Join us as Dorien Grey goes Outside the Margins.
Many writers use pseudonyms for many reasons. But relatively few of these pseudonyms take on a life of their own. I’m one of those writers. I thought it necessary to take a pseudonym because I lived in a time-warped part of the country where any deviation from the norm was viewed with suspicion. And to write books with gay themes and characters—well, that could be downright dangerous, I chose the name Dorien Grey for reasons too long to go into hereI’ve come to look on my pseudonym, Dorien Grey, as a distinct individual, with whom I can change places on a moment’s notice. I really like Dorien. He is so much more fun than Roger.
Though I’ve told the story many times of when and how Dorien began taking on a life of his own, in case you haven’t heard it, allow me….
I was working part time at my local credit union, which was just moving into a new facility. While discussing possible decor and a new advertising slogan for the business, I suddenly pictured those decals that run around the top of walls in a child’s room…specifically of happy little Easter bunnies carrying baskets of eggs. The slogan came to me at the same time: “Where your savings multiply like rabbits!”
Being the modest sort that I am, when I proposed the idea to my boss, I credited my friend Dorien for the idea (which, I suppose I don’t need to tell you, was politely dismissed with thanks). And thus was Dorien born as an individual somewhat apart from me. I loved him from the moment I/he thought of the bunnies…and his love of bunnies continues to this day. (If you’ve read my Dick Hardesty mystery series, you may have noticed that Joshua, Dick and Jonathan’s young charge, has a favorite toy: a huge stuffed rabbit he named “Bunny.” No coincidence, I assure you.)
Dorien is childlike without being childish. He retains the sense of wonder for all things which I have struggled, not always successfully, to hold onto. But by giving him unlimited potential for delight and mischief and fun and silliness “unbefitting” one my advancing years, I was able to preserve them and enjoy them for myself. As more books came along, Dorien took over more and more of the writing chores, and his character began being reflected in the books’ characters; first as Jonathan in his charm and innocence, and then in Joshua who is himself a child.
Dorien has become more important as the gap between my mental and physical ages grows wider. The Roger part of me recognizes and is terrified by the toll time continues to take. But this is of no concern to Dorien, who is far from stupid and who knows what I am going through. He acts as something of a guardian angel, telling me that things are not nearly as bad as I dramatically tend to try to make them, and encouraging me to keep my tongue planted firmly in my cheek whenever I start getting too serious with myself. And whereas I cannot avoid being my physical age, Dorien can. He can be—and is—any age he happens to feel like being at the moment. Because he exists separately from Roger’s reality-bound body, he can be as physically graceful and beautiful and talented and desirable as he chooses to be, and can change bodies and faces at his whim. All he has to do is want something or someone, and they are his.
One can have dreams without being delusional, and Dorien is, in a very real way, my dream. And as long as he provides comfort and pleasure and harms no one, who could dare deny me the pleasure of his company?
I sometimes think of my body as a ship of which my mind is captain. And I know that, however unwillingly, the day will come when my ship, battered by the storms of life and even now taking on water, must sink beneath the waves of time. At that moment, I shall join Dorien in the lifeboat, to open a bottle of champagne and sing and laugh and tell each other stories as we sail off together to a wonderful tropical island populated with all the people, real and imagined, who have meant so much to me.
There are worse things.
~ Dorien Grey
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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