I was rummaging through my walk-in closet, which has somehow lost its floor space over the years (imagine!), and I found a box of old papers and photos from the first 18 years of my life. I always love impromptu trips down memory lane, but one thing that had me laughing until tears poured over my cheeks was a certain unfinished manuscript my best friend and I wrote during our senior year in high school and freshman college year.
Like any other good high school girls, we spent our class time writing notes to each other, which we would exchange as we passed each other in the halls on the way to our next class. The notes started off as silly one-liners about the idiocy of our teachers, the hairstyle of some girl or the hotness of some guy. They progressed to full-page rants and weekend plan-making, and somehow morphed into stories. The stories were funny at first, then became serious, and longer. We began writing love stories featuring our friends and classmates, all in good fun, but then we began a story that featured no one we knew and was set in the old wild west.
We bought a notebook to keep this story and just passed the notebook in the halls on the way to class. Soon, we were each writing a chapter and exchanging. As we went our separate ways for college, we saved the story on a floppy disk (yes, I said floppy!) and would mail it back and forth. From Reno to Vegas that little story went back and forth until it was printed out and found a place, unfinished, in the bottom of a box in my closet.
Now…why didn’t that story ever get finished? Because neither of us would write THAT scene. We got a kick out of writing a lead up to the first kiss, the first glimpse of nakedness, but when it came to writing THAT scene, we would divert the story and end the chapter, passing off the manuscript for the other to “go there.” We would laugh at each other and couldn’t even discuss “going there” without burning, scarlet cheeks.
The naivete and embarrassment is funny and makes me chuckle….but I still blush writing sex scenes all these years later, and me and my friends still blush when we talk about the sex scenes in my published books, or rather the fact that I wrote those sex scenes.
I’m a modest gal, and maybe a bit old-fashioned, I guess. I’m the kind of gal who wouldn’t wear a bikini, regardless of my body shape or size, because I can’t imagine walking around in my underwear, which is basically the same thing. When I was at my smallest (a meager 122 pounds) I wore a bikini on a beach in Hawaii and I was miserably uncomfortable. It didn’t last long (long enough for my best friend to get one picture) before I covered up.
So, writing sex scenes can be a very challenging thing for me, even though I don’t see anything wrong with them. I have no problem with sex, and I enjoy it very much, but it’s such a private thing that writing about it makes me blush, and so does reading about it. When I beta read an erotica piece for a good friend of mine, I think I turned purple for a whole month, especially when giving the feedback “come should be c*m.” If I hear certain words, I feel the need to cover my ears and avert my eyes. Don’t worry – I do all of this stuff chuckling to and at myself.
I’m still that teenage girl inside who gets embarrassed about private things and that’s probably why there aren’t a ton of sex scenes in my stories. I had a huge laugh when I read a review of my western, Silver Nights With You, where the lady called my sex graphic and unnecessary. I laughed out loud and thought, “Really?! My sex scenes are too graphic?”
Ha ha – maybe I’ve come farther than I thought!