Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving, America!

As you know (if you live in our gluttonous nation), Thanksgiving is a holiday of excess. No one really celebrates it in its traditional sense; the day mainly functions as a segue into the Christmas season and an excuse to gorge ourselves.
Thanks to the inevitable food-talk, I added a new word to my vocabulary: egesta. With that, I bid you happy eating. Enjoy the rest of your holiday!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Holiday Cheer, etc.: a Link Round-Up

Thanksgiving is this week. In fact, it's a mere four days away -- which means that everyone's favorite holiday, Christmas, is only 31 days from today.

Because corporate America told me to do so, I've already begun to formulate a Christmas list. And here's the first item on it.

The second? The Rancher's Family Thanksgiving, of course: Cathy Gillen Thacker's classic, possibly heartwarming, story of two long-time friends who fall in love over the gravy boat, or something along those lines. I'd like to imagine they come together over the process of making Thanksgiving dinner -- nothing's more romantic than a handful of offal.

A Randall Thanksgiving sounds promising, too. One commenter describes the plot as "so unbelievable that it was laughable." That's my kind of book. 

This is a bit outdated, but it's great nonetheless: a website documenting Walmart's ludicrous banning of a hijacking-themed romance novel. This spat between an angry e-mailer and Walmart/Dorchester Publishing's (probably automated) e-mailing system occurred about a year after the whole 9/11 debacle.

I've also found yet another blog dedicated to the ever-popular romance genre. Their mission statement says the blog's regular contributors consist of "readers, reviewers, aspiring authors, and bestsellers." I think I like the idea behind this one. Maybe this will shed some light on the qustionable mechanics of the romance novelist's writing process.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Live-blogging Tonight!

I probably don't need no hook for this, but I just wanted to make you all aware that I'll be live-blogging tonight in a city near you (if you live in Albany or the capital district -- if not, you're SOL). Where will I be? A party, of course -- most commonly understood as the mating grounds of today's college student.

I'll be keeping tabs via twitter, so I suggest you follow me here if you're interested in finding out how interpersonal relationships work. I'm expecting a pretty obvious contrast to the unrealistic expectations which have been set up by Walmart's romance department. If you can't figure twitter out, don't fret -- the entire night will be compiled into a legitimate blog post on Monday.

One more thing: If you want the exact coordinates of the event, feel free to contact me. I'm sure I'll need some moral support during this trying time, so don't be afraid to stop by.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My Bad, Guys

I try to make a point of being right most of the time.


Okay, all of the time.

It's a quality that sounds good in theory -- maybe something you'd whip out in a job interview -- but in practice is pretty annoying to everyone but me. Pair that with the inability to admit when I'm wrong, and we've got an obvious recipe for social success.

Having established that, I'm going to be frank and say that perhaps I was a bit quick to judge Christine Feehan's credibility in this post. No, I don't personally understand the appeal of a book trailer, but maybe that's just because I'm unfamiliar with the commercial aspect of being an author. That doesn't mean I think the whole thing is a good idea. I don't. It seems strange to me, and feels really inorganic and un-booklike -- especially the use of random pictures to portray the main characters. It's like the author is pushing us to have a set image of what each character should look like, pre-reading, and I'm not okay with that. Books are always described as "better than the movie" because they're so open to ambiguity. If you ruin that with a trailer beforehand, you're closing off gateways that could have made the novel so much more enjoyable to its prospective reader. Or so I thought, anyway. I suppose some people like to be fed ideas rather than go through the bother of creating them themselves.

All in all, though, I understand the perceived need for a book trailer. You want sales, I know! That's something fundamental to being a romance author! Christine, I apologize. It can't be easy to sell the caliber of work you're creating, and I suppose you've gotta do what you've gotta do. Godspeed. the future, try to be a little more discriminant in your tastes in trailers. They're not my thing, but maybe you can make them yours.

Am I saying this simply because I discovered that my professor has one too? Possibly. I'll leave that up to you to decide.

I Know Too Much

I thought this might offer some deeper insight into the person behind the blog. Excuse me while I toot my own horn:

One of my exes sent me this video yesterday, with the simple disclaimer of "this is exatcly how i feel about u" (spelling errors are his). We're friends, but somehow I don't think this was intended to be a compliment. Still, I was flattered. The literary references were gimmes, but it was the nod to Sophie Scholl and other mentionings of the Third Reich that really made it relevant to my interests.

Also, for the record, I don't know algebra. In fact, I can barely count above ten. Nor do I speak Japanese beyond understanding the words "Mitsubishi," "Toyota," "ramen," and "bukkake" (don't Google that).

Monday, November 16, 2009

Appealing to an Audience: a Link Round-Up

I've been sick with what I'm assuming is just a minor case of polio, tuberculosis, or a fatal strain of influenza for a few days. Naturally, being solely focused on my task as a blogger, this crippling illness sparked a train of thought. As I sat in bed, nasal passages clogged, chest full of fluid but heart aflame, I wondered if any romance author had yet taken it upon herself to write a disease-related novel. Lo and behold, Patricia Cabot had.

Not only that, but I later discovered that GravityGirl had already saved me the effort of reviewing it, too. Lucky me.

The existence of the 19th-century-Scottish-countryside-riddled-with-disease romance is sort of unsurprising considering the amount of niche fiction that gets published under the guise of romantic literature.

You want questionably historically-accurate historical romance? You've got it.

Paranormal activity more your thing? Okay, there's a site for that, too.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find any websites dedicated strictly to churning out bodice-rippers which center around medical anomalies. Why hasn't anyone written about two star-crossed lovers, separated only by debilitating IBS? I can almost guarantee that there's a market for that. I could see myself getting into leper love as well.

On a more exciting note, I stumbled across this site (to which Teresa made a reference last week) while on a wayward google search for "romance novel ebola" (fruitless -- I call dibs on this idea). Admittedly, the authors are a bit more generous in their appraisals of romantic fiction, but I can appreciate what they're doing.

The Ja(y)nes over at Dear Author,... are working on a somewhat similar project as well, albeit with an even more approving tone than the Smart Bitches. I wonder how long it will take for Nora Roberts to be officially  inducted into the literary canon.

All things considered, I'm not sure how to react to the large amount of positive attention these novels are receiving in the blogosphere. Is it good? Is it bad? Is it irrelevant? Does this bode well for the future of literature as a whole? I don't know, but it certainly makes me feel funny.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen: The Spray-On Condom (by Reese)

(image via

Click the dick to find out more.
C'mon, you know you want to.