Monthly Archives: May 2010
Some people say that bigger is better and perhaps that’s true depending on your stance or position, but for me I like them short – short stories that is. I love picking up a book whether it’s a single author or multi-author collection and delving into the different characters, plots and places that the author has created. It’s like an orgy waiting to happen with different tastes, sizes and talents all in one place.
Many single author collections come with one major flaw, the narrative voice. It’s as if the author cannot switch from one character to the next, no matter how different the stories are the voice doesn’t have any unique traits to individualize the various stories that make up the collection.
I must admit that I was a bit worried that a collection of stories about bottoms would be…well…a bit one sided. Thankfully I was wrong. Gavin Atlas has found the secret key to single author collections. Gavin has woven a brilliant collection of stories which stands above many others that I’ve read. Each story is unique in its place, plot and most importantly voice.
“Duel in the Sand” is a very erotic story set on a beach where the main character lives out his fantasy of being “taken” while people watch. I found this to be one of my favorite stories, as I found the character Cal, absolutely adorable. “Blue Star Boy” is a perfect example of how Gavin’s style and narrative voice sets the characters and stories apart. It’s a bit softer than most of Gavin’s stories but that is one reason why I liked this hot surfer story with a touch of romance thrown in.
There are too many wonderful stories in this collection to name them all, but trust me, you won’t be disappointed in any of them. After reading this collection, I’m not surprised that it’s been one of the top sellers from Lethe Press since its release on February 14th.
Top, bottom, up or down; there is something for everybody in this collection. If you haven’t read this anthology you are missing out. Get a copy today!
Reviewed by William Holden
A Legal Guide for Lesbian & Gay Couples – Dennis Clifford, Frederick Hertz, & Emily Doskow (NOLO Press)
The annual sojourn to New Orleans is over for another year—the bags are unpacked, the laundry done and the re-entry into our other lives started. We have much work ahead of us, many contacts to sort and things to think about and organize. Projects and ideas swim around us, just waiting to be tackled. And with the support of the new friends we made last weekend, tackle them we will.
What makes gatherings like this so necessary is the community building and the absolute treat it is to be around others who “get it.” Oh, you may be able to discuss writing and your story problems with your partner or your friends, but unless they’re professional writers, they don’t really understand. And they sure as hell don’t like to talk about it as much as we do.
And while we build our community, we tell our stories. Be they historical, horrific, erotic, non-fiction, mysterious, literary or romantic, those tales need to be told. Lacking an oral tradition (get your mind out of the gutter, please), no one will chronicle our community, its history or its problems except us. Do you think straight people will write about us? What’s more, would you really want them to? Anyone or anything that helps us with any aspect of that process is a step forward for the entire queer community, whether they read or not.
That’s why it’s such a privilege to be a writer, to be someone who sets down the story, who desperately attempts to get it right so that others may understand. I’ve often been accused of taking myself and gay lit too seriously, and I don’t comprehend that. How can you not take it seriously? Good or bad, it’s the record of who we are.
So until next year, we’ll keep pecking away at our keyboards, producing works of absolute genius as well as drooling stupidity,because that’s what we do. And you’ll read about many of them here. Please keep coming, please keep leaving comments—positive and negative—and please support your favorite authors, no matter who they may be.
We are in this together, after all.
When it rains here, it doesn’t mess around.
Our day started with breakfast at the Clover Grill, where we watched a rain that made Saturday’s deluge look like a gentle trickle. It didn’t let up until the drains were overwhelmed and the streets flooded. But the clouds broke, the sun poked through and the water subsided. The last day of Saints and Sinners had started.
And what a choice of panels and readings: from “Meet the Press,” a panel about publishing with small presses to specific panels about craft like “Writing Intimacy, from Sex to Family Dynamics” to a “Dramatic Writing Roundtable.” But we opted for more of the reading series, listening to such terrific writers as Rob Byrnes, Greg Herren, Anne Laughlin, J.M. Redmann and Joe Formichella.
Then we had to lunch to gather strength for our own panel: “Erotica 101: Stripping Away the Fluff and Getting Down to Basics,” featuring me, my Out in Print cohort Bill Holden, Dale Chase and Gavin Atlas. Our original moderator, Steve Berman, had to return home early, but Jeff Mann stepped in to ask us the hard questions. We had a wonderful time answering, even if none of the mikes worked. The audience was small but the grilling was intense, and everyone came away learning something. Even us.
And then, sadly, it was time for the closing party. Awards were given, drinks were poured and goodbyes were said. The latter is the toughest by far. Facebook, texting, phone calls – no technological advance beats seeing your friends in person and basking in each others’ auras. We all look forward to next year before we’re even getting on the plane to leave.
I’ll be back tomorrow with some final thoughts on the conference, community and the privilege of being a writer.