Sprog2 found his testicles this week.
Not that they were lost, more than he noticed them for the first time.
Picture the scene:
Two boys in the bath, covered in bubbles. Weary Mum (yeah, that’s me) sitting on the toilet with her head in her hands, trying to organise her thoughts into something resembling order. When that fails (as it often does) Mum picks up a pumice stone and starts shaving her feet.
Sprog2: Is it balls inside?
Sprog2: Balls. Tiny balls inside.
Mum: *wearily* I have no idea what you’re talking about.
Sprog2: Tiny balls. Two balls. Inside.
Sprog2 promptly stands up in a wash of bubbles (soaking the floor in the process) and shows Mum his ‘two balls.’
Mum: Ooh! *cautiously* Testicles?
Sprog2: *super proud* TESTICLES!
Now… I immediately gave him the correct word, as we also do for various parts of the anatomy. Penis ranges from ‘penis’ to ‘willie’ to ‘wee-wee’ which is interesting and amusing all at the same time. Breasts are also known as ‘boobs’ and ‘boobies’ in this house. Vagina is an interesting one, but since there’s only mine in the house to worry about, it doesn’t come up very often (who knew I’d eventually wind up in a house with three lads?).
Anyway, this post isn’t just a check-in on my boys (though I’m sure you appreciate that :p) but an observation about how I, as a writer of erotica, treat certain parts of the body when I name them.
Working with Breathless Press, I’m thinking a great deal about the sort of language I’ve used in ‘Slippers & Chains‘. I’m also forced to think about the conventions in the UK and how they may differ in the US. In fact, I need to ask my editor about that, since I’ve obviously used UK slang and phrases for my characters. I’m
already all ready having to change all my spelling, I need to know if that’s a problem too.
I’m most interested in the way body parts are treated by other authors (British or not) when writing about sex or even non-intimate relations. Looking at my own words is even more interesting because I’ve very clearly settled on a small cluster of words that I’m comfortable with using over and over (eg cock, boobs, dick, pussy, clit, member,
arse ass, balls, nads, tits). There are some I use less often but they do still get an airing every now and then (schlong, meat, prick, snake – notice those are all substitutes for penis?). Very rarely in my writing (or in anybody else’s, actually) do you see the word ‘penis’ or ‘vagina.’
Why is that? Is there something inherently unsexy about the correct words? Are they just too clinical? What is it?
In my first draft of ‘Slippers & Chains’ I used the proper names and, as soon as I began to edit, I took them all out. Something in my head just reared up and bayed at the sight of ‘vagina’ on the page. Whyyyy?
I don’t know. Frankly put I’m too tired to dwell on it over might right now (hence the late post, sorry about that!) but I wanted to put the thoughts out there. I wondered if you guys might have anything to add that may put my weary mind at ease.
What do you think?Besides giving myself a headache thinking about stuff like that ^ what else have I been up to? Let’s see:
Eeeerm. Don’t know. I just don’t know. Something happened in the middle and, despite getting loads done, it’s not the stuff on this list. *shrugs*
~Read through ‘Simone & Mr Bradford’ and decide if I really want to rewrite the whole thing. Dependant on outcome: 1) Rewrite ‘Simone & Mr Bradford’ OR 2) Begin deep edits of current version.
Nope. I know now that I want to rewrite the story (the original is bad. Soooooooooo bad!) but I’ve not started it. At all. Even a tiny bit. Not even created a new Scrivener document for it. Ah well.
~Secure five beta readers for ‘Eric & Morgan’
The lesson I’m taking from this is to pay attention to my mood and my diary. My mood dictates whether or not I actually work rather than sitting in a dark corner playing Sims 3 until midnight while my diary will tell me if it’s feasible that I even try.
The summer holiday period is over now. This means that no matter how much I might want to keep pushing at the rate I have been, I’ll have no choice but to slow down because I just won’t have as much daytime to work in any more. This means scaling back the goals to fit into evenings once more and trying my hardest not to get disheartened because of how slow things are.
- Write 3,000 words of the new ‘Simone & Mr Bradford’ short story
- Be prepared to go over edits on ‘Eric & Morgan’ from Karen
- Complete pre-edit checklist for ‘Slippers & Chains’ provided by Breathless Press
Any more than that and my head will explode. It just will, so I’m going to leave it there.
Wish me luck, my lovelies!