I don’t need no speed, no
I don’t need no heroin, no thanks
I don’t want no coke
You can keep your ketamine
I’m a bassline junkie, what?
*Dizzee Rascal – Bassline Junkie*
Welcome to day one of Eroticon 2013, or day two for the people who attended the little shindig at the Novotel the previous night. This included ILB and I, of course.
We arrived at Waterloo early, and therefore arrived at the venue way too early. As we stood outside, while the preparations inside blazed on, more people joined us. Rebel, wearing possibly the shortest skirt and highest heels known to man, tottered into view along with her husband. We were soon joined by Rose, Ian and a bunch of other people. At one point, the sight of about seven or eight erotica writing mavens (lead expertly by Lucy Felthouse and Victoria Blisse) arriving at the same time had me in internal giggles. The fact that all of them promptly left again to go get food at the nearest Costa was equally funny.
Eventually, we were allowed in and were fitted with our shag bags (gift bags for the smuttily inclined) and badges. Immediately there was a reason for a small panic in regards to ILB’s badge, but he found a very clever way to solve the mistake made. Still…
As we mass-attacked the coffee and tea, people started to flood in. Hugs were handed out, business cards were at the ready.
Eventually, it was time for the opening plenary, for which we filed into the Max Nasatyr (or as Kristina Lloyd dubbed it, the “Max Nasty”) room.
Opening plenary – Brook/FPA- XES- We Can’t Go Backwards
After Ruby’s housekeeping announcements, it was time for the opening to our conference. We were introduced to the XES – We Can’t Go Backwards campaign, which you can read about on the Brook website.
It’s a very noble cause, and I urge you to contribute in any way you can (I’ve asked Alison from Brook if I could possibly become a volunteer, and I was told they are needed). But it was a very heavy way to open a conference about writing sex. Still, very good cause and we need to help make the change Brook and FPA are striving for, lest we indeed go totally backwards.
Creative Writing 1 – Kristina Lloyd
Now this lady, I like.
I am embarrassed to admit that, although I know of Kristina and have the infamous Asking For Trouble in my book collection, I have never read a spat of what she has written. That didn’t stop me from admiring her hugely and therefore, I was keen to hear what she would bring to the table in her session.
I am pleased to say I did not have a disappoint.
In the run up to Eroticon, I noticed a tweet from her saying that “her sex machine” was ready to go. And indeed it was, her sex machine being an Excel spreadsheet, with blocks in many different colours. We were asked to fill in each block with various things that made no sense at first. Example.
Name four things that sparkle –
- Musical theatre
- Ballroom dresses
Yes, this is where my head went.
But it was incredibly helpful and inspiring, weirdly enough. Kristina covered a lot in her 45 minutes and I left with a renewed zest for the written word. And, by my side, an ILB who has promised to write more erotic fiction. I think that’s a big tick, non?
Editing/Let’s Eat, Pussy – Cressida Downing
Upon arriving in the room, we were presented with THIS THING THAT CAN NOT BE UNSEEN.
It set the tone for one of the most hilarious sessions I attended, as Cressida explained the what’s and what-nots of editing your work. Interspersed with some choice… ehm… yeah, snippets of godawful erotica, she elaborated on the mistakes, the forms of editing and what you need to think about when you’re writing. Cressida was amazing, full of natural dry wit (my favourite, don’t cha know) and love for her profession. When I ran into her later on, she seemed absolutely lovely, despite being stricken by a lurgy (as were most of the delegates, it seems). Very awesome session, this.
Creative Writing – Eroticism and Romanticism- Remittance Girl
Holy hellfire was this ever a session to make you think. RG had A LOT to say and it was hard to take it all in at first, but having had a few days to let it simmer (and the advantage of having her own notes to look over) I have to say that it all made sense in that way that RG makes things make sense. The first time I met her, she took me out to Pizza Express, down the road from my hostel. I came away from that night with a wisdom that isn’t much bestowed on someone who was that green behind the ears at the time.
Same here. Although I don’t always agree with what she says, her presentation made me want to insert slivers of transgression into my work. I’d like to be a bit more edgy in my writing, although not as edgy as RG and her peers are. This helped. A lot.
Pitching To Publishers – Hazel Cushion
I have to say that I kinda wish they had invited more representatives from different publishers to be present at this session. Not that Hazel isn’t a capable speaker (she totally is), but I would have liked to have gotten more points of view. My own editor was in the audience, sitting right behind me, and I would have loved to have heard her points of view.
Having said that, I loved this session. Hazel is incredibly funny and knows what her company wants. She explained the absolute no-no’s of sending in a manuscript, what Xcite is looking for and how fast the story needs to take the editor in if you want it to be chosen.
Erotic Podcasting – Sam Sparrow and Lea Rice (The High Tea Cast)
I am absolutely biased to the tits about these girls (I LOVE THEM), so I will keep it short. It was a very lively and colourful session, and made me want to get experimenting with audio. Also, it made me never want to go to The Hummingbird Bakery again. Also, lollipops!
After the last session, Ruby closed us off by talking about how sex bloggers should grow up with our blogs. And I can’t agree more.
Later in the evening, the readings we missed out on last year would take place at a bar in Kennington. But between this and that, there was my personal highlight of the whole shebang.
Dinner with the gang.
Lady Pandorah, ILB, Blacksilk, me and Emma Whispers, sat at a table in a hotel, eating and shooting the shit, realizing full well that we don’t get to see each other often and that the next time we see each other as the full group could be months away. It made me wistful, and later in the night, during the readings (titled Aural Sex, which is ace) I had a very funny turn, which caused me oodles of horror in my head. Nevertheless, the readings were ace. KD Grace taught us that sex on a Harley is perfectly do-able, Ashley Lister Sr. (because there were two) regaled us with anecdotes about swinging and blow up dolls, Janine Ashbless made troll sex less icky and Kristina Lloyd made anal the new black.
Thus ended day one.
Part three tomorrow.