October 11, 2009

The Mutual Admiration Society

I have a friend who runs one of my favorite restaurants. More of a solid acquaintance than a friend. I mean, we're always *friendly* to one another, but I suppose I have her on this little pedestal. You know, she owns a killer restaurant. And she's married to this sort of rock star. And yet—we have coined a name for our more-than-an-acquaintance style of relationship. We are: The Mutual Admiration Society.

Why? Because we constantly compliment each other. I love how she dresses. She loves how I dress. She's one of those girls who would have scared me in school. And yet, now, I know, I could hang with her. I can be too-cool-for-school, too. And yet.

She gave me the ultimate compliment last week. She said she'd let her hair go silver because of mine. Well, fuck. Right? I had no idea. I thought she just was. But no, she liked how my hair looked, and she took a breath, and she said goodbye to the pricey dye jobs, and now her pretty silver streaks are shining through.

Damn. That's neat, huh?

But then I thought this morning, *everyone* should have a mutual admiration society. In fact, I'll bet most people do, and they don't even realize it. I am working so hard at giving people direct compliments. (This is that lesson I learned from Georgia, you know? Rather than tell someone *else* something nice about a friend, tell the friend directly!) If you do that, I swear, you develop these, well, societies.

Here, I'll start. I think Sophia Valenti is a kick-ass writer. She has the tips of her fingers on the beating pulse of what makes a story sexy. And I think Sommer Marsden is funny as fuck. Yeah, her work is touching. Yes, she can grip your heart in her fist. But she can also make you laugh out loud, which is a skill most writers would kill for. I think Jeremy Edwards has a poetic streak in him, a gentleness to his work that was missing from the erotic community before he joined. I believe Nikki Magennis is going to be one of those authors whose name is on the spine of literary anthologies. Not that she's trying to jump ship. It's just a feeling I get when I read her. My gut (or maybe it's my groin) tells me that Shanna Germain is the Joyce Carol Oates among us. A writer whose work is as comfortable in Omni or Granta as BAE. Saskia Walker has written stories that I retell myself in my head. Her work builds, twists, spins. I remain mesmerized. Riendo has an eye that appeals to me. I could stare at her images endlessly. You all know that Thomas Roche rocks my world and twists my sheets. There's no secret to how much I admire him as a writer, and I'm proud to call him a friend.

There are more. So many more. And I know that the problem with making lists is not who you put on, but the people you leave off. This is just a nibble. A taste. An aperitif.

Now, who do *you* want in your Mutual Admiration Society?


P.S. This divine bauble-drenched bracelet is called The Secret Admirer.


Scarlett Greyson said...

wow...that IS cool :)

for me...

Sommer Marsden for her ability to make me feel a part of such a wonderful community...and the fact that I could easily see getting drunk with her around a bonfire.

Alison Tyler for her breathtaking bravery.

Remittance Girl who writes those things that scratch at the tender underbelly and makes you examine your reactions.

Erobintica because her poetry grabs my heart, her erotica the depths of my imagination. And because I'd gladly drive across the entirety of NY state just to have coffee with her.

Emerald who has a depth of soul and spirit that makes me want to sit at her feet and learn.

And...like you, AT, this is just the tip of the list. There are so many more!

Jeremy Edwards said...

Wow, Alison. That's one of the greatest compliments I've ever received! Thank you a thousandfold.

And I wholeheartedly agree with all the things you've said about the others: you sure hit those nails on their heads!

I think mutual admiration societies make the world go 'round—as well they should. There's nothing like the feeling of being liked/admired/appreciated by someone you like/admire/appreciate. And I agree with you and Georgia that direct praise rocks.

And I think Alison Tyler's fiction distills the power and vividness of sexuality in such a way as to make each erotic experience feel like the first—and the best. The world stops around you while your inner sexual self blazes to life.

Jeremy Edwards said...

And here's a tip-o'-iceberg batch from me (plus I'm seconding/thirding those already mentioned) ...

Alana Noël Voth: Fiction that leaves no truth unturned.

Ashley Lister: The wit! The wisdom!

Charlotte Stein: Her voice, an instant addiction.

Craig J. Sorensen: Each narrative unfolds as a unique and delicately seasoned erotic journey.

Confidant[NSFW]: His prose only stops sparkling when it wants to scintillate instead.

Donna George Storey: Completely wraps us around the complex psychologies of her horny characters.

EllaRegina: Surrealism (and cartoonism!) were never so sexy.

Gina Marie[NSFW]: Every piece a carnival of exuberance and sensuality.

Kristina Wright: Achingly sexy work, steeped in emotional authenticity.

Neve Black: Writing that bubbles over with the adventurous spirit of erotic exploration.

jothemama said...

My Austrian efriend writer I proof read for was writing about getting her bf to switch and suck her strap on, and how her reviewwers wouldn't get it, so I sent her your 'why suck a dildo' post and it blew her away. I've taken out my fan gushing from the converstaion, because I think hers is enough:

daria: and of course I only now got to look up Alison's blog post re the ass fucking and dildo sucking

and I think my mind kind of wiped itself with the most wonderful sense of empowerment
can't formultae thought right now, eek!

the whole "think about how he'll be thinking about it the whole day", then the shyness - unf!

hey, I'm stunned here and feeling like I can't write for shit compared to what those few paragraphs invoked in me!

Yup, it's all about the envoking with Alison, alright.

I think blogging becomes a mutual appreciation society and I don't undertand why everybody bitches about it so much, elitism, blah blah, backslapping, blah blah.

It is support and truth, I think.

Smut Girl said...

Hmm. I am really bad at fancy links so I'll just go~ Alison Tyler because I can answer the phone in mid-sentence when she calls and she will know what I am talking about. P.S. Haven is the other half of my brain and has been for three years (and he has not gone AWOL yet), Scarlett Greyson makes my twitter morning and shares my funky taste in music, Cora Zane makes me smile. Mr. Tandy and Davida the zombie wrangler give me hometown pride, and...not even close to last on my list Barbara Huffert is a great listener and friend :)


(all of those people can be found on my blog)

neve black said...

Wow! I concur strongly with your sentiments, AT and for the very same reasons. I hate to start a list and then leave someone out though. Suffice to say, I'm uncovering and discovering every erotic writer and each holds a special place in my heart.

You know how much I love your work. I hope you know how much I love your work. Alison, hey, I love your work. :-)

I'm currently in the middle of Kristina Lloyd's, Asking for Trouble and loving every, UK minute of it: poignant, sexy and dirty - oooh!

Jeremy, thank you for adding me to your list - you're certainly on mine, as well as each writer you mentioned too.

Alison Tyler said...

Yay! I love the way these lists look! Y'all rock my world — I mean, my MAS would be hella huge if I called a meeting to order in my living room.

Hmmm. What would we serve? TheraKilla?


Scarlett Greyson said...

AT...have you realized I'm now going to have to go to MASS on Sunday! (Mutual Admiration Society Sundays)

I haven't gone to mass on Sunday since I was 13...but now...now you've done it..

Of course, I don't know that my grandmother would approve of the congregation...or...who knows...maybe she would!

And yes...definitely some sort of alcohol need be served, but I'm with you, AT, straight up tequila, please! Something anejo, please?

Saskia Walker said...

I'm so embarrased I don't know where to look. Thank you so much, Angel. I wouldn't even be doing this if it weren't for your encouragement. My MAS would be similar, with you right there.

Sophia Valenti said...

Gosh, Alison, you're making me blush! Thank you for the sweet words.

Lists are tough, like you said, because there's always the chance to leave someone or something out.

Just a bit of what I admire about you, AT, is your honesty and integrity, and your ability to make everyone feel so welcome in your little corner of the web. Not to mention how you spin such deliciously dirty stories that bring amazing scenes to life.

All of the names that I see here on this page are incredible talents that take the time to craft beautiful, sexy and heartfelt fiction. And that's something that makes the world, or at least my world, a better place.

Alison Tyler said...

So what's funny is that I think a lot of us are grand at giving praise to other people, and sort of blushingly lousy at accepting sweet words ourselves. My friend Jackie has this quote on her fridge that is all about our fears—not of being dark, but of being light. (I am poorly paraphrasing at 3:55 a.m.)

I'm working at both things—remembering to pass along compliments, and graciously accepting those directed at myself.

So ta very much!


riendo said...

Alison ,
I admire you because you are a successful hard working woman.
You honestly make me want to work harder, try harder, be more creative... I want to impress you the best way i know how.