Gark is a wonderful word that I learned in a trashy romance novel recently. Yes, that's right. I read trashy romance novels. I can't help it. They are addictive. True, some of them are complete and total crap. Occassionally though you get a really, really amusing/interesting one. The above word came from a Katie MacAlister novel. I find her writing rather amusing. I'm not entirely sure that I love her books, or the lead characters for that matter, but I have to admit that they amuse the hell out of me.

I blame my mother and grandmother for this little addiction, and to some extent my older sister Maggie. I am the youngest in my family by about 8 years. We lived in the country. I didn't have anyone to play with. I was bored a lot. And when I get bored I get whiney. So my sister decided that when I was 4 I needed to learn how to read. So I did. And an addiction to books was born. My parents divorced when I was 5 and I used to spend every other weekend with my father. When I was about 8 he started taking me to the bookstore and buy me the latest Babysitter's Club or Sweet Valley High (yeah, I read them when I was 8) or whatever book I had to have that weekend. The foolish man thought that it should last me the whole weekend. Ha! If he was lucky it lasted a couple of hours, max. I don't read books - I consume them. Well with trade fiction in any case (I tend to slow down a bit in non-fiction - more facty type things to pay attention to, like dates and such). So I'd finish it and then I'd be bored and whiney again. So he made me go to the library. lol

I stopped going to my father's place on the weekends when I was about 13. I just simply didn't want to do it. I was bored there. I didn't like the other kids where he lived (they were STRANGE!). I had my own friends that I wanted to do things with. But I still had to read. This was right about when my grandmother started staying with us quite a lot. My grandfather has died and she had given my oldest brother their house as a wedding gift (he was going to inherit it anyway). And Granny loves to read as does my mother (hmmm maybe this whole consuming books thing is genetic???). Granny reads trashy romances. As does my mother. So there would literally be boxes of the things lying around. They would read a book, put their initial on the inside cover and the pass it along. These boxes made the rounds to about a dozen homes and you would sometime get some of the same books back. They put their initials in them so that they would know that they read them.

I was bored. I needed books to read. There were boxes of trashy romance novels at my feet. What was a girl to do other than read them? So I did. And I admit it, I got hooked. I forgot about them for a long time after leaving home. But then this fall I read a book about the history of Harlequin. And then I wanted to read some again 'cause I forgot what they were like. And I've become addicted again. Things in those books are so simple and predictable. It's the same with romantic comedies - I know how they are going to end yet I have to watch them anyway. Even the bad trashy romances make me feel good because they make me wonder how the hell they could ever get published. Then I start to think I could do better. And then I start thinking - hey I could write one! The thought passes quickly 'cause it's not something that I necessarily think that I could do. But hey, I have an undetermined length of time off. I might try it. I might not. But it's a fun thought (Cat - I KNOW you could see me as a trashy romance novelist - Shawn would laugh his ass off of course, this I know...). I'll let you all know if I ever do it and get published but um, don't hold your breath. I don't want to be responsible for anyone deaths.

So they you go. That's my shameful little secret. I have an addiction to crappy, trashy novels.

The only thing left to say is GARK!