Category Archives: Writing
It’s everywhere we look – In magazines, television, movies, books, bedrooms, back seats of cars…you the idea. There’s no escaping it. I don’t care how “good” we claim to be, we’ll look. We’re curious about the body, what it looks like (more importantly, what other bodies look like). Let’s admit it and move on – naked bodies or scantily clad bodies – are a complete turn on. We shamelessly flock to online sites en masse and hoot our approval. For the males, they have the Hooter Girls, the Jaegermeister models, and a long list of others scantily clad women toting tools, beer bottles, and motorcycles.
Us women love, love, love it! We create it! Look at what CJ West is doing for the cause! (By the way, comment on his challenge post and you could win a $500 Amazon gift certificate – but the biggest prize is to get CJ shirtless!)om 1953…
What about brain candy? Look at the success of Fifty Shades of Grey. Sex, sex, and more sex. And the public is eating it up! Then there’s Gabriel’s Inferno and the eagerly anticipated The Winemaker’s Dinner (available July 31, 2012). It’s all about the seduction that makes us squirm (in the very pleasurable sense of the word).
Which brings me to my original topic. How young is too young for readers to be exposed to sex in literature? Where should we draw the line? Should we draw the line?
I’m not advocating it one way or another, because that is a purely personal opinion for authors and the parents of young readers to deal with. What I have observed, though, is the fact that these young adults are getting younger and are already well-schooled about the ins and outs (yes, pun intended) of sex, the very same stuff some of us try to keep out of their hands.
Let’s face it. The act of sex is primal. Used for procreation or not, there is, at various levels, arousal. None of us are immune to it.
In my day job as a medical transcriptionist, I’ve lost count of how many reports I’ve typed regarding 14-year-olds who go to the emergency room due to complications from their pregnancy. As much as I’m against babies having babies, the reality is that they know all about sex and keeping it out of books probably isn’t going to stop them from doing the wild thing. In fact, they’ll see it, read it, and do it if they want.
A friend of mine understands that mentality, and even though her son is only 14 years old, he has a girlfriend, so she keeps a stack of Trojans within his reach. Just in case.
When I was in seventh grade, there was a couple who spent every lunch, every recess playing throat hockey and copping feels. Sheesh. If they did that in public, one could only guess what they did in private.
I’ve been told by a few teens that they’ve read my novel, Again, which has a few choice sex scenes ranging from sweetly intimate to raw. (My guess is that they actually skimmed the book for the “best parts” and ignored the rest.) And they seemed rather proud of themselves for having read it. I totally cringe at the thought, but then I remind myself of the time when I was 12 or 13 and the stuff I got my hands on. *shrugs* Whaddya gonna do?
I’m not going to tell you if I wrote any sex into my next Young Adult novel, Souled, or not, because that would be a total spoiler, but suffice it to say, I kept it as real as possible. I would love to hear your thoughts. Is there a line you draw as a reader or writer? What are your beliefs?
The life I give my boys is an outside-of-the-box kind of normal. Our house is lovingly referred to as “The Pit Stop” as we are rarely there and when we are, it’s to sleep and grab a shower and perhaps a few Z’s before we head out the door again. My erratic work and writing hours revolve around the boys’ equally erratic hours, shaped by their activities and sports. And the time that we actually spend at home, we spend together, yet apart. We have vastly different interests and temperments – I’m a hummingbird on speed, my oldest a little faster than a snail, and my youngest, somewhere in between.
I love reading, writing, exercising, yardwork…my boys don’t.
They adore Skyrim and Zelda…I don’t.
My oldest enjoys making decadent desserts. My youngest enjoys eating decadent desserts…I don’t, on either count.
My oldest and I love watching movies…my youngest doesn’t.
My youngest and I love hiking…my oldest doesn’t.
That being said, I’ve tried to reverse things a bit and make it “normal,” but failed miserably every time, ignoring the fact that when I’d tried to do what other mothers and fathers did with their family lives, it felt wrong for me, felt wrong for us.
I’ve pushed the boys on eating habits, on school, teen-tude behavior, and all I got was a big shove back. Not fun for either party involved.
Although rules and regulations are set in place, I gave up on trying to “be normal.” And it was freeing, because I didn’t have to pretend anymore. But skipping not too far behind that freedom was its annoying friend – guilt. I thought I had it all figured out when I wrote the Girl Power post, but I still found myself looking at all of my friends, wondering if I was off base. Shouldn’t I be playing board games or something?
I realized that trying to do what is “right”, for me anyway, is a lot like being a kite. Flying freely, yet anchored by the shoulds of the string, I’d feel “normal” and “accepted.”
But when the kite string is released, the more visible my free falling or “different” behavior is. While it’s kind of cool to do the rebel yell thing, there is a moment of ahh…damn…should I really be doing this?
I’ve come to the conclusion certain things aren’t going to happen – it just doesn’t work for us, no matter how hard I try. So one day after sweeping up the pieces of my latest attempts, I sat the boys down and said, “Listen. There is no ‘normal’ here. Our routine is just what happens as the day unfolds. We may not bond over playing catch, but we can bond while we do the Warrior Dash. I may not bake at Christmas time, but I’ll share a box of Oreo cookies with you. I’ll even be there for you if you want a tattoo. You know how completely unorthodox I am…”
My oldest had stopped me and said, “We know, Mom. We like you that way.”
*Happy dance* They know I love them, and that is the glue that keeps us together. But then again, it could have been the Double Stuff Oreo cookies…
The End was penned a couple of months ago, but those two words only signaled the beginning. After 14 months of writing, the words that had been pouring out of my imagination had finally solidified into the 70,000+ manuscript that is now going through the fluff and fold and nip and tuck process.
For me, editing this YA Paranormal has been all-consuming, taking up enough space in my brain to push a few things out. As input from my betas keep coming in, my mind is continuously working out the possibilities and changes my novel could take. I’ve forgotten to pay bills on time, left the market with only half of what I’ve gone in for, and lost a lot of time from work because I’m running through scenes in my head instead of typing medical reports. I get through my days only half there and it’s a struggle to bring myself to the moment and focus on the task at hand.
I’ve got the attention span of blade of grass and if a point is not made within five seconds from the beginning of a conversation or whatever it is that I’m reading, you can be pretty sure I’ve checked out and moved on to something else. Oftentimes I wake up that way, breathing in the adrenaline of the home stretch.
With my tattoo artist now sketching out the cover of the novel – which, by the way, will be one of the next images of art to be inked on my body – the actual completion of my second novel is quickly becoming a reality…and I can’t wait!
So forgive me as I deviate from my usual blog path, because quite honestly, I can’t think of much else. You may not see me much in the blogosphere or in Twitterverse in the next few weeks, but I’ll be around – sort of.
I’m talking about the weather in my head. Yeah, there’s definitely a storm raging in there that started about 48 years ago, with no sign of slowing down. The friction from my brain cells slamming into each other alone is responsible for 99% of that heat.
So why is it that I have nothing to show for it in terms of my blog today? I mean, I literally sat in front of my computer for four hours last night – with a few attempts at inspiration, by poking the logs in the wood stove, washing dishes, snacking on hummus – with not a single blogging thought making any sort of appearance.
Topics were not a problem. Got plenty of those. The problem was that my brain just…..froze up. Creativity? Perhaps if I could have gotten a string of words on the page, I could have faked the creativity part of it, but the words were playing hide and seek with me.
I’m a pantster, I go with the flow, I react, I put out fires. I am in the moment at any given time. But I sat in a very, very, very long moment last night, just staring and wondering what the hell I was doing.
It was frustrating to say the least. Although I have had to cut back on blogging temporarily to once a week (because I am putting energy into my next novel which, by the way, is in the home-stretch stage) I love getting on here and saying something…anything…to spark a discussion.
Some of the frigidity may be due to the fact that a lot is going on in my personal life. (The most interesting by far is the suspicion that my father’s will looks like it has been tampered with/switched out/forged, courtesy of two gold-digging family members – and I use the term “family” loosely.) Be that as it may, even in the midst of the day job, kiddy care, and other goings-on, I’m usually able to slip into the writing world without too much problem, being able to start with a single sentence and get the blog going from there.
Last night was different for some reason and I don’t really know why. As a big fan of Mike Dooley, I’m taking his advice and I won’t try to figure it out because spending energy on the whys won’t propel me forward. It will just keep me in a holding pattern of stagnation.
Don’t worry, I’ll be back again with some incredibly interesting post. *wink* I’m just going to chill for a couple of days and let my brain thaw. My WANA sister, Angela Peart, suggested I try sleeping. Hmm. As crazy as that sounds, it might just work.
I’m thinking that I’m not alone in this and that most of you writers and bloggers come up empty on occasion as well.
Do me a favor, then. Let me know what you do to switch those gears and get back on track. Does this happen to you very often? Am I lacking something (besides sleep)? Do I need to switch coffee brands? Perhaps to a darker roast? Should I up the chocolate intake? Drink more? Drink less?
What is your magic bullet? I’d really love to know!