Tuesday, May 30, 2006


"Hello, John," Marcia said as she sauntered into the room.

"Marcia." As she had never been in this part of the house, or seen him in his present casual yet attractive attire, John waited for her to take in his appearance and that of his surroundings before he asked, "What are you doing here?"

Marcia indulged in several paragraphs of describing John and the room to herself. She allowed her conflicted feelings about him to rise and ebb before she felt a pressing need for dialogue and remembered she hadn't answered him.

"What am I doing here?" she repeated, in the event the reader had forgotten John's question. "I really don't . . ." She swallowed and looked around in confusion. "I really don't . . . know."

John noted two paragraphs worth of Marcia's considerable physical assets with a healthy amount of lustful yet restrained and heroic-sounding internal admiration, although it felt a good deal like what he had done in an earlier scene when he had observed her walking through the expansive gardens outside his mansion while she wore a thin frock that unbeknownst to her the bright sunlight had turned semi-transparent.

John discreetly acknowledged the always-surprising fact that he had a boner before crossing his legs and asking, "Aren't you supposed to be sneaking off to cheat on me with that struggling, under-employed painter?"

"That's tomorrow night," Marcia whispered, hoping the reader wouldn't hear. "In Chapter Five. And his name is Harold."

"I see." John fell silent and recalled a page of irrelevant information about the preceding chapter that had nothing to do with his rival before murmuring, "And I'm supposed to catch you sleeping innocently in his arms in chapter . . . ?"

Marcia discreetly held up six fingers. "This is a lovely room." She looked around as if she hadn't seen it, recalled that she had in the beginning of the scene and just a few second ago in a confused state, and quickly asked, "Did your mother decorate it?"

"Don't you remember?" John asked. "We talked about that when you first came to the house to confront me about my heartless decision to takeover your dying father's nearly bankrupt company and sell off its assets, leaving you and your sheltered, spoiled mother penniless."

"Oh, my." She pressed a hand to her throat. "You're not going to do that anymore, I hope?"

"No, dear." John shook his head in such a way that required a paragraph of hair movement description. "I made you promise to marry me in exchange for saving the company, seeing that your father had that bone marrow transplant that wasn't covered under his insurance policy, and keeping your mother in the family home collecting Yorkies and scrapbook supplies."

Marcia frowned. "And now I'm going to try to do the nasty with Harold because . . . ?"

"Because you resent me for forcing you to marry me, the cold-blooded, arrogant, merciless tycoon who, despite spending several million dollars to bail your family out of the mess they're in, does not deserve your love the way Harold, the boy that you have loved all of your life and don't yet know is gay, does."

"This sounds an awful lot like an info-dump refresher," Marcia said, clearly worried now.

John lifted his hands. "Darling, what else are we going to talk about? You know the guidelines; we can't have sex until after we're married. We don't even kiss until Chapter Eight. We have nothing in common. Our author needs this book to be seventy-five thousand words in length, but she doesn't outline."

"Ah." Marcia nodded. "I see. We're covering a story lag."

"You're such a bright little thing, for a self-sacrificing, sexually confused virgin." John beamed. "So, my sweet, tell me what you think of the weather. I know that hasn't been mentioned more than once or twice since the beginning of Chapter One."


  1. You mean this isn't how we're supposed to do it?! *g*

  2. Anonymous2:41 AM

    I am always blow away by your talent as a writer. But never so much as when I read what you can do with so short a premise. I've hooked my son on your books as well as other readers. I hope it keeps you in Exotic Teas and Sinful Sweets for a long time to come. I'm equally hopeful your royalties will allow you to continue your craft for a long time to come.

  3. you're pure dagnasty evil and so good at it. I am off to construct an altar to you.

    No, wait, first I have to check the contemporary I'm writing (head shake/hair swing? check. room description? yes backstory dump? check).

  4. Anonymous7:47 AM

    Oddly enough, this sounds a lot like a summary of the first (and last) romance book I just finished reading. *-*

  5. Okay, you win. I'm off to cut all the rolling eyeballs from my WIP.

  6. Anonymous11:08 AM

    I've got to plagurize this. I'll change all the names and descriptions of course. That way you won't be able to figure out who amongst the bazillion possibilities stole your idea.

    Oh, wait. I gotta put my name on this, don't I?

    Ahem, good show! Brilliantly written. Keep up the good work.

  7. Anonymous11:19 AM

    Oy & gaaaaaaah!

    you mean being surprised by a boner is trite?

    I don't care. I'm keeping my surprised woody.

  8. Kate...will you share your alter?

  9. This is best read aloud. Oh, it was fun to do that.

  10. Oh boy, this was painfully funny, especially in its truth unfortunately...

  11. Let's see. We have

    Forced Marriage - yep
    Big Misunderstanding - yep
    Boyfriend who Turns out to be Gay - yep

    But where's the Secret Baby?

  12. Sheila, have you ever considered writing a humorous what not to do romance writing manual? Your snippets are fabulous :D. And I can just imagine the illustrations too :D.

    Thanks for the laugh...and yeah, I've alerted my critters to check for same :D.


  13. I love it!!

    Thanks for the smiles!

  14. Funny! Thanks!

  15. You're post should come with a warning not to drink while reading this. I could've ruined my keyboard.

    Thanks so much for the giggle

  16. I read something so close to that last night! The gay boyfriend was missing as was the forced marriage, but the 2 paragraphs of descriptions that seemed like it had been there in an earlier chapter? Yup. That was there in force.

    Ah well. It was a novella, and when I finished it at 1 am, I was finally able to sleep. My goal achieved.

  17. I wuv you when you're evil. ha!

  18. Anonymous9:40 PM




    Way too funny ;)

  20. I was going to comment on this, but I became distracted by my own reflection in the mirror--chubby cheeks, flecks of gray in a three days' growth of beard, and tiny lines around my eyes that might betray melancholy as well as mirth. Such a different reflection than the one I'd seen years ago, in a long and complicated backstory...

  21. that was bad bad bad bad... I loved it.

    now i'm trying to recall every book I've ever written and figure out if I've done some of this stuff...

  22. Somewhere there's a prize I can award you for this. Search high and low I shall, in lands that require full chapters of description before the tale of my valiant struggle can begin.

    Until then, settle for my deep and abiding admiration.


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