Textbook Romance

A while ago, my friend’s college-age daughter was despairing about the boring nature of textbooks and the pain of trying to make the word count for her latest history paper, which was about Hernando Cortes. Her mom and I suggested the obvious things: bigger margins, bigger font and lots of adjectives and adverbs.

Antonio Banderas could totally play Hernando Cortes! We could call it: Hernando-The Passion of a Warrior!

Manly, manly Hernando Cortes my friend’s mom suggested.

This set me off. Why not turn your term paper into a romance novel?! I suggested. Think how much more fun it will be for your professor to read that!

Manly Hernando Cortex gazed out across the glistening morning fields, his long dark hair tumbling in his eyes. In his heart, he knew it was time to leave this glorious, fertile land of Mexico. And yet, how could he tear himself away from — her? His Dona Marina – the one the natives called Malintzin – the woman who had taught him the ways of her people, encouraged his wild dreams and soothed him when the dark visions of blood woke him in the middle of the night? Dona Marina, the mother of his child? Other conquistadores might think he merely used her as a docile slave, but truly she was his soulmate, the woman whose love could save him from his own fearsome rage.

The muscles in his chew rippled as he flexed his fists and contemplated last night’s mysterious dream. What was this strange place he foresaw, this place called Yoo-cah-tan? What did the rivers of blood mean? And why, oh why, was his beloved Dona Marina never beside him in these dreams. . . 

Think what romance writing could do for GEOMETRY!

Euclid hadn’t slept for days. The vision of the lovely Phoenician girl he’d seen in the marketplace haunted him. Although he was muscular and virile, Euclid also possessed a sensitive, caring heart. If only he could free the gentle Daphne from her evil slaveowner, dark-hearted Mephistophanes. Yet Meph was the emperor’s favorite engineer — and Euclid a mere assistant. He could never afford to buy Daphne away from the evil Meph. Unless — unless he could out-engineer Meph on the new Acropolis project and become the emperor’s new favorite! Could he do it though? Was he man enough to best Mephistophanes? Euclid realized he’d need a whole new angle of attack to win this battle. . .

I might actually write these. If sparkly vampires with doormat girlfriends can become a hit, why not the inventor of geometry??? And that gives me another idea. What if Hernando is a VAMPIRE???



  1. Love this idea.

  2. I keep telling you you are very good at this, and it’s a great idea.

    But what I really want to know is how big is manly Hernando’s “chew”? I always wondered what they called it in Spanish.

    Sorry. Couldn’t resist.

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