In case anyone is interested in following my latest thoughts and reflections, they can be found at my other blog, http://bradleystokedotnet.wordpress.com/.
Emily in her recent blog commented on the length of her relationship. Although I can trump her on longevity (but not necessarily on intensity), it is an interesting question how much one's love life might influence one's writing - especially if it's sex fiction that you write.
So, what do people think?
The majority of stories on this site are predicated on infidelity or promiscuity. Is that the way to go? Is the best sex fiction writer the one with the most experience in all the variations of what you can do with your genitals? Or is this just the fastest route to the clinic or early but illuminating death?
Or does prolonged familiarity with mutual affection that is enhanced by sexual passion and not necessarily in an acrobatic or gynaecologically bizarre way lead to a greater and therefore more profound view of sexual relations?
Or is it just boring?
There must be some people with an opinion either way.
Us Non-Americans love to hate Americans.
It's what makes our lives worth living.
Unfortunately for us, just two years ago it looked like America had turned a corner and had at last embraced sanity.
It now seems (although the final verdict is not quite in) that the world beyond the 50 states and the 300 million over-weight, under-taxed and woefully misinformed will once again be able to adopt the pose of supercilious superiority with relation to America's obvious stupidity that suits us so well.
And now it looks like the House of Representatives at least and probably the Senate as well will be at the mercy of those who live in total denial of the planet on which they live and continue to recite a mantra of absurdly narrow views that contradict science, history, ethics, common sense and (perhaps the only fear that the few who hold faith in the United States beyond its shores might have) future electability.
The majority of story feedback I've ever got tends to relate to how much or how little I've satisfied my readers.
Those who like my stories give me nice feedback. Those who recognise what the stories are really about tend to give me the most enthusiastic feedback even if they disagree with what I'm actually saying.
Those who dislike my stories tend to give me nasty feedback. In truth, it is sometimes actually quite good feedback. Not all negative criticism is illiterate and block-headed. Sometimes it is thoughtful, polite, quite sensible and insightful even if that reader and I have to agree to holding quite different world views.
A recent blog on this site complained that the comments he got were very negative. I read his stories (which are incredibly short) and I have to say they were quite well-written (by Stories OnLine standards) and said what they meant to say very concisely and well.
The criticisms this author got was entirely about the political content (which is off the scale everywhere but America and, perhaps, weird countries that no one's ever heard of). This is because it is the political content which is the most obviously contentious.
It is fairly disingenuous to pretend otherwise.
(And I am slightly bemused by the fact that the blog that carries this complaint has almost as many words as this author's entire fictional output on SOL. That may actually be a good thing on a site which generally praises quantity over quality, but I don't think this is the feature of this author's fiction I would criticise).
Please don't read another word if politics, especially partisan politics, offends you.
I may not be the first one to draw this parallel, but I'm reminded of the Rwanda massacre by the insane behaviour of right-wing radio and the News International machine (specifically Fox News) that is building up towards the American mid-term elections.
And like the Hutu propaganda that was spewed out in 1990 on Rwandan radio, that led to the bloody massacre of most Tutsis and a large number of Hutus who were sympathetic to Tutsis, it seems that the right wing media (in fact, insanely right wing media) are winning the war of public opinion in America.
18% of Americans believe that their president is a Muslim.
Building a mosque in down-town Manhattan in the nation that most exemplified religious tolerance in the eighteenth century is seen as un-American.
The word "nigger" is now being proclaimed as an OK word to use because a handful of black entertainers use it.
Anyone of a dusky complexion in Arizona is potentially liable to sudden deportation.
Every day and in every way, a sizeable proportion of Americans (by far the majority unlike the Tutsis in Rwanda) whose views don't exactly concur with a subsect of the American right-wing (that has adopted the term 'RINO' to attack those of insufficient radical conservatism) are being threatened with incendiary rhetoric coupled with unconvincing, mealy-mouthed apologies for past imagined misspeakings.
This is an age where America's deep fractures are threatening to surface. (And the real cause of anxiety, which is America's huge debt to the world's second largest economy, barely features at all in the news).
God help not just most Americans but the world if this insane movement (that so hypocritically hides itself behind the token words of liberty, freedom and democracy that it so obviously despises) should get a foothold on power.