I had a great weekend starting with three stunning soccer victories by the teams of my two athletic sons (how did that happen from a gym-loathing mom?) and ending with a highly pleasurable reading at Good Vibrations in Berkeley on Sunday evening in honor of the publication of Bottoms Up: Spanking Good Stories.
This is the first time I "officially" read at my local feminist adult-toy-and-bookstore, so it was a sort of a benchmark in my erotica writing life. I did participate in an open-mike sharing circle when I first started writing erotica maybe eleven years ago during which I read from my first erotic story, "The Blindfold," but it was cool to think about how far I'd come since. Good Vibrations is such a cheerfully buzzing place, and the hospitality was first-rate, including complimentary red wine and dark chocolate truffles, both very good for the circulation and bringing a blush to the cheeks. There was a decent crowd of listeners as well, and they even had to bring out more chairs!
The anthology's editor, spanking maven Rachel Kramer Bussel, opened the event with an introduction to the book and the spanking genre, while seated on an ottoman that would have been the perfect furniture for bending over and baring the buttocks. But the evening was about the power of words not paddles, of course.
I took the podium next with an excerpt from my story "A Thousand Words." You can get a sampling of the story here and a Youtube video will be available soon! I really enjoyed bringing my story to life. There was a lot of dialogue, so my high school reader's theater training came in handy. When the guy in the story talks look left. When the woman talks, look right. Straight ahead for the narrator and deliver the punchlines without looking at the text. I was also fresh from my younger son's school storytelling festival where I got to watch professionals perform, so I tried to channel their positive energy as I spoke, even if the content was rather different.
The next reader was the elegant Zille Defeu who did a very entertaining reenactment of her story called..."Reenactment." In another life, I'd devote all my weekends to historical reenactment, and the witty adventures of the fair lady and her "knight" in shining armor piqued my imagination in all sorts of ways.
Rachel concluded the event with a buffet of tidbits from the book including titillating background information on her story "The Spanking Machine" and a peek into the benefits of art gallery opening nights in Jerry Arthur's intellectually (among other things) stimulating "Ass Worship," which could certainly be seen as the theme of the book: Art meets palm meets buttocks.
Afterwards the three authors chatted a bit about the writing life and historical costumes, then Herr Doktor and I browsed the books, toys and videos. I've always loved Good Vibrations' sense of humor. Too bad the sign above can't be posted for some story collections as well, because we'd all benefit from the preview whether we're inclined to more or less of that damned literary content. It gives a new twist to the title of the Nanowrimo founder's book, No Plot, No Problem!
Anyway, it was a great evening, and thanks to all of you who were there in spirit, warming your buns with us....