Well an interesting thing happened during my New Year’s celebration this year. (Yes, it’s true I had a birthday and no, I’m not going to tell you how many candles were on the cake. 😉 ) There were lots of munchies and a glass of champagne or two or three or a bottle, and more than a few games of cards, but I’m not talking about any of that. I was surprised when somewhere around 4 am (yep, I was still up then) one of my extended family members started talking about my books.

Now, I’ll admit, it gets a little foggy as to how the conversation actually began. I remember feeling pretty smug that the attention was on me and my writing. But pride quickly turned to surprise. I can tell you, I had no idea the whole discussion would wind down a very precarious path. Well, not for me or Mr. Nina, but for a couple of people still hanging around the cribbage board.

You see, I was asked how I managed to reconcile what I write with the Big Guy Upstairs. Whoa. What??? (Hear the needle scrape across the record.) I’ve been asked a lot of things about writing erotica, but this was the first time someone wondered how I could write porn and exploit women and not feel like I’d thrown all my morals out the window.

Now, I LOVE a good debate. (Mr. NIna calls them arguments, but I prefer the term “heated discussion”. And I’m very good at them.) You see, I grew up in a family where not only were we encouraged to express an opposing opinion we were expected to debate our feelings on it. So I mentally rubbed my hands together and jumped into the fray with both feet. Both my writing and my faith are part of me. I don’t feel a need to defend either one. But educating? Ah, that’s where I went with this. It was the whole EROTIC ROMANCE vs. PORN discussion we smut peddlers seem to fall into every now and again. (Like every time my mother-in-law visits, but this isn’t about her … really.)

So I patiently explained why I write romance with the door open and not Hustler Forum letters. But then it got into the multiple partner situation and how wrong it is to encourage infidelity. Well no, it just so happens every one of my stories ends with a “Happy Ever After” and a commitment from all parties. Relationships are consensual regardless of the number of partners. And it’s about the fantasy of the story. Even Mr. Nina jumped into the discussion at this point. (I think mostly because he reaps the rewards of a long day of me writing erotic romance stories … if you follow me. 😉 ) Interestingly this person (who is my age) could not see any of it. He held fast to the notion that it was all porn and fantasies only lead to affairs. Huh. Not my experience, but okay.

After an hour or so we weren’t circling anything but the same points … so of course there was no resolution. I wasn’t going to feel guilty and he wasn’t going to change his mind. Though I am hoping he has a better understanding of how I feel about my writing and my stories. I figure a little education never hurt anyone even if it happens close to sunrise after more than a few beers. Nothing like a little alcohol to help someone truly express how embarassed they are by what I write. LOL!

So now I throw it out to you. Have you ever had to defend your reading/writing habits? Is there a moral disconnect between erotic romance and your faith? Cuz you know me … I’m dying of curiousity here.

I just can’t let another day go by without commenting on the Haitian earthquake. Like everyone else I’ve been sitting in my cozy computer chair watching the scenes of devastation over in Haiti. People digging by hand through rubble. People lying in the street. Doctors doing major surgery in parking lots. Children searching for parents. Parents searching for children. It’s breaking my heart.

But through it all I see people with their heads bowed in prayer. Groups of believers lifting their voices to the heavens. This morning I watched as a camera crew recorded the unbelievable rescue of a woman buried for six days. Her husband never gave up on the belief that his wife was alive. He had been digging by hand until he heard her voice. Then crews came. Three hours of painstaking digging and cutting through cables and beams and the woman was pulled relatively unscathed from the collapsed bank (she had three broken fingers). When the reporter asked if she thought she would live, she simply looked at him and said “why wouldn’t I?” then she began singing.

I don’t often talk about my personal beliefs, but in the face of catastrophe the Haitian people have turned to their faith for the amazing strength and resiliency to get up each morning and keep going. Their priests celebrated mass on Sunday and people attended. With nothing … no home, no furniture and barely enough water to sustain themselves, they still attended services. It puts me to shame.

There isn’t much I can do for these people except send money to the Red Cross and lift up my prayers for them. But watching them pull together in the face of such devastation has made me truly be thankful for all I have around me. Make sure you hold your babies tight tonight and tell the ones you love how much they mean to you. We just never know when it will all be taken away.