WHY I READ AND WRITE ROMANCE PART II

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“I’d like to bite that lip.” ― E.L. James, Fifty Shades of Grey

I’ve been thinking about this post all week even before Part I of this story happened yesterday.  I’ve been biting my tongue as I read articles littered with both praise and criticism for 50 Shades of Grey. First, let me say, yes, I read the books.  But going into them, I had no idea what they were about other than being filled with sex.  At times, I tend to get wrapped up in my own world and forget to follow what the masses are doing.  And while a few people had mentioned them to me, no one fully explained what kind of story it was.  So when a colleague loaned them to me and I opened up that first page, I was completely clueless about what I was about to read.

Boy was I surprised!  My first experience with any kind of erotica novel, I became enthralled.  Now, before we go any further, I’d like to acknowledge the books issues.  Yes, there are some problems, but I’m not going to address them here, because that’s not what this post is about.  But, what irritates me with this whole situation, is those that blast the books/movie without reading them.  I’ve seen one author in particular who’s posted something negative more than once a day for the past week.  Really?  It bothers you that much, that you’d spend your time finding these articles to post?  And then she made a comment that she hadn’t read them and wouldn’t because they degrade woman and promote abuse.  Sorry, but that’s been a little over stated.  My advise, maybe she should read them so she can come up with a more original reason for her dislike.  It’s not only this author making these kinds of statements.  There are many …. MANY and almost every one of them have said they hadn’t and wouldn’t read the books.  Hmm … yes, I believe that gives them all the reason in the world to judge them.  Because judging something you haven’t experienced makes all kinds of sense to me?

Now you’re probably scratching your heads asking how 50 Shades of Grey and my story about Hatchet Man from yesterday have anything to do with why I like to read and write romance.  For those that say 50 Shades isn’t realistic, I say you’ve lived a sheltered life.  If you don’t believe there are people that f@#ked up in this world, then maybe you should come sit in my office for a day.

Now, I don’t typically talk about my day job.  Number one reason- I’ve signed so many confidentially agreements I’m sure I’ve agreed to all kinds of bodily torture if I did so, and secondly, eight hours of it a day is enough.  No, I’m not slipping up and telling you where I work.  But I will tell you that it’s not nearly as interesting as you’re probably thinking.  It’s a job, it pays the bills, but I’d like to think what I do, does help people.  With that being said, I will say that I work directly with the public from all walks of life.  And a few of them have walked some interesting journeys. I’ve heard a lot.  A lot!  And every time I think I’ve heard it all … nope!  Someone still surprises me.  Sexual escapades, devious acts, the low down on criminal activity – people like to talk. Sometimes I sit at my desk and think “why on earth would you tell someone this?”   Which brings me back to my story about Hatchet Man.  Ninety nine percent of the folks who land in my office aren’t there because everything is rosy in their life.  Somewhere along the line things went askew or didn’t pan out.  To say the environment can get hostile- um, yeah!  Not everyday, but we’ve had some instances that caused concern.  So, my apprehension with Hatchet Man was somewhat valid.

This past week, I was waiting on a meeting when a gentleman came into the room and sat down.  He immediately began telling me about his reasons for being there- none of which interested me, but since it was just the two of us, I couldn’t avert my attention elsewhere.  He talked and rambled. I shook my head, smiled and added the occasional “I see.”  Unhappy with someone, he explained a long story of a disagreement they’d had.  He then went on to apologize for his rambling and said he hadn’t been sleeping well because of this disruption in his life and that the only thing that brought him comfort was the image of beating the other mans head in with a baseball bat.  I got vivid details of exactly how this might go down.  I’m sure my eyes must have betrayed my horror, because he immediately added that he would never actually do something like that.  I know you’re thinking, he was upset and letting off steam and yeah, you’re probably right.  But it was at that exact moment that it hit me -this is why I read and write romance.  At the end of the day all I want is something to feel good.  A happily ever after, even if I have to make it up.

Back to Fifty Shades.  I’ve probably totally confused everyone with my post, because Fifty Shades has a lot of darkness in it and for the most part, there isn’t anything feel good about it.  So why would I enjoy reading about something so bleak?  And is Fifty Shades really a romance?  I’m glad you asked, because I believe it is.  If you look beyond the BDSM, there is a love story.  Like all relationships, it’s one that’s intense and difficult.  And one that requires give and take from both.  Sure, most of us have never been asked to be flogged by our partners, but that’s what makes this story unique.  The fact that the author took a circumstance not recognized as normal and turned it into a love story.  All romances deal with various shades of darkness.  It’s called conflict.  Some aren’t as black as others, but they all have it.  For me, what makes them enjoyable is the outcome.  The ending. The finding of love beyond all that yucky stuff.  I don’t mind ugliness, but ultimately I want love to conquer all. And that my friends is why I write and read romance.

Off to see the movie with my mom and sister tomorrow, but until then,

Laters, baby.

WHY I READ AND WRITE ROMANCE PART I

In honor of it being the weekend for all things red, pink, and lovie dovie, I thought I’d talk about for many, what Valentines Day symbolizes and why I enjoy reading and writing about it-Romance.

If you  haven’t realized by now, today is Friday.  It also happens to be the 13th.  I’m not a superstitious person.  It’s never bothered me that nearly every cat I’ve owned has been black, a broken mirror simply means you need to sweep, and today, well … it’s just another day on the calendar.  Except I had one of those “Oh God” moments this morning.  The kind where you think this may be the day it all comes to an end.  Okay, so now I might be mildly making more of the situation than what it really was, but for a moment I did think “things are about to get real ugly around here.”

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As I’m dropping my youngest off at school this morning, we’re going through the ritual: a hug, kiss, another hug, I love you, have a good day, see ya later buddy, and then I watch him until he walks through the door.  Just as he’s cleared the stairs, I hear a tap, tap, tap on my window. I crane my neck to the side and see a man standing there holding a hatchet with an evil grin on his face.  It took me a moment to register what was  happening and then reality sunk in- I know this man.  Oh God!  I know this man!  In case you’re wondering that wasn’t an excited “Oh God!”  At this point, I’m stunned with stupor.  I don’t know what I should do.  I can’t gun it because there are kids crossing in front of me. I can’t back up, because I’m holding up a line of cars.  All I can think about is that I’ve really pissed him off.  You see, Hatchet Man is someone whom I come in contact with through my day job.  He’s quite the colorful character and we don’t always see eye-to-eye. Okay, we rarely, if ever agree, but he’s not one I’ve ever considered dangerous.   Not knowing what to do, I do nothing.  I sit there looking at him like WTH?  He nudges the hatchet toward me as if to say “see this?”  I look back like “Yeah, I do.”  And then vaguely I hear my oldest son say “Dad told me to put that up.”  My head swivels to the right.  My oldest son sits there quietly.  “What?” I ask.  “Dad told me to put it up last night and I forgot,” he says again.  Things start becoming a little clearer, so I face Hatchet Man again.  This time his evil grin doesn’t look so scary.  He’s actually kind of smiling humorously. I roll my window down and he sort of thrusts the hatchet forward.  “Hey, this was on the back of your car.”  He laughs like it’s funny.  I suppose it is now.  But, at the time, I was still trying to make head or tails of it all.  “Thanks,” I say, grabbing the hatchet and putting it in the back seat.  He goes on his way, I roll up the window, and we pull forward.  My oldest explains that one of them laid it on the car last night. They didn’t put it away like their dad asked, it apparently froze to the trunk and made the trip with us to school this morning.  So, it turns out, Hatchet Man wasn’t out to chop my body into a hundred pieces.  He was being nice-oops, my bad!

At this point, I would like to request that no one ask me what my children were doing with a hatchet.  Honestly, I can’t think of one responsible answer to that question, so I’d likely plead the fifth.  I would love to say, they were cleaning up a mess of their Dad’s and got sidetracked or that someone had borrowed it and they were being nice and had intentions of putting it back for them, but the truth would likely be  that they were attempting something they saw on the show Ax Men.  No, I’m not kidding.  My driveway was once turned into a wash station so that they could mine gold like the men on Gold Rush.

So what does any of this have to do with why I read and write romance?  Ahh, yes, that was the reason I was writing this wasn’t it? Unfortunately, my lunch hour is up, so you’ll have to find out on Part II tomorrow.

Until then, Happy Friday the 13th!

WHAT ARE YOU READING?

WeHammersmithBookClub002lcome back!  It’s December- Yay!  Everyone getting settled in and ready for winter?  I love Fall, but Winter is actually my favorite time to read and write (post to come on that later).  Speaking of reading, I made a comment to fellow blogger Carrie Rubin a few weeks ago that I was devoting all of December to indie authors.  That’s right, any review request from traditionally published authors will be put off until after the first of the year.  Sorry … but I’ve been neglecting my indies for a while and my Kindle is still in need of more storage, so I’m diving in.  But before I do, I just have to say, ladies … don’t be jealous, but I’m off to see these hotties tonight:)

IMG_9777[1]Yes, I totally stalk Mr. Farr on his Instagram 🙂 Okay, back to the stuff I’m supposed to be talking about!

WHICH NOVEL ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING & WHO IS THE AUTHOR?

The Fog by Shelby Nolan

WHAT IS THE OPENING LINE OF THE BOOK?

“Mom? Can I ride my bike? Seven-year-old Rusty came running into the kitchen where Rocky was placing bacon strips onto a microwave rack.

WHAT ARE THE HERO & HEROINES NAMES OR MAIN CHARACTERS NAMES?

Rocky & John

WHAT IS THE 1ST SENTENCE  OF THE SECOND PARAGRAPH OF CHAPTER 9?

“Let me see it first,” Arizona commanded as she moved quickly from one side of the attic storage room to the other.

WHAT IS NEXT ON YOUR TBR LIST?- Not only are these all Indie Authors, they are all Kentucky Authors!

Exposed Secrets by April Nichols Baker

Me and Jasper and the Summer of 86 (a preview of Adventures in Terror with Jasper Bohanon) by Aaron Saylor

Beautiful Strangers by Glenna Maynard

My Beautiful Suicide by Atty Eve

So what are you reading?  I’d love to know …