Saturday, January 14, 2006

Alpha Male Meets Alpha Female

Robyn over at Snarkling Clean and a poster at Writeminded do not have much use for plots that conclude with the alpha male/tough guy "fixed" to the point he turns into a shrink-wrapped Mr. Wussy who calls 911 instead of taking care of business.
Can't say I do either.
At the same time I don't have much use for the female who reacts to the alpha male like she's a dying calf in a hailstorm. Women have minds as well as hormones, you know.
Hate to break it to you guys, but a women's mind often goes into high gear the moment the hormone-producing, to-die-for male flexes his cojones. In fact that's usually when women's mind are at their best. Something to do with fate of the world depending on the x+y gestalt, maybe. Believe me though, we are not reduced to emotional mush. This dirty little secret is contrary to the romantic tradition, however. Overcome by passion and all that.
So I wonder if this will fly.

Careful to keep out of the way Damie moved around, snapping shots when the opportunity offered. It was difficult. Al Zaim was so short. Finally she climbed up on some bales of hay stacked behind the cameras in hope of a better view.The scene over, the crew began moving equipment. Al Zaim stood a little apart. She crouched and focused.
A black mane, a brown shoulder and mailed knee moved across the lens. A lazy voice said, "I always wondered what it would be like to snatch up a woman and ride off with her across my saddle bow."
Damie straightened. "John? You ruined my shot!" She looked beyond. Al Zaim had moved. She shrugged and put the camera in her shoulder bag.
"I prefer young Lochinvar," he said.
"Wrong per..." Damie began.
"Come here," he said and reached out.
Damie found herself lifted neatly off her teetering perch and hauled across the saddle. He heeled the horse to a trot.
"Fair damosel, you are my prize! Isn't this romantic!" he added, bending over her. The eyes below the helm were hard and watchful.
Romantic, my ass, thought Damie, you could have've another reason, hero.
"You idiot! You cowboy!" Damie snarled, catching her breath, awkwardly askew. Her hair was down and her tee shirt up. While the mailed coif operated almost as a disguise, the voice was unmistakable. That mouth, she thought.
They halted some yards down the field. He guided her more or less upright. "No, it is not romantic! To be hauled around like a sack of potatoes!...
I'm being strangled by this strap. The pommel of this peculiar saddle is digging into my behind. Your mail scraped my cheek, and it stinks.What did you do that for?"


archer said...

He is not coughing, My Lady. He is flexing his cojones.

Bernita said...

Maybe a little mushy...

Ric said...

...flexing his cojones.

Ah, if it were only that easy.

Rick said...

Bernita - Have I not had enough coffee yet this morning? The text snippet doesn't really seem to relate to the theme, since Al Zaim* isn't being an Alpha Male - he's just playing one on TV. Or at least a movie.

I don't know the trend in romance books - I'm not the target audience. But isn't the heroine who doesn't turn to mush when the hero does his cojones-flexing thing pretty much a standard in romantic adventure, etc.? Certainly in the last 20 years or so, and I don't seem to recall Maureen O'Hara turning to mush, either.

*Al Zaim? Isn't that the 27th guy to be identified as Number Three in al-Qaeda?

Bernita said...

Fiction here, Ric, fiction.

Probably not a lack of coffee, Rick, but a lack of "The story to date".
Our Girl has been asked to get photos of a suspicious individual(al Zaim) attached to a conference which she is attending.
John (on the horse) is a re-enactor.He is also a cop.
So you don't think that arbitrarily hauling a woman over your saddle is alpha? Rather than,for example, putting out a hand and saying, "Why don't you climb down from there, it looks shaky," in a nice beta way?
Oh well.My bad.
From what I've read, the kick-ass heroine in the category romance has only emerged to any degree in the last five years.
Don't mention "Gone with the Wind" to me. I have no romantic taste evidently. I think it's stilted crap. I also think the movie.
sucked.I will now be shunned as a philistine and an apostate.
I thought the Third Man in Al Qaida was called something like Zippedy-dooda. If not, then I'll have to make some hasty changes. Chose al Zaim because research indicated it was one of those generic Syrian names.

R.J. Baker said...

Lost me with the two uses of mailed...thought you had gone Postal. I looked it up and still am un... mail as in . . . oh, I think I get it the chain type mail.

Sorry, I don't have the context to give a valid op.

I'd Google the name though. Not sure al-Qaeda and romance mix.

Rick said...

Bernita - Yeah, back story illuminates a bit! I had missed the name John entirely, and thought al Zaim was the guy who snagged her up!

Still, truth to be told, I think John is just being a jerque. Alpha Male is snagging her up on horseback when it matters - like when the Black Knight is coming up at the gallop with about 500 of his best buds, and even Alpha Male knows it is not the very best moment for a countercharge. So he wastes no time, but grabs Alpha Female and is off like a shot.

To me, this is where the rubber meets the road, because who could blame a gal for going mush in that particular situation? Alpha Male has every good reason to think he's earned her ... gratitude. But Alpha Female has to make the genuine tough call about where this all fits into her own agenda, doesn't she?

Don't mention "Gone With the Wind" to me, either. Never read the book (no surprise?), only vaguely remember the movie. My sympathies are mostly with General Sherman.

Since the 27+ Number Three guys in al-Qaeda are all generic Arabs, you will never be able to escape a name that might be him.

Bernita said...

R.J. diya think I'm so sloppy I wouldn't have googled the name? Only thing that comes up on yahoo search is an earlier post of this blog.Google says "not found." And there seems to be no later associations of the surname alone, with Bin Laden.

Why shouldn't "romance" and terrorism, even current Islamic terrorism, mix?
Would you care to elucidate as to why it might be inappropriate?Please?

Bernita said...

Rick, that's the problem with the 21st Century. Guys get called jerks. Perhaps I should have extended the snippit to include the fact that John sees one of the lesser villains creeping up on her while she is intent on photography.
I will admit though there's a minor element of satire operating here.

M. G. Tarquini said...

I don't care if the guy calls 911. In fact, that's usually my first question in most Lifetime Movies and Sci-Fi Channel production:

"Um, why is nobody calling 911, running away, hitting him over the head with a lamp, letting the army know about the giant cockroaches in the old salt mine?"

I just don't want the male getting in touch with his inner child. Better he gets in touch with his inner adult.

Rick said...

Bernita - Yes, context explains much! After all, the snippet gave me no particular reason to think that John was justifying his ongoing consumption of Earth's oxygen supply.

Bernita said...

Em, I think the original objection was his calling 911 when HE was 911...
But yeah, the standard objection to ditzy females in the genre, TSTL, (Too Stupid To Live) applies also to the other sex and other scenarios.

Bernita said...

I'm sorry, Rick, I slung this post up without due regard to the fact that not everyone here is familiar with the plot as described and/or excerpted in earlier posts.
Dim, dim, dim.
No wonder you thought WTF.

Ric said...

I thought you were writing from experience.. you know, stuff you'd done....well, maybe with a little embellishment...just a little, nothing that would cause anyone to check....

or leave us to wonder as to the exact placement of saddle pommel that caused her such annoyance?

Erik Ivan James said...

I liked it and don't blame her a bit for being pissed. If he really wanted to get laid by her, he would have fell off the horse, became a temporary junk-heap, given her the animal as transportation to complete her work, then waited for her to come back and decide if she wanted to screw his lights out---or at least give him a can of oil to lubricate his "mail/male" parts.

Bernita said...

~begins again, giggles~
I'm aFreyed not.
How does it go? "Any entirely coincindental..."
It says her "behind". Maybe you should have a look at a picture of a medieval saddle. You'd understand.

Bernita said...

~thumping louder~
This is an erotic novel.I mean there's stuff init, and yes, he really would like to get...and she would like ... um... but, it's not an has terrorists and dragons 'TIL CHAPTER 12!!

BTW, thank you for stopping by.Read one of your posts.
~must go turn down the thermostat~

Lisa S. said...


Thanks for the encouraging words on my blog. it is so appreciated. I'm enjoying your blog and the little coathanger cartoons. Hope you won't mind if I link to you.

M. G. Tarquini said...

So he was 911, but he called 911. Isn't that comedy then.

Sorry, the snot is taking over, the brain is getting squeezed again.

Bernita said...

Lisa, I'm flattered.
You are articulate and thoughtful, and I look forward to reading more of your blog.

Mindy, get to a doctor, please - you're courting pneumonia or something dire and unnecessary, dear girl.

M. G. Tarquini said...

NONONO. I'm just courting more of this stupid croup. It's not that bad this time around. I'll see the doc on Monday. They did a chest x-ray a couple of weeks ago. It was clear. I was better for a while, now it's trying to come back. It's all upper lung - bronchial stuff. Now, it's mostly in my nose. So...we're doing better, I suppose.

Robyn said...

Oh, yes, Bernita. I definately want a heroine with cajones of her own, so to speak.

My objection to de-cajoned heroes is that no real reason is given for the change beyond "But I'm in love now."

I like Rhett Butler. Sorry. Much better than that Mama's boy from Hardy's Return of the Native. (I did a term paper on the dissimilar heroes and similar heroines of the two books.)

R.J. Baker said...

"Why shouldn't "romance" and terrorism, even current Islamic terrorism, mix?
Would you care to elucidate as to why it might be inappropriate?Please?"

Hey, it all works in my genre...

Sela Carsen said...

I'm not much for cojones on my heroines. All that upper body strength bespeaks steroidal help to me. My heroines have a tendency to hit like, well, like girls. But they've got a kick like a mule. ;)

Bernita said...

"Upper body strength" Sela?
The Silicon Bosom vs. the Concave Bra?
No, no, natural hormones.