Saturday, January 2, 2010

No Kiss Blogfest!!!!

It's a moment we've all seen and read hundreds of times. Two characters lean toward each other and we think, "Squee! They're going to kiss!"

And then...


Maybe it's because one character isn't ready to face those emotions. Maybe it's because the feeling isn't mutual. Or maybe it's because an evil Sea Witch sent her pesky eels to rock the boat--literally. Whatever the reason, the moment passes and the characters find themselves victims of the "No Kiss," or as I prefer to call it, the "Almost Kiss." Which is what we're here to celebrate today.

The lovely and talented (and occasionally evil) Frankie at Frankie Writes has deemed today the Official No-Kiss Blogfest (because apparently she has the power to do that) and encouraged everyone to post No-Kiss scenes they've written and their favorite No-Kiss moments from books and movies. And since I was terrified of what she might dare me to do if I didn't obey, I am participating, even though my WIP is Middle Grade and my characters aren't anywhere near kissing. Which means I've had to dust off some characters and part of a scene from an old screenplay I wrote and turn it into prose (and try to step out of my middle-grade mentality--which isn't easy. I've been thinking like a twelve-year old for over a year). All I can say is be kind, I haven't written sexual tension in forever and I threw this together really quick:

       “How much longer?” Katie asked, watching the sky. The stars glittered like diamonds against black velvet—breathtaking. But she’d been staring at it for ten minutes. She was kind of over it. Plus the damp grass was soaking through her jeans and an icy breeze kept blowing her hair into her eyes.
       “Should be any minute,” Connor promised. “Don’t be so impatient.”
       “But it’s freezing out here.” She locked her jaw to stop her teeth from chattering.
       “That’s why I brought a blanket.” He scooted closer, wrapping the soft red fleece around them like a cocoon. He left his arm draped across her shoulders and she leaned against it, soaking up his warmth.
       “Why don’t you ever get cold?” she complained.
       “I don’t know if you realize this, but most people don’t shiver when it’s sixty five degrees outside.”
       She pouted. “It’s colder than that.”
       “Not by much.”
       His hand rubbed her arm, warming her with the friction. She leaned against his shoulder, closing her eyes, inhaling the scent of soap on his skin. Connor always smelled like clean, fresh air. She’d missed that smell. She’d missed him. And for the first time all week she felt her body relax. 
       The next thing she knew Connor was jostling her arm. “Hey, wake up. You’re missing it.”
       She stretched, wondering how long she’d drifted off for, and opened her eyes. Her mouth fell open.
       Streaks of light cut through the sky around a glowing silver moon—a celestial disco raining confetti all around them. She blinked, trying to take it all in.
       “Beautiful, isn’t it?” Connor asked.
       She nodded. Beautiful wasn’t a powerful enough word, but she couldn’t think of a better way to describe it. She wasn’t sure the right words existed.
       Connor took her hand, intertwining their fingers. “I’m glad you came tonight,” he whispered. He leaned his head against hers, his breath tickling her skin. “You’re the only person I’d want to share this with, Katie.”
       She froze.
       Once again he’d blurred the lines of friendship between them, and this time he was going to cross them—she could feel it. His whole body radiated heat and energy, and every muscle was tensed, ready to react.
       He was going to kiss her.
       She sucked in a breath.
       Oh God—how could she be so stupid?
       Why didn’t she realize? Why didn’t she bring another friend? Why did she let him get so close?
       And how would she get out of this without destroying everything?
       She cleared her throat, shattering the moment. “So, um … that’s it, right? That’s what you wanted to show me?” She untangled herself from the blanket and his arms. “Can we go home now?”
       His pale green eyes glazed with confusion. “You don’t want to stay a little longer?” He pointed to the sky, to the meteors still raining down. “It’s not over yet.”
       Oh, it was over. He just didn’t realize. 
       She forced a smile as she jumped to her feet. “No. I think it’s time to go.”
       The silence between them felt thick enough to touch, and she held her breath, waiting for him to break it. After an eternity he let out a long, deep sigh and stood up beside her. “Okay. I’ll take you home.”
       “Thanks Connor.” She bit her lip. “Sorry. I'm just really tired.”
       He took a deep breath and shrugged. “It’s okay. There's always next time.”
      "Yeah. I guess there is.” And now she’d have to make sure there wasn’t.

Okay, my stomach is in knots right now and I kinda want to scroll up and delete that but I promised to participate so I won't.

And now to show you how it's supposed to be done, here is my favorite "No-Kiss" moment by the incredible Robin Brande, who was kind enough to give me permission to post this. The scene is from Fat Cat--an absolutely amazing book I highly, HIGHLY recommend you buy and read immediately--and it takes place toward the end of the book (so if you don't like Spoilers you might not want to read it). It is everything a perfect "No Kiss" should be (in my humble opinion at least):

       Matt unlocked the passenger door of his car and I darted inside. He ran around to his side and hustled in. He started the car to blast the heater, then we both sat there for a minute, breathless, smiling, our hair and faces drenched.
       Of course my hair totally started to frizz. He reached out and gathered up a few strands at their ends. "I was so happy when you let it go back to being curly this year. It reminds me of when we were little."
       My breath sort of caught at that.
       And then Matt's smile started to fade and his eyes took on a soft, almost sleepy look, and he gazed at me in a way he never has.
       And there was a moment right then. I could have reached out and touched it like it was a thing separate from both of us. It was a moment when I knew if I had wanted him to, he would have kissed me. I don't know how I knew it, but I knew. 
       "I should go." I quickly checked to make sure Amanda was still there. Of course she was--she wouldn't have missed this show for anything. It must have been driving her crazy that she couldn't see us clearly through the rain and the fogged up windows.
       "Here." I started to take Matt's jacket off.
       "What's the rush?" he asked. "Can't we just talk?"
       The rush was the sickening sensation of my heart beating too fast. I knew the signs. I knew what could happen next if I let it--I'd seen it happen with Nick.
       But this wasn't Nick. I couldn't just go with it and see what might happen for the fun of it. I had history to contend with, and my history with Matt is too complicated. Too full of heartache and pain.
       And besides, I'd already accomplished most of what I came for. I'd confirmed for myself what I thought--that he does like me. That way. I've lost a bunch of weight and now suddenly he's willing to give me a try.
       I hadn't accomplished the second part--the part where I told him off--but somehow I didn't feel like it anymore. I just wanted to be done.
       I handed him his coat and opened the door.
       "Cat, wait--" His warm fingers closed around my wrist. "Don't go yet. I miss you."
       "Then maybe you should have liked me when I was fat."


Now I want to read Fat Cat again. (Thank you Robin Brande--if you're reading this--for allowing me to share--and for writing the amazing words in the first place!) :)

Okay, so I think I've fulfilled all the requirements of the No-Kiss blogfest, but if I missed anything I'm sure Frankie will find a way to punish me.

Happy No-Kiss Blogfest everyone! Hope you enjoyed and I can't wait to read everyone else's scenes. :)


  1. Those were both great moments, and now I want to read Fat Cat.

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  3. The silence between them felt thick enough to touch, and she held her breath, waiting for him to break it.

    Love that part! The way you described the sky and Katie's uncertainty was fabulous!

  4. Oh, you did just fine, Shannon. Really. Of course, if I were writing your scene I'd probably have had them lying on their backs staring at the sky, then he could lean on his elbow and look down at her, and then he could move closer and block her view a bit so that the meteors looked like they were streaking in one side of his head and out the other, and she could, like, gasp a bit, and then he would say, "Bye," and leave. Or something like that, anyway. At least the "Bye" part is something I would write. In Frankie's comment section. :)

    But seriously, one of the things I appreciate about you is that you're so refreshingly innocent. Perhaps it's the MG writing, but you've an artless way of being that's ever-surprising for those of us whose brains are wired in a, uh, different way.

    Well done, good lady. :)

  5. Love the disco line - great visual :) Nice work!

  6. Shannon, great job on your scene! Definitely full of tension--come on, Katie, kiss him!!!

    And I'm glad you liked that scene in Fat Cat. Come on, Cat, kiss him!

  7. Great Blogfest. I'm thinking I'll sign up for it today : )

  8. Aww poor Connor, now I want to know why she didn't want to kiss him. Because the hopeless romantic in me is so jealous he went to all that trouble. And the Little Mermaid was so cute, even when I was little I used to always get excited for that scene as though watching it a thousand times would make them kiss.

  9. Ooh, now I really want to know why Katie didn't want to kiss him! And love the excerpt from Fat Cat and The Little Mermaid. Oh, Ariel, you're still my favorite Disney Princess.

  10. OMG I totally forgot about The Little Mermaid, that moment is THE definition of a No Kiss!!! Loved loved the scene you wrote, you have such a natural ability and great voice for writing. Cant wait to read more of your WIP now and get that thing published so your characters can mature and we can have more moments like this. And the Fat Cat one was a nice choice too.

    Also you fulfilled the requirements of the No Kiss Fest, but we return to Blog Wars tomorrow!

  11. Poor Connor! Why didn't she just kiss him??

    Well done!


  12. I like Frankie had completely forgotten about the little Mermaid. That is one of the best Almost Kiss scenes ever!

    Loved yours too. I've SO been in that spot too many times. I could completely relate.

    Great writing :)

  13. Myrna: Thank you for the compliment and yes-you NEED to read Fat Cat. It's definitely one of my favorite books ever. If you read it I'd love to know what you think. :)

    V.S: Aw, thank you so much. Those were my favorite places too. Can't wait to hop over and read yours.

    Simon: LOL. I considered that body positioning, but Connor isn't that brave. And you keep joking about characters going "bye" and then you didn't do that you your scene--what up with that? But thank you for the compliment--you're right, there is definitely an innocence to me that shows up in my writing (one of the primary reasons I gravitated toward Middle Grade) so I'm glad you find it refreshing. And that's a TREMENDOUS compliment coming from someone as talented as you!

    Jemi: Aw, thanks. I loved that line too. Thanks for the compliment. :)

    Robin: Okay, you just made my year by stopping by and complimenting me (and for letting me post your scene in the first place. If I could reach though this computer and hug you I would, but since I can't I will just say thank you SO much for your books and for taking the time to come here and read this post. I knew I loved you for a reason. (And please come to California soon so I can get my copy of Fat Cat signed!)

    Ash. Elizabeth: Ooo--you should! It's not to late! Let me know if you do so I can stop by and read your scene.

    Hayley: LOL; I know, Katie's sadly confused in that scene. It kills me that she doesn't let him kiss her. *Shakes fist at stubborn character* And I know what you mean about re-watching the Little Mermaid, hoping he'd actually "Kiss the Girl" in that scene. I always want to scream "Come on, how blind are you?!?!?!"

    Lisa and Laura: Aw, thanks you guys. Glad you enjoyed. And Ariel's my favorite princess. Even with her giant 80's bangs and purple seashell bra-I still want to be her. :)

    Frankie: Haha-I was a little afraid everyone would use the Little Mermaid. I mean it has a song about almost kisses. Thank you so much for the compliment--despite our current blog war you really are a tremendous support, and I can't wait to see what you think of the rest of my WIP (whenever you have time to read it) If you haven't read Fat Cat you need to--you'd love it. And *phew* glad I'm safe from blog wars today. But it is ON tomorrow. Tomorrow you get dared and it's going to be EPIC. *evil maniacal laughter*

    Storyqueen: Because Katie's a fool--a FOOL! :) Thank you Shelly, that means a lot.

  14. Marybeth: Oops--you slipped in there while I was writing my massive comment. Wow, I can't believe people forgot about the Little Mermaid. Cool, maybe that means it won't be on everyone else's post. :) Thanks for the compliment and yeah, I've been there too. It's a sticky, sticky situation to be in. But Connor's so wonderful I still wish she'd kiss him. Grrrrr

  15. I loved your scene, Shannon! You had me with she was 'kind of over it' and her damp jeans. The girl needs to ramp up her romance factor because Connor is a keeper, we can see that! Great job!

  16. I love both of the Almost Kisses : )

  17. I really liked your scene. I felt for the boy--unrequited love--the very worst kind!

  18. 1. Katie's characterization in the first paragraph was so spot-on! In all honesty, when I read "The stars glittered like diamonds against black velvet—breathtaking," I cringed a little inside. BUT THEN - "But she’d been staring at it for ten minutes. She was kind of over it." Hahahaha oh Shannon, I never should've doubted you! Great scene!

    2. That FAT CAT scene is excellent! And the last line - ouch! So perfect. Thanks for asking Robin to let you post it. And thanks Robin for agreeing!

    3. That's the best song ever in The Little Mermaid because of the "yah yah yah" in the background... cracks me up every time!

  19. I loved your scene! I think Katie has a great voice - the way she's complaining about everything in the beginning really made me smile (and whatever, 65 IS cold...Connor is just stupid.)

    Also, I added Fat Cat to my TBR list!

  20. Poor Connor. I just wanna hug him. And I want to watch that meteor shower. AND yes, I now have Kiss The Girl stuck in my head. Thanks. lol.
    My Blog

  21. Your snippet was great! I'm glad you didn't delete it! Of course, now I want to know why she didn't kiss him! Do they get a happy ending? Do they? Do they?!

    Ooh, and The Little Mermaid. I don't know how many versions of Kiss The GIrl there have been (it seems to be a rite of passage for all the Disney tweensations to butcher --er, remake it), but the original is still my favorite!

  22. Very well done. You're a good writer, you know that? Anyway, the Disney scene that bugs me isn't Little Mermaid, it's Mulan. Talk about the almost kiss that NEVER happened. Gah!

  23. Little Mermaid = Best Almost Kiss EVER!

    And I like your scene...well done!

  24. This was great. I felt so bad for Connor and I loved the description of the air being thick you could touch it. Nice job!

  25. Thanks for visiting my blog and becoming a follower. I loved this so much I'm following you now too! That was such a beautiful setting and so perfect for a kiss. I feel sorry for Connor. This totally made me want to read more. :D Great scene!

  26. I really enjoyed your scene, too! Of course, the excerpt from Fat Cat looked great, and now I do want to read that, too. I think you and I have a lot in common. Especially if you like Disney. Yes.

    And, I can't figure out how to follow you, either. I can't find the button. And I have no idea why you can't find mine.

  27. Great job! I wouldn't have known you didn't write plenty of UST if you hadn't mentioned it! I especially loved your description of the meteor shower, and the way he was tensed, ready to kiss her. (And I also enjoyed the Little Mermaid and the Fat Cat scene!) Thanks for sharing all of this!!

  28. For someone who apparently can't do sexual tension you did a pretty sweet job. That was really cool scene. I love when friends try and cross that line. Awkward and fun!

    Also, thanks for sharing the scene from FAT CAT. I enjoyed that as well.

  29. Tricia: Aw, thanks. I know, Katie's such a brat. I'll take Connor if she won't. ;) Glad you enjoyed and thanks so much for the compliment and becoming a follower. :)

    Ash. Elizabeth: Welcome back. And thanks so much. That means a lot.

    Elle: Isn't it? Poor Connor. I just want to hug him. Thanks for reading and for the compliment.

    Donna: LOL-I'm glad you kept reading (and I did that on purpose, btw--the diamonds against black velvet was cheesy, even for me!) and I'm glad you enjoyed. You really, really have to read Fat Cat--it's SUCH a great book (and Robin is one of the nicest Authors around). And yes, that song is hilarious. The Yah Yah Yahs are the best part--especially when Scuttle sings some of them. :)

    Heather: Yay! You will Love Fat Cat--it's AWESOME. Let me know what you think of it. And thanks for the compliment. I agree. 65 degrees is cold. One of the primary reasons why I live in So Cal. :)

    Karen: heh. Sorry about that. Disney songs are insanely addictive. And thanks for the compliment. I want to hug Connor too!

    Sarah: Heh-you're comments are always so adorable. And I can't tell you if they do, in case I ever turn this into a book. But I'm glad you liked. And yes, there are WAY too many versions of Kiss the Girl out there--but the OG is the best. :)

    Heather Z: Aw. *Tear* That is an AWESOME compliment--especially coming from such a great writer as yourself. And I forgot about the Mulan almost kiss. That one is THE WORST.

    Karen: Aw, thanks. And yes, the Little Mermaid is awesome. That picture says it all, doesn't it?

    Kelly: Thank you. The thick air was one of my favorite lines too.

    Bethany: Wow. Thanks for the compliment and the follow back. That makes me SO happy. This is like the best. day. ever.

    Just another Sarah: Well, at least I'm not the only one who can't figure it out. Most blogs it's really easy, but I couldn't find it on yours. I'll have to try again. My button should be in my sidebar, below my picture, but maybe it's not loading right. And yes, you should definitely read Fat Cat. By far one of the best books I found this year. Thanks for the compliment and it's VERY nice to meet you.

    Amalia: Aw, thanks so much for reading. I still think my scene looks sad next to Fat Cat, but Robin is such an amazing writer it's hard not to. Thanks for the compliment. :)

  30. Jade: Oops, you slipped in while I was commenting. Thanks so much. I love blurring the lines for friendship, though I feel sorry for poor Connor. And I'm so glad you liked the Fat Cat scene. It's a REALLY good book if you decide to read it. So glad Robin let me post it. :)

  31. Ummm....I love her. Really, really love her. That's always a good sign. Also, I hate it for him. Also a good sign. Good stuff, chicky!!!

  32. Oh, I feel sorry for poor Connor. Very nice job with this scene! And I LOVE that scene from The Little Mermaid. Makes me want to go and watch it right now (and yes, I have the DVD)!

  33. Wow, great excerpt! I loved how they werre all snuggled up under the stars watching the sky, so romantic! I definatly can't wiat to read more! :)


  34. Whee, fun stuff!

    I do have to say, you win the price for having the best No Kiss picture thusfar. I laughed so much when I saw poor Ariel and Eric! XD

  35. Your comment on my blog was so freaking adorable. Can I hug you?

    But now it's all about you (and Ariel. Was that not the BEST almost-kiss in the history of the world?)

    I loved how he scooted closer with the blanket (sure it's cuz of the cold buddy). Aww, how sad that she thinks he only wanted to kiss her because she lost weight... I'm hoping she's wrong. Such a great scene, I love the MC's voice. Thanks for posting this :)

  36. So good, Shannon! Great tension and I really want to know what brought Katie and Connor to this point. Loved the line Oh, it was over. He just didn’t realize. Very evocative.

  37. Aw poor Connor! And I loved Fat Cat (even if Matt was a jerk...but I guess I'll cut him some slack considering he was young). Oh, plus, can I just say I love Kiss The Girl. And I mean LOVE! Or maybe I should say obsessed! Either way, thanks for reminding me the awesomeness of The Little Mermaid (off to go listen to Kiss The Girl for the trillionth time on my itunes).

  38. Just so's you know, both snippets are fantastic. :D Great job.

  39. Ah ha! Got it. Try under my bio on the left...?

    Oh, and it was very nice meeting you, too! :)

  40. Myra: Wow-another amazing compliment. Thank you Myra--and thank you for following. I'm so glad twitter (and Frankie) brought us together. :)

    Melissa: I have the DVD too. And a Little Mermaid Snowglobe. And--well, let's just stop there. And thank you so much for the compliment. That means a lot.

    The Blogger Girls: Aw, thanks. Not sure there's much more romantic than a starry night. And I'm starting to think I need to do more with these characters.

    Nicole: Thanks. And LOL, i was pretty happy when I found that picture. Kinda says it all, doesn't it?

    Diana: You can hug me any time (though I still call blog hugs blugs so {{blug}}) Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed both scenes. And I highly recommend reading Fat Cat to find out what happens with Cat and Matt.

    VR: Aw thanks. I'm glad you liked that line--I debated about it. (Wasn't sure if it threw off the flow. Glad I left it in now). :)

    Nickles: Yeah, Matt WAS a jerk, but I totally fell in love with him by the end. Glad you enjoyed the post. Have fun listening to Kiss the Girl. :)

    Kristin: Thank you! I can only take credit for the first one, but I'm glad you enjoyed them both.

    Just another Sarah: Heh. Welcome back. Glad you figured it out. Hopping back to your blog to see if I can do the same. :)

  41. yessssssss I still love the scene :-) You are so super talented!

    I can't lie though... as much as I love THIS scene, I was so hoping to see a future one from Sophie & F... Or Sophie & K... or Sophie & D... any of the three, LOL.

  42. Aw, poor Connor! What could be more romantic than kissing under the stars? :-)

  43. I think your scene was the first I read today where someone pulled away instead of being interrupted lol. Nice work!

  44. Sara: You're so sweet. And I know, I know. But I can't ruin the BIG twists to come there. You'd be surprised who she ends up with and since it doesn't happen till book four I don't think my future publisher would be too happy with me for giving it away. So sad. (It's KILLING me that I can't tell anyone. I'm SO bad with keeping secrets. Grrrrr!)

    CR: Heh. I know right? Freaking Katie has to go and be all stubborn. :)

    Vicky: LOL. I noticed that too. Their characters must not be as stubborn as mine. Thanks for the compliment. :)

  45. Great job! I loved your writing. I felt the tension in her and his longing. She's such a tease. Grrr! Come over and read mine and let me know what you think of it!!

    Happy New Year!!!

  46. Aw, I liked this. I was sad that she made him leave. I also loved the way you described the sky and meteor shower. Gorgeous! Great job! Thanks for following me! I'm following you too.:)

  47. Elizabeth: Wow, thank you--that means a lot. And I think I already went to yours (I tried to hit them all yesterday) but I will hop back over and double check. :)

    Valerie: Why thank you. I know, I kinda hated Katie for dragging him away but what could I do--she wasn't ready to kiss him. And thanks for the follow back. I can't wait to get to know you better. :)

  48. Shannon - you really have a knack for the contemporary teenage verbage & reactions... perfect! I loved yours... I could see the awkwardness and poor Connor, my heart just broke for him!

    LOVE IT! Don't be afraid - write that sexual tension! lol


Yay-I love comments! Thank you so much! (But please remember to keep your comments spoiler-free. Also, I try to keep this a happy, positive place. Any arguing or intense debate--on any subject will be removed. Let's keep this a safe, fun space.