When reading a great story about another author’s blush meter, I got a good laugh as when I was growing up, I was known as the blush queen. It wouldn’t take me much to get me to a number 10 on that author’s 'Blush-O-Meter' scale when I was younger. LOL! I think I’m the only high school senior in my state to be photographed with the then President Gerald Ford who could compete with the sun. It has it good and bad points.
That story also reminded me of some other times in my life when the 'Blush-O-Meter' would have been a fun thing to have. Or NOT! LOL!
The first one was when I was asked to bring my very first completed book to a college gang party. These were the people I had learned to become an adult with and I had a lot of apprehension. These people had embarrassed me and held me when I cried or when I was sick. There were many good and bad memories with these folks.
I told the DH, Gordon, and he convinced me it was all good. But as we got closer to the party, the more trepidation I was feeling.
Once there, the manuscript was being handed around and then I started getting comments like, 'great job' and 'I've never know anyone who completed a whole book before' and then I saw one of my old college boyfriends reading it.
He walked up to me and stated, "You know if you'd done that to me, maybe we'd still be together."
I could feel my face turning warm and I had to be very careful here. If I said the wrong thing, he’d think I still liked him or something. "Maybe I would have if you deserved that type of treatment."
"Gordon must be a very lucky man." He walked away as the DH walked up.
"What's wrong with him?" DH asks.
"He got to the love scene."
"He said you were a lucky guy."
"He did." DH puffs up and says, "I think I'll go talk to the guys."
The college girl friends came up. "What's up with the guys? And how about you…you’re blushing!"
"They're all talking about the love scene."
"No wonder you’re blushing!"
I looked at them and arched a brow. "Maybe I should remind all of your husbands, we all went to college together. After all I didn’t win a knockwurst contest." Every other woman at the party had a face redder than mine. LOL! Revenge is soooo sweet!
The next big time that I can remember me really, really blushing was when I wrote my first BDSM story about six years ago now. It was also the last time that I can remember me having that particular affliction. I had to do a lot of what I considered covert research as I prepared to write this story of a woman's darkest fantasies. Finally, I got the courage to just sit down and get it done. The whole day, I would write a sentence and get up to pace, wondering what I was doing since I knew nothing of that world. Still, I plugged away at it until I eventually got it right. It was the first thing I sold to eXtasy books. I was really surprised.
But half way into the process, my husband shocked me by showing up in my office. My face went from zero to RED in the span of less than 10 seconds.
"No, why are you asking?"
He gives me his quirky smile and says, "There are only a few times I’ve ever seen you blush in twenty years."
I sat still. "Really?"
"Yeah. It’s mainly when I caught you doing something you shouldn’t and when you’re thinking about sex."
I gasped. "What makes you think I’m doing something I shouldn’t? I’m an adult."
"With an antiquated idea about sex sometimes. If you’re going to really be an erotic romance writer, you have some changing to do." He gave me a quick kiss on the cheek. "I’m sure that practice will help!"
I roll my eyes and tell him nothing is going to happen until I finish this story.
That very day, my whole attitude changed. I wasn’t ashamed of my writing at all. It was just that I was brought up in the Bible belt and as anyone who has grown up there knows, the fear of God and sex can be pounded into you from the moment you walk. And lordy, the brimstone…LOL! There is absolutely nothing wrong with sex. It’s a natural thing and we have such a backward sexual outlook in America that it took some retraining on my part to not let it worry me at all. Now, I barely bat an eye. There's a private me and a writer me.
I advertise my very sexy books all the time and I do write to every heat level as the story dictates. I am passionate about all my books as every author should be. If you’re embarrassed about it, you don’t need to be writing it at all. I write what I love and nothing compromises that position. Sometimes my characters want the full Monty and others, they want it very sweet.
Now it’s my DH’s turn to blush every time he drives my car. My license plate says ERWRTER and he’s been asked many times what it means. I'll show you all a picture sometime. He tells them the truth…it means…Erotic Romance Writer. The moment he tells the women, they get a gleam in their eye and say ‘Ah’ while the men just shake their heads and walk away, knowing they wouldn’t be caught dead in my car.
See you all tomorrow!