May 23rd, 2011

An Uncomfortable Proclamation

This is hard for me to post, but it reflects some current circumstances as I understand them, so there seems little way around it.

I had a conversation today with Rod MacIver, founder of Heron Dance and publisher of The Other Dance (see my previous post), and it seems he discerned over the weekend that he wants to take Heron Dance in a new direction…that doesn’t include The Other Dance or exploration of the erotic. It appears that The Other Dance is no longer planned for future publication—and thus, of course, that I will not be serving as its editor. I interpreted Rod as pointing out that artistic endeavors do tend to fluctuate, and especially amidst considerations of one’s livelihood (Rod’s, as the sole proprietor of Heron Dance), sometimes sacrifices or seemingly dramatic measures may be placed at the forefront.

Indeed…. That withstanding, I will admit I felt shocked by this news. As may have seemed evident from my post announcing the launch of The Other Dance, I had the impression this endeavor was solidly planned and supported by its publisher.

As I said in the opening of this post, this feels a hard announcement for me to make here. While I understand the reasons I interpreted Rod as relating for the shift eliminating The Other Dance from consideration as a part of Heron Dance, I dislike very much that I indicated here that something was planned to be a certain way and now have to say that it is not. I have tended to experience consistency and credibility as deeply important, so the degree to which this instance feels contrary to them feels very uncomfortable to me.

Of course, I meant everything I said personally in that post, and as far as Heron Dance and The Other Dance, I did understand it all to be true at the time. I apologize deeply to all readers of it and especially to authors who had taken the time to submit (incidentally, all who did will hear back from me individually with this information) or begin to consider doing so. Most especially I apologize to Robin, our first (and only, as it turns out) published author with me at the helm as editor of The Other Dance—I thank her for her beautiful piece (which I love), “Strands of Imagination,” which I experienced Rod as very enthusiastic about publishing, as was I, and I appreciate her letting us publish her work.

In addition—I thank indescribably everyone who expressed support to me about this endeavor here. I don’t know how to express how much I appreciate your commenting and the way I experienced all of you as seeming to feel I would effectively undertake this endeavor and seeming willing to support me in doing so. My appreciation of it seems all the more poignant to me in light of my having to, in effect, retract the entire announcement of the publication of (and my involvement with) The Other Dance. Again, I apologize.

I read a quote a few days ago from one of the players on my favorite baseball team, the Yankees. Nick Swisher (Rick Write‘s favorite player) said his father used to say to him, “Sailors never perfected their craft sailing smooth water.” Recalling that makes me smile wryly right now, as while it seems not a new sentiment, its current relevance seems well placed. Despite the dismay I feel in publicly acknowledging this situation, I’ve noticed there are things I experienced from/in/about myself throughout this endeavor that seem significant, even luminous, to me…perhaps even more than I recognize right now.

One of them includes my accepting of the position Rod offered me. I felt nervousness about agreeing to undertake the editorship of The Other Dance. I felt very flattered being approached, but I still felt the historically familiar concern that I wouldn’t perform it well (which has tended to mean “perfectly” to a part of me that runs via outdated habits and patterns). The fact is, acquiescence to fear—consciously or unconsciously—has often kept me from doing things. It has resulted in avoidance, refusal, reticence, and the basic passing up or missing of opportunities. In times when I have felt any fear that I won’t or won’t know how to perform something effectively or perfectly—which has seemed to be almost always—fear has often been the final arbiter of action (or inaction) from me.

It wasn’t this time. I felt nervousness about my potential performance, but I agreed to do it anyway. However this opportunity has turned out, I did not let fear keep me from accepting it. I accepted it anyway.

It is undeniable that I feel humiliation in having posted something here that turned out to be not nearly as solid and reliable as I thought it was. I truly apologize for that. I was excited about The Other Dance and my involvement with it, and I feel sadness that the opportunity has been relinquished, not only (or even mostly) because of my own position, but because of the loss of, as Donna so graciously put it in a comment on my post, the “opportunity to bring quality erotic work to a wider audience.”

Regardless of how short-lived this venture has turned out to be, all of my actions related to it were sincere, and I do see value in the indications of growth in me that manifested in its midst. The more awake I am, the more I may serve in the way(s) I aim to. Perhaps that is what I will focus on in this.

Thank you to all who read my The Other Dance announcement (and who are reading this), and thank you especially for all the beautiful comments that were offered there. Even (perhaps especially) amidst this humble apology, I profoundly—indescribably, really—appreciate the support you all offered me.


“I may stumble, yeah I might fall…sometimes I’m afraid and I don’t feel that tough, but I’ll stand back up…”
-Sugarland “Stand Back Up”

16 Responses “An Uncomfortable Proclamation”

  1. Erobintica says:

    Dearest Emerald,

    As I’ve said numerous times, there is no need to apologize to me, though I understand why you feel compelled to. I know how excited you were for this (and as a result, I was for you), and such a swift letdown is never easy. Hugs.

    I am saddened that my piece with the accompanying lovely artwork is no longer accessible. That is a shame. Yet, I’m not upset. Instead, I’m more determined than ever to pursue my ideas.

    We both learned something. Let’s use what we learned wisely. :)


  2. Hi, Emerald.

    Somehow I missed the original post–otherwise I would have rushed to congratulate you on being selected as editor. And though it’s bittersweet now, that hasn’t changed. I congratulate you for that… and for everything you are, everything you’ve achieved, and everything you *will* achieve.

    I’m so sorry you became a victim of the painful repercussions of these circumstances that were entirely beyond your control.

    I’m sure some other opportunity of this kind will come your way soon, and your vast professional talent, and your personal generosity of spirit, will get poured into whatever that endeavor might be.

    big hugs,

  3. Justine Elyot says:

    This all seems very unfair :(.

    All of my previous congratulations still stand though.

  4. Danielle says:

    ah…i m sosorry for you emerald:-( this project seemed to be such a good thing:/

    but what is the actual reason forits closure? i m not sure if i understand it english vocabulary is limited…isthis a reaction of the artist/owner on the bad reaction on the customers on erotica?

  5. Emerald says:

    Hi Robin,

    Thank you. Yes, I’m sorry you’re piece isn’t still archived too. I didn’t realize originally that he was planning to actually shut down that part of the site. :/

    Hugs to you, and thank you again for “Strands of Imagination.” :)

  6. Emerald says:

    Jeremy…I teared up when I read that. Thank you. I don’t know how to express the gratitude I feel for your support and for leaving me such a beautiful, eloquent message.

    Hugs and indescribable appreciation,

  7. Emerald says:

    Justine, thank you so much. Big virtual hug to you, and I wish I could give you one in person.


  8. Emerald says:

    Hi Danielle—thank you. (Hugs.)

    Yeah, I can be wordy sometimes huh. ;) I’m pretty sure it’s not directly because of customer reaction—he has received that before when he first introduced the subject of sexuality into his work a couple years ago—but rather because the artist/owner just wants to do something different with Heron Dance, and he doesn’t want to include the sexuality/erotic subject. This may be because he doesn’t want anything at Heron Dance to be controversial going forward.

    It seemed very sudden to me, but that’s my understanding.

    Thank you again for coming by, D! Xoxoxo

  9. Jo says:

    Aw, Emerald, it’s an uncertain time, and shit happens. You don’t need to feel humiliated. It’s disappointing, but most of all for you.

    I wrote something, but if I hadn’t read your post I wouldn’t have, so all I can do is thank you for giving me the space in which to Write Something! It’s only a good thing.

    You could make lemondade with it, and make a wee ebook if you have enough submissions, or you can hand them back and anyone who submitted still has a spare story for the next call it fits.

    Some things work out, some things don’t. It’s how it is. I hope you get anther chance to manage such a project again soon.

    xxx Jo

  10. Heidi says:


    So sorry to hear! I know how passionately you felt about this project and when we saw each other on the 15th, I could tell you were very excited about the prospects of this new experience.

    I echo Jeremy’s comments. You never know what other opportunities the universe might be sending your way as we speak.

  11. Em,

    To echo previous sentiments, you should not feel humiliated in the least at what happened, because that feeling might guide you to not consider taking such a chance in the future.

    You followed your heart, and it didn’t work out. Still this was not your fault, and you should not take responsibility for the fact the venture ended.

    I hope that, given such an opportunity again, you would again follow it.

    I wish you all the best and look forward to the next step that you take. I know it will be a beautiful one.

  12. Nikki Magennis says:

    Aw, Emerald, that’s a shame. I think you’d be such a fantastic editor. I hope you find somewhere else to use those fine skills. You’re such a classy lady!


  13. Emerald says:

    Thank you, Jo—and thank you for submitting! I am indeed glad it invited you to Write Something. :)

    (And as I mentioned in the post, you’ll hear back from me separately about it.)

  14. Emerald says:

    Thank you Heidi! I did feel excited, indeed…thanks for listening about it. :) I appreciate your coming by and your comment. Hugs…and again, it was great to see you.

  15. Emerald says:

    Hi Craig,

    “that feeling might guide you to not consider taking such a chance in the future”

    An astute observation, and I really appreciate everything you articulated in your comment. Thank you so, so very much.

  16. Emerald says:

    Thank you so much, Nikki—I feel very flattered by that.

    Incidentally, I had been reading through the archives on your blog for some of your beautiful flash fiction to recommend for publishing in The Other Dance (I experienced Rod as partial to shorter work). :) You were one of the first authors that came to mind when Rod told me the kind of thing he was looking for because I’d seen so much gorgeous and striking short/flash work from you.

    Thank you so much for coming by; I deeply appreciate your comment.

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