Title: WOMAN ENOUGH
Genre: Women's Fiction
Word Count: 77,000
My Main Character's Most Stressful Relationship Is:
My character's most stressful relationship is with her mother. Angst between the two has been there since the days Becca received less than perfect scores in her gymnastics routines; her mother never praising her, but instead pushing her to do better. All Becca ever wanted was her mother’s approval, her ear, and her unconditional love. Instead, she learned from her mother she’s a selfish little bitch and comfort can be found from a bottle of whiskey. Still, Becca fears her mother’s rejection most. And who knows how she’ll react if she finds out Becca is an exotic dancer?
After too many nights of debauchery, twenty-one-year-old Rebecca is kicked off the gymnastics team, loses her scholarship, and moves back home with her parents. Desperate to eke out a living that will allow her to escape the confines of a life with an alcoholic mother, she takes a job as an exotic dancer and keeps the job and her substance abuse a secret from her family, forcing her to live a double life. Everything would be much easier if she could ignore the unlimited backroom drugs, the vile remarks from men who think a stripper is fair game for such behavior, and the awkward sexual advances she receives from strange men. And while she’s never been sure of what it means to be a woman, her dancing life is empowering, too, as she incorporates moves from her gymnastics past and loves the thrill of performing. She’s determined to use her voice to speak out against the misogyny that follows her, but spirals further into a fog of alcohol and drug abuse.
Ben, a wealthy patron of the club, charms Becca and pays for private sessions with her. While she revels in his special attention, the line between work and love blurs, and she may be falling for him. So when he proposes she leave dancing to be his professional girlfriend, she thinks this could be her way toward salvation. Then, one night, she realizes Ben isn’t who he seems, and she can either keep living the life she hadn’t planned or find the life she deserves.
First 250 words:
Rebecca’s body synchronized with the vibration from the bass in the music-filled room. Two A.M. This was her last dance of the night. A lump in her throat hard from the dry mouth effect of the ecstasy she'd swallowed earlier, she pressed her tongue against the roof of her mouth to produce extra saliva. It had been a mistake plopping it in her mouth, aware it’d kick in while she was performing, but too late to care now. Now, the contamination coursed through her blood.
The music swallowed her whole again as she sunk into the grave deep end of the noise. She crossed her ankles tight at the top of the pole as she lowered her back into an arch, releasing her arms. It wasn’t a full arch, but the crowd loved it anyway, cheers warped and distant to her ears as she transitioned into a basic knee release and then an outside leg hang. Men nodded rhythmically to the steady beat, their hands waving cash for her to collect.
As she exited the stage, warmth from the ecstasy washed over her. Her jaw clenched, teeth chattered, and eyelids fluttered. Her brain seemed tight, if that was even possible. Shrink-wrapped. She rubbed her palm slowly up the side of her face and then down again, watching her reflection in the dressing room mirror. She looked normal but didn’t feel it.
Panic, another side effect from the pill, crept over her for a moment, and then subsided.