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Sunday, September 17, 2023

The reader’s imagination is a powerful tool for writers.

cj Sez: A lot of the passion, or eroticism, a reader finds in a story is often the part that’s left unwritten. For me, what one imagines to be residing between the lines of a story—the perceived hidden meanings—can be more erotic than detailed descriptions.

  Writers can never predict how their words will be interpreted because their readers are coming from a multitude of backgrounds with different sets of life experiences. 

  That’s both exciting and fearful. Words, syntax, and semantics have to be as exact as we can make them, all the while knowing that each reader will most likely interpret them differently. I believe it is unfair and insulting to intelligent readers for authors to tell them what they meant through the use of Italics and adverbs attached to dialogue.  Example: “How dare you do that,” she exclaimed angrily. Suggested alternative is just a plain-old “How dare you do that.” This draws the reader into the story by allowing him or her to place their own emphasis.
  I’ve had the pleasure of having a reader tell me how much she enjoyed (or did not enjoy) a particular scene or dialogue exchange. When I asked why, her interpretation of the scene or dialogue was nowhere near what I had intended. Obviously, words and phrases do not have universal meanings. In particular, writing with and about passion and eroticism tends to invite a lot of critical judgment and opinion.
Eroticism is far more than the sexual and sensuous descriptions.

Andromeda Nebula
  For me, the definition of erotic pleasure is nebulous. It is sitting on the floor of a darkened room immersed in music…it is snowflakes melting in my eyelashes…the smooth caress of summer breezes...the warmth of the morning sun…the whistle of an elk and the cry of a loon in the northern is pleasure that fills me with laughter and the pain that makes my heart ache…it is intelligence with a quick wit and gentle humor…it is the harmonics of a deeply resonant baritone…the touch of a guiding, strong hand at my waist…it is the feel of silk, satin, skin on skin…the velvetiness of a baby’s cheek…the taste of dark chocolate melting on my is the aroma of a pipe and the coarseness of a woolen shirt…it is the heady sheen and smell of an athlete…it is trees dressed up in spring green or autumn blaze…pewter clouds and blue skies…it is sounds, feelings, sights, smells, tastes, touch, memories…it is imagination.


  Summer is winding down, and one of my favorite cartoons illustrates the lament of most everyone returning to their regular fall, winter, and spring school and work schedules.

  Beyond that … I am so yearning for some moderating autumnal temperatures on Alabama’s Gulf Coast. The summer heat has been hellacious this year—a very long string of 100-plus-degree days with sauna-like humidity. In fact, Mobile set its own record this year for 11 days of >=100 degrees. I haven’t ventured into my yard for longer than an hour or so at a time since June, and boy, do I have the weeds and vines to prove it.

  Okay, that’s it for today. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same. Raising prayers for a happy and safe you.


Now a note from my sponsors:
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I have a short paranormal story, “Once in a Blue Moon,”  included in this fourth installment of the Mobile Writers Guild anthology PIECES series.
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  My novels THE DAWGSTAR and DEATH ON THE YAMPA are fast-paced, thriller/suspense stories with sassy banter and a smidgen of sweet romance. (Perfect diversions for a quick weekend getaway.)
  The books are available on Amazon or through your favorite eTailer and bookstore. Got a library card? You can read the ebooks free from Hoopla.

  Little note: The Haunted Book Shop has a few signed copies of my books in stock. TO ORDER, contact:  If she happens to be sold out, I have a small stash. Angela Trigg, the awesome owner and a RITA Award-winning author in her own right (writing as Angela Quarles) will be happy to ship you any book(s) by any author of your choice.
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