Beware Head-Hopping

head-hopping-writing-vivian-lawry
We all know about Point of View. It’s the narrator’s position in relation to the story being told.

 

With the objective POV, the writer tells the story entirely with action and dialogue. S/he never discloses anything about thoughts or feelings, leaving it for the reader to infer these from the dialogue and action.
head-hopping-writing-vivian-lawry
In my experience, writers more often choose to get inside the head and heart of one or more characters.

 

The closest POV is when the narrator is “I.” I struggled to speak around the lump in my throat. My heart thundered painfully in my chest. I planned the meal carefully, including all of Dad’s favorite dishes.

 

A step more distant is the third person POV—he, she, or it felt, thought, planned, reacted…

 

And then there are stories with multiple POVs—not that there’s anything wrong with that! But it is risky. Authors who do it well clearly lead the reader from one head to the next. One good exemplar is Diana Gabaldon. When she’s writing from Claire’s POV, it is first person. Everyone else is third person, and these shifts are typically by chapter.

 

The danger is changing POV within scenes. For example, a couple argues intensely and the writer tells the reader what each is thinking and feeling. Why is this a problem?

 

The challenge is to be consistent when two POV characters are in the same scene. It’s incredibly easy to accidentally give the non-POV character fleeting thoughts or feelings.

 

Head-hopping is jumping from one POV to another quickly, with no warning to the reader. It makes the story feel choppy and can be confusing.

 

Doing it right means signaling the changes to the reader by chapter breaks or the ubiquitous *** that signals something is changing. The writer sticks with  any given POV for the duration of the chapter or scene.

 

And one last consideration: Readers typically identify with the POV character—whether “I” or a third person “s/he.”  With multiple points of view, the reader may have difficulty deciding who to root for. And the more POVs included, the greater the difficulty.

 

head-hopping-writing-vivian-lawry
Bottom line: handling multiple POVs effectively is a challenge, and avoid head-hopping, always!

Writers Love Toxic Men!

And you needn’t be a female writer to succumb!

 

Lillian Glass Toxic Men
Toxic Men by Lillian Glass, PhD.
Lillian Glass defines a “Toxic Man” as one who elicits negative emotions from you, behaves badly toward you or doesn’t treat you right, or makes you feel bad about yourself (thus affecting your behavior and lowering your self-esteem). Substitute “your character” for “you” and voila! You have the makings of a great deal of tension in scene after scene and a lot of sympathy for your character.

 

Glass’s book includes questionnaires to identify specific ways in which the Toxic Man elicits negative emotions.

 

Under the heading “How Does He Behave Toward You?” there are several subheadings: sadistic behavior, manipulative behavior, dishonest behavior, selfish behavior, non-communicative behavior, critical and judgmental behavior, angry behavior, embarrassing or shaming behavior, controlling behavior, and jealous behavior.

 

And under the heading “How Does He Make You Feel about Yourself?” the subcategories are: feeling emotional changes (feeling depressed, hopeless, frustrated, anxious or panicky, angry, empty, etc.); feeling afraid or fearful; feelings of self-doubt; physical changes (such as sickness, headache, weight gain or loss); feelings of guilt and shame; or just not feeling like your old self.

 

The Eleven Toxic Types of Men:

  1. The jealous competitor
  2. The sneaky passive-aggressive silent-but-deadly erupting volcano
  3. The arrogant self-righteous know-it-all
  4. The seductive manipulative cheating liar
  5. The angry bullying control freak
  6. The instigating backstabbing meddler
  7. The self-destructive gloom-and-doom victim
  8. The wishy-washy spineless wimp
  9. The selfish me-myself-and-I narcissist
  10. The emotional refrigerator
  11. The socio-psychopath
Glass’s book is accessible, gripping, and a great read. I recommend it to writers in any genre!
Dr. Lillian Glass
Dr. Lillian Glass
AND REMEMBER: role-reversal is always a great alternative! For every toxic man, there’s a toxic woman!

Guest Post on Thrill Writing: The Company You Keep

Thrill Writers, The Company You Keep - Does Your Character Act "Out of Character" in a Group Dynamic?

I’m honored to be interviewed on Fiona Quinn’s Thrill Writing, a blog helping thriller writers write it right. 

We talk about why a character might act “out of character,” group mentality, behavior matching, why people might be more passive in groups or more likely to riot, and more.

Excerpt from “The Company You Keep – Does Your Character Act ‘Out of Character’ in a Group Dynamic?”

In this article, we’re talking about what happens to a character when they get into a group where a character might act “out of character”, which is a fun way to develop the plot.

Can you first give us a working definition for “group”

Vivian – We usually think three or more, but some “group” effects are present even with only two. Also, the “group” needn’t be physically present to exert influence.

Fiona – Can you explain that last sentence?

Vivian – Some group memberships are literal memberships–for example, a church congregation, sorority, bridge club, etc. such groups are often in our thoughts, and serve as a reference or standard for behavior even when the member is alone.

Fiona –  Does “group mentality” work both ways? For example, people in a riot become riotous, but people in a disaster, where they see all hands on deck, become heroes?

People in a religious forum feel more religious. . .sort of like a magnifier?

Vivian –  Absolutely. I just mentioned formal groups–which are the ones having the strongest influence at a distance– but crowds, mobs, any physical gathering of people, shapes our behavior to act or remain passive.

Fiona – Can you give us a short tutorial on what we need to know about group dynamics to help write our characters right?

Vivian – Well, there is a phenomenon known as behavior matching, a tendency to do what others around us are doing. This is reflected in everything from eating to body language. Even a person who has eaten his or her fill will eat more if someone else comes in and starts eating. If others are slouching, your character isn’t likely to remain formal.

Fiona – Yes, it’s hard to pass up a piece of chocolate cake when everyone else is moaning about how delicious it tastes.

Just sayin’

Vivian – A related phenomenon–I suppose it could be a subset of behavior matching– has the label diffusion of responsibility. This is the tendency for people to stand passively by when others are present. There was a classic case, decades ago, in which a NYC woman named Kitty Genovese was murdered in the courtyard of her apartment. The murder took approximately half an hour, and dozens of her neighbors watched from their windows. No one came to help or even called the police. The more people who could help, the less likely anyone will take responsibility for doing so.

And then there is group disinhibition. This is sort of the opposite. It is that people are more likely to take risks, break the law, be violent when others are doing so. Think looting, or harassing a homeless person. Disinhibition is even more powerful when alcohol is involved. I recently posted a blog on alcohol for writers that goes into that a bit.

But the bottom line is that we behave differently with others present than when alone.

Read more at Thrill Writing

Thank you, Fiona!

Forensic Nursing: What Writers Need to Know

If your plot involves any sort of violent crime, whether you’re a mystery/crime writer or not, you should know forensic nursing. In broad terms, forensic nursing is where the healthcare system and the legal system intersect.

"Emergency" sign on side of hospital Photo credit: KOMUnews via Visual Hunt / CC BY

Forensic Nurses’ Role

Survivors of violent crimes typically come through the ER, where their medical needs are taken care of—setting broken bones, stitching wounds, etc. Ideally, the patient spends as little time as possible in the controlled chaos and tension of the ER; the goal is no more than 45 minutes.

Then they are escorted to a quiet, comfortable room furnished much like a small living room, but with drinks and snacks as well as TV. Anyone accompanying the patient would typically wait here during the examination. The area is secured, and only people the patient chooses to bring are allowed into the room. These people might be family or, perhaps, a trained volunteer from an organization such as Hanover Safe Place, which supports survivors through what is inevitably a traumatic time at the hospital.

The patient then meets with a forensic nurse. The forensic nurse’s role is to record the details of the crime and collect physical evidence. This process typically takes 3 to 4 hours.

Forensic Nurses’ Work

Background information comes first, including general medical history as well as questions about any injuries, surgeries, diagnostic procedures, or medical treatments that might affect the physical finding. But then come pages of more detailed and focused questions. For example, in cases of sexual assault, not only question about the assault itself and perpetrator(s) but also about the date, time, type, partner’s race, and relationship of last consensual intercourse; and since the assault, whether the patient bathed or showered, douched, brushed teeth, defecated, urinated, vomited, wiped or washed affected area, changed clothes, or had consensual intercourse.

For strangulation cases, they ask how the patient was strangled—one-handed, two-handed, knee, forearm, ligature—how long it lasted, and whether there was more than one incident.

Forms in box, Forms to be completed by forensic nurses and patients
Forms to be completed by forensic nurses and patients

A danger assessment is conducted as well, focusing on whether the violence is escalating in severity or frequency, whether weapons (especially guns) are available and/or used, drug or alcohol use, presence of children, and control of the survivor’s daily activities and social interactions.

Forensic nurse's exam room, hospital exam table, equipment
Exam room

The Physical Exam

Although the verbal data are crucial, the physical exam is central to forensic nursing. Samples of blood, urine, hair, and swabs of orifices are taken. Specialized equipment is available. Photographs are taken. Hair is combed, nails cleaned and clipped. The patient stands on a plastic sheet to remove clothing, to catch any random debris.

Chain of custody box for storage of evidence, clothes in Hefty zipper bag, and a child's toy on a hospital exam table
Chain of custody box, clothes, and a child’s toy

Chain of custody must be carefully controlled and documented.

Children have special treatment as well. They are given a toy that they can keep. They’re also given tablets and pencils or markers to draw pictures that can help in understanding the assault. Sometimes an outline of a person is presented for the child to mark where he or she was touched or hurt.

Improving Forensic Nursing and the Patient’s Experience

Improvements and refinements are always in progress. Once upon a time, a survivor might be asked to detail the crime by a dozen different people. Now recounting the crime waits for the forensic nurse, diminishing the impact of reliving it.

Forensic nurse holding a pair of women's underwear, large, granny panty,
Underwear that had been given to all survivors

When a patient’s clothes are taken in evidence, they are given generic going-home clothes. These are grey sweatpants, t-shirt, and—until recently—the granny panties pictured above, one size for all. A college student survivor said that having to wear those granny panties made her feel violated all over again.

 

Forensic nurse holding a pair of red women's bikini briefs
Survivors can now choose panties to wear home

She organized her sorority sisters to provide hundreds of pairs of new panties in varied colors, styles, and sizes. All of the clothing provided to survivors is donated. Should you or your group want to donate new clothes, new toys, child pillowcases, gas cards, food cards—or money!—here’s your contact. And, by the way, she gives talks about the program.

Business card for Senior Development Officer, Memorial Regional Medical Center, Bon Secours Richmond
Senior Development Officer, Bon Secours Richmond Health Care

History of Forensic Nursing

Forensic nursing is a relatively new medical specialty. In 1992, 72 registered nurses—mostly sexual assault nurse examiners—came together to form the International Association of Forensic Nurses. Since 1993, Bon Secours Forensic Nursing in Richmond has served survivors of sexual assault, child sexual abuse, and domestic violence. Now a team of 10 full-time nurses work with 26 agencies to serve survivors of any type of violent crime.

Bon Secours is atypical. There are over 300 hospitals in Virginia, and many of them have no full-time forensic nurses. Therefore, patients from all over central Virginia can end up at Bon Secours. They assist more than 2,200 patients per year.

Additional Facts For Writers

  • Forensic nurses have from one to three certifications beyond the RN degree, which are essential for presenting expert testimony.
  • Approximately 9% of patients are male.
  • Patients are 50/50 adults and children.
  • In descending order, the busiest days for forensic nurses are Monday, Friday, Wednesday, and Sunday.
  • Rush hour starts at 11:00 a.m.; the slowest times are 2:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m.
  • Most forensic nurses are recruited from ER nurses, but they need to be “softened up” on the job, not to rush.
  • Patients can choose 1) medical treatment only, 2) anonymous evidence collection, or 3) identified evidence collection.
  • Evidence that must be refrigerated cannot be anonymous; other evidence can be made identifiable later.
  • Although immediate evidence collection is best, kits can be collected up to 5 days after the fact.
  • All patient info is secured in the Forensic Nursing Department; it isn’t part of general medical data bank.
  • Part-time, floating forensic nurses tend to burn out after a couple of years.
  • Perhaps surprisingly, most long-term forensic nurses are married to police officers, firefighters, or EMTs.

Bon Secours is a premier forensic nursing program. For the sake of your story line, you might create more conflict in the story if the characters botch the process. A screw-up could taint evidence or miss it. Insensitive treatment could leave the survivor among the walking wounded.

Support Forensic Nursing

Last but not leastput this worthwhile event on your calendar!

Save-the-date card, "Wine Women & Shoes Benefiting Bon Secours Forensic Nursing, Sunday, October 30, 2016"
Benefit for Bon Secours Forensic Nursing

Wine, Women & Shoes

Benefiting Bon Secours Forensic Nursing

Sunday, October 30, 2016

2:00-5:30 p.m. at Hilton Richmond

Hotel & Spa

Short Pump

Motivation is in the Eye of the Beholder

eye, green eye, point of view, motivation for writers, authors
 
People have long recognized the eye-of-the-beholder effect with regard to beauty, to the point that it’s a cliché. We’ve all heard jokes that leave us cold—but leave others doubled over with laughter—or vice versa. Writers are well aware that what’s publishable depends more on the evaluation of the editor/agent/publisher than the inherent qualities of the work.

 

So, apply that same awareness to motivation. We cannot know motivation directly. We can see what a person does, hear what a person says. These are two of the most common, most powerful sources of information.
ear, listening, writers, authors, understanding motivation
Sometimes we have other sensory information, meaning touch, taste, or smell. Sometimes the information accumulates over time, perhaps years, and we feel we truly know someone.
woman, author, writer, getting to know someone, motivation
But the bottom line is that we cannot know another from the inside. And that means room for interpretation. How we evaluate a specific behavior (physical or verbal) depends almost exclusively on why we think the person did it.

Writing Prompt: Characters’ Motivations

So writers, here’s your challenge. For each of the actions listed below, come up with three possible motives for the actor: one evil, one altruistic, and one self-interested. I know you can do it.

  1. giving away a million dollars
  2. shooting someone
  3. cutting off a hand or foot
  4. kissing someone of the same sex
  5. kissing someone of the other sex
  6. dancing naked in a public place
  7. getting a large, readily visible tattoo
  8. cooking an elaborate meal
  9. killing an ill person
  10. cutting up a bride’s wedding dress
  11. digging up a daffodil bed
  12. cheating at cards
  13. adopting a foster child
  14. running for president
  15. burning down a church
  16. adopting a cat or dog from a shelter
  17. complimenting another’s performance
  18. rewriting a will
  19. keeping a dead body unburied for six months
  20. hiking in the woods
The list could go on and on. In your writing, know your characters’ motives, as well as what other characters think the motives are. How will you reveal all that to your reader? Give sensory info!

I’d love to read your responses to today’s prompt. Did something surprising come out of the challenge? Tell me in the comments below, on Facebook, or Twitter.

Finding the Fun in Funerals

writing 101: Finding the Fun in Funerals

Or if not fun, at least rich material for writers.

My most recent blog, Embracing Death, touched on this topic tangentially, but really, given all they can do for a story, funerals need their own focus. So, how can writers use funerals?

Burial rituals reflect culture, socio-economic class, and time period—without having to specify such things in the narrative.

 

Within those broad parameters, many decisions need to be made. What if the relevant relatives disagree on things? Music, prayers, cost of the casket, who speaks at the service, what happens at the graveside. . . What if there is no grave? (The same could apply to memorial services.) Where will the body be buried or the ashes scattered? And so we have the possibilities of coalitions forming. Maybe these reflect already existing ties or loyalties.

What if the deceased person’s wishes to donate organs—or the whole body to a medical school—horrify the survivors? Who will have the final word? Will s/he just announce, or work for cooperation and consensus? And will that succeed?

Often a funeral will bring together people who haven’t seen and/or talked to each other in years. This makes possible happy reunions, but also the resurgence of past rivalries, jealousies, and grievances.

Heirs may start squabbling over their inheritances before the funeral even happens! And it doesn’t have to be millions at stake. In my novel Nettie’s Books (forthcoming), the hostilities erupt over quilts, stoneware pitchers, and a cake plate!

I often find the fun in funerals. My story “The Red Glove” features a drive-through funeral home in Maine. “Wanted” also features a father lying in state at Herschel Southern Drive-Thru Mortuary, resting peacefully behind plate glass.

What about you? If you’re a writer, have you looked on the light side of funerals, or do you write about their inherent tensions?

TAKEAWAY FOR WRITERS

As with other aspects of good writing, the stakes need to be high. What’s to be won or lost? And after you write the scene, ramp it up, push it to the extreme.
Aircraft to Drop Flowers on Graves, May 29, 1941
“Aircraft to Drop Flowers on Graves”

Embracing Death

embracing death
People have practiced death rituals as long as they have been people—and perhaps longer. Animals from elephants to crows observe the death of a comrade in particular ways, so why not pre-humans? Death is as important as birth—perhaps more so for writers!
embracing death: Bible, Shakespeare, Sophocles

 

Writing death is a fine old tradition, from the ancient Greeks (think Medea killing her children) to the Bible (e.g., Cane and Abel) to Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

 

The human fascination with death, dying, death rituals and what happens after death is well documented. I advise writers to steep themselves in death to have the material at hand when it is needed. To that end, I recommend any or all of the following books.
Death: A History of Man's Obsessions and Fears
Death: A History of Man’s Obsessions and Fears
In this book, Wilkins vividly documents our worst fears: premature burial, posthumous indignity, bodily disintegration, being forgotten. The fear of being buried alive led to a proliferation of waiting mortuaries. Bodies presumed dead rested on zinc trenches filled with antiseptics and camouflaged by flowers. A complex system of cords and pulleys attached to fingers rang a bell in the porter’s lodge if the presumed corpse moved. Could a person be buried alive today?
embracing-death-michael-kerrigan
The History of Death
Kerrigan starts with ideas of an afterlife. He addresses the issue of the demanding dead, ancient funerary rites, death rituals, and death present and future. The least demand the dead make is dealing with the body, which may be left for animals to scavenge. But gifts ranging to flowers for the burial to daily feeding of the spirit of the departed are common around the world. The ultimate is a demand for a sacrifice, ranging from a goat in Benin to the Indian custom of the widow throwing herself on the funeral pyre. Consider the demands inherent in Memorial Day ceremonies. How might your character feel about the demands of the dead?
Earthly Remains
Earthly Remains
Chamberlain and Pearson tour preservation and decay: bog bodies, mummified bodies, frozen bodies and more. Wonderful pictures throughout add richness to the written word. What would a person do, suddenly confronted with one of these bodies?
When We Die
When We Die
Cedric Mims presents a broad view of the topic, and might be the single best resource. He covers everything from the definitions of death—and yes, I meant that to be plural—to causes of death, including suicide, euthanasia, and murder. Being stung to death by a scorpion happens about 1000 times a year, whereas more than 4 million a year die of accidents and violence. I especially like the section on the use and abuse of corpses. Writers can effectively exploit either the rare or the common. 
The Oxford Book of Death
The Oxford Book of Death
In addition to the more common discussions of definitions, attitudes, graveyards, and funerals, there is a section on revenants—i.e., whether the spirit of the dead can appear to the living, and if so why. Also, there is a section on epitaphs, requiems, and last words, for example, “Poorly lived, And poorly died, Poorly buried, And no one cried.” That alone could lead to a heart-wrenching story!
Remember Me
Remember Me
Last but not least, Remember Me is a fascinating display of modern variations on death and burial. She has a chapter on funeral mishaps, including the case of the tragic dove release. She talks about “green” burials to make bodies biodegradable, about turning ashes to diamonds, and being buried at sea. People have been buried in caskets shaped like boats, tomatoes, airplanes, and snakes—and there’s a whole subdivision on cars. If you prefer death lite, this book is for you!

 

With death, the first thought is likely to be emotional—sorrow, grief, mourning—or possibly glee, relief, or just acceptance. But as you consider death, remember the other aspects: the potential social, political, financial, or historical impact. And as Cullen says, “Death is a disruptive event; it interrupts planned road trips and imperils baby-sitting.” So don’t forget the inconvenience and irritation side effects. Be sure you are writing a well-rounded death.
 

Catrina 3
By Paolaricaurte (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Click here to comment.

Psychology for Writers

psychology for writers

Roundup of Psychology for Writers series

Do You Have a Beautiful Bod or What? couple in snow

The Cold Facts About Sex 

Characters’ Inaction Speaks Louder Than Words 

Animal Writes 

Considering Creativity 

When Characters Are in Conflict with Themselves: Psychology & Folk Wisdom 

Writing Relationships: Why Not Get the Hell Out of Dodge? Writing Relationships: Why Not Get the Hell Out of Dodge?

Frangible Characters

Toxic People Are Great

Writers Need Toxic Relationships 

Two Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Start Writing 

Psychology of Uncertainty 

The Principle of Least Interest"Stop procrastinating. Start writing." Writers and procrastination.

Why Writers Need Empathy

Why Women Have Sex: Character Motivation Matters 

Rational and Irrational Behavior in Your Characters 

Want to be published? Join Sisters in Crime at the Libbie Mill Library on Saturday, February 27, 2016, for “Paths to Getting Published–Mystery Authors Tell Their Tales.” A book signing and celebration of the publication of Virginia is for Mysteries II will follow.

Virginia is for Mysteries Volume II celebration on February 27th at Libbie Mill Library

Do You Have a Beautiful Bod or What?

Everyone has a body image. It’s how you feel about your body and all its parts as well as how you think other people view you. Body image isn’t something you’re born with, but you acquire one pretty early on—starting with what family and friends say and do, and then from how what you see in the mirror compares to what you see reflected in the media and what your culture values.
body image: Body Bizarre, Body Beautiful by Nan Menab
People who accept the way they look and feel good about their bodies (most of the time) have positive body images. Beyond looks, body image is related to how you feel physically and what your body can do. Some say that a positive body image must also reflect reality. Consider whether this is what you want for your character(s). 
 
body image: Anatomical Anomalies book
It might be effective to have a serious body defect and/or distortion of perception. Interesting (to me) is that research indicates that (1) women of all ethnic groups have more issues with body image than men do, (2) women think men are attracted to thinner ideals than men actually are, and (3) men think women are more attracted to more muscular body builds than women actually are. In the extreme, distorted body images are associated with anorexia, bulimia, and exercise disorders. As a writer, consider the value of misery!

 

Although body image tends to be established early and to solidify during adolescence, it isn’t static. Artist’s self-portraits often reveal a great deal about how they view themselves at a given time. Consider these two self-portraits by the same artist, two years apart. What seems to have happened to body image?

 

I recently wrote a memoir in which I mentioned illness turning me into a person I never meant to be. All sorts of trauma can have that effect. Think of the opportunities!

 
Of course, we seldom live au naturel.  Men have haircuts and facial hair, maybe lifts in their shoes, and other bits for more adventuresome tweaks—maybe hair transplants. Women, on the other hand, have haircuts and hair color, corsets or Spanx, shoe choices and jewelry, makeup, and all manner of accessories. In the extreme (my judgment), they go for tummy tucks, face lifts, breast augmentation (sometimes reduction) and so forth. What about your character? Recently, in the US, tattoos have been coming into their own. I was surprised recently to learn that Richmond, VA, is one of the most tattooed cities in the country.

 

body image: Tattoo book

 

Would your character get a tattoo? Why or why not? Where? What? Under what circumstances? Is the tattoo public or private?

 

Never say never!

The Cold Facts About Sex

couple in snow
Who knew winter is the season for sex!

 

When I was reading about snow for my blog of XXX, a number of non-snow tidbits caught my eye. Whether any of these make it into your writing or not is up to you!

 

In “Love and Lust Are Seasonal,” Jane J. Lee reported that men rated pictures of women’s breasts and bodies as more attractive in the winter months, although they rated pictures of women’s faces the same. Could it be that men don’t see women’s bodies as much during the winter, and so are more excited when they do?

 

“Have Your Hottest Sex Ever This Winter” (Men’s Health, 2014) claims that cold weather dulls sexual sensations, and cooler body temperatures decrease arousal for both men and women.

 

Winter cold increases a person’s appetite which can, in turn, lower libido. One more reason to diet: weight gain decreases libido and makes both men and women less sexually adventuresome.
books about sex
My book shelf
Men’s Health also reported that women are 30% more likely to have an orgasm if their feet are warm. This one may be a tough sell. At a dinner party discussion among young married couples about wearing socks to bed, the men were unanimous in declaring that no matter what else is (or isn’t) worn, socks are not sexy! (A social scientist would call this a sample of convenience.)

 

Google searches for porn, boobs, XXX, massage parlor, e-Harmony and Match.com all peak in early summer and around the winter holidays.

 

More than twice as many condoms are sold in the week before Christmas than the week after.

 

Even so, the most frequent birthday in the United States is September 16. You do the math. Conversely, August has the fewest conceptions. (Summer heat kills sperm? The diurnal cycle affects ovary function?)

 

Who knew winter is the season for sex!

 

A final word of warning: Compared to other times of the year, couples are more than twice as likely to think about splitting up between the year-end holidays and Valentine’s Day.
books about sex
More of my bookshelf