Descriptions for heat levels in book list

------holding hands, perhaps a gentle kiss
♥♥ ---- more kisses but no tongue-- no foreplay
♥♥♥ ---kissing, tongue, caressing, foreplay & pillow talk
♥♥♥♥ --all of above, full sexual experience including climax
♥♥♥♥♥ -all of above including coarser language and sex more frequent

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Title by muse

While I have been writing on the Oregon historical, third in its series, I was listening to some music that had wonderful imagery. I gave up my (much beloved) working titles for ones that came to me with the music, titles with more emotion and imagery to suit each story. The change (even with reluctance at giving up my original idea) was serendipitous.

Their change, however, left me dissatisfied with the two Arizona historical titles. Although they had seemed okay, they had no emotion. I spent probably a couple of weeks thinking, whenever I wasn't doing something else-- what could I use instead? Since they are the two I plan to bring out first, their titles were pressuring me.

Finally, frustrated with running possible names through my head, I said to myself-- If I really have a muse, get me a title. I need your help because I am not getting it. 

I woke up the next morning with the first of the titles (the second came right after the first). I was happy and gave full credit to the muse, whatever a muse might be. 

Then I thought of something that stopped me cold. I had something that would work very well with this title and its book. It was one of my own dreams from probably fifteen years ago. The dream had been so vivid that I even created a digital painting from it. I always took the dream to have symbolism for my own life, and it has; but I never once thought I'd use it in any of my books.

For a moment I thought-- but that was my dream. Not sure I wanted it to belong to this story. But I knew it did belong. It fit perfectly. 

That next morning I wrote it into the story. It might be that readers will think what an unbelievable dream, couldn't be real. Except I had that dream exactly as I wrote it for my heroine. Others might think I am writing an historical about shape-shifters. It's not. The dream is symbolic for how we can or cannot heal others.

The other irony about this is that the time I dreamed it was probably not far off from when I was writing the original draft of the book. Perhaps the meaning in that dream was always intended for that book, but it took until now for me to see it. I try to be open to creative inspirations. Sometimes I can be pretty dense.

An excerpt showing where it fit into the book follows:

Getting ready for bed, Abigail felt restless, as though something was coming but she could not put her fingers on what. She lay awake longer than usual trying to blank images from her mind before she finally fell into a deep sleep.
An Indian woman stood back in the shadows in a grove of aspen trees. Snow was on the ground. She was watching men of her tribe as they advanced with bows in their hands, arrows at the ready. Beyond a pack of wolves was running but one stopped and approached the men, standing as though waiting. The men drew back their bows and two arrows struck the wolf, one in the chest, the other the loins. It fell. The men walked toward it. Satisfied, they left the clearing.

The woman walked to the wolf's body. She understood it had been killed to protect the tribe, that the village needed this ritual for its safety. Perhaps the wolf had agreed to be the sacrifice. Then she saw the wolf was not dead. She made a decision to tend its wounds. As she applied the poultices and remedies she knew, she understood she was going against the good of her tribe. 

It was a shock when the body of the wolf morphed into that of a man. He was not appreciative of her efforts on his behalf but lay still as she tended him. Finally she realized she had done all she could but her efforts were not enough to heal him. He had the power to heal himself but she was unsure he wanted to do so. The dream ended before she had the answer to whether he would.
When Abigail woke, she lay in bed remembering the dream, trying to understand the message. It had been so vivid, as though she was the woman. She had never dreamed such a thing before, never even imagined it though her dreams were often vivid and fanciful.

She had heard talk that men and women had the power to do this changing of their form. There was the fear talk that witches did it regularly. That didn't appear to be the message of this dream. It all felt symbolic not real but a symbolic of what?
Dressing for church, she tried to put the questions aside. Silly dream. Hardly worth wondering at deeper meanings for such things. That’s what her father always said-- what the pastor would say. She would tell no one of it. Symbolically vivid-- it had no meaning.