Yesterday marked the publication of His Aura: A Collection of Transmasculine Erotica, which features, among many awesome pieces, two of my short stories, “Maddeningly Wonderful” and “A Honeycomb of Nerves”.
You can read more about the stories and their background in this blog post.
While there is an excerpt on the book’s page of my story “Maddeningly Wonderful”, I thought I’d offer another excerpt from that same story. This excerpt is right from the beginning. I hope you enjoy it. Also, please consider buying a copy of the anthology if well written erotica and trans men is your jam.
Lately, I’ve become dissatisfied with sex scenes in fiction. More specifically, the types featured in romance novels and fanfiction. I have to say there is nothing wrong with the sex scenes in these stories. They have a purpose and fulfill that particular purpose. I have just found the sex scenes in some of these stories to be so graphic and over the top they turned me off. One scene in particular was so graphic that it was gross to me.
I write a lot of sex scenes myself. One of my novellas is very explicit because it details a man’s particular sexual journey. I write sex scenes because it is very much a part of the characters and the story. But along the way, I’ve found myself being overly graphic. I think it’s easy to fall into that trap. I’m going to work on improving my approach to sex scenes and be more impressionistic, rather than overly realist and graphic and writing in every last detail.
To that end, I rewrote a sex scene in my current novella to be a little less graphic. In the process, I found myself writing more about the characters, which, I think, lends a nice human touch which further keeps this from being gross or overly graphic.
I have a long way to go to be where I want to be with this particular aspect of my writing, but it’s a start.
I’ve decided to share the drafts of both scenes so you can compare and contrast the original and the rewritten scene. Below the cut, you can find both of those.
Some context: this story is about a May-December romance. Ren is nineteen and Paul is forty-two. In this segment, Ren has told Paul he loves him. Paul is very ambivalent about this. He doesn’t think Ren is old enough/mature enough to really understand what that means.
I’ve been writing shorter fiction this summer, while I’m on a break from my main manuscript. This excerpt is from one of those pieces of shorter fiction, titled Queer as Love. The story follows a married couple as one of them transitions from female to male. This part comes after the narrator, who is the cisgender spouse, has begun to seriously contemplate divorce. This is a rough draft, so it’s not finished, but the idea is there.
But these fantasies dispersed, like ash. And then I thought of you. As you were, as you had been. I saw you in all your beauty. I saw your strength, and my pride in that. I remembered our first time, in that little hotel room, when you abandoned your towel and clambered right in my lap, straddling me, sinking down onto me while our breathing roared like an avalanche. I thought of our wedding at the courthouse, and how you said “fuck” and made the clerk blush. I remembered our first fight, bitter and spiteful and wounding because we didn’t know how to fight, and how you came running for me and threw your arms around me, and through tears, kissed me and said you loved me over and over. I remembered when Ash was born and there were three of us in the room. There was a new life between us and we were so in awe we were silent. I saw how mean you could be, how cutting and cruel with your words. You were good at that. I saw your childishness, the adult tantrums of pouting and sulking when you didn’t get what you wanted. They way you could and would emotionally manipulate me. How you hated to compromise. The way you didn’t put your shoes away but just let them lay all around where I could trip on them.
You told me once, when you were trying to explain a painting to me, that sometimes what was beautiful was also ugly, sometimes gross or scary.
I saw you in all your beauty.
So day two of #writelifemay is “WIP”, aka, work in progress.
I wasn’t sure what to post and so settled on posting an excerpt from my work in progress.
The official blurb for my current work in progress is:
“Men ought to love men, and do.” Ben, a straight man, falls in love with his best friend, a gay man. Ben must navigate the precarious waters of friendship and love while exploring his sexuality.
In this excerpt, Ben has just kissed his friend, David, for the first time. Ben is, as per usual for him, having a “freak out”. Seeking guidance, he calls his sister Jess. This scene, which takes place at a small bistro, is between Ben and Jess. There might be typos and the like, since this is an unrevised draft.
My current main project is a novella tentatively titled “Bloom”. It’s about a man who believes he is straight, Ben, falling in love with his gay best friend, David. This is an excerpt. It occurs in the last third of the story, when Ben has begun really wrestle with the question of his sexuality. Is he straight? Is he bisexual? Hell if Ben knows.
There’s sexual content in this, and there might be typos and errors.
The tick-tock of the kitchen clock, a low wind murmuring through the cracked window. But nothing else; the house safely suffused in silence.
This is ridiculous. I’m scuttling around like I’m thirteen again, sneaking off with my sisters’ Victoria’s Secret catalogues to masturbate to. Thirteen year old desperate measures and all.
David won’t be home for awhile.
The bed isn’t the best place, really. The couch is better. But this feels too . . . intimate for sitting out in the living room. So. Laptop at hand, afternoon sunlight falling pale across the bedroom.
I hope I don’t get a million viruses.
Where to even start? Presumably there’s keywords of some kind, but I don’t know. Uhm.
My current main project is a novella tentatively titled “Bloom”. It’s about a straight man, Ben, who falls in love with his gay best friend, David. This is a short excerpt from the novella. It occurs in the last third of the novella, when Ben has begun to “come out” about his relationship with David. The fact their relationship has evolved into a romantic (and sexual) one is still not common knowledge to many people in their lives.
There’s some sexual content in this, and there might be typos and errors.
At least it never bores me. Everyone else, including the graduate students (who I spoil rotten) whinge and moan about having to teach it. What was it she said last week?
“Freshman creative writing makes me want to kill myself.”
But I love it. More accurately: I love the students. I love watching the students bounce and slouch and lumber and pirouette into the classroom, burdened with staggeringly heavy, overpacked backpacks, still smelling vaguely of the vegetable stew the dining halls served a few days ago because freshmen and showering are not natural allies. These are not earthly creatures. These are creatures underaware of proper hygiene, scruffy, blinking sleepily at one o’clock in the afternoon. Creatures who write three pages of unbroken prose about cabbage just to see if they can piss me off. And I annoy them right back by putting smiley faces next to my critiques.
All of these run-ons are not appropriate for this story. They add nothing to it. 🙂
Ah, well. They have to learn somewhere. I too was a grubby college freshman. And before my American Lit professor introduced me to Jack Spicer, I was thinking maybe I’d be some kind of piping designer. I was dopey, dull, and doomed to a life without poetry.
How’d that poem go?
People who don’t like the smell of — vomit . . . ?
I’m going to try posting a Weekly Excerpt each week. It will help me continue the habit of blogging regularly, which I started with #WriterLifeMonth. It will also give my existing readers something to read while we wait for my work to find a home and be published ( 🙂 ), and it will give new readers nice tasters of my work.
This excerpt is from one of my works in progress, a composite novel. My current “cover blurb” for the story is thus:
Their lives weren’t supposed to change, but when Michael is diagnosed with terminal cancer, his family erupts into communal and private chaos. His husband, Cal, veers wildly between his absolute devotion and his fears of the unknowns. As Michael succumbs to the effects of his illness, Kate, Michael and Cal’s seventeen year old daughter, tries to be the bedrock for her family that her parents can’t be. And Erika, Michael’s older sister, finds herself evaluating her life and relationships, especially as her relationship with Cal becomes increasingly intimate.
This portion is told by Erika, and takes place immediately after Michael’s diagnosis. She’s an astrophysicist, and that will be fairly obvious once you start reading.