Monday, September 13, 2010

Stepping Out

Anyone who knows me well knows that I am not a particularly daring woman. I don't do thrill rides or skydiving or even jaywalk! I'll step out on a limb in my writing, sure. But I prefer to get my thrills vicariously.

I was recently asked to do something I've never done before -- something terrifying. Without thinking it through, I said, "Sure, count me in" with all the enthusiasm I thought appropriate. Suddenly I found myself facing a monster -- or at least I will in a couple weeks. You see, I was asked to be the literary guest at an "Erotic Bliss Party." When I first foolishly agreed to this, I had no idea what such a party entailed. I figured I'd go, talk about my work, drum up some business. But no. That's not what the hostess has in mind. She has set aside half an hour for me to read my very steamiest excerpts. To a live audience. Uh oh.

I like to joke that I will write many words which I would never, ever say aloud. No, I'm hardly a prude -- not at all. But I had to get used to using a certain type of non-purple-prose language in my erotic stories. So I sat down and searched for excerpts that were hot, but not particularly explicit. And I found several. Then the hostess dropped me a note reminding me that whatever I read should be uber steamy. I looked through all my books. Could I read for half an hour and not get to any sections with a bunch of those write-but-not-speak words?

Nope. Couldn't be done. I tried replacing some of the words, which kind of felt like cheating. So what's a chicken to do?

I think this chicken is going to have to ingest a couple of drinks first. The hostess told me I should practice projecting my voice because they have no microphone. Microphone!? Does she really expect that many people? Uh oh. I checked her event page on Facebook. Yeah, she does expect that many.

I think I will be practicing my potty-mouth for the next couple weeks. I'll let you know how it goes. What about you? Could you read aloud from an explicit scene? Time will tell if I can.


Katie Reus said...

You're a lot braver than me! I don't know that I could do that. My face turns bright red when I'm nervous so it would just be a disaster. I can't wait to hear how it goes :)

Wynter Daniels said...

Mine might turn red, too. I've enlisted DH to be there with me for moral support. He said he wouldn't dream of missing it!

Ashlyn Chase said...

ROFL. Yup, I can identify. I can write all the dirty words all day long, but to say them out loud? Horrors!

I recently had a book signing that wanted me to read from the book. My daughter was in the audience! It was so hard to find an excerpt with nothing embarrassing in it!

Just tell yourself, "It could be worse. My daughter could be sitting out there."

Wynter Daniels said...

Thanks, Ash - good advice. You're right - that would be beyond embarrassing.

KC Burn said...

Well, I feel for you. I have no problem swearing aloud, but reading a steamy sex scene that I wrote? I would be terrified AND be fire engine red the whole time! I'm sure you'll do fine, I only wish I could be there to lend some support!

Wynter Daniels said...

KC - I think most authors would, except a few really brave ones.

Brenda Williamson said...

A few years ago, I'd say no, I couldn't read out loud what I wrote. I still wouldn't do it for my parents. My son, yes. He hears me all the time, becuase the best way to proof-read is to read the story out loud to myself.


Do a bunch of practice readings, not necessarily in front of anyone. Just stand up and read loudly like you'll have to do for the audience.

Practice not looking up, not thinking about anything other than speaking the words clearly. If you do it enough times beforehand, you'll be surprised at how much more comfortable you'll APPEAR. :-D

Michelle Polaris said...

I think it would be highly embarassing, but that I'd get over it quick. I find each new barrier in my life can be overcome with just a few successful experiences. Life is short. It'll be a real growth experience. Good luck.

Wynter Daniels said...

Thanks, Michelle. You're probably right - it might be like exposure therapy!

Naima Simone said...

LOL! Oh Lawd!
A couple of drinks? Just pass the bottle of tequila!! I would have to down that worm to get me up there and do that! Wynter, you are my hero!! You have to let us know how it turned out! ROFL! There are so many words I write--for instance the "p word" *shocked whisper*--but cannot say it out loud! We bow down, Wynter!

Jina Bacarr said...

Wynter, this Erotic Bliss Party sounds like such a wonderful opportunity to promo your stories!

When you read your excerpt, don't be afraid to let your emotions take over, be "in the moment" and laugh, cry, get angry, etc.

I've been working on audio/video (pix only) for a blog series re: my Cleopatra's Perfume book called "Berlin Sex Diary" (I won't have it up for a bit), but it's about a paddling so I understand your trepidation about reading your work aloud...pratice is important so you feel comfortable reading what you wrote.

Wynter Daniels said...

Thanks for all the advice, ladies. I will let you know if and how I survive;-)

Cara Bristol said...

I can empathize. When I started writiing erotic romance, I dropped out of my critique group because we read our stories aloud! There was no way that I could read what I wrote! Worse yet, we met at a conference room in a local bank. Could you imagine customers walking by as I was reading (if I had managed to get the nerve?).

After you speak, please blog about it. Let us know how it went!

Dalton Diaz said...

Hmm. How about telling hubby he has to read the male pov?

Brenda is right. Practice, practice, practice! Wish I could be a fly on the wall. Hell, I wish we HAD those kind of parties 'round here. Sure beats tupperware.