Susie Bright (sueb) Sat 23 Jun 01 02:13
when it comes to sex, I can't think of a story I've ever written that I held back from publication because of the content. I've held back lots of work that Ithought was written poorly! One time, I wrote a story about Christmastime, NOTHING to do with sex, but it did have a lot of family memories. I showed it to my dad, and it made him really upset, he said he thought it would upset another one of my family memebrs who didn't need the aggravation. I disagreed with his speculation, but I could see that it upset him A LOT, and so I changed it. That caused me a lot of grief at the time. I've changed names, and fictionalized certain memories about lovers, when I know that it woudl cause a lot of trouble to name names and claim it as memoir. But I really feel stumped about what your're asking. Anyone who's read a lot of me knows that I've been candid about bad sex, troubling sex, weird sex, etc. Like I said, there's plenty that I haven't brought to the surface, but what I have, hasn't posed a self-censorship dilemma to me.
recycled bits (satyr) Sat 23 Jun 01 09:18
M. J. Rose (anewanais) Sat 23 Jun 01 14:39
You did answer it - that there was non sexual stuff you did hold back. And now for something completely different... I know you teach erotic writing... what is that like?
Susie Bright (sueb) Sat 23 Jun 01 14:52
I like teaching writing classes a lot...you usually have very motivated students, and they're eager to get down and go for it. It very quickly leaves the "waht if" stage, and we're very quickly writing and reading together, experimenting, etc. Every once in a while I get a "student" who refuses to do anything, and then passes me a note that says," I'm looking for a woman to dominate me," but that's the exception. I get more impatient with that type, though, because if they're going to spend $500, why not hire a prof. dominatrix instead of being an asshole in a writing class? and on another subject, ,satryr, I'm reading all your hidden posts, but I'm not sure how to respond to them in this inkwell conference. Can non_Well memebers see your hidden posts? Am I to assume everyone's reading them? Are you speaking tome directly? I'm confused...
Bedroom eyes, dining room lips (drsmith) Sat 23 Jun 01 15:43
I'd never considered an erotic writing *class*. Wow -- that kind of puts things right out on the line, doesn't it, having your fellow students hearing and/or reading what you've just written. Sounds like it's not for the shy!
musing generally (satyr) Sat 23 Jun 01 17:39
> and on another subject, ,satryr, I'm reading all your hidden posts, but > I'm not sure how to respond to them in this inkwell conference. No need to. They're tangential, at best. I hid them to avoid interrupting the flow of the conversation. > Can non_Well memebers see your hidden posts? Yes, the word "hidden" will be a link which opens them in a separate window if they click on it. > Are you speaking tome directly? I'm confused... No, more like using the issues you've raised as a starting point for elaboration. I was thinking it was about time to desist anyway, so I'll probably just do that.
M. J. Rose (anewanais) Sun 24 Jun 01 05:28
I laughed at the idea of you getting posted that note in class Susie. At first I bristled and was about the think - but a mystery writing teacher would never get a note like that. And then thought well they might. Or worse get a note that said "will you help me figure out how to murder my husband." What do you think you are best at as a writer and what do you still struggle with? (Erotic or otherwise.)
Susie Bright (sueb) Sun 24 Jun 01 13:08
My best is my worst. I'm very fast, and prolific, but I'm always kicking myself for not leaving more time, for not letting anotehr day go by to look at my final draft with more objective eyes. In my book, of course, i tell people to NEVER send in a story they haven't slept on, showed to someone else, etc., but I haven't always followed that rule, and it's been to my detriment every time. I'm good at hearing dialog in my head, and for getting into that zone where all the intimate details come alive, and I can describe them as if I'm watching teh movie. I "disappear" inside the story very well. The down side of that is I often don't know where I'm going, i can feel like my characters are taking me on some wild ride and I don't know where or when it's going to stop. Iget so affected, that when it's time to put my pen down and go make supper, or greet a friend, or whatever, I feel like I can't "snap out of it.' This has been hard on my personal and social life! As far as publishing, I veer from feeling like the most cynical author to the most earnest and oversensitive. I tell myself, "now I've seen everything, " but then some new bombshell blows my mind anew. I feel like Mary Had Little Lamb dealing with Dick Nixon half the time. I guess the one trait that is ALWAYS good, is that writing is a pleasure for me, and while it can be challenging, it feels like "home," it's never something I feel like i want to escape from, or that I doubt the integrity of.
Paul Terry Walhus (terry) Sun 24 Jun 01 14:22
Do you work with independent web sites who may want to "affiliate" with you and your stories, apart from the obvious Amazon and Barnes and Noble affiliations?
Susie Bright (sueb) Sun 24 Jun 01 17:45
oh yes, I produced this ebook with a site called booklocker.com, I couldn't have done it without them. And I have affiliate programs running with several sex-posi sites. I don't have an affiliate with b&n, i haven't looked into it, actually.
Paul Terry Walhus (terry) Mon 25 Jun 01 11:01
How does that work? What do you give affiliates and what do they give you? How have these relationships worked out aside form the success at booklocker.com (can you describe the mechanics of that successful relationship?)
Bedroom eyes, dining room lips (drsmith) Mon 25 Jun 01 16:16
I've never known quite how to predict readers' reactions. (I've never tried to get anything published, so this is in regards to something shared with my wife, or something posted on the Well.) I might write a story, thinking it's totally hot, and not get any reaction at all. Or I might write something, think, "Eh, that didn't come out as well as I'd hoped," and then find to my surprise that that piece gets a big, positive reaction. So, my experience has been that I simply can't predict how someone will react to something I write. And my question, I guess is: How do you deal with that? I guess if you're just writing for kicks, to post online somewhere or share with your lover, it isn't really an issue - just write it, and if it's well-received, good; if not, life goes on. But I'd think that if you were writing, say, a novel or collection of stories, one would need to have some sense of "How'm I doing?" Is this just one more reason one needs an editor?
Mark Binder (realfun) Tue 26 Jun 01 09:33
I just finished Susie's book, and I must say, it's a fun read. I had it in my bag, and my 2 year old got a hold of it. I really wanted a picture of him sitting on the steps, reading this book. Susie's honesty about the art, craft and business of writing is particularly refreshing. It's not often that a book about writing admits that to "write" a number 1 bestseler, "You don't need to know how to 'write' at all. Only one excellent idea is required... because if you don't know how to write, then you will be hiring someone, as a ghost writer, to do this part for you." My only problem with the book is that it didn't give me a hard-on!
Susie Bright (sueb) Tue 26 Jun 01 15:06
sorry I'm so late to reply to you... my ISP, Mindspring, has been unable to connect to the WEll, or Salon,or Google, or a host of other sites, for many hours now. Do any of you know why? I finally tried dialing a San Diego local access number, and that is working. But none of thier Bay Area numbers work. Coincidentally, ( or not?) Ijust got an email from Mindspring saying they're raising our monthly rates... great! Their service has sucked since March. Is it the blackouts, or them? Okay, back to my book. About affiliates: Affiliates are different from retailers, although they can be both, for an author who has a web site and is selling their own books. An affiliate is a web site who pays me a commission for driving sales traffic to their site. Blowfish, Amazon, Babeland, AUdible, and BlueDoor are all affiliates I work with. The ones who sell books are also carrying my work. A good affiate is someone who sends you regular reports and substantial checks! Who doesnt'' lie to you, and who keeps their site up to date. Now, Dr. Smith, as for reader reactions... I never think about that when I'm writing, not until I get to the editing part. You really have to BEGIN by writing for your own kicks, or you simply don't have the motivation. There's no way you can anticipate all the various reactions you might get. Then, when you're preparing for publication, you can tweak it some, with your editor, or some guinea pigs you try it out on. But ultimately, you have to take a risk. When your work resonates with an audience, you'll have the pleasure of seeing how that works. But I dont think you canorchestrate that ahead of time. The writing process is worth it, whatever the reader reation may be. You have to get core satisfaction out of pleasing yourself,because honestly, everythig else is anti climactic.
Susie Bright (sueb) Tue 26 Jun 01 15:15
<realfun>, I want a copy of that photo too! i hope he's learned some valuable lessons. You have however, touched on an important part of this book--it's not erotic. I think it is the first book I've ever written that is hard-on-free. It gets you hot to write, and that's when you get to turn yourself on! I'm glad you liked my part about the various formulas for publishing success. It sounds funny, but it's actually pure realism. I was SO SICk of reading those writers guides that act like with a lot of creative inspriation and hard work, you too, can end up on the NYT bestseller list. People should know the truth about the mechanics of a bestseller ( which certainly does include hard work, but which involves a lot more than good ideas and elbow grease.)
musing generally (satyr) Wed 27 Jun 01 12:36
Susie Bright (sueb) Wed 27 Jun 01 19:20
you know, if you want to ask me about my expereinces with Coyote, or anything directly, it would make me feel like I'm not just talking to myself. If we were in a room together, speaking, would you do the same? I find it bewildering, and then I wonder if you're trying to point out that you're bored or something.
musing generally (satyr) Thu 28 Jun 01 10:33
Ooooops! Yes, I can see how you might feel that way. I wasn't aware that you had experiences with COYOTE, but I probably should have anticipated it. Yes, it would be interesting to hear about. And no more tangents; I promise!
Gail Williams (gail) Thu 28 Jun 01 10:54
I didn't know that either. I always think of Margo StJames or maybe Carol Leigh when I think of Coyote.
Mark Binder (realfun) Thu 28 Jun 01 19:09
I'm curious, Susie, was the non-erectile, non-moist component of the book part of the deal? (I can just imagine some editorial board saying, "Whooah, we can't have it be arousing... Then we'd be publishing a dirty book. Not a (wink) "dirty" book...")
Susie Bright (sueb) Fri 29 Jun 01 07:21
It is surprising I'd have any personal stories about COYOTE, because of my age. In their heyday, I was still sitting around reading Germaine Greer and wondering when I'd get my first period. I was too young to do anyting but read about Margo St. James in the newspaper. Fastforward to my 33rd year, when my daughter was one. I'd just had a nastly break-up with my partners at On Our Backs, and I was walking down Valencia St. to do my laundry at the Wash and Dry. I felt ahand on my shoulder,and it was Spain, my friend/neighbor, and notorious Zap Comix-original artist. He said, "Know anyone who wants to live in the south of France/"-- and I said, "Yeah, right, I do---" before breaking down and telling him how glum and uncertain I was about my future. He took a flyer out of his pocket, and told me he was seriously posting it around the neighborhood-- an old girlfriend and pal of his needed to have someone housesit her place in rural France while she took care of her parents in the US for a few months. Her name was Maxine, and I took that number home and dialed it, oblivious to the fact that it was 2 in the morning in Puechabon, the village where she lived. We talked for about a half hour, and just clicked-- agreed we'd swap for the fall. I moved into a 11th Century stone fort in the heart of Languedoc ( close to where all those McDonalds riots are happening now!) and Maxine got to live in my house next to the Army St. Freeway entrance! I know that a lot of Americans travel to France, but this particular area has very few US visitors. Most of the expatriates and tourists are English and German. I came with my baby, not having spoken a word of French outside of a high school classroom. Spain told me that I coudl always call the Crumbs ( Robert and ALine) if I couldn't handle it, but they were two hours away. Before we settled all the housekeeping details, I asked Maxine how she came to settle in this little place-- and how she knew Spain. She explained to me that Spain had once been married to a woman who was one of the three founders of COYOTE. The COyote and Zap people overlapped, lover-wise. The French treated the new American comix as fine art, and a lot of travelling and mutual admiration and friendships resulted. Finally, the Coyote women got fed up with the US and decided to "retire" to this area of Southern France. They were the original Americans in this spot! I sought them out, first because I was so desperate to speak English to someone and I was so lonely, but also because I thought it was incredible that they had left riding elephants down Van Ness Avenue to this place where grapes and sinsimilla are the primary crops and preoccupations. It's incredibly beautiful but it is SOOOOOOOO remote and un-urban. But little did I know.... when I met Margo, she was in tradesman's clothes, you couldn't even tell she was a woman, and she explained to me that she made her living there doing "black" construction and renovation of people's homes --working under the table.Her own home was so beautiful, it practically made me cry. She had a whole room that as like a COYOTE museum, with all the posters, photos, dresses, newspaper headlines, everything. She perpetually had some American reproter or another drinking his way thru a respite at her and her lover Gail's house. By the time I got to know them, Gail and Margo had broken up, and Gail had moved out, but they hadn't done all the material separation of divorce. Instead, Margo was dating this guy that my Frnech friends called the "Prince of Theives"-- he was introduced to me as the most notorous car theif in Southern France. He looked exactly like the Fagin charicature in Dickens! The other Coyote retiree, who I'll call "Donna," also worked construction and built her own house. These women were so hardcore self-sufficient, they could rival any milia-man or lesbian seperatist commune. It's really hard living there-- you work with your hands, they become almost instatly arthritic from the Mistral winds and cold and lack of conveniences. I've never seen a "beauty parlor" there, for instance. But I loved to hear Donna tell me about working in North Beach in the early 60s, and how the maitre d' at Vanessis was so polite to the working girls-- the little arrangement they had to net customers from all the finest Italian restaurants. By the time I left Puechabon, I felt steeped in COYOTE history, as well as teh details of the prostitution trade in San Francisco on the even of teh cultural revolution. Margo accepted a marriage proposal from one of her American journalist beaus, and as you all know returned to SF. The first time I ever saw her in a dress was at her wedding reception, in North Beach. She cleaned up real nice.
musing generally (satyr) Fri 29 Jun 01 07:29
You asked how I happened to hear about COYOTE. It was mentioned in a radio program, don't remember which, in the context of AIDS prevention. Apparently in some places where prostitution is legal (Germany was specifically mentioned) sex workers are some of the most effective proselytizers for safe sex...but it stuck in my head largely because of the catchy name.
Marguerite Chandler (vasudha) Fri 29 Jun 01 10:07
<scribbled by vasudha Fri 29 Jun 01 10:36>
Susie Bright (sueb) Fri 29 Jun 01 10:08
Mark, I self published this book, so I didn't make any promises or deals with anyone by myself. When i said it was non-erotic, I meant in the sense tht it isn't fiction, it isn't memoir, it's a guide to reading, writing, and publishing erotica. It gives example of great erotic writing-- which if pursued, would give one great pleasure. It gives writing exercises,which if performed, will undoubtably cause arousal. But the book is not an erotic yarn in itself.
Gail Williams (gail) Fri 29 Jun 01 10:20
Could you say how to purchase or download again, please, Susie or anybody?
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