May 31, 2010

Drabble 1/100

Prompt: Vacation

We take separate vacations. You hit the west coast, I take east. You get boys, I get girls. We've got good jobs in a place that won't let us be ourselves, so for a week a year we leave. You're great in bed, but I miss the taste of a woman's cunt. And I know you love to fuck me, but I'd never deny you the opportunity to suck cock. Someday, we'll find the courage to leave these secure lives in a repressive hole, but until then we travel apart, and when we reunite get off on sharing the pictures.

Story a Day Wrap-Up

I came so close to giving up. I had a few days of severe writer's block, a hectic schedule, a dance competition, and yesterday I was four days behind and thinking I'd just quit. But then I sat down and churned out 4 stories in about 8 hours. 2 of them were awful, 2 of them have potential. And then today I wrote my 31st story. I am so glad I didn't give up, that I didn't let a couple of rough days do me in.

So now I'm left with some bad stories, some good stories, and some that aren't good yet but have potential. I'm really pleased with myself. I have a lot of new material to revise and submit - it's hard to keep track of it all! I let my organizational system slide a little this month, and I need to get it back on track.

I learned that, while sometimes you really are blocked and can't write, sometimes if you sit down and force something on to paper, you'll have a great idea you wouldn't have come up with otherwise. I was still feeling pretty blocked yesterday afternoon. But I made myself sit down and write, and while the first 2 stories were terrible, they got my brain warmed up and I ended up with 2 other really good ideas - and I'm not sure I'd ever have had those ideas if I hadn't sat down and just forced myself to keep going.

My new goal is to stop worrying so much about whether or not I feel inspired enough to write, and just write. It doesn't matter. If I'm truly blocked, I can have a day off, but I'm starting to distinguish the difference between blocked and uninspired. I need to hone my ability to tell the difference a little more, and then be sure to write on the days my mind is open but lacking in a new idea. If I push myself, something will come.

I did poem-a-day in April, went right into story-a-dI came so close to giving up. I had a few days of severe writer's block, a hectic schedule, a dance competition, and yesterday I was four days behind and thinking I'd just quit. But then I sat down and churned out 4 stories in about 8 hours. 2 of them were awful, 2 of them have potential. And then today I wrote my 31st story. I am so glad I didn't give up, that I didn't let a couple of rough days do me in.

So now I'm left with some bad stories, some good stories, and some that aren't good yet but have potential. I'm really pleased with myself. I have a lot of new material to revise and submit - it's hard to keep track of it all! I let my organizational system slide a little this month, and I need to get it back on track.

I learned that, while sometimes you really are blocked and can't write, sometimes if you sit down and force something on to paper, you'll have a great idea you wouldn't have come up with otherwise. I was still feeling pretty blocked yesterday afternoon. But I made myself sit down and write, and while the first 2 stories were terrible, they got my brain warmed up and I ended up with 2 other really good ideas - and I'm not sure I'd ever have had those ideas if I hadn't sat down and just forced myself to keep going.

My new goal is to stop worrying so much about whether or not I feel inspired enough to write, and just write. It doesn't matter. If I'm truly blocked, I can have a day off, but I'm starting to distinguish the difference between blocked and uninspired. I need to hone my ability to tell the difference a little more, and then be sure to write on the days my mind is open but lacking in a new idea. If I push myself, something will come.

I did poem-a-day in April, went right into story-a-day in May, and had been anticipating time off from frenzied challenges - but then I heard about 100 Drabbles of Summer. A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words, and the challenge is to write 1 a day between Memorial Day (today) and Labor Day. I can't ever back down from a challenge, it seems, so that's what I'm doing. Not sure if I'll be posting these drabbles on my blog, but I'll think about it. So that's what's next for me - in addition to revising and submitting all the work I created in May.

This was a fantastic challenge and I look forward to doing it again next year!ay in May, and had been anticipating time off from frenzied challenges - but then I heard about 100 Drabbles of Summer. A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words, and the challenge is to write 1 a day between Memorial Day (today) and Labor Day. I can't ever back down from a challenge, it seems, so that's what I'm doing. Not sure if I'll be posting these drabbles on my blog, but I'll think about it. So that's what's next for me - in addition to revising and submitting all the work I created in May.

This was a fantastic challenge and I look forward to doing it again next year!

May 24, 2010

Story a Day #21-#24

On Friday, I ended up writing two stories due to having extra free time and a burst of creativity. It proved to have been fortuitous, because on Friday night I had some terrible insomnia (for the second night in a row), and so on Saturday I felt braindead, groggy, and uninterested in being creative. So I got to take a night off while still being on schedule.

Sunday and today I managed to write, but I haven't been especially pleased with anything I've produced. I'm just starting to feel a little burned out. But I only have one week left, and I'm not about to give up! I've come too far to give up now. I'll keep writing and working and plugging along, no matter what. And hopefully my inspiration will come back soon!


Crossposted at Story a Day Updates

May 22, 2010

Smutty fun with Alison Tyler

Alison Tyler has a new contest up at her blog. 5 stories, each 250 words or less. Please read them and vote for your favorite! I have a story in there somewhere, but I'm not going to reveal which one. Just go read and pick the best story!


In addition, I will be participating in Alison Tyler's Smut Marathon. Follow the blog for the latest happenings in what's going to be a fun competition.


Have a good weekend, everyone!

May 20, 2010

Story a Day #20

I can't believe how fast the month has gone by! I can't believe I'm so close to being done! I can't believe how much I've written!

Today's piece came out shorter than I would have liked, but not too bad. I gave myself a challenge - always a good idea. And there's definitely room to expand and improve. So today is a victory! And I'm looking forward to whatever creativity tomorrow will bring.

Crossposted at Story a Day Updates


May 19, 2010

eBook Review: Kinkyville, edited by Sommer Marsden

I didn't expect to finish Kinkyville in one sitting. But like the companion collection Dirtyville, I read the entire book and didn't realize how far along I was until I was done. I'm pleased to say that Kinkyville is just as strong and interesting as Dirtyville. It's sexy, kinky, and also accessible to a wide variety of readers.


Kinkyville is excellent because the stories within it all epitomize the kink genre in one way or another, but also manage to set themselves apart. "Punishment Befitting the Crime" by D. L. King comes to mind as an example because it's a fantastic new take on the sexy librarian motif. "Barber's Pole" by J. D. Waters is unexpected as well - in that two male characters discover something new about their own sexuality. These two stories are especially memorable, but every piece in Kinkyville has merit and is worth reading.


Like the companion collection Dirtyville, some of the stories in Kinkyville are so short they feel incomplete. "You Suck" by Benjamin Eliot is one such piece. The story builds up an incredible amount of tension, but concludes the piece before the reader (or the characters) can get a decent release. While sexual tension is one of the most important parts of a strong erotic story, "You Suck" is all about the buildup without any sense of resolution or conclusion. "The Goth Girl" by Rita Winchester is another story that is so brief that it seems more like a fragment of a larger piece. There is so much potential for a complete sex scene and a compelling narrative, but it's cut short. But these problems aside, Kinkyville is extremely enjoyable, and I have no other complaints.


Kinkyville will definitely appeal to readers who enjoy all forms of kinky stories, and in general, most of them are complex enough that they'll appeal to more vanilla readers as well. I highly recommend this collection.

Story-a-Day #18 - #19

Despite Tuesdays and Wednesdays being my busiest days of the week, I managed to write both of the story ideas I had, without resorting to squeezing in some flash fiction and putting the more exciting ideas off until tomorrow. Turns out, when you really want to work on something, you find a way to make time.

I was complaining earlier that I didn't have an idea for tomorrow, and then I got a great one! I was just brainstorming between dance classes, and something came together. It's going to be a real challenge to do well, but I'm very much looking forward to it. Tomorrow is also going to be a rather busy day, but I definitely look forward to working on this story.

Now to decide what I want to do with the rest of my night. I have to work on putting together a dance costume for an upcoming performance. One of my stories was selected by a publisher last week, and I have 2.5 weeks left to finish revisions - not an impossible task, but not something I want to put off. But really, I just want to type up a story I drafted last week that has been sitting around neglected for several days. I think I'm going to relax for a bit and then make up my mind.

Looking forward to the work week being done and more freedom to write on the weekend . . . .

Crossposted at Story a Day Updates

May 17, 2010

Story a Day #17

Another story done! I’m feeling really good about the rate at which things have been going the past three days. And I have a great idea for tomorrow. Unfortunately, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the busiest ones of the week. I hate the thought of having to put this new idea off until Thursday. I’d still write on Tuesday and Wednesday, but these would be flash or microfiction days. Not that I have a problem with flash/micro; I quite like them. But I have an idea for something else, and I am ridiculously excited to write it.

Of course, I could just write it tonight and be a day ahead. Not a terrible idea. We’ll see how I feel once I get some editing done on another project.


Crossposted at Story a Day Updates

May 16, 2010

eBook Review Dirtyville, edited by Sommer Marsden

When I started Dirtyville, I planned to read a few of the stories, then put my Nook down and go about my day. But before I knew it, I'd finished the entire book in one sitting. I read through all thirteen stories without getting bored or feeling the need to get up and do something else for awhile. Dirtyville is a completely absorbing collection; editor Sommer Marsden did an excellent job of selecting thirteen fascinating and sexy stories.

Dirtyville is a collection that is both sexy and well-written. Although none of these stories is longer than 1,000 words, each one has an interesting plot, believable characters, or compelling scenes. These stories are about more than just sex; they all take to heart the idea that "life is never really what it seems," especially in small towns. The best example of this is "Today's Special" by Heidi Champa. This story has great sex and a twist ending; you think you know who these characters are and what they want, but the closing lines make you realize you can't make assumptions, even about the dirtier side of life.

The only complaint I have about Dirtyville is that some of the stories are so short that they seem incomplete. "The Dentist's Wife" and "Bulldozers and Communion" both have strong beginnings, but leave the reader with the sense that they're unfinished. "Bulldozers" in particular feels cut off because it focuses on protagonist Roger's late-in-life blooming sexuality, but cuts us off before we can see the full extent of that development. The narrative ends just as Roger is getting advice from his ex-wife about how to give good blow jobs; as a reader, I wanted to see him make use of that information before the story ended.

While a few of the stories are weaker than others, Dirtyville is overall a fantastic book and one of my favorite erotica collections, whether in print or eBook form. Anyone fascinated by the darker side of small-town life will appreciate it, but Dirtyville will be accessible, entertaining, and hot for anyone who appreciates quality smut.

Story-a-Day 15 and 16

Friday was a rough creative day, but the 15th and 16th have both been really good. Just a few hundred words each day, but each piece has a lot of potential. I feels really refreshing to be creating work I want to continue improving.

I think what helped me this weekend was that, after a difficult afternoon on Friday, I spent the evening doing absolutely nothing. I just shut my brain off. I went out for dinner and had some quality time with my spouse, and then we just watched television the rest of the night. I didn’t even multitask. Often when we’re watching TV, I’ll be doing something: catching up on email, cleaning, things like that. But on Friday night, I just sat and watched. I let everything go and just completely relaxed. And I think it really paid off. I woke up on Saturday feeling artistically refreshed, and I’ve been quite productive this weekend.

Crossposted at Story a Day Updates.

May 14, 2010

Story a Day #14

Well, I have a story, but I absolutely hate it. Today was just a difficult writing day. I had to force an idea, and then had to force out the words. I know that any attempt is better than no attempt, that I still did something worthwhile, that even if this story is not any good, at least I got some practice in. But it's hard not to feel discouraged when you feel like you've wasted your entire afternoon. Even if deep down, you know it wasn't wasted.

I still should be pleased with myself. I've written a story every day so far. Some of them have a lot of potential. I will have a lot of revision and submission fodder at the end of the month. Because I'm actively writing, I'm getting inspired more frequently. This whole project is really good for me. Even when I get discouraged, I know that it's good for me, that I'm becoming a better writer even when I have an off day.


Crossposted at Story a Day Updates

Three awesome things

Awesome thing #1: Sex on the Beach, one of the newest ebook anthologies from Xcite Books, is out, and one of my stories is in there! This marks my first anthology publication. I'm thrilled to be working with Xcite, and proud to have "Beyond the Dunes" included.

Awesome thing #2: I also have a story up at Oysters and Chocolate. I've admired Oysters and Chocolate since I started writing erotica, so I'm especially thrilled to finally have a story there.

Awesome thing #3: I have an interview up at Rude Words. My very first interview, as a matter of fact.

I don't know if it's possible for this day to get better. Seriously, I'm on top of the world.

May 13, 2010

Story-a-Day 10-13

Despite the lack of blog updates (I have a busy life!), I’ve managed to keep up with a new story every day.

Day 10 resulted in something that needs revision but has potential, and was a hell of a lot of fun to write; I got the idea the day before from some friends while eating in a burger joint. Keeping sort of mum about it, though. I never like discussing ideas early on in the writing process.

Day 11 yielded a piece of flash fiction I wrote while in the waiting room at the dentist’s office. Not happy with it, nothing really memorable or interesting, but I got words on paper!

Day 12 also was a piece of flash fiction, one that I enjoyed very much.

Day 13 has been a real challenge. I started a piece for an anthology of Sherlock Holmes erotica, which has been difficult because I rarely write from the perspective of men, and also because I am trying to write it in Doyle’s style, and I’ve never been good at imitation. Plus, I’m collaborating with my spouse on this story, and collaboration is always a tricky think. But it was a great way to stretch my creative muscles!

In other news, I’ve submitted a second of my story-a-day pieces. I have no idea what I’m going to write tomorrow, but I know I’ll come up with something!


Crossposted at Story-a-Day Updates

May 9, 2010

Story a Day 9

Lots of work done today! I finished day 9, which I'm thinking is close to 1,500 words, although I won't know until I type it up. I'm definitely planning on revising and submitting this one; it has a lot of potential.

I also put the final revisions on the story I wrote for day 2, and submitted it for the MindFuck Fiction Sloth anthology (the deadline isn't until June 1st, so anyone who has a story idea for this one still has plenty of time to send something in). I've also marked up my story from day 3 and look forward to revising it sometime in the next week.


Crossposted at Story a Day Updates.

Story a Day #8

Yesterday, short on both ideas and time, I used the prompt from the Story-a-Day website to write a story in exactly 55 words. It came out pretty well, considering I rarely write flash or microfiction. This is also one of the few stories I composed on the computer (I usually write my first draft by hand), in order to take advantage of word-count software and not have to constantly stop and tally the words by hand.

This story makes my wordcount for the month so far 3,258, just based on the stories I have typed up.

Suffered from insomnia last night (too much heavy food too close to bed), so I'm looking to take a nap and then write a full story later. And possibly get some revision in. I'm behind on that, and I can't submit work if I don't revise!


Crossposted at Story a Day Updates.

Please, Sir Virtual Book Tour Day 9




Welcome to day 9 of the Please, Sir virtual book tour! Please, Sir is a collection of stories centered around female submission, and is edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel and published by Cleis Press. Check out the Please, Sir book blog here.

Today, I have an interview with Shanna Germain, who writes and teaches erotica as well as other genres (I highly recommend taking one of her Sexy on the Page online classes). Her story "Anticipation" is about a long-distance BDSM couple who has to express their passion and their power dynamic via instant messenger while the protagonist sits in a public place. Scroll down for Shanna's perspectives on writing "Anticipation," as well as BDSM fiction in general.


I know, based on your blog, that you have the opportunity to travel quite a bit. Did your experiences with travel influence "Anticipation" in any way? How so?

They did, actually. In fact, this is one of my few stories that mirrors my life. I was sitting in a coffee shop as I wrote it, instant messaging back and forth to a long-distance lust at the time. It was actually the inspiration for the story, and it lent an odd and unusual echo between what was happening fiction-wise and what was happening in real life.

What were the particular challenges of writing a BDSM story in which the characters were thousands of miles apart? What was particularly fun about the writing process?

My characters are usually in close proximity to each other. In fact, I typically have a hard time reading stories where the characters are only communicating via text or IM. Text speak is difficult to read on the page, for me, and so that means I don't write it very often. But this felt like a good time to try a challenge, to see if I could pull it off. So many people are sexting these days, that it makes sense for fiction to echo that. The challenge for me became how to use that as an element in the story and still have it be sexy and readable.

Related to that - what were the challenges of writing a story in which a character is at risk of getting caught engaging in sexual behavior in public, even though she is separated from her lover? Other stories in Please, Sir have characters engaged in public sexual power play, but those characters are in the same place. What was it like to risk involving the public when the conversation was one-sided?

Well, that's a risk I feel all the time. As an erotica writer who does most of my work in coffee shops and on airplanes, I'm always nervous that someone is going to start reading stuff over my shoulder. But then I think, serves them right if they do that! So, I know a bit about that kind of risk.

Also, there's something that adds to the element of arousal, I think, when you're getting away with someone. Here's this woman, who from all external appearances, is businessed-up and formal, and yet she has this amazing sexual energy going on. I think everyone has a hidden thing -- sexual or otherwise -- that makes them glow when they tap into it. Everyone else around them senses it, even if it's hidden, and then those energies begin to play off each other. I had this image of her, sitting there, oblivious to most of the effect that she was having, and everyone else in the coffee shop feeling suddenly aroused without really knowing why.

As someone who makes her living as a wordsmith, what was it like to write a protagonist who struggled with creating beautiful, poetic language? When you were writing "Anticipation," did you ever consider linguistic abilities to be a part of the couple's power play? I was fascinated by the fact that Bard42, the dom, has such an elegant command of language, while the narrator does not. It's not that she's silenced, exactly, but it seems that part of her submissiveness comes from the fact that she's not able to seduce with language. Was that a conscious decision on your part?

It was a conscious decision. When I first started writing, they were both eloquent with language, equals if you will. And then I realized that, yes, it would actually heighten her submissiveness to be the one who is out of her element in this type of interaction. In great fiction, you should be able to tell who's talking just by their dialogue being unique. I think that's true of dialogue in text-speak as well. I didn't want them to both sound the same.

One of the hallmarks of "Anticipation" is that Bard42 is only able to describewhat will happen. Unlike many of the other stories in Please, Sir, the reader does not get to see the action first-hand. We only get a promise of what is to come. What was it like to create a story where the most explicit action did not actually take place in the present or past?

For me, a lot of the arousal aspect of erotica comes from that anticipatory desire. So this was right up my alley as far as creating a sense of "what's to come." My goal was to make the non-visible visible by using concrete images of what he's going to do to her. The fact that they're in a long-term relationship helps that as well; they've done these things together before, so she can picture how it's going to go, and what it's going to be like.

What initially drew you to writing BDSM stories? How are they different from writing "vanilla" erotica? Which do you prefer to write?

I like to write anything that's sexual. For BDSM stuff, the power exchange interests me a lot, the way that characters can truly let go of all their inhibitions and be real. That's the moment I love in sexuality and in sex-writing, whether it comes from a heterosexual one-on-one vanilla scene or a BDSM-style orgy with whips and chains.

Do you prefer to write from the perspective of a dom or a sub? What are the particular challenges and highlights of writing each?

Well, I'm very much a dominant in everyday life and a submissive in the bedroom (or other sexual places), so I have elements of both in my nature. I don't find one easier than the other -- I'm very character driven. So sometimes the characters that show up in my brain are submissive, and sometimes they're dominant, sometimes they're neither or both. I just try to be true to that character, wherever their interests may lie.

What is the hallmark of an excellent BDSM story? Other than the obviously kinky subject matter, are there any stylistic elements that are required of BDSM that are nto required in vanilla stories?

Hm. That's a good question. My guess is that it's different for every reader. But for me, there has to be an element of respect and an understanding that the BDSM power dance is just that -- it's a dance of power, of consent, of taking only what's allowed. If I read something that's just degrading to one character, or that's complete power without give and take, I find myself ranting at the words.

Can someone write good BDSM fiction if they do not enjoy participating in BDSM in their own life? Is just reading good BDSM enough, or is there a certain amount of real-life appreciation one needs to feel and experience in order to make these stories convincing?

I think people can write anything if they have a basic understanding of human nature. If I could only write what I know well, I would have to write every story from the perspective of an almost 40-year-old white middle class submissive woman. How boring would that be?

I think that writers get into trouble when they fall back on cliches without taking the time to make them real people. Cliched characters say the same things over and over, they make the same actions, they act the way a million other characters act in BDSM stories.

You can write about the cliche of the dominant aggressive man and the meek submissive woman, but you have to personalize them. It's not just some dominant aggressive man. It's this man, the one with dark hair and bright blue eyes, who's waiting for you with a simple black paddle in his hands, tapping it against his finger tips. The one who plays tennis and you just know how hard his backswing is, and you're unzipping your skirt very very slowly because you can already feel how much that black leather is going to hurt on your bare skin...

And now I've gotten myself carried away! I think I'm going to have to go write that story!

Thanks again for stopping by for this portion of the tour! Be sure to check out Day 10 over at Prurient Interests.

You can order Please, Sir from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders, Powell's, IndieBound, and Cleis Press. (And Austinites, the book is also available at BookWoman!)

May 7, 2010

New review up

I have a book review up at Rude Words! Check out what I thought about Confessions, edited by Miranda Forbes.

Story a Day 5-7

I've been very busy the past few days, so no time for blogging or updating, but I have kept up with my writing on schedule. Day 5 was short, maybe 150 words. Day 6 is a little longer, but maybe only around 500. I think today's is close to 500 as well.

I've been typing up a few more stories. Day 1 is 574 words (a little shorter than I thought, but no matter) day 3 is 1,143 words. So my word count for the month is 3,203 for the first three days. Pretty good! Not that I'm shooting for a specific wordcount. But it's nice to be keeping track.


Crossposted at Story-a-Day Updates.

May 3, 2010

Story a Day 3

Finally finished story 3! I'm not sure how long it is, but my guess is that it's hovering around 1,000 words. If that's the case, I'll definitely need to expand it, as I wrote it to submit to another MindFuck Fiction anthology, and the minimum word count is 1,500.

The 2nd draft of story #2 is 1,486; I need to expand it next time around, but only a little bit. Still haven't typed up story #1 either, but I have a feeling I'm averaging about 1,000 words a day so far. Not that I expect to keep up with this pace, but it's nice to be so productive early on.

May 2, 2010

Story a Day 1 and 2

I'm on schedule so far! I've written two stories since finding out about this challenge yesterday afternoon. I'm not sure how long they are, because I write everything by hand first and I haven't typed everything up yet. But I think my first story is at least 500 words. And I hope the one I wrote today is close to 1500, because I'll be submitting it to the MindFuck Fiction sloth anthology, and I'd like to have the first draft be in the range of the minimum word count! If not, well, I'll have nearly a month to get it there, but it's always nice to know I'm at least near the target from the get-go.

Anyway, I'm still not sure I'll be able to pull this off, but at least I'm doing well so far!


Crossposted at Dorla's Story a Day Updates.

Story a Day in May

Fresh out of NaPoWriMo, yesterday I found out about Story a Day, one woman's attempt to write a story every day in May. And because I don't take on enough challenges, I'm going to try.

I've set up a blog over at the Story a Day website, but will cross-post updates here as well. Wish me luck!

NaPoWriMo Reflection

As I did last year, I though it would be a good idea to sit down and evaluate my poetry attempts for the month of April.

1. Number of poems written in April.
30

2. Number of poems you’ll keep and revise.
Definitely five; maybe one or two others, but there are only five I feel strongly about at the moment.

3. List the titles of your top-three NaPoWriMo poems.
"Convalescence," "The Tongue is the Sweetest Meat," and "Associates" (although this last one is not the best written, but I had such a great time writing it that I have to list it here).

4. List your three least-favorite NaPoWriMo poems.
The untitled poem from Day 11, the untitled poem from Day 15, and the untitled poem from Day 19.

5. Favorite line from one of your NaPoWriMo poems.
"I deplete you / in the name of my love-famine" from "The Tongue is the Sweetest Meat."

6. Notice any patterns?
I wrote a lot of haiku this year, something I did on really busy days when I felt too pressed for time. I wrote a lot more about personal experience, about romantic relationships, and the intersection of love, trust, and faith.


7. What surprised you most about writing a poem a day?
How much harder it was than last year. I'm working more, dealing with a bad car accident, and just generally more stressed out. All these things affected my creativity.

8. Now that you have momentum, what’s next?
I hate to say this, but . . . neglect poetry. Because I'm doing Story a Day in May! I am going to attempt to submit poems somewhere, but fiction will be the focus of the current month.