Wrote the following today:
"Heeding her aunt’s carriage-ride instructions, she kept her head high, a slight, inscrutable smile on her face, and allowed the occasional oh-so-tiny yawn as if she found the proceedings eminently lacking in entertainment.
Well, she reflected, she had yet to muster the daring to actually yawn (though just thinking of it made her jaw itch to stretch open), but she felt she had mastered the smile."
Seriously, just writing those two sentences made me yawn--twice!
Today I had to look up whether it would be period to use the phrase "head over heels." Thankfully, it falls within my current writing's time frame!
"Head over heels" derives from "heels over head" in medieval times. At first it was used not to describe romantic feelings, but to express a feeling of disorientation, similar to "topsy turvy" in nature. The "heels over head" described a cartwheel or somersault where you were literally upside down.
The London Annual Register newspaper printed the original phrase in January, 1766: "...Being thrown with great vehemence from a projecting crag, which turned him heels over head." At some point thereafter, the phrase flipped (can you imagine saying "heels over head?" It just doesn't roll of the tongue the same way--and forget what it would have done to the cadence of the Bangles song...)
The first known literary use of the new version comes from Herbert Lawrence's Contemplative Man (1771), which reads: "He gave such a violent involuntary kick in the Face, as drove him Head over Heels."
Leave it to us Yanks to make it all about love. In 1834, our own Davy Crockett used in his Narrative of the life of David Crockett, "I soon found myself head over heels in love with this girl."
Of course, some authors, being the fact-checking sticklers they occasionally are (i.e., when it suits their plot line!) stuck to the original phrase, even as late as the 20th century. L Frank Baum consistently used the older form in his Oz books: “But suddenly he came flying from the nearest mountain and tumbled heels over head beside them.”
And that, my friends, is today's useless trivia!
Writing/editing groups are really helpful for plotting your story, checking to make sure you haven't used "very" very often and catching errors like the metaphor "wobbly as a three-legged table." (Three legged tables actually don't wobble.)
But when you're mid-paragraph and have a crucial character question (especially considering the character in question is Our Hero), it is particularly helpful to have a husband with no sentiment regarding your plot.
For example, writing from Our Hero's point of view, the thought crossed my mind that when he noticed that Our Heroine's dark hair was similar to his own, he would think what lovely dark-haired babies they would have. I started to type this but stopped...something didn't feel write. Sure enough, when I consulted with the hubs, he laughed aloud. "Men never think things like that. He's probably just looking at her chest wondering how to get her in bed."
Sigh...I didn't write the bit about the dark-haired babies.
A few silken tendrils of hair had escaped their confines and lay against her cheek like a lover’s caress, tickling at her jaw line, catching at the corner of her mouth.
I love historical fiction and I love romance and I really love historical romance. And honestly, I think all great stories have an element of romance in them. Even Star Wars! In the first movie, there was that chaste kiss on the cheek from Leia to Luke...they were both kinda short, both cute. Of course we didn't know at the time they were brother and sister, but still....Then the dynamic sexual tension between Han and Leia in the second movie...well, you get my point.
So I write historical romance because you should write what you know and I know (or at least really like to learn about) the past and I love the way a well-written romance makes me feel.
But there is a world of genres out there and it is nice to challenge oneself, so on my back burner, simmering until I finish the current Regency romance I'm writing (only 22K more words to go! Any day now!) is the idea for a Steampunk novel. Action, adventure, some other ingredients I'm hoarding until the time is right. And of course, romance.
I'm rather new to the whole Steampunk thing. And honestly, I got into it for the costuming. Some friends started a CosPlay group and set as the first event a Steampunk event. Corsets, gears, top hats, goggles. I had a blast making the costumes for myself and daughter number one. Then (literally, the day before the event) daughter number two, hubby, and dad decide to join us so I whipped together three more outfits. But I digress...the point being that I love the whole mix of old and modern that Steampunk provides (Corsets and Gears!) BUT what makes a good Steampunk novel? The first one I read was...ehhh. And there was even a hint of a love interest (but guess what, only hinted at so you'd read the next book in the series. Not even a Han and Leia in the passageway of the Millenium Falcon scene!).
I went back to reading and studying historical romance and left the Steampunk idea on low. Then I saw an article on NPR by Christina Dodd listing the best romances of 2012. And guess what? There was a Steampunk romance listed! I'll tell you the title when I've finished the book. At this moment the jury (me) is still out. I'm mildly intrigued, but have yet to see sparks between the love interests. (I suppose you could track me down on Goodreads and figure it out...)
But whether or not this book turns out to go on the re-read list, I still have to figure out how to really KNOW the genre. And make it my own. Hmmm...I made need to make another costume for inspiration. The trials of being an author...
Great, all I need is one more reason to procrastinate! As if Instagram wasn't enough...