Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Naked Man . . . and Other Gifts From My Mother

Motherly wisdom. The defense of a genre (again). And, of course, some full frontal male nudity.

by Nicki Salcedo


Life Lessons

I learned a lot from my mother when I was a kid. I still learn a lot from her, but my favorite memory and lesson occurred while watching the movie A Room with a View. I was maybe ten years old, and it was just my mom and me. At some point during the movie, several of the male characters decided to take a dip in a swimming hole. They all got completely buck naked, including the young actor Julian Sands and the not so young actor who played the part Reverend. They were naked men. I was an embarrassed ten year old girl. I always thought I was a cool kid, but I wasn’t. I was mortified. My mother, on the other hand, was not scandalized. I always considered her very reserved. That is until she said, “Why do they have to show the old guy?” She said it in a matter of fact way. She did not smile. Her comment surprised me as much as the nudity. My mom was making a joke about naked men? My mom thought naked men were okay? I learned two lessons.

  • Humor goes a long way to make others feel comfortable
  • There is nothing wrong with a naked man

Romance

I recently participated in a discussion with some women on the topic of a Disney book called Happily Ever After, a compilation of princess stories about love and friendship. These women were concerned that their daughters should not read stories where the focus is finding a prince. It was a lively discussion that happens with mothers everywhere. As a romance writer and reader, I found the topic particularly interesting.


One, the real intent of Disney stories (and romance novels in fact) is not to find romance at all. This is something any romance reader or writer knows. Cinderella was not looking for a prince, but an escape from an abusive matriarch. Belle wanted more than the ordinary and found herself in a situation where she had to save her father. Mulan went to war. Sleeping Beauty wanted an end to her isolation. She was devastated to find out that she had to be married (and to a prince no less). I’ve never seen a romance where the heroine wakes up one morning and says, “I’d like to fall in love today.” But now that I’ve said that, I feel that I have issued a challenge to myself to write that story. I suspect the last thing that character will find is love.


Two, in “man movies” there are inevitably ridiculous romance sub-plots that no one finds objectionable. The Lion King was also a love story. But I don’t recall hearing anyone being concerned that Simba fell in love with Nala. Any self respecting male would not fall in love while trying to avenge his father’s death! . . . . Or would he? Is romance just a by product of life? I would suggest yes. We cannot reject or deny its presence.


Nudity

We all aren’t meant to like romance novels. We all aren’t meant to appreciate nudity. I was fifteen when I came back from my first trip to Europe, and my cousin commented on how many pictures I took of Michelangelo’s David. Being my mother’s child, I responded that I took an equal number of photos of Michelangelo’s La Pietà. Everyone notices David because he is naked. David is also 20 feet tall. What is there not to love about a 20 foot tall naked man? On the other hand, La Pietà goes unnoticed. This sculpture is the most achingly painful depiction of love I’ve ever seen. It tells a story. Romance novels are not stories about love or sex or nudity. Romance novels are about times in life when love seems most improbable, but is most needed.


As we near the end of May and our celebration of mothers, I thought La Pietà was a fitting tribute. I hope we can reflect on our mothers with the levity and soberness they deserve. I also hope my mom forgives my tribute to her in the section called Nudity!


Mommy Dearest, really

I’ve always read romance novels. I blame this on my mother who read avidly, but read so few romance novels. Around the same time that I watched A Room with a View, a friend of my mother brought over a box of Harlequin Romance novels. The books were for my mother and yet she didn’t read one. It wasn’t her thing, but I read every last book. Some might find it objectionable that my mother let me read those books at that age, but she did not worry about me. She trusted me as child. A lot of what I understand about love came from reading romance novels. I learned what I did and did not find acceptable behavior from both heroes and heroines. How many times have you read a book and just wanted to shout at the characters for being inane? For keeping their secrets too long? For the heroine choosing the wrong man, when the right man was right before her eyes? I’ve made many “notes to self” as I read the pages of a romance novels.


The irony is that my mother always wanted me to be more feminine. She wanted me to wear dresses. She thought it would be nice if I wore a little make-up. I'm sure she was more concerned that I was obsessed with being Sigourney Weaver in Alien. Reading romance novels was probably one of the more normal things I did as a kid.


I wish my girls liked to wear jeans, but they only want to wear dresses. Pink dresses. My girls want to be princesses. I let them be who they want to be. They will probably hate romance novels just to spite me! I'm not worried about that. What else can a mother do but be the gentle guiding voice that children ignore.


Now when my mother wants a book to read she asks me for suggestions. I am a book whisperer by the way. I blame her for this and all of my idiosyncrasies. Sometimes I pick a romance novel for her. Sometimes I pick something else. I try to choose the books wisely. After all, we haven’t spoken about naked men since I was ten.

50 comments:

Dianna Love said...

Nicki - Great picture to start a Tuesday with - and good point to make. I'm always surprised by attitudes about reading. I read pretty much everything, but there are some things I just can't do. I like action-suspense-romance as my first choice then I'll read a ton of things, but there are some things I can't get into. So I don't expect everyone to read romance novels - only the women who want to get caught up in a world that won't let them go or want their emotions turned inside out. "g"

Just as art is in the eye of the beholder I believe genres are equally subjective.

I think it's cute your girls want to wear dresses...pink - that would have been my luck if I'd had kids. I would have gotten a pink, frilly girly-girl and God would have laughed his butt off watching me try to figure out how to raise her without screwing up. I'm sure you - and the others on this loop - manage much better than I would have.

Barbara Vey said...

I always get my mom books from the library because she need large print and not all books come that way.

My mom loves suspense and mystery and one day I brought 3 Susan Elizabeth Phillips books because I thought they were fun. After the first book, she called and asked how I could send such a dirty, filthy book. I was shocked because I guess I missed that part in the book. I apologized and offered to come over and take the other 2 back to the library. Her response: "No, just leave them here, I'm going to read them."

Then she referred the books to others. The lesson I learned is that my mother loves romance, but never realized it and if it's true for her, it's probably true for others.

Chicki said...

My mother was like Barbara's ...

I will never understand why readers can't acknowledge that there is good and bad in every genre. Personally I think a lot of people have a hard time with dealing with emotion and sex in their personal lives, therefore they are unable to handle romance.

Walt M said...

Nicki,

Can a guy appreciate the Venus de Milo or any other nude or semi-nude statue of a woman and not hear a woman retort, "Yeah, you just like it cause she's not wearing any clothes"?

Maxine Davis said...

Walt,
That's the reason I like the statue of David. Well, that and the whole M. D'angelo thing.

My Mother was the oldest girl and
2nd oldest of 12 kids so no, she didn't read for leisure - didn't have leisure. I was just lucky enough to 'find' books and love them.

Nicki, you are such a fabulous writer. I would like anything you write and recommend!

Mamie Chen said...

Every time my mom visits, I give her a couple of my favorite romance novels to read to help pass the evenings. English isn't her first language, so I wasn't sure if she understood the purple prose sections. Never fear, the symbolism of flowers, petals, and swords translate into all languages.

My mom was also the one who shared her theory that men who are adventurous eaters make better lovers. At the time, I wasn't old enough to appreciate getting that kind of advice from her, and I just covered my ears and screamed. But now that I think about it, I think she's right....

Mark said...

Great thoughts, Nicki.

My Mom turned me on to James Bond novels (making sure I understood that casual sex was not the Southern Baptist way). This was when I was about 10. She took Stoker's Dracula away from me when I had nightmares; it fell to my father to get it for me from the library when I went to visit him. I think Gilmore Girls were responsible for pushing me toward female-oriented lit; plus Ellen Ripley and the instances of the "plucky girl" in all those fifties SciFi movies. Ironically, SF advanced feminism because the geeks wanted to have a hottie in their book/movie--and, yes, romance. Most popular literature has a love story and I think to an extent what makes a book a romance is the proportion of romance story line to the "action" story line; and the line is blurring to a vague smudge these days.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Well my mother had a whole different set of lessons, some of which aren't fit for discussion here! As a result, I loved fairy tales as a form of escape. Later, I fell in love with crusading idealists like King Arthur. I never wanted to be Guenevire, always Arthur.

Oh, and I got the tom-boy and was looking for the girly-girl! Boy can she hit a softball. Now, at fifteen, she no longer thinks pink is the Devil's color. :)

PJ said...

Great blog, Nicki! I don't remember ever seeing my mom with a book in her hands (she was always too busy chasing after four kids) but she always encouraged us to read. It was my dad who shared my love of reading and who went toe to toe with our conservative town librarian when I wanted to check out books by Victoria Holt from the "Adult" section (I was 12). Dad won and a love of romance was born. As I aged, we shared many books of all genres, including romance.

My introduction to naked men came during a summer studying in Europe when I was 16. I adored David because he was, as you put it, a 20 feet tall naked man, returned home with a deep appreciation for the nude male body and couldn't understand why my mom had a problem with that. lol! The shoe was on the other foot when, after a 2006 visit to Florence, my two granddaughters of the heart (12 and 9 at the time) were looking through my photo albums and chattering about all the pictures when suddenly there was a moment of silence followed by "Ooh...naked dudes". A new generation had been introduced to the perfection of David.

La Pieta is definitely a fitting tribute to mothers everywhere. I'm glad I had the opportunity to see it "up close and personal" before it was moved back from the public and placed behind protective glass.

Anonymous said...

Nicki,

I very much enjoy your posts! I especially appreciate the insight into the fairy tales. We often forget that those girls were strong, independent women searching for something other than love. Love just happened to come along. I certainly got my love of reading from my mom. In fact, I think that until a few years ago, everything that I read was a pass along or recommendation from her. Good thing mom has great taste!

Caroline Ziebarth

Nicki Salcedo said...

Dianna, the only way I could improve the naked David for you is to have him standing next to a motorcycle! I agree that "Just as art is in the eye of the beholder I believe genres are equally subjective." I'm glad the genre lines are often blurred. Sometimes I want to read a little sci-fi with romance. Sometimes I want to read a little paranormal with my suspense. I just want to read something good.

Marilyn Baron said...

I loved your post, Nicki. I spent six months in college studying in Florence, Italy, so I saw David (and other naked men -- in museums) every chance I could and I loved seeing La Pieta when I visited Rome.

What you wrote about your pink, frilly girls is really funny (I have two of those too) but poignant that you let them be what they want to be.

Barbara, Susan Elizabeth Phillips is one of my favorites, too. That was a great story about your mother.

And for Nicki The Book Whisperer, I have a book I'd like to shout about. I just finished reading "Little Bee" by Chris Cleave and it is one of the best books I've ever read, so I want to pass that along to all of you readers out there.

Marilyn Baron

Nicki Salcedo said...

Barbara, you always make me smile. By "dirty, filthy book" I guessing you mean S E X? I've heard similar comments from my mom. I'm better at gaging what she'll feel comfortable reading. She really liked the Lisa Kleypas' Sugar Daddy and Blue Eyed Devil. I think my mom also likes romance, but it is hard at first for some to admit it.

I gave my co-workers Kresley Cole's Hunger Like No Other. I spent forever giving disclaimers about the adult situations and vampires. I'm not even into vampire books. But they loved the book. There really is no telling what people will like. That's why I think people should try books on for size!

B.J. Anderson said...

This is such a great post! And I'm a sucker for a good romance, though I don't really read very many of them. I like romance movies, though, and I don't think there's anything wrong with princess movies. My daughter watches nothing else, lol.

Nicki Salcedo said...

Chicki, how've you been! I agree 100%. I just want to read a good book. But darn it, they are hard to find sometimes. Thanks for stopping by.

Walt, men get the short end of the stick on the whole nudity thing. Pun intended. Fine line between admiring beauty and objectifying. I say enjoy looking at the "Venus de Milo" but don't get in trouble with your wife.

I spent a good bit of Terminator Salvation oogling Sam Worthington. He doesn't need to wear a shirt. If it sounds like I'm objectifying him, then your ears are working.

Nicki Salcedo said...

Maxine, are you saying nice things to me because I hugged you last Saturday? :) Reading is absolutely a luxury. Probably the best luxury we have. Your mom worked hard so you can have the luxury. That is a great gift.

Hmmm. I have tons of favorite books. Notes on a Scandal is a great read (I haven't seen the movie). The Hours (by Michael Cunningham) is probably my favorite book of the last 10 years. Anyone who wants to try sci-fi should read Ender's Game. Awesome book. I'm embarassed to say I haven't read a romance novel recently so send my your recommendations!

Nicki Salcedo said...

Mame, I will never be able to look at your mom (or dad) the same way again. Eeeww. Just think about how much we will gross out our kids in the future. Something to look forward to. Woo hoo!

Sid recently asked what her brother's part was for, and I told her to make babies. Eeeewww. She then asked what she needed to make babies, and I said in all seriousness, "A marriage certificate." Okay, she's 5, he's 1 and I noticed my comments were completely gender biased. To make things equal, Nolan will not be allowed to date until he is married.

As for "adventurous eaters make better lovers" that opens up the door for too many raunchy comments. I will remain silent and nod in agreement.

Maxine Davis said...

Well, I'm embarrassed. I was reading and stopped to look at PF&HT. There was a M. Daman in the book and I got carried away typing on the site. After I stopped and read a little more, I thought "uh-oh" and looked at my comment. Sorry. It was supposed to be Angelo on the site, of course.

Nicki Salcedo said...

Mark, you are awesome! My best friend Mamie (See her comment above) also had Dracula induced nightmares as a kid. I think testing boundaries is a rite of passage for kids. Kids who read turn into adults who read. James Bond is the boy equivalent of Harlequin. Interesting that so many romance writers are going in that direction. Women want adventure, too. Sci-fi geeks who advance feminism also want romance. Ellen Ripley changed the way I looked at myself.

Ok, Mark, your job is to keep blurring the line. Thanks for stopping by.

Pamela Varnado said...

Nicki,
Thanks for the visual of Michelangelo’s David. It started my day better than a cup of caffeine. And I love your take on the Disney movies. It was very insightful. Like you, I wanted to wear the jeans and no makeup, though my five sisters were girly enough for the entire female population. My daughter has went through numerous reincarnation. As a young girl she was my princess, but in high school she went through a 'baggy phase' that I totally hated, though I didn't complain. Now she's in camouflage and combat boots and that's okay too.

Nicki Salcedo said...

Debbie, Guinevere was a cheater! I never liked her. I wanted to be Merlin. Or Morgan La Fey (I always liked the bad ones).

I'm XX years old and I still think pink is the devils color.

Caroline, I have it on good authority that you have a wonderful mom (see Debbie above). She cracks the whip, but she also loves fairy tales?! That is my kind of lady.

I hope you have fun corrupting your own kids (especially if you name the baby Spock).

Nicki Salcedo said...

PJ, I adore naked dudes. They are my favorite.

What a great mother and father you had! Our parents were trained to sacrifice for us and fight for us. I hope I'm half of what they were. I've shared Outlander with my mom and dad. Sharing books is a very important bonding with family and friends.

La Pieta was the first piece of artwork I ever saw that took my breath away.

Nicki Salcedo said...

Barbara and Marilyn, I have a couple of Susan Elizabeth Phillips books at home. Not the first time someone has recommended her. I'll move her up on the list.

Marilyn, I love reading books on your advice. I think you recommended "The Book Thief," and I'm completely enjoying it. I will also put "Little Bee" by Chris Cleave on my list. But who is going to create the extra time for me to read?!

I do hope you meant artwork when you said, "I saw David and other naked men -- in museums" :)

Nicki Salcedo said...

BJ, thank you so much for stopping by. Don't you love that we talk about our blog like it is our house? :)

I'm your opposite. I love romance novels, but I really don't like romantic movies. That being said, we are on a steady Disney diet because of the kids. My husband who probably never sat through a princess movie in is life now knows all the words to "I Know You" from Sleeping Beauty b/c the girls like to hear him sing it. Funny! I swear I complain about the princess movies, but after you watch them 10,000 times they start to grow on you.

Nicki Salcedo said...

Maxine, I knew what you meant. I thought you were being cool!

Pam, I hope you daughter is well. I went through a brief girly stage in junior high school, but I couldn't sustain it. I like getting dressed up now and them, but I can't imagine doing it regularly. I get dressed up for GRW. That should count for something!

Danielle said...

Nicki -

Great post - I love to read your writing.

My mom, naked men, and what happens when I have questions. Well, the most vivid initial experience with this is when I was talking to both my parents about the sex ed class I was taking in high school. I told them how long I thought foreplay lasted. My mom blinked and then laughed out loud and said, "I don't think so. That would be something." My father in that same moment flushed, shook his head and said, "No, that's way too long." I have stopped putting myself in those types of situations. My parents are way too honest with me.

With books, my mother has been equally blunt. She's been a lover of the mystery genre forever. I've only recently picked it up, mostly because of her. We now discuss authors and characters and plots like we are sharing secrets. It's been a great way to get to know her as a person.

As for the romance genre, she's trying a few of my favorites. I have to admit, I didn't think I'd see the day. As for viewing naked men together, whether on screen or in art, my mom's most recent comment: "That's it? That was nothing." I didn't ask her to explain but I agreed completely. I'm my mother's daughter after all.

Cyrano said...

As always Nicki I'm in awe of your talent. You're not only a fabulous author (I couldn't get enough of your prose in Nancy Knight's class) But you're quite a columnist as well. Ever thought of offering your wise words to the newspaper reading community? Hmmm? I'd definitely start reading Sunday's rag again if it featured you.
My mother, and father are avid, voracious readers. As a teen and young woman I had never seen my father pick up a book, of any kind much less romance. But about five years ago my mother read Outlander by the supreme Goddess Gabaldon. I had offered the novel to her and explained it was well worth every minute. She loved it so much she talked my father into giving it a try. He read it in two days and called me immediately to ask if I had the rest in the series. Of course I did.
It felt good to turn my very stoic father on to a brilliant, sweeping, love story. He can't get enough of the genre in fact and when I asked him recently what it was he liked so much about them he replied, "Because they remind me of the life I've shared with your mother so far and the promise of a happy future."
I actually sighed when he said that.
Thanks so much for the post Nicki. I truly enjoyed every word.
Have a lovely evening,
Tamara

Nicki Salcedo said...

D, parents are funny. Your parents are particularly funny. I'm looking forward to tormenting my kids with off-handed comments that scar them for life. You will have to tell me offline just how long your mom and dad suggest foreplay should last. Maybe our parents should write a book call "Moms and Dads Talk to Kids about Sex" and this would be the new best form of abstinence for teenagers. Eeeeww.

Glad you are sharing books with your mom. What else can we be but our mothers' daughters. Love you.

Linsey Lanier said...

Raunchy comments not withstanding, as one who is married to an adventurous eater, I'd say Mamie's mom is right.

Some excellent thoughts for writers to keep in mind:

"Romance novels are about times in life when love seems most improbable, but is most needed."

"Is romance just a by product of life? I would suggest yes. We cannot reject or deny its presence."

Glad you're letting your kids be what they want. That's important.

Another great post, Nicki. I love to read your writing, too. Today I learned it's even better when illustrated. Enjoyed those pictures!

Linsey

Nicki Salcedo said...

Tamara,

I pay you big bucks for compliments like that! I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who has gotten her parents hooked on Gabaldon. Even I'm not that it to Outlander, but my parents are. Reading is a great escape and also a great connection to others. I picked most of my best friends in life based on what I find out that people read. Every once in a while I meet someone who claims they don't read. Anything. Its like looking as someone who doesn't have a reflection. It is not natural.

What! "Because they remind me of the life I've shared with your mother so far and the promise of a happy future." Your dad said this? Precious.

My dream has always been to be a newspaper columnist, but I'd say crazy things and hurt people's feelings. Once a month on Petit Fours and Hot Tamales is plenty for me.

T, don't forget that you are a fabulous writer. I miss being in class with you, too!

Anna Steffl said...

I'm going nuts trying to my "junk" ready to mail, so it was such a treat reading your blog. Bravo.

And, why do they have to show the old guys?

Sarah S. G. Frantz said...

What a fascinating post, Nicki! I, thank God, only have boys, but my sister (two years younger than my older son) is totally into Princesses and I make fun of my father about it all the time! :)

And I'm all for nudity, male or female. But especially male. Love the male body!

Linsey Lanier said...

I just re-read my comment above and realized I only made the double entendre worse! I was referring to the kind of "eating adventures" you'd have in a restaurant. On the plate. I'm not helping, am I? Ahem. Let's make that "culinary" adventures. LOL.

Linsey

Nicki Salcedo said...

Linsey, you and Mamie can start a support group for each other. Her mom also said you shouldn't eat potatoes that have taken root while pregnant. Have no idea what that means, but I do believe anything Mamie's mom says.

My mom loves buying dresses for her girly granddaughters. She has six granddaughters and every one loves pretty dresses.

I will make sure all of my posts have pretty pictures in the future just for you!

Nicki Salcedo said...

Oh, Linsey, sure. That's what you really mean.

Nicki Salcedo said...

Anna, this is all junk. Go back to writing. They show the old ones so we know what we have to look forward to.

Nicki Salcedo said...

Sarah, thank you so much for stopping by. I appreciate your academic validation of my silly ramblings. I have a boy and they are weird birds, too. Mine's almost two and I haven't had enough time to figure him out. Dinosaurs recently took residents in the doll house, and the girls don't seem to mind. In fact, a T-Rex and Belle were having a fascinating conversation post-bath tonight. I just sit back and watch the madness.

So, one of your sons has an aunt younger than him. Awesome. I hope your dad knows the words to "I Know You" from Sleeping Beauty.

My favorite man who should not wear clothes is Daniel Dae Kim from LOST. He does not need a shirt. Ever.

Robin said...

If I had a boy, I planned to name him David - was there something subliminal going on there??? Actually, I would have used the Spanish pronunciation.

My mom's actions spoke pretty loudly to me as a child. She asked my father to leave. Love is one thing, pain is another. She needed to be free of the pain. At some point in my life I thought she hated men, but she hated the pain connected to so many men in her life. She took the pain for a long time. I thought she was weak, but I know she was strong. Strong enough to live during and somehow, though it took a long time, to pull it together after. She also taught me that I am Woman, I am Strong, I Have a Voice. My daughter does not have texting because I think she should learn how to use that voice (see, my mom taught me that I had a voice, which was step one, but I had to figure out how to use it).

Thanks for these important questions. I'd like to see more men naked, but I don't want to see most men naked. . .

Mary Marvella said...

Thought provoking comments, Nicki. We agree on well-sculpted, good looking nekked men. Your mom sounds like a hoot. Mine never got over the fact I changed from writing children's books to writing romances.

Gannon Carr said...

What a wonderful blog, Nicki! My mom and dad read more now than they did when I was younger, but I've always been an avid reader and they encouraged that. Like PJ, my intro to romance was Victoria Holt. My 7th grade English teacher, Mrs. Parker, recommended VH for a book report. I'll be forever grateful. :)

How can you not appreciate the perfection of the David?! We lived in Italy for 2 years (2003-2005) and I feel so blessed that I was able to see so many amazing pieces of art --La Pieta is breathtaking--and share them with my children. Of course, I remember going through the Louvre with them and my younger son (he was in 3rd grade at the time) asked why we needed to look at more art, "Come on, Mom. It's just a bunch of naked people." LOL From then on, it became the joke to point out every nude painting and statue.

Nicki Salcedo said...

I met a boy in Venice named David (Italian pronunciation) and we were pen pals for years. He even had those blond curls. You cannot go wrong with a name like David.

Those lessons from Mom are often long in the making. Even when we think we are opposite of our mothers we are really just like them. Robin, I'm sure your mother looks at you and thinks, "Mission accomplished."

My least favorite naked man was running Bay to Breakers in San Francisco. For the East Coasters, its a regular race in the front, but in the back (instead of the slower runners) are runners in costume. You know I'm liberal, crunchy, whatever, but I draw the line at a 50-year-old man running naked. Naked is not a costume. What's-his-name was a witness if you don't believe me.

Robin, thank you for stopping by.

Nicki Salcedo said...

Mary, write both children's books and romance novels. Mothers are also hard to please. I was supposed to be a doctor. Love science, still do, but I wasn't really supposed to be a doctor. I am supposed to be a writer who loves science. Much to my mother's dissappointment. Can't please everyone can we?

And did the grammar queen extraordinaire just write the word "nekked?" You crack me up!

Nicki Salcedo said...

Gannon, you lived in Italy? They let people do that? How wonderful. Your family is so lucky. And your son observant. I just realized something: It is probably easy to create artwork of a person with clothes on. The naked ones take skill.

I remember everyone who has ever giving me a book.

Dear 7th grade teacher, Mrs. Parker: Thank you for sharing books with Gannon. You will never be forgotten. Reading changes lives!

Darcy Crowder said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Darcy Crowder said...

I love this post, Nicki. I agree, you are a phenomenal writer.

My mom is actually the one who introduced me to reading romance. She and my older sister were veracious readers and passed everything down to me. I was probably 12 years old when I started reading Phyllis Whitney's YA’s, Victoria Holt and quickly graduated to other classics like Kathleen Woodiweiss. It was habit in our house to read in bed before falling asleep. I stayed up way too late more often than not!

Thanks for the memories.

Tami Brothers said...

Wow, Nicki!!! LOVED the post. I, too, LOVE naked men. Can't get enough of them...grin...

My parents were NOT readers, so the most vivid memories I have of them are when my mom read the book, The Waltons, to me and my sisters when we were moving one of the many times we moved. And the other memory is of my dad reading The Black Stallion. It took him weeks, but he sat down every night after work and read them. I think more than anything those two memories left the biggest impact on me and I wonder how since those were two things that were so out of the ordinary for them.

Anyway, off topic..grin...

This was too fun to read. I honestly look foreward to your posts each and every time. I would love to read your books some day. I can only imagine what they are like...

Have a great week.

Tami

Nicki Salcedo said...

Hey Darcy, how's the writing going? You must have passed down the reading gene to your daughter, too. That's a happy family tradition that I hope means more happy memories.

People think I don't sleep because of the kids, but I stayed up too late most of my life. Nothing better than going to bed with a book.

Nicki Salcedo said...

Tami, you are right on target. Our moms (and dads) have influences on us when the least intend to. I'm sure when my mother made the comment about the old naked guy she wasn't thinking, "This is the thing my daughter will most remember about me." Oh, well.

I love this comment. "I think more than anything those two memories left the biggest impact on me and I wonder how since those were two things that were so out of the ordinary for them." That hurts my heart a little bit.

My books aren't nearly as fun as my blog posts. I like to torture my characters and let them have vacuous emotional meanderings. Hope to win the Maggie this year though! It'll be tough competition with the Petits and Tamales in play.

Thank you, Tami, for inspiring us all to blog and write when we'd rather procrastinate. Couldn't do any of this without you.

Cinthia Hamer said...

Late posting on this, but couldn't resist.

Nicki, when I was just 14, my mom took me to Italy. At the Vatican, we saw La Pieta. I was moved almost to tears. The expression on Mary's face. The way she tenderly cradles her son's body. I was rendered speechless.

I was rendered speechless at The David, too, but for a completely different reason! Once I got over my shock of seeing a 20 foot tall naked guy, I took in the details. Of how Michelangelo gave him grungy feet and hangnails. I marveled at how someone could take a hunk of rock and perfectly define the muscles of arms and legs--and never forget that perfect nose! Don't you wish every guy had a nose like that???

My mother never commented on any of it. She was a woman of deep thought but few words. I don't suppose it ever occurred to her that she'd just exposed me to my first naked male body. LOL! And I never told her otherwise.

Thanks for a wonderful post, Nicki! As always.

Nicki Salcedo said...

Cinthia, sometimes the absence of comments is more powerful than a monologue on the greatness of Michaelangelo. You had a great mom for taking you to see the world.

Hmm...I hadn't really thought about David's nose. Does he have one? :)