A problem that I have faced as a writer has been that people who know me personally are sometimes disturbed by the revealing personal nature of my writing. But creative writers always tread on both sides of the line between truth and fiction, between autobiography and fabrication (fiction). My purpose is to create a story that will engage the reader, to touch the spirit of the reader in one way or another. Writers must visit some of the extremes of human thought and behaviour, not because that is who the writer is, but because he/she has imagined something or noted something. Some elemental truth peeked out from behind its hiding place and waved at the writer who then described what that truth, or that thought, looked like.
Readers devour Stephen King books. Many of them are truly horrible stories. Are we then afraid of Stephen King, the man? I’m not. Yes, he is capable of imagining and writing about horrible things, but I bet he’s just a man, pretty much like any other man in his day-to-day dealings with life and the people with whom he interacts. I bet he has never actually murdered nor tortured anyone.
I was taken to task by a reader who was shocked to read my blog posting, “Limbic Tango.” Limbic Tango The posting is about art but it is also about sex and mental processes. I assume the complaining reader has never entertained (danced with) separate ideas at the same time or she felt that my expression of doing so was tantamount to some kind of blasphemy, some insult to women. I don’t see it that way. The blog posting, “The Power of Dance” The Power of Dance is actually not so dissimilar in my mind but that same reader loved my descriptions of “languorous sensuality” in that posting. That was about dance, not about sex. Yeah.
Well that’s me. I can enjoy elegance, and I can enjoy earthiness. “Dance” was elegant in its own way even though it was liberally mixed with humour. “Tango” was earthy, even though it blended an appreciation of fine art with a fantasy about raw sex. But there was no doubt in this reader’s mind that I had crossed some immutable line of decency in my descriptions of noting my own lustful desires and quietly coming to terms with them.
Oh well! I’ll take the criticism. As a widely disliked baseball great once consoled a team mate who was booed whenever he stepped up to the plate, “They don’t boo at nobodies.”