Archive for January, 2011

One decade a month

January 17, 2011

If I’ve talked to you recently about my book, you understand this post’s title. If not, here’s the quick version.

Every month this year, my goal is to write a chapter about one of the decades in women’s lives and what affects her sexual desire during that time period. It shifts with every decade, to no one’s surprise, and we want to chronicle the major influences (love, feelings of security, stress, children, exhaustion, physical impediments, etc.) and track them throughout a woman’s lifetime. The survey provides statistics and trends, but the interviews will give the book its stories, its characters, its life.

I started with the teens: Our youngest survey respondent was 15, but we began collecting surveys a year and a half ago, so all the women are older now that interviews are actually occurring. I chose the teens because only 27 filled out our survey — it’s a small number and I can get it done in this short month. (Short because I didn’t get home from Texas till the 4th and then didn’t get my routine put back together for a week after that.)

When I told an astute journalist friend I planned to work my way on up through the decades, he wryly commented that I needed to interview the 90-year-olds next. Point taken. February shall be the month for the oldest of my ladies. And won’t that be an interesting juxtaposition for my overtaxed little brain, struggling as it is already with surprise from the teens’ revelations? In fact, I’ve decided to interview additional teenagers in order to determine if the few I’ve met are typical or atypical. (No, I am not going to spill everything right here. You shall be required to BUY THE BOOK.)

Meanwhile, I struggle with questions of whether to renew my search for an agent or just keep plugging away at the actual book. I fully realize that an agent is crucial, that it’s a seminal relationship for a writer. I know it will take trial and error to find a good one. So I shy away from that work because I’m trying to really plug into getting chapters completed — lock, stock and barrel. Why can’t I be better at multi-tasking? It doesn’t seem like making both things happen would be impossible if I’d just apply myself.

The other thing looming for me is to do more than a cursory search for women’s conferences in this part of the country and then make myself available to the people who book them to talk at said conferences. A well-connected, book-world friend told me recently that publishers love writers who’ve already spoken publicly about their work.

Well, it’s easy and fun for me to talk about this book, so I figure I’ll make some inroads in that direction this month as well. If women at conferences react like my Mom’s book club did over the holidays, I’ve got it made. I sat down to share with the ladies some of the findings from the survey and within three minutes, the 65-year-old woman on my left exclaimed, “This is WAY more interesting than book club!”

Ma’am, you have no idea.