By the 80s, the Civil Rights Movement was a thing of the past, right? We'd won that war. All men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. I'd been a conscientious objector, marched in Indianapolis, protested the Viet Nam War, and generally been a pain in the ass as far as the establishment was concerned. I guess I still am.
But I'd also had very little actual contact with people of color. None in either of the high schools I attended. Only one or two in the college I went to. Not really that many in Minneapolis or Seattle unless you count Asians and nobody considered them people of color. So, my first intimate encounter with a black woman was an eye-opener for both of us. And I still think of Marcie fondly.
It was driving along the route of the 1965 civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery that brought up all those memories and meeting up with Cassie and Andy to go to Columbus, Georgia where I'd eaten that pivotal meal of catfish and hushpuppies way back when. That was a location that had made it into The Prodigal.
But I was on the way to Florida for spring break and spring training where I would have a most unexpected encounter with a young woman I'd met briefly the year before. It was then that I truly realized the civil rights movement was not over, but had shifted focus from color to gender. And with that I revisited a painful memory from my checkered past that had a profound influence on LNDtH Book 4: Deadly Chemistry.
Today's chapter of Wonders of American Backroads might seem a little scattered, but it contains some dear memories. And after all, this is a memoir, right?
Pretty much everything I own is packed in a dozen plastic bins stacked in the dining area of my trailer while I prepare for the delivery of my new trailer. I even had to empty out the bed of my pickup so they can install the fifth wheel tomorrow. Sadly, that means I no longer have a cover over the bed. I liked not having that space open. I haven't yet told my daughter that I won't be going to Thailand for the winter and she won't have my truck to run around in. She will be disappointed.
Like many single men, I spent Valentine's Day sitting by the fire, drinking too much wine, and smoking too many cigars. While reading "Swarm" stories on SOL. I ignored the invitation I had to a VD party at a local strip club from a dancer I met at AdultCon. That doesn't mean I won't go see her, just that I couldn't face doing it on Valentine's Day.
Though I expect to add Kansas to my map and get as far east as the Mississippi this spring, the bulk of my time until July will be spent on the Left Coast. I found out, after I complained about one or more injustices, that I am a snowflake liberal. I had no idea. I thought I was just a decent human being. So I plan to spend most of my time out here among people of like mind and not risk my health and safety going across the country to Maine. Besides which, ganja is legal out here for the most part and I think I might need some.
I'm also hitting a few "adult" expos to try to sell my books, starting with Exxxotica Expo in Denver March 31-April 2. If you are in the Denver area, stop by. It's a fun show. I'll be selling my books at the show and as a result will have at least two new releases: Wonders of the U.S. Highways and Art Something. Both will be available only through my website and personal appearances. U.S. Highways has gone to the printer and I expect my proof shortly. I'm updating the story on SOL to match the released version, but SOL doesn't let me use photographs in the story. That's right, the print and new eBook editions will have 25 photos of my journey, including a few of the women I've mentioned. No nudity.
Here's a unique problem writers have: narrating life. It was revealed in a conversation at the grocery store yesterday. Cute girl in line behind me and equally cute cashier. And we got to talking about performing our roles. The cashier mentioned narrating her life in her head. In my head, I start the conversation and then add all the details. "Good morning. You have a lovely smile," I said. She looked startled. "Do I know you?" she asked, her voice shaking. "You do now," I answered. "When do you get off work?" By that time in real life, she's gotten to the point of saying, "Hi." I keep narrating the conversation all the way back to camp.
I can hardly believe that February is half over and I'm preparing to start traveling again. After four months in SoCal and with a new trailer, it's like starting out all over. I will give notice of photos on occasion that I'll post on my Imgur site.
So, now I need to continue writing Art Project and Yelloweye. The next Pygmalion Revisited story, "A Thousand Words", is in the hands of the final proofreader.
No rest for the wicked!
I guess it's never too late to be impetuous. I've been considering getting a new trailer for a couple of years. My little 16.5-foot Lance is cute. It's great for an old bachelor with only an occasional guest. And especially for the lifestyle of traveling, camping, and leaving that I've had over the past few years. But it's not conducive for, shall we say, longer term visits. In other words, almost impossible to develop a relationship.
So I finally got around to going shopping yesterday. I've considered and rejected the idea of a fifth wheel several times, but this time something gave me a nudge and I fell in love with a bigger unit. At 24 feet long, it only sticks out behind my truck the same distance that my 16-foot did. But inside, it's like moving into a mansion!
The great part is that with the high demand for my old trailer, I got a great trade-in, so the price came down low enough that I could handle financing. I might have to drink less wine, but it shouldn't dip into my coffee consumption.
With the new digs come new travel plans. I plan to stay in the West for the summer instead of going all the way across country to Maine. With the country ever nearer to armed rebellion (on all four sides) I'm staying closer to the left coast. So, by July I'll be back at my favorite nude campground in Idaho for three months. Nice and convenient to some people I know! Then, next winter, I'll come back to the Temescal Canyon, SE of LA for a reprise of this winter.
That works into my plans to capitalize more on the Adult Industry for distribution of my books. There's no question that the LA to Las Vegas corridor is the capital of the adult entertainment industry. Three major shows are held out here, including Adult Con (LA), The Adult Entertainment Expo (Las Vegas), and Exxxotica Expo (Denver). I plan to exhibit and sell my books at all three expos this year.
I've always eschewed the capitalist approach to my writing, but frankly, I need to generate more income and at my age, I don't actually want to work for it. Really. So consider giving a complete set of the "Model Student" series to a loved one for Valentine's Day. www.devonlayne.com has the links to all the books. Spice up your life and help me move into the women's erotica market as well as the men's.
Now I have to pack everything in my trailer into plastic bins so I can set it all outside while they tow away the old trailer and bring me my new digs!
Chapter three of American Backroads takes us into the wilds of the BLM lands at Quartzite. Quartzite is a town of about 3,000 that grows to over 100,000 in the winter. It's a friendly place.
Alice and I camped in an area called The Magic Circle, 75 acres that was set aside as clothing optional. I still think that it's amazing that the government has special property set aside that's for nudists. But New Year's Eve was when Andy and Cassie Clinton Jones arrived. What kind of weird fantasy is it to have my first grade girlfriend show up fifty-some years later and get naked?
It soon became obvious why our close relationship dissolved before third grade. Cassie was everything I was not. Open, friendly, vivacious, party animal. And besides, I had Alice.
I thought. We had a few things to work out. In the year-and-a-half we'd known each other, we'd only spent about three weeks together. We were good at visiting each other's worlds, but we both knew we couldn't live there. Visitation rights were something we could both get into, though.
That was a lot like being with Colette, years ago. We worked well together. We had fun at lunch at least once a week. She was sexy and flirtatious. But when she finally allowed me to enter her world, we discovered quickly that I couldn't live there. It was fun to visit, though.
Alice was already planning to visit me in Hawaii.
I've been very busy this week. Have finished writing three chapters of Art Project and I like where it is going. It will start the cycle through editing this weekend as I really buckle down. And I've promised to finish writing the first draft of Yelloweye this month, so I'll be working on that, too.
But this week has been focused on getting my website updated so it looks more professional and functions like a bookstore. I hope to add other features to it soon and will be offering some of my released eBooks and paperbacks there exclusively, rather than going through Amazon. This week is testing! And you can help. Visit www.devonlayne.com and after you have looked at the site, take the survey and tell me what you think of it, what would work better, and how I can improve. I appreciate it a lot.
I'm pushing to have a good professional image out there because I'm still thinking about exhibiting at Exxxotica Expo in Denver the first weekend of April. It's a case of balancing what it would cost with the real (book sales) and perceived (image and exposure) value of being there. As I don't have a lot of money to play with, it is still up in the air. Here's why I'm considering it:
First, http://exxxoticaexpo.com/ has told me that I qualify for a "talent" booth where I can sell my books. A talent booth is a third the price of a vendor booth! But that's still $600 bucks!
Second, I'm being considered as a seminar speaker. My presentation would be titled "Doing it with Words." It would essentially promote reading erotica as both an individual and couples' entertainment. I'm sure my chances of becoming a presenter would be enhanced if I was an exhibitor.
Third, Exxxotica is the largest adult (consumer) event in the USA dedicated to love and sex. "EXXXOTICA is marketed primarily to women and couples, who come armed with cash and ready to shop for the latest products and services in and out of the adult industry." Projected attendance is 20,000. According to promotional materials, there will be approximately 100-120 vendors. Women have long been a major consumer of erotica, but my audience has been primarily men. It would be a major deal to break into this market.
Fourth, Exxxotica takes place in three locations over the course of the year with Chicago in June and Edison, NJ in November. If I was wildly successful in Denver, I'd consider Chicago. Not sure I want to be on the East Coast in November.
Fifth, my new website should be ready for prime time with direct sale of books and other features by April. Some of my commercial content (not SOL) will be offered only through my website and in person and not through the 'normal' Amazon channel. I'm tired of giving Amazon a third to two thirds of the money people spend on books. It forces the price of the books, especially print books, so high that no one can buy them, and makes the net revenue from my eBooks (35 cents) ludicrous.
Sixth... Girls. Face it, I'm male, horny, and there will be hundreds of hot porn stars, cam girls, and strippers at the show. My trip to AVN was enlightening, fun, and I made some great contacts that I've been talking to about helping me in my booth.
THE DOWNSIDE, as usual, is money. I'd have to budget close to $2,000 for the booth, lodging, and food. And I would have to have a stock of books to sell. That means investing in paper that I'll have to lug around the country with me. I'd have to figure out how much of my costs I need to recoup through sales and how much would be through exposure.
Maybe I should launch a Kickstarter campaign. What do you think?
Please visit the website and give me your comments on it and on whether I should head for Exxxotica. It would significantly change some of my travel plans for this spring and I need to make a decision soon.
"Wonders of American Backroads" has begun serialization on SOL at http://storiesonline.net/s/15180/wonders-of-american-backroads. This is volume 2 of my memoirs, though both volume 1 and 3 have already been serialized. It is based on the true story of my erotic journey across and around America.
In 2013, I bought a truck and travel trailer and joined those who have 'all gone to look for America'. What I discovered was not only a rich tapestry of lovely personalities (and bodies), but a raft of memories that burst in on me in my solitude, reminding me of experiences and women I've known through a rich and varied life. Volume 1, "Wonders of the U.S. Highways", begins in July 2013 when I moved out on my own and decided to avoid freeways, but go wherever the truck pointed. It ends after Thanksgiving 2014 while I was camped in Arizona.
Volume 2, "Wonders of American Backroads", starts in December, 2014 and continues through February, 2016 when I left the U.S. and headed off around the world. Volume 3, "Seven Wonders of the World", chronicles my sixteen-country journey around the world, proving that there are beautiful people everywhere.
Many of the memories that were unearthed as I wrote this memoir involved the people on whom I later based characters in my writing. I laugh about them, because I fictionalized those characters even more in my novels than I have in this memoir. Yet, beneath the obfuscation of identity, combination of multiple people into one, and intentional changing of locations and circumstances, readers will find stories about characters that were untold in the novels I've written.
Is everything in this memoir true? Let's start with the fact that this is the memoir of Aroslav, the avatar of the pseudonym of the alter ego of the author. Like most people in America today, he has no concept of the separation of fact from fiction. If he says it's true, it must be. To him.
The story picks up where we left it at the end of Wonders of the U.S. Highways-with me anxiously awaiting a visit from Alice at Solstice. But what she brought with her! Alice, I was surprised to find out, had never been with a woman. She bumped and ground, touched, and even kissed some of her fellow performers at Roxie's, but she'd never gotten down and dirty with one of them. All that was about to change when she met Kim, her flight attendant on the way to Phoenix. And somehow, that was going to affect me, as well.
Which kind of reminded me of Guan-yin, a flight attendant I met on a trip to Singapore. That was a long time ago, but I could still taste her on the tip of my tongue.
But before we could get to Kim, we had our little solstice celebration at the grill/fireplace near the pool in Phoenix. It wasn't just about 'connecting', but about purging the past and dreaming of the future. Fortunately, old people in timeshares over Christmas don't tend to stay up late near the pool so we had it to ourselves.
And the day after solstice, having both Alice and Kim in the condo shot me back in my memories to my very first threesome. I still think fondly of both those high school girls.
Two chapters today to get things rolling, including some embarrassing moments with my childhood friend, Cassie.
I have to thank you all once again for the tremendous response to Art Something and the dozens of email messages I've received this week. I'm happily working on the sequel, Art Project, now. In fact, I'm most of the way through the second chapter and hope to have it available on SOL in April. I'm working on a series title because I think there will be more stories featuring this trio. It feels like I've come home to a subject I dearly love with a few twists and new approaches.
Unlike previous long series that I've done like Model Student and Living Next Door to Heaven, the Art series won't be diarytic. I know the proper word for causing spewing bowels is diuretic and the result is diarrhea. I'm talking about stories that read like a diary (diarytic) spewing out day-by-day action. I'm sorry, but I found out that no one has a life that is that interesting. I'm not going to kill someone, get a new lover, or fall into a coma every day for the next x-number of years for these characters.
In this series, each story will be a complete adventure with a beginning, middle, and end. Art Something was about pulling a socially backward artist into a relationship with his sister and his classmate and launching him into a newly awakened state. Art Project will deal with his adjustment to college life and the response of people to his relationships. There will be some tough scenes in it, but even in the first chapter, his description of why he thinks he's not a very good lover is both naïve and hot all at once. I'm enjoying writing this next chapter in their lives.
Also, want to thank all of you who commented on my recent foray into the world of porn at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas. I met a lot of porn stars. (http://imgur.com/a/QmypM) I've seen these women being plundered on video. And still, every single one of them that I met was as sweet and nice as the girl next door. In fact, I'd guess that many of them are the girl next door. I have to say thank you to Jay Cantrell for Daze in the Valley. That was my guide to adult entertainment going in. I mean, that's like an autobiography, isn't it Jay? What do you mean 'fiction'? This stuff isn't real?
So, hard on the heels of the AVN Expo, I have the 'opportunity' to actually exhibit at Exxxotica Expo in Denver the first weekend in April. It requires a $600 investment for the booth (they actually agreed that I'm 'talent' and not a brand) and having stock there to sell. I don't know if I can justify the outlay, but they are considering me as a seminar speaker as well. The topic is "Doing It With Words". Essentially, I do exactly the same thing that strippers, cam girls, and porn stars do, only I do it with words instead of pictures. Still, the kind of erotic romance and adventure that I'm producing is definitely on the fringe of the adult industry.
And I need to convince one of the porn stars, strippers, or cam girls that I've met to join me in the booth to promote my books. We'll see how that flies!
Well, I hope you enjoy my continued adventures around the country in Wonders of American Backroads. The more I look back on the past four years (and my life), the more I realize what a lucky son-of-a-bitch I am. Who needs money?
If you just don't get enough clever words from Devon Layne, you can always follow me online.