Monday, December 30, 2013

Pillow Talk in Public: Is it Worth It?

By Karen Albright Lin

When we assess how our writing affects our families, we usually think of time spent locked away from the rascal kids and the deprived spouse who is left to kiss the boo-boos, clean the crusted dishes, and run the errands. We weigh the money spent on printer ink, research trips and conferences against the statistically low chance of the book being blessed with a publishing contract.

If we write memoirs, we may face the veritas challenge. Should we offer the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? Or do we censor to keep the peace at home or protect the guilty? When I teach Writing Your Life workshops (as I will on the Thursday before PPWC in April), I suggest writing all the warts and determining later whether to pull back—for legal or personal reasons. No matter how we look at it, family relationships are important considerations.

I’ve just run into another family versus writing conundrum. I’ve written a lot of erotica short stories and flash erotica (the latter sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it?). I was preparing to make a collection of them available for purchase online. My husband asked me not to. I assured him I’d use a pseudonym. He still didn’t feel comfortable about it. He worried our sons might find them. Or others could trace the stories to me. In our private lives my husband is far from being a prude, but the subject is so personal to him, a modesty button was pushed. His comfort is important to me, so I won’t sell them.

Before you frown with empathy or cringe with peer indignation, you should know I have no regrets. I had a blast writing them and I believe no writing is time wasted. Special skills come from writing erotica: splatting down the truth with courage, avoiding stereotypes and clich├ęd euphemisms, and most fun—delaying the payoff. Wink, wink, suggestive smile.

About the Writer:  Karen is an editor, ghostwriter, pitch coach, speaker and award-winning author of novels, cookbooks, and screenplays. She’s written over a dozen solo and collaborative scripts (with Janet Fogg, Christian Lyons and director Erich Toll); each has garnered international, national and regional recognition: Moondance Film Festival, BlueCat, All She Wrote, Lighthouse Writers, Boulder Asian Film Festival, SouthWest Writers Contest, and PPW Contest. Find out more at


  1. This is really interesting to read! Nice to know about Karen.

    1. Thanks Gina. Glad you found it interesting. It is a very personal thing, what we are willing to say aloud. But isn't that true in so many walks of life.


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