Saturday, March 10, 2012

Twenty-Two Days to the Finish Line - The First Kiss

When I woke this morning, I had kissing on my mind. I can hear the cogs in your brain grinding to a halt wondering how I’m going to tie kissing to writing and running. Well, making the leap to writing romance is like setting the table—knife, fork and spoon. They go together. You can’t have one without the other. Hey, wait a minute. I think that’s a song.

One of my favorite and most terrifying scenes to write is the “first kiss scene.”  It’s all in the buildup.  If you don’t bring the reader along with you and set the mood, the kissing scene will fall flat. Flatter than I fell last Saturday! 

Now put your characters close together and let the reader know how they feel. Are they uncomfortable? Good. Let’s see their hearts race and palms sweat, but not too much. Who wants to hold someone’s sweaty palms? Do the characters notice things about the other and wonder what the other person’s eyes are saying? Are they misreading the signals? Jeez, I hope not. That can be really embarrassing. 
Finally, he or she goes for it, and either it continues for a nice little interlude or they stop, feel guilty, and rush back to saving the world. All-the-while remembering the kiss and wishing it hadn't ended.

Okay, here’s the leap to running. 

It’s Saturday and you have a long run scheduled.  There are a dozen things on your to-do list that have to get done before the Cats play Florida at 1:00 in the SEC semi-finals, and a long run will take two hours out of your block of time, and you think maybe today you’ll blow it off—just once.  

Then you see your running shoes next to the chair where you kick them off when you finished your run the day before. One is on its side. The other still has a knot in the laces. Both have traces of dried mud. But it doesn’t matter. 

Your heart skips a beat. You swallow hard. You turn away, glance at your to-do list, and try to deny the yearning. 

Then you see the stack of clean clothes you removed from the dryer and didn’t fold. Your running tights are wrapped around a towel and your moisture wicking t-shirt is inside out. Fighting the lump in your throat, you pick up the shirt and smell it—fresh and clean, and you can’t resist the feel against your skin. Without another thought, you rip off your cotton shirt and slip on the fitted tee, and then you’re hopelessly lost in the moment.

Just like deepening the kiss, next come the tights, the socks, the shoes and five minutes later, you’re out the door, all because you couldn’t resist the smell and feel of a t-shirt.

A kiss will do it to you every time. 

Happy writing and running (and kissing) and GO CATS! Kathy

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