Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The most fun I've had rubbing a cheese doodle

A few weeks ago, I saw a round of blog posts by authors answering the question, "what's the toughest scene you've ever written?"

I knew the answer to that without even thinking about it, but that's damn depressing. I don't do depressing. I do funny.

At least I try to.

So that got me thinking, "what's the most fun you've ever had writing a scene?"

Now that I can answer without giving you all the urge to leap off the top of the nearest building.

I've had a lot of fan mail referencing this scene from Making Waves, and it's come up in conversation with every single book club I've chatted with in the last few months. Everyone calls it "the cheese doodle scene" for reasons that should be obvious in just a minute.

Some background about this scene: Much of the chemistry between Juli and Alex in Making Waves stems from all the near-miss hookups between them throughout the book. The cheese doodle scene takes place near the end of the story when it looks like finally, FINALLY, they're going to consummate their relationship.

But then...well, the mood takes a nosedive. They're sitting on a hotel balcony at night overlooking the ocean, and while Juli is trying to figure out how to get the mood back, something happens.

I adore the challenge of writing love scenes with some element of, "this shouldn't be hot, but it totally is." You'll find traces of it in almost any book I write, but the cheese doodle scene is one of my favorites in this capacity. I still smile remembering how much fun it was to write.

So with that introduction, I give you the cheese doodle scene...

Juli looked at Alex, considering her next words. “What were you guys hoping to steal from Tom’s boat?” she asked finally, surprising herself with her bluntness. “That’s the only part you haven’t told me yet. If we’re laying all our cards on the table, I want to know what you were going after out there.”

Alex frowned, staring out at the ocean again. “Diamonds. Forty-eight million dollars worth of diamonds, to be exact.”


“Yup. We had some pretty good intelligence that told us what was on that boat. An illegal transaction, something we could intercept without getting caught. We even had a plan to fence them through a connection in Antwerp. I’m still not sure what went wrong.”

“They weren’t there?”


She put a hand on his leg, feeling the heat beneath her palm. “I’m sorry,” she said at last.

“Not your fault.”

“I know, but this isn’t how you planned it.”

Alex shrugged. “I’ll survive.”

Juli turned back to the ocean, trying to think of how to permeate the grim haze that had fallen over them. She felt sad for Alex, no doubt about it. Really, very sad.

But she still wanted to roll around naked with him.

Okay, so that made her an insensitive trollop. There it was. Even as she wanted to cradle his head in her lap and stroke his hair and tell him things would be okay, she also wanted to tear his clothes off with her teeth and lick her way down his abdomen.

Of course, they’d obviously lost their mood mojo in the last hour. Somehow, they’d gone from passionate groping to companionable, somber dinner conversation with the dark ocean crashing beneath them.

Not that there was anything wrong with that.

But really, more groping would be nice.

Juli frowned at the ocean. How to get the mood back? The women’s magazines never really addressed the proper method for jumping back on track with a derailed hookup. Maybe running her hand up his leg? Sticking her tongue in his ear?

No, maybe something sensitive. Perhaps she should gaze meaningfully into his eyes, whisper something sweet and sultry, give him her best come-hither look—

“Oh, baby! I want to rub your cheese doodle ’til my hands turn orange.”

Juli jumped, sending her fork flying off the edge of the balcony. There was another loud whoop, followed by something that sounded like yodeling. Juli frowned and looked at Alex.

His expression was equally perplexed.

“You rub my doodle, baby, and I’ll give it to you so good you’ll tattoo my name on that sweet little tushy of yours.”

Juli winced, disgusted. But also curious. She craned her neck to see where the voices were coming from, baffled by sounds that reminded her of the time the raccoons got stuck in her mother’s basement.

“On the beach,” Alex whispered. “I think they’re right below us.”

“Are you serious?”

“See the shadows? Right there?”


Alex pointed. “Just below us. Edge of the water, over to the left.”

Juli squinted in the darkness. “Wha—is that a T-shirt that just went flying through the air?”

Alex leaned forward, peering down at the beach.

“Yes. And I believe it says ‘Mustache rides, five cents.’”


“Yeah, honey, tear that bra off with your teeth! Just like that, baby—oh, careful with the dentures, that’s it. You tiger! You lion! You wildebeest! Grrrr!”

“Oh, I’m gonna give it to you so good, girl. You want me to spank you like the naughty little hamster you are?”

Juli wasn’t sure whether to cover her ears or her eyes. Or both. She looked up at Alex, who looked equally repulsed and fascinated.

“How do you like your eggs, baby? Over easy or hard-boiled?”

“Give ’em to me scrambled, daddy, with a little pat of butter.”

“How about margarine?”

“I don’t even know what that means,” Juli whispered, crawling on all fours to peer through the slats of the balcony. All she could see was dark sand and the swirl of water advancing and retreating.

That was probably for the best.

“Do you think we should take notes?” Alex whispered, scooting forward to join her. “Because a lot of this is new to me.”

“I think we should be vaccinated.”

There was a disturbing cacophony of smacking, giggling, and groaning, and Juli thought for a moment she might see her Denver omelet again. She tried to focus in the darkness, straining to see something, halfway afraid she might succeed.

“This is disgusting,” Alex said.

“We should go inside.”


“And lock the door.”

“I’m with you.”

Neither of them moved.

“Yeah, mama. You want a little hot salsa on that taco?”

“Ooh, daddy, guacamole too!”

Juli grimaced. “Do you think we should alert the hotel managers?”

“And say what? ‘Someone’s having really tacky sex on the beach’?”


“Besides, we might miss something.”

Juli scooted to the left, angling her face through the bars of the balcony, trying for at least a glimpse. She felt Alex’s shoulder warm against hers and reminded herself that this was gross and disturbing, not a turn-on.

Not at all.

“This seems wrong,” Juli whispered, feeling Alex’s shoulder shake with laughter.

“You’re right,” he agreed. “We should have binoculars.”

“I’m thinking we might need a bucket of ice water in case things get out of hand down there.”

He looked at her. “You actually think it could be more out of hand?”

“I think these two have unplumbed depths of depravity.”

“It sounds like they’re doing their best to plumb them.”

Alex moved closer and she felt his breath warm on her neck. She tried not to find it erotic. Truly, this was the least erotic thing she could imagine.

Wasn’t it?

“Who’s my little bunny? Who’s my little grasshopper?”

“Right here, baby! Hop! Hop!”

“This is better than pay-per-view,” Alex whispered.

“This is so not a turn-on,” Juli whispered back, pretty sure that was true.

“Not even a little?”

She ignored him. “It’s like a train wreck. You want to look away, but you can’t.”

“Ahoy, matey! Firing me cannon through your porthole in one-two-three…”

“Bwaaack! Polly wants a cracker!”

“Shiver me timbers, baby!”

There was a disturbing amount of screaming, moaning, and the slap of water on the sand. Then a few moments of silence, followed by some soulful murmuring Juli was glad not to be able to hear.

She looked at Alex. Alex looked back at her.

“I don’t know what to say,” Alex said finally, sitting back on his heels and looking nonplussed.

“How can you add to that?”

He nodded sagely. “We probably shouldn’t try.”

“Best to just enjoy the memory.”

“Think there’ll be an encore?”

“I think I need a shower.”

Alex nodded again. “No kidding.”

Juli smiled at him and touched a hand to his knee. “Care to join me?”

So there you have it...the most fun I've ever had writing a scene. If you're an author, can you describe the most enjoyment you've ever had writing something? If you aren't a writer, what's the most fun you've had reading a scene? Please share!

Oh, and since I might as well insert a shameless plug for Making Waves at this point, you can order the book at at Amazon or Barnes and Noble or Powells Books or IndieBound. Thanks for reading!


Sarah W said...

“Besides, we might miss something.”

This line still makes me snort caffeine. You rock the comedy beats, Tawna.


I wrote a poker scene for my WIP that I enjoyed---one of the players was blatantly cheating, and there was some speculation over where she might be hiding the Jack.

And then there's this exchange a few chapters later, same characters:

"Wait. If he recognizes you from the casino--"

"He won't," she said, already on her way. "I'm wearing a bra."

Jessica Lemmon said...

"really tacky sex" hahaha! It may have been fun to write, but it was a BLAST to read! :)

Julie Glover said...

This scene had me cracking up when I read it in the book. I told a fellow author just yesterday that many romances don't appeal to me because the get-together scenes are almost too perfect. I like the idea of couples bumping noses, literally or figuratively. A good relationship takes a little work and humor. I like that in your novel! Great scene.

Matthew MacNish said...

Wow. Hilarious. I'm fascinated to know who that couple was.

As a writer, I pretty much enjoy writing every scene I write. Revising them so that a reader will enjoy them too is another story. Necessary, but not as fun.

Linda G. said...

I aspire to someday write a scene as hilarious as your cheese doodle scene.

Nate Wilson said...

I do believe it reads even funnier the second time through. Fantastic scene. Shiver me timbers, indeed.

Oh, and since I've been so busy in recent months, I neglected to stop by and say I enjoyed all of Making Waves. In fact, I've had to revise my stance on the genre; now, instead of "I don't read romance," it's "I only read romance written by Tawna Fenske." Such is the power of the cheese doodle.

Diane Henders said...

I absolutely love that scene! It makes me laugh helplessly every time I read it.

Here are a few scenes I've had fun writing:

Protag imagines that the hairy biker she just met is wearing a Marilyn Munroe halter dress, but the image gets sidetracked and ends with him mooning her.

Protag discovers that a cute little white-haired granny runs a sex shop. Granny introduces her to a penis-shaped body pillow.

Protag takes a hit to the head and thinks she's hallucinating elves.

I had lots of fun writing these, and other scenes, too, but none of them can rival your cheese doodle scene. :-)

Susan S said...

This was hilarious. I loved it. Best scene in a romantic comedy ever, at least IMO, and that's a serious comment.

As far as the favorite scene I've ever written - that's more difficult. I'll have to give that one some thought.

I'm too blown away by the cheese doodles to think clearly at the moment.

Mary said...

I freakin' love that scene. Not just the cheese doodle references but the fact that Juli and Alex practically get their heads stuck in the balcony bars trying to see what's going on. I scared my dogs I laughed so hard when I read that in the book and again just now. Love it. Love scenes like that. I can imagine what a blast they are to write. WRITE MORE--LIKE DAT!! :)

Writing Writerly things said...

I love this scene! Laughed so hard my son asked what was so funny.

Nina Nakayama said...

This was so freakin' funny, I'm even okay with the fact that I can't ever look at a cheese doodle the same again (or eggs for that matter!). (=

I love the dialog between Alex and Juli! That there is my answer to your question, too. The most enjoyment I get from writing my scenes is being able to write dialog that wouldn't *ever* come out of my mouth in real life (at least not in public, around dignified folk, when I'm sober...okay, okay, so maybe it slips out ONCE in awhile). Heehee.

Thanks for sharing the scene you had the most fun with! (=

Vicki Rocho said...

OMG, that's so hysterical, I have tears running down my face!

Pure genius!