Well, we've all heard THAT one plenty of times.
Write what you know, Young Writer!
So who are these writers spewing out series upon series of goblins, dragons, vampies, and fairies? Do they write vampires, because they, well, know vampires? If that's true, than I feel like I've led an entirely sheltered life. I don't know about you, but mine has been utterly devoid of anything remotely resembling a sexy vampire, hot werewolf, or even a fire-spitting dragon. Quite boring, in fact, compared to other writers, who are apparently writing what they know.
So my only recourse, I suppose, is to substitute knowledge with feeling. I may not know anything about time travel because I am no Dr.Who, but I can imagine what it might feel like to be lost in another place with no way home. After all, I've been lost and afraid, scared witless, certain I might never see the people I loved ever again. I used to race BMX bikes as a child, and I had a terrible habit of running off into the woods to play with the boys in between the races. Well, couple that indomitable desire to explore with the reckless abandon of a child, and yes, I can say I've been quite thoroughly lost with fear of no return.
Neither do I have personal experience with life in the 17th century, yet I have an inkling of what it means to work hard labor with my hands. I imagine life in those times would have consisted somewhat of that. I worked many years as a young woman on a horse farm, which was an outside job all year 'round. Mucking stalls until your hands bleed and riding horses until your ass aches are things a girl never forgets. One also recalls the taste of that delicious bitter beer at the end of the day, sitting on the tailgate of a truck as we rounded the last of the yearlings in from the fields. It was hard work, work that left me scarred, as I imagine the life of those early American settlers must have left them.
No, I do not know some of the things I write, nor have I lived all those lives, but I have lived a bit in mine and I can bend it how I please. That's the beauty of being a writer. I can take what is mine, see what is yours, and make it something more.
So I say to all of you, who have heard that Most Sage Advice to write what you know... consider adding onto that by writing what you feel. We may not have all met vampires and dragons or lived in exotic times, but we have surely lived a passionate life in that place inside our mind. Use it, cultivate it, take that piece inside yourself that aches and see it through.
Just my musings, as I contemplate how sad I am over killing off a character I've grown kinda attached too... xoxo EB
I first became aware of the cause when I met Matthew Reeves, an avid supporter and State Committee member of the Law Enforcement Torch Run. I tagged along and watched as Matt and his friends organized various fundraisers throughout the year, convinced of what an amazing thing they were doing simply by watching them in action.
It was not until I attended my first Summer Games opening ceremonies at the College of New Jersey, however, that I was truly hooked. I was lucky enough to stand at ground level next to the field, giving me the perfect view of the athletes as they made their entrance. Each county in New Jersey was represented, bringing thousands of athletes together in that stadium. Although creating stories is my chosen profession, I still look upon that moment and struggle for the words to describe what I saw and what I felt. I envisioned many roles as I watched, thinking on the stories behind the athletes on that field, and what they must be feeling - as a parent of an athlete, a sibling, a coach - and as a proud athlete who worked so hard all year to participate in the games. Finally, I thought of it in my role as a volunteer, and I realized how very blessed I am to be able to contribute in some small way to the realization of a dream for all those who were standing on that field. Seeing the pride in those faces, the triumph in their stares, and the strength in their hearts is something that can not be bought - yet each of us who volunteer or contribute in some way are a part of that success.
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Thanks so much for your support!
Yes, I write romance, but I'm not looking for some fairytale hero. What is sexy to me, might not be the sexy ideal for another, so I can only convey what it is that makes my heart beat faster. So what does it take to knock my socks off? Well, I can give you a few hints...
It is the weight of a stare I feel when a man's eyes settle on me across a crowded bar room. Perhaps it is near closing time, and he's been watching me all night. He has not said a word, or bought me a drink, but I have felt his attention by the way the little hairs on the back of my neck prickle, and by the way my belly feels warm when I see him glance, very slightly, in my direction. The corner of his mouth turns up, not enough to be a smile, but enough that I know he sees me.
Maybe it is the warmth of the body beside me as I hold onto the split rail I'm trying to hammer into place. He takes off his glove before he puts his hand over mine, and together we lift the rail until it settles into place.
"You got it?" he says, and I nod.
It is the gentle squeeze he presses on my wrist before he steps away. It is the way he watches, the absence of further words between us as we work silently together.
Or is it the tug I feel on my waist that rouses me from sleep? The urge of a needful hand, pulling me back like a bow into his arms in the dark of night. We fit together, flesh against flesh, and all I can think of is to ease his burden.
I suppose those are the things that feel like romance to me. It is nothing unattainable, no secret we can not master. It is just the simple things to me. A touch, a look. The sharing of space.
If romance must equal fairytale, then I surrender. I'm just a hopeless romantic, lost in my everyday illusions.
I don't know about you, but I know this isn't how my story was supposed to end. I'd like to think it's the writer in me that keeps that big, sloppy heart perched on my sleeve, but I'm still not sure that is truly the reason why I've ended up in this place. Blame it on the author? Sure, I can dig it.
On my 38th birthday, I had it all. A loving spouse, a beautiful daughter, a big house on a hill. Now as I sit here on the eve of my 40th birthday, I'm looking back and reflecting on it all and wondering just what the heck I have learned as I sit here in 40-something-ish singlesville.
And then the internet dating thing. Wow. I can't even begin to understand it. It seems to work out great for some of my friends, but my very limited foray spawned enough crazy stories to fill up a book. Which is kinda funny, because if I think it's book-worthy, you know it's that bonkers.
Meeting someone in real life the old fashioned way (like at a dive bar) isn't a sure fire way to happiness either. Throw back in that whole we're old and damaged thing, and lemme tell you...the heartache is even tougher to push aside. Sad thing is that some people are afraid to leave the comfy confines of the old wounds they've lived with for years. I supposed that's one way of staying safe.
So despite the roadblocks, I keep on writing. Maybe that's both my salvation and my downfall, because when I am immersed in telling a story I am filled with hope. In my brain I know that the characters & romance I create doesn't exist, but I guess the little princess heart in me still wants to believe it might.
NEW TO DO LIST:
Yes, a lot of time I feel jaded, but it comes and goes. I'll make myself chuckle by posting something sarcastic. Sooner or later it catches up with me and the idealistic Beth returns full force, reminding me that I'm too damn stubborn to give up on my future.
Gone is the marriage and the material things that went with it. I've fallen in love with love again since then and been broken, but I have to believe that it wasn't the end to my story. What remains is that I still have a loving family, it's just a little bit smaller. I have a circle of great friends and an amazing life anyone would be lucky to have. I've turned into a different sort of woman, I think, one that has very little patience for wasting any more time in life. I've moved forward the best I could, sometimes stumbling like a fool through this being an independent woman thing. Someday, my prince will ask for directions and find his way here.
No, my life certainly didn't turn out how I thought it would. The cool thing about life, though, is that my future is what I make of it -- and I am going to patiently wait for it. In the meantime, I'm gonna keep living the good life and enjoying each day as it comes. I am okay with building happiness on my own, in my own skin. After all, the only one who can create my future...is me.
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I think that is one sexy part that is often overlooked. Just had a little conversation on another board about the hands of a blacksmith. I knew one...once. It got me stirred up a bit in memories.
He had hands that I can describe as nothing but pure brawn: He was right handed, and that hand was just slightly more calloused than the left. He could switch what hand he hammered with, but he tended to use the right more. When you looked at his hands, his fingertips were smooth, yet firm. As you followed the fingers down to where each one joined the palm, there is a round pad of flesh that is rough and very hard. His were like smooth little pellets beneath the skin, worn down from years of pounding. I remember tracing over them with my own fingers. Both thumbs were flat and smooth. His left hand was just as weathered, but his wrist was not as thick. He was lean over both arms, and I could usually see the smallest ripple in the muscles of his forearms and wrists with even a slight movement. He was not a young man, having been a smith for twenty years, but his hands were like a man half his age. Only his skin betrayed his occupation and experience.
I was 18 years old and I can remember it all. I think that man will always stay with me. I would not call his skin leathery, especially if by leathery, you mean uncomfortable or rough. His skin was tough and taut...like it was thicker than my skin, especially his hands. It was always a deep tan color, no matter what time of year, because he did his job through all seasons. If he had a horse that fought, he might bear that on his palms; there were a few times when he tore the deep callouses on his hands. For the most part, his skin was merely...deeper, I suppose is one way to describe it. But his touch was soft, it never felt abrasive. I think he was smooth in places from the years of friction. Like one might expect, we both had stained skin from working on a farm; at the end of the day the edges of his fingernails would be blackened and the creases in his skin would stand out darker, but it always washed away in a hot shower. Most of the horseshoes he put on did not take very much heat to fit, they were premade and he knew his horses well, so he did not spend long periods in front of a flame. He had scars, but not from heating shoes. His veins were defined at all times, which may have been from age, but I suspect it was his work that made it happen. I think it made him softer, somehow, because veins compress when you grip them, and he had so many that stood out. Despite the thickness of his skin, there was that. And his smell? Well, his skin carried a scent of the earth with a hint of salty sweat. Putting a hot shoe on a hoof would leave a lasting smoky scent that clung to the skin and hair. A good, honest smell was that was more real than any cologne could ever be.
Sometimes now, as a nurse, when I am about to put an IV in a man, I can remember how his skin used to feel, especially if I catch a taste of that outdoor earthy scent. When I take a man's hand in mine and hold it, stretching the skin and examing the veins, I can feel the depth of his flesh. I know that it will be difficult, but not impossible to pierce with a needle. I usually ask the patient, "Do you work outside all day?" and the patient laughs. It is just something in the way it feels when I touch that sort of skin. It is aged, but not old. It is tough, but not abrasive. Just thicker, and more practiced than the rest of us.
Phew. The years have sure flown by. Seems like yesterday talking about it.
So I like dark and smoldering. I like a sexy voice. And hands? Well, hands are what seals the deal for me.