Sunday, October 30, 2011

Changes in the Weather

I usually dread the coming of fall. I love the look of fall, but I don’t usually love the feel of fall. To be honest I really hate the cold. A lot of people like to try and defend the cold by saying that you can add as many layers as you want to warm up, but in the summer there is only so much you can take off to stay cool. And on that note I will have to strongly disagree. Sorry, but no matter how many layers I pack on I can still fill the chill of the cold penetrating my layers, and them I’m left bogged down with twenty five layers of clothes, barely able to move my limbs and guess what, still feeling the cold. No, there was no convincing me that there was anything good about cold weather.

Well this year… I still hate cold weather. BUT, I’m not dreading it like I usually do. I am still far friendlier with warm temps than cold ones, but for some reason I am looking forward to the other things that come along with the change in weather. I get to wear a different wardrobe for a while, heck even add to it. Also there will be nice cozy moments, INSIDE, where I can enjoy a cup of hot cocoa, or spiked oops I mean spiced eggnog, and let’s not forget the holidays. There is nothing cozier than sharing time with the ones I love most. So, though there is no cure for my pure dislike of cold weather, I have certainly found some things to make it bearable, maybe even somewhat enjoyable.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Falling Out of Love…

With Contemporary Romance (Yeah it's a long one). I don’t know if this is a permanent thing, but it saddens me. Recently, I’ve been trying some new authors and some new to me authors and either I’m a super picky reader (which I never thought I was until now) or the quality and types of stories (for the most part) are no longer appealing to me. There are some things we’ve come to expect from romance with the most important being an HEA/HFN. We’ve got to have our happy ending. In fact, that was what drew me to the romance genre in the first place. There is enough depression in everyday life if I wanted “reality” I could watch the news. When I’m reading for entertainment I want to feel good.

However I have noticed some reoccurring events or even themes happening in SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO many of the contemporary romance books I’ve picked up just over the course of one week.

Okay so it’s no secret that I enjoy all types of romance, but my absolute fave is erotic. Hell I even write it. But one of the most recent things that’s been killing me is that in EVERY single book, and damn near EVERY single sex scene the hero has to stop everything and carry the heroine to the bed, and lay her gently and lovingly down before he… f*$&s her brains out. For real?! Okay before you come at me with torches and firearms I’m just saying. In every romance, I’ve read whether it was sweet or super spicy the heroine has to be carried to the bed each time. EACH TIME? Do you know how many times that happens in a book if the story is an erotic romance? That poor hero. His arms must feel like spaghetti noodles by the end of the book. I mean don’t get me wrong, I know a lot of women have a desire to be physically swept of their feet, but really, EVERY single time. And what about when it’s hot raunchy sex? They are up against the wall, at the front door, ripping at their clothes, with their hands down each other pants, but wait no… we have to stop everything to carry the heroin up twenty flights of steps and lay her down like a fine piece of china. Sorry but after the ten trillionth time of reading it my eyes started to glaze over. All these modern day women, and not one seemed to be able to get her own self to a bed. (Fine feel free to hate me now, I can accept it.)

Another one of all-time favorites *cough* is the super overbearing heroine who is stubborn and knows it all and just acts like an all-around b($*# when she doesn’t get her way. I can’t tell how many times I’ve read one of these heroines and wanted to gouge my damn eyes out. Really, this is supposed to be a representation of strength in women? Hell no! I refuse to except that I have to be an all-around know it all b*$&# who never listens to anyone (Especially men, because clearly since she’s a “modern woman” she should never have to listen to a man again) in order to be strong or savvy… or whatever. However I guess I am in the minority with my opinion here because I hear so many rave about this type of heroine, sorry but I won’t be jumping on that bandwagon… ever. Sticking up for what she believes against all odds is commendable and even admirable, but going into ragging b(*^$ mode because she wants her way, and she wants it now, is not my idea of strength. And the heroes always give in so she can have her way and won’t be mad and damn it I wanna slap the hell out of them too. The heroine of a story shouldn’t be given license to run all over everyone, just because the story is a romance.

The “no men/no falling in love every again policy” usually due to some event in the past where one man (occasionally a few men) in the near or distant past acted like an a$$ (though recently a lot of books have been using the he cheated on me so now I’m against all men premise), is really wearing thin on me. If I see this one again I’m going to slit my wrist. Really, no men/falling in love ever again… in life… ever… for real? Forgive me if I have just a tad bit of trouble finding this one totally believable. But this is oh so common in our contemporary romance books. I read (or tried to read) a good five books back to back and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM had some form of this “conflict.” Because of this, the heroine is given license to treat all men like doggy doodoo in order to “protect” herself, and resist the hero for virtually no reason. It’s a good day, if I can make it through an entire story, without a heroine spending the majority of the book taking her unfortunate past out on the hero, especially considering he’s never done a thing to harm her. I really struggle with understanding how the hero puts up with it. Sure, I want an understanding hero, but not a doormat! Just saying. Really am I being unreasonable by wishing we could find some other forms of conflict for contemporary romance books? I am so sorry, but this one really has been done to death. *dodges more rotten fruit*

The overbearing, supper possessive jealous hero. Again, I’m so sorry, but I find it hard to love a man that wants to turn me into a piece of property. He hates every man that’s so much as breathed a nice word to the heroine, has loved her or made love to her, and the heroine is excited about this jealousy and takes it a sign of love or deep affection? *blink* *blink* Really?! Is this the only way an alpha can show love and appreciation, by treating the heroine like a possession? And perhaps there are some that enjoy that type of attention, but forgive me if I don’t believe all women want a man that has to be overbearing and super jealous/possessive in order to still be dominant. Hell this behavior isn’t even reserved for just alphas or doms, now the betas are getting totally possessive and jealous. *sigh*

I guess I’m just looking for a bit more variety. I am certainly not saying these things are true of ALL contemporary romances, but the overwhelming majority of the ones I’ve read, whether in paperback or ebook forms have had a multitude of similarities. Feel free to continue throwing rotten fruit, I’m sure I’ve earned it by now.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Excited About Writing... Again

So I spent a few months editing an old story, I mean I had written it years ago. The premise was good however when I wrote the story I honestly didn’t have the skill to execute it effectively. As time rolled on and I edited and edited… and kept on editing. I continued having a feeling that the story may not be working out like I’d hoped. The plot wasn’t working and I couldn’t figure out how to fix it without starting from scratch. So I kept plodding away tweaking things here and there hoping the small changes would make a difference. Honestly, I just should have realized that the best way to go was to scrap the whole thing and start over. But, I didn’t want to give up on all that work I’d already done. So, instead I made it all the way to the end enduring the nagging sensation that this story wasn’t what I wanted it to be. Once it was done I asked a few lovely, wonderful people to critique it for me… and low and behold they felt the same as I did. Certain elements of the story were fantastic, but the overall flow of the story and the plot were both muddled and lacking. So as you guessed I scrapped it… sort of. Out of that dismal failure was born a story idea so freaking awesome I can’t wait to get cracking on it.

Now, here’s what makes the whole experience even better. Not only did a lovely new story idea come from the disaster of the initial story, but I learned enough from it to work effectively on my current story. My current WIP is also one I’d started a while ago, however this time I was able to realize the issues this story had BEFORE I got too deep in. This time I was able to realize that cutting the parts that didn’t work early on instead of trying to save what I’d already written, would save me time and creative energy overall. The amazingness that has sprung from my current story is made of pure awesome and had I not had the experience with the first story, my current one wouldn’t be the loveliness it’s turning into. I have never enjoyed writing more than I do now, knowing that I have more of the skills required to turn mere words into art. Sometimes failure is really success in disguise.