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All the Waters of the Earth

By´╝ÜLeslie McAdam

I got my ample booty out of my chair and walked into the kitchen of my duplex to pour a glass of water. Today’s writing wasn’t going very well. Romance novel number sixteen, I feared, was falling into the pitfalls of cliché and drivel. I needed something new. My hero wasn’t making me wet. At all. I was tired of typing and deleting, typing and deleting, not getting anywhere.

The thing was, I loved being a romance novelist. I loved everything about it—the meet cute, the hot men, the secret, tragic past, the chemistry, and the sex. Oh, the sex. I loved all of it.

My fictional guys tended to have a few things in common. They were all tall with chiseled good looks—high cheekbones, strong jaws, full heads of hair, and ripped bodies. Uniformly Alpha males. The type who’d fuck you hard against a wall and make you moan in pleasure. Order you around and then show you their soft underbelly. Ooh, baby, make me quiver. I liked them to be men, you know, not wishy-washy. But I liked them to have a soul, too.

For some reason, however, I was having trouble with this book. I always start with the sex. If I can’t get that right, then I know the rest of it won’t work either.

I needed inspiration.

And to tap into my imagination, because I hadn’t gotten any in too long to admit. Since I’d had my son, my dates on my child-free weekends were of two types. Either once they found out I had a son, they suddenly got an important text and had to leave, or there was no way in hell I’d let them around Roberto. So while I waited for Mr. Right (and the Mr. Right Nows didn’t measure up), the only action I saw was between the pages of a book. No wonder I wrote such steamy scenes.

Given my profession, I had this habit of always looking for the real life versions of my fictional heroes. That sexy-ass DILF in line at Target, with broad shoulders and a beard, balancing a tiny baby girl on his impressive bicep? He looked like Zack from my fourth book. That tattooed masterpiece at Home Depot, all jeans and legs and boots and body? If you grew his dark hair a little shaggier, he kind of looked like Clint in book twelve. And that artsy hottie standing by the bar with the Smith and Wesson belt and what had to be a giant cock? I was going to have to write a book about him next.

The thing was, I had banged out fifteen romance novels in seven years and I wasn’t stopping anytime soon. I’d done this long enough that I knew the secret to finishing a novel—keep at it. And I kept at it, almost every day, all day. Normally, it was pretty easy for me to do. Just not today, for some reason.

While I worked from home, I certainly didn’t do so in my pajamas. No manky old college sweatshirt for me to write in. A girl had to show some pride. You’d never find me without full makeup on every day and a Brazilian blow-out for my naturally frizzy hair. I had to look good to take my kid to school.

I was no writer recluse either. I got out of the house often, going for drinks with my friends. Life was too short not to play. I just made sure to get babysitters.

Still, I loved to write, and I did it almost daily. I was glad to make a living at it. To make ends meet, however, I had to supplement my income in two ways. I got child support from my ex, Carlos. And I also modeled nude at an art school.

No judgies.

My body was womanly and I flaunted it.

The nude model gig brought in a little bit of cash to spend on high heels for me and videogames for Rob.

It’s true that there was no way that I could be a regular five foot ten, one hundred twenty-five pound model. No way. I was what you’d call fun-sized. Five foot nothin’, baby. Because of that, I never really took off my high heels when I went out.

You know those magazine articles about how to dress for your type that ask if you’re an apple or a carrot or something? Me? Pear shaped. And how.

I defined the term, junk in the trunk. My booty entered the room thirty seconds after I did. My waist? Nothing there. Tiny. My boobs? Small, but perky. My legs? Short and strong. When I bought pants, they never fit because they were too big in the waist and too long in the legs.

But you know what? That was the problem of the clothing manufacturers, not me.

Though my body was not made for high fashion modeling, it was ideal for modeling for art classes, where they celebrated shapes and curves. I’d decided a long time ago not to waste precious brain space wishing I had a different body. This was the one I was born with and I accepted my looks. This was how tall I was and I wasn’t getting any taller. This was how long my legs were, and they weren’t getting any longer. And my booty? Yeah, I showed it off in a tight mini skirt and heels when I went out dancing.

As I drank my water, I looked around my nice Santa Barbara duplex. A royalty check for my fourth novel made the down payment. Royalty checks on the fifth and sixth helped to pay the mortgage. The rest of the books paid for food for me and my twelve-year-old son, Rob, as well as clothes, taxes, insurance, and all of the other grownup things in life.