We’ve been having a nice long weekend. Mrs. Lion has spent a lot of time on her computer and iPad. I’ve been relaxing too. I’m going to start writing my next book this week. I have to admit to feeling a little silly doing it. So far, no agent has expressed any interest in selling my last book. Yes, I know that it is very difficult to get published. Isn’t it silly to keep writing if no one wants to buy my work?

My biggest problem is that I seem unable to write a good query letter. This is the document that agents or their interns read first. If it piques their interest, they will read the first pages of the manuscript. If that holds their attention, they will request the entire book. So far, I haven’t gotten to that last stage with anyone. I’ve come to see that, for the most part, literary agents are mostly middle-aged real estate saleswomen who are frustrated writers. Some, work with Writer’s Digest to charge hapless authors like me to read their query letters and offer help.

They don’t help. They just want the money they are paid by the poor souls desperate to be published. There’s a thriving industry of webinars, classes, books, and “editorial services” supported by people who just want someone to publish their book. It’s easy to get sucked in. I attended my share of these “classes” and learned nothing.

Am I a good enough writer to sell books? Dunno. I think I am. I also think that there are thousands of other people who are good enough to sell books. The one piece of advice I was given that I think is actually worth something is that I should never give up. I’m told that I have a good “voice.” That’s half the battle, the “experts” say. OK, I believe them. The other half is finding a main character who people will love. I thought I had one. Apparently not.

So, for the third time, I’ll try again. Who knows? Maybe the third try is a charm. Wish me luck.

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.