Ommmmm Ommmmm. That's my calming chant just before getting ready to write! No, just kidding. I'm not nearly as Zen as Anny but I try. As a writer, I've found certain little rituals seem to settle my mind and that's what I need when I dig into a story. We have a fancy, very nice office in our house but when my son grew up and moved away, I converted his room into a nice, cozy little niche where I can go to PLAY. Every morning I check my emails, do blogs and other things for about 30 minutes or so then, I try to get zen. I have a stash of candles, my cup of coffee, and put on some pinging and ponging New Age music. I particularly like "water sounds"...waves on the beach, waterfalls, that sort of thing.
I'm a total pantser. I'll begin with a concrete idea of my hero and heroine and then I choose a locale. The locale part is easy because I subscribe to the idea of writing what I KNOW and I KNOW the south. Especially the Southwest. Most of my stories are set there. One day I'll really challenge myself and put my characters somewhere else to find their HEA. Then I latch on to a glimmer of plot and START. Starting, for some reason isn't all that hard for me. It's the ending that gets me. I ALWAYS stall out at the end of a story. Maybe I don't want to let my characters go. I don't know. I've wondered about the whys of it but it's just a reality I fight with every single book. I try to write for a few hours every morning with little breaks thrown in. Seems that getting up from the computer to do little random chores calms me down. I can fold a load of laundry and THINK. Thinking is key, especially if you're a random kind of writer. It helps to pull those little details together.
Unlike a lot of writers, I don't have an outside job. My son is grown and gone and my daughter is a teen who does her own thing so I don't have little ones to keep occupied while I pursue my writing. So I write in the mornings AND in the afternoon. I seldom write at night but chat with friends and spend time with the family. Some days, the writing schedule gets blown because of promotional stuff that we all have to do...but that's okay. It's all part of getting your name out there. After all, our books can't promote themselves.
Here's a little snip of a regency erotica I've been piddling around with. I've tended toward contemporary stuff lately but I have a love of the regency genre and have written and researched the genre for years. Lady Moonlight's Seduction is half-way finished but this little bit is rough.
A scene from Lady Moonlight's Seduction:
“Is he gone?” she whispered, drawing the covers up over her breasts. Her chemise was a tattered mess. She was practically naked.
Ryder shook his head and approached slowly. He sat next to her on the bed which was highly inappropriate but, then, this entire situation was inappropriate. He took her hand and squeezed gently. “How is your head?”
“Better. Ryder, oh sir, I am so sorry you have become embroiled in this!”
“His men took me while I slept. I woke up here and a prisoner. Thayer has armed men posted outside and bars on all the windows. He planned very carefully for this event. We are trapped.” When she opened her mouth to speak, he shook his head and shushed her. “This isn’t your fault but we have time to speak of all this later. We will sort everything out and find a way to escape. I promise you.”
Nicolette thought of her mother and sister at Findley’s mercy and began to tremble. “We must hurry, Ryder. We must find a way! My mother and sister are in terrible danger.”
He scowled fiercely and took her face between his hands. “I’ll kill him with my bare hands. Though I don’t know the details of this threat of which you speak, I promise to make everything right. Now, listen very carefully.”
His sinful dark eyes roiled with some emotion.
Hysteria threatened her composure but she forced herself to calm and look at him. On top of everything, he didn’t need to deal with an attack of the vapors. “I am listening.”
“Good girl,” he murmured. “I will be blunt. Witte is just outside. He will not leave until he knows we have been intimate.”
“Sex, Nicolette. He wants proof that we have had sex.”
A harsh sound tore from her throat. His intent gaze never left her. “Shh, darling,” he said. “We must get him out of here if we are to arrange an escape.”
Her mind whirled with scenarios and possibilities. She wasn’t a dolt. She knew that Findley wanted an heir and would obtain it by any means possible. The situation was dire, indeed! She swallowed. Her face heated. “What proof?”
“The proof of your virginity.”
Nicolette groaned. Shame tore through her until she shook with it. “And Witte will remain outside until he has his proof?”
Ryder sat back and cursed. “You have the right of it.”
Nicolette buried her hot face in her hands, a raw sound tore from her lips. Immediately, she felt his strong arms surround her. The steady beat of his heart, the scent of him soothed her as she clung. Impossible situation!
“I won’t have it said that I raped you, darling girl,” he whispered into her hair. His voice was low and comforting. “You must decide whether or not to allow me into your body. If we do not accomplish the deed quickly, I fear he will call in one of his men to do it. We can’t have that, Nicolette. You would be hurt and there is no doubt that I would die trying to protect you.”
She clung for just a minute as the ramifications ran wildly through her head and then she drew back and looked at him. Tears rained from her eyes and down her cheeks and Ryder spoke again. “Tell me, sweetheart. Is there someone you once loved? A man? Perhaps you can think of him while I touch you. Love you. It will kill me to have you pretend I am someone else but I will do whatever makes you comfortable.”
His kindness overwhelmed her. “We have no choice in this, do we?”
She reached up and kissed him. “I am ignorant of these matters. Will you show me?”
Fighting the shiver that raced over her skin, she felt his lips, his breath like a talisman against her fear. Ryder bent his dark head and kissed her palm slowly, sweetly. Tears burned behind her eyes when she’d never been a weepy sort of woman.
Here was a man to love.