Quote of Inspiration

I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Atilla and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn't quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.

Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Friday, February 24, 2012

Romancing the Fig

I know....that's a bad post title. But, today, I sat down at my computer and wrote a query letter and synopsis for my long-ago-written romance novel. I did get stuck at one part, and I got up to get water, and while I was up I thought: this is silly. I should just wait until I have more time and don't feel stressed.

Then I reminded myself that I wrote this novel in 2008. I wrote the first query letter and synopsis in 2010.

It is now 2012.

So, I went back to the computer, wiped the synopsis clean and started fresh. I free-wrote the whole thing, edited the query letter, copied the address of the editor into my e-mail page and pressed: SEND.

I don't have huge hopes and/or expectations about this novel. I wrote it before taking an online course about romance novel writing, so I am realistic about the flaws of the book. BUT, I am done trying to make things perfect. I have several Harlequin romance novels, and mine is as good as the ones I have on my bedside table. So I sent in the query and will wait to hear back. If I wait, telling myself I'll over-haul the novel, I'll never do it. It will sit there, as it has for 3 years. And even if they reject it, which they likely will, I will have done it. I can only hope they might offer some positive feedback or suggestions. That would be helpful.

You may wonder why I want to write romance novels at all. I don't have a very good answer for that. I once thought it would be super easy, that I could knock one out in a week or so and make some quick cash. I have since been disabused of that idea. Seems readers want a real connection between the hero and heroine, and they don't go for dodgy 80's plot-lines anymore, like the unforeseeable avalanche resulting in two opposite people spending a week together in a run-down mountainside cabin with only melted snow for water.

I should probably read a few romance novels before I try to write them. I actually have read a few, and I'm not ashamed to say I enjoyed several of them. When I read Outlander, I pretty much couldn't do anything else and was reading in the bathroom so my family wouldn't distract me with things like dinner, bedtime routines and other necessities of family life. When I finished that book, a romance about a heart-throbbing Highlander named Jamie, I read the ending again. Then, I closed the book, looked over at my sleeping husband and thought: hmmm....this may not work out between us.

Obviously, I'm still married. But, I continue to think of ol' Jamie Frasier and his horseback riding, dagger throwing, kilt-wearing and standing up for the needs of his woman.

By God.

I have also been somewhat glued to some Judith McNaught books, devouring them in the backyard of our California home while the kids threw rocks at each other.

So, I guess I do have an appreciation for the whole romance genre. The thing is, after you have kids, the last thing you want to do is read some drag-you-down depressing book about some poor woman's awful lot in life and how she had to rise about it all only to find herself sunk again in some other hole of darkness.

It's why I don't watch those CSI shows and the evening news. Who needs that?

I know that you all are wondering if I'm going to go off and get a few cats next....cause that's what romance-reading and romance-writing women do....re-use tea bags numerous times, drink from a favorite mug (with a Cathy cartoon on the side), wear fuzzy heavily-pilled sweaters in colors like Chianti Rose and Loganberry, and curl up in self-knitted socks, a hot water bottle and a couple of cats to read the latest Wal-Mart purchased bodice ripper.

Don't hold your breath.....my little sister is the crazy cat lady of the family!

But, even as I think this particular novel will likely meet the rejected fate of the many who have gone before me, I feel inspired to begin anew, with another hero and heroine, a stronger plot line and some dynamic supporting characters who are memorable but don't steal the show.

Meanwhile, I'll wait to hear back from the editors.........

So....done. Submitted a romance novel.

1 comment:

  1. Way to go Good Sister. You are my hero. (Or should I say heroine?) Love you and can't wait to see AVP across the top of the covers of many books.


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