Showing posts with label Professional Wrestling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Professional Wrestling. Show all posts

Thursday, February 16, 2017

You'll Save That For Mine

As I was working on the second edition of Make Mine a Heel I got to indulge in some of my favorite scenes. This one is top 5. Its their first and most fun fight.

Banner stopped the recording. “What was that?” She asked sharply.

Keith stared at her intently as if he had expected her reaction. “What was what?”  He asked deliberately.

“You cannot break out Ayn Rand on general American society. Do you realize how many people have no idea what ethical egoism is?” She actually put up quote marks with her hands as she said ‘ethical egoism’.

Keith became very still and disturbingly serious as his eyes never left Banner’s. “Yes I do.” The statement was as still as he was. He stopped long enough to let that sink in, and then continued, 
“You’ll take back the interview I give, or I’ll give no interview.”

Banner felt the hairs on her spine prickle as she began to understand what this was really about.  She needed to revise her game plan. Keith was going to make this a lot harder to dismiss than she had thought he was going to. Something else she was starting to understand that he knew before she even got here.

“Maybe we should eat first?” Banner supplied peaceably.

Keith nodded with a sharp cold smile as he uttered. “Maybe we should.”

He nodded at someone that Banner couldn’t see. A short dark haired girl appeared and once again Banner ceased to exist.

“Hi Keith, your usual?” she asked in a manner that suggested that perhaps she was part of his ‘usual’.

“Sorry darling, just the shake.” He said to her in a familiar tone.

She pouted and then turned razor dark brown eyes on Banner. “And what can I get you?”

Banner frowned. She hadn’t even looked at the menu. “The special.” She said quickly. It was her default in unfamiliar waters.

She paused and took one look at the storm brewing across from her. Just then she remembered the dull pain in her head.  In her mind the words, ‘fuck it’, were clear as a bell.  “And a Crown and coke.” She finished quickly.

Keith watched the cute little waitress leave and then focused all of his attention on Banner. “You didn’t strike me as the type to drink on the job.” He teased.

Banner was beyond being able to curb her thoughts anymore. Questioning her professional ethic was beyond reasonable. “I don’t have to when I like the job.” She snipped back.

“Are we not getting along Ms. Hemweigh?” His accent flared which let her know that his temper was up.

“Nowhere near. I suggest you stop picking at me until we are both more reasonable.” She advised sharply meeting his gaze unapologetically.

The look on his face said that the last thing he wanted to be with her was reasonable. “I thought I was being reasonable. You seem put out that I know big words.” He snapped back.

Banner sighed, here we go, she thought. In her best professional tone she started her spiel. “Mr. Daniels, it was not my intention to insult your intelligence, but I refuse to insult the intelligence of my audience.”

He nodded as he looked away from her for a moment. She could practically feel his teeth grinding. Then with a sharp tilt of his head she knew she was going to get what popped into his head anyway. The thought that had him grinding his teeth for self-control. “No, you’ll save that for mine.” He supplied.

Make Mine A Heel available in ebook and coming soon in print.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Make Mine a Heel 2nd Edition

In an effort to keep Fiona and Colan a little longer I decided to edit and release a 2nd edition of my first self-published ebook and historically top selling, Make Mine a Heel. As always when I dive back into the pages of this book nostalgia takes hold.  This time it was so refreshing as I expected such a mess of a story and saw that even then my voice had a cadence and a charm I hardly expect to see or read. I started critically and then I just fell back in love with Banner and Keith:

“You must hate me,” Banner whispered.

“Why would I hate you Bay? You’re at least here trying to understand.” His deep voice sounded solemn, humble. “That’s more than that jackass that knocked my mother up has ever even tried to do.”

The next thing she knew his hands were on her shoulders and she could feel his breath at her ear. “Yeah, we got off to a rocky start, but you’re here for the same reasons I am. We’ve done what we’ve done for basically the same reasons. I could never hate you.”

He turned her to look at him; the truth of it in his eyes. “Twice in your life?” she asked.

He gave a false smile with a joyless laugh. “I may have exaggerated a little.  I believe the last time I heard from the son of a bitch was him admonishing me for my career choice. With my size and athleticism I should’ve become a basketball player. Something people could respect.” He turned from her. “That was when I realized what a fool I’d been all my life. You tell yourself you’re doing something just to prove what you’re worth. It isn’t until much later do you actually admit who you’re trying to prove it to.” He admitted.

“Broke your heart,” she guessed.

Keith laughed. “A broken heart I could’ve dealt with. This was worse. It broke my spirit,” he shook his head gravely as he spoke. “I didn’t know which way was up anymore.” His voice turned gravelly as he spoke as strong emotions coursed with his words. “I had convinced myself in the deep dark parts of me that I never try and speak to that if I did good in this he would see what I was worth.” He stopped his face taking on this expression of mocking disbelief as he continued, “Finally he would come along. Be repentant, beg me to forgive him, and we could start fresh as I proved that I was worth his time. Now I would allow him to do the same.”

He sat again staring at the screen, the two men in the ring tumbling, twisting. The announcer was increasing his tone, his pitch to match the action. The crowd was screaming, yelling.   This was made all the more apparent by his stillness. His green eyes wide yet focused on the screen, almost innocent with shadows. For a moment Banner could see him as he had been when he fell in love with this sport. That young boy that hadn’t yet understood the whys and hows of life, but knew if he could chose it would be like what he saw.

“My foundation, my hopes and dreams were rocked and shattered. It was more devastating because I didn’t know until that very moment how much of what I had done and become was based on this perception. I had built everything on the idea that one day he would think I was worth his time.” He stared silently at the screen for a few moments after his wrenching speech.

Banner looked at the screen because his face was much too painful to look at. Then she just looked at the floor because watching what had made him choose what he had chosen was no better. She could see it. What a small boy would see; all the fans, the unconditional love, the affection. The absolute lines of right and wrong. Men hugging each other knowing that it was okay. It was the same things that made young boys play football or any other sport. Why boys joined the military. Why they joined gangs.  Always, they were just looking for a man strong enough to love them. They sacrificed everything only to wake up one day and realize that the only man that could do that for them is the one they become.

“My father, and I use that term loosely, is a waste of space,” he began his eyes never leaving the screen. “I was never going to matter to him. I was the fallout of a drunken night on a leave weekend from some Mexican whore that didn’t know any better. He was the son of a high ranking Navy Colonel and no way was the world going to know what he sired and with what. He considers my mother and our family mongrel beasts; nothing but poor hapless peasant stock. Had he known that I was being born he probably would’ve had it taken care of. As it was, my mother was much smarter than he ever figured. She used it to get into America. She made the ass pay child support and raised me to know all sides of myself. Not just the ones she was comfortable with. She planned it all out, right down to my name. Now I just know that the prick did a disservice to only himself. He missed out on an amazing woman.” He ended reverently.

“And a son,” Banner said softly.

“I think some things are hereditary. It took me a while to become the boy my mother tried to raise.”   He dropped his head. “The fallout from me was much worse than my father had ever wrecked.” He said dispassionately.

He wiped his face showing his exhaustion. “You’re right; I need a break. Didn’t realize it, but that took a lot out of me,” he gestured towards the TV. “Sit and watch for awhile?” he asked.

Make Mine A Heel available in ebook and coming soon in print.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Hi My Name is Christina and I'm a Wrestling Fan

I won't wait for the Hi Christina. I'll just get to my story. 

I'm going to tell you why I am a professional wrestling fan.  I love it, always have.  I love watching the over the top histrionics. I love the sometimes base level one caricatures of common tropes. I love the bluster. I also admire the athletics, the form, and the ability to really go out there and pull me as a viewer into the match.  I love the crowd engagement no matter how ridiculous.  I love the way it never apologizes for what it is and the performers really pour all of who they are into what they are doing. I love that its one of the few things that is filmed and broadcasted live weekly and monthly.  I love that for all the admonishment about being fake it is literally the realest thing I can watch on television when you consider the competition is scripted 'reality' TV shows, propaganda news and recycled sitcoms that won’t trust a live audience anymore. I cut my teeth over 2 decades ago from the promotion that most modern wrestling tropes have tried to turn into a science.

What I dislike about wrestling ironically enough is a part of what makes it so unique.  Some of the pervasive fan base. I hate the ones that need to go online and try and show their 'in the know' smarts by commenting foolishly on something they cannot even begin to understand based on a low tier observation from the comfort of their couch. The ones that feel the need to judge talent by standards that no talent can even understand what to pursue because that fan has literally just made up a justification for why this talent is beneath the standard. The fan that criticizes what they can't do to gain their 15 minutes of fame among a self-hating contingent that uses sarcasm and cynicism to justify what they love to a what they assume is an unreceptive general public.

It seems like every week this is becoming the more popular fan type. But I have to beg of you to consider what you want to be to wrestling. One of those detractors or a fan. I can't keep track of the online rants about dumb booking, dumb finishes and who is burying who.  And I remain mystified at how some can't manage being a fan who loves something enough to actually see it beyond themselves and their personal preferences.  How one can watch what these people are doing and not see them. They are artists and they have bled literally into their art. It’s difficult for me to look at the pains, the challenges, the sacrifices and not appreciate the single minded determination and focus it takes to be good at the job they do. Being good is subjective but we can all agree being good is the only thing really that gets you to the top or even close enough to see it no matter your business. If you're a fraud everyone sees it. When its broadcast live to millions it’s even more apparent. There are many talents that family name, connections and interest just didn't make up for what they lacked as a performer. So the idea that being good is not a quantifier is already a lost lot.

I believe experience is a great teacher.  In certain professions is the only valid teacher. I couldn't tell you what to do if you botched a move in a big match on a PPV.  I can't tell you what that it factor is that makes someone marketable.  I can't tell you how to pace a match between two differing styles just right. I can just tell you if it looked good to me, the average 20 plus year fan that has seen almost every major promotion and every major performer for the last 2 decades. And unless you've done the gig that's all any of us can do.

So I'm not going to go over the ins and outs of booking or in-ring performance, what the next rivalry is and how it should be built.  That is for a very good reason. None of those are my expertise.  What I have over 2 decades of experience in is being a fan. What pains me most days when I'm trying to enjoy something that I have been a fan of for over two thirds of my life is the not so knowledgeable ramblings of people who have appointed themselves, COO, Master Booker and In-Ring Architect when they haven't even figured out how to do the very first job of watching professional wrestling. Which is just being a fan.   

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Learning to Not be Ruled by Genre

It is a long road that I believe never truly ends.  That road is that of a writer when finding their voice.  The best of the best say that the most important part of this journey is the journey.  No matter what never stop writing. For many writers that is almost like saying never stop breathing.  But as an asthmatic I can tell you that breathing is not always a guarantee. And over the years my writing has come and gone like a breath in some instances. Whiffed away without any hesitation or thought. My well seemingly run very dry.

However my mind still swam with scenarios of unfulfilled passions and desires. The human spirit needs passion and desire.  Creation is as much a part of living as the breathing and the beating. Most seem to not notice that life is nothing if not a lesson in sheer natural brutality. The elements that make us up crammed together in clumps and fits.  Our very systems demand the use of words like force, beat, move. As they say the struggle is real. And it is a struggle.  Nothing worth having has ever been born politely. It comes in a haze of blood, sweat, and tears screaming its battle cry ready to be heard, listened to and engaged. Life does not ask for the fight, life demands it. So the only failure is in trying to deny the fight. Because then you are truly denying life.

When I decided I wanted to try my hand as a writer I was sure that I wanted to write romance. I had a game plan like I normally do. I wanted to start as a romance writer then move into more science fiction or fantasy. As offensive as the thought is I was young and foolish enough to believe romance writing was an easier place to start. I was very very foolish years ago. As many know the genre is not well thought of by literature critics. However I dare to say that writing romance may be even harder because of how it is thought of.

It reminds me of professional wrestling in a lot of ways.  The trick to professional wrestling is that there is no trick. Its hard work, dedication to a goal and a performance. It eats up life because the only way to get better like with any craft is to continue to hone it. And yet it is not very well thought of by many people who view it as fake.  In many ways similar to how some authors view genre writers. The analogy forces me to think about the limitations provided just by perception. Because the barriers are not one sided.  All are affected by the perception and the need to justify it. As human beings we love balance and we like to know the answer. We subconsciously lean to a lie of perception as much as we may lean to the truth. Just as there is no way to convince gravity to stop working for a wrestler, there is no way to easily construct a palpable endearing emotion laden first kiss for a romance author. It is a sport of conditioning, practice, and training.  The road is long and the culmination is to tell the perfect story.

I now know that there is no such thing as an easy writing. The quality writing, the change the world stuff is a labor of intense love, commitment and selfless devotion. It is staying up all night to finish the most crucial scene you have ever written.  But they all are aren’t they? And the answer is yes, every single one IS the most crucial scene you have ever written.

I was given the advice that my heart knew was true before it was even given.  Write what you love. I started writing because of love, I write about love.  But I was looking for the trick, I was asking gravity to stop working for a moment. Sometimes in a craft you get completely immersed in your tools instead of the art giving the tool the power. It becomes about fitting in, coloring in the lines and less about expressing your unique voice. The truth is the man behind the curtain is in fact just a man.  A man dedicated and committed enough to an idea that he was able to convince the world he was an all-powerful wizard. He went outside of genre, outside what the limitations of a man should be.  In the process he stopped allowing his tools to limit him, he instead gave them new power.

I was a visual artist in high school and became a vocalist and music composer. I noticed early in my art studies that I was better with colors than with black and white.  What I understood before I left was that this was a myth I had told myself. My mind was so enrapt with technique that art was not being made. When I went into music I noticed the same. I was concerned with vocal replication of other artists and not concerned with my own sound. The girl is hardheaded. Somewhere in my junior year of high school, somewhere in the middle of performing Deep River, somewhere in the middle of composing my 3rd work technique faded and art finally took form. The moment is indescribable. For a split second you hear clearly, you feel deeply.  The world is beautiful, lovely. You absolutely matter and what you have to say bears weight and has the meaning and affluence of a living viable human soul and spirit laced throughout it. It connects you to the now, the past the future and the fountain of infinite bliss and wisdom. Pure as you and I are meant to be.

The point is have influences, mimic them as you need, read the art books, understand the style, refine your craft; use your tools. Before its over though make sure the voice is your own.  A lesson I have to teach myself over and over again. This is my ultimate love letter to remind myself why I should never give the tools power but instead use the art to empower them. I'm writing this so that when I start to forget and I'm worried about book sales, or another press or agent saying no that I stick to my declaration and follow the advice of knowledgeable others.  I embrace these tools and make them an extension of myself and what I need this world to see and understand. That I listen to the beating, pounding pace of my heart and stay with the fight. That I fill what I do with my will, my spirit; my spark. With my love, always with my love.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Annniversary of Make Mine a Heel

I get nostalgic this time of year every year.  About this time 8 years ago I was inspired to do things I never dreamed and inspired to write a book I never thought possible.  I've been on a an educational research hiatus because I don't make a living on my writing yet and I do have a passionate love of education. However considering its Road to Wrestlemania season and being a Dallas TX native, I'm thrilled my city is finally getting the big one with Wreslemania 32. That being said I see no better time than now to get myself back into the game.

So 8 years ago I met a very interesting person who inspired me to want and achieve more.  Writing was always something that I admired and couldn't quite figure out how to get started.  I had a couple of failed attempts during that time but nothing I felt I could really shop.  Then I went to a Wrestlemania. . Wrestlemania 24 to be exact.  I went to see the retirement of Ric Flair a seasoned great that I have always admired. My childhood was filled with this man's work.  It only seemed right to see him off into that gorgeous sunset.  (I'm quite a fan of wrestling check out my other blog from years ago:

Now this wasn't my first WM,  My first was Wrestlemania 17 in Houston about 15 years ago.  See how these dates are adding up. I found my ticket stub for it not too long ago and smiled fondly at the memory and laughed at myself for not being able to actually watch but mostly listen to the infamous TLC 2 match that people still talk about to this day. Nonetheless I was indeed there.

But back to WM 24. So I was there and by chance met someone else. Totally by chance it was one of those divine fate moments because there was no way to know or even suspect who I would meet. (Long story I can't make short lol) To wrestling fans he's known as the 'Rated R" superstar and to others as Adam Copeland. . actor. Which if you know anything about professional wrestling you know that was not that far of a reach. Not to discount his work. He is a very talented man in many regards. I've watched him move on with his career outside of the ring with great pride and admiration for his courage.

The thing is meeting him gave me inspiration. It struck me that in all this time I've never read a romance novel with a professional wrestler as the male lead.  It struck me as an odd and egregious oversight because clearly this man should be someone's romantic fantasy. As well as many, many other performers. So I left inspired and about 2 years later around this time I found myself with a full blown romance novel 96,000 words and one of the best things I think I've written. 

I told a couple of stories in this book, Mostly it was about my heartache of my ending marriage. I was supposed to go to WM 24 with what is now my ex husband. But best laid plans. Instead I found a fleeting hope in my soul and a need to tell one of the many love stories I wish I had as my own. So therein is the muse the inspiration and even a beginning chapter shout out to the man that without doing a single thing made me think about love again when my life needed it the most. 

But I also talked about women and men in very basic terms. It is a story about perception and how that affects life. What we see isn't always what we think it is.  And sometimes its exactly what we need regardless of what we think is happening. I always hoped that this book would help women to see love in the many many ways it can present itself and how time and distance can never make true love wane. 

I usually put the book on sale for .99 right before Wrestlemanias as a tribute and as a reminder that no matter what you cannot ever give up on love. 

And sincerely, thank you Adam Copeland.  And in more traditional wrestling venacular, 

Thank you Edge, Thank you Edge Thank you Edge.

Always w/love,


Make Mine a Heel is available only in ebook form from most ebook vendors including Amazon and Barnes & Noble 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Fine Times On That Road to Hell - Make Mine a Heel Excerpt

Banner could tell that Keith was in a rare mood.  The women who knew him the best sat silently.  Banner stared at him, waiting.  He pinned her with his eyes.  They were a maelstrom of chaos, rage, unrest, determination, acceptance, and then  . . .  desire.
“You ready to interview,” he directed at her casually.
Banner inhaled sharply. “You know I’m ready whenever you are,” she combated quickly.
He nodded, sharp and determined. “Then we should get to it.”
He bent and kissed his mother on the cheek whispering something in Spanish in her ear. She turned and put her arms around him, and just held on; saying nothing, yet saying everything. 
He pulled away kissing her on the top of the head, and looked over at Banner. He gestured to another room, and started out.  Banner walked over to where his plate sat, and picked it up along with his iced tea. She then stopped in the doorway, and waited.  He took three more steps before he turned around, and saw Banner holding what he had turned back for.  He stared at her for a moment, and then a slow easy smile spread across his face.  The tension from the moments before was starting to drain away from him.  He looked at the floor, and shook his head, as if he were arguing with himself.  With renewed vigor he took slow casual steps over to Banner. 
Banner just watched him because he was moving in that way that made her lose track of what she was thinking, or doing for that matter.  She just stared at him understanding that he was getting closer, and knowing that she really wanted him to.  Her eyes had fixated on his hips. She finally realized that she was actually staring at the man’s package, and went for his eyes instead, and found that to be even worse.  She was in his focal points.  He had taken notice of her, and she would be hard pressed to get out.  They said that the easiest way into a man’s heart was through his stomach; perhaps just understanding that stomach played a large role in the process.
Honestly, she had never become more aware of herself as a woman than she was in that moment, and it was so very cliché. She stood there holding his meal, and he was coming over to retrieve it.  It should’ve been simple.  But something about the way he moved, the look in his eyes, and the sureness of his step implied so very much.  It said that at that moment in time, he was having trouble deciding what he wanted more; the food or the woman.
Banner felt her spine stiffen.  She was not cut out to resist a full on assault by this man.  It had been a mistake to grab the food and drink.  Too damn casual; too damn comfortable.  She was acting in such an uncustomary fashion for her. The action implied an intimacy that she shouldn’t have.  For her, it had been factual.  He was a big man. There would not be a successful interview if he didn’t eat.  In truth she had been taking care of her job, not him, she quickly rationalized.  But the way he stalked up to her reeked of possession, and not just in regards to her belonging to him; this was much more unsettling because it implied a belonging of him to her.  Banner couldn’t speak for him, but she’d lose her damn mind if something like that belonged to her.
Keith took the plate and glass from her, and said almost beneath his breath, “that’s three.”

Make Mine a Heel  On Kindle