Ask a male author about your male character traits or thoughts.

Amazon links to my stories: Autumn Breeze, A More Perfect Union, Double Happiness, The Wolves of Sherwood Forest, Neanderthals and the Garden of Eden can be found down the right side of the blog.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Advanced body language

Fight, flight or surrender
In a wrestling match and other one-on-one contests the expression square-off is used. Most people, I assume, don’t have a clue what that means. I never thought about it until this concept grabbed me as a blog opportunity. I now recall the words of my wrestling coach in high school. Form a square or rectangle with your opponent. The coach also taught math. The expression square-off means face your opponent don’t let your body give away your next move. In this way you can move either direction in response to your opponent. For those who don’t see this picture your shoulders, hips, head and feet in a square with your opponent. In wrestling, we lean slightly toward our opponent and plant our feet outward at 45 degrees. These last two points don’t hold true in romance.
When a woman or man faces their opposite and assumes and holds a squaring off position they are saying many things. First, they have no fear that this war like stance could be misinterpreted. They are showing complete love and trust in their opposite. They are offering themselves completely to that person. They are assessing rather openly their willingness to commit to this person. They seek surrender and victory at the same time with the same body language.
Am I making too much of this? No, as a writer, it is your duty to the reader to show such subtleties. Enrich your story or risk being dismissed as unwilling to work hard or creating a hackneyed product or clich├Ęd novel.
About the male POV: It is quite an accomplishment for a man, as warrior, to square-off with the heroine. He is a self assured, totally open, loving hero who is saying “I’m yours”.

Square-off and choose to surrender and win at the same time.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Vote for love

Vote for love
We, as writers, wrestle with love in every story. Romance writers always vote pro love.
Tuesday, we have much to consider when we actually vote for real life improvements. Some critics of romance say happily-ever-after is not the real world. Some also say that people choose what is in their best interest. Interesting, there is much philosophy to suggest our best interest is in choosing what is best for the group. In the movie, A Beautiful Mind, the men walk into a bar, notice a group of ladies. They all choose the blonde. The blonde rejects them all, so as to be in solidarity with her friends. If they talked it out before acting like fools they would have all gotten dates.
So what is in your hero or heroine’s best interest and what is your best interest on election day?
Here’s a dose of philosophy/theology for today and I might recommend, a lifetime.
Christian: Treat you neighbor as you would yourself (every human being is your neighbor).
Jewish: “I do not want followers who are righteous, rather I want followers who are too busy doing good that they won’t have time to do bad.” Rabbi Menachem Mendel Of Kotzk
Moslem: Certainly will the believers have succeeded. They who are during their prayer humbly submissive. And they who turn away from ill speech. Quram 23:1-3
Atheist: “Being a humanist means trying to behave decently without expectation of rewards or punishments after you are dead.” Kurt Vonnegut
We have much work to do, so please vote. Listen to the words of a very smart man before you choose.
Einstein: “There are two things that are infinite, the universe and man’s stupidity... And I am not sure about the universe.”
So when you vote consider the greater good or in other words that which will be the most good for a majority of people. You’ll make out better because you are not alone. Besides, getting back to the bar scene, the redhead is prettier.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Mr. Darcy again?

Christmas at Pemberly Manor is inspired by the world of Pride and Prejudice. So Darcy fans, you will not be disappointed. Also, my hat off to the gorgeous and consummate actress, Jessica Lowndes, as our heroine. Not since Eloise Mumford have I seen such a beauty (Christmas with Holly, etc.). Michael Rady is no slouch either as William Darcy. This aired last night but you can find it.

I also enjoyed the subplots. It is rare that I’m confused for long as to who the eventual winner of her heart will be. There’s also a younger couple that offer many comic moments. And there’s a suspicious guy with a white beard and a lot of wisdom.

5 Stars.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Alternative cute meets

Playing fast and loose with the Cute Meet.

Billy Mernit’s definition of “Cute Meet” in his book, Writing the Romantic Comedy, is: The inciting incident that brings man and woman together and into conflict; an inventive but credible contrivance, often amusing which in some way sets the tone for the action to come.

The romances I have read or watched all had cute meets and in everyone of them the hero and heroine were both surprised during the cute meet. It may come to pass they he, she or they discover they had been set up, but never has the hero or the heroine set up the cute meet. If you have examples, please let me know because I’m drawing a blank.

I was witness to a real-life contrivance in which the heroine set up a cute meet with the object of her desire. She, a ballerina, showed up late for bar class. A hunky guy, motioned to her and made room to fit her on a four per bar, making it five with her in front of him. Since they switch directions, she had to be tortured by his exquisite form and visa versa. The mirror told her he noticed, and nearly too obviously. She devised a plan to intercept him on the way out of the building. After class, while he was talking with the instructor, she went upstairs, looped around to near the front steps and watched for him. She nonchalantly marched down the steps and ran right into him (with in an inch of his face) as if she had to go back to class for something she forgot. Okay ballerina's like karate experts can stop on a dime, but an accidental kiss would have been more to the point but this is what happened.

“Well hello,” she said.

You can fill in the rest.

Writing tip: don’t shy away with freshening up plot points with original ideas to make your novel memorable. Don’t do what everybody else does.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

God Friended Me

Last week I watched 60 Minutes CBS and didn’t turn the TV off after the show. I was surprised and immediately intrigued by a new 1-hour long show, God Friended Me. I don’t usually watch much TV and my blog posts are usually about romance. But hold on, there’s romantic elements here, plus much food for thought. I can’t say how long I’ll continue to watch since my time is given to other pursuits and usually don’t like shows if they become too predictable. We’ll see…

The show’s star, and this is somewhat an ensemble, is a young, black man, atheist, who is really at odds with his minister father. He receives friend requests from God and consults his hacker friend. Then he gets requests, again from God, to friend one person after another. He resists and the hunt for the “fake” God is on. Meanwhile he saves the life of a potential suicide, a doctor who was just jilted by his girlfriend and had other problems… And was God’s friend recommendation.

Another God recommendation brings him to the white heroine, etc. They team up after a cute meet followed by an accident to her in which she is then treated by the doctor the hero saved.

The core of the story is the struggle between belief and unbelief, doing good and believing there is no good, love versus hate, family and its value and of course, faith.

A month ago I wrote about the difficulties of marriage due to misconceptions by younger newly marrieds. Below we have an article by Cathy Hutchinson that expands on the topic.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

The Blush

The Blush

Wiki: “Blushing is the reddening of a person’s face due to psychological reasons. It is normally involuntary and triggered by emotional stress, such as that associated with embarrassment, anger, or romantic stimulation.”

Here’s another from How To: “It is normally triggered by a social phobia such as shyness or embarrassment.”

According to research doctors blushing is governed by the same system that activates your flight or fight response: the sympathetic nervous system.

We’re not here to do medical research. We’re here to write better more believable characters. We should not tell the reader why the none-view point character blushed, we’re here to show why. Tough task. On the other hand, misinterpreting the blush (as an unreliable narrator or POV character should or would do) can lead to plot twists, black moments, comedy, etc.

Example: They were just friends and he wants to see if she’s romantically inclined. He says, “if you were my gal, I’d (insert something kindly or heroic).”

She blushes and tries to change the subject. BTW, men blush too, so this can be reversed.

Back to our hero. He assumes she’s romantically inclined after observing the blush and proceeds to get chummier. But she could be angry or embarrassed. There are other minor explanations for blushing which I’ll leave to the student of human nature, but I’ll suggest for the purpose of fiction to stay on main paths unless your hero or heroine is a doctor/researcher type.

Or, if in her POV, she could show internal thought to explain her reaction or perhaps she doesn’t fully understand her reaction since blushing is an involuntary response. It is possible, if she were angry, that it was a combination of symptoms. You see what I’m saying to all you detective Colombos out there? Don’t make it easy unless you have reached that point in their arcs where truth telling was a complete necessity. Hey, they’re in love, secretly, and it was about time they both said the truth and confirmed it with a kiss.

Trick question: Why do Victorian novels feature the blush and modern stories underutilize it? Note that since the blush is involuntary, and humans have not changed the blush is still alive and well and ready to be used as an arrow in your quiver of skills. I love you all. Now, I’m blushing.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

The Perfect Match

The perfect match

When people partner up, they often describe their mate as perfect for them. They use terms like soulmate, they say, we read each other’s minds, we complete each other’s sentences. Some even feel a calling to dedicate their lives to making their other happy. In this perfect match, this feeling is reciprocated. It’s not 50/50, it is 100%/100%.

The younger you are, the more obstacles there are to achieve this.

First, many younger couples don’t think too deeply on this subject, if at all. They’re in lust and this is love. For those who do think about compatibility, there are likely big disappointments ahead. Those who don’t, may wake up someday and declare they have made a big mistake, “she’s lost interest in me, sexually [Male POV].” “He’s not sweet anymore.” With an approx. 50% divorce rate, something’s wrong for any type of couple, whether they are thoughtful or not.

The problem for thoughtful couples is in the dedication. How can you dedicate your life to the other, like a Mother Theresa, when you have responsibilities? There’re the kids, the jobs, social engagements, family.

You’re older now, more reflective. You may have a lot more time to make someone else happy, and passionately.

The moral of the story for writers. Don’t forget all the issues that tear couples apart. And consider “second time around” relationships as an open field to explore the meaning of dedication.

It is my opinion that to find the truest love is to know one’s purpose in the universe. To be fulfilled in an eternal way.