Wednesday, April 18

Happy Hunk Day

Normally, I don't go in for the whole cut off head look...but sometimes a girl has to make an exception! Besides this particularly cute guy is a great jumping off point to today's discussion.

Does everything (in a novel) need to be on the page?

I'm not just talking about the sex, although that's a good debate, because when I was initially looking for publishers to shop my first manuscript to, I came across one that stated quite clearly in their submission guidelines that all sex must be on the page. No fading to black. No skipping details. They wanted it all there in black and white.

So, thoughts? Does every sex scene *have* to be on the page, or after a while is a blow job a blow job and is it simply enough to say that "Bob sank to his knees in front of Fred and Fred licked his lips in anticipation. He ran his hands through his lover's hair... smiled... God, Bob was good at that..." and then page break to the next scene.

But it's not just sex. I've come to a spot in my new WIP (Work In Progress), Hanging by the Moment, where my boys end their first date on an unspecified weekday at the end of chapter two. Chapter three starts on Sunday afternoon, with their second date.

I know what happens on the in-between (I'd better, I'm the author!) but I didn't write it out.

And it's not that they just live their separate lives, they exchange a couple of phone calls and text messages...but is it necessary to show all of that, or can I just tell the reader later, when they get together for their date?


Remember, back in school, they taught us to show, don't tell... but if you show everything, does it get boring?

Hanging by the Moment is the official name of that story I talked about a while back, the one that was loosely inspired by the temporary waitressing job I took a few months ago. I got some really good title ideas, but when the book took a serious turn (one my main characters has HIV), the title needed to take a serious turn, too.

I actually came up with the official title on the fly when my publisher asked me for a solid idea of when I was submitting the story; she needed a title to go with the description. Now, nobody get too excited, a conversation like that doesn't guarantee that they'll pick up the story for publication. I still have to go through the regular submission process, but they're working with me on turning my writing into a career, and part of that is letting her know when they'll see what out of me.

Hanging by the Moment is due to be submitted mid-June. A month later, I'm due to submit my YA novel. Yikes.

And in the course of looking for sexy long haired men for today's post, one of the characters from Hanging by the Moment has gotten a make over (but it's really helped to clarify the writing, so I'm happy! I suddenly know so much more about him.)

Meet Daniel

In my original vision, he was "bald by design"
I like this vision much, MUCH better! 
Look at that hair... 

What do you think, folks--do you like your guys with long hair or short?

Which brings us to this week's recipe. 

A week or so ago, I asked my husband to buy me an avocado; I'd recently had home made guacamole and fell in love. I thought I hated the stuff. Turns out, I out what I hate is that green goo from the grocery store... but I'm not doing the guacamole recipe today. Today I'm going to share what I did with the second half of the avocado before it went completely off, but I happened across a couple of bananas that had been forgotten on the top of the fridge. Yup, they were almost black. But there are things you can do with servery overripe bananas and a nice soft avocado. And not so ironically, it has to do with long hair...

Hair and Face Mask

1 super ripe banana 
1/2 soft avocado (if you have really long hair, use the whole thing)
1 egg yolk (really long hair, use 2)
2 tablespoons low fat yogurt (non flavored/no fruit) (long hair use 3T*)
1 tablespoon honey (long hair use 2T*)
1 tablespoon coconut OR olive oil (long hair use 2T*)

(Coconut oil is lighter than olive oil, so if you have naturally oily hair or skin, go with the coconut; if you have perpetually dry skin and hair, opt for the olive oil. Another light oil is almond. Jojoba oil is pure gold for skin and hair...and is priced accordingly). 

optional add-ins:
a sprinkle of dill and/or thyme
green tea (open up the tea packet and dump it in)
chamomile tea (same as above--great for hair and skin, adds a subtle highlight to light hair)
catnip (great for hair, helps end split ends)

Those are the things most folks have in their kitchen. 
Mine is a little more exotic. 

More add-ins:
comfrey (leaves)
burdock (root)
amla powder (may darken hair slightly over time)
frankincense (awesome anti-wrinkle ingredient, but you have to get essential oil, not fragrance oil... or make your own by soaking crushed resin in olive oil over night).  

amla paste makes a great facial scrub, by the way.

for hair only:
cinnamon (smells yummy, adds shine and a slight red tint--however, it isn't so pleasant on the skin)

(*T=tablespoons, just in case you didn't know that; teaspoon is abbreviated  with a lowercase t).

Basic instructions:

Mash up your avocado and banana (or blend in food processor); mix in remaining ingredients. Whip together. I like to let my mask sit for a bit until it comes up to room temp. If I'm adding in extras, I let it sit for at least a couple of hours, to give all the good stuff a chance to soak out into the goo.

Slather mixture on hair. Wrap in plastic wrap. Put on a cap or scarf (for warmth, because warmth helps the mask do its thing). Endure ridicule from family--make appropriate threats. 

Now, you want your hair coated, but not dripping. Dripping is just yucky. (All right, minds out of the gutters, kiddies...)  I leave the mix on my hair overnight, but anything over half an hour will do. Rinse and wash hair as normal. Since I don't let chemicals touch my hair any more, I condition with a mix of yogurt and egg. 

If you have any mixture left over, use it as a face mask. I like to leave my face mask on for at least half an hour. Usually I put it on right before I shower the goo out of my hair. (Remember, no cinnamon on the face!)

The results: silky, shiny, healthy hair and a radiant, moisturized face. (Seriously, my face never felt happier than when I applied the banana for the first time.)

For dry skin, it's recommended to mask 2 to 3 times per week. I mask my hair once or twice in an average week... less in hot weather or when I'm just too busy. Most people will say once a month, but I'm trying to get my hair to grow longer. The mask doesn't necessarily make hair grow (nothing can speed that up), but the added proteins and other good stuff in the hair mask makes it so that the hair I do grow is healthier. 

Although for truly healthy hair, nails, and skin, what you put INTO your body is twice as important as what you put ON it. Proper nutrition, reasonable exercise, lots of water, and a good night's sleep do wonders. 

Maybe next week we'll talk guacamole and hot Latin men... 

1 comment:

Tali Spencer said...

Long hair or short? I actually prefer short, though still long enough for me to grab a handful. :) But what my characters like depends on other factors. Long hair can definitely be hot!