Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Martial Discord and that Wooow Feeling

Yes, you heard it here. Only two weeks after celebrating my eleventh wedding anniversary I am now experiencing marital trouble. Though I love my husband, I just don’t know if I can forgive this betrayal. I’m angry, but more than that, I’m hurt. Last Friday he informed me that he intended to go see the remake of Footloose…how could he? This is about more than one hundred and twenty minutes of pseudo-Ren-and-Ariel-wannabees crunkin’ and line-dancing in possibly the last drive-in movie theatre in America. This is about solidarity! Agreement! Principle! And he abandoned the front. I mean, what’s next? Tickets for the Dirty Dancing remake? ‘Cause the last one did sooo well.

Okay, rant over. Had to get that out.

Believe it or not, Benedict Simone is not the subject of my post today. It’s about that “Wooow” feeling. Kind of similar to the “For reeaall” feeling, but not the same thing. This Saturday a member of my RWA chapter and I spent the afternoon speaking to teenagers about writing powerful and memorable heroines. Yes, I said teenagers. Now you have to know I prayed before going there. Because first, I don’t like speaking in front of people and...did I mention teenagers?? My son starts to get that “Oh look at the pretty flowers” look in his eyes when I talk and he has to listen to me! So imagine my anxiety! I went in there with a bit of a nervous stomach and those kids looked at me...and I looked at them…and the Tilt-a-Whirl in my gut came to an abrupt halt. Lisa, my friend from my chapter, had already arrived, and begun the workshop. I dived right in and, together, we had a wonderful experience. Time seemed non-existent as all of us started talking about a topic we loved—reading and writing. These kids were amazing! Simply amazing! I was in awe of their minds! The creativity, emotion, characters, plot...if I was a wee bit less ethical one of their plots might have turned up in my book!!

At one point a sixteen year-old girl read aloud the characteristics from her brainstorm list, and started detailing the plot. I’m not going to give it away, but one moment I’m leaning forward and the next I’m pinned to the back of my chair, blown away by her plot twist. All I’m going to reveal is it had to do with a circus, a gift, love and abandonment issues. Oh and a fire-eater. Okay, you had to be there. It was awesome! And that wasn’t even the “Wooow” moment. That came when a fifteen year old boy spoke about his character, a blacksmith, who desired to be more than this family job that was expected of him. The smile that came over his face as he talked about his hero...just wooow. My stomach did another flip, but this time in reaction to the joy and excitement in his grin over writing. I realized at that moment, that Lisa and I were looking at the authors whose books my children would read one day. The pleasure in those kids' eyes and faces as their characters and stories started to develop was priceless. Though we had come to instruct them on deepening their characters and bringing them to life, we were the ones honored to be there.

I think the revelation I received that day offset the stinging betrayal of hubby with the Footloose-Stomp-the-Yard debacle...it was close, though...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Flowers, Candles and Red Box

Friday I celebrated my eleventh year wedding anniversary. Eleven years with my wonderful, supportive, sexy husband. Oh how I love thee! One of the reasons I love and appreciate him so much is he had to put up with me for over a decade...and he stuck around when any sane man would have run screaming for the Downy-scented-laundry-folded-hot-meals-on-the-table hills. Maybe I made him crazy enough to stay.

One of the odd things about our pairing is he's such a romantic and, well, I'm not. I know, I know. How can a romance writer not be romantic? Believe me. It's possible. My pastor asked me the same question when he found out what I wrote--which was right after he received a letter from an anonymous member who wanted me put out of the church because of my evil, depraved ways...Apparently me and Jezebel are kin! Hee-hee! Seriously, I think he was more shocked that the woman from the annual couple retreats who follows up the word "sex" with "I don't need all that. Let's just get to it" is the same one who pens hot and detailed love scenes. It's true though. I don't need all the bells and whistles. Flowers and candles. Ropes and feathers. The first time my husband sent flowers to my job for a birthday I later told him, it was sweet 'n all, but don't bother. Black stuff grows on the vase, the flowers die and I feel like I'm watching thirty bucks die on the vine. That's depressing! Give me a pair of shoes or a gift card to Barnes 'n Nobles and let's call it a day. He might have been a little perturbed then but with distance, I really think he appreciated my honesty.

In my humble opinion--and since this is my blog I can give it--romance is subjective. One person's candlelit dinner is another's Red Box movie and take-out. That would be me, by the way. My idea of a great time is a whole day together doing nothing but lying in bed and watching t.v. or movies. Add some take-out from our favorite Italian restaurant and I'm in Utopia. His idea, on the other hand, is a linen-covered table, candles, wine, flowers, great food and Kenny G--or R. Kelly--playing softly in the background. Sometimes I feel like pulling the Julia Roberts card in Pretty Woman and say, Hey, I'm kind of a sure thing. But I know sex isn't the reason--well, not the main reason--he loves doing these things for me. It's his way of expressing his affection and appreciation. So, as bad as it sounds, I let him. And he lets me.

Although, this weekend he did surprise me with a gaw-geous hotel room complete with flower petals from the door to the bed, votive candles, a fountain and Cherry Coke chilling in the ice bucket. *sigh* I have to admit, it was romantic. Especially that Symphony chocolate bar sitting in front of the ice bucket. But, a secret? The best gift by far was the single cup coffee maker with the huge water reservoir. Now that made me want to jump his bones!! And I did! *snicker*

Now you know my Al Bundy-esque idea of romance. What's yours?