1. please stop writing historical fiction unless it’s from a period of time in which you have lived and even then, stay close to what you know.
2. ask someone other than your lover to be your reader. or include your lover, but ask someone with a more critical eye (and ear) and heed their advice. when your lover says he “loves it” what he means is “let’s fuck.” (at least that’s what i’ve surmised from reading the “postface” and “acknowledgments” in this latest novel of yours.)
3. what has happened to your lyrical understanding of the way gay men talk to each other?
4. for that matter, what has happened to your lyricism in general? those $5.00 words that you were able to weave into much of your earlier fiction so seamlessly, now are thumbs that have been hit by a hammer throbbing in cartoon fashion. it makes me wince with embarrassment for you.
5. if i were to offer an explanation for this decline, i would humbly suggest that teaching hasn’t been a friend to your writing. personally, i would love to sit at your feet and listen to you talk about writing, but at the same time, i thought that’s what i was doing before you became a ‘professor’ and were writing without the burden of academia.
6. listen, it’s not that there haven’t been a few good times these last few years, there have been and they’ve been lovely and touching and true. i want to remember you as that man. so that’s why i’m going to have to break it off with you, i’m sorry. oh, i’m sure you’ll be fine, you won’t even notice that i’m gone, but this way i’ll be able to hold onto your vitality and strength and that’s best for me.
P.S. (3 hours later): i’ve been called out on “historical fiction” for suggesting that writing about one’s own times would not be considered “historical.” i say it’s a blurry distinction at best, but will bow to the “school book” definition and call it a day. –rp