Saturday, April 16, 2011

Day 13: Got My Tough Skin On!!!

I do know better than to expect logic, humor, and rational thought to rule an internet forum. So in my first experience of approaching a reader forum, some vital lessons learned.

  • Most people won't agree with you, and aren't inclined to do so.
  • A handful of members feel a need to swing a big you-know-what around online.
But I am surprised, at myself. I had some very irrational insults slung at me. How dare I challenge the sacred happily ever after by suggesting a romance novel can end with just a happy ending that shows the reader the characters will still have to push to maintain that happiness? Anyway, it didn't upset me. Not in the least. How could I be upset at someone who said "I didn't even read your entire post and I don't like you already?" Wow. What was really funny, from an illogical stance, is one person stating that my book is not in this genre and he or she will never read it. Well which is it? If is a romance book, then I would be worried about you threatening to never read it because you only read romance novels. But if it isn't a romance novel, then you wouldn't read it anyway, so I didn't lose anything.

It amazes me the people who will say things online that they wouldn't say in real life. Could you imagine being in a conversation with someone and they hold up a hand and say "Let me stop you right there, I don't like you so :shrug: just go away now." But I pulled out my Southern upbringing and killed them with kindness. I thanked them for their advice, even the mean spirited, and believe me, I *am* learning from it, and moved on. Now the will power will be to not respond to any replies. But I can do it, I'm too busy! :)

UPDATE: Proof that you must always respond with kindness, the responses are now somewhat apologetic for labeling me a spammer, and more reasonable towards the idea of a degree to the happily ever after ending.

Speaking of busy, this morning I wrote 932 words in about an hour and a half. This scene is near the end of the novel, and I cried my eyes out writing it. I loved when I read it aloud to my stepson, he sucked in a loud breath "Heeeeehhhhhhh" right the moment I wanted. I figure if he gets it, my readers will too. It was painful. I had to write about a mother who gave birth 12 hours earlier and wasn't allowed to ever hold her baby. Yeah, talk about some serious pain! 

The closest I can come to that heartache is how I felt after I woke up from my own C-section. I was groggy and still coming to, when my husband dashed into the door frame. I remember concentrating to focus on him and he was antsy. Why was he antsy? I asked how is our baby and he said "I don't know, I haven't seen her yet." I pushed myself up, while the nurse fixing my IVs urged me to lay back down. "What? Why not?" And then the nurse's face blanched. She had forgotten to tell my husband he could go to the nursery and see our daughter when my surgery was done. My daughter laid, parentless, for the first hour and a half of her life under a warmer. 

Writing about giving birth from the emotional side of things is fun, even if it is exhausting and impacts your tissue supply. Not the classic "Push, push, push" scenes, which I never experienced first-hand, but the million, billion questions and concerns that fly through your head and heart in the first few hours of the baby's arrival. Before you're too sleep-deprived and dirty to even care about the outside world.

Here's a little sample of what I wrote this morning, it's the end of the scene.

Returning his phone to his pocket, Johnathan finally made good on his initial intention to return to his daughter. Scrubbing his hands and forearms in the sink between the nursery's double door entry, he smiled. Once inside, Anna handed Charlotte to her father and he eased himself into the rocking chair next to her plastic bin.
“Daddy has everything under control,” he cooed. Charlotte squinted her little eyes open in recognition of her father's voice before making a newborn yawn and turning her head further into his chest. Johnathan's mouth remained fixed in a smile. He kissed his daughter's forehead and relaxed his own head back to rest.

"Imperfect Timing" arriving Fall 2011. Johnathan Michaels, a robotics engineer, jeopardizes his engagement with his business partner when a previous one-night stand surfaces, carrying his child.

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