Oh dear. Oh dear oh dear. Whew.
I’m not a prude. Well, I am a bit. Quite a lot, actually. I’m still refusing to read 50 Shades, mainly because it seems rubbish but partly because I just don’t want to read about all that thrusting and slurping and nibbling. I’m not averse to a bit of fumbling and whatnot in books, but full on thrashing just screams (!) to me of having nothing more artistic to write. There are beautiful ways to write about sex, of course there are. But, on Monday, I was put off a manuscript by a Terrible Sex Scene (ironically, TSS – although less fatal) and today I was put off by an awful TSS, or a FATSS. If you get my drift.
The worst part is, of course, that I’m sitting in a huge office FULL OF PEOPLE. They don’t know I’m reading a FATSS but that doesn’t make a difference to me, as I blush furiously and try to angle the writing away from the chap next to me. This particular FATSS involved a rather disturbing moment where the protagonist mishears a woman saying ‘kiss me’. She wasn’t expecting what came next and suffice it to say, it wasn’t her.
It’s all well and good, to include sex in your manuscript. I don’t mind. But please, take pity on the poor work experience girl, innocently drinking a cup of tea and trying not to feel like she did at ten years old when those bloody wildlife programmes started showing elephants at it (or, as my Grandpa euphemistically called it, ‘bonking’) with her parents sitting on the sofa next to her. I mean, honestly Attenborough, must you be so MATTER OF FACT about these …these…facts…of life?
So imagine my pure, unbridled joy when I read a sample manuscript this very afternoon where, bear in mind this is only a ten page sample, we had a memory of a sex scene followed by a chap indulging in a bit of ‘how’s-your-father’. Graphically.
So this evening, appropriately, I have a lovely love story to go through. I’m fully anticipating a bit of rudity and nudity in this, and, whilst it may not be right for this publisher, I’m actually enjoying it in a rather guilty, Phillipa Gregory kind of way. Which, by the way, is another one to avoid if you don’t like anything quivering, throbbing or jerking.
Apart from the naughty bits (kids, uncover your ears) I had a day of manuscript reading, tea drinking and chatting, mostly about manuscripts. So to me, a perfect day. I’ve been mastering the bleepy doors, learning which lift to avoid, I thought I was really getting the hang of it. But then I was asked to send a parcel. We were sending off some proto-copies of a book via courier to Spain and this needed the main post room. This little trip took about twenty minutes of clopping around identical floors and lifts (I refuse to ask for directions because I’m infuriatingly stubborn) before I found it. But, on this little journey, I discovered a picture on the wall. Now, all the corridors and marble walls look the same. The lighting is all the same, you could get out on floor 5 thinking it’s the ground floor (which I did on Tuesday…I had to step back into the packed lift, trying to pretend I had absolutely meant to get out of a packed lift and back into it again all in the space of five seconds) so a picture is a nice way to decorate the space, maybe brighten it up a bit. You know what that photograph was genuinely of?
THE CORRIDOR I WAS LOST IN!
I’ll try and get a photo tomorrow. Which will also be hugely ironic.
On that note, I’ll leave you with the tale of my lovely Valentine’s trip to work:
This morning set me up for this day of appropriate sexy Valentine’s reading. I was on the train in and it was jam-packed, really crammed. We got to Waterloo and the lovely conductor came over the tannoy saying:
“Good morning, we’re now approaching London Waterloo. Apologies for the delays and the cramped conditions this morning, but on the bright side, you’ve all been intimate with someone this Valentine’s day, even if they smelled like cabbage. And you don’t know them. To be fair, not unlike a nightclub. Have a lovely day!”
P.S. Apologies for the silence yesterday, I take Wednesdays off to do my masters course.