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.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Save the bird

What is the most important thing you can do at any given moment?

He went out into the backyard to check the pool before starting his busy business day. A little bird, a bit smaller than a sparrow, lay on its back in the Jacuzzi, one wing open, eyes closed and not moving. He hoped for the best.

He grabbed the leaf scooper. As soon as the bird was elevated from the water, she twitched. He picked her up and lightly wrapped her in a towel. He put her on the picnic table, sat, watched, cooed and talked to her. He wrapped her so that she’d be upright, but being unconscious, she leaned. He laid out a little water and seeds he shook off his bread. Later, she’d have none of it. One eye opened and then closed. The other opened and closed. She tried to move a little and then collapsed. He petted her head's feathers, righted her and stroked her chest. Her eyes opened and closed. He used his fingernail to tap her narrow off-white beak. “Wake up. Wake up, little one.”

For the next half hour she stumbled and fell. He wouldn't leave her, wouldn't give up on her. Every other care or worry disappeared. There was only the two of them in a struggle for life. She found her footing, both eyes open and staring at him now.

After a short while and a few tentative hops, she flew to a nearby low branch where she gazed at him. Then she was gone. But the sense of fulfillment, of saving a tiny life remained. Is there anything more important in this world?

*Later he researched to identify the bird as a gray and brown Stonechat, a member of the Thrush family.

SAY SOMETHING, (I'm giving up on you) by A Great Big World, 2013. The song lingers on its question and to me seems hopeful. In the end he doesn't give up. Neither will you.
 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

THE NEW BACHELORETTE

Andi Dorfman was an Atlanta assistant district attorney. She gave up her job to find love (and she'll easily find a new if not same job when she's through the process). She's fiesty, beautiful, sharp, incisive and fair-minded. Personally, I much prefer a woman who shows interest in intellectual subjects. When I was younger I worried more about intellectual balance, but, of course, each person is different and brings their gifts to the table. There is no such thing as balance. I think Andy is a great catch.

Some guys can't handle equality. In today's world, I imagine, women would prefer not to associate with troglodites (people who still have trouble with women's equality in the eyes of God and the law). You can write this kind of guy as long as he has a meaningful arc IMO, but I can't go there. My pen won't push. I want to save the cat as soon as possible.

Andi is a Catholic girl. Her heritage partially explains her first impression rose. The guy may not be the most handsome one on the show (he's good looking), but he demonstrated a big heart and a big family, eleven siblings, I think, including him. Therefore the attorney deduced (or asked) that he too was Catholic. She observed his big heart and connected.

Will this strong willed lady be able to find a mate, get him by her tough father, by her own walls? She's trained in logic as are scientists. Sometimes logic can get in the way of seeing past the present situation to a future in which someone will surpirse her (much like Desiree - the previous Bachelorette, who is getting married). So what am I talking about? In the promos for future episodes, the producers made it look like she became dissappointed (perhaps losing who she wanted) and gave up (left the show).

You tell me. As I tell my younger daughter, Laura, you are a whole person. Whether you get married or not, it's your choice and I respect and support your choice. She's so beautiful she could have been on the show, but she has a boyfriend.

Andi hands out her first impression rose, shown May 19th, 2014, on The Bachelorette (1 minute).

 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Kissing as the most intimate act

This post is dedicated to my high school sweetheart, Margie Miller, wherever she is.

I guess I won't get in trouble with Margie's mom if I reveal the truth now about our love life. Let me stress the love in love life. Day after summer day, we played at the pool until we got tangled in the aqua waters. We got out. i took her hand and we walked off behind the pines on the sand dunes. I explored her, being the curious boy I was. We didn't have sex (we never had sex), whatever that was. Besides I was a good Catholic boy. I had to stop our petting because I sensed the stealthy approach of two 'friends.' The next day or so, Margie informed me that her mom didn't want her to do any of the little things we were doing.
"What about kissing? I love to kiss you."
"And I love kissing you."
We discussed the outragious merits of kissing (and hugging). My strongest point was we were crazy for each other and we had to do something otherwise we might as well just be friends (and be miserable).
"But you can't do this." Margie referred to caressing her breasts, one of my favorite activities. I suspected she might have been hiding her kissing compromise from her mom. But when you are in love, something has to give.

We kissed for years. We kissed for hours at a time, to the point, when I conceived this post, I couldn't remember much of what we talked about. It was steamy, passionate, but above all, loving, mutual adoration. We stole kisses just about everywhere we could.

Kissing is all about love. As adults we learn that having sex and an orgasm is what is necessary. Back then we were completely satisfied in each other's arms whispering silly things.

Kissing is intimate, love affirming. For most of us, we'll never kiss as much as we did back then. We have lost something. Making kissing the goal rather than a step is so incredibly fulfilling.

I'm not going to talk about kissing techniques, because a good kiss tells your partner how much you love them, no matter what way you do it.

I was a lifeguard at the Downs Farm pool in Cherry Hill New Jersey. She worked in the snack bar. She put on our song. I got somebody to cover me for five minutes. i walked to the bar, went inside, up to her, in front of an audience of her friends (who were expecting this) and kissed her.

Our song: Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me by Mel Carter, 1965

 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mothers going through Hell

Mothers who go through hell.

Some women choose bad boys as mates. Some become pregnant willingly or not. Some have horribly painful and difficult pregnancies and then deliveries. Some have problem children and all have problem moments.

With a sense of humor and awe for all moms I present a trailer for the new Rosemary’s Baby (TV) because the scenes and/or trailer for the original movie, that I could find, focused on Satan and Satanists rather than the arc of the mother. It is interesting to note how the director shows Rosemary’s humanity and maternal strength through this whole story. I see allegory. Others might see a paranormal thriller. Perhaps it is both, but above all and in an odd way it’s a story about a mother who loves inspite of it all. Some professional critics have panned the new TV show and in some cases the book, but as professional writers we know and can use the truth to develop our craft. The devil is in the details. Isn't it my darlings?
 
 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Soulmates need to be handled expertly

There’s a small amount of controversy about using soulmates in romance novels. A soulmate as a feature of life is an abstraction. Writing gurus don’t recommend writing in the abstract. So what to do? The author either believes in soulmates and/or wishes the character(s) to believe in it.

We don’t prefer to write in abstractions because it avoids the senses which is the best food for any reader. There’s only one solution (for any abstraction, such as philosophical, religious, political beliefs). The characters can talk about these abstractions, yes. But, it’s so much better to show the characters in action living their beliefs.

So what’s a soulmate? Let the characters find their own way. Be true to their stories.
 
Maybe finding that right person is just an accident, or an act of scientific study (online dating). Maybe when two people meet they just know. Perhaps, for the most of us, it’s a matter of caring for another person who suits us in many ways.
 
ALL OF ME by John Legend, 2013, 5 min.