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Thoughts from the Lakes

10th May

We nearly got blown off the fell today. The winds at the top of Broom Fell were like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. I was literally driven to my knees. I had to stop several times, just dig my poles in and hunker over. We didn’t continue on to Lord’s Seat as we intended. It was just too dangerous. Brian says when it’s that windy, the safest thing to do is just to lie down flat. It was an amazing, terrifying, exhilarating experience, and strangely I noticed the wind smelled like line-dried sheets before you put them on the bed, though I suppose in reality line-dried sheets smell like heavy winds on the Lakeland fells.

The wind made me think about what it actually would be like for Marie coming down off High Spy on a steep descent of loose slate in the wind mist and rain. Now I have first-hand experience to confidently say that it’s not a good place to be in bad weather.

We decended out of the wind to Spout Force, a lovely waterfall in the protection of a tight canyon. In the afternoon, we went to the Rannerdale Valley, and I’ve never seen so many bluebells up the sides of the fells and in the valley below. Apparently this valley was The Secret Valley, which writer and publican Nicholas Size wrote about. It is the valley where the native Britons and Norsemen ambushed and defeated the Normans after the Norman invasion. According to legend, for every Norman invader killed, a bluebell grows. More dark grist for the creative mill and my ghosts and witches as I write Lakeland Heatwave.

11th May

We took the long way to Ullswater, over Kirkstone pass to Sheffield Pike and Glenridding Dodd. We had planned to walk Red Screes on top of the Kirkstone Pass, but most of the upper fells were lost in the mist as we began our day. We had a lovely walk anyway. Both fells were rocky with inviting hidey holes and nooks and crannies, just the sort of places strange things, which are not easily explained away, might happen. We finished the day walking along the shores of Ullswater in rain-washed sunshine.

We spent the evening at the Keswick Mountain Rescue Base where Chris Harling gave a presentation about his climb of Mt Everest in 2007. Wow! What an experience! It was good to spend a little time at the base and hear some of Brian’s stories of mountain rescue call-outs he’d been on, all of which helped me get a picture in my mind’s eye of what sort of experiences my farmer, Tim Meriwether, might be dealing with as a volunteer for Keswick Mountain Rescue.

I went to bed thinking about Chris Harling climbing Everest. Chris said for him the hardest challenge was psychological, keeping his mind focused so that no matter how hard it was, no matter how much he wanted to quit, he could keep the goal before him and keep pushing forward to it.

With witches and ghosts and mountain passes being the order of the day, one of my Facebook friends, Thomas Gardener III, put me onto this fabulous song called The Witch of Westmoreland. The song is set in the Kirkstone Pass and at Ullswater. More atmospheric inspiration for my witches and their ghosts. Give it a listen.

12th May

We had more iffy weather, so again we walked the lower fells. We started our day on Raven Crag. Brian told us a story of the Mountain Rescue being called out to remove a decomposing corpse from there, which only added to the deep woodsy, eeriness of the fell. Like every place we walked, there were gorgeous views from the top. There is logging going on along some parts of the trail now. The ever-present smells of sawdust and pine resin brought back childhood memories of going to the woods with my father to where he worked. We made a quick side trip to take in the earthworks that remain of a bronze age fort overlooking the Shoulthwaite Valley.

We finished the day walking High Rigg, and Low Rigg down through St. John’s In the Vail to Tewit Tarn (pronounced Tiffit) taking in a lovely view of Castle Rigg Stone Circle from below Low Rigg. I’d always looked up onto these fells from the circle, but never seen it from above before. I can see why the Neolithic residents chose that particular site for their stone circle – sat on a raised plateau completely surrounded by high fells, no cathedral ever built could offer such a breath-taking experience.

13th May

Unfinished business got finished today. We decided to do the fells we had to give up on Tuesday because of the wind. We started off the day walking Barf in the rain. I know most of you American readers are laughing by now, but don’t let the name fool you, the ascent up Barf was probably the toughest ascent we had. It was steep, rocky, and wet, and we did the majority of it in the worst rain we’d had all week. But wow, what a lovely walk! We were rewarded with exquisite views out over not only Bassenthwaite Lake, but over a large chunk of the Western Fells. By the time we got to the summit, the sun was shining timidly.

We also managed Lord’s Seat, still windy and cold, but at least we could stand up. Then with the unfinished business finished, we walked into some of the most beautiful forest I’ve ever seen, thick with sphagnum moss and heather, up over Seat How where we enjoyed the first dry, wind-free lunch we’ve had all week. We walked roads along forest so thick that the sunlight didn’t penetrate through the canopy, and underneath the trees it literally looked like night. From there we made our final ascent of the day to Whinlatter Top, accompanied, once again, by the howl of the wind, daunting, but not unbearable this time, not exactly an old friend, but no longer the great unknown either.

I always feel a bit bereft after our last walk in the Lakes when we have to head back to the Soft South. Lakeland is so magical, and walking the fells stretches me and challenges me in ways nothing else I’ve done does. There is no denying the inspiration I get from being here. I’ve come away with lots of ideas for the Lakeland Heatwave Trilogy, and lots impressions that can come only from moving through the landscape and feeling the many layers of history, geology, natural science, and legend swirling around me with each step I take. It’s a place so steeped in possibility that I’m not at all surprised the story that comes to me won’t be told in only one novel. Lucky me. It’s not only the place that is amazing in what it offers up to me, but the people as well. And I owe a very special debt of gratitude and appreciation to Brian and Vron Spencer for all of their help and enthusiasm as I tease out the stories of my Lakeland witches and ghosts. Thanks Brian and Vron. You’re the best!

 

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Poetry, Smut, and Humour: Interview with Mel Jones

KD: I have the pleasure of interviewing Poetess Extraordinaire, Mel Jones, today. Mel is a woman who not only writes bawdy, funny, sometimes moving and thought-provoking poems, but also performs them live. And the amazing thing about Mel – well, one of many amazing things – is that she discovered this passion later in life.

Mel, how did you come to poetry, and what took you so long to get there?

MEL: I am the youngest of four .There weren’t many roles left to fill. I became the helper. This followed me into adult life and I lived through helping others. Plus I had the usual female disease of discounting anything I did and any talents that I had. I didn’t know that making people laugh was a gift because it came so easily to me and it was the same with poetry. And although I’d written a lot of songs and lyrics for others, I always thought of poetry as something that very highbrow, serious writers did – i.e. not me. I just wrote funny little verses that were a bit embarrassing. I never showed them to anyone outside of work.
Also, I suffered from frequent and long bouts of depression, the kind where you can’t go out to buy milk, and this punctuated my life right up until my late thirties when, by way of a series of fortuitous events, I entered long-term, 3 times a week therapy. That went on for 5 years. It changed my life by changing my attitudes to myself and my potential. I stopped caring so much what other people thought. So really the answer is I was too fucked-up before. Now I’m just fucked-up enough.

KD: I think that probably describes a lot of us writer types. We have to be just fucked-up enough to do what we do.

Though I often read my work out loud to an audience, poetry seems to me to lend itself a lot more to live performance. How did you get involved in performing your poetry, and can you explain how the buzz you must get from performing poetry differs from the buzz of writing it. Is one more powerful than the other as an experience, and if so why?

MEL: I was listening to Radio 4 and they had a poetry slam on – something I’d never heard of. There were people doing comedy poems and I thought – I do that all the time. Everytime someone left work or got married they’d come to me for a funny poem, I just didn’t realise there were places where people wanted to hear this stuff.

I went to Bang Said The Gun at The Roebuck pub on Great Dover Street in Borough one Thursday night, did a poem I wrote when I was 15 and won the slam. The prize was to come back and do a 10 minute set, which went down a storm. I’ve never looked back.
I don’t think I’m the greatest performer – I find it difficult to learn poems and I’m not very physically slick on stage, but I am funny, and making a crowd of strangers laugh is a big fat thrill.

But when I’ve just written something and I know it’s right, there’s a unique pleasure to it, a sense of fulfilment and release. I stay excited for hours and it doesn’t matter whether it’s a funny poem or a serious one. Performing is the icing on the cake but writing takes me over like a drug and finishing, finally finishing a ‘perfect’ poem, is the greatest thrill of all, apart from intense clitoral stimulation, obviously.

Resurrection

We have eternal life
Just not as us, that’s all
That’s the thing
That really pisses us off
We become soil and trees
And worms and flowers and rain
And a thousand million
Trillion other living things
But never us,
Not us, ever again

But we’re only a mix
Of garbled memories
A reinvention
Of what’s gone long before
We were alive back then
And we’ll be alive again
Just not as us, that’s all
It’s nature’s best joke
Alive or dead
We are already ghosts

KD: As a writer, I hopped right into what I think we would both agree is the most important part of this interview; your writing. But since I know you personally I can do that. Since the people out there in Blog-o-land don’t, could you tell us a little bit about Mel Jones – what you think we should know about her?

MEL: Oh God – I reckon there’s at least a dozen people in here. I am an extrovert/introvert. At my best I am kind, generous, funny and reliable. I am also impatient, moody, snippy and quite capable of causing a scene if I don’t like something. I get frustrated easily by machines and bureaucracy and little things can still get me down, but I bounce back much quicker these days. I can be the life and soul of the party but I also need great swathes of time alone.
I sing jazz, cook curry, have 2 cats and 3 vibrators. Is that enough?

KD: That tells me everything I need to know, Mel, I’ve always said you can tell the measure of a woman by the number of cats and the number of vibrators she has!  Here comes the old stand-by for every interview of every writer; what inspires you? How does your best poetry happen?

MEL: Just comes – TV headlines, people talking on the bus, an ad in the paper, or things just pop into my head. I’ll usually get one line and then the rest will come. Sometimes the original idea ends up as an entirely different poem from the one you thought you were aiming for. Writing is a strange process. Sometimes it’s like trying to find the soap in the bath. You know it’s in there somewhere but it’s a slippery sod.

Later 
Later, under London’s stoic Eye
I slip aglisten from your knowing arms
A film star frame, our silhouetted kiss
Against the sleepy wheel’s ravishing blue
 
Then ragged as the river’s pitch and swell
I rattle down the urgent last train steps
To ride in hurtling light and thundering sound
Along the midnight city’s thrilling veins
 
An answering rush beneath new-bruising skin
My raging blood some fresh, miraculous brew
When slick across my neon-haloed mouth
Salt finger tips give up the taste of you

KD: You’ve been doing NaPoWriMo during the month of April, which is national poetry writing month. It sounds quite extreme to me, something that would make every writer of poetry’s pulse speed up a bit. Can you tell us about it and about your experience of it?

MEL: Jo Bell, a very highly successful and respected poet, check her out at http://www.bell-jar.co.uk/, suggested I do it and I saw a lot of other poets I admire were signing up. You write a poem a day and post it on Facebook or your blog or the NaPoWroMo website or whatever.

The idea is to explore the writing process, gain some insight into the discipline of writing to a deadline and to ‘dig deeper’ as a result. All those things happened. I’m not saying everyone was a gem and I’ll certainly be ditching some and honing others but overall, I’m glad I did it because some more serious poetry came out of which I am rather proud. Most of all I am happy I completed it because a lot of people dropped out. One a day for 30 days is pretty hardcore. I’m knackered.

KD: I bet you are! But I’ve had the pleasure of reading some of the poems you wrote during those thirty days, and I’d definitely say it was an effort that paid off very well indeed!
I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing some of your more bawdy, deliciously smutty poems. In that regard, I feel like we truly are kindred spirits. Can you tell us what inspired you, and clearly still inspires you, to write poems about sex?

MEL: We are indeed kin. I am extremely earthy. I love smut, sex, erotica, porn, boundary-pushing and always have although I didn’t always know it. It’s important to me to share that because I spent 40 years attempting/pretending to be ‘normal’, whatever that is. I also enjoy writing about things that have embarrassed me. A lot of women have told me they have been helped by my poems because I ‘tell it like it is’ and make them feel less guilty about thoughts and feelings they may have or better about incidents that have weighed on their minds. The comedy is the spoonful of sugar that makes the medicine go down. You can say things you wouldn’t get away with in straight prose. I write about fucking, masturbation, porn, being caught short in public, my love of bums, body image, aging, desire and lots more. You think you’re the only one and you never are – except for the one I did about shitting, not by design, during sex. Not had a lot of nodding heads in the audience for that one. Still, it happened to me, and the poem, and the performance of it, makes the incident funny instead of fearful, joyous instead of guilt-ridden.
My inspiration comes from what’s on my mind and most of the time sex in one form or another is on my mind. Expressing my demons rather than keeping them in and letting them fester is also a common starting point. Sometimes I’m just drunk. Go figure.

20th Floor
I’m raw and alone
I’ve rubbed and teased forever
But it’s not enough
Oh to have the balls to open my window wide
Lean right out
Tits swinging
Nipples hard as wood
And make a guttural sound to match this throb
To turn this molten ache into a thrumming
Fleshy growl
That makes the paved soil tremble
The natural earth respond
The alley-cats give tongue
Fluting through the high-rise sprawl
A siren, howling call to my arms
Come, come
Join me in my ancient song
Give this beat some base
Riff on me
Strum me till I break
Bang a stone-age drum
Till there’s no more noise to make
Mine cannot be the only roar
Someone
Anyone
Make me vibrate like those machines
Stashed in my bedroom drawer
Have never done
Come, come
Come to the 20th floor

KD:  I’m sure everyone is as anxious as I am to know where we can find you in cyber-space and, of course, in the real world performing your poetry live.

MEL: Facebook: Mel Jones

I’ve just started a blog for the NaPoWriMo event and I shall begin adding to it soon.
http://www.stuffwotiwrite.blogspot.com/

Mel’s Little Book of Mostly Filthy Verse is due out soon so anyone who FBs me will be the first to know

I’m on Rrrants Radio Live Recording Thursday 12th May at

The OVO Theatre 29a Chequer Street St Albans Herts AL1 3YJ

On at Velvet Tongue SPRING EDITION: A literary soiree dedicated to erotic writing and performance.

16 May • 19:00 – 22:30

Bar Kick (basement)
127 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6JE
London, United Kingdom

I’m featuring Saturday evening 28th May at the Meadowlands Festival

I have a spot at Comedy Slappers on Wednesday 1st June
The Cavendish Arms

128 Hartington Road, Stockwell, SW3 2HJ
London, United Kingdom

And featuring At The Camden Head, 202 Camden High Street on Tuesday 14th June

Have just been invited to take part in Bang Said the Gun Super Slam on Thursday 30th June, for those who have won 2 or more Bang Trophies ( I am proud to say I have 3!)

I am often to be found at Bang Said the Gun, fantastic poetry night every time, at the Roebuck, 50 Great Dover Street Borough on Thursday evenings.

I am of course available for poetry commissions, and have extensive experience in speech/presentation and CV writing.
Words is me thing.

You’re Sexy

I don’t try to keep up with the ladies
As they wax, colour, peel and curl
I don’t bother much with the feminine
Or the guff about being a girl
It seems such a waste of resources
All that suffering’s a terrible pity
Especially when you consider the thought
That, generally, men ain’t that picky
They like to suggest that they’d only
Consider a model or WAG
When actually there’s not a woman alive
That some bloke or other won’t shag
It’s a blatantly sexist assertion
But that doesn’t mean that it’s wrong
All that alpha male crap masks the obvious fact
That we’ve had the power all along
They’re desperate to stop women twigging
They’d fuck a frog if it stopped hopping
You don’t have to try to entice a straight guy
You’re sexy just doing the shopping
You’re sexy because you’re a woman
With, or without, teeth or hair
You’re the unconquered peak of the mountain
You’re sexy – because you are there
You’re sexy from every perspective
Each crevice and fold a delight
You’re sexy with scars, you’d be sexy with SARS
Men don’t put up much of a fight
So girls, ditch the worry and torment
Buy some cake and the next dress size up
You could be ninety-three, 30 stone, reek of pee
I guarantee – you’d get a fuck

KD: Thanks, Mel, for stopping in and sharing some of your fabulous, funny, poignant, naughty, glorious poetry with us. Best of luck in writing and in performing the amazing stuff wot you wrote.

 

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Hot Under the Collar: Reading at Sh! Raises Temperature in Hoxton Area

I’ve been looking forward to last night’s reading at Sh! Hoxton from the moment I was asked. A reading at Sh! never fails to be fun and hot. And it was especially fun for me this time because it was the debut reading from my new novel, The Pet Shop. I hadn’t expected for my Pets to make their debut on eBook and Kindle quite so quickly, but they definitely got a warm welcome in the packed-out Sh! basement. And if you’re a person who loves the feel of real paper and a real book, The Pet Shop will be out in paperback in October, and there will be more celebrating. I love celebrating, don’t you?

 I shared the coveted pink setae with the luscious Queen of BDSM, and my dear friend, Kay Jaybee, who read temperature-rising excerpts from her hot novel, The Perfect Submissive, and her scorching new collection, Yes Ma’am.

 With Pets and submissives and discipline being the order of the night, Mistress Kay, always prepared for any occasion, lent me a lovely black leather collar to wear to help me get into the spirit of Pets. The woman always knows just how to set the mood.

 The Sh! Shop was all decked out for the occasion in the steamy erotic art of the lovely and very talented Dutch artist, Mayo. If you’re in the Hoxton area and haven’t yet seen Mayo’s lovely art, do stop in and check it out. You won’t be disappointed.

 I love reading, and I love to listen while others read. Last night I had the best of both worlds. And I have to admit, I was very proud to be able to do the first two readings ever from The Pet Shop. Though Tino was as rude as I expected him to be, even with me wearing Mistress Kay’s collar. I also had the opportunity to read one of my favourite scenes from The Initiation of Ms Holly as well. I was definitely in smut heaven.

 As always, a literotic reading at Sh! brings out the stars in the firmament of erotica and sexy stuff. The fabulous Rebecca Bond was there, snapping pics and tweeting blow-by-blow action to one of my favourite erotica writers, Charlotte Stein, who couldn’t be there. The amazing mag editor, sex writer, and founder of the women’s group, Fannying Around, Sarah Berry was there. It was also a treat for me to meet Kojo Black, author of the outrageously nasty anthology, The Candy Box. The totally fabulous author, journalist and broadcaster, Tania Glyde was there, along with poetess extraordinaire, Mel Jones. Sigh! And lots of other cool folks. The place was chock-a-block with people laughing and talking, fondling sex toys, listening to smut and sipping pink bubbly.

 As always, the Sh! Ladiez were the best hostesses in the world, opening their doors to smut, fun and fizz and making us all feel welcome.

 The evening ended with those of us who just couldn’t get enough of a good thing shambling off to Pizza Express to continue discussions of book covers and hooking readers on the first page while sharing the photos taken of the evening on iPhones and BlackBerries.

 I’d probably still be there if Raymond and I hadn’t had to catch the last train back to home, but we get to experience the fun all over again with photos shared over Facebook and email

 Back home again I’m making plans for more research in the Lake District for my next novel, Lakeland Heatwave. We’re off on holiday there on Monday. And I’m already looking forward to reading at the Portobello Sh! on July second when the goddess of erotica herself, Rachel Kramer Bussel, will be there promoting several of the anthologies she has edited. I can’t wait to meet her in person and I feel very honoured to be included among a list of writers so hot that if you wrote their names on the same sheet of paper, the paper would undoubtedly burst into flames. Oh yes, it’s gonna be a hot summer.

 

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‘The Pet Shop’ Hot and Steamy Early Debut!

One thing you have to learn about Pets is that they are unpredictable and sometimes in the very nicest ways. If you leave them alone too long, they might get into trouble. In this case, I sent them off to Xcite, and before I know it, they show up on Amazon Kindle!

There’s a lot of excitement at Pet Shop HQ today because my fabulously unpredictable Pets got launched early! The Pet Shop is now available on eBook, pdf and Kindle! The link is great, and the excerpt on Xcite is scorching hot!

Unpredictability aside, the timing couldn’t be more perfect, since I’ll be giving the first ever readings from The Pet Shop tomorrow evening at the Hoxton Sh! Women’s Erotic Emporium.  A bit nervous, actually, as Pets can be so unpredictable in public. You never really know what they might do, and Tino is especially mischievous when he thinks he can get away with it. Fortunately there are plenty of spankers and riding crops available at Sh! if discipline is needed. And I’ll be there with the BDSM Queen Extraordinaire, Kay Jaybee, who definitely knows a bit about discipline.

The fun is just beginning, actually. There’ll be more celebrating when The Pet Shop comes out in paperback in October. I’ll keep you posted.

To help celebrate, here’s just a little teaser from The Pet Shop.

‘You are Tino, aren’t you?’

He picked up the pace. ‘Tino’s not here.’ With his arm around her waist, he guided her away from her car to a waiting limo.’

She didn’t protest as he opened the door and helped her inside, sliding in next to her. Then he knocked on the privacy window and the driver took off.

‘Seems a strange vehicle to bring to a nature reserve,’ she said.

‘You really think so? My dad made the big bucks in shipping, you know, and the Port of Portland has a reputation for murder and all kinds of intrigue so rich men can have what they want. So of course I have a limo.’ He leaned close and nipped her ear. ‘And you just hopped right in with me, didn’t you? You know what they say about accepting rides from strangers. Are you scared?’

She held his gaze. ‘You’re not a stranger.’

He chuckled softly and returned her gaze as though he were the king of stare-downs, then he released his breath slowly. ‘Anyway, I didn’t bring the limo, but you can’t go back in what I came in dressed like that.’

‘Then you have to be Tino, or you wouldn’t have –’

He covered her mouth in an insistent kiss. ‘What?’ He spoke against her lips ‘You think I wouldn’t notice the sexy English bird distracting me from the all the other birds.’ He teased her lips apart, sparring with her tongue, making her insides feel like warm toffee. She was relieved to hear no anger in his voice.

She came up for breath. ‘But how else would you — ’

He nipped and tugged on her lip. ‘Tino’s not here,’ he whispered against her mouth, slurring his words with the flick of his tongue. ‘There’s just Vincent.’

‘What are you, schizo then?’ she let out a little gasp as he nibbled her earlobe then the hollow of her throat.

‘Didn’t you take psychology 101? We all have more than one person living inside us, Stella.’

‘Where are we going?’ She asked, feeling suddenly disoriented as the driver turned onto the main road and picked up speed.

‘Portland.’

‘But my car. It’s a hire, and my bags –’

He kissed her again, and his hand moved up the inside of her thigh. ‘Don’t worry. My people will take care of everything.’

‘But I thought –’ With a sharp little gasp, she suddenly forgot how to speak, as his fingers slid aside her thong.

‘Did you wear these for Tino, hoping he’d take them off with his teeth? … Because I won’t bother. I’m not here for your entertainment.’

‘I never thought that you were,’ she said, giving him an ineffective shove with the flat of her hand. But he took her mouth again, and the way his tongue invaded and withdrew and invaded again, the way his fingers teased and retreated and teased again made her stop thinking about… well everything, really.

He pulled away at last and held her gaze. ‘We have until we get to Portland, Stella. You can waste time trying to find out about Tino or you can spend that time with Vincent. It can be such a pleasant drive to Portland.’

 

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Masturbation and Creativity

May is National Masturbation Month, and as one who is proud to be a frequent masturbator, I wanted to honour the occasion on my site. At first, I was just going to put together a list of fun facts and interesting ideas, of which there are many where masturbation is concerned, but then I came across a fabulous article by Eric Francis over on Betty Dodson and Carlin Ross’s Sex Information Online site. And it got me thinking.

 In his post, ‘What Exactly is Masturbation Month,’ Eric Francis wonders why most sites by and for singles, to promote and validate the single lifestyle don’t discuss masturbation. The surprising answer seems to be that masturbation is a subject even happily single people just aren’t comfortable discussing. But what intrigued me most was Eric’s speculation as to why that might be:

 ‘I would propose that masturbation is about a lot more than masturbation — and that’s the reason it’s still considered so taboo by many people, and in many places. First, I would say that masturbation holds the key to all sexuality. It’s a kind of proto-sexuality, the core of the matter of what it means to be sexual. I mean this in an existential sense. Masturbation is the most elemental form of sexuality, requiring only awareness and a body. Whatever we experience when we go there is what we bring into our sexual encounters with others — whether we recognize it or not. Many factors contribute to obscuring this simple fact.’

I read this through several times, savored it, and read it again. The ancient Egyptians believed masturbation was a creative act in its own right. In the Heliopolis creation myth, the god Amen rises from the primeval ocean, Nun, and masturbates the divine son and daughter into existence, and they populate the world. Even if I look at the Judeo/Christian myth in the first two chapters of Genesis, where God speaks the world into existence, I am still looking at a solo act.

I love Eric’s line, ‘Masturbation is the most elemental form of sexuality, requiring only awareness and a body.

Awareness and Body. What a fabulous combination! Eric even goes on to say that whatever we bring from that proto experience of masturbation, we bring into our other relationships as well. In other words, it’s formative, that solo act, that original creative force. It brings awareness and body together. Isn’t that what it’s all about? The discovery of who we are in relation to ourselves is key if we are to be able to properly enter into discovery of ‘The Other.’ Doesn’t the act of creation, metaphorical or otherwise, begin with taking an inventory of what we’ve got to work with and learning how best to work with what we have to bring forth what we hope to create?

Every February, my husband and I get out the vegetable seed we’ve stored over the winter to see what we need for the veg patch in the spring. We spread everything out on the floor in front of us, and I get out my cunning plan, the mock-up drawing of what I want in our beds and where I want it. Then, we take inventory. It’s not just that we have three packets of peas and a packet of beefsteak tomatoes, but it’s reminiscing about how yummy those tomatoes were last year and how we didn’t have nearly as many peas as we’d have liked. It’s planning and scheming how we can have more, and discussing which is the best kind of sweet corn to plant, and making sure we have enough yellow courgette seed. Though it’s usually done with lots of wine or coffee for refreshment, depending on the time of day, the whole exercise is really all about how we’ll create this lovely veg garden we see in our minds’ eye now that we’ve inventoried what we have to work with.

Awareness and a body. Masturbating the world into existence. It happens all the time. At the risk of offering too much information, my understanding of sex, my deepest understanding of my own sexuality, comes from awareness and my own body. That’s what I have to work with. My understanding of writing, my deepest understanding of the creative forces in me also comes from awareness and my own self.

I’m astounded that in a world where solitude and the meditative tradition is a part of almost every religious discipline, we shy away from the very concept that could have well given birth to it, awareness and Body. Can there really even BE awareness without a body? And how can we possibly understand the boundaries and the limits of either without the two rubbing up against each other. Our act of one-ness, our proto-sexuality, as Eric Francis calls to it, I suggest is by its boundary-exploring nature, also our proto-creativity.

National Masturbation Month honours awareness and body and the discovering of our own boundaries, that which separates us from everything else. And beautifully, amazingly, astoundingly, it is discovery and exploration of our own boundaries that eases and enhances our journey into connectedness.

NEWS UPDATES

I just found out today that The Pet Shop will be released on May 12 on PDF and eBook through Xcite Books! Excited, who? Moi? I’ve just been over to the Xcite cite to check it out, and there it is complete with a really steamy excerpt. Go on, tak a peek… As soon as I know more I’ll be crowing all over the place about it, so stay tuned. The release date for the paperback and the launch party at Sh!, which may very well spill out into the streets in a froth of happy pink fizz bubbles will be in October.  Oh yes! The fun is just beginning!

Coffee Time Romance started out the month of May with a Book Brew With Coffee Crew event entitled ‘love conquers all.’ Along with a group of other romance writers, I was interviewed by the fabulous crew and given the chance to talk about The Initiation of Ms Holly and what obstacles my characters had to overcome in order for love to conquer all. It was a fabulous start to the month, and I’d like to thank everyone at CTR who made it such a fun event.

Friday night, all the fun will be at Sh! Hoxton while I get to read just a few of the juicy bits of The Pet Shop as a sneak-view, and the totally yummy Kay Jaybee wil be reading from her hard-hitting, temperatur raising novel, The Perfect Submissive, as well as her new story collection, Yes Ma’am. We’ll be joined by the very talented Mayo, who will be exhibiting her gorgeous erotic art. Pink fizz, cupcakes and fun all around.

Then it’s home for two days and off, once again, for some fun, fell walking, and more research for Lakeland Heatwave in the gorgeous Lake District. Sigh. How I suffer for my art.

Still to come… poetry, music, more on the proper care and keeping of Pets, fabulous guests and lots more.  Here’s wishing you a fabulous May!

 

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The Romance Reviews

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