A friend works in the creative department at the soaps for P&G (Guiding Light and As the World Turns). She's invited me to recommend a title and then attend one of their Book Club meetings. Though I haven't been a daytime soap watcher, I am deeply respectful of the amazing job they do to sustain an hour a day, FIVE days a week of a continuity story for years. Decades. Now that is continuity storytelling!
I chose DANGEROUS MEN, ADVENTUROUS WOMEN; Romance Writers on the Appeal of the Romance, edited by Jayne Ann Krentz. It was originally published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in 1992. I read it then and really found it interesting and am re-reading it now and still finding it filled with good perspectives. Patricia Smith was at UPP at the time and sheparded the project through--she'd been a Harlequin sales rep, an editor at Silhouette and not only had a great personal appreciation and insight into the genre, she knew Jayne and of course they worked with a roster of fabulous writers and advocates. Taking notes for my meeting I'm thinking about essays of my own I'd like to write--it's thought provoking--as well as points to discuss at the meeting:
Thinking about the subversive aspect of romances & a patriarchy; the connection of writers and readers/viewers, writers and actors; encoded language, expectations and boundaries; political correctness & feminism--emotional Vs intellectual connection; identification Vs place-holding; empowerment & what we mean by that....
Will need to think further on how some of the issues within the romance genre are potentially similar or different from soaps--whether due to being a visual storytelling medium, the content, or the form. And what does that mean? Hmmm. Rich.
On a seemingly separate topic, I thoroughly enjoyed Christina Dodd's TONGUE IN CHIC which I read during my recent travels. I picked up a copy after getting an email from her saying she was planning to do a post on how she enjoys Harlequin Presents on her group blog Squawk Radio It's there RIGHT NOW CHECK IT OUT (I am quoted! Cool!).
Of course I had to tell her about the fabulous IHeartPresents blog, which she, of course, already knew about. Some people know everything. If you don't know about it, go check it out. After you read Christina's post about how quintessentially delicious Harlequin Presents are, please look at the IHeartPresents blog.
But what was really amazing, along the lines of synchronicity, is that as I was reading TONGUE IN CHIC, there, on p.162, the heroine and the whole hotel crew are parked in her bedroom watching and discussing...you guessed it, Guiding Light! I'm taking TIC to the Book Club meeting.
Christine (who knows everything) also just informed me that Michelle Buonfiglio is also blogging about Harlequin Presents! Do you know her delightful Romance by the Blog? May 2nd, "The Italian Footballer's Virgin Romance Columnist Bride" is all about Presents, mentions Christina's post and Squawk Radio. Its part of her Romance b(u)y the Book though her website and blog are going to be moving to Lifetime.com in June--pretty cool--and will be at http://romancebuythebook.com/
Got back from Ecuador a little while ago, where my brother got married. It was very pretty.
As it happens his wife is from Ecuador, so there was a compelling reason to be there, but if you're planning a big event, check out Ecuador. Same time zone and it's on the US dollar, so you don't have to change money, and the prices are very reasonable. Beautiful country, amazing hummingbirds, great restaurants, hotels, we had a lovely time. Worst case you come back with some Ecuadorian change.
Don't say I don't share hot tips with you!