Hey, I know we're all praying for victims of Hurricane Irene. We all know it could have been worse, but the storm has left a lot of damage, pain and suffering in its wake. And we know God wants us to help others. Reach out.
Thank you all for all you do, sung and unsung. You truly bless us here with your smiles, your love, your back-and-forth and your prayers. And since I got to meet Boog Powell (Baltimore slugger from Made to Order Family) on Friday before Irene came ashore, I was totally psyched to be in Oriole-country and see Camden Yards! Only sorry the storm cut my visit short...
I'm going to start this post with a famous quote from one of Julie Lessman's first reviews:
"This tale of sibling rivalry isn't your mother's Christian fiction!"
And it's not. Not by a long shot, and that's HUGE for aspiring authors. Now, before you harangue me and throw tomatoes, and whine about how you're not allowed to write about birth, death, sex, great bodies, passion, desire, yaddi, yaddi, yah....
Take a breath. 'Cause it ain't true. And since there are a whole bunch of us who are living proof that rules can be broken, follow this line of thought: Don't bemoan the lack of something. It's a negative trap. Avoid it. Become the supplier and then wait your turn at the well. It's amazing how persistence pays off. Remember how Rebekah came to draw water from the well ...
And Abraham's servant worried that he'd mess up, because a bride for Isaac was a BIG DEAL, so he asked God's help in choosing a bride for Abraham's son...
And Rebekah came forth and not only offered to get water for the manservant, but water for the camels, too. And camels LIKE WATER. A lot.
Her acts, her work ethic, her generosity made her notable. Abraham wanted a principled woman of faith for his son. The chapter also says she was beautiful and a virgin, so a young woman of pure heart who tries her best to honor her gift of life by obeying the commandments. A treasure, no doubt.
So which portrait paints the story more accurately in your mind?
According to the Bible verse, I'm going with number one, but the Italian painter of number two obviously had umm... different ideas.
Today if we had a woman who went the distance to help and still looked lovely, we'd say she 'cleans up well'. A whole heroine is MORE than the sum of her visible parts, but there's no denying that men are drawn to curves. To shape. To sass. To gentleness. To a smile. To a need. To a nice pair of hips that look great in tight jeans.
So then it comes down to how you tell it, right????
We women like great heroes, but we showed on Saturday that it's not all about LOOKS... Passion and desire flare for a variety of reasons, some of which defy explanation, but LOOKS ALONE DON'T CUT IT.
Although they may initiate things. Get the ball rolling. Ignite those early flames of interest.
Remember the rockin' cute dance babe in Irving Berlin's "White Christmas"? Saucy blonde chick who stuck out her hand and said, "Charmed, I'm sure!" in a tough Jersey accent...
And Bing's expression of interest went no farther because looks aren't everything. But they are something...
Or we could go straight to the SuperBowl commercial with a taken aback Faith Hill and the young man in love who sends a floral arrangement with a short and appreciative message about his girl's... um... chest.
As funny as that was, it won't wash in most inspirational fiction applications, so we need to finesse it a little. And a dash of maturity doesn't hurt.
"The dress clung to her shape and said 'all grown up' in easy-to-read letters."
"Her dress whispered as she walked, a soft swish of nearly-see-through gauze spouting familiarity with her hips, her legs. Right now he was downright jealous of a fabric."
"Was her hair as soft as it looked? Was she? More than anything he wanted in a long time, he longed to know."
And what about a woman's attitude? Sauce? Sass? Humble? Soft-spoken? Brash? Retiring? Effervescent?
Whoa. Whole 'nother ball game.
Now, Vince and Walt are reading this, scratching their heads and wrinkling their noses and wondering if I ever read the whole Mars vs. Venus controversy, and they're thinkin' I'm missing a big component, that men are VISUAL romantics and looks do matter....
Dudes. I agree. And I'm thinkin' in their own way looks matter more to you than they do to us, but here's the down-low: Most romance readers are women. And we love being appreciated, not just ogled. And we love being respected, not just lusted over. We love being helped, but not bossed around. And we long for a partner who is strong enough to take over as needed, and gentle enough to let us be ourselves.
Although that desire is a huge part of romantic entanglement, right?
So if you were writing for a male audience, the Faith Hill commercial gets an appreciative guffaw, even if the guys know it's a little tasteless. But as women authors, we need to be aware of how men REALLY see us. If we get too flowery or 'purple' NO ONE WILL BELIEVE IT because what guy gets all moony-eyed and goofy openly?
Naw, we've got to see women through MEN'S eyes when we're in his POV...
'Yeah, she was hot. Smokin' hot. And just as off limits as she'd been eight years ago. Definitely not worth the effort of a clean shirt.'
Or how about this one:
Had his upper lip sweated in the past?
He thought not.
But then she'd never worn anything like this before, either, the v-neck halter showcasing curves he'd been pretending not to notice for six months. He could have hesitated. Waited. Wondered. But he hadn't gotten where he was in corporate America by doing any of the above, so he strode across the room, grasped her hand and had her on the dance floor in three-point-eight seconds, possibly a world's record. In true form, he'd made his move, with no regrets, but now that he'd staked a claim, what on earth was he going to do with her?
Dance, for starters.
Okay, your turn. Show us what you've got. Share a few lines in male POV that show me a smokin' hot babe without breaking the rules. Be brave. Big. Bold. I've got two delightful little baskets of goodies up for grabs, including a signed copy of Mended Hearts (YES, I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH!!!!) and a friend of Seekerville book tossed in because I love ya's. And if you'd prefer the books in e-reader format, just let me know. I can click buttons with the best of 'em!
Coffee's brewin'... Easy breakfast today, gotta work on A Family to Cherish.... So it's bagels, cream cheese, cinnamon rolls and a bowl of fresh peaches, plums and pears. Gotta' love fresh fruit season here in upstate!