There are times when motivation to see results is enough to get me to do the things I need to do, like dishes, or cooking for my kids so they don’t starve (okay, most of that is complaining, but whatever), or writing something so other people can read it. But other times, procrastination has a louder voice in my head. Facebook taunts me to see what the next thing on my newsfeed will be, and all the while procrastination is screaming, “Make me! Make me sweep the floor!” like an errant toddler.
Because really, procrastination is like a stubborn child. Think about it. It does what IT wants to do, not what’s gotta be done. It only cares about itself. It’s greedy and doesn’t like to share us with its grown-up counterpart, Responsibility.
It’s no wonder we need nice, shiny things to keep us motivated a lot of the time. In our everyday lives, when all is well and we’re stuck in our daily routines, something shiny is what we look forward to. To reach for. It’s no wonder I get more writing done during NaNoWriMo, what with that lovely graph to reach the top of. Something you might be able to relate to as a blogger, if you’re not an author, is the stats page. Who doesn’t want to get to the next level? Get more views than the year before? (Yes, I know some of you don’t pay attention to stats. Weirdos.) Goals. We all need goals. Otherwise, life is static.
So I’m off to do something I’m supposed to do. And not feed the screaming toddler. (Procrastination–I don’t mean my kids.)
The difference between erotica and pornography is not love. It is word choice.
Yes, my thesaurus stuck me with the word “horny” for the letter H. I cheated on the letter G – I couldn’t cheat twice in a row.
Yet I’ve found something to talk about on the subject, and it’s something I’ve been thinking about writing on for a week or so anyway. I’ve come across the question a few times in the last few months: “What is the difference between erotica and porn?” The answers given on the various platforms have ranged from porn is dirty and erotica isn’t, to erotica is when you have a real relationship and porn is just for one night stands. Neither of these is correct, nor is it true that erotica only includes clean words, though word choice has a lot to do with it.
The short scene I’ve included below is one I wrote about three years ago. It is erotica, it is a bit messy, there are no swear words, and there is no sex. I think I may have linked to it a couple of years ago (it was on another site), so you might be familiar with it if you’ve been following me for a long time.
“If you want to be a healthy young woman, you need to eat more fruit,” he said as he placed on the kitchen table before me a peach and a bowl of blueberries.
When our relationship was new, he explained that he wanted to wait until at least the third month before we slept together. He enjoyed the anticipation, he told me on our first date. The concept was new to me, but so far I had to agree. Now, as the second month was becoming the third, we both felt the tension of our abstinence.
He told me also that he wished to take care of me. Feeding me seemed a little extreme, but I decided to go along with it for the time being. To see where he was going with it. He hadn’t lead me astray yet, after all.
He turned his chair around and straddled it, sitting at the end of the table, to my right.
“Are you hungry?” He raised an eyebrow and I took in his smile, the roughness of his five o’clock shadow, his lean body all the way down to his belt, below which I could only imagine.
“Famished.” I clasped my hands together in my lap, not wanting to look down but hoping my shirt was unbuttoned enough at the collar to tempt him with a little cleavage.
He picked up a single small blueberry from the bowl and held it to my lips. I opened my mouth but he didn’t let go of the fruit. Instead he twirled it between his thumb and forefinger.
“I want to put it on your tongue,” he said. “Don’t bite it.”
I allowed him to place it in my mouth.
“Press it against your palate with your tongue … move it around … resist the temptation to eat it.”
I moved the little nub of fruit around inside my mouth as I was instructed. It was firm and round and I couldn’t … I shifted it with my tongue to my molars and gently closed them until the blueberry exploded in a tiny burst of bitterness.
I blushed. “Sorry,” I said.
“We’ll try again,” he said, patiently. The one he brought to my lips next was larger. Softer. I knew it would be sweeter and more difficult to resist. The skin of it was wrinkled and on my tongue it felt malleable. This time when I pressed it against the roof of my mouth it gushed, yielding easily to the pressure.
“You really are hungry, aren’t you?” He smiled at me and shifted in his chair to ease his discomfort. “Let’s try the peach then, shall we?”
He held it out to me and I took it. It smelled as ripe and luscious as it looked.
“Bite it,” he commanded, his eyes half-lidded. “Open wide and …”
My teeth penetrated the delicate skin of the fruit, and the juice cascaded past my lips in a great wash of fluid. I tilted my head back to guzzle as much of it as I could, but some of it dribbled down my chin as the flesh of the peach made contact with my tongue. I took as much down my throat as I could handle; the excess dripped from the edge of my lower lip. I felt it drop and then trickle down between my breasts and I moaned.
Licking his own lips in sympathy, or perhaps it was lust, he stared at me, hard.
“Do you want some?” I asked him.
“Yes,” he whispered hoarsely.
If you’d like to read some more of my fiction, please check out my A to Z Challenge-inspired novelette “All Good Stories.” It’s a romantic comedy about two best friends who belong together – Xavier knows it, but Jupiter has her eye on another guy: a shady character named Bob. There’s even a touch of erotica in it.
“A short funny tale of two friends” ~ Ritu, 4 stars, Amazon UK review
“Quirky and charming.” ~ Bobby Underwood, #11 top reviewers on Goodreads – 5 stars
I never wanted to be a romance writer. That is, I never set out to be one. I’m more of a relationship writer. And let’s face it, romantic relationships are something most of us strive for, at some point in our lives.
Being interested in behaviors and the thoughts that make us all tick makes it a bit of a no-brainer that I’d write about relationships. Behaviors were explained to me in a course I took, for whatever reason, to learn about what makes my Autistic son do the things he does, and to learn to curb some of his inappropriate and unwanted behaviors. The most interesting (to me) thing I took away from that course is that we all engage in social behaviors, whether positive or negative. All the time. Every time we communicate with another human — or I suppose any living thing — we exhibit behaviors in order to get the response we hope for in return.
Smiling at a stranger, for instance, is a positive behavior. If I smile at someone, I hope for a smile in return. Okay, stay with me on this – these are just examples. If I stand in the middle of a crowded street and start crying, it might be because I hope for someone to try to comfort me, or ask me what’s wrong. This can be seen as a negative behavior. Manipulative, perhaps. Or maybe it’s a genuine cry for help.
The most important part of this is that our children do things like the last example, all the time. Whether they’re Autistic or not. Knowing, as a parent, what is a genuine cry for help and what is simply a manipulative behavior bent on getting our attention can be tricky, but discerning the difference can be a valuable tool.
Go back to the smiling thing. If I smile at, say, ten people I pass on the street and not one of them smiles back, I’m going to give up. My behavior is obviously not giving me the response I’m going for. Rather, it’s being ignored. Now take the screaming, crying child. What is yelling back at them going to do? Encourage the behavior, because it’s giving them exactly what they’re seeking. Attention. No words, and no amount of negative behavior back at them is going to stop their crying. But if we ignore it… and sometimes it can take ten times before they get it… their behavior will stop.
In the ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) program I was taking, it’s called “planned ignoring.” It’s very simple, and it works. I can attest to that.
Ah, romance. How the hell did I get here? Relationships. Right. All birds of the same feather. And this is why I’m a multi-genre but single-minded author.
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Hello? Can I come out now? Is the world sane in here? I really should know better than to spend the day reading Facebook. It seems the craziness is getting crazier out there, and I feel kinda helpless to do anything, you know? I would…
I was on Anne Rice’s FB page today. She was saying pretty much the same thing I was thinking – too distracted to work. My answer to her in the comments was that it’s we writers (yes, I actually had the balls to put myself in her category) need to write to give people the escape they need. Especially in times like these. Writers give the world not only books, but movies, shows, articles… truth and lies and fantasies through which to travel outside of reality, if for only a little while.
I read somewhere yesterday that we are in a state of low-level stress. In a place where anything could happen at any given moment. We’re on our toes so much more than ever before, for most of us. At least for such a prolonged period.
But here I am bringing the crazy here. I want to forget about it for a while. Get lost in a book that has no fighting. (Guess A Game of Thrones is out.) I need a romance novel, something light, something that will take my mind off it all. I may even be forced into watching TV for a change. Or a movie. Yeah, a movie. Time to put Netflix to good use.
I’m going to hang around and read some blogs first… 🙂 Hope you’ve all had a good day, my friends.
This post is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday and…
I thought it would be better by now, but it’s just getting worse. My son, Alex, as most of you know, is Deaf, and he hates masks. Anyone dressed in a costume is an extreme cause of stress for him, from the Easter Bunny, to Santa, to his school mascot. I believe it’s mostly because he can’t see their facial expressions, and thus can’t determine whether or not they are friendly or threatening. Whatever it is, Hallowe’en is the worst time of year.
This morning, getting him to go to school to spend the day with his friends was difficult, to say the least. He doesn’t seem to understand that the people he knows are inside the costumes. He’s sixteen years old physically, but at a mental age of six or seven. It’s not likely to get any better from here.
My concern is that I’m perpetuating the problem. Today I drove him to school so I could be there to reassure him everything was okay. He was nervous (he’s been having anxiety attacks every night before bed for the past week) even though he was able to explain to me himself that masks and scary costumes were not permitted at school. So okay, he needs support. I think there’s a fine line between coddling him and reassuring him when his fears are legitimate. But should I be the one supporting him at this point in his life?
I’m not going to be around forever. As he becomes an adult, there will be a time when he can no longer run to Mommy when there’s a problem. I believe he needs to start, at some point, (soon?) to rely on society to feel safe.
One of the hardest things for me to endure, as the mother of a Deaf child, is the exclusion of Alex by the hearing neighbourhood kids. Admittedly, part of it is my fault. Explaining why would be going off on a tangent, however, so I’ll leave that for tomorrow’s post.
Alex does have friends at school, but they live all over the province. Some are in residence on campus, many live miles away. So it’s difficult for him to get together with them outside of school. But like any kid, he sees children his own age outside his own house playing and he wants to join in. There are a couple who will play with him as long as their friends aren’t around – understandable in a way, since once they start discussing what they’re going to do, it’s hard to include Alex in the conversation. But even when they’re alone with Alex, they eventually get frustrated with trying to communicate with him. So they stop playing.
Then there are the kids across the street. He went over to play with them once, but they had no tolerance for him. They complained to one of Alex’s friends that does play with him that he “gives them a headache.” I wonder where they got that phrase from. It’s not often you see a perfectly healthy 7 or 10 year old child with an actual headache. Since that one time, they’ve sent him away and left me to explain to him that they don’t want to play with him. Or worse, they’ve let him stay and made fun of him, thinking he can’t understand. As I’ve mentioned before, most of sign language is body language and facial expression. He understands just fine. Incredibly, I’ve even had one of them accuse him of hitting her so she could use the excuse that he was mean to her. She figured, I suppose, that he would be unable to explain to me what really happened.
It doesn’t seem to matter how much we teach our children tolerance (though the kids and their parents across the street could use a lot more), they will be kids. They have their own interests, which don’t always include being able to play with only minimal communication. It’s a tough issue. One I can’t see a solution for.
It was a question I and a few friends in high school used to like to ponder. It came up after an interesting discussion in one of my classes. We used to love to distract the teacher with such things – this particular discussion was about how you describe what is real, and how you prove it. One example was, if you’re talking on the phone with someone, how do you prove they’re real. You can’t see them. You can hear them, yes. But are they really there?
This makes actually far more sense now than ever before. What is “real” is far more a relevant question in light of the internet. We have Nigerian Prince-bots and people claiming to be someone they aren’t in order to lure people into bad situations every minute of every day. We can talk on the phone without being home: are we always honest about where we are? I’m not – at least not when my mother is on the other end of the line half the time. (Shhhh. Don’t tell her. I can’t edit.)
The wind. The wind is real. But it’s hard to describe.
It’s a scary world out there, and I believe it’s getting scarier. This reality changes our personal realities: or does it? If, when you were a child, you knew that nothing outside your front door could hurt you, and you walked freely, it meant that you were confident. If now you can’t step out the door without fearing your neighbours will assault you, it changes your level of confidence. Does your reality change your nature? Would it depend on how much time you spent in the wrong environment?
They say some things in life only have as much significance as we give to them. I suppose you could say that about everything and everyone – the things and people we find dear to us are those that have a place in our hearts. A person can have significance to us because we relate to them, or because they’re family. An item can be meaningful for its monetary value (if money in general matters to us) or for the memories it conjures.
Then there are the things we make up meanings for; a recurring dream, the sighting of a black cat, or a ring around the moon for instance. For me, for the past twenty years or so, it’s a number sequence that keeps coming up. I think of it as maybe something that pops in once in a while to say, hey, I’m still here watching over you. The number sequence is 911. It doesn’t always have to be precisely in that order – sometimes it’s a whole jumble of 1s and 9s that gets my attention. Sometimes I even have to add up the numbers in a sequence to come up with it. Like this little gem I encountered the other day:
The 1s are obvious. But then 4+7=11 and for the 9s, 18 halved is two more. So out of this I got 1111119999. I think that’s pretty cool.
By now I predict you’re either you’re intrigued or your finger is hovering above the let’s-move-on button. But before you go, let me ask you; what have you invented a significance for? Is there anything? Or do you just stick to people, objects, or even places? Or hey, feel free to let me know if you think I’m just weird.
I don’t want to call it an out-of-body experience because I didn’t feel like I’d floated out of myself, nor was I looking at myself from a distance. What happened was, I was sitting in the small audience of fifty people at the writer’s Masterclass last weekend, and had finally gathered the courage to ask a question. I was shaking in my boots. (Not literally: I was a bit nervous and I was wearing running shoes.) About half way through my question, I noticed I could hear myself as other people might. I actually remember thinking to myself as I spoke that I could hear my voice, and I had time to wonder in amazement that I didn’t stutter or screw up what I was saying as I was saying it. It was kind of surreal. Like mentally multitasking.
Has this happened to you? If so, what were the circumstances?