the seventies because they were so weird, and hates the era because it was so gross.

How do we treat novels about the seventies? Are new novels set in the seventies still considered contemporary, or are they now seen as historical? Will publishing suddenly have a glut of books set in that era?

I want to go into the minds of agents and publishers to find out if books set in the seventies will fly in the next couple of years. I don't want to submit and get the answer, "No one reads books about the seventies."

Edited to add: A commercial just came on, selling the complete collection from "Midnight Special" - live performances from - you guessed it - The Seventies.

17 comments:

bunnygirl said...

I just went to a Seventies party last week and had a fantastic time. Those disco songs were cheesy, but they were some of the best dance music ev-ah!

What scared me though, was that I still knew how to style Farrah Fawcett wings. It wasn't my own hair-- I bought a wig because my own hair isn't cut for that sort of thing. But it was totally freaky that I could still flip those wings back like thirty years hadn't passed since then...

Chumplet said...

I didn't have Farrah hair, mine was long and straight, parted in the middle. But my best friend Michelle did. And ALL the cheerleaders.

Even some of the boys.

laughingwolf said...

oh no, college days :O lol

debbie harry stuff still rocks!

The Anti-Wife said...

The seventies = sex, drugs, rock n roll and change. Wouldn't go back for a million dollars.

Chumplet said...

I don't know about the drugs, but the other three were pretty important, no?

bunnygirl said...

I gave you an award. It's on my tri-bunny blog when you have time.

writtenwyrdd said...

Ah, the 70s, the days of tacky styles, drugs and free love. And me too innocent and straight to enjoy any of it. Actually, I grew up in the 70s, so it feels like I didn't really know them the way a young adult me knows the 80s.

I personally don't like reading or seeing movies about the 70s. I don't know why, and I've thought about it some. Perhaps because it feels like a generation of faux-ness: Frivolity that was a frenetic denial of the disappointments of the 60s wide-eyed optomism?

Dunno. But that's my take on it. Wouldn't buy a book about the 70s.

Barbara Martin said...

I have read time and time again "to write what you know". Perhaps you ought to do the same with the seventies.

As for hair cuts mentioned by bunnygirl, I loved the Farrah Fawcett hair style.

And for remembering the seventies, for those who didn't like them, it seems to have followed them to the present. The seventies were okay for me: it was learning how to work different relationships, finding a job that fit, finding ways to thwart employers who told women employees they had to have sex with them to keep their jobs. I had a job like that in a law firm and quit, and wrote a letter to the Ministry of Labour about being de-humanized in the workplace. It took many years before that issue became resolved, well as far as labour laws went.

Oh, I'm spouting off, sorry.

Chumplet said...

Barbara, that's an excellent example of a turning point in society that ocurred during the Seventies. Woman Power!

Chumplet said...

Thanks, Bunnygirl for the award! How very sweet!

Bernita said...

They're back?
After I cleaned out my closet?

Jamie Ford said...

I love the 70s! Then again, I grew up then--1976 was my favorite year of all time. I even bought an old "This Year in History: 1976" VHS off of eBay.

I think it's a incredibly fertile time to write about.

wordtryst said...

Like the new look!

I can't believe I'd forgotten the Doobie Brothers! The seventies were a blast all right. Everyone, no matter what type or length of hair they were blessed with, wanted the Farrah look. I pitied those poor hairdressers!

The music was the best, though. Still is. I was in high school then and pretty much protected from the excesses of the decade, so my memories are all good.

I don't think that even the agents and publishers ever know what the next hot thing will be. Write what you know, write what you love, and let the rest sort itself out.

Chumplet said...

I think because I spent the middle year of the seventies (and the middle of my high school career) in Spain, the styles were so different. The Farrah hair appeared during Grades 11 and 12.

I was also rather sheltered, even if some of my friends experimented with drugs and drank more than they should have. But I wasn't caught up in the turmoil of the age, so I pretty much enjoyed myself.

writtenwyrdd said...

I'm looking at houses in my rural Maine area. Trust me, there are a number of houses freshly freed from the time warp of the 70s. Orange shag, Frigidare wall ovens from the 50s, brown paneling. You name it, there's a house or three that embody that era in my little burg. Boy, is there a difference between charm and character and not being updated!

Chumplet said...

My brother has a wall oven in his old house in Buffalo! I think it's soooo cool! That and the fake brick around the stove hee hee.

sexy said...
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