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Ta da! I finally updated the look of my blog. I’m sending boxcars of high quality chocolate to my intrepid crit partner and Tech Godess, Carrie Spencer. (Yes, Carrie, put on your cape and race through the cornfields with Woodie.) You’ve earned it, especially after looking through all of the pics of cups of coffee. 

The header picture provides a tiny glimpse about me. I’m a writer. I write romance. I drink coffee. But I’m also a collector.

If you’re a writer, you collect words. Whether it’s a conscious effort, like tapping them out on a keyboard or storing a single word or phrase in your head for future reference, your collection of words grow from a concept into a story. By the time your manuscript is complete, you’ve amassed a very personal collection of 70,000-100,000 words.

I wrote my first story on a vintage typewriter. I still have those pages somewhere. Now, I often wonder if I’d be more productive if I used a typewriter. Why? Well, when I’ve reached the right margin of the page, I’m rewarded with the “ding” of the typewriter. Also, I can’t access the Internet from a typewriter. I know we all do it. You get stuck on your story so you jump on the Internet and check your e-mail, Facebook and Twitter or some other site that’s a time suck. 

My nemesis is eBay and Etsy.com. It AMAZES me to see what kind of stuff people sell on these sites. I love looking at old pulp fiction paperback covers and product ads from the fifties and sixties. I troll the newly listed vintage posters because I love old travel posters. They evoke a different era, when life was slower and the world was a smaller place, and travel to far off lands was a luxury.

There’s a part of me that longs for those days when people dressed up to ride on an airplane, when sitting in economy wasn’t a cattle call, and you’d still get a hot meal with real silverware.

A couple years ago, I took my Olivetti Lettera 22 to a typewriter repair shop to have it oiled and cleaned. I saw several vintage typewriters in the window for sale. Pink ones, turquoise and cherry red! I fell in love. My husband got that pained look on his face. 

Here’s my latest addition: a 1936 chocolate brown Royal with glass keys. It’s in perfect working condition. Made in America and built to last.

Last month, I started collecting old silver plate. In my defense, taking a break from writing and polishing silver helps stir the creative juices…and so does vacuuming. (Yes, I vacuum a lot.) I usually try to look for a piece that’s got a bit of history. Something that’s dinged up and not perfect. This coffeepot is from Grace Lines, the venerable steamship line that operated between ports in the U.S. and South America until 1969. It was black with tarnish when it landed on my doorstep. It took me over a week to remove most of the tarnish, which was done during my writing breaks. But as I polished it, I was able to rethink a few sticky areas in my ms and finish my revisions, so I think the purchase was justified.

Becke, my other CP, collects vintage postcards. Again, this harkens back to a bygone era when writing letters was considered an art form. These postcards were popular before the days of automated postmarking. This card is hand embroidered.

Becke and I are both stationery whores, so we’re big on sending notes and cards via snail mail. 

I collect vintage wind-up toys too. I have a friend who collects Art Deco cocktail shakers while another collects majolica ceramics. 

Are you a collector? What do you collect or wish you collected?

 

 

Many thanks to those of you who are following my blog. I promise to update more often and hopefully, not bore you to tears.

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And…here’s next week’s line-up for RU. http://romanceuniversity.org

We’ve got something better than a tall, cold drink with a tiny umbrella to snap you out of the dog days of summer!

Have you ever seen the 1967 groundbreaking romantic drama on race relations, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, starring Sidney Poitier, Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn? Maisey Yates addresses the issue of mixed-race couples in romance. Our monthly columnist agent Sara Megibow poses the question: should you go it alone or do you need the expertise an agent can offer? And on Friday, RU’s Adrienne Giordano, our very own resident debut author, talks about those unforgettable moments on her path to publication.

Mon, 8/8 – “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?” 2011 Style. Maisey Yates discusses biracial couples in romance. Is love really color blind? Romance novels with biracial couples. http://www.maiseyyates.com

Wed, 8/10 – Agent Sara Megibow shares her secrets on how to sell romance. You’re Fired! Sara Megibow talks about whether you need an agent. http://www.nelsonagency.com

Fri, 8/12 – Adrienne Giordano shares her special moments on her road to publication. Is your moment passing you by? Learn to savor with RU. http://adriennegiordano.com/ 

All Romance University lectures are generously provided by our Visiting Professors. RU is a tuition-free zone!

Best regards,

Becke Martin Davis, Adrienne Giordano, Robin Covington, Tracey Devlyn, Kelsey Browning, Carrie Spencer and Jennifer Tanner

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