Friday, October 14, 2011

Drowsy and Romantic...

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How Romance Novel Covers are Made

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It’s fascinating to me how a romance novel cover is made. An authors’ cover can be so important to sales, and yet the writer basically has no say in how it turns out. She/he can only describe the characters and a few scenes and hope for the best. 
But have you seen some of the guys who model for Romance covers? Yum-EY! Romance cover models have come a long way since Fabio. Models like John DeSalvo, and Rob Ashton are tall, dark and sexy and they’ve gained a following in the biz among authors. Some authors with enough clout can actually request certain models for their covers. And it’s fun to go to the models’ web sites and look at all the covers they’ve modeled for and see how different they can look. 
Every year, Romantic Times Magazine hosts a cover model competition during their Book Lovers convention and one man is crowned Mr. Romance. Convention goers, both readers and writers of romance, drool and sigh as they get to meet and mingle with the year's finalists. 
Some people think the “clinch” cover is cheesy, or demeaning, or even misrepresents what’s inside. Let’s face it, today’s romance novels are hip, compelling, relevant, complicated, and darned exciting. So why, you might ask, do we need a hunky bare chest with a set of rock hard abs splashed across the cover? We don't! But they sure are scrumptious to look at. And if it encourages readers to pick up my book and read to the back cover, then I’m all for it. - 
Still it's a long way from staged clinches in a studio to a finished costume painting for a cover. Elaine Gignilliat, former romance book cover artist for over 350 books, has a few insights for people interested in getting into the romance book cover artist business. The full interview is here.

If you want to have a look at some really bad covers that should have been parodies, click here.

The Making of a Romance Novel

Ever wonder how a romance novel goes from being a figment of an author's imagination to becoming a finished book on your shelf? Every romance publisher has individual submission and production guidelines, but these are the basic steps in the making of a romance novel: 
     1. Author submits romance manuscript to an editor at a publishing house.
     2. If the editor accepts the manuscript, he/she will offer the author a contract.
     3. If the editor requests revisions, the author and editor work together until the manuscript meets the editor's final approval. The author submits a final version of the manuscript, along with a copy of the story on computer diskette.
     4. The editor line-edits the manuscript, checking the conceptual aspects of the book such as plot line, characterization, dialogue, momentum, and tone. A copy of the line-edit is usually provided to the author.
     5. The manuscript then goes to a copy-editor who checks for publishing house style
(formatting, word usage), grammar, continuity, and time-line. He/she flags questions for the lineeditor and/or author.
     6. After questions have been resolved, the production department enters all changes from the author, the line-editor, and the copy-editor onto the author's diskette copy of the story.
     7. A 'galley' is printed from the updated diskette. The galley is the final form in which the author will see the story before it goes to print.
     8. The author reviews the galley and submits changes if necessary.
     9. The proofreading department inputs the author changes and reads the galley again, usually more than once.
   10. The galley is sent to production and the next stop is the book store.


Quotes for the incurable romantic

When you love someone all your saved up wishes start coming out.
- Elizabeth Bowen

Love is, above all, the gift of oneself.
- Jean Anouilh

A heaven on earth I have won by wooing thee.
- William Shakespeare

Soft moonlight and tender love harmonize together wonderfully. 
- Ninon de l'Enclos
Love transforms; it simultaneously makes us larger and limits and limits our possibilities. It changes our history even as it breaks a new path through the present. 
- Michael Dorrius

Perhaps love is only the highest symbol of friendship, 
as all other things seem symbols of love. 
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

heart key chain
Words are the key to the heart.
- Anonymous
Life is a flower of which love is the honey.
- Victor Hugo

There is nothing holier in this life of ours than the first consciousness 

of love, the first fluttering of its silken wings. 

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Love rules the court,
The camp, the grove,
And men below, and the saints above,
For love is heaven and heaven is love. 
- Sir Walter Scott
Love me, and tell me so sometimes.
- Gail Hamilton
Love is a circle that doth restless move
In the same sweet eternity of love.
- Robert Herick
But there's nothing half so sweet in life 
As love’s young dream.
- Thomas Moore
What is love ? Two souls and one flesh. 
- Joseph Iloux

As sweet and musical 
As bright Apollo’s lute, strung with his hair; 
And when Love speaks, the voice of all the gods
Makes heaven drowsy with the harmony.
- William Shakespeare
Sweet are the words of Love, sweeter his thoughts: 
Sweetest of all what Love nor says nor thinks.
- Richard Garnett
When love beckons to you follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden. 
- Kahil Gibran
The quarrels of lovers are like summer storms. 
Everything is more beautiful when they have passed.
- Suzanne Necker

In all our losses, all our gains,
In all our pleasures, all our pains,
The life of life is: Love remains.
In every change from good to ill,--
If love continues still,
Let happen then what will.
- Theodore Tilton
Doubt thou the stars are fire;
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar;
But never doubt I love. 
- William Shakespeare
Love dies only when growth stops.
- Pearl S. Buck
The sea hath its pearls
The heaven hath its stars
But my heart, my heart 
Has its love.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The very essence of romance is uncertainty. 
- Oscar Wilde
With thee conversing, I forget all time;
All seasons and their change, all please alike.
- Milton
Love and you shall be loved. All love is mathematically just, 
as much as two sides of an algebraic equation. 
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Take away love and our earth is a tomb.
- Robert Browning
Love sought is good, but given unsought is better.
- William Shakespeare


More than just a sign of sleepiness, yawning may cool the brain.

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Text by Morgan Kelly
Though considered a mark of boredom or fatigue, yawning might also be a trait of the hot-headed. Literally.

A study led by Andrew Gallup, a postdoctoral research associate in Princeton University's Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, is the first involving humans to show that yawning frequency varies with the season and that people are less likely to yawn when the heat outdoors exceeds body temperature. Gallup and his co-author Omar Eldakar, a postdoctoral fellow in the University of Arizona's Center for Insect Science, report this monthin the journal Frontiers in Evolutionary Neuroscience that this seasonal disparity indicates that yawning could serve as a method for regulating brain temperature.
Gallup and Eldakar documented the yawning frequency of 160 people in the winter and summer in Tucson, Ariz., with 80 people for each season. They found that participants were more likely to yawn in the winter, as opposed to the summer when ambient temperatures were equal to or exceeding body temperature. The researchers concluded that warmer temperatures provide no relief for overheated brains, which, according to the thermoregulatory theory of yawning, stay cool via a heat exchange with the air drawn in during a yawn.

People yawn less frequently when outdoor temperatures exceed body temperature, suggesting that yawning could be a natural brain-cooling mechanism, Princeton University and University of Arizona researchers reported. They recorded yawning frequency in 160 people in summer and winter in Tucson, Ariz., 80 for each season. They found that nearly half of participants yawned in winter, opposed to less than a quarter in the summertime. (graph by Andrew Gallup)
Gallup describes the findings as follows: This provides additional support for the view that the mechanisms controlling the expression of yawning are involved in thermoregulatory physiology. Despite numerous theories posited in the past few decades, very little experimental research has been done to uncover the biological function of yawning, and there is still no consensus about its purpose among the dozen or so researchers studying the topic today.

"Enter the brain cooling, or thermoregulatory, hypothesis, which proposes that yawning is triggered by increases in brain temperature, and that the physiological consequences of a yawn act to promote brain cooling. I participated in a study [published in Frontiers in Evolutionary Neuroscience in September 2010] that confirmed this dynamic after we observed changes in the brain temperature of rats before and after the animals yawned. The cooling effect of yawning is thought to result from enhanced blood flow to the brain caused by stretching of the jaw, as well as countercurrent heat exchange with the ambient air that accompanies the deep inhalation.

"According to the brain cooling hypothesis, it is the temperature of the ambient air that gives a yawn its utility. Thus yawning should be counterproductive -- and therefore suppressed -- in ambient temperatures at or exceeding body temperature because taking a deep inhalation of air would not promote cooling. In other words, there should be a 'thermal window' or a relatively narrow range of ambient temperatures in which to expect highest rates of yawning.
"To test this theory in humans, I worked with Omar Eldakar to conduct a field-observational experiment that explored the relationship between ambient temperature and yawning frequency. We measured the incidence of yawning among people outdoors during the summer and winter months in Arizona. Summer conditions provided temperatures that matched or slightly exceeded body temperature (an average of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit) with relatively low humidity, while winter conditions exhibited milder temperatures (71 degrees Fahrenheit on average) and slightly higher humidity. We randomly selected 160 pedestrians (80 for each season) and, because yawning is contagious, had them view images of people yawning.
"Our study accordingly showed a higher incidence of yawning across seasons when ambient temperatures were lower, even after statistically controlling for other features such as humidity, time spent outside and the amount of sleep the night before. Nearly half of the people in the winter session yawned, as opposed to less than a quarter of summer participants.
"Furthermore, when analyzing data for each season separately, we observed that yawning was related to the length of time a person spent outside exposed to the climate conditions. This was particularly true during the summer when the proportion of individuals yawning dropped significantly as the length of time spent outside increased prior to testing. Nearly 40 percent of participants yawned within the first five minutes outside, but the percentage of summertime yawners dropped to less than 10 percent thereafter. An inverse effect was observed in the winter, but the proportion of people who yawned increased only slightly for those who spent more than five minutes outdoors.
"This is the first report to show that yawning frequency varies from season to season. The applications of this research are intriguing, not only in terms of basic physiological knowledge, but also for better understanding diseases and conditions, such as multiple sclerosis or epilepsy, that are accompanied by frequent yawning and thermoregulatory dysfunction. These results provide additional support for the view that excessive yawning may be used as a diagnostic tool for identifying instances of diminished thermoregulation."                     

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