Following the River

by | January 15, 2013 | General | 10 comments

By: Craig Sorensen

I’m a believer in cycles. 
My life has had many, and I have found great benefit in embracing them.  But there is a distinction to make when
considering cycles; they are not about a return to sameness, but a return to
familiarity under new circumstances.

I left Idaho in 1980 to join the Army, and returned in 1992
after my dad passed away.  Being with my
brother and my mother recaptured something familiar, but much was different.  I left Pennsylvania in 1989 and returned in
1995 to the same company I had worked for. 
They had changed, I had changed, and we all benefited from this in the
form of a 17 year relationship that finally ended because our desires and
objectives had become different.

I left the first home I had lived in June
1965 and returned there for the first time in July 2012.  My
memories of the place were surprisingly accurate, but my return taught me more
about the truths and fallacies of memory than any million words can say.

Last month, here at ERWA, I gave a concise recap of the
cycles that surround my love of storytelling. 
I’m not particular about the kinds of stories I tell, I only want them
to be good stories.  My entry into
erotica in 2006 was fueled by a warm reception to my work that I had not found
in other writing I had done.  And
make no mistake, I have gone down dozens of rabbit holes, both as an author,
and as a man, in the many explorations I have made in erotica.

I started this post with stating my belief in cycles.  But this does not assume fighting to go up
the river that was just exited.  Quite the
contrary, it is about finding the familiar in what is new, knowing that this
new river may be very different, but finding the sameness and growing from this
combination, and hopefully adapting.  Not
traveling the same river yet again, but ultimately understanding the nature of
rivers through experience.

And as much as I believe in cycles, I believe that life is a
river.  Some choose to fight the waves,
some choose to flow, some choose to get the fuck out and sit on the bank.  I choose to flow, and see what is around the
next bend.  Springs enter creeks, creeks
enter streams, streams enter rivers, rivers enter wider rivers, and eventually
you find the vastness of the sea.

I seek the sea.

One year ago to the day, I posted my first entry on this
blog.  That same day, I boarded a plane
to travel across the US, and landed in a new destination, at a job very
different than any I had known.  Six
months later, in mid 2012, I drove with my family across the US, including that
visit to the first home I had ever known.

And through it all, my belief in cycles and rivers has
grown.  Through it all, a long cycle has
been realized, as I resumed writing a series of stories that have emerged
slowly from my imagination since I was a boy growing up in Idaho.  In the meanwhile, I’m working as hard as I
ever have at my day job.  Somehow,
thirty-two years of business experience have come to focus like the sun through
a magnifying glass.  A spectrum of
business experience burns white hot, and I’m taking on challenges I never
thought I’d be doing.

I’m seeing life in ways I never saw before.

And so I have been forced to choose whether I want to flow
down the river, or return back up with many things.  There is always the temptation to return back
up the river, because though it might be tough to fight against the rapids,
there were many good things up that river.

Along this large, new river, there are the sparks of
familiarity.  But this river is flowing
fast, so I have to choose where to focus my energy to learn and keep up with
the nuances of the currents.

And I have made that choice.

As much as I have loved writing erotica, and as much as I
love those of you who I have met and gotten to know along the way, writing
erotica is something that is up the current from where I am.  Down current is the revitalization of a story
that I have developed and grown too many times to count.  The story, for now, is my most important work.    

And along the way, a job that makes my days go so fucking
fast that sometimes I can’t keep up.  A
couple of years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to stand a situation like this,
but something in me was triggered, and now I’m lapping it up like a thirsty
young boy, drinking crystal water from a spring cascading down a rock.

And yes, that last description is a description from my
life.  A memorable moment about the value
of thirst, quenching, and the quality of water. 
A lesson about how water is cleansed as it flows.

Anyway, today it is one year since the day I first blogged
here, and one year since I went to take a new job out west, where I grew up as
a child.

Today is the end of a perfect cycle, and the perfect end to
bid a fond adieu to erotica.  It is the
perfect day to thank each and every one of you who read my stories along the
way, or were kind enough to follow my disjointed blog, which I will close down at the end of January.  It is a perfect
day to tell those of you I have met face to face, or exchanged emails with, how
much I appreciate what I have gained from you. 
I only hope I have somehow reciprocated.

Am I completely done with erotica?  If you think so, I ask you to reread this

But for now, I take in where the river runs.  And I obey the power of the river.

I thank Lisabet Sarai for the opportunity to post to this
ERWA blog.  I thank all of my fellow
bloggers, truly a who’s who of erotica authors and a group I am honored to have
been a part of.

Craig J. Sorensen

January 15, 2013

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. Emerald

    I'd read about this on your blog, Craig, but I found this post a poignant and eloquent "adieu," as you put it; thank you for sharing it. From my perspective, it's hard to imagine this genre without you, and I'll miss you. It has been my pleasure and honor to become acquainted with you both online and in person over the years, and I have found your writing some of the most powerful and moving I've encountered in this genre of which I'm so glad you've been a part. (Speaking of, I loved the latest I read from you, "The Grunt and the Ditty Bop.")

    All the very best to you, always. 🙂

  2. Kathleen Bradean

    Craig – Thank you for the interesting posts over the past year. I think you're right, we need to cycle. Otherwise, it's just a rut. Good luck on new and old endevors!

  3. Donna

    Thank you, Craig, for your many inspiring, moving and just plain fucking awesome stories. I know your journey will take you to many wonderful places–and I'm sure you'll revisit the erotic along the way.

  4. Lisabet Sarai

    Hello, Craig,

    First of all, thank you for your wonderful contributions to this blog. Your very personal insights have made all of reading richer.

    Second, having read quite a few of your wonderful stories, I suspect that you will continue to incorporate relationships and sex into your writing, even if you don't call it "erotica". In fact, I've come to believe that carving out a separate genre for what we write, and giving it that label, may be counter-productive.

    In any case – we're honored to have had you here. I wish you good fortune in the next phases of your life's travels.

  5. Ashley R Lister


    I just wanted to say thank you for all the eloquent and entertaining posts you've put on here.

    It's been a pleasure to read your material and I trust you know I'm sending the best wishes for your future from my corner of the UK.


  6. Craig Sorensen


    Your thoughts made me a little misty eyed. Thank you so much for your support and friendship during this journey.

    And I'm so glad you enjoyed "The Grunt and the Ditty Bop!"


  7. Craig Sorensen

    Thank you Kathleen. May all your cycles be be enlightening!

  8. Craig Sorensen

    Hi Donna,

    Yes, you're right, erotica is part of me. It was before I got in the genre, and so it will remain.

    Thank you for your encouragement, support, and for being a good friend.

  9. Craig Sorensen

    Thanks again for inviting me to join in here. I have gained so much from being part of this.

    And you are absolutely right, the book I am working on now, while not erotica (or at least not in the commonly accepted definition,) relationships and passion and sensuality to play a significant role in the story's development.


  10. Craig Sorensen

    Hi Ash,

    I know you can appreciate the complexities of balancing one's writing with the rest of life.

    I wish you all the best on your continued journey.

Hot Chilli Erotica

Hot Chilli Erotica


Babysitting the Baumgartners - The Movie
From Adam & Eve - Based on the Book by New York Times Bestselling Authors Selena Kitt

Affiliate Disclosure

Disclosure: We use affiliate links on our site. What are affiliate links? Affiliate (or partnership) programs are created by businesses (like Amazon) that pay sites (like ERWA) for referring visitors to the business. Affiliate programs pay the referring site a percentage of products purchased via the affiliate link. You can help keep ERWA alive and kicking by doing your online shopping for books, movies, sex toys, etc., via ERWA affiliate links. Help support ERWA.



Pin It on Pinterest