Oooh, that's an ominous title!
But really, the question should be twofold:
What's the point of writing? And what's the point of writing romance?
Because those are different questions, aren't they? Maybe we can answer both.
Another list, if you will. Because lordie knows I love lists.
#10) We write to keep in contact with what it is to be human. Nuances of behavior, quirks, motives for actions -- writing is studying the details and then depicting humanity, sometimes in its rawest form.
#9) Because a story isn't your story until you've told it. That's right. Everyone has a story in them. But not everyone can get that story on paper. That takes special skills. However, if you can write it and shape it, then that's real power. Wow.
#8) Writing is better than photoshop. You can make readers see or feel anything, with a turn of a phrase or a tweak of a sentence. You can make different readers see or feel different things with that same phrase or sentence.
Thanks to @gwenhayes @holleytrent and @chronic_mom for inspiring this list!
10) Christmas title, gay romance: “We Three Kinds of Orient Are” (Yup, someone's been sniffing the myrrh.)
9) Option #2 for Christmas fella love story: “Deck the Balls” (I’d like to know what trimming the tree entails.)
8) Harlequin Presents type: “The Loan-Strapped Assistant Manager's Secret Babymama" (Same scenario, but just way less glamorous when it’s not a Tycoon. Yeah, see? Caught you passing judgement.)
7) Harlequin Presents option #2: "Broke Stepbrother's Questionable Relationship Choice" (Holley Trent made me put something in here with “Step” in the title)
6) Harlequin Presents option #3: "The Not-Very-Good Playboy’s Mediocre Score"
5) How about something in a suspense category? “The SEAL’s Quiet Vacation Where No One Abducts Anyone and No Guns are Fired” (Yippee, no flashbacks!)
4) Inspirational? “The Amish Widow’s Secret Cell Phone” (Gosh, don’t tell Obidiah!)
3) Historical: “A Butler of Her Own” (Ah, girls, we can only hope!)
2) Historical #2: “The Reluctant Prostitute” (She wasn’t super successful)
1) Erotica: “Befuddled” (It’s always a 1 word title, often a verb that can be liberally misinterpreted. Or a random phrase like “Contort With Me”)
*Disclaimer: My sincere apologies if any of these items, by some karmic freak of the universe, are really book titles. I had no idea.
Before I launch into a new list, let me explain why this post. I haven’t had real Fridays in over ten years. That’s when I started practicing medicine, delivering babies, admitting patients, and so on. The work model meant that if my patients needed me, I would come in for them. That model is great. But I’ve skirted burnout (ok, totally burnt to a crisp 5 years ago, no question) the entire time, which isn’t conducive to career longevity, to say nothing of happiness. I haven't said "TGIF" for over ten years. Now that's just plain wrong.
With some trepidation, I joined a medical group where my duties are the same as before. Only now, when I’m on call, I manage everything – all group deliveries, admissions, nursing home calls and the like. So, insanely busy but also super fulfilling.
But when I’m off? Not on call but still working in the office? Going home after work? Off? What’s that???
Please walk with me through my first "normal joe" Friday in a long time. It was a Friday where I finished up in the office, went home, and turned off the phone. Wow. I can't stop smiling.
#10) There is a sensation in my chest, almost like I’ve held my breath for too long and finally can breathe again. Instead of cringing if my phone rings, I know it’s something not-work, like a friend, or my parents, or hubby.
#9) I made plans to do nothing on Saturday. And best of all, I’ll be able to keep those plans.
#8) I made plans to do something on Sunday. And best of all, I’ll be able to keep those plans.
#7) Hubby and I are going to go out to eat tomorrow evening. At a restaurant. And I’m not tense. In fact, I might leave the phone at home, and believe doing so will improve the experience.
#1) Is the main character based on you?
#2) Is the hero/villain/spunky sidekick based on someone you know?
#2.5) Not mentioned but you know they wanna ask: Is that scene how you have sex? (OMFG, do I WISH I were that flexible...and orgasmically refractory for eight hours at a stretch. As it stands, if I attempted 10% of one my sex scenes, I'd need a total hip replacement and rods placed into my back.)
#3) Do you have some kind of mental problem or need counseling? Because I read that book and there's a lot of violence and evil stuff and um....
#4) Why can't you write more books per month/year/decade? (You're right, I'm lazy. It's the only plausible explanation.)
#5) From my Mom (who by the way, does NOT know that I write dark paranormal, athletically- and unrealistically-sexy romance novels): Why don't you write one of those romance novels? You'd be good at it. (um....)
#6) Will you put me in your next book? (Thanks, hubby. No.)
#7) Can I have copies to give to my friends/family/coworkers?
#8) Are the guys on the cover real? (Please, baby Jesus, please make those cover guys be real and let them come over to visit.)
#9) Why don't you write something like that Twilight stuff? Seems like it was really popular. (Someone already sold their soul to Satan and did this already....)
#10) Why can't this book be sexier? Why can't this book be cleaner? (Please confer first and THEN pick 1 complaint.)
No preamble. Here goes.
#10) "Doc, I've had a 99 temp since this morning and have a runny nose. I need antibiotics so I can go shopping/water skiing/off-roading this weekend."
(These are the same folks that check the "not satisfied" box on the patient survey when I recommend NO antibiotics based on radical concepts like "medical evidence" and "exam findings".)
#9) "Why can't Dr. Jill see me? I'm only an hour late. She knows I can't wake up before 10am."
(Look, when you made this appointment 1 month ago, there were numerous options for appointment times, including late afternoon. My apologies for not hanging out at the front desk and intervening on behalf of your delicate biorhythms, but administration wants me to actually SEE PATIENTS during business hours.)
#8) "Diet and exercise doesn't work for me. I have a glandular problem. Even though my thyroid levels are 100% normal, I still must have thyroid medication to make me lose weight."
(The reason your weight doesn't go down has to do with the 1 liter Mtn. Dew you're sipping and with the fact you consider daily exercise to be walking from your car to the office. A thyroid pill will give you an arrhythmia and osteoporosis. "Not satisfied" box checked yet again. I will be fired by next week.)
Just completed a cross-country move 1500 miles from one end of the Earth to a new rural practice/group at the other end of the Earth. At least I'm consistent -- I do enjoy rural medicine. And a new adventure is always fun.
But phew, I'm pooped. It's not my first rodeo with the whole moving thing, but every time there's a big life change, there must be lessons, right? Here goes....
#10) 2 drivers + 2 cars is much harder than 2 drivers + 1 car. Especially traveling through major metro areas together. Note to self: automatically add 20% drive time when it's 2 cars.
#9) One cannot sustain road rage for 1500 miles. Not without precipitating an aneurysm.
#8) Kitties + traveling = tranquilizer. And not for the animals.
#7) There really ARE millions of different combinations of Subway sandwiches!
#6) 2 Subway sandwiches/day x 4 days = unique GI consequences.
#5) Driving 10 hours/day does not feel the same now as it it did when I was 20 and invincible. Now I say things like "dadgum sciatica" and "I have to pee AGAIN?" and "my dyspepsia is firing up again" (see item 6). Yeah, fabulous.
Ok, book #2 of the Hell to Pay series has been released. Book #3 (Flame Unleashed) is headed out the door for final copywriting in a week and will release in September, 2015.
So what, if anything, have I learned now?
#1) Marketing. Need to increase education in this area. Still doing the throw-it-against-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks method, and it's not ideal. In better news, I now have a list of worthwhile investments of time/funds. (And a list of worthless ones....)
#2) Newsletters. I was like a monkey doing a math problem trying to set up my sign up newsletter signup form, new email (because something about yahoo is gnarly with mail lists), and creating and editing my first newsletter. I hit send only to realize....I sent the test newsletter. Ugh. Author fail. Dude, aren't there people to help with this kind of stuff?
#3) Covers. IMHO, these covers need a hot dude, smart lady, mountains, a bad guy oozing yellow smoke, snow and/or avalanches, a puppy, some nondescript people looking on in sympathy/awe, an old bald guy and molten lava. Why my editor believes that all of these critically important features won't fit on a standard thumbnail image is beyond me. Luckily, I don't design my own covers, or it'd be a flaming, hot mess.
#4) Crushes. Kind of have one on each hero while I write them. Didn't really expect that to occur.
#5) Terror. Just because I wrote a few books doesn't mean I can keep doing it. Maybe the juju runs out after a while. What if, one day, I can't come up with a new description of "heaving breasts" or "throbbing members"?
To update you: Dante Blackstone is the proportionally-superior hero of my second novel, Relentless Flame. I've shared with brutal honesty why I would definitely date my first hero, Peter Blackstone. Now I'm going to explain why I'd never date Dante Blackstone. Let's press forward with this onerous task.
#10) Rippling muscles and the big frame to carry them. Yuck-o-rama. Who wants beefcake? I'm a vegetarian.
#9) Glacier blue eyes that see into a woman's soul. On a dude? Come on, we all know that looks weird. And not hot...at all....>sigh<....
#8) Rumbling/vibrating bass voice in a Swedish accent. Bleeack. Mrrrfff. Feeling nauseous just thinking about it.
#7) Thick, blond -- yet manly-coiffed -- hair. No way. Give me a bald dude any day. And make him short while you're at it.
#6) Ability to quote romantic fine literature. Um....barf. What woman wants that? Oh, wait, that's pretty awesome....
I can't take it any more.
Common sense? Nope.
Smart folks and simple folks alike have caused me to really beef up my standard instructions for procedures and medical tests. Here's a snapshot of why sometimes I'd like to pull my hair out.
#1) Preterm labor. I have told you very clearly, "Please do not have sex. Please do not put anything in your vagina." My simple instructions could only be clearer if I added in a diagram and an interpretive dance. Why, then, do I see you in the Ob department at 3am, contracting wildly at 26 weeks into your pregnancy as you are post-orgasmic from hours of wild nookie? And now you're somehow mad at ME? Talk to sperm boy over there. Cuddles, not thrusting. Come on, now. Don't make me do the "no-sex interpretive dance". (Actually, anytime I dance, it's pretty much assured no sex will occur within a 10 mile radius. I'm not lithe or seductive. Anyway.)
#2) Clear liquids, part 1. Colonoscopies. Yeah, I get that you don't want a scope, but everyone in your family has colon cancer, so you need the test. You'll thank me after I snip out 10 pre-cancers and save you from having a colostomy and chemotherapy. But until then, please understand me when I tell you that clear liquids do NOT include STEAK, no matter HOW THIN YOU CUT IT. My roto-rooter does not work in solid dooky.
#3) Clear liquids, part 2. Colonoscopies. Yes, I asked you specifically about your alcohol consumption and prayed you told me the truth. Let me now be perfectly obvious: GIN DOES NOT COUNT AS A CLEAR LIQUID. Ok, I get that it is technically CLEAR and you can see through it, and I can see how confusing that must be to you. But for the sake of me giving you IV anesthetic, let me repeat myself. I will NOT give you IV sedation if you smell like booze. If you cannot abstain from alcoholic beverages for 12 hours prior to your procedure, then a colonoscopy will not fix the majority of your health issues and your life will not be foreshortened by a colon problem -- it will be shortened by cirrhosis.
As I drifted into a blissful slumber with my pudgy, special needs kitty purring on my chest, a new blog idea came to me.
I love paranormal and all its opportunities. So what creatures could have paranormal powers?
Any of them.
With that poorly-thought-out theory, I give you a new list:
Why My Cats Are Paranormal Beings
10) Healing: Faster than medication, cheaper than counseling -- petting a cat will immediately lower blood pressure.
9) Nocturnal: Everything paranormal seems to function best in the dark.
8) X-ray vision: Can see the sealed package of salmon inside of the bag of groceries I'm trying to sneak into the house.
7) Elastic powers: Can compress bodies to fit into spaces 4 inches wide. How? Especially with the one cat who is "pretty plus"? How is this even possible?
Author, daydreamer, and practitioner of trying very hard to duct tape folks together and help when I can.
December 2022 November 2022 September 2022 August 2022 June 2022 May 2022 February 2022 January 2021 November 2020 August 2020 July 2020 May 2020 January 2020 November 2019 September 2019 August 2019 July 2019 March 2019 November 2018 October 2018 September 2018 July 2018 June 2018 May 2018 April 2018 March 2018 January 2018 December 2017 November 2017 October 2017 September 2017 August 2017 July 2017 May 2017 April 2017 March 2017 February 2017 January 2017 December 2016 November 2016 October 2016 September 2016 August 2016 July 2016 June 2016 May 2016 April 2016 March 2016 February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 April 2015 March 2015 February 2015 January 2015 December 2014 November 2014 October 2014 September 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014
All Adventures With Hubby Airports Author Interviews Cats Fastdrafting Funny Medicine Hell's Valley Series Hell To Pay Series Medicine Potpourri Star Trek Top 10 Lists Writing Writing Vs Medicine