Get in the mood.

My third post in a week? What is wrong with me? Chatty, I guess. First time for everything. And I guess I’m more interested in talking about shit as it comes up instead of being my regular introverted self, thinking of a topic, overthinking said topic, and deciding not to write about it. So, I mean that’s a good change, at least for blog content.

Right now I’m working on an erotica short as a submission to Cleis Press’s Best Women’s Erotica of the Year anthology. Deadline’s November 1st and of course I’m pushing it pretty much to the eleventh hour. You might be looking at me and going . . . erotica? Since when?

The only places I’ve ever written explicit sex scenes were in fic (roll your eyes if you like, I don’t care) and it’s always gotten an excellent response. Most recently I wrote a rather steamy scene in my Divergent fic that ended up in the lap of one of my girlfriends who promptly read it to her fellow librarians while on break at work (hell of a break). There was much fanning of selves. They loved it. So I figured why not try my hand at it (pun intended?)?

The majority of the anthology is contemporary, which I don’t write pretty much ever, and focuses on women who are outsiders and who take risks in their pursuit of love and lust. Other genres will be accepted, but they don’t be the majority. So I thought about it and I thought what do I have to offer that I can make fit into these guidelines? After some serious brain-wracking, I didn’t have much. Not to these guidelines and the last thing I wanted to do was create a story that sounded forced.

So I decided to go historical because I’ve had something of an idea brewing there anyway and I could manipulate it enough to fit. Something about a woman growing up with a bunch of mobsters, working as their muscle after she creamed one of them in a schoolyard fight, but being in love with another of them for years and just never acting on it. She’s been too afraid. Her body’s all hard where others are soft. She’s got callouses on her hands and an ache in her heart and as far as she knows it’s unrequited so she’s chased other men who don’t really know what to do with someone who’s their fist to fist match. Until the night everything changes.

It’s shaping up okay so far. I’m putting myself at a disadvantage immediately by not writing contemporary or with POC characters or that it’s LGBTQ+ (all areas where they’re saying they’re particularly focusing on), but it’s what’s in me to offer. So I’m honing it and offering it. I’d rather offer something to the best of my ability than something that disingenuous for the sake of guidelines. If I don’t get chosen, I don’t get chosen. But I won’t know until I try.

I’ve also decided to create some mood boards for my writing, starting with this particular story, tentatively titled Cash or Check? It’s a 20s slang term meaning do we kiss now or later? And I kind of wanted some visuals for it. I’ve never been into mood boards before, but after finding a photo of a woman from the turn of the 20th century that effectively spoke to my soul, I realized I needed to get in on that. And what better place to start?

Trust Pinterest to fit the bill for what I need. Here’s the mood board for Cash or Check? I pinned images of women that could fit the bill of my MC, some racy images for the time, 20s underwear, images of New York City (the setting), and the male inspirations for my character’s love interest and their friends. It actually helps to put things into perspective. Now I’ll need to start building one for BEFORE I’M DEAD. I think that’s a far more monumental task, that one.

But for now I’ll stick to the porn one until I have to get it into the publisher. Wish me luck!

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