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Posts Tagged ‘writing’


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Sex translates well!

The Black Lace anthology, The Affair, which contains my short story, Vetting The Affair, now has a German translation! I’ve gone international! Whether you read it in German or English, it’s a hot read for Bank Holiday weekend.

 

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The Double Standard is alive and well

I was lucky enough to meet Zoe Margolis a few months ago. Zoe, aka Abby Lee, was famously outed for her popular anonymous blog, Girl with a One Track Mind. When I met her, she was doing a book reading at Sh! Women’s Shop in Hoxton promoting her new book, Girl with a One Track Mind Exposed. At the time she talked briefly about her shock and anger at being called a hooker in the headline of an article that ran in the Independent on Sunday, so I was very happy to read in Saturday’s Guardian that she had won libel damages. No one doubted that she would. The headline of the article was not only defamitory, but it was also wrong. The Inedpendent has since apologized and settled out of court.

As I read the article, I couldn’t help thinking about the big news a couple of months ago when Peter Biskind’s book, Star, How Warren Beatty seduced America, revealed that Beatty had supposedly slept with 12,775 women — give or take.

No one — even mistakenly — called Beatty a hooker. In fact the very idea is ludicrous. Men, especially handsome powerful ones, build reputations on their sexual prowess. Other men admire them, and women long to be the next notch on the bed post. Even though Beatty was referred to as a serial philanderer in one of the many newspaper articles, somehow that just doesn’t have the same impact as being called a hooker.

Seldom does a woman get admired for her sexual prowess, nor does she have to sleep with anywhere near 12,775 men before she gets labeled a whore. I’m in no way denegrating sex workers. I’m simply saying that the old double standard is alive and well, no matter how sophisticated we think we may be.

I doubt if there’s a woman writer of erotic fiction anywhere who doesn’t empathize with Zoe. Every time I publish a new story, every time I write a blog entry, there’s a frisson of fear, a small knot in my stomach, when I consider the risk. The truth is, the prudism and puritanism that’s a part of the culture we all grow up in still causes me to doubt myself, and even though I know better, causes me to fear what other people might think or say. And certainly not without cause. When women are open about sex, we run the risk of being labeled slut, whore, hooker. We run the risk that those who still think sex should be the property of the patriarchy, the church and state, will see us as fair game for verbal and emotional abuse (or worse) because we’ve chosen to celebrate our sexuality rather than repress it.

Zoe Margolis is one of my heros. She’s courageous, outspoken, and she’s making a difference for all of us who believe in the celebration of sexuality. And the world could certainly use a little more cause to celebrate.
 

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117 Miles of Inspiration

We just got back from walking the Two Moors Way, also known as the Devon Coast to Coast — Nine days of walking across the whole of Devon. We did it from Lynmouth in the north to Wembury in the South. It was 117 miles of moorland, farmland, red deer, ponies, prehistoric ruins, bluebell woods, wild garlic pathways and much more than I could ever write about in one blog entry. We were usually walking by nine-thirty in the morning and in bed by nine-thirty at night. Somehwere in the midst of blisters and aches and lovely views and gorgeous wildflowers, we developed a routine, and by the beginning of the fourth day, that routine opened into space for thinking. For me, space for thinking always means it’s time to plan and scheme a new story, and certainly the inspiration was there. Now that The Initiation of Ms Holly is off to my editor, I’m constantly thinking about what comes next. With my days full of the enormous emptiness of the moors, and nothing to do but put one foot in front of the other mile after mile, whole scenes played out in my head. Charactors I’d been toying with revealed themselves more clearly, almost like they had dropped in for the day’s walk, and nebulous ideas became more concrete. All that without ever setting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard.
I’ve always walked my stories. Whenever I reach a road block, I go for a walk, whenever I’m not sure what happens next, I go for a walk. I’ve just never had nine whole days to walk a story before. I’d like to say that I now have the next novel all planned out in detail, but that’s not what happened. I walked across open spaces, huge open spaces, always wondering what I was missing, what I might be able to see if I just looked a little harder. I’m not sure how so much emptiness can feel so full, but it does. There’s a lot out there, and even now that I’m back home, I’m still seeing what’s out there. I think it’s a good metaphor for what happens when I write.
I’ve come home to my own little enclosed space to discover that my story, Accidental Hitchhiker, is now available on the Xcite eBooks anthology, Between the Sheets. Also, my story, Muscle Bound, will be available in October in the Cleis Press anthology, Smooth: Erotic Stories for Women. A very nice homecoming, I think!

 

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Another good eRead!

On a road trip across America, Liz Martin’s car breaks down in the middle of nowhere South Dakota, and the ride a Good Samaritan lorry driver offers her is not exactly the one she expected. Don’t miss my story, ACCIDENTAL HITCHHIKER, now available in Xcite eBooks anthology, Cocktales, Between The Sheets

 

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Tunnel Vision

‘Did you take out the recyclables?’ my husband asks.

‘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.

 

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