Tag Archives: hockey

Excuses, alibis and ice cream

The Lisas are always thinking. Maybe too much. Too much thinking, not so muchDisco Ball writing. We twist, we turn. We dodge, we duck. Avoiding writing is all very well, but if we don’t write we may have to clean the sink, or make the beds or something to justify our existence.

So, after a long fallow period filled with excuses, alibis and far too many bowls of ice cream, we blew the digital dust off of our work in progress. We’ve actually-factually been editing the book variously known as HSOTI, Thin Ice, or Reason #47 to Talk on the Phone Five Hours a Day.

Once we started, we remembered that this writing stuff is a real blast. Not wanting to leave you, our loyal, cult-like followers out of the fun, we’re sharing a snippet we just edited. Of course we’ll re-edit next week, and again a month from now, but what the hell.

“The hotel does retro and theme weekends. This month it’s ‘Disco Flashback.’”

“You don’t say?”

“They go all out,” Nils nodded as they entered the lobby pulling their bags behind them.

He couldn’t have been more right. A disco ball was suspended from an already cheesy-looking smoky glass chandelier and there were life-size cutouts of the band Abba and John Travolta in full Saturday Night Fever regalia, on either side of the check-in desk. Yes, Gina thought, I survived the disco-era, but what on earth made Nils think I enjoyed it? And then it hit her: Was this all because she told Nils her youthful fantasies about teen recording heartthrob Andy Gibb the last time they were playing a rousing game of pillow talk?

A slightly dazed Gina let herself be led to a room on the top floor of the six-story building.

“The honeymoon suite,” Nils said, scooping her into his arms and carrying her across the threshold while propping the weighted door open with his foot – no mean feat for most mortal men.

He set her down and turned back for the suitcases. While he placed the bags on the luggage rack, Gina took in the room. The focal point of the room was the giant bed covered in a black satin bedspread and a dozen throw pillows in various shades of purple. The most prominent pillow was in the shape of a giant pair of lips. To one side of the bed there was a heart-shaped hot tub. On the other side was a desk/table and two chairs. The table held a large vase filled with red roses and a bottle of champagne protruding from an ice bucket with two glasses sitting next to it.

“We can order room service, if you’re hungry,” Nils suggested.

Gina was not, but she knew her husband was probably famished. “Sure, that would be fine,” she said, plopping down on the bed. The bed plopped back. “What the…” Gina exclaimed, springing up.

“It’s a waterbed!” Nils grinned.

“Do you think it’s a 1970’s original?” Gina poked warily at the rubbery mattress, finally moving over to one of the desk/table chairs.

“How about popping the cork,” she suggested, trying to remain unfazed.

“Don’t you remember what today is?” Nils prodded, uncorking the bottle.

Gina racked her brain. Obviously she should remember the date. What was it? September fourteenth? Fifteenth? She settled on the fourteenth and still could make no connection. She closed one eye in concentration, but quickly reopened it, recalling how it gave her forehead unbalanced wrinkles.

Nils seemed to take this as some sort of epiphany. “I knew you wouldn’t forget about our second first-date.” He handed her a glass and sat down on the bed, facing her.

“We slept together on our first – second – date?” Surely she couldn’t have forgotten that much.

          Nils smiled. “I wish.”

Everything I Need to Know I Learned From Watching the Red Wings

I am the whiny, let’s-just-give-up-you-know-nobody-is-even-reading-our-manuscript Lisa. I blame this pathetic attitude on a lack of exposure to sports. What can I say, I could quote large swathes of Jane Eyre by the time I was 12 and this segued into a deskbound life first as an English Lit major and then as a librarian.

Previously, I did not understand why otherwise normal people would obsess over other people playing a game. But last year I watched the Red Wings battle through the Stanley Cup Playoffs. And,  in short order, I became a hockey fan. Actually, let me be more specific: I became a Red Wings fan. As a fan, I am a work in progress. I don’t understand all the rules yet, (up until last year I only thought of icing as the sort of thin frosting one might put on petit fours) but I am determined to learn. And yes, sports fans, determination is one of the keys.

I am a naturally timid (read: almost pathologically reserved) person who takes criticism deeply to heart. Perhaps spending a year of my life writing a novel then sending it out to total strangers for rejection was not a terribly good idea considering this facet of my personality. Here is where watching hockey has taught me a couple of things.

  1. Never quit. Not too long ago, in two separate games, the Red Wings scored goals with less than a second to go on the clock. And I’m discouraged after two rejections and one mildly scarring critique? Lesson learned.
  2. Everyone loses sometimes. Doesn’t matter how good you are or how much you try. Sometimes you lose. This one is trickier for me. I am still working to change my reaction to possible loss from “okay, I give up before I really even get started” to “shake it off and try harder”.
  3. It’s okay to want to win. Winning means beating someone else, and I am the namby-pamby sort of person who feels sorry for the guy who loses. (Unless it’s the Penguins–that just makes me giggle a little.) I don’t really have that killer edge, but I am starting to hone it.

Even without the handy life lessons, I just enjoy hockey. A Red Wings game is a meditative experience for me. While watching the game I don’t think about anything else. I am in the now. I stop cogitating on work, or query letters, or if the recent rain will cause a leak into the basement. I only lose my yoga-like calm when my favorite player (#23, Brad Stuart) gets an unfair penalty. Then I do shout a helpful word or two to the ref, but that is a lovely cathartic experience, too. It’s all good. And it’s even better when the Wings win.

TOL (the other Lisa) here:  Just a reminder that our latest WIP (work in progress), HSOTI (still secret working title) has a hockey angle to it. And it’s coming along nicely. As a matter of fact, the Lisas will be weekend retreating once again to work on multiple projects with the intensity of a professional goalie during the Stanley Cup playoffs. So on that note, I will not mention that not only is nobody reading our manuscripts, we haven’t exactly cracked the million mile mark of blog stats either. Brew, hatching…big plans, and you, lucky reader, can get in on the ground floor. Such a deal, eh?