I had to
lead with the word “coitus” in honor of one of my favorite TV characters,
Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory. The topic is writing juicy sex.
I can’t see myself doing it for one obvious reason, and that is I’m a teacher
who doesn’t use a pen name. But even if I weren’t a teacher, I probably
wouldn’t go there. Not that I have anything against sex scenes, but I’m pretty
critical when they’re not done well. Writing is difficult enough without trying
to incorporate sex that’s original, sensual, and believable.
of the reasons I don’t read romance very often. I’ve come across scenes that
actually turned me off because the sex was presented in such a way that either
made me roll my eyes or snort with laughter. Certain word choices have made me
wince, not because I’m a prude, but because I don’t find them the least bit
sexy. Puckered nodule? Ewww! Just say hardened nipple. I realize it’s
challenging to come up with new ways to say things, but I don’t want to hear a
nipple referred to as a puckered nodule. Sex is such an intimate expression
between two people, whether it’s the down and dirty kind or so sweet it makes
you cry. When it’s written poorly, it can easily dampen my engagement with the
was one of the few who didn’t sing praise for Fifty Shades, I admire
E.L. James’s guts for her trek into a la kinky. However, when I think of the
grief she received in many of her reviews about the sex scenes, I believe I’ll
beg off. Writing sex is no easy task, so my hat goes off to those who do it
reason I’m not comfortable writing explicit sex is that readers inevitably
wonder how much of a story is invented and how much is from the author’s
experience. I suppose that’s not such a big deal if you’re writing vanilla sex;
you could be talking about anyone. But what if you decide to delve into the
really naughty? The thought of my friends, family, or co-workers speculating on
the authenticity of raunchiness is something that makes me a little queasy.
scenes that don’t necessarily include sex can be just as tricky. Yes, we read
novels for the escape, the passion and enchantment we probably don’t experience
very much in everyday life, but I also want my heroes and heroines believable.
Let’s face it, most of the time, men are not very romantic. And to be fair,
neither are women. I have a hard time expressing romantic feelings toward my
husband, not because I don’t have them, but because . . . Well, I don’t know.
Just because, okay?
A hero that goes on and on to his lady about how much he cherishes, worships, and adores her, would do anything to protect her, doesn’t get very far with me. In my experience, the men who are the sweetest talkers are usually the ones you trust the least. I prefer heroes who are quietly strong, funny, and maybe even a little dorky from time to time. He doesn’t have to possess washboard abs and smoldering eyes, but he must have sincerity. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate broad shoulders and muscly arms as much as the next girl, but whether it be sex scenes or romantic scenes, there has to be a bit of realism along the way, or I’m not buying into it.
Somewhere Between Black and White
Romance, humor, family drama, with a touch of Buddhism. Sound interesting?
When approaching life’s problems, Sophie sees in black and white. That is, when they’re someone else’s problems. So when it comes to her sister, Sophie is sure she has all the answers, and offers them without hesitation. If only her sister would listen.
Then, through a series of chance encounters, she meets Sam, who is witty, kind, and downright unflappable. Sophie has the overwhelming sense that she’s known him before, and as a relationship builds between them, odd visions invade her mind. Though she tries to dismiss them, their persistence will not allow it.
As someone who is quick to judge others, she is intrigued by Sam’s ability to accept people as they are. She begins to see him as a role model, but try as she may, his accepting nature is difficult to emulate.
Will Sophie ever be able to put her hasty judgements aside and realize not every problem has a simple solution?
Living in Las Vegas since she was two,
Shelly Hickman has witnessed many changes in the city over the years. She
graduated from UNLV with a Bachelor of Art in 1990, and in her early twenties
worked as an illustrator for a contractor for the Nevada Test Site. In the
mid-90s, she returned to school to earn her Masters degree in Elementary
Education. She now teaches computer applications and multimedia at a middle
school in Las Vegas. She loves to write about people, examining their flaws,
their humor, spirituality, and personal growth. Shelly lives with her husband,
two children, and their dog, Frankie.