Welcome to blog, Kelly! Now, I freely admit that reading any lady parts freaks the hell out of me, which is why I passed up this anthology for review. But I’m happy to have Kelly here today to support her story and the anthology.
Now, I’ll turn it over to Kelly to tell you a little bit about her story, “Songs From Devil Lake.”
Erotica writers always seem to drop little hints about the amazingness of their sex lives. Writers of BDSM casually mention collaring their slaves. People on mailing lists pepper their messages with mentions of group sex, or that one hot time in Idaho.
I’m from the other end of the spectrum. My sex life is never as good as I want it to be.
I’ve had dry spells in my adult life, usually for lack of someone I deemed worthy of seeing me naked. I have never had a threesome, curious as I’ve been, because the politics! The politics! Plus, I’d need to have two willing, attractive people in a room with me with a bottle of vodka. I suspect there are more people like this than there are people with perfectly fulfilled fetishes. By that, I mean people who always wish their sex lives were just a little bit more exciting, but who can never fully realize their kinks because of an unwilling partner or lack of the ability to put it into words.
That’s the sentiment behind “Songs From Devil Lake”, my story in the Torn in Two anthology from the super amazing Storm Moon Press. The protagonist is a guy named Daniel, a musician who isn’t quite a rock star and tells his wife everything. Almost.
Daniel is bisexual, which is not the source of his sketchiness. As a creature who rejects binaries of all sorts, I always find it grating when people assume bisexuality means indecision or roaming outside their relationship plains thinking something is lacking. But Daniel is into being dominated, and that’s what he can’t express.
He was into it before he got married. He was into it while he was married. But, for the same reasons it’s hard to tell strangers what we think about when we masturbate, he can’t tell his wife. It’s fear, shyness, sheepishness, apathy. You could circle one of those at any given time.
It’s a powerful urge, though, and as the chasm in his marriage widens, he strays. This is when you would either hate him or be turned on by him, depending on your preference. I kind of think the latter. Ashamed and gutted by his separation, he goes up to visit his ex-boyfriend and his ex-boyfriend’s wife, and the pair of them… uh… make it all better.
I’m not very good at talking about my own writing. My instinct is to stammer and point to the next guy. If I had anything worthwhile to say about writing, I’d be J.K. Rowling. But here’s what was fun about writing “Songs from Devil Lake”:
- Making a character who does bad things sympathetic: Because Daniel has done some jerk-off things. Really. He cheated on his spouse. He sees his ex and wants to hump him before they even leave the train station (although if you picture Jude like I do, who wouldn’t?). Like the kid in Araby by James Joyce, Daniel is a creature driven to vanity by his own desires, and yet he’s a likeable and relatable (I hope) person. He is aware of his limitations and what has caused them. He is empathetic to the point of understanding just how unhappy he is with himself. He deserves a happy ending, and he… well, I won’t give away the ending.
- The threesomes!Because, like I said, I’ve never had one, but they sure are a pretty image, especially when you slap three pretty people together, including one who’s been salivating for it for years.
- Thinking about David Usher circa “Morning Orbit”That was the muse for Daniel, as was his seminal album “Morning Orbit”, which you’ll know if you’re from Canada. David became my hardcore muse over the next few years after the album was released, and I dissected the hell out of the lyrics. The album features a sublime song called “Black Black Heart”. There’s something about that song – the softness of his voice, the sexual violence of the lyrics – that makes me think it’s apology for perversion. That song is the soundtrack for “Songs From Devil Lake”.
So, there we have it. Relationship uncertainty. An inability to express our deepest sexual desires. These are the themes behind “Songs From Devil Lake”, which I hope you find to be dainty and thoughtful and hot. I think it is, but what do I know?
The other two stories in the anthology are pretty great, too.
Kelly Rand is the author of the standalone trans* short story Pearl, along with “Songs from Devil Lake”, which is included in Storm Moon Press’ Torn in Two anthology. Kelly can be found at www.kellyrand.net or on Twitter @rand_kelly.
I knew I liked you Kelly! “Araby” is my ALL TIME FAVORITE short story! I must have read it at least 50 times by now and both my copies of Dubliners falls open right to that story
Be sure to check out Storm Moon Press’ latest anthology, Torn in Two, a bisexual themed anthology released this week!