A little bit o’ this, and some of that…

For so long, I had one major goal in mind: finish the half marathon. Now with that over and done with, I find myself sort of adrift. Sure, there are a million thoughts floating around my head at any given moment. Because my life is overfull with responsibility. But there is nothing pressing, no ONE thing I have to focus on. This leaves me somewhat empty.

There are other photos of me running but this was one of the only ones to look semi-decent. (Also, swiped the proof because there’s no way I am paying for my own pic.) In half of them, my expression is pained, though I honestly didn’t feel all that worked. Sure, I was tired but not enough to justify such a hurt face.

I’m sitting with a piece of paper in front of me, folded length-wise. I have numbered it one through five so far. I intend to posit some major goals for the next few weeks. One of them is start speed training. I intend to run three miles in increasingly faster times. Then I’m going to sign up for as many 5ks as I can squeeze in and just dominate them. Not to WIN them, per se, but to get used to racing. I know some people get all hyped up but I felt out of my element.  (Photo: Herb Wills, local race photographer)

It’s something I want to keep up. Running balances my life in a way I never thought it could. I actually ended up enjoying it. The sense of accomplishment each and every time I go out there is so encouraging and healthy, mentally and physically. I am way better equipped to handle life problems when I am actively running.

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Writing. I received my MA in Creative Writing back in ’06. Since then, it has been more of a sometimes hobby than a job. Though I’m still in the English department I am not actively pursuing a writing career. It’s like the cliched dream: to be a writer who can stay home and work in their office, pounding out page after page of meaningful publishable text.

As previously mentioned, I have taken the characters from my rather immature and unfinished master’s thesis and throttled them into the future, reworking them to fit into a contemporary romance. Here is an excerpt:

Kyra nodded and sipped again. His gaze was intent on her, studying, noting. Soon as she took the bottle from her lips, he took it in his hand and placed it on a post of the fence surrounding them. “Dance with me.” Though it sounded like a command, she knew it to be a mere request. And one she knew she could not turn down. He led her back inside, the disparity in the temperatures washing over her. The floor was crowded and couples moved in waves, bodies to and fro in a sea of dance and movement. Kyra had always loved dancing and seldom found a guy who felt comfortable doing it or could do it with the sense of rhythm Cam appeared to possess. The sight of him in front of her now was such a turn-on, any and all misgivings she may have had before leaving the house just an hour earlier went right out the window.

Cam kept a safe distance as they both sought out their own pace and meter to match the music. Colored lights bathed them and the throng, distorting reality and drowning her in sensation. As she was swept under by the hypnotizing effect of the music, the nearness of her partner’s body sent a shiver through her. She could feel the heat radiating off of him as he moved away and towards her, coming together at times. Cam placed an arm around her waist, tentatively at first then firmer when her body ceded to his touch and he knew she felt comfortable.  He didn’t know how far he could push her but he knew there had once been something between them and now that they were older and perhaps wiser, he hoped to flesh that out, right here, tonight.

Kyra couldn’t help but breathe in the spicy masculine scent each time Cam got closer. The fast-paced song rolled into a more relaxed tune and he pulled her close, leaning his head down to the meeting of shoulder and neck. “Is this alright?” he whispered in her ear, his breath hot against the sensitive flesh. Sweet lord was it ever alright.

I’m no stranger to the romance genre but I have to admit I am slightly embarrassed to be pursuing it now as a publishable book. But I feel like I can do it, that I have some kind of grasp on it. And let’s face it, this shit sells. It’s a multi-million dollar business. So long as there are women, there will be an audience.

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The kids. Whenever people come to chat and ask, “How are your children?” I never really know how to respond. Do they *actually* want to hear? If I tell them they’re fine then there’s not really much else to talk about but if I say that Elliot has a cold and Isaac keeps waking up at night will they be like, “Uh, ok I didn’t really *care*, I was just being polite”?

Because they ARE doing fine. Elliot is finally coming out of the horrendous I Am Three stage, wherein he was half howler monkey, half-satanic offspring with an occasional glimpse at the real person hiding underneath. I learn every day the ways to keep him from melting down. He really likes to help so if I can give him some simple directions and tasks to accomplish, he’s usually pretty good. He likes to hold open doors and help wash dishes, which really entails us doing dishes and him filling cups with water and pouring water out. But it makes him happy. And keeps him entertained. He has the attention span of a gerbil.

Isaac is coming out of the fog of infanthood, which means he understands more and interacts more. His giggles crack me up and the way he army crawls all over the house is pretty amazing. He looks at us like obstacles to scale and will climb us like trees. He’s very in-tune with what Elliot does and the two have a little language all their own. I don’t know if they understand each other but it seems inherent; Isaac makes some unintelligible noise and Elliot mimics it, only to have Isaac come back with another in a slightly different tone. They’ll go back and forth like this for minutes, off in their own world.

My life is so full, so immensely satisfying. Elliot asked why these two people were standing by a sign this morning – the bus stop – and I explained to him that they don’t have cars and told him how blessed we were to have TWO cars and as I was almost mindlessly going through the adult spiel about that, I realized that I myself needed to take a step back and just be thankful and happy. Because I am. The guys in my life make it all worth living. Ever day. No matter what.

 

My Book Boyfriend – week 4

This week, my fellow readers, I went with a character from the very first romance series I read. And a paranormal one at that. Lara Adrian’s Midnight Breed series is about vampires, of a sort, and the second installment, Kiss of Crimson, features Dante, one of the Order. These vampires are the good guys, fighting their own kind: the ones gone rogue from bloodlust. Dante, as described by eventual breedmate when he first stumbles into her clinic, injured and in need of nourishment:

No, not handsome, because even unconscious, his features held their stark angles and knife-edge planes. Straight black brows cut dark slashes over his closed eyes. His cheekbones were razor sharp, giving the slope of his face a lean feral quality. His nose might have been perfect at one time, but the strong line of its bridge had a faint jag in it from an old break. Maybe more than one.

There was something strangely compelling about him, although she was certain she didn’t know him.


Dante wasn’t pretty like a lot of heroes in these stories. Sometimes vampires come off as too regal or…stuffy. Not these guys. No, they are all rugged warriors. Here’s a scene from when Dante has tracked down Tess at a public affair, hoping for one more taste:

Good Lord, the guy was gorgeous. Not model pretty but rugged and masculine, with a square-cut jaw and lean cheekbones. His full lips were enough to make any one of the collagen-plumped socialites at the reception weep with envy. In fact, his was the kind of profanely masculine face that artists had been trying to capture in clay and marble for centuries.”

Dante cannot get enough of Tess and courts her, in a way, at this art exhibit. They look at a sculpture of Endymion sleeping and then this scene, which is melt-worthy:

Heat ignited in her core, a slow burn that melted even more of her reason.

I came here tonight for you.

She couldn’t have heard that correctly – if for nothing else, the very fact that he hadn’t said a word. Yet Dante’s voice was in her head, soothing her when she should be alarmed. Making her believe, when everything reasonable told her she was experiencing the impossible.

Close tour eyes, Tess.

Her eyelids fell shut and then his mouth moved over hers in a soft, mesmerizing kiss. It wasn’t happening, Tess thought desperately. She wasn’t really letting this man kiss her, was she? In the middle of a crowded room?

But his lips were warm on hers, his teeth roughly grazing as he sucked her lower lip between them before drawing back. Just like that, the sudden, surprising kiss was over. And Tess wanted more.

God, how she wanted.

All the vampires in Adrian’s series are seriously Alpha and Dante no exception. Out of all 8, 9? books, I think I liked Dante and then Rio the most. Rio will be featured soon! This was my first foray into paranormal romance and man, is it good. Check it out!