Fear in Writing: Blast from the Past

Today in Literary History

Today in Literary History...December 14, 1907: Rudyard Kipling receives the Nobel prize for literature, the first English-language writer to do so.ud

Friday, September 17, 2010

Blast from the Past

I saw the most rad thing in the Target party aisle Thursday.  If you were a child of the 80s you'll know what this is:
That's right!  SLINKY BRACELETS!  As my sister pointed out, can't you feel your arm hairs getting caught just looking at them?

After I immediately sent out the picture from my phone to all my girlfriends, my friend Olivia asked where the slap bracelets were.  Do you remember those?  Well, they, too, are making a comeback:
And this got me thinking...In writing, we draw from our own pasts (i.e. experience).  But many also write about the past.  There aren't too many murder mysteries set in the 80s--though with the hair I remember, there are a few thousand hairdressers who should have been shot or drown in their own perm fluid.  Hey, that's a great idea...I could call it 'Hair Dye Time Machine' and kill off all the perpetrators of '80s Hair.'

Back to the point...Do you write about the past?  Do you set your work in the past?  Do you use the past/history in your writing?  Does the past inform your style?  Do you care at all or are you already websurfing the perfect slinky-slap bracelet?


  1. Slap bracelets are the most preferred currency in my second grader's school!!!

    And no to all your questions, though I do agree that I cringe when I see pictures of the 80s- did I really think those plastic earrings and silly fringes were the ultimate in chic? Will I cringe 20 years later on seeing pictures of me?

  2. I write about the near past, which means as long back as I can remember (1970s and 1980s). I've never written historical stuff, like 19th century settings >:)

    Cold As Heaven

  3. Michele - I remember slap bracelets!! How cool that they are making a comeback! It's so funny you would mention using the past in writing. I don't set my stories in the past, really. But interestingly, my WIP involves an investigation of a death that took place two years before the time when the book takes place. So it's got elements of the past in it, although it's set in the present.

  4. I don't write about earth, so fads don't figure into my work.
    Although killing off 80's hairdressers sounds like a good idea!

  5. Killing off those hairdressers could be a novel in the present. Some of the big hair is making a comeback. No kidding. LOL

  6. My work is set between the 30's and the 70's, which definitely qualifies as 'past'.

  7. *Runs to Target*

    I hated when those things got all twisted thought. And the slap bracelets? Awesome. I remember when they were "banned" from school because the cloth covers would come off, exposing the metal underneath and they became a weapon! Gasp!

    Most of my stories have history. Meaning the hero/heroine have a past and it's that past that effects their future.


  8. Ah, that takes me back! I don't write in the past but I have one idea that's a historical novel. It's not in my lifetime but still..

    Great post.


  9. I could live with an '80s comeback. It's the '70s that make me shudder! My writing is future and present fantasy, but the stink of perm solution could be an excellent clue...

  10. Please don't let "mall hair" come back...

  11. Part of my work in progress is set in the past. I've really enjoyed doing the research for it.

  12. I had REALLY bad hair in the 80s - I have NO desire to go back there! :)