There’s an old standard in writing that says you should write what you know. For Apocalypse Rising, I drew deep, not only from my experience of not being able to conceive, but my fear of monsters, and most importantly, how being the quiet, ‘I can take care of anything on my own’ type can get you into serious trouble. That last one I learned from the love of my life.
In my youth, I got plenty of attention from the beefier sex. But I had set my sights on one particular guy and nearly lost him in the same span of time because he refused to ask me out to prom.
Note to guys everywhere: If you’re interested in a girl, SPEAK UP!
It was right before his senior prom. My teenage brain was swirling, excited that soon I’d be going to my first prom with a guy who made my knees turn to pudding every time he looked at me. For days, I waited for him to pop the question as prom chatter intensified down school halls. I waited. And waited. And w-a-i-t-e-d.
The love of my life was as mute as the dead. Was he seeing someone else? Did I misread his signals? Was there spinach between my teeth? Why the frell wasn’t he asking me to the prom?
By this time, several other guys had asked me to the prom, but I politely turned each of them down. I wanted to go with one specific guy—the same guy who was now making himself as scarce as an honest politician on election day. The writing was on the wall, and I was convinced he was taking someone else.
What a schmoe I’d been, clinging to the thin hope that I was his first choice. His only choice.
The prom came and went and I discreetly made inquiries. Who did he take? Was she pretty? Was I history?
Here I was hanging on tenterhooks, thinking there was something wrong with me. I was in for the shock of my life when I discovered he didn’t go to his prom at all. He just wasn’t interested in getting duded up in a tux and drinking watery punch. That and the fact, he couldn’t dance. Rather than letting me in on his shortcoming, he kept it to himself.
Sheesh! Would it have killed him to lie to me and tell me his dog died? I would’ve forgiven him anything then. Men!
In retrospect it made for good fodder, and I used that experience to create a similar emotion in my latest book, Apocalypse Rising. But instead of a prom, the stakes are much higher. My heroine (this time in the role of the quiet, ‘I can take care of anything’ type), fears that she’s barren. That can mean only one thing in their culture. She has to stand aside and allow her mate to take a second wife.
Under normal circumstances, she probably would have fought the status quo, only she’s feeling a wee bit guilty about a certain demon she’s let loose in the 21st century. (no prom for her)
I can assure you, it was almost the End Times for my elusive prom date when I found out why he didn’t ask me. But he redeemed himself two years later when he took me to my prom. Lucky for him. Who knows how things would’ve turned out had I had accepted one of the other invitations to his prom.
Did you go to prom? What would you have done had you been in my place?
By the way, no potential prom dates were harmed in the making of this post. Those of you who know me, know I eventually married this rogue. And occasionally, he dances with me, without being asked.
Maria Zannini used to save the world from bad advertising, but now she spends her time wrangling chickens, and fighting for a piece of the bed against dogs of e
pic proportions. Occasionally, she writes novels.
The only place to hide was in the past. Leda and Grey have one chance to escape a madman and that’s through a portal to a time before the apocalypse. But nothing has prepared them for 21st century culture, and every misstep draws them closer to the End Times. The world is teetering on extinction, and they may very well be the cause of it.
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Contest ends Friday, May 20th, 2011
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