Thursday, February 11, 2010

Does the Date Matter?

It's almost Valentine's Day. What will we do? Probably not go out to a special romantic dinner. Restaurants are overbooked, many choose a "special" (translation—limited) menu, and service is likely to be under par. Normally, if we're going to celebrate with a restaurant meal, we'll go out the day after.

Does the day itself matter? We'll acknowledge the holiday with cards and hubby might provide some chocolate (unlike the year he gave me an electronic tire pressure gauge), but we feel no obligation to celebrate on the 14th. Maybe this got started early on, when his travels almost always had him out of town on my birthday, so we'd choose another day to celebrate. (And to my reckoning, since I only count birthdays when he was home to celebrate on the official day, I'm at least 10-15 years younger than my passport says.)

Between workshop presentations and conferences, my schedule would be full enough without including packing and moving, much less adding holiday celebrations. Hubby and I are thinking we ought to find time to choose at least one special thing and have one special dinner. We can consider it a 'going-away' dinner and have the official Valentine's Day and birthday dinner another time, when things are less crazy and stressful.

Last night, instead of either packing or working on my next workshop (yes, I had submitted to two different conferences, and didn't realize they were only a week apart – someone keeps leaving a few days off the end of February), I'll be attending our annual Adult Literacy League Volunteer Appreciation dinner. Truthfully, I was going to beg off because I didn't feel that I'd done enough this year to warrant the money they're laying out on food for use. But now that the house is under contract, it'll be my last chance to say good-bye to some of these folks I've volunteered with for almost 2 decades.

Now, if you're looking for something for Valentine's Day, I can suggest one of my short stories from The Wild Rose Press. It's one of the few stories I wrote where I had a theme and a deadline before I decided to sit down and write it. First challenge: it had to meet a specific word count range. That's enough of a hurdle for me, since it was short. I have trouble with short. It had to be a romance. And it had to somehow tie into Valentine's Day.

I know that still gives a lot of latitude, but my stubborn streak seemed to kick in, and I had to keep reminding my characters that Valentine's Day had to be part of the story. On the other hand, I didn't want it to be a story that would only be relevant near the holiday, because there's no market for those things once the big day has passed.

And, to attempt to tie this into my plotting theme which has been prevalent lately, how did I start? You'd think with Valentine's Day, right? Actually, all I had when I applied fingers to keyboard was an opening line. Something about hearts, candy or cupid, you're thinking right? Nope. That's too "inside the lines" for me. My starting point for draft #1 was the line, "Bah Humbug." But it did end up being a light-hearted romance.

"Romancing the Geek" turned out to be a Pygmalion story, only in this case it's the guy who's in need of a makeover. Here's a blurb, and then I'll get off my promotional intrusion. If you'd like to read the story, you can find a variety of buy links here. Email me a copy of your receipt/confirmation of purchase, and I'll make a donation to the Adult Literacy League as a thank you.

Stephanie's lifelong dream is to design toys--sweet, cuddly toys. Instead, she's hired as a glorified typist. And not even with the rest of the marketing department, but way downstairs in the only available office, which she has to share with Brad, who's a total geek. A geek who's happy programming computer games full of explosions.

They agree to ignore each other while Stephanie waits for a desk to open upstairs. But when Brad has girlfriend troubles--like he can't get Lianne, the cocktail waitress to notice him--he swallows his pride and asks Stephanie if she'll teach him how to talk to women. She agrees, but he's having trouble passing her exams.

No comments: