Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Moving Day!

Typing With Wet Nails is moving.

Come visit at:

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


         Well, it’s February, closing in on Valentine’s Day, and that means romance novel bashing is going to happen more often than usual. Good enough reason to cannonball back into the blogging waters, because my waters are boiling. Tee hee, look at all that ladyporn, giving women unrealistic expectations of real life, those books are all the same, blah blah blah, haw haw, shake head at the stupid love-deprived women who read and write them, so silly, so sad, so…stop. Okay? Stop.

          It’s not cute, it’s not funny, and it doesn’t make the detractors look smarter. I listened to a radio segment on this topic today, same old same old, and, when combined with recent blog posts by writer friend E. Catherine Tobler, it produced this.
There’s been buzz lately in some science fiction and fantasy circles, over the treatment and depiction of women, which I think is an interesting point. Since I write and read romance, which is largely (but not entirely) written and read by women, our numbers skew in the other direction, regarding gender, but there is a common ground here. I’m talking women. We have the right to write and read whatever we please, and it doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks. Still, some people don’t seem to get that, and that puzzles me. It puzzles me a lot.

         Every genre has conventions. Every one. So why is it worthy of derision when the whole point of the story is a woman getting what she wants out of life? Romance is the genre where the woman always wins. She selects a life partner who is faithful to and proud of her, who supports her, respects her and if he’s not actually helping her to achieve her goals, he’s shaking pompoms from the bleachers and cheering her on. He’s her equal partner, be he duke, cowboy, CEO, small town farmer, RN, or what-have-you.

        I’ve heard the “oh, romances are all the same” argument since I was sneaking books from my mother’s nightstand. It wasn’t true then, and it isn’t true now. So, historicals are the same as contemporaries, as fantasy or futuristic, or romantic suspense, erotic as inspirational, as YA, as traditional Regencies, as westerns, as category, as single title, as serials and anthologies and multiple author continuities? New subgenres are emerging constantly, veteran ones declared dead but then coming back in a slightly different form, to go do their magnificent thing all over again in a brand new way. I love the vibrant feel of this genre, my genre, and no, I don’t think the books are all the same. Read a few and that becomes plain.

        Neither are the people attached to these stories all the same. Mostly women? Yes, and there is nothing at all wrong with that. Some are stay at home parents or caregivers. Some are military personnel, pilots, scientists, clergy of various faiths, teachers, executives, lawyers, retail workers, businesspeople, artists, librarians, academics, holders of GEDs and PhDs. Married, happily or otherwise, single, happily or otherwise, and every point on the spectrum in between. What we do have in common is the love of a good story, that of two people who overcome obstacles and choose to stick together for life. Don’t see what’s stupid or cringeworthy there.

       The books are all porn? No. Porn is porn. Romance novels are about the emotional journey of two characters. This may include opening the bedroom door, to small or great degree, or it may include closing it entirely. I’ve read very effective romances all along the spectrum from inspirational to erotic romances. Sex is a part of most romantic relationships, and that doesn’t only mean explicit depictions of the actual act. It’s the unique appeal of one person to the other, the “can’t take my eyes off him/her” that makes this person somehow different from all other potential mates. It’s different for every couple, because we’re talking individuals here, and how they go from two “me’s” to one “we.”

         I don’t understand this bashing. I probably won’t, and most likely, most of the bashers don’t care what I think. They’ve chortled, slapped each other on the back and moved on to something more worthy, whatever that might be. They’ll be back at some future opportunity, and when they are, they’ll probably miss, once again, the real point of such articles. They provide opportunity for romance readers and writers to have a good laugh, blow off some steam and then go back to reading and writing some awesome books.

I’ll close with this: when I run into a romance basher in person, I ask them which books they read that gave them that impression. Not heard about, not saw the covers of, not read a snippet of the screen of a stranger’s Kindle on public transportation. Read. If the answer is none, they don’t know what they’re talking about, do they? If the answer is “none, could you recommend some?” then a new adventure is about to begin.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Keystrokes: Not a Cance in Ell 2 and Lynn Viehl Giveaway CORRECTION

First, the correction. The winner of the Lynn Viehl giveaway is BONNIE, whose name I'd mistyped as Bunny. Bonnie, please email me your contact information at, and we will get that right out to you.

Last night, while shutting down the laptop, the nub came off my H key. Not what I'd wanted. I sat there for a moment, staring at the bare metal pad, blinking. Well. This is a new wrinkle. Too tired to panic, I made sure I had both pieces(I did) and had a look at aforementioned pad. Plate might be a better term, as there's no cushion or give. Looks like I am missing one of the metal prongs that would hold the key in place, and a quick perusal, this morning, of the internet, a dab of SuperGlue should reattach the nub. SuperGlue goes on the list.

This is an unexpected good thing. There is an antiquated but usable desktop in my office, with a full complement of keys, and I've been wanting to increase concentration by writing without internet connection. Perfect timing. I do like writing in longhand, but ever since Mark Twain, handwritten manuscripts have been a thing of the past. I have memories of working on this desktop, have written books and stories on it, and now, it sends out "welcome home" beacons. There is another laptop in the family, shared by my hubby and I, a gift from two dear friends, standing by. The desktop doesn't run Sims 3, is not and will not be connected to the internet, but those are good things. Fewer frills means fewer distractions, and I'm looking forward to that.

What techy challenges have given you a renewed appreciation of writing (or reading?)

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Not a Cance in Ell

Two days ago, in the middle of a chat with a friend, the H key came off my laptop. One stroke it was there, the next, it was wobbly, and after that, it absconded. I put it back on, tried a stroke, and we're back to the wobble. Clearly, this is not going to work. I had to start thinking of options. H is kind of essential to what I do - how am I going to manage without it? What if my next hero and heroine are Henry and Helena?

The first thing that crossed my mind was to inform my husband (another H right there) that I would need a new computer sooner rather than later. Can't argue with that. I'm operating without 1/26th of my most essential tools. Combine this with the current laptop's advanced age, cracked casing and the fact that it's on its second battery and umpteenth power cord, and I should have an ironclad case. Timing, however, might be off. New computer, get in line.

Next option - write without the letter H. Once upon a time, I wrote a character who affected a Cockney accent, dropping his H's. Is he trying to send me a message? If so, couldn't he have done it without crippling my keyboard? (Though when he first barged into my head, he ruined a pair of leggings, so I wouldn't put it past him.)

Which brought me to the next option - consider this a sign that the whole writing thing may be a wrong turn. That lasted all of about half a second. Not a cance in ell was I turning back now. Only one thing left to do. Type on the nub. Which, as it turned out, wasn't that much of a hardship. Combine with intermittent attempts to press the key back onto the nub, some of which work, and some of which don't, and we're back in business.

Same computer, still working on same current projects, and while it's nice to have the actual key, I have found that typing on the nub can be done, without injury or discomfort. Losing an H is not an insurmountable obstacle, and for touch typers, makes a surefire "you are here" sign. Currently, the key is staying put, and I'm glad of that. Still, it's an experience, a funny story, and I know that if I have to function without an H key, I can.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Ten Romance Novels That Have Stuck With Me, Part the First

Have you seen the "Ten Books That Have Stuck With Me" meme? I knew as soon as I saw that one that I'd have to do it, and filling in the slots was pretty easy, especially when the instructions were to not put too much thought into the process. This was what I came up with, in short order:

Skye O'Malley by Bertrice Small

Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

Wideacre by Philippa Gregory

Sword Dancer by Jennifer Roberson

Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

Long Way Down by Nick Hornby

Lovesong by Valerie Sherwood

Broken Wing by Judith James

Giving this a quick once-over, I see three genre romances (Skye O'Malley, Lovesong, Broken Wing,) three historical novels (Wideacre, Brideshead Revisited, Remains of the Day,) one horror (Flowers in the Attic,) one fantasy (Sword Dancer,) one children's book, (Black Beauty) and one piece of contemporary fiction (Long Way Down.) Since Black Beauty has a historical setting, we can give that credit for the historical category as well. Interesting spread there, everything with a deep emotional core - I know each book has made me cry at least once, and never fear, I like crying over an emotional scene- but I immediately started thinking of a list comprised only of my genre of choice, historical romance?

Though I did repeat authors on this second list, I purposely chose not to repeat books. Picking only ten was more difficult with the narrower focus, and made me think of narrowing the focus even farther, which I will likely do at a later date. For now, let's take in the list itself:

Ten Historical Romance Novels That Have Stuck With Me:

1. The Kadin by Bertrice Small

2. The Velvet Promise by Jude Deveraux

3. Bold Breathless Love by Valerie Sherwood

4. Libertine’s Kiss by Judith James

5. Daughters of the South Wind by Aola Vandergriff

6. Tapestry by Karen Ranney

7. A Love So Bold by Annelise Kamada

8. A Rose in Winter by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss

9. Wild Bells to the Wild Sky by Laurie McBain

10. Call Back the Dream by Barbara Hazard

What are your top ten most enduring historical romances?