I’m still processing!
It’s been a week since I came home from Eroticon 2015 exhausted, encouraged, and excited — my head buzzing with
ideas. The thing about Eroticon is that it’s the event that keeps on giving. As much as I needed to talk shop and laugh and joke over a glass of wine or a cup of coffee, as much as I needed the company of like-minded folks and kindred spirits all sharing fresh ideas, I needed something to take home with me as well. I needed that most of all, and I don’t think I was the only person who felt that way. This year, I brought way more home with me than just the gorgeous Love Sex Love Toys personalized mug and the swag bag full of naughty, delicious goodies. Here’s what I mean.
I’ve always liked taking piccies I can share with you lovely lot, and the hour I spent Sunday morning in Molly Moore’s photography workshop encouraged me to be bolder, more adventurous with my photos and to remember that the best photos are the ones I love. As I put the photos into this post, I think of that informative and fun hour, and I smile at the pics of the people I feel honored to call friends and colleagues.
I spent a deliciously naughty hour in Ashley Lister’s Writing Erotic Romance workshop. At the end of the day, it’s always a poetic experience being around Mr. Lister. Reading his filthy pennings over his shoulder at lunch encouraged me – one who is most definitely poetically challenged — to try my hand at a little doggerel. Yesterday I plucked up my courage and sent two poems off for consideration in Ashley’s Coming Together in Verse anthology, and I may very well have opened a whole new world for myself. I was surprised and pleased to find just how much writing a bit of verse, no matter how bad, stimulates the creative juices for the WIP.
If there was a main message I took away from last weekend, it was the need for erotica as a genre to redefine itself and the need for a close community within, of which we had a lovely example at Eroticon 2015. For me, as a novelist, the times are exciting, as well as terrifying, and the journey ahead is definitely through an undiscovered country. I spent some quality time with the lovely M. K. Elliot, who is the go-to-girl for successful self-publishing and, I have to admit, I’m very excited about the possibilities, including some creative play with stories and WIPs on Wattpad. (I’d love it if you’d visit me there and see what I’m up to. I’m new, but hoping to find my way around quickly.) M. K. made me aware of lots of exciting possibilities. Though the world of publishing is a scary, changing landscape, it has the potential to be very exciting and foster new outlets for creativity.
Most of you know that in addition to my online serial, In The Flesh, my WIP, Buried Pleasures, is completely different from my usual KDG or GM novels, I’m exploring dark paranormal romance/urban fantasy and loving every minute of it. That being the case, I took great pleasure in attending Janine Ashbless’ workshop on Fantasy writing. I’ve managed 10K on the WIP, plus another chapter on In The Flesh since I got home. I was encouraged to find that I was doing a lot of things right and excited to learn new things to make my writing even stronger. Oh, and there is an epic fantasy in the works.
At a time when quality is more important than ever and yet, as we’ve all seen, not required to get works out there, good editing is more important than ever. It was very interesting to hear editorial consultant, Cressida Downing, AKA The Book Analyst’s views and advice on editing, beta readers, reading other writer’s work and hiring an editor.
Yesterday I met with one of my long-time writing friends for a walk, catching up over lunch, and some shared writing time after. During the walk, the discussion turned to the dark elements in our writing, and I found myself telling her about Remittance Girl’s riveting talk on Jouissance. All week I’ve been thinking about that place of perfection that we long for, but can’t actually get to, that place of excitement closest to the forbidden, and that dark place where I write the most powerful stuff, but the stuff that disturbs me the most. I’ll be thinking about jouissance and its place in my writing for a long time to come, but it was interesting to share it with a writer who often writes from just that place. No doubt she’ll be listening to RG’s podcast when she gets home.
Of course the whole Eroticon experience was made better because I shared it with my partner in crime, fellow Brit Babe, Lily Harlem, with whom I also taught a workshop on Crafting Creativity. Lily’s insights, her enthusiasm and her laughter are always encouraging to me and were a big part of what I took away from Eroticon 2015. Sharing the event and seeing it through other people’s eyes is at least as enlightening and exciting as my own experience of it. The lunches, the coffee times, the drinks at the
pub, the Cuban food, the planning and scheming in hotel bars, these parts of Eroticon are the real points of connecting,
at least for me. From talking about the brutality of getting fit with Remittance Girl, to planning and scheming another m/m anthology for Brit Boys on Boys; from finding myself outside my introverted comfort zone at Revelation Vodka Bar to getting totally lost in conversation with F. Leonora Solomon and Janine Ashbless; from devouring delicious crepes under a brilliant blue moon with Lily Harlem, to long conversations about where does erotica go from here in the post 50SoG/ self-pub world in which we
now live – my response to it all is I’M STILL PROCESSING! The creative forces – blogger, writer, crafter, photographer, poet, editor, friend and
colleague, partner in crime – are all at work, and as I get back to my introverted writerly world, it’s very nice to know that I’m not alone in my introversion, and that
the adventure, no matter how harsh and unforgiving it can feel at times, is a shared one and a very exciting one.