Help with structuring a collection of poetry – software?

I’ve been searchin the net for a long time without luck. So I’m hoping someone reading this blog have good ideas and recommendations. I am not sure if I need a dedicated software or just an application to Open Office.

What I need help with:

  • creating a list of short texts, preferably from the first line (my poems usually have no titles, usually don’t rhyme and is very short)
  • linked to the actual text
  • enable me to see a preview of the text (readable) without opening every document (if every poem has its own document) or use an extremely large letter size.
  • In the actual text I need to be able to format it like I do in Open Office or Word. The line spacing is especially important.
  • I would really love it if I also could tag my poems with themes and select every one with the same tag at once and move them.

I can’t find anything like that. It is possible that such a software do exist, maby made for another purpose, and that I just don’t realize that it can do the things I like it to. Please tell me!

Going to EuroPride

I’m leaving tomorrow, heading for Stockholm and EuroPride. I have responsibility for two events:

  • A session in english called «Transwriting» where I speak about my writing, how I was met by the media and society at large. Included reading some of my poems in both Norwegian and English. See description here.
  • A writer’s workshop in two parts, where the first will be held at PrideHouse on Monday and the second at RFSL on Thursday. This will be in Norwegian/Swedish, unless someone  english-speaking  wants to attend.

I’m so delighted to have this opportunity, thanks to Punkfairy! It is a bit scary, but mostly exiting. I get to spend the week at his place. There are so many interesting workshops and other events going on that I like to attend!

Writing erotica

I’ve written enough erotic short stories to fill a book and I’m now searching for a publisher. Writing erotica seems to be a habit that goes in periods. I’ll write story after story for several months, and then suddenly I can’t do it any more.

It’s been some time since my last erotic period and I think it’ll soon be time for it. This post could be a way to renew my interest in the genre. I’ll explain how I write my stories and what I like about it.

Erotic short stories are what I call literature with a purpose. It’s supposed to turn people on. I think that’s the reason why the composition is quite strict and kind of classic. You have to raise the tension according to people’s arousal.

Maybe what I write would be considered porn, and I usually use that term for it, mainly because it seems more honest and fair. I’ve never understood the difference really.

In the magazine where I’ve gotten my stories published, they want stories of a higher literary level. They’re supposed to be both pornographic and literary at the same time. Now, that’s a challenge: How to write about sex without clishés? How to write a story with the purpose of turning people on, but make it a good story too? I love challenges!

Ususally I start off with the main character feeling really bad. His wife, girlfriend or boyfriend has left him, he’s lost his job or he’s experienced some ther kind of loss or defeat. Then he meets this man, often someone he knows, who he sees in a new way, and gets attracted to. Yes, my stories are usually gay, but some are also transgendered.

I need to use my own sexual fantasies, and that made me feel vulnerable in the beginning. That was back in 2004, when some friends asked why I didn’t write erotica, since a lot of my writings were about sex. So I started and really liked it. Now I don’t feel so vulnerable anymore. I’ve realized that my fantasies aren’t just mine, that other people have similar fantasies and that my stories can help them come to terms with their sexuality.

I’ve tried to write plain staright stories too, but they never work. There must be some gender bending involved, or at least some uncertainness around how the persons define themselves and their sexuality.

I’ve also tried to explore BDSM, but have given up. Some light bonding is ok, but everything else in that category is more of a turn off than a turn on. And then it is impossible for me to write sexy about it. The same goesfor fetishes. So my stories are kind of vanilla actually.

When I tell people that I write this kind of stories, they’ll often ask if I get inspiration from my own sex-life. I always disappoint them. I write about the sex that I can’t have or don’t get. And it works for me.

A poet writing a novel?

It was a lot of work to make my poems ready to be published; re-writing, finding synonymes, cutting away dead meat. But after all, writing poems comes kind of easy to me. Writing pros on the other hand, now that’s another story.

At the moment I’ve got several writing projects, among others a mystery novel and a childrens book. I’ve written some erotic short stories and like it. So I thought that it wouldn’t be so difficult writing in another genre with strict rules. Well, it seems I’m too good at keeping it short.

After finally finding a good plot and a main character I can live with (after all, you live a long time with the caracters of a novel while writing it), I started writing. Then I stopped and read it through. I discovered that if I kept focusing on the plot, there would never be a novel, maybe a very short short story. And that would be fine if this was the material of a short story, but it’s not. To make it good, I need to make it long, to give the characters some space to do what they’re supposed to do.

How do you do that? The «detective» needs to be brought astray. He must believe some things that turn out not to be true. I find that very hard.

Initially I had my eyes on a competition for the best mystery novel, where the deadline are in november this year. I now realize that I’ll never make it in time, and that’s a shame, cause I’ have good use of the money.

I’m not giving up this easily of course. I never did with my poems. After all I do have a good plot and some interesting, complex characters. I can’t just throw that away. But it will take me more than a year to finish it, that’s for sure. I’d be happy for any advice, comments or ideas!

Language

As you may have noticed, english is not my mother’s tongue. And although my mother urged me to have some more english-classes at school, I didn’t like it and quit as soon as I could. So please leave a comment when you see something not right!

And if anyone would help me translate more poems, I’d be very happy. I can do the word for word translation (with the help of a dictonary, I know I have one, somewhere…). What I need is someone with a sense of proper english language, and maybe some poetic strings, to make the poems good literature in english as well. And hopefully my book will some day be ready to be published in english.