Recyled Wednesdays – New Feature

>A blog is like visiting a friend, but if the friend is never home or too busy to talk, then you wind up drifting away. I’d prefer that not happen with Monica and Her Muse since so many of you have added me to your Google Reader or just pop in regular. 

Now I don’t have a lot of time to write my books, let alone do a lot of blog writing, promoting, working the day job, being a parent, wife and still have time for me. So I’ve been thinking and thinking about something I could that might be fun, yet easy on me. 

That’s how I came up with the idea of Recycled Wednesdays. This weekly event is where I’ll recycle a post I wrote a couple of years ago, bring it forward, and essentially recycle it. I won’t just drop it in, I’ll read it and note if my opinion has changed or add some new point to support or trash my old post. New comments will be in blue like this. Generally its a way to let readers who’ve not read the blog a lot have a chance read old posts without having to spend hours scrolling backward (I’ll do that for you! *grin*) Sooooo…..

Recycled From 2007 – This one is still a bit of a hot button (but aren’t all of them where I’m concerned?? LOL)

Friends With Benefits

Interesting term isn’t it? Got any idea what it means? According to my attitude-ridden, high-school daughter it means you can be just friends with someone and yet it’s ok to have anything from kissing to sex without going steady (or dating as they call it now) with that person. Plus it leaves you free to go and carry on with the same behavior with anyone else at the same time. (Said daughter is now a college student, but unfortunately, the attitude hasn’t really disappeared. At this point in life I am still the mother who knows nothing. *sigh* Although I can say she calls for advice from me more than I asked of my mother.)

Basically it means – NO COMMITMENT.

WTF? My natural instinct is to think that some high-school guy came up with this concept to make it to third base with every girl he can possibly convince to buy into this whole stupid idea. But there’s a part of me that knows this entire thing could just as easily been dreamed up by a girl, just so she could sleep with any guy she wanted. (umm…WTF was I on when I wrote THAT statement! I was trying to be politically correct I think, either that or I don’t know young women at all. I need to revisit this issue with college-age daughter.Women are creatures of emotions and thoughts when it comes to sex.)

So what does this have to do with writing? Well, I’m an erotic romance writer. I have explicit, graphic sex in my books (did then and I still do – *grin*), and this is MY daughter coming home and telling me all this crap. So did I do the smart thing and talk to her with all the wisdom and thoughtfulness I’m known for? (*snort* New reaction emoticon!) Yeah RIGHT! No, I threatened and listed ultimatums. Then she turns the tables on me and says, “Well, you have lots of s** in your books.” All this did was add oil to the fire. *sigh* (I don’t remember too much of that earlier argument, but we STILL argue about things, but more about how she still can’t get along with her baby sister. She’s 20 years old for pete’s sake. Baby is 13! She wants to be treated like an adult, and yet she has trouble acting like one.)

Later on I was reviewing the whole incident and wondering if I’d over-reacted considering that I believe I’m teaching both of my girls the right things when it comes to sex and their behavior. I mean Oldest and I have had the big “TALK,” and she’s clear on what her parents will and won’t accept as responsible behavior.

A Writer’s Responsibility

But this whole thing has me feeling conflicted. Here I am writing erotic romance which I would never sell to anyone under 18, but in truth, there isn’t anything to keep kids from buying my book online (well they do need a credit card, but lots of kids have those). But there’s no rating system in the bookstores either. Let’s face it, sex is a HUGE responsibility, and there aren’t many kids under 18 who’re ready for that kind of responsibility.

Now, I’m a BIG advocate for people taking responsibility for themselves and their offspring. The DH and I take our responsibility for our kids seriously. They’re well-mannered, polite and well-behaved kids for the most part. Nothing irks me more than seeing kids acting rude while their parents just stand by and do nothing. So am I responsible for kids whose parents don’t take the necessary steps to oversee their actions, monitor their behavior, etc. (I’ve been known to publicly chastise a miscreant while their parent is close by doing nothing. I get either embarrassed or ‘WTF do you think you are looks’, but I’m getting to that stage in life where I don’t care if people get upset that I’m pointing out rude behavior.)

As a writer, how much responsibility do we  I take on for kids who aren’t really ready for our explicit sex, love and happily ever afters? Although I am conflicted about the question, I have to fall back on the notion that I can’t parent the entire world population. I can’t accept responsibility for others. (I still feel this way about responsibility, but I’m not going to stop correcting misbehaving kids. Maybe it might shame the parents into doing right by their kid. Kids need rules and boundaries. How else do they know that you care about them?) 

What do you think?

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About Monica Burns

A bestselling author of erotic romance, Monica Burns penned her first short romance story at the age of nine when she selected the pseudonym she uses today. From the days when she hid her stories from her sisters to her first completed full-length manuscript, she always believed in her dream despite rejections and setbacks. A workaholic wife and mother, Monica believes it’s possible for the good guy to win if they work hard enough.

5 thoughts on “Recyled Wednesdays – New Feature

  1. >Virginia, that's interesting about the erotic fiction publisher. I've a feeling they're trying keep out some fiction of too young for sex with too old for youngster stuff. My oldest MAY have read one of my books, but if my Baby has, she did it furtively under threat of death by mom torture. LOL

  2. >I am in the query stage and spend a lot of time looking at blogsites and websites for authors, agents, and publishers. One site that specifically handled erotic fiction stated in the guidelines for submission that no one under 18 could have sex in their books. I have two daughters, and I was no saint, but I found this to be kind of puzzling. I have written about younger person's experiments with sex and it is anything but erotic. It happens. It is a many faceted subject as I am still wondering if I want my daughters, also not saints, to read my writing.

  3. >Maria, I agree that I don't have the responsibilty to protect other people's children, but it does bother me that a lot of parents don't seem to care what their kids are watching or reading. Although for some parents, if they saw their kid with a book, they would probably be happy since so many kids don't like to read and would rather play video games. LOL

    Mary, I truly feel sorry for parents who allow their kids to rule them. I rarely spanked my kids, and I've NEVER smacked them in the face (something that unfortunately happened to me a lot as a kid). But my children still "fear me." They know when not to push me any further. Maybe it's because I take the time to explain my reasons for what I do. *shrug* I just know that "Now little Johnny, you know we don't act like that." just doesn't work. Timeout generally only works when you need to calm down. I have a friend who is now learning the hard way that not being a "dictator" in the early years are now leading to a LOT of defiant, spoiled behavior with the pre-teen years.

  4. >I must be at that same point in my life because when I see a kid acting up out in public, I can't keep my opinions to myself either. I've even asked a mother at a check stand if she wanted me to pick her son up and carry him out to the car for her since she hand her hands full. The look she gave me was like I had just thrown boiling water on her.

    well, she was holding up the line because she had one bag and the 4 or 5 year old wouldn't leave and was scareaming and she just kept saying, c'mon let's go. Let's go, c'mon. But she never took him by the hand and dragged him out, which is what I would have done.

    My daughter is 19 years old now and if my kid ever acted like that in public or to me I would have felt like a failure as a parent. it's up to the parents to make sure our kids are well behaved.

    As to the Friends with benefits thing…I've heard about that from my daughter as well. it was a big term in high school and thanfully she talks to me so she knows how I feel about that.

  5. >Wow Monica…that's a good point…which is why I don't let my nieces/nephews even really look at my books because the covers can be too mature for them. I don't think that you as the writer have an obligation towards anyone else's kids…that's why you aren't that kid's parents …I know there are a lot of parents who either from a lack of knowledge, time or just plain desire don't take the effort to have frank and honest talks about what is or isnt' appropriate at certain age levels….but it still isn't your responsibility and you aren't writing for the YA or Children's market so I say keep on doing what you're doing and if a kid picks up your book and their parent doesn't stop them….maybe it will lead to the frank discussion they need:)