Monthly Archives: February 2010

Do You Remember Your First?

What was the first romance novel you read?  What do you remember about it?

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Thursday Threesome: Factoid dump

Three is a number that can hold a near mystic power. History has shown that and even today, haven’t you ever heard the phrase “Good/Bad things come in threes”? According to the Pythagoreans, 3 was the noblest of all the digits.

A triangle is the most durable shape possible, the only “perfect” figure which if all endpoints have hinges will never change its shape unless the sides themselves are bent.

The Holy Trinity in Christian doctrine (or trinity in general), is God both as a single being and three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. This is also known as Tripartite division or the Godhead.

King Solomon states in Ecclesiastes 4:12: “A three-ply cord is not easily severed.”

Plato split the soul into three parts: the appetitive, the spirited, and the rational.

Threesome is a term for sexual relations between three people.

Counting to three is common in situations where a group of people wish to perform an action in synchrony: Now, on the count of three, everybody pull! Assuming the counter is proceeding at a uniform rate, the first two counts are necessary to establish the rate, but then everyone can predict when “three” will come based on “one” and “two”; this is likely why three is used instead of some other number.

3 R’s: Reading~ ‘Riting~ ‘Rithmetic

3 strikes and the player is out.

3rd time’s the charm.

Three is the number of performers in a trio.

There are 3 notes in a triad, the most important and basic form of any chord.

The tritone, which divides the octave into 3 equally spaced notes (root, tritone, octave) is the rarest interval of any mode, only occurring semantically twice, and physically once. It is the only interval that, when inverted, remains unchanged functionally and harmonically.

Origin: “The third degree” evokes images of lengthy police interrogation under bright lights, rubber hoses, and without the benefits of counsel.
This phrase origin can be found within the Masonic Lodge. Within the lodge there are 3 degrees; the Entered Apprentice, the Fellowcraft and the Master Mason. To become a Third-Degree or Master Mason, the highest rank, one must submit to questioning. The Mason’s questioning for the third-degree was known to be an intense ordeal, frightening and unpleasant. Additionally, it is more physically challenging that the first two degrees. The term has come to be used for any long an arduous questioning or interrogation.

I am waiting on three things to happen which will set my entire year in motion.  *paces*

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Why Do You Read?

I read fiction because I love watching relationships develop between people. The relationships don’t have be romantic either. Like the relationship between Dana and Rufus in Octavia Butler’s Kindred.  I also like watching characters come into their own. Like Janie in Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston.

I read non-fiction because I am curious and like to understand things.

Why do you read?

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Threesome Thursday!!

Three of the best U.S. Olympic moments in my memory.

1980 US hockey team defeats Russia. Do you believe in Miracles?

Mary Lou Retton scores a perfect 10..twice!

Kerri Strug gets the gold while injured!

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What Made You Do It?

Why did you start writing? What made you decide to make writing part of your life?

I’ll post my answer in the comments section.

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Threesome Thursday

It is nearly Valentine’s Day. I gave up on this holiday after I spent all 24 hours of it in labor. Kinda killed my desire to ever revisit it again. Now I spend the time period scheduling birthday parties and planning gifts for Spawnetta.  But if I were to reclaim the holiday, I would deem it a stay home event, nice dinner, bottle of wine and a movie to watch while cuddling on the couch.

MY THURSDAY THREESOME are movies I would pick.

Somewhere in Time- Star-crossed lovers from two different times. Richard Collier(Christopher Reeve) uses self-hypnosis to travel back in time to find the actress (Jane Seymour) whose early-20th-century portrait hangs in a grand hotel. A love story that bridges time is beautifully done. *sniff*

The Princess Bride-  Humor, twu wuv and Rodents of unusual size, something for everyone.

Ladyhawke- He’s a wolf, she’s a hawk, yet their love never dies. Simply gorgeous!

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In Defense of the Alpha Jerk

alpha

noun

1. the first letter of the Greek alphabet, transliterated as “a.”

• [as adj. ] denoting the first of a series of items or categories, e.g., forms of a chemical compound : alpha interferon

• short for alpha test .

• ( Alpha) [followed by Latin genitive] the first (typically the brightest) star in a constellation : Alpha Centauri.

• [as adj. ] relating to alpha decay or alpha particles : an alpha emitter.

(of animals in a group) the socially dominant individual : he rose to be alpha male of his troop at the very early age of 16.

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jerk

noun

1. a quick, sharp, sudden movement : He gave a sudden jerk of his head.

• a spasmodic muscular twitch.

• [in sing. ] Weightlifting the raising of a barbell above the head from shoulder level by an abrupt straightening of the arms and legs, typically as the second part of a clean and jerk.

2. informal: a contemptibly obnoxious person.

~~~

Once upon a time, you couldn’t pick up a romance novel without encountering some version of what I call the Alpha Jerk. That’s a guy who’s naturally strong, super-competent, protective and self-assured…but kind of an asshole about it. The sort of guy who refuses to admit he’s wrong – even when he’s SO wrong that he’s circled around to being right again – but never fails to rub your nose in it when YOU make a mistake.

I HATE this kind of man. At least, that’s what I’ve been saying for years. And I mostly mean it, too.

Except…I was raised by one. And then I married one. And I think I might be raising another one. (I also think the universe is trying to tell me something.)

But in the course of being raised by, marrying and raising this kind of man, I’ve learned this: Alpha Jerks can change. They can grow, mature, mellow out and be redeemed. They can turn into Alpha Males who are also nice guys. The kinds of guys who are strong and confident and protective, but are also secure enough in their own masculinity that they don’t have to make others feel small and incompetent just to make themselves feel big and tough. The kinds of guys you want your daughters to marry.

My father, who was King of the Alpha Jerks when he was a young man, has changed. Now in his seventies, he’s mellowed and matured into a wonderful, humble, kind man who is beloved in his community for his generosity and unflagging good cheer.

But I can remember fearing him when I was a child. He was loud and brash. His rages were apocalyptic, and he never apologized, for anything, ever. Later, as a young woman, I came to understand that this kind of behavior was Not Cool, yet I found myself attracted to men just like my dad. I know now what I was looking for: strength to match my dad’s. Too bad it so often came wrapped up in another jerk.

Then I met my husband. He seemed…different. Calm, centered, the classic strong-but-quiet type. It took over a year of living together to discover that his was a different kind of Alpha Jerk-iness – the kind that could do no wrong. It was his way or the highway, every single time, no exceptions.

Because I was committed to the relationship, I stuck it out and discovered that this kind of Alpha Jerk can change, as well. Twenty years later, my husband can laugh at his own – very occasional – mistakes.

My fourteen-year-old son is much like his father. While I do my best every day to remind him that being happy is more satisfying than being right, I know he has to learn these lessons in his own good time.

When it comes to Alpha Jerks in romance novels, I’ve learned to embrace the those who show growth by the end of their character arc – the kind with the potential to be redeemed. One example of a redeemed Alpha Jerk is Hardy Cates, from Lisa Kleypas’ recent Texas-set series. Hardy is introduced in Sugar Daddy as a brash, two-fisted brawler with a chip on his shoulder. He disappears early in the book, only to reappear later as an antagonist – an obnoxious Alpha Jerk of the highest order. But by the end of Kleypas’ second book in the series, Blue-Eyed Devil, Hardy is shown as a man in control of his own character – strong enough to let others show strength, as well.

I’ve written a few Alpha Jerks myself: Jamie from Seven Year Ache and Wild Horses, Jacques from Year of the Cat, and Nikolos from one of my current works-in-progress, Nightshade. (Oddly, they tend to pop up in my M/M romances most often.) These characters are distinct individuals, but the pattern of their arcs doesn’t vary much – each of them is eventually redeemed into a more lovable, less jerky Alpha Male.

And while I’d never encourage a woman to marry a man with the idea that she’ll change him, I can attest that sometimes – with the right encouragement and several boatloads of patience – a real-life Alpha Jerk can transform himself into somebody much easier to live with, and love.

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