Hello and good day. It’s another Thursday, and time for my weekly blog post.
I honestly have no idea what I’m going to write about today, so as I do with many things—for instance, when I draw pictures—I’m just going to start and see what happens. This is, perhaps, in some distant way akin to “automatic writing,” except that I see what I write as I write it. If I didn’t, it’s hard to know just how many typos there would be, but I’m certain that there would be many. In fact, it would be unreasonable for me to expect anything but gibberish. One might as well seat the proverbial thousand monkeys at a thousand typewriters as engage in that particular experiment.
I guess what I’m doing is actually more akin to the classic, Freudian psychotherapeutic “free association,” in which the patient (that would be me…or should it be, “that would be I”?) just starts speaking and spits out any thought that wanders into his or her mind. Freud would then interpret these utterances as all having something to do with sex, at least if you believe the common impression of him.
Mind you, that’s not as crazy as it might sound once you think about it. After all, people do think about sex a lot. How could it be otherwise? Each one of us comes from an unbroken line of ancestors who achieved at least one successful sexual coupling. By “successful”, I mean “leading to offspring which, in turn, achieved sexual maturity and then, themselves, achieved at least one successful sexual coupling…” You get the idea. Repeat indefinitely, down through the eons, eventually producing you and me. None of us comes from ancestors who were virgins or celibates. Apart from breathing, drinking, and eating, surely the most prominent part of our beings is the sex drive…for good, sound, inescapable biological reasons.
Of course, the difficulty of navigating the phase space of our conflicting drives, emotions, social mores, and legal concerns does lead to problems at times, not the least of which is society’s terrible legacy of discrimination, sexual abuse, misogyny, and so on, and the understandable backlash against them, which can occasionally go too far in the other direction.
I don’t want to get too deeply into that right now. Suffice it to say that sex is important—it’s essential—but dealing with it in a modern, moral society can be extremely complicated. That’s just the way the world is, I’m afraid. If you want to live in a universe with simple dynamics which are susceptible to simple-minded solutions, you’ve picked the wrong universe. I suggest you move along and try another.
Writing about sex, though, in fiction, can be tricky. I, at least, am not very good—or at least not very comfortable—with it. However, there are times when at least the fact of sex is essential to some story that I’m writing, and I at least have to work in the subject matter. It’s rarely that important what the mechanics of a particular coupling are, so I tend to bring matters up to the point and then cut to the aftermath,* as in both Son of Man and Paradox City. If you’re reading my works for the dirty parts, you may be slightly disappointed so far.
But don’t lose heart. I can now tease you with the fact that, in my current novel (Unanimity) there are some more explicit, not-skipped-over sex scenes. This is not for prurient or commercial reasons (though I’m happy to titillate you to engage your interest), but because they really are necessary parts of the story. At least, they are necessary in my estimation, and since I’m the author, I’m the one with authority to make such decisions.
Speaking of Unanimity, it’s going well, and I’m excited about it.** As I’ve been saying for some time, it’s getting closer to the end, but that really goes without saying. Every word written is closer to the end, which doesn’t necessarily mean the end is near. Indeed, there is still much more that must happen before the story is finished, and though “journeys end in lovers meeting,” I fear that many of the people in my world will not be meeting lovers at the close of their journey. Many will not reach the end of the story at all, though they will reach the end of their own stories. Those who survive will be sadder, but hopefully wiser.
On other matters, the audio for the second chapter of The Chasm and the Collision is nearly complete and should be released by early next week. I’m having fun making these recordings, and hopefully those of you who listen will have fun listening. Also, as promised, next week I shall release the second installment in “My heroes have always been villains.” I haven’t yet decided which villain to explore, though there are oodles of them bouncing about with whom I could entertain myself. If any of you have requests, by all means—or at least by any available means—let me know. I can’t promise that I’ll go with your suggestion, but I do promise to take it into consideration.
With that, we’ll call it good for the week. Despite the fact that I had no idea what to write about, I’ve spewed out about a thousand words in the space of less than forty-five minutes. Of course, you may think the fact that I had nothing to write about is all too obvious, and that it would have been better had I abstained. You have every right to think that way.
And I have every right gleefully to ignore you.
*“Afterglow” is probably the term most people would tend to use, but since events in my stories rarely stay glowy and idyllic for long, I think “aftermath” is probably a better word.
**Not because of the sex thing.