Monday, July 9, 2012


            The English language is a constantly evolving entity, and the meaning of a word or its connotation, can change overnight.  To a writer, submission has a specific meaning. It’s the act of actually sending a piece of work—novel, short story, or screenplay—to an agent or editor with the hope of getting it published.
            But lately, with the phenomena of Fifty Shades, the mass market public has realized the word has a much different definition.  Romance writers have known this for years, but mainstream readers tend to shun romance novels, missing out on the best new fiction available. (Check out Siren Publishing’s website for a taste of what’s new in the genre.) Submission has become a sexual word, a naughty word.
            Perhaps the dominance and submission brouhaha is a reverence for what used to be the norm.
            Since the 1960’s, women have been taking a stronger role in their own lives, working outside the home, juggling work, spouse, kids, and home life. We are exhausted, overworked, stressed and sex is often the last item on the overburdened agenda.
            (Husbands are busy, too. Don’t think I’m putting them down. But women tend to take on the caretaker role to the extreme.)
            Prior to the sexual revolution, women submitted to their husbands.
            Husbands made all the decisions and women took care of the house and kids while their man provided the household income and made the important decisions.  He was in charge, financially, emotionally, and sexually.
            As a wife and mom and wage earner in 2012, going back to the ‘good old days’ of 1955 sounds like a wonderful idea. I’d get to stay home every day, leave all the worries of the world to my dear hubby, and cook a nice dinner every evening. In a sense, I’d do everything I already do at home, but I wouldn’t put in a full day at a job outside the home. Sounds like a perpetual vacation!
            Husbands around the world would groan.  Loss of income. Wife suddenly has time after dinner to sit and talk. Shirts are suddenly starched and pressed, as are boxers.
            The conversations we hear today about submission are focused on sexual submission. However, turning the act of submitting on and off can be complicated. Giving up control of your mind and body to your husband or lover is liberating. And like the women’s liberation movement of the sixties and seventies, it may become addicting.
            Food for thought:
            Do we want to go back to being pampered housewives, cleaning house, cooking dinner, and planting flowers?

            Tell me what you think.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


            I went to the movies yesterday to see a much-hyped movie, and it wasn’t at all what I expected. From the promos, I planned to see an comedy filled with half-naked men dancing.
            What I got was a dark look at the underside (no pun intended) of the industry. The headline grabbing actor who is prominent in all the movie’s advertisements wasn’t in much of the movie. And although the show was interesting, I’d expected to see more of him.
            The dancing (and tight male chests) were nice to watch, but the alcohol and drug abuse worried me, since I saw a few children in the audience with their moms. Not the type of movie I would have taken a six year old to see.
            Discussing the movie with my hubby the next day was enlightening. He made this interesting query. Why do women see nothing wrong with watching male strippers, yet think of women who earn a living stripping with derision?
            The double standard is there for all to see.  I can’t imagine a movie of this sort playing in major theatres if the genders were reversed. The male leads were promiscuous, but in our culture, men are allowed to sleep around while women are still expected by many to be innocent.
            It’s all about expectations.
            As a reader and writer of romantic fiction, I have my own expectations. When I pick up a book with a house on the front, expect a certain type of story, usually a mystery or a sweet romance. When the cover shows a bare-chested man, I expect a hot, sexy love story.  The same can be said of people on the street or at the neighborhood mall. Who among us hasn’t sat on a bench at the mall and people-watched?
            The way people dress, walk, talk to their companions, interact with their children or spouse, is fascinating. Sometimes it’s even better than a movie.
            Sometimes it’s fuel for a novel.
            Beware. There are writers among you.