There was another point entirely--the new flashfic challenge posted by cesperanza is "The Harlequin Plot Challenge." So, okay. Let it be known: it happens, on occasion, that some misguided, generous fan kneels in my presence and cries, "Oh, Anna, you're so intimidatingly brilliant, I'm averting my eyes, O Lord!" And no matter how many I times I mention that there are other interesting things they could be doing down there on their knees instead of averting, it just never goes anywhere fun, and then I wake up. Disappointing.
The thing is that, quite often, and usually before noon, I'm really not all that bright. So when I saw the Harlequin Plot Challenge I read the details--the feisty untameable rodney meets his mysterious benefactor! -- the one where rodney is really, really rich and powerful and he sees john the independent girl and is like "i will pay you ten billion dollars to be my MISTRESS"--etc. And then I blinked vacantly several times and went to look up the word:
har·le·quin. Etymology: ultimately from Italian arlecchino, from Middle French Helquin, a demon. 1 a: a character in comedy and pantomime with a shaved head, masked face, variegated tights, and wooden sword; b: BUFFOONAnd then I sat there for about forty seconds and tried to figure out how the plot examples could be logically associated with a challenge about demons, clowns, or buffoons.
And then I wondered whether the challenge required one of the characters to be female in every story. Really.
Anyway. I'm very excited about the Harlequin (Romance) Plot challenge. I hope for seriously beautiful ludicrousness in the results. Here is the story I will *not* be writing for this challenge because, for one thing, it in no way relates:
pheromones: "Wait a minute," Rodney said, eyes widening at Carson, "are you saying that my superhero power is the ability to turn men *gay*?!"
pheromones, part 2: John stopped dead in the corridor as if a security klaxon had just gone off and stared at Rodney. "Okay, just how many of my men have you slept with, anyway?" he said, voice rising. Rodney's face grew abstracted for a half-second of calculation. "Twelve. No, wait, thirteen." His surface blandness didn't even flicker--it was as if John had asked him how many sandwiches he'd eaten that day.
One plot bunny, free to a good home. *g*