Shannon Stacey
Adventures In Dirty Words

Okay. Call me offensive, call me a disgrace to female kind. Tar me and feather me. Whip me, beat me…hold on…distracted there for a sec.

When it comes to names for the female anatomy, I prefer the C-word to the P-word. *gasp* (And I hope you know what I mean, cause I’m not saying them in public. Nope.)

But I’ve seen a lot of commentary about how much women prefer the P-word to the C-word, and I see the P-word most frequently. Perhaps because the C-word is used in such a derogatory manner non-sexually–really negative associations there. And it’s too dirty and shouldn’t be used in romantic fiction, and blah blah blah. But the P-word makes me giggle. Sorry, but it does. It’s a silly word. Maybe it comes from watching too many episodes of Are You Being Served?

Why are there no feminine, attractive names for…down there? *g* In my childhood we referred to it as the ya-ya. And that was before I’d ever heard of Rebecca Wells, so you can imagine my reaction to THAT title. My stepmother, for some reason, has my sisters refer to anything covered up by panties as “bunny.” Sure, and wouldn’t that go over well at EC? (And I don’t know why they have bunnies, so I can’t explain it. I only know that as soon as my son was born I made sure everybody was clear there were no bunnies in HIS pants) (Of course, their 32-year-old sister is here saying P-word and C-word, so maybe it’s hereditary. *eye roll*)

So, until something better comes along (and please don’t suggest that hideous Q word), I’ll use the P-word and the C-word. I found in this book, I had a tendency to use the former in her POV and the latter in his. *shrug*

For the record, I love ALL the guy-part names. I have no problem using those. ;)

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Time Mismanagement, Inc.

The husband says to me this morning “If you give up watching TV with me at night you’ll get an extra 2 or 3 hours.”

Now, I know my husband pretty well. I know what he really meant was “It’s okay if you write at night instead of sitting in the living room with me, staring at the TV and dissecting the shows during the commercials.” What he doesn’t get is that, after nearly eleven years, we’re barely clinging to our identity as a loving, married couple as it is. Co-parents, yes. Cohabitants, yes. Co-managers, yes. Husband and wife…getting fuzzy.

Sure, he’s in his recliner and I’m on the couch and we’re both engrossed in the idiot box, but I see this as our “deep breath” time. So he says, “watch the eight and nine o’clock shows, but write during the ten o’clock hour.”

My first thought: But CSI Miami! Without A Trace! I can’t do that!

His last words as he walked out the door to go to work: “Hey, if you wanna watch TV more than you want to be published, be my guest.”

(You CAN dent a steel door, FYI)

Well…I want to be published more than I want to be an unpaid, underappreciated home office manager, so who’s laughing now? HA!

Now I’m off to choke on my lesson for the day.

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Cue the crescendo

Another snow day–kind of. The weather kept me from my chapter meeting. And it’s really making my Christmas shopping a pain in the butt.

Yes…Christmas shopping. I’m STILL not done! We’re getting together with the inlaws tomorrow, and because of that pesky flu thing, I was shopping on an as-needed basis. Now they’re needed. But for now, I’m writing.

I HATE the IloveyouIloveyoutoo scene. You know, the one at the very end of the book where the hero and heroine confess their love for each other. No matter how hard I try to make them different and really emotional, I can still hear that hideous music playing while my characters run toward each other in a daisy-infested field. The IloveyouIloveyoutoo scene is the single hardest scene for me to write in every manuscript. I try to edit and edit and edit the corniness out, and I just seem to make it worse.

Maybe I should have them fax their declarations in, then just get together for post-declaration sex.

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I got my box of GH entries to judge today. And I made the mistake of looking at my calendar–my chapter meeting isn’t the Saturday after next as I thought. It’s this Saturday coming. Not good. Since I’m the Secretary and the Newsletter Editor, you can guess what I’ll be doing in the near future. Oops. I don’t know why THIRD Saturday is so stuck in my head.

On a positive note, my hero’s finished masturbating! YAY! Tis a good thing, because pretty soon we were both going to start chafing.

I was also slapped upside the head with an epiphany while waiting for the short kid to pee in Walmart, because we’d walked all the way back to the truck before he announced he had to go and he knew he was going to suffer if he didn’t squeeze out at least a few drops.

I’m afraid of rejection. (I didn’t say it was an original epiphany) I was thinking about a conversation with the husband in which he said (basically) “Did you wash my blue sweatshirt? Have you started the year-end paperwork for the company yet? Where’s the charger for my drill? Did you finish your book yet? Wow, the house is trashed.”

My response: “Yes. No. F-d if I know. If I don’t finish it, they can’t reject it. And bite me.”

It was meant to be off-the-cuff. I mean, in the last several plus years I’ve gotten rejections. Good rejections, too. Yeah, I ranted and raved and drowned my sorrow in chocolate. But it’s a learning curve. So anyway, back to the epiphany–my subconscious coughed up a nasty little tidbit for me.

I know the how-to, the why-to, the who-to, POV and GMC and BM and I’ve memorized The Writer’s Journey and Writing the Breakout Novel, and blah blah blah. So now that I have the tools, if I get rejected it’s because I’m just not good enough.

Not that a writer isn’t always learning and honing her craft–I’m aware that you learn and grow or you stagnate like Thanksgiving leftovers. I didn’t say it made sense. My subconscious rarely does. I’m also terrified of any discussion regarding the scope of the universe, and if you talk long enough about the rotation of the earth and spinning on its axis, I’ll get dizzy and throw up. (Earth Science was a bitch.) But the cesspool in the darkest regions of my mind is telling me I’ve got no more excuses for the next rejection, other than just plain old didn’t cut it.

And then he peed and we left.

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Why EC?

I’ve been asked a few times over the last several months why I want to write for Ellora’s Cave. So why do I?

I’ve spent the last three or so years targetting The Company. (If you know me, you know who that is. If not, you’ll figure it out. If you still don’t know by the end, I don’t know how you ended up here other than sticking ‘masturbation, horny, and pearly orb’ in your search engine, in which case your X-Box is getting cold). There are some really appealing things about The Company. No agent needed. No more promo than you’re comfortable with. Stability. I’m a fan of the books already.


Say I’ve got this manuscript. 80,000 word romantic suspense with an Alpha hero and…a secret baby. Great. And my next manuscript is an 80,000 word romantic suspense with an Alpha hero and…a reunion. Well, what if the next thing my muse coughs up is a 55,000 word romantic comedy with an Alpha-ish hero who falls in love with an alien who’s never been allowed physical contact, but is handy with the toys?

******screeching halt*******

OMG! We can’t do that! Our scientifically-researched demographic target might not like that! Or they might, but we can’t take that chance because the monstrous retail giant that represents itself with the most annoying, bouncing happy face EVER might not like it. They might like a vampire, as long as he’s contrite about it. But we’ll pass on that menage in space, thanks.

I’d like to write for The Company. Still working toward that. But for the last year or so, writing stopped being fun for me. It became a chore that, like turning my husband’s dirty socks right side out or mopping the floor, was put off until…tomorrow. Too much worrying about being “in the box while not so in the box it’s not original, but not too original because our readers like and buy the box, even though they complain about the box.”

I’ve been writing since I could hold a pencil–it was always my joy. Well, several years of seeing the inside of the industry and worrying and obsessing and trying to conform without conforming killed it.

And, dammit, I want my joy back.

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