Saturday, February 26, 2011

Mule by Shane McCrae

MuleMule by Shane McCrae

I think this book came up on Carol Guess' blog. Since I really enjoy her style, I bought it on faith.

What a nice surprise.

It reads a little like an echo, both the way it is written:

As we divorced Nicolas rode

Internal horses /And watching him

from the bench at the edge of the park/In wildflowers

him in wildflowers him in fileds/Of wildflowers him in fields on playgrounds which

Blossom from the ground

Must be covered over with foram with bark

It was and was possible

To love him just enough to sit there watch-/ing not enough for us to stay togehter

Not more enough than us

And the subject matter is seen as snatches of memories.

The author describes his divorce and he and his wife's emotional state about their autistic son.

I'm usually old school with my poetry, 20th century lyrical poets with a modern twist are to my taste, but this is a lovely little book that I highly recommend.

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Critique partners/ Beta buddies/ the quest for 'The One'

They should have a for critique partners.

You know, post photos of your most recent books (all pictures are recent!). What you like, what you don't like. What you can't stand. Your ideal.

I started writing back in 2001. I had a beta reader who tirelessly and for free (!) checked everything I put on my fanfiction site before I posted it. That poor woman taught me rudimentary skills that I ought to have already known. She squawked when I let the angst draw out too long. She gurgled when scenes worked and was kind but honest when they did not.

So, you see, I was spoiled.

I'm on the hunt again and I find I hold everyone up to her standards. A little tough.

How does one find a partner? Besides ones relatives or SO, who in their right mind will read this stuff?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

BDSM and Domestic Discipline

I haven't learned what I know of BDSM or the Leather lifestyle from google. I know some people. and I've been in it for a minute. There are things I understand, viscerally, and things I only 'get' because it's been explained to me. And then of course there are areas in which I remain utterly clueless. Because I am not a man and that's just how it goes.

I ALSO know a few people who are in domestic discipline relationships. But here, I'm only getting things as they've been explained to me., because I have NO experience with dom disc relationships.

There's a wibbly line between the two, as I see it. The only traditional leather-type relationship to which I was privy was very much like a domestic discipline relationship. There was a similar exchange of power and trust. However, I KNOW there are arrangements out there that run the gamut. From non-sexual to only sexual and beyond.

I'm working on the sequel to my old domestic discipline books, "Goldilocks and His Three Bears" and "A Man, a Jersey and a Tight End" and I'm trying to examine the different ways these relationships evolve. I wondered how readers feel about the differences and similarities, if any between BDSM and DD.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

But why do we write?

Or make art at all?

My mother kept one of my first drawings. It is a figure drawn on red construction paper. When she asked me what it was I said, 'a girl in a red dress'. What this tells me is I had nothing in mind when I drew it. I only named it after being asked.

But what compelled me to draw it?

Trust me; there was nothing in my environment, at the age of three, that would encourage me to draw pictures. I may have been receiving positive feedback by the time I was five because by then I was in public school and scribbling like a demon. But WHY?

Nobody seems to know.

I hopped in the Wayback Machine and returned to CalArts where we discussed this subject ad nauseum sometimes in our right heads, sometimes not so much. People feel compelled to make things, to communicate. It is only later that they articulate reasons for these actions and, of course, by then there are all kinds of grown up people type reasons. "I want to make a difference." "I want to communicate my feelings." Still, there is no answer to the question But WHY?

A blog I sometimes frequent, The Greater Good, interviewed several artists and asked them this question. The one that resonated the most strongly for me was Kwame Dawes:

"I write in what is probably a vain effort to somehow control the world in which I live, recreating it in a manner that satisfies my sense of what the world should look like and be like."

That comes close to the little-me who drew a girl on red construction paper. I have Aspergers and was very withdrawn, so I drew a lot. Later, I escaped into books and still later I attempted to alter the world of books in a way that suited me and my reality. I. E. a world peopled with Lesbian, Gay and gender queer people trying to re-write the rules and find some kind of happiness.

Somewhere in there come the readers. I haven't yet figured out where, except I am pleasantly surprised to find you here in my little world... hello!

Just as I wrote this, I read Nathan Bransford's blog and saw that he is writing along the same lines, but of course more fluently.

Why We Write -- Revisited

Everyone asks it and there are many many blogs about it. Why do writers do what they do?

I've been thinking about this question and thinking about the effect of the internet on writers. It used to be a solitary job, but now it can be much more public. Actually, it behooves one to stay in the public eye as much as possible as it does appear to influence sales.

How many writers are hooked on the twitter/chat/group interaction, though? I only wonder because I can imagine how gratifying the attention could be to an individual accustomed to working in solitary. I work in public and squeeze in writing time, so I'm not quite as starved for feedback, but during a brief period when I had no work I got addicted to the internet.

It made me want to write faster so I could get a book out there. And is that messed up or what?

Because that is NOT why I write. I'm a storyteller. I make up people and events and wrap them around each other. I'd do it if no one ever read a single book of mine. And I worry that I might be more particular if publication were a distant foggy dream, not practically immediate upon finishing the first draft.

How does the instantaneous internet interaction affect the quality and subject matter of our books? I'm just wondering...