That's not specifically what I was angsting about then--I was angsting because I couldn't speak French so as to make it more authentic and if it would be wrong if they had sex before they got married.
I come by my fanfic tendencies honestly, at least. This is also why I find ff.net ridiculously charming sometimes. I want to pinch their cheeks and say, yes, they can have sex first. Don't worry so much! You don't have to learn French! Or Catholicism. Or the French road system. Or have a horrified midnight revelation there were no toilets.
Keep in mind there was one small used bookstore and I was buying things like Book of the Courier and reading bad romance novels and not just for the porn. I needed to research.
If you write a story about--oh, random, Princess Eleanor marrying Simon de Montfort, you know, this doesn't exist, you will give fifteen year old girls really inflated expectations of what to expect in the way of the shaft of love. Holy God, Virginia, what were you thinking?
If you write about random English noblewomen pretending to be servants to stop their (possibly?) younger sister from making a dreadful mistake and a Russian prince's servants assume she is a prostitute wiht a bad attitude, kidnap her and drug her with Spanish fly, leading to life-changing orgasms, don't be surprised this is something their librarian will catch them researching in the freaking twenty year old Encyclopedia Brittanica.
If you are Catherine Coulter--don't change anything. I love you.
If you are the one who had a thing for women who marry their rapists or men who rape other people and cause them to suicide in horror, that's not romance, that's soft-core Gor Light. Deal.
Your name may be Jude Deveraux. I'm not over that yet.
If you are Frank Herbert and were responsible for a twelve year old girl suddenly making the theoretical-to-practical leap of "penis goes into vagina, oh, so that's how it works!"--hey, thanks. It's fairly likely you saved me from years of therapy. Jude was right after you.
For making a twelve year old wonder how you go about that imprinting thing, leading to another round of Encyclopedia Brittanica research--really, Frank. Really. Detail, man. Detail.
If you are not Frank Herbert and wrote Dune novels....you're not actually improving. And it wasn't like the first one set that high a bar. However, thank you for the image of the Baron floating desperately after Feyd-Rautha toddling in pure evil on a balcony. I will say, if you meant to have so much humor in there, I'd be impressed. But then I read about Jessica's smooth oval face and soft white throat eighty times and realize it was an accident. A cruel accident, that kept me reading.
If you are Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, a Russian novelist, or named Joseph Heller--you taught me I will never love anything with the word classic appended.
If you are Jane Austen or Robert Louis Stevenson or Jules Verne, you proved me wrong.
If you are Orson Welles--well, you're Orson Wells. Well done.
Thank you Narnia--before you were an expression of my faith, you were the fairy tales of my childhood and Eustace was amazing. Thank you Sydney von Scyoc--I didn't know what I was reading until years later, but you told me sci-fi was about people in the end and I've never forgotten the lesson. The ships were just there for window dressing. Thank you Anne McCaffrey--this is how I found out about gay sex and Romeo and Juliet as a universal language. Thank you Marion Zimmerman Bradley--you are why I seek out the stories of women, and led me to Sharon Kay Penman and Cecilia Holland and Mercedes Lackey and Julie Dean Smith.
Melanie Rawn gave me my name and Stephen King the desire to build the worlds I'd write and VC Andrews the power of taboo. Lucy Maud Montgomery reminded me to tell my son about elves beneath the house and gnomes in the garden and fairies that you can only catch with a special net and after cleaning your room, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy.
And then I turned sixteen, but that's another list altogether.
You know, this wouldn't have happened if in fifth grade, Ms Bartz hadn't orchestrated a reading competition and told us the highest number of books anyone had ever read in six weeks. Who doesn't want to double that? No one, that's who.
Trekfic clocked 33k and is in final beta. I'm in a very good mood. Let's have cookies!