Friday, September 16, 2011

Romantic Friday Writers - Bouquet!

For the rest of the RFW poems & stories, by writers who always bring a smile to my face, go here.

Denise (aka L'Aussie) & Francine, thank you so very much for starting this group, doing all the work to keep it going, and giving us such challenging prompts.  This week, Challenge #19, is Bouquet

My first (agented) novel began as CONSTANCE AND HER SEVEN LOVERS, title later changed to THE TROUBLE WITH YES.  I recently realized several things about this novel:

1)  It was not, actually, ready for prime time, so I am glad it is yet unpublished.
2)  I still really like the bones of this story, and although on review much of it is dreadul, there is much good that can be salvaged.
3)  I still love this character, even if many of my rejections said she was unlikeable.  I think part of that is some readers see her as "too slutty," and a bigger part is I failed to convey her charm and vulnerability.  I see her as much like Ado Annie from Oklahoma (Will: Was you thinkin' about him, when you was kissin' me?  Annie (indignant): Of course not!  I'm never thinkin' about no man - lessen' I'm with him.)

I'll let Connie explain her flower dilemma in her own words.

Word Count: 397; FCA (Full Critique Acceptable (and requested, thank you!)

No, nobody died, though it does look like a funeral parlor in here.

I’m a sucker for flowers.  Something El, my fiancé, never understood.  He thinks that instead of “wasting” cash on flowers, a man should save his money, buy his girlfriend... a bond or something.  Be still my heart - not!

So when the extremely fine stripper from my bridal shower presented me with the red rose he’d held between his teeth, of course I was going to keep it.  My first mistake, though, was not telling everybody... Shawn was my ex-boyfriend.

One of them, anyway, and it was bizarre how my life became ex-boyfriend whack-a-mole.  Ran into Tommy, my childhood sweetheart, at the grocery store, and then he had to stop by with a hand-picked bouquet with flowers he’d scrounged from my neighbors’ yard.

via Randy OHC from Flickr
Then Wayne’s mom shared a hospital room with Aunt Helen, and he sent his usual, over-the-top fancy-ass arrangement, with divine-smelling freesia and yellow roses.  Still married, still a charming sleazeball, but even if I threw him out... it wasn’t the flowers’ fault.

Deborah, my BFF, is the keeper of all my secrets, like the night we, you know, experimented together in college.  Didn’t realize until recently she had a few secrets of her own.  She sent an elegant white flower, in a tall slender vase, as an apology for bailing on my bridal dress fitting.

via Wikimedia Commons
I literally bumped into Herbie with my car, and El went so jealous and weird on me, even though he was there, the whole time.  Herbie brought over the plant when he met us to sign the insurance papers.  It’s flattering that he still believes I could keep a computer running... or a plant alive.

I know judgmental people would say I shouldn’t have let Luis spend the week at my place, after he got kicked out of his own, but that actually worked out well.  He cleaned the apartment, never made a move on me, and even left me sunflowers...  strong, simple, vibrant.  Like him.
from healingdream at FreeDigitalPhotos

Sometimes I think El possesses just enough of the qualities of my past lovers to make me happy, and sometimes I think he doesn’t have any of them.  I’m beginning to think I can’t marry him unless he can listen to me.  Stop shutting me down when I try to explain... things.

He’s got to understand how much I love flowers.

The Romantic Friday Writers weekly blogfest is open to all writers of romantic fiction.  Wanna join the party?  Click here for submission info.

Your thoughts? 

Please feel free to offer any and all criticism.  I'd like all my work to SELL, so if there's anything that took you out of the story, anything my male character said that you don't find believable coming from a guy, passive voice, present/past tense goofs, misplaced commas, repetitive vocabulary, or other flaws not listed here, please let me know. 


P.S. Coming on Monday 9-26-11 - Interview & Discussion with Historical Paranormal 
Romance author Lisa Hendrix on the Immortal Brotherhood series.