Saturday, 12 October 2013

Dreaming in Color with Alison Tyler

Dreaming in Color
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I'm totally delighted to have Alison Tyler here with me today talking about dreaming in color - (look at me talking American!)
Thanks for coming by Alison x x x
One of my best friends likes to discuss her fantasy life. In her dreams, Jax lives in a pure, stark room with a simple hardwood floor. No furniture except a mattress on the corner and a white blanket. One chair. A hook on the wall where she can hang the chair while she sweeps. Yeah, in her fantasy, she sweeps.
Now, for some, this would seem extreme. But the interesting part to me is that her tiny dwelling couldn’t be less like the fantasy. Her room overflows with books, scarves, jewelry, knickknacks. I love her room. I’d hate her fantasy.
And yet…
I sometimes have this image, myself. A thought that I could live in a stylized environment. Like in a magazine, you know? With one chosen piece of art on a wall. With the “right” accessories.
That’s sure to happen. Never.
Wherever I’ve lived, I’ve made a wall. How do you make a wall? I mean, I’ve claimed a wall. What starts out white and peaceful and Zen becomes a ball of confusion. I tack up postcards, business cards, fortune cookies, images of lipsticks and boots and candles and ticket stubs articles poems from the New Yorker.
What I’ve come to decide is that this wall represents my brain. My mind if filled with color and memories and, yeah, lipstick and boots. I stared at my wall often while writing Dark Secret Love:

“I don’t really see my surroundings all that much,” he admitted. “I’ve always been more into the mental than the physical.” I understood what he meant. Sometimes, I’d see him on the couch, and I’d think he was sleeping, but he’d be pondering some aspect of a case he was working on. Gone from the physical world. Lost to me until he pulled himself back. I’d learned by now not to disturb him at times like this; it would be like waking a bear from deep hibernation.
I pushed on. “But the flowers, the candles in the bathroom, the books on the coffee table.” I’d bought them at my favorite bookstore on Sunset, selecting black and white photography books. Not trying to crash Jack’s world to the ground. Simply to enhance it. I was an Art History major at school. I knew which books to choose.
“You’re all the color I need,” Jack said, coming closer, setting his drink down on the nightstand.  “You seem to blend in at first, dark hair, pale skin, perfect for my black and white environment. But then you change.”
“What do you mean?”
“Your cheeks turn pink when I make you blush. Your lips become a dark berry color when you bite them, nervous, wondering what I’m going to do to you next. Your ass, after I spank you, takes on that wonderful shade of well-punished red—“
I squeezed my eyes shut tight. I’d been hoping to get a rise out of him, and clearly I had. But the way he was talking, and moving, poetic and slow, had me off balance. Sometimes when Jack was on his way home from work, he’d call and give me a chore, or an assignment, letting me know what was in store for me. "Get out the crop." "Put on your collar." Other times, he’d burst through the door with electric energy, take me in the hallway, or out on the balcony. But this was different. He was moving slow, like a panther stalking its prey, and I felt mesmerized, at his mercy.
“Look at me.”
I couldn’t disobey. I opened my eyes, wrapping my arms tight around my body under that blanket. It felt silly now to have bought the thing. So noticeable in this stark black-and-white world. What was I trying to prove?
The character of Sam is very me. I dream in color, too.

Alison Tyler is the author of more than twenty-five novels, most recently Dark Secret Love and the soon-to-be-released The Delicious Torment (both from Cleis Press). Visit her at for updates, reviews, and subtle sarcasm—but never square dancing.

Thanks Alison... I've got goosebumps - loved that excerpt x x

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