Posts tagged publishing
That Time I…Was Briefly Kidnapped by a Clown

For the reading I did last week rather than the typical boring bio listing all the places I’ve been published and yada yada yada, I submitted this as my intro: "Emily Bingham is a writer of smut, a teacher of rope, and an occasional fetish model. She’s been tied to a tree during an Oprah network interview, got her first story published completely on accident, and was briefly kidnapped by a clown at the age of 5. After partaking is such a dull and uninteresting life she decided to write about it. Her memoir Diary of a Rope Slut will be out in May."

I already told one of those stories last week.  And you can watch the video of the other.  But it’s always the clown story that people can’t believe. So here goes: the catalyst for my lifelong hatred of clowns.

At a young age I was 2 million times more introverted and shy than I am today.  So when my family went on a trip to Baraboo, a circus that’s the size of a small tourist town in Northern Wisconsin, you better bet I was cowering behind my parents when they took me to the clown show.

The end of their performance involved the main clown--a horror show of plaid pants, an uneven orange wig and a jokey fake flower that squirted water—choosing a boy and a girl from the audience to go with him to lead the circus parade.  The hideous sadist saw me hiding at the back of the room as far behind my mother as possible and thought, “Now that’s a kid that would enjoy holding my hand for an hour.”

He roughly grabbed my wrist without talking to me or my parents, grabbed an equally shy boy and proceeded to literally dragged us through Circus World, marching as the conductor of this whole terrible ordeal across the town long parade route.  His grease paint was running in the mid day Wisconsin heat and his gloved hand gripping my wrist tight, so I couldn’t wiggle way, was uncomfortably sweaty.  The entire time he made stupid jokes and repeated his clown laugh until it was absorbed by my soul and would appear in my nightmares for years after.

Today he would probably be sued and shamed on social media.  In the 80’s this was his everyday routine. 

At the end of the parade, he led me and the near crying little boy to the world’s saddest camel who had the shitty job of walking in a small circle while children rode on his humps all day.  Our “reward” was to ride this camel together until our families could find us.  Clowny McMurder Face giggled his way back to the big top after strapping us to the camel humps. 

The boy and I cried freely now.  It had been over an hour since he’d kinda sorta kidnapped us without telling our parents where to find us so it felt like we might be lost forever.  Finally I heard my mother screaming and making a fuss as someone directed her to the camel area.  “Emily where have you been, get down here, we’ve been worried sick about you.  Don’t you ever run off like that again.”

Thanks Mom, love you too, wasn’t already scared out of my head without adding “afraid of getting punished by illogical Mom” to the list.  The little boy’s parents were close behind and soothingly calmed their kid and helped get me down with a few kind words before my mother dragged me off towards the car.

So yeah, fuck creepy clowns. 

The reading at Salon Skid Row was pretty kick ass though.  Look at us high on post reading excitement! 

Robert read a story that has forever changed the way I will look at gum balls and provided us all with a pleasingly long list of interesting descriptors for buttholes. I get the feeling that Cynthia enjoys blow jobs.  And I read a cuckolding story written in Noir style.  It was a great night.

Josh Lubin gathers readers every Tuesday at the Corner Bar in downtown Portland for his Salon Skid Row reading series. Check it out sometime if you’re in town! You never know what amazing stories will be there to fill your face holes. You might even meet an Armenian hit man at the bar.   

That Time I…Got My First Story Published

A few years back I got an email from an ex that started with, “I need to talk to you…”

All manner of worst case scenarios ran through my head: Was there an STI he needed to let me know about?  Had he written about one of our intimate moments and it was now getting published?  Had something happened to one of our mutual friends?  Was he pregnant?

This was a man I hadn’t been on e-mailing terms since our lunch date nearly a decade ago when I had told him I couldn’t date him anymore. His version of polyamory involved dating every even half way attractive poly and kinky woman in town. I’m poly too but that level of sluttery didn’t leave me a lot of space to feel special while I was scheduling a hour date with him weeks ahead of time. 

We called it quits fairly amiably. But the kink community is a small world so we saw a lot of each other socially without any time to recover from the break up.  Things got snippy a few times as emotions run high.  So by the time I got this message we hadn’t talked in a very long time.

“Funny story, I think I may have submitted one of your pieces of erotica to an anthology.  Good news: it’s set to get published in the fall. Bad news: I thought it was mine.”

The long tamped down anger and disappointment of our relationship came flooding back.  Of course he would find a story and just assume it was his!  Of course he didn’t remember helping me edit that story so we could record it for a podcast together!  Of course he wouldn’t figure this out until he was signing the publishing contract!  That was so like him.

At the same time:  one of my stories was getting published?  Awesome!  That meant something I wrote was good enough for other people to read. 

I held back my first instinct to write back and say, “Of course that’s my story you selfish man whore!”

Instead I wrote to ask if there was any way to rectify the situation and get my name on the story.  To his credit he totally threw himself on the sword of humility and told the editor of the anthology he had submitted to exactly what had happened. And she was cool enough to take things in stride.

This is how I found myself signing a contract to get my first story published by a reputable publisher of erotica.  Somehow a situation that had started out full of stress was turning into a dream come true.  I’ve been writing my entire life and dreaming about seeing my words in a book but I didn’t think anything I wrote was good enough, my smut writing was just a weird hobby, something I did to turn myself and lovers on. It took my ex submitting one of my stories to an editor and having it accepted for me to see otherwise. 

When I received my copies of the anthology and opened the pages to see my story among the names of other big name writers I was hooked.  After that I never stopped submitting my own stories and getting regularly accepted.  Suddenly I was a real writer with publishing credits!

This is how I accidentally became an erotica writer and repaired my relationship with an ex I never thought I’d talk to again.