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  • Gender Reveal parties July 25, 2014
    I’m hearing about this new trend in the baby world: the gender reveal party. What happens is the doctor or sonogram tech writes the gender in a sealed envelope which is then delivered to a baker. The baker then bakes either a pink or blue cake with neutral frosting. Then a reveal party is hostedRead more...
  • Songs of Summer July 22, 2014
    It happens every summer. An ear worm hits the airwaves and it’s in your head all summer. Some I like, some I could live without. (Remember the summer of Gangam style). This summer, I’m humming along to Imagine Dragons, On Top of the World, Fancy by Iggy Azalea, and I could live without Happy byRead more...
  • Pokemon Tournament July 9, 2014
    This weekend my boys begged me to drive them to a local Pokemon tournament at a local comic/collector shop. Now, I knew what they didn’t; that the tournament would be a micro version of comic con or similar con. They’d never seen or been to anything like it. Nor had I, because my choice forRead more...

Posts for:  February 2012

The YA Downton Abbey

I think it started on Twitter. Someone mentioned Downton Abbey. And then I kept seeing mentions and comments on Facebook and then it entered dinner conversation. It seemed every person I knew was becoming more obsessed with Downton Abbey.

It took me about a year to catch up, and I’m still not quite there yet, being only in the middle of Season One, but I finally watched the show. And I got it. Man did I. The writing, the scenery, the clothes. Ohmygod, the clothes. I love this show.

And yet something about it seemed oddly familiar. Especially the clothes, and then I realized I’d been reading a series set in this time period for years, the Betsy-Tacy Series by Maud Hart Lovelace. If you like Downton Abbey, you may also like Betsy Tacy. If you are a writer, you will love Betsy.

The books are a semi-autobiographical account of Maud’s (Betsy’s) life growing up in Mankato Minnesota at the turn of the century. The first four books are charming and for a younger audience, but as soon as she hits high school, the series gets really good. Maud describes the clothes and the music and life in the Middle West so beautifully and un-self-consciously, you feel you are a part of Betsy’s crowd going to the moving picture show, singing around a piano and seeing your first automobile.

When Betsy goes abroad her junior year of college in “Betsy and the Great World,” she brings Europe at the brink of WWI alive. In fact, the book served as a travel guide for me when I went to Venice, Munich and Paris.

So is this book truly the young adult Downton Abbey? Not really. The time period is the same, but Betsy offers an American middle class  view, whereas Downton Abbey is a British aristocratic or servant class view.

But for fans of truly great historical fiction, I highly recommend Betsy-Tacy. Tear through the first few, just to get a sense of the characters, then dive into the high school world. Other famous fans of the book include Judy Blume, Meg Cabot, and Bette Midler. Betsy even gets an obscure reference in the Meg Ryder movie- You’ve Got Mail.

http://www.amazon.com/Betsy-Tacy-Treasury-First-Four-Books/dp/0062095870/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1330438257&sr=8-7

Get it Together Tuesday: Nothing to see here

This is draft 3 of today’s blog. In draft 1, I wrote an entirely too personal account of my sex life with my husband. My husband asked that I not post it. I’ll respect his request.

Draft 2 discussed birth control and my thoughts on having more kids or being permanaently sterilized. My possible future children asked me not to post it. I’ll go with it.

And here we are at iteration number 3 in which I have nothing of significance to talk about. But it’s Tuesday, and Jane always writes on Tuesdays.

(A nickel to whoever gets that reference, and since you’re romance readers, I’m guessing all of you will)

So consider this my Seinfeld blog post. A post about nothing! Um, how did Larry David and Jerry pull off a half-hour sitcom? I can’t even fill a few measly paragraphs. Maybe my brain is too full of annoyance at the joke of a senate hearing last week on birth control. I mean really, it’s a women’s issue, but it’s also a mans. Consider that families would have to budget a possible additional thousand dollars per year if the Pill stopped getting covered. Don’t even get me started.

Or maybe my head is too full of my current manuscript in which something isn’t quite right. I’d fix it, but heck if I know what’s the matter.

So I’m going to bed. Thanks for showing up today. I obviously didn’t.

Things I learned about dating from Match.com

My husband’s best friend came to stay with us last week. He is single, good looking and smart. He is actively looking for love and wants to be a dad. So when he was scrolling through his Match.Com profile, I couldn’t resist butting in. After all I am a professional romance writer. I saw it as my job to help out. Things I learned:

1. Men look at the photos first! I think we all knew this, but it’s really really true. Ladies, if you’re serious about snagging a man via online dating, invest in good photos. Don’t use the camera phone upload. No Glamour Shots- that would be too obvious, but you want to look your best. Have a good head shot that shows your face and another body shot that shows an honest depiction of your body type. MEN ARE LOOKING.

I was surprised at how many women had lousy photos that showed nothing of their personality. In fact many women only had 4 photos, and two of those were of their dog! Dog photos are great- just be in the photo with your pet.

2. Don’t write a manuscript. Keep your paragraph about you to exactly that. ONE PARAGRAPH! The men skim it looking for bullet points. (Family, hiking, yoga, zest for life etc…) So many women had pages of unparagraphed text. We stopped reading.

3. I hestitate to write this last thing, because it probably does depend on the man. Let the men contact you. Let them be the hunter. There are probably men who appreciate getting contacted, but I’m thinking a lot of them prefer to do the contacting. I could be WAAAAAY off base about this. WOuld love to hear more opinions.

So on this Valentine’s Day, if you’re looking for love, let love come find you. But you can help it along by presenting a great marketing package of yourself. Make yourself look fun and engaging, someone people will want to meet.

Who would you Do: Superbowl Quarterbacks

I think we all know this Sunday is the big game, so normally I’d throw up a few photos of shirtless footballers and take a poll. But Yahoo sports posted THIS article and I felt I had to comment.  To summarize, the NY Post “somehow” obtained a private email from Gisele Bundchen to family and friends asking them to pray  send positive vibes to “Tommy” for the big game.

Sweet, right? Well the article’s author didn’t think so. He derides Bundchen and Brady as not deserving positive energy. And mocks Bundchen for having the audacity to send the email.

You know who deserves to get mocked? The article’s author. How dare he write rude things about something most of us participate in on a daily basis via Facebook, religious organizations or other places. How many of you were asked this week to send positive vibes to someone because they were in the hospital or interviewing for a job? Show of hands? Mine are up.

Why shouldn’t Gisele & Tom get to do the same. Cause they’re famous. Sorry, Yahoo Sports Author, 1. the email wasn’t newsworthy and 2. you look like a snarky jerk.

I’m sending positive energy to both the Giants and the Patriots that they play to the best of their abilities and remain injury free. I don’t have a dog in the race- I’m not a particular fan of either team, but I AM a fan of true love. So shout out to Gisele & Tom for demonstrating what normal couples do when at the precipice of a big event.