I suck at seasonal writing. I think it’s because I normally do the e-book thing and not shorts. First round publishing rights for e-books is measured in years. When you do the shorts for websites, they can control when access to the story is highest thus making seasonal stories more applicable.
Also, I tend to get my seasonal plotbunnies after the holiday. “Sojouner” is loosely Halloween themed and the plotbunny jumped in my head the day after Halloween. My Christmas plotbunnies tend to nibble around New Years. As bad as it sounds, I’ve never written anything to do with Valentine’s Day.
Never. I’ve not used it in any of my stories. “Tainted Past” mentions Thanksgiving football, but not Valentine’s Day. I’ve handled birthdays and anniversaries, but never the most romantic holiday of the year. I really should write more about Valentine’s Day, it’s bigger than I thought. In this article , they state that “according to the National Retail Federation” consumers spent nearly $14 billion on gifts and that the per capita average is approximately $100.00.
That’s a lot of chocolate and roses. Or, if you made it into the Trippon’s top 10 list of most expensive gifts (reference same article as linked above) that’s a whole lot of sports cars, diamonds and personal jets.
So, why haven’t I written more about something that includes everything from chocolate to jets? It can’t be a lack of material. LOL!
I think that’s because I’m not all that floo-floo romantic in my real life. Come to think of it my books aren’t floo-floo romantic either. Romantic, yes. Floo-floo romantic? No.
My type of gift is chocolate. Don’t give me flowers. They die and it’s depressing. For gods’ sakes don’t give me a plant! I will kill it with the exception of my Confused Vegan Venus Flytrap. I’m great with cats, but I suck with plants. Anyone who gives me jewelry doesn’t know me. I regularly wear two pieces of jewelry. My wedding band and engagement ring. For the rest of my life, I can see myself wanting one more piece of jewelry and that’s a thin plain rose gold band to mark my ten year anniversary with hubby—coming up in four years. Wow—this year makes six years? Time flies when you’re having fun!
I’m not one of those expensive chocolate gals either. A nice dark chocolate bar will work. I do love those tacky heart shaped sampler things—they look gaudy, but taste great. However, I stumbled across this site, BELISI on Valentine's , and they have something rather interesting in the chocolate department. (If you’re not a chocolate kind of person…and I think that should be illegal…but they also have other non-edible things such as pajamas, spa suggestions, and even a guide to writing some love letters.)
They have a chocolate gift thingy that contains a fondue pot. Which I find particularly funny. I’ve never used Valentine’s day in a fic, but I have used a fodue pot. It shows up in “Tainted Past.”
Here’s a snippet (PG rated prelude to a kissing. It is m/m if you’re offended by that stop reading now. This also hasn’t been tweaked by my editor yet.)
Conner stood in the kitchen tending to a fondue pot. The wax paper on the counter still had more room. Several chocolate-coated stemmed cherries already lined up on the sheet. Should he go a head and get another sheet ready or…no, he had room for two more rows. He glanced out the kitchen window and looked at the snow-covered yard.
A new year already. The time had passed all too quickly these past few months.
Tyler walked into the kitchen and stood behind Conner. "What's this?" He rested his chin on Conner's shoulder. The chocolate swirled beneath Conner's command. Thick, dark, and smooth, it spiraled as Conner stirred it. A little chocolate wake rippled through it when the blond dipped a cherry in it. Tyler whimpered when a fresh chocolate covered cherry marched barely past his nose.
"It's dessert." Conner playfully tapped Tyler's nose. "Not for now."
"But, I want it now." He slid his hand down Conner's arm and "helped" with the stirring and dipping.
Conner shifted his weight and leaned into Tyler's chest. Tyler had been living here for eight months now and still slept in the guest room. This was the most contact he'd had with his "Sweet T" and was going to soak it up. He turned his head and brushed the tip of his nose against Tyler's cheek. "Are you trying to help me cook? You know I take my kitchen very seriously."
"Is that so?" Tyler smirked. "I seem to remember a pasta fight three days ago."
"That was you and Scott derogating my special haven. Blasphemy." A bit of "blasphemy" that Conner laughed through and threw his fair share of pasta, but that wasn't for discussion now. He had cherries to coat. With the latest cherry properly coated he, with Tyler's "help", lifted the cherry from the fondue pot. Together they carried it to the wax paper.
Tyler quickly diverted it toward his parted lips. "Wax paper can't appreciate warm chocolate."
Conner's mouth dropped open, "You scoundrel!" He fought the diversion enough to only drizzle some chocolate on Tyler's chin and lips. At least the cherry was safe. Once the chocolate-covered soldier joined the ranks of the cherry army, Conner turned his attention to the agent provocateur. And, oh, how provocative he was with sugary sweetness decorating his lips. Tyler lips, puffy and pouty, were hard enough to resist without chocolate. With chocolate, they made Conner's jaw ache.
Oh yes, that fondue pot has possibilities! Many of which I’m sure the manufacturer never intended!
There’s also a discussion going on at the website about fab or flop gifts. This should be comical!