And The Stories Live On….

A good friend of mine who loves my work, Edie Scott, inspired me to write this post.

Her and I had been e-mailing about writing, and she told me a very cool thing that really had me feeling good: she said that she reads and REreads my work! She’s already started Do The Dead Dream?, but has read all of my books and published short stories multiple times!

Wow.

That had me realize that the work I’ve created and moved on from continues to live and breathe and operate in the imaginations of readers like Edie. She went on to say that she loves to discover the different layers to the stories on those rereads…and how there were things she’d missed the first or second time around, and later discovered on additional reads.

I mean, that is so damned cool! I can’t tell you how thrilling that was to hear!

Edie and I go way back, have known each other some 25 or so years, and she is a huge reader of all books, all genres. So to hear something like that is mind-blowing. I keep telling her that she’s just saying that because we’re friends—and after I recover from the psychic haymaker she throws, she tells me emphatically no, that is not the reason. She tells me that my books are (in my word:) thinky. That I like to challenge and bring those challenges to readers. I thought Voice would turn her off, but she gets that it’s more than just a story about a guy falling in love with a voice in his head. Edie is of devout religious faith, and she got past the gnarly sex scenes I’d written as a matter of necessity to the story. She freaking got that (and she is not the only one, let me just say, other good friends—who are also writers—like Joyce Combs [my editor], Karen Lin and Aaron Michael Ritchey also get that, but my non-writer friend Edie inspired this post, and I’m focusing on readers, here). She got that it wasn’t about the sex…it was about so much more…and yes, there are various levels of layers to the story. When I first wrote Voice I didn’t want it to be my first publication, because I didn’t want people  to think I wrote “porn.” It is emphatically not “porn.” Porn is written to sexually excite, and I did not write that book to do that. I wrote it because of the underlying story. The sex scenes were necessary to all of the characters’ downfall and redemption. Instead of violence…I incorporated sex…and people seem to be far more embarrassed and vocal about graphic sexual situations than they are about violence, and that is disturbing to me.

Of all the free copies of Voice I distributed last year, I have not found one, single review. Not one comment from anyone anywhere about the story. Why is that? Had they just not gotten to it? Was it because I wrote about characters masturbating versus having sex? Had that so offended everyone? Yet we have all these violent and dark stories and programs out there that people flock to. Are people really far more tolerant of graphic violence than graphic sex? And can they not see beyond the sex for the rest of the story?

When I’d decided to take on that story…and make it public…I wrestled with these ideas…but ultimately decided the story was powerful enough…that there would be readers out there who would get it, and get past the single-handed sex (pun intended). And I was right. But more so, apparently, there are more readers (at this point) who are too offended or embarrassed or whatever about the sex scenes to say anything about the book.

Yet Fifty Shades of Grey is a big hit.

Or is that in my small circle of readers—my readership—are shocked that I—me–wrote such a book? A book that is a huge departure from my normal output? Even Edie pointed that out. I’d also taken on the story to branch out…to immerse myself into a definite level of discomfort to expand my writing ability. I admit to continually reevaluating whether I should remove that book from public, and I continue to come up with the same answer: no. It is a powerful story, and soon others will also and hopefully come to appreciate that. And Voice will continue to live and breathe and operate in the minds of readers like my friend Edie, who reads and rereads….

I am thrilled to think that stories I have written so long ago (one story from Do The Dead Dream? is from 1978) will continue to live on in the minds of others. Sure, I’ve thought about that over the years, but this concept really hit me this week during the e-mail exchanges between Edie and me, and a bunch of discouragement and angst I’d just gone through. Thank you so much, Edie!

So…after the dismal sales-to-date of all my work, including my most recent Do The Dead Dream? anthology, which I thought would do far better than it has, I am brightened by this conversation. I had so much fun creating all of my stories…bringing them to light. And I hope they will continue to find a continued readership and live on in their imaginations much like they did with me.

Happy New Year everyone!

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About fpdorchak

Upmarket paranormal fiction author. I write gritty, Twilight Zone-like fiction. Please check out my website: https://www.fpdorchak.com/! Thank you for stopping by!
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5 Responses to And The Stories Live On….

  1. fpdorchak says:

    I did run this post by Edie before posting it, BTW, to get her approval to use her name, et cetera.

  2. Karen Lin says:

    People are preoccupied, busy, not (for the most part) offended by Mastercard. … I suspect. But my keyboard is offended enough to turn masterbation into Mastercard.!!

  3. Paul says:

    I’m glad your friend Edie gave you such nice encouragement, Frank. Anyone who’s in a creative field needs that from time to time. It can be tough when we see acclaim flow toward others and not ourselves, but success at the price of compromise is bought too dearly. You have to tell the story you want to tell, the way you want to tell it, no matter what, because at the end of the day, you’re the one who has to be able to look at yourself in the mirror. As long as you can do that and not flinch, you’re already a big success.

    • fpdorchak says:

      I struggle with the thought that that I need *acclaim*. I mean, the creation of art (in this case, fiction) is its own reward, but I’ve always wanted to support myself through my fiction writing, so I could do nothing BUT write fiction and have fun exercising my imagination like all that Greats out there and live my life doing so, and in order to do that, others—many others!—have to read what I write. So it becomes, as Mario Acevedo says, a Möbius loop. And when I see “everyone else” getting the air time, it frustrates. I begin to question my own worth, my own ability—when I know I shouldn’t, but I am only human, and when the masses seem to go counter to what you’ve believed all your life, you do have at least a temporary niggling doubt enter your armor and draw some blood. So you reevaluate yourself, your intentions, your efforts, and you either continue on or you change your direction. I have literally been writing my entire life, it’s something I love doing, I have fun with—pure joy when I’m in the beginning, middle, or end of any piece I’m working on!—and it’s when I’m at my happiest (in terms of work performed)!

      I have take all this into account and realize…I can’t stop. At least not now. I may have some momentary setbacks…but it’s up to me to muscle through those challenges and “go around the rocks,” as I tell others. I’m doing this because I have the inspiration, the inclination, the impetus to DO so. That cannot be ignored.

      So, I continue to write. It’s own reward. Come what may.

      Again, I’m no one special in this regard. All of us go through this. If one person feels one way, others do, too, because as different as we all are, we’re also very much the alike. We’re human, we have drives, desires, and goals…we have set backs. We have conquests! We have aptitudes and inclinations. Predispositions.

      And we go on.

      Thank you, Paul!

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