17 September 2008

Reading sex

Hi everyone! This is my first Woman-Stirred post. I'm so happy to be here, to be part of this amazing group of wimmin.

My novel's release date is 4 days from now, and I'm been feeling angsty over the forthcoming readings facing me. The first chapter, which is usually the best place to start when reading from a novel, has a straight sex scene in it which involves an oversized phallus. Personally, I think the chapter is funny and edgy--but is this really something I want to read, for example, to a group of colleagues and students at my faculty reading? Maybe it is. I grin when I think about it. Then I cringe. It was a blast to write it in the privacy of my own office, the cave of my own brain. But to make it public is another story.

I'm also thinking about the reading I'll be giving at the Atlanta Queer Literary Festival. Because it's a queer festival, do I need to read scenes that position my book/me as a lesbian? What's a bi girl to do? Will people in the audience be bored with or offended by straight sex scenes? Will they be thinking, hey, you can read that shit anywhere else ... give us some bumping pussies (to quote Dorothy Allison, who used that exact phrase when speaking to a group of students at my campus last year).

Hey. Dorothy Allison. Now there's a fearless woman. Just evoking her gives me strength to let 'er rip and be myself--and to let my book speak for itself. Whoever said writing, even blog writing, isn't cathartic?

If anyone's interested in talking to me about any of this, I'm going to be on blogtalk radio this Saturday at 3:30 p.m. west-coast time. Click here to listen in. And there's a number on the site where you can call in to chat. Or if you can't listen in real-time, you can listen to a podcast later.

In the meantime, I have to pick the three short sections of the novel to read on the radio. With my face hidden. That will be good practice for the times I'll be showing my face.