I’ve Got Mail

So, I received my contributor’s copy and check for Swing yesterday. I have been anticipating receiving this package for months and now I finally have a chance to devour it. I, of course, turned to my story first (it was the second to last selection, a good thing) but I wasn’t as happy with my story as I once was. It just goes to show what that after sex like story writing haze can do to you. It makes you blind to all sorts of flaws in the story. I was so proud of the plot and the fact that the story sort of came to me out of nowhere on the day of the deadline when I thought there was no way I’d have anything to submit to this anthology. I didn’t have enough time to step back from the piece and come back with fresh, reader’s eyes and see what could have been changed to make it better. I saw run on sentences, wordy sentences and crazy dialouge that just made the flow of the story difficult. I was sitting there cringing as I read it. I still love it as a story, but I really need to rework it for myself if nothing else. What worries me now is that Susie Bright has a copy of it considering it for Best American Erotica and I know it can be a lot better.

I’ve read two of the other stories so far, the one by M. Christian (whose work I usually like) and the one by Helena Settimana (I’ve only read one of her stories, but I thoroughly enjoyed it). I was quite surprised by the voice that Helena chose. It was sort of ‘hood, black girl hip type stuff. I thought I wouldn’t like it at first because I thought it was pushing a stereotype just to let the reader know that characters were ethnic, but as I continued to read, I realized it wasn’t that way at all. It was just a story with dark skinned characters and that was the way in which that particular character spoke, acted, yada yada. I’ve done it myself and beat myself up about it afterwards and hell, I’m a black girl! I guess I’ve always been afraid of falling into the trap of making all my characters that way just to appeal to a certain audience, so I just go with however I see my characters and I’m sure that’s what she did. Way to go Ms. Settimana! I liked M. Christian’s story, too. I liked the fact that he explored the male/male dynamic in such an emotional way.

I worked a wee bit on Instructions… After reading Burn in it’s final form, it made me really slow down and pay attention to my work so that when I send future stories out, they are the best I can make them. I also took down some notes on another story, possibly for Skin.

The babies spent the night with mother in law, so no worrying about spontaneous crying in the night. I was really sluggish when I woke up though, could have crawled back in bed and stayed there. I’m getting with it, though, slowly but surely. More reading and maybe writing during lunch today.


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