Friday, October 24, 2014

Kiss a little longer...

Very often we write what we know. Little slivers of ourselves wedge into those characters we create. They like the things we enjoy. Say things we typically use in conversation. Work in a field we at least know something about.

At the same time, when we craft a story we step into someone else’s shoes and live outside our box. Which means RESEARCH. After all, crime writers aren’t always in law enforcement. Time travel is out so historical authors can only research a time long past. Fantasy writers venture out into a completely different realm of imagination.

But that’s the thing I love about writing romance. Your real life experience AND your research are right at your fingertips and, well… fun! Granted, there are usually other aspects of the story that also involve research and experience but for the purposes of this post we’re staying on the love train.

A few months back I read this article called The "15-Second Kiss" Experiment. The basic premise of the article states that couples should commit to a “15 second kiss” each day to stay connected. Fifteen seconds doesn’t seem like very long, but honestly, if you are timing it, it’s a decent chunk of time. Enough time for a kiss to shift from chaste-mindless peck to something more intimate. You might get so caught up in your busyness and your routine that something as simple and as lovely as a real kiss becomes something you begin to neglect.

To be honest, I tried the experiment, and sadly, after a few days the mandatory fifteen second smooch got lost in the shuffle again. But the thing is, I still think about it. No, I don’t log my kiss on the calendar with a tidy little check mark, but when I’m snuggled next to my hubby at the end of the day I ask myself if we had a moment of intimacy or if the romance got trampled under the dirty diapers and the pile of Lego's. And then I think, wouldn’t that starry-eyed 13-year old Amy be sad to know that once she did snag her handsome prince and got to making babies that all those kisses she’d dreamed up got taken for granted? That it all just became mundane and routine? Is that the love story we would write for ourselves? Not this girl!

Since I’m such a hopeless romantic at heart, and since I tend to love reading and write all things schmaltzy, and spicey, and romancey, I realized that my interactions with my husband aren’t just personal experience I draw from for inspiration but also research. Really, really fun research!

It boils down to this... (you may want to jot this down.)
If you want to write great romance BE ROMANTIC!

Take note of the things you do that ignite that certain spark from your main squeeze. Try new things. Jump on that man when he walks through the door and plant one on him. Hold hands. Give a massage. Write a love note. Concentrate on the sensations that might have become commonplace after years of hitting that comfortable stride. Tastes, scents, textures that might have become so second nature they’re almost invisible are all still there if you bother looking for them…. And they all become a beautiful palate of flavors for writing a romance novel.

So go ahead, in the name of research, kiss a little longer. Why the heck not, right?

Curious minds want to know… do you kiss your sweetie every day? Even if you don’t, do you still take the time to really kiss? If not this is your wake up call. Side effects of kissing can include an endorphin rush, feelings of connection and desirability, foot popping, smiling, and general happiness. Warning: Kissing may lead to other fun frisky behavior guaranteed to improve your day. Get to smoochin’ people!
Amy Leigh Simpson is a writer, singer, runner, foodie, coffee-lovin’-chocoholic. When she’s not dreaming up saucy love stories sprinkled with suspense and mystery, she’s chasing around her two adorable tow-headed toddler miscreants (Ahem)—boys, playing dress up with her miracle princess baby, and being the very blessed wife to the coolest, most hunky hero on the planet (sorry, ladies—taken). Though Amy doesn’t use her Sports Medicine degree for anything but patching up daily boo boo’s, she enjoys weaving medical aspects into her writing. Represented by the oh-so-wise and dashing Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary Inc.


Casey said...

Sigh...I do love a great kiss in fiction. Maybe someday I'll actually get one of my own. ;)

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Oh, but Casey... Think of all the kisses you have waiting to be written in your own story! So many of my "firsts" are all gone! You've got all of it to look forward to! "someday my prince will come..." ;)

Jill Lynn said...

Love this blog, Amy! What a great perspective. :)

Casey said...

Very true, Amy! And I have to admit: someday I want an in-the-rain kiss. They seem ever so delightful in fiction. ;)

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

I can think of another wet environment that makes for even better real life kisses. Don't think too hard on that one until you're married, Casey ;)

Thanks Jill-dear! Love seeing you here :)

Jeanne Takenaka said...

Amy, I loved this post. :) And yes, after almost nineteen years of marriage with my hubby, we still make out. Almost every day. Unless one of us is sick. Maybe I'm silly, but I love it when my boys say, "Oh no. They're doing IT again." Great post. I like your idea of research. ;)

Amber Perry said...

AMY!!! I love this! Me and hubby still love to make out, but with kids its hard to be as spontaneous as we want. This is a great reminder that maybe I just need to pull him into the closet and shut the door more often.... that gives me an idea. ;) HUGS

Laurie Tomlinson said...

<3 <3 <3 va-va-voom!

Now we know where your fantastic kiss scenes come from :)

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Jeanne, you spicy thing! Love that! You've got me beat. We definitely don't make out every day. Not that I'd be opposed to that but we make sure to be very affectionate, especially in front of the kids. I want they to grow up in a home where they see an example of a happy marriage. Where they will get to see (even if they don't particularly want to) what a blessing passion is when we wait for the right person. :) I fully intend to embarrass the heck out of them someday. Looking forward to it ;)

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Oh Amber darling, I adore you! And I totally agree, closets are VERY handy places indeed. ;) Wait until you read my research--ahem, I mean my fictional stories involving closet kisses. I'm quite fond of them. Isn't that right, Laurie?

Pepper Basham said...

Sigh.... kisses.
Love kisses. Fictional and non.

And on FB you said 'for research purposes'?
yeah, right! ;-)
You romantic!!

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Hey, it is too research... Or fodder. Or both! ;) muah!

Sherrinda Ketchersid said... were dreaming of kisses at 13? Is that old enough? I can't remember that far back...snort!

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

I think I HAD my first extremely horrible kiss at about that age , Sher. Not a fond memory!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Wow Amy, Hot and stirring. I especially love the homework.
Kissing, hugging, hand holding, googly eyes in front of the kids is A okay and has been in our house.