Monday, July 15, 2013

Romance: the Reading & Writing Thereof

So here's a thing about me: I'm a writer.

Bow-wow! Grr-ruff!
It all started back in 5th grade, when I wrote a charming story called "Fortunately / Unfortunately." It was about a kid who had a dog named Angle. (The dog was supposed to be named Angel, but I was 11. I didn't spell very well.) As you might imagine, some very good things happened to Angle, followed by some very bad things. A mountain in Colorado was involved. Also a kind, loving teacher. Maybe that's why my 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Penny Heap, the best 5th grade teacher in the history of 5th grade teachers, complimented my story, and thus engendered my desire to be a writer.

(Also in 5th grade: my first publication! My poem, "Twas the Week Before Christmas," made it into the school newsletter. All this validation clearly went to my head, and I went on to enter my poetry in local contests throughout my school years. Won at least one, too!)

Fast forward some years. I'm obviously a major reader. (You've noticed, probably, that I talk about books a lot.) I read in all kinds of genres - if it's fiction, I'll give it a whirl. What I write, though, is romance - contemporary romance, to be exact.

So this week, I'll be at my first Romance Writers of America convention, which makes this a good time to debut my pen name (no, I'm not Robert Galbraith): Melanie Greene.

Also, now I get to point you at a couple of reviews I wrote for my favorite-est romance book site, Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. I reviewed Sugar Springs by Kim Law, and Becoming Dante by Day Leclaire.

And now back to the regularly-scheduled program.

No, really, that's all. You can go now.

Why are you still here?

You're dying to hear my 1st-published poem, are you?

Fine. Here you go:

'Twas the week before Christmas
And all through the house
Every creature was stirring
Down to Tommy's pet mouse.

The stockings were still in the attic where

Mommy had left them, 'cause the kids didn't care.
The school play was at eight that night
The girls were to be angels in flight

Tommy was Santa, with his bag of toys

All four kids had costumes, what joys.

(Okay, I don't really remember the rest. I can tell you it had a gripping narrative arc: chaos and disaffected kids learn through overcoming challenges to have a beautiful appreciation of the mystical joys of the holiday season.)

(Do NOT start in with me on "oh, you can't remember the rest, Mel? But it's been 32 years and you still have the first 10 lines down cold? And you think we're judging you about the not remembering the rest part?")

I hope that I will delight you with equally compelling plots (though not as well-rhymed) should you someday pick up a contemporary romance by Melanie Greene.

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