Friday, September 26, 2014

How to (Not) Write a Sex Scene

I am a full believer in the character-led story. This is pretty much like baby-led feeding - just substitute baby for character... And feeding for story. I use the example of a baby because I view my characters like children, something I've created. Maybe this is an unique approach? Maybe not? Either way, that's my approach, what works for me.

So what happens when your children don't want to behave? With real children, you can send them to their room or take away privileges or toys. What to do about fictional creations who are ready to assert their independence? Short of stopping the story??? Not much. I've tried steering them in another direction, but all roads lead to the same place. Eventually they win. And nothing stalls a story more than going against the grain.

Well, maybe a terribly stiff and awkward sex scene will do the trick? As writers, I'm sure we've all written an awkward scene, something that just makes us cringe and shudder when we re-read it. The story is going well, then you hit a snag, write anything just to keep things going. But you achieve the opposite effect. The story stalls and the muse disappears, or just goes MIA for a while. I have a sex scene hang-up. I enjoy reading a well-written and appropriately placed sex scene as much as the next person, but I am challenged in creating it myself.

It's important to recognize weaknesses (and strengths) in yourself in order to grow as a person, as a writer. I fully admit I can envision how the scene will play out, but I have to work extremely hard to write it properly. If at all. Sometimes it's easier to backspace the whole darn scene and start over. It's more than mixing up the sentences starting with 'she' and 'he', it's all about logistics and sequence. Does your scene make sense? Is what your characters doing actually physically possible? It's a technical process as well as a creative one.

So, if your characters can't keep their clothes on, what can you do? I'm told sex gets better with time, actually doing it and writing about it. So keep on trying. Or, if you are completely uncomfortable with writing a sex scene, keep the bedroom door closed. There are many successful authors who can achieve the desired effects without a full on description of the bedroom activities.

I'm still on the fence. I find it difficult to ignore my characters, but I'm a bit of a prude. What exactly do you call 'the parts' and such... I'm currently in a creative tug-of-war with my main characters. I hit the 30k mark and boom. I think we've reached a compromise, but I guess the proof will be in the pudding.

It's a scary process to begin with, putting thoughts to paper (screen). I tend to be critical of my own writing, but also biased. It's very hard to depend on your own editing abilities. I belong to a fantastic writing group and I often bounce ideas, etc off them. They have a lot of great advice for me which I heed. The main thing I've taken away on this particular subject is adjust your heat level to your own personal comfort. Like a relationship, you shouldn't rush things to the next level, if you aren't ready. And, if you're never ready, that's fine too.

Whether your scenes have sex or not, keep on writing them!

Friday, September 19, 2014

The War on Stress

I've been extra stressed out at my day job for the last month or so. Stress at this job is nothing new for me and, for the most part, I deal with it. I am no stranger to stress. I've been at war with it for over twenty years. I am thirty-four years old.

I'm not a medical expert by any means of the imagination. I just know what has happened to me. And, as I commented on Twitter earlier this week, blogging is my therapy.

There are many constant themes in my life, mainly achieving balance and stress relief. I internalize. I don't talk about what is bothering me, I keep it in and, eventually, my body shuts down. I have no conscious warning of this. There is a complete separation of state and church.

This week, my blood pressure dropped to a disturbingly low measurement for me. I went to my doctor right away and had lab work done. As a temporary measure, my doctor told me to add salt to my diet since my sodium was low. But the real crux of the issue, the problem no one except my husband knows, is stress. My morning cortisol levels were well above the normal range and more than double my afternoon measurements. So, I did what anyone else would do, I googled 'cortisol' and found out it is the stress hormone. There actually is a way your body informs you, medically, that you are under stress.

Stress is real. Stress can cause medical conditions. I have had several stress-related conditions over the years. When I was a child, both my arms stopped functioning for almost a year with no medical explanation. Later, as an adult I suffered from stomach problems and headaches. Now, the latest problem is low blood pressure. My doctor told me my body doesn't like me. I believe him.

How to become 'friends' with my body again? Relax. I need to shut off the 'Twitter-like' stream of thoughts constantly bombarding my brain and relax. Easier said than done. I've been trying for years to relax. Relaxing or not doing the things that I think I should do also stresses me out and makes me feel guilty. If I'm reading a book (which I love doing), running through the back of my mind are all the things I should be doing instead. Then, when I finish the book, instead of the happy feeling I should have, I feel terrible.

I'm losing the war on stress. It's literally kicked my butt this time and has kept me pinned on my back. It's time for the heavy arsenal. It's time to figure out why I put so much pressure on myself and how I can relax without feeling guilty. I don't have any answers, but it know this cannot be my life. I need to become friends with my body again. We are on the same side. I know there's no way I can win the war without it.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Now on Twitter

This week I ventured into the amazing world of Twitter. First of all, I don't know why I waited so long... I guess I was a little frightened of the unknown, thought it would be too time consuming, didn't realize how incredible it actually was... Then I tried it and discovered Twitter is a power all it's own.

Several people had suggested I sign up, but I resisted for a while. Then I hemmed and hawed for a bit. But this week I took the plunge. Not without first conducting a little research using my friends Google and YouTube. Finally, after deciding I was fully capable, armed with a whole new vocabulary and a handful of hilarious anecdotes, I joined the millions.

Oh yeah there's learning curve, but I think I'm getting the hang of things. I have tweeted and re-tweeted, I follow and I have followers. Thank you, btw. And it's amazing - have I mentioned that yet?

And I'm only just getting to the truly amazing part... I contributed to The Nuthouse Scribbers on Monday. Then I watched some true Twitter magic as the link to my blog post was tweeted and re-tweeted about five dozen times in the first few days... By people I didn't even know!!! How fantastic is that? And super exciting!

Maya Tyler is out there... On email, Facebook, Blogger... And now Twitter!

@mayatylerauthor

Friday, September 12, 2014

New season, new project

It's that time of year again. My boys are back in school... My littlest one started Junior Kindergarten this year. And life changes again. When you think about it, life is always changing, evolving. If you don't change, adapt, you cease to survive.

And how does this relate to writing? I started writing a new story last month, I actually featured the first few paragraphs on this blog, and I am writing it entirely on my iPad. In a couple of days, I have a guest post on The Nuthouse Scribblers describing the evolution of my writing strategy. My current WIP inspired that change.

So I was trying to think of a topic for a blog post in August. We were driving to see friends for the weekend and it was about a four hour drive so I had plenty of time to think about it. I got this story idea in my head and, since I was the passenger, I started writing away on my phone using Blogger. I don't have data, but Blogger still opened to a new post off-line. I worked away for a couple of hours and decided to make what I'd written that week's blog post. Not only that, I was completely motivated to keep going with the story. Voila new project!

Who knows if anything will come of it, but for now I'm having fun. And that's what it's all about! Stay tuned... I may include another exerpt soon...

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Book Spotlight featuring Summerita Rhayne (with giveaway contest)

This week, I welcome the clever and witty Summerita Rhayne to the blog, here to charm us with her latest Against All Rules. Also, comment to win the giveaway prize - a copy of the ebook! The question is... Do you believe in soul mates and why (or why not)?

BOOK SPOTLIGHT
AGAINST ALL RULES
By
 SUMMERITA RHAYNE





BLURB:

The efficient PA out of her depth...

Samara knows getting attracted to Tahir is like asking for trouble. Not only is he her boss but he's got divorced recently and has sworn off any commitment. Short term is not on her list but temptation has never been stronger...

The man who doesn't have faith in rainbows anymore

Tahir doesn't believe in enforcing a code of conduct he cannot follow. But Samara might just make him make an exception! An affair at the office might seem a solution to his troubles but how can he avoid treading uncharted territory...?

Against All Rules

...when fire is set, it's hard to avoid the blaze...

Buy the ebook at :



EXCERPT

Coming into her office to ask if everything was ready, Tahir stilled as his gaze found the woman with her neck arched back in abandon in the chair. What the...his jaw went slack focusing on the darting tip of a tongue moistening soft pink flesh and the expression of pure sensual enjoyment on her face.

This wasn’t his usually staid and prim PA. Muscles clenched low in his body witnessing the sensuous slide of that tongue tip. Like he’d wandered into the live filming of some erotic edgy scene. It only needed her hair unconfined and the prim buttons on her top loosened for the picture of sexy siren to be complete. With her head thrown back like that and her chest thrust forward, full curves straining the buttons, she wasn’t less than a siren now. His gaze moved back to the promise of her lush parted mouth and it required no imagination to picture the feel of it beneath his, to picture capturing that errant tip... He inhaled. Blood rushed through his body at double the speed, surging strategically southward.

  That kiss he’d shared with Samara had been a blindingly white ray of light piercing the darkness he’d been sunk in that day. Something had reached into him and pulled him out of the abyss. He’d been jolted to discover his cool PA was capable of such a passionate response. But there was more. Something he couldn’t name nor wanted to. He just wanted to put it behind a door and lock it. He didn’t want to gaze into the widened eyes as he had that evening and see the dawning awareness of desire, her body going hot at his touch.

Damn. Shouldn’t he have forgotten these things? Maybe it had been his mind playing tricks on him.
He’d been all set to put her straight. He didn’t want the calm of his workplace disrupted by anything and it wasn’t with pleasure that he’d looked forward to the talk the next day. She’d jumped in assuring him she was eager to put it behind her. Exactly what he should have been happy to hear. His work environment restored to order.

Should have been.

But wasn’t...

Samara became conscious of something different in her surroundings and sat up, guilt flooding her skin with warmth as she saw Tahir looking at her from his six foot vantage point, narrowed brown gaze focusing on her face. The dark brows lifted sardonically, his well shaped mouth with that velvet sheen it had, curving oh so slightly.

‘I – I was just...’

She stopped, unable to explain and unable to decipher why she felt the temperature of the room increase till a wave of heat bounced around her body.

He stood feet apart, every inch the inflexible, demanding boss man that he was. He was also jaw dropping handsome, looking like a honed and toned version of a male deo model. Forget the chocó, I could settle for a bite of that anytime. That well shaped mouth, with a fuller sensual lower lip, dark eyes, the colour of ground coffee, thickly lashed. Those spikes, he gelled his hair into as a concession to trend. No wonder women chased him any and every chance they got.

‘I don’t pay you to indulge your time fantasizing in my office.’ He ground out, a curt edge to his deep voice, his eyes still narrowed on her face.

She almost did a double take, wondering if he’d heard her thoughts but he was referring to her mooning pose in the chair.

‘I wasn’t!’ Indignation made her voice rise a notch more than its usual even tenor.

‘Whatever.’ He dismissed with a flick of his fingers. ‘Is everything ready for the meeting with the Guptas?’

‘Of course.’

‘Then let’s go. There’s a land deal to be made.’

He went back inside and took his coat from the back of his chair to shrug into it. Against her will she followed the movement, the stretch and ripple of muscles under the powder blue of his shirt. Despite the desk job, he managed to keep himself athlete fit, partly by playing football. She knew he had a game once or twice a week. Maybe he visited the gym at other times. God knew when he had the leisure. He was at office sometimes before her and she mostly came in at eight.

Didn’t his lady friends mind?

The errant thought rolled through her mind and molten shame poured into her, heating her cheeks. Conscious of his regard again fixing on her, she hurried off to instruct the helper to deliver things to the car.

She came back to find him by her desk.

‘Well?’ A dark eyebrow lifted to question her hesitant pose. He was standing too close and she had to get her bag from the desk. She waited for him to give her space as he did usually but he wouldn’t move. How had he got to be so aggressive? Almost as though he wanted to be in her way. Biting her lip she reached across to pick up her oversize bag.

 They didn’t touch so why was her pulse going wild? Face it, Samara. You’re a sucker for the guy. Another inner voice argued. I work for the man, damn it!

‘Ready to move? Has your mind got back to work or are you still dreaming of your lover?’
She could only stare at him for the unexpectedly snide tone of the comment. ‘What do you mean by that?’

He shrugged, ‘What else am I supposed to think? You looked like you were reliving some secret sexual fantasy.’

Her breath caught at his brashness. Tahir, so distant and formal, was saying this? ‘How can you say that?’

She’d said the words in shock but he chose to interpret differently, ‘It was pretty obvious from your expression. Lips parted. Eyes half closed. Like a woman thinking of pleasure and only that.’

Heat shot along her veins at his description. At the tone. Lazily rolling around illicit words.

‘You would know of course, what a woman thinking of ‘pleasure and only that’ looks like?’ She jibed.

 ‘Of course.’

Sexy and confident, his voice was filled with sensual mockery. Something that prickled across her nerves like thorny cactus.

‘Are you boasting about your sexual prowess?’

‘Are you challenging it?’

Where had this sort of talk come from, sidling into their usual mundane queries about forms and research portfolios? A challenge was in his eyes. Hooded. Watchful. Gleaming like caramelized sugar. Something dangerous and funky that she had never seen and wasn’t quite sure she wanted to but that hooked her anyway.



About the author

Summerita Rhayne loves to write sensual and emotional romance. There's no knowing when some quirky - or sometimes even not so quirky - happening in daily life might trigger her right brain and then she's off craving a new story. She loves writing characters who learn and grow and find their way out of their troubles and emotional hang-ups. Hot, sensual heroes and sassy but sweet heroines mostly fit the bill in her stories. She also believes that a touch of humor never goes amiss in a book.

She divides her time between family, job and writing - and loves winding down with music, movies and the internet!


Email her at summeritarhayne@gmail.com
Website summeritarhayne.com
Or follow via Twitter @SummeritaRhayne




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