As predicted, I had no internet access up there, so if anything big happened to you while I was out of the loop, please let me know in comments.
On the long drive up, I realized that the plot of the short story I'm working on now is a farce from Jane's point of view, but if I told it from Sophie's point of view, it would be a straight-up love story with just enough obstacles to ennoble the happy ending. If I knew a damn thing about romance novels, it might even be workable into a paranormal romance of the sort Anna Genoese likes for her line at Tor. But I'm romance-illiterate, formerly romance-allergic, so that probably wouldn't work out. I had five hours on the New York State Thruway to run the imaginary film of the story through my head both ways, and the farce entertained me more than the romance, hands-down, every time. For Jane, finding the Atlantean stranded on her beach sets off an unwelcome crisis of epistemology that can only end with an embrace of the absurd, which is just plain more interesting to me than Sophie's courtship is, even though that courtship is pretty odd. Well, it's my loss. I like writing love plots, but if the novel I just shipped out is any indication, apparently I can only write them with heavy doses of tragedy and slapstick. How much tragedy and slapstick can a paranormal romance sustain?
And so, two questions for the romance readers and writers on my friends list:
What is your single favorite romance novel of all time?
What one romance novel best displays the virtues of the genre so that even a romance-illiterate reader can detect them?
Yes, I get that those two questions may have different answers. They certainly would for me, if the genre in question were fantasy.
Anyhow, I'm home long enough to catch up on the many phone calls and emails I owe the universe. Hello, universe, expect to hear from me tomorrow. Here's hoping I won't be as thoroughly incommunicado next weekend in DC.