Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The small things that add up to love

I opted not to play to the romance author cliché yesterday when I refrained from posting something romancy for Valentine’s Day.

That move – coupled with my reference to some “challenging stuff” in yesterday’s post – apparently caused some of you to fret that my gentleman friend got smart and fled for the hills chose to end our romantic liaison. The concerned tweets and emails I got from blog readers touched me almost as much as he did yesterday, which is impressive.

For the record, he’s still very much a part of my life because I chained him to my headboard and he can’t escape.

I woke up Valentine’s morning and rolled over to gaze at one of my favorite parts of his body.

Knock it off, perverts – I’m talking about his shoulders.

I could study those shoulders for hours. Hell, I have studied those shoulders for hours, tracing their contours, counting the freckles, tickling them with my eyelashes to see if he’ll wake up.

(For the record, he won’t. I could drive a front-end loader over his head and he wouldn’t wake up. It’s another thing I find charming about him, since I never fret I’ll wake him with my reading lamp at 3 a.m.)

I’ve been working on the next episode of Getting Dumped in recent weeks. For those who haven’t read it yet, it’s an “interactive fiction” title with choice points that allow readers to pick among potential love interests for the heroine.

Sort of a choose-your-own-adventure with dump trucks and steamy groping.

I originally wrote the story four years ago, but rewrote it several times after that based on editorial suggestions and the eventual choose-your-own-adventure twist. 

The upside of working on a novel over a long period of time is that I know the characters intimately. While crafting scenes for two of the love interests on Monday, I didn’t have to pause and mull what Pete might do to comfort JJ in her time of need. 

He’d take her out for cheesecake – duh – because she always cares for others with food, and it's time someone did the same for her.

I didn’t need to spend time considering what gesture Collin might make to completely curl JJ’s toes.

He’d smile – duh – because he does it so rarely that she knows it means something when it happens.

It’s the little gestures, personality quirks, and physical traits that make characters unique and charming and relatable either for readers or in real life.

The fact that my gentleman friend sings while he works, crinkles his eyes when he smiles, and engulfs me in the biggest, warmest bear hugs I’ve ever known are all the little things that routinely charm the socks off me.

And maybe a few other articles of clothing as well.

What are the little physical features or personality quirks you find most endearing in your favorite book characters or human companions? Please share!

And rest assured, my Valentine’s Day was delightful. Quite.


aussiebookchic said...

Hi Tawna, it has to be a wicked sense of humor. If you can't laugh at silly things or really funny movies, like any of the Vacation movies, don't even bother to speak to me. Plus it's a must when reading a good book. It's a deal breaker for me. That's why your blog cracks me up. You know your readers/perverts so well ;)

midnightblooms said...

I love to hear my family laugh. My secret selfish goal is to make them laugh as often as I can because nothing on this earth makes me happier than that sound.

My husband's laugh is deep and resonant and full, and transforms his face into pure surprised joy. It's all the more special because he doesn't laugh like that very often.

My sons' laughs are a slightly higher version of his, and their eyes sparkle when they laugh.

My daughter's laughter is pure delight. High and sweet and clear, it is my favorite sound in the world.

Julie Glover said...

I love these little things about your beloved. For my hubby, it's also his shoulders (ah, the broadness and strength in them) and -- okay, this may sound weird -- his hip bones. Men's hips are SO different from women's that I find them fascinating. I could study my hubby's hips for hours. What does that say about me?

As for personality quirks, I love his silliness. It's something he doesn't share often with others, but he and I secretly get ridiculously silly with wordplay and humor. And when he unleashes his deep belly laugh, I just want to wrap myself up in it.

Ah, love. Thanks for making me think about the great stuff, Tawna.