Thursday, April 25, 2013
SM Johnson ~Thursday Morning Coffee ~
This is the first Thursday this month that hasn't been marked by significant snowfall. It's been the weirdest month ever, with school being closed last Friday and the Friday before - each time because of 11 to 12 inches of sticky heavy white snow, at a time of year when we are desperately ready to be done with all this weather aggravation. It's planting season, for fuck's sake.
Last week I was wandering around work minding my own business when a co-worker said, rather casually, as he walked past, "Coffee was kind of boring on Thursday."
I suppose some people would have a response like, "Gee, thanks a lot for the beautiful and loving stroke to my self-esteem. I needed that."
Not I. No.
I do a little hop/skip thing that makes a nearby patient almost choke with laughter, and say, "What? What? You READ me? Really, you do? Yay!" (Insert little cheerleader bounce, and the momentary desire for having pom-poms in my hands to shake and wave and make an actual spectacle of myself).
The same day, a newbie girl at work, who says she's never in her life read a book just for the fun of it, has downloaded both my free short stories and the first book in the Dungeon series. I am slightly concerned. I mean... it's one thing to pop someone's fiction reading cherry, but seems almost cruel to pop it with M/M BDSM erotica. extraordinarily cruel, actually. I've probably ruined her for tolerating the fictional bedroom door being closed, forevermore.
I can live with myself.
Later - a friend from the Netherlands sends a message re: Above the Dungeon - something along the lines of "I feel like I could meet these people at a club just about anywhere."
Does she have any idea what a tremendous compliment that is? I mean, maybe she does. I work really hard for my characters to read like real people, and it is gratifying to hear I'm getting it done, because when I look back to younger years and remind myself of the writer I always wanted to be, I can't always see if I'm getting there.
I was wailing to one of my earliest beta readers, and fellow writer, Sean Henry of Oakland, about getting stuck in the fluff, that maybe the 3rd dungeon book lacks heart, but I wanted to write erotica "better" than what I'd been reading. Even still, maybe I was being lazy and my focus should have been more on works that have some meat in them, something with a purpose bigger than pure entertainment value... like... this.... (and sent him what I have of Jeremiah Quick).
I'm not talking about political writing, or even imparting a message, per se, or a call to action like 'save the dolphins' or 'what the fuck is UP with this climate change, anyway?' Nothing like that.
More... letting the world (as if the world is watching me - ha) in on my skewed but unique view, putting my heart into something... writing that HURTS the way bleeding onto the page is supposed to hurt.
Sean has the interesting perspective of NOT having been a continual beta reader - meaning he hasn't read much of my stuff since I asked for his help with the Oakland bits in DeVante's Coven a few years ago (and kicked off his photography gig, oddly enough)... so he can see a difference between old stuff and new stuff. And he said something along the lines of "Perhaps the fluff was time well-spent learning craft."
Ahhhhhh.... (happy sigh).
Yes. That works for me.
What can I say? Feedback is my stroke-and-soothe-and-pet.
The learning and reaching never ends, and I'm not even sure I've hit my true stride yet, but I'm always working toward improvement. Watch me. One of these days I'm going to write something that blows you the fuck away. Yeah. That.
Have a great weekend, darlings! I'll be trying to set up my KDP Select "free days" for Three in the Dungeon. I'm thinking May 24 - 26, while I'm carousing in New Orleans at Saints and Sinners. So then I also have to figure out how best to promote this event (or.... even, how to make it into an actual event). Aaarrggghhhh, this is a trial and a chore. I hate shameless self-promotion. But I want to give ya'all a heads up, because you really ought to read Above the Dungeon and Out of the Dungeon so you can be all ready to nab Three in the Dungeon from Amazon for free. (There, how was that for shameless self-promotion?).
(Pssst, Laffingeyes - did I bore you this time? Maybe next week I'll write about something kinky... you never know with me).