Nancy: Love for the Long Haul

kiss-on-windowBecause most of us here on the blog write (and read!) a lot of romance, the week of Valentine’s Day presents an opportunity to talk about that core component of a romance story: love. More specifically, believable, happily ever after (HEA) love.

I thought about HEA love this past week when Maria V. Snyder posted on her FB page about the need for Valentine’s Day cards for 25+-year relationships, cards along the lines of “you annoy me and drive me crazy but I’m still willing to put up with it” or “we worked hard to mesh and I don’t want to train anyone else”. Yeah, those aren’t quite the messages we tend to read or write in our romance novels, but they are tongue-in-cheek reminders that there are real-life HEAs.

Back in the fiction world, though, that ‘believable HEA’ part isn’t always easy to write, and doesn’t always resonate with readers. For example, Continue reading

Nancy: When Life Just Doesn’t Cooperate

Wd358b-jeanne2baccepting2bgolden2bheartriters, and perhaps other people who expend any energy pondering writers, tend to wax poetic about the idealistic vision of a writer’s life. This particular fantasy might be full of never-ending supplies of coffee, chocolate, wine or other choice vices. It definitely includes hours upon hours of uninterrupted solitude in which to create the next great masterpiece that the world simply must have, interrupted by rare but exhilirating trips into the outside world to receive kudos and awards, like our own Jeanne, pictured here. Left to our own devices, many of us might try to achieve this nirvana, and our family and friends would never hear from us again. Luckily for us, life has a way of protecting us from ourselves by delivering regular doses of writing interruptus.

At least that’s the story I’m telling myself after a weekend full of interruptus and seriously devoid of writing. It’s okay, I tell myself, writers can’t just write about life; they must have real-life experiences to feed the stories. Continue reading

Nancy: We Interrupt This Regularly Scheduled Writing Plan…

Interruptions. Life is full of them. There’s no avoiding them. Sometimes it seems we spend more time dealing with the things that interrupt us than on the things that are being interrupted. So it was for me this past weekend. And here is the main culprit:

I am here to be so cute and interrupt you and PLEAZ PET ME!

I am here to be so cute and interrupt you and PLEAZ PET ME!

Like many of life’s interruptions, I didn’t see this one coming. On Saturday morning, this adorable little girl showed up in our driveway where my husband was moving some things out of the garage. And she hasn’t left yet. After long walks in the hot sun in search of owners to claim her, a trip to PetsMart to have her checked (fruitlessly) for an identifying microchip, a drive to the SPCA to register her as a ‘found pet’, then another stop by PetsMart to buy all things dog and have the vet do a closer inspection of her, our little Saturday surprise had used up all of our free  hours.

Except those weren’t exactly free hours for me. They were hours not claimed by day-job work or family obligations or house projects. They were some the rarest and most coveted hours of all in a writer’s life – leave-me-alone-I’m-writing hours. Sunday wasn’t much better, as I had fewer writing hours set aside and we spent that precious time reaching out to friends to find a potential forever doggy home, and buying all the rest of things dog we forgot to buy yesterday. In the end, we had success! – our foster puppy will meet her potential new family in a few weeks, after we take care of a few of her health issues. But my writing plan Continue reading