October 22, 2015

"Tell me it's all okay..."

I write because the words won't let me sleep.

I write because when I am in bed, the people start talking. Even before I realize that they're there. Even before I understand that the sounds are not actually voices I'm hearing, but dialogue. Characters bantering to one another. Jostling in line for a chance.

If you give me a pen, I will write you a story.

If you tell me what turns you on, I will turn you on. My #1 fetish is knowing what your #1 fetish is. That's the truth. I am a sponge. I soak up the world around me. And I've been doing this forever.

This week, I looked back at some of my early novels. The Blue Rose came out twenty years ago in September. The Virgin will turn twenty in February. Blue Sky Sideways and Dial "L" for Loveless also came out in 1996, I believe.

Bondage on a Budget was published in 1997. (I am working on refining the manuscript for a 20th anniversary re-release.)

These are only a handful of the words that have spilled onto paper. That have made their seductive way to print. But there are so many more. I can't keep up. I'm trying to stay on task, to keep my head down, to persevere.

Yet the new ideas nag at me, nip at me, demand that I pay them attention. And the old ones wail: Why? Why aren't you working? Why aren't you finishing?

I have to remind myself, I do finish. I have finished. There's a list of titles I've managed to complete. There are stories I've tied up neatly, I've cuffed into place.

No, the words say. You are a slacker, a loser, a layabout. You don't listen. You never listen. You are willful. Stubborn. You don't do what we tell you.

And I have to work to both shut them down and lift them up. To explain that they're wrong, and yet give them their say. The violet circles under my eyes are testaments to this battle. I will let the words wake me up and keep me up. But I won't let them beat me up.

Look, I crow proudly. I've done this. I've managed this:

The Blue Rose
The Virgin
Dark Room
Come Quickly for Girls on the Go
Dial "L" for Loveless
Blue Sky Sideways
Bondage on a Budget
The Silver Key
Venus Online
The ESP Affair
Blue Valentine
Learning to Love It
Strictly Confidential
Sticky Fingers
Sweet Thing
Tiffany Twisted
Something About Workmen
With or Without You
Melt With You
Dark Secret Love
The Delicious Torment
Wrapped Around Your Finger

That is only some of it, I stammer. That is only a partial list.

Not good enough, say the voices. Work harder.

I will, I promise. I will. Just tell me it's all okay. Tell me at the end, it will be okay. 

You can't know everything, the words chide. You can't see the finish line. You can't know what's going to happen, what waits for you around the corner.

Please, I beg. A hint? A glimmer?

My hair is tousled. I'm stroked. I'm petted. Then put back to work. In a chair. In a room. Where everyone can take their turn.


1 comment:

Miz Angell said...

I have faith that every one of those voices will be heard, have their stories told. It's when the voices go silent that you should be scared. Mine have, and I am. I'm putting out tequila and smokes, giant pillows and four poster beds with silk scarves. I'm putting out all sorts of bait, but no ones biting. It's frightening. You will tell their stories Alison.