Tuesday, 29 January 2008
And since I heard lovers of Regency are a tough mob, I quickly got my butt into some serious research. And you know what?
It might seem fascinating to us. Romantic and all that.
But really. It's as boring as bat's teeth in reality. If you consider you live in a constant electricity blackout that's how much fun it is.
Spontaneous? Hell no. Only the fire ever did that.
The only fun thing you had was not knowing what a joy was in store for you with hoop skirts.
The grass is always greener on the other side.
Zara pondering on Regency during a Regency swat.
Friday, 25 January 2008
Thursday, 24 January 2008
You are The Star
Hope, expectation, Bright promises.
The Star is one of the great cards of faith, dreams realised
The Star is a card that looks to the future. It does not predict any immediate or powerful change, but it does predict hope and healing. This card suggests clarity of vision, spiritual insight. And, most importantly, that unexpected help will be coming, with water to quench your thirst, with a guiding light to the future. They might say you're a dreamer, but you're not the only one.
What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.
Tuesday, 22 January 2008
"What is it about that obscure British actor?" they wonder. "Why don't you lust after Brad Pitt instead?"
Good question. Apparently he's one of the sexiest men alive. But I don't like him.
Sure, he's easy on the eyes (if you like blondes), but a man, a really appealing man, must be more than just a face.
I confess I don't like Brad Pitt because of his dubious behaviour concerning his past and present relationships. We don't know the details of why he and wife Jennifer Aniston divorced, but there are enough unanswered questions and boundless rumours going about that makes me believe it was not a clean split. Then there were the questions about exactly when Angelina Jolie came into the picture. Again, we don't know all the facts, but there's enough shady areas that fuel doubts.
One thing we know for sure: he and Angelina are living in sin. The rest of the world may be okay with that, but I'm not.
"Okay then," people say to me, "What about George Clooney? He's Hot-onna-Stick and dipped in chocolate besides."
Yes, Miss Snark, he is another pretty face. But again, it's the man behind the mask that really matters to me.
George's a player. Having been married once, he's vowed to never get married again, nor to have children. For this little black swan who was raised on a steady diet of HEA romances, that's a bit of a turn-off. George also admits, "I've slept with too many women, I've done too many drugs, and I've been to too many parties." Too bad, George. What will things be like in your dotage? How will you spend your twilight years? Not everyone can be Hugh Hefner. Not even you.
Remind me again how we like our Our Heroes? Yes, we like them handsome. We like them rogueish, dashing, passionate, intelligent and alpha male.
And then we like them to fall in love, and their love and devotion to Our Heroine surpasses all. Nothing is more valuable than the woman they love. Nothing, not life, not darkness, nor the bad guy or even death, will shake his devotion.
Sorry, Brad and George. It's a shame you've fallen short of the mark. I guess we can't have everything.
So back to Richard.
He may not be as famous as Brad or George, but that's all right by me. He's smart and he's funny. He's gracious to his fans (collectively known as either the Armitage Army, or the RAF--Richard Armitage's Fans), and always has a kind word for them whenever he runs into them. He writes thank-you notes and keeps in regular touch (well, regular for a guy). You never hear a bad thing about him.
No, he's not married. Never has been (oh, menace to society!). Some may see this as a failing, but we'll give him a few more years before we call him on it. After all, scores of Romantic Heroes in historical romances make it to their thirties before losing their bachelorhood.
On the other hand, one must also take into account that he does not have a bitter ex-wife, nor a bevy of ex-girlfriends. He doesn't play around and get caught up in the gossip mills. He wants to have children (awww...) and dotes on his nephew.
And he is good to his mother.
He's got the goods and the potential to be a great Romantic Hero. We're just hoping Our Heroine comes along real soon now and sweeps him off his feet.
If she doesn't, the first thing I'll do in my widowhood (may that be a long way off) is to sneak up on him in his sleep and screw a ring on his third finger, left hand.
Monday, 21 January 2008
Follow the link below to find out your card!
You are The Hierophant
Divine Wisdom. Manifestation. Explanation. Teaching.
All things relating to education, patience, help from superiors.The Hierophant is often considered to be a Guardian Angel.
The Hierophant's purpose is to bring the spiritual down to Earth. Where the High Priestess between her two pillars deals with realms beyond this Earth, the Hierophant (or High Priest) deals with worldly problems. He is well suited to do this because he strives to create harmony and peace in the midst of a crisis. The Hierophant's only problem is that he can be stubborn and hidebound. At his best, he is wise and soothing, at his worst, he is an unbending traditionalist.
What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.
All right, I'll bite...
EJ McKenna is...
You are The High Priestess
Science, Wisdom, Knowledge, Education.
The High Priestess is the card of knowledge, instinctual, supernatural, secret knowledge. She holds scrolls of arcane information that she might, or might not reveal to you. The moon crown on her head as well as the crescent by her foot indicates her willingness to illuminate what you otherwise might not see, reveal the secrets you need to know. The High Priestess is also associated with the moon however and can also indicate change or fluxuation, particularily when it comes to your moods.
Her Grace, Lady Heidi is...
You are The Moon
Hope, expectation, Bright promises.
The Moon is a card of magic and mystery - when prominent you know that nothing is as it seems, particularly when it concerns relationships. All logic is thrown out the window.
The Moon is all about visions and illusions, madness, genius and poetry. This is a card that has to do with sleep, and so with both dreams and nightmares. It is a scary card in that it warns that there might be hidden enemies, tricks and falsehoods. But it should also be remembered that this is a card of great creativity, of powerful magic, primal feelings and intuition. You may be going through a time of emotional and mental trial; if you have any past mental problems, you must be vigilant in taking your medication but avoid drugs or alcohol, as abuse of either will cause them irreparable damage. This time however, can also result in great creativity, psychic powers, visions and insight. You can and should trust your intuition.
Thursday, 17 January 2008
I've decided that my next in our anthology adventures is to be set in Regency times. As a writer of modern contemporary comedy, choosing the Regency is a kind of take on the mantle of challenge versus the already pretty much there.
If you say Pride and Prejudice to me I'd say, Jane Austen's, the BBC Colin Firth version or the movie? I have them all and sit with them on an ad nauseum basis. I can watch them like my kids used to watch Annie video when they were little. The dialogue flavor is important to me and can make or break my enjoyment of a period piece. Last night I watched the movie version (again) of Pride and Prejudice. And Colin Firth did the Darcy thing so differently, but I have to add that both versions are brilliantly executed and so differently.
I am loving the historical aspects of this work and that of the enchanted faeries set in the Highlands in the late 16oo's. I'm enjoying the research and the application of such knowledge. I am also learning that through the research, ideas and plots do get to shift on a continuing basis. If anyone reading this could take advice, do google.
So my hero is on his high horse on Rotten Row even as we discuss this... which returns me back to Heidi's blog on the hero...
1. Somebody who'd rather watch sport.
2. Couch potato
3. Never moves more than to change buttons on the remote control.
4. Only puts his top on when he goes out to buy a new carton of beer.
and the list goes on so:
I guess that no matter what period we put our characters into, it boils down to the ideal man. The man who we'd love to exist but probably even does if one doesn't apply all the rules.
For my part this translates into my husband, my best friend, and the one who supports the ups and downs of my muse. He's not perfect. His temper sometimes can be a short fuse. I'm not allowed to tell him where to park. He brings me flowers on fridays. He tells me I say 'actually' too much. He handles my excessive book collection with building a larger wall of shelves. He's a wonderful father. Loves the dog. And swishes soap all over the glass shower which stays in glubes, but which will get cleaned by the lady he pays for to clean our house so I can write. He's my version of my alpha male.
But he'd translate most terribly into the kind of hero we want in a romance I guess.
Actually, would he?
Tuesday, 15 January 2008
Poor Historical Romance author! You just don't have it easy, do you? On one hand, you want your story to be as historically accurate as possible, from historical facts to setting, to characterisations, the lot.
But on the other hand, you must realise that your contemporary readers are very much products of their time and generation. The social mores of the Nineteenth, the Seventeenth, the Fourteenth centuries are very different. With the exception of a bunch of Uppity Mormon Women and a few other raving Bluestockings and Bloomer Girls, women were pretty much considered the Weaker Sex.
So where do all these spit-fire redheaded bodice-splitting heroines you keep writing about come from?
They are the offspring of the marriage of history wearing idealism's ballgown and a modern marketing dork.
I don't envy you, Historical Romance author. You must come up with characters that your contemporary readers can identify with, without creating a time paradox.
It's a shame your contemporary readers don't understand the hard work you've put into your dialogue, to make sure that your vocabularial and grammatical choices are historically accurate. Sixteenth Century Bronwyn is not going to utter the phrases, "Okay," "Hey guys," or "What's up?" And they don't understand the hours of research you've delved into to make sure that manners, mantles and mores are correct yet invisible.
Instead, they analyse every detail of clothing, places, names, addresses, Almack's layout, and heaven forbid you make the mistake of letting a woman enter the clubs on St James.
But they will not forgive you for writing a heroine who sits meekly by, waiting for the man to come to her, even though that's often what happened.
And they absolutely will never forgive you for writing a hero who would be interested in such a milksop.
And thus, I present to you, dear Historical Romance author, the Contemporary Woman's Wishlist.
1. Our Hero must be strong and sensitive at the same time. Historically, men were supposed to be strong and stoic, yet we want our Historical Romance heroes sensitive as well. He's got to be strong to the world, yet sensitive to the Heroine.
2. Our Hero must be one smart cookie. Literacy is a must, even though there were lots and lots of men throughout history who couldn't even read, much less read well. We want Our Hero literate! (Don't believe me? How many Historical Romance heroes have you come across who couldn't read?) He'll be top of his class, the cleverest of the lot, and never gets the wool pulled over his eyes (unless it's required for the plot, or is pulled by the heroine). The Renaissance Man is alive and well, if only in fiction.
3. Ambition. Yes, indeed, we want Our Hero to be going somewhere. Pirate captains as the very least, thenkyewverramuch, and if he must be midshipman, he must be an upwardly mobile midshipman. (Right, Mister Hornblower?) None of this "contented with his lot", no farmers (unless they're gentleman farmers) and certainly no lower class. We've all read Catherine Cookson and have no interest in some poor, drunken wife-beating factory worker. Give us something that resembles our 21st Century meritocratic values, even though such values would surely be out of place in historical contexts. (Your contemporary readers just don't understand why"aping one's betters" and "getting above one's stations" were such bad ideas.)
4. Our Hero must be dashingly, no, devestatingly handsome! He must be all that is noble and worthy and rich and titled and good and wonderful and for some unfathomable reason, manages to remain a bachelor until his thirties. After all, Contemporary Woman is in her thirties and has no desire to lust after a Hero who's in serious need of therapy, has some nasty hangups or psychotic ex-girlfriends, and for some unfathomable reason, Jailbait just isn't that appealing. Also, Our Hero being heavily in debt is no good.
Now, is that too much to ask? Well, too bad, because that's what we want.
You know all those good qualties we like about C21, and all the wonderful escapist romantistic idealism we like about "The Good Old Days?" We want it all.
Thank you, Historical Romance author. I expect you to deliver soon.
Sunday, 6 January 2008
Friday, 4 January 2008
One does it outof love, until one becomes JK Rowling. Then it becomes business.
When I am rich and famous I'm going to live in Manhattan, have a house in Malibu (on the water side and risk Tzunamis rather than the brush fires) and of course I might also add a house in either Switzerland or England and use my chopper to hop across the moat.
But then my imagination, which helps me write might be a little too high octane.