Monthly Archives: June 2012

The Dating Game

It’s been a rather rainy and overcast weekend here, and were it not for the fact that I have had to work both days – outside – I would have enjoyed the coziness of staying in and reading a book or watching a favorite movie. It made me recall the fun, short romance story, “Raining on Sunday”, I’d posted in January. While I’ve never had the pleasure of lounging all day in bed with a loved one, while it poured rain outside, I know I’d be content to do that one day, should the opportunity ever present itself.

It got me to thinking about all the things people do to have a good time with their significant other. Maybe I enjoy the thought of “Raining on Sunday” coming true for me but someone else might read that and roll their eyes, thinking, borrrring. Other people might prefer to actually go out, maybe hit a mall or go see a matinee. Some people might prefer to at least use that Sunday off to do housework, with or without their SO. πŸ™‚ Hey, it’s a stretch, I know, but it could happen. For my part, it has more to do with who I am spending the Sunday with, rather than what we are doing. The right person can make any task or activity the most fun you’ve ever had, with or without your clothes on. πŸ˜‰

I started thinking back on my stories and the activities – outside the bedroom – I’ve had my lead characters take part in. For the most part, they’re pretty mundane and mainstream. A movie, dinner, hockey game (duh!) and a few other low-key activities. As I mentioned above, these are all things I’d love to do with my guy and I’d have fun because we just always have fun together. It made me wonder though, do my character’s dates seem a little boring to you? Or is your preference to do the same things?

I’ve also been out of the dating scene for some time now. I couldn’t even guess at what would pass for a decent first, second, third, etc, date now. Roller skating? Did that for the last time a few years back, though not on a date. Hockey game? Also did that a short while back but I attended with a girlfriend, not my man. The things I have done with my SO are dinner, movie, reading together on the porch. πŸ™‚

I suppose I could write a man and woman who are a little more daring in their pursuits. Then again, I did have Jamie Forsyth teaching Grace Brown to skate on Christmas Day. That can be dangerous. Do you remember how nerve-wracking it was to learn how to skate? Anyway, something more daring than that… sky-diving, base jumping, rock climbing… (OK, how boring am I? It just took me about five minutes to even come up with that selection!) But who does those things on a date? You might enjoy those things but the person you’ve asked out could be a scaredy-cat, just like me.

What else is there? Maybe sports? I golf. I could do that with my guy. Softball. I do that on occasion too. I know how to ride a bike from point A to point B. πŸ™‚ I enjoy walking, hiking in the mountains – though I haven’t even done that for some time. Too busy. 😦 So I might like these sports or activities but if some guy who is not into any of these things were to ask me out (well, I’d say no because I’m not single. :)) the last thing he’s going to want to do is drag his ass out to a batting cage or driving range to embarrass himself in front of a girl.

I do wonder if I’m not giving my characters realistic enough dating scenarios. Granted, it’s difficult for the leading men in my “Ice” series to even find time to date, never mind come up with something new and original every time. And in the TAITS universe… well, they don’t date so much as blow things up and then kiss the nearest person in a fit of passion. πŸ™‚

Maybe I am being as realistic as I can be in the stories that require it. Maybe the dates aren’t as exciting as jumping out of an airplane, but when you’re getting to know someone you’re wildly attracted to, a dinner or sitting next to that person in a darkened theater can be very exciting. Don’t you agree?

Wherever you are, I hope you’re having a wonderful day/evening/morning.

Take care and happy reading.

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Another Sneak Preview

So, here I am, another Sunday –  a Sunday off, finally – there’s no more hockey, and no CFL just yet and I once again find myself at a loss. Well, not too lost. I feel well rested for a change and I have a completed story to post at Literotica. πŸ™‚ It’s another week when I feel I don’t really have a good topic to discuss here, so I’m going to go with the old stand-by of a sneak preview. I’m sure you’re not too terribly disappointed by that. πŸ˜‰

It’s another short story inspired by yet another favorite Keith Urban song, featuring Christian and Maggie. This time, I’ve gone back to the beginning. It’s the story of how they met. I hope you enjoy it.

I’m thinking there might be one more song-story for these two and then I’ll move on to something else. That’s not to say I haven’t enjoyed writing these short, sweet stories for them. They’re very important to me, for many reasons, not the least of which being that at least they’ve allowed me to keep writing when I would otherwise have not been working at all, on anything. I’ve been working on other stuff in between days of Christian and Maggie, but working on anything helps. It makes me feel productive and like I’m still moving forward with my writing. I’m still busy with my two jobs – this is my first day off in twenty – so writing time is still going to be scarce but I feel like when I do sit down to write now, it’s not aimless or unproductive. If that makes any sense at all. πŸ™‚

Anyway, I won’t keep you this week. I hope you’re all enjoying the weekend and not working as much as I am. Here’s your sneak preview of “My Heart is Open” and you can look for it on-line hopefully by Thursday this week.

Take care and happy reading.

 

I glanced at my watch. “Oh wow, it’s past two. I can’t believe we’ve been here so long.”

“That’s surprising. It feels like we just sat down.”

I nodded in agreement and looked around. There were a few other diners but the noise in the restaurant was muted, in the midst of the mid-afternoon lull. I didn’t know what else to say, except that I didn’t want to go.

“Do you have any other plans today?” Christian asked.

I brought my eyes back to his face. “No. Not really. Why?”

He shrugged, still giving me that smile that I was finding sexier with each passing moment. “I thought maybe we could do something else. Maybe hit a new book store or something.”

I laughed and shook my head. “I don’t think you can handle any more romance.”

“I think maybe I can.”

He held my gaze until I felt liquid heat stir low in my belly. I swallowed and nodded. “All right. Let’s get out of here.”

He paid the bill and we walked out of the restaurant together.

We decided on going to a nearby museum, though both of us knew it would just be another place for us to talk to our heart’s content. And we did. We talked about everything and anything that came to mind. He mentioned his ex-fiance again and I listened this time, instead of telling him he didn’t have to talk about it. He was a grown man, he could talk about his past to me if he wanted to.

I started to tell him a bit about my dating history as well. I told him how I’d gone through a bad break-up a few months back and was still dealing with the sale of the house we’d purchased together. We talked about high school, our past jobs and what movies we liked to watch. We talked about the autumn heat, and traveling and the fancy cars we’d love to own. We laughed, touched a few times and every time I caught the scent of his cologne, my toes curled.

Before I knew it, he was asking what I wanted to do for dinner and we set out for Wings, a local sports bar that would be showing the hockey game we wanted to watch. At the bar, we did more of the same; talked, laughed, and I got to know him better than I knew some of my long-term friends.

At around ten that night, we agreed that it had been a long enough day for both of us.

I stifled a yawn, the first moment I’d felt tired all evening. “I have to work at eight tomorrow morning.”

“Yeah? Do you have any plans tomorrow night?”

I shook my head.

“Can I call you?”

I smiled. There was a strange feeling welling up inside me. Not just excitement or attraction, though I knew I was very attracted to this man. It felt like this was something new, something big. That something had happened to me today, all because I’d decided to recommend a novel to him.

“I hope you do call me, Christian.”

His smile widened and he nodded. We walked out of Wings and across the parking lot to where we’d parked next to each other. All day, we’d driven our own vehicles around, neither of us wanting to leave the other without their car. We paused in between his Trooper and my Mazda, and we looked at each other.

“I had a really great time today, Maggie.”

“Me too. I hope you like the book.”

“I’m sure I will. We seem to have the same taste in movies and books.”

Yet another thing we’d learned about each other today. “That’s true.”

We stared a bit longer, the air between charged with something I couldn’t name. Then he stepped forward and brushed my hair back over my shoulder. I glanced down at his hands and sucked in a surprised breath when he cupped my face in them.

“You have no idea how badly I want to kiss you right now.” His voice was low and the tenor of it sent a frisson of sensation up my spine.

“Do you?” I sounded as breathless as I felt. I didn’t care.

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The Way You Look Tonight.

I think I’ve mentioned before that when I read a story or novel, I often skim – or skip entirely – lengthy descriptive scenes. I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned that I also often find myself skipping over descriptions of the characters. Sometimes, I’ll read a book and I’ll make it through the description of a person. A long, drawn-out description, full of details about just how many freckles a person has or how long their eyelashes are. Then, two pages later, I’m imagining them differently, or I’ll just picture them with plain faces or general shapes. Unless it’s integral to the story, which it often isn’t, I just skim through those bits and then let my imagination fill in the gaps left behind. Maybe that’s a bad habit as a reader but that’s just how I roll. πŸ˜‰

As a writer though, I agonize over having the right descriptive elements in my stories. I want to convey the way a person looks without boring the reader. And yet, I don’t want to go into so much detail that a reader stops using their imagination.

I was told a few years back that one of the most common amateur writing habits is describing something in too much detail. You want to convey exactly what you’re thinking or picturing about a scene or a person onto the page. But two or three pages later, you’re in the same moment, and the reader has already put the book – or ereader – down. Or maybe not. Maybe you have readers who will stick with you through the lengthy descriptions. For my part, as I mentioned above, I need to move past it. I prefer snappy dialogue, crisp action and roiling emotions. I care much less about her golden hair or his tuxedo or that house or floral arrangement or whatever.

Back to the writing of these descriptions though…when it comes to people, you do have to give at least a cursory description. With what I write, you need to describe what it is that the hero finds attractive about the heroine, and vice versa. I do that without ever really describing the way a person looks to me. Obviously, when I write my “Ice” stories about the ‘mystery’ men, I can describe the way they actually look and I don’t have to go into too much detail because most people know what they look like already. However, when it comes to describing the women, or even the secondary characters, I never know how much or how little to portray.

Like I mentioned above, I dislike coming across long-drawn out descriptions so I hesitate before going on and on about the way someone looks, dresses or even their gestures. I use gestures and expressions more as a tool during dialogue scenes, to avoid the use of the dreaded ‘speech tags,’ less as a means of describing how a person is.

In the end, I wonder if I’m not using enough of a description for a character. I’ve just got through rereading most of “Breaking Through the Ice,” and except for mentions of Mina’s unruly hair, Drew’s eyes (too much!!) and their smiles :D, I don’t really spend more than a few lines explaining how they appear to me. Is that good or bad?

For me, I prefer reading descriptions like that, or something more vague, like I’ve noticed in the novel I’m currently reading, “A Crimson Warning,” by Tasha Alexander. (Yeah, I was reading it last weekend. It’s been a busy week, OK?! I haven’t had much time for reading. I’m almost done though, and it’s gooood.) Anyway, in that novel, the author spends almost no time on describing how a character appears. Occasionally she’ll mention their clothing, as it takes place in the Victorian era, and their clothing and styles were different. Otherwise, she just assumes we readers can already imagine the two leads, a husband and wife. They are madly in love with each other and the wife (the novel is told from the point of view of the wife, Lady Emily) often refers to her husband as more handsome than any other man of her acquaintance. And that’s all we get.

Of course, I prefer this method and so I write this way most of the time. What do you prefer? Or have you ever even paid enough attention to that to give it a second thought?

On a side note, what has happened in the Stanley Cup Finals? My goodness, in the beginning, I thought this series was a foregone conclusion. Shows what I know. Tomorrow night’s game will prove to be very exciting. Any predictions on the outcome this week? One way or another, it’ll all be over by Wednesday.

As always, take care and happy reading.

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Catching Up

I know I’ve been very neglectful of my blog. And my writing, period. It’s been a crazy few weeks and it doesn’t look like it’ll settle down any time during June. Or possibly all summer. πŸ™‚

Let’s see what’s new. I think I mentioned in a previous post that I’m working my part-time job again, so that’s going to take up a lot of weekends now. Well, several hours of each weekend but since it’s also such a physical job, I won’t be very energetic on those days. What else… Oh, last week I was on holidays, that included the two weekends, so that’s why I didn’t write then. I could have but I was just having too much fun to hunker down in front of a computer. πŸ˜‰

Not much else going on now except work and sleep. The weather here is still on the cool side, especially considering that it’s now June. Or maybe I’m just sensitive to it since I spent last week somewhere considerably warmer. Ah… The heat… It was so nice. (Although, LadyFalcon, I know what you mean about how hot it can get in certain places and how without A/C, it’d be unbearable. However, I did enjoy sitting in the heat and humidity for short stretches just because it’s been so cold here this spring. ;))

I’ve seen a couple movies lately, including “The Avengers.” That was fun, and I look forward to a sequel with that crew. It’s fun getting all those egos and personalities together and seeing what they can do. Also saw “This Means War” and “21 Jump Street,” which was so much fun, and so funny. It was way better than I was expecting, not that I was expecting a lot, but it was good. I’d actually recommend either of those movies. They were both fun and I wasn’t disappointed with either one. Oh, and I watched “Goon,” which was also surprisingly good. Hey, it’s about hockey. What’s wrong with that? πŸ˜‰

I spent some of my travel hours reading. I caught up on all J.R. Ward’s latest and am eagerly awaiting her next release, whenever and whatever it may be. Also finished reading the latest Kathy Reichs book, and that was good. Better than her previous couple of novels, anyway. For this past week – back to work and all – I haven’t been able to read for long stretches since I’ve been so tired. But I do all right. Oh, also read Karen Robards’ “Bait,” and am currently on Tasha Alexander’s “A Crimson Warning,” the latest in her Lady Emily mysteries. Love those books!

And of course, how could I forget the hockey. Ah, the hockey. The Stanley Cup Finals are underway and I was so excited to see the two biggest underdogs from each conference make it this far. Of course, I’m firmly on the Kings side, because they’ve been bowling over every opponent they’ve had, teaching them a lesson in how all it takes is a chance. Even if you’re the weakest team in the playoffs, eighth seed and all, you can still make it to the end.

Game two is on tonight and if it’s anything like the first one was, it’ll be another nail-biter. Agh! Such good hockey!!!

All right. Enough of that. I suppose I should talk about writing a bit. I’ve been writing some, but not a lot. (That energy thing, you know…) I’m *this* close to finishing the next Christian and Maggie story and then there might be one more for them before I finish that ‘series’ off. I do still want to get back to my next “Ice” story but I might just finish my next TAITS novel for publication first. Oh, and somewhere in there, I actually have to get my novels back on-line for sale. I’m working on it but, as with everything else, I need to make time for it.

And now that I’ve bored you to sleep, or tears, or both, I’ll sign off for today. I hope you’re all having lovely weekends and weeks and I hope you’re more relaxed than I am.

Take care and happy reading!

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