Month: July 2002 Page 2 of 3

More than you needed to know. This could be…well, it’s about writing, but it’s also about sex. You decide.

Let’s start with the premise that not all porn is the same. There are as many different types of porn as there are different types of sex. Of course, most people gravitate to a few certain types of both sex and porn, so you can generalize.

Which is exactly what I’m going to do.

Now, generalizing, men and women have different tastes in sex. Different senses are important; different details are essential; different types of stories are titilating. You know what? I don’t want to say “men” and “women” here. I want to say “guys” and “chicks.” We’re not going to discus the difference between Henry Miller porn and Anais Nin porn; we’re discussing what the cast of Friends keeps in their bottom drawers to read late at night.

Stereotypical Porn is guy porn. The storylines are deliberatly fake (“Was it coincedence that my girlfriend’s lesbian (but not butch) friend walked in us while we were having a quickie behind the bleachers? I think not”), the actions of the characters are direct (and indirect actions are comically transparent), the details are focused on sight and sound (and they’re presented as descriptive details, such as “She was a natural redhead; I could tell without taking her clothes off.”) You go straight to the sex.

Stereotypical Romance Novel is chick porn. (You can call it erotica, but erotica is porn with a valid plot. Not the same thing.) The storylines of chick porn are deliberately fantastic (“And then we moved to Paris and had many delightful adventures. He loved me as no other man could ever love me.”) The actions of the characters are indirect (and melodramatic), the details are focused on smell, taste, and touch (and they’re presented as implicit details, such as “He was the kind of man your mother warned her about, a man with a twinkle in his eye and a twitch in his fingers. Especially when he looked at her.”) You don’t go straight to the sex; you build up to the sex — you build up anticipation.

Lee and I got in a discussion over this. (Remember I warned you.) We write each other porn. He wants to be able to push my buttons on paper as well as he does in bed, so I have to come up with the reason that the porn that he’s writing isn’t what I like. He’s writing me guy porn; that’s what he knows, that’s what he’s read; that’s what he likes. The problem is that chicks aren’t guys, and when it comes to sex (and porn), I’m not a guy.

It’s not that I think that chick porn is essentially deeper and more meaningful than guy porn. Guy porn is direct and to the point because that’s the way guys are built. They are, again generalizing, physiologically easy. Easy to arouse, easy to get off — it’s dealing with the complications that’s the problem. Women, on the other hand, are built to be indirect. The organs generally involved in orgasm are harder to train, harder to get off. More foreplay is necessary, and oftimes the anticipation is better (sad to say, gents) than the sex itself. Neither is essentially better, just different.

Hm…writing this out makes me wonder if it wouldn’t help to have him read a couple of romance novels, to give him some kind of idea. The problem is that I don’t write porn for chicks, I write porn for Lee, who is, in fact, a guy. I have the hang of that; I just put myself in my most dog-person frame of mind, set up a completely unbelievable sex situation, and let her rip. Her shorts, that is.

So I don’t have much experience writing chick porn. And it’s hard to give advice. I do know that any detail for chick porn, no matter how realistic, had better not even look like it’s going to turn the situation into guy porn. That’s just…well, it feels like an insult. Yes, it is realistic for a chick to wander around the house naked when the UPS guy shows up, and she may just throw on a robe. But that, my friends, is a guy detail, because it looks like an artificial coincedence.

Ok. That’s enough now.

Rejections update. “Name of the Feather” is finally back from Ellery Queen. Just when you’re about to a) give up hope or b) hope you’ve made some kind of cut and they’ll at least give you a personal note from a big house…nope.

Tact. Tact is frustrating. I’d much rather say what I think or keep my mouth shut. I have a friend in a situation I doubt will turn out for the best. Fine. Mouth shut. I think he’ll survive the whole thing. But if he asks what I think about it, I’m going to have to be tactful. Crap.

It’s not that I hate being tactful; it’s not that I can’t (yeah, yeah, I know–I generally don’t bother. But I can). It’s just that “tact” seems like “lying.” especially in a case like this when you aren’t just concealing the fact that you don’t care, and you aren’t just presenting your opinion in the nicest possible way. No, what I’m supposed to be doing here is concealing my opinion entirely and, in fact, making it seem like my opinion is the opposite of what it actually is. Tact.

Lying.

Update: Turns out that sometimes tact is unnecessary. Whew.

Bored? This is me, blathering about work. You can skip it.

This last week at work has been one long episode of deja vu from high school. They call it a training class, but really it’s just a roomful of smartasses staring at a markerboard in the front of the room. The question/answer sessions were more intelligent than I expected, and usually resulted in the honest answer of “I don’t know. I’ll have to take this back with me.”

The first two days were informative; the last three were practical. By Friday, I was down to writing a first draft of a short story. It’s a Weird Tales story. We’ll see.

“Things You Don’t Want But You Have to Take.”

Writerly trick recently learned and there applied: details. The details you use in a story aren’t just there to add realism. If all your details do is add realism, you don’t need them. Details serve multiple duties: they either reinforce or contrast characters and plot; they foreshadow; they focus conflict; and yes, they provide realism. They should be as essential to the plot as the plot itself. They shouldn’t go on and on and on….

Quick notes early on a Friday morning.

1. Joe has been moved. He’s now living in an awesome house on the northernish side of actual Colorado Springs (near Academy and Union, actually). The yard is of such a type that when engineer-trained Joe says he’s going to make a waterfall in the backyard, I believe him.

2. Ray can aaaallllmost stand on her own. She’ll balance for maybe a second or two, and thump! Down on her butt. Lee said yesterday (yesterday, she was in a bad mood. This is strange, ok? Our kid? In a bad mood? My guess is that she has more teeth coming in, but I’m keeping an eye on her anyway. I gave her a cool bath and cuddled much with her yesterday, but as soon as I put her down she was fussy again. Hm. She has a baby-appointment next week for shots) that she was so mad that she actually stood on her own for about five seconds. As a “tower of rage.”

3. We got a digital camera. Ray understands that bright flashy things are going to shine in her eyes whenever she sees it, so all the pictures we have of her are either asleep or sqinting. Hooray!

4. Much writing and brainstorming has been being done lately — thus little blogging. The rewrite on “Mrs. Kurtz” (now officially titled “On Hold”) is done, and Lee-approved. Score! I didn’t think he’d like it, but, neener neener, he does. The book review I’m doing for Banshee Studios (new issue coming out…uh…August first? My deadline is sooner) is done, but I’m taking another look at it tonight to supplement my spell-checker. And, while doing research on time-travel for the ongoing project “The Best of All Possible Beauregards,” I hit on another story idea. Of course this one has something to do with time…but not with time travel. All I have is some philosophical bones to the story and a few wisps of plot, but the main character most likely will be a neophyte in a world populated by humans, demons (but this will have a slightly different meaning), and the “saved” (I’m thinking here that it’s possible to be technically “saved” without being a nice person. At all). As it turns out, Christian philosophers of a certain type have theorized that there are not only four dimensions (3D + time), but five (3D + time + eternity). What if when Lucifer fell, he lost a dimension, eternity, i.e., the ability to be outside of time? Hmmm…

Off to work. More later.

Wit.

I said, “Sorry. Brain fart.”

She said, “Well, at least that kind doesn’t stink.”

Notes. “Games” (see below) has been submitted to Toasted Cheese as a flash fiction piece.

Out!

Did I forget to mention it? I believe so. The manager of our apartment complex is out!

Out!

Possibly tens of thousands of dollars of embezzling. The owners, of course, aren’t going to press charges.

It must have been that last communique. Which one? Oh, the one that said that she was going to start fining people for not keeping their front steps swept, the cobwebs brushed off the underside of their decks, and their apartments clean. That’s right, she was seriously going to walk into people’s apartments and fine them a hundred bucks if it was a pigsty. Hmmm….there have been mysterious fees for leaving mail on the sidewalk. And hundred-dollar-a-day late fees. None of which the owners knew anything about. And she had an “agreement” with a towing company. That she kind of owned. Not a conflict of interest or anything.

And the stories that my neighbor tells about this woman breaking into her apartment to steal narcotics…

It burns me that this bitch isn’t being taken to court. I want all of this on her record.

When we moved in, she sat us down and said, “I don’t care if you use drugs, but if you sell ’em…you’re out!” “If you make too much noise…you’re out! And if you ever beat your wife…you’re out!”

Woo Hoo!

Snippet: Tofu Cartel!

What with one thing and another (a couple of freshman girls from Miller drove over and bought one of the new tarot decks she’d ordered, not Rider Waite, not Thoth, the one with the cats? No, the Medicine Wheel deck. And the orange juice machine broke during breakfast. An earring down the drain in room fifteen. And she was nearly full up, had been since she’d ordered a couple of Feng Shui kits. Bobby told everyone that that the betassled flutes dangling from their ceiling beam was a gift from his mother. His mother? Polish. Ah, Polish), she didn’t check the fax machine until nearly ten a.m.

It was almost like finding a death threat.

BUYING INTO THE HEATLH FOOD CRAZE

DID YOU KNOW BUYING INTO THE DRUG CRAZE TOO

MISTY MOUNTAINS FOODS

MAKER OF “CLOUDS BREATH TOFU”

AND OTHER “HEATLHY LIVING” PRODUCTS

SUCH AS “OCEANS BREATH” SUSHI KITS

AND “FRESH BREATH” ORGANIC FOODS

IS A FRONT FOR A JAPANESE DRUG CARTEL!

And, in even larger letters:

SAVE OUR CHILDREN FROM DRUGS

EAT BEEF

The fine print stated that any persons interested in further information should call The Branding Iron Society of Buffalo County at 605-245-2492.

Guess what brand of tofu Rainbow Krytzpoliski had in the converted soda cooler just inside the office door? Guess who was trying to put her out of business? And ruin her reputation in town? And get her arrested with the cops? And bust up her marriage? And, damn it, crush out every progressive thought in central South Dakota? Who ran the Branding Iron Society of Buffalo County?

Her ex.

Review.Bag of Bones, Stephen King, or “Rosebud.”

This here review comes both with and without spoilers.

Non-spoileriffic: King is the master of page-turners. Even the most mundane events make you flip…flip…flip…until it’s much too late to think of doing anything other than flip…flip…flip. Not one of his best books. Read It or The Shining or The Stand if you want that kind of heightened mythicalness. This is a story about unique events told in a fascinatingly mundane way.

Oxymoron. That’s the word you’re looking for, as in “But isn’t ‘fascinatingly mundane’ an oxymoron?”

***Spoileriffic***

This is The Shining all over again, or Misery, or The Dark Half or (the main characters from the Dark Half are even mentioned as is the sherrif from Needful Things). Yessir, this is one of those Steven King books about a writer who can’t write; doesn’t want to write; has other, natural problems; and is plagued by some kind of nasty from the Other Side. Predictable? No. And just because this is the spoiler version, don’t think I’m going to blow the ending.

I was left (unintentionally?) with the impression that Stephen King, the writer, should either quit writing or just get out of the damn business (continue to write novels, lock them in a safe-deposit box, and leave them to his offspring).

Dear Stephen King,

Jesus, guy, if you’re done, you’re done. Nobody but the psychos needs you to write for them. You can quit already. You can write literary novels. You can write poetry, you can crochet. And if you’re just letting off steam again, well, that’s good, too. I don’t like putting people through hell. Not even a writer.

But as far as this book goes, it was the seven-eighths of the book written as a straight novel that I liked. The supernatural elements did nothing for me. The story could have ended with purely the “natural” elements, and I would have been more than satisfied. The characters were better-drawn than the epinonymous quote suggests. I cared. I even chortled over the sled, all right? I liked the details, and I liked the way you brought attention to the fact that it was a writerly trick to put them in.

Do what you want to do already.

Sincerely,

Moi.

P.S. And yeah, it did remind me of The Tempest. A little.

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