Saturday, July 6, 2013

"River's Daughter": my flirtation with erotica

First of all, when looking up a definition of erotica, I had to try to spell it three times before getting it right--and, dang me!--I just misspelled it again (and fixed it).

"River's Daughter," one short story of the collection Who Listened to Dragons, Three Stories, is the second of four fantasy short stories that I have so far written that explore the concept of the "water elemental," the incarnation of the essence of water.

The collection Who Listened is now available for the month of July for free.

Each of the four stories will match the water elemental's personality to the season. The first story was subsumed in the novel The Stone Dragon, where the protagonist Glimmer meets a water spirit in the winter as an ice naiad. "River's Daughter" is a water elemental during spring, when the world is growing and life is beginning. 

The ice naiad in The Stone Dragon expresses its "love" as chilling cold. In "River's Daughter," the "love" is that of impregnation, of the desire to quicken with life. This led me, as this post's title states, to "flirt" with erotica in order to concretize that "spring flood" in human form.
Here are definitions of "erotica" from the Free Online Dictionary:
  • Literature or art intended to arouse sexual desire. Well, the subject matter includes sex, but the intention in writing, the goal, was not arousal. Is the procreative energy of nature sexual? I guess the literal answer, according to biology, is yes . . . 
  • (Fine Arts & Visual Arts / Art Terms) explicitly sexual literature or art. No, descriptions are suggestive, using indirect or metaphoric description. I wanted to put into human form that power of life desiring to reproduce itself.
  • Literature or art dealing with sexual love. A longer inquiry into what is meant by dealing is necessary, but the short answer is yes. The anthropomorphic depiction of water in spring flood as a woman does deal with sex and reverence for life. I suppose that can be ascribed to sexual love. (Mr. Webster defines anthropomorphic as ascribing human characteristics to nonhuman things.)
Hence I see my flirtation with the erotic as a stylistic necessity--as Mr. Webster defines flirtation: experimenting with or coming close to reaching or experiencing. 

Excerpt from "River's Daughter":
"He trembled at the sound, the old woman forgotten, his horse and gear forgotten, all forgotten but the song. It entered him, filling his veins with a fiery nectar. He stumbled, drunk with the pounding of his heart. Awkward, blinded by the liquid singing, he left the woman, pulled to the river."
I don't believe I've given too much away. I haven't even mentioned the foil to the river spirit!

This story and two others are available for free this July at Smashwords: Who Listened to Dragons, Three Stories

Enjoy your summer reading.


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