Readers probably don’t know I’m a sucker for romance. It likely stems from my solitary life before I went to college and the fact I was incredibly lucky in finding my soulmate.

I don’t gush on about my wife because that is a private thing, but I won’t hesitate confirming she is the most important thing in my life. Our meeting each other, deciding to share the rest of our lives, and continuing to discover and cherish each other . . . That is what I draw on; that is the stuff of romance.

BUT . . . I don’t write traditional romance novels. Or, maybe I do but I don’t know it. Let me check:

~ ~ oo ~ ~ 

The wind kept Bafio’s hair from blinding him as they rode the black stallion. Unfortunately, the hair lashed at Iofna’s face as she tried to hold on for dear life while sitting behind him. Her arms barely encircling his sculpted torso, she wished he had not shaved his chest hair. At least that way she could grab onto something. Iofna buried her face in the crevices formed by his sculpted back muscles and pleaded for him to please stop.

“Stop! I can’t take any more!” she yelled as the Bafio’s hair snapped at her like a jealous lover. Sensitive to her predicament, Bafio slowed to a gentler pace, letting Iofna catch her breath and get a better grip.

“Ouch!” he yelled. “Not the underarm hair!”

She let go and promptly fell off PileDriver, who kept on galloping. Luckily, Iofna fell atop one of the stallions massive dumps, which cushioned her fall.

With amazing agility and speed, Bafio dismounted the still galloping stallion, rolled, and ended up next to her in the tall grass, but clear of the dump.

He never gets any shit on him!” Iofna breathlessly thought.

Bafio stared into her eyes as he sought to remove her soiled clothes. He kept staring into her eyes as he fumbled with the knot securing the lacing of her bodice.

After a half a minute or so he lowered his gaze down to the knot. On the way, Bafio’s eyes feasted upon her heaving bosom. He would have gotten lost in the moment had he not remembered his own pectoral muscles dwarfed hers. He looked down at his own open shirt cleavage and got lost in the moment.

“Hey!” Iofna yelled, “Eyes down here!”

“Sorry,” Bafio replied as he resumed his attack on the knot, now with renewed vigor.

“It’s no use,” he said after a few minutes of trying to get the thing undone.

“You have to use your teeth,” Iofna reminded him.

“Oh, right!”

Bafio dug into the suede material, bit down hard, and pulled with all his might.

The bodice came off and flew above their heads where the wind caught it and flung it at PileDriver’s rump. The stallion, startled as it grazed, kicked hard and by sheer bad luck caught both Bafio and Iofna on the side of their heads.

Dead, they were finally together and would now spend eternity in each other’s company . . . unless passing scavengers made off with their various body parts. Damn scavengers!

~ ~ oo ~ ~

Yeah . . . probably not traditional.

Let me try and expand what I mean. I may inadvertently use some of the romance tropes, but my goal with romance is to address the intellectual side of it. Any romantic partnerships I include in my writing deal with people who like, respect, admire, and see each other as equal partners in their lifelong journey.

With rare exceptions, I don’t write much about angst, infatuation, sexual attraction, and I definitely do not write about the . . . ah . . . more private aspects of relationships (A Good Night Sleep was as close as I ever got). There is plenty of that available in other places; places not my blog.

Side note: if ever the 50 Shades of Gray crowd gets tired of that kind of thing (not likely), boy, am I going to be rich!

I’ve written very little without the coming together of two people being a part of the plot (Torin and Different come to mind). I have written about characters losing a soulmate, sometimes to set up the story and other times as a motivator for the character’s involvement in the plot (Fall of Angels, The Hunter).

This is 2015 . . . that means that my writing career is roughly ten years old.

Side note 2: that’s right, you read that correctly; I’ve been at this writing thing for ten years, and I’ve not published a thing.  

2005 found us as new residents of Colorado, the company I had just closed and the automotive industry life it was tied to now 1,900 miles away and fading from memory. I had written short stuff before, but the two Guardians short stories were the first effort I made at a plot, at sustained dialogue, at multiple threads (two), and so on.

As I re-read The Guardians (I & II) I can see just how far I’ve come as a writer. Yes, lots of punctuation errors and poorly written, but I still like the concept. Not knowing any better, I did submit the first part, and now I can better understand why it was rejected. The form letter said the concept was overdone, but I wish they would have said a bit more.

I wish they would have said something like “you currently suck”. It might have gotten me more motivated to work at writing.

I don’t think the concept is overdone; I think that romance got in the way and I did not write it well.

The original plot was for a science fiction story with an underlining blossoming romance. Those ideas kept flip-flopping during the story, at times becoming a romance story with a slight science fiction story in the background.

I took my eye off the story I wanted to tell.

Shortly thereafter, I started N. E. O.

I had actually started in 2003, both with some research and with the opening paragraph. There it sat for two years, and then I picked it up again in late 2005. By the end of 2006 I had written three chapters; yes, three (3).

I stopped because I went back to work. Oh, I added a few words in 2010 and again in 2011, but it was not until I was no longer working that I picked it up again, in August of 2013.

N. E. O. suffered from the same problem as The Guardians; it did not know what it wanted to be. I know what I had planned it to be; a story about aliens visiting Earth. I envisioned a sweeping story dealing with humanity’s reaction to the presence of the aliens on and near Earth.

Instead, romance again got in the way. The story drifted toward relationships instead of keeping the love interest as a secondary theme. The alien thing became no more than the background for a silly love story, complete with well-established tropes but probably not as well-executed.

For a while, I wondered if I was destined to become a romance writer (they do make a lot of money). No (see above sample).

NaNoWriMo 2013 came along while I was still writing N. E. O.

 NaNoWriMo forced me to think in terms of a longer story arc, and that forced me to shift the romance (did I mention there is always romance?) to the background and tell the larger story.

I think that also drove me to writing a “just romance” flash piece just because I was missing it. Rose and Joe is a piece I really enjoy re-reading. It’s a different take on an old internet story I remember reading.

Oh, let’s not forget the older but funnier Movement Propels Destiny, a story dealing with romance in a very unorthodox way.

Rose and Joe is a unique story in one aspect . . . I describe the woman as very beautiful; except I don’t. I let the man say she is beautiful, and that could be a subjective assessment.

I take a lot of crap for not describing my characters. It is specifically because I often deal with romance that I don’t describe the people in my stories.

All my exposures to literary or cinematic romance have taught me the following; looks (beautiful or ugly) and money (poor or rich), or combinations of the two, always have something to do with the romance either happening or not happening.

Even if one of the protagonists starts out as ugly and poor, they eventually end up either beautiful, rich, or both.

You never read this in a romance story:

~ ~ oo ~ ~

She saw him from across the room. The movement of his hand as he adjusted his package drew her eye. Well, it was actually his other hand lifting the lower part of his stomach so he could reach his package that caught her eye.

No; truthfully, it was the whole; the extended beer belly, the remnants of a cheese pizza on his pants leg, the unidentified stain on on his shirt (she hoped it was seepage from the open sore on his chin, and not ketchup), the slack jaw, shifty eyes, and the way his greasy hair stuck to his scalp. She heard him belch and hoped his farts would be as loud.

Immediately drawn to him and hoping her vast inheritance and ample breasts would be enough to make that man hers, she went to him as a moth to a flame. Unlike a moth, she was already consumed; consumed by his intoxicating presence. No, really; he had not showered for at least a week.

~ ~ oo ~ ~

Instead, I purposefully concentrate on character, actions, and emotions tied to both circumstances and how the characters react to same.

Readers tell me they need something to anchor the characters for them, but what if I describe both the hero and heroine and then they get Jim Carrey and an also-talentless female version of Carrey as leads for the movie adaptation? All I’m going to hear about is how the actors don’t match my descriptions.

My way ensures that if the readers are disappointed with getting Tom Cruise instead of a 6′ 4″ actor playing Jack Reacher, they have no one but themselves to blame.

Anyway, this is getting long . . . here’s a poll for them who have read my stuff.

Not exactly a love story, but something I think deserves a few more eyes on it. Three stories covering a long arc in three short flash pieces. Here’s a piece few have read but of which proud I am: Thoughts in the Wind.

For them who read them and are so inclined, I would appreciate feedback on the three stories, Thoughts in the Wind, and on Rose and Joe

Oh, yeah . . . a picture.


That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


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. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
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25 Responses to Romance

  1. sandra getgood says:

    I voted for “Other.” And since what I wrote was far too long, here it is: “I agree that romance is much more interesting when humor is added to the mix, and as can be seen by the examples he posted, Disperser does it well. I quite agree that If love isn’t sometimes hilarious, you’re just not doing it right.


    • disperser says:

      Thank you, sandy.

      After I wrote about Bafio and Iofna, I do wanted to keep on going. I wanted to know why they were running away on PileDriver; probably an evil uncle, some mysterious inheritance, and . . . dun-dun-dun . . . DESTINY!


  2. AnnMarie says:

    The romance in your stories is driven by what makes you you. So, go ahead, god, and make it so.


    • disperser says:

      What? No comment on mt “traditional” stories?


      • AnnMarie says:

        For the record (after our phone conversation), I enjoyed your take on Fabio and Fiona-like romances. I was an avid reader of that genre in my younger days, but, thankfully, that wore off in favor of more solid and classy romances. And I would not want to read what you wrote that we never read in a romance story. Yuck!

        But I will gladly reread “Rose and Joe” in years to come. That’s more like it.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I love romance in stories and you romance well! :-)
    I think men write romance (and erotica) stories better than women do. I’m not sure why. That’s just what I’ve gleaned from reading.
    That book cover got a snort-laugh outa’ me! :-D :-P
    HUGS!!! :-)


    • disperser says:

      Obviously, because men are more romantic.

      But, are you leaving out all the Victorian romance? I don’t like it, but women apparently swoon over Sense and Sensibility and other Austen classics.

      . . . and, another non-comment at my sample romance. I guess it was not memorable enough.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. That certainly brightened up the morning Emilio jolly good chuckle, pity you killed them off now we miss out on the sequel. Naturally I voted correctly! :P


  5. Emily Scott says:

    I like it when you write funny. You are a funny man.


  6. oh you are wicked!! Nice surprise ending ouch!! like being kicked by a horse!


  7. paigeaddams says:

    Lmao – your examples in this post were awesome! XD I love Bafio and Iofna, and him being distracted by his own man-cleavage. Best. Scene. Evar! Somebody needs to turn this into a parody movie – I would totally watch it! :D Lol, and I get what you’re saying about the description of characters too – it’s not realistic. Nobody is the kind of perfect you read about in novels, or see on tv, or in movies, or in magazines – even the “perfect” people who are paid to look that way – and everyone has a different idea of what that elusive “perfect” looks like too. It’s part of the world of fiction that’s hard to get away from. Most people want the fantasy, and to read about the “perfect” man or woman, and the “ideal” relationship.

    Admittedly, I like reading about heroes who are dark and tormented and do the smolder thing, or charming and sarcastic and do the smolder thing (“rich” does not factor in the equation, and will actually make me question the authenticity of said smolder, making it a possible faux smolder, and that’s just not cool):

    Lol, just on a completely random side note – I happened to glance up at the last comment and saw you mentioned Kurgan, and I had to read all your samples with Queen in the background, lol. XD

    I ended up picking “other” on your poll (because there can be only one… heh heh, see what I did there? ba-dum-tch!), but there wasn’t enough room for me to explain, so I’ll leave that here: I think you write really good sci-fi/fantasy with solid romance elements. The relationships you portray are more realistic and relatable, and I love when you add humor, lol, which also adds to how real the stories and characters feel when reading.

    Now for feedback! ~

    Three Stories: I get emotional sometimes when I get into stories, whether they are from a book or a movie or a song, and this got one of those more emotional reactions from me. It’s always good when a story makes me feel something, and, as with other aspects of your writing, it was also relatable. There was this sad feeling of inevitability, and longing for things to change, and there was also a disconnectedness or solitude that the characters were seeking out in order to protect themselves from the world. This is just my own interpretation of it, and others may feel something different from it, but this one was thought-provoking for me. Well done! :)

    Thoughts in the Wind: Lol, this is another emotional one that got a reaction from me. Really well done! :) The subject matter of this one is more touchy, but it made me think just as much as the Three Stories, both about the subject itself, and about my reaction to the subject and the characters involved. Lol, this is a topic I tend to have very strong feelings about, kind of like when I was watching Chappie. For some reason, I am much less forgiving than I probably should be – or perhaps I’m forgiving, but I don’t forget? I tend to have a one strike and you’re out thought process where this subject is concerned, whether it’s male on female violence, or female on male, or any combination really. I can’t think of a good reason to raise your hand to someone unless it’s in self-defense and/or you fear for your life and/or the lives of others. Period. The ending of the story was touching though – it was hopeful and optimistic. I think a lot of abusers do have feelings of guilt, and I know there are some who are able to face their demons and stop. Although it’s a difficult topic to read about, I would actually want to read more of this to see if the man did change. I would also like to know what the woman was thinking when he embraced her at the end. Then again, it could also have more impact to just show his side of the story. If he’s the main character, and everything is from his perspective, he may not be as easy to dismiss as pure 100% villain. He would be easier to see as human.

    Rose and Joe: Lol, I still love this one! :D It’s my favorite out of the stories you wanted feedback on. I like the humor there, and the dynamic of their relationship. :) Lol, you know I’m all about the sunshine and daisies where stories are concerned. XD This one was cute, and it made me smile.

    Over all feedback: All three were well-written, and made me feel something, which is awesome. You’re really good with scenes that inspire emotion, whether it’s happiness or sadness or anger. You’re also really great at writing characters that are easy to relate to, and to see as real people. Although the first two stories made me sad, I know there’s also a kind of hope to all three stories. :) I’m not really that experienced with editing, so I may not be the best to comment on grammar or things like that – lol, it all seemed good to me – but I did notice that the male lead in all the stories was named Joe.


    • disperser says:

      Wow . . . thank you for the detailed feedback.

      I seem to remember speaking about beta or alpha-reading each other’s work (or whatever greek character is applicable) and now I’m concerned I might not be able to measure up to that quality of feedback.

      Just kidding, of course; I’m sure I can realistically fake it.

      Seriously, thanks again.

      Liked by 1 person

      • paigeaddams says:

        Lol, you’re welcome, anytime! :D I’m not too sure on the quality of my feedback – I kinda just rambled on about how I felt about everything I read – but I hope it helps a little. And I’d still love to trade some beta-reading! :D You just let me know when, and I’m there!


        • disperser says:

          I think you should pick the time since you are probably more time restricted than I am. Also, we should decide on the length (again, because of time).

          As for feedback, I think that’s what beta readers do . . . first impressions and likes and dislikes. Can’t work on the nuts and bolts of a story without first knowing if it clicks.

          Aren’t you working on self publishing a story? Did you use beta readers for it?

          Liked by 1 person

        • Looks like you’re getting yourself a fan club ej; Next thing they’ll be asking for your autograph, don’t think it’d bring much on the market though,

          Your autograph that is!


        • disperser says:

          The club could use a President . . . you gonna step up?


        • Me as President? I’d want to Nationalize everything.


        • disperser says:

          As long as you give my stuff mandatory buying status, I’m on board with that. After all, isn’t that how it works? Take care of yourself, family, friends, all in the name of helping everyone?

          . . . it’s a plausible argument; everyone would benefit from reading my stuff.


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