My story in If Mom’s Happy is mostly fantasy, but this little snippet is straight out of real-life experience. Not waking the kids is definitely ‘a thing’ for most parents at some point. It’s not that we were trying to hide the fact we have sex, we wanted them to sleep so that we CAN have sex. Nothing kills the moment like a crying baby.
It’s kind of ironic. Most women spend their first few years of sexuality concerned about not getting pregnant and not getting a disease. Sure, there’s exploration and lots of fun, but the underlying problems with being female are always there, lurking.
Then, if we decide to have kids, sex takes on this other role. For some of us, sexual freedom, and sometimes the act itself, is removed from procreation. (When we were going through infertility treatments, everything was timed. Sperm and eggs were ‘collected’ and manipulated in sterile spaces while we were in different rooms.)
When women are done procreating, sex can morph back into a wholly recreational activity. The freedom in not having any of those old worries is truly liberating. But, if we’ve had children, they are around and in the house for many years. The way we deal with these little interlopers varies and the stories in this collection reflect how women cope with their resurgent sexuality.
Pooja Pande’s lyrical “Tocks in My Ticker” had me nodding my head in understanding–there were plenty of times when I was reading bedtime stories to my kids while my mind wandered to what would happen once they were asleep.
Sara Dobie Bauer’s I Need Your Package puts a hot spin on the delivery man trope–who hasn’t at least looked at the guy in the brown suit as he lugs a package to your door?
Andrea Lani’s Toy Story reminds us that we all have our own pace and our own needs to accept the changes in our sexual needs and moods. The other stories in the collection all resonated with me at some level.
Kristina Wright’s In the Early Morning Light captures the desperate exhaustion of new mothers and the push-pull between the desire to sleep or play.
My story, A Desperate State is about a mom who has slightly older kids and is craving wanton sex out of the confines of her master bedroom and regular schedule. Connie manages to get all of her kids out of the house for a weekend so she and her hubby can make their way from room to room while being as loud as they want–because there’s no one in the house to hear them.
If Mom’s Happy: Stories of Erotic Mothers, Edited by Brandy Fox is available in e-book and print format.
Every time I start a new story, I go through a certain amount of naming angst. Sometimes I don’t have the luxury of going through lists and lists of baby names and meanings to get the perfectly nuanced name for the character I’m about to create. There are also times when I don’t know the character well enough yet to name him or her, so I’ll just grab a name from the air and use it until I get a sense of what I am doing.
What’s sort of funny is that I usually grab the name “Karen” for a female character. After a bit of time writing, I get a feel for who this character really is and can change the name to something more fitting for the character’s personality. I sometimes forget, though. Two of my published stories last year featured female protagonists who were named Karen. Now you know why. It was more my being lazy than intentional.
I have spent hours researching names. making sure that the character I am working on is somehow reflected by the name I give him or her. I like it when a name reflects some personality flaw or trait that is exhibited in the story. If I am about to start a roleplay, I tend to research a new name specifically for that roleplay from the start since it’s harder to do a’ find and replace’ on a forum and it might confuse my writing partners. It’s better to stick with one name. One time, I chose a name for a RP that required me looking at it and copy-pasting it each time because it was such a funky strange name I couldn’t remember it. Drove me a little bonkers.
When I write for erotic material, I add in more than just ‘who is this character’ to my search criteria. I have a whole list of squigg-worthy names I won’t use in sexual circumstances. This counts for any erotic stories I write as well as roleplays. At one point. I was working up a f/f roleplay that involved an older woman (my character). My roleplay partner came back with her character being the same as my daughter’s name. I have a particular taboo around incest in general, so this just sent me running. Whenever someone suggests a character name that is the same as any of my brothers’ names, I ask them to change it. I do the same when someone comes up with my real name, my hubby’s name or almost any other close family members. I don’t confuse characters with real people, but the names can still affect me in irrational ways. There are enough names in the world that I don’t feel it’s a real issue to avoid the handful that bug me for whatever reason.
Writing takes on several forms for me. I blog here and, more regularly even, under my ‘real’ name. I’m pitching a non-fiction book to an agent at a conference in eleven days, working on several novels with haphazard planning and no real direction, writing several short stories for the erotic market, and I’m writing posts to various roleplays over at Elliquiy. I have other projects I work on, and I find that I’m writing every day for some reason or another. Email and Facebook updates don’t count, but I need to get some words out on a daily basis or my head gets uncomfortably full. It doens’t usually matter what I am writing to satisfy that base need of mine. As long as I’m writing something, anything, I feel better by the end of the day. It’s something like being so hungry you’ll just eat what is in front of you no matter what it tastes like.
Recently, I’ve taken to just writing what comes to mind when I sit down. The hit and miss approach to writing is not always productive, and can be actively counter-productive. Rather than forcing myself to open a particular document in progress and work at finishing something, I’ll open with whatever has struck my fancy that moment–usually a story idea that gets expressed as a rough outline in about a thousand words or less. By then, my free time is up and I have real-life Mom related chores to attend to. Being a mother with kids out of school for the summer has decidedly reduced the amount of time or energy I have available for writing, or almost anything else. I suppose I could send them to the basement and feed them a steady diet of Playstation and X-box, but that’s really counter to how I want to raise them. Sure, when they are at school, I’ll put a solid six hours straight into screen-time, but that’s what I call “my job.” Even if I’m not being paid very much for it, yet.
Worse, being in the mood for writing erotica coincides with me being alone. It really shouldn’t matter all that much, but I am finding that when my kids are around–even if they are way far away in the basement or outside, I’m simply not really that excited to write erotica. It has a little to do with the fact that my computer faces the hallway and anyone walking up behind me can get a good look at my screen. It could have to do with the fact that writing erotica does require that I’m sort of in the mood for it. I’m not suggesting that I have one hand in my pants while typing one-handed…well, at least not ALL the time, but there’s something to the writing of erotica that is a private act for me. Having the eight year old thumping around near me, even if he can’t see my words, certainly affects them.
Writing of any kind involves placing my mind in a certain place, filtering out the various sounds and things around me and mentally entering the space of the world I’m trying to create and the heads of the characters to which I am bringing to life. When I am writing well, I’ve entered a particularly calm and clear space where I can see, hear, taste and smell the very things I’m describing in prose. And, like gearing up for sex, it sometimes takes a little foreplay to get me really in the mood for it. Without that extra time, I’ve tried to jump straight into the writing to use the precious time I have and have found both the product and the process less than satisfying. I’m looking forward to a few playdates and a week of summer day-camp in August where I’ll have my house, and my head, all to myself.
I find myself an observer of the shout box on Elliquiy, my favorite adult role-playing site, more often than a participant. It’s generally a quick moving dialogue of people chatting away. The other day, I watched a snippet of conversation where someone was talking about going off to flog their muse or some such. As such things usually happen, I found myself musing on the word as well as the concept.
Many writer’s speak casually of their relationship with their muse, tossing out the word as an all-around excuse for getting nothing written. They speak of it with derision, as something to be wrestled with and controlled, and as if the muse was responsible for doing the writing.
I’ve never had a close personal relationship with what I could call “my muse.” And, until recently, I never thought of putting a name or shape to a muse and calling it my own. Certainly I’ve had times where I have felt more inclined to write than others and done the same sort of lackluster blaming. “My muse has abandoned me and I can’t write!” I have been filled with ennui of a sort that keeps me from writing, but, it hardly seems fair to blame my shadowy excuse of a muse for it let alone feel so indignant that I should drag the poor thing out from its hiding place in order to punish it for my lack.
My schooling ended a long time ago, so my recollection of the Greek Muses was pretty well…nonexistent. So I started with a quick refresher of the original muses. There were nine daughters of Zeuss and Mnemosyne, goddess of memory. I could only name one of them off the top of my head—Calliope. It appears that I am not well favored by their mother goddess. You’d think that, since I write in the erotic genre, I would have known that Eratus (pictured to the left in a lovely Mucha image)is another muse. Plato designated a 10th muse, Sappho, later on in history.
We use the term muse to denote those who bring inspiration to artists—regardless of the particular form. There are lists of various muses all over the internet. Some reflect pop music artists, others the muses of renaissance painters. Name an art form and there is likely to be a list of famous muses. Wyeth had Helga, and Lennon had Yoko. These are real, living, breathing people who, in one way or another, have inspired artists to create beauty.
Most people I know refer to a metaphorical muse, a shadowy and indistinct form that is easily blamed for a lack of inspiration. It is most likely that most of us do this because we don’t have a living, breathing person who inspires the release of creativity found within—another person who supports and helps us by their mere presence or more directly.
It surprised me when my muse entered my life recently. It wasn’t something I was looking for or expecting, and I’ve just begun to understand the influence this person is having on me in the last few days. To have a muse of one’s own is a gift, one I shall appreciate more than I will admonish. Thank you, Muse, for finding me.
I’m currently on day ten of the November writing frenzy known as NaNoWriMo for short–National Novel Writing Month. It’s been under fire recently for encouraging people to write badly for a month. It’s grown from a relatively small group of people to a world-wide writing party.
I know some folks seriously entertain the notion that what they write during NaNo will be worthy of readership. I hold no such illusions. I know that what I’m doing is an exercise in writing that is both exhausting and useful in its own way. It’s only a beginning; a place to start exploring a story, no more.
The novel I’m working on came to me as a spin-off of a roleplay I am doing at World Enough and Time. (See sidebar for link.) The roleplay is very different, actually, but I am using the same character for an idea I had a while ago.
Maddie is a young woman is working for a museum in Italy and has come across a diary dated 1599. The diary is unusual in that it details a sexual relationship between a young Venetian housewife and her lover. Maddie has her own sexual needs and desires that haven’t been fully evolved or expressed, and her own life takes on a strange parallel to that of the woman in the diary.
Maddie begins to do research into the history of BDSM and finds herself drawn to the modern version of the lifestyle more and more. She gains a new understanding of her own sexuality through the experiences of this woman who died four hundred years before she was born.
That’s the basic premise. Anyway, The ticker at the top should, I hope, stay updated with my progress.