May is the month for spring flowers, birds singing in the trees, gardens sprouting, and yes it’s true, May is National Masturbation Month in the States! Personally I think it’s a celebration everyone should partake of wherever they live. Why limit it to just May? It’s truly a celebration for all seasons.
As I read a bit of his history in Wikipedia, I was saddened to think that if he were around today, there are plenty of places where he’d fit right in, and his ideas and attitudes would be welcomed with open arms.
It’s easy to take for granted the openness of the times in which we live. As I write this, I am surrounded by books and magazines (never mind the internet) for which Mr. Comstock would have happily had me jailed. I write things every day for which I would have been jailed. And I do it without any risk to myself. Even in today’s world – maybe especially in today’s world, that’s no small thing.
To be able to celebrate our sexuality – in all its diversity — should be one of our most basic human rights. So I encourage you to join in the celebration, wherever you are. Remember, we forget the Comstocks of the world at our own peril.
Mr. Perfect doesn’t exist, so it’s time to face cold reality and settle for Mr. Good Enough. This is Lori Gottlieb’s advice in Saturday’s Guardian to single women. ALL of whom, she assures us, are secretly desperate to get married and start popping out sprogs. She’s so convinced of this that she has written a book about it.
Everyone wants an alpha male. Alpha males have good genes. It’s biology. Not enough alpha males to go around? Never mind. If it’s just sperm and child support poor lonely singletons are looking for, why wouldn’t Mr. Mediocre-but-stable-making-good money be Mr. Just-as-good-as-anyone-else?
And since we’re being brutally honest, why the hell would Mr. Perfect be slumming for Gottlieb’s pathetic and shallow version of the single woman in the first place? One really has to wonder who actually is settling for whom?
Being reduced to our biological imperatives leaves little room for imagination, for creativity, for passion, or even just for fun. We simply settle, then we get on with it. It’s possible that being lonely is worse than being bored, but it’s very unlikely that settling for one will cure the other.
‘They’re in the refrigerator,’ I reply.
‘Are you hungry?’
I mumble something incoherent from behind the monitor.
I pour plain hot water from the mocha maker because I forgot to put in the coffee. Never mind. I slap a teabag in the cup of hot water and go back to the computer.
Spiders have taken residence in a number of nooks and crannies. They know the odds that dusting will happen in the near future are slim, and the safety of their homes is pretty much guaranteed.
My list of unanswered emails is growing longer every day and I haven’t done a blog post in two and a half weeks. So what’s the problem?
Tunnel Vision. Yep, it’s that time again. Everyone who knows me knows it happens periodically. I go underground. It’s like I’ve temporarily left the planet, and for all practical purposes, I have. I’ve got tunnel vision, and whenever that happens, I’m sucked mercilessly into another dimension, the dimension of the story. The thing about the dimension of the story is that it’s a whole lot easier for me to go there than it is for me to come back. Fortunately for the recyclables, though not for the spiders, short stories involve fairly brief stints in the land of Tunnel Vision. Five thousand words and I’m back home in time for a reality check.
But, I’m in the world of the novel now, and whenever I go there, it’s hard to say when I’ll get back home again. Add to that the fact that the novel is full of love, sex, intrigue, and people I’d like to be, and I’m very likely to linger as long as possible. In fact, I bet if you could go someplace similar right now, you would, wouldn’t you?
Come on, be honest! Everyone who’s ever read a good book gets the chance to follow the writer into that great world of Tunnel Vision. We all go there willingly and happily while the spiders take up residence and the recycling accumulates. We’re disappointed when it’s not quite the world we’d hoped for. We’re equally disappointed when it’s more than we could have imagined. When that happens, we don’t want to leave. We want to stay with those characters we’ve grown so fond of and take up residence in that place that now feels like home. We’ve grown used to the excitement, the adventure, the sex, the love, the intrigue, and we’ve especially grown used to the opportunity to, for a little while, be someone else.
The land of Tunnel Vision is also the land of multiple personalities. In my novel, I get to be ALL of the characters. They all whisper in my ear and tell me their sordid secrets and their darkest fantasies. Then I, like an evil gossip columnist, splash their inner workings all over the written page for the world to see. Bwa ha ha ha ha! I get to do that because I’m the most powerful person in their world. In fact, in their world, I’m god. K D giveth and K D taketh away!
So, I’ve come back from the world of Tunnel Vision just long enough to grab a sandwich, write a blog post and ignore the spiders. Consider this a postcard from the world of The Mount and Rita Holly’s initiation. It’s my way of saying ‘having a great time, wish you were here.’ I promise a detailed account this fall in the form of my novel, The Initiation of Ms Holly. But in the meantime, you’ll just have to settle for a blog post.
The arctic blasts of the past few weeks, complete with cancellations, supermarket hoardings, and transportation delays, bring back memories of last year’s big freeze. So does news of the electrical malfunctions on the Eurostar caused by the cold. I was coming home from Paris on the Eurostar last year when the cold blast hit. And the train stopped.
As the carriage got darker and darker, as the canteen closed down and the apologies and updates from the conductor became fewer and farther between, we all secretly wondered if there was something we weren’t being told, possibly something a little more sinister going on… After a few hours in the dark, under the English Channel without food or liquid refreshment, people do get a bit tetchy.
Through it all, I couldn’t keep from eavesdropping on the two passengers sitting behind us. One of them was a young woman. The second was an elderly gentleman who was retired Royal Air Force. The woman was claustrophobic. The fear in her voice was palpable, though she did her best to keep panic at bay and maintain dignity.
I listened, off and on, for four and a half hours while the gentleman kept her in light conversation, asking all the right questions while regaling her with stories from his days in the military. Every time the panic reemerged in her voice, there was another interesting story, or another question about her job, or how she liked living in London, or what her hobbies were.
At last the train was mercifully towed out of the tunnel and into Ashford. Those of us who knew we weren’t going to get home even if we did make it on to London were given accommodations for what was left of the night at Eurostar’s expense. As my husband and I sat in our comfy room enjoying beer and chicken salad sandwiches, I wondered what other ways one might keep one’s mind off being in a pitch black train stalled under a bazillion gallons of water.
Of course the answer was obvious. Wouldn’t hot, hammering sex keep ones mind off these less than stellar circumstances? If so, what would that sex be like, with an unseen partner offering comfort in a sightless world completely dependent on the other senses. And Viola! The Initiation of Ms Holly was born. It was natural for a mythology buff like me to link the sightless grope-fest unfolding in my mind with the story of Psyche and Eros. How would our modern day Psyche pursue her hidden Eros, and what obstacles might she face if she lived in London and had to undergo initiation to gain access to a twenty-first century Mount Olympus in order to be with her Eros, in order to even see his face?
Big cotton knickers, white chocolate willies, trains stranded under the English Channel… Inspiration is often an ambush — full on, head-over-heals, rough and tumble leading to places a very long and convoluted way from where it all began.
The Initiation of Ms Holly will be published this fall by Xcite Books, at which time all that is hidden shall be revealed…