I have a writing buddy!!

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I am so glad I married into this family. You have no idea how grateful I am that of all the people I could pick to marry, I picked one with a fabulous mother-in-law. We have always talked to each other about creativity, since she is an artist and I am not. She helped me improve my sketching, and mentioned that she used to write little stories. I encouraged her to work on those stories.

When I told her about my friday nights in California, she offered to write with me here in Washington. Our first writing session was today!

We didn’t go anywhere special. We went to a Safeway store nearby and hung out at the tables next to their deli. We each got ourselves something to drink, settled down with a notebook, and wrote.

I have a confession to make. I did not work on Life of a Suburban Unicorn. I wrote a short story for the first time in two years. It felt real good. I wrote it all the way to the end, expanded on it in a few notes on deepening it, and then closed the notebook with no plans to look at the story again. I’m sure I will some day, but for now it’s okay to leave it where it’s at. In my notebook.

I guess writing that short must have triggered some memories, because I came home write away and started submitting a short story I’ve had hanging around for ages. I take it out and read it sometimes because I love it so much. I change a word or two. I put it away. Now it’s time to send it out there and see if someone else loves it. Cross your fingers.

If it succeeds, it will be my first publication under the name A.M. Kuska, and my first published story in WA. Wish me the best of luck!

We need a new formula here…

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This came up on a blog I frequent a few months ago, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. Does formula romance have to be so…well…formula? I mean if you think about it, there are only four basic plot lines.

A Marriage of Convenience

An eligible young lady must sacrifice herself for the sake of her family. She marries herself off to a rich but insufferable rake, who she later falls in love with.

 The Governess

A well-bred lady falls on hard times and must take a job as a governess. She always ends up taking care of the wards of an eligible dashing gentleman who later falls in love with her. The wards are always impossible, and usually twins.

The Tomboy

An impossible hoiden must be taught how to behave like a lady. A handsome bachelor teaches her, and bing! They fall in love.

A dangerous [insert title here]

Female Main Character (FMC) is warned against this dangerous rake, tames him, and falls in love. Frequently this rake is a war hero with a limp magically cured at the end.

Now that I think about it, there is one more…

The Mystery

War Hero is trying to find a spy and ends up getting the help of the FMC whether he likes it or not. They fall in love.

Admitedly, these are all regency romances. I’ve read romances by Nora Robert that I like, but even she has a set of trilogies that are formulaic. (The Key Trilogy as compared to the Sisters trilogy. All the characters are the same right down to the dog.)

Can anyone name a regency romance that does not fall under these categories? I can think of two. Jack on the Box by Patricia Wynn and A Loyal Companion by Barbara Metzger

Jack on the Box is where the Male Main Character (MMC) ends up being forced to work for a living to teach him a lesson. He breaks his leg and ends up in the house of a lady, with whom he falls in love. A loyal companion is your typical Tomboy tale, told from the perspective of the dog. ^^ Who wouldn’t love?

Your turn. I know you’ve read a formula romance that wasn’t just formula.

Writing Buddies

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Every friday night when I lived in California, I would meet up with my best friend at the cafe in Borders, and we would write. We almost never said anything during these visits. We would order coffee, prop our laptops up back to back, and the only noise at our table would be the clicking of keys.

Occasionally, the rythm of noise would be interupted by repeated pauses and backspacing. One of us would look up, and a random (usually bizarre) question would come up.

“If a zombie wanted your brains but only got hold of your hair, would it still try and eat it?”

It was then the job of the person to stop, ponder this serious matter deeply, and respond with a helpful answer. It never occured to us what we were doing might be weird.

When it came time for me to leave California, the first thing I did was unpack my laptop and start searching for a new writing buddy. By any chance, did you know that writing buddies are a rare and precious gift?

I asked everyone I had a nodding aquaintence with if they read, or wrote, or did anything creative. I met one artist, and…and…yeah.

My husband is very supportive of my writing, but his idea of a good day is getting through it without even having to read traffic signs. >.<

Two years I spent searching for a new writing buddy, and talking to my old one on the phone. (It’s not the same.) I joined online communities, I hunted for real ones, and I learned to write alone.

Writing is a lonely profession. Are you lucky enough to have a writing buddy?