Friday, June 12, 2015

Unreal Places

I've been to Paris twice but I've...never been to Brie.

Actually, I've only been to Paris once, but what the hey.

I'm a lapsed traveller these days. It's closing in on 20 years since I last left these sunny Australian shores. The reasons for this are varied, but the two biggest ones each come with feet to shoe and a mouth to feed. And given that the first-born is intellectually-impaired to the point he'll never be an independent person, overseas holidays (and even long domestic trips) seem to be off the horizon for a while longer.

So, given that, I thought I'd talk today about inspirational places which require no travel. Places which, strictly speaking, don't exist.

I'm not going all "woo-woo" (as the lovely Sommer Marsden calls it) or spiritual. In this case, I'm talking about online.

For the last year I've been a member (and for some of that time, an Admin) of a group on Facebook called Curvy Girl Romance. As could be gathered from the title, it's a group which started simply as a place for readers to talk about Curvy/BBW romance/erotica books. Importantly, it's also a place for those readers to mix with authors of such works.

From a simple beginning, the group has evolved greatly. The focus is not so much on the books now as it is on the members—their stories, their victories, their confidence and, sometimes, their courage—and on a greater acceptance of a wide range of body types. There is nothing quite so thrilling to me (and as far as I can tell, all members) than when somebody posts a selfie with some variation on "I never post selfies but this group has given me the strength and courage to do it".

This weekend the CGR group is having a celebration for the first anniversary of its existence, though that's not the reason I'm posting today. No, I'm posting because that group is my Inpirational Place. It has become my home-away-from-home-while-still-at-home.

It was my life-long love of the fuller female figure which brought me to the group (plus I'm friendly with the woman who started it all, Erika Masten). I came for the curves, but I stayed for the company. And I've gained several of my closest Facebook friends from within the membership.

The group is much more than just a place to admire big, beautiful women (admire in every sense, not just the physical). Another strength with the group is how damn hard we police the rules as an Admin team. We wield that ban-hammer like Bill Oddie wields a black pudding! Scammers and spammers and bad Casanovas, watch for our hammers 'cause we'll do you over!

Ahem...

Knowing it's a safe place adds to the inspiration value because members feel free to share without fear. Firstly, as a writer, that kind of environment is golden. Wonderful research value. But more importantly, as a plain ol' human bean, just being there is an automatic mood-lifter.

Previously, I had always written my heroines with a little more meat on their bones. Since my involvement in the group, though, I've had an epiphany. I've had an "I never post selfies but..." moment.

I learned how fulfilling it is to write my characters exactly as I'd long wanted to. That I didn't need to hold back and just make them busty, or a little voluptuous. That I could write heroines who have hips to see you through a storm, and bellies you can worship until you reach inner peace.

And that to pour myself into the story didn't drain me, but rather inspire me further.

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EDIT: I forgot to mention that for this weekend only, I've made my book "Indigo" (the one that shows up over there on the right of the page) FREE ON AMAZON! You're all most welcome to grab a copy and see if it does things to you or for you!

17 comments:

  1. What a gorgeous post, Willsin! Definitely inspiring.

    Have you seen the recent movie, "Spy", with Melissa McCarthy? At first I was reluctant to pay money for a film that seemed like it might be exploiting fat people for cheap humor. However, it's not that way at all. Susan, the heavy-weight heroine, is a true heavy weight, in ways that count. She's tough, smart, and competent, despite a world (and indeed a family) that has always told her to lower her personal expectations. (When she talks about her mother, telling her to give up on her dreams, I wanted to hit someone.)

    I think you'd like it.

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    1. I've not seen it yet. The cinema is almost as tough to get to as overseas at the moment! But I loooooove Melissa McCarthy, and hope to watch it when it comes to iTunes.

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  2. As always a fantastic post, and I too have made some of my closest online friends from being a member of CGR

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    1. You again! Haven't I seen you somewhere before?

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  4. When I managed a bar in a pretty tough neighborhood, I became known for hiring er... substantial women. They weren't as intimidated by the clientele. I hired large, hard gals; not fat.

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    1. Curves are curves, I sez. Whether they're soft and generous, or sculpted and hard.

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  5. I had a couple of aunts described as 'buxom' - they were my favorites, so much fun I remember from childhood.
    Sorry about my lack of comments - I have been computerless for the last 3 days dammit!

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  6. mary blackhurst hillJune 12, 2015 at 2:47 PM

    And - I met you Willsin, in the Curvy Girls Group. I value greatly your friendship, your wisdom and advice, your taste in music and of course your amazing creative talents. The Curvy Girls Group has given me so many gifts, and everything you say about it is true. It is always positive and affirming and full of lovely, lovely girls. And - it has you! So - perfect, then!

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    1. Always lovely to see you, wherever I see you, Ms. Mary! Thanks for dropping in and saying g'day!

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  7. It sounds like a great group! Only novels, though, I see. Well, there aren't that many anthologies with that focus, although once in a while one comes along. Long ago I wrote a story for Hanne Blank's anthology Zaftig, and even longer ago my alter ego wrote one for a fantasy anthology called Such a Pretty Face edited by Lee Martindale. I slip stores like that into other books from time to time, but my characters are usually lesbian, and not generally concerned with heterosexual appeal.

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    1. Oh, no...plenty of short fiction as well. My three releases are all rather short, the longest just nudging at the lower end of the novella spectrum.

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    2. The heroine in my novel Rajasthani Moon is definitely the Rubenesque type. She's half British, half Sri Lankan.

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    3. Oh...she already sounds delectable, Lisabet! My damn TBR list is growing every day!

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  8. This is an awesome take on Inspiring Places, Willsin! And I'm so glad to hear about this group, both because I love what it's about and because I'm glad for what it's done for you. :)

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