Not only is it Saturday (which means nothing to me, since all I ever do is work anyway), but the sunshine has returned and it’s just a really beautiful day around here again, gang.
Plus, Saturday means that I have another conference call with Peitor to work on our current micro-short script. And also to find out more details about that Writers’ Retreat thing he wants me to do in Italy.
You know, I was consulting a colleague overseas about the retreat and it was interesting to hear what he had to say. I won’t go so far as to say it was insulting, it wasn’t that bad. But it had to do with the idea that “I thought we’d agreed that it would be better to distance yourself from the erotic stuff.”
Well, maybe in some fantasy world it would be better, but all my readers ever seem to want from me is the erotic stuff. So what is that saying? If I distance myself from that then I distance myself from my readers and then why write?
Not everything I do is outright erotic, but there are at least erotic moments in everything I write – the Cleveland TV pilot was getting really good feedback until I added quite a few erotic elements to it and then the feedback was, like, wow, this is the best version yet. Even in Tell My Bones there are a couple erotic moments.
In everybody’s real life there are (I would hope) plenty of erotic moments. And if you’re me, then you would re-phrase that to say, there have been a few un-erotic moments and the rest of my life has just been off the charts.
I can’t help it if I see things, or experience life, in this overtly erotic way. It’s just how I am. I know it would be so nice if I wasn’t like this; it would be so much more comfortable for everyone else. And in the long run, also for me. But that’s not how it turned out.
And when the muses swooped back into my life this past year, and it felt as if my whole life returned to me, all this erotic stuff started coming out in my work again. And it has just been really joyful.
When the editor in NYC was going over the chapters of Blessed By Light recently, even though she loved what she was reading, she asked me in all seriousness, “What do you call this, Christian erotica?”
I was dumbfounded. Not only would that be an indescribably mind-bogglingly difficult genre to try to market, are you saying that only Christians can be blessed? Or that only “Christians” turn to Christ in an hour of extreme despair, when every other moment of their lives has been about music, and struggle, and drugs, and anger, and disappointment, and triumph, and rage, and love, and confusion, and sex, sex, sex, and loss, sorrow, defeat, and then back to sex and love and joy again? They pray because they can’t figure out what else to do in their moment of extreme despair, so then the book now becomes “Christian.” Or that if an aging man recalls the things that were erotic about this whole panoply of life , the whole book becomes erotica?
Man, oh man. I politely replied that I call it “a novel.” But her question truly blew me away.
But on we go, right? All I know is that I’m happy, I’m excited, and, yes, I’m really blessed. And if that feels erotic to me, oh well. And if I want to share that with other writers — in Italy, with wine and great food and stunning vistas, and incredible conversations — oh well. I’m gonna try really hard not to worry too much about what you think of me, or of any of us.
And on that happy note! Have a great Saturday, wherever you are in the world!! Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you! See ya! (PS: Play this one real loud.)
I can’t help about the shape I’m in
I can’t sing, I ain’t pretty and my legs are thin
But don’t ask me what I think of you
I might not give the answer that you want me to
Now, when I talked to God I knew he’d understand
He said, “Stick by me and I’ll be your guiding hand
But don’t ask me what I think of you
I might not give the answer that you want me to”
c – Peter Green/ Fleetwood Mac