I was teaching a class last week on Cultural Diversity, and we got on the subject of regional jargon. As you know, I’m a proud southerner, born and raised, but, as I admitted to my class of peers, I didn’t realize I had such a thick regional accent until I heard myself on radio.
The comment wasn’t meant to raise eyebrows, but I began to hear the whispers…radio? interview? And then someone with enough gumption: What were you being interviewed about? I skated by the inquiry and finished the class. But, at the end of the week, thus the end of my week of classes, I decided to treat my students to a snippet of said interview.
We were several minutes in when someone finally asked, “What were ya’ll talking about?” (Yes, “ya’ll.” Southerner, I told you, lol). I admitted, “Erotica.” The reply, “Oh.”
That paticular student didn’t sit through the entire thing but asked on the way out, “Were you serious? You write erotica?” And I said, “Yes. I use my real name and everything. I’ve been in over thirty different anthologies. I’ve written for Zane. I’ve written for Alison Tyler, etc., etc.”
He blushed and walked away.
The purpose of this post, however isn’t to again talk about judging a book by it’s cover. My intent was and is, to talk about how this erotic writing career of mine has somehow come full circle.
Instead of having contributed to thirty-something anthologies, it is now more like forty-something with me having signed four contracts over the last week.
My most notable recent achievement, is that my story, Choices was selected by Zane (yes, that Zane) to be in the third book of her Chocolate Flava anthology series. And for those of you who may not know, I was published in the first book in the series. Zane actually published my very first submitted piece of erotica, Midnight Letter to Fran, and that thing had certainly made its rounds.
That was roughly ten years ago, and the fact that I had that particular publication under my belt, (well, that and Best Women’s Erotica edited then by Marcy Sheiner, which happened around the same time), really opened doors for me and jump-started my career.
I’ve also signed a new contract for the Sapphic Planet anthology, an indie, grass roots book put together of a lesbian erotica writer’s group I joined way back when. That production has made its rounds as well, but it will see the light of day come February 25th, 2012.
I’ve signed three contracts for Rachel Kramer Bussel edited anthologies, Going Down, Curvy Girls, and Suite Encounters: Hotel Erotica.
I’ve also signed another contract for a previously rejected story, Missing Mingo, sold to the online publication, Oysters and Chocolate. They have also in recent months, published another prior rejected piece, Lessons for Leona.
The funny thing, though, is that I had a specific plan back then. I was to be at a certain place by a certain time, writing for this and that place, editing, maybe having published a novel or two. However, I’m still writing in the dark, if you will, and working a 9 to 5, and rushing home to cook dinner, walk the dog, and take care of a husband and special needs twins.
Not that I’m not grateful for my accomplishments, however and whenever they come, but it just makes more real the saying that, The more things change, the more they stay the same.
As for now, I sit and wait for 2012, when many anthologies will be printed and distributed with my name attached to my story, when I can walk in to a Walmart or Target and point and say, “My name is in there!” and not focus so much on, “So, why am I still here?