But not for me.
From September to end of December, one of my ‘things to accomplish’ is to read the four books pictured above. There are more as pictured below (although two of the books are bedtime reads: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland for my little one and The World Treasury of Folk Tales and Folklore) but honesty with one self is an absolute necessity to achieve the goals.
Four is a tiny number but not for me who has a demanding job (that requires me on, a regular basis, to work outside of my working hours) and a business with a friend (where most of the work necessary to implement a client’s contract is done by me), both of which are more time consuming than my personal life where I try, and mostly fail, to maintain a sociable life outside of the family life. Then of course I have to write. I’m not complaining as my life is my choice. I’m explaining why four books seem like Kilimanjaro.
Back to reading, I started with Jennifer Snow‘s ‘Maybe This Love‘ because I needed a refresher on romance after discovering that I struggled to write a kissing scene for my short story, ‘The Last Leaf of Fall‘, my entry to The Write Practice’s Fall Writing Contest.
There is nothing wrong with the story if I was trying to escape from my reality. I guess the norm is to have MCs who are too gorgeous and hot that the reader cannot picture herself as an MC. After all, if I wanted a book I could relate with I’d probably need to go for more literary than romance. Oh, there was one word that appeared almost on every page—okay, exaggeration but it stood out like a sore thumb—and perhaps nothing could replace it: gaze! I must google if I can find a synonym that describes the same feeling or intention exactly. I found when I was writing my short story that the perfect word was gaze and I did struggle to find substitutes that carry the exact same… emotion…?
As a writer, I did get tips on how to write those dreaded scenes containing sensual or sexual acts (I think…) but while I might include scenes with passionate kissing as expression of love, I will most probably pass on the sex scenes. Do those scenes have to sound so impossible? I know, it’s fiction: it has no place for ‘they grabbed each other and went for it, clothes or not’. Haha! See, I can never write erotica. This Catholic girl may do the deed but I surely cannot talk or write about it.
Anyway, since my reason for reading is to check out the competition, I suppose my mission was accomplished. However, I didn’t dream to write like that. I still want to write complete sentences unless within dialogues. I’m just glad her swear words are minimal. This got me to thinking if this is what I want to write. I question why I want to write? Do I simply want to write, publish and be read by many (mainstream) or do I want to write, publish, be read by less but be remembered? I do know for sure I will forget ‘Maybe This Time’ by new week… And, I’m giving away my copy to my friend.
I want to write a ‘Pride and Prejudice‘. I want to be remembered. I want my stories to stand the test of time. I want my stories to be retold by writers in the future in the same way ‘Romeo and Juliet‘ is retold. I would like my stories to be turned into film, with the modern interpretation, decades or centuries from now. I want readers to buy the book and keep them to be read again.
The problem is I can’t write like Leo Tolstoy no matter how badly I want an ‘Anna Karenina’. I am no Jane Austen or Virginia Woolf. I am not even Barbara Cartland or Danielle Steel. Perhaps I need to settle and be one of the many ‘Jennifer
Stones Snows‘… But really, can’t I write at least one awesome book that will be read at school for Literature? Can’t I be a little like Amy Tan or Harper Lee and write one ‘Joy Luck Club’ or ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’?
Yeah, my mother did say that my dreams are too big. Sigh! It’s a huge problem because I see a road that’s long, winding, bumpy and hardly with concrete. I see a dirt road that just keeps going… Thank heavens for a day job that I sort of enjoy and pays the bills and more.
I have one of Danielle Steel‘s older books, ‘To Love Again‘, as my next read. Perhaps I will change my mind about romance vs literary.