The secret to seduction, a man once told me, is to tell a beautiful woman she's smart and a smart woman she's beautiful. The Seduction Expert was not handsome by any stretch and not all that brilliant -- he couldn't even be counted on to wash his hair once a week, but he got his share of the ladies even with the faint hint of vomit on his clothes from what he used to call his "failures of will" with the bottle. So I'm thinking maybe he had a point. Seduction, as any writer knows, is a complicated business. After all, we're doing it all the time, compelling the reader to come along with us wherever we happen to take him or her and let's face it, sometimes these are pretty horrible places. So what gives? When you're under someone's sway, a trip to the garbage dump seems groovy (Man, I always find the best stuff there! Hell yeah, I'll go with you!) and when you're not, an all expense paid trip to Rome seems like a suckfest. (God, the food is so overrated!) It's this phenomenon that accounts for sudden changes of behavior, ie, When he was dating me, he wouldn't so much as go to Wal-Mart and now he's taking you to New Orleans?!
The most seductive people I've ever known have an uncanny knack for seeing into the souls of people and knowing what they feel is true about themselves. Not what everyone else sees usually, but what's there beneath all the surfaces. Tell a beautiful women she's smart, a smart one she's beautiful. They say, I will love your darkness, your sadness, your weakness. Of course, they don't say anything that direct. They ask where you got your scar, run a finger up against it. They love your pain, the things we're always downplaying and pretending don't matter. You'll go anywhere with them for this gift of sight because you're assured that wherever you are, you'll see what's true and therefore lovely about it. I've got to hone this skill. After all, I'm taking my readers to the garbage dump a lot. (Write what you know!) That's where all good stories are, what people have discarded, at least until someone picks it up and says, This is really beautiful. I've been looking for one all my life.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"You know what the sun is all about when the lights go out." The Black Keys
Drinking movie suggestion: Infamous (this is the other Truman Capote movie that got overshadowed by Capote -- it's very good!)
Benedictions and Maledictions
32 days until The Sopranos airs!