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Plasticweld
May 16th, 2014, 03:01 PM
She stared back at me with those cold blue eyes, a look of disgust on her face. I did not blame her, she was after all an expert at being an ice queen.

It was not always this way, long ago, a life time ago, her eyes sparkled behind thick glasses, her smile was genuine; not practiced or mechanical like it is today.

I remember the first time I saw her in the library at Yale, there was an unmistakable energy about her. I had dated many women, all of them better looking than her, not that she was bad looking, just not beauty queen material. We played this game, I looked up at her, she glanced my way, it was obvious we were flirting; I was busy thinking of some line I could feed her. She did not hesitate, she got up and walked across the room, full of confidence, her thick blond hair bouncing off her shoulders, she wasted no words “Look, if we’re going to spend all this time staring at each other, we should at least get to know who the other is.”

I get this warm feeling, just remembering that afternoon, gives me an involuntary smile on my lips, it used to be so different back then, we were young and very much in love. They always talk about a lot of water has gone under the bridge since then, I wish it were just water.

Women love to use the term sole mate, somewhere between lust and that comfortable feeling there is reality. We connected on a lot of different levels, we both come from messed up families, no Ozzie and Harriet up bringing for either of us, kind of an inside joke that we always shared, which only drew us closer. She was in a lot of ways a lot more organized than I, a lot more aggressive, in a guy it would seem fine but she was a little rough around the edges when dealing with people. I tend to be a little more diplomatic, “charming” is more accurate but saying that only makes me sound arrogant.


We were passionate back then, we loved just the way we fought, nothing held back. At the end of the first semester we had moved in together. The first real test came that summer she went to California in the summer of 1971. She was going there to intern with an Oakland law firm—Treuhaft, Walker and Bernstein, self-proclaimed communists. I was hesitant but followed her there, when it came time to head back to my home state, she would follow me there.

I had dreams of doing great things, she shared that same passion and supported me in the quest. It was hard fought yet we managed to do all that we had set out to do… [It was what would ultimately drive a wedge between us.]

Power is an aphrodisiac, there is strong connection between sex appeal and power, both seem to feed off of each other. I would be ‘lying’ if I told you I never took advantage of that, what I can tell you for sure is that it is worse to be caught in that lie than to be caught in the act itself. The nation seems ready to forgive a guy for infidelity, ‘more so if she is good looking’ than being caught in a lie denying it.

The hard part, the part that is tough on a marriage, is dealing with the fall out and lack of trust, even if you come to an understanding, the public does not ever let go, and they never forget. She made the statement in an interview "I'm not sitting here, some little woman standing by her man. I'm sitting here because I love him and I respect him."

“That’s great,” is all I can say, it still means no BJs, it still means I can never ever just get her flowers without digging up memories.
Now Vanity Fair does this big story promoting Monica’s new book, all I can think of is “Thanks for digging up the past, and you don’t look bad for 40.”

Like I said no more Bjs and no more flowers and please do not mention Elisabeth Hurly. We get along fine, she has her goals, I have mine. I could still do without the ice cold blue eyes that never really forget.

Research for this was done with the use of
http://www.salon.com/2012/09/02/when_bill_met_hillary/
http://www.angelfire.com/wa/starreport/60min.html

I thought it would be fun to tell this story from Bill’s perspective, it is factual minus my interpretations of his thoughts.

Holly_M
May 16th, 2014, 04:06 PM
Hi,

I liked this. I thought the opening was strong, but I did feel it lost a bit of momentum in the middle section. This, I think, is due in large part to a slight bit of confusion. I think it needs more clarity earlier on so as the reader avoids this feeling.

I would also try to show a bit more rather than tell.

garza
May 17th, 2014, 01:07 AM
For me there are far too many cliché expressions and situations. Reading it I had the feeling I'm reading random extracts from every supermarket checkout romance that's ever been written; stock phrase following stock phrase; central casting characters reading in bored voices from well-used scripts.

Your primary need is for a fresh way of looking at your characters. Then you need to create situations that are seen from angles different from all the stock situations we've all read too many times. And please lose the Yale library. That's blatant name dropping and a real turn-off if there's no legitimate reason for it being there.

Take a fresh look at what you are trying to achieve. If you want to write and sell a book, you need to write one that is not a copy of hundreds of books the publishing house editors have rejected already. I've made my way writing non-fiction, but certain rules apply across the board. I can't sell a story to Newsweek that's an imitation of a story that was in Time last week.

Oh, and it's 'soul mate', another hackneyed expression, not 'sole mate'. A sole is a lonely fish. My definition. Don't quote me.

You have the potential to be a very good writer. The problem may be that your reading list covers too narrow a range. Start reading the kinds of books you've never read before. Pick up no more romance paperbacks at the supermarket. Read Jack Kerouac's On the Road. Read Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five. Reread Catcher in the Rye, The Sun Also Rises, The Sound and the Fury.

To see how a romance can be presented in a fresh light read Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez. If you can read Spanish, read the original. If not there is an excellent English translation by Edith Grossman. Both are, I believe, available from Amazon. Another book I highly recommend by García Márquez is One Hundred Years of Solitude.

You need to see how different writers can take a basic situation and write different stories that sound fresh. From before Romeo and Juliet through West Side Story the theme of star-crossed lovers has been popular with writers. Many, perhaps most, of the works produced on that theme have been trite, but there have been some masterpieces.

So keep at it, create your own way of telling the story, and you'll do okay.

Plasticweld
May 17th, 2014, 03:19 AM
Thanks for the advice, I think by trying to keep it to factual I lost the reader. Some where between wanting to show how Bill Clinton felt about all of the continued press about his past affairs and how much of his life is made public. I was hoping to tell a story from his point of view verses the press or from Hillary's perspective. I also wanted to include enough info so you could learn something factual about the Clintons.

This was just written on whim and as a exercise, I just placed myself in his shoes. I am not a fan of his nor his politics which made this more of a challenge. The current news story of Monica just made me think along these lines.

I have read most of the books in your suggestions, and should in fact re-read them with the idea of how the writers crafted their work. I have not read "The Sound of Fury" and will pick it up.

I have never read a romance novel and seldom write fiction so this was a stretch for me, I have no desire to write romance, going outside my comfort zone was part of this.

My goal is to be able to learn to write, I can see here from some of the writers, how it is done and the process that is involved. You are one of the writers I always read and respect. I am sure for me to be able to get to a competent level, I need to read more and write more and that there are no short cuts.

Thanks for taking the time to share your wisdom..Bob

garza
May 17th, 2014, 11:16 AM
I never made the connection with Bill Clinton because I didn't get that far. I only read through the first five paragraphs and gave up. I have Type II diabetes and I could feel my sugar level getting dangerously high.

Now I'll reverse my advice about romance novels. If you've never read one, you should. Next time you're in a supermarket pick up a romance paperback. You'll get a funny look from the cashier, but never mind that. You need to do this to complete your research. Just tell the cashier it's for your grandmother.

See the difference between the way love and life are portrayed in the books I mentioned - add Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man to the list - and the way love and life are portrayed in the paperback romance. Don't imitate anything. Find your own voice. But avoid the cliché-riddled prose style of the romance. To avoid nausea, read the romance in small doses.

You're on your way. Good luck.