Monday, November 19, 2012

The Chance I Never Had

With Christmas coming up, I've got The Red Satin Collection on my mind.  If you've never heard of The Red Satin Collection, it's Maisie and Regan's holiday love story.  The collection is comprised of three stories (Red Satin, The Night Before Red Satin Christmas, and Red Satin Christmas) and until the end of the year I'll be donating 50% of my royalties from these ebooks and the collection paperback to a peer support organization for LGBT youth.  

I've posted all this before, but it's weighing on me right now.  

What's on my mind?  Just one aspect of the story: Regan's reunion with her alcoholic father. 

It's funny when I write a character who is so clearly ME and don't even realize it. Butch Regan (hater of shopping trips, secure in her sexuality, and very much in love with her trans friend Maisie) is such a ME character that I probably wouldn't have been able to write the Red Satin stories if I'd realized it at the time.

The Red Satin Collection is not based on real life events. Not at all. It's based on real people (my girlfriend and I), but the stories are speculation. The stories are "what ifs." My girl is not out with her family yet the way Maisie is. After almost 4 years as a couple, we haven't spent a Christmas together the way Regan and Maisie do. I've never cheated on my girl the way Regan cheats on Maisie--and definitely not with any of her sisters.

I also never got Regan's chance at reunion with my alcoholic father. 

When my dad died, we'd been estranged for a dozen or so years. I cut ties with a heavy heart after he became increasingly abusive toward myself and my family, stealing from us, issuing death threats against my mother, my siblings, and I. There was a time when we were truly afraid for our lives.  Restraining orders were issued, not followed. My mother installed bars on our windows because he kept breaking into our house.

So, that was "real life" many years ago.

In "real life" today, I don't find myself speculating on the possibilities, but I always say my writing comes more from my unconscious than my conscious mind. I never ask myself questions like: What if my father had quit the bottle? What if he'd seen the error of his abusive ways and developed wisdom in the time we didn't know each other? What if he'd come back into my life with something to teach me? What if he could meet the woman I love and admire our relationship? Christmas?

Maybe I'm too pragmatic or even too bitter to ask these questions, I don't know, but The Red Satin Collection (the story called Red Satin Christmas in particular) isn't afraid to play with them. Maybe writing is nothing more than cheap therapy. And maybe it's more than just therapy for the writer. I'm not saying The Red Satin Collection is a self-help book (it's trans lesbian erotic romance, actually) but I think it did help me, somehow.

I think everything I write helps me. Somehow.



  1. "What if he could meet the woman I love and admire our relationship? Christmas?"

    Wow, that puts a whole new spin on the collection, hon. I have to admit, those questions brought a few tears to my eyes. I'm sorry you'll never get the answers, but if you can live vicariously through Regan & Maisie, then hopefully you can take some measure of satisfaction in the happiness they've brought to your readers.

  2. Sally, you've got a knack for making me feel good about myself. Thank you for that.