July has swept many changes into my world.
Instead of writing, I’m editing. I’ve sent rejections to writers. But while I dashed their dreams, I gave them tips on what they needed to study and hopefully encouraged them. I’ve learned that editors aren’t mean wannabe writers who want to rewrite my book. I didn’t really think that, but sometimes while deep in the trenches of revisions, I did wonder.
I’ve learned editors know what works in fiction and what doesn’t. We’re not in love with the writer’s characters before we even start the book, we can see the flaws, and we want to help fix it so we along with readers will love the characters the same way the author does. I think wearing the editor hat will make me a better writer. And I will write again once I get caught up on editing books that got bottle-necked in the transition of buying a publishing company.
I only have one cat now. My fourteen-year-old female, Smokey got really sick back in April and I learned she had hyperthyroidism. Initially, once she was on medicine, she thrived and was her old self. I moved her into my office so I could keep an eye on her. But eventually the disease and her age took a toll. As she stopped eating and grew increasingly weak, I had to make the painful decision to take her to the vet for the last time. Charcoal, my fourteen year-old male and I miss her. But she’s not suffering anymore.
The screened in porch next to my office is now an enclosed sunroom. I loved the porch, but I live in the South. Weather only permitted me to sit out there a dozen or so days out of the year. Now it’s a year-round haven. When I get tired of working at my desk, I take my laptop and work out there. Someday soon, I’ll write books and read them in the comfort of my cozy sunroom. The picture is of the view. That’s my parent’s shed and a glimpse of their house. The entire wall is windows from floor almost to ceiling and you can see the construction materials still in the yard. And yes, that’s a cat door built in the storm door.
I had to break down and get a new desktop computer. Mine was eight years old and it wouldn’t do anything without spinning first for a LONG time. We drove over an hour to Little Rock to computer store number one and I picked out the one I wanted. It was white and not in stock, but a black one was. I wanted white. My husband thought it was weird. But my office has seafoam green walls and my desk and all of my bookshelves are white.
Computer store number two had the white one and a technician to load programs for me. We ended up having to go back the next day to pick it up. When my husband carried the box to the car, he questioned if I was sure it was all in there because it wasn’t heavy. I insisted it was and we went to eat. But while we ate, I worried. When we got back to the car, I decided we should open the box to make sure it was all there.
There was no computer in the box. Just the monitor, keyboard, and mouse. No brain – the thing that sits in the floor with all the wires connected to it. We discussed the notion that maybe they put them in the monitor now. Nah, that can’t be. So we went back to the store. I found the technician and told him the computer wasn’t in the box. Yep, they’re in the monitor now. But he assured me I wasn’t the first one to think my brain was missing. See my pretty white computer among my desk clutter. A busy desk is a cluttered desk in my world.
What hasn’t changed, I still love Contemporary Romance. Our small press publishes Inspirational and/or clean titles. Lately, I’ve edited a Romantic Suspense and a Contemporary Romance. I’ve contracted Historical and Contemporary Romances. I’ve rejected Contemporary Romances and requested changes on some others. I know good writing when I see it, no matter the genre. But my favorite is still Contemporary Romance. I thought it might be fun to explore why. So here goes:
I love happy endings. Reading time in my world is a precious commodity. Life doesn’t always have a happily-ever after, so I expect a book to. I used to dabble in Women’s Fiction some, but I soon learned there isn’t always a happy ending, so now I’m afraid to trust my time to that. In Contemporary Romance, it’s a given that the hero and heroine will end up together. What keeps the reader reading is the journey to the happily-ever after. I need a guarantee right up front.
I’m a modern girl. Mr. Carrier – the inventor of air conditioning is my favorite person in history. God knew what he was doing when he put me in the present day. I love modern conveniences. If I’d lived back in the day when women wore nineteen layers of clothing, I’d have created a scandal by ripping it all off, chopping the hem of my skirt and whining, ‘It’s too hot for all this mess, people.’ I don’t rough it well. No electricity and plumbing is not my idea of a fun read.
I love romance. Remembering what those butterflies felt like the first time I saw my husband. The giddiness the first time he noticed me. The way he still curls my toes with a smile. I love reliving all those special memories through the course of a fictional couple’s story. And putting my husband’s qualities in a hero is how I hope to show young girls they don’t need to settle, that they should wait for Mr. Wonderful who focuses on God. Men like that do still exist and the best place to find them is in church.
What about you? Have you had any changes lately? Why do you love Inspirational Contemporary Romance? All comments will go in the drawing for my two in one Counting on the Cowboy with Jill Lynn’s Her Texas Cowboy. Deadline: August 8th