Monday, December 20, 2010

Just in Time For the Holidays: Government Surveillance of My Blog

Thanks for dropping by, Army Intelligence.It's been a while since you spied on me, but I didn't miss you. Not really.

Headquarters, Usaisc ( [Label IP Address]

Omaha, Nebraska, United States, 0 returning visits

Date Time Type WebPage
20th December 2010 08:08:03 Page View
20th December 2010 08:08:06 Page View No referring link

Sunday, December 19, 2010

All I Have To Do

I knew when I was working on my NaNoWriMo novel that the story wasn't right. It lacked, well, everything except snappy dialog. I'm really good at dialog. I should probably write plays instead, since they're all dialog, but I'm pretty sure that there's a law that if you live in LA, you have to write screenplays instead of plays, and I don't want to be yet another one of those LA people who is working on a screenplay. Ever. (Unless a shit ton of money is involved, and the check already cleared.) It's bad enough that I work on the West Side. Lord help me if I turn into a West Side douchebag  cliche'.

Anyway, about my NaNoWriMo novel, I kept at it in the hopes that it was just my usual poor opinion of any story I'm currently working on, but after a few weeks away from it, I realized that it was, indeed, total crap. To begin with, it was the wrong story for those characters. What they were doing was interesting, but none of it added up to much of a plot. Plus, they had no compelling reason to work together to solve anything. But the biggest problem was that everything felt so contrived.

Everything in books is contrived. With the exception of typos, every word is there for a reason, every event was planned. Nothing just happens. Part of the craft is making it seem as if it all naturally occurs the way that it does, so when a writer, who knows that it's all contrived, can't even convince herself that it works, you know it's bad. So I'm 22,000 words into the rewrite, and all the puzzle pieces are scattered across the table. All I have to do is start linking them up to build the bigger picture.

All I have to do.



Yeah, this writing thing is a piece of cake.

Monday, November 29, 2010


EAA news

As many of you are aware, Erastes has announced that she will step down as the director of EAA (Erotica Authors Association). During her tenure, she guided the EAA to a revitalized group with active social network blogs and increased membership. We owe her a big thanks for all her work.

Many of you helped to launch the new efforts, and are actively involved in maintaining those blogs. A big thanks to you too.

With the blessing of Marilyn Jaye Lewis, the founder of EAA, and Erastes, I've decided to step into the director's role. With so much going on, I'm not sure who is involved with what functions, so please contact me offlist to let me know how you contribute and if you plan to continue (please do!).

My immediate plan is to continue to offer members information for submissions and give us a place to announce our book releases, so that aspect will not change. However, I'm also working on an erotica writers convention to be held in Las Vegas, Nevada in August of 2011. Let me know how you feel about that, and be sure to send ideas my way!

I look forward to continuing what Marilyn and Erastes have worked so hard to build.

Thank you!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

*Slides in home base head first*

And, I'm done!

Now on to all that other stuff I have to do.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

No NaNo

I saw the date and realized I had a review due on Best Bondage Erotica 2011 YESTERDAY, so decided I better read it instead of writing tonight.

Helen Lay Bound by Suzanne V Slate (I don't recognize the name, but plan to look for further work of hers) was amazing. Lesbian, gender queer, and lusciously literate. 

Okay, I've written the next line of this blog seven times and have had to delete it every time on the Thumper Principal. So you if want to see me being irritated with a certain BDSM story trope, email me privately, and I'll get seriously vicious about it just for your entertainment.

It's late, and I have miles of kink to read before I rest. 'night.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Almost there

My NaNoWriMo word count is a little over 42,000.

I wrote to the end of the story and am now filling in those scenes that,at the time, I couldn't get interested in, so I just wrote enough to sketch it out. Between that and a couple scenes that I need to add, I think I can wrap this up this weekend.

It's been an interesting experience, but I'm not sure that I'll do it again. I have so many other projects with deadlines zooming at me that I can't wait to make the minimum word count and then set this story aside for a while. First drafts of novels need to sit for a couple months before being tackled again anyway.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Oh, My Aching Fingers!

NaNoWriMo word count is 32,609.

What have I learned so far? I've talked about some stuff on earlier posts, so these are just the new revelations:

1) Mind over matter doesn't work with arthritis. I've had pain in my fingers since I was in third grade. Some days it's just this background thing that I can ignore. Other days, it feels as if someone took a hammer to every joint. On any day, I have to be careful not to do too much hand-intensive work or I get to the point where I can't hold anything. So writing every day is thrashing my hands. The impact of typing has made every finger sore in the top knuckle. Must remember to take anti-inflammatory meds before I go to bed or the pangs will keep me awake for hours. (BTW - in addition to the NaNOWriMo word count, I have my weekly article on Oh Get a Grip which runs 1000 words on average, my blog entries here, and I finished two 4000+ word short stories, so my word output for the month is higher than the NaNo count)

2) I can write every day, "inspired" or not. I think that this is the real lesson behind NaNoWriMo. Buckle down and just write! However, there's a huge difference between my output on days that I'm really into it and days that I'm not, so from an artistic standpoint, it would be better to take off those uninspired days.

3) I think another lesson of NaNoWriMo, although possibly unintended, is to show people how very difficult it is to write a novel. Nothing kills the love for a story like having to write every damn word of it.
4) The outline is still working for me, but I skipped about eight scenes when I realized they weren't needed, moved others, and merged a few more. The setting of the ending scenes is going to change, because it made no sense to make all the characters go somewhere they hadn't been before to wrap things up, but the basic ending remains.

5) Research is seductive. It's so fun to spend time looking at ancient paintings of Chinese junks to see if they had a crow's nest, or reading about southeast Asian traditions for warding against ghosts. I love that part of writing. It's a huge time suck though, so if I can't think of a name for a mountain range, I put _ Mountains in the MS. If I don't know a funeral custom, I type ___research funeral custom__ in the sentence and just keep going. On the good side of it, I have tons of research to look forward to on the rewrite.

With 17,301 words to go, I can see that I'm nearing the climax too soon. That's not a problem. I'll write through to the end, then add a few scenes toward the beginning that I know that I need, and I'll clean up some of the scenes I wrote on uninspired days. They aren't hard to find. They're almost entirely dialog. Adding setting and beats could easily take me over the top of 50,000.

Monday, November 15, 2010


New review of Passion, and they mentioned my story!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


My NaNoWriMo word count is 19945. I could have dashed off another 55 tonight to round it up to 20,000, but I was at the end of a scene and I'm tried. It seemed like a good place to stop. Besides, then I'll have the thrill (?!) of passing 20,000 as I work on it tomorrow.

So what have I learned so far? I know that the motto of NaNoWriMo is "No plot, no problem," but if I had gone into this without my outline, I'd have a couple thousand words at most. I never, ever thought I'd embrace the idea of an outline, but it's working very well for me. Every time I sit down to write, I know what scene I'll be working on and what needs to happen in it. Like most writers, I'm a master at procrastination, but with this outline, I can't fritter away my writing time. So it's efficient, and I still have plenty of space to be creative.

The other thing I've learned is how to keep forward momentum. I'm not editing or rewriting anything. Everything has to be new word count. So I'm saving all that for after I finish the first draft. Sure, it drives me nuts as there are things I'm itching to fix, but I'm moving ahead at a brisk pace. I also have to write every day. I had two low word count days when I worked on short stories that had to be submitted this month, but I at least manged 352 words one day and over 500 the next on my NaNoWriMo novel, so I got to update my total a bit. The discipline involved is good practice.

(oh, and I can't add this blog entry word count to my total. bummer)

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

NaNoWriMo update

In case you're following, my word count stand at 16680 tonight. I only wrote 350 words tonight, but I spent my evening working on a short story due in a couple days, so I'm fine with that.

In other news, I got word that I'm in Carnal Machines, an erotic steampunk anthology, with my story In The Lair of the Red Countess.  Yay!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Day 3 of the Forced Death March

It's too early to call NaNoWriMo a forced death march, but it sounded good as a title.

First day, I wrote 2023 words. The second day, I hit around 4500 (total). My three day total is 6844 words.

But much more interesting (to me) is how this whole outline experiment is going. If you've been following along thus far, you know that NaNoWriMo veterans warned me not to go into this unprepared, so I prepared using the snowflake method.  What that gave me is a fairly detailed outline to work from. I thought I would hate it. I thought it would kill creativity. I thought I'd get tired of the predetermined arc and chafe until I ignored it and went off on my merry way.

Day 3 is way early to make any definite judgments about it, but so far, I have to say that the outline thing works for me. I know which two scenes I'll write tomorrow. I know which characters are in it and generally what will happen, so I won't waste time staring at the screen as I wonder what will happen next because I already did that at the outline stage. It doesn't feel any less creative.

I know that people hate NaNoWriMo because it seems to value quantity over quality, but I think that the quantity  is a way to measure writer's discipline.  Pro writers have to create even when they aren't in the mood. NaNoWriMo demands the same thing. Besides, anyone who thinks first drafts are readable hasn't figured out the greatest writer's secret, ever, and that's how to embrace the sucky first draft. NoNoWriMo tells you to stop editing and just write. Finish the first draft. THEN edit it. Let yourself write poorly in the first draft. Rewrites are where true writers are made. So NaNoWriMo is all about embracing the sucky first draft, and I can totally get behind that.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

This and That

 Republica Press released the Hearteater Anthology! You can also buy it at AllRomance E Books, or BookStrand. All proceeds go to the charity WaterAid.

Rachel Kramer Bussel accepted my story A Good Stiff One for her anthology Gotta Have It. It looks like a great line up.

CoffeeTime Romance reviewed Passion and gave it 4 Cups (with a nice mention of my story Rekindle)

Night Owl review gave it 4 1/2 stars and called Rekindle "Sizzling."


Broadly Bound finaled at the EPIC contests. I'm pleasantly surprised. 

NaNoWriMo update:

While working with the snowflake method, I realized that his instructions work well for a contemporary novel, but when you're working in science fiction/fantasy, you have to expand the character sketches a lot to include world building. He also didn't have anything about setting, so I had to add a column to the spreadsheet to expand on that.

Monday, October 25, 2010

One Week to Go

There's one week left to NaNoWriMo madness, so my prep work needs to wrap up soon.

Follow Shanna Germain's progress here at What the Moon Saw . If you have a NaNoWriMo blog or are blogging about it on your regular blog, send a link to me, please.

I decided to try the Snowflake method, which is the exact opposite of the way I usually write. I think I posted a link before, but to sum up:

Start with a one sentence summary of the story. For good examples, search for the New York Times Bestseller List. Every book has a one sentence summary. Look at books you've read and compare how you'd summarize them. Then look at a few for books that you haven't read and figure out why they pique your interest. This is concise writing.

It took several tries to get something that worked for me, and as I went on to later steps of the Snowflake method, I went back to polish that one sentence.

 The next step was to write a five sentence paragraph  about my story telling the beginning, middle, and end. My first sentence was about my main character and the beginning of the story. The three middle sentences hit the catalyst for the story, the reaction of my main character, and the result of that reaction that brought the story to a climax.  The fifth sentence tells how it ends.

Even though I'm on step nine, which is a detailed outline, I have to go back to this and the individual character synopsis to check that it matches the sequence I created for the detailed outline.

One week and counting! 

Monday, October 18, 2010


Next month, I'll dip into the madness that is NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month. While 50,000 words is light for a novel*, it's a horrendous amount of output for a one month timeframe. We'll see how it goes.

I blogged about my prep work to date on Oh Get A Grip.

*For those of you who don't write, 50,000-70,000 words is about the page count of a dimestore romance novel., 80,000-100,000 is a trade paperback, 110,000 is a fantasy novel and some science fiction, and I'll guess that the last three Harry Potter novels came in around 120,000 to 170,000 words (but that's just a guess)

Monday, October 04, 2010

Passion is Coming!

Passion should be out mid-month.

Spank! is out now from Logical Lust.

I'm waiting on a release date for HeartEater.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like


Sweetest Kiss was released last year, but suddenly, reviews everywhere! The first printing sold out in a couple weeks, so it's popular.

Violet Blue
Dirty Sexy Books

And SPANK! got a nice review too.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

SPANK! Blog tour

I know this isn't supposed to be posted until September 8th, but I'm sure you'll live.

Have you seen the list of contributors to this anthology? (scroll down to the previous entry if you haven’t) It’s a Spankopalooza of my favorite erotica writers. I look forward to reading what they have to say about their stories.

My first idea for this entry was to tell a little, true story about the time SPANK! editor D.L. King flogged me in a leather shop in NYC, but then decided that it might 1) scare erotica writers from submitting stories to an editor who flogs her writers (even though it was my idea), 2) make me seem like a wuss (When I said that the third flogger she used hurt, I meant it as an observation of how it felt, not that I wanted her to stop.), and 3) even for a writer, it’s almost impossible to convey the look of shock and horror on that guy’s face when he came out of the dressing room wearing a tutu and rubber corset to see D.L. flogging me in the middle of the store. Since that wouldn't work, I decided to post a snip from my story instead, and talk a little about my inspiration.

Have you ever wanted to yank a pop princess over your knee and give that pert bottom a good, hard smack or two?

From Apple Bottom Hard Cider:

Mya sprawled against the dark blue leather seat of the limo as it crept down Sunset Boulevard. “You luv mommy, yes you do,” she told her Chihuahua.

The tiny animal was blinged and bedazzled in Mya’s signature color: Mya magenta. The dog silently begged Chuck for help. He knew exactly how it felt.

She shoved the dog into the magenta purse-sized carrier she took everywhere with her. “This better work, Chucky.”

When he didn’t immediately rush in with assurances, she kicked him with her studded black leather hooker boot. He turned away from the window but said nothing. Behind her outsized sunglasses, no doubt her eyes narrowed. Before, that would have made him coo in soothing tones while he fixed whatever it was that had her panties – if she ever wore them – in a bunch, but after tonight, he was done with that.

The contest had been eighteen strokes of pure genius. It was the only reason Chuck stayed with Mya through the release of her latest record. So many times as she’d belittled him, he’d been tempted to walk away. Every time, he closed his eyes and imagined the scene that would finally play out tonight. She thought she had his balls in an iron grip, but he was about to show her who was boss.

Mya squirmed. "Yeah, about that contest..."

Oh no. She wouldn’t. She couldn’t. Chuck swallowed his alarm and played the part that came naturally to him. “Sweetie. Darling. It’ll be all right. Trust me.” He patted her hand.

Her upper lip curled.

“We’ve talked about this. Your fans are in a feeding frenzy as they fantasize about being the first to tap your forbidden fruit when it finally becomes legal. Of course, that’s why we’ve been playing up the virgin angle so hard. That’s why we delayed the release of your record to coincide with your birthday. This is it. This is your time.”

“I get that. What I don’t get is the whole birthday spanking thing.”

He’d explained it to her about a thousand times. His story was pure bullshit, of course, just an excuse to get his revenge, but he tried to sound as if he knew what he was talking about. “It’s symbolic of taking your virginity. We had thousands of entries for the honor of giving you a little birthday spank in front of your guests. Like I said, your fans all want to be your first.”

She frowned more. “Yeah, but...”

Chuck leaned forward, his hands clasped before him. He widened his eyes. “It’s never been done before. No more ‘Me too, Mya.’”

She glared at him. He’d never dared called her that to her face before.

Before she got angry and took it out on him, he rushed in with soothing assurances. “No one will ever forget this night. You’ll be the top internet search for weeks, maybe even months. More hits than Britney even. Your new singles get more radio air time. Everyone will be talking about you. Lady Gaga will choke with jealousy. Justin Timberlake might do a duet. Madonna… Well, you get the picture.”

“He’s not a creep, is he? The contest winner. You didn’t pick just anyone.”

“Believe me, sweetheart, I took extra special care in choosing just the right man for the job. But of course we told everyone it was a random drawing.”


I didn’t have a specific Diva in mind when I created Mya, but feel free to fantasize that she’s Madonna, J.Lo, Mariah, that Minogue chick (That was just for you, McKinnon), Britney, Shakirah, or whoever gets your pulse racing. I have to draw the line at Lady Gaga though. I’m sorry, but she just isn’t the right girl for this fantasy.

You see, I have a tiny confession to make. I like Lady Gaga. Do not! (I am so serious about this) Do not even try to argue with a fan about her Diva. You’ll only get hurt. So when I tell you that I like her music, keep any snide comments to your misinformed self. However, if you’re also a fan, go ahead and agree with me.

Anyway, a couple weeks ago, I went to Lady Gaga’s concert here in Los Angeles. She has the most incredible fans. Imagine a six foot six crossdresser with soda can curlers in hir hair, feathery pink eyelashes, and fishnet stockings covering those long drink of water legs from the tops of hir sexy black hooker boots to the spot where hir tight, hot pink boyshorts cupped hir tiny, cute butt – and being more amazed by hir companion’s outfit! It was like Paris is Burning meets Pricilla, Queen of the Desert. For once, Los Angeles was just as wildly weird as I wish it always were. Why don’t we dress more daring around here? Fuck bikinis –unless it’s Lady Gaga’s sparkler lazertit bra and undie combo. And Oh.My.God. the frosted (was that latex?) dress. Don’t even get me started on the drag queen wet dream white angel/goddess number with the moving fiberoptic headdress. (You know it was spectacular if I, the least visual human on earth, actually noticed all that.)

So don’t sully Lady Gaga by substituting her into this fantasy of public humiliation. She’s too talented to be my character Mya. But feel free to worship her, because Divas are meant to be idolized, not punished.

You can find the next blog on the tour here,  but it probably won't be up until the actual date, September 9.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

SPANK! Blog tour

Spank! Blog Tour Schedule

From D.L. King:

I'm going to be kicking off the blog tour for my new anthology, Spank! on September 1st. All 20 authors (and Cassandra Park, who wrote the introduction) will be blogging about all things spanking. An interesting and entertaining time will be had by all, so I thought you might want a sneak peek at the schedule, along with all the links.

9/1. D. L. King
9/2. Cervo
9/3. Sommer Marsden
9/4. Anna Black
9/5. Jean Roberta
9/6. Tara S. Nichols
9/7. Maggie Morton
9/8. Kathleen Bradean
9/9. Lee Ash
9/10. Lisabet Sarai
9/11. Evan Mora
9/12. Allison Wonderland
9/13. Sean Meriwether
9/14. Roxy Katt
9/15. Donna George Storey
9/16. Beth Wylde
9/17. Sacchi Green
9/18. A.D.R. Forte
9/19. J.Z. Sharpe
9/20. Jessica Lennox
9/21. Cassandra Park

Whew! What a line-up! So stop by on the 8th to read what I have to say.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Oh La La!

SPANK!  Will be available next month from Logical Lust. Editor DL King gathered some tasty, naughty bits for this one.

Don't you love this cover? I hear that the back cover is boy booty. The cover was shot in fellow contributor Sean Meriwether's (Velvet Mafia) kitchen.

Have you ever wanted to pull a pop star over your knee and spank that sassy butt? In my story Apple Bottom Hard Cider, that's exactly what her soon to be former manager has in mind, except that he's too chicken to do the deed himself, so he hires a pro Dom to take care of it for him. That's a big mistake. Divas are born to be worshiped, not humiliated. Deceitful, gutless managers, however...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Too Many Characters

Jolene Hui (I will always think of her as Princess Hui) turned me on to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I liked it, although Stieg Larrson's narrative style reflects his background in journalism rather than a literary voice. I could live with that simply because of his character Lisabet Salander. I know a few artist who are very much like her, so I had no problem believing anyone could be (something) like that. What I found harder to forgive were the other characters. Scores of them, and each of them with far too much personal history that added nothing to the story.

I see this problem a lot with new writers. They let their casts run into double digits, and each person has a single personality trait to define them. This sort of works in movies, because even you you forget a name, you have a face to remind you that 'oh yeah, that's the neighbor who wears her mink while she prunes her roses,' and you only have to keep track for a couple hours. In a book, you might have to flip back chapters to remember who Jennie is. That pulls you out of the story - always a bad writing mistake. Plus you begin to wonder why, if she's not the proverbial gun in act 1, does Jennie even exist. Can't someone else say her lines? The answer is almost always yes.

I'm supposed to be keeping my word count up on my current novel because it's running under the usual minimum for the genre, but I realized that my cast was getting unwieldy, so in this rewrite I lopped off at least five characters and consolidated two. That translated to about 2700 words being slashed. Not the direction I'm supposed to go, but I like a tightly written story, so I'm just going to have to figure out another way to add words without padding the word count. I promise you that I am not going to tell you the life history of Jennie - unless she shows up in her mink in the last act with a pruned head in her hand.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Writer's Block?

I haven't been writing. That bugs me, but I go into this dormant state every year at this time, so I should be used to it. I've been writing reviews, and doing my weely blog entries at Oh Get A Grip, so it's not as if I haven't produced anything, but it's not paying stuff.

Part of the problem is that I have to finish working on a novel that I've fallen out of love with and I'm so sick of it that I don't want to deal. But part of being a writer is dealing with it even when it isn't fun anymore. Adding to the problem is a new novel that's flirting with me, and I'm all swoony over it. I would love to work on it, but I know better, because at some point, I'll hate it too.

Time to grit my teeth and get back to work on the novel.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Erotica Fatigue?

True Blood season 3 started last night. I was thankful, oh so thankful, that they didn't begin this season with Sookie screeching as she did last time. I hate that deer caught in the headlights look followed by the pause (I will commence screaming in 5,4,3 ...) and ending with her mouth open and sirens blaring. The next scene with the manager from the restaurant was wonderful. And then... nothing. Downhill at avalanche speeds.

Maybe I have erotica fatigue, because Eric pounding his new dancer made me glance at my watch. Things got promising for a moment there with Bill (The most boring vampire to ever walk the night. My method for dealing with his screen time is to down a shot of vodka every time he lowers his chin and tries to look menacing. It doesn't make him any more interesting. It just makes me care at lot less about how dull he is. If you need some variation - and god knows you crave it when Bill's around - try drinking every time he lowers his chin and says Soooookie.) Anyway - things got promising there for a moment or two with Bill and Sam, but in one of the biggest cheats since Bobby showed up alive in the shower on Dallas, the writers made Sam wake up before the boys got a chance to even touch. If Sookie gets to fantasize about Eric to the point of naked writhing, I demand equal suds and studs for Bill and Sam. Fair is fair.

Sadly, Eric's butt, Sam's chest, Bill's chest, some Jason skin, and a pair of sweaty, bouncing implants weren't enough to distract me from dismal storytelling. Maybe I'm erotica fatigued, but really, True Blood folks? Really? Do you think I'm that easy? At the end of the show, all I could think was "Okay, so that scene with Bill and Sam didn't lead Sam to find and help Bill, so what was the point?" Obviously, to piss me off, and turn on everyone else, but what a waste of potential storytelling time! Yes, I know that there were many story lines to move forward in this episode, and all the characters are being repositioned for this season, but please, if you're trying to distract me from crap storytelling, you're going to have to crank up the sex a lot more. I'm jaded like that.

P.S. True Blood folks - you're doing a great job with the story lines and characters of Lafayette and Jessica (probably because Jessica is original to the show and Layfayette didn't survive the first book so you can do whatever you want with him), but would you stop dressing Pam like a cheap floozy and get rid of the gloopy pink mess she wears on her lips? Oh, and Queen Sophie? I can't tell which is worse, her screen presence or the lines you write for her.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Golden Crown Literary Society Award

Via Lara Zielinsky, just found out that the Year's Best Lesbian Fiction '08 anthology (Bedazzled Ink), which include my story Words Like Candy Conversation Hearts was named as one of the Golden Crown Literary Society's Best Non-Erotic Anthologies! Whoo-hoo!

Where the Girls Are was a Lambda Literary Finalist, and Coming Together: Against the Odds (I believe) won an EPIC Award for best anthology, so anthologies I'm in are on a roll this year. Yay!

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Violet Blue rocks!

I'm a feminist, and I watch porn.

I'm an adult. I don't need to have the world sanitized for my protection. It's bad enough when the government, Steven Jobs from Apple, and religious folk play the nanny. Now I have to endure the meddling of feminists* too?

*I'm not sure how they can call themselves feminists when they're trying to control my access to porn. It's misogynistic.

Violet Blue started Our Porn, Ourselves, to defend women's right to watch, enjoy, use, and produce sexually explicit material. Visit her site, and show your support for a woman's right to sexual self-determination.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Busy Month

I traveled a lot this month. Mid-month, I was in New Orleans for Saints and Sinners.

I've been reflecting on my Saints and Sinners experience for a couple weeks because it was not as fulfilling of an experience as it has been in the past. The same issue arises every year, and it bothers me every year, but this time I can't set it aside.

There's an erotica panel every year at Saints and Sinners, with the same three people on it every time. They invite one new person to join them, but truly, it is their panel. It's not that those panelists aren't qualified, but they say the same things every year, and what they say is, "I don't read erotica because it doesn't interest me." My other favorite quote from two years ago was, "I don't read erotica because I only read good writing." This from erotica writers. I'm used to those slams from literary writers by now (and had to endure them during two master classes this time) but don't give much credence to the ignorant pronouncements of anyone who hasn't read my work before judging it. However, it appalls me to hear it from the erotica panel. Can you imagine the outcry if someone at a mystery panel said, "Genre novels are crap compared to literary novels, so I wouldn't be caught dead reading a mystery novel even though I write them?"

Further disappointment came from the erotica reading, which featured the same writers who sat on the erotica panel. Why not spread some of the love? How about maybe inviting writers who had stories in one of the Lambda Literary Award finalist anthologies in the erotica category, or an editor of one of those nominated anthologies? But no. Hell, they couldn't even be bothered to put those anthologies out on the bookstore table. Not one of them. So I came away a bit frustrated.

I'll go to Saints and Sinners next year, and I'll continue to contribute (quite a big check, actually), but for once, I'd like to come away with positive feelings about how erotica is handled.

Monday, May 24, 2010

This Week on Oh Get A Grip

This week on Oh Get A Grip, my imagination turns to the story of Onan, and why it may just be a huge misunderstanding. That's right - we're talking about solo sex.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Heart Eater

"Don't let someone take and eat your heart."

Remittance Girl challenged us to create poetry, a story, visual art, mixed media, or whatever we wanted to illustrate this unique moral. Read my entry (erotica) Piquant here.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Tonight! Lambda Literary Finalist Reading in Los Angeles

Come hear me read- because watching me read is really boring.

Lambda Finalist Reading (LA)
Monday, May 10, 2010 at 7:30pm
Skylight Books
1818 N. Vermont
Los Angeles, CA
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Lambda Literary has partnered with libraries, bookstores, and festivals across the country to celebrate finalists for the Lambda Literary Awards. All readings are free and open to the public.

Featuring: @Jim Morrison, @Dexter Flowers, @Stacie Cassarino, @Ariel Schrag, @Dayle A. Dermatis and @Kathleen Brandean.

Hosted by @Noel Alumit and @Tony Valenzuela.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Interview on ERWA

Writer Ashley Lister interviews me on ERWA. Read it here.

At Lot Of Stuff Coming Up

Monday (I think it's Monday) May 10th, I'll be at Skylight Books in Los Feliz for the Lambda Literary Awards Finalist's reading series. No, I didn't enter my novel (complicated tale behind that) but I'll read from my short story Don't Fuck With Country Girls that appears in Where the Girls Are.

Then that Thursday I head to New Orleans for Saints and Sinners GLBT Literary Festival. So looking forward to that. Hope to meet Cecelia Tan from Circlet Press for the first time. Planning to hang mostly with Mel Spencer and DL King, although I'm also looking forward to a few moments with Jeff Mann, Sean Meriweather, Steve Berman, Trebor Healey, Greg Herren ... I wonder how I'll ever make it to the classes. But this is my once a year chance to enjoy their company.

I have a bunch of stuff out on submissions. I can't remember ever having this many stories out at the same time. Why I don't feel as if I'm writing, I have no idea. But if something sells (okay, one already did. sent back the contract yesterday. but it's for a different pen name.) I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Send a Big Yohoo Out To The Army!

Thanks for visiting my site, Army dudes!
According to Bling, Usaisc stands for USAISC: United States Army Information Systems Command

From my blog traffic site:

Headquarters, Usaisc ( [Label IP Address]

Anniston, Alabama, United States, 0 returning visits

Date Time Type WebPage
22nd April 2010 10:00:58 Page View
22nd April 2010 10:01:02 Page View No referring link
22nd April 2010 10:01:44 Page View

Which means they're spying on either the bisexual or queer forums on Craigslist and following threads. Or someone there is goofing off at work. Tsk tsk, soldier.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Something You Never Suspected About Me

On Oh Get A Grip today, I dissect a few scenes from the movie Strictly Ballroom, and confess to a past you'd never suspect.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Twitter Smut

I've been on Twitter for a while. I try to post a short story every day. The 140 character limit is daunting.

Tonight, Stan Kent (of Shoe Leather fame, and host of the monthly In the Flesh erotica reading series here in LA), DL King (writer, editor, and the creator of Erotica Revealed), Jeremy Edwards (writer), and I attempted to co-write a story on Twitter.

There were advantages, such as being able to tell the story in more than one Tweet. But it was an experiment, so we had a few problems. Once we hit our stride, the flow improved, but it's still hard to write when you're taking turns. You can't plan anything, because by the time it's your turn, the story is in a different place. You have to build on what came before. It was exhausting. But fun. Stan is going to read it (eep) in front of an audience at this month's In the Flesh.

We're not the first writers to try using Twitter for collaborative writing. As artists, we're driven to explore mediums, and we learn from the ideas of others. So I call it a success.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Wrong Turns

Somewhere along the way in my short story, I took a wrong turn. It only came apparent when I couldn't write the final scene.

I've written a lot of smut. You'd think by now that I could bring it on home with three humpy, horny vampires primed to jump in the sack and shoot like the fountains of the Bellagio. But no. I couldn't get into it. And I don't mean in a sexual way. I just couldn't type the words.

Every story is a path. It leads somewhere. I thought I'd led my characters to the bedroom, but instead, we were all looking at a dead stop and couldn't figure out how to get around it. Some writers might blast through the wall and make it happen. I retrace my steps. Some paths are false ones. I have to figure out where the misstep happened and get on the right path.

The problem, I finally figured out, was that several thousand words into the story, I switched gears. This short story is part of a connected universe of short stories and novellas. My mind slipped into novella mode, which brings in too much story, too much plot, and way too much talking. Nothing kills short story erotica like characters yakking away when they should be, to put it politely, fucking their brains out.

Oh, how I hate to delete several thousand words. There are writers who tell you to save it, to squirrel away that bit and maybe use it later, but to me, every word has to flow organically through the characters, and trying to force a scene to match up to words written for another situation and other characters doesn't work. So I just erase it. Several days of work, obliterated.

But I was back on the right track. How can I be so sure, considering that I was fooled before? Everything fell into place. It wasn't the sex scene I expected, but it was the right one. And best of all, it effortlessly flowed to the ending sentence I'd hoped for but refused to force. That's how I know.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Greg Herren on Oh Get a grip Today

Greg Herren is the guest blogger on Oh Get a Grip today.

It was my week to pick the theme. I chose Writing WHERE You Know. Writers are often admonished to write what they know (a mistake, I believe) but nothing infuriates a local more than reading a story where the writer got their hometown all wrong. Greg has seen a lot of that. He lives in New Orleans, and many of his stories are set there. His off-the-record tales of editors who tried to "correct" his localisms are as frustrating as they are funny. But writers who don't bother to do their research and get NOLA wrong drive him nuts.

I can understand that. I'm not a native of Los Angeles, but I love my city. So many times I see this casual disdain for LA in stories by people who don't have a clue about the real thing, so they attack the stereotypical LA. The problem with that - aside from ignorance and sloppy writing - is that the LA they're attacking doesn't really exist. Not that LA lacks real problems. So write about those. And fer chrissakes, stop using reality TV and Melrose Place as primary research tools.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Let's See How This Works

The dreaded synopsis.

I write book reviews which often include a synopsis. I have no problem writing them for other books. So why can't I seem to write a synopsis for my work? I have no idea.

I'm trying a new approach. As I edited my latest MS, I stapled the chapters and wrote a one line summary of that chapter on the first page. Theoretically, if I string those together, they should form the bones of synopsis. (My last chapter summary is "J&E finally get it on.") It's pure action though. No character detail. So it has to be fleshed out. But I'll report back to you if this helps me write a coherent synopsis.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Coming Together Against the Odds

Forgot to mention that Coming Together Against the Odds won the EPIC Award for Best Erotica anthology.

Mixed feelings. This line of anthologies for a cause (all proceeds for Against the Odds went to Autism Speaks) is a great idea.



I'm so over EPIC. Getting southern here for a moment, but Bless Their Hearts, the membership consists mostly of romance writers, and they make sure the other genres know it. The obsession with RWA on the EPIC lists is annoying as hell to those of us who don't write romance and aren't desperate for RWA's attention/recognition. Plus there's one very dominant queen bee member. I delete her many daily emails (she's an expert on every subject that comes up, so she has to reply to everything) unread and cringe whenever I see her name. Plus I'm irritated that they use the contest fees to pay for their conference. That's just wrong. No one should have to contribute another writer's vacation because the poor dear couldn't afford it otherwise. This is probably my last year dealing with them. I've lost my patience.


On the other hand - Saints and Sinners is only a couple months away!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Some Things

I've been working on a novel, so my blogging suffers.

New post up on Oh Get A Grip.

A nice mention of my story in Best of Best Women's Erotica 2.

I'll try to get back on schedule soon.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Oh Get A Grip

Next week, I join the staff of Oh Get A Grip. The staff is Lisabet Sarai, Devon Rhodes, Michelle Houston, C. Sanchez-Garcia, and Ashley Lister, with a guest blogger every Saturday. Lisabet and Ashley are fellow reviewers of literary erotica on Erotica Revealed.

Helen Madden (Cynical Woman) is leaving OGG, unfortunately. I've known Helen for years. She's a wonderful person, a bundle of energy, and a fantastic writer. She is active in the Erotica Readers and Writers Association's Storytime critique list, does a weekly podcast of her original stories, draws a comic strip, and writes too. Amazing. I hate the euphemism "leaving to seek other opportunities," because that's corporate speak for fired. Helen definitely wasn't fired. But she's got so much going on that the weekly commitment got to be too much, and she wants to be free to, yes, pursue other opportunities. Hopefully this means she'll have more time to write. I'm a fan as well as a friend.

Helen had Friday, but people are shuffling days, so I'll be posting on Tuesdays.

If you would like to see any topics covered, let me know, as I'm supposed to help come up with ideas as well as writing my weekly article. Stop by and see what everyone is talking about on Oh Get a Grip.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Best of Best Women's Erotica

My story Chill is in The Best of Best Women's Erotica. Most of the reviews on Amazon are from 2007, which is a bit odd, but Amazon rarely makes sense.It isn't listed on Barnes and Nobles yet. (But I'm in the previous Best of Best too, and it's on B&N.)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

You're Stuck at Home and Bored Out of Your Skull

Daytime TV sucks, you're sick of the inside of your house, and you really didn't want to have mini raviolis for lunch.

Have you been to Erotica_Readers.Com? Taken a gander lately at Publish and Be Damned? Oh Get a Grip? Joe.My.God? Glitter For Brains? Lambda Literary? Checked out The Animal Art of Sarah Higdon? Read a Craigs List forum? Checked the live webcam for London? Watched Torchwood or Bring Human on Hulu?

Or you could read a book.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Peering Over the Ghetto Walls

Once a year or so, I think about the state of erotica. With erotic romance* steaming along in popularity, literary erotica** writers seem to be horrified, angry, resigned, or try to ignore it, but the ramifications affect us.

Publishers that used to put out literary erotica are asking for erotic romance. Given that romance is around fifty percent of the books sold, and probably a much higher percentage of the ebooks sold***, we can't blame publishers for going where the money is. Publishing has enough problems (most self-inflicted, but that's another subject). Some traditional publishers of literary erotica have folded (Blacklace, for example, in one of the sterling moments of publishing stupidity - see "self-inflicted fatal wounds").

But all of this consternation leaves out some important finger pointing back at the literary erotica community.

Listen - it's lovely to sit around with your friends and moan about how the world doesn't understand you. If your aim is to write as a hobby, then more power to you, and don't worry about the rest of this rant. But if you want to be published, stand on your tiptoes and look over the ghetto wall. What ghetto? the insular world of erotic writing.

We've insisted for so long that no one loves us or takes us seriously that we ignored a few important publishing trends. We don't pursue agents or major publishers. Sure, agents say they don't handle erotica, and just five years ago admitting that you wrote erotica was writing-career suicide, but that ignores the fact that a lot of what's being published as literary fiction lately is erotic. Either those writers slipped out of our ghetto, or while we're facing the city gates, they're plundering through the gaping hole in the wall behind us.

Yes, yes, yes, we're all very proud that we write erotica, but what's in a name? Shelf space in a damn bookstore, that's what. Not your dignity. Genre is an artificial construct for marketing purposes, so why not tell an agent that your novel is literary fiction? Keep muttering to yourself that it's really erotica. Go commensurate with your fellow writers about how you had to sell out to sell your book. But at least take a walk outside the ghetto walls and take a hard look at today's publishing world. The view is very different from the outside.

* My definition of erotic romance is a story written in the genre style of romance.

** My definition of literary erotica is a story written in the genre style of literary fiction (and yes, that is a genre, no matter what anyone tries to tell you)

*** With the powers that be of romance sneering down at sex scenes, the romance writers who *gasp* knew that women liked sex, turned to the publishers who welcomed them - epublishers. Now the traditional publishers have seen the folly of their uptight ways and have launched lines that are more inclusive, but epublishing got there first, created the fan base, and gave the readers what they wanted, an almost unheard of approach in publishing. (more "self-inflicted problems")

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica 9

I just got my contributor copies of Mammoth Book of Best new Erotica 9 in the mail today. It's so nice when a publisher fulfills the terms of their contract, isn't it? *coughCLEIScough*

If you're thinking of writing erotica, this is a good place to see where people are being published as all the stories in Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica were culled form other sources. Most anthologies are built around a theme. You can get burned out after the tenth balloon vampire BDSM tale, but this one shows the range of work out there. If one story doesn't do it for you, the next one might. As always, I'm thrilled to be in such great company. Remittance Girl, Maxim Jakubowski, DL King, Alison Tyler, Jeremy Edwards, Shanna Germain, Donna George Storey, Mike Kimera.... Good company indeed.