Saturday, March 19, 2005

A thank you to AAR - Part 2

Anyone reading this may be wondering what Part 1 has to do with a thank you to AAR.
Well, when I got back from my wonderful weekend and the glow had long faded, I was right back to being an island. Only in a way it was more frustrating. I knew there were others like me out there. I’d met them. I had spent time with them. They existed and it wasn’t just my imagination. But how could I find them again? I knew my finances could never stand up to another weekend. I began surfing the net looking for….. something. I was aware of the Romantic Times website. I didn’t really care for it that much. I don’t know if they had the message boards then or not. I found The Romance Reader for reviews. I like this site quite a bit, but it didn’t really have what I was looking for.
Then wonder of wonders, I stumbled across When I started visiting the message boards, I felt like I’d struck gold. Finally I thought, I’ve discovered where they are!!!! This is what I had been looking for. Other people like me I can “talk” to on a regular basis. I lurked for quite a while before I got up the nerve to start posting myself. My first post was about romance covers and how I hated the raunchy ones. I commented that when I’m buying a book with one of those covers, I’ll hang back if there are male cashiers until I can go through a female cashier. Wonder of wonders some else posted that she did the same thing.
I can’t imagine anymore not going there to visit whenever the mood strikes me. On occasion for one reason or another, my computer will go down or I’ll be away from a computer for a weekend and I start going through serious withdrawal. There’s always something interesting going on. It’s like a never ending party that you can drop in on whenever you want. And they all have the same thing in common, a deep and abiding love of romance novels. Whether I agree or disagree with some of the comments, I know where they are coming from.
What Laurie Gold and company have accomplished is astounding to me. There are readers from all over the world who visit AAR. Readers from their 80’s down to their teens. Topics run the gamut from what books are must reads to issues readers have with covers. From what are the best romantic movies to whatever happened to such and such author. Sooner or later everything to do with romance pops up there.
There are so many names that are familiar to me now. Xina, Keishon, Maili, Rosario, Sybil and so many more. Although I know I will never meet them, I feel a connection to them. And I realize I am no longer an island. I joke with my family and friends about spending time on the internet with 'my people' but in truth I'm not really joking.

So thank you Laurie and AAR for providing this wonderful place to visit and for all the work all of you do for fellow fans of romance.

1 comment:

Rosario said...

Kristie, I agree completely. Back when I discovered AAR, I didn't know anyone with whom I could discuss romance novels. My mom and sister read it, sometimes, but they are not big on talking about what they read. Whereas I love both to dissect particular books and to chat about stuff like covers and pet peeves, and plots I like... anything even remotely related to romance novels.

So finding AAR was a revelation, and I completely identify with your withdrawal whenever I don't visit for a while.

I also identify with the feeling of "knowing" a lot of the regulars at AAR. After some time, you come to know people's tastes, and what to expect from their posts... with many of the people you mention, I actively seek out their posts whenever I visit the message boards ;-)

Anyway, I'd like to add my thanks to yours!