Despite the fact that we’re really not all that far away from Valentine’s Day—and the fact that I have a romance novel being published in a couple of months (nice little plug there, don’t you think?)—I’m finding it difficult to get into the spirit of romance right now. I can’t be sure, but I think it might have something to do with the fact that I spend five days a week surrounded by runny noses and hacking coughs. And occasional incidents of projectile vomiting.
Triage nurse, you wonder? Or maybe a doctor with the CDC?
No. Kindergarten teacher.
My poor kiddos have been dropping like flies this past month. I’ve gone through so many Clorox wipes that I should have bought stock in the company, but it still feels like the germs are winning. I’m tempted to issue my students facemasks and daily rations of chicken soup; my husband swears by its curative powers.
So it’s a little hard to come home from work right now, fire up my computer, and create a scene that sparkles with romance and wonder. I keep wanting to write something more like this:
Her eyes, so bright with fever, were like heavenly constellations that dazzled Roderigo as he gazed into their glassy depths. Beads of sweat glistened on her brow as she reached with tremulous fingers to bring a tissue to her nose and blow it. Crumpling the used tissue, she let it fall to the floor to join the others that were sprinkled there like magnolia blossoms dotting the ground after a breezy spring day.
“Darling,” she whispered, her voice congested and hoarse from coughing. “I hab neber felt this way about ady man. Come to me, and bring the Vick’s vapor rub.”
Doesn’t quite work, does it? Well, perhaps in the rewrite…
I stumbled across a blog post about plans that the BBC has to recreate an actual Regency Ball like the type you would find in Jane Austen’s books. Don’t know the actual date yet, just sometime later this year. If you’d like to read more about it, check out this link here and scroll down to the end of the post (just prior to the comments section).
As an added bonus, the same blog post includes a link to some very funny “reshoots” of some book covers that you really have to see to appreciate. If you’ve ever looked at a book cover that has a woman with body measurements that are impossible outside of a plastic surgeon’s office, and said woman is standing in a pose that leaves you trying to decide if she is a gymnast or merely double jointed–you will appreciate author Jim C. Hines’ sense of humor.
And his flexibility.
If you’re the type of person who occasionally finds herself in heated arguments over things like whether or not it’s sacrilege to have anyone but Colin Firth play Mr. Darcy, or whether Heathcliff was more of a tortured soul than Mr. Rochester—then have I got a movie for you!
Well, a miniseries actually. So if you’ve got four hours to kill (yep, four hours) and a penchant for 19th century British romance, check out the BBC’s North and South (2004).
It’s based on the book by Elizabeth Gaskell, and apparently I need to get out more because I’d never heard of it before a couple of weeks ago. When I looked it up, I found out that when it first aired, it was so popular that people who saw it literally overwhelmed the message board on its website and caused it to crash. Sounds like a ringing endorsement to me!
So I watched it, and I loved it, and I’ll bet you will, too. It’s got a hero and heroine who are both flawed but likeable, and the romance that develops between them despite obstacles is one of the sweetest I’ve seen on film in a long time.
You can find it on Amazon or even watch it in parts on YouTube. If you do see it, let me know what you think!
I just found out that my debut novel, Coming Home, will be released by Crimson Romance on March 25th of this year. Woo hoo! As you may have guessed, I’m very excited.
It also looks like I’ll get a chance to contribute to the Crimson Romance blog right around the same time, so that’s also very cool. In fact, I’m about a nanosecond away from getting downright giddy. (Of course, I’m a pretty reserved person, so giddy on me might just look like mildly alert on someone else.) The first time I get a peek at the cover art, I’ll probably squeal like a little girl. I’d better go warn my husband…
Don’t you love it when you discover a brand new author and you feel like you’ve stumbled onto the beginning of a great reader/writer relationship? He or she dazzles you with their debut work, and you just can’t wait to read the next thing they write because you know it’s going to be fun and full of surprises…
Well, I’ve been scoping out the next generation of writers, and I think I’ve found some diamonds in the rough. Take a look:
(A fox was in a box. He was a baby fox. He popped out, saying, “Peek-a-boo.”)
He may only be in kindergarten, but I think this young author already demonstrates a keen understanding of the importance of suspense in a story. I mean, I didn’t see the “peek-a-boo” part coming at all, did you?
(The mouse likes cheese.)
This author doesn’t pull any punches but just states the plain facts as she sees them. The mouse DOES like cheese, and she is unapologetic about it.
Who wouldn’t like this pig?
I have a feeling we’ll be seeing more great things to come from these budding writers. Frankly, as an author I’m a little intimidated. I don’t think there’s any way I can compete with this level of cuteness.
I found out recently that one of my screenplays, The Bloodline, has made it to the semifinals of another screenplay contest, so I’m very excited. The results are posted at http://screenplayfestival.com. We’ll see what happens!