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Friday, August 21, 2009

Room Within A Room

Room within a room is one of the most romantic elements of life. Of a movie. Of a book.

What is a room within a room?

It’s a moment in time when only the hero and heroine exist within a crowd. Everything, everyone else is excluded. The moment when hearts pound, your body feels warm, caressed. Even fear of the connection you’ve made.

They may be little moments throughout the story, but their importance is crucial to the overall chemistry that brings a satisfying end.

I love the moments that have me holding my breath, smiling, tearing up and the overall aw of it.

Here a few off the top of my head . They’re not necessarily in a crowd, they are public places with others around.

Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks in Sleepless in Seattle have a couple of these that stand out in my mind – the first time they see each other when she’s standing in the middle of the road; see each other in the Statue of Liberty.

And again, in You’ve Got Mail – the look on their faces when they meet in the park – his unsure smile all because he doesn’t know what her reaction will be to find it’s him, her face scrunching up when she sees him - the first time you see it, you’re not sure if she’s upset because it is him.

My favorite line in the whole movie is “I wanted it to be you.”

We all write the scenes: It’s the buildup of sexual tension.

Heroine gazes around the room, a fleeting look, notices the man watching her, seconds later, the glance is a little longer, more communicative.

The hero holds her close on a crowded dance floor; their bodies moving as one; their hearts whispering to one another. She might gaze up at him with a shy, or not so shy, but knowing look.

Maybe share a kiss, a caress. No words need exchanged.

Maybe they’re at a table for two, he reaches over and caresses her hand while they talk.

They may be holding hands, but while they may be talking to someone else, one of them might caress the palm of the other - I love these little tele-tale signs they're thinking about each other.

All rather cliché when put in a list, but we have the ability to change them up, put twists on them and come away with the same affect. I love it! This is what makes being a writer fun.

When I began to write this post, I stopped every now and again to search my published work and it was disheartening in a way. Then I realized that I’m fine. Not all of our moments need to be room within a room. My hero and heroines are pretty much alone when their moments happen. The closest thing I have to a public display where they tuned everything out is in A Psychic Hitch. It's a story about a woman in her mid-thirties and wants to have a child, but doesn't want the man. This excerpt is from a scene where Allen shows up determined to show her they belong together despite her insistence otherwise. Circumstances play havoc with her emotions, but it's a pivotal scene in the respect she now must come to terms with feelings she doesn't want to have.

***

Her heart fell. By now, he knew every secret and had heard every embarrassing childhood story. The women in her family knew exactly how to talk fast and fill in the blanks for each other. She entered the bar and rounded the booths in time to hear her mother say, “She’s stubborn, but don’t let up.”

Allen sat beside her mother with his hands in hers. Her mark of approval. Oh, no! Tears stung the back of her eyes, but she pasted on a smile.

She walked up to the group and kissed her mom on the cheek. “Hi, Mom.” She glared at her sisters. “I see you’ve met Allen.”

“We’ve been getting to know him.” The gleam in her baby sister’s eyes confirmed her fears.

Allen stood and held his chair for her to sit next to her mother. Without thinking, she took his hand. “Listen, I’d love to stay and chat, but I promised to fix a catfish dinner and it’s getting late.”

Her mother stood and cupped her cheeks. “Honey, it’s all right.” She looked away from her mother, hating how she knew her so well. This wasn’t the time or place for her to bring up matters she didn’t want Allen to know about. Her mother let her go. “Go feed this wonderful man and we’ll see you at dinner Sunday.”

She glared at her sisters. “I will see you later.”

Cheri nearly pulled Allen away from them and out the front door. He stopped her with a yank on her arm. “What?” she asked.

“You tell me.”

“Everyone thinks you’re so damn perfect. Everything you do—my mother was holding your hand.”

“Jealous?”

“No, I’m not jealous. She made you part of the family and…” She stepped away from him. Her chest hurt and the tightness threatened to turn off the air. “They told you things you have no right knowing. The reasons I can’t use someone I know; a sperm bank. The reason I don’t want you in my life. They had no right to gang—”

Allen leaned over and kissed her, putting a halt to her ranting, then scooped her up in his arms. “Put me down!” He walked past the full-length windows, in full view of the women. “You idiot. I have to put up with those hens after you leave tomorrow.”

“They seem harmless enough.”

“Oh, my God! They are the least harmless bunch of women when it comes to relationships of a sibling.”

He set her on her feet at the car. “Cheri, they tried to tell me what you’re afraid of, but I stopped them. You need to be the one to tell me. I want to hear it from you.”

Pissed that they were so willing to tell him, she spit out, “There isn’t anything you need to know. You’re leaving tomorrow and that’s the end of the story.”

“Is it?”

“It has to be. And the reasons are mine. It was never part of the deal for you to come here, or meet my family.” She turned and stormed across the road to the parking lot, leaving him to follow or not. He caught up with her at the car and she whirled on him when he took hold of her arm. “Drop it!”

His hand fell. “Honey, the reasons don’t matter, but I’d like to know—”

“No. Allen.” How could she stand here and tell him what happened between them meant nothing and she couldn’t trust him with her secrets? She wasn’t so sure of that anymore.

***

Here's to many Rooms Within Rooms to come for all of us.

[I'm sorry for the late post -- I had an unexpected family deal this morning.]


Bekki
Contemporary romance with sizzling sensuality
Jewel of the Sun’s BLOOD DESTINY- coming soon
LOVE, Stalker of the Heart – a poetry collection – available now
A Psychic Hitch available now
Last Glass of Wine available now
Servin' It Up available now at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

12 comments:

Lindsay Townsend said...

Beautiful and thought-provoking post, Bekki. I agree with you -those moments when a couple really connect and the rest of the cosmos falls back are truly magical.

Families! You capture them perfectly in your excerpt. It's a great scene that really rings true.

A room within a room - such times are the heart of romance. Thank you for showing that so vividly.

Serena Shay said...

Aaah Bekki, I love that room! To find that connection with another is the best feeling!

Now I must find out more about Allen and Cheri!!

Bekki Lynn said...

Thanks, Lindsay.

I'm glad it was thought provoking. Sometimes I don't know where these things come from. ;)

I seem to include family in most, if not all, of my work. I never really thought about it before. It's natural. Family rounds a character and gives the reader more of a sense of who the character is as a person, I think.

Bekki Lynn said...

Oh, I know, Serena. Even in real life, those moments catch me off guard.

They're an awesome couple!

A hint, if you like trivia contests. The story contains an answer to a question which will be among those put up for this years contest. ;)

Savanna Kougar said...

Oh Bekki, I love those ROOM WITHIN A ROOM scenes in movies, in romance novels... and I wish I'd had a lot more of them in my own life... that kind of complete intimacy just does it for me.
You've expressed it brilliantly and a whole heart.

Bekki Lynn said...

You have them in your heart, Savanna. It comes out in your writing so eloquently.

Jane Richardson, writer said...

Bekki, I love this. A room within a room, a moment, that special kind of bubble created around two people. You make me think of that split-focus thing they do in movies now, where the foreground comes forward somehow, and the back ground recedes, and it really intensifies the moment, the connection - and it's all that exists. Lovely post, Bekki. :)

Jane x

Bekki Lynn said...

Jane, thank you.

Yes, I never really though of the the movies doing that. I guess I'm so focussed on the people, I don't notice. Or maybe I thought it was me who pulled them forward with my intense concentration. lol

Jane Richardson, writer said...

Bekki, it probably WAS you, and I wouldn't be surprised one bit! You do seem to have a way of intensifying the moment. The more I read of your excerpts, the more clear that becomes. I'm really enjoying what I read of your stuff. :)

Jane x

LORETTA CANTON said...

A room within a room, I never thought of it like that. I would like to find a connection with someone like that, It has been awhile.

lorettaC,
lbcanton@verizon.net

Bekki Lynn said...

Thanks so much, Jane. That's such a wonderful compliment.

Bekki Lynn said...

I think it's ultimate room.

I do hope you have the chance to experience it again, Loretta.