The first TRS writing contest set-up was this:
Character A is a quirky critic who's secretly attracted to Character B, an eccentric artist who lives in the apartment right above Character A. Character A is on a deadline to get her review finished, but Character B is making a lot of noise, and it's very distracting. Write a 750-1000 word confrontation scene.
This is what I came up with:
Character A became the heroine, Janae Palmer, the reclusive, introverted book reviewer and Character B, Owen Quinlan, became the rodeo clown/bullfighter living in the apartment above her. I added two more layers to Owen's character: 1) he's recovering from a rodeo-related broken back and during his "grounded" months, he pursues his artistic side. They meet because he's cranked-up his music to set the mood for painting, and Janae is at her wit's end listening to him stomp around on her ceiling, because she can't concentrate on writing her book review. When she barges into his apartment, because he hasn’t locked his door, she startles him, he swings his painter's palette around, smacks her in the nose, and knocks her out. Now that's a confrontation. *wink*
So, The Dance was born, but I didn't develop the story until two years later and, alas, it was title-less. (I'm terrible with titles.) I was nearing the end of the story—with the dreaded black moment looming—when the title came to me. I had Owen tell Janae to listen to a Garth Brooks song (The Dance) and if the words "reached" her, he'd know it because she'd come back to him. If not, then he truly wishes her a happy life without him. The song evolved into his personal philosophy for living, and the message in the song is the theme of the story.
The Dance is a contemporary rodeo cowboy (rodeo clown/bullfighter) story. It's funny, serious, and bittersweet (and *spicy+++*). It’s also going to be out-of-digital-print in a month or so, because I’ve requested a rights reversion from the publisher.
So, where was I going with this? Oh, yeah, YouTube. Every time I think about this story, it takes me back to my younger self and my rodeo years, which invariably brings up two rodeo songs that still mean a great deal to me all these many years (ahem... decades...) later.
For your earworm/nostalgic/rodeo-remembering pleasure…
Rodeo Cowboy - Lynn Anderson
Someday Soon - Ian & Sylvia Tyson with Judy Collins
Until next time,
Fall in love…faster, harder, deeper with Kaye Spencer romances
Twitter - @kayespencer