The end is near

The last time I pulled an all-nighter was in college, final exams time, when I drank an entire bottle of Mountain Dew by myself and vibrated for hours while pretending to study Biology. (I had to rely on my Latin to get me through, and I think I managed to pull a C. And I never drank Mountain Dew again.) I’m not a good night person. I’m usually voted first person to fall asleep at any party. But I actually pulled an all-nighter this week.

TSFT was due to my editor on Monday, and I ended up writing all day Sunday, Sunday night into Monday morning and all day Monday. By that night, EVERYTHING was funny to me:
“Hey, how about pizza for dinner?”
Me: (giggling) pizza. That’s funny!
“Uh, o-kaaaay….”
Me: Okie dokie smokey pokey. (giggling)

Exhaustion is not pretty.

At 9:00, I hit the bed, face-first and did not move until 7:00 the next morning. I had Tuesday and Wednesday off and now I’m back at it again. As I’m reading through, it’s started to hit me that this is IT. The end. Finito. And I feel sort of sad about that. Okay, I won’t qualify it–I feel sad about it, no “sort of” involved. I’ve traveled a long road with these characters. It will be hard to let them go. But all things must come to an end. I hope I have brought it to a satisfying conclusion. And hey, there’s always fanfic. 🙂

For some reason, this song by The Dears has been my go-to song for Kartik and Gemma. Don’t know why, just is. I’ve listened to it about four bajillion times now, and it’s starting to make me all gooey. So I should probably stop listening to it, huh? I was thinking about romance a lot this week. I’ve never considered myself a terribly romantic person. My friend Laurie once described us thus: “I live in a Frank Capra world, but you, Lib, live in a Billy Wilder world.” And I didn’t disagree. Bittersweet is about as sweet as I get.

But here’s what I discovered about myself while writing TSFT (among many, many things I discovered about myself…) I’m a closet romantic. Hi, my name is Libba and I’m a sucker for a good love story. So why is it that admitting that makes me want to walk around in a trenchcoat and dark glasses? So much of what makes a good romance is about admitting to being vulnerable, and that, well, that’s some scary stuff.

Justine Larbalestier (www.justinelarbalestier.com) wrote a great, thought-provoking post about romance and what makes a good romance on her blog a few weeks back, and I encourage you to check it out, (because I’m shamelessly stealing from her here. Go, Justine–oi! oi! oi!)

I posted my two cents’ worth. I felt that banter was important–it’s sexual tension in verbal form. But I also confessed that I am a sucker for the whole star-crossed lovers thing. There’s a reason I read WUTHERING HEIGHTS straight through and then read it again. I loved THE THORN BIRDS, too.

Romance is deeply personal. I am left cold by many romantic comedies, but “Say Anything” and “Annie Hall” get me every time. I loved the Logan/Veronica Mars storyline on “Veronica Mars” (although toward the end I was tired of watching Logan with the same hangdog expression in every scene–and no, I STILL haven’t seen the last episode so no spoilers!) And I remember reading once that the actress Geena Davis, when she was with Jeff Goldblum, set up tiny wind-up robots to walk past his door to wish him a happy birthday, and I thought, forget roses, now THAT’s romantic. I love the ridiculous gesture, the absolutely true-there’s-nothing-left-to-lose-so-I-have-to-say-this confession, the boombox in the rain (thank you, Cameron Crowe), the “Here’s looking at you, kid”, the realization that if life is impossible, then the only possible sane answer is the insanity of love. To quote Billy Wilder, “Well, nobody’s perfect.”

So I had to get over myself, admit to my inner love story geek, get vulnerable and commit it to paper. Here’s to romance.

Now I put the question to you–what makes you weak-kneed? What do you love in a romance? What do you hate? Lay it on me.

***Just wanted to clear up any rumors about the movie. There is no movie yet. There’s only a script. So, no casting has taken place. Nada. Nuttin’. Crickets chirping. Cows mooing in the distance. Okay, maybe not cows, but you get the picture. But as soon as I hear anything, I’ll post it pronto. If you want to check out something cool that HAS been made into a movie, though, check out the Spiderwick trailer on Holly Black’s website (www.blackholly.com). It is sooo cool and had me dying to see the movie.

Also, I promise to get back to answering posts/questions just as soon as the book is finished. So close, so close…

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