Scenes from a writer’s life

Scene: a supermarket.

Gal behind me at the checkstand: “You’re a writer — have you read that book everybody’s reading? 50 Shades of Grey?”

Me: “No. But I grabbed a friend’s Kindle from her hands and got a look at it. Christian Grey was giving the girl a priceless old copy of Tess of the D’Urbervilles. And rides in his helicopter.”

I wondered if I should clarify to this gal that my friend is an editor who bought the book for research purposes, because she needs to be culturally current. I decided that sounded ludicrous, though it’s true.

Me: “Have you read it?”

Gal: “I’m almost done. It’s not well written but it’s lighthearted fun. But I do keep wondering… is it really possible for people to have so much sex?”

Me: “My friend said that toward the end of the book her main thought was… ‘Not the riding crop again.'”

Gal: “That book’s going to affect everything about how you work from now on. How is your writing going to adjust?”

Me (suddenly feeling faint): “I don’t know, but I can promise you it won’t involve riding crops.”

At which point I ran out of the supermarket and didn’t look back.

Only when I got home did I realize: too late. I’ve already written a scene that involves not just a riding crop but a helicopter and a priceless old piece of memorabilia. It’s chapter one of The Dirty Secrets Club.

10 responses to “Scenes from a writer’s life

  1. Just so long as the riding crop isn’t used in the same way(should I admit I have no interest whatsoever in 50 Shades of Grey here–just none, I haven’t read it, but I can imagine the riding crop scene would be different for your book).

  2. Okay, I’ve got to get that first chapter out for a reread. Let’s call it research.

  3. See, you’re a trailblazer!

  4. Bravo, Meg. Always ahead of your time! Yes, to re-reading your chapter! (I only got through 3 chapters of 50 Shades of Grey before I got bored with the poor writing.)

  5. I’m right there with Hiker Chick. I wanted to like it, always looking to read something with an “edge” to it. All I can say is that there is definitely room for a more literary form of erotica.

  6. I was glad to read/watch Katrina Lumsden’s review of the “50 Shades” series at Good Reads. I got the gist of the plot line, but it was much more entertaining. I am re-reading a favorite Georgette Heyer, “Venetia,” which has to be one of the best romances ever written. Nothing throbs, pulses, or bulges and the riding crop is set aside with hat and gloves until our hero gets back on his horse. I like a bit of spice in my fictional romance or romance in fiction (Jo and Gabe–Sweet and Sexy; Evan and Jesse–Whew!), but “50 Shades” has no appeal for me whatsoever.

    • “Nothing throbs, pulses, or bulges and the riding crop is set aside with hat and gloves until our hero gets back on his horse.”

      Comment of the week.

  7. Pingback: 2012: the blog year in review | lying for a living

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