Monday, May 29, 2006

Inspired by a shark's underside

I was making progress with my next book until a bad boy-shark's genitals got me thinking.

Instead of following the I 75 all the way to Florida for the Romantic Times Bookclub convention, I took a detour East through the Smokey Mountains to visit the aquarium at Gatlinburg. As a result, I drove on through North and South Carolina, and Georgia.

I also let my mind wander.

The concept of a male shark's claspers (which look like labia when not deployed) fascinates me. However, I am not about to give my alien djinn males claspers in their groins. A penile bone and a tattoo is about as far as I'm willing to deviate from the conventional wisdom of what is romantic and "normal" in a hero's wedding tackle.

The Gatlinburg aquarium is impressive. It has a very long viewing tunnel of three inch thick glass (it might be perspex) through which visitors progress majestically on a travelator while very large and dangerous fish swim overhead and alongside.

One hears how sharks have to keep swimming to live. Not these boys. Their bellies and genitals were pressed to the glass above the gaping tourists. I wonder whether the tunnel vibrated pleasurably --because of the travelator-- or whether it was warm, or whether the sharks are exhibitionists.

That thought led to musings about figuratively cold blooded heroes, which is unfortunate.

The logical choice for the next Great Djinn to find a mate, fall in love and live happily ever after ought to be Rhett, or so I thought. He's the elegant, calculating, slightly anachronistic swordsman, inspired more by Adam Adamant than any of George Lucas's knights.

However, if Rhett is too shark-like -- or too busy being an intergalactic statesman-- to fall in love, I may need to find an alternate hero for the next book. So, perhaps it is back to the drawing board for me!

Best wishes,

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