Rising from the Ashes

In case anyone may be wondering yes I am still alive and no I did fall into a coma or have a physical or emotional crisis since I last posted something on my blog almost a month ago. On second thought since I did recently have a birthday and at this point in my life being another year older does not strike me as particularly appealing, I guess I had a mini emotional crisis. Other than that life has been very good; in fact yes even the birthday was very good. The reason for my disappearance was frankly that somehow writing on my blog was not a priority.

I wish I could claim that instead of sharing my thoughts here with anyone who might be interested I instead was feverishly working on my novel. Alas that also has been sorely neglected for the past few weeks as well. I will not burden you with a laundry list of excuses and alibis – again I simply found other matters to be more important. I do realize I need to get myself refocused and more committed to my writing efforts. Other than a four-day trip to Southern California later this week, I do intend to get more serious starting today. That will all of the mea culpas for now.

Part of the reason I think I have shied away from working on my novel is the nasty matter of writer’s block. I know even great authors will on occasion have this problem so I guess I should feel I am in good company. The problem I am having is trying to determine how I want to handle sex scenes in the novel. If I intended the novel to be soft or hard-core pornography I think I would not be having such a difficult time. That may be a cop-out. I guess writing good pornography has its own set of challenges. But since I want this to be part of a larger story I have a series of questions. How descriptive should I be? How much detail should I provide? What words should I use to describe body parts or dialogue ensuing in the heat of passion? At what point does this part of the story seem distasteful or worse yet silly? On and on and on the questions flow.

A few months ago I picked up a copy of “The Joy of Writing Sex: A Guide for Fiction Writers” by Elizabeth Benedict at my library with the intention of reading it, knowing full well I would need some advice on the matter. I was at the time busy reading a lot of other books and other than briefly skimming through it never read the book before returning it. I guess I need to borrow the book again and if I think it is worthwhile simply buy a copy for future reference. Earlier today I Googled “writing sexual scenes” and got 62 million hits so obviously there is a lot of information out there on the subject. Guess I will have to spend a few lifetimes researching the subject. If anyone reading this has any thoughts or suggestions I would love to hear from you.

Finally I want to conclude by following up on a post I made one month ago today. At that time I mentioned The Chicago Manual of Style and my desire and intention to buy this critical reference work for the writing community. As fate would have it my dear sister in Oregon who also is a writer read the post and sent me a copy for my birthday. Thank you Big Sister…one of a million reasons why I love you so much.