Wetsday: No More Florida Jokes

I am that rara avis in terris, a native Floridian. Not just a native, but in at least one strand of my lineage, a sixth-generation Floridian. In the land of retirees and military stations, there aren’t very many of us.

And on behalf of the couple of dozen of us who consider the Sunshine State to be our ancestral home, let me tell y’all: we are getting tired of this.

Casey Anthony, George Zimmerman, the face-eating zombie … None of the morons who have gotten their fifteen minutes of fame lately represent the Florida I know and love. Go all the way back to the days of the hanging chads (remember those?) and you can see that the media feeds on stuff that makes my state look ridiculous.

So, in light of my recent excursion to watch a gripping dramatization of the lengths to which young men must go to make a living in this economy (aka Magic Mike), I thought I would give you an example of my Florida.

Remember, this is the land of football, beaches, and military guys. That’s why true Floridians know that our best home-grown product isn’t citrus or strawberries – its the Boys from Old Florida.

Without further ado, I give you the Pride of Tampa, Mr Channing Tatum!

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A Totally Obvious Choice For Wetsday

Back to water-soaked gentlemen this Wednesday. I know, control your disappointment.

I recently went to the cinematic equivalent of an E.L. James book, the must-see movie of the year for middle-aged women who write romance novels – Magic Mike. And, to sum up the movie’s plot, direction, and cinematography:

Meh.

It wasn’t a great movie. Part of the time I was thinking “I’ve seen this before” – then I realized it was basically Burlesque on testosterone. Part of the time, I was thinking “How long before Channing Tatum dances again?”. The rest of the time, was was thinking, “Mr. McConnaughey, meet shampoo. Shampoo, this is Matthew .”

So, no. Not a great movie. Sense & Sensibility and The King’s Speech need not fear the loss of my affections.

But (spoiler alert), I will share with you the best thing about Magic Mike:

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I just saved you 9 bucks. Make your own popcorn.

Ever Feel Like You’re Rattling Around All Alone?

Where are all my Southern Sizzle gals hiding these days? Here’s a wet guy just to keep you all interested in coming back

I do. !

Wetsday: Becks!

I’ve not been good about posting, have I, dear ones? Between the writing and the day job and the family and the other things I simply have to do, things fall off the table.

But when I ran across the cover shot for this coming month’s Elle UK, I knew I had to share it with my fellow lovers of attractive gentlemen, water-logged variety.

So here he is (for once without Posh lurking about, looking pissed off about something): everyone’s favorite footballer, Mr. David Beckham!

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Wetsday from Arabella

I don’t know, guys. Sometimes you just lose the Muse. And those of you who are familiar with my Muse, Dearest Bridget, know her to be one of the more flighty of the breed.

OmiGod, Bridget! Come back! I didn’t realize you were standing there. No, sweetie! I meant that in the most flattering of ways! Here, come sit down and get comfy. I’ve got something ofa treat for you today.

So, as I was saying: I just haven’t been feeling the inspiration here lately. Haven’t found nay thing that got me in the blog writing mood.

No, Bridget! I’m not blaming you for that! Of course the people know how hard you work on my stories. They love you for it … Yes, I love you too. Here, let me get you a cuppa that lovely Darjeeling.

Better? Ok, wait right there.

So. Where were we? Yeah. Right. Inspiration. One of the best ways to get your LOVELY AND TALENTED MUSE to her Happy Place is with music. So for today’s little Wetsday treat, I went back to an old favorite – It’s Raining Men.

You may be familiar with the Austen Heroes in Period Dress video set to this song – it’s a YouTube classic. But here it is, updated with some Dan Stevens (of Downton Abbey) yumminess, plus some Firth, Depp, Gryffudd, etc.

So y’all enjoy!

Scoot over, Bridget! Jeez, give a girl some room here!

Hot, Wet, Silken Sands

So Silken Sands is this weekend – and its indisputably the finest beach-front Writers Conference around!

The Sizzlers have told you about the conference – that the winners of the Silken Star Self-Published Contest will be announced, that Editors & Agents will be taking pitches, not in a scruffy meeting room, but on a deck overlooking the sugar-white beach, that there will be a fabulous Come-as-your-Characters costume ball. But leave it for Romancemama to give you a heads up on the real attraction at Silken Sands.

I’m talking Navy. Marines. Hot young pilots relaxing at a beach bar in their flight suits. Husky, well-exercised young men playing beach volleyball in nothing but a pair of Navy bike shorts. Officers and gentlemen out on the town in Navy dress whites or Marine dress blues. Seriously, Pensacola and P’Beach are full of em.

The other day, Jillian Chantal and I met fellow author Micki Gibson at a sidewalk cafe in Pensacola. Whilst we sat there for an hour, a Navy Pilot in his olive-drab flight suit wandered by. Hardly had we tucked our eyeballs back into their sockets when here came a gorgeous Marine in his Dress Blues. And that is just business as usually here in Pensacola.

So if you like lovely, healthy young soldiers and sailors in various states of dress and undress (and, lets be honest, who doesn’t?) Silken Sands is the conference for you.

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In Memory of First Love

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Someone can be a part of your life, even though you’ve never actually met them. In these days of mass media and instant celebrity, a lot of us know more about the Kardashians than our own family, which is a tragedy, and something that I want to blog about. But that is not the point today.
Today, I am sad. A lovely little piece of my history came back to my attention last week, and I want to mourn, not only the loss of a pop idol, but the passing of my youth. Davy Jones, only 66 years old, died last week. I say “only 66,” although there was a time when Davy and I both thought that that was an incredible age, practically ancient, and certainly no longer entitled to the dreams and plans of youth. Now, getting well into my second half-century, I can see that 66 years is just a blink of God’s eye.
Davy was my first true love, and I adored him with every fiber of my elementary-school being. He was cute, he was talented, he was funny – and he was short! (I’ve always been vertically challenged.) He was the perfect fantasy, always cheerful, always understanding, always beautiful.
Okay, I don’t know. Maybe he wasn’t. Maybe he drank, had a bad temper, kicked small kittens for fun. But I never heard anything bad about him, and God knows, nowadays everyone will tell every filthy, ugly secret they have for a shot on Oprah. (I’m looking at you, McKenzie Phillips.) Davy was, and remained, a teenage girl’s perfect beau.
I took child and adolescent psychology. I can give you chapter and verse about why slightly-built, mild-mannered singers who do songs about daydreams and true love become heart-throbs for very young women who are still afraid of anything “other” – meaning masculine, aggressive, realistic. But understanding why I loved Davy, why my cousin loved Andy Gibb, why my daughter loved Justin – heck, why Marie Antoinette loved Mozart – does not diminish the feeling at all.
Davy, you were a lovely, talented boy who became a charming, talented man. While it hurt to see the grey hairs and the lines on your face, I’m glad we had you with us for as long as we did.

You were always too busy singin’ to put anybody down.

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A Do-It-Yourself Wetsday

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Ain’t it always the way? You get things in order and chugging along smoothly in one or two areas of your life, and something else falls apart. And with the multitude of roles I try to fill, well, my poor personality isn’t just split, it’s as fractured as Medusa’s hand mirror. If I’ve got the day job in hand, the writing falls apart. If my family is happy, a friend has a crisis. You know how it goes.

I’m pleased to report that day job is going well, I’m getting some writing done, I’ve got the DH & DD’s under control, and I’m even sticking to my diet!!! So naturally, my poor muse, Bridget, is nearing her breaking point. The poor dear just looked at me this morning and said, “Blogging? Really?”. You know, that nasty sarcastic “really” – think David Spade on Saturday Noght Live.

So I’m here to confess – I am totally without inspiration this Wersday. Zip. Nada. I got nuthin. (I trace this problem to Monday night, when Bridget and I got so busy writing that we missed the weekly #mancandymonday festival on Twitter. What a great source for — research. Yeah, that’s it. Research.)

So help poor Bridget out. Send us some inspiration! Please post a comment giving me the names of your favorite attractive male celebrities. (Yes, I am catering to my own orientation here. Deal with it.) For each one I can find on Google images,* you will get an entry to win a $10.00 Amazon gift card, suitable for buying one of the Sizzlers’ current or future ebooks! Such an opportunity!

So send me those fellas’ names! (and addresses if you have them!)

*Note: if I can’t find your guy in Google Images, he ain’t that big a celebrity. So, no, your boyfriend doesn’t count, no matter how cute he is. You already got a prize when you found him.)

Hot Ginger Wetsday!

Y’all know I love me some ginger. There’s something about that red hair, the cute “Opie from Mayberry” vibe, not to mention the legendary temper. (Y’all also know I love me a man with a temper – Jonny Lee Miller in Emma, Billy Zane in Titanic, etc.) So I’m always on the lookout for an attractive gentleman of the auburn persuasion.
But today’s gentleman really kind of snuck up on me. I’d seen him in lots of things, but frankly, when a guy is on the same bill with Gerard Butler (300), James McEvoy (X-Men: First Class), Brad Pitt (Inglourious Basterds), and Donnie Wahlberg (Band of Brothers), well, hey, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. And by virtue of his very formidable acting talent, he just took on the persona of his character and didn’t really stick in my mind.
Ok, I’m sorry! Dearest Mr. Fassbender, never again will I overlook you and your ginger-haired studliness. After your stellar interpretation of the original tight-assed (in more ways than one) romance hero, Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre, I am a card-carrying Fassy-Fan!
Ladies, I give you – Mr. Michael Fassbender!

A Wetsday Reassessment

I’m not afraid to admit when I’m wrong. I’d like to say that’s because it hardly ever happens, but the truth is, I’ve just had lots of practice and I’ve built up an immunity to the whole process. And today, kids, I am here to say that I made a mistake, and I’m gonna rectify it.

See, our guest of the day was one of those rare people who was blessed with it all — looks, family connections, wealth, and a whole wagonload of talent. He first caught my attention in 1992, when he was simply amazing in the title role in CHAPLIN, deservedly nominated for an Oscar.

But he seemed determined to throw it all away, spiraling down and out in a haze of drug charges, ill-fated attempts at rehab, and roles that were frankly unworthy of his talent when not impaired. He couldn’t even hold onto a supporting role in one of my least-favorite TV shows of all-time, ALLY MCBEAL. He was case as a love interest for Calista Flockhart (a truly weird-looking stick insect, BTW), but after getting two drug arrests in short order, the character was written out. I counted Mr. Downey as a lost cause. He once had potential, but he was not worth watching anymore.

But lately, my DDs have been on an Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes kick, and I’ve watched the new, reinvented and sober Mr. Downey with surprise. All the wit, charm, and acting skills that were so evident in Chaplin are back in full force. But this time Mr. Downey has more mature air, that of a man who has taken his falls, learned his lesson, and come back with new wisdom and insight. And kids, if that ain’t sexy, I don’t know what is!

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I understand that Mr. Downey gives the credit for his recovery and return to the top of Hollywood’s A-list to his wife, Susan Downey. Kind of cute story — they met on the set of Gothika, where she worked with the producer. She turned him down, not once but twice, before agreeing to go out with him, as “he’s an actor; I have a real job.” But he ended up proposing to her the night before her 30th birthday, and they’ve been together ever since.

I have a friend (yes, I really do!) who has written a book which Mr. Downey has optioned for a movie, and he reports that, having had dinner with Robert and Susan, they are just as real and down-to-earth as one could hope for. They were especially excited when my friend met them, as they had just found out that they are having their first child (a boy, due in February.)

So, I humbly eat my serving of crow. I was completely mistaken about Robert Downey, Jr.

I mean, after all, isn’t “the wealthy rake from a good family who tries to throw his life away in dissipation and wild living til he is redeemed by the love of a good woman (who is not in her first blush of youth), then lives happily ever after surrounded by family” just about the most beloved trope of romance? Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the modern day version of the quintessential Regency hero and heroine: Mr. and Mrs. Robert Downey, Jr.!

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