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e-maginings: ASUS Entering e-reader Market

September 16, 2009 by in category The Romance Journey by Linda Mclaughlin tagged as , , ,

ASUS, maker of the popular Eee netbook computer, is planning to enter the burgeoning e-book reader market by the end of the year. Their reader could be the first to have dual screens and, according to Slash Gear, may come in two sizes, 6-inch and 9-inch touchscreens.

According to Times Online, ASUS “confirmed last week that it is planning to shake up the market in the same way it did when it launched the first netbook — the low-cost alternative to the laptop.” Click here to read the complete article.

I love the idea of a dual-screen device, even though I’m quite used to reading on a single screen now. It would be great to not have to turn the page as often, and it might win over people who are resistant to the idea of e-book reading. Two screens would seem more like a “real” book.

So far there’s no word on what formats will be available for the device, but the cost of the device is rumored to be about $165. (Information Week, Sept. 9, 2009)

What do you think? Would an inexpensive, dual screen e-book reader tempt you?

Linda McLaughlin
w/a Lyndi Lamont

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e-maginings: What Is Erotic Romance?

August 16, 2009 by in category Archives tagged as , , ,

There seems to be a lot of different opinions about what constitutes erotic romance, so I thought I’d explore some definitions today. It’s a little more complicated than you might think.

Some believe erotic romance is all sex with no plot, so is it the literary equivalent of a porno flick? In order to answer that, we have to distinguish between erotica and porn. I discovered that the word pornography literally means “writing about prostitutes”, and in the 19th century, it was used for factual reports about prostitution. Erotica, on the other hand, comes from Eros, the Greek god of love. So a literal definition might be that pornography is solely about the lusts of the body, while erotica is about the longings of the heart as well. In practical terms, the definition is always somewhat subjective.

Erotica is a sex story; that means it has a plot with a beginning, a middle and an end. Pornography may or may not have a plot. In fact, I was reading recently that some porn stars are lamenting the fact that they don’t even get dialogue any more!

Generally speaking, erotica differs from erotic romance in that it’s the story of a character’s sexual journey rather than the story of a developing relationship. In erotica the main character may have more than one partner and a happily-ever-after twosome is not guaranteed. However, a HEA threesome is a definite possibility!

Like other romances, erotic romance is a love story and you better believe that your readers will expect that HEA. I got dinged by a reviewer for not providing one for my Revolutionary Way spy story, Seducing The Enemy. While the characters did develop a relationship, they were unable to be together in the end, so technically it was erotica, not erotic romance.

In Passionate Ink: A Guide to Writing Erotic Romance, Loose Id, LLC, 2007, regarding the difference between sensual and erotic romance, Angela Knight points out, correctly IMO, that what drives sensual romances “isn’t sex, but not having sex”. In order to maintain sexual tension between hero and heroine, the writer devises external and internal reasons why going to bed with each other is a bad idea. The actual act of making love often signals a significant drop in sexual tension and the writer then has to find a way to make the conflict kick in again.

So what drives erotic romance?

Obviously, there still have to be reasons why the happily-ever-after ending isn’t guaranteed, despite the fact that they’re having sex at any and every opportunity. Knight refers to this as “romantic tension”. Again, this means strong conflict, especially if you’re writing a full-length novel. I think I prefer to call if “dramatic tension”.

For a little more background, check out this article at my Lyndi Lamont website. And if you’re at all interested in writing erotic romance, I do recommend Knight’s book.

How would you define erotic romance?

Linda / Lyndi

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e-maginings: Writing Again

July 17, 2009 by in category The Romance Journey by Linda Mclaughlin tagged as , ,

This week I started writing again after, literally, months of hibernation. That is, if you count a three-page synopsis and revisions as writing. I did spend a lot of time thinking about the project and tweaking the plot until I felt I had a complete story. I have to say, it felt good.

That’s the good news. The bad news is I was thinking about my story and not what I was going to blog about, so I have nothing. I don’t feel too bad about it though. You see, I started writing this week after a very long hiatus. 😀

Now if I can just keep up the momentum, maybe I’ll even finish the story. Wish me luck.

Linda McLaughlin
w/a Lyndi Lamont

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e-maginings: June Year’s Resolution

June 16, 2009 by in category The Romance Journey by Linda Mclaughlin tagged as , ,

I’m thinking of going on a diet after years of eating whatever I wanted, which reminded me of this entry from the Urban Dictionary.
I subscribe to their free Word of the Day and find many of them quite entertaining.

June Year’s Resolution:

A New Year’s Resolution that starts June 1st instead of January 1st. This is assuming the original act of self improvement has failed from January to June and it is time to start over with something else.

Tim: “I thought you quit smoking as your New Year’s Resolution?”
Eric: “Yeah, I tried but… I’m going to work out instead. It’s my June Year’s Resolution.”

June is a good time to reassess those New Year’s Resolutions or goals or whatever you want to call them. If you made any resolutions or goals, that is. If you’re like me, it’s all too easy to drift through life, letting each day run its course and focusing on whatever seems most urgent. Lately I seem to feel more and more unable to focus. I used to have an adult attention span, but now I seem to have one more like a two-year-old. I don’t know if it’s the passing years or the fractured nature of modern life. So many things compete for our attention: 24-hour news cycles on TV, email, blogs, Twitter, FaceBook, etc.

Recently I started reading Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life by Winifred Gallagher, who says “The skillful management of attention is the key to happiness and fulfillment. Live the focused life.”

This is good advice for any writer, as the act of writing requires our focused, rapt attention. It has been a while since I’ve really been able to get caught up in writing a story.

Dieting requires focus, too, since the dieter has to pay attention to what goes in the mouth, not just nibble mindlessly. Maybe being able to focus on one will help me focus on another. Wish me luck.

What about you? How are you doing with your goals and resolutions?

Linda McLaughlin / Lyndi Lamont

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e-maginings: Kindle DX

May 16, 2009 by in category The Romance Journey by Linda Mclaughlin tagged as , ,

Earlier this month, Amazon announced its new, larger Kindle DX, due out this summer. The DX is magazine-size with a 9.7 inch screen compared to the 6-inch screen of the Kindle 2. The DX has a rotating screen so you can read in either portrait or landscape mode; a built-in PDF reader, no conversion required (a much sought after feature); wireless connection and Amazon’s new, somewhat controversial Read-to-Me text to speech capability.

The new device is designed to enhance reading of newspapers and textbooks, and I can see where the larger size will be helpful in viewing graphics. I’ve had a Kindle for almost a year and a half ago, and one of the few downsides I’ve found is that graphs and photos are often so tiny as to be meaningless. Gadget purists are upset about the lack of a slot for a storage card in the newer models, but Amazon claims the increased memory makes an SD card unnecessary.

The pre-order cost of $489.00 will no doubt chase away some readers, esp. during tough economic times, but I think the Kindle is here to stay. The smaller Kindle 2 is still available for $359.00 and there are some used first generation Kindles available for $250.00 and up.

On the POD front, I found an interesting blog post about the Espresso Book Machine. Personally, I’d love to see one of these in every bookstore.

Linda McLaughlin w/a Lyndi Lamont

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