In their efforts to increase blog readership, some romance writers dig deep and get creative. Others indulge in outright pandering.
Now please understand, this scold is not directed towards those who would use contests, or guest interviews, or articles on craft to enhance their share of the market. No, I’m talking specifically about the tradition of “Hunk Days”.
HD’s are the weekly or monthly events when photos of gym-honed male perfection–their belts strategically loose, their biceps suspiciously flexed for the task at hand–are uploaded. That’s also when an otherwise articulate blog conversation takes an abrupt header for the south.
Rest assured, Dear Reader, you won’t see such flim-flammery at the Tartitude. Our philosophy is that a blog should live and die on the merits of its writing alone. We believe in standards, the thrill of intellectual discourse, artistic integrity.
We do not believe in gratuitous pecs.
That policy articulated, let’s move on to more serious matters: the search for my new Internal Editor.
Since last posting, I have conducted fourteen interviews, of which twelve were dismal failures. (And this, despite careful skewing my selection towards the teenagers, so I could take advantage of their natural cynicism. It was naive of me, I admit. Today’s youth have been corrupted with woo-woo ideas about “self-actualization” and “agency” to the point that many couldn’t even summon a reasonable sneer!)
But just when the process was taking its tole and I seriously considered begging Savannah to take me back, two more candidates arrived. Guess what, Gentle Reader?
We now have a competition. 🙂
What do you think of this first one? He’s devilishly good at emoting–a key skill for any Internal Editor, who must shift between rapier-sharp put-downs and brutish rages, as required, to keep my Imposter Syndrome intact.
Mr. Depp’s emotional repertoire was so vast I almost hired him right then and there. What stopped me was this candid photo from Tartitude’s security camera.
I simple can’t work with a narcissistic IE.
Remember, this relationship is supposed to be about me–how my writing sucks, what I do wrong, the simple grammatical mistakes I make over and over and over again. Given Dr. Depp’s attitude above, I can just envision what our future would hold:
I’m on deadline, everything’s going wrong–just as it should–when suddenly he’s not “feeling the role” or “getting his motivation”. And then he’s flinging himself down on the bed in despair and moaning in deep, velvety tones.
I ask you, what choice would I have then? I couldn’t leave another human being in to wallow in despair, even for the sake of my craft. I’d have to tear my fingers from the keyboard, crawl towards him across that vast, king-sized expanse of satin sheets; I’d have to kiss the pout from those petulant lips…
…No… That wouldn’t work at all.
Which brings me to the last candidate, Double-O-Heaven.
I believe he’s the most promising, and it’s not only because he will do me proud in his tux on the day I accept my first RITA. (That’s me–always thinking ahead.)
No, he’s far more than an attractive exterior. You can be assured there would be no emo moments with this brute.
And he’s obviously fit–an essential attribute in the event of inspiration or a deadline forcing me to the keyboard for a prolonged writing spell. He’d have the stamina to keep up with me. All. Night. Long.
Our chemistry would be phenomenal. I mean, I shiver at the very thought of those crystalline eyes settling on me in cruel disapproval. I tremble at what he might say.
“Hope, you are a baad, baaad writer. You should quit right now. In fact, why don’t you? Yes, that’s right. Turn off the computer. Stop polishing words and licking passive verbs into submission and come over here, where you can put all that polishing and licking practice to– (edited for sensitive eyes)
So why didn’t I just go for it, and hire Mr. Craig right then and there?
Surprise! I did. We’re in the process of negotiating his salary. The man certainly knows how to drive one hell of a hard bargain. 😉