Saturday, April 26, 2008

Sex talk!

WhenThe Well Red Coyote, my favorite Sedona bookstore, agreed to a booksigning for my first novel, Romancing Rebecca, set in Sedona, I knew I’d made it. Then the owners asked me to choose a writers’ workshop topic. I asked, “What would you suggest?” They replied, “No one’s talked about writing sex.”

The press release hit the papers and instantly I became the sex expert of my neighborhood. A large group threatened to drive to Sedona for my presentation. I gently explained that the program was for writers only, it wouldn’t be what they expected, and the bookstore expected them to purchase large quantities of books.

Fortunately, only writers would flock to a bookstore on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.

First, I confessed that when I write a sex scene—just when it gets hot—my writing turns funny. Really funny. Looking over my shoulder to see if my dh was listening, I asked, “And isn’t sex really funny?”

Next, we did breathing exercises—this is Sedona—followed by energy work and a great yoga exercise called sama-hyridaya-tadasana.* The goal was to get in touch with your character and become compassionate.

Then more breathing. Open eyes and write as you dialog with your character:
Ask your character how he or she feels about you writing about their sex life?
Ask when they want the door closed?

It worked. Historical characters became shy. Characters with history of abuse were fearful. A great discussion about sex in YA novels.

Last, I confessed I wrote the entire novel, so that on p.115 my tough New York lawyer heroine could cry, “You ripped my bodice.”

*This yoga pose came from Jeff Davis’ Journey from the Center to the Page, 2nd edition. Want to know more about writing and yoga. Check out the bibliography on my website.