Axiom: When you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
Zina’s corollary: When you write romance, everything looks like a novel waiting to happen.
I’ve got a sometimes embarrassing condition I call “love on the brain.” Really, though, it’s more like “spontaneous plotting of romance novels based on real-life or potential circumstances.”
For instance, my friend Ms. K was telling me how her car broke down during rush hour on the highway and she had to pull off onto the shoulder and wait for over an hour for a tow truck.
Now logically, I know I was supposed to offer tea and sympathy. And I did that. But it sounded like such a great way for characters in a novel to meet that I had to ask a question or three. Was the tow truck guy hot? An alpha male with bulging biceps? Smoldering eyes? A sexy tattoo?
Those queries got me a raised eyebrow from Ms. K. But come on — wouldn’t you read that book? I would.
Sometimes, this condition of mine trends toward romantic comedy. Case in point: Friend Ms. T was gushing about a cute guy in a different department at work she couldn’t find an excuse to get close enough to so she could try to chat.
Good friend that I am, I gave her sound advice: Why not try to talk to him while getting coffee in the break room? That’s neutral territory.
But I shifted into rom-com mode before I could stop myself: Also, try to make sure you two are always in the elevator at the same time. You never know when it might get stuck …
Again, a raised eyebrow moment. Again, a book I’d read — elevator scenes can get steamy.
Mind you, I don’t go out actively looking for situations to mentally infuse with heat and/or humor. Sometimes they’re thrust upon me.
Another friend, Ms. A, talks about her husband’s demanding multimillionaire mogul boss. The mogul pays Ms. A’s hubby to pilot his private jet, used equally for business and for flying off to tropical locales at a moment’s notice, usually with a lingerie model or two in tow. This mogul is practically a textbook romance hero: He’s single and has sworn off committed relationships. All his story needs is a heroine.
How about the zaftig, smart and sassy friend of the pilot’s wife? She could stow away by accident on the jet when the mogul is headed off on a business trip. He’d be angry, she’d be chagrined. But then when his deal is threatened somehow, her smarts save the day. She intrigues and challenges him, and he quickly starts to find her even more alluring than those lingerie models … and I’ve heard some jets can be outfitted with hot tubs …
AHEM. Apologies for any raised eyebrows out there.
I’d definitely read that book. Heck, I might have to write that book.