• If My WIP Were a Song…

    Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway’s contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered.
    This week’s question is:  If your WIP or favorite book were music, what song(s) would it be?
    I L.O.V.E this question!  And there was no doubt what my choice would be.  Christina Perri’s Jar of Hearts!   Here’s the video:

    Can you taste the betrayal?  Because it’s there, all potent and bitter. 

    The images in the video are so perfect for my WIP.  The kiss that steals a part of each girl, leaving them changed and weakened…yep, totally happens in my manuscript. 

    There is also one stanza that screams a major plot point:  “I wish I had missed the first time that we kissed/ Cause you broke all your promises/And now you’re back/You don’t get to get me back.”   

    Just listening to it makes me excited to get back to writing! 
  • First Kiss Magic

    Yeah…I know it’s Thursday.  I’m not an official participant in the blog carnival from YA Highway (but think maybe I should be) because this topic really got my mind spinning.  The prompt was:  Compare your first kiss with your favorite character’s first kiss.  Pretty much everyone who commented said their first kiss sucked.

    Really?  Everyone?  Is that why you’re all writers? You want to relive your first kiss through your characters?

    It’s cool.  I get it.  There’s nothing like a first kiss with someone new. The electricity, the tension, the anticipation…oh yeah (says the Twix guy in his super deep voice). 

    I guess I’m lucky because my first kiss rocked.  It took a lot of other kisses to compare with that one.  Let me set it up for you:

    It was late October.  Snow was beginning to drift from the heavy, gray clouds.  The white flakes were a stark contrast against the black sleeves of Hayden’s letterman’s jacket.  It was much too long for me — brushing the middle of my thighs as we walked to the horse enclosure at the back of his family’s property. 

    I climbed onto the bottom slat of the wooden fence and watched as the horses came at his call.  They nuzzled his shoulders begging for the treats they knew he snuck from the house.  Hayden spoke to them, his dimples deepening as the roan mare pushed her nose into his neck, snuffling loudly.  

    “Do you want to feed them?”  He offered a few apple slices and stood behind me as I gave them to the horses from my open palm.  Hayden wrapped his arms around my waist, steadying me so that I could pet their muzzles.

    His breath was warm, stirring my hair.  I shivered, but it was a pleasant feeling.

    “You cold?”

    “Just a little.”  I stepped down from the fence and turned around, right into his arms.

    And I’ll leave the rest to your imagination ( because if my husband reads this post and all the magical-ness of my first kiss it might be a little weird). 

    Given my affection for first kisses, it’s pretty interesting that I started SAW IT COMING after the main characters had their intial kiss. But the first kiss is an integral part of my WIP, actually a major plot point (Hint:  My main character is sort of a biological weapon and kissing is against the law).  Here’s a little snippet from that scene:

    His hand stroked my cheek, moving slowly to the back of my neck. The caress started something I didn’t want to stop.

    Leaning forward, I closed the gap between us and pressed my mouth against his. I’d seen a couple of people kiss—my cousin on her wedding day and in one of the movies the government let us watch during the county fair. But I had no clue what it would feel like.

    Jake’s lips were warm, a little bit dry, and so…right. His hand tightened on my neck, but he didn’t push me away.

    It wasn’t enough; I wanted to know how he tasted. I opened my mouth intending to draw his full bottom lip between mine. Our tongues brushed and he broke contact, jolting back like he’d been shocked by a cattle fence.

    “I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean…” He let out a ragged breath. “You need to go. I’ll help you home.”

    I pressed my lips tightly together, trying to savor that little bit of sweetness, the flavor of Jake.

    There is a lot more kissing to come, a lot of teasing, a lot of anticipation. Have I mentioned that first drafts can be so much fun to write?

    What I really want to know is WHY everyone’s first kisses were so bad and how that helps you write better kisses for your characters?
  • Making Lace

    If I used the word “tat” in a sentence, would any of you have a clue what I was talking about? I’m not referring to the old phrase “tit-for-tat,” but the ancient art of making lace, known as tatting.

    My great-grandmother, Jonesie, knew how to do it. I have very faint memories of her working with string and a tool that looked a lot like a fishing lure to create something like this edged handkerchief. Unfortunately, the art form died with her (at least for our family).

    She would bounce the string up and down, adding loops to a pattern that I couldn’t figure out. Mostly, it just looked like knots and circles…until you gave it time to develop.

    Occasionally, Jonesie would hold the lace-to-be at a distance and smile. She could see what it was going to become well before I could. It was time consuming work, but when it was finished the patterns were intricate and incredibly beautiful.

    My current WIP is a lot like Jonesie’s tatting projects. If anyone was to look at it now (and one very brave crit partner already has), they would wonder what in the world I was trying to create. The plot is much more complex than anything I’ve ever written, and there are so many layers of intrigue that I’m hoping will work out. I can’t hold it at a distance and smile…even though I know what it’s supposed look like. Most of the time, I just push it to arm’s length and wonder if I’ve bitten off way more than I can chew.

    Here’s hoping that my jumble of strung together thoughts ends up looking like lace.