Tumescent Member…

Originally posted April 15, 2007 on www.ButterscotchMartiniGirls.com

The subject tonight is purple prose in writing.

purple proseIt’s late and I’m a bit brain dead, so I turned on the TV, and found one of my favorite high school movies.  Okay, not from when I was in high school…lol…but about high school–10 Things I Hate About You with Julie Stiles and Heath Ledger.  It’s one of those fun, date the girl for money and then fall for her types of movies.  Anyway, the guidance counselor in the movie is writing a romance novel rife with purple prose in between her counseling sessions, and often during…lol.

My favorite line is when Heath Ledger gets sent to her office because he exposed himself in the cafeteria.  He tells her he was just playing a joke on the lunch lady, and it was actually a bratwurst.  So, the guidance counselor said, “Hmm, optimistic, aren’t we?” as she glances down at his crotch…rofl! :)  Speaking personally, I wouldn’t mind checking out Heath Ledger’s “bratwurst”…lol.  But I digress.  Anyway – then she goes back to her computer and writes in “his throbbing bratwurst” into her story…lol.

Bear Purple ProseThere are several who poke fun at the romance industry for the purple prose of the past, but I for one appreciate how nimble our genre has been to change with the times.  At one time phrases such as “cloistered cock,” “throbbing manhood,” and “heaving bosoms” all had their place between the pages of a romance novel.  And people bought them, read them, enjoyed them and lived vicariously through characters who struggled and overcame to find their own happily ever after.

snoopySo what’s changed today?  Definitely the verbiage we use.  But if it wasn’t for those pioneers who trailblazed the industry before us, we wouldn’t have cliches or purple prose.  It makes me smile to speculate what “new fresh verbiage” I’m using in books today that will be considered cliche or purple prose in twenty years, or even less. :)  And while I didn’t really enjoy reading the same romance novels that my mother did, I do recognize that romance has grown, changed and evolved with the times.  It’s a great slice of society and civilization–a point in time study, as one of my college professors used to say.

emma swanToday, our heroines are strong women for the most part, some even kick ass, which definitely reflects the times we live in.  Women have more power in our society, more independence and more clout.  Their status is growing and our heroines reflect that.  I know in my own books I have very strong heroes, strong enough that they are good match for my heroines – but in the end, my heroines end up saving themselves.  They don’t wait around for the knight in shining armor, although they appreciate him as a helpmate and an equal.

So the next time you see or hear someone spoofing on romance or citing purple prose and making fun of it – just remember that the women who penned these now overused gems were the trailblazers of their time.  So, while I can’t read a novel with purple prose without chuckling, I don’t judge too harshly, because with luck, someone will be chuckling over mine in a generation or two because I happened to blaze a trail for them to follow in our ever changing genre.

So here’s to all those brave women who came before me.  I’m raising a butterscotch martini to all of you!

Strange Questions Erotic Authors Are Asked

bw-black-and-white-erotic-photos-photographs-lovers-couples1Today the discussion is around the strange questions writers get.  I’ve blogged about this before on my tinagerow.com blog, but since I keep hearing new incidents, it bears repeating.

Here’s a few of the more bizzare…

1.  To an erotic romance writer:  “Do you really have that much sexual experience?”

This one cracks me up.  The writer who was asked this is married to her high school sweetheart and has only ever slept with one man, but damn – she writes HOT erotic romance.  I was floored when I heard someone asked her this!  I don’t think they walk into their gyno and say, “So when you stick two fingers inside your wife, does it feel like just another day at the office?”  But it ranks right up there…lol.

2.  How much money do you make?

Now if it’s someone who is close to me, that’s different.  But I think all authors are asked this.  My usual comeback if a total stranger asks me, is, “How much do you make?”  They either answer outright, or squirm a bit and avoid the question.  I lose all respect for those who squirm and avoid but still expect me to answer.  If they are really rude, then I’m honest and tell them it’s none of their business.

3.  How many times have you cheated on your husband?

Huh?  This one floored me enough to actually ask why they would even ask such a thing.   They studied me skeptically before answering (which pissed me off,) and said that anyone who thinks and writes about that much sex is obviously not happy at home and must be actively ‘getting it’ somewhere else, since happily married people just don’t think about sex that much any more.  I was so shocked I laughed out loud.  I think I totally ticked her off when I told her if that was the state of her marriage, then I felt really sorry for her…lol.

4.  “Do you write your heroes to make up for shortcomings in your own husband?”

Lucky for the person asking I wasn’t the one they asked.  It was an online author friend.  But OMG!  Can you believe this?  She gave an answer something similar to mine above in number 3 and walked away.

5.  “Give me a call if you need help researching your sex scenes.”

I guess I should be flattered since I’ve been given this offer by both women and men, and even one couple…lol.  Sorry guys – I just have a really vivid imagination.  And for any hands on research I happen to need, my dh is more than willing to help me out. :)  One of those perks of marrying the younger guy…lol.

6.  “I have this great story idea.  How about if I give you the idea, you write the book and we split the profits?”

For all you writers out there who snort every time you hear this, I’m with ya.  For everyone who has ever thought about asking an author this – don’t.  Ideas are a dime a dozen.  It’s the hard work, character sketches, plotting, word choice, and actual sitting the butt in the chair and typing every day that gets you a finished book.  Not to mention the rewrites, the edits, the promotions and all the rest.  So, if it’s that great of an idea – go write your own book – I have a story idea file as thick as my fist, and I’m always adding to it.  I don’t think I’m running out any time soon.  But seriously – if an idea is really niggling in the back of your brain – go join your local writers group, do the hard work and write that book!

I’m sure there are many many more, but The Good Egg is about to open and the mushroom caps are calling me, and I need to get a good start on my 3K words goal for the day! :)

Does anyone else have good examples?  Let us hear them! :)


May Online Class: Writing Love Scenes

May Online Class: Writing Love Scenes

May 4, 2014 @ 7:15 pm – May 18, 2014 @ 8:15 pm
$25/$20 for members
Workshop Description:

When: May 4-18 (2 weeks)
How much: $25 for the general public, or $20 for HCRW members

Class blurb:

Writing love scenes is so much more than describing whose lips are where, doing what.  Good love scenes should read smoothly and clearly, and communicate who is doing what to whom as well as when and how, but without sounding like a How-To manual. It should convey emotions and passion, and reveal new insights into the characters as well as advance the plot.  Sound like brain surgery or rocket science?  Nope – no Doctorate degree required – I promise!  Come join us for some no-nonsense discussions about how to thread all of this together into love scenes that readers will devour and you will love to write – regardless of if you write sweet or smokin’ hot.

Instructor Bio:

Tina Gerow is a multi published author under two pen names. She writes sensual paranormal romance as Tina Gerow and erotic paranormal romance as Cassie Ryan.

She’s also an experienced line editor and a public speaker on many topics both motivational and writing related.

So basically she’s a slacker ex band director with an outgoing personality and an overactive imagination who has been put to work writing for the safety of herself and others.


Click here now!