Gentle Reader, do you remember the letter a while back which disturbed me so, the one followed almost immediately by a toxic blackmail chaser? No? Then I suggest you read those posts immediately. Otherwise, what follows will sound like I have been indulging in hallucinogens.
In case you were wondering about the time that has lapsed since Mad Skilz Part Deux, the Three Stooges actually gave me a deadline extension because of my holiday. I have until midnight tomorrow to give in to their demands, or face the consequences of non-compliance. Why the generosity? I suppose they felt I that was to their benefit; that I was more likely to violate my principles if I had long enough to ponder the alternatives.
All I can say is, they sure don’t know me very well. My life reflects these immortal words, as uttered by one great philosopher, as he dug into his leafy greens: “I yam what I yam”.
And so it is!
Let’s face it, at this stage in life, my character is pretty well defined. And I have no intention of changing for a trio of half-wits.
Besides, I could never–ever–possibly write a sex scene with a character named Sp*rk. Never! Every time I even tried to go there, all I can see is this: A bleached-blond woman — maybe a Joan — lies on a polyester couch in a wood-paneled office. Her plaid skirt is pooled around her waist, her eyes speak of chemical dissociation. And while a hursuit male labors over her, sawing between her legs, she chants the following line in a Betty Boop voice: “Do it to me, Sp*rk, do it to me.”
I can’t write something like that, folks, I can’t! I need a bottle of brain bleach and a stiff drink even now, just having typed that brief description. I cannot be responsible for its actual creation. 🙁
And as for Ep*c, my God! If I went my entire life without ever hearing his name uttered again, I’d die a happy woman.
The only one of the three words that would cause me the slightest twinge of regret, should I never use his name again, is Humm*er. That’s because he’s a bit of a crutch of mine – a shortcut, okay? When you write romance and your main guy has a bit too much sensitivity, it’s easy to sex him up by having him drive a blatantly phallic symbol. But I’ll survive. I’m creative. My hero will be manly, even if he means he has to sneeze bullets.
So, can’t compromise, can’t live without words – with the notable exception of these three – and can’t see a way out of the mess.
That’s the point I was at precisely at 8:03 last night, when my husband returned home from work. As I dished out his beta-carotene and fiber-rich dinner, comprised of butternut squash and succulent broad beans, we chatted. Then he came up with an interesting suggestion.
“Call the word police.”
“Word police?” I said. “Didya breathe a little too much hydrogen sulphide at work today? There’s no such thing as the word police.”
Once again, the Hopester erred.
Do this little exercise for me, guys: Get out your local white pages and open it up to the municipal directories section. Got it? Now look up the department that features your library – if you still actually have one, that is. Look down, below where the library police are listed and… Have you got it?
As you might expect, they’re very polite. And prompt, too, arriving within minutes of my phone call.
And now that I have a professional on the scene, I can’t tell you how much weight has been lifted from these slim, feminine shoulders. For the first time since the arrival of Whorehouse’s e-mail, I feel the faint stirrings of optimism.
But the precise reason for that hope will have to wait for another time, Part IV, in which there will be drama, death, and dismemberment. (Or donuts, if that would best serve the story and keep the cops on my doorstep content.)