Poppy gave up the ghost when she started listening to the voices of her friends and not those in her own head. After Cait Kiernan upbraided her for using sex as a plot point, Poppy has set out to live by rules created for her, rather than by her. There is nothing wrong with a touch of the erotic (watch her chase her tail in a rage if you even say the word in relation to her work now) if it creates the atmosphere and sells the relationship on another level. Sadly, she's taken the advice of a person who once said of sex in literature: "It's like going to the bathroom. You know they do it, but you don't need to write two pages on it."
This is, of course, total gopher twaddle. True, I did once say something like the comment Lewis attributes to me here. I can't recall when or where (this may be a direct quote; I don't know), but my attitude towards extended sex scenes in novels is certainly no secret. I talked about it openly in this journal as recently as this spring, when I was working on Frog Toes and Tentacles. But. To suggest that Poppy hasn't been thinking for herself, that I am somehow responsible for the fact that she's no longer writing "erotic horror" (or whatever) is an insult to Poppy. And it's an absurd insult, at that. I mean, you might as well suggest that Harlan Ellison or William Burroughs or Hunter S. Thompson or Kathy Acker, at some point in their careers, stopped thinking for themselves because some friend or another "upbraided" them for some perceived literary transgression. It has been my experience that Poppy does what Poppy damn well wants, even when it's not in her own best interest. Ms. Lewis is the sort of reader, it seems, who believes authors are writing for them and that, when push comes to shove, the Reader Knows What's Best. Ms. Lewis is, therefore, a fool.
My thanks to tagplazen for an unexpected and wonderful package that arrived here from Seattle earlier this week. A veritable cornucopia of dradness that has been much appreciated. It included: a whoopee cushion, four CDs that we haven't yet had time to listen to (but I see there's stuff by Residents and the Lotus Eaters), a sheet of glow in the dark stickers (stars, moons, Saturns, shooting stars), five identical bumpterstickers which read "Let Them Eat Cake," three very cool postcards depicting various Hindu gods and goddesses, a package of 120 "Topical" ten-commandment stickers, Jogging With Jesus by C. S. Lovett (this is the gem of the bunch), a package of "Fantasy Garden Incense" (20 sticks of a scent identified as "Pussy"), a poster from Crimethinc., and a red "Proud to be Drug Free" pencil (with a well-loved eraser). I mean, wow!
And Spooky gave me a Halloween Pez dispenser today. An embarrassment of riches, says I.
Okay. Back to work. And it's not too late to hit those eBay auctions, if you feel so inclined.