Random B.S.

by Rob Gregory Browne

Be warned.  Whenever you see a blog post of mine that has the word RANDOM in it, that means I have absolutely no fucking idea what to write about.  Usually I can slog through and come up with something at least a notch above coma-inducing, but today I'm stumped.

I know, I probably shouldn't admit that.  But it's the eve of a new year and maybe if I'm honest at least one day out of the 365, I won't burn in Hell.

HA.  Dream on, Rob.

Speaking of new years…

I went to sleep last night and when I woke up this morning an entire freakin' year had passed.


How exactly did that happen?

I was planning to do a "best of" for the year 2008 today, but the problem is that I can barely remember 2008.  Of course, I can barely remember what I had for dinner last night, so that tells you something about me.

But, seriously, where the hell did 2008 go? Or 2007 for that matter.

I can remember 2005 very clearly.  That's when I got my first publishing deal.  And a few weeks later, when I spoke to my editor, he told me the release date for KISS HER GOODBYE would be February of 2007.

And I gotta tell you, it took forfuckingever for that particular month and year to roll around.  I grew to be a very crotchety old man in that time.  My kids grew up and their kids grew up and their kids' kids — oh, you get the point.  I waited several lifetimes for KHG to be released.

But get this.

Because of scheduling conflicts, by the time my second book (WHISPER IN THE DARK) comes out, an entire TWO YEARS will have passed since the release of the first one.

Yet those two years seem to be a mere blip on calendar.

Again, I say, WTF?

(That is, by the way, an actual question.  So please include your answer to WTF? in your comments below.)

The Power of Validation

I have been struggling, struggling, struggling with my fourth book, which is tentatively titled DOWN AMONG THE DEAD MEN.

This one has truly been killing me.  Almost as much as the second one did.

Which is why it's been very nice to have validation of that second book.  After great reviews in the UK, I just got my Publisher's Weekly review for WHISPER IN THE DARK and there's a nice little red star next to it.

Now, I've gotta tell you, getting a starred review from PW has made my year.  Ask anybody.  Really.  I can't stop talking about it.  I've grown even more obnoxious than I was before, if that's possible (shut up, Brett.  You, too, Bill).

But having that little bit of validation has done a wonderful thing for me.  Suddenly the new book is going like gangbusters.  Words, paragraphs, pages, chapters are flying out from under my fingers.  And I know I shouldn't say this either, but they're pretty damn good.

PW has given me a much needed kick in the ass and for the first time I'm actually WANTING to work on the book.  It took me forever to get here, but here I am.  Eee-haaa.

And On a Totally Unrelated Note…

When you're writing a sex scene, what word, if any, do you use for penis?  What about vagina?

I could give you a twenty page list of slang terms for each, but somehow none of those terms seems appropriate.  When I come across such words in a scene, I can't help but start laughing.  They just take me right out of the story.

Sure, you can actually use the words penis and vagina, but those have to be about the two most clinical, unsexy words in the world.  So, tell me, what's a good substitute?

His burning hammer of love?

Her forbidden cove?

Seriously, how does one write this shit without pitching a giggle fit?

And on that note…

I'm outta here.  Sorry for the suckfest, random or otherwise.  There's a new year coming, so go out and celebrate it and I promise to do better in 2009……..

Uh-huh.  Sure, Rob.

22 thoughts on “Random B.S.

  1. Margaret A. Golla

    Uh, how about, moisture-seeking rocket of luv’? or one-eyed trouser trout?Or, ‘He sheathed his sword (moisture seeking rocket of luv) in the velvet warmth of her core?’Just hang out at a romance site and you will get all sorts of interesting info.Cheers, and have fun with the research!

  2. J.T. Ellison

    I am so in touch with the WTF of where time is going. 2008 is a blur, with a little red star of my own. Definitely a highpoint.

    My favorite bad romance line ever – “He laved her pink folds.” Laved. It sounds like some sort of S&M treat.

    Randy has been known to quote, “Her love gripped me like a warm, friendly hand.”

  3. Zoë Sharp

    Hi Rob

    Can I heartily recommend THE PROFANISAURUS? I sent a copy to JT after B’con and it contains a positive porn-ucopia of alternative terms for … just about anything you can think of, actually.

    I’ve been known to cry with laughter when reading bits of it. Don’t leave it anywhere your parents or children might accidentally stumble across it, though …

    And Brett – play nice, boys.

    Happy New Year!

  4. Louise Ure

    Funny how that little validation of a star or an award can kick back in the creativity and discipline that was always there … just lurking.

    And you’d better ask Cornelia about the penis/vagina question. She contributed to an X-rated dictionary to help folks just like you.

  5. J.D. Rhoades

    I MUST have the Profanisaurus! Anyone who’s wondering what to get me for my birthday…

    My favorite euphemism for the male courting tackle is “Mr. Happy” but it does lack the certain gravitas required for dramatic purposes.

    WTF? F if I know, man…

    Happy New Year!

  6. pari

    I want one! I need a profanisaurus! After cleaning up my language for more than a decade, I’ve forgotten far too much.

    Happy New Year’s Eve, y’all.

  7. Allison Brennan

    Congrats Rob on your red star. You deserve it. As for the time, last I checked I was 24 and 2009 ushers in my 40th birthday, so I don’t know what exactly happened . . . only, I have 5 kids and a husband now, so we’ll call it insanity.

    And no, PK, I didn’t get a stinkin’ T-shirt either. I think the cosmic joke is I got the kids and a husband who doesn’t cook (I say doesn’t, not can’t, because as I said to him recently, “You can change the oil on a car, fix the dryer, and hook up all the Christmas lights on one remote switch, I think you’re smart enough to figure out who the damn stove works.”

    I want a profanisaurus. As far as alternative words, I thought you joined RWA Rob. We JUST had a conversation about this on one of the loops . . . I shit you not. I learned something new. Guys really DO name their penises. I thought that was just a silly plot point Judy Blume thought up in FOREVER. Effective, though, because I remembered Ralph and I didn’t remember the guy attached to him was named Michael until someone reminded me . . .

  8. Alexandra Sokoloff

    RGB, molto contrats on the starred review. That’s what we like to hear!

    As to WTF, man, I will let you know as soon as I figure it out.

    As for you, Reverend, just please don’t ever mention “Mr. Happy” again. Yes, I have to admit…

    No, TMI.

    And as for naming it, what’s wrong with just “cock”? With appropriate hot and dripping adjectives? It gets the job done, doesn’t it? I like it.

    I mean…

    Well, Happy New Year, and plenty of – whatever you choose to call it – tonight and all year, repeatedly, to all.

    (PS to Allison – yes, they really do.)

  9. Allison Brennan

    Yes, Alex, some of us polled our significant (or not so significant) others. If my husband had a name for his, he never told me (which is probably a good thing because I don’t think my kids would exist had it had a name. If any guy said “Mr. Happy” to me I think I would have burst out in laughter and ruined the mood . . . maybe I’m just a boring person.) I generally call it what it is in the context of the story and the characters, if it’s necessary to name it at all.

  10. gregory huffstutter

    I’m a big fan of the word “member”… that way if your young child happens upon your manuscript, you can say: “Oh honey, they aren’t having sex, they’re just starting a club.”

    As for naming one’s “member”, I just stand at the foot of the bed and bust out quotes from the movie ‘Airplane’… “And Leon’s getting larger!!”

  11. Jayden

    Congrats to your newfound writing booster. 🙂 I know how a thing like that gives you some much needed mental push.

    As for the question about words for a “man’s tool”, I usually go with either cock (there’s nothing wrong with cock, really), his length or his member (but really gregory, I don’t think any child’s actually believing that).

    Though the profanisaurus line would have me spitting my drink over the keyboard, had I not wisely foregone the drinking part ;P


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