Dita Parker

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The name game

There are probably as many reasons for choosing to use a pseudonym as there are authors donning one. This is mine.

I have never been and never will be a writer to write one thing only. I wouldn't even want to. I'm too restless for that, too scattered in my interests and too undecided in my tastes. It would never work. I'd go mad and drive others up the wall so I could pace the floor like the caged lion I become when someone flashes too short a leash. If variety is the spice of life, give me a herbarium. I yam what I yam, I second that certain sailorman. I don't deny it, but how to play it smart, now that was the question when I queried Ellora's Cave. 

I started this blog while taking part in The Seventy Days of Writing Challenge under the same pen name (which I didn't know EC might veto, which they didn't). I'd put up an email account for yours truly. I was up and running and chocking on humble pie. I felt I'd made a concession going in with a nom de plume. All because I had written erotica. All because I had been warned I might start receiving unwanted messages and attention. 

I wanted to say I didn't care, that I could distinguish between fact and fiction, between what I write and who I am, and to hell with those who can't and get confused, or those for whom sex is not a dirty word, it's dirty period. The warnings annoyed me. Gigantic period. I got angry thinking I might have to choose between censoring what I wrote and disguising who wrote; caged seeing that leash offered up to me; upset the fantasies and intolerance and misapprehensions of others played a role in what role I assumed or chose not to. 

Imagine your child bringing in the mail and handing you a postcard inviting you to be the guest of honor at a group sex session. Spotting a picture in the trash of a naked man palming his pride and joy, another invitation. Imagine receiving obscene phone calls on end, a package containing someone's sperm donation. These are real-life examples from the lives of young women who write erotica or whose writings include passages with explicit sex. 

As surely as crime writers should all be arrested for murder, science fiction writers...what planet are they from anyway, and fantasy writers have lost contact with reality, erotica authors must be either oversexed or going without and gagging for it. Could we make a deal, right here, right now: If we are, we'll let you know, okay? Send out invitations to our orgies, or post a call for one. Until then, just...don't. 

I can resist being labeled. I can ignore the hang-ups of others. And I will fight for my children's innocence and peace of mind for as long as I possibly can. They don't have to learn to put up with whatever may be slung my way even if I'm prepared to. They can't choose, so I chose for them; what I hope is the lesser evil, the smaller concession, the longest leash. Humble pie. It's an acquired taste. 

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