Bulky & Beauteous

Q&A Sunday: Motivation and Being Stuck

It’s time for another question. An interesting one from Sheila…

Are you an artist/illustrator/teacher/caricature artist? What motivates you to be creative?  What do you do when you’re stuck?

A lot of writers talk about writer’s block. I think it goes so much deeper than that. I really like this question because it’s not just how do you avoid writer’s block, or any kind of creative block, but what pushes me to do all this in the first place. Very interesting!

First, no. I am not a creative person by nature. I was a nerd growing up. I excelled in math and always loved reading, but ask me to do an art project and you wouldn’t be able to tell which one was mine and which came from a child. I never thought I was creative because I didn’t have talent for art. My sister is an artist, a very talented one, and I was never nearly as good as she was.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that creativity is different than art. I am creative, but I don’t have the talent to put that into a work of art, such as a painting or a sculpture or a light display like my sister does. I do have the talent to put my creativity into a written form, and I do enjoy art on the computer. I design my own books covers and I love doing it. It’s a different outlet for me that I’ve really enjoyed learning.

Do I consider myself an artist? I guess I could be stretched to say yes. I’m an artist of the written word, and I think I’d enjoy graphic design, but I have no training. Just don’t hand me paint brushes. Seriously, I think my kids’ artwork, at six and eight, is better than mine!

Motivation… That’s a tough one. I’m a big believer in intrinsic motivation – motivation that comes from within – and extrinsic motivation – motivation driven by outside forces. I love my job, that’s my intrinsic motivation. I’m very fortunate that I have a career that is so enjoyable for me. I do have days where I want to read or watch Netflix all day. And there are days I do exactly that.

Bulky & BeauteousWhen I was going through chemo, I had a huge issue getting Bulky & Beauteous written. I started writing it shortly before I was diagnosed, and I couldn’t finish it until after I’d finished treatment. I tried to write, and constantly told myself I was busy, but I know there was a part of me that figured there was no point if I wasn’t going to be around to finish it. I knew I wanted to write, but there was something stopping me.

I’m in remission now, and I’m ready to work. I want to get the stories in my head out onto my computer so I can share them. That’s the extrinsic part of my motivation. My readers. I save comments from readers. If you send me an email that says how much you loved my book, or how excited you are to read what’s coming, or how something I wrote really connected with you, I save it. If I’m really feeling down and struggling to get moving again, I read those emails. I remind myself of my readers, the people who keep coming back for my books, the people who love my characters as much as I do, and it helps motivate me to get back into it.

Once the intrinsic and extrinsic motivators start to work their magic, the task before me can seem daunting. A 90,000 word novel is huge when I’m staring at a blank page. That’s when I get stuck. But forty-five minutes to write while my daughter is in gymnastics is manageable. Even ten minutes, or five, can get me started. Usually I find myself getting sucked in and I want to do more, but that can only happen if I start with those five or ten minutes. I’m always working on something, but if the scene I’m writing isn’t fleshed out enough that I feel confident writing it, I’ll write a scene that has already played in my head. It’s about getting something done, even if it gets scrapped later. I’ve learned to start small and accept it, because small parts add up in a hurry!

Now tell me, where do you find your motivation?

Thanks so much, Sheila, for your question! If you have a question, send me an email (mary (at) maryethompson (dot) com) with Q&A in the subject, or post it in the comments below, and I’ll answer your question right here on the blog!

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Bulky & Beauteous Release Day

Nine months ago I wasn’t sure this day would ever come! I had just been diagnosed with Stage IV-B Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and I was scared. I had just started writing Bulky & Beauteous. I stalled. I told myself I wasn’t going to, but I did. I was scared, and tired, and worn out. But months later (too many months for me) I finally finished it. And now you can read it!

Bulky & BeauteousAddi is reliable, always there for everyone. She does everything for everyone, neglecting herself. When her kindness and selflessness is tossed back in her face, Addi snaps. She doesn’t want to be seen as a doormat, but she knows that’s how others see her. Addi takes a page from her irresponsible sister’s playbook and decides she’s going to make some changes in her life.

Joey is a ski bum with no future, Addi is sure of that. What Joey does have is the power to ignite a passion inside Addi she was sure had died off long ago. She keeps him at arm’s length emotionally, but lets him a lot closer physically.

When someone is hurt during one of their interludes, Addi questions the person she’s become. When the smoke clears, Addi has to figure out who she really is… reliable Addi or carefree Addi.

Excerpt from Bulky & Beauteous

He came at me as I approached him. Our mouths collided the same time our hands met each other’s bodies. His tongue was hot and smooth in my mouth, urgent, needy. Desperate. Just like I felt.

I had to touch him. I didn’t care how cold it was outside or who might be able to hear us. I needed to feel him.

My hands tugged at the zipper on his jacket, then shoved it over his shoulders once I could. He groaned at the restraint and released me so he could shrug out of his jacket. I took advantage of his position and stroked my hand over the hard ridge of his erection, making his body lurch toward me.

He yanked off his jacket and tugged mine free, his movements as frantic as mine. When his hands went to the front of my pants I froze.

Shit, was I really doing this? Was I really going to fuck him in the woods?

Unaware of my sudden panic, Joey kept working his way into my pants, his lips on my throat, his hands close, so very close to where I wanted him.

Right?

I was being crazy. We were in public. I barely knew him. I couldn’t do it.

Then I heard the whoops of someone on the slopes. The voices of skiers so close, but separated from us. Hidden, in our own private spot. Holy shit, it turned me on. And then Joey’s hand was there. Brushing my bare skin. Hot flesh, cold air.

His fingers touched me, barely grazing across my center. I arched into him like a greedy cat. It was fitting, in a way, considering how desperate I was for his touch. He stroked me, soaking my panties and his fingers, before delving inside.

My knees gave out and his other arm came around me, supporting me. “Lean on me,” he growled in my ear. I had no choice but to listen.

I draped my arms around his neck, my face buried against his sweater. I smelled the musky scent of him, the clean, fresh air, and the pine scent of the thick trees surrounding us. It was a heady mix, made that much sweeter by his ministrations between my legs.

“Yes, Addi, just let go for me,” he groaned, a pained sound that made me wonder if he was as close as I was. Jesus, he was talented. My hips moved on their own, controlled by the hand buried deep in my pants. I wanted to strip off all my clothes to relieve the heat building up inside me, but I knew only one thing would truly help.

And with just a few more strokes of his thumb over me, a few more thrusts of his fingers deep inside, the heat built to four alarm fire status. I burned up from the inside out, flames licking at my skin, or was that his tongue? I didn’t care. My body hurtled toward its release, whether trying to outrun the fire or ignite it further, I didn’t know. Stop, drop, and roll flashed through my head, instantly making the elementary school lesson a dirty idea for adults.

Joey chuckled, his hand slowing as I came down from the high he put me on. “Stop, drop, and roll? Is that next?”

“I said that out loud?” I asked, embarrassed.

“I think it’s a great idea. Well, maybe not the stop part.”

His hand was still inside me, his fingers connected to my most intimate parts. And we were talking about fire drills.

His finger stroked against my core again and I moaned. “Definitely not the stop part,” I agreed.

Pick up your copy of Bulky & Beauteous now!

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Bulky & Beauteous First Kiss

Bulky & BeauteousBulky & Beauteous will be out in a week! I’m so excited that it’s finally here. It was a really hard book for me to write since I was writing it throughout my whole treatment, but it’s done and it’s finally ready for you to read it, or at least a little bit of it. In a week you can read the whole thing!

Excerpt from Bulky & Beauteous

A first kiss was such a simple thing. So basic. So ordinary. Memories of my first kiss were burned into my brain. The awkwardness. The strange feeling. The confusion. Why did anyone enjoy kissing? I wondered at a young age.

But when you’re tucked back off a dirt path, behind the baseball field, doing something few of your friends had done, it was weird. I can still see him coming toward me, his mouth and arms open, ready to embrace me. When our lips collided there wasn’t anything gentle or sensual about it. Two thirteen year olds didn’t know how to kiss, even if one had done it before.

At 29, a first kiss was different. We were older. We knew what we were doing. The awkwardness was still there, but I knew what to expect from kissing. I knew how wonderful it could be. I knew what a good kiss was, and I was fairly certain I could deliver on my end.

Even with all that knowledge, nothing could prepare me for the first brush of Joey’s lips across mine. That first touch was like being struck by lightning. A spark, which I tried to pass off as a product of the dry air, ignited between us. I gasped, my lips parting ever so slightly, but enough for his tongue to dip into the gap. I felt the softness of him against the inside of my lips and was immediately hungry for more. My mouth fell open, welcoming him inside.

He didn’t hesitate. Confidence poured from him, drawing me in and making me wish I was the person I pretended to be with him. I craved that self assurance, that ability to know exactly who I was.

Then his tongue swept through my mouth and I didn’t care anymore. I wanted him. I wanted to be with him. I was a whole new Addi with him. And I was going to enjoy it.

A rumble erupted from deep within me, matched by one from him. His fingers tightened in my hair, tugging me to him. Our bodies pressed together, the thickness of our layers preventing me from feeling everything I wanted to feel. I shook my gloves free, frustrated at how long it was taking me to get them off. The bite of the cold air took me by surprise and made me sigh with contentment. Finally, I could feel him.

My hand speared under his hat, digging into his unruly brown hair. I pulled him tighter against me, aching to feel him. He spun us and leaned me against a thick tree trunk. His body rubbed against mine, his hardness evident through his ski pants. My mouth watered and my core burned at the thought. Damn, if he was that big through layers I could only imagine what it would be like if I stripped him down.

My hands didn’t get the message. As if they had a mind of their own, my fingers stroked him through his pants, outlining the ridge of his erection. A groan tore from his throat and his hips thrust into me. His mouth slipped from mine and burned a path down my neck, tucking under my scarf to nibble at my collarbone. My eyes fluttered closed again, the sensation of his lips and hands on me more than I could bear.

I couldn’t stop my hands from diving into his pants. Thankful he wasn’t wearing overalls, my cold hand met his hot skin, making him jump. I didn’t stop. I couldn’t. All I could think about was having him in my hand. When I finally made it, I wrapped my palm around his silken steel shaft, earning another thrust from him.

He growled and nipped at my neck again, rolling the tendon between his teeth. I stroked him quickly, desperate to feel him lose control. I felt beautiful, desired, powerful. With him in my hand I dropped to my knees in the snow, looking up into his eyes. The question was there, and was met with an answer. An answer that told me I had fooled one person into believing I was the new Addi. The carefree Addi. The seductress Addi.

I wasn’t the Addi who refused to get under a table for a stranger. I was brave. I was confident. I was going to kneel in the snow and give this beautiful man the best blow job of his life if it killed me.

Preorder now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Smashwords, or Kobo!

Cover Reveals, Shapely & Stunning and Bulky & Beauteous

I couldn’t wait to share the covers with you for this new series. I’ve been working on them for months and finally think I’ve gotten them to where I like them. I have to admit though, the Bulky & Beauteous cover might be my favorite one of all of them. What do you think?

Shapely & Stunning
Bulky & Beauteous