Surrender to Ruin is back from my trusted first pass reader. I’ll be diving into some revisions before it goes off to my editor.
I was writing and then I needed to know some details about food in the Regency and so, off to Google Books Advanced Search. . . . two hours later . . . I came across an interesting recipe for bread pudding, which I happen to love.
Take the crumb of a penny loaf, and pour on it a pint of good milk boiling hot, when it is cold, beat it very fine, with two ounces of butter and sugar to your palate, grate half a nutmeg in it, beat it up with four eggs, and put them in and beat altogether near half an hour, tie it in a cloth and boil it an hour, you may put in half a pound of currants for change, and pour over it white wine sauce.
To make a boiled bread pudding a second way.
Take the inside of a penny loaf, grate it fine, add it to two ounces of butter, take a pint and a half of milk, with a stick of cinnamon; boil it and pour it over the bread, and cover it close until it is cold, then take six eggs beat up very well with rose water, mix them all well together, sweet to your taste, and boil it one hour.
I figured it would be interesting to attempt this. My first hurdle is figuring out the size of a penny loaf. It turns out the size/weight of a penny loaf was dependent on the cost of wheat. I read a bunch and saw all the formulas and as near as I can tell a penny loaf had to weigh anywhere from 11 to 16 troy ounces. A troy ounce is 31.1034768 g (1.097142857143 ounces.) Some more googleing . . . .
16 troy ounces is 17.554285714288 regular ounces.
Let’s just say a penny loaf is about 16 ounces. I’ll get some bread and attempt this. I’ll report back.
Some of you may know that two years I was elected as to sit as a Director at Large on the RWA National Board. I’m running for re-election. For interested members, here’s a little more about me and my feelings about publishing and RWA.
I’ve been publishing Romance since 1987. I’ve traditionally published and now self-publish. I’m the poster child for managing a career as a mid-list author with series still tied up with traditional publishers. I’ve been a RITA finalist in historical romance and in paranormal romance. I’m a current board member. I have worked in the Tech sector in highly specialized jobs. Many of my tech skills have crossed over and become very useful and helpful to managing my self-publishing business. I’m an entrepreneur running a profitable business. I bring all that experience to my board service.
The short version is that these last two years on the board brought home to me in the very starkest of terms how unfair publishing is to diverse authors. The facts are depressing, and I am absolutely committed to seeing RWA make progress. Diverse authors do not have the same opportunities as white, straight, authors. Too many doors are shut to them and there are too many obstacles in front of that door and afterward for those who manage to get it open. RWA can and will do better and it can and will work with publishers and the industry to address and solve this issue.
I heartily recommend and endorse all the current sitting board members up for re-election: Tessa Dare, Courtney Milan, Farrah Rochon, and Damon Suede.
Vote. It matters.
People, I’m calling it. Surrender To Ruin is done enough to stick a fork in it. I’ve sent it to my critique partner for a read.
Romance Dog Needs Name
In Surrender to Ruin, there is a dog that needs a name. At the moment, I am calling her Princess, but I’m not totally happy with that name. What should I name this dog? Or should I keep the name Princess?
About The Dog
She is obviously progeny of Roger, the Wolfhound-ish mutt from A Notorious Ruin, but it’s equally obvious she is also part Bloodhound. She is young (less than a year) and has been rescued from the streets. She’s a big, goofy, happy dog and not very attractive. As far as she is concerned everyone loves her.
Let me know in the comments.
FYI, I am up to Chapter 29 in my revisions prior to sending to my critique partner.
Historical Romance Sale!
I put together a boxed set of three of my historical romances, and right now for a limited time, the boxed set is on sale for $0.99. That’s three full-length historical romances for one low price! Because you guys are my favorites. The price is good pretty much everywhere. Go forth and read historical romance.
The novels included are: The Spare, Scandal, and Indiscreet. That’s 300,000 words (roughly) of historical romance. Indiscreet won a Bookseller’s Best award. Scandal was a RITA Finalist. Links below! Sale lasts through August 28, 2016.
She’s missing a day from her life. He thinks she may have killed his brother.
A delightful battle-of-wills romance, tinged with suspense. (Kathe Robin, Romantic Times)
The Spare is a Regency romance murder mystery. If you like well-plotted tales, engaging passion, and a touch of gothic, then you’ll love Carolyn Jewel’s steamy and mysterious novel.
A proper young widow. A reformed rake. Let the game of love begin.
WOW. Simply, wow. That is the only word I can use to describe this masterpiece. (Romance Novel TV)
Scandal is a Regency romance novel featuring a complex and dysfunctional pair. If you like intense passion, deep emotions, and unpredictable plots, then you’ll love Carolyn Jewel’s pulse-pounding and wonderfully-written tale of love.
A woman disgraced by a lie. A beast of a man with a cold heart. Their love will transcend continents.
Indiscreet moves from Regency England to the exotic locales of Turkey and Syria in the midst of the Napoleonic wars. The winner of the 2010 Bookseller’s Best Award for Best Short Historical Fiction, it features fast pacing, simmering chemistry, meticulous research, and strong central characters.
Sally Jenkins over at the Wapo just blew my mind with this article about the 2016 Summer Olympics. The minute I read about NBC’s plan to time delay on the west coast (where I happen to live) I knew I wouldn’t bother watching. I was already pretty sure I wouldn’t because the last few Olympics I’ve been all “Where’s The Sports??”
Did I mention that I read Romance novels? Yeah. I write them, too. Just putting that out there.
I can get Olympic results for all the sports on twitter. I wish those tweets came with video because I would click the hell out of those. I love the Olympics. I even like lots of sports. True, I’m not a nutso fan of ALL the sports, but I do enjoy watching the very best compete in most all the sports.
The Olden Days, When the Olympics were Manly
Way back in olden times, when I lived in Berkeley and cable TV was brand new and cost me $10 a month, the Olympics came along, as they do, and they had this package where for some amount affordable for me, as a single lady underpaid in her job because, hey, lady person! (words overheard just prior to my leaving the then current job “We can’t pay [male person in a significantly junior position] you more than the lowest paid senior person.” And then my salary got named. Apparently they were later shocked that I was upset by being the lowest paid person and even more upset that I quit. Why didn’t I just ask for a raise? Well, to me, why didn’t you decide you should better compensate your lowest paid but highest performing person? To me, you don’t get to keep employees you fuck over like that. But I digress. One more digression. My office was right outside the men’s room and I was regularly treated to hallway conversations about blow jobs and discussions of the attributes of female employees. Apparently, they thought I was deaf.)
Please sir, may I have another insult?
Anyway I signed up for the Olympics plan way back because you could watch EVERYTHING LIVE and then again later when it was re-broadcast in a West Coast time zone. It was awesome. I watched all kinds of sports. Live and rebroadcast because a girl’s gotta sleep, right? And read and write romance.
And now, Sally Jenkins and the folks over at NBC are at last correcting me of my love of actually watching Olympic events and reading and writing Romance. I did not know those two things were mutually exclusive. I did not know that if you read and write Romance you are, de facto, not a sports fan who we all know would never ever in a million years enjoy romance reading, so the only way to show me and other lady folks the Olympics is to pretend the Olympics is a romance novel without the need to show any sports hardly.
Because, am I right? Romance reading is so horrible and readers of Romance are such an inferior class of lady persons, and are so incompatible with anything like sports and the Olympics that when you’re trying to point out how badly NBC is fucking this up for everyone and especially women athletes that Romance readers are TOTALLY the correct simile here.
Romance reading = HORRIBLE STUPID NO ONE WANTS SPORTS IN THEIR STORIES. EWW!
NBC is trying to Romancify the Olympics OMG.
Harlequin is a Publisher of Books not an Attribute of The Uterus
The use of the word “Harlequin” as your straw man, oops! Straw lady, is the first sign that you have failed the intellectual rigor test of your comparison.
Here. Let me fix your complaint about NBC so it works.
NBC is pandering to what men WISH was true about women. That wish is based on stereotype, misogyny, and cliche. There is nothing in NBC’s programming anywhere that suggests they understand what kind of programming women would actually like to see. Women viewers, even viewers who read and write Romance, are also actual sports fans who would like to see actual sports in the Olympics and we would also like to see the female athletes treated in a manner that respects their personhood and their athletic achievements.
The only connection to Romance novels is in the minds of the idiots at NBC and, apparently, Sally Jenkins.
Gold Medal: Worst Blog Title Ever!
Yes, I am still working on Surrender to Ruin. I’m in the weeds with the machete. This is a normal part of my process. The middle is solid, and per usual, I haven’t written the last chapter yet. Those closing chapters will go very very quickly when I get there.
The good news is that I believe I have finally made all the tweaks/adjustments that will get me past chapter 5 without asking myself the question all writers seem to ask themselves: Why WHY did I ever think I could write? Also this one: THIS is the book that will prove I’m not a real writer.
I go through this every time. And every time, those feelings are real. I tell myself I’ve done it 35+ times before I can do it again. I will.
To everyone waiting so patiently for Surrender To Ruin, it’s actually coming along nicely. Circumstances beyond my control mean it’s going slower than I would like, but I am writing/revising every single day. It will be off to a trusted reader fairly soon.
I’ve posted before before, before, before, about being a seat of the pants writer and how often people who plot get pantsing wrong. Sigh. Understandably, of course, since it’s not something that works for them. But I’m pretty tired of hearing the same old “If you plot in advance, you’ll save so much time and write so much faster!”
Let me explode that myth.
Plotters need that pre-writing work, the outlines and charts and notes. But that work takes time and words.
Pantsers (typically) do very little pre-writing work. If that work exists, the outlines, charts and notes are minimal. That work takes ZERO to LESS time than the outlining.
Supposedly, pantsers discard more words and therefore plotting is superior because they’re not discarding whole chapters. But that does not withstand scrutiny. Outlines and charts and notes etcs are words that count in this comparison. They count because the pre-writing of plotters and the discarding of a chapter that proved a new direction is necessary is all part of the working-it-out phase of writing.
It really doesn’t matter when or where that occurs. If you need to do it up front before you’ve written any part of an actual chapter, awesome! If you need to wait until you get to that part of the story and then write some words, and then some different words, awesome!
Honestly, I’m just so tired of hearing people who write in more structured ways that non-structured ways are wasteful, I’ll just cry.
More important, if you’re a writer who thinks you can use any process instead of figuring out what works for you, well, that’s why you’re having trouble. Or your book is done and dead on the page.
Sadly, there’s no way to make it easy.