“Sexy smooth” (#Satspanks and #8Sunday)

One of the central themes in Simple Gifts, my upcoming release scheduled for April 24th by LazyDay, is of dependence. Professional violinist Leila Feran is a self-sufficient, independent, and capable career woman in her own right. She doesn’t need anyone–until an injury takes away not just her ability to play professionally but to care for her own basic needs. While she recovers, she moves in with her best friend from childhood, Carene Moraghan. Orchestra teacher Carene is also a self-sufficient, independent, and capable career woman in her own right…and who doesn’t need anyone until Leila shows her what Carene has been missing.

They don’t need each other, but they make each other better. Unlike Kat or Mira who need the guidance provided by their partners, Leila is a more or less well-adjusted, happy, successful adult. In her case, her dependency is based on physical needs rather than emotional.

In writing this story, I experimented with daily activities to find out which were difficult to do with one hand. Brushing teeth sounds like a one-handed job until you think about opening the toothpaste or putting it onto the brush. Then try to do it with your non-dominant hand. (Leila is left-handed, and that’s the wrist she injures.) Dare you to try it.

I don’t know about you, but using my one non-dominant hand left me with a mess and not very clean teeth. So I wrote a scene where Leila references this difficulty, and she tries a solution. Except it doesn’t quite work out the way she wanted it to, at least at first…

Hope you enjoy one of my favorite scenes from Simple Gifts.



Leila breathed in the scent of the honey-vanilla body wash and green tea shampoo, thinking
back. She ran her tongue around her fresh-mint teeth, expertly brushed with the new electric toothbrush suggested by her physical therapist. With a pump-dispenser toothpaste she could operate with one hand and a brush that did all the scrubbing work by itself, she had won a small measure of independence. The only problem had been the first time when she tried to apply the toothpaste to the already-vibrating toothbrush. It had the same effect as lowering a spinning electric mixer into a bowl of flour. In between tears of laughter scrubbing toothpaste from the bathroom mirror, walls, and floor, Carene had suggested waiting until the toothbrush was actually in her mouth to turn it on. The next time, Leila followed the correct order and delighted in the results. It left her teeth sexy smooth without the humiliation of needing to ask Carene’s help.

59 thoughts on ““Sexy smooth” (#Satspanks and #8Sunday)

  1. Penelope says:

    Sweet scene – I like Leila already. And I can relate! I had an operation on my right hand a couple of years ago that left it out of action for several weeks. And I’m right-handed… 😉


      • Penelope says:

        Yep. It’s one of those things you don’t really appreciate until it’s gone. Thank goodness for buttonless clothing.

        Wanna hear something gross? They gave me a local anaesthetic for the op (less risky, apparently). They didn’t give me enough so I felt them start to cut…


  2. Minelle says:

    This is a great scene and describes perfectly that feeling one gets when one has been ill or incapacitated and then regains some measure of control.
    I am sad to say that I have done exactly that with the toothpaste on a whirling electric toothbrush…and with the same results..lol


  3. Thianna D says:

    LOL I loved this scene. There have been a couple times in my life where I had to use my non-dominant hand for things… like writing. The results at first looked like gobbledy-gook, so I totally get her feeling of accomplishment at actually having clean teeth:)


  4. Corinne Alexander says:

    I know all of the frustration that goes with having to relearn how to do everything that was once easy to you. The triumphs are so sweet, but it’s the little things that we take for granted that trip us up. I’m looking forward to reading more about Leila and her journey.


  5. Celeste Jones says:

    Since I have had a sneak peek at Simple Gifts I can assure you all that it is a lovely story. I think it’s interesting how Ana is able to delve into female friendship in so many different phases and makes each relationship distinct from the others.


  6. Julie says:

    A wonderful scene, Ana. So fun, but it still highlights Leila’s frustration at needing Carene’s assistance for even simple tasks.

    I can’t wait to read their story!


  7. normandiea says:

    Great scene! Like Minelle, I’ve done that with my electric toothbrush, getting toothpaste everywhere. I can relate.


  8. Constance Masters says:

    Loved this and what a GREAT idea. My eleven year old has a broken arm…and he’s male so he’s very limited to doing anything that doesn’t involve playing. Good luck with the new release Ana, I can’t wait to read it 🙂


  9. Roz says:

    Lovely scene Ana, and I too love that you ‘experimented’ before writing it. I’ll admit, I’ve done it too with the same results LoL

    I love how this scene shows the frustration of having to rely on someone else for help and the joy when you win back a little independence.



  10. Cara Bristol says:

    It is interesting how many one-handed tasks take two hands to perform, and even if you can do it all with one hand, when it’s your non-dominant hand, it’s like doing it for the first time.


  11. Sarah W says:

    Losing the use of one hand is exceedingly frustrating for those of use who can do our jobs (more or less) anyway—I can only imagine what a professional musician’s stress levels would be!


  12. S. J. Maylee says:

    You made me giggle. Thank you 🙂 I could envision her struggles and delighted in her mess. It’s intriguing how you’ve explained the difference between these two latest works. Looking forward to more.


  13. katewyland says:

    In my current WIP, the hero has an injured hand but I hadn’t thought of detailing the problems he faced. Great idea.
    I can imagine the mess the vibrating toothbrush made. Good snippet!


  14. Sue says:

    You’ve taken on quite the challenge here. And yes the only way to write about it is to do it yourself. You’re tackling activities people don’t normally think about, until they can’t do it themselves. And do it themself and not require assistance. I’ve been in similar situations and necessity indeed is the mother of invention. Admirable plot characters and writing. Brava


  15. Patricia Green says:

    Life is full of partnerships, from little ones that last only a moment to bigger ones that last a lifetime. Sounds like Leila can find a partnership with Carene…once her teeth are brushed. 🙂


  16. FCEtier says:

    This scene is a great reminder of something I once read.
    Practice using your OTHER hand. Signing your name is as difficult as brushing your
    teeth with the wrong hand.
    Kudos for a great snippet!


  17. siobhanmuir says:

    I identify with the need for independence. I broke my dominant wrist in college and had to learn to do A LOT with my left hand, including write down my recorded notes. Oh yeah, I feel for her. Great snippet, Ana. 🙂


  18. historysleuth1 says:

    Very nice scene. And I love the way you actually tried it! I fractured my wrist once so I can TOTALLY relate. Great snippet!


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