In light of current events, the setup of a romance writer’s office may not amount to a hill of beans, but romance writing, well, that’s a whole other story. Pun intended. This morning, after giving it a valiant effort, I have finally come to a few decisions:
- Working in my office, rather than the living room is a must, especially when other family members are around.
- My laptop is incompatible with my secretary desk, unless I can trade my body for that of an especially limber contortionist. I am rather fond of the body I currently inhabit, that is not going to happen.
- Old desktop is incompatible with the internet, and, given the fact that my office is at the opposite end of the house to the modem, it is possible that a new desktop might have the same problem.
- Word still works perfectly fine on old desktop, which means I do have a computer on which I can write, and the secretary desk is still good for writing longhand, which is my favorite. I have my phone for Spotify, so music is going to be there, even if internet isn’t.
- All of which points me in the direction of writing happens in the office, internet happens outside of it. I can live with that.
Pause here to retrieve phone that plummeted to the carpet, because I contorted wrong. Phone is undamaged, my nerves slightly behind that. I wanted to be so much further than I am right now. Further in my career, further in life, further in a lot of things. I’m not. I’m here, and here is where I can take the next step towards my goals. I love this blog, I seriously do, and I love blogging for Heroes and Heartbreakers and Buried Under Romance, and other venues, but the girl who snuck her mom’s copy of The Kadin under the bed in the guest bedroom is politely clearing her throat and tilting her head toward the virtual bookshelf with four titles that have my name on them. She says they are lonely and want some friends.
I am with her on that one. I am her, so that’s pretty much a given, only I am the version of her with life experience, a better knowledge of what constitutes emotional storytelling, and has read a whole lot more historical romances than cracking the cover on that very first one. I’ve seen things. The switch from epic sagas to lighter fare as a norm, the prevalence of one era over all others, rather than a wide spectrum, the shift to series rather than standalones, and it’s easy, almost too easy, to feel like some sort of dinosaur/unicorn hybrid when core story and current market aren’t exactly seeing eye to eye.
Those things may be facts, but here’s another one: I’m a romance writer. That’s what I do. That’s what I am. Even if I were to have some sort of gaurantee that I would never, ever, sell another book, never, ever make another cent from the writing of said books, I would still write them. I can’t turn this stuff off. I’ve tried. I was miserable, so, obviously, that’s not the solution.
What the solution is, is to show up every day, and, at the end of it, for there to be more of the book on page or in file than there was when I got out of bed. That’s it. Standard left foot, right foot kind of thing, and, before I know it, bloop, there it will be, The End. The Hypercritical Gremlins have been quiet as of late, partially because of the triple layer of duct tape over their mouths (it is tremendously satisfying to apply such) and partly because the events of the past week have reminded me that we need romance fiction now, more than ever.
We need the happily ever afters. We need the hope. We need the community. We need the assurance that, if we stick together and put others above ourselves, we can make a difference. I’ve never been one to want my HEA’s at the level of woodland creatures doing the housework, and the now-united lovers never, ever having any more problems throughout their entire lives. On the contrary, I want them to face everything that life has to throw at them, be it wars, natuaral disasters, family drama, the ravages of time, whatever, together. No matter what. As long as they’ve got each other, they’re going to call that good.
So am I. Right now, I’ve got two lovers in Georgian England, Hero and Heroine, completely convinced that they have no choices, no paths open to them but the ones they currently walk…And Then. And then, on one rain-soaked evening, their worlds collide, and the impact of the crash propels them both in a new direction. With the Beach Ball, Melva and I have a woman who’s angry at having what she does best taken away from her, and a man who offers an alternative that is both intiguing and completley out of her wheelhouse.
Feeling off center can be a good thing sometimes, a chance to recalibrate balance, reassess what’s most important. Change direction when needed, and full speed ahead. All I know for sure is that I’m doing what I’m meant to do, telling these stories, and the right way to tell them is the one that gets me to the end. As long as that happens, anything goes.