Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The lost year

It's turned chilly. The leaves are falling. Weeds are dying back. We may have some snow flurries this weekend. The end of the year will be here far too quickly.

When this year started, I had so many plans. Basically, almost none of them have come to pass. It's been "one of those years." Now it's almost November. Not much time to catch up, even if my life was all leisure and ease. Which it's not. Doesn't help that I beat myself up for procrastinating and not following through and being afraid. What happened to the Erobintica that posted things like this, the post with the most hits over time on my blog? Well, I'm more than just her, and life has left little time for her.

This  hasn't been a completely wasted year. I have had a couple of acceptances, and nice things have been said about the stuff that was rejected. I've not written much at all, though I guess what I have written is good (because of those acceptances and comments). I have lots of ideas. But no focus. At times I want to throw up, throw up my hands, or just throw in the towel.

But I won't give up on this. Not sure why. Or maybe I am. This blog got started partly as my reaction to the giving up of a friend. Quite literally. He gave up. And because that's where this blog comes from, in part, I find I refuse to give up.

So, I'm doing things like taking part in Rachel Kramer Bussel's Women in Lust Blog tour on November 14.

And I'm going to submit to Joan Price's anthology.

As we "de-clutter" [read: MASSIVE] in preparation for putting our house on the market so we can get our asses up to Maine (see picture above - that is what I could be looking at most days), I hope to find plenty of inspiration for writing. And maybe it will have to wait till next year. But I'm not giving up.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Writing from where I am

This morning I've pulled on a sweater, made a pot of tea, squeezed a bit of lemon in my cup, put on my favorite autumnal music (Autumn by George Winston), and prepared to work on a special story. Why special? Because I am going to write it from where I am right now. Mentally. Emotionally.  Physically. This is a story I'm planning on sending to Joan Price for her Senior Erotica Anthology (call for submissions here), open to writers over the age of 50. She's not looking for "youthful erotica with an older chronological age slapped on."

I'm 53. I'll be 54 by the Feb. 1, 2012 deadline. Though I don't consider myself a senior, I know I am no longer young. I've gone through menopause and have discovered that nothing seems to work like it used to. Also, lately I've been having a very hard time writing erotica (well, writing anything). And I realized it's because I haven't been allowing myself to write from where I am. To write from what I'm experiencing now. 

So, when I first heard about this call (back before it was an actual call), I was excited. I'd already started writing with "older" characters, and look forward to being able to have some news along those lines. But I've been struggling to come up with a story (gee, no "theme" other than over 50, doesn't help). That's when I realized, that I really have to write what I know for this one. Maybe I knew that all along, but was resistant. 

This blog post has been a loosening up of my fingers in anticipation of writing that story. I'll let you know how it goes. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Into the thicket

Tonight while doing the dishes with my husband, I was compelled to just lean against his back and kiss him between the shoulder blades. We'd been listening to Marketplace and they had a story about online dating in China and modern matchmakers. "Glad you're not dating in China?" was his response. Yeah. Very. 

And as soon as I write that, I worry that my single friends will think that's a dig at them. I don't want it to seem like a "ninner ninner lookie what I got and you don't" (as my heart cringes just to type those words). So many of my friends are divorced, widowed, never married, "retired," not dating, starting to date, whatever, and many of them are going the online route. All I know is that I have so many personal self-image and self-esteem issues that any profile of mine would probably be "you don't want me." 

So yeah, I'm glad that I'm long-married (30 years on Oct. 4) and that we seem to have weathered plenty of storms so that hopefully future ones will also leave us standing. Have never quite been sure what he saw/sees in me. But enough time has passed that I've stopped really questioning it. We celebrated with a quiet dinner at home accompanied with champagne paid for by a friend and a couple of rounds of our newest evening entertainment–"dirty scrabble." Yup, now that the kids are gone (1 married, 2 at college), we can do things like make up our own rules (more about dirty scrabble another time).

Earlier today I commented on a Facebook post by Shanna Germain. She'd posted about some unwelcome attention that left her feeling icked out (my words). The comments ranged from the typical I'll kick their ass for you to ponderings about safety, being able to wear whatever you want, etc. A friend posted an apology for his gender. Some guys posted tongue-in-cheek replies that I was able to spot as such and laugh, but some of the other commenters didn't. There at one point seemed to be quite an undercurrent of us vs. them. Guys are mindless droolers who are incapable of controlling themselves. From there to Slutwalks and whistling and harassment. Although it was sorted out (use emoticons when joking), it still left me feeling a little sad that there is such a divide between men and women. 

It's hard for everyone. Old ways of relating, how to approach someone, what's acceptable, what's not–all this is changing. Women want to be able to be themselves. They don't want to have to fear harassment or violence just because. Men, no longer sure of how to act, can end up stifling parts of themselves out of fear of being a "male chauvinist pig," to use a term from my youth. 

Meanwhile Dominance/submission seems hot in the erotica world. And it's something I have trouble with. I've yet to really been able to write any. And often, reading them, no matter how hot, I feel a bit uncomfortable. Guess it's that thin line that bothers me. I still have trouble separating myself from my writing. 

What has ANY of this had to do with anything else here? I don't know. It's just my mind's ramblings. I'm trying to connect my typing fingers to my brain again. I need to get writing again. But I've been going through enough changes that I'm not sure where I'm writing from anymore.