“research” With A Little ‘r’ (cross-posted from Oldbitey Bites tumblr)

I know  when you write about romance fiction romance is supposed to get a little r. The capital R is reserved for use when referring that literary genre of high culture with quests, brave knights, ladies, courtly love, and all that jazz.  I think the use of a small r for romance fiction (and pink and hearts and clinch covers) is a reason modern romance novels are denigrated. Well, here’s another. Some of us romance writers are up in arms today over this little story about how romance fiction poses a threat to women’s sexual health.

Read it and you might agree we’re our own worst enemy when it comes to romance novels and research. Annie, Aretha and Oldbitey are cheesed off because “research” like Susan Quilliam’s, says, women who read romance novels are getting life and love and sex all wrong. Romance readers are making a mess of their lives because romance novels are not good role models. Sisters are not doing it for themselves, they’re doing it to themselves.

Hang on. Didn’t I blog about something “to ourselves” yesterday (See What Do We Want)

Here’s an idea. Can we stand up for one another rather than knock down and reduce romance readers to little r’s again and again?  How about showing some respect for your fellow sex? If you can’t, at least wear a condom or a dental dam-like device when you undertake this sort of poorly investigated research. And crack open a 21st Century contemporary Romance novel before you start typing up your notes.

Ye Gods.

Warning: Houseguests Can Kill Your Mojo

I’ve always wondered why I feel most creative when I’m not in any position to be able to write. For instance, why is it, when I’m doing my best June Cleaver, washing clothes, entertaining, giving Siciilan cousins lessons in English Idioms (and doing all of this with incredible skill, mind you), I’m on a sort of autopilot. I drift on the wind. As I smile and laugh and whip up a bitchin’ vegetarian 3 bean chili at the last moment, my mind balloons and floats away.
Thanks to t
he Barometric Pressure of Creativity (BPC), I hear entire conversations between characters. I work out tricky plot points. I figure out how to mislead the reader into thinking it was Professor Plum in the Library with the candlestick.

Then, when I no longer have a house full of Eyetalian guests, when all is calm, quiet, the pasta has been put away, and it is ripe for me to tippity-tap on my mac, the BPC that inflated my head with plot points and dialogue and red herrings, that kept me awake because my head had become the size of a hot air balloon at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, suddenly dissipates.
I sit down at my trusty mac, expecting all the brilliance that kept me from my sleep to re-inflate my head into that giant balloon, but I seem to choke on all that hot air and pressure. Everything has leaked out. I’m limp, uncreative, and thinking about cleaning the toilet. That’s how bad it is.

Yes, it’s frustrating. Very annoying as well, and you know with this complete lack of creativity, I have no option now, after I Clorox my toilet bowl of course, but to watch Jane Eyre.