Horny Hump Day—Malchen and Pali

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My What’s Up Wednesday post is here.

Warning:  Not safe for work or appropriate for those under 18!

Welcome back to Horny Hump Day, a weekly hop where writers share three erotic sentences of a book or WIP. I’m now sharing from a hiatused WIP with the horribly unoriginal working title Malchen and Pali, one of my two unconventional 1950s romances. The existing material hasn’t had much editing or fleshing-out yet.

Nineteen-year-old Malchen (Amalia) and 21-year-old Pali have started making out on the purple sofa at Pali’s new rented house, and Pali has removed her bra and blouse. Malchen is barely five feet tall, has very petite proportions, and doesn’t even have a full A cup, but Pali doesn’t care about any of that.

Kisédes is a Hungarian term of endearment roughly translated as “sweetheart.”

***

Malchen slowly reached for the buttons on his shirt, her fingers trembling, then drew back her hands.

“Go ahead, you can do whatever you want to me,” he smiled. “I’ll still respect you, kisédes.”

Horny Hump Day—Malchen and Pali

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My What’s Up Wednesday post is here.

Warning:  Not safe for work or appropriate for those under 18!

Welcome back to Horny Hump Day, a weekly hop where writers share three erotic sentences of a book or WIP. I’m now sharing from a hiatused WIP with the horribly unoriginal working title Malchen and Pali, one of my two unconventional 1950s romances. The existing material hasn’t had much editing yet, mostly only on pieces I’ve shared for Six Sentence Sunday.

Nineteen-year-old Malchen (Amalia) has gone to visit 21-year-old Pali at the house he’s started renting, and after supper, they moved into the living room and started making out. For the moment, Malchen forgets about the danger of Pali discovering the surgical scar on her stomach and abdomen, and lets him round second base.

***

Pali began fumbling with the buttons on her blouse, his fingers shaking. As soon as he’d undone all her buttons, he reached around back to unhook the embarrassingly small Maidenform she barely made a dent in. Pali’s eyes lit up and he smiled an awestruck grin at her at his first sight of her abnormally small breasts, the kind of smile she’d assumed was reserved for more womanly proportions.

***

My basic, very short-form working synopsis:

No one ever thought skirt-chasing playboy Pali would ever settle down for just one woman, let alone that sweet little Malchen would be the one to steal his heart and make him never want another woman again. But Malchen fears this is all too good to be true and that Pali will leave her once he finds out about what was done to her at Janowska. Pali is desperate to have a bunch of little Weisses, and Malchen knows she can’t have children. Will Malchen ever find the courage to tell him her secret, and will Pali stay or go if he learns his love was sterilized?

Horny Hump Day—Malchen and Pali

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Happy Shavuot!

Warning:  Not safe for work or appropriate for those under 18!

Welcome back to Horny Hump Day, a weekly hop where writers share three erotic sentences of a book or WIP. I’m moving over to one of my hiatused WIPs, with the terribly unoriginal working title Malchen and Pali. It’s one of my unconventional 1950s romances (the other being the hiatused Newark Love Story). This one features Amalia von Hinderburg (Malchen) and Paul Weiss (who goes by his Hungarian nickname Pali), and is set from 1951-54. Some readers may remember them from Six Sentence Sunday.

In this scene, it’s April 1952 and 19-year-old Malchen has gone to visit 21-year-old Pali at the house he’s just started renting. After dinner, they move to the purple sofa in the living room, where Pali starts talking about his plans for decorating the house. As he’s talking, his voice trails off.

***

Malchen thought nothing of it when Pali leaned over to kiss her, but her heartbeat quickened when, after coming up for air, Pali turned his attentions to kissing her neck and slid his hands under the back of her blouse. 

“You don’t mind this, do you?”  he whispered.

Malchen shook her head, her skin tingling at the sensations of Pali’s fingertips making little circles on her back.

***

My working synopsis:

No one ever thought skirt-chasing playboy Pali would ever settle down for just one woman, let alone that sweet little Malchen would be the one to steal his heart and make him never want another woman again. But Malchen fears this is all too good to be true and that Pali will leave her once he finds out about what was done to her at Janowska. Pali is desperate to have a bunch of little Weisses, and Malchen knows she can’t have children. Will Malchen ever find the courage to tell him her secret, and will Pali stay or go if he learns his love was sterilized?

Why I’ve gone indie, Part III

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I was rather dismayed and surprised to discover how common it is these days for writers to be compelled to rewrite and revise a book at an agent or editor’s pressure, often for no other reason than to fit more neatly into one age-based category or come across as more commercial, trendy, marketable. Some books certainly need intense revising, rewriting, restructuring, and editing, while others need more of a light polish, but that should depend upon the writer’s talent and the book itself. Not just because someone else said so.

Since I always thought of my books as being more about young people than specifically YA or mature MG, I’ve ended up with a number of characters who, by modern market standards, are awkwardly-aged for the types of stories they’re in. Most of them also age dramatically over the entire book. For example, Lazarus of my hiatused WIP Lazarus Lost and Found starts out as 13, in mid-February 1944, and goes to age 17 in late 1947. The things he goes through are extremely mature, complex, and dark, far above the typical upper MG book.

Lazarus’s little sister Malchen (Amalia) is even younger in the first book featuring her. My hiatused WIP The Natural Splash of a Living Being starts in late September 1944, when she’s not quite 12, and will go to probably her 16th birthday in November 1948. (She has the same birthday as Harpo Marx.) Again, the content is extremely dark and adult in spite of her age. It even starts with these lines:

In another lifetime, or another place at least, Amalia von Hinderburg would’ve been starting sixth grade, dreading menarche, developing a bustline, doing the things normal girls her age did.

But instead of graduating elementary school, she now held diplomas from the Warsaw Ghetto, Majdanek, and Janowska, and was in the process of earning her degree from Gross-Rosen, specializing in Christianstadt.

**************

I deliberately made my Atlantic City characters’ age ambiguous when I did my radical rewrite and restructuring of The Very First. At most, it’s said they’re under 12. I thought about it, and I just don’t feel right aging them up even two years. By the time their true age will be revealed, the reader will be used to how they’re deliberately written as a fair bit older than their chronological age.

I did, however, tone down a lot of the inappropriate situations and language in TVF, and will continue scaling it back in the other books. As an indie, I can make my own judgment calls on how to rewrite, what to leave in, what to delete, what to change. I won’t be told to either age them up to perhaps 12 or 13 from the start, or to take out all the mature situations.

I have to shake my head at the “advice” to combine or delete characters just to make a book shorter, or to remove subplots and scenes. Why would you do this if there’s no compelling reason beyond you were made to feel it’s wrong to write anything over a certain length? I decided on my own to axe the majority of my Atlantic City characters’ new friends. Beyond five notable exceptions, none of them really do anything important, aren’t real major characters, never carry storylines.

If I were being traditionally published, I’m sure I’d be told to remove the orphanage girls from my Russian novels, even though they’re there for a very important reason. When reading the first draft of my first Russian historical in April 2011, for the first time in almost 10 years, I was blown away by how I was able to weave so many different characters and story threads together, so that they all ultimately link up. I honestly don’t know if I would’ve been able to write that book so well had I been older.

I tend towards ensemble casts, which isn’t so popular anymore in mainstream fiction.

Little Ragdoll and You Cannot Kill a Swan are superlong, and a traditional editor or agent would no doubt argue they start in the “wrong” place. Probably I’d be told LR “really” starts by Chapter 10, “The Sacrifice of Gemma,” and the reader “doesn’t need” to see the development of the relationship between the Troy siblings, their black-hearted mother, and their generational poverty. But without that base, nothing that happens after the late-start inciting incident makes much sense. There has to be grounding background and context.

Likewise, I’d probably be told Swan “really should start” possibly around the time Lyuba gets pregnant with Tatyana, or when she and Ivan get their signals badly crossed and end up in unwanted charade relationships with other people. But again, the buildup to the greater drama is important. Starting by Chapter 3 or 4 would strip away all the context of the history between Lyuba, Ivan, and Boris.

Sometimes a song doesn’t have any vocals till over a minute in, and that doesn’t make the lead-in instrumentation annoying or “too long.” It just means it’s building towards something awesome. Without the long lead-in, the song isn’t nearly the same.

WeWriWa—“I’ll show myself out”

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Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors, where participants share 8 sentences from a book or WIP. I’ve been sharing from a hiatused WIP with the working title Malchen and Pali, an early 1950s love story between two young immigrants with somewhat different wartime experiences.

Pali came to America in 1942 via Switzerland, before his native Hungary was occupied by the Nazis, thus escaping the worst. Malchen was unable to leave occupied Europe, and eventually went through six camps by the age of twelve and a half. She’s just told Pali they shouldn’t get married because she was sterilized, and begged him to find someone new, someone who can have kids.

***

Malchen got up. “I’ll show myself out.  And you must surely realize that we shouldn’t ever see each other again.”

Pali stood dumbfounded as she ran to the door and went out into the night, running down the darkened streets.  After several seconds that seemed like years, he left the house too and began running after her, calling her name.  In the dark he lost sight of her, and began running up and down side streets trying to find her, all the while having to push past trick-or-treaters in his way.

Fifteen minutes later he found her crumpled up on the grassy part of the curb, sobbing hysterically, her face turned against a tree.  She refused to look at him when he gently touched her on the shoulder.