The Day Elvis Died…

Elvis Presley Jailhouse Rock I have seen several people my age and older reminiscing about what they were doing on the day that Elvis died. If you were alive then, and you were at an age where you knew who Elvis was, it’s one of those days you don’t forget, like the Challenger blowing up, or September 11, 2001.

On August 16, 1977, I was nine and I had a couple of cousins over at my house for a birthday celebration. It was summer, and school didn’t start then as early as it does not, so we were home. My cousins Angela and Andrea only lived about twenty minutes away, and they would often come to my house since I lived with our grandmother.

They came over on the 15th and were staying until the next night. We had all day on the 16th to play. Sometime that afternoon, the news outlets took over all the television channels – I think we had three or four then – and wouldn’t stop talking about Elvis being found dead.

Were you old enough to remember, or even care? That was all that was on television that afternoon. Nothing fun. I think there used to be cartoons late afternoon and I remember being upset that they didn’t come on. I know I wouldn’t have cared about missing a soap opera, which was the other thing on television during the day.

I was thinking about that today when a friend posted about Elvis on Facebook, and I remembered that Lee and Elizabeth have a short conversation about Elvis in the book Under His Protection. They are dancing at a fundraiser for her campaign for attorney general.

After she (Elizabeth) had caught up with everyone she knew, Lee pulled her onto the dance floor as the band played “Love Me Tender.”

“I didn’t know it was Elvis night,” Lee said with a grin. He held her close and managed the turns on the crowded floor easily. She loved the way that he held her and she thrilled to his power as he spun her in his arms. “Nothing like the King to get a girl close,” he said, leaning closer so that his breath tickled her neck.

“Here’s something you didn’t know. I was raised on Elvis. In fact, I was born the week that he died. My mother bawled all week. My father swore that his death sent her into early labor. In fact, for years after he died, she claimed he was still alive somewhere in Michigan.”

“She and half of the Southern women her age.” He chuckled and spun her again. When the dance ended, Lee gestured toward a couple by the door. “There’s my brother. Come meet Fox and Laura.”

Do you remember the day Elvis died? Where were you? Did it mark a big turning point for you? I would love to hear from you in the comments. Back then, did you believe Elvis faked his death?

 Read more about Lee and Elizabeth in Under His Protection, which can be found in the Kindle Unlimited Program at Amazon.

 

Virginia Woolf – Trending on Twitter?

Yesterday I noticed that Virginia Woolf (d. 1941), one of the foremost modernists in English literature, was trending on twitter. What on earth? I was surprised, since I had not heard of a new movie or book coming out about her. It turns out a new audio recording was found of her voice, which kicked off an avalanche of twitter love. Yesterday was also her birthday.

Here is a link to the recording on the BBC: BBC Audio Recording by Virginia Woolf. I love British accents, but other than that, it doesn’t do much for me.

The Indigo Girls wrote a song, “Virginia Woolf” in 1992, as part of the album Rites of Passage. I love this album. 1992 was prime music time for me. I was 24, single, and had all the time in the world to become a writer. Unfortunately, after a disastrous year in the Purdue MFA program in Creative Writing, I was mentally blocked.

Even then, this song spoke to me. Part of the words are below:

They published your diary
And that’s how I got to know you
The key to the room of your own
And a mind without end

And here’s a young girl
On a kind of a telephone line through time
And the voice at the other end
Comes like a long lost friend

So I know I’m alright
Life will come and life will go
Still I feel it’s alright
‘Cause I just got a letter to my soul

And when my whole life is on the tip of my tongue
Empty pages for the no longer young
The apathy of time laughs in my face
You say “Each life has it’s place”

The hatches were battened
The thunder clouds rolled and the critics stormed
The battle surrounded the white flag of your youth
If you need to know that you weathered the storm
Of cruel mortality
A hundred years later I’m sittin’ here living proof

Read more: Indigo Girls – Virginia Woolf Lyrics | MetroLyrics

If you want to watch the video, here is the link:


On one of the Indigo Girls’ live albums, Emily Saliers talks about how her mother sent her a copy of Virginia Woolf’s diary, and that’s how she wrote the song. Emily is a prolific songwriter, and I can imagine that connection. I’ve felt it before from writers who are long gone.

There are so many books published now: ebooks ranging in length from short stories to long tomes, traditionally published books with small print runs giving service to what the New York editors deem is literature these days, and then the blockbuster novels that basically fund the big New York houses. Books can go viral in a heartbeat if they trigger emotion in enough people. Am I that good? I’d like to be. I’m not there yet, but with every book I refine my craft.

Now, Virginia Woolf is not only reaching out to people through her diaries, she is also trending on Twitter. Her story is sad in so many ways, especially considering her battle with mental illness and eventual suicide. She has been an inspiration to many, and yesterday Twitter stood up and paid attention. You go, Virginia.

And how am I doing? Editing the final book in City Lights, Winner Takes All, in a frenzy. Soon, baby soon. This will wind everything up. By the time I get edits back from the editor, I’m thinking early March. Hopefully I will have a pre-order link up soon.

 

What’s in a Blurb? Meet Carol – She knows!

I recently ran across Carol Ann Eastman, who writes as Angelisa Stone, on a Facebook group for authors, and it turns out she offers a blurb-writing service. Since I have struggled with writing catchy blurbs, I decided to give her a try.

Before I reveal the results of her magic (and I DO mean magic), Carol Ann, tell me how you got started offering this service for writers.

Fellow author, Christine Zolendz and I quickly became “author besties.”  We actually wrote a laugh-your-ass-off chick-lit book together.  It’s basically Thelma & Louise meets Bridesmaids.  It’s called #TripleX.  If you are annoyed by your husband, want to throttle your kids, and puke a little in your mouth when you see your naked body in the mirror as you chomp down on M&Ms, then #TripleX is the humorous story for you.

But anyway, while we spent the year working on the book together, Christine discovered that BLURBS were my forte.  She basically FORCED me into doing this.  She got my name out there in her writing groups and then BAM!  My email starts filling up with people who want help with their blurbs.  I am THRILLED and totally indebted to my lifelong writing friend, Christine Zolendz.

What elements do you focus on to create the perfect blurb? 

I actually think:  “What would make me want to read this book?”  I search for the hook that would drag a nonreader into wanting to read it.

Carol Ann markets herself under the moniker the Blurb Bitch, but she wasn’t bitchy at all. She was very professional and easy to work with. She gave me a sample and I liked it so much that I asked her to do all FOUR of my books.

Carol Ann is also a writer under several pen names. Why did you choose to go with separate pen names, and what would you tell readers who are interested in finding you? Where should they start? 

I am going to try to tell this story as quickly as I can in easy, bullet points!

  • I wrote an erotic, raunchy, vulgar novel, SCHOOLED as Deena Bright.  It is hot!
  • I was a high school teacher. It was about a high school teacher sleeping with TWO male students–who were   OUT OF COLLEGE.
  • My school district fired me.  SO TRUE.  Look it up!
  • I hired a BADASS federal attorney and got my job back.  THE FIRST AMENDMENT ROCKS!
  • I still wanted to write, but “Deena Bright” was sick of the yucky publicity.
  • I became Angelisa Stone.  (Such a sexy name!) I wrote three books as Angelisa.
  • I also wrote a book as me, Carol Eastman, about my mom dying of Cancer.  Total tear-jerker.
  • Then, I quit my stupid teaching job after they started screwing with my schedule and all kinds of other bull crap.
  • So Deena came back. Angelisa still lives on.  And Carol is who I love being!

If anyone is interested in reading my books or chatting with me, then all of my names have Facebook accounts.  If anyone is interested in getting some blurbs rewritten, then check out my website:  www.blurbbitch.com2556555

Thank you Lily for this opportunity.  It really means a lot to me.

Now, let me say that I have re-written the blurb for my first book, No Strings Attached, at least twenty times, and published at least five versions. This book was a lot of things to me, and it was rewritten so much, it was hard for me to summarize it. In fact, the summary that I gave Carol was very very long…

Here was my last attempt, we’ll call it BC, or before Carol…

A steamy story of a woman torn between duty and desire, truth and betrayal— After a summer fling in Vegas, now Fox Thornton and Laura Todd must work together. Unfortunately, the numbers don’t add up, and all signs point to embezzlement. Fox vows to bring the thief to justice, but Laura is his main suspect. Can he follow his heart while making sure that justice is served?

And this is what she gave me…

There’s a fine line between truth and deception.

When Laura Todd discovers that her new boss is Fox Thornton, the sexy, blue-eyed man that she wowed in Las Vegas, she realizes that there’s more at stake than a “no strings attached” fling. After all, strings can weave a tangled web of deceit and betrayal. Fox knows how crafty and clever Laura is, but he was hired to find out why her company is losing money. He can’t deny that all evidence points to Laura. Fox’s reputation as a fixer is on the line, and he vows to find the truth–even if it means taking down the one woman he’s wanted all along.

I fell in love all over again! So, authors, if you’re struggling, get in touch with Carol. I mean it. She’s a gem, and she’s reasonable.

Trying Some Short Fiction

Now those are words that I ever thought would come out of my mouth. Short? That’s crazy talk. keyboard

But I’ve been encouraged by a writing group that I’m in to come up with a 1,000 – 2,000 word extra-short story related to a holiday between Thanksgiving and New Year, and it may be chosen fora n anthology. It can’t be a chapter of a longer work, and it has to stand alone.

This is coming from someone who literally dropped out of the Purdue MFA in fiction twenty-five years ago because they wanted me to write short stories. I couldn’t do it then, and frankly, since then I’ve had little interest in short. I don’t read a lot of short fiction, and as such, never had any interest in it.

But, on the other hand, I wanted to be a part of this promotional opportunity. So I brainstormed and brainstormed. How on earth could I have a romance in that few words, and end it? Really? The couple would have to know each other previously, obviously.

So tonight I punched out a first draft of a short involving two characters from my two books, and I really like it. Mark and Deena anyone? It’s tentatively called A Kiss at Midnight and it takes place on New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas. If I don’t get accepted for the anthology, I’ll probably post it here, but I’m excited about it.

How Publishing a Book is Like Having A Baby

I keep trying to think of a metaphor for releasing a novel into the wild.2013-12-07 11.45.56
The first one that I came up with is releasing novel is like having your first baby. You prepare for nine months (although this book took about 15 months), you read everything you can about parenting (all of those books on character development, pacing, etc.), and you buy everything you can think of to help you with your baby. You have parties (showers), you fix up the nursery, paint the room. But as the date gets closer, you wonder, have you done enough? Do you have everything you need? Will the baby be healthy? Once you bring the baby home, you start to get your confidence up as a parent. That’s where the metaphor fails.
The second one that I came up with is sending your child to college. Now, granted, my children are 12 (almost 13) and 11, and I haven’t sent either one of them to college, but here are my thoughts. You took care of your child for years, making sure that he does his homework. You hope that you taught him the right things about life. You hope he will have a good work ethic and not flunk out. You buy him everything you think he will need to help him in his new life. He needs a new computer, new clothes, and bedding for that extra-long twin bed. Then he moves out, and suddenly your control vanishes.
I‘m getting ready to send this baby on out its own. It’s hard, so very hard. I think the story’s strong. I love the characters. I’ve been working on the language for a month now. My editor has gone through it and four beta readers. Why is it so difficult to take the final steps required to publish it?
I’m not a perfectionist, but last minute changes can kill you with a book. That’s usually where those typos and “oops” moments happen. When I read it, I see what’ supposed to be there, not what’s really there. It’s also nearly impossible for me to read it and not tweak. Sigh.
When you send your child to college, she has to stand on her own. You’re not going to be there to make sure she goes to class, or eats breakfast.
Once I hit publish, the book either makes it or doesn’t on its own merits. Either the book will get good reviews and some attention from readers, or it will languish in the millions of ebooks available now, never read or loved. I have to give it the best shot I can, and then it’s on its own.


 

Update…

I wrote this last Friday, but I couldn’t bring myself to publish it. The book was still in process with Amazon, and taking forever, and I was like an expectant father of old, pacing the waiting room with cigars.
And now I find I’m mentally exhausted and not wanting to get anywhere near my computer, although I know that I need to be looking for ways to promote this book. After working all day, and then staying on the computer an average of 3-4 hours a night, that’s about 12 hours a day of computer time, and I have to admit that I’m burned out.

So, if you are looking for something to read, Under His Protection can now be downloaded from Amazon
Under His Protection (City Lights Book 2) Barnes and Noble and iTunes will hopefully release soon. The first in the series can be found here: No Strings Attached (City Lights Book 1)

I’m sure I will tell you in the future how great my baby is, and how it will scare and titillate you at the same time, but right now, like a new mother, I just want to sleep. Oh, and psssstttt, if you want to keep up with how all my babies are doing, don’t forget to join my monthly newsletter here. Every time I get ten new susbscribers, I give away a $5.00 gift card to Starbucks.

10 Dialog Beats Contemporary Writers Can’t Use

Do you realize that as writers we have lost whole action steps/plots to technology? Dialog beats are those little actions that you use in dialog to both tell who is speaking and provide characterization. I had a mental image of my 2013 character twisting a phone cord around her. Sigh. Not happening. Now I’ve got to come up with something else. So here are some other things we’ve lost.

WE500dialphone

Related to the Phone

  1. She twisted the phone cord around her body. What a great way to show nervousness!  I actually used this with a hotel room phone in No Strings Attached.
  2. She slammed down the phone. (Not with a $200 cost and no forthcoming upgrade subsidy)
  3. She knocked the phone off the hook. Our kids don’t know what a hook is.
  4. Her finger dialed the operator, hooking her finger in the 0 and pulling it all the way around. See number 3.
  5. She looked up a number in the phone book. Do 20-somethings even know what a phone book is?
  6. Bash someone on the head with the receiver. I’m sure it’s been done before in fiction noire. Those were heavy receivers.
  7. She stretched the cord as far as it would reach. Gained – Replace with held the phone up in the woods to try to get service.
  8. He twisted the phone cord around his victim’s neck, tightening slowly. How are we going to strangle people now?
  9. The line “He’s calling from inside the house” goes away, since GPS can’t be that accurate. “He may or may not be calling from within 500 feet of your house?” isn’t quite as bone-chilling.
  10. A busy signal. Now we just get people who hit that send to voice mail button.

What we’ve gained…

  1. Cell phones even in remote locations, which can be challenging for crime stories. There’s always the battery died…
  2. Personal databases on cell phones, including calendars, social media, and contacts. A wealth of information for would-be criminals.
  3. GPS – it’s harder to get lost, but if your character relies on your phone maps in the country with no Internet you could get lost even worse.
  4. The fantasy of being unconnected or off the grid. When I was in college, you would go hours without anyone knowing where you were. Friends had a general idea, or you may tell someone you would be at the library, but that was it. Now, not so much.
  5. DNA evidence. That has its own problems.

What we still can’t do….

  1. Predict the weather with confidence. Sure, we get generalities, but we don’t know exactly where hurricanes will hit. They can always turn at the last moment.
  2. Rivers still flood.
  3. Blizzards still hit. (seeing a trend here?)
  4. We can do very little without electricity these days.
  5. Force someone to fall in love.

For more technology troubles with writing, check out this post from 2012 on technology.

I hope you enjoyed this little walk through time. Carry on.

(Picture by ProhibitOnions at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons)

Wild Onions Are Out of Control

Image

Wild Onions!

Wild Onions are like a new idea for a story – they’re green, but they pop up when you don’t need them and, like they detract from your lawn, they can pull your focus on projects you should be working on.

It’s not growing season, but the wild onions don’t care.

Generally I’m happy with our lawn. My husband and I are not garden people, and we don’t spend a lot of time working in the yard. We pay a landscaping service to cut our grass, trim the bushes, and usually lay mulch every other year. That’s the extent of our lawn time. Our flowers consist of some tiger lilies that come up each spring and early summer, and a rose bush. Other than the grass-cutting and bush trimming, we like to think the lawn runs itself.

The wild onions do not cooperate with this plan.

We’ve kept most of the broad-leaf weeds away using pre-emergent sprays each spring. The onions do not care about a pre-emergent spray. They emerge when they want and do whatever the hell they want.

Here we are in late January, and our lawn is nice and brown, which is to be expected because the grass is dormant right now. It’s also a nice, uniform height, because we cut it last in November, and nothing has grown since then. Except the onions. The onions don’t believe in a growing season. For them, every season is growing season.

Frustrated that our brown lawn is smattered with the darn onions in January, when all the other yards around us are a nice brown with no onions, last year I decided to do something about it. I went to our local home improvement store and asked them what I could use against the onions. The guy looked at me like I was crazy. “It’s not time for that. You can’t use a pre-emergent spray right now. Everything is dormant.” Sigh. Everything except the onions.

Today when I did a search for eliminating wild onions, I found this site at Clemson (where I work), which apparently means that my onions are in fact, wild garlic.

http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/pests/weeds/hgic2311.html  So reading all of this technical information about my fabulous wild onions/garlic, I learn this:  “Preemergence herbicides do not control wild onion or wild garlic [told you so] and they have to be treated with a postemergent herbicide.”

The first statement under the heading CONTROL is to pull them or dig them out with a thin trowel. But that’s gardening work!  Next option…

“Treat wild garlic and wild onion in November and again in late winter or early spring before these plants can produce the next generation of bulbs in March. However, be careful not to apply most weed killers onto centipede grass or St. Augustine grass during their spring green up period. Inspect the lawn again in the spring and the next fall, and treat if necessary. “

I knew I should be doing something now! Despite what the man at the home improvement store told me. The article lists effective weed killers: “Examples of these products are Bayer Advanced Southern Weed Killer for Lawns, Spectracide Weed Stop for Lawns – for Southern Lawns, Lilly Miller Lawn Weed Killer, Southern Ag Lawn Weed Killer with Trimec®, and Ferti-lome Weed-Out Lawn Weed Killer. These products can be used safely on most turfgrasses, but reduced rates are recommended when applying to St. Augustine grass or centipede grass. Apply during November, very early spring, and again the next November for best control.” So I guess I’ll wander out and try to find one of these sprays. It’s either that or open a side business as a wild garlic farmer. Now that I’m thinking about it, that might be the best option.

Or perhaps there’s a different message here, one about creativity. Often we go about our daily life, with our agenda (our lawn plan), and we have expectations of what we will accomplish (nice lawn with minimal work). Work, preparing meals (usually me), reviewing the kids’ homework (hopefully performed by my husband), laundry, hopefully squeeze some editing in on Under His Protection … but then that wild onion pops up, that story idea that is so beautiful and green. Never mind that it doesn’t fit my lawn plan. Never mind that it’s a teaser, not developed, and won’t sustain a whole arc. It’s adorable! It’s so much more interesting than the novel I’m editing. IT’S GREEN!!!!

Respect the onion. Jot down a few words to preserve the new story idea (the onions), but try to stay focused on what you need to do with your current work in progress (the lawn). Otherwise, the people driving by your yard won’t see the nicely maintained dormant grass waiting for spring. All they will see is the blasted onions.

My First “Word Processor” – A Father’s Gift

A Father’s Gift

Remington Rand KMC typewriter

Picture By Georg Sommeregger (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

I have written stories for as long as I can remember. In elementary school I wrote my own version of a soap opera starring the kids in my school.  It was in script format. I was always scribbling in notebooks until my fingers cramped.

I don’t remember the year, but it was some time in middle school, maybe seventh grade, for Christmas Santa Claus brought me a Remington Typewriter, an old model not much different from the one pictured above.  I already knew that Santa Claus was my dad then, but everyone at my house continued with the lie. To this day, it remains one of the best gifts I have ever received.  (I think my son just heard me reading this out loud to my husband. We think he doesn’t believe in Santa any more, but if he does I just let the cat out of the bag. Wonderful.)

Today I give tribute to my dad because he saw who I was (a crazy geeky girl who wanted to write) and he found something he knew I would love. It wasn’t the latest girl fad at the time, which was probably something like platform shoes or Gloria Vanderbilt Jeans, but it was exactly what I wanted and needed.

I taught myself to type on that old machine. I found an abandoned typewriter book and did all the drills, and by the end I was self-taught 65 plus words per minute. On a typewriter. I loved the thing.

I wrote my first novel on that old typewriter. In high school I wrote a book called At Cross Purposes.  I haven’t looked at the manuscript for years, but the gist was that a married woman went on a business trip, had a one-night fling, and it turns out her husband died in a plane crash the same night, very macabre for a 16/17 year old. I was a child of divorce, and I was intrigued by the idea of one spouse dying at the moment the other was having an affair. Now of course I’m horrified by that thought. I’m sure if I looked at it now, the writing would be atrocious and very juvenile, but I still remember the book.

By my second novel I was in college and I wrote Beads of Glass, about a girl growing up in the sixties who was the girl in a set of triplets with two boys, and how she was treated differently from her brothers. This book was my honors thesis for my undergraduate degree. The last time I looked at it I noticed that the narrator was obsessed with marking the passage of time in the book.  (Thirty minutes later, At 12:30 p.m., etc. )

These books are as much a fabric of my own personal coming of age as high school and college. I wrote a third book just after I married my husband, about a woman who was torn between her career and wanting to stay home with her new baby. Amazingly enough, it mirrored the issues I was facing at the time. It may see the light of day in the next few years.

Lastly, No Strings Attached is out there, finding readers, slowly but surely. My husband is on his way to Las Vegas in a few weeks on a business trip, and the running joke around our house is that he’d better not be trying to live out portions of the book. Of course, my character isn’t married when she finds her romance in Vegas.

The typewriter is gone, lost in a house fire, but that doesn’t change the fact that it kicked off a dream.

So, to my dad with love — Thank you for buying a little girl a typewriter whether it seemed like a good gift at the time or not.

Early Praise for No Strings Attached

It’s been a week since No Strings Attached went live. Take a look at some of the comments that I’ve gotten to see what you’re missing!

So far, I’ve gotten one five star review on Amazon from Jessica. She writes, “You’ll want to make time to read this one straight through. The end of each scene just makes you want to start the next. Flowing dialogue, great tension, and racy scenes make this a must read. I’ll definitely read more from this author.”

On my Facebook page, I’ve heard from others…

“I’m 80% through. I like her [Laura’s] character – not a doormat.” – Sara

“Chapter 8 and I’m already in love with Fox!” – Rebecca

“I can’t wait to read the sequel!” – Chesa

“I’m so happy to be settling down for the night so I can get back to this book!” Leigh

“I read the first five chapter last night…loving it so far!” Ame

To give you a taste of what you’re missing, here’s the opening from Fox:

Fox Thornton stared at the cards nestled against the green felt. Focus, man, focus. Something had to change. A fun hand of blackjack had turned into a bloodbath. After being in meetings all day, he had planned a quick hand of blackjack, but two hours later, he had lost more than he intended. He blamed his losses on the gorgeous blonde at the end of the table and her sexy silver dress. How could he leave with her if she made no effort to leave?

Her hair reminded him of wheat in summer and it curled around her shoulders with a devil-may-care attitude. Her eyes shone like dark amber whiskey and glowed with an inner fire when she smiled—which was often—and frequently in his direction. She leaned forward and he caught a glimpse of a little dark hollow between her breasts. He stifled a groan.

He shifted position to relieve the pressure caused by a wave of desire. How long had it been since he’d been this hard for a stranger? Not since college ten years ago. As she considered the cards, her tongue peeked between rosy lips. What a turn-on.

Fox looked for any of the managers he knew from the remodel, and saw James, a pit boss who had joined him for drinks one night. He sent him a text and then moved over to the vacant seat beside her.

“The luck’s better over here,” he said with a smile, but then he cut his eyes away, not wanting to appear too eager. She spared him a quick glance before turning back to her cards.

Sitting beside her made things worse. He smelled roses every time she moved, and now he had a full view of her long, tanned legs. One of her legs bounced up and down, betraying her nervousness. He blocked out the image of those legs wrapped around his waist or he would never be able to stand. As soon as James closed the table, he would ask her to dinner.

Her bizarre play was screwing up the natural order of the cards. She laughed when the cards fell her way, and when they didn’t, she seemed stunned, as if she should be able to predict the card order.

If anyone else had been playing that inconsistently, he would have switched tables and cut his losses. Now he was so intrigued he couldn’t walk away without a phone number.

The girl’s strapless dress fit against her like a second skin, and he couldn’t look away. While they waited for the next round of cards, she fidgeted with a silver-threaded scarf. He could imagine that scarf in his hands as he pulled her to him … He had to get control of himself.

When the waitress brought drinks, he took care of the tip, and his blonde beauty flashed him a smile. When she won for the third time in as many hands, he saluted her with a flourish. She repaid him by blowing him a kiss. Now he had her attention.

 

Buy No Strings Attached for just $2.99 now. Click the link below to go to the Amazon page.

No Strings Attached

A Little Beauty Goes a Long Way

I’m visiting my hair dresser today for my four-month touch-up. I don’t have much gray, but with dark hair it quickly becomes like a red cape to a bull. I look in the mirror and that’s all I see.

Romances are often about transformations, and I’ve read many make-over scenes, particularly in contemporary fiction. There’s the inevitable straightening of curly hair, a lightening with highlights, and often our little middle class heroine gets a designer wardrobe. Most contemporaries have stars too young to have gray, but the coloring of gray is a strong scene in Cher’s Moonstruck.

I have a scene where Laura, my leading lady, goes to a spa before a big party. I chose to leave her hair curly, because Fox, her hero, loves her curly hair. She’s always playing with her hair, and I use the way she wears it in each scene as a barometer of how she is feeling. I can’t wait for you to meet Laura.

One more point about romantic stories and hair as I move from the dryer to the stylist chair. I get so tired of contemporary heroines with waist-length hair. Who does that? Even the college girls I see every day on campus cut it at mid-back. My hair is shoulder-length and some days it’s too much. So next time you write about waist-length hair, get out the scissors!!!!!