And just why does the second husband always die?

Like many of you I trundled along to see one of the big hits of 2009, 2012. (Yes, that does look odd written that way, doesn’t it). And since I’m a great fan of totally ridiculously impossible action-adventure stories featuring feats of magnificence no mere mortal has a hope of reproducing (aka we have no MacGuyver abilities whatsoever) I thought it was pretty good.

But I walked away from the movie with one big disappointment.

Why-oh-why did the nice, turned-out-to-be-quite-the-hero second husband have to die? It would have been rather refreshing to have a story where for once the poor second husband didn’t get gypped for taking on the first marriage baggage and making it work anyway.

Maybe I’m projecting too much reality into my movie watching desires, after all the amount of divorces that end up in a remarriage are rather slim. I would very much believe a ‘we’ve been able to become friends again’ scenario though.

Especially in 2012, as husband #2 might have been a little bit of a milquetoast safe-bet of a partner after the ups and downs of husband #1, but he stepped up to the plate when push came to shove to save the ones he loved (and some he didn’t). In fact, the story hinges on husband #2’s abilities to be able to fly a plane; yet die—and pretty dramatically—he does.

Do scriptwriters think it’s impossible for viewers to expand their view to encompass an ending where marriage #2 is a winner? Do they think all divorced people are secretly still moping over partner #1?

And why is this the polar reverse to Romanceland?

In Romances it’s traditionally the other way around. The first husband dies (sometimes of a banal reason like she was married off to an old codger and his heart gave out; others because they deserved it for their violent behaviour/actions) leaving the floor clear for that first young love to come back and take his rightful place. It’s not a commonly found story where the heroine was quite happy with marriage #1 and looks back with fondness, love and heartache at having lost their first husband.

Movies often have marriage #2 only exist until partner #1 pulls their head out of their arse, Romance has #1 existing only as a placeholder (and giver of angst/drama) until husband #2 comes along to save the day. I wonder why such different points of view about marriage (and subsequent divorce) #1 from movies to romance reading?

Meta – why is it so hard?

Being that I’ve moved to using my Sony Reader for all eBooks, I fired up Calibre (if you’re not using this, why not?) to add on my EPIC competition reading and winced when I saw what came up.

Ouch!!! And that’s about the nicest thing I can say about the meta mess that the majority of the files came with. I’m not going to even touch formatting…

1. The majority of them did not come up with the Authors name attached. Editors, office, authors real names, unknown… the formatting?? company, but authors? Not so much.

2. Microsoft Word – Book name _ gobbledygook.doc is NOT a Book title, neither should it say thisismybookdontworryaboutpunctunationorspaces.

3. Of 20, only 3 had tags (crucial for being able to catalogue).

4. None of the 20 had the blurb attached.


(Image snitched from the Calibre Wiki rather than screen shotted to protect the guilty)

Really, it’s not hard to get this stuff together. Publishers, download a program like Calibre (hey, it’s FREE, hello!) and make sure your files shine meta-wise so your end users don’t have to do your job for you – believe me, it peeves us off no end.

Authors: there’s something here for you to learn, too. Open your ms in Word, File>Properties>Summary and enter the data yourself right from the beginning. If your publisher overwrites it with their own data, no harm, no foul. But if they don’t, at least the title of the book, and who knows… your name is on your book.

More to love

If you’ve read any of my books you’ll know that I’m a fan of the plus sized heroine. That means size 14 and above, not the Hollywood ideal that a size 10 is plus sized.

From Jo to Bea, Wren to Pearl, and Sam to Emma my plus-sized heroines have found themselves men who love them, generous curves and all.

I wrote my stories with these heroines for a specific reason — I’m writing what I want to read. Real women – no I’m not saying fat is ‘real’, just that a sz 14 is more realistic for the average woman than a size 4 or 6 – meeting real men (okay, I caved a little on the men, but hey, Rex in Accidentally Were? is a big hairy bear of a man) who fall in love with them as they are. Outside of Chicklit – where, face it, they usually get ‘skinny’ to get their ideal guy – it’s damn hard to find women of size battling the bad guys, solving the crimes and saving the day. I like to write stories about women doing exactly that. Well, saving the day maybe, suspense and crime drama storylines seem to be eluding me at the moment 🙂

Why am I rambling on about heroines with more to love? The ladies over at Smart Bitches, of course! They have an interesting topic up today: The Plus Size Heroine – the one who’s well adjusted. A topic near and dear to my heart.

Frankly, no woman is ever happy about her shape. If there’s not too much, there’s not enough. If the weight is right, the proportions are not. It webbles, it wobbles, and horror of all horrors… it all falls down! It’s universal – fat, thin or in between. Seriously.

As a plus sized woman I don’t want to read the ‘I’m so fat, and he’s my gorgeous gym instructor and he will only love me when I’m thin’ story line. I also don’t want to read the story that is ‘my life is so bad because I’m fat’ or the ‘I’m fat so I don’t deserve any better’ either.

I want to read stories with kickarse heroines who save the day, who worry about all the same things every woman worries about and finds a lover who thinks a bit of junk in the trunk (or hood in my case) is just what he needs keeping him warm on a cold winters night. NOT A STORY ABOUT A FAT WOMAN.

There is a difference. A really fricking huge one (no pun intended). Confidence.

People don’t like to read about size 4 Mary Sue whining her little head off about not being pretty enough, and they sure don’t like reading about Mary Sue’s size 18 sister whining about not being skinny enough. But they do love reading stories about women who have confidence (or find it over the course of the story), who get on with doing what they have to to succeed/live to fight another day/beat the bad guy/save the world — why not have that woman be a size 18? Make your heroines as diverse as the world live in, embrace all the different sizes and colours of women the world over.

Romance novels are a fantasy, an escape, it’s said. Well my fantasy includes a size 18ish woman, in some kick arse, sexy as hell 3 inch heels beating the fuck out of a bad guys goolies (with aforesaid heels), before reapplying her lipstick and making out with the hunky geek neighbour who’s in absolute awe of the beautiful amazon next door – not one of the Olsen twins on a ‘fat day’.

You know, that really is a good idea for a plot line. **scribbles on idea pad**

PS Imagea are of Fluvia Lacerda an intl sz 16 model pretty damn sexy – no?