GRANDMAS MAKE GOOD PROOF READERS, and other observations from my ridiculous existence.



It seems only fitting that in honor of Mother’s Day I tease my own mother without mercy. Here goes.

I find it quite hilarious that my 74-year-old mom has “first crack” at my manuscripts. I call them “manuscripts” and they are, but come on, seriously, they are steamy romance novels and sometimes that steam turns into straight up smut. The idea of the most dignified lady I know burning her tender eyes out on phrases like “throbbing need” and “pulsating male hunger” not to mention “dampening cleft” or “slippery bud of desire” sends me straight into a fit of spasmodic giggles. Especially when she uses her schoolmarm Eraser Mate pen on said salacious phrases.

My mother is a lady from another time. She was born in 1812. I’ve never even seen her legs. She is prim and strict, always buttoned up. She is continually scandalized by my brashness, my rude and raucous humor, my bright red lipstick (I could go on and on) and wonders how she ever sprouted such a rotten seed. When she edits my purple prose (and let’s face it, sometimes they are X-rated) she does so with the decisiveness of a Civil War general.


Ok, I’ve made my mom out to be an iron-fisted biddy, and she is anything but. All kidding aside, she is quite glamorous in her own understated way and DEFINITELY has her own style, a rare combination of Jackie O meets Mao Tse Tung. Her uniform of blue jeans, black boots and a black blazer make her a sight to behold. She is slender as a bow and stands straight as an arrow. Did I mention she always hides her omnipotent gaze behind black Ray Ban Wayfarers? How cool is that?


She may wear a tight apron when she’s editing, but she’s no square. In fact, she’s a bonafide badass. We like to refer to her as “Rockin’ Granny” or “Hot Granny”. Yes, she’s hot, but not in the way I write about. Her cyclone of hair tells the story of hidden passions and depths of molten lava, but she’d never let on. I’m not even sure she knows her wild tresses give her true nature away. Her mismatched witch eyes tell the same tale, one a piercing blue, the other a lupine concoction of hazel and azure, adding to her gypsy mystique.

She’s reserved, my mother, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. There are certainly enough people in the world who gush like garden hoses. It is a wonder that we are related, for I curse like a sailor and never shut up, and I wore a pink string bikini when I was 3.

One day I asked her if it shocked her terribly to read the filth her baby had written. She turned her sorceress eye on me and answered, “I know more than you think”. And I’m sure she does. After all, she shared a romance with my father (who was the world’s most handsome man) that would rival any of my fictional unions, but that’s a story for another day.

This blog has turned into an ode rather than a roast, and a well-deserved one. My mother is a goddess. She’s also a damn good smut scanner.

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Tessa Bowen