Posted onJuly 22, 2014|Comments Off on Jen’s ten rules for writers (for today)
Sometimes things conspire to keep the body from pulling itself out of bed at 4:50am. Sometimes the dog has been awake at irregular intervals all night, snapping off sharp, surprising barks at the neighbors who had the audacity to have a gathering on their summer-vacation Monday night and into Tuesday morning. Sometimes she’s up at 1:48am, shaking and scratching and agitating so that her collar rings like poorly-tuned chimes, needing to go outside. Sometimes the body stands at the back door, falling back asleep while upright, waiting for the dog to finish exploring the night yard and ask to be let back in. Sometimes the work went late into the night and rest didn’t come early enough. Sometimes the leg spasms, dancing all by itself, and the rest of the body doesn’t want to stretch it — that road leads directly to charlie horse.
So sleep, such as it is, blows right through the 4:50 alarm, through the many snoozes, and continues on until almost 7. Sometimes the sweetheart’s arms are just too sweet to slip away from, and so it’s a whole lot better to cuddle back in under the covers after every snooze. And those precious early morning writing hours are spent in dreams. But the dreams will make their way into some character’s head, someday. That’s the hope.
In 2006, I approached Carol Queen and asked whether she would be interested in reinstating the Erotic Reading Circle. I’d learned about the ERC during my first three months in San Francisco, when I was running my first erotic writing group for sexual trauma survivors. At Community Thrift (one of my my favorite bookstores in San Francisco), I came across a book entitled Sex Spoken Here, which anthologized some of the amazing work that had been shared at the Erotic Reading Circle during its run at Good Vibrations. In their introduction, the co-editors, Carol Queen and Jack Davis, described the power, beauty, and community that the Erotic Reading Circle had nurtured during its run into the mid-90s. Here I was, a newbie to San Francisco in 2003, researching the healing/transformative potential of erotic expression for survivors of sexual violence. “Wait,” I thought. “Why doesn’t a space like the Erotic Reading Circle still exist?”
A few years later, I had had the good luck to be introduced to Carol, began facilitating an erotic writing group at the Center for Sex and Culture, and even though I was still starstruck whenever I spoke to her (an experience that continues to this day!), I asked whether she would be interested in rebooting the Erotic Reading Circle under the Center’s auspices — and she said yes! We’ve been meeting monthly (every fourth Wednesday, 7:30-9:30pm, at the CSC) ever since — that’s coming on 8 years now — co-facilitating a space in which erotic writers can bring their work and have it received with respect, enthusiasm, and generous feedback.
Posted onJuly 7, 2014|Comments Off on Support Sex Still Spoken Here!
Three years, in 2011, Amy Butcher, Carol Queen and I got it into our heads to compile an anthology of the amazing writing that we were privy to every month at the Center for Sex and Culture’s Erotic Reading Circle — and so we put out a call for submissions, received gloriously hot stories in return, and began what ended up being a two-year process of bringing this collection together (talk about a lag time)!
But the long wait is over! It’s finally coming to fruition: please welcome Sex Still Spoken Here: The (second) Erotic Reading Circle Anthology: Twenty-seven stories from our Erotic Reading Circle writers, a conversation among the editors about the power of the circle and the need for more erotic-writing spaces, and a how-to guide for those wishing to start an Erotic Reading Circle in their own communities! Isn’t this a book you’d love to have on your shelf?
Here’s where you come in: Sex Still Spoken Here is being self-published by the new Center for Sex and Culture, and needs the erotic-writing- and erotic-reading-loving community to come together and support this book’s coming to life! Please check out our indiegogo campaign, donate what you can, pass the word on to friends who believe in the power and necessity of erotic expression and community. We have wonderful perks, not including the excellence that is this anthology — you might want some homemade bread (from yours truly!) along with a personalized writing prompt, your own erotic reading circle, or even to have Carol Queen and Robert Lawrence grace your very own bedroom with their delicious words! It’s all available to you — and you get the pleasure of knowing you have helped this beautiful collection.
I wake up from layered and complicated dreams. There are things I want to tell you about, but it’s not time for them yet. The alarm goes off at 4, and I think, I could just snooze for a little bit, and then I forget to press snooze, and now it’s after 5.
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The Fall writing workshop series begins next week — Write Whole: Survivors Write starts on Monday, and we do still have a couple of spaces left! Friday is the last day to register — if you have been thinking about joining us and giving yourself and your stories a regular, weekly writing time, please do contact me.