Final chapter. Epilogue. That’s what’s left of the manuscript to write, and then it’s on to editing the monster. A large part of me is excited about this. A large part of me is intimidated by what comes next. For starters, I’ll finally have to decide just how raunchy I want those love scenes to be and whether embarrassment among my family and acquaintances is enough reason to censor the sex that’s already in the draft. I’m pretty sure it’s not. (Sorry, Mom.) But I’d still like for my priest and children’s teachers and fellow churchgoers to be able to look me in the eye if this gets published. (WHEN this gets published, dammit!) I should be clear. I’m not particularly worried about being embarrassed myself. I’m not a modest or prudish person. I owe this particular personality trait to my father, a man who owns the roughest bar in town, whose Christmas wish list is composed almost entirely of t-shirts like this one, who tells me the best off-color jokes, and who is responsible, in large part, for my really sick sense of humor. And as a romance writer, I’m pretty sure this will serve me well. My dad will read the sex scenes and think, “Damn, girl! I think I saw something like that in Penthouse one time…” My mom will skip those pages and blush if she sees the word “nipple” as she’s flipping past. Everyone else? I’m not so sure.
But one thing is certain. Many people will view me differently after reading these pages. I can’t help but wonder what they’ll be thinking. Since half of the women in town devoured Fifty Shades of Grey and are anxiously awaiting Jamie Dornan’s big-screen nakedness (WHO ISN’T?), I have to assume that those women won’t think much of it at all. But the Pentecostals and Missionary Baptists in town will pray for my soul and may burn a book or two. Maybe they’ll petition the mayor for my immediate banishment, which would really suck because a) I don’t have any good luggage, and b) I’d really hate for the kids to have to change schools just because their mom is a perv.
Except, you know, I’m really not. That’s the funny thing about it. Not to go into great detail, but life in this house is pretty normal. Does being able to imagine and put on the page explicit love scenes mean a person is a pervert? I don’t even own any leopard-print handcuffs or a single pair of edible underwear, and I’m pretty sure that automatically disqualifies me from being a card-carrying perv. Is Anne Rice a pervert because she wrote the Beauty Trilogy? Is E. L. James a pervert because she wrote Fifty Shades? Wait…don’t answer those questions. I haven’t packed my bags yet.