Floundering Friday

What’s this? Carolyn is totally biting my ‘have nothing to say let’s be witty instead’ style of post?

Time for a throwdown. Only, since I tend to accept others’ premises (yes, therapists have long reminded me of that) I will likely defer to Carolyn’s superior insouciance.

So, shoot.

I got nothing.

Last week, I talked about doing NaNoWriMo; during the subsequent week, I’ve come to realize it is just not for me, but I am writing more than usual, so perhaps that is a nice side-effect of the NaNo Guilt?

I’m finishing up a short story set in the Regency about a returning soldier/viscount and the widow of his comrade. These two are quite different from the characters I’ve done in the past; the heroine is beautiful, and knows it. The hero is more beta than I think I’ve written before. He desires the heroine as soon as he meets her, but thinks she is above him. Because I’ve got nothing but my wit, here’s some of what I’ve been working on:

“What would you do if you had no responsibilities?” she asked, then immediately bit her lip as though regretting her question. Was she reading his mind? “Never mind, I should not have asked that.”

She turned with Joseph in her arms and began to set up a steady pace across the floor.

Mac’s heart hurt. “I think the prospect of no responsibilities was what led me to join the Army in the first place.” He watched as she paused before turning back towards him, maintaining the same slow walk. “But it didn’t work out that way.” He did not want to talk about himself, about what he should be doing. “What would you do?”

She met his gaze, her brown eyes narrowed in thought.

If he found her devastating when she was just being, it was nothing compared to what he thought when she was thinking. His knees actually felt weak.

“I think the same as you. No responsibilities.” She nodded to Joseph. “I’m not speaking of him.” She looked back up at him, her eyes bright with unshed tears. “I’ve just met him, and already can’t imagine life without him.”

Neither can I, Mac thought. A sudden pain hit his heart. When he left, he would be leaving Joseph. And her.

So–what would you do if you had no responsibilities?

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Elena Greene
12 years ago

Interesting question, Megan. I’ve had so many serious responsibilities lately, I’d probably indulge myself at first. I’d enjoy books and movies I missed when they came out. I’d dabble in arts and crafts, play piano again.

Then at some point I’d get involved in various communities and load up on some new responsibilities. I think everyone needs to feel useful.

Diane Gaston
12 years ago

If I had no responsibilities, I’d probably invent some….

You have me totally hooked on your story, by the way!

Louisa Cornell
12 years ago

Love that excerpt! And already love the characters!

Hmmm, if I had no responsibilities and had the time and money I would travel – especially to the UK. If I had no responsibilities I would quit my job and spend a year writing to try my darnedest to get published.

But, as my responsibilities do include the care and feeding of my four-legged kids I will keep plugging and maybe just dream of what I would do if I had no responsibilities!

12 years ago

I’m as close to having no responsibilities as you can be and still be alive 🙂 I have 5 grown kids 1 self sufficient husband and 3 dogs.It is wonderful to be able to read all day and spend lots of time on the computer etc., but Diane is right. A person needs responsibilities to keep them from being too self indulgent and to keep them in the community (what ever that means to you).

Janet Mullany
12 years ago

Nice excerpt!

For me no responsibilities = no deadlines. And when I’m shot of the current ones, I’m going away for a weekend. I fancy Iceland but I know it’s too expensive. It will probably be somewhere in Virginia!

Laura K. Curtis
12 years ago

My imagination fails at the concept of having no responsibilities. I am always taking on more, it seems. A friend once told me “just because you CAN do something, doesn’t mean you HAVE TO.” And yet, I never seem to learn that.

12 years ago

I actually had no responsibilities for a very brief period when I finished in the Peace Corps and had 3 months to get home before my passport expired. I had a wonderful trip around the world planned and started on it. Travel, exploring ruins, nature, cultures, the whole thing so appealed and I was loving it. Unfortunately, 10 days into the 3 month trip I got word my mother was dying. Responsibility reared its head and I went straight home. It is such a joy to take my time at museums and parks or just walking through a city watching life go by.

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