There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
I’ve always liked this quote. Amusingly, when I went to look it up, to make sure I got it exactly right, I found it on a website of quotes for gardeners. I want to write to them and say, erm, you folks *do* know this isn’t really about flowers, right?
Which would be ingenuous, since it’s clear they don’t.
If you don’t know who Anaïs Nin is, you should look her up. She was a French writer who wrote all her life, but was especially well known for her erotica. In the Preface to Delta of Venus, she tells the story of how a book collector offered her lover, Henry Miller, $100 a month to write erotica for him. They settled on a standard fee of $1 a page — not a shabby deal in 1940. This is how Anaïs wrote the stories in that collection, and later ones. My copy of Delta of Venus was copyrighted in 1969 and belonged to my mother.
This is the IM conversation I had with my mother after yesterday’s blog post about selling my erotic novella to Loose Id:
Mom: Good morning. Nice blog! So do you get $$$ for the ebook?
Me: oh yes! actually they pay 35% of every sale
Me: and thanks!
Mom: That sounds pretty good. And do people buy ebooks?
Me: yes, lots of them
Me: especially the Super-Sexy ones
Mom: and this is?
Me: yes – it’s BDSM
Mom: Is there something a little weird about reading your daughter’s pron?
Me: could be!
Me: one does not expect one’s mother to read it. nor to tell her friends
Mom: hmmmm. This is a new-age dilemma! My mother would be totally wigged out!
Me: it’s a new world
Me: I really did think about creating a secret identity for it, but Cynthia was really practical with her “what for?”
Mom: So one buys it online and then downloads it? Can one then print it out and read it like a “real” book?
Me: yes. or you could put it on your Kindle or other ereader
Me: or read it on the computer
Me: too fraught, on so many levels
Me: I’m amused that you picked up “pron” so quickly
Mom: Makes sense
Me: yeah, it does
She makes me laugh. Of course, it is a new world, with our youthful mothers who are active and free in a way their mothers never were. One of my Twitter friends commented yesterday that her parents were on vacation and were texting photos of their cocktails and that her mother had used the word “squee.” She found it both amusing and unsettling.
I’m getting to know my new editor at Loose Id. She has an MFA in creative writing from University of New Orleans. She’s asked me to make a few initial changes, to move the story along a bit, then the manuscript will be edited four times: twice by her, once by a line editor and once by a proofreader.
Whatever perception you had of ebooks, especially Super-Sexy ones, I doubt if this is it. I know it wasn’t mine.
Maybe it’s overreaching for me to feel a connection with Anaïs or Pauline Réage. But I do. I love their writing, and others like them. If you go to that link, you’ll see that Anne Desclos (writing as Pauline) penned The Story of O to prove that a woman could, indeed, write an erotic novel.
It feels good to me to own that, to be part of all the women laying claim to our own desires, rather than hiding them away and leaving that realm to the men.
It feels good that we all have the freedom to blossom as we wish.