Lions, and tigers, and sex sc – Wait…what?

Ah, the dreaded three letter word that starts with S, ends in X, and rhymes with HEX.

It’s not such a dreaded word in reality (at least not for most people under whichever circumstances), but for writers who are not Romance novelists? Oh yes, that word is SO dreaded. I’m not sticking all of you other writers out there into that little box with me, but I’m definitely in it and I know I’m not the only one.

I have to keep in mind that most of you who read my blog have had zero interaction with me off of here. I email with a few people. I’ve talked on the phone to one person a few times. So yes, the only way most of us all know one another is through interactions on WordPress. In a way, that can almost give you deeper insight to a person than you’d normally get – at least in my opinion. We share our hopes and dreams on here – our pains (not paints, way to ruin a moment with a typo, C), our struggles, and our ambitions. We share our WRITING. I know you all get me on that level, which is fantastic.

I’ve said on here before that I’m a pretty closed off person in some ways. If I know you, I’ll spill my deepest secrets (or the next level above the deepest) to you in a heartbeat. I can be a very open person. But let me give you a little insight . . .

If I did NOT know you, and you came up to me on the street and started rattling off about sex scenes, one or both of my eyes would likely start twitching. I would sweat profusely. I would be polite and say, “Hey, Random Person, this is somewhat inappropriate.” At least I would want it to come out of my mouth that way. It would probably be more like, “Whoa dude, wtf are you doing?”

That’s me.

I’ve written a lot, alright? That type of stuff HAPPENS when you write books, because that type of stuff HAPPENS in real life. I’m a fan of The Cut-Off. If I lead up to something happening well enough, I’m PRETTY SURE your mind can fill in the gaps. It’s my goal as a writer to make that happen. It’s better that way, I think (just my opinion). At least I am better at it that way, which . . . sometime you out there can be the judge of that, if you ever want to be. When writing Young Adult, it’s almost better to do it that way, again in my opinion. And I don’t want to feel like I’d be responsible for a crapton of sexually deviant teenagers running around doing things that they do. Hey, they do it, but I don’t want to feel responsible for it. And I would feel responsible, even if nobody ever accused me of it.

Oh my GOD, ALL THE EVILS IN THE WORLD ARE MY FAULT!!

That’s how my brain works, okay?

There’s a part of me that’s not comfortable writing YA at all, as I cover a lot of subjects in my books that I’m not sure the younger end of YA readers . . . I’m stopping myself there, as I cannot say who should and should not (or would and would not be able to) handle whatever. But I’m less comfortable writing in the adult genre, in ways.

I’ll give you a scenario – it’s a truthful scenario that happens quite often with me while I’m writing (or editing) a book.

I’m sitting there in my shed (I have every intention of posting an entry about my shed on here, so let’s leave the shed at that for now), writing (or editing). Sexy scene comes up. I type (or read/write) a few words. I giggle. I type a few more, put my hand over my face, and start talking to myself (“Oh my god,” for example. “I can’t believe I just wrote that,” for another). I type a few more and giggle again.

It happens.

There are some scenes in some of my books that – I kid you not – will have me nearly rolling around on the ground giggling in uncomfortableness. I do weird things when I’m uncomfortable, if you haven’t gathered.

So yes, adult books have their downside, as The Cut-Off is generally not wanted or accepted.

But I’ll tell you something I learned . . . yesterday? Two days ago? The days blur . . .

I knew that I’d done a relatively decent job with the more ‘intimate’ scenes (not sex scenes) in the book that my editor HAS IN HER HANDS RIGHT NOW. I knew that I had because my husband’s response after reading one of them in particular was, “I felt like I was intruding.”

That’s one of those things where you think about it for a little while, and then nod your head in satisfaction when you’re alone. It must’ve been good, in some way.

I’ve never really felt like that – at least no more than I usually feel when I’m writing. I already feel a level of intrusion into the character’s stories that I’m telling because I feel like I’m telling the life story of some person that has no business being told. I’m giving words to their lives for other people to read.

I have to be honest and say that I finished writing this new trilogy last week. I didn’t want to say anything on here – partially because I’ve been busy (writing and now editing), and partially because I read on a blog awhile back that talking about writing prolifically can make other authors feel bad. I’ve actually been struggling a lot with both that, and the fact that I write full-time (without pay because I have no books released yet . . . give me some time to get everything in place and they will be out there, I promise). I don’t want to make anyone feel any negative thing due to what I’m doing, so I haven’t wanted to be like, “HEY, I FINISHED ANOTHER BOOK!” And then another one a few weeks later. But hey. I have.

Guilty feelings come to me again now.

So anyway, I had to say it so that what I say next will make sense.

I was editing the first book in that trilogy and came upon the actual first legitimate sex scene that I’ve ever written. It was torture writing it, let me tell you. I was pleased with it afterward. I thought I kept it classy (as classy as they can get). I postponed writing it for as long as I freaking could, let me tell you.

Anyway, came upon it when editing.

And by god, if I didn’t feel like I was intruding then I don’t know what that was. Well, uncomfortable, yes. But intrusive. I felt so unbelievably intrusive.

So, after getting through editing it and taking a few minute break afterward to try and fix my brain back into its normal – un-uncomfortable – mode, I sat there and I thought about it.

I’ll never be a Romance novelist. Not ever. Well, I can’t know that for certain, but I know for certain that I don’t want to be. I love the natural romance that happens between characters, but I’m not trying to turn love stories into the pornographacation (*ding* new Non-Word) of a character’s life. I will write and write (and write and write) about things that don’t happen, but I like my books to be realistic enough that the other things can make those unrealistic things believable. And throwing in a bunch of words that people DO NOT THINK into scenarios and DO NOT HAPPEN . . . Where is the believability there?

I’m not writing this to get into a debate about Romance novels. People like them, and that’s cool. I just don’t write them.

What I’m trying to say is that I learned, finally, that I CAN actually write a sex scene if I feel that I absolutely must – if the story, or the characters say, “Dammit, woman, TELL THE STORY!”.

And I’m proud of myself for that because it was such a freaking struggle for me.

But hey, I’m a bigger fan of the leading-up-to anyhow. For the most part . . . I think I’ll stick to what I’m good at when it comes to that sort of thing with writing. I’ll venture out of my box to grow, but . . . yep, done that. Check.

Sorry this was so long, but I haven’t been blogging very much. Pretty poor way of making up for it, come to think about it.

Anyway, if anyone else has had the same struggles – or similar ones – feel free to share. Maybe I won’t feel so ridiculous.

Hope everyone is wonderful out there.

🙂

Now if only I can get over the thought of my mom reading these new books of mine that she’s been asking to read . . .

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Writer’s block, and other things.

So . . . it’s happened to me.

It took me two days to realize that I had writer’s block. Two days of sitting in my shed, staring at the screen of my laptop.

I’ve had difficult scenes to write before, of course. I trudge along through them – sometimes slowly – and stick my conquering flag in the face of whatever character or situation caused me so much grief. I never laugh though, so don’t picture me laughing while you’re picturing me sticking that conquering flag wherever I’m talking about (if you are). It’s never a funny thing – or a pleasant one. It’s simply something that must be done at some point or another during every story (or at many points, depending on). After writing two complete series (albeit one sh- er . . . uhm . . . crappy one), I’m no stranger to difficult scenes.

It was different this time.

Firstly, that it took me so long to realize that WRITER’S BLOCK had me at a near standstill.

Secondly, the scene I was stuck on was only remotely difficult. It wasn’t anything to bat more than a couple eyelashes at.

In two days, I wrote only about half of a chapter.

On the second of those days, I LITERALLY wrote one half of a page (keep in mind that this is while using Georgia font 12, so that half a page was not really half a page, but close).

This is not saying I sat down for an hour or so combined. I’m talking two entire NIGHTS. I know a lot of people are lucky to get that much written, usually because they have real jobs and the like. This is not me bragging (and I will say it again, I type very fast and I have a lot of time to write), but I usually knock some pretty decent word counts out in the eight to fourteen hours a day that I’m writing. Clearly. That’s a lot of time.

Last night was better. Mostly because I think I realized what’s been plaguing me. It has everything to do with that entry I wrote a few days ago – Overwhelmed by the new WIP. There’s just SO MUCH going on past the eyes of the current MC. So many things that I somewhat knew about, but didn’t really. So many characters that haven’t yet come into the story. So many ties connecting them all together. And I have to figure it out. That’s the issue.

I made some character chart things. Or basic ones – questions that need to be asked for all of them. Who are you?

Haven’t filled any of them out yet.

I had to come up with names that aren’t relevant yet. All kinds of names. Let me tell you – coming up with a giant list of names at one time is SO MUCH MORE DIFFICULT than the spur of the moment names when introducing one character to another. I drew a map of this world, separating all the kingdoms. EPIC FAILURE. I tried again (with pencil). Had to put forests where I knew they were. Rivers. Because all of this is relevant in some way or another. The devil is most certainly in the details. The second attempt was only a minor failure. Well, that would depend on your outlook, I suppose. It was a better attempt than the first and – for the most part – I think I’ve got everything (so far) where it needs to be.

I’m trying to figure out when to do all of this (all of the lists/charts/webs [webs are important with this]) and I don’t have a freaking clue. I want to write. Of course this was all hanging me up, preventing me from writing in the first place. I have things to do on here. I have about four blog awards to accept (I WILL GET TO THEM AT SOME POINT! I REALLY HAVE EVERY INTENTION OF IT!). Comments piled up while I was working (I’M SORRY, I WILL GET TO THOSE HERE IN A BIT!). I have some emails that I want to respond to (I WILL GET TO THOSE IN A LITTLE BIT LONGER BIT BECAUSE THEY’RE GOING TO TAKE ME A FEW HOURS!). I want to sit down with Husband and watch a movie we bought the other day. I had to pick blackberries and make jelly with my mom yesterday. Had to welcome my niece back home. I need to eat at some point.

Yes, not very many things, I know. But if you write on a regular basis, you’ll know that every minute you spend doing something else is a minute that you could’ve been writing. Depending on your typing speed, a minute is what? Between 60-120 words? Add sixty of those together and you get . . . well, I’m bad at math and I don’t feel like adding it up.

LOTS OF WORDS.

I have issues, I know.

A minute spent doing character sheets. A minute spent responding to comments. A minute spent blogging. A minute spent doing anything.

And I actually took a bit of time to do some fun things on Friday. Went to Qdoba with my husband, tweeted about it and they tweeted me back (I’m sure they do that with everybody, but it was super awesome for me). Went and saw The Lone Ranger. Don’t even get me started on that. I actually wanted to blog about that movie and I might. I just wanted to make sure I’d do it with a calm mind.

Irrelevant.

Minutes. Words.

Clearly I’m losing it.

Can anybody see why I crawl into a little hermit-hole while I’m writing?

Sorry.

Thanks everybody for being so cool about all of it and (for some reason) liking me anyway.

Hope you’re all having wonderful days and whatnot. And I hope that no one else is plagued by the WB. Kind of like that down-bug that made its way ’round a few weeks ago. Be careful. Don’t catch this one.

Hmm . . . come to think about it . . . It would probably be best to go seclude myself. Just so nobody else gets it. 😉

Failing Words and Suds

I didn’t sleep well yesterday.

At this point, I’m not sure if I should blame it on the windows letting too much light in, the fact that I should’ve known better than trying to fall asleep after the sun came up (without the windows covered), or all of the thoughts and ideas swirling around like little smoke clouds inside of my head.

I’m going to do this tomorrow.  That’s something to do.  There’s a new bit of something to add to the game plan.

I’m sure it was a combination of all those things.  So forgive me (in advance); I’m far too tired to have the sense of what I do and don’t want to say.

While walking upstairs from my last cigarette break, I was thinking about bubbles.  Not the pretty sort with the little rainbows on them, floating around easily before they burst apart in a spray of tiny suds.  I’m talking about the kind of bubbles that we find ourselves trapped inside of periodically throughout life – or that we step into willingly.

My life is a life of bubbles, I realize.  It sounds ridiculous; I’m coherent enough to know as much.  I’m trying to find the words to explain it correctly and I’m failing.  I hate feeling like I’m failing words.  I can’t express how much I hate it.

I lived in whatever bubbles suited me best at whatever time when I was growing up.  Varying colors, varying opacity, varying space.

I’m not sure that I really knew what that meant until now, thinking about the way they’ve changed for me…or the way that I’ve changed for them.  I’m not sure.

When I was writing my books, I was stuck inside of these impermeable bubbles.  I couldn’t see out of them.  I don’t think that anyone could see inside of them.  Maybe they could a little and I was too busy admiring the beauty of it alone from the inside.  They were so beautiful.

I’m inside of a new one now – one that I can see out of clearly.  I can see all the beauty outside while it passes by me.  Life.  Life is beautiful, no matter how much bad we experience throughout the course of each of our own.

Right now?  I feel like I’m stuck here, waiting for that damn bubble to pop.

I think we’ve all had our moments where we felt like life – in all its intricacies, and roads, and deceptions, and potholes – was passing us by.  I think we’ve all felt stuck before.

My problem right now is I can’t explain the difference in that feeling and what I’m actually feeling at this moment.  They are two COMPLETELY different things.  And I’m failing words again.

I’m so sorry that I can’t do you better justice.

Taking a step back.

Those moments of feeling stuck while you were watching life…I know that every time I’ve experienced it, I always felt that some force was holding me back from what I wanted to do – whether it was myself, situations, or another person.  THAT is how this moment is different.  There’s nothing at all holding me back, but there I am, still trapped and watching.

It’s new.  Almost equally unpleasant.  Possibly more so because I can’t really understand it.  Possibly more so because I’ve allowed myself to be open to the endless possibilities.  Possibly more so because I finally have a dream.

It will happen.  I know that it will.  I don’t care if it’s my own determination, some talent that I can’t actually see, or just the natural way that bubbles disintegrate and disappear when exposed to the air.  It will happen.

I need to work on my patience.  With myself.

I know this was way deeper/emotional/ridiculous than my usual entries.  Sorry.

I just figured I’d try that thing where getting stuff out makes you feel better.

Nah.

I’d rather write a book.

I don’t fail words so easily when I’m doing that.