I had a few teachers at school who I liked, mainly because they taught a subject I enjoyed or did well at. A few I couldn’t get along with too.
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Some were just sour and strict in their demeanour while others, I suspect the trouble was a personality clash.
The teachers to whom I owe the greatest debt are those who instilled and nurtured my love of reading, because much of what I’ve learned in life comes from books. Text books, yes these have obviously played a part, but I’m talking about fiction. Getting inside someone’s head, or walking in someone else’s shoes is my favourite way to learn things – and books provide that opportunity.
So I am grateful to my form teacher (the year I turned 7), who read to us on Friday afternoons. She introduced me to Clever Polly and the Stupid Wolf and the concept of book reviews. Thanks also go to my headmistress. She invited a class at a time into her study where we sat on the floor while she read, by instalments, longer books: Little Katia and Watership Down. My secondary school English teacher had a daft manner and quirky dress sense but she effectively shared her passion for Dickens while neutralising my fear of the older language used in Shakespeare and Chaucer. Later I had a young teacher whose outlook was as refreshing as her enthusiasm was contagious.
My parents were my first teachers. As I grew up they taught me many things: to tell the time, to cook, identify birds and flowers, to save money, to sew. I needed their guidance on my interactions with the world: conflict management, sportsmanship (losing with grace), manners, patience, perseverance, punctuality. They set an example of a good work ethic, how to live together harmoniously and behave in a respectful, loving way to each other. My parents encouraged us to do things as a family, also giving us our own space to play, follow hobbies or read.
My adult children are now my teachers, although naturally it started the other way round! The world is evolving to a different place than when I grew up, so I’m grateful for their help navigating technology (phones, apps and computers). Attitudes are constantly changing regarding tolerance in social interaction and etiquette, younger generations are much more woke than mine, but communication with my kids goes a long way to keeping me up to speed.
Of course I must mention adult relationships and sex. Here my steepest learning curve was with my third partner, as I was only a notch on the bedpost to the first two. We learned things together. We took time getting to know: what we liked, each other’s bodies, which additional items were more fun. During our time together I read sexy books and men’s magazines to fuel my fantasies and find out what other folk did to get off, we enjoyed experimenting.
Once I met my husband, my sexual education continued, taking off in particular during my perimenopause when I began to read erotica on-line, which led to me purchasing more adult items and beginning my blog. Following other bloggers on-line piqued my curiosity. I was fascinated by the (new to me) toys they reviewed, kinks they shared and their honest depictions of scenes including corporal punishment, bondage and the necessary aftercare. Sex bloggers invited me to learn about sexuality and mindsets which differ from mine, spreading their lives and experiences before me generously, enabling me to observe and understand what it means to them.
I’m a blogger and a writer, and my skills of expression have improved since I began back in 2016 with my first story “Act of Vandalism”. An up-dated version of which is in Breaking Limits – an Anthology About Strong Women Letting Go. I uphold the advice that the best way to improve your writing is to keep doing it, challenging yourself with different word limits, writing to a prompt, following a style, but you could keep making mistakes. My teachers in this discipline are the readers who have given me honest feedback and constructive criticism. Some of these readers are also trusted friends who I’ve promoted to the dizzy heights of beta readers – they helpi me improve stories that didn’t end right, needed polish, or needed an additional or less content.
I have real life editors, wonderful people prepared to publish my writing, of course they want to get the best out of me. I welcome their corrections and critiques, their advice is gold. I can always see how much my writing has improved from hints and tips they’ve shared regarding the construction of my prose or tweaks to my plotting, and this gets ploughed back into my future work.
Huge #SoSS thanks to: Francesca Demont, Deviant Succubus, 5ubmissy, Bibulous1, ML Slavepuppet, Sleepless in Erotica, slave sindee, melody, collared Michael, Canadian Erotica, a Man Called Alice, Knickers N Tights, Sweet Autumn Rose, Eve, PAJ Woode Tabitha Rayne, Jayne Renault, Elliott Henry, Nero Black, May Moore, AM Harding, Vlad Lioncourt, Jacques, A Guy in Panties, Kay Jaybee. Check out their blogs or their published work to see what they share.