Jennifer's Journal


Monday, May 09, 2005


Comments are always appreciated!


Blogger Jennifer Blake said...

Keeping a journal, recording ideas, impressions, feelings, events and the minutiae of everyday life, is supposed to be an aid to creativity. Pouring these things onto paper—or in this case the computer screen—is for a writer like clearing the throat before starting to speak. It gets rid of extraneous thoughts and primes the brain for better work. For some, it also works like warm up exercises, easing them into the terrifying job of putting the stories inside their heads onto paper where others can read and judge them. While doing it, you’re not supposed to be profound or even especially coherent—the idea is simply to write whatever comes to mind and in whatever order and form it occurs. Julia Cameron in “The Artist’s Way,” recommends doing three pages every morning without pause, keeping the pen to paper even if it means writing such things as “I hate this exercise and have nothing to say to anybody about anything today or maybe ever again in this lifetime.” I don’t think I want to inflict that kind of thing on those who drop in here to see what’s on my mind—which sometimes isn’t too different from that example!—but would like to keep to the general idea. So if I seem to ramble from time to time, that’s my excuse…

Actually, I’ve been doing this off and on for about a year, posting notes to a couple of different personal message boards in a sort of informal blog—if anything about the usual blog can be considered formal. The problem has been that message boards tend to shut down frequently so all the bits and pieces of writing get wiped away. Not that that’s any great loss, understand, but it’s still disheartening. Having this official blog on my web site should be a bit more permanent as well as more orderly and easier to access.

So what’s on my mind just now? Manuscript polishing, for one thing—I’m in the middle of the final read-through for ROGUE’S SALUTE, book #3 in my Masters at Arms series. I heard a couple of days ago from my editor who is now readying book #2, DAWN ENCOUNTER, for the publication process and she says she is “just thrilled with it. It’s a fantastic story, and as usual your writing is clean and near-perfect.” Grand things to know, for a writer! At the same time, I’m mulling ideas for book #4, the proposal for which is due in August. ROGUE’S SALUTE is Nicholas’s story, so book #4 will be about the English swordsman Gavin Blackford who appears first in DAWN ENCOUNTER. I know the story premise/situation and some of the scenes, and am letting plot ideas simmer on my brain’s back burner. So far, nothing is on paper but that will change soon. My current issue of RWR (Romance Writers Report), the official magazine of Romance Writers of America, came this past week, and I read it last night. With this issue was the guide for the national convention in Reno, NV. I don’t intend to go this year—no reason except that I have other plans. However, one of the features is a special talk on the historical use of swords and their various kinds/names which I would certainly have enjoyed and might even have found useful. Or maybe not, since I’ve been researching the subject for something like five years now. That it’s on the program suggests swordsmen have special appeal these days, something that pleases me no end!

One of the controversies in this month’s RWR involves a suggestion made by a well-known agent that romance novels be assigned movie-type ratings for sexual content. Several authors were up in arms over this, labeling it an effort to “ghettoize” romance novels since other types of popular fiction have no such ratings. It was also pointed out that one of the nation’s major retail chains known for its anti-porn stand might use the ratings to unfairly ban certain romance titles. I can’t get too irate over the idea since I see little chance of it being put into place, but my sympathies are with those who are against it. Everyone knows romance novels have love scenes, and most readers understand that certain category novels have more or less sensuality depending on the line. Anyone with an ounce of intelligence who picks up one of the newer erotica titles and scans the back blurb can tell they are more about sex than romance. It isn’t as if young children can inadvertently be exposed to written/mental sensual content in the same way they might be to the visual form by flipping TV channels. And who is going to decide what’s PG 13 and what’s R or X? What about rating the mental violence and depravity found in other types of fiction? Where do you draw the line? To me, this is yet another example of appointing someone else to think for people instead of letting them think for themselves. What’s your opinion?

4:56 PM  
Blogger sue said...

Hi Jennifer I think this is great your journal I would say more but you said it all and you said it very nicely
I realy like this have a great day your
fan Sue

8:03 AM  
Blogger Jennifer Blake said...

How great to see you here, Sue! And it's good to see that we're in agreement. Drop in any time.

8:16 AM  
Blogger Jennifer Blake said...

Are you familiar with the Six Degrees of Separation theory? It says, basically, that we are all only six degrees, or steps of connection, away from any other person on the planet. I’ve always been amazed by how well it works. The incident I’ve discovered most recently concerns Bo from American Idol. Now, I’d have said I had no connection whatever to this gentleman; I’d have sworn it on a stack of Bibles. I pay no attention to this show or any other real time, reality series--have no interest in rock music of any variety. Yet I learned a few days ago that Bo was once lead singer in a band in Alabama which included my husband’s nephew as the drummer. From me to my husband, to his sister, to her son Eric, to Bo—that’s really only four degrees of separation. Interesting, particularly to writers who are so curious about their world. But I think I may pull for Bo to win. I’m told he went to New Orleans to audition for the show, and persevered for two weeks without giving up before being allowed to do perform. Maybe he deserves any success he may gain.

8:20 AM  

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