Monday, January 2, 2012

Oh For a Drop

There isn't a drop of gypsy blood in me despite my Romanian heritage. At least, I don't think that there is. It would come in useful right now. If I couldn't see the future then maybe at least I'd have some skill in sounding as if I do. All I can predict is what will happen to me, and base it on my past.

My plan is to find an agent for my novel. What will happen is that my editor will return it to me with helpful suggestions to improve it and I will make them and it will be then be the best it can be. Full of zeal, because the editor I work with is, above all, a nurturing person who gives me enthusiasm for my work, I will start preparing my submission. Then, bit by bit, I will lose faith. I will start bringing my expectations down. I will think once again of self-publishing. I will look to publishers who will accept it but not give me the publishing experience I want because it will look like the path of least resistance. I will fall out of love with my story.

Hopefully, I'll get past that and soldier on with my original plan. I'll make myself believe in my work enough to reach for my original goals. Hopefully, I'll stop being my own worst enemy. Hopefully, I'll stop being the first person to say No to myself.

There have been so many anthologies I've wanted to write for this year, but I haven't been able to produce a decent short story for many months. I have some ideas, but they are, I'll admit, difficult ideas to convey in story form. One is about an erotica writer whose driving fantasy no longer works for her. This fantasy has been, in a way, her muse for many years, but now it's been used so many times that it doesn't get her off any longer. The well of her imagination is dry and no matter how hard she tries to summon erotic thoughts, her body remains dry too. Sometimes there is a trickle of desire, but the best she can do is wring a few drops from the old fantasy. What she needs is a new fantasy, something that will grip her imagination with the passion that the old one did, something vivid. She will try on many fantasies while she's with her lover(s), her eyes closed, her head tilted back, her body aching for release. And then one day the veil between the world of her desires and imagination will rip, and stories will burble up from her again like water from a mountain spring.


  1. Kathleen,

    It's both disturbing and humbling to discover that authors I admire deeply (like you) have the same doubts as I do.

    The story you're contemplating could be my own. Between dwindling hormones and overworked fantasies, I've been considering whether I should quit writing erotica completely. Is there another fantasy out there for me, at age 59? Seems highly unlikely.

    The scenario would make a fabulous story, though. And I think you could do it justice.


  2. Lisabet - I'm always wary of a writer who doesn't doubt their work.

    I don't know where I am with erotica. It's not working for me right now, but once you know you have the ability to write sex it's hard not to follow your stories down that path. It's a comfortable space.

  3. Hi Kathleen!

    I'm coming into the discussion a little late. Like Lisabet says, your fantasy author has the same struggles we all do. The was a time, long ago, I thought it would be very cool to earn my lving with writing alone. Now that's I'm an apprentice writer I'm beginning to appreciate how horribly difficult and unstable it is to write fiction for a living unless the author sticks to formula fiction. It is a strangely comfortable space to write a genre you know well, and hard to get away from it. I feel that way too sometimes.


  4. Garce - the hardest part is admitting how we sabotage our work. I hope, somewhat like Charlotte, that now that I've said it, it won't come true.

  5. Kathleen, I predict that your stories will continue (or resume) burbling up like water from a mountain spring. :)
    It amazes me how many erotic writers feel they can't write in
    the genre any more because the well has run dry. I think it's because there is not an infinite number of ways to describe sex, however exotic. However, it's hard to imagine a situation involving humans that couldn't involve sex, at least in someone's head. Maybe simply conceiving plots is the way to continue writing erotica or finding another pool to swim in.

  6. Jean - the burn-out rate in eroitca seems high, but maybe murder mystery writers are known to scream "I'm so sick of dead bodies!" and walk away from their genre too.


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