I set aside most of yesterday to work on a new story, targeted at an erotica anthology entitled "Naked". The deadline was January 1st, and I knew I wouldn't have much time during the week, with my job and taking cats to the vet and getting ready for the New Year's Eve party. I've been in quite a few collections from this editor, Rachel Kramer Bussel. She comes up with fascinating themes and this one was no exception.
Here's an excerpt from her call for submissions:
How you interpret [nakedness] is up to you; literal nudity, being emotionally naked, voyeurism, exhibitionism, body piercings, sex toys, tattoos, dressing and undressing, orgies/mass nudity, etc. Those are just the tip of the naked iceberg. All sexual orientations welcome though the book will primarily focus on heterosexual stories. Please do feel free to go outside the box, as it were. Naked doesn't have to mean literally without clothes and a woman doesn't necessarily have to be naked ...for a story to work. The more creative, the better.
Maybe you can understand why I was intrigued. I really wanted to submit a story to this anthology. But I was intimidated. Every idea that came to me seemed trite, ordinary, obvious. I began working on one story line and had developed it to a fairly detailed level, when suddenly I lost faith in the whole approach.
So there I was, terribly aware of the clock ticking away, beating my head against the metaphorical wall. I went back to an earlier notion, but still felt uncertain.
All at once, a first line popped into my mind:
I didn't cry until the last session.
I heard the character's voice in my mind. I knew who she was, what she wanted, what she feared, and what nakedness would mean to her.
The next thing I knew, I had the title: "Clean Slate".
I sat down and wrote 3000 words in a single three hour session. (All right, I did stop to make lunch.) I edited the tale and sent it off to Rachel the same day.
True, it may be crap. But somehow I don't think so. Anyway, I don't care, not much. The experience of inspiration, the miracle of that first line that led me into the story, was almost enough to satisfy me all by itself.
Of course, I do hope that the story is accepted...Keep your fingers crossed for me, okay?