Romancing an Era

I read something a few weeks ago.

I hear this from the critics of romance. And it makes me a little nervous about writing in certain genres. One, my time travel to WW2 and two, my contemporary military romance. I've heard people say it's too soon after WW2 to romanticize the events. If that's true, I'm in big trouble! 

There's always two sides to the story. Even today. When so many men are leaving their homes and some of those men are not returning, can we write the happy stories without feeling bad for the people living the unhappy ones, feeling as if we're betraying their sacrifice? That's what I wonder. Wanting to appeal to a certain audience is very different than actually appealing to them. Something tells me that the people who read military romance are not the people living military romance. I'm my own example! You ever hear of that show, Army Wives? I can't watch it.

Way. Too. Much. Drama.

On the other hand, I know Army wives who watch it...

So, maybe it's a crap shoot after all.

Captain Woolridge was right. War. It is what it is. But war is part of a bigger picture. Sometimes, life can be put into a different perspective. One a tad more hopeful. The end of WW2 is more than 60 years ago. Keeping the memory alive isn't about battles and dates and strategy, at least, not to a romantic. It's about the people and telling stories--partials, truths, even lies. That way we remember WHY we fought.

Guess that means I'll just have to put my stories down after all, even if they make people roll their eyes.

Writing about Writing - BFP contest

I should do this more often. Yes? People might start to think I'm not actually a writer.

We're having a Best First Page contest at Romance Divas. I missed the, I missed the event completely really. How did I miss it?!!! Oh, maybe it was all the busyness of moving and house hunting and sick kids... that could be. :D

What we do on the forum is read the entry and comment/rate it. There's a good dose of honesty but NO FLAMING. Really, we're all in this together, right? Well, almost...

Wasn't I bummed a few days ago when I wrote a prologue for my work in progress? My story of Deacon and Molly is more than half finished but inspiration hit me anyway... So, I went back and added it. Then thought to myself, this would be great for the First Page Contest!

Here it is in all its first-draft roughness. Tell me what you think! Does my first page open with a hook? Are one or more of my protagonists established? Is my page grammatically correct and free of spelling errors?

Twelve years ago

He’d started with her eyes. The unusually guarded, violet eyes luminescent with summer vibrancy and large with innocence were a centerpiece for her classic Greek lines and high cheekbones. The sun had tanned her smooth skin framing glossy, pink lips. Succulent. She was a young man’s fantasy and he was that young man’s best friend.

Deacon Bonning pursed his lips in concentration as the brush he wielded shadowed the length of her neck with lush waves of dark hair on the pale canvas. Her hair was like a freaking Pantene commercial she could have starred in.

She smiled. Damn, she was friendly and open, liking him without really knowing him. Without knowing he could devour her in an instant. He chuckled. He was a man with standards, he reminded himself. Or maybe it was his mother’s voice reminding him.

This portrait he’d agreed to do would be the start of four years…
…for all of them – Charlie running off to join the Marines, he finishing with another four years of service and Molly...

He wondered what she would do to occupy her time.

Perhaps she knew what it meant to be the wife of a soldier, but he doubted it. She would grow up fast in the next year. His brush followed the line of her shoulder to the rope at her back. The swing she sat on rocked slightly and she tilted her head.

"Are you almost done?" Her question held the impatience of youth, but lacked rudeness.

"A little while longer." Little being the key word… hopefully.

"How did you ever get into painting?"

He didn’t look like your typical artist. He looked like a soldier. Today he wore his fatigues. No linen and scarves for Deacon. "High school angst."

Her laughter reached out to him.

Behind her the long lines of the Victorian home peaked out from the foliage –purple trim, white framing and gray siding. He included it on the canvas adding a row of late summer blooms along the path that wound toward the driveway.

He’d never done anything so traditional. His closet at home was filled with stark images of war, his brothers in battle and hope. With a laugh he knew this one was truly inspired.

By his attraction? Maybe.

By his genuine respect and affection for a man he called brother? Most likely.

He wouldn’t forget this commission.

He wouldn’t ever forget the girl Molly Simpson had been the day before she married his best friend, Charlie Simpson.