Three years ago, I quit my ridiculously high paying job in Northern Alaska, loaded up my cats and flew to a farm in the Ozarks to start a career as a romance author. I had no idea what I was getting into. If someone had told me then that I would be writing erotica, I would have blushed and giggled.
My,my. How times have changed!
Two main points guided my decision to move to the Ozarks. One, living 300 miles above the Arctic Circle is not conducive to creativity. It has to do with negative energy or gravity or something. Personally, I think it’s just too darn cold for the brain to function. Two, the Ozarks are glorious. Who isn’t inspired by the dogwoods of spring, the lush green fields of summer, the blazing orange and red of the autumn forests and the stark, gray, bareness of winter?
At the time, I thought an added bonus to the move would be the proximity to my family. After living 3,000 miles away from them for over a decade, I was unprepared for their family-ness.
They have no boundaries.
“Oooh, cool quilt!” Let’s walk into the bedroom and examine it. Why not sit on the bed and discuss the merits of quilts over comforters? “Hey, everyone, we’re in the bedroom. Come check out this quilt.”
“Nice dresser, but you really should organize your sock drawer better.”
Knocking? Completely out of the question. The other day, in an attempt to keep my mother (I love her dearly) at bay while I was writing, I locked the front door. Ma walked around the house to the deck, entered through that door, strolled across the living room and unlocked the front door. She thought she was being helpful because I forgot to unlock the door. Never occurred to her the lock was supposed to be a barrier to entry. Oh well.
The odd thing to me is that if the phone rings, no one would think of answering it. That would be prying. Go figure.
So, imagine these little scenarios and apply it to your writing life. Locked doors don’t keep the family out. Signs on the door that say, “Stay away. I’m writing smut,” only act as a lure. At first, I wasn’t that upset about it. They’d walk in, go to the fridge, grab a beverage and come into the living room to ask what I was up to. It didn’t bother me too much because I could pick up where I left off and continue to write the scene.
Then, I started writing erotica. Remember when you were 16 and your mother caught you making out with your boyfriend on the couch? You thought you were going to die of embarrassment, but as soon as she left the room, you started making out again. For some reason, that doesn’t work when writing about making out. Your mother walks into the room and SMACK! Every ounce of creativity slams against the computer screen and there’s no getting it back. While you were chatting with your mother about the squash bugs devouring the garden, your main character, Drake, started watching football. No matter how enticing and seductive LaFonda is, Drake’s having nothing of it.
I know, it’s fiction. I should be able to make Drake do anything I want him to do, but as you authors know, it doesn’t work that way. No amount of Spanish fly, oysters or green M&Ms is going to get him in the mood again.
I’m considering moving back to the creative-juice-sucking Arctic. It might take a little longer to get the ideas flowing, but once they’re thawed out, I wouldn’t be bothered by anyone. Shoot, there are even restaurants that deliver there. I’d never have to leave the house. Ever.
Does anyone have a better cure for erotica interruptus? I really don’t want to knit booties for my cats and don a 40# parka just so I can get a novella written.
Originally posted on Rachel Leigh’s site.