NaBloPoMo – Day Twenty-eight
Well, today is Day 28 of NaBloPoMo, and we only have three days left of the National Blog Posting Month challenge! (Well, it’s easy from here on out! We only have two days after today…and I’ve reserved the last day as a Wrap-Up, so really, we only have one day left! That’s easy!)
For my NaBloPoMo series, I’ve been reviewing my old journal. I stumbled upon this journal when looking for photos to the car accident I had in 1996. I didn’t find the photos until a few weeks later, but I’m so glad I found this journal when I did.
As I mentioned before, there are 206 entries in my old journal, and it spans 277 pages. That’s a lot to break-down into 30 day’s worth of discussions. So, I set out on my task. I devised a “schedule,” working in chronological order from when I was a junior in High School on up through college, and so far, I’ve stuck to it.
Now that I’m on the last three days of NaBloPoMo, I realize that the entries I have left all deal with one thing: Sorting through my feelings of angst. About boys. Silly boys. Of course, it gets somewhat exciting when I accidentally fall in love with someone that one of my roommates has a deep and unrequited love for, so I won’t let NaBloPoMo escape without at least touching on them…
As interesting as it would be for me to go on and on and on about every crush (and who knew there were so many!?), I’ve decided to revise my schedule a little bit and spare you the tedious details.
I’ll touch on those last pages of angst tomorrow, if only because I actually have some really good quotes…priceless quotes…but I won’t bore you with the pages and pages and pages (you get the idea)… In the meantime, I’m going to revisit an on-going theme throughout my journal that I haven’t touched on yet: Book reviews and my love of reading.
I used my old journal not only as a catch-all for my thoughts, but also as a way to keep track of the movies I’d seen and the books I’d been reading. Before I went to college, I read a lot of books – murder/mysteries, crime dramas, romance novels…a variety. In college, I was already reading 150+ pages a night for schoolwork (no lie!), so I didn’t have much time to read for purely entertainment purposes, but I always tried to work a good book into the mix. Romance novels were the easiest, because they didn’t require much of a thought-process, which is exactly what my weary brain needed in the midst of all the studying.
I stumbled upon romance novels when I started babysitting for one of my cousins and his wife in high school. She had a TON of them, and she let me borrow them. I think Jude Deveraux was my first taste of historic romance novels, and I was hooked. I also read Janet Dailey and Jane Peart, to name a few.
Here is an entry about those books and some neat family trees that I created from them, as found on pages 138 to 142. Every novelist had a “formula” that she used in her books, and I wish I would have written that down as well. Each “formula” was unique, yet very similar. Once I’d read a couple of her books, I knew how each of her other books would go. For instance, a typical formula was: Boy meets girl. Girl hates boy (because he’s not right for her in some way). Girl is forced to spend time with boy. Girl and boy fall madly in love. There is a horrible misunderstanding, and one of them storms out. Something dreadful happens to girl (she’s kidnapped by his evil nemesis, etc.). A third party spills the beans that what the boy had thought had happened, really was just a misunderstanding. Boy realizes that not only did girl storm out, but she’s been kidnapped! (In the meantime, girl doesn’t know boy knows about the misunderstanding and is just sure that no one is coming to rescue her.) Boy goes to all lengths to find girl. Boy defeats evil nemesis and saves girl. They realize all has been forgiven and live happily ever after. Some of the books I read weren’t really happy ever after books, but you didn’t know that until you started the next one.
Here is one of the entries to the book lists, and you’ll see in the pictures that I even “tabbed” the tops of these pages with green so that I could quickly locate the family lines and add to them as I read more, later:
THE JUDE DEVERAUX BOOK LIST by me (June 12, 1991)
I am a big fan of Jude Deveraux books ever since [my cousin’s wife] got me started on them. They are romances set in historical time periods, including very colorful characters that leap from the pages and reenact the scene before my very eyes.
I was at a great advantage by being introduced to these books by someone who had already read the majority (at the time it was the majority, but Jude has written more), because she could tell me in what order to read them.
For convenience, I have made a “Family Line” for each family saga (Jude has different sets of books that go through an entire family). So here they are:
These were set back in the [time of] castles and feudalism, when love and honor for the family name was very strong.
And, here are some diagrams from the other authors:
Click on the above picture to see the family line from THE JANET DAILEY BOOK LIST by me (June 12, 1991)
Click on the above picture to see the family line from THE JANE PEART – “BRIDES” BOOK LIST by me (June 16, 1991)
So, how does this tie into where I was chronologically in my journal-discussion? Well, I can’t tell this story without talking about Uncle David. (This isn’t actually his real name, because he actually has a rather important high-profile job in the public eye…and well, we all know the power of Google…and because I don’t want to leave him nameless, I’ll call him David.)
David is my best guy friend from college. I would say boy friend, but many would read that as boyfriend, and we never were a romantic item. Of course, in true college-girl style, I tried that idea on in my head and decided that if we were ever together, we’d kill each other. In fact, we even talked openly about that and how it just wouldn’t work. We were too different and too much alike. We could debate for hours about hot topics and agree to disagree after hours of battle. We were completely comfortable being just friends. We grew really close the four years we spent together in college. After college, we went our separate ways, but the new families we have since created are still rather close.
One of my best girl friends (the poetess) and I started calling him Uncle David our freshman year in college, and I can’t exactly remember why. I’m sure it will come to me if I think really hard about it. Anyway, it stuck. In fact, years after we’d graduated from college, when I found out I was pregnant with Claire, I called him and asked him if he was ready to be a Great-Uncle. Needless to say, he was thrilled. I’m not sure how we’ll explain to Claire that Uncle David isn’t really an Uncle…
So, anyway, I can’t talk about Romance Novels without talking about Uncle David. Why? Well, I had purchased some of my favorite romance novels and took them with me to college. One afternoon, he found them.
That’s when it all started: Uncle David’s Story Hour. My friend and I would gather in our room, and Uncle David would read chapters out of my romance novels, making so much fun of the characters. At first, I would gasp out loud and say wistfully, “How can you make fun of that!? The love they have is so beeeeeeeeeeautiful!”
He would do voices. Sometimes he would make gestures (and gagging noises). On really good days he would prance about my room acting out the scenes. He would add parts that weren’t there! He would rip them to shreds with his rapier wit, and we loved every minute of it.
To this day, I can’t see a romance novel and not think of Uncle David’s Story Hour. Oh the memories! Oh the windswept, breathless, glorious, tousled-hair’d and scantily-clothed memories!