Wednesday, February 5, 2020

In defense of western romance

Bio: Hello, My name is Dorothy A. Bell, the A. is for Ann. I’m a published author with Hartwood Publishing. I write, and enjoy reading Oregon historical and western romances. Love to make all kinds of wicked chocolate goodies. I grow cucumbers to make my own relish and bread and butter pickles, and tomatoes to make my own salsa and sauce. Love to exercise in the water, tell stories, and write spicy, entertaining, colorful romances. My husband of fifty-five years and I, reside in her our tiny 352 square foot home with our long haired Dachshund Hector.

The following is a cherry picked excerpt from author Judith Arnold and Linda Cardillo’s take on romance, and why no one should dismiss the genre.
Never Read a Romance? Grow Up
“Instead of defending romance books to those who’ve never read one, I’d like to say this instead: grow up.
Romance encompasses fantasy, suspense, comedy, history, mystery, coming-of-age, and crime. The only difference between romance and just about any other kind of fiction is the promise of an emotionally satisfying ending. I don’t have a problem with that. I don’t think readers are lazy or stupid because they want to feel uplifted at the end of a book.
To those who would dismiss an entire genre without ever cracking a cover, I say, hang out with us romance writers. You might be surprised. Our community is filled with brilliant women (and a few men)—professors, doctors, lawyers, people with stellar educations and experiences. Some of the most successful writers balance a day job with family and a writing career on top of that. Our books are real, filled with the entire range of human emotions. They speak of the strongest and most universal yearning there is—to belong. To be accepted. To be loved.
To view with contempt the entire romance genre—and the hundreds of millions of people who read these books—is simply ignorant and narrow-minded. So if you’re one of those who’s never read a romance novel, pick one up. Yes, there’s kissing. You can handle it. You might even like it.”

A few family pictures that inspire the storyteller in me.

The Sewing Machine and Victorian Technology
The mass production of sewing machines in the 1850s as well as the advent of synthetic dyes introduced major changes in fashion. Previously, clothing was hand sewn using natural dyes. Other new developments included the introduction of the sized paper pattern as well as machines that could slice several pattern pieces at once. Clothing could now be produced quickly and cheaply.
Growth and Decline of the Bustle
The bustle came back in a big way in the 1880s creating a huge, shelf like protrusion at the rear. But the ludicrous style fell out of favor and by 1887, was greatly reduced in size. The 1890s saw some fullness at the rear, but the bustle was on its way out.
Women's fashions took on a more tailored look with the introduction of the cuirasse bodice in 1878. The stiff, corset like garment dipped down in front and back and eventually reached the upper thighs.
Transitioning to the Victorian era the waistline returned to its natural position during the 1830s. The corset once again was used to support and narrow. However, it had changed its shape to the hourglass silhouette that is even now considered typical both for corsets and for Victorian fashion. It is during this period we see the addition of garter clips to the bottoms of corsets. Corsets were now being made in beautiful colors and materials, silks, satins and brocades, not just plain cotton or linen.
Until now corsets tended to be handmade and often custom pieces. In 1839, a Frenchman by the name of Jean Werly patented women’s corsets made on the loom. This type of corset was popular until 1890, when machine-made corsets gained popularity.
Rules for Teachers, 1827
1) Teachers each day will fill lamps, clean chimneys
2) Each teacher will bring a bucket of water and a scuttle of coal for the day's session.
3) Make your pens carefully. You may whittle nibs to the individual taste of the pupils.
4) Men teachers may take one evening each week for courting purposes, or two evenings a week if they go to church regularly.
5) After ten hours in school, teachers may spend the remaining time reading the Bible or other good books.
6) Women teachers who marry or engage in unseemly conduct will be dismissed.
7) Every teacher should lay aside from each pay a goodly sum of his earnings for his benefit during his declining years so that he will not become a burden on society.
8) Any teacher who smokes, uses liquor in any form, frequents pool and public halls, or gets shaved in a barber shop will give good reason to suspect his worth, intention, integrity, and honesty.
9) The teacher who performs his labor faithfully and without fault for five years will be given an increase of twenty-five cents per week in his pay, providing the Board of Education approves.

Rules for Teacher, Early 1900's in the United States
1) To keep the school room neat and clean, you must:
a) Sweep the floor at least once daily
b) Scrub the floor at least once a week with hot, soapy water
c) Clean the blackboards at least once a day
d) Start the fire at 7 AM so the room will be warm by 8 AM
2) You will not marry during the term of your contract.
3) You are not to keep company with men.
4) You must be home between the hours of 8 PM and 6AM unless attending a school function.
5) You may not loiter downtown in ice cream stores
6) You may not travel beyond the city limits unless you have the permission of the chairman of the board.
7) You may not ride in a carriage or automobile with any man unless he is your father or brother.
8) You may not smoke cigarettes.
9) You may not dress in bright colors.
10) You may under no circumstances dye your hair.
11) You must wear at least two petticoats.
12) Your dresses must not be any shorter than two inches above the ankle.

 Look for 4 new novels to be released March-June Sweet Laura Creek Romances

Currently Amazon Kindle Unlimited Free on Amazon.





4 comments:

  1. Wht a wonderful way to introduce yourself to the group.
    I don't know if I could live in such a small space, but do admire those who can. It must be working, for you are definitely productive. Here's to many more years of creativity. Doris

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    1. Surprising how little space you really need. A bathroom, a bedroom, a little kitchen and a room for the TV and computer. It is a very economical way to live. And cozy. Makes you understand what is really important to keep and what to eliminate. We're very happy we chose our little home. Thank you for your comment.

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  2. I don't understand the need to defend "western romance." It's an established genre with dozens of well-known and successful authors. I wish my traditional westerns sold as well. BTW Can you imagine today's teachers signing the 1900s rules? ;-)

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  3. Wow! this is Amazing! Do you know your hidden name meaning ? Click here to find your hidden name meaning

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