Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Hot Dates

Reading a book is like going on a date with the author. You spend several hours alone together in a very intimate situation: you relaxing, hoping to forget about your worries for a few hours and have some fun. Meanwhile, the author does his/her best to get inside your heart and make you feel, think, or wonder about something new (that's our way of having fun.)

You always date authors who show you a great time, and keep their names in a little black book in your head. The best authors are the hottest dates; the ones you can't wait for; those few that you wish would date you every week. When you're in need of some fun and your datebook is empty, you'll even go back and relive the last hot date you shared.

Books by authors you've never read are blind dates. Aka duty dates or Mom-do-I-have-to's. You always have high hopes, but ugh. Is this really worth your personal time and investment? It's not like you're hard up for dates, or you'll have to shave your legs, but still . . . and sure, they may sound nice, but until the actual date it's all hearsay. The author might be great, or good, or okay, or the Blind Date From the Pit of Eternal Jackasses.

A warning from the authorial side of dating: don't judge us by whatever outfit we're wearing. If we're very lucky, it'll be something beautiful and appropriate for the date. If we're not, it's going to be an ugly brown dress with little rainbow cartoon dolphins leaping all over the skirt. We don't get to pick it out, so try to chuckle with us, not at us.

Back to the blind date: some of your friends will assure you that this author is sizzlin' hot, but these might be friends of that author, and somewhat oblivious to the fact that their friend's dating ability hovers only around lukewarm. Or friends who wear glow-in-the-dark lip gloss, have a safety-pin pierced eyebrow and use like to preface every other sentence. However eloquently they swear that the blind date is gorgeous, or has a fabulous sense of humor, or a very cool car (if all they can recommend is the car, stay home), until you spend a night with him or her, you'll never know.

Speaking as a reader, I'm up for any sort of date. It doesn't matter to me what color or religion or nationality you are, where you came from, whether you're straight, gay or other, or if you have a dating pedigree. You can take me anywhere you want to go. If you don't have a rec for me from a bigshot author, or a fancy outfit to wear, no problem. I don't care if this is your very first date.

I'm an easy date, but that doesn't mean you can take me for granted. Assume that you know me, batter me with your lack of self-esteem, bore me, drone about how without your genius I and the world at large would be bereft, demonstrate that you've attended every dating workshop on the planet, ignore me, immerse me in your hate, insult me, judge me, lecture me, invite me to kiss your ass, revolt me, smother me, sneer at me, suck up to me, talk about how much all your other dates worship you, tell me how to think, threaten me, throttle me with overcompensation for your lack of physical beauty/inability to have an orgasm/coping skills for your genital size-related anxiety, or yammer on and on about your dating standards and how woefully I fall below them, and guess what I'm going to say next time you call me?

If you really slam me with any of that crap early on, I will bail on you ten minutes into the date. I won't humiliate you in public, or ridicule you in front of our mutual friends, but no matter how often you call me later and try to make nice or persuade me into giving you another shot, forget about it.

But: if you amuse me, chat with me as if we were at my kitchen table trading war stories about old lovers, dream with me, enchant me, enthrall me, force me to set an alarm so I don't forget dinner, get me to check prices on flights to Paris or elsewhere merely from your descriptions, give me your truth, have me taking the Lord's name in vain under my breath, hug me, keep me up until 3:42 am on a school night, make me shiver, seduce me, share your wisdom with me, shake me, show me places I've never seen, sing to me, start me laughing until tears run down my cheeks, stun me, tease me, tempt me, thrill me, tickle me, touch my heart, weep with me, and wrap me up in your heart like a warm, soft quilt? Honey, I'm yours.

Not only will I date you, but I'll tell everyone I know to date you. I will set up dates with you for strangers and acquaintances. And baby, if you're really good, I will give away dates with you on my weblog, or give you a rec so hot it'll have to be rated in terrajoules. Whenever I talk about dating, I will bring up your name. Whenever I think of you, I'll remember our last date and smile.

Take my latest blind date: Gregory Frazier, author of Riding the World (nonfiction book about around-the-world motorcycle trips, and how to prepare for them.) I fell under the spell of Gregory's practical magic as fast as I was dazzled by his incredible photos of Nepal, Thailand, and Morocco. If you want to ride the world, read this man. He's a biker. He's a sage. He's amazing.

What about your last date with an author? Was it fine or fumbled? Scorching or tepid? What's your ideal hot date?

21 comments:

  1. My last full date with a book was laugh-out-loud fun. I've thanked the author every chance I get and told scads of friends about them.

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  2. My last one was a blind date, they came beautifully dressed, spoke very nicely and didn’t steal food off my plate. It was all fine until the starters and main course were done, but as soon as the desert trolley came out they were chewing with their mouth open and letting bits of tiramisu dribble down the front of their dress. And it wasn’t till then I decided the big bit of spinach stuck between their front teeth wasn’t all that endearing after all.

    Needless to say there was no moonlight walk home and kissing on the doorstep.

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  3. My last date was dried up, lacking in spice and hence - not very hot.

    I, like you, will try just about any date - once - and if it doesn't "do-it" for me, I don't go back again unless I know from reviews or word of mouth that later dates will be much better.

    And in saying that, I do find out if it is a first date or even one of the first three because, let's face it - practice can make perfect or at least much better.

    So, and I've had this happen a few times, some first dates are not so good, quite bad in fact - but later dates by the same person were sooooo much better.

    And just to be bipolar, let me say I've also had some very hot first dates only to find out on subsequent ones that the fire had gone out and in its place now was only smoke and a faint hint of sour body odour . . .

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  4. I can't be on just one date at a time. I regularly begin two or three at a time and unless I come across one of the blind dates that turns out to be a hot come back to my place after drinks date I'll rotate them around until I'm done.

    Right now I'm struggling through a dud date that will probably get dropped. Turns out supposed to be funny backwoods hick vampires just don't do it for me.

    Date two is a blind date recomended by PBW not to long ago. Cal and I started slow but I'm into it now and can't wait to find out how it ends. I'd go back for seconds.

    There is a third blind date and he looks promising but I haven't had time to take him out yet. He is just sitting next to my bed waiting for attenition. Apparently Cal holds more appeal than I thought because I am dying to start this one as well.

    As much as I try monogamy just isn't part of my style.

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  5. I used to be a casual "whatever" dater, able to ignore the pit stains, bad breath, speech impediments and awful jokes. Just gimme a date, man! I don't care how, I don't care where!

    Now I'm selective. And on a schedule. You have until we're finished perusing the menu to woo me baby, tops (many dates don't make it past the handshake), or I'm making an excuse to visit the ladies room and call a cab.

    All these cab rides are getting expensive. Thank God a known good date - Stuart MacBride's new book Dying Light - is supposed to be released this week. I'm in desperate need of a good time.

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  6. Sadly, my dating life has lately been confined to dried eunuchs, who lecture me on performance tuning and such things. They wear expensive clothing, cheap perfume, and a frown.

    On the good side, they put me to sleep long before the end of a usual date, and so kissing is never required.

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  7. This is probably poor dating ettiquette, but I'm nearing the end of a blind date with Chris Moriarty ("Spin State"). She drove too dang fast through dizzying alleyways to get us to the cybercafe, and I almost asked to be taken home after the appetizers, but I stuck with her.

    Now, finishing up our last tequila shots, I have to say, it's been a great date. So long as she isn't the world's worst kisser by the end of the night, I'd definitely date her again.

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  8. Currently on my third date with the Yarn Harlot, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. Am seriously considering proposing marriage, gender be damned.

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  9. I speed-date.

    Unfortunately, I've gotten bland dates every round.

    But my current non-fiction date is really good (Janine Roberts's Glitter And Greed) and I have high hopes that my next blind date will be really good (Jane Jensen's Dante's Equation).

    If all else fails, after Dante's Equation I have Nightlife. A PBW recommend can't go wrong.

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  10. I'm a serial monogamist dater, but I often meet my new partners on blind dates.

    Only thing I really hate - although I know it's not the dater's fault - is when they wear a cheap, floozy outfit that makes me embarrassed to be seen with them in public. Nothing like getting the stink-eye from some hoity toity person who thinks my date is a cheap hooker only interested in sex.

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  11. My last date was with one of my really steamy dates, who will always show me an awesome time, and I'm always extremely satisfied at the end of the date but didn't want it to end. Dates with her are always fast and furious because I all but devour her.

    She's so hot that I'll temporarily ditch other dates to be with her. The date I was on when she came back callin' was pretty good, so when the steamy date was over I went back to her. She's pretty good. Just not smokin' hot :)

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  12. My most recent hot date was with a sex therapist and a psychotic serial killer.

    I was never bored.

    M.J. Rose can snuggle in bed with me anytime. I'll even provide the booklight.

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  13. I tend to date 2 or 3 at a time, stashed in different rooms so they don't accidentally run into each other. Currently, one's a mad crush whom I date every chance I get, one's a newcomer highly recommended by a lot of people I don't know, and I've got a couple of others waiting in the wings. The mad crush date is an wonderful as I'd hoped - eloquent, dashing, intelligent, complex and funny. The newcomer is darker, more baroque, and even more complex.

    If I weren't dating #1, I'm sure I'd be lost in #2's dark eyes and smouldering glances, but I fear he's not getting a fair shake right now. I should probably put him off until my romance with #1 has run its course, and step out with an old friend who's light and wittily entertaining in the meantime.

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  14. My last date was cozy and warm. The dress was casually attractive; the conversation riveting. It was a blind date, but I'm hoping we get to share some time together again soon.

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  15. My current date is not a blind date at all. He's one you all know. He's world reknowned as a matter of fact.

    I'm embarrassed to admit this is the first time I've dated him because he's been around for awhile. He's been in every high school, library, and literary circle and he's been banned from them as well.

    His style is difficult for some to take- almost juvenile and depressing, but I find him facinating.

    Our date is almost over and although I am beguiled, I doubt I'll ever see him again. It's one of those dates that is best in memory alone.

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  16. dating... what a great way to look at it. :o)

    My last date was with somebody from my first publisher, Ellora's Cave. Seraphim by Shelby Reed. Ooooooohhhh... it was good. Warrior angels, beautiful love story... what more could ya ask for?

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  17. My last date was hot, dark and paranormal. I hooked up with him because everyone was talking about him, like he was the new hot guy in school. This date wasn't my usual type. Oh, I've dated a few like him before, but few and far between. The date started out great, then sometime during the entree course, I wasn't sure if I wanted to hang around for dessert. Now I'm glad that I did.

    There are some things about this date that I wasn't completely comfortable with, but overall, I found him intriguing, interesting, and fun to be with -- enough that I'll risk at least a date with the next book in the series.

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  18. I've had a few dates with the dead that were kinda fun, heh. Got one goin' on right now with Octavia.

    But don't be disappointed, girl. You'n I been out a couple times, too. I kinda liked the pettin' scene with those six-legged kitties!

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  19. My current dates (I always have two at the same time) are both jazzy dressers. Sorry to say, what you wear is often why I pick up a date in the first place.

    One of my dates is an old favorite to some, though new to me. The other is a new popular lady though still new to me.

    Worst first dates usually don't get a second date, or even an additional five minutes if I put up with enough.

    And long terms (series) appeal to me more than overnighters (stand alones).

    :)

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  20. I should mention that it only takes one jazzy dresser the first time I date with someone. ;) If the other dates you look terrible, I'll probably forgive you if you've won me over once.

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  21. I'm a dating slut. I have twenty dates in progress at a time, changing partners frequently. Sometimes in mid-date. I'll leave some in line waiting their turn for a long time while sometimes letting others cut in line. I keep most of them in the bedroom with me and don't care if they know about each other. For those that want the illusion of exclusivity, I keep them in a different room -- but I never tell them they're the only one. I've even been known to date at work -- with several dates under and on my desk at the same time.

    I took a date to Birmingham with me on Sunday night. It mostly left me cold.

    As for dates, blind or otherwise, with a less than presentable appearance, I might not take them out in public. In the case of others, appearances are no big deal. Are they a good date? If so, we'll be seen together in public no matter what.

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