Archive | July 2011

The Story Behind The Story

The following post was originally supposed to appear on another blog but didn’t. It’s about my story, Reasoning, which appeared in Best Bondage Erotica 2011. Enjoy.

As a general rule, I don’t go autobiographical in my stories, but as I often work out my, um, issues through my writing, I sometimes find myself sneaking in a little bit of truth.

And it so happened with a little story called Reasoning.

It began with a bed. A modest bed, real wood, comfortable mattresses, a real deal for what we could afford at the time. Not too fancy, but timeless, could last forever if we wanted.

And we did want it to last forever… at the time.

But stuff happened in the relationship and there was a little separation. Roughly three months my then boyfriend and I lived apart, and well, hell, life went on…

…and on and my man came back and we got married and enjoyed a brief honeymoon phase, but soon, the bed began to bother him. There were backaches and sleepless nights and nightmares and all sorts of craziness.

You see, he knew there had been some, uh, activity, and turns out, it was quite a hard pill for him to swallow.

No amount of mattress flipping or sheet changing could erase the images of what might have happened in that bed. The actual happenings had been magnified by a hundred in his mind. I was actually impressed with the image he had built of me. Boy was I a vixen, a sexual majestic, getting it in at all angles, when in all actuality, my knees aren’t that reliable anymore, and my asthma tends to flare up at the most inconvenient of times, and I’ve never, ever claimed to be ultra flexible.

I had my ideas of fixing the little bed problem. Taking an axe to it Jason style was one, dragging it out back and setting it ablaze was another. But with my bad neck and back, sleeping on the floor night after night wasn’t really a plausible or appealing idea.

So, I… wait for it

…didn’t do what the female lead in my story did, although I thought about it. A few things stopped me though.

One, we didn’t have bedposts, or any real bondage material, and two, neither of us ever developed a hankering for spanking, either giving or receiving (I sure hate to disappoint those who may have thought I was actually writing what I know. Sorry, folks, I am actually just that creative.)

So, I nipped the little problem in the bud with a few keystrokes and a submission.

And as of today, he still doesn’t know what Reasoning is actually about.

Ironically, though, we ended up having to get a new bed anyway. Our dog Sugar had, over time, chewed through the boards of the old one and it collapsed on us one night.

But… here’s a treat for those of you who want a true sexy tidbit from Tenille Brown, author of erotica:

We were having anniversary sex during the collapse. Me on top. Reverse cowgirl. 😉

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Busy Body

This weekend I put some work in on the project that I’m not talking about as of yet. Part one is basically done and I need to be working on part two. I’ve also been brainstorming and jotting down some other ideas, ones that I can’t believe I never thought of before, ones that could and hopefully will be ground breaking.

I submitted an excerpt of my short story, Dressing Desire, to my dear friend Claudia Moss for the viral internet campaign to promote her latest novel, If You Love Me, Come. I’m honored and very excited to have been asked to participate.

Funny how I thought I had so much more to say.

Ah, well.

Stayed tuned, folks…. BIG things ahead!

Lessons

The lessons learned by me over the past week seemed endless and I’m glad to say it wasn’t all bad. There were some really tough revelations and I had to swallow some really disgusting medicine, but the end result was enough to bring tears of joy to my eyes and make me want to reach out ad just draw some folks into my bosom (like grandma used to do).

Foolishly, I thought I was talking and no one was listening. I sat back and listened to the loud silence and immediately formed my opinion on the true hearts some people.

Finally, I had figured out where I stood and I was ready to cover my wounds and move on, standing on the front line alone.

But out of the darkness came those few, those ones who said without saying that they knew, and then came that extended hand that reached down and brought me back up from the side of the cliff.

They do exist. And that’s what matters.

Sometimes things don’t work out the way you thought they would, but they work out anyway. The plan goes through some chops, some deletions and some revisions, but iin the end it’s still your plan. Sometimes it’s not just sitting there behind door number one. Sometimes you have to check for hidden doors behind the book case. It doesn’t matter if you have to reroute your trip, as long as you get there.

And I guess that’s the biggest lesson of all.

You’re never done having to prove yourself, and that’s just what it is.

I write really well, but do you trust that I can cook?

Not really? Well, have a seat in my kitchen and watch for yourself.

On The Upswing

I’d have to say it was a good day yesterday.

I received notification that a story of mine, Please Come Again, has been included in the initial manuscript of an upcoming anthology, pending publisher’s approval. It came with wonderful words of praise for the story (which features a homeless character), so I was quite happy about that.

Not long after, I got another bit of good news that I can’t/won’t disclose just yet. Some things you just have to sit on (I call it jinxing; you might just call it good sense). I tell you, though, if someone stuck me with a pin right now, I’d probably pop.

It’s all good, don’t get me wrong, but I still can’t help but wonder why and I do question the timing. That being said, mama didn’t raise no fool. Opportunity is opportunity. Show and prove.

A dear friend says the universe is simply shifting in my favor, and well… I guess I’ll go with that… for now.

I have to choose a short piece for another writer friend of mine to use in a project she’s doing. I don’t know if it’ll be something already written or if I’ll write something new.

Right now, I’m sipping coffee and have an achy back. And I have some stuff to do.

Something Different

I did a bit of browsing yesterday and found three calls I’m going to submit to. One is short non-fiction, the other two are fiction optional, but none are erotic.

I’m not intimidated. I’ve broken the non-fiction and fiction market before, but I found my little niche in erotica and that’s where I made a “name” for myself. Now, I’d like to step out a little, expand a little which I had always intended to do, but now I’m wondering, with the pile of published erotica that I’m sitting on, how seriously will people take me as a non-fiction/fiction writer?

I could be all inclusive in my bio, let them know about all of the “Best Of” Erotic Series I’ve been in, how popular my lesbian and spanking erotica is, or I could stick to the (very limited) “need to know” stuff, like the short biography I did on the late Bebe Moore Campbell, or my award winning essay on marriage or another award winner on child molestation.

But then I’d wonder if that’s enough. If they’d think I wasn’t a serious enough or seasoned enough writer.

I guess this is where regret comes into play, where I wish I had actually done what I said I would do years ago and remember to publish a little fiction and non-fiction while still doing erotica.
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But, I lost my way, or got comfortable or something.

Maybe it’s never too late?

The Really Ugly Side of Publishing.

Funny, but I never considered writing a real business or as some would call it, a game. Writing is my love, it’s my talent, it’s my gift, it’s my passion. I feel about my writing the way I feel about my children. Touch one of them and you may as well dig a hole and jump the fuck in it.

But, as I’ve learned over time, you’ve got to be tough in this game. You have to develop tough skin to deal with rejection, road blocks, politics, and I thought I had that under control. I don’t cry over rejections. I don’t take criticisms too personally.

But I’ve been hit with a boulder.

You’ll remember that I pitched an idea to a publisher for an anthology. They were really positive and excited about it initially, even asked for possible titles. I did everything I was supposed to do and even went so far as to begin collecting stories. Well known authors of erotica were excited and supportive. I had stories promises of stories, and recommendations for other writers.

Then I browsed the ‘net today, and saw a call for submissions with the precise theme I had pitched under the publisher to whom I pitched it to, with another writer/editor’s name attached.

I didn’t “own” the idea. I’m sure I wasn’t the first or the only to think of it. But the initial feedback I received from them was enough to get me really excited and hopeful about it actually coming to fruition. And it will, under someone else’s name/guidance/molding.

But the real kick in the ass, the bullshit, is that they didn’t/couldn’t/wouldn’t let me know so that I could at least pitch the idea elsewhere. Or maybe that’s why they didn’t let me know in advance. Hmmm.

I suppose I could look at it positively. I could think that they thought my idea was so wonderful that they wanted a really seasoned, popular and well-known editor to be attached to it. I mean, who am I really? In the words of the wonderful Miki Howard, “I’m just somebody you don’t know as well as you think you do.”

It’s cutthroat. I’ve learned this the hard way. It’s a dog eat dog world. I know this. But in the erotica genre, I thought there was more camaraderie.

I sort of equate it to losing your boyfriend to another girl… true or not, you want to say, “I’m cuter than her…he’s better off with me…etc.” but the end result is still, the other girl has your boyfriend.

And that’s it.

I don’t trust this shit anymore. I feel violated.

I feel betrayed, like people who I originally thought were “on my side” will quietly drift away. The stories they submitted to me will magically appear in that anthology.

I’m experiencing all phases of this at once. The self blame (maybe I was too caught up with what’s been going on in my life to dedicate any real time to my writing career). The self doubt (maybe I’m just not good enough-maybe I don’t know what I’m doing). The anger. The pain. The giving up, and yes, I want to. I want to either stop writing erotica, or just stop.

This blows. I can’t say anymore without sounding really, really bitter, which… I sorta am.