Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Taboo subjects

Like everyone else, I have the aches and pains that come with growing older. Just after Thanksgiving I went to get a cortisone shot in my bad knee (it’s been my “bad knee” since I was 20 and banged it on the corner of a concrete wall jumping from one platform to the next. You know, the way one does when one is 20 and invincible.). My doc said he had good news and bad news. Good news? It wasn’t so far gone as to need replacement. Bad news? It was too far gone for a shot of cortisone to have any effect. Only arthroscopy was going to take care of the arthritic buildup.

So, a week before Christmas, in I went for the surgery. I’ve had it done before. Twice. Once on each knee. So I knew what I was in for and wasn’t worried much. He found a small rip in my meniscus while he was in there and took care of that as well. Gave me pain meds and sent me home to heal.

Now, I hate taking pills. Passionately. Not because I’m against modern medicine (I LOVE modern medicine…it’s what makes me grateful to be born now and not a hundred years ago) but because it’s physically difficult for me to swallow them. I never got the hang of it. My husband and I made a pact: when it came time for the kids to learn how to take pills, he’d teach them. I suck at it.

As a result, I got off the pain meds as fast as I could. More because I hate taking pills than because I have some deep-seated need to be a martyr.

That surgery was another reason I worked so hard to finish THE REVOLUTION OF CLARA SIMPSON (formerly known by the working title: Revolution). I wanted a good, clean draft out to my beta readers to work on during the holidays—time I knew I’d be using for recuperation.

And then came the second surgery. I’ve not posted much about it because I was embarrassed. It involves a part of the anatomy no one talks about. Even with all the erotica that’s moved mainstream, this one part of our bodies still remains taboo: the ass. Yes, I had a hemorrhoidectomy.

My doc told me it was the most painful surgery that he knew of. I didn’t bother reading anything about it on the web ‘cause I didn’t want the horror stories. My parents both told me it was going to hurt, based on their knowledge of people who had been through it.

But I have a high pain tolerance. I’d been through two childbirths—one of which was induced (petocin makes for VERY painful contractions). I wasn’t scared.

Okay, I was a little scared.

But determined. Those same childbirths that gave me beautiful children, also gave me hemorrhoids. Lots of them. Told you this was still a taboo subject.

The surgery was January 14th and the first week, I relied heavily on the drugs to keep the pain under control. I have a marvelous husband who has put up with not one but two recoveries back-to-back and he hasn’t gotten impatient with me even once. I’m nominating him for sainthood. The second week was better and I’m down to one pain pill a day, plus a ton of ibuprofen. Even that, I’m starting to wean myself from. Remember, it isn’t the pills I hate, it’s taking them that gives me grief.

So why am I sharing all this now? To explain why I’ve been mostly absent from all social media, from this blog…from everything. Life got in the way of writing for a few weeks. It’s also my excuse for not getting many new words written this month, when my goal is pretty lofty for the year.
CLARA is back from the beta readers and I’m getting the mss ready. Still haven’t decided if I want to self-publish it or send it out to other publishers. I’m leaning toward the latter, but am open to suggestions (email or put them in the comments). By the way, Lynn LaFleur came up with the ultimate title for the book and will be getting a free copy of it when it’s published. Thank you, Lynn!
I’ve also gone back to my fantasy story—the one I’ve been working on for years. Did some work on it today, weaving together the hero and heroine’s stories. I’d originally planned it to be two books: one for her story and one for his. As I’m going through this, however, I’ve decided to tell both at the same time. I created a timeline back in October and today pulled in the last piece of what I had written for Martin’s story. From here on out for him, it’s all new writing (Kiera has another section finished, so it’ll be a while before I write new for her).

Basically, I told you all this to explain why, at the end of January, I have only 2743 words written so far (that’s blog writing and new/editing combined). That includes two short scenes I wrote as part of a writer’s challenge. I posted one of those scenes; will post the other here soon.

Let the healing and the writing commence for February!

Play safe,


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Books read, sex and a free book!

Reading a book is entering another world. If the author has done his or her job well, the real world slips away and the words of the book fill one's imagination so completely you feel you're someplace with other people, making new friends (and sometimes enemies!), enjoying new vistas.

Which is why I can't read a book when I'm writing one. Guess I can only keep one world in my head at a time!

While my NaNoWriMo book is off with beta readers (who also edit and make suggestions to strengthen the story), I find myself at loose ends. Don't want to start writing a new book when I know I'm going to have to set it aside when The Book That Needs a Title comes back. Have done everything else that needs doing - including taking down the Christmas decorations - and I'm at loose ends.

And that's the perfect time for me to curl up with a book I didn't write. First up this year? Karen Hawkins Scandal in Scotland. Yes, an historical romance, a sexy, steamy story filled with rogues, bad girls, and did I say sex?

The book also points out how erotic romance has become mainstream. Ten years ago, this book would've been classified under the more taboo genre. Traditional romances kept the reader at the foot of the bed, not right in the bed with the characters. One of the reasons I've enjoyed writing erotic romance is for that more immediate feel.

But you can get that from pretty much most general romances today. Which makes me a little worried for No Name. It's straight, traditional romance - no sex, just some very sexy kissing. It's the 1700's for crying out loud...and she's a good girl and he respects convention. There is romance, lots and lots of romance, but no sex. Does that mean the book is doomed?

Okay, I can't keep calling this manuscript by generic names. It needs a title. I'm open for suggestions. Here's the current blurb:

The gorgeous Baronet Christopher St. James provides the perfect cover for Clara to slip a note through enemy lines and to her brother in the Continental Army. The man is such a fop, with his lace sleeves and fancy bows, he'll never realize how he's been used. If only she didn't like him so much...

But the Baronet has problems of his own, and using the lovely Clara Simpson to worm his way into the elite echelon that is New York society, gives him the perfect way to spy on the Loyalist enemy, right within their very own parlors....

Put title suggestions in the comments, my Facebook page or email them to me. If I choose a title you suggested, you'll get a copy of the finished book for free!

Play safe,

Friday, January 02, 2015

Time for Resolutions - or at least one resolution...

A new year rolls around and resolutions abound. Last year I resolved to write more...a lot more. Life, as long-time readers know, got in the way in the first half of the year, but retirement from the day job allowed for the luxury of time in the last quarter of the year.

Still, it was a good year, with the completion of one Mystic Shade novel, the publication of a Diana Hunter novella and the nearly-finished state of an as-yet-unnamed historical romance. Determining the total word count, however, is not as easy as one might think. Mostly because the fiction writing number is approximate, since I stopped writing down daily word counts somewhere around the beginning of March. I know how long the finished novel of Training Two is (53,479) so that’s as a chunk of it. And I know how many words were in the historical novel at the end of December (75,760).

I also worked on a fantasy story over the summer, writing over 6,000 words on that, but because I didn’t keep the records I should have, I’ll use the round number.

I’m also counting my blog posts in my final number, since non-fiction writing is still writing. The non-fiction blog-writing total came to 23,134 words.

Which means I wrote a total of 182,497 words for the year. Give or take a few hundred.

Now while that’s better than last year’s number (165,135) by 17,362 words (a short novella!), its still a far cry from my lofty goal of 250,000 (by 67,503 words). I’d need to write another full novel to reach that goal.

Two years now, I’ve had 250K as my goal and two years I have not made it. Does that mean I should change my goal? Heck, no! If it ain’t hard to reach, it ain’t worth reaching for.

And so, in the bright, shining start of the new year, I make my resolution as I have for the past two years: to reach 250,000 new words written by December 31st. I can do it! I know I can. :)

Play safe, 

PS. I’m on Facebook now and post short updates there, not always pertaining to writing. You shouldn’t be surprised. This blog isn’t always about writing, either. Squirrel!

Come join me there if you haven’t already. It’s fun!