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Showing posts from May, 2013

What Never to Say at the Airport... But Want To!

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O Port of the Flying Metal Ships, with thy groping workers and lines as lengthy and lifeless as a politician’s string of promises!
I just returned home from a trip to the Southwestern branch of my family. This meant engaging in battle with my lifelong nemesis, the airport: its oozing lines; its cranky, perpetually-overworked and poorly-paid employees; its utter lack of personal and possessional privacy; its cramming of persons of all shapes and sizes into 17-inch-wide seats; its creepy, 1984-esque PA announcements to report suspicious persons; its adult touches after irradiating people via naked scans*. All this, plus the additional burdens of flying while fat: having to shoulder everyone’s terror at being the one who (gasp!) might have to sit next to us, knowing most folks believe the BS that fat folks are the reason they pay more for their tickets. Heck, with the exception of traveling at 500 mph and, well, knowing that the same invasive and embarrassing technology and procedures tha…

The Good, the Bad... the Ex

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Confessions of a Sex-Scenes-Challenged Author

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Recently, a dear friend asked me to read and provide feedback on her novella. In her email containing the file, she hemmed and hawed a bit before admitting something to the effect of, “It has some sex scenes. Feel free to skip as needed. And wow, are those hard to write.”
I slouched in my computer seat, shocked and immeasurably grateful. Sex scenes, hard to write? Darn tootin’! For the most part, they’re an exercise in pain and embarrassment. And after years of sucking it up, I could finally rest a little easier, knowing I’m not the only one.
My name is Elle, and I hate writing sex scenes.
Truth told, come time to pen sex scenes, I wish I could put brackets in the story that say “And sex ensued, and it was good.” Okay, well, maybe I’d add something like, “And it was mutually satisfying sex that involved orgasms for all involved partners but without involving overdone literary devices like simultaneous orgasms and overly colorful and euphemistic descriptions of orgasms as kaleidoscopes…

Simultaneous Orgasms and Other Annoying Literary Tropes

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Let’s get one thing straight right now: I’m all over female orgasms. While I’m not necessarily convinced we should make sex as orgasm-centric as we do, I’m nonetheless a big fan of folks valuing women’s sexual pleasure. Heck, in my opinion, unless a woman says otherwise, I think pursuing her orgasm should be a given.  
Peeps haven’t always been so big on women’s orgasms. In fact, Freud popularized the rather – how should I put this delicately? – dumbass notion that women have two orgasms, clitoral and vaginal, and that only vaginal ones are truly adult, mature, and womanly. Mature women, he noted smugly, should only climax through penetration. Heck, even that malarkey was a step up from the Victorian belief that sex was one big, necessary evil step in securing procreative orgasms. Well, men’s orgasms, anyway.  
Convenient, that.
Given the cultural history of orgasms, – or, more precisely, the devaluation of feminine ones -- I dig how most romance novel sheroes almost always achieve orga…

Sex, Politics, and Shemar Moore: Writing Appealing Blog Posts

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I’ve been monitoring my blog stats, and in spite of my tireless attempts to get my name out in the world this past week, my latest post didn’t earn much more than a public yawn. Hmm. On the other hand, my post about Internet Use Disorder, provocatively titled “Trapped in Internet Use Disorder, or, My New IUD,” has one of the highest hit counts of all my posts.
What’s in a name? A boatload, apparently.
The blog posts in which I flex my political muscles also seem to get some attention. I lovingly blame this on surrounding myself with highly political peeps. I’ve mentioned this before, but before submitting Hunted to a publisher, I read heaps and tons of advice on the Interwebs. Much of it varied, but one thing stood out: Especially if you’re a romance writer, don’t be political. It’s kinda like those tepid pop songs on the radio: few love them at first, but no one can hate them based on their universally trite, militantly vacuous lyrics.*
Of course, I scoffed at those warnings when plott…

Hunted Dreams: Chapter 2, scene 1

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Hi, all, and welcome, new follower! I'm starting to feel like a real author with followers and blog views and everything! If I were more nimble, I'd dance a little jig, but I'm not, so I hope y'all are satisfied with a chest pop.

My sister, Lauri J Owen, whose seven more years have cemented her in my brain as Older-Sis-Who-Knows-Everything, tells me I should post scenes from my book so peeps can catch the flavor of my writing. Little sister shero worship requires me to comply. Below is the scene in Hunted Dreams where our shero first meets our hero, although they don't technically speak to one another for at least another chapter. Happy reading!
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The first thing she noticed was the heat. It felt almost like a living thing, crawling along her body and sizzling the words from her mouth. Her lungs drew in grateful gasps of air, even as they seared her tongue. Flames surrounded her. Not literally—or, not exactly. She simply saw flames everywhere sh…

A Not-So-Modest, Rather Desperate, Pleading Proposal

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I. Need. Help.
No, seriously. I need help. Like, bad. Like, way bad. Like, as bad as horror movies need plot lines. As bad as capitalism needs a desperate and disenfranchised workforce. As bad as politicians need term limits. As bad as my oldest cat tells me he needs canned cat food RIGHT NOW, woman!
See, here’s the deal: I’m a writer. A shy one. Well, maybe not shy, exactly, but severely introverted. Know how to bump me into panic attack mode? Shove me into a crowded room for an extended time or, worse yet, make me talk on the phone. Oh, dear lord. Happy place… need my happy place. Anyway, what should introverted, writerly types do all day long?
Exactly – write.
But sadly, in this day and age when it seems just about everyone is publishing their life works and small publishing companies with no marketing departments or promotional clout are giving little nobodies like me a big opportunity to get published, I’m not only supposed to write but to – gulp – market myself.
Just to be clear,…

Textiquette for a Sexy Fatty

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Ever have the problem of describing yourself to someone you've never met but are about to? Yeah, me, too. I mean, what do you say? “I’ll be the one wearing red.” “Look for the 38-year-old lass with a sparkle in her brown eyes.” “I’m the brunette with the nose stud.” Yeah, those work great.
Today I met someone introduced to me via text. (Oh, technology!) A few days prior to meeting her, I texted, “I’ll be the sexy fatty wearing a Hello Kitty tee.” The woman wrote something smooth back, but a mutual friend told me my phrasing thoroughly perplexed and, yes, even scared the textee. I’m not sure why. Did she think I was coming on to her with my mention of sexiness? Does she think college instructors should eschew clothing manufactured by Sanrio? Or was it, as I suspect, my use of “fatty” next to the word “sexy”?
Don’t think I didn't very carefully craft that text or ponder it at embarrassing length. In fact, it’s a question I've faced a number of times in the past when meeting c…