My computer died an untimely death this week, taking the first iteration of this newsletter with it. The moral of the story: Back up every day, dear Queens. The work you save may be your own.
I had backed up three days earlier, which is good news and bad news. With the help of my marvelous IT-savvy partner, I was able to resurrect the book I’m writing. But the last three days of edits are gone. It is amazing how attached we are to these machines. Losing computer memory feels like amnesia.
The death of my machine followed a week that included the biggest earthquake in a century here in North Carolina, plus a hurricane at the coast. And to top it off, the same day as the earthquake, we had thunder on a sunny afternoon. All in all, a bizarre week in a bizarre year.
So, to reconstruct this newsletter.
August saw the launch of my new online Elderotica writing group. I put out an invitation on my Facebook and LinkedIn pages, and we had a great crew of highly enthused women from all over the US plus Australia. We took time to get to know one another and to review how to keep the group safe for our sharing. Then we wrote from prompts in real time and read to one another. It continues to amaze me how a quick writing prompt can kick each woman’s brain in new directions, and how incredibly varied the responses can be. Writing erotica solo is great fun, and writing in a group is a quantum leap more so. And as one woman said, “This group will make life tolerable during this pandemic.” Connection is a powerful thing.
My original impetus to write Aphrodite’s Pen was the subversive impulse to start a movement of erotic writing groups. I was convinced that groups of women past menopause empowering one another through erotic writing was a great way to push back on ageism and sexism. I’m even more convinced of the need for such groups in the sexist, ageist era of the pandemic. And at the same time, one of the silver linings of lockdown is the chance to renew connections and form new networks online. I had to leave my original writing group in California when I moved to North Carolina two years ago, but that group went online with the pandemic and invited me back. Those meetings are so electric, so supportive, and generate such great creative juice that it made me want to share this model with lots of women.
For those following along at home, here are the first prompts we used in our new online group. If you’d like to try writing from one of these prompts, the rules are: Write quickly for ten minutes, don’t stop, don’t edit, but do change pronouns at will.
Write on your choice of:
There he was at her door, all gray hair and flowers
“The older I get, the more I like indecency.”
Fun, isn’t it? Even on your own. And if you would like to join an online Elderotica group, or better yet start one for women in your time zone, write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will gladly provide information and support.
With all best wishes,