Monthly Archives: November 2011

Let Me Tell You A Story…

Let me tell you something. You can decide for yourself if it would make a realistic story or not and that may help me decide where to focus my creative energy in the coming months. 🙂

I’m thinking it’ll start with this woman who is going through a really difficult time in her life. She’s just like anyone else, trying to work, pay the mortgage and other bills, all while struggling with a dying marriage. Deep down, she knows the marriage is over, all that remains is to say the words. Which she does, with great difficulty. Moving forward is hard but every passing day brings her the assurance that she made the right decision. So she continues to work, spend time with her family and friends, and try to navigate the complicated waters of separation and divorce.

Between work and her tense life at home, she finds escape with novels, both reading and writing them. Her lifelong passion has been writing. Ever since she was young, she would make up stories, fantasy worlds, romantic scenarios. As she got older, she began to think she could maybe do something with all these creations. First she needed some anonymous feedback to find out if her work was appealing at all.

Lucky for her, there’s this amazing invention called the internet and it’s riddled with free forums where she could post her work and receive feedback on how she’d done. Over time, she’d made friends and received invaluable advice on how to improve her work. She never stopped writing or submitting her work, no matter how things were going in her personal life.

One day, she gets an interesting and intriguing email from a reader in somewhat far off place. He’s clear and concise, uses full sentences and proper grammar. He tells her a few things about himself and about how he enjoys her work as an escape from the hardships in his life. Unable to stop thinking about the email after, she writes back to him and thanks him for the compliments and asks him a few questions raised by his first email. After that, he writes back to her again, then she replies again, and he sends another email, and so on and so forth.

Before they realize it, they’ve been corresponding for over a month, telling each other everything from who they’ve slept with, what they think about various sports and teams, and the likelihood that they’d never meet. That doesn’t stop them from continuing to write emails and even to move on to chatting via a messenger site. Right from the start of those real-time chats, they discover they can talk for hours about everything and nothing. He even asks for advice on the woman he’s been seeing, and she tries to give him some tips even though she feels so out of touch with the dating scene.

It takes them about a week to figure out that if they can talk until 2:30 in the morning via web-chat, they can probably handle real phone conversations. So he calls her one day just as she’s finishing work. And what do you know? They talk for hours on the phone. From that day on, they talk on the phone every day. Sometimes in the morning, sometimes at midday while she’s on her lunch break and always, always, they talk before going to bed.

Somewhere in the middle of all this emailing, chatting and talking on the phone, they start to flirt. Mild flirting turns into full blown you-turn-me-on-like-no-one-else. And… Well.  You know what follows then. It’s surprising to both of them how easy the cyber and phone sex comes to them but then, considering the honest and open nature of all their on-line chatting, maybe it isn’t such a surprise.

Then she knows she has to tell him all about her recent past and the fact that she was still – technically – married. She does, afraid the entire time that she might never hear from him again. He stuns her by saying he couldn’t stop talking to her if he tried. They’re in agreement on that, that they just can’t get enough of each other, whether it’s long conversations filled with laughter and moans, or simpler, comfortable silences.

Inevitably, their talks turn to the possibility of meeting each other in person. It’s always been on their minds but as they grow closer, they realize they need to meet and see what’s really between them.

So? What do you think? Intriguing enough to want to know more? Or should I just go with my next romantic-ice hockey themed story, like always? 😀

I hope everyone is having a nice weekend and I’m off to watch the Grey Cup. Go Bombers!!

Take care and happy reading.

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Books and Some Randomness…

I’ve recently had to start going through my stacks and stacks of books in order to get rid of some. I’ll be moving shortly and moving fewer books is always easier, right? I have a hard time letting go of my books though. I’ve moved 3 times in the past 8 years – not a huge amount, I know – but every time, I’ve carted around more boxes of books than anything else. Even kitchen goods – dishes, utensils, etc. – don’t take up as many boxes as my books. I’ve sold and donated a lot of books before every move and I still have more than I need. 🙂

I know you know I love to read. You also know that I’m published in the ebook format, so maybe you’re thinking that I should be going that route for my own reading. I do read a lot on my Kindle and Kobo apps but I just prefer reading books in print still. I’m a bit of a collector of books. Sure, I buy the newest ones from my favourite authors but over the past few years, I’ve also sought out older publications by some different authors. Not rare editions or anything, but just books I’ve read in the past, usually borrowed from the library, and then wanted them for myself.

There’s the “Unicorn” series by Tanith Lee (It starts with “Black Unicorn,” then “Gold Unicorn” and finally “Red Unicorn“.) I do enjoy a lot of Tanith Lee books but her fantasy/sci-fi creations are a little out there for me sometimes. Then there was one of the first books I’d ever read by L.J. Smith. It was called “Night of the Solstice.” I couldn’t find that one for the longest time after reading it from the library. I tried on-line searches, used book stores, everything. Then her old series, “The Vampire Diaries”, was reissued and found new life recently. Following that, all her other novels have been reissued, and voila! I got a brand new copy of that old book. There’s also some I’m still searching for and might never find, like the sixth book in a series called “Legend of the Five Rings.” The book is called “The Dragon” by Ree Soesbee and I’ve never been able to find it, new or used – or rather, never been able to find a reasonably priced copy. I even contacted the publisher once to see if I could purchase it directly from them. No luck. So let me know if you ever come across that one! 🙂

Back to my original point: going through books and deciding to get rid of some is hard for me. In the end, I have to look at a book or series of books and decide if I’m ever going to read them again. I reread some of my favourite authors and books over and over again. But at some point, I have to ask myself, how many am I really going to reread? All one hundred? All one-fifty? Probably not in a short period of time, but eventually, I will go back and reread some of those. I’ve read my favourite novel by my favourite author probably four times in 15 years. Doesn’t seem like it’s very often, but it’s a huge book. Or rather, it’s three books in one.

Enough of that rambling… I wonder if all of you have books that you go back to time and again. Or if you have books that you just can’t let go of. Like I mentioned above, I probably have at least a hundred books that I just will not get rid of, even if I might not read them again for five more years. I find myself rereading or skimming the ebooks I have more often, but that’s just because I have my iPhone with me everywhere and if I’m waiting somewhere, I can just open up any book right there.

So what sort of stories or books do you come back to over and over again? Are there any novels that you’re particularly attached to that you wouldn’t give up for anything? Not because they’re collectible necessarily but because they mean something to you? I’m just curious and since I’m having to go through my books this week, I wonder how I can decide to get rid of some or why I should keep others.

And I’m extremely distracted again this week – more CFL playoffs. 🙂 The Grey Cup is next week so I might just have to blog on Saturday instead. We’ll see though… I also have to do some baking for my brother’s birthday, and finish packing/moving, etc. *sigh* There’s just never enough time for writing. Then again…I have been doing some work on my next “Ice” story!

Oh, and speaking of hockey romance, check out Eve McFadden/PennLady’s latest hockey romance, Rhythm and the Blue Line. It’s fantastic, trust me. 🙂

Until next time, take care and happy reading!

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So This is Love…

I’m sure I’ve broached this subject before but seeing as how I write about it on a regular basis, I enjoy discussing it. I’ve mentioned before how I have a hard time believing in love at first sight. It’s not that I think it never happens, I just don’t understand how you can fall in love with someone you don’t know. Sure, we can find someone attractive at first sight but wanting to lick whipped cream off their naked body is not the same as true love. 🙂

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned my repeated annoyance with stories or movies where the main characters lock gazes across a crowded room and fall deeply, madly, unequivocally in love. What follows is often an adventure of passion and/or mayhem. Sometimes it’s a good story, sometimes it’s great. Always, always though, I get so bored with the automatic love that springs up between the male and female leads.

It’s not that I can’t see the romance in something like that happening. It’s very sweet sometimes, if somewhat unrealistic. In my opinion, real, lasting love comes from getting to know someone and loving all their foibles and quirks. Somewhere in the middle of that happening, you end up wanting them so badly, you’d step over your own grandmother’s body to get them in bed. Well, OK, that might be an extreme analogy. But I think you get my meaning.

It makes me wonder sometimes, what is it that makes us fall in love? If you say how a person looks, well, that’s true to a certain extent. I mean, you do have to find the other person attractive but there’s that old saying: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You fall in love with someone’s heart and soul and no amount of physical alteration should change that simple fact. I may not believe in love at first sight, but I’m still a romantic at heart. 🙂 Ssh….don’t tell anyone!

Anyway, back to my question: what makes us fall in love? In my stories, I don’t even think I could pinpoint the reasons why they love each other. So often, the women are such opposites from the men in my stories. There was the single mother, the shy nurse, the romance author. 😉 And all of them dated professional athletes. Obviously. 😛 I wrote these stories, they all fell in love with each other, and I don’t know why. Strange? Sure.

I suppose they fell in love in different ways. Because they were friends first, perhaps. Maybe because they could make each other laugh like no one else. Maybe they fell in love because they became friends and realized after how much they wanted to be with each other and no one else.

The other angle with the whole falling in love thing is knowing when it’s love. Again, there’s a difference between simple wanting to rub against someone, and wanting to spend your life with them. So how do you know you’re feeling the real thing? This is something else that I can’t pinpoint in my stories. When asked, most people would probably be unable to name a single event or moment that made them realize they were in it for life. So how do you know? Do you just wake up and you know? Does someone say to you, ‘Hey, you look like you’re in love?’ 😉

If you’ve read my work, would you be able to pinpoint any of these things? Why they fell in love? When they knew it? I still don’t know and I’ve been rereading a few of them! What about in your real life? How did you know you’d found The One?

OK. That’s about all I’m going to write about now. The CFL playoffs have started – that’s Canadian football, for those of you who don’t know – and my family is slightly engrossed, to put it mildly. 😉 I’m too distracted to write more now.

So take care and happy reading!

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Back Again

Hello everyone.

Well, I’m back from holidays and apparently there was some question about whether or not I’d be writing anymore. Let me assure you, no matter where I am, or what’s going on in my life, I will always be writing. It’s not something I could ever stop doing, believe me. Writing is a part of me. I could give it up as easily as I could give up breathing. So rest assured, I will not stop writing.

My life has been at a crossroads lately, I won’t lie. I might tell you all about it some day – and it’s a fantastic story, believe me!! – but for now, just know that I’m not going to disappear. I will continue to write this blog as long as you continue to read it, and I will continue to write new stories as long as you want me to. Pssh, who am I kidding? Even if no one wanted to read my stories, I’d still be writing. It’s what I do.

I will tell you about my vacation. At least, I’ll tell you about some of it. 😉 I think a few months back I mentioned that I’d won a trip through a charity raffle. The trip was for four nights at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. So that’s where I was. 😀

I’d never been to Vegas before and it’s not a trip I would ever have planned, I don’t think. Seeing as how I won the trip though, I went. One of my close friends came with me, and even though she’s five months pregnant, we had a great time. I think it worked out perfectly that we were both less inclined to go everywhere and see everything for every hour of every day. We spent some time poolside, and took plenty of naps. 🙂 Maybe I’m just getting old, or maybe it was just that sort of vacation I was looking for, but it was fantastic moving at that slower pace.

The Bellagio is a fabulous hotel, with a jangling, eye-catching casino, naturally. The food was great and one of my favourite restaurants, right in the hotel, was a place called Yellowtail. It opened right into the casino and they served some of the best sushi I’ve ever had. We shopped, of course, and I found a few things I wanted, including the cutest little onesie for my baby niece.

Walking around at night was a lot of fun as well, seeing everything lit up and moving through the throngs of people on the sidewalks. We checked out the casinos, walked through the Caesar’s Palace Forum Shops, watched the volcano explode at the Mirage, and rode to the top of the Eiffel Tower at the Paris Hotel. The view from up there was really something, as you can probably imagine. Or maybe all of you have been and know what I’m talking about anyway. Let me tell you, I’m a little scared of heights but it was worth the rickety elevator ride and tight quarters at the top to get to see the sights from up there.

My favourite thing about the entire place were the fountains in front of the Bellagio. My friend teased me about being obsessed because I wanted to stop there every time we left in the evening or whenever we’d walk past the windows inside. I couldn’t even tell you what it was exactly about them that drew me in, but I think they’re amazing. I mean, the engineering and choreography that went into producing these shows is mind-boggling. And they’re simply beautiful. Here’s me watching the fountains on our first night there. Like I said, they’re unbelievable.

And now I’m back home, gearing up to go back to work tomorrow – ugh – and wondering what I can start working on next. I have another “Ice” story started and certain people in my life think I really need to get moving on that one. 😉 I want to and I will. I am beginning to feel like myself again and again, certain people in my life are to thank for that. As difficult as the coming year is going to be, I know it’ll work out in the end, because it’s meant to. I know it as well as I know I’m never going to stop writing. So there. Does that ease your minds a bit? 🙂 I hope all is well for all of you, my fun and friendly readers, and I hope the coming holiday season makes everyone feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Take care and happy reading!

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