Saturday, February 25, 2006

Rainy Day Ramblings

It's a nice, rainy day, and I think I'm going to use it for relaxing. They keep saying it's supposed to clear up this afternoon, but I don't see any signs of that yet. Now for some randomness.

I think A Room With a View may have to win my award for Most Romantic Movie Ever. The music, the settings, the costumes, all that passion simmering just under the surface. I hadn't seen it in ages, got the DVD months ago and finally got around to watching it yesterday. Sigh. Now I want to study Italian and travel in Italy, but I'd look kind of funny if I dressed like that as a tourist today.

I found a new recipe for scones that was incredibly quick and easy, and they turned out very, very good. I shall have to do that more often. Only not too much more often, with the whole Operation Anti-Cheez-It Butt campaign going on.

Once Upon Stilettos will be released two months from today. Eeeeek! (Yeah, I know you guys are glad it's so soon, but I have sooooo much to do between now and then.)

I have one more book to read for Rita judging, but as I still have about a week to get that done, I think I'm going to spend today reading a book that's been sitting on my bedroom floor, begging to be read, for more than a month. It's not that the book I'm judging is particularly bad. It's just not what I'm in the mood to read right now. It did trigger a burst of pet peeves, though.

I know it's sort of a convention of the romance genre, but I'm getting increasingly irritated by the "I'm so attracted to him and I hate that because I can't stand him" thing. I don't get it. Maybe I'm just weird, but I've never had that love/hate thing going on. If I can't stand someone, he becomes unattractive to me. I can't imagine being drawn to someone that I hate myself for being attracted to. I realize the genre requires some kind of initial attraction and some conflict, but this is a big reason why I migrated as an author and as a reader to chick lit, where there are fewer rules about stuff like that. She might hate the guy in chapter one and end up with him, but there's less insistence that she simultaneously think about how sexy he is. For instance, in Bridget Jones's Diary (the book, not the movie version), it takes her a while before she notices Mark Darcy as attractive at all. In their first meeting, when she mostly finds him irritating, she makes no mention of anything physical except his height and his unfortunate sweater (and in the book it was just an ugly, old-man-looking Argyle sweater, not a reindeer sweater).

A non-writing pet peeve: One thing that will set me off is people misspelling my name. I can deal with people mispronouncing my name, since it happens all the time (for the record, "Shanna" rhymes with "Anna" and, sadly, "banana." The "d" in "Swendson" is silent). I will forgive the d being omitted from my last name, but otherwise it bugs me. What set off this rant is the speaker information forms I got from a conference that accepted my speaking proposal. All the forms spell my first name "Shana." It's not as though my name isn't in the proposal at least five times, on the forms, in the web address and twice in my e-mail address -- which they've managed to send mail to a couple of times. I'm afraid I wrote a snippy little note to that effect when I returned all the release forms, but in this business your name is your brand, and it can hurt you if people can't find you by name. If my name is misspelled in a conference program or on a web site, then people will have trouble looking me up.

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