I like happy endings. I don’t mean just orgasms for me. I like stories that end well. It turns out that I may like them too much–no, not the orgasms, the other ones. I’ve been working on a book for some time. It’s got nothing to do with chastity or spanking. It’s a sort of fairy tale where a woman has her dream come true. I resist adding obstacles in her path. I want everything to go right from the beginning to end.

Yeah, I realize that doesn’t work. All sunshine and buttercups are boring. It’s just that every time I set up something bad, I rush to have her overcome it. Dull, dull, dull! I’ve given my draft to a few people to read. Mrs. Lion liked the story. Another beta reader has a long list of suggestions. She likes the story but thinks I need to make things harder for my protagonist. I haven’t heard back from the third reader yet.

I’m discouraged because I felt good about balancing good and bad in the story. One agent asked for the full manuscript and rejected it without comment. Maybe writing isn’t what I should be doing. At least perhaps I should give up on writing commercial fiction. I know I can write hot porn. The problem is that I have no idea how to sell it.

The problem with being an unknown (in the book world) writer is that I have no way to let people see my work. If I self-publish, nobody will discover the novel exists. Advertising is too expensive for me. PR takes a skill set that I don’t possess. Since I don’t have anything better to do, I keep making my story better. That sounds like a good thing. I don’t think it’s healthy for me. I’m getting discouraged.

It feels like I can’t do anything right. Do I keep revising? Do I try to find something less demanding? I have to keep trying until I run out of energy and self-confidence. The only question is whether I will succeed before my tank is dry.

Our puppy is calming a bit. Mrs. Lion found the time and energy to tease me a little on Tuesday. I was horny and enjoyed the attention. It’s nice to feel things returning to normal. I’ve mentioned that I’ve been writing a novel. I gave up on the idea of a self-published spanking romance. My effort yielded almost no sales. It’s easy and fun for me to write porn. However, it’s no test of my skill as a novelist.

I’ve been working on a novel with no explicit sex. It’s been a long slog. Writing is hard work. It’s finished, I think and I sent requests for representation to a few literary agents. Each agent receives thousands of these a year. They usually require a query letter that is a sort of advertising blurb for the book, along with sample pages. Most ask for the first five or ten pages. Some want to see the first few chapters.

I sent out about twenty on Monday. On Tuesday, I got three rejections. That’s depressingly fast! Yesterday, I got a request for the full manuscript. From what I’ve read, about ten percent of submissions result in this request. It’s one step closer to getting an agent and possibly selling my book.

Book publishing is a depressingly difficult world to enter. Hundreds of thousands of would-be authors compete for a small number of publishing slots. Editors and publishers stopped accepting unsolicited manuscripts years ago. The only way in is through literary agents. The agents represent the filter between author and publisher. Getting an agent is the necessary first step. Those first rejections on Tuesday were heartbreaking for me. I’m so grateful for Wednesday’s encouragement.

I’m not pretending that I can write literature. My first book is a sort of romance novel. I like stories with happy endings (couldn’t you guess?). I think of myself as the character played by Jack Nicholson in “As Good as It Gets.” His character plays a romance novel writer. When asked how he writes women so well, he says, “ I think of a man, and I take away reason and accountability.” I’m kidding. I love that line.

Anyway, I’m more hopeful than I was yesterday. Someone wants to read the entire manuscript. Even if the agent passes, at least I know someone liked the first three chapters.

This paddle is surprisingly painful.

Mrs. Lion kept her promise to spank me on Thursday night. She is good that way (humph!). She used a variety of paddles. As agreed, she started with the heavy slapper (see her post from yesterday). It’s big and heavy with five layers of thick leather. She had some difficulty using it. It will take practice to whomp with it. It is extremely thuddy. It almost feels good.

She also used the heart-shaped paddle. That stings like hell. I hate it. Then she gave a couple of swats with the paddle guaranteed to cut me. It has sharp edges on heart-shaped cutouts. I have no idea what possessed her to use it. She knows that each swat will draw blood. Could it be that Mrs. Lion has a liking for drawing blood? She set the spanking timer for ten minutes. She stopped at about seven minutes. The puppy was licking my hand and trying to make me feel better. What a sweet dog! I think that and the blood influenced Mrs. Lion’s decision to stop.

The points on the hearts draw blood with each swat.

I learned something. That heart-shaped paddle is *very* effective. It stings like hell. I suspect that because the face is fairly large, it delivers an even red. All I know is that I was yelping from the first swat. I do not like it one bit.

Mrs. Lion also teased me. She gave me a long session of oral attention. I didn’t make it to the edge, but got close. I’m not sure why I’m having trouble getting all the way, but Mrs. Lion is willing to keep pushing. She’s made it clear that an orgasm isn’t forthcoming soon. I’m OK with that, he said gritting his teeth.

Work on my second novel is going slow. I’m in my third reading of Stein on Writing. It’s an amazing guide to writing good fiction. I’m working very hard to improve. I re-titled my first book. It was Fan Mail. That title didn’t get much reader reaction. It’s now called Vacation with a Stranger: She liked his picture and invited him to spend a week with her on Maui. If you can, please read and review it. All of the reviews for the old title are lost. I would appreciate your help.

I am trying to become a writer. Yes, I know that this is writing, but I’m talking about fiction, the kind people buy. My first effort was a start, but one that didn’t interest any literary agents. I understand. Even if my work is genuinely good, it’s still a random manuscript thrown over the transom. There’s little chance it will be noticed.

What I’m doing is futile by all accounts, like buying a lottery ticket and counting on it winning. Sure, somebody will win. The odds are overwhelming that it won’t be me. Still, I can’t win if I don’t buy a ticket. I spend my days trying to tell a story.

I entered my first book in BookLife’s annual contest. It’s a chance for a professional to critique my writing. The writing is graded on a scale from 1 to 10. This is my report card:

Plot: The plot here will ultimately gratify readers who are especially drawn to romance: girl meets the perfect man, girl makes tons of money. While there is trouble, tension, and a somewhat compelling mystery element, the romance lasts, and the money continues to pour in.

Prose/Style: The prose is rather stilted, with a lack of variety in the sentence structures. Verb tenses switch back and forth between past and present, and the book would benefit from a thorough edit.

Originality: While generally formulaic in its storytelling and concept, this novel introduces a unique plot element concerning the heroine’s professional circumstances.

Character Development/Execution: These characters would be better served by appealing to the reader as authentic and relatable, while the novel’s timeline might also be tweaked to allow events to feel more organic–most significantly, the romance between the protagonists, which comes across as rushed.


          • Plot/Idea: 5
          • Originality: 4
          • Prose: 5
          • Character/Execution: 4
          • Overall: 4.50

The anonymous reader is a staff reviewer from Publishers Weekly. I can’t argue with the assessment. I wrote the book quickly. I also have no training as a professional writer. My education is scientific. Yup, I need an editor. The problem is that unless I get a publisher, a professional editor is way beyond my ability to hire one.

What does this have to do with male chastity? Nothing. Hey, it’s my blog. I can go off topic if I want.

My second effort is very different from the first. I’m trying to tell a very contemporary story. I’m also trying to get educated on the elements of writing fiction. While it was fun to write the first book, Fan Mail, the second is painful and depressing. I see the glaring flaws in my ability to tell a story. Depressing.

I’m lucky that I’m an optimist by nature. There’s an old joke that comes to mind when I think about quitting:

An old man prays, “God, I have been a good man. I have worked hard and helped the poor. I would like to spend my last days in comfort. Please let me win the lottery.”

A week goes by and he doesn’t win. He prays again, “God, why do you ignore me? I’ve been a good man. Please, please let me win.”

This is repeated week after week for months. Finally, after the man repeats his prayer yet again and says, “God, why do you ignore me? Why can’t you make me a lottery winner? Why? Why?” A deep voice from the sky says, “First you have to buy a ticket.”

I’m not going to get a literary agent simply by wishing for one. I need to buy a ticket. Of course, it wouldn’t hurt if someone out in the blogosphere can introduce me to one. Meanwhile, depressed or not, I’m going to write. The world can use one more bad author.