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He was just a man full of lust and desire . . . sadly, not for her.

Updated: Apr 9, 2021

The Robin's Nest - James A. Rockridge

"All of us are drunk on conflict creatures, wasted on the ins and outs of passion, the reader and the writer, the one puffing the burn of the other," ~ James A. Rockridge, author of Saving Lily - The Enders Game.

I am an expert on creative writing, though, not because I have a wash pot full of diplomas or a new novel, "The Robin's Nest," in production, but because I understand what works for me.

These days, it seems the bonafide experts have much advice for the novice writer and a duffle bag full of creating well-rounded, emotional players.

They claim readers possess a sparse affinity for imagining traits in characters. The writers must convince the readers that our heroes are living and breathing. That they are made of flesh and blood and that their bothering with our paragraphs doesn't become an arduous task. Nobody really wants to drop and do fifty pushups while they're reading.

Of course, then, our heroes are incarnate musts—individuals possessing emotions, both meaningful and appropriate.

In a scene from my upcoming novel, "The Robin's Nest," set in 1841 Mississippi, Rachel Hartley sees Nathan Creekmore as her next catch, the glorious number three. In fact, he has resisted her advances for at least three years. However, Rachel has convinced herself that, on this particular night, Nathan will surrender to her desires. She's about to pull out all stops. Having arrived at his home late at night, Rachel peeped through the front door, and to her dismay, discovered Nathan making love to a beautiful young woman he recently purchased. She couldn't bear the sight any longer, retreating to her carriage.

Her emotions bleed on the page. Her neurological circuitry has been hacked. As the writer, I stepped on a nerve now and then until she's dancing naked before the reader's eyes.

On her hands and knees, Rachel crawled down the creaking plank steps to her carriage. His aim had been inevitable, unwavering: to ravage stolen innocence, to satisfy his driving lust deep inside a needy young woman of no more than fifteen desperate years old.

Nathan was just a man.

Sitting in the seat, Rachel snatched several locks from her head, causing the mare to snort and rear. She tugged gently on the reins. "Whoa," she said softly to calm the horse. Why had those golden locks that draped from the table's edge, rippling in concert with a brutal, thunderous, sensual, and vociferous struggle, not been weaved to Rachel's obnoxious head? Nathan must surely think she is repulsive.

A rusty prune in a valley of delicious grapes that is what I am, she thought. Somehow, she couldn't quite figure out why she was unable to stop hurting.

For the first time in all her life, she understood a certainty. In her pointless subsistence, thirty-eight isn't age like twenty, eighteen, or even fourteen. Never has been, nor shall it ever be. In her inspection, thirty-eight abides, as something of a faraway province, and not just any old country but also a special place, a place of pointless futility and wasted insanity.

All that remains is the piteous begging to understand why and how she arrived at this place so soon.

James A. Rockridge


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