All in My Head

When I was a younger woman, full of the bullshit notions that if you played the game with enough guys,you would eventually click with one. Then, you’d live happily ever after.

All the stresses of adult life would be made better—ameliorated—if you will, by finding a reliable, stable guy who had no trouble making a living. A guy who shared my values, of course. He would be physically attractive and want a satisfying sexual relationship.

Well four out of five ain’t bad. At first, not getting five our of five really bothered me. It almost drove me crazy, but I got a grip because my other relationship, sexual in nature, was not satisfying, and I was too tired to not be myself.

I’m a cynical, tough, broad, and I had to be responsible for myself. By that I mean, prepare for retirement: invest, take care of my assets, and not obsess over anything unrealistic.

I’d known way too many women who trusted men and got left with debts and kids. Or worse, left with nothing at all! I could not afford to live in San Diego. I could not afford to breed dogs. Had I not taken a gamble on a business, I might have had a chance, but I did gamble, the economy changed drastically, and at least I didn’t lose my biggest asset: the house!

I was approaching retirement. I had taken a dog grooming job where I was making decent money, but the non-grooming staff I worked with created too much stress because they didn’t recognize a dangerous situation. I put up with this for about two years, and then was able to get a job at a better run kennel. I took a pay cut, but the tips made up for it. Way less stress and a lot more free time.

I’d been blogging my thoughts for several years, but what most recently compelled me…was the situation with my father and my brother. My sisters have asked me to NOT write about that, and I won’t for now, even though that is where the real story is. I instead chose a fantasy notion that had been swimming around in my head for several years.

In the early 1980’s, right after my divorce, I had a very intense, exciting sexual relationship with a guy who was a really great lover. I could say a lot about Tony, but what I want to say is that he was tall. He had terribly long legs and was very graceful and limber. Let’s leave it at that.

The relationship lasted about a year and he took a job across the country. I was devastated, even though I knew we were not moving towards emotional closeness. What I really missed was the sex. I did go on, in time, to have a couple of other good sexual relationships, but for all the real life reasons you can think of, no emotional intimacy developed. I guess I could have compromised, but for what? No guy had anything close to economic security, and for me that was always a deal breaker. Hell, I had a hard enough time as a woman getting credit to buy a home. It made no sense to ignore financial irresponsibility. In 1985, I decided to go to Africa, and I went to Tanzania on safari. I had a sexual encounter with a Chagga guy, and that was really good.

In 1987 I went to Kenya to work on a development project. We were the first white people the community had ever seen do physical labor, and they called us ‘Unusual Visitors.’ On that trip, I went with a bunch of other free spirits to Mombasa and Malindi, and although no sex occured, I met at least a dozen young men who were so attractive , so charming, so sweet that I would have banged any one of them in a heartbeat. They were all Indian and Arabic Swahili guys. They were friendly without being obnoxious. How rare is that?

& then…not much. I became attracted to a guy back in the US who was ambivalent. I made him miserable because, partly due to hormones, I was mentally ill. I muddled through, but looking back, from 1988 to about 1996, I don’t remember much except for school, Peace Corps, and crying a lot. I obsessed a lot and worked a lot. I was lucky Kunihiro came into my life and brought some semblance of stability. He was a stranger in a strange land.

So this is what happened. Last November (2018), I went to southern Spain and came back and saw Bohemian Rhapsody. The movie is the GP version of Freddie Mercury’s life. There is plenty online where you can learn the truth about him, but in so many words, he was a musical genius. He saw himself as a performer, and this particularly long legged guy was also—Swahili. He decided himself what he would be. I was surprised at how many Queen songs I liked that I didn’t know were Queen songs. I was also surprised at what a great musician he was, and his bandmates Brian May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon were. You can find instrumental versions of many of their songs online because of how they recorded and produced their songs. Also, Kunihiro had told me this, but you find more evidence of this online: Queen was very popular in Japan. In fact, Freddie Mercury learned Japanese and was a collector of Japanese art. Kunihiro had a copy of Queen’s Greatest Hits, and that’s where I heard ‘Barcelona’, and all the songs Freddie Mercury wrote for Montserrat Caballe. What a body of work!

In any case, partly in the movie without explanation, but more when you go online, you see the physical evolution of a man discovering himself, from what his bandmates called a ‘dandy’ to his own idea of what a gay man would be. But what I really learned was how much music which I had enjoyed was written by Freddie Mercury, particularly Barcelona ( which he produced with Mike Moran). Music so compelling that his bandmates included it on their greatest hits album. Well, this is not top 40 format stuff, so why would we hear it in America?

I didn’t intend what I was writing to be a love story. I intended it to be an essay in integrity. I wanted to address integrity —or lack thereof—in several different areas. It was a creative outlet. I didn’t have an outline, just an idea. But who wants to read about integiryt? You write what you know. I hasten to say that I wanted it to seem plausible, so I had to do some research, but these days, it’s easy enough to do this on the internet. After all, this is not a dissertation. I don’t have to compile statistics.

Now, it so happens 1 of my sisters edits fiction for self-publishers. That’s only important because she knows something about self-publishing. Most self-published books don’t even break even. So, I knew I’d have to find a way to market to my intended audience. That’s really what I have to work on.

I’ve discovered the genre is called ‘erotic romance’. What I am finding in my research is that most ‘erotic romances’ sort of gloss over the actual sex. They describe the characters involved, so you can form a vision in your head, but the sex? What did these people actually do?

The gist of my story is the characters know each other because of family connections. The male character, as a teenager, seduces the female, an older divorcee. They have an intense sexual relationship and don’t see each other for another 20 years. Their lives could not be more different. The male character is sure he’s in love, and he’s carried this fantasy around for 20 years. He goes from studying engineering to being a musician…a ‘rock star; ‘ (& that is, apparently, a very popular genre in erotic romance books). The female character has done a number of things so she doesn’t have to get a ‘real’ job, and is skeptical. Their lives have changed so much, but the sex remains good. Can they really work out having a relationship?

Who would be interested in this? I’m thinking women over a ‘certain age’, dog groomers and trainers (most of us are women, and the female character I’ve written is a dog person), people who show dogs or compete in performance, people interested in Africa, and how things are (this is where the lovers meet), people who are always others, or outsiders (Jews, Sikhs, Asians), and, I hope, people interested in issues of integrity, because I have woven a narrative addressing integrity in all the interest areas. That was my main goal: how do we address integrity as we, particularly in the United States, have elected a political administration which has made a mission of insulting anyone who has integrity?

I believe I’ve really fleshed out the characters and made the situations plausible (though it is a fantasy). What I have to do is get people to read and review it. E.L.James, who wrote ’50 Shades of Gray’, and self-published that because of her other writing (fan fiction) was able to get momentum. I’m hoping to at least break even, but I also hope readers will enjoy this and start discussing the issues.

I’ve been in touch with other writers of erotic romance, and they all use a formula. They use a formula because they write a lot and need a fan base to sell a lot. I’m interested in other topics, but depending on how this goes, I may write something else for the characters. What I do know is that I will need at least 20, if not more, reviews on Amazon to gain momentum. I’ll write more when I know more.

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2 Responses to “All in My Head”

  1. Karen Menczer Says:

    After I read it, I will review on Amazon-count me in-and I’m sure it will be a positive review since I really enjoy what I know of your writing from your blog posts.

  2. disparateinterests Says:

    Thanks, Karen!

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