Monthly Archives: August 2007

Great Big Giant Wave Pool

The grandboys have come to visit. They went on a bay fishing trip with Daddy and Granddaddy yesterday afternoon, and caught a little shark and a sand bass. Four little pieces of fish that tasted delicious. Yes, Gigi cooked them. Gigi did NOT clean them. We got somebody else to do that.

The boys do not want to go to the beach. They want to go to the Big Giant Wave Pool also known as The Gulf of Mexico. We got them to eat the fish by telling them it was chicken. They loved the fish–even after we told them it was fish… So we figure they’ll love the beach, once they learn it’s the original Wave Pool. Sometimes, it IS all in a name…

We are grateful that Hurricane Dean seems to be heading south of our location, though we hope it doesn’t do too much damage to Mexico. When Tropical Storm Erin came onshore last week, it rained all day here, and the surf was up (it’s usually non-existent in the summer). However, things were so churned up that, instead of whitecaps, we had browncaps. I’m hoping the sand is on the bottom today, when we go out.

Let’s see, I have some questions I want to answer.

I’m not going to get to go to World Fantasy this year. It’s in upstate New York, and while I’d like to go, I need to sell another book first. (sigh)

Comics. I’ve collected a lot, but mostly X-Men related. I do have quite a collection of Daredevil comics, because I’ve always felt a connection with him, even back when I was a kid in junior high and high school. I can see, but I can’t tell where anything is (poor binocular vision & no eye-hand coordination). Daredevil knows exactly where everything is, but he can’t actually see. We’re opposites. Anyway, the Daredevil movie wasn’t exactly the best in the genre, but Daredevil comics are uber-cool, IMO.

And I too would love to be able to say “This old thing? Why, it’s my Magic Hoohah!” in a conversation.

Still no books. Though I probably ought to check the mail box here at the house for my new driver’s license.

Next week. I can write next week. Hopefully.

Writing about Sex

I have a list of things I want to blog about someday. I write them down–the ones I can remember long enough to write down–so I don’t forget them. For instance, I do want to write about the TIME Magazine article “Who killed the love story?” But not today.

And the son, who is home from university this week, found my list and wrote on it: Monkeys in Outer Space bent on destroying zuwieroiyushamnn At least that’s what I think he wrote on it. And I may write a blog about monkeys in outer space bent on destroying…whatever… But not today.

Today, I’m going to blog about sex. Specifically, about writing about sex in novels. See, I got a note on my Shelfari Shelf from a friend who said that she was “unimpressed” by the One Rose books because she didn’t like books that “focus so completely around sex.”

Which took me totally aback, because I certainly didn’t think the books at all focused so completely around sex. I’ve read books that focus completely around sex, and believe me, they have a LOT more sex than the Rose books do.

The Compass Rose has only three fully consummated love scenes in it. It has a few more “sex by magic” (sorta like phone sex, only without the phone) scenes, and the characters talk about sex a lot. Because the books are about men and women who care about each other, who have a relationship–who are married to each other, to be more exact–and who have different understandings from each other about relationships and about sex and how the world works. And I firmly believe that to put people in that kind of situation and NOT address the sex issue would have been nothing less than a flat out lie.

(The Barbed Rose has more sex, as does The Eternal Rose, because in those books, the relationships are on-going and more fully developed. By the time The Eternal Rose begins, seven years have passed since the beginning of The Compass Rose. The characters have been married for that long. Sex is going to be a part of those relationships.)

All those books that have men and women traveling together on a quest for months to retrieve the Magic Hoohah and save the world–and the characters Never Even Think About Sex–are just plain lying, IMO.

People think about sex. They have sex. They screw up their lives because they try to ignore sex and they can’t. Or they screw up their lives because they have sex with anything that moves and never figure out why they’re lonely. Sex is a part of life. It’s a huge part of life, and I think that novelists–in whatever genre they write–should address it, if they’re comfortable with it.

In speculative fiction, like fantasy and science fiction, it’s possible to explore a greater range of “what ifs” than in novels set in contemporary or historical times, and exploration is a good thing, I think. If I’m ever able to write more books set in the One Rose universe, I can see Kallista’s children complaining that it’s hard enough to find one person willing to put up with your faults–

I do understand that sex is a private part of life and that some people are uncomfortable with a discussion, or even a portrayal of something so intensely private and intimate. I understand that some people have moral issues with reading about sex. Personal opinions are just that. Personal opinions. And everyone’s entitled to have them. Which is why I left the note up on my Shelfari page and didn’t delete it. Tanis has every right to not like books with much sex in them, and every right to express her opinion.

But I did want to explain why I wrote the books the way I did, and why I write about sex, and there’s not a way to respond to a note on one’s own page, and I didn’t want to stick a note on her page without any context, so I came here to share my philosophy of writing about sex with the world–or at least as much of the world as comes by to read my blog.

I’m still waiting for my copies of The Eternal Rose… Sigh.

Beyond Tired

Although I probably shouldn’t be by now. It’s Wednesday. I’ve been home (again) since Sunday evening. But I still feel like I’ve been dragged backwards through the bushes. And then maybe beat with a stick some.

I went to ArmadilloCon in Austin last weekend. It’s a science fiction/fantasy conference, was lots of fun, but dang, I’m really tired now. And it was hard attending when I hadn’t even been in the new house for a week. Still, I bet I’m the only one in a while who’s been put on both the sex- AND the religion-in-fantasy panels. We had a lot of fun doing the panels–laughed a Whole lot during the sex-in-fantasy panel–and I scored a necklace-and-earring set and a dragon print at the art auction. Both very cool and very lovely. (The jewelry is purple rock–and no, I don’t remember what kind it’s supposed to be–that will go very well with the purple rock earrings I already have.)

So, now the boy is down from college for the week. I need to go drag him out of bed so we can go to the washateria (all the laundromats around here seem to have that title) since we haven’t rented laundry equipment yet–and doing laundry in the garage is REALLY going to be not fun around here… The heat index has been in the 110s (43 C) the past few days–worse than in Houston because of the killer humidity.

We have had fresh boiled shrimp this week–bought at the grocery store, not a fish market, but still the freshest stuff I’ve had in a long time. Wonderful. My next goal for the week is to get out to the beach and get IN the water, sometime before the boy heads back to school. The grandboys are coming to visit next week (so the posts here will be sparse, I’m sure) and I plan to take them to the water several times, but their WunkaBob won’t be here then…

Cross your fingers that the books (The Eternal Rose) come in next week. The printer has promised them by then, but…

I’m trying to write, but not very hard. I got 4-1/2 pages done Monday, but there’s just too much to do. Went to Ikea to buy tables to set up for computer desks–and forgot to buy the second table. Sometime, when I’m back that way, I’ll have to get the second table. (sigh) That’s my project for today, though. To put the table on its legs. It’s bound to work better than the card table I’m using right now…

I’m here. At the new place. We loaded up Saturday, after packing stuff all day Friday, then drove partway Saturday afternoon. We got to town about 3 the next afternoon, unloaded Sunday night, and the cable people came by today (Wednesday) to install the cable and get the computer up and running. I’ve unpacked and put away stuff. The kitchen is sorta, mostly together. I have a bed to sleep in, drawers and a big closet for my clothes…and a washateria somewhere around. I’m still learning my way around. It’s helpful that this town is mostly a grid.

And this a.m., I decided that if I was going to live at the beach, I was going to go to the beach, so I put on my shorts & T-shirt early, before it got hot, and drove down to the beach (we’re about 1 to 2 miles from the beach), and walked barefoot along the water. There was an egret, two different kinds of sandpipers, and of course a whole horde of seagulls that appeared like magic out of nowhere when some turistas started flinging bread at them. The broken shells in the sand here and there weren’t a lot of fun, but the water was…

I’d forgotten, though, just how HOT it can get here. The temp is not actually that high, but because it’s essentially 100% humidity, it Feels really, really hot. Well over body-temp. We went to a free band concert near downtown last night, and as long as the breeze was blowing, it was bearable, since the sun was mostly down, but if that breeze stopped… I’m just going to have to get used again to being slightly sweaty all the time…It was a fun event though–every Tuesday night in the summertime. They play a little of everything, have a kids’ maracas/rhythm band song, have a flag parade every week. It was mostly locals, too, which I found interesting. If the grandboys get to come before school starts, we’ll have to take them.

I have the computer set up on a card table. I’ll have to wait and see about a writing space–we haven’t brought the dining table upstairs yet. (Yeah, I’m in a house where I have to climb stairs–a full flight of them–to get to the front door.) I figure next week will be soon enough to get busy writing. I’ve got a fantasy con in Austin this weekend. If anybody’s there, come by and say hey. :)