Writing is a solitary endeavor, and most of the time I like it that way. Well, actually I'm not alone when I write, I'm fighting or flirting with or rolling around in bed with my characters, who always seem to know the right, or deliciously wrong, thing to do and say. Occasionally, though, I have a chance to step out of my small, cluttered office and share my stories with an audience. Such was the case last night and on Thursday, when Rachel Kramer Bussel was on the Bay Area stop of her West Coast book tour.
Rachel is not only a gifted editor and writer, she knows how to throw a great reading, and both evenings were amazing--audiences generous in both size and response, delicious little cupcakes (which disappeared in the blink of an eye), and a cast of wonderful readers who each brought their stories to life in a magical way. The energy was so inspiring, and I felt incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to be part of this, people coming together to honor erotic writing.
The event at Good Vibrations on Thursday, January 27, had a homey feel--and why not, it's just a short drive from my home! Rachel, Denise Hoffner and I read our short-short stories from Gotta Have It: 69 Stories of Sudden Sex. They were the perfect length for a reading and the audience of about 30 seemed to think so, too. Then we had a Q&A about erotica writing, which was very educational for all. Herr Doktor enjoyed his peppermint patty mini-cupcake, and I was tempted to try the bacon-chocolate, but worried I might get chocolate on my corset!
January 28th's reading at the venerable Booksmith in the Haight had a festive Friday night feel. We had a standing-room-only crowd of 75 and a delightfully varied cast of readers. Susie Hara read her amusing story from Orgasmic, which featured a married couple who still have spark and humor. I went next with an excerpt from "The Big O" in the same book. Violet Blue read a hilarious story by Thomas Roche about a Stanford grad student who finds her way to a lucrative second career. Rachel's story, "Espionage," from Best Women's Erotica 2011 (in which I also have a story), mesmerized everyone with its emotional intensity and heart-breaking truth. Dusty Horn finished off with another Orgasmic bang. If you weren't one of the fortunate 75, you can see part of my reading right here. (The other people in the photo are the charming Kat from Cleis Press and the staff of the Booksmith who were such gracious hosts.)
Finally, I wanted to thank my friend, Lucy, for designing and crafting the skirt that completes my corset ensemble. I can't fully express my appreciation for the gift of her time and skill--from helping me decide the style, to shopping for lace at Lacis, a local lace specialty shop, to putting the whole thing together in a perfect dream of a petticoat. But I'm planning to wear this outfit as often as I possibly can and will always think of her generosity and creative artistry!