Writing with Modesty

I often think…how do some actresses get in front of the camera and take all their clothes off? I have trouble getting undressed in my closet, let alone for the free world to see. Albeit, if I looked like some of those women, I might…no, I still wouldn’t. I mean, don’t they have parents that is going to see that movie? Isn’t there a shaw-wearing grandma somewhere on their family tree that they will never be able to sit across the dinner table and not feel like she just saw me doing naughty things with a guy? Does this mean I won’t get her passed-down pasta recipe now?

Enter my thoughts on writing… My mother, God bless her soul, reads every one of my books. For that, I’m truly appreciative. After all, I feel I get my imagination from her. BUT it makes me feel weird when I write certain subject matter. I am in no way a steamy writer, so that’s not a biggie. I was the girl in gym class changing in the bathroom stall until the 10th grade. After that, I just wore two layers of clothes so I didn’t look like a freak going into the back corner. What makes us modest? I’m not sure. It can’t be genetic. My two sisters can walk out in the street naked, if needed. I’m the one shrouded in button-up sweaters and two tee shirts underneath that. My daughter, coincidentally is the same way as me. LOL That’s why I got a tickle out of someone promoting my books as steamy. What a scream! They obviously didn’t read it. 🙂 Still, this last release was my most edgy. I think I wrote the word breast at least a handful of times. he-he  But then there was the bad word. Nothing to do with physical modesty, but it was out of my comfort zone to write it. Sure, I’ve said it aloud a few times. That’s when whoever around me knows I mean serious business. And so I typed it with rapid strokes, mid-story. I was in the character’s head and it felt so right. So necessary. Is vulgarity ever necessary? I asked myself. I even pondered it with my son. I’ve watched so many movies where if only they’d left out a scene, my kids could’ve watched it. Or if the writer had refrained from the unnecessary language, all of us could’ve enjoyed it. So did my book require that word? My book didn’t, but my character did. And so I kept it. You have to be careful…too many of these and you lose readership of those you gained for not writing like that in the first place. Hopefully not too much thought was wasted on it, and it was brushed over quite quickly. Just as it was written.

Back to modesty, how modest are you? Does it play into what you read? What you write? I don’t mind reading racy. In fact, sometimes I like it. Depending on the book. Writing women’s fiction, racy doesn’t usually get a lot of play. Perhaps that’s why I like writing it!

Have a grand day, everyone!


My daughter and My books

cartoon girl reading a bookMy daughter has become quite an avid reader. And, in the span of a few months, her tastes have gone from middle grade to young adult. More specifically, romance young adult. So, when I showed her my picture listed as one of the writers for my publisher’s website, I got the dreaded question again, “When can I read your book?”

I don’t know, but haven’t you noticed that what used to be rated R is now the new PG-13? Kids are so exposed to the world at such an early age, I don’t think they have a shockability threshold anymore. It’s nothing to turn on the television and even during primetime, find programming better fit for late night viewing…on  a paid per view channel. It’s insane how unsettling it’s become to just watch t.v. with your children. And, don’t let the cartoon characters fool you. Those are some of the best disguised, need-be parental controlled venues of entertainment out there.

So comes the question of my 12 year old daughter asking to read my contemporary romance books. No, I don’t have explicit scenes, but there are some tense moments with a bit of detail I’d rather her not imagine I write about, let alone  ever imagine, myself. I knew the moment would come that someone who knew me would read something I wrote and think, “hmmm, interesting she’d write that.” I even thought of a pen name to write under for that very reason. In the end I decided to go forth with my name. I knew I’d write nothing that off-the-wall that I’d be embarrassed about, but still, my daughter? Maybe when she’s a few years older I’ll allow her to read one. I think between the both of us, there’s enough modesty to keep the tricky parts as something we’ll not discuss at length at the dinner table:)