Pivot Points

by | January 15, 2012 | General | 6 comments

Please press play and read on

When I was invited to join this group of esteemed erotic authors posting to the ERWA blog, I picked the 15th of the month for a reason: Pivot points. For me, the best stories, and poems for that matter, are about pivot points. Changes.

Falling leaves. Emerging buds. Sunrise,


Moonrise, high tide. Hello, goodbye, taste the shrimp creole, it’s to die for.

And it is kind of poetic and fitting that this, my first post, goes up January 15, 2012. Tomorrow, I start a new day job for a company that is clear across the USA from the company I have been affiliated with the past twenty-five years. It is worthy of note that I had picked the 15th as my date to post before I entered into the venture that is responsible for this change. I knew I’d be writing about transitions, but was not aware I’d be living a big one.

Anyway, twenty-five years. Half of my life. This is a big pivot point, methinks. And what about that jet airliner reference?

Today, my wife and I are flying across the country to spend a week at my new job to begin the transition. Today we look at possible new new homes. It is my experience that jet airliners and pivot points frequently go hand in hand. Jet airliners can lead to life in a motel, just me and the lady who graciously agreed to marry me over thirty years ago. Holding on to something familiar while changes race all about.

So while this, my little corner of the ERWA blog, in the future, will sometimes address sexy pivot points, like a first kiss between a couple who have discovered the first taste of chemistry on a blind date, or the gentle popping of a jeans-button and crackling of a zipper in the back seat of a Chrysler, today this blog celebrates the kind of pivot that opens onto the next step in a person’s life.

From my perch, 33,000 feet above the earth, I wish you all the best with your pivot points, be they small or large.

Craig J. Sorensen

One evening at the close of the 1970’s, I sat on a milk crate at my job du jour and looked over Tenth Avenue in the small Idaho town where I grew up. It may not seem earth shattering now, but to a man not yet twenty years of age, the revelation of that moment was defining: There must be more to life than pumping gas. A strange answer materialized in the cold, dry, Treasure Valley air. I joined the US Army where I learned to work with computers before the introduction of the IBM PC. Armed with a blitzkrieg education in the programming language COBOL, I embarked on a journey to define myself as a programmer/analyst. Perhaps if I had been a better student in school, things might have been different. I loved writing, though I flunked my first semester of ninth grade English. Typing too. And I typed seventy words a minute. But I digress. The bottom line was that I hated school, was unmotivated and disinterested, and had problems staying focused. Had I been born twenty years later, they might have loaded me up with Ritalin. So learning a trade in the Army was my salvation from a life of disjointed jobs, searching for something I’d be satisfied with. Study for a purpose, it seemed, I could manage. Throughout the thirty plus years after leaving Idaho for military service, I honed my skills and learned to enjoy the job I stumbled into. I think that this, “path less chosen,” has something to do with my perspective and my style as an author when I delved deeper into my passion for words. I’ve lived life, not as a student, but in a constant state of trial and error. This is true in most everything I’ve done. The first story I had published was so aggressively edited, that the number of words removed was in a double digit percentile, and rightly so. I resolved that would never happen again. It hasn’t. Determination and self-teaching are a big part of me. Have I ever reached a hurdle I didn’t overcome? Of course. In my early days getting published, I submitted four stories to a particular editor before she accepted my fifth; I’ve had great results with her since. More recently, with another editor, I submitted four that I felt great about, and realized that it just wasn’t going anywhere. Another fact: I’m a lousy poker player, but I do know when to fold. Story telling has been with me my entire life. A desire to share stories is engrained in me, but as a youngster, what did I have to share? I was a boring kid, so I used to make things up. I used to hate that I’d lie. Bear in mind, these lies were limited to boasting of things I had done that I really hadn’t, or telling that the very plain house we lived in when I was young was very ornate. “Little white lies,” some might call them. I couldn’t seem to resist this desire to make people believe the stories I’d tell. When something didn’t wash, well… I suppose it is all part of how I learn things. Writing is truly my first passion as a vocation. If I could make a living at it, I’d love to, but I know what that means. I look at those authors who do this with admiration, and I’m grateful that I have been blessed to find not one, but two vocations that I love. Job one allows me to write when I’m inspired. The luxury of this is not lost on me. When I was young, I was fascinated by sex. I wrote sexual scenarios, drew sexually inspired pictures. My head was full of erotic fantasies long before my voice cracked. But writing the first stories I did after I left high school, I tried to subdue the desire to write sexual themes. Sometimes, I’d let go, but I’d eventually “come to my senses.” I wanted to be respectable, after all. It was after I had gotten some serious consideration by a literary journal, but got the response “you write very well, but your stories lack vibrancy,” that it began to settle in. My wife, partner, and most avid supporter forwarded me a call to a new “edgy” literary journal that included erotica, and suggested that I send a particularly nasty, vibrant story I had recently written when the respectability filter was disengaged. I thought, “why the hell not.” Within 24 hours I had an acceptance. Another lesson learned by example: be true to yourself. In the end, I just want to tell stories about amazing people. I want to go out on a limb. I wrote a poem once:
Only the man who goes To the edge of the branch And does not stop when it cracks Will learn the true nature Of branches
I want to turn you on, then repulse you. I want to surprise you, sometimes make you grimace, share the realities of my life and the lives of those I’ve known, but bend them through the prism of fiction. Tell about people more interesting than me, and speak universal truths, tell little white lies. I want to make you guess which is which. The three stories I am honored to share with you are examples of my testing branches. “One Sunset Stand” from M. Christian’s Sex in San Francisco collection, was written merging humor, sexuality, and romance, allows me to explore from a woman’s POV. “Severence” which appeared at the website Clean Sheets, is drawn from a difficult time in my life, where as a manager I watched members of my team and coworkers slowly, systematically get laid off. It was a hard time, a frustrating time, and I found a way to express that frustration in the words, and the characters of the story. “Two Fronts” is one of my biggest gambles as a writer, and a story I’m very proud of. In it, I not only explore my feminine side, but my lesbian side. The story, set before I was born, explores a woman dealing with her awaking to her attraction to other women is set against the backdrop of ranching in Idaho. I was particularly proud when Sacchi Green and Rakelle Valencia chose it for the collection Lesbian Cowboys. The version I present here is my “Director’s cut,” with the original ending. In the collection, it was made more purely romantic by dropping the last section. This ending is more of what I would call a “Craig ending,” though I’m proud of both versions. Truly, I haven’t planned much in life, just followed the river where it leads. I write the stories that come to mind, and for as long as people will read my work I will write. And if they stop reading? I will write.


  1. Lisabet Sarai

    Hello, Craig!

    I wish you and your lady the best of fortune in your new life.

    You sound like you're ready for new adventures. And I'm very glad to have you here at the pivot point of the month on the ERWA blog.

  2. Remittance Girl

    Good luck, Craig! I wish you all the very best.

  3. Ms. T Garden

    All the best to you and yours!

  4. Ashley R Lister


    Good luck for tomorrow. An enjoyable read. I shall be toasting your pivots from the UK this evening, and looking forward to future posts.


  5. Donna

    I'm sure your new situation will provide plenty of inspiration for your writing. Enjoy!

  6. Craig Sorensen

    Thank you for your well wishes!

    Sorry for the late comment, but it is indeed a hectic week. I'm still out west, still learning new things and meeting new people.

    It's fun, but a bit overwhelming.

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