I have not been particularly good at updating this website in the last two months. There are many reasons why this occurred, why this must change, and while there may be excuses, it is because all my available words have been going towards a new novel, which is tentatively titled A Lady’s Glass. I do recognize, now that I am less than 13,000 words from the end of it, that this is maybe not a very good title. But that will change with the rewrites.
For this last year’s NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month–which is November), I chose to write a romance novel. I had never written one, and to be honest, am very squeamish about writing sex scenes, which is why I chose to do that very thing. One cannot conquer a fear unless one faces it.
To be perfectly honest, while I am an avid reader of historical fiction, I do not read romance novels. In fact, I often dismissed them out of hand. Having written this much of a romance novel now, I am humbled by the experience. I read a Sarah MacLean’s Rules of Scoundrels series when I was about half-way through, and it helped me tremendously. Her dialogue was witty and her characters well-formed. I had glanced through other romance novels where the characters were little more than Ken dolls, and in Sarah’s I found men with thoughts and feelings and motivations that felt like real people. Her heroines were more than “independent” women who never displayed an independent or original thought. And even more remarkable (!), each heroine was different from one another. I actually liked her romance novels. So I thought I could write a romance novel I liked, too. And now I can wipe away my snobbishness (an ongoing process) about genre fiction.
I am the proud mama of all my work, and so at this moment, almost finished with the rough draft, I think the novel is interesting, and funny, and honestly? My sex scenes aren’t bad. They aren’t particularly great or interesting, but again, this is our self-congratulating first draft. We have to love the shitty first draft (SFD) in order to keep choosing to massage the work into something truly worthwhile.
I received many books for Christmas (hooray!) and two of them are specifically addressing my love of British history (because it is an island nation, and not even the largest one. Ninth largest island in the world, and it managed to dominate world politics and world economics for quite some time. Not to say it isn’t still very powerful, but it doesn’t have the chokehold that it did during colonial times, which is best for everyone involved.). These books are specifically meant to help me write this romance novel, and give me accurate historical information. I know some romance novels wing it, and kinda-sorta get the time period right, but my inner historian cringes at that sort of behavior.
As I write this, I am staring at my lovely Christmas tree, and thinking how I really ought to spend the day taking down decorations and packing up the ornaments carefully in tissue paper and bubble wrap. But I don’t want to. And writing the end of a novel is far more gratifying than packing up a lovely thing into a box to be stored until next year.
So on this day, the 27th of December, the third in the Twelve Days of Christmas, we are in need of three French hens. I have no idea where one could procure such a thing, but we do have the internet, where all dreams are possible. It is almost 2016, and there is so much to do, and I have discovered my own uncharted territory in the romance genre. You all figure out the hen situation, I am going to make another cup of tea and finish this novel, which may or may not be titled A Lady’s Glass.