It’s coming… somewhere in the next few chapters. The longed for kiss. I can feel my characters working up to it, and there’s not much I can do to stop them. So in preparation, I’m doing research on how to write the perfect kiss. The perfect literary kiss is different than an actual kiss because it’s about the idea of a kiss. You know how the idea of something is often better than the real something? In real life noses get in the way, or someone has just eaten onions, has really chapped lips or hiccups right in the middle. But the literary first kiss has to embody everybody’s dream of a kiss. It has to be steeped in longing. Kiss with a capital K. That’s a tall order, and that’s why I’ve avoided it for so long. But the time has come. In preparation, and to help my characters out a little, I’ve been evaluating literary kisses and asking people about their favorite ones. Some nominees…
The Princess Bride
“Since the invention of the kiss, there have only been five kisses that were rated the most passionate, the most pure. This one left them all behind.” S Morgenstern
“He wanted to kiss me. I felt it with every nerve, every fiber, every molecule of my being. I wanted him to kiss me, with every nerve, every fiber, every molecule of my being. But I was scared to kiss him. Every nerve, every fiber, every molecule screamed! He leaned forward, parted those perfect lips. At that exact moment, every single thing about my life changed. Forever.” Ellen Hopkins
Fault in Our Stars
“Augustus Waters,’ I said, looking up at him, thinking that you cannot kiss anyone in the Anne Frank House, and then thinking that Anne Frank, after all, kissed someone in the Anne Frank House, and that she would probably like nothing more than for her home to have become a place where the young and irreparably broken sink into love….
And then we were kissing. My hand let go of the oxygen cart and I reached up for his neck, and he pulled me up by my waist onto my tiptoes. As his parted lips met mine, I started to feel breathless in a new and fascinating way. The space around us evaporated, and for a weird moment I really liked my body; this cancer-ruined thing I’d spent years dragging around suddenly seemed worth the struggle, worth the chest tubes and the PICC lines and the ceaseless bodily betrayal of the tumors,” John Green
What are your favorite literary kisses?
Last week’s events got me out of the smokey Tri Cities and to one of my favorite bookish cities Seattle. Where we celebrated Lena’s hands at the amazing University Bookstore in Mill Creek WA.,
ate home-cooked food at Mockingbird Books and celebrated all day with other YA authors at NW Bookfest! Next weekend it’s on to Spokane for SCBWI!!!
But here’s the question that’s been rattling in my brain. One I know I have to answer soon in my new manuscript. How do you write the perfect kiss?
Good things come in threes this weekend. Saturday a doughnut brunch with the author (me) at University Books in Mill Creek, WA. at 11:00 and then Saturday evening at 7 pm dinner with the author (hey, that’s me again) at Mockingbird Books! Come one and all!
Meanwhile, the city of Kirklnad, WA is celebrating NW Bookfest all weekend. If you love books, Kirkland is the place to be. Celebrate books of all genres, for all ages and drop by Sunday afternoon for three YA panels you won’t want to miss!
Check back for updates like…what to wear to a hipster restaurant? How much food will I spill while I eat’ntalk? And what kind of doughnuts are served at an author brunch? Will I wear the Lena hands?
People often ask me for book recommendations. I thought I’d do a quick post about the treasures I discovered this summer with a word about why I loved them. Not all are YA; each has its own magic. For a synopsis check them out on your favorite book buying site.
The Snow Child–mythic, magical , beautiful writing, great atmosphere
The Fault in Our Stars–for voice and character no one does it better than John Green.
Alif the Unseen–great premise, setting in Arabia (Abu Dahbi?), myth, magic and a computer hacker!
Age of Miracles–The earth slows on its axis and…life is never the same.
Beautiful Ruins–Jess Walters is fast becoming one of my favorite contemporary writers and he’s almost local Spokane, WA.
Putting my costume together for GEARcon 2012 in Portland this weekend. What would would Lena wear?