Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Bringing Sexy Back

That's right.  We're bringing sexy back.  If the concept of what is romantic is personal for people, "sexy" is something a lot us won't touch with a ten-foot-pole (if you thought that was a pun, you have a dirty, dirty mind... and we seriously need to hang out more).

But why is this, I ask?  "Sexy" does not always equal "dirty" (although it's super fun when it does).  In fact, I think if more people got in touch with their inner "sexy beast", the world would be a far better- or at least more interesting- place.

So, go ahead!  Live a little, and no, not by wearing your favorite bustier to work (I expect pictures if you do).  Fill out the list!  What does "sexy" mean to you? (I'm serious about those pictures...)

The Laura Oliva "Sexiest Ever" List:

In General
Sexiest Flower:
Sexiest Color:
Sexiest Instrument:
Sexiest Artist:
Sexiest Author (don't worry; you don't have to say it's me!):

At The Table
Sexiest Place To Eat:
Sexiest Alcoholic Drink:
Sexiest Nonalcoholic Drink:
Sexiest Dinner:
Sexiest Dessert:

On Site
Sexiest Architectural Style:
Sexiest City:
Sexiest Country:
Sexiest Locale:
Sexiest Time of Day:
Sexiest Landscape:

In The Closet
Sexiest Type Of Clothing:
Sexiest Shoe Style:
Sexiest Material:
Sexiest Lipstick Color:
Sexiest Hairstyle:
Sexiest Jewel/Stone:
Sexiest Type of Jewelry (necklace, bracelet, earrings, etc.):

Keeping Busy
Sexiest Sport:
Sexiest Dance:
Sexiest Position (don't pretend like you have to think about it):
Sexiest Hobby:
Sexiest Car:

My Answers

In General
Sexiest Flower:  orchid
Sexiest Color:  black
Sexiest Instrument:  tenor saxaphone
Sexiest Artist: Tamara de Lempicka
Sexiest Author (don't worry; you don't have to say it's me!):  Sherrilyn Kenyon 

At The Table
Sexiest Place To Eat:  bed
Sexiest Alcoholic Drink:  good bourbon
Sexiest Nonalcoholic Drink:  Lapsang Suchong
Sexiest Dinner:  steak (hey, if you're a carnivore, you're a carnivore)
Sexiest Dessert:  dark chocolate mousse

On Site
Sexiest Architectural Style:  art deco (seriously; just look it up)
Sexiest City:  Rio de Janiero (sorry, Paris)
Sexiest Country:  Brazil
Sexiest Locale:  city
Sexiest Time of Day:  nighttime
Sexiest Landscape:  the desert (just think of what you could do with all that nothing around!)

In The Closet
Sexiest Type Of Clothing:  tuxedo (sexy on a man, sexier on a woman)
Sexiest Shoe Style:  classic stiletto heels (not those weird versions they put out now)
Sexiest Material:  leather
Sexiest Lipstick Color:  red
Sexiest Hairstyle:  whatever a woman knows looks good on her; "generic" hairstyles aren't sexy!
Sexiest Jewel/Stone:  black pearls
Sexiest Type of Jewelry (necklace, bracelet, earrings, etc.):  low-hanging pendant

Keeping Busy
Sexiest Sport:  fencing
Sexiest Dance:  tough, since dancing is inherently sexy, but... salsa
Sexiest Position (don't pretend like you have to think about it):  cowgirl
Sexiest Hobby: fine cigars (note: hobby, not addiction)
Sexiest Car:  any of the classic muscle cars (vavaVOOM, baby!)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Isn't It Romantic...

This just started as one of the many lists I tend to make when I'm bored, but then I realized I could use it as a romance-writing exercise.  Bonus!

"Romance" means different things to different people, and whether you're writing about it, or just trying to get more in touch with romance in your own life, it can be helpful to flesh it out a bit.  So pour yourself a champagne cocktail (or whatever floats your boat), and fill in the blanks: what does "romance" mean to you?

The Laura Oliva "Most Romantic" List:

In General
Most Romantic Flower:
Most Romantic Color:
Most Romantic Instrument:
Most Romantic Music:
Most Romantic Artist:
Most Romantic Author (don't worry; you don't have to say it's me!):

At The Table
Most Romantic Place To Eat:
Most Romantic Alcoholic Drink:
Most Romantic Nonalcoholic Drink:
Most Romantic Dinner:
Most Romantic Dessert:

On Site
Most Romantic Architectural Style:
Most Romantic City:
Most Romantic Country:
Most Romantic Locale:
Most Romantic Time of Day:
Most Romantic Landscape:

In The Closet
Most Romantic Type Of Clothing:
Most Romantic Shoe Style:
Most Romantic Material:
Most Romantic Lipstick Color:
Most Romantic Jewel/Stone:
Most Romantic Type of Jewelry (necklace, bracelet, earrings, etc.):

Keeping Busy
Most Romantic Sport:
Most Romantic Dance:
Most Romantic Position (don't pretend like you don't know what that means):
Most Romantic Hobby:
Most Romantic Car:

My Answers

In General

Most Romantic Flower:  tuberoses (seriously, have you ever smelled one?!)
Most Romantic Color:  pale apricot
Most Romantic Instrument:  cello
Most Romantic Music:  classic jazz
Most Romantic Artist:  Gustav Klimt (I love his painting "The Kiss")
Most Romantic Author (don't worry; you don't have to say it's me!):  William Shakespeare

At The Table
Most Romantic Place To Eat:  outside, on a beach or in a garden
Most Romantic Alcoholic Drink:  champagne with St. Germaine liqueur (elderflower liqueur)
Most Romantic Nonalcoholic Drink:  white tea
Most Romantic Dinner:  fresh crab with drawn butter (must be eaten with the fingers)
Most Romantic Dessert:  chocolate fondue with orange slices

On Site
Most Romantic Architectural Style:  Tudor
Most Romantic City:  San Francisco (so far!)
Most Romantic Country:  Spain (don't we all give France a little too much credit?)
Most Romantic Locale (city, country, suburb, etc.):  the country 
Most Romantic Time of Day:  dusk (that time between evening and nighttime)
Most Romantic Landscape:  a long, wide, empty field with foothills and mountains behind it

In The Closet
Most Romantic Type Of Clothing:  knee-length summer dress
Most Romantic Shoe Style:  plain ballet flats (have to trust Audrey on this one...)
Most Romantic Material:  silk
Most Romantic Lipstick Color:  nude
Most Romantic Jewel/Stone:  rose-white pearls or turquoise (I have trouble choosing)
Most Romantic Type of Jewelry (necklace, bracelet, earrings, etc.):  long, dripping earrings

Keeping Busy
Most Romantic Sport:  horseback-riding
Most Romantic Dance:  country two-step, done slooowly
Most Romantic Position (don't pretend like you don't know what that means):  missionary (don't judge)
Most Romantic Hobby:  painting
Most Romantic Car:  classic Mercedes-Benz, dove gray

Monday, April 16, 2012

Once Upon A Time...

This is the story of my first romance novel.

I've enjoyed telling stories ever since I was little, when my dolls had more interesting, realistic lives than most of the people I knew.  I don't even remember when I got the idea to put those stories down on paper.  I've been doing it so long it seems writing has always been part of my life.  I've always loved it, and have gotten progressively better at it over the years, but it was always something I did in my spare time, in between all the other things you're "supposed" to do as a responsible adult.  I never thought of making a career out of it.

When I found out I was pregnant with my first child, I realized that life moves quickly, and often we end up in places we didn't expect.  I'd spent a lot of time in school without figuring out what to do with the rest of my life, and suddenly whatever vague ideas I'd had about my future were turned upside-down.

Through the hormonal haze I lived in for nine months, I realized that nothing I'd been pursuing was really meaningful to me.  When I went on maternity leave, there was nothing I was sad to leave behind.  I found that itself to be a little sad.  I was also starting to think about what kind of work I could do from home, not wanting to have a baby and then promptly go back to... whatever it was I had been doing before.

It was then I heard the siren-song of my writing again.  In the past few years, I hadn't had much time for it, but like an old pair of jeans, it just waited for me in the back of my closet, never quite going away.  So after my son was born, I sat down on my bed, dusted off my laptop, cracked my knuckles, and started my first novel.

Well, kind of.  It always sounds so easy whenever people talk about it: "Oh, yeah, you just have to make a schedule and stick to it."  Sure.  Has any sane person ever actually tried to stick to any kind of schedule with a baby?  It's laughable.  I found a system that works, though.  My boy nurses, so in the afternoon when we're at home (we go out in the morning so I have motivation to shower and get dressed), I stick him on the boob and let him nurse himself to sleep while I type away.

It ain't glamorous, but I'm already nearly halfway done with the first draft.

Writing is a strange mistress.  There are some days when I sit at my computer for hours and barely manage to scratch out three pages, which wind up being such shit that later I either completely re-write them or ditch them entirely.  Then there are other days when I curse myself for not being a better type-er, because my fingers aren't nearly fast enough to capture the cinematic scenes playing in my head.

On the former days, I skulk out into the kitchen afterwards to try to make dinner, convinced that "kitchen bitch" is the only job I will ever be good enough for, and then I burn the steak.

On the latter days, however, I stumble out of the room, bleary-eyed and triumphant, glowing with that glow that comes from being high on words.

And then I burn the steak.