Open Sesame!

Some sites have “Water Coolers” where you talk about what you want; other sites have open threads to talk about whatever you want.

We have the Open Sesame, because creating an open thread with references to other things that are often “open” in a romance novel would lead to very interesting Google hits, indeed!

So-  what’s on your mind? Whaddya wanna talk about?


Random Musings

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  1. 1
    FerfeLaBat says:

    My mind is a complete blank.  No.  Really.  There’s nothing going on in my head.  I just spent the entire morning debugging Delphi code and every brain cell I had left departed my skull for a vacation.  It’s the damndest thing but … there you have it.

  2. 2
    fiveandfour says:

    On my mind is coincidences. 

    Here’s an example from ‘real life’: this morning I read a headline that said “Lawmaker wants to send virgins to college”.  I didn’t read the story because my thinking about how many ways in which that headline could create a funny story amused me too much.  I thought of how those poor, innocent virgins would be like lambs to the slaughter (a veritable virgin sacrifice, if you will) and it made me laugh.  My favorite thought was that it would make a great movie where the virgins (girls, natch) would have to face several challenges along the way to graduation (a gauntlet of horny college guys, alcohol, sex ed classes – you get the picture) and the one(s) who made it to graduation a virgin won (or lost, depending on your point of view).  Anyway, these thoughts amused me quite a bit this morning.  Shortly afterwards I received an e-mail from my daughter’s Girl Scout Leader with the opening sentence “the date of the briding ceremony will be…” – well, talk about your virgin sacrifice!  My daughter’s only 9 and it’s quite a shock she’s to be a bride so soon.

    This, in turn, got me thinking about how sometimes a story will have coincidences and you can buy them hook, line and sinker.  But other times, there’s one coincidence too many and you’re rolling your eyes and throwing the book at the wall.

    So – coincidences – sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.  But sometimes fiction takes one turn too many and goes right off the rails.

  3. 3
    bam says:

    Can anyone tell me why I just spent 20 bucks on a lot of Susan Napier’s backlist (fifteen of them) on Ebay? It’s 20 bucks that I could have used to buy bread and cheese that would sustain me for a week (I’m a starving college student).

  4. 4

    Because you’re a reader before you’re a college student.  I remember when I took the GRE’s (I scored a 98%/12%—don’t ask)one of the thoughts that held me back from pursuing the advanced degree was the lack of reading for pleasure time when you’re in school.  I ended up not going because a Masters in Communications is worth about a bucket of warm spit, unless you’re going to teach, and I don’t like undergrads well enough to teach them.  I’ve got two undergrads currently draining my bank account.  That’s enough.

  5. 5
    Sarah says:

    Darlene, I see your comment and raise you a “Hell Yeah.” I ran the hell out of graduate school short of obtaining a Masters because I realized that I did not want my job to be the only thing I ever did with my time – and being a college prof in writing/composition would mean exactly that.

    So now I have a perfect job (it comes with Air Conditioning!!) and at the end of the day I go home with enough energy (unless I am pregnant) to do my own things.

    Which makes me wonder: I am fascinated by different novels that portray careers of varying types, yet for myself, I know I am not a “Career Woman.” I’m a “I have a job that gets me health insurance so I can do my own thing after hours” woman.

  6. 6
    Meljean says:

    Yep, just recently quit grad school as well when I realized it was just me killing time—and I don’t want to teach.  If the writing doesn’t go through, I’ll probably look for a job that I can just leave at work—I’ve realized that I just don’t have the interest/energy to work for someone else’s company and make it my life.

    Sigh. If only writing came with health insurance…I better start eating more vegetables.

  7. 7
    FerfeLaBat says:

    OK.  A thought just hit me.  I was reading the comments on RTB and the animated-smiley-gifs-from-hell were winking and blinking and rolling their lit*tle it*ty bit*ty eyes and I wanted to upload Doom to their server to blast the little smileys into drippy puddles of pixel blood.  I notice you put a strike through over the “no animated gifs”.  [pregnant pause] Why did you do that?  I wondered.

  8. 8
    Sarah says:


    It’s because we put up an animated Spiderman specifically for Maili after the London Bombings. If you look back at this entry, you can see that in the interest of expressing our empathy with the folks across the pond, we violated our own animated gif rule.

    But don’t worry. This is not going to become a spasm of animated happy faces. It’s even worse at some of the pregnancy/baby boards I frequent. It’s like epilepsy done in graphical form.

    I’d love one of those green phaser thing that would reduce them to drippy carcasses.

  9. 9

    fiveandfour said: Here’s an example from ‘real life’: this morning I read a headline that said “Lawmaker wants to send virgins to college”. 

    I’d like to discuss why in the 21st century virginity is still an issue anywhere. The point of female virginity (at least in Western culture) was to calm the fears of men who wanted to be sure boys of their blood got their stuff when they died. This seems irrelevant today.

    Why are romance heroines in contemporary novels still virgins? If you’ve got historical settings, fine. If you’ve got sci fi/fantasy cultures, fine. But unless your heroine is in like the 6th grade, what’s the point? Do we STILL need to have our fantasy stand-ins be virgins so we don’t feel bad about sex? Argggh!

    On a different note, there’s a fascinating blur at Mind Hacks dot com, mocking a quasi-scientific study that supposedly shows repeated viewing of porn turns you into a zombie. :)

  10. 10
    Candy says:

    Ahhhh, don’t forget the throbbing hearts for our bunnilicious April Fool’s page. *happy sigh*

    Those of you who know how to work HTML image tags and want to insert that heart in comments, the GIF is located in /images/heart.gif.

    *winces and waits for throbbing heart ‘splosion*

    Here’s my random contribution for the day:

    Last night, while watching TV, the ad for Must Love Dogs (romantic comedy starring Diane Lane and John Cusack) came on.

    Diane Lane (talking about John Cusack character): “He’s hot…”
    Very Tall Husband: John Cusack is still hot?
    Candy: Oh yeah. Not as hot as he used to be, but still pretty damn hot.
    VTH: Really?
    Candy: Let’s just say that should John Cusack crawl into bed and make sweet, sweet love to me, at no point would I ever say “Ack, ew! John Cusack! Gross!”


    Fiveandfour said up above: So – coincidences – sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.  But sometimes fiction takes one turn too many and goes right off the rails.

    I agree with you. Here’s the thing: Generally speaking, good fiction HAS to be neater and more organized than real life ever could be. Real life is weird, and messy. There are very few neat character or story arcs.

    People who want to use realism as a strict yardstick for good fiction are missing the point of storytelling in some ways, I think. What we’re looking is something that looks, tastes and feels real—even more real and vivid than the real thing.

    This means the story has to be messy, but resolved one way or another by the end. But it can’t be resolved TOO neatly, or by devices that are too slick. Coincidences and events that amount to deus ex machinas (machinae??) have been known to occur in real life, but we usually view their usage in fiction as lazy writing.

    How’s that for some postmodern philosophical noodling?

  11. 11
    Candy says:

    Wow. I’m now breaking my brain trying to figure out how to correctly pluralize “deus ex machina.”

    And I don’t know Latin.

    This does not bode well for my productivity this afternoon.

  12. 12
    Sarah says:

    Hi Candy!

  13. 13
    Sarah says:

    I agree with you about real life and story arcs. Sometimes, episodes happen neatly, but your whole life isn’t much for an arc. Mine, for example, is all over the damn place. I’m gonna do this – no I’m over here, now! Wait, I’m over here! Whee! Would make for spastic fiction.

  14. 14
    FerfeLaBat says:

    Wow. I’m now breaking my brain trying to figure out how to correctly pluralize “deus ex machina.”—Candy

    My brain is rapidly morphing through every style in Monica’s photoshop arsenal, zorched with fear that you are needing the plural of “deus ex machina” as you are writing the review of my book. My problem.  Drugs will help.  As you were.

  15. 15
    Shirin says:

    The virgin requirement is really an odd one—AND I admit that I fall right into the trap of a) expecting a virgin heroine and b) getting the “Ew. Squidgy.” reaction when I read that she isn’t a virgin. But logically that makes no sense.

    If we assume that Romance is all about the HEA combined with the finding of the one true soulmate who completes/complements/understands the flaws of the other party, and then the woman is supposed to be a virgin, then how does she know that she’s actually found the one, true, only the one, not just the faker partner if she hasn’t had sex or been in love yet? Paradoxical in the extreme.

    I don’t read too many comtemporaries, but I’ll start thinking about the virginity requirement while I’m vacuuming. Maybe I’ll pull together something coherent in an hour or so.

  16. 16
    Maili says:

    Coincidences and events that amount to deus ex machinas (machinae??)

    Dei ex machinis?

  17. 17
    Aoife says:

    Well, I can think of all kinds of repulsive reasons why some dirty old male lawmaker might want to send virgins to college, but what I want to know is:  How do they have to prove they are virgins?  Affadavits from the entire high school football team?  Proof of a Kevlar hymen?  What?

    And referencing the point about why virginity might be an issue anywhere in the 21st century, one answer might be the upswing in STD’s, especially HPV.  My college-age daughters (yes, TWO sets of tuition!) have told me that being a virgin has a whole different connotation now at some campuses than it did even a few years ago.  An og-gyn friend who lives in a college town and treats a lot of students at that college tells me that as many as 1 in 4 women students are infected with HPV.  It’s a whole different thing than when I was in college and antibiotics took care of everything.

  18. 18
    Sarah says:

    Wait! Wait! I want to name Candy’s car The Kevlar Hymen!!

  19. 19
    fiveandfour says:

    The Kevlar Hymen

    Oh God, the mind boggles at the imagery those words induce!

    I’m going to be very frightened indeed if some Smart Bitch posts a linky-loo for something along these lines – I’m still trying to get over the whole neuticals scenario.

  20. 20
    fiveandfour says:

    OK, I’ve come up with another thing on my mind today: things that turn me on and I don’t know/understand why.  In books, for example, I sometimes love an alpha male.  In real life I’d be hard pressed not to commit an act of violence on his ass if some guy presumed to know better than me what was right for me. 

    Here’s a couple more:
    *the virgin talk has reminded me that there’s a whiff of attraction for me to the idea of de-flowering a guy.  Given my age and the usual age when guys have their first experience, this has a potentially large ewww factor – but I’m ignoring that for now.
    *cowboys – there’s just something about the hat and the well-worn jeans and the horse riding that is rrroowwwrrr inducing for me, but as a life-long city dweller and country music avoider I don’t where my fascination comes from.

  21. 21
    Candy says:

    the virgin talk has reminded me that there’s a whiff of attraction for me to the idea of de-flowering a guy.

    I ended up marrying the guy I de-flowered. There’s definitely something very powerful and sexy about being somebody’s first lover.

    I’m now contemplating Photoshopping a Kevlar hymen, but I’m at work. Sigh.

  22. 22

    Candy—When I was working drug ed we had a film we used to use, and the first time I previewed it I said, “Whoa! Stop the tape!”  The snot-nosed kid in the film who needed to learn how to control his temper and make good decisions was a very young John Cusack.  Long hair, baby pudge, but a cutie. 

    Industrial films are where you can see a lot of hot actors cut their teeth, and we used to have fun previewing these tapes and playing “spot the star”.

  23. 23
    AngieW says:

    Ahahahaha… I’m laughing at Sarah because I know what she’s talking about with the pregnancy/baby boards (uhh…don’t hurt me because I gave you the link to one, k?) and the overuse of smilies. They have emoticons for everything. Let me tell you how bad it is and Sarah, I’ll bet you haven’t experienced this yet…

    There are some women who will write their entire message in emoticons. they call them emoticon stories and it makes me want to gouge my eyes out.

  24. 24
    Candy says:

    There are some women who will write their entire message in emoticons. they call them emoticon stories and it makes me want to gouge my eyes out.

    Aiieeeeeee! This makes Baby Jesus a saaaaad panda.

  25. 25
    ShannonC says:

    On my mind:
    inane names for Baby Holding Centers.  My friend (who I believe has lost her mind)is in the process of masticating through red tape galore in order to open an infant care center.  Infants!  She asked me to help her come up with a name, and after driving around looking at some of the places I have come to the conclusion that baby centers are all about miniature body parts:

    Tiny Hands Childcare
    Little Feet Day School
    Precious Little Wizened Troll Faces

    What is it with baby body parts?  Is that really a trend?  Why didn’t I notice this before?  Working from the template, I put in:

    Kinder Coccyx
    Tiny ‘Ginies and Eeny Peenies
    No Hair Anywhere Baby Care!

    None of these passed muster.  Anyone have any ideas that don’t make me feel like vomiting?  I’ll give you full credit!

  26. 26
    Candy says:

    “Tiny ‘Ginies and Eeny Peenies”

    AAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Holy shit. Best. Infant Care. Name. EVER.

    Trust me, you do NOT want me to come up with names for an infant care center, because I’ll come up with names like “Teeny Spleenies” or “Tiny Aliens from Planet Churchill.”

  27. 27
    Nicole says:

    Agh…I’m never having kids!  Okay, not for a loooooong time.

    Virginity…hmmm…if I hadn’t met my husband my first year of college, I’d probably still have it.  I honestly had no desire to just lose it with some random guy.  I was sure I was going to wait til I was married (personal, not religious reason).  And there’s that mortal fear of children that still sometimes gets me even though I’m happily married and on birth control that does not require me to remember to take a tiny pill at the same time every day.  Though it’s nagging me again since I just switched to a new kind.  And the fear of stds…I don’t know how many of my friends had drunken sex and forgot condoms. 

    And it was a mutual de-flowering.  :-)  Am I a prude?  Nope, just picky. 

    Well, I’m pretty boring too.  I still haven’t gotten drunk.  Ever. 

    Of course, DH got into my pants three weeks after we started officially dating.  Man won’t let me forget it.  So hmm…

  28. 28
    FerfeLaBat says:

    Aiieeeeeee! This makes Baby Jesus a saaaaad panda.—Candy

    Hee!  South Park reference?

  29. 29

    Very interesting responses on the virgin thing.

    I’d still like to hope that there is a nice, healthy middle ground between virginity and promiscuity that maybe our heroines can find.

    And may they find it between covers not designed with CGI technology.

  30. 30
    Nicole says:

    I’m still waiting for the nice middle ground, but I’d love to see it.

    And yuck with the CGI covers.  Darn it, I need to finish my decent ebook cover post.

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