Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I will survive!

While running errands today, Gloria Gaynor’s song “I will survive” played over the radio. As I blasted the volume and damaged my little girls’ eardrums, (not by the radio but by my poor singing), I thought to myself “this song is a theme for a romance Novel!” I belted out the lyrics while writing the back story and act one of “Starlit Embrace” in my head. Ok, that is a pretty cheesy title, but not bad for a gal weaving in and out of traffic, singing at the top of her lungs, while sucking down a Jamba Juice.

Our Survival is so primeval. It is ingrained in our psyche from the earliest moments of life, from even before conception. The fact that the egg and sperm actually meet in the hostile alkaline environment of the womb is an amazing feat of God and Nature. A fact that many of us unfortunately struggle with for years in search of our own progeny. Unless, of course, you happen to be 17 years old and in the back of a Ford Taurus on Prom Night without adequate "protection". Then, of course, eggs and sperm have their own microscopic GPS receivers.

Thousands of years have taught us humans what we need to do to survive. Whether you believe in Evolution, Creation, or a Borg-like collective conscious, we can not deny our innate nature to push through the terrible events in life while searching for greener pastures. Perhaps we get the strength from our parents, perhaps from our own faith, or perhaps just from growing up in the jungles of urban, suburban, and rural America. What ever you believe, the truth is we are products of our own environment, but as much as we struggle, we are not in control of that environment. Those of you who believe you are in control are living in a plastic bubble.

The great thing about being a writer is that we have the experiences to draw upon for not only our stories, but for further life adventures. Observers by nature, I believe we are champions at the survival game. We use our powers of observation to challenge our mental and physical survival skills. We have the imagination that will bridge us from the heartbreak, confusion, and physical hardship to what ever we can imagine is on the other side of this gulf. We can imagine pretty great things. Writers will always survive, as they will always have the power to see their way through any situation as if they are a character in their own stories.
I will survive. How will you write your own story of survival?

At first I was afraid
I was petrified
Kept thinking I could never live
without you by my side
But then I spent so many nights
thinking how you did me wrong
And I grew strong
And I learned how to get along
and so you're back
from outer space
I just walked in to find you here
with that sad look upon your face
I should have changed that stupid lock
I should have made you leave your key
If I had known for just one second
you'd be back to bother me

Go on now go walk out the door
just turn around now
'cause you're not welcome anymore
weren't you the one who tried to hurt me with goodbye
Did you think I'd crumble
Did you think I'd lay down and die
Oh no, not I
I will survive
Oh as long as i know how to love
I know I will stay alive
I've got all my life to live
I've got all my love to give
and I'll survive
I will survive (hey-hey)

It took all the strength I had
not to fall apart
kept trying hard to mend
the pieces of my broken heart
and I spent oh so many nights
just feeling sorry for myself
I used to cry
But now I hold my head up high
and you see me
somebody new
I'm not that chained up little person
still in love with you
and so you felt like dropping in
and just expect me to be free
and now I'm saving all my loving
for someone who's loving me - Gloria Gaynor.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

We all need love, we all need a little escapism

The red rose whispers of passion,
And the white rose breaths of love;
O, the red rose is a falcon,
And the white rose is a dove.

But I send you a cream-white rosebud,
With a flush on its petal tips;
For the love that is purists and sweetest,
Has a kiss of desire on the lips.

John Boyle O’Reilly (1844-1890)

O, to have the fortune of Blogging on Valentine’s Day. I have spent the last three days trying to come up with something cute and clever to write about, something completely romantic. Alas, I have failed you. I do ask your forgiveness, I have been a bit discombobulated for the past seven months, following a series of strange, tragic, and wonderful events. My muses seemed to have abandoned me along with half my brain. The muses are sitting on a hillside in tibet, a great Buddhist temple looms in the background as they contemplate and meditate on the meaning of life. Everyone needs time off, even muses. Which leave me to the question, where did my brain wonder?

But it is Valentine’s Day, so let us talk about romance. I have heard it said that romance readers have sex 75% more often than non-romance readers. I do not know if that statistic is true, but it does leave much to ponder. If you subtract the celibate singles (and nuns), then romance reading is inspiring quite a bit more bedroom, or kitchen table, action than the statistics show.

I have also read that many romance readers read for escapism. I certainly do! I am a stay at home mom who home-schools two very active, special needs children. By the end of the day I am fried beyond belief. Two of the things that keep me going are the posts from my writing group and locking myself in the bathroom with my latest book. I desperately crave the escapism.

Does that call upon us, struggling writers and proficient writers alike, to inspire the masses to meaningful, lusty, romantic experiences and escape from the drudgery or complications of life? Is that our calling? Tell a tale that sweeps us out of our world into a world of adventure and create sex kittens from the overworked and over-stressed? Would that be a bad thing?
Some people want to save the world. Perhaps we are helping to do just that. A little more romance in everyones life would have a huge impact. Think of all the endorphins created from having sex, and to a lesser degree holding hands and snuggling with someone. Human touch is essential for survival, it improves physical and mental well being. Babies and the elderly wilt without touch, and so do we. We all need romance in our lives.

If that statistic is correct and Romance reading does inspire more amorous behavior then we do have our work cut out for us. It is our moral and social obligation to give the world more desire, more endorphins, and most importantly, more love.
Aloha and Happy Valentine’s Day from Hawai’i

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Love Scenes to Curl Your Toes

Aloha! Here are my favorite love scenes in honor of Valentine’s Day, six love scenes to leave you burning with desire and holding your heart.

1. “Past the Point of No Return” from the movie Phantom of the Opera. In this scene Christine and the Phantom sing the duet “Past the Point of No Return”. I am passionately moved by music to begin with and when you add the sultry looks and sexual tension of this scene, I am completely blown away.

Our heroine Christine is intrigued and innocently sexually awakened by the Phantom, her musical mentor, who she once believed to be an Angel sent by her dead father.

“What raging fire shall flood the soul? What rich desire unlocks its door? What sweet seduction lies before us . . .?”

Christine’s heart belongs to her childhood sweetheart the Dashing Viscount, Raoul. She is torn between wanting to escape the Phantom’s obsessive, possessive, jealous hold on her and succumbing to the passion of this musical genius.

“Past all thought of right or wrong - one final question: how long should we two wait, before we're one . . .?”

The Phantom uses both her innocent desire and the mystery of her father’s promise of sending her an “Angel of Music” to manipulate and confuse her.

During this scene the Opera House owners and Christine’s Fiance Raoul have set a trap for the Phantom and are using Christine for bait. She is absolutely terrified, but agrees to free herself from her fear and her betraying desire. Once the disguised Phantom enters stage and starts to sing Christine immediately recognizes his voice. To the complete disgust of Raoul, Phantom’s passionate lyrics consume her and momentarily drive her to the edge of reason. Only when Phantom stops singing the enticing lyrics and proposes marriage, Christine is brought back to her senses.

“Say you'll share with me one love, one lifetime . . .Lead me, save me from my solitude .
Say you want me with you, here beside you . . .Anywhere you go let me go too - Christine that's all I ask of . . .”

He never finishes his sentence. Christine rips off his mask and exposes him to the Police and the audience, only to bring upon them the the Phantom and the Opera House’s demise.

Despite all of his evil, during this scene I find myself wanting Christine to forget that the Phantom is an obsessive murderer and give in to his magical voice and magical touch.

Any other love scene I can remember will pale to this scene, if you have not read the book, please watch Joel Schumacher’s 2004 production of this tragic love story. If you have not melted into a puddle by the time they are atop the bridge on stage, I will be shocked.

2. The Pride and Prejudice’s scene where Mr. Darcy gives her a tour of her home and introduces Elizabeth to his younger sister. Darcy begins to open up to Elisabeth and exposes a bit of his venerability. As much as could be exposed for a Georgian Man.

3. The “About Time” Episode of Season four of Northern Exposure. Chris the local DJ and existential preacher accidently kills someone’s dog. When he goes to meet the owner and give her the bad news she explains that she is studying “Pi”. The mathematical number 3.14...... Despite the initial pet mourning, they find themselves attracted to each other and arrange a dinner date at Chris’ trailer. She arrives with two cats in tow, and Chris discovers that he is allergic to cats. Just when you think there is no hope for the Allergy prone Dog killer and the Mathematician, they begin to discuss her dissertation on Pi. The way they describe the numbers and the universal truths and relations of the equations escalates their passion until the mathematics melt into make out. It is a very hot scene, even if you never passed Algebra.

4. Nicolas’ Sparks The Note Book, the kiss in the Rain. The two heartbroken lovers, torn away from each other because of war, parents, and social obligations reunite for a weekend. All their angst and heartbreak fuels them into a fit of rage. She is about to marry another and he is furious that she has abandoned them. As they release all the pent up frustration of the years, they realize how much they still love each other and how much they want each other. They embrace in the rain and kiss as though they will never be able to kiss again, one last desperate kiss before she goes away. I do not want to give the the ending in case you have not read the book, but if there was ever a kiss to mend all wounds and bind two people together this would be the kiss.

5. The last historical romance I read was Heart of Honor by Kat Martin. I picked it up because honestly, I could not figure out how a Viking would end up in the 1840’s, as the culture had died out 400 years earlier. It was a fun read to say the least. The combination of the raw untempered desire of the Viking set in Georgian English society was a great combination. I do not think his love scenes would have been half as sexy set in the Viking Age. But, it is not the hot sex scenes that draws me to this book, but the tender scene at the end of the story where the Viking rescues the Heroine Krista from a loveless marriage. In doing so he gives up his home, his family, and his community standing as the Jarl of his clan. He sacrificed everything. He who has the most, has the most to loose.

6. My first real Kiss. No not a movie, and not a book. My honest to goodness first grown up passionate kiss. OK, don’t get me wrong, I had been kissed before by my high school sweetheart, but those kisses were slobbery, usually tasted like Doritoes (I HATE Doritoes!), and there was very little passion involved. For my REAL kiss, I was eighteen and about to leave for my freshman year in college. A childhood friend and I were sitting on the rocks along the lake of my family’s lake house in New Hampshire. We were discussing all of our hopes and dreams for college and our future. We had agreed to send each other sweatshirts from our schools as soon as we could, and we also promised to write as much as we can. Although we had just been good friends for years, something this night was different. There was almost visible electricity moving back and forth between us. At the close of the evening, when he leaned over and kissed me, I swear I thought my head was going to explode. Everything around me lit up in pure bright white light even though we were sitting in the darkness. There was no slobber, no Doritoes, and this time there was my first taste of passion. Our parents called us in for the night, breaking the magic spell, leaving me with only my memories. It was four years before we saw each other again, each of us dating our future spouses. I have never spoken of it, and this is the first I have written about it. My little secret, that I will share with you. I will never mention it again, but I will never forget it either.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Getting to Know You

Last week for my first blog I jumped right in to a serious note on death that hounded me during several runs. This week I am walking, nursing two very sore heels, and my thoughts come slower, calmer. I realized in my quest to write about something profound and meaningful I neglected to even say hello and introduce myself. So “Getting to Know You” will be the short topic of this blog this week. Not very exciting, I know, but who is this Jacqueline person anyway?

The first thing you should know about me is that I live in Hawai’i . Yes, the apostrophe is supposed to be there. Before you conjure images of a quiet little hut on the beautiful pacific ocean, let me correct you. I live in Honolulu, in a 1100 square foot pre WWII military house with rats in the attic, flying roaches that the Terminex guys can not drive away, Geckos on the ceiling, and bullets from Japanese fighters lodged into the floor under the cheesy 1980’s linoleum. Ahhh, but I do have the nicest yard in the neighbor hood with the most amazing tree I have ever seen in my life. It’s branches are more than 40 feet across! And I do enjoy having only three pairs of shoes to wear: running shoes. dressy slippahs (flip-flops) and casual slippahs. I digress.......I do live in paradise, but things are not always what they seem.

The second thing I would like you to know about me is that I am the worst time manager in the world. Wednesday is my day to blog. Here it is, 10:44 p.m., and I am just now getting to it! Pretty soon people on the east coast will be rising for work on Thursday! It is not as if I do not want to get things done on time, I just have no sense of how long a project will take and do not plan accordingly. I also have a very dastardly bad habit of committing to to many outside organizations, projects, and other miscellaneous things that take me away from my writing. I am weeks behind all my writing goals, and yet I volunteered to be the testing administer for my darling daughters’ home school group. “Just say No!” That should be my new motto!

The third thing I think you should know about me is that I love to create new places, people and situations in my mind. The only activity I love as much as writing is reading. I am definitely not a great writer, but I have many great ideas. You can always learn to write better, but you can’t always change the way your imagination works. I pray the ideas never cease to flow.
Those are the most important things, at least that apply to writing and my blog. Thank you for joining me at Cinderwriter, I look forward to chatting with you next week.