Goals and Convictions

Right after work, I came back home and poured out a short story for an anthology that should be coming out some time early next year. Is it excellent? Probably not. But this is NaNoWriMo, and the story was 1,888 words long. So not only did I make my goal for today, but I manage to create a pretty cool piece of supernatural gay erotica.

I want to share it so badly because I'm proud of the twist in the story. Part of me wonders whether I should use a different pen name for erotica. Then I remembered that I wrote a splatterpunk short story that is part of an anthology that I have promoted on this website. Overall, the latter story is significantly more horrifying to myself—as a person—than the former. If I'll put my name on a piece of splatterpunk, why wouldn't I put my name on a piece of gay erotica?

There's no good reason. That's my choice. I'm a writer. Moreover, I like to think of myself as the sort of person that can explore genres that make not only others uncomfortable, but that make me uncomfortable. And I choose to stand behind that work because I believe that art, literature, and expression in general should not be subject to the caprices of society. In fact, expression itself is designed to challenge what we believe to be good and just.

Pieces that challenge that which we know to be good challenge our moral worldview. They ask us to explore the good in us, the evil, and expose the extent to which we are willing to forgive those who do awful things. I think I capture this more extensively in the recent short story I wrote, “Xinsheng,” where the main character asks us to consider her terrible actions in the face of impossible odds. They force us to look at evil in context and to re-examine what we believe to be good.

I think it's good to be challenged. And I think it does a disservice to humanity if we fail to place ourselves in positions where we can be fairly criticized. So my name will go onto my gay erotica story, and it'll be promoted on this site without shame or fear.

A little trepidation, sure, because I think that a lot of people find the inherent complexity in human behavior to be frightening. And I'm ever-so-slightly concerned about being judged. But who isn't, really?