Tuesday, March 31, 2009

When Ideas Attack

How often has this happened to you? You're working away on your book. You like it. There are a few snafus, but generally, things are chugging along nicely.

And then, as if out of nowhere, a new idea bursts into your brain and takes a stranglehold on your imagination. Suddenly, what you were working on fades into the background and Hot New Idea is demanding time and attention.

What to do?

Once I had an idea that was just so powerful, I actually jumped ahead a book on a contract and didn't even realize it until I was about half done. Cue panicked call to editor, who was most sympathetic. Actually, she laughed. Because I was so keen, I was ahead of my usual writing schedule so it was still early enough in the process that a change could be made. Another time, I had a character who appeared, fully formed, in Chapter One of a book that was not his. I had to give him a concussion to keep him from taking over.

These are the most extreme examples of Book Hijacking By A New Idea. Usually, I find that if I write down the idea and make notes, that's enough to keep Hot New Idea at bay. I may find that I have more subsidiary ideas and must make more notes, but I don't immediately start writing a scene.

This just happened. I have notes I made on the plane coming home from the conference, because of something an editor said. Picture me shaking a fist at the editor, but while grinning, too, because DANG! Hot New Ideas are just so attractive because at this stage of the game, there are no problems. Everything seems swell. However, I've been in this game long enough to know that eventually, I'll find plenty to work on/fix/complain about with Hot New Idea, too. So I write it down, then get back to my former Hot New Idea. Because it's still Hot, too, in its own way.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Conference Pros and Cons

So I'm back from the NECRWA conference and, as always, there were pros and cons about attending.

Going to a conference really does mess up the momentum of book writing for me. At this point, I can barely remember my characters' names, let alone just what exactly they were thinking and feeling when I last worked on the book. I hope that's fleeting, but it makes it easier to procrastinate.

I don't sleep well when I'm traveling. I was up at 3 a.m. the day I left and couldn't get back to sleep. I was awake at 4 a.m. the day I returned and couldn't get back to sleep. Not good.

I put on about a pound, which isn't much, really. But the traveling really does mess up the eating regimen, too, and I missed my orange pekoe tea.

Those cons, though, are weighed against some very positive pros.

It's fun to meet face-to-face with writing friends you mostly communicate with online. I've really missed that.

It's wonderful to be around a crowd of like-minded people, who really get what you're talking about when you say you're stuck or you're not sure about your character's motivation. I've missed that, too.

I went to a most excellent workshop about resistance and resilience presented by Linda Cardillo and Geri Krotow. They explained what can really be going on when you're facing resistance (writer's block) and how to be resilient - and boy, do you need that if you're a writer!

My workshop was very well attended, and I got lots of positive feedback, for which I'm grateful.

I met a true fan at the booksigning, which was a delightful and humbling experience.

I helped the US economy through spending and may have purchased my Mother of the Groom outfit. The color and length may not be right, but if I don't get something when I see it, I often wind up regretting it later, and it's not something I couldn't wear at, say, a writer's conference dinner.

All in all, I had a great time, reconnected with some great people, met some more great people and learned something, too.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Reminder about Book Fair

Just a reminder that I'll be autographing books at the NECRWA's book fair for literacy on Saturday, March 28 at the Sheraton Framingham, Framingham, Massachusetts,from 4 to 6 p.m.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Greetings from Massachusetts!

I made it and am currently in the business center. Feeling like a business woman wannabe. Shouldn't I be blogging about spreadsheets or something?

Oher Travel Notes:

When you announce you don't have a cell phone, folks look at you like you must also make fire with flint and steel.

And apparently the phone companies have decided everybody must have a cell phone, because trying to use a pay phone has become An Experience.

After I got to the hotel, I headed off to the mall, thinking I'll grab a cab back to the hotel. Which wouldn't be difficult if they had a cab stand, which they do not. So now I must find a pay phone.

They exist, but like the endangered creatures they have become, are not easy to find. I finally find one, to discover that phone books are now extinct.

So I have to call 411. I thought I'd have to pay for this and didn't have enough change for two calls, so bought something to get change. Travel tip: at least in the US, calling 411 from a pay phone is free.

I get an automated voice, "What city?"


I then get a person. "What name?"

"I need the number of a cab company."

"Oh? What name?"

"I don't know. I'm from out of town."

Long silence.

"How about Tommy's Taxi?"


Because what else am I going to say? I don't know the name of ANY cab company, let alone another one.

This was after discovering earlier in the day that I'd been told the name of one shuttle company but given the phone number for a different one, so I get on the one with the name I've been given and discover, after we drive off, I'm not on their list. Fortunately, the driver was great and had no problem taking me the rest of the way, but we were both baffled until the driver's boss asked for more info and figured out what had happened.

And last but certainly not least - I am beyond impressed by how friendly everybody is here. The shuttle drivers, the cabbie, the sales clerks (or associates or whatever they call them these days), the hotel staff. Despite the minor snafus, I'm having a great time and the conference hasn't even started.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Historical Reader, Contemporary Writer

Wowsers. I can't believe Margaret let me guest post here today. ME on Margaret Moore's blog. Too freaky for words. I've read every book she's ever published and I'm counting down the days until The Viscount's Kiss and Buggy's story. How Margaret will top that potato-throwing scene in A Lover's Kiss, I don't rightly know. It was a classic romance moment.


So what is a Margaret Moore reader doing writing contemporary romance?

I tried writing historical romances. My first venture into serious romance writing was a 400 page plus monster of a Regency called The Dragon's Protector. I sent it to a former Harlequin editor ('cause I admired Margaret Moore and she writes for Harlequin). The editor was kind. He sent it back with a short, terse note saying I didn't have a historical 'voice.'

I didn't know what that meant. So I asked around. A literary friend read my first page (that was all I allowed her to see). She then held it up to the first page of a published historical novel and asked me if I saw a difference.

You mean besides the total lack of description in my novel (yes, those 400 plus pages were all action and dialogue)? The shorter sentences? The modern slang? The casual dialogue? The missing verbs? The flow of thought writing?

Ummm… yes, all that. And that's the thing, ALL that. There are historical writers (including Margaret) incorporating contemporary elements in their novels. However, they tweak one or two areas, not all. The bare bones are still a historical romance. That's what readers expect.

The process of writing a contemporary romance is also different.
How we do research is a prime example.

A historical writer pores over books and documentaries and talks to academics. Margaret has some great posts on her process. I won't duplicate that good thinking.

Me? I touch and feel and talk to my research. When writing about Maeve, my heroine in Invisible, I emailed one of the top skip tracers on the planet and asked him questions directly. I needed to describe the Wynn Casino in Vegas so I went to the Wynn Casino in Vegas. It is important that I get these details right as many of my readers have also been to the Wynn. They'll know if Maeve's heels click on the tile floor or are muffled by carpet (and they'll email me 'cause I have the best readers in the world).

Some writers can write both contemporary and historical romances well. Those writers are rare. Many can only write (well) one or the other. A turning point in my writing 'career' was discovering which one I was meant to write.

And no, I'm not posting an excerpt from The Dragon's Protector.


Kimber Chin writes contemporary romances set in the sexy world of business. Her latest release, Invisible, is a contemporary treasure hunt romance through the world of hidden identities. A world where loyalty and love can be found in the most unexpected places. You can track her down on http://businessromance.com/ where she gives away her favorite eBooks, shares short stories, and posts photos of good looking men in business suits.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Book Fair for Literacy - come on by

I'm packing my bags for the New England Chapter of Romance Writers of America's conference this weekend.

There's going to be a book fair for literacy, meaning proceeds from the sale of the books, which the authors will autograph, go to promote literacy. It's from 4 - 6 p.m. at the Sheraton Framington. Please come on by, say hello and support helping others learn to read.

I won't be blogging until next week, but I've lined up a Special Guest Blogger for tomorrow. Do stop in and see what she's got to say about that always-fascinating subject, an author's "voice."

Until then, so long!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Plane Reading

One of the things I enjoy about traveling is...the waiting. Now, don't get me wrong -- I don't like unexpected waiting, as in the plane is delayed. Been there, done that, spent 24 hours in an airport because of a blizzard once and got sent to Botany Bay (yes, really!) by a ten hour delay on the return from Australia. Those experiences weren't wonderful.

But I don't mind having to get to the airport early to allow time for security and customs because I get to read. Indeed, I have little choice but to read. There's not a lot I can do otherwise if I'm traveling by myself. Ditto when I'm on the plane. I can just sit and read and not have to worry that I should be doing something else, like, oh, say...writing.

On my trip this week, I'm taking WANTED IN ALASKA by Kate Bridges. I can hardly wait!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Revision Momentum

I'm thinking I should have planned a Revision Sprint to go with my First Draft Sprint. I found myself too easily distracted last week, and now I've got a major distraction in the form of a conference this week. And for the next two weekends after that, I have Major Family Stuff to also distract me.

Which means that I'm starting to worry that I'm losing track of the emotional arc of the story.

Which means I'm really tempted to stop and reread the whole thing before continuing when I return from the NECRWA conference.

Today I decided I'm going to try not to. I'll get as far as I can this week, make notes of where the characters are on that arc when I stop, then see if I can simply carry on from there when I get back.

I'm not going to vow that I won't back track, though. I'm not that confident that I'll be able to.

This fear of loss of revision momentum is something I'm going to bear in mind next time and, if it's possible, do the same kind of sprint when it comes to revisions.

Friday, March 20, 2009

I did it!

Just had to note that I stepped on the scale after my workout today and 135.8! I made my goal!!!!!

Story Seedlings and Spiders

There was a cool case at Old Bailey Online today featuring the mention of Sir Isaac Newton, so a new Story Seedling blog from me.

And hey, here's a news story about a deadly spider of the kind I mention in THE VISCOUNT'S KISS.

Weight Loss Challenge - New Record!

Whoo hoo! On Wednesday this week, the scale said I was down to 136.6 - a new record! I think (hope, hope, hope!) that I've finally made it off the most recent plateau, although there will still be some fluctuations. I always seem to be my lowest weight on Wednesdays, probably because I have a cola and chocolate on Thursday nights. This week, there was also ice cream. It was on sale and it had been soooo long.... I did, however, try to have it shortly after I exercised, when my metabolism would still be revved up.

I was surprised to hear on The Biggest Loser that one can over-train. That was the explanation for one of the contestant's weight gain, despite working out really hard.

So maybe an occasional break isn't a bad thing. If you look at the tally below, you'll see I didn't work out or walk last Saturday, yet I still made a new record low this week.

I will be taking a longer break next week. I'm giving a workshop at the conference of the New England chapter of Romance Writers of America, so there won't be a Weight Loss Challenge post next Friday. My goal was to be 135 by the end of the March. There's a chance I'll make it, but unless it's by next Thursday, I doubt it. But that's okay. I'm getting pretty darn close! And I have to buy new belts! None of my brown ones fit anymore, even at their tightest!

This week's step/treadmill/exercise ball lifts/crunch tally:

Mar. 13 - 1 hr. on TM, 70 eball lifts, 25 crunches
Mar. 14 - nothing (was out all day) - weighed 138.4
Mar. 15 - 16,047 steps and had ice cream, cola, chocolate chips (rather than a whole chocolate bar - gives me a taste for fewer calories.
Mar. 16 - 1 hr. on TM, 70 eball lifts, 25 crunches and weighed 137.6 (was a new record)
Mar. 17 - 17,686 steps
Mar. 18 - 1 hr. on TM, 70 eball lifts, 25 crunches - reached an even better new record of 136.6
Mar. 19 - 1 hr. on TM, 70 eball lifts, 25 crunches

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Life Lessons

I was shocked to hear of the accidental death of Natasha Richardson. Then I remembered two books and one real-life incident that warned me such outcomes from what seems like a minor head injury are possible.

One book was a Lord Peter Wimsey mystery by Dorothy Sayers in which a medical case was cited of a young man who fell from his horse, seemed perfectly fine, assured his friends he was quite all right, then shortly thereafter died from his head injury. Unfortunately, I don't remember which particular book it was and don't have the time to look today.

Another was ROSE IN BLOOM by Louisa May Alcott, the sequel to EIGHT COUSINS. In ROSE IN BLOOM, Rose is being courted by the handsome, charming Charlie. Charlie, too, falls from his horse. He's capable of talking and doesn't feel very sick, but nothing can be done to prevent his death from his head injury.

I might have thought such deaths don't happen in this day and age, except for a real-life incident a few years ago that involved some young men trying to steal a car from an underground garage. The husband of an acquaintance saw them, intervened and was shoved backward. He hit his head on a concrete pillar and died as a result.

When I heard about Natasha Richardson and saw a picture of the beginner slope, I thought, "I probably wouldn't have worn a helmet, either." Scary thought, and if there's any good that can come from something like this, it's that many more people will wear helmets now, even on the beginner hills.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The crocuses are out

Spring is on its way, because the crocuses are out!

Yes, we have a garden gnome. My kids roll their eyes, but I don't care. I like it.

I'm also on Bun-Bun watch, wondering if and when Mr. Bun-Bun Rabbit and family will hop into our backyard again. And I used my clothesline!

I think I get more excited by Spring than I do about Christmas.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patty's

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Once again I'm grateful one of my Irish ancestors was a bit of a rogue, so his family decided to ship him off to the colonies. I don't know what sort of shenanigans he got up to for them to decide this, but plenty of "what if's?" there for this writer!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Chapter One: still making the same mistakes

I was working on the first chapter of the First Draft Sprint manuscript and yet again, I find myself guilty of the following:

1. Too much unnecessary info. I cut out 20 lines of text in the first five pages. That's almost a whole page. Out of five. In my case, it was too much interior monologue. Which brings me to

2. The urge to tell too much backstory, to explain motives and goals too soon. I blame my love of my characters. I think they're interesting, fascinating people, and I want everybody to know that, and why. But tell too much in the beginning, and what does the reader have to learn?

3. I tend to leave out description almost entirely, which leads to a very vague sense of time and place (and therefore possible reader frustration).

4. The Talking Head Syndrome. I am so guilty of this, I hang my own head in shame. I love to write dialogue, and too many times I find myself having characters just yakking away without any activity going on - the equivalent of sitting in a coffee shop having a gab. Now, the discussion may be fascinating once you know the people but it can be a drag if you don't. Put that with a lack of description and ay yi yi. They could be in a whole other dimension for all my reader knows.

You know, I've been at this for twenty years, but it's clear that the only difference between me and a fledgling writer is not so much the mistakes I make as that I know to look for and (try to) fix them.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Weight Loss Challenge - Still Stuck!

ETA: I just bought a pair of size 10 jeans. SIZE 10!!! It's been...a long time...since I was size 10. That's motivating, I must say!

Back to the regular blog:

Now that I have figured out how to upload pictures, this is one of the paths I walk. This picture was taken in the fall; I haven't been there lately because it's been too muddy. Also, a little past this point is where a two deer suddenly ran right in front of me, then paused and looked back. Cool!

But alas, I am still stuck at 139, despite adding to the exercise routine and making sure to do the exercise ball lifts...very...slowly. At least it was 139.0, but I'm beginning to wonder if I was hallucinating that 137.8 back at the start of February. On the other hand, I was most pleasantly surprised by my waist measurement (lost an inch and a half from October, last time I recorded it). I also noticed that I could slip my engagement ring off easily. Last summer, I couldn't budge it. So both my waist and ring finger circumference are shrinking - whoo hooo! And that's more than enough incentive to keep working out.

This weeks step/treadmill/exercise ball and crunch tally (because yes, I added crunches to the workout this week):

March 5 - 17,804 steps
March 6 - 1 hr. on TM, 60 eball lifts, 10 crunches
March 7 - 1 hr. on TM, 60 eball lifts, 15 crunches
March 8 - 1 hr. on TM, 60 eball lifts, 20 crunches
March 9 - 1 hr. on TM, 60 eball lifts, 20 crunches
March 10 - 1 hr walk (no pedometer, but that would make the day's tally somewhere between 8,000 and 10,000 steps), 45 min. on TM, 65 eball lifts, 25 crunches
March 11 - 1 hr. on TM, 65 eball lifts, 25 crunches
March 12 - 1 hr. on TM, 65 eball lifts, 25 crunches

I confess I had three colas and some chocolate this week. Could that be enough to hold me back?? Considering I had soup for dinner at least three times, wouldn't that compensate? Maybe not.

Next week I'll add a few more exercise ball lifts. Those things are hard, but I need to work on the abs more than anywhere else and clearly, that's working.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

First Draft Sprint - The Verdict

Although I haven't completely finished reading through the manuscript of the First Draft Sprint - I have one more chapter to go and have to insert the Big Event that I decided had to come later in the story - I think I can render a verdict on whether this method (writing without revising, just forging ahead) works for me.


Yes, it does.

There's a lot of revising to be done, especially in the last third, but overall, this draft was not the train wreck I feared it might be.

Just goes to show you can always learn something about your writing or your method no matter how long you've been at it.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tweet me!

Between working on a new feature for my website (not all uploaded yet) and having the devil of a time figuring out a problem and signing up for Twitter, my back aches and I feel like a complete dunce. Techno-savvy I am not.

In case you're interested, I'm WriterMargMoore on Twitter, because MargaretMoore was already taken.

Now, I'm starving and need to get back to the First Draft Sprint. Soup for dinner is good for the Weight Loss Challenge, right? (We shall not mention the cola and chocolate I had last night. I needed that.)

Barbie Fashionista

Today, it's the Barbie fashion show! Well, not completely, but I decided to focus on a few outfits from my collection. Because boy, did the Barbie "brand" change from the time I was a kid to when my daughter was playing with dolls!

First, though, I just want to note that the red evening gown was made for me by my late Grandma Moore. If she didn't need glasses before this, she would have after. Talk about yer tiny seams!

The blue and white dress on the red-haired Barbie is a true classic. It has a zipper in the back - no velcro closings around yet.

Also note the hairstyle on that doll. Clearly this was before the folks at Mattel realized that doing the doll's hair would be a big draw, so the more hair, the better.

These are the two outfits I particularly wanted to highlight. First, note the colors - no pink! Back in the day, Barbie dressed in a host of colors.

You can't really tell what the fabrics are like, but there was a variety in that, too. The brown outfit is made of fabric that wouldn't have been out of place used for a real woman's jacket and skirt. And that fur trim? That's real fur. No way the PETA folks would allow that now, and no loss. I point that out to show the difference in quality of the fabrics used in the olden days. There's even fur on that gold purse.

In fact, take a look at those accessories.

The gold evening outfit cost a small fortune in the 60's. I found a $5 bill on the way home from school and it took the whole thing to buy this outfit.

The gold fabric is a damask and the whole coat is lined. Again, note the color choices - variety! Luxury! Sophistication!

There was also a catalog that came with every outfit. It was like a mini-Vogue to me.

I'd also like to note another change over time. The waist on my old Barbie is thicker than the waist on my daughter's. I immediately noticed the difference in the faces, too. At some point, Barbie developed bigger, Bambi eyes. Also, apparently, teeth.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

First Draft Sprint - I feared it was too good to last

Well, that's a bit dramatic for what happened as I was reading through the manuscript of the First Draft Sprint. I got to Chapter 18 (out of 24) and realized that what happens in a scene should come later, probably much closer to the end.

Unfortunately, that means that everything from the original place of that bit to where it finally shows up will need some serious revising, because the emotions are going to be different.

On the other hand, that didn't happen until Chapter 18. Whoo hoo!

Overall, after the first one hundred pages, I'm writing more and more revision notes, meaning more work. That's par for the course, though. Unless I find more drastic changes from this point to "The End," I'm thinking this method just might work for me.

Let the pictures begin!

Since it's the 50th anniversary of Barbie, let me share some of my collection.

This is the Skipper Dream House, with Skipper (on the right) and her friend Scooter on the left.

This is the top of the house when it's all folded up. It's about 4 inches wide.

This is what it looks like when it's opened out with the furnishings. All are made of cardboard, except the curtains and the vanity and stool skirts.

All the furniture fits in either the closet or the vanity when you're done.

The alcove folds back up, too. I tell you, this is head and shoulders above the Barbie house we bought my daughter, which was plastic and will probably live on in a landfill for about a thousand years.

As I was taking this little trip down memory lane, one of the cats had to check it out.

Monday, March 09, 2009

My Perfect Pie

What can I say? I'm very proud of the lemon meringue pie I made yesterday to celebrate Daylight Savings Time. I think it's the best lemon meringue pie I've ever made. And it tasted great, too! As you can see, I hope, I am of the graham-cracker-crust school of lemon meringue pie making. It tastes better that way, I think.

Obviously, and in the Trying-Not-To-Be-A-Complete-Luddite Category: I have finally gotten things set up to upload my own pictures on my blog!

Oh, I have plans, baby. Plans to post pictures. Many pictures.

I'll also be continuing my First Draft Sprint manuscript read-through. As I suspected, there is much work to be on the middle. And I tossed two very short scenes. But all in all, still not a disaster!

I also want to upload a new feature on my web site (more to come on that when it's ready) and start getting an excerpt for THE VISCOUNT'S KISS ready. My email newsletter subscribers get first peek at that. (Want to subscribe? See the sidebar.)

And if I'm really with it, I'm going to sign up for Twitter. (See above re Trying-Not-To-Be-A-Luddite.)

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Hi Ho, Higler!

Do you know what a higler is? Neither did I until I wrote the latest blog post over at Story Seedlings.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Cause for Celebration!

This is one of my favorite weekends of the entire year. Why?

Daylight Savings Time begins!

Whooo hoooo! Kaloo kalay! Sun at suppertime!

It's springtime, baby! And yesterday sure felt like it. We hit a record high temperature of 18 C. or 65.5 F.

Tomorrow, to celebrate, I'm making a lemon meringue pie. I think a sunny, yummy dessert is certainly called for!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Weight Loss Challenge - I's stuck!

Well, boy, howdy, I am well and truly stuck on a plateau of around 139 pounds. Of course, desserts will do that, but still! I'm doin' the work!

I can see why people throw in the towel and give up, because it's frustrating, but I shall persevere, in no small part because I can see a difference and I can tell I'm in better condition. Nevertheless, I do want to get off the plateau, so this week I changed the incline on the Treadmill o' Terror to make me work harder, I'm trying to keep up a brisk pace for at least 40 minutes, and yesterday I added a few crunches to the workout routine.

This week's step/treadmill/exercise ball tally:

Feb. 27 - 1 hr. on TM, 60 eball lifts
Feb. 28 - 21,540 steps for a NEW RECORD. This works out to about 10 kilometers, or 6.21 miles. Whew!
Mar. 1 - 1 hr. on TM
Mar. 2 - 1 hr. on TM, 60 eball lifts
Mar. 3 - nothing (for the first time since Jan. 14! I was out of town for a family thing.)
Mar. 4 - 1 hr. on TM, 60 eball lifts
Mar. 5 - 1 hr. on TM, 60 eball lifts, 10 crunches

In that other challenge, the First Draft Sprint - Of course, I had planned to get a lot of reading done yesterday. Of course, the gods conspired to give me computer problems, so my website updates, which should have taken no more than an hour, took considerably more time. Fixed now, but I only got through 1 chapter and a few more pages. Found something that needs to be expanded considerably, but so far, nothing that has me shrieking "Eeek! This is all wrong!"

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Hey! Check it out!

Kate Bridges is interviewed in an article about Harlequin's 60th anniversary over at CBC.ca. All in all, it's pretty good, although sheesh, enough with the heaving bosoms, okay? And be ready to grit your teeth at some of the comments, romance fans!

In other news, I've started reading the First Draft Sprint manuscript. I got through about 100 pages yesterday, which, for a first read-through, is actually rather...amazing. I have a few notes of scenes that need to modified and/or expanded, but the story's in much better shape than I was expecting. Of course, I'm now entering The Middle, where the score can really change, so the jury's still out on this writing method.

I also did a new blog over at Story Seedlings, showing how a bit of slightly strange and mysterious testimony can start a story.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Long-lasting Love

There's an article in today's Toronto Star that reveals the results of a survey done in Great Britain about what makes for a long-lasting marriage.

Apparently you need:
1. to say "I love you" daily
2. share two hobbies
3. make love three times a week
4. communicate three times a day during working hours
5. enjoy two romantic meals a month
6. exchange four kisses and three cuddles a day
7. get away three times a year for holidays
8. snuggle together three nights a week watching the telly

The long-married couples also typically met through friends, dated for three and a half years before they married, waited two years and two months to have kids and when they married, were 31 for the guy, 29 for the girl.

According to these criteria, my husband and I would not have been married for thirty years this June.

How are we different? Let me count the ways.

1. Say "I love you" daily: Well, okay, yes, the hubby and I do this.

2. Share two hobbies: No. Don't even share one.

3. Make love three times a week: Some things should remain private.

4. Communicate three times a day during working hours: Since the hubby now works from home, we could answer yes to this one, although I'm including, "Can you please turn down the TV? I'm trying to write a love scene here!" (The hubby can work with sports, etc. on in the background. I cannot.)

5. Enjoy two romantic meals a month: Hahahahahahaaaaaa! I mean, really? When you've got little kids? And money is tight? No. Way.

6. Exchange four kisses and three cuddles a day: I don't keep track, but we probably manage this, if I count a hug as a quick cuddle.

7. Get away three times a year for holidays: Haa haa haa! Hooo hooo hooo! Oh, stop it - my sides are aching. Again, really? Three times a year? Were these millionaires they surveyed or what?

8. Snuggle together three nights a week watching the telly: Now, heaven knows I like my television shows. And the hubby actually follows more than I do. But our tastes don't match, so often I'll be watching my show upstairs, he'll be watching his downstairs.

Age at marriage: 22 (Bride) and 24 (Groom). Time until birth of kids - three years. Number of years dating - 10 months (but had been acquainted for over 2 years)

So according to this, our marriage was Doomed.

Except... These are activities. They don't measure what I think are the true keys to a good relationship.

Trust, and the security that comes with it.


Affection. I'd include sense of humor in this.



If you don't have these, you can spend hours with your partner, cuddling, kissing, making love, eating romantic dinners by candlelight, and it won't mean a thing in terms of a deep emotional connection and commitment.

This is one reason I don't watch The Bachelor. To me, that's all about setting and props - Hollywood telling us what love should look like, not what it is.

Monday, March 02, 2009

In between time....

As you may have noticed from the post below, I finished my First Draft Sprint on Friday. Now I have to read it and see just how much more work needs to be done.

However, I haven't printed it yet. I spent the weekend on various other activities, like a three hour walk. The bad news? It was supposed to be two hours, but I went a muddy way, had to backtrack and spend more time going out of my way to avoid more mud on the "good" way. The good news? New step count record! (Which will be revealed on Friday as per usual.)

Since I'll be busy with something else most of tomorrow and want to read the manuscript when I have a fairly decent chunk of time, I don't want to start reading today and then have to wait a day to get back to it.

So today, I'm going to print the manuscript and...

organize my expenses.

That's one of those jobs that I don't particularly enjoy, yet has to be done, and it occurred to me this morning that since today is a sort of "in between" day, it would be a good time to tackle that job and get it out of the way.

Off to the receipts with me! Away!