Saturday, October 20, 2007

The leaves, they are a changin'

The signs that a new school year are about to start are ubiquitous. From the ‘back to school sale’ signs in every store (even the dollar stores!) to the emergence of big yellow busses, the coming of school is as inexorable as the coming of autumn. Life settles into a decidedly different pattern in September (or August for those of you who start earlier than we do in New York). And since both my husband and I are teachers (he teaches college, I teach high school), and we have two teenagers in a different high school than I teach in, we live and breathe by the school calendars of three different schools.

For me, the ten months that comprise the school calendar are ten months of Mommy-taxi, ten months of writing when the time allows, ten months of hitting the ground running in the morning and not stopping till I fall into bed at night. What’s funny is that I find myself more productive as a writer during the school year than during the summer. My son runs cross-country, so I take him to practice, then sit in the car and write. A full hour of uninterrupted time…no phone, no interruptions…just me and my laptop. My husband loves that I volunteer to run the kids hither and yon because that means quiet time for him at home. Works for everyone!

I also find more time to read during the school year than I do in the summer. In the summer, I’m too busy gardening, going on vacation, or playing on the computer (my big vice! I LOVE Second Life and can be found there waaaay too often!). But in the autumn, the garden is put to bed and thoughts of next year’s vacation are still a ways off. The computer, however, is still a constant weakness . But for some reason, as the leaves turn colors and fall, the books come off the TBR pile and into my hands. Just something about curling up on a beautiful fall day and immersing myself in a good romance or fantasy or science fiction, or non-fiction historical (what can I say? I have eclectic tastes!).

So what about you? What time of the year is your favorite time to pull those books off the pile? And if you’re a year-round reader…do you have any particular genre that go with any particular season?

And as safe!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Romance in the 1970’s

I love reading romances. I’ve been doing it since I was about 12 years old when I started on the inspirationals and regency stories Grandma had sitting out on the book shelf in her living room.

Not to say that Grandma didn’t read steamier stuff. I just took me four more years to find it. Up in her attic, I did find her boxes of True Confession magazines and lots of juicy Harlequins where the hero was absolutely dominant and the heroine had some nice little temporary job that she was happy to give up at the end. The last scene was almost always the hero declaring his undying love and right out the window went the waitress/secretary/governess job. Now she could give up that daily drudge to become his WIFE and the MOTHER of his future babies!!

Yippee Skippy! That was romance in the 1970’s!

Totally Neanderthal of course. In real life, we gals like to have careers and all that but…there’s just something delicious about that dominant male.

There was not a lot of sex in these stories. Just the promise of it. Smoldering looks. Possessive behaviors. “You are mine, Querida,” would say the former bull fighter turned successful Brazilian businessman. The young twenty something English flower (who had entered his realm though inheriting a diner next to his office) would swoon in his arms. The hero’s mouth would swoop down taking possession of hers. First brutally, because she had made him jealous, but then it would become softer, more demanding. And that was about as far as the sex would go.

I just knew that this guy was going to screw her socks off. I’d finish the book and sigh, wishing I could know more of what happened when they finally hit the sheets.

I’d love to find some books that are basically this kind of story but take the sex up to the next level. Post your comments and let me know what books you’ve found like this or others in the 70’s and 80’s that you absolutely enjoyed!