Sunday, November 14, 2010

How We Met and Fell In Love ♥

It seems fitting that our first post-launch post should be the “How We Met and Fell In Love” story. Because we are totally convinced this is knowledge each of you secretly in your heart of hearts really can’t live without.

D: Technically, they probably can live without it honey. I mean, they won’t actually die if they don’t read this post. 

K: Yes, I’m aware. But it would be a zombie life of the walking dead. We are saving them from this cruel fate. 

D: Well, when you put it that way, it does seem we are doing the whole of humanity a real service.

K: We are, aren’t we? Think they’ll build a shrine for us with a statue?

D: I would build a shrine for you, my love, and worship at the feet of your eternal beauty.

K: OMG, See? We don’t even need this post now; everyone can see why I feel in love with you!

D: And anyone who’s gazed upon your beauty or read the brilliance of your words knows why I fell in love with you.

Wow, ok, we’ll be back after this short bedroom break.

Just kidding. It’s not THAT kind of blog. No need to rush to change the setting on your computer or anything. We’re family friendly--mostly! *evil grins*

So this is how it happened. As we explained on, I don’t know, one of the blogs that started it all (see under “Our Story” to the right for links to those) we told you we started as writing partners. 

That is how we fell in love. Through story. Through the power of language and the beauty of the soul’s ability to shine through words.

The question: 

We have each been given an assignment. 

Write your first impression and how that led to falling in love. We have not discussed what we will say. We will post as is, with minor grammatical corrections. Any correlations in our story are the astonishing result of our deep soul love and freaky mind-reading ability. 

(Seriously, we can actually, literally read each other’s mind. It’s creepy, but really useful at times.)


When Dmytry Met Kimberly

Impressions of Nothing

The first writing by Kimberly that I read was titled "The Nothing."

It wasn't about nothing. No. It was an intriguing look at virtual realities and life online. The great prose and poetic style impressed me. The idea intrigued me. I wanted to read more.

Kimberly sent me the synopsis for her first novel, a YA fantasy filled with magic and heart, "Death by Destiny." Her mastery of the genre and its tropes made her a perfect fit for "The Writers of the Future Competition." (The best competition for fiction writers,) and I suggested that she enter.

She began writing "The Reluctant Familiar." Writing fast. Really fast. I have never seen anyone write 2000 words in an hour while simultaneously chatting online. (Chatting with me in this case.) I was impressed. Even more impressed when I saw the quality of her rough work.

It wasn't rough. No. More like polished work from people who have been writing for years. The characters were distinct, the settings vivid, the voice beautiful. The pacing was off for like, what was it honey, one paragraph? Yeah. One. She fixed it before I finished pointing it out.

Past Advice

I gave Kimberly her "WAS" advice: how you should avoid using the word in fiction whenever possible. (You end up with more active verbs and effective descriptions.) She understood it right away--most people don't. Once again, I was impressed.

I asked Kimberly to look over my work, help me with edits. She did. And she did wonderfully. She understood the voice I was going for, the mood, the effect of every line.

Often, writers disregard the intention of the author when suggesting edits. Not Kimberly. She knew where I wanted to go. And she helped me get there.

Honestly, I have never met a writer who understood my work so deeply. Who understood me so deeply. Kimberly wasn't only looking at my style and technique. She was looking at me as a person.

That was it. I had to have her as a writing partner. I had to establish a friendship and partnership with her that would last forever.

I did.

All creative works grow into something more. Take on a life of their own.

But this one.

This one grew into something even more.

This one grew into love.

When Kimberly Met Dmytry

Ok, I’ll admit it. I was worried. You know how it is. When someone you’ve recently met offers to let you read their work, or you ask to read their work, or whatever. I think I asked him for his work. I like reading new authors. But. BUT. There’s that secret little fear. 

What if he SUCKS? Then what?

He seemed a nice guy. I am a former entertainment critic for an LA-based daily newspaper. 

I don’t do subtle.

I’m not a horrid person. Honest. I’m just…well…honest. Too honest.

Most people who ask for feedback are really asking for a pat on the back. 

But with me, you need to be CLEAR about this. 

I don’t want to kick you in the butt if you really just wanted to be coddled. And honestly, if you want that, I’m not really your girl. 

So. I was nervous.

The first story I read of his was a Halloween flash for a competition.

I LOVED it! Honestly. And boy was I relieved. ‘Cuz I liked this guy, even if at this point I had NO inkling I would spend my life with him. 

Then he sent me another short story. This time he wanted an editing critique. 

Uh oh. Really? You sure about this? Last chance! Ok. You asked for it. 

I LOVED this one too. And by now was seeing his style. His twisty, dark, delightful style. 

I gave a critique. We talked about word choice and voice and how awesome the twist was. He listened. He learned. His story was better. 

Then. THEN. I wrote a story. For a competition he introduced me to. 

And he LOVED it. And. And he gave awesome feedback. 

I used the word “was” too many times. We looked at word choice. Story flow. Characters.

I listened. I learned. And my story was better.

I realized something in that moment. 

I’d met my match. My writerly match. (Yes, this is a new word, in the vein of literarily but for writers, and as a writer, I get to make up words so shoosh about it.)

He had a unique brilliance at seeing the flow and structure of a story. Catching the stumbly parts. (mmhmm, I did it again with the new word thing.) Seeing the ways in which it could be strengthened. 
Most of my college professors were less helpful in my writing. Less astute and in tune with my style and vision.

I wasn’t in love yet. But damn I was in something! 

And so it went. We wrote. We talked. We grew as writers. We grew as friends. 

And then. We crossed the line. You know, that one moment you use clever words to tumble into something more than friendship, something, mainly because of our age difference, neither of us had even felt was possible. 

But the words kept coming. We love words. Love playing with words. And we loved the feel of these words on our lips. We couldn’t stop. And so here we are. So merrily in love as to induce vomiting and eye rolling in many. 

We’d made a rule. At the beginning. Never fall in love with me, I told him. He told me the same. Sacred oath. We shalt never fall in love with thy other. Or whatever. I never did understand Old English English. 

Of course, as any woman knows, the fastest way to make a guy fall in love with you is to tell him not to. I guess maybe this really doesn’t have anything at all to do with our writing or deeper connections. I simply uttered those magic words. 

Who knew?


The Story of YOU: How did you meet the most significant person in your life? (other than your children.)


  1. When I met Marilyn I was at breakfast with one of her friends, for exactly the reason most twentysomethings wind up at breakfast with each other. Marilyn's friend was sort of bringing me around her pals to see what they thought of me. Marilyn was with her boyfriend of five or six years.

    At the time, I had just come out of the West Virginia forest having spent ten days running around half-naked in the snow on what is best described as a feral, whiskey-fueled vision quest. I had two feet of hair, and had just quit my job and told my boss to go screw in a very theatrical way, and then asked Marilyn's friend out because I thought she was hot (didn't know Marilyn yet), and so there we were at breakfast.

    Marilyn and I proverbially fell in love at first sight. There is no other way to put it. Everyone at the table was sort of uncomfortable, we so obviously dug each other. At one point, our hands brushed against each other and I tell you, without hyperbole, there was an electric pulse or something.

    Five and a half weeks later, we left town in a pickup truck with all of our belongings in the cab of it. Marilyn brought with her exactly four items unless you count her underwear. A purse, a dress, and two red shoes which weren't even hers. Six weeks later, we conceived our daughter - on purpose.

    That was about thirteen years ago. True love wins again!

    Wrote about it last Mother's Day -

  2. I love "how they met" stories. I'm always asking people how they got together. My story isn't nearly as fun as yours or Tommy's, though. I met my husband in ROTC, and thought he was cute, but never seriously considered him because I thought I liked older boys. You're going to laugh because he's only six months younger, but this was not really a conscious thing, it just never occurred to me to think of him as a potential boyfriend despite how much I enjoyed his company.

    The third time we went out "as friends", something just clicked as we were talking in the parking lot of the movie theater. I can't explain it. We literally stood there until 5 am talking, and the poor guy had to go to work at six. I didn't trust the strength of my feelings at first, but within five days, I knew he was the one for me, and after six months I gave myself permission to believe it.

  3. What awesome stories! LOVE this.

    Tom, I just read your story and CRIED. Seriously, am sitting her in my office grateful for waterproof mascara. Everyone, GO READ that story by thomaschalfant OMG :)Love does indeed win again!

    Dmytry and I feel like that. Like you must have. Like she must have when she hopped in your truck with just one dress, one purse and 2 red shoes that weren't even hers.

    I love your wife btw. You can tell her I said so.

    Dmytry and I went from "we can't be together for like, 10 years. How's the Time Machine Business coming along..."

    to "We can't be together until we are famous, then no one will care how we met or that we are soooo far apart in age...that Time Machine done yet?"

    to "Eff It. I can't live without you. We need to be together. Screw what the world thinks."

    I think that all happened in like, a minute or so.

    and I feel as you do, that somehow we were handed this destiny, this fate and to ignore it because it's crazy would destroy us.

    So plans are in place. For a life we couldn't have predicted. To spend my life with a man I never could have imagined even in all my wildest fantasies.

    And Gwen, I get it. Yea, we have a slightly larger age gap between us LOL but I always went for older guys. When I was 17 I dated a 27 year old. Dating a guy even my age would have been an anomaly. Dating a guy who, let's face it, missed a big chunk of my early years not even being alive, pretty much blew my mind.

    But, love trumps all.

    And I do love to hear good love stories :)

  4. Wow, I wish I had a story. I don't. I've twice thought I was in love, once I realized I wasn't but thats okay I have two wonderful children, now grown. The other, I thought i was in love, but it doesn't take much to convince me sometimes. Unfortunately he said he was in love but didn't really mean it (although we did have that electricity once that Tom talks about).

    I want one of these stories and at times I think I'm meant to find someone younger but not sure how that ever happens. Wish you could write instructions.

    Nonetheless, reading yours and Dmytry's story and Tom and Marilyn's story makes me happy and gives me hope, that true love does exist.

  5. Julie Jeffs,
    thank you for that :) Yes, love has many imposters chasing at its tale. I had three wonderful children with one too.

    But when real love crashes over you, it washes away the residue of any lingering doubt those imposters may have left.

    Sending you love as you stay open to that One.

    Re: younger men, there are many perks ;) I never imagined this would be my life, and there will likely be challenges from it, but so far, it's just been amazing!

    I hope you continue to enjoy our blog! :)

  6. Love the stories. Thanks so much for reading.

  7. OK I LOVE this blog! And I love your story...soo sweet. Mine, pretty boring. I have been married for 8 years to my childhood neighbor. I am only 29 years old, but have known my husband since I was 4 years wonder I'm sick of him...just kidding, just kidding. Marriage has a lot of ups and downs, but two things have always remained true, he makes me laugh and he is my best friend.

  8. L.M.Stull, those are the two most important things, I think. So glad you love our blog ;) We are also branching out as business partners. We're starting a writing/editing service together :)Because being in love, being writing partners, and raising kids together is not enough "us" time. lol

  9. hmm an editing service, eh?? Keep me in the loop on that one! And I wish you both many many many years of happiness :)

  10. Thanks Stull! And we sure will. ;) You're the best.