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February 2014

#smoochread

Golden Retrievers, Passionate Romances and Christmas Pudding
Smooch Me

Join the discussion this month about #smoochread. We will be focusing on all things inspiring passion in this discussion (and it will be great to see what ideas people include).

Her golden hair glistened in the late afternoon sun. Her eyes looked into mine. Love. Loyalty. Trust. I reached towards her. She was so beautiful. She was, in short, the best golden retriever a man had ever had. Okay, so some people are closer to their pets than others. There are, however, lots of great books about smooching animals from John Grogan’s Marley and Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog and Vicki Myron’s work Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World or Gene Zion’s Harry the Dirty Dog. There are also animals with attitude such as the Schnauzer Asta in The Thin Man by tough-guy writer Dashiell Hammett. Not all smoochable animals are domesticated: there is, for example, the wonderful collection of animals that populate the 100 Acre Wood in A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh.

There is a vast array of different types of romance stories to choose from: Crime and romance (read: The Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane Series by Dorothy L. Sayers, watch: Mad Dog and Glory starring Robert De Niro); GLBT romance (read: anything written by Claire McNab, watch: Claire of the Moon starring Trisha Todd); Historical romance (read: anything written by Jane Austen, watch: Becoming Jane starring Anne Hathaway); Paranormal romance (read: Undead and Unwed by Mary Janice Davidson, watch: Underworld starring Kate Beckinsale); Screwball romance (read: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion, watch: Bringing up Baby starring Katherine Hepburn); Young Adult romance (read: The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, watch: Ever After starring Drew Barrymore).

Of course not everyone lives happily ever after . . . just ask Rachel Samstat of Nora Ephron’s Heartburn or explore The English Patient (book by Michael Ondaatje, movie starring Kristen Scott Thomas). Many examples of poetry also provide sad ends for lovers: all those lonely warbling, dying swans.

Smooching and playing go together too. Men are particularly good at this. The tender caress of a putter that has just helped to score a birdie on the final hole (A Good Walk Spoiled: Days and Nights on the PGA Tour by John Feinstein). Kissing the Australian crest on a ‘baggy green’ cricket cap (Bradman’s War: How the 1948 Invincibles Turned the Cricket Pitch into a Battlefield by Malcolm Knox). Clutching at the club logo on a football jersey after crossing the line for a winning try (Glory Days: The Story of South Sydney’s Golden Era by Alan Whiticker).

Men and women are also good at smooching in the kitchen as seen in the books and television shows of: Jamie Oliver; Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall; Donna Hay; and Kylie Kwong who make a vast array of tasty treats from nourishing pastas to an indulgent rocky road Christmas pudding. Similarly we can smooch in the garden.

Smooching is intensely personal. People can smooch: bears; cars; cats; coffee mugs; cupcakes; delicious pasta; dogs; favourite meals; first pair of ballet flats; flags; fresh linen; model planes; musical instruments; new pyjamas; plants; plush toys; puddings; scoreboards; soft armchairs; sporting crests; train sets; treasured books; and, occasionally, each other.

While you are reading, playing or watching your #smoochread, you might like to tweet about it using #smoochread #rwpchat so that other people can have a conversation with you about your #smoochread.  You can add to the discussion on Pinterest too. You might like to post your photographs to Instagram or Flickr and use #smoochread #rwpchat so others can share in your reading, watching and playing.

There will be a twitter discussion on 25 February starting at 8.00pm Australian Eastern Summer Time. 9.00pm New Zealand Time, 6.00pm Singapore Standard Time, 8.00am GMT, 12.00 noon Central European Time. Note: this is a staggered start to the discussion.

Use the tags #smoochread and #rwpchat as you discuss the reading, watching playing that is your experience of smoochread, so others can join in the conversation too.

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