The bottom line with this, I guess, is that it has Sacchi Green’s name on it as editor, and really that should be guide enough to the quality of the contents. It is certainly more than enough for me.
As a straight male who has merely written some ‘f/f’ material and who entirely accepts that gay and lesbian love is right and natural, I have to visit the minds of lesbian ladies – as revealed in their writing and reading – with the same quiet respect I would visit any other temple.
I came away from this visit quite awed.
There is some very hot material in this, including Cheyenne Blue’s ‘Nurse Joan’ and Danielle Mignon’s ‘Are You My Mommy’, some very warm and touching – such as Anna Watson’s ‘Tamago’. There is humour here, and perceptiveness, and a very real sense of the truth behind the stories and the courage of the writers in revealing it.
It would take too long to commend each of the writers individually. All I can do is to commend, very sincerely, the book as a whole. I do so without any hesitation.
I thought reviewing books would be easier and perhaps more fun than critiquing first drafts. Just read a book that seemed to me to have so many errors and typos in it that it might have been a first draft. So now what do I do? Potentially upset the author/publisher? Leave other readers to be potentially disappointed? For all I know this might be the standard they’re used to.
I hope not. Guess time will tell
Since anybody can comment on/review a book, why should you read my reviews?
Your choice of course, but I’d like to set out a little of the background:
Recently returned to ERWA, the Erotica Readers and Writers Association (www.erotica–readers.com/), after a long absence, I’m hoping to get back to reading and critiquing the work of writers and aspiring writers. ERWA has always been the place to go to learn and to improve your writing – a writing community where members are supportive, where many members have extensive experience and knowledge – often having started their writing careers with ERWA – where newcomers are welcome and kindly received.
Without ERWA my own “Aphrodite Overboard” – a book which I am endlessly proud to have written – might never have come into existence. Without the confidence some of the readers and writers there gave to me a number of anthologies might well have been published without my contributions, and my up-coming new book, ‘Islands’ might never have been written.
ERWA helped me to discover that I knew a good story when I saw one and, before my life became both hectic and difficult there was a time when authors there were very glad of my critical input. When I began to host other writers’ work on my website some years ago, in a section called ‘Velvet Tongues’ (Les Langues de Velours) I was happily able to help one writer transform a story that didn’t quite work into a story nominated for an erotica award.
I want, now, to take the art of constructive criticism one logical step further.
I write – and read accordingly – with an agenda. I will not pretend otherwise. That agenda is informed by the fact that I believe human society, by and large, has ‘got sex wrong’ and the effects are sometimes just sad, sometimes catastrophic. There is little more catastrophic than a child being driven to suicide because of the fixed and unquestioning prejudices of those around him (or her or whatever), than an individual being scourged, imprisoned, executed, for no more than being different to what the perceived majority thinks they should be, than a human being suffering rape and abuse, physical and mental, because fundamental and stupid prejudices are insufficiently challenged.
Like others I have my own definition of erotica and pornography. Pornography cynically exploits, metaphorically sends its children to beg on the streets in order that it may itself live in comfort. Erotica collaborates affectionately, facilitates fantasy that oppresses no-one.
On such bases, then, and time permitting, I hope to critique more books and stories and to respond genuinely to what I find. I hope it will prove useful.