Wow, what a weekend! I’m sure all of you have been inundated with the Lamar Odom and Khloe Kardashian wedding news last week.Reporters were speculating on her health (is she pregnant) to his mental stability (is he bipolar) but this weekend it all came down to… will they actually do it? Well, they did.And you know what?The
world kept turning and life marches on.
I honestly believe the sanctity of the marriage union is between the people taking the vows and God. The opinions of society at large shouldn’t come into play unless laws are being broken. (i.e. He’s still married to another woman or someone is trying to married a minor.)
At this point, I don’t have an opinion on the Kardashian-Odom nuptials because I know people are going to do what they feel is right for them. Some people dated for several years and got divorced after a few months of marriage and others didn’t meet their future spouse until a few weeks before an arranged marriage and the marriage lasted a lifetime.
Would the whole thing make a great romantic novel? Yes, I can think of a number of reasons this story could captivate a writer and intrigue readers but it would take a lot of work to construct. I understand how our jaded society views marriage.It’s not like our grandparent’s day when people strongly upheld their marriage vows and if they didn’t they felt shame for dishonoring them.Today, everything is tabloid filler and the more scandalous the breakup the better. So instead of rooting for Khloe’s happiness reporters anxiously await her annulment or divorce.People are placing bets on her marriage’s duration and everyone is looking for some indication of a baby to justify the hasty union.
No one wants to believe this was a man that fell in love with a woman. And that he didn’t want to spend another day without her being his wife. I know it’s hard to find love in this world and to find true love is even rarer but can we just take a moment and believe. Believe that some people know someone is right for them the moment they meet and decided to do something that seemed right to them… and forget others’ opinions.
I truly wish them well and pray their loved ones support their decision to walk this journey together.
I think anyone that writes romantic stories knows a true heartthrob when they see one. And Patrick Swayze was a beloved star that fit that mold perfectly. I just found out that he died of pancreatic cancer at the young age of 57 yesterday. I guess all of that Kayne West/Taylor Swift VMA stuff took our attention from his passing. So let's re-focus.
I can’t forget the first time I saw him in Dirty Dancing. It felt almost sinful to watch him dance the way he did. All that gyrating and close movements had me and my young girlfriends wishing we could grow up fast so we could find a man like him. (Yes, it was a rebellious stage. LOL) Then I remember the tender moment he captured forever in cinematic history with Demi Moore in Ghost. I don’t think I’ll ever look at a copper penny the same way again.
We were very lucky that he shared his talent with us. He was very optimistic about his fight to stay alive earlier this year. “I’d say five years is pretty wishful thinking,” Swayze told ABC’s Barbara Walters in early 2009. “Two years seems likely if you’re going to believe statistics. I want to last until they find a cure, which means I’d better get a fire under it.”
Swayze appeared on the Stand Up to Cancer in September 2008 to appeal to the general public for donations for the initiative. Swayze said to a standing ovation "I dream that the word 'cure' will no longer be followed by the words 'it's impossible'. Together, we can make a world where cancer no longer means living with fear, without hope, or worse".
On April 19, 2009, doctors informed Swayze that the cancer had again metastasized to his liver. Swayze stated that his chain smoking probably "had something to do with" the development of his disease. Photos taken of a gaunt Swayze in the months before his death showed him continuing to smoke.
Swayze's publicist, Annett Wolf, confirmed to CNN that he had died of pancreatic cancer "with family at his side" on September 14, 2009, at age 57, twenty months after being diagnosed.
My heart goes out to Lisa Niemi, his wife of over 30 years and his mother, Patsy.
Rest in Peace, Patrick.
A long time ago I heard a romance author say, “the hero and heroine should meet in a memorable way.” I use to think that meant different from the way normal people have met their future spouses and lived happily ever after. But today, I understand that ‘memorable’ meetings should reflect the tone of the story. The way your characters relate to each other and to other people in their lives can be very telling. Do they have relatives and friends that they interact with every day, or are they loners? Different plotlines require different relationship situations.
In my novel North Star, it’s very important to set the stage for Caresse and Graham. They are multi-dimensional characters and some of the conflicts they face deal with breaking away from their comfort zones. They may have met in a very ordinary way but the situations they are placed in are anything but ordinary.
One of my blog fans asked me why I started the Sheridan series with Graham instead of one of his other siblings and the answer was quite obvious. He’s a tortured soul.
Extravagant Spirits by Maya Angelou
Without their fierce devotion
We are fragile and forlorn,
Stumbling briefly, among the stars.
We and our futures belong to them
Exquisitely, our beliefs and our
Breaths are made tangible in their love.
By their extravagant spirits, they draw us
From the safe borders
And into the center of the center ring
There they urge dance upon our
And to our sullen hearts,
Not the crowd’s roar nor the gasped
Breath of the timorous can stay their mission.
There is no moderation in their nature.
They spit upon their fingers
To test the wind of history,
They slip into our bonds and steal us
Away from the slavery of cowardice.
They skin back their thin lips over fanged teeth and
Rocks in hand, in our presence
Face down our Goliath.
These mothers, fathers, pastors and priests,
These Rabbis, Imams and gurus,
Teach us by their valor and mold us with their courage.
Without their fierce devotion
We are only forlorn and only fragile
Stumbling briefly, among the stars.
I discovered a blog today by Wayne Levine, the director of the West Coast Men’s Center in Agoura Hills, CA. It’s an interesting read for any author struggling with dialogue between male characters. (View blog at http://tinyurl.com/qpuwoe)
In my opinion Wayne is right on the mark. I have many guys in my world: friends, cousins, confidantes, subordinates and colleagues so I’m able to be very observant of the dialogue that takes place between men. Remember my April 22nd blog post about 37 Rules to Being a Man. (It was funny but an unspoken code that many men adhere to obeying.) Don’t laugh, ladies. I’m still searching the internet to see if someone breeched our code book and put our secrets on display. LOL
I think it’s very important to listen to the dialogue around you. If you find you’re writing a scene that doesn’t ring true to the ear (thanks Melissa for your insight on this) simply stop and imagine real people saying your lines. And if that fails just ask some of your beta readers to give it a read. If you’re off the mark they’ll be the first people to tell you the truth.
Take a moment and read Wayne’s blog for more insights, you’ll be glad you did.
Watch the Romance Novel TV video above where Award-Winning author, actress and playwright Leanna Renee Hieber talks about her writing process. Hieber grew up in rural Ohio where her childhood memories are full of inventing elaborate ghost stories. Graduating with a BFA in Theatre from Miami University, a focus study in the Victorian Era and a scholarship to study in London helped set the course for her books. The dramatic, historic, spiritual and paranormal are the primary forces in her lyrical, eerie, atmospheric fiction.
You can learn more about her and her novels at http://www.leannareneehieber.com.
First, I need to thank all of you for being so patient with me during my absence. I can finally say that I’m beginning to feel more like my old self and since I’ve pushed my oldest daughter off to college this morning everything is starting to fall into place.
I’ve been very lucky to have a number of critiques from my RWA colleagues during this down time. Boy, do they know how to steer a writer in the right direction when it comes to mastering a romance novel. Now the tough part is to do another re-write. That’s right the edits continue. I say it’s tough because I have to let go of passages or character statements that I loved so much when I first wrote my novel. (Sighs)
I just have to be brutally honest and say, “Yes, they’re right. This [insert passage or phase] doesn’t work so surgery must take place.” I just need to forget my precious word count or how many hours it took to perfect the prose. The professionals have spoken and I agree with 85 percent of what they said so this medicine isn’t really a bitter pill to swallow.
So before I move on to working on my North Star re-write, I just had to tell you about Gwyneth Bolton, an African-American romance novelist I discovered today. I’ve seen her novels featured in Romantic Times Magazine Book Reviews so I visited her website to learn more about her latest work, Sizzling Seduction (scheduled to be release in October 2009).
I instantly loved her ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ area on her ‘About’ page of her website; it was very insightful. Please visit http://www.gwynethbolton.com when you get a moment.
I promise to return tomorrow to blog again. Thanks for all of the emails and get better soon wishes. You guys really make my small place in the world wide web feel like a second home.
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