Looking backwards over the years because of my collection Gardenias, and my noms de plume. Stories of mine at CS. The first one I ever wrote was a serial called “Man in the Moon.” About love and loss. I remember how huge it was to me that it was published by Susannah at the time. I had been reading another serial and I thought to myself, “I bet I can write one.” I was just amazed when she published it, and it’s a long time ago now. That was a difficult decade of loss for me — I see that by 2002 I was writing my character The Velvet Babe. By then I think I had joined the writer’s list at ERWA. So, 2003 was “Timeless.” And “Haiku.”
2004. Writing was really saving me during that time — my mother had passed away, and my father in law. I see I wrote “A Pillowbook Tale” which was about Ikebana. Then there was a contest, but I just wrote a tiny story for that — using the words. I didn’t want to be in the contest, just it was fun to make a story — so that one is Velvet Valentine.
Next came Velvet Belle, that one was written to a piece of art for theme over at ERWA — that Helena had chosen. Then Velvet Babe in Dangerous. Hahaha. By then I had really started to flesh out who the character was and what would happen in the stories at the ends of them. Then came Prisoners, which was written to an image of Magritte’s. The Lovers. Then Gardenias, which is one of my favorites. I see that I had changed my nom at that point to Valentina Bonnaire. So 2004 is a strong turning point. Nothing again for Exotica until “Song of Solomon” which was gritty realism, and marked a kind of turning point for me as a writer. Funny but that was 2006. Six years ago, now. The turning point had to do with writing morality tales. Then Caza Azul.
2007 Brought Magic Feeling. This may have come from a theme month at ERWA. Red Leatherette is also 2007. I remember I loaned that out to a free site in the web for a good cause. Something Remittance Girl was doing and other writers I knew from the list also put things there. CS took that one down, because I eventually self-published that as a story on Kindle. With the exception of the serial those were all posted in Exotica. But, by then, I had begun to write some longer pieces that fell under the fiction section. And also an article or two. Scrolling down the list now it is amazing to see the names I was published next to. Really amazing. So over in Fiction, 2005 was Petits Pots de Crème au Chocolat and American Daddy-O. That last is over in ERWA too. By then my name was Valentine Bonnaire. I stopped there!
Poem from CS for me: the incense buddha
Articles that were reviews I did: This one for Blue, which was that very first serial I followed ages ago. The book got published! This one for a great book from Cleis Press, I loved this because it was a very healing book. And this for a wicked little film. I never watch these kinds of films so it was a first for me.
Anyway there was ERWA! And I was on that writer’s list over there. It was a madhouse of stories and poems every week from every conceivable angle. It’s hard to remember what I wrote over there because at one time I was writing a story or something per week, no kidding. I just immersed myself in writing because I was losing family members one by one to old age. A lot of things stopped for me in the last decade. Maybe writing was a saving grace. I think it was. I know it was.
So over there, on that list, I did my best writing. That was by observing how others wrote and learning. Those stories are in the Treasure Chest, that were kept. I can’t believe the number of really famous people in this genre I was writing next to, now. I got three chapters of Man in the Moon published in this book of Susannah’s. That was just huge to me. I remember. Being in a real book! Also part of that, the opener was over in SlowTrains.com here. I got to interview Kate Braverman, once.
So at ERWA in Erotic Fiction I’m seeing 4 of mine at this page. American Daddy-O, Bukowski Girls, Afterglowing and Virescence.
In Softer Side is Cocos Locos. That is the one and only piece of fiction I wrote for a call, ages ago. But I pulled it, because no one got back to me? I did.
Quickies. You’ll find those here. These were some of my faves to write because keeping to a 1200 word count. Swingtimers, Guys & Dolls (satire) and the very silly it came Upon a Midnight… xxoo! Poetry was candyboxes.
So anyway, what I learned last night on the Writer’s list is that Kindle doesn’t want an electronic version up of anything you have written? So I guess that means that the stories that are in Gardenias are going to have to get pulled from the archives. That makes me sad?
Also, someone has published a book and taken one of my stories called Pillowbook Tale from CS. I saw it in Kindle, and that pisses me off. It really does.
Anyway, gearing up to write more these days.
Funny looking back is so many memories.
And reading so many fantastic writers.
Over the years.