*sigh* The rigors of being a romance writer, and being blonde to boot. People one sees on occasion often forget that said blonde romance writer also has (almost) an advanced degree in Litrachoor and does, yes indeed, know what constitutes literary prose. It is not pages and pages and pages full of overblown writing. But you try telling that to someone who only sees you as a low-brow hack and see how seriously they take your comments upon their work. 🙂 And even if I am just a low-brow hack, I’m still a reader and I’m telling you that that stuff leaps out at me like a teenage boy on a first date. (No, I am way too old for teenage boys, thank God, but I do remember those dates with octopus-handed young men.)

Women who diss romance amaze me. It’s okay not to like it, but you need to know why you don’t like it. Is it because you buy into the prevalent (male) attitude that it’s trash? Or because you just don’t care to read about a male/female relationship that may or may not stray into unbelievability (some of these books definitely do)? If you think romance is all about a woman needing a man, what about Bridget Jones and the chick lit genre? Bridget, who was lots of fun, was searching for romantic love as well as self-knowledge. So’s the shopaholic chick. They have more realistic encounters in the dating pool, sure, but they’re still looking for love. It’s what women do. It doesn’t make us less of a person, though the dominant western patriarchal culture would have you believe so. (And I don’t mean just romantic love, btw; I also mean acceptance, like the feminine journey in Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees, or Susie Salmon’s quest for happiness and acceptance in Heaven in The Lovely Bones.)

A great book to read about women and male culture is The Heroine’s Journey: Woman’s Quest to Wholeness by Maureen Murdock. Here’s the logline from Amazon: A 9 stage process that entails at first rejecting feminine values, making it in the man’s world, experiencing spiritual death, and finally turning inward to reclaim the power and spirit of the feminine. The book is a little kooky in parts, for me anyway. I’ve never had any dreams like those she describes, though I did once have a Journey dream where I had to help a very old lady get somewhere. Once I got her there safely, she turned into a young and beautiful goddess archetype who rewarded me with knowledge I’d been seeking. That, so far as I can remember, is my only cool symbolic dream. Otherwise, I dream about mundane stuff.

But, back to the book, the chapter on Healing the Mother/Daughter Split gave me some eureka moments. Worth a read, especially if you’re interested in why romance novels get belittled so often. (I’m assuming, since this blog is listed on romance writer sites, that most people who read it are romance writers/fans.)

Miss P, if you’re reading, get that blog up and running please. I want to read your comments on male silliness in the political world. 🙂

Oh, cute joke heard last night on the radio. Why do women use twice as many words every day as men? Because they always have to repeat themselves. I, of course, took it to mean that men weren’t listening, as usual, and we have to repeat what we just said. Men, I suppose, could take it to mean that we can’t just say something once. 🙂 I love men, btw. They are irritating, sure, but oh so necessary to this female’s happiness. Or at least one man in particular is. 🙂 So don’t think I am pitting woman against man in some sort of eternal struggle. Men have dominated written history for many reasons, and for millenia, so taking some of that back and getting respect for feminine values is an on-going process. But we still need the gorgeous idiots. Someone has to mow the lawn, right? [Kidding!]

Progress report: pg 180. 100 pages left. Some of what I have still needs to be cut, like I said previously. I think I know where I’m going with this. Next book, I am going to try to outline ahead of time. I have always been a pantster, but I’m going to try the plotter technique. If I can rough out a thesis, why can’t I rough out a novel?

Started Kristin Hardy’s Certified Male (Harl/Blaze) the other day. Great immersion into Vegas and that whole gambling lifestyle. Nice mystery. H/H didn’t meet for about 30 pages, but it worked. Still haven’t picked The Rule of Four up again. Also, started to read Neill D. Hicks’s Screenwriting 101. I’ve had it on my shelf forever, so thought I’d thumb through it. Very good so far! All this stuff applies to fiction. I don’t envision myself as a screenwriter, so that’s probably why I had’t yet read it. Someone gave it to me.

Music: someone in critique had me listen to My Chemical Romance. Not too sure about that. I couldn’t understand the lyrics. I promised to try again, though. Their video for “Helena,” with the dead girl dancing, made me think of Tom Petty’s “Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” starring Kim Basinger. I prefer the Petty.

Aloha, a hui ho!