Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Creativity #GuestPost and #BookSpotlight - "Only a Good Man Will Do" by Dee S Knight

Thank you, Dee, for your insight into Creativity!

Writers often say that they have a muse who sits on their shoulders, gently whispering words of encouragement. And let’s face it, it’s easy to listen to the muse in the ideal environment. Give me a cup of steaming coffee and a recliner. I cuddle in the chair wearing my bunny slippers and happily type away on the AlphaSmart.

In these situations, the muse is satisfied. She smiles, she sings. Words flow from the brain to the fingers. With a single breath, characters come to life, actions are cobbled together to converge at plot points, and “dark” moments grow positively black with ease. Life is good.

But what about those times when the environment is not so conducive to happy, productive thoughts? What about when you’re…at work? *shudder* No music, sunny window, recliner. No bunny slippers. ☹

Here’re examples of four women who bring creativity to that dreaded sterile workplace. Their names have been changed to protect the guilty.

1. Markie.
I worked with Markie, a mature woman with a wicked sense of humor. Truth be told, there were days when we talked and laughed more than we worked. Markie has one teeny, tiny problem. She’s an artist trapped in a proofreader’s job.

Markie proofs business cards, letterhead and envelopes, determining placement of text (within 1/16”), and font size. Pretty dry stuff. So what does Markie do to let her artist’s soul fly? Well, last spring she spent most of her free moments planning the decorations for her daughter’s prom. For weeks she designed, cut, painted and assembled the makings of a Mardi Gras stage. This spring she’s planning to enroll in a watercolor class. The muse will not be stifled!

2. Tanya
Tanya is a young woman full of charm and fun. Her job is even more exacting than Markie’s. She’s a typesetter, creating the material Markie proofs. Accuracy and stringent attention to detail makes this a dull kind of job, especially for someone as creative as Tanya.

So what does she do? She enhances the forms and paperwork she passes to others in the workplace by adding flourishes and doodles. She writes the word SEP (for color separation) in fancy script, fills in the negative space in the wording with bright color and adds sun rays to letters. I always knew when I received a ticket from Tanya because it made me smile.

3. Flora
Flora works for a large university, and spends time performing such exciting tasks as organizing graduate student folders, following a checklist and answering innumerable, repetitive questions.

Creativity? Flora has it in spades. She wears a tee shirt proclaiming, “I’m probably not listening to you,” and responds to professorial comments in ways both creative and unexpected. Quick-witted Flora quips verbal jewels that I wouldn’t think of until days later. And, she writes! I love her fast mind and ability to see everything in artistic, new perspectives.

4. Pam
The insurance world is known for its deadly dull, intricate, detailed contracts, and my good friend Pam creates and manages some of the largest for insurance mega-giants. It’s an exacting, left-brain job for a brilliant right-brain lady like my friend.

Pam gets away from her job by creating gorgeous jewelry at home. She’s a master artist, taking the simplest stones and turning them into works of art. Even the smallest wire is twisted and woven into the overall beauty of the piece.

These are just four of the very special women I know who don’t let their less-than-creative environments stifle their muse. I admire them for making their jobs—and their lives—more exciting, fun and colorful. Like me, they believe we owe it to ourselves to use any opportunity to brighten our lives, enrich the days of those around us and make our corners of the world better, happier places. What do you do to answer the muse?


Blurb: 

Seriously ambitious man seeks woman to encourage his goals, support his (hopeful) position as Headmaster of Westover Academy, and be purer than Caesar's wife. Good luck with that!

Daniel Goodman is a man on a mission. He aims to become headmaster of Westover Academy. For that he needs a particular, special woman to help him set high standards. Into his cut and dried life of moral and upright behavior, comes Eve Star, formerly one of Europe's foremost exotic dancers. Her life is anything but cut and dried, black and white. Daniel is drawn to her like a kid to chocolate. Nothing good can come of this attraction. Or can it? He is after all, a good man.

Buy links:

B&N https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1129630612?ean=2940161770603
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/898008

Excerpt:

Daniel walked into the parlor of the headmaster’s house Saturday afternoon seeking first the food table and second, his friend, Stan Baxter. He spotted them both near the front window.

“You’re late,” Stan said.

“Lots of people wanted to chat.” Parents’ Weekend, when teachers sat in their classrooms to meet their students’ mothers and fathers, meant mandatory tea afterwards for all professionals at the Academy. Board members and parents attended at their own discretion, and the boys—the reason the school existed and they were all there—mostly stayed out of sight and hearing.

“Fortunately for me, a good many parents now have grabbed their progeny and left campus, so I have access to the snacks unimpeded,” Daniel said, examining the finger food on display before making his selections. The challenge was always how to load his plate while appearing to take a socially acceptable portion. “Did I miss anything?”

“Only an angel.” Stan turned toward the window. “Holy Mother! Look at that,” he muttered.

“What?” Daniel asked, fitting a cucumber sandwich beside the smoked salmon-topped cracker on his dessert plate. “Am I missing a table of fare? I swear, every year the offerings at these teas are more meager than the last.”

Stan chuckled and answered in the same low voice, “Is your stomach all you think about? I was talking about another kind of dish. One you can have fun eating in bed, if you catch my drift. And she just slipped out onto the lawn.”

“Is your libido all you think about?” Daniel bit a carrot stick in two and sighed. Only three more hours and he could order a pizza. With all of his charges gone from the dormitory for Parents’ Weekend, he had a rare, private, two-day holiday ahead of him. With the tiny plate full, he joined Stan at the large windows. “Where is this goddess?”

“There. In the red dress and hat.”

Daniel saw nothing but the shapely form of a woman walking away. Slender ankles topped three inch heels. A dress of some kind of lustrous material hit her mid-calf. The style was soft and feminine, and berry red. Not many women showed up at Westover in a color sure to make them the focus of attention. Not that most of them didn’t expect to be the focus—didn’t demand it, in fact—but they usually weren’t so obvious. The breeze at her back molded the material to the curves of her hips and ass, and fluttered the dress’s full sleeves. A wide-brimmed hat hid her hair, but based on what was visible, Daniel easily imagined a long column of neck designed for kissing.

“If the rest of her matches the back view, you’ve got reason to be drooling down the front of your gown.”

Frowning, Stan glanced down as though to make sure the drool comment was only facetious. “Can’t afford to drool on this. I had to use my tax refund to pay for the thing and show off my Master’s chevrons. I don't know how you afforded to pay for your Ph.D. paraphernalia.”

“The new degree looks sharp on you. Now, why are you mooning over a woman you see at the headmaster’s tea, when you know she’s some student’s mother and off limits?”

“She looks young enough to be a sister, so it’s not a given she’s out of bounds.”

At that moment, a young boy wearing the school uniform and a big grin ran up to the woman. She bent to catch him in her arms. When she straightened, she ruffled the boy’s hair. His expression and his wagging finger showed that he chastised her, but then he laughed and finger-combed the mussed hair back into place. She took his hand and they walked toward the circle where most of the parents parked. Looking up at the woman, the boy’s lips moved the whole while, carrying on a steady monologue.

Something in her actions captured Daniel’s attention. They were artless, performed naturally and with unabashed love. The child fairly skipped beside her and the frequent turns of her head showed she looked at him as though hanging on every word he spoke.

“How wonderful,” Daniel murmured, impressed with her total attention to the boy. “Did you see that?”

“Oh, yeah. I didn’t think her hips would ever stop swaying, and it’s a crime they make hemlines so long.”

Daniel laughed. “You’re such a hedonist.”

“And proud of it. But you were right. Looks like she’s a student’s mother after all. Damn the luck.”

For once, Daniel agreed with his friend. But not just because of the woman’s obvious good figure. More because she seemed to love her son and didn’t care who knew it. He normally kept his distance from flashy women, as this one appeared to be, based on her dress color, but her easy manner with the boy would be enough to make him ignore his own inclination toward the conservative. If she weren’t also a patron of the school. Assuming the gods smiled on him and he became headmaster, he and the woman would be on business terms, and nothing good ever came from mixing business with pleasure. Pleasure is what every male instinct in him screamed she would be.

Bio:

A few years ago, Dee S. Knight began writing, making getting up in the morning fun. During the day, her characters killed people, fell in love, became drunk with power, or sober with responsibility. And they had sex, lots of sex. Writing was so much fun Dee decided to keep at it. That's how she spends her days. Her nights? Well, she's lucky that her dream man, childhood sweetheart, and long-time hubby are all the same guy, and nights are their secret. For romance ranging from sweet to historical, contemporary to paranormal and more join Dee on Nomad Authors. Contact Dee at dsknight@deesknight.com.
Author links:


14 comments:

  1. Now I want to know what's going on over that at night!
    I loved reading your take on writing. I also now need to get this book based on the description.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thumbs up to the four creative women. The workplace can indeed be stifling to creativity. I loved every page of Only A Good Man Will Do. This is a great excerpt!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Suzanne! As for work, anyone who can find ways to be creative has my admiration!

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  3. Hi Dee:
    I love, Flora, “I’m probably not listening to you.” She is a hoot.
    Only A Goodman Will Do is worth the read. Try it out people you'll love it.
    Callie

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks, Callie! Flora is definitely a hoot, and she can write that hardest of novel, a comedy!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great post, Dee! I enjoyed reading about those creative women. I too have a job that some would consider dull, I'm a compliance officer in a pharmaceutical company. But I spend a lot of my spare time writing about shape shifting mermen and time travelling warlocks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know about your creativity and writing, Alice--it's great! Thanks for commenting.

      Delete
  6. I started reading Only A Good Man Will Do and got sidelined. I need to pick it back up. The story is intriguing and spicy. Great interview Dee.

    Carol

    ReplyDelete


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