As I grow older, I'm starting to lose my fascination for secrets. Unless you've killed someone, who really cares? No, that's not what I meant. Thing is, people do care. People are judgmental of our mistakes and sometimes we are judgmental of ourselves, so secrets become important. When I was a teen, I started a journal, something I would have started when I was a child except that I knew that my older brother would read it. When he moved out to join the army, I started one. I loved writing. I was alone when he left. My other brother was a decade younger than me, more like a son to me at the time. My parents were judgmental so I never confided in them. Looking back, I realize what a lonely world it must have been to believe that everyone would judge me for my secrets which weren't really secrets, but I'll get to that later.
The words I wrote were very abstract at first. They were observations I had of society, of the crowds at school and the shallowness of most people around me. I wrote of death, light, darkness, dreams, poetry, the universe, perfection but beyond these things was something much deeper. One day, I walked into the counseling office in my school and asked if I could speak to the school psychologist. I only remember the end of the talk when she told me that I'm normal. There's nothing wrong with me but when I write, I should be more specific. So, that's what I did. I started to do something very scary. I got specific. At times I'd be shaking while I wrote or looking up to make sure no one could see me. I wrote down repressed memories of beatings I took as a child, of my first sexual experience with a boy, of how I felt when ran on the shore of the beach and how watching the waves was the only time I truly felt free. As I got better at writing what was most uncomfortable, I started becoming comfortable with it. The incidences of my life started to flow. I would write down anything anyone said and use the log as blackmail. My life was scrolled down. My thoughts were recorded and the therapy worked. My memory got worse. I stopped hanging on to memories, to anger, to dark thoughts. After I wrote them down, the memories would fade. I didn't have to dwell on them anymore because I had recorded them and could forget them until I revisited my writing.
One day, my older brother came home to visit. He wasn't even home an hour when I came out of the bathroom to find he had taken my journal from under my bed and was reading it. I screamed. I cried. I wanted to beat him. He told me how much he loved my writing but I still hated him. Then he left and I wrote about it and forgot about it. One journal, I taped up, then I opened it. I could seal them all up but I liked to read them. I never caught my brother reading my journals after that but he did I'm sure. He was a good liar, good at keeping things to himself. Piles of secrets accumulated. I had to put them in a large box to ship them to the east coast with me. My journal was my best friend, the only thing I could confide in. It was magical. It was sacred.
Now they are at the bottom of someone's closet. I don't write journals anymore. I write blogs. After learning that my husband read them, privacy became a silly lie that I believed in. I'm a zealot who lost faith. What's the point of having secrets. People know them. They just won't tell you they know them. Not long ago, my father told me he used to read papers I threw away, papers I through out because I didn't want anyone to read them. Recently, my older brother told me he read them but only to learn more about me. Why is it so hard to sell a book? Why is it that people don't read anymore, but when there is a diary in front of them, they'll read that. I lost a journal once. I was at the book store. I went back and they had a pile of journals that people left there but mine was missing. I've learned to let go of my best friend.
I suddenly find it so funny that I have a pseudonym. Why build this new persona just because I'm writing erotica? Because I work for a conservative company, and if they knew what my book was about, would I still have a job? But it's silly really, Like writing a diary is silly. What's wrong with writing about sex? People have sex all the time? Why do people have to lie about being gay or straight or even a man or woman? We spend an awful lot of time appealing to people's sense of judgment when we should be shattering through them. Perhaps the person who judged me the most after reading my tome of secrets was my husband. There are things I don't even remember that are hidden in there. When you do what I did, you realize how fallible our memories are. I re-read that thing years later and was shocked at all of the things I had forgotten. Our brain censors our past for a reason and it isn't fair when other people know what you don't even remember and hold it against you. This is why we bury secrets. Sometimes we stick them in the back of the closet. But take heed. They aren't safe there. Anything can be dug up.
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
I had been writing plays for so long, but after having a family and moving away from NY, I lost interest in workshopping plays and spending hours working with actors and creating something for an audience. I had written a play that might have been too big for a non musical stage and decided to turn it into a novel. That novel turned into a life's work of trying to perfect a very complicated theme and story.
I realized that I hadn't written prose in a long time. I had grown accustomed to writing nothing but dialogue. In playwriting, unlike screenwriting, we are asked to use as little stage direction as possible. I needed to hone my skills in descriptive writing. Someone told me to write what I know. I'm very uncomfortable writing about real life but he meant to draw things from within. I am a fitness instructor and personal trainer so I should know a lot about the human body. I used to be an actress so I should be able to describe a look or an emotion well. I was also getting burned out from writing something with so much meaning and spiritual significance. I needed a break. I did some research and learned that most publishers do not want a ton of meaning. They aren't looking for what impressed our English teachers. They just want to publish something entertaining.
So I set out to write something entertaining, something descriptive, something with very little dialogue as an exercise to become a better writer. I read a blog where a woman talked about her "button" and it started a thread on how women can multiply orgasm. Men wrote in and confessed that their orgasms are quick and that not much happens afterward. Intent on writing what I know, I drew on my martial arts and yoga training. In studying Chi Kung, I learned that the practitioners believed in Chi, or energy control. Jieng Chi was described as something you are born with. It is also your most powerful energy. It is your sexual energy, what came from what your parents created. It is creation itself. You can't get anymore powerful than that. I decided to write a short story about a species of vampire that feed off of this powerful sexual energy. Of course, they hardly waste their time on men because their orgasms are so short. What could be more entertaining than lesbian sex vampires?
It is written in present tense because, for a long time, I didn't know what would happen next. I made it up as I went along. I discovered a lot about myself as I practiced my ability to describe the human body. I did make the story entertaining and entertained myself with the idea of these women being controlled by creatures that had the ability to suck orgasm and orgasm out of them until all of their jieng energy had been released. There is an awful lot of sex, gore and violence. But on top of that, my protagonist struggles with issues such as free will, her humanity and her animal instinct. She also struggles with her identity and her feelings towards other characters in the story. It's a love story on top of the graphic sex. My friends who have read the story have said it is so much more than a smut story and they were the ones who encouraged me to actually do something with it. You can be the judge.
It's now available everywhere books are sold. You can check it out here: