April 20, 2009 Leave a comment
On Saturday I attended the Readers Luncheon sponsored by RCRW. This is our annual tribute to romance readers and also a fundraiser for literacy. It’s our first year as benefactors for Portland Literacy Council, they are thrilled to be affiliated with so many people with a passion for reading!
We learned, after PLC tutors have helped students learn to read well enough to take their GED, there is also a $100 cost for the test. PLC has a scholarship program set up to cover that cost.
Lucy Monroe, as our keynote speaker, stated she’d personally sponsor 5 students GED costs. I know more were pledged. There will also be a donation, from this fundraiser, and maybe 10 or more… So 15-20 people in the Portland, Oregon area, who have recently learned to read, will also be able to earn their GED, because a bunch of ladies at a luncheon, love reading romance novels. How cool is that? Any questions why I love being part of this?
Lucy began talking about the benefit of romance novels, to avid romance readers, which is sort of like preaching to the choir.
Then she reminded us, romance novels are not only inspirational, educational and entertaining stories, but are requested -and donated to- our armed forces, so they can focus on a good story with an uplifting ending. Romance novels (the non-erotic ones) are donated to prisons. Romance novels (the more erotic ones) are used by relationship and marriage counselors, as fun tools for couples in trauma, to have more fun.
I remembered a girl in my speech class last year, asking me why it’s so hard for her to focus on a textbook chapter, and so easy for her to whip through a 400 page romance. There was no surprise to me, when Lucy asked how many of us had learned something important about life and love, from reading a romance novel, and everyone present, raised their hand.
As a romance novelist, I dedicate about a year, to a story which translates to a few hours of a readers time. Maybe it will be a story that inspires a reader to learn to read, or read more. Maybe it will help a soldier, smile. Maybe it will be a story someone takes to a hospital as a distraction while she, or a friend, or family member, is enduring chemo and needs a compelling distraction.
When my husband was terrified during his scans and spinal surgery three years ago, I sat beside him and read out loud… he is once again, an arrogant alpha male, master of his destiny… almost good enough to be a romantic hero…