Friday, October 26, 2012

Trashy First Lines

I hit the trashy romance section of my local bookstore, pull out the first book that catches my eye, and with hand to chest, in an expectant, breathy voice, let go with, “I’d been having the same dream for the past month—the one where a dark stranger materialized out of smoke and shadows to play doctor with me.” Oh. My. Why don’t I WRITE this stuff?!? And more importantly, why don’t I HAVE that dream? My daughter and I take turns reading first lines, out loud and with expression. If we’re lucky, those around try to catch a peak or a listen. “Lips light as the touch of a butterfly’s wings, but far more sensual, brushed the back of her neck, a male hand on her shoulder enclosing the small intimacy in protective secrecy, before he whispered in her ear.” Oh, tell me, tell me. Tell me what he said. “Nipple tattoo, madame?”

Hmm. Had not considered. This game is too, too fun.

“Lucy Cunningham’s control tops were so tight that her inner thighs hissed like a swarm of cicadas with each step.” Ok, well. Not sure where the author is going with this one, but hey, we all need some lovin’. And given the usual lean-legged, buxom bodices that grace most of these shelves and my own five-two, hundred and forty-eight pound, B-cup frame, I may just stick Lucy in a shopping bag and take her home.

I see from the covers of these steamy stories, and just in case there’s a little role-play in your future, that cowboys are out and kilts are in. Knights are okay, but only if you wield a sword, a big sword. If you don’t have a sword, best to have a hatchet, a knife, a gun, a rope, anything long and manly, and preferably popping out of slightly unbuttoned jeans and held like you mean it. Abs of steel are mandatory, absolutely mandatory. If it’s a holiday, you must have a bow.

You should know that I secretly dream of penning such novels.

I spend entire afternoons scrawling pseudonyms in curlicue letters on purple page. I say the names out loud with a dreamy look in my eye and practice my signature, quick yet elegant, for my hundreds of fans. I imagine the wicked double life I lead. By day, I am the cardigan wearing, college instructor, mother of four, pushing peace, love, and compassion for all, Mama Gandhi in a tan Prius with soup in the crockpot. By night, I fling ample-chested, satin-gowned protagonists across beds of wildflowers by men the likes of which I have never seen in real life.

Truth is, I am embarrassed to even think of writing some of the lines I see in these stories, I can’t develop a character or sketch a plot for shit, and under no circumstance would I ever feel comfortable having my children share my bodice-ripping titles with their friends. Color me conservative.

Other truth is, I actually enjoy marching out into the world with magic wand and love beads in hand. I live to move, motivate, encourage, inspire. I live to change lives for the better, to shine light on the dark places, to bring everyone together into one gigantic group hug. Did you feel that? That was me, enveloping you in a light of love and protection, spreading good vibes, positive energy, and really great karma. Are you living your life? Or, are you just existing? Find what it is that makes you so you and go throw that out to the world to lift others up, to provide opportunity where opportunity is needed, and to do what it was you were put here to do. For gosh sake, don’t just sit there, you’ve got some joy to spread.

So as much as I do enjoy a great first line, I think I’ll stick to the hearts and flowers, to the peace and compassion, to the Kumbaya. I’ll stick to my words on loving yourself, loving others, and loving this world in which we live. I’ll focus my days on bringing about as much positive change as I possibly can, one essay at a time. But for now, if you will excuse me, I have a glass of wine waiting for me, and a date with Lucy Cunningham. Any man who can get into THOSE skivvies is worth at LEAST a second read.

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