Posted by Jo Robertson Sep 30 2010, 4:01 am in Band of Brothers, Jo Robertson
by Jo Robertson
I’m very envious of those male bonding stories. You know the ones — those about soldiers during battle, Jack Kerouac wanna-be’s, motorcycling across America or backpacking through Europe,or motocycle gangs like the fictional Sons of Anarchy on FX.
Even men gathered around a wide-screen plasma TV on Super Bowl Sunday foster feelinga of envy in me.
You see, I’m convinced that men are by far the SIMPLE sex. They rose out of that primordial sludge with the single-minded focus of hunting prey. They tuned out the wails of infants, cast off the chills of winter, and set aside the circling of buzzards to either kill the animal they stalked or escape the one stalking them.
This fall football dominates television and the men in my family watch with avid interest. Nothing detracts them from the kickoff or the run to the end zone on that HD wide-screen TV.
It’s the same thing during basketball or baseball season, of course. The same basic instinct that allowed the strongest of mankind to survive their caveman era keeps their minds focused on the basketball game, oblivious to any sensory stimuli outside their narrow circle.
But the nifty thing about men is they get to give those really cool speeches like St. Crispin Day’s Speech from Henry V – “we happy, happy few, we band of brothers.” And they get to pat each other on the ass and sling an arm around a brother’s neck in manly affection.
I love that speech where Henry V, against overwhelming odds leads his soldiers “once more into the breach,” where he talks about how those not there will consider themselves “accursed” not to have been part of that lucky group, the “band of brothers” who fought that day. “He who shares his blood with me this day shall be my brother.” Gives me chills!
And here’s the real thing I’m jealous of: men’s bonds, almost entirely nonverbal, can be the most powerful ties that bind people together. They transcend love and family, careers and religion.
And the stories, the really great ones, portray those bonds. Shakespeare scholars call it “manly love.” They get to go to war and watch sports events.
Medical science has pretty much determined that women are the stronger sex, regardless of the antiquated notions of many people. Women outlive men; fewer female infants die than male ones. In some villages that still practice the outmoded notion of female infanticide, they have to import brides for their sons. Yeah, women are pretty hardy.
Psychological and sociological studies regarding men and women are interesting, particularly one such study that involved recordings in which the subjects were presented with three separate, unfamiliar stories read aloud simultaneously. They found that the men quickly focused on one of the stories and shut the other two out. The women, however, tried to listen to and comprehend all three stories at the same time. Resulting, as you may imagine, in a lot of headaches for the women!
I mention this because it underscores one of the great differences between men and women and one, I believe, which leads to a great source of contention between the sexes.
When men are engrossed in a project, large or small, their focus is immutable, much like their primordial ancestors hunting prey. If they’re watching football on television and you stomp angrily by three or four times, hoping to get their attention with your not-so-subtle annoyance, they really DON’T notice.
Women, on the other hand, really CAN talk on the telephone, cook dinner, and know precisely the exact moment when a toddler is on the brink of grave mischief.
The crux of romance stories is the relationship, conflict, and reconciliation between a man and a woman. Often the characters appear horribly unsuited to one another or have some basic differences that make their coming together seem nearly impossible. While we may not have such conflicts in our real romance lives, my experience has shown me that there’s plenty of drama between men and women, often because of the way they think, approach situations, or react to them.
Do you like male bonding stories? If so, what’s one of your favorites?
What’s your favorite male-female conflict in a story? What kinds of romance stories do you like best? Least?
Do you think the relationships between men are less or more complicated than female friends have?
Posted by Susan Sey Sep 29 2010, 4:11 am in Soap Operas, Susan Sey, TV
by Susan Sey So I broke up with my old gym. We’d been happy together for two years or more but things had gotten stale. Boring. Expensive. It wasn’t any one thing but sometimes you grow apart, you know? It’s not you, it’s me. These things happen. Maybe we should take a break. I decided to have a look around, see if there was an option that fit my life a bit better. As it happens, there was. The Community Center. The Community Center has a pool. My old gym did, too, but this pool is a zero-depth-entry, chock-full-of-slides-and-toys, warmer-than-bathwater
Posted by Anna Campbell Sep 29 2010, 3:00 am in Anna Campbell, Bandita Booty, Miranda Neville, The Dangerous Viscount, The Wild Marquis
Thanks, everyone, for a fabulous day in the lair yesterday. Didn’t we all have fun? I’m still snickering about poor St. Sebastian! And that Nigel No Friends is really NIGEL NO FRIENDS!!! Miranda Neville very generously offered us TWO prizes. So without more ado, here are our winners! Congratulations, SHEREE! You won a signed copy of Miranda’s latest release THE DANGEROUS VISCOUNT! Congratulations, PINK PEONY (JEN)! You won a signed copy of the first book in the Burgundy Club series, THE WILD MARQUIS!Please email Miranda at miranda @ mirandaneville.com (no spaces) with your snail mail details and she’ll get your
Posted by Suzanne Ferrell Sep 28 2010, 8:12 am in autumn, cool weather fun, Suzanne Ferrell
by Suzanne Warning, I’m just letting my mind and fingers wander over some cool stuff about my favorite season today. Yesterday morning I walked out of the hospital in the morning, the weather was beautiful and cool! After five months of greater than 90 degrees, AETHER, the primal god of shining blue sky was in his element and decided to give me a beautiful 55 degree morning to drive home in. I’d finished my fourth 12 hour night shift, feet dragging, eyes drooping, and I got to drive home with the windows down, the air conditioner off and the radio
Posted by Anna Campbell Sep 27 2010, 4:02 am in Anna Campbell, Bandita Booty, guest blogger, historical romance, Jo Beverley, Miranda Neville, The Burgundy Club, The Dangerous Viscount
by Anna Campbell It is with immense pleasure that I bring back a lair favorite, the fabulous Miranda Neville, who is here today to talk to us about her wonderful new historical romance just out from Avon THE DANGEROUS VISCOUNT. I adored THE WILD MARQUIS, the first book in her Burgundy Club series about a series of aristocratic book collectors in Regency London. And Miranda had me at hello when she told me that this book featured a nerd as the hero. I love it when nerds discover their inner Tarzan!Here’s the blurb for THE DANGEROUS VISCOUNT: She is determined
Posted by Nancy Northcott Sep 26 2010, 4:02 am in imagination, potential, skills
by Nancy The poet Andrew Marvell coined that phrase, “worlds enough and time,” in the poem “To His Coy Mistress,” in which the narrator urges the lady to join him in seizing their pleasures like “amorous birds of prey.” I admit I had to look up the phrase to see where it came from and was surprised by the context. I’ve often heard it but not applied to affairs of the heart. It often strikes me in places like Michaels. Or Home Depot. Or Idea Island. I can wander around any of those places for hours. I’m not skilled at
Posted by Kate Carlisle Sep 25 2010, 4:01 am in Christmas, dana marton, harlequin intrigue, Kate Carlisle, spy who saved christmas
I’m so happy to welcome author Dana Marton to the Lair! Dana Marton is the award-winning author of twenty-three books with Harlequin Intrigue. The latest is The Spy Who Saved Christmas, more of a Die Hard kind of Christmas story than It’s a Wonderful Life. High stakes, instead of fruitcakes. Dana is known for her fast-paced action and sexy, emotional romance. Dangerous men, thrilling women. Connect with Dana online at danamarton.com and facebook.com/danamarton. Thank you for the warm welcome, Kate! I read a wide variety of books. My favorites are romance novels, of course. Specifically, romantic suspense, the kind of
Posted by Guest Sep 24 2010, 3:58 am in Uncategorized
by KJ Howe When I first read that title, my mind kept playing the Tina Turner song by the same name that was a blockbuster hit! Well, today our guest Shane Gericke is going to rock the house with his blog about two of my favorite things: love and bullets. Here is Shane with his first typewriter, and the man he developed into as a result of that gift! Please welcome Shane to the lair. Love is in the air. Along with a few thousand bullets. Those are the two things that define my thriller novels. Love. And bullets. Love
Posted by Christie Kelley Sep 24 2010, 3:55 am in Uncategorized
Sorry I’m a little late on this one. It’s been crazy at home lately. The winner from my blog on noise is…. PISSENLIT!! Congratulations!! You won a copy of Scandal of the Season!! Please email me at christie @ christiekelley . com and send me your address.
Posted by Donna MacMeans Sep 23 2010, 7:00 am in Ghost stories, Hemingway, Key West
by Donna MacMeans By the time you read this, I’ll be stretched out on a beach in Key West. The Golden Rooster told me it was the best place to go to celebrate the last days of summer. Actually GR has relatives there. I’m told feral chickens and roosters roam the island and roost in the trees at night. Not sure how that’s going to work for a night owl like me. Sounds like we’ll be hitting the beach pretty early! I’m planning on taking a haunted ghost tour that covers the several Victorian houses and historic cemetaries. Several ghosts