Friday, January 26, 2007

Why I Read Romance Novels

I often get razzed for reading romance novels. I almost always get razzed for reading paranormal romance, particularly because I prefer those with vampires. I've apparently earned the dubious title of "vampire porn girl." But I don't read those books for the "good parts." I heartily enjoy them, of course, but that's not the main draw.

I live an average life. I have a woderful husband whom I love very much, a beautiful and intelligent baby girl, and an ordinary house. I knit, I clean house, I spend time with Peanut and my other half. We watch cartoons on Saturday mornings. It's a great life, but an ordinary one. Basic. Simple.

I love it, but my mind craves adventure, great stories, seeing the guy get the girl. I love seeing two people fall in love in all the myriad ways that can happen. I love seeing them have their happily ever after in a committed relationship. Today's romance heroines are strong and willful, not the wilting female who swoons and knows only how to let her man sweep her off her feet. Women still get swept away, but on their own terms and with alpha males who want a relationship with an equal.

As for the paranormal tales I favor, I find that there's no better way to go somewhere in my head than to visit a place that is so far away it isn't real. I love the various angles on the vampire myth that authors take and how those differences affect the story. And whether it's vampires, valkyries, witches, or werewolves, I love seeing the humans try to make sense of it.

And as for romance novels being "girly porn," that irks me. I read a wonderful article on writing good lovescenes By one of my favorite authors, Angela Knight. She said in her blog:

Repeat after me: Romance does not equal porn

A year or so ago, I saw an RWA-sponsored ad to the effect that romance novels don’t really have all that much sex in them. It then listed various books and the number of love scenes in them – generally just one or two.

That ad really ticked me off, because it implied that a book with only one sex scene is somehow more moral than one with four or five. I’ve encountered that attitude a lot in other romance writers who sniff that they write love scenes only because their publishers demand it.

Apparently, like Victorian wives suffering the attentions of randy husbands, they lie back and think of England.

My personal belief is that somebody who writes mechanical sex solely to placate a publisher and make money is a lot more guilty of being a pornographer than I am.

No matter how much some writers might like to pretend otherwise, at their core, romances are about a sexual relationship between a man and a woman, not a purely spiritual union of souls. After all, when was the last time you read a romance staring Ghandi?

I think Knight pretty much summed it up to a tee. So don't call it vampire porn anymore. ;)

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Hello my cellie friends!

If you're a fellow aficionado from the BDB message boards, thanks for stopping by! I love the cellies. I'm rather obsessed with this series and I know I'm not alone. Isn't it fun to be in good company whilst one is utterly addicted to the Brothers? I live in the cell. For real. ;)

Can any of you help me with a title? I don't even know what to call my blog. Like I said, I'm kinda not creative.

So here's what's up

All right, I'll do an "intro" post. My name is Courtney and I'm a wife, mother, knitter, reading junkie, and all-around ordinary gal. My baby, whom my husband, T, and I call Peanut, just turned seven months old and time has flown as far as that goes. Wasn't she just my brand-new bundle o' joy who did nothing but nurse, sleep, and poop? Well, now she's almost crawling. T is really looking forward to that, but I liked it when she was just cute and immobile. I could set her down and go to the bathroom or hunt for my ringing phone or grab a quick bite in the kitchen and when I got back, she would be right where I left her. Now? No. She rolls. And rolls and rolls and rolls. She's starting to get up on her hands and knees and is almost scootching. And she's unbearably cute. Like turns-your-stomache-with-sweetness cute. Hates fruits so far, though. No bananas and apples for this girlie. Peanut has decided she likes veggies. So bring on the peas and squash.

On to knitting. I love to knit, but I have a terrible habit of starting projects and not finishing them. I recently finished a blanket for Peanut that I started when I was about 5 months pregnant with her. Also, she has a cute fuzzy pink hat. I've also started a baby blanket in the log cabin style for my sister, Mrs. Angel. She's not pregnant yet, but she wants to be, so maybe I can give her some good baby-making mojo. And if I start the blankie now, it MIGHT be finished by the time she gets pregnant and has the baby. What is on the needles on this moment is a basic scarf for me made out of Lion Brand Homespun. The color on the label says "Edwardian," but darned if I know what that it. It's charcoal with white strands, so it isn't black but it will go with everything.

BOOKS!!!! My passion is reading. If you know me, you know what I look like with my nose in a book. I'm reading a large fantasy novel called Kushiel's Scion, the fourth in a series by Jacqueline Carey. It's heavy duty reading, so I'm going slow and taking breaks. And as of today, it's only one month and two weeks until the release of Lover Revealed, fourth installment in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J. R. Ward. This series is my obsession. It's romance and so much more. I can't talk about it right now becasue it would take over this posting, but I'll be going on and on about it frequently. Suffice to say that if anyone calls me or demands any of my attention on March 6th (or whatever day I find it at Wal-Mart, which is notorious for putting books out early), you will be disappointed. I'll be doing basic mommy duties and reading. And that's it on that day.

Anyway...Now for my husband. The most wonderful man. We're still adjusting to being three and not two, but I think we're okay. His jobhunting is progressing, and that's a good thing because he's getting restless. But he deserves the downtime unemployment is giving him and I try to let him do whatever he wants--game with friends, poker with parents, video games and other stuff. He needs the relaxation. He's one of the best things that has ever happened to me and he gave me the best, our daughter. It's rough seeing such a responsible provider not have a job, but we'll be okay. I have absolute faith that he'll provide for us.

So, that's me right now. Baby, hubby, knitting, and books. That's about all that I've got going on.

I have a blog. Hmm.

I have several wonderful friends who blog. I even blog with my knitting group. Sarah, a friend, told me I should blog for posterity's sake. Document my life. Write it all down, you know? So here I am, writing it down.

Oh, if only I knew what to say.

I find that in conversation I tend to be interrupted a lot. Whether this is because I say uninteresting things or just don't talk loud enough, I don't know. What I do know is that here on my blog, I have carte blanche and that in itself may prove to be the biggest benefit. The downside is that because this is MY blog, no one will tell me that what I'm saying just really isn't interesting. Well, it is to me.

I'm wavering, aren't I? See, this is what I mean. I'm pretty sure I pushed out part of my brain when I had Peanut. I'm still discovering exactly what the consequences of that are. Other than being able to "converse" with my 7-month-old with no heed to my unused intellect, I can't think of any upsides to having misplaced some of my brain. But it's all good, because Peanut doesn't mind. And T is nothing if not a wonderful husband, so I think that even when he does wonder who I am and what happened to the woman he married, he's okay with me being how I am now. I hope.

Perhaps soon I'll get around to really introducing myself. Talking about what I'm up to as far as knitting projects and mommy misadventures. But for now, I'm going to leave it here.

Thank you and have a nice day.