If you like what you read, consider donating to help me support my family.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Not a good day, so far

Last night, I went to bed late - as I tend to do most nights. I was editing my book Diamond Elf in preparation for publishing it on Amazon... eventually... I got tired  so I forced myself to go to bed, and I even fell asleep.

Then, early this morning, my hubby woke me up to tell me that he was leaving to go help a friend. I was okay with that, but not okay with him waking me up. I slowly drifted back to sleep, only to hear that the MOMENT my hubby left, my kids woke up. They were wide awake and bouncy, and LOUD! They ran around the house, repeatedly slamming the door to the bathroom - which is between my bedroom and the rest of the house.

After the 5th or 6th time they slammed that door, I rolled out of bed, picked myself up off the floor, and then went into the bathroom to glare at them. But it was already too late, I was awake enough that I couldn't go back to sleep, sigh...

So, I sent a text to my hubby that said: "Grrrrrr...." When he asked what was wrong, I told him that: "They sprang from your loins and have your predilection for mornings..."

I then hopped online to distract myself as I waited for my brain to wake up and start to function. I don't drink coffee, so that's not why my mind is foggy in the morning. A couple of friends messaged me, and I grumpily bit their heads off - Sorry! I'm not really mad at you, I'm just not a morning person!

Then a very good friend of mine tells me that my blurb sucks! (I know that you read this, so I'm not trying to gripe about you, I'm just talking about my morning, and this is part of it.) I thought my blurb rocked, so I was seriously bummed out. However, I consoled myself with the fact that blurb writing always sucks, and almost no one can write a blurb that entices without giving away too much information. So, I rewrote it...

As I was trying to rewrite it, my friend - who is my awesome Editrix, and helps me out a ton - interrupted my thought process a couple of times to tell me that one of the books I want to publish can't BE published!

I understand why she's telling me this, but I want to strangle the puritans who make the "rules." The basic reasoning is that the story - Jocelyn's Decision - is about a girl who makes the decision to have sex even though she is only 13. I intend it to be a cautionary tale. A warning to girls about the very real consequences of that decision. I included the sexual scenes because they are integral to the story. The scenes themselves are not very descriptive until she reaches the age of consent.

At the very end of the story, Jocelyn is 18, and that's when she has some really erotic sex. The intended audience is older teens and adults. If adults read it and think that it's a good message for their daughters, and have the younger teens read it - or even just the first part - that is up to them, and really a good example of not censoring what a child reads. In fact, if both a mother and her daughter took turns reading it, they might be able to open up a discussion that might be hard to have otherwise.

In any case, to me, my story is general fiction. A second classification would be slice of life or even afternoon special. However, because I do tend to write erotica, and this book does have sex in it, it is apparently considered erotica by my friend. She's concerned that it would violate the Terms of Service.

And THAT is what has me pissed off more than anything this morning! I understand that they don't want to encourage teens to have sex. I understand that they don't want to encourage older men to have sex with teenaged girls, and IF this book really was intended to be an erotica featuring a teenaged girl and an older man, I would agree that it violates the terms.

To a point...

MY ideals state that free speech is King. I think that a person should be free to read, write, or watch anything they want to. If a person wants to watch a movie that depicts a mass murderer going on a killing spree in gory detail, they should have that right. The movie should be labeled "not intended for anyone under 18," but then it should be up to the viewer to decide if they want to watch it. It should NEVER be up to others to decide whether or not a person can watch or even MAKE such a movie.

The same holds true for writing. I am only free to write whatever I want so long as I never plan to put it up for sale to an audience. The moment I put it up for sale, I have to change my story to fit the limitations on free speech set by those who cater to the easily offended. They cannot simply do the right thing and post a warning that says: Read at your own risk and if anything offends you TOUGH! Instead, they write rules that state: "We don't wish to offend anyone, so please don't try to publish anything that most people consider offensive."

Now I think there is enough precedent in literature and even on TV and in real life to show that - returning to the topic of my story - to show that teenaged sex does happen. To try to claim that it doesn't is ludicrous! To say that a story featuring teenaged sex should not be published is a violation in every sense of the word!

I wrote a post about this a month or so ago. I am not trying to say that books aimed at teenagers should be written the same way as erotica books are - full of sex and nothing else! But I was told that the rules of Young Adult Fiction - the stuff aimed at teens - should be highly censored. It can reference sex, but it should not contain it directly - at least not graphically.

Okay fine. I edited my only YA book that actually had sex in it to remove the sex. But this story is different. It's not intended to be YA! It's intended to be general fiction. Aimed mostly at adults. It's intended to open dialogue between mothers and their daughters, and yet I am being told that it is not allowed because apparently the terms of service state that there shall be no sex in a book featuring a minor.


The reason I'm so upset is that I don't actually expect to make a living by selling my books. It would be nice. It would be my dream come true to actually be able to support my family using my skills, but experience has proved time and again that this isn't going to happen. SO, if I'm not going to make a living by selling my books anyway, then I have no real reason to conform to the rules.  When others tell me that: "Readers won't buy books like that," I shrug. Not many people buy my books anyway.

I don't write to please others, I write to please myself. I write books that I want to read! If that makes me unpopular, then so be it.

But then I am told that having just ONE book that violates the rules will automatically get ALL my books banned. Well then so be it. If the only way to obtain one of my books is to ask for them directly from me, oh well. It's not like I was making money off of them anyway. I do this because it's what I love to do. Call me stubborn, obtuse, and my own worst enemy. It's all true, but at least I'm being true to myself...

No comments:

Post a Comment

I welcome and encourage everyone to comment... except spammers and bots. So, I am sorry that I have to require the captcha, but I've now officially got 10 times more comments from spammers than real people. Thank you for your comment and have a happy day :-)

Charts and Readings