So, I’ve returned from several weeks of semi-non-vacation, having taken time off to deal with the bustle and chaos of the holidays, now struggling to get back into the swing of a daily writing schedule and recalibrate my tattered focus on the vast new-year’s to-do list. Normally I’m a pretty solitary soul, and several weeks of trying to cope with the unfocused energy of small children and flighty adults in large groups reminds me of why I love to write; more often than not, it’s the only opportunity I have to carry on any sort of intelligent conversation without fear of interruption. It’s nice to express myself in complete sentences once again, even if re-orientation in January feels something like doing a cold boot on a disused hard drive, and I am as irritable as a bear called out of hibernation by a phone solicitor.
I’ve often wondered at the wisdom of trying to make
life-changing resolutions during the coldest, gloomiest hours of the winter. The
date for the start of the new year seems rather arbitrary in any case. No
change is apparent in the weather or in the alignment of the stars; life’s at
its lowest ebb, utterly static, dull and dormant—hardly what I’d call
inspiring. One would think resolutions are better left to Autumn or Spring when
change is palpable, and those acute connections between creative energy and quickening
libidos are most potent. Still, if I’m not burdening myself with too many unrealistic
expectations, a few New Year’s resolutions might be helpful. (Though, let’s be
clear, as they say in those pirate movies, these are to be thought of more as a
set of guidelines than immutable commandments.)
Worry less about the last project. In other words;
work harder to get things right the first time.
Cut down on gratuitous adverbs. In 2013 I resolve to
avoid those long strings of modifiers ending in “ly” the way some people have pledged
to avoid empty calories. This year I aspire to write less like Dean Koontz,
and more like Shanna Germain.
Expand my backlist while resurrecting some of my
“murdered beauties”. I hope to complete a new novel (Legend of the Lake) and a collection of short stories this year.
Since I never delete anything I have an enormous archive of interesting
passages that, for one reason or another, didn’t make it into any of my final
drafts. A few of these leftovers are actually pretty good, and I’m exploring
the possibility of recycling them, perhaps incorporating one or two of the more
promising tidbits into some new stories. Waste not, want not, right?
Redouble my committment to "paperless publication". No forest shall be felled, no returns pulped, no landfill or recycling center clogged, nor any green thing perish in order that my work be read.
Expand my sexual consciousness, open my mind to new,
potential turn-ons, and see beauty in places I might once have been afraid to
look. I want to think about the things that excite me as I proceed into middle
age; examine the way my appetites have changed even as I cultivate a more
sophisticated pallet. Though orientation is something we discover about
ourselves even if we never consciously “decide” to like the same, the opposite
or both sexes, it’s important, periodically to reexamine our tastes and
preferences as we would think about any changing aspect of our life. At fifty we
don’t necessarily enjoy the same foods as we did at five or fifteen, and
certainly not in the same ways. Yet, too many people are stuck in puberty when
it comes to thinking about sex. I want to apply some genuine, mature thought to this in
2013, not only in hopes of becoming a better erotic writer, but, perhaps more
to the point, a better, healthier human being.
Finally, in 2013 I hope to continue the “mission” of
Erotica For The Big Brain; discovering and encouraging talented erotic writers,
raising the literary and intellectual standards of the genre, doing it all, I
would hope, in a friendly way that entertains even as it enlightens. I’ve
already agreed to read and review books by a number of fine writers so far this
year. I have to say, it’s wonderful to be able to say “yes” to a review request
when the quality of writing makes it easy. In the next few months, look for
reviews of work by James Wood, V. Moore, Y.C. Jones, I.J. Miller and Donna George Storey, to name but a few. I
think it’s going to be a great year!
Happy New Year!