Thursday, February 05, 2009

A Noble Ending to the X Bay Area Tour

This Friday night is the final Bay Area Reading for X: The Erotic Treasury over at Book Passage in Corte Madera. Unfortunately, I can't make this event, but Susie, Greta Christina and Bill Noble, the editor of the fiction department at Clean Sheets will be reading from their work.

Since the last X reading, Susie has posted her book trailer, A Day in the Life of the Erotica Editor, which is a real treat and a must-see for all of us dirty-story-scribes. It's not on Youtube yet (and I can't figure out how to embed it), but I'm sure it will catch a lot of eyeballs.

I am especially sorry not to be able to make tonight's reading because I always love getting together with Bill. He was the first erotica editor to publish my work online and he's been a support and inspiration for me from the beginning, as well as a mentor to countless other writers, new and veteran.

He's also inspired me in a more direct way. The gorgeous and evocative portrait Emily and Bill (2001) which appears on the cover of Photo Sex: Fine Art Sexual Photography Comes of Age was the direct visual inspiration for my story "Portrait," which appears online at Fishnet. (The characters are purely fictional of course).

Bill's story in X, "Salt," is an intensely poetic, yet dramatic tale of a couple brought together by an adventure that brings them to the brink of death. And nothing sparks sensual intensity like a brush with mortality. The lush Hawaiian setting doesn't hurt either. Here's what Bill says in his interview for X:

Susie Bright: Have you ever won an award or condemnation for any of your talents?

Bill Noble: The National Looking Glass Award for Poetry (1999); Fiction Award, Southwest Writers Conference (1997); a couple of Pushcart nominations, reader selection as one of the “Erotic Stories of the Decade” in Susie Bright’s Best American Erotica; The Cable Car Associations award for public service advertising (about 1980

Tell me how you would cast the film version of your story that we're publishing in "X"... just for fun!

Neat question. Marilyn Chambers and Peter Fonda.

What's your history with the Hawaiian Islands?

My wife and I used to lead natural history and backpacking trips in the islands, and my wife’s grandfather was Te Rangi Hiroa’s (Peter Buck’s) biographer and friend.

Best swim? Far out to sea to find spinner dolphins off the Kona Coast, and (not swimming) an entire day kayaking far offshore with a pod of hungry, copulating humpback whales.

I think I’d want to go back and make love in a friend’s tiny little bamboo-and-thatch hut on the lava just above the surf line on the Big Island.

What other occupations do you hold, or have you held, besides being a writer?

Nova Scotian farmer, physics technician, museum curator of birds, gas station attendant, cab driver, school bus driver, “boiler-room” telephone salesman (repulsive job), teaching naturalist, wilderness and mountaineering leader, international drug runner, college administrator, ED and board chair of a variety of environmental nonprofits.

Are you now, or have you been a sex worker?

In every respect except the financial, I firmly believe that writers of erotica are sex workers.

How old are you? Where were you born and raised?

I just turned seventy this year. Born and raised in the Berkshires of Massachusetts, where my direct ancestors were the first European settlers.

My dad, who in his early years was a timber-topper and high-tension lineman. Or my great-great grandfather, an Ojibwa who died in Andersonville during the civil war as a lieutenant in a Massachusetts regiment.


Anonymous said...

Donna - what a wonderful honoring. Jeez, thank you. And to turn the tables a little, I went again to look at your VERY SEXY pic at the head of "I want to sleep with your husband." My Lord, that's a shudderingly exquisite shot. You minx! :-) Minx, and exquisite writer. Thank you.kedruda

Craig Sorensen said...

I wish I could make it too. I hope some day to have the opportunity to meet Bill.

He was the first to publish one of my stories too.

Donna said...

Wow, Bill, I'm glad you like the photo. Black and white does bring out the sensual, don't you think? But seriously, it does not compare to Bill and Emily for sheer transcendent erotic power. What Michael Rosen accomplishes in that photo is what I strive to achieve in my work some day! And you certainly made a critical contribution to the work as well ;-).

I hope you have the chance to meet Bill, too, Craig. He's been there for so many of us at an exciting and vulnerable time.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great post Donna, it's nice to get to know Bill a little bit having just finished working with him on my first piece for Clean Sheets. I had heard that he was a great editor and that was certainly my experience. (Thanks Bill, if you're reading!) I wish I could get over to the X reading tonight. The one at Diesel was a blast.

Alana Noel Voth said...

I'm in love with Bill Noble.