Work in progress? Well, not exactly; not in this house anyway, and definitely not on this grey March day in the Midlands. Sitting here at my desk, eyes propped open with matchsticks and dreaming of hot buttered toast with maybe just a hint of Marmite, I know it’s decision time.
After a manic burst of activity sending off my chocolate-themed novel to a publisher, posting the same story to the NWS, dispatching a children’s novel about social networking superheroes for editing and finally resorting to tidying my felt-tip collection, I’m now in that messy and uncomfortable place known as a quandary. Even the word sounds squelchy and smelly. Things are getting so desperate I’m thinking I might just forget the writing and have a go at revamping my disastrous blogspots (three attempts so far, two Google, one WordPress; all very dull.) And there’s even some ironing that’s beginning to look quite tempting.
The problem is, what happens next? Is it time to dig out the dusty chapters of my Sex at the Seaside story? And why, you might ask, was it abandoned in the first place? Well, here’s the thing. My hero and heroine, Cassie and Thomas, were about to get to know each other a whole lot better when I left them to stew, and the big issue is that I really want to see my name on the front of a published novel. My real name.
That probably sounds like a perfectly normal wish. And it would be, if I wasn’t a primary school teacher – in a Catholic school. Think of the conversations in the playground. We do a lot of Hail Mary-ing and a fair amount of crossing ourselves, but the parents don’t expect their children’s teachers to write graphically about sex. Our policy is to just say no, quite frankly. Sex education involves a lot of talk of cuddly bunnies and, more weirdly, sticklebacks. Don’t ask.
The chocolate book has got some mildly steamy bits in it but I reckon I might just get away with it if it ever gets on the shelves. Thomas and Cassie are a law unto themselves though – there’s no saying what they’ll do next. He’s a very wicked hero – his clothes just seem to keep dropping off him, and as for Cassie – well, the girl’s no better than she should be. (Cue Catholic-Mammy-type sniff; think Mrs Doyle if it helps.)
Just to make everything even more complicated, I’ve got another finished novel hanging around which isn’t too rude but isn’t actually very good either. It does represent long hours of toil though and some of it’s ok…really…
So, helpful fellow bloggers, these are the choices;
a) start a brand new romance and try to keep it reasonably smut-free,
b) finish the Sex and the Seaside story and think of a really good pen name (such as Ruby Redpants or Nina Naughtybottom),
c) write a sequel to the superheroes story, which obviously has no sex at all because that would be sick and wrong…
d) revamp the not-very-good book,
e) run away to join the circus,
I would very much appreciate your comments. I’m off now to make toast. I may be some time.
16 thoughts on “Chocolate, Superheroes, Sex and the Seaside.”
First b) then d) – no question! Good luck. And buy some chocolate, stat!
Starting to feel fired up already – thanks Gina! Will deal with the chocolate issue later, still have four of those cute little Green & Blaclk’s bars left but it’s going to be a long morning…
I’d got with my gut instinct. If you decide to continue with Sex and the Seaside, you can worry about pen names etc at a later date. Just keep writing, and for God’s sake, don’t resort to doing the ironing. That is too extreme to even contemplate. 🙂
Ha ha – a woman after my own heart! Who needs wrinkle-free clothes anyway? Found some jeans this morning that don’t seem to have ever seen an iron, and the creases are dropping out nicely as we speak. Thanks, Rebecca – gut feeling it is.
Definately B! And I’m with Gina on the chocolate. You can’t blog or write or do anything without chocolate!
Great blog by the way. I’ve started to follow. Thanks to Sue Moorcroft for introducing me to it.
I’ve just eaten the next-to-last Green & Black’s mini bar, things are getting tricky. Option ‘b’ is very tempting, maybe could just wear dark glasses to work? Off to mark some books now, thanks for the lovely comments on our blog, bookalicious. Can I call you ‘book’? or don’t we know each other well enough yet?
Sex and the Seaside sounds too good to miss! I was published under my pen name for years (for the opposite reason, in case my books were too racy for my People’s Friend persona). Even if you go down that road, it won’t stop you being published under your own name as well. I quite like being two people, to be honest.
And definitely stick to the chocolate. It’s the only way to go.
That’s encouraging – actually ‘Sex and the Seaside’ wasn’t its working title but it’s stuck in my head now, so it needs to be written. Thanks, Juliet, could keep my own name for the children’s book and branch out with a new, more raunchy name for this one! May need a whole new wardrobe.
I’d revamp your earlier book now you have hindsight and also go for the S&S one with a pen name, if you’re enjoying the story, go for it. Unless you also hold the strict views of your schoo,l why shouldn’t you write what you want, as long as it under an anonymous name that doesn’t compromise your career?
PS I decided to use a different name for my books – best thing I ever did as it protects, to a large extent, the privacy of my family and also I can run my business in my real name without clients being embarrassed about my social networking and promotional activities. It’s very easy and likely for anyone’s address, personal details to end up on the web these days too – honestly, a pen name is a good idea.
It does sound a good idea, and thanks for the great advice – I’m so glad I put this post up, have been mulling all this over for ages. Of course, if I never get published, I won’t need to worry, but got my positive head on this month. Also agree about the hindsight angle – I suppose the first one is always a labour of love but it took so long, I was a different person when I finished it, with a different husband and a whole new way of life!
Comments much appreciated
Thanks for the tip Phillipa – never thought about it like that. I shall certainly keep this in mind, if the day ever comes that I’m published.
Yes, the more I think about it, the more sense it makes. You are wise beyond your years, Phillipa!
Hello, Madame Fortin, you ok?
Bonjour Madame Anderson ça-va bien merci. x
Can’t believe I missed this post first time round! But Celia, I’m in a very similar position to you where I’ve written a very erotica Novella and want to see it under my own name, because I am damn proud of it, but I come from a very religious, conservative family. My suggestion is this, compromise. Use part of your real name so you get that satisfaction of seeing some of your name attributed to your work. And then make up the other to suit yourself. You could be Celia La Pier, or Cherilyn Anderson. Something beautiful that typifies you. I think that’s what I am going to do : )
Only just found your reply, yasminselena – good idea. Have thought about it a lot this week, then remembered that I’ve still got to get someone interested enough to publish it in the first place! Onwards and upwards – keep me posted with your progress,
All the very best