I first read about this magical confluence of apparent happenstance in Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, one of my favorite “creative process” books of all time (her other books don’t work as well for me, but this AW was a true gem for finding my creative confidence when I first started writing more than a decade ago). For Cameron, “synchronicity” is another word for answered prayers, a hint that the universe might be intelligent and responsive, especially to those who dare to create—but also, as we all know from Blogger, with spam words.
Anyway, I ran into a lovely bit of synchronicity the other day, just around the time I was contemplating the female beauty trap and the toll it takes on young women and also appreciating the eloquent comments my blog buddies had left on the topic. I happened to be glancing through my erotica collection and I pulled out The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica 4, the first volume of that anthology in which my work appeared. I was scanning the contents and noticed a story by Alison Tyler that I hadn’t yet read: “Ten Minutes in the Eighties.”
Not only is this story a masterpiece in its own right—perfect prose, wickedly funny and very hot—but it expresses so much of what I was talking about in a poignant and powerful fictional package. When I finished the story, my jaw was hanging open. It captured so much about the female experience in our culture. The setting is LA, the fantasy factory of the nation, and just the thing for elevating one woman’s experience to the universal.
Here’s the brilliant first line that immediately enthralled me:
“For 10 minutes in the ’80s, I was beautiful.”
And, believe me, it just gets better from there. So go read Alison’s story in the Good Vibrations Archives. It’s pure gold.