I wrote the previous post on Martin Luther King Day, as I noted. This one is written on Groundhog Day. I'm sorry it hasn't been sooner, but I've been busy writing that erotic story I mentioned last time. I think I've finished it. I've sent the (hopefully) final draft to my co-conspirator/beta reader to see what she thinks. We did meet with one creative difference. She wanted to see some non-consent sex in the story. Not rape, but sex pushed on the young woman against her inclination, but that graduates into reluctant acceptance or better.
I declined that part. I explained to her that I do not write erotic stories that contain non-consent. These stories are frankly for titillation. That's their purpose. I decline to write any kind of non-consent sexual stories for titillation. I explained to her that mutual consent should always be a part of sex. And even affection (or the appearance) should be present in all sexual encounters.
So the story that came out presents an unusual situation and a nice healthy supply of consensual happy sex. The one thing that still might change is the ending. As I mentioned previously, the first ending was terrible. It was changed to something I'm satisfied with. But while finishing it I got an idea for a different and longer ending. I'll see what my young friend thinks.
Regarding non-consent sex, I did write a violent rape scene in Just Lucky, Book 2: Love and Hate. But it was told by the victim and there was nothing titillating about it.
By the way, JL, Book 2 is close to publication. The publisher has the final draft and is preparing it for printing, and we are working on a mutually acceptable cover.
I finished Fear of Flying. There were no surprises except the ending, which was abrupt. There was no more pornography than had been before. It was a good book, and I would recommend it.
But there are also flaws. First, Isadora never has to worry about money. She does not stay in luxury accommodations, to be sure, but she seems to always have money in her pocket and never stresses about finances. Except for flashbacks, the entire trip is in Europe plus a brief stay in Beirut. These are not exactly flaws, but they make it difficult for a normal middle-class (or lower) American to relate with what she's doing. Also, when she chooses to mention art or literary references, she goes overboard. She could make her point with three examples and she almost always gives six or more. It gets tiresome.
The copy I had included an Afterward with commentary from the author, plus reprints of two favorable published reviews she received. One was by John Updike, the other by Henry Miller.
I'm now reading an odd assortment of hard science fiction and non-fiction by Larry Niven. The book, Stars and Gods, is a collection of short fiction that includes short stories and a lot of excerpts from several of his novels.
Larry Niven's best-known work may be Ringworld and the Man-Kzin Wars. Niven has collaborated with several other top-notch and well-known authors including Dean Ing, Jerry Pournelle, Steven Barnes, and others. I have had for years Dream Park and The Barsoom Project, two novels he co-wrote with Barnes. The second is a sequel to the first. I've read them both at least twice.
There's some excellent fiction there so far. Some of it is a little frustrating because I'm just reading clips of stories I haven't read or even heard of. Niven has written a large amount of fiction—dozens of books either solo or with others, so no surprise I'm not familiar with them all.
I'll report on this when I'm through.
I'm hoping, now that I'm done with the erotica, I can go back to the first chapter of Lying Swords, Book 1.
More next time, and thank you.