Updated Bodice Rippers…

The latest thing on the desk of The Duchess? Romance. As in writing. A request comes and since nary a project can I pass up, the challenge is on.

The mind races to the bodice rippers of high school. There are the cruel, arrogant pirates who become putty in the hands of a good woman, virginal but so wise. Then there’s the red room of Christian Grey. Both can leave a girl needing a fan for certain, but how, exactly, does one get that down on paper?

Relieved there’s no need to write of pirates and histories and clothes for which I know nothing, this is contemporary romance. Not as far as Christian but not as tame as Sex And The City. Makes for an interesting weekend, non?

It’s formulaic. Guy meets girl. Girl is repulsed by guy. Guy wins her over. Guy screws up. Girl flees. Something keeps them apart. Family? Religion? Distance? Dun dun dun. Tensions mount. He pleads. Will she acquiesce? Can they cross the divide separating them? Will he confess he can’t live without her? Can she swallow her pride long enough to realize she needs love? And to be kissed by someone who does it well enough to make her weak in the knees? Oh the tangled web.

At a conference over the weekend, I find myself assessing the speaker; giving him descriptors as if he were our hero. And then wondering about his…never mind.

Lily, our heroine, is a widow. There’s a stretch. Poor thing–all alone, pining for a dead husband, closed off to the world, unable to recognize her beauty and strength until she meets former football star Kevin Cross, who sweeps her off her feet on a whirlwind weekend in New Orleans. She can’t help herself when the Louisiana heat, and Kevin’s southern charms, take hold. She gives in and lets go only to find she may be in over her head. Can she be with Kevin while dead Steven lingers in her head? Does she follow her heart as she weakens at Kevin’s every touch?

It was a long weekend.

At the conference–which had everything to do with what I actually do for money–the guy throws down a challenge. He says we often get ready to do something. And we keep getting ready. To the point that we don’t ever do it. Ponder that my dolls. Guilty as charged. The solution? Do it anyway. Without the getting ready to get ready. Just dive in.

The key is 4-6 weeks. It’s long enough to actually accomplish something but short enough that you must start now. You can’t put it off. It has to be big enough that if you accomplish it in the 4-6 weeks, it will be amazing.

Coincidence this advice comes right after I agree to take on a project foreign to me? Serendipity? Or does this girl just need a little romance?

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