Tonight is Critique night – but I don’t dread it. I’m lucky enough to be a part of the Shake A Spear Critique Group, a relatively new, lively, and inspiring group of 6 awesome ladies. We all write romance, and we love what we do, though we have our own style and genre preference. By 8:30 pm we’d finished an hour plus of constructive criticism, taking turns going over each others submitted pages with care, and were now preparing to go our separate ways.
And then he walked in. In a perfect world, a classical guitar would have begun to play. A gentle breeze would have blown through his curly black locks and he would’ve been forced to walk across the Starbucks in slow motion. Seriously. I mean, EVERY person in the store noticed the guy. (Sadly, no one had a classical guitar or fan readily available – it would have been quite a show.) It was impossible not to notice his shirt, stretched taut over a perfectly sculpted chest, biceps that stretched his sleeve cuffs and thighs that threatened to pop his jeans…
I felt sympathy for every male specimen in the Starbucks, they were either staring or glaring at the fellow. It was kind of like a Ferrari pulling into a VW Bug parking lot. My table, a table full of women who normally have a way with words and plenty to say, was silent. And though our meeting had officially ended, we all found ourselves loitering around the table to watch him walk past out table, one more time – One more really good ogle. I think I made some comment about bouncing a quarter off of his pectorals, just to ascertain that they were, indeed, rock hard. It didn’t feel appropriate. And though I contemplated taking a picture of Adonis on my cell phone, I thought that might also be inappropriate.
I write less than perfect heroes and heroines. In my personal opinion, flaws equate to interest. Where some might prefer the chiseled features and perfect torso of Fabio-esque covered romances of the past, I’m good with a more realistic take on the male physique. I’m into the whole ‘beauty on the inside’ thing.
But Adonis did get me thinking about heroes, the ideal male stereotype and my need for flawed characters. IF I ever decide to sculpt a hero in the image of the 15th Street B&N Starbucks Adonis – I’ll compromise. I’ll make certain he’s rich with internal character flaws because there wasn’t one visible to this discerning eye.
So thank you Adonis. Thank you for broadening my repertoire of acceptable heroes, thank you for strolling by our table, and thank you for providing all five of us with the inspiration to go home and write with gusto!
Oh, and, fyi – we meet every other Thursday.