For those who didn’t know, I’ve signed with a new publisher and my first book out with them, That Think You Do, should be available late Nov-Dec ’22.
- the backstory and Chapter 1 – Manly Men Thinking Manly Thoughts Manickly (and Women Putting Up With Them)
- Chapter 2 – Avoiding Deadly Silences
As always, let me know what you think.
Men, pay attention:
Taunus swung the axe effortlessly, almost gracefully for a man his size. Up, over, down and the wood split evenly, almost willingly, cleaving cleanly in two and falling to either side of the stump he used as a brace. He took a neckerchief from his backpocket and wiped the sweat from his brow. Catching Raina staring at him, one hand raised to block the setting sun from blinding her, he smiled and pantomimed his circus-strongman origins at her until they both laughed.
Suddenly she screamed. A bear reared over Greya.
Greya, sitting in front of the cabin playing with the cornstalk doll Taunus made for her, turned.
The bear waived its forepaws over the child. Greya held her doll up towards the monster as if offering her toy to a friend.
Suddenly there was a silent blur and Taunus stood between Greya and the bear. Just stood. Unmoving. Calmly breathing. His dark eyes smiling at the bear. Raina heard his voice, low, soothing.
What was he saying, Raina wondered.
The bear lowered itself to all fours. It sniffed in Taunus’ direction, growled something — or said something, Raina couldn’t be sure — and trundled off.
Taunus turned and lifted Greya in his arms, tickled her until she laughed, kissed her, lowered her to her feet and nudged her in Raina’s direction. The child waddled off towards her mother.
Greya safely beside Raina, Taunus walked back to the woodpile. The sun glistened off his back, the old wounds receding as they realized today there would be no battle.
Taunus moved quietly but not so quietly Raina wasn’t warned of his approach as he left the surrounding wood.
What game today, she wondered. She kept her eyes closed and stretched on the blanket, enjoying the tickles of sunlight on her face. Behind her Greya cooed as she played with the cornstalk doll Taunus made for her.
Suddenly Raina felt her face in shadow. Small flowers gently took over the sunlight’s tickling role. She looked up to find Taunus kneeling beside her, showering her with petals of rose, oleander, and orange blossom.
His eyes echoed his words, “Every morning I wake and know there’s one more day of memories I have of you.”
He bent over her and she welcomed his soft, hesitant kiss. She pulled him closer, returning his kiss, letting them linger for a moment in the warmth of the setting sun, the warmth of their many years together.
Greya’s doll fell between them and the child giggled. They pulled away from each other, laughing and smiling.
Suddenly another shadow engulfed them all. A bear, rearing, waived its paws over them.
Taunus threw what petals remained in his hand at the bear. “Argos, old friend. Have you lost your honey?”
The bear fell to all fours, sneezed at the sun and trundled off.
“Greya,” said Raina. “Go find some honey for your pet. Father and I have things to discuss.”
Greya picked up her doll and waddled to where the bear waited, then the two of them went deeper into the surrounding wood.
Pick one that you think will get a woman’s attention.
Take your time. Think about it. Got your answer? Good. The truth is these two similar fantasy narratives are very demographic dependent. Specifically, age demographic. The first one will catch the attention of most women up to about seventy-five years of age and might even go beyond with some. The second one will catch the attention of women between 35-55 definitely, then the outliers in decreasing numbers.
(and yes, I’m talking in general here, not in specifics)
The other interesting aspect of the two is that the former is designed more for younger women than older women. Mature women will appreciate the former but the latter fantasy will stay with them.
I can offer a day long class in the specifics of what each narrative does and how it works, and let’s keep it simple. In romance, in marketing (just another form of romance in case you didn’t know), in sex (just another form of marketing in case you didn’t know):
- Appreciate your woman’s (or audience’s) life and their experience.
The former was written to appeal to people starting out in life, in a world with possible threats and dangers and hardship, a world still in need of heroes and heroines. The latter is designed to appeal to people who recognize not all threats are what they seem, that sometimes laughter is more attractive than heavy-breathing, that years don’t make one old, only wiser, and that play can be more seductive than strength.
- Let them know you value them for what they offer you.
The former Taunus wouldn’t play strong-man unless Raina was there to see, the latter Taunus values each day’s memories of her.
- Make moves together and you’ll rarely move apart.
This one, I admit, assumes the woman in question is a partner and not a conquest. Then again, you probably wouldn’t have read this far if you’re only goal was one of conquest. The former Taunus protects the child without resorting to violence and waits until mother and child are safe. The latter Taunus lets Raina know his interest and lets her decide her interest, then the two decide together.
What most men won’t find obvious in either narrative (and women will recognize quickly enough) is that Taunus is comfortable with who he is. He never has to prove anything to himself, to Raina, his child, or the bear.
So the secret to being with a Real Woman? Be a real man.
Read That Think You Do Chapter 4 – Change (which is Constant) and Managing the Work-Life Balance.
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