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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Why This Old Lady Writes Sensuous/Erotic Romance Books!

As a Baby Boomer, I find myself wondering how life has gone by so quickly while I focus on what still awaits.

I look at myself today and wonder how those extra pounds cemented to my body ever got the chance to take up permanent residence. And, the gray in my dark hair? When did that start? Frown lines? Wrinkles? Aching knees and body?

When I was young, I couldn’t wait to turn 16. Then 18. Then 21. Then, 30. After that, I was just too busy raising a family and teaching to worry about age. When I turned 50, I actually felt surprising good. It was turning that dreaded 60 that depressed me.

All the fun emails people send me about “remember when” are entertaining…and things I do remember. My memories of growing up before I got married now seem so distant, as the years I’ve been married outnumber the years I was single.

When did I get so old?

I, like everyone else, remember certain important things from my past. Growing up and going to school. Saying the Pledge of Allegiance. And, saying the “Our Father” prayer in school because it was perfectly acceptable to do so. I remember leaving school early every Thursday to walk to religious instruction, and no one mentioned the fact that a public school allowed this early dismissal for religious reasons. It just happened.

I remember gym suits and respecting teachers. Dressing appropriately was important and not something argued about. Nothing was said about “free speech in dress”, long hair for boys, earrings, makeup, etc. We followed rules and did as told. Air raid drills were common in schools. Getting into trouble meant your parent would meet with the teacher and you’d be disciplined.

I remember where I was when President Kennedy was shot, and how I’d told my mother that morning that I’d had a “vision” he was going to be killed. Eerie thought to have, and worried me for months. How did I know that would happen?

I remember the deaths of loved ones, the marriages and births of others.

I remember being in a car accident and falling out the door (no seat belts then) and thinking to myself, “I’m dead.” I vowed not to drive again but did.

I remember how important school studies were, and how we all needed to take a foreign language to get into college. Driving was a privilege, not a demand. Working was important, and you never left a job without giving two weeks notice. Unheard of. Not ethical. Not done.

I’m a baby boomer, and life is so different now. But, I’m older, and can sit back and watch as I reflect on what was, what is, and ponder what will be. Medicare age is here, and that brings a new installment in the book of my life. Can I be that old?

My 50th High School reunion is in a few years. I’m looking forward to seeing old friends again. When once we talked about college hopes, careers, marriage and raising families, now we’ll talk about retirement, health issues, and grandchildren.

I taught for years, then began my writing career “late in life”. The sensuous or erotic scenes I write I’d never have written before. But, I’m older now. At peace with myself. Not out to please others or prove anything to anyone as to what I write. I do it for me.

I think about a scene from the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes” where the character played by Kathy Bates waits patiently for a parking space, only to have two young women zip into the spot before she can move her car. She tells them she was waiting for the spot, only to have them tell her that they’re younger and faster.

First instinct would have you angry but accept rudeness from younger, flighty people and search for another spot. In this case, however, the character rams her car into the younger girls’ car a few times. When they scream at her, she replies that she’s older and has more insurance.

I love that scene. It reminds me that I’m older, don’t have to give a damn what others think, and can do as I please (within the law, of course). I no longer shrink back into a corner of silence if I don’t agree with others more vocal. I speak my mind, if I feel I need to.

With age comes the wisdom to know when to speak, and when to shrug it off and walk away. Picking my battles keeps me sane, and preaching to deaf ears gets me nothing but pain. Life has changed, the rules have changed, people have changed, but I’ll roll with the punches…as long as you don’t get in my way and irritate me.

I'm older now and not afraid to speak...or write what I choose to write.

Photos: Flickr: JohnMorgan and johnbulla's photostreams.


Fran Lee said...

LOL! I organized my class' 50th reunion in June. Oddly enough, I lived through doing that, and now I am back to work writing my naughty books. Keep it up, girl...never admit defeat.

Mona Risk said...

What a fantastic post, Marianne. It reflects so well our feelings. Yes the world have changed and we try to fit in while "doing it my way."

Jane Leopold Quinn said...

OMG! Marianne, I could have written this post. Of all things, the mention of gym suits took me back decades. My mother embroidered my name in script on the shirt.

And as far as we mature ladies writing sensual/hot love scenes, of course we can and are doing it. It also took me a while to accept the fact that I was writing them "late in life". Now, I wallow in writing them and am proud of them.

You go, girl!!

Molly Daniels said...

I HATED our jr high gym suits! One piece, red with white collars. HS was better; maroon shorts with a white tee with the school emblem across the chest. And thankfully was done with PE after one semester.

I wore Cheryl Tiegs, Chic, and Lee jeans with my Nike tennis shoes and Oxford shirts....yeah, I was a Prep.

And you did NOT talk back to the adults unless you wanted your mouth slapped, or grounded when your parents found out you'd talked back to the teacher!

Disco hit when I was 12 and couldn't wait to be 18 so I could go to the 'cool bar'....but disco was dead by age 18 and drinking age raised to 21. Then I couldn't wait to be on my own, only to discover my work shift began at 5am and I'd better have my butt in bed by 10pm!

I thought after you 'hit' a Certain Age your thoughts/feelings would change, but I still feel like I'm 25 in this 47 y/o body. My mom laughed last year when I told her this, and it made me realize just because she's older doesn't mean she doesn't remember what it's like to be my age:)

Tina Donahue said...

Never saw "Fried Green Tomatoes" - I'm going to have to now. That scene sounds delicious. :)

Sandy said...

Loved the post! I can relate to most of it! I too remember where I was when Kennedy was shot. Thanks for sharing. I love getting to know fellow writers.

Adele Downs said...

Great post, Marianne.


J.D. Faver said...

Very insightful post, Marianne. Took me back to some things best forgotten. Funny how you can remember things related to what you wore when. Good thing you didn't touch on hairstyles. :-)

Sandy said...

I love this post, Marianne. You made me want to laugh and cry at the same time. You're behind me on one thing, and that is I've already celebrated my 50th class reunion.

Sandy said...

Funny thing, I didn't remember reading this post earlier, but I had already commented. lol This means I'm losing my memory.

vicki batman said...

Hi, Marianne! What a great post. About so many things that are relevant to me. I keep fighting and kicking my way into an older age. And thanks to my mom, I prefer dressing for occasions.

Rose Anderson said...

Gym suits! Oh my god I haven't thought about those in years. I remember when I forgot to spit out my gum before class and the gym teacher made me put it in my pocket. Of course it ruined it. I had a ribbon for good posture on the pocket too. I felt like I reading something I'd written. Ah boomers. Fun post Marianne.

jean hart stewart said...

That brought back memories, Altho I
bet I'm older than you! Respect for teachers was really awe and fear in some cases. The classroom was a place to learn. Don't spend much times, if any, on regrets, but I'm sorry that changed.

SharonJM said...

Thank you. You spoke many of the truths that I grew up with and tried to pass on. One good thing that I have found is that much of the nonsense that occur, I can dismiss and move on. Life is too short to dwell on it. I also loved that scene from Fried Green Tomatoes and while I draw the line at doing something illegal, I appreciate the sentiment.

Paris said...

I loved that scene from Fried Green Tomatoes! Would probably never go through with it but I smile every time I think about it. I think I started writing erotic romance for much the same reason. I wanted to step outside my comfort zone and since that day, I've never looked back.

Susana Ellis said...

I SO identify with this post, Marianne! I LOVE being retired and not having to worry what the school board thinks about what I write. Oddly enough, I've so far chosen to write sweet Regency romances. But it's just WONDERFUL to have the choice to write what I want and not let what other people think bother me!

You go, girl!

Anonymous said...

I love that scene in Fried Green Tomatoes! Blow off steam, let someone know how rude they are. Great scene.Great post, Marianne. Here's to "old women" writing hot lovemaking scenes!

Victoria said...

Heading toward my own 50th reunion soon. And I remember all those things you do. And more. :) We 'ain't' old, honey, we're well preserved. :)

Janice Seagraves said...

Amen to that, Marianne.

I'm fifty-two and I speak my mind more than I used to. I write erotic romance with no apologies to anyone.


Cara Marsi said...

Good blog. I remember all those things you mention. My 50th HS reunion was last September. I remember those ugly gym suits with the bloomer legs. The world has drastically changed. Who would have thought back in the Sixties that we'd be carrying phones around with us. I worked for the phone company then and there were rumors swirling that someday we'd be able to take our local phone number anywhere in the country. It was like sci-fi. A lot of what we have now would have been considered sci-fi. I love that scene in Fried Green Tomatoes.

I would never have been able to write the steamy sex scenes I do back then either. I was so in awe when I read Rosemary Rogers' Sweet Savage Love because there was explicit sex. It was amazing.

Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

Melissa Keir said...

Wonderful post! Today is my 47th birthday. I'm not worried or stressed about it. I love getting older. As you pointed out, I don't worry about sweating the small stuff. :)

All the best with your writing!

N.J.Walters said...

Fantastic post!

Jeanine said...

Great post. Very fun to read. I just went to my 30th H.S. reunion.

Fiona McGier said...

Magnet on my fridge: I may be getting older, but at least I got to see all of the good bands!

I tell my kids I may be getting old, but I'm not dead yet. Fantasies still present themselves to me, though as a happily-married woman, I don't act on them...unless I share them with "the old man", and he likes them too!

People are so funny, expecting that if you write sexy stuff, that you spend all of your time "doing it" for research. Do they expect Laurell Hamilton to be raising zombies? It's called FICTION for a reason, folks! Relax and enjoy it, no matter how old you are.

Nina Pierce said...

Boy, did you hit the nail on the head with this post, Marianne. I often wonder whatever happened to common courtesy. Seems to have been lost somewhere along the way.

You're books are wonderful. I guess your muse was just waiting its turn to speak up!

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