Why Do Girls Go for ‘Bad Boys’?

In comments the other day, Bill Q. brought up a topic that tends to slide its way into my family’s dinner conversation from time to time:

Unfortunately, what I recall in my high-school days is that many of the girls seemed to go for the good-looking guys who treated them like dirt.

Hmmm … yes, unfortunately, I remember that, too, Bill. And my 15-year-old son brings it up a lot.

My son considers himself one of the “nice guys.” He bemoans this sad truth and simply shakes his head at the fact that many of the girls he likes tend to gravitate, instead, toward the boys who are the troublemakers, the attention-getters. The boys who shrug off authority and any kind of … well … learning.

I told him that this won’t go on forever. I passed the salt and pepper shakers and said eventually girls will see “his type” as the more desirable. (I believe he gave me that “yeah, sure, Mom” look.)

But in the meantime I was faced with the question he posed to me and my tween daughter: Why do girls go for the “bad boys”? And why has that been true for generations?

At the time neither of us had an answer. (In fact, I think we both denied it.) But later, I thought about it again and remembered some discussions I’ve participated in on romance-writing blogs, where the “bad boy” is still alive and well in many a fiction setting (usually with boxing gloves, tatoos, a motorcycle and a mysterious past).  Continue reading

Happy National Grammar Day!

So today is National Grammar Day! Over at the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar, they’re passing the grammartinis around.

I love the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar. I love any organization that encourages people to put commas in the right place and celebrates a well-constructed compound-complex sentence. Especially in this day of text messages, where so many are in such a hurry they don’t even bother to capitalize “I” or write out “you.” I worry, I guess, that they’ll forget. I worry that, over time, no one will remember what the rules are, and they’ll abandon them altogether. And there’s such a beauty and art to beautiful sentences — I’d hate for people to lose that.

So let’s celebrate today by going out there and making one sentence better! We can probably start with some song lyrics. Maybe we can lend a hand to Neil Diamond. He seems to have some grammar challenges. Like this one: “…Song, she sang to me/ Song, she brang to me.” … Brang, Neil? Really? I know you would have needed to rewrite the entire line, but I can’t even sing along with that one. It’s just too painful.

Or maybe we can help Mr. Justin Timberlake. His song “What Goes Around” features this classic line: “When you cheated girl/ My heart bleeded girl.” Bleeded, Justin? C’mon. Did you just make that up? “Bled” does rhyme with “dead” — maybe we could have played around with that a little?

Or maybe we can help Joan Osborne. I was always frustrated at her song “One of Us,” where she sings (over and over again), “What if God was one of us…” If you respect the almost-forgotten subjunctive, it really should be “What if God were one of us.” The subjunctive sounds so gorgeous to me. It’s used commonly in Spanish but, unfortunately, it’s been dropped almost entirely in English. It’s used when something hasn’t actually happened (when you’re wishing or hoping or wondering), so, to me, it denotes an almost dreamlike state. I wish it were used more often.

So let’s celebrate! Throw some song lyrics my way! We’ll celebrate National Grammar Day together!

Everyone’s A-Twitter About Twitter…

So … Twitter … Do you like it? Love it? Hate it?


 I got on it for work recently, first as myself (mizwrite), but now I “tweet” for my company most days of the week under LifeScript.


Anyway, Twitter is kind of a strange animal – it’s sort of a cross between IM-ing and a chat room (or like sending Facebook status updates constantly, only to a roomful of strangers rather than to your closest friends). It’s very fast, and very live (especially if you’re following hundreds – or, in LifeScript’s case, even thousands – of conversations). You can “follow” the conversations of anyone you like, and even “group” them to follow certain streams at a time.


Here are some things you can do with Twitter:


Follow famous people: Katie Couric, Maria Shriver, Gov. Arnold Swartzenegger, Tina Fey, Rainn Wilson (Dwight from “The Office”), Ashton Kutcher, Jane Fonda, Tyler Florence, Shaq, Jimmy Fallon, etc. are all on there, chatting about their day and where they’re eating for lunch. You can follow any and all. Necessary to your life? No. Fun? Absolutely. Continue reading

Girl Confession: I Hate to Shop

Sometimes I worry I’m an embarrassment to girldom.


I mean, in many ways, I guess, I’m fairly girly – I love flowers; I own hairspray; and I’ll cry at any kind of movie that has Hugh Grant and some allusion to the word “forever.”


But in one way I feel I’m completely out of the loop, like a missed the flourish in the second X chromosome: I hate to shop. And I especially hate to shop for clothes.


I know, I know. You probably do. You probably know the difference between Manolos and Choos and even know how to spell them and make them plural. You can probably spot an Yves Saint Laurent skirt from a mile away. And you probably followed Vera Wang well before she landed in Kohls.


But I’m just missing this gene.


I know I must be a terrible disappointment. I’m sure my shopaholic mother swaddled me in a pink department-store blanket when I was born and thought, “Ah ha! A comrade in arms. …” Continue reading

Writing Weekend

We’ve had a nice, long President’s Day weekend, and I’ve spent most of it writing. It’s been nice. (It helps that it’s pouring rain here in So. Cal and no one wants to go out.)

I’m trying to catch up on some edits I needed to do for the second of my three books I’m working on. I sent the manuscript out to Harlequin for critique, and they sent back a really nice writeup with tons of encouragement and very specific recommendations. All very doable. So now I just need to … do.

I’ve been an editor my entire adult life, but I’m used to editing small chunks of material at a time. But editing your own novel — which is a full 100,000+ words (!) — is really daunting. (It takes me a whole weekend to skim 100,000 words, let alone ponder and edit each sentence!) I keep having to start over, tackling small sections. I’m not sure I’m doing this in the most efficient way, but I’m doing it in the only way I know how.

Anyway, I wrote a permanent page here on the blog called “Currently Writing” about where each book is in the writing and editing process. My very favorite stage is the “Fast First Draft,” and I have one book there that I love working on. But I have two at the last stage, awaiting their revisions, and I need to dedicate some time to them so I can finish. (That’s what I worked on this weekend!)

Drop me a line if you have any questions, any encouragement, or — absolutely — any recommendations for how to edit 100,000 words smoothly! I’d love to hear from you readers and writers!

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