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Cooking Up A Storey
by Donna George Storey
The Path to Publication
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Creating Pure Pleasure
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Cooking up a Storey

by Donna George Storey

Creating Pure Pleasure: How to Change Lives
with Erotica, Telling Truths, and Orgasmic Cookies

 

Cooking up a Storey by Donna George StoreyWriting erotic can be a very pleasurable experience.  The hands-on research is the most enjoyable work you can do, it’s far easier to sell your stories than it is to break into stuffy literary magazines, and if you mention what you do to sympathetic strangers, you’re sure to elicit more curiosity than if you wrote monographs on obscure Japanese writers (I know this from experience).  Of course, on occasion you will also encounter prejudice and ridicule.  I’ll never forget one of the first times I dared to confess to a stranger at a party that I had a story coming out in Best American Erotica.  He seemed impressed that I was published at all, but went on to say that while he doesn’t really read erotica (few people will admit they do), the things he has read are invariably poorly written.  I had the wherewithal to reply that if he read my work, he would change his mind.  But the fact remains, even people who haven’t read much erotica—perhaps especially people who haven’t read much erotica—are very sure it’s all trash simply because it’s sexually explicit.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that so many people reach this conclusion without even reading what they condemn.  The media is bursting with sexual images designed to stoke our desire to buy things, but rarely does it go beyond the salacious tease to the transcendental possibilities of a sexual experience or the profound satisfaction it can bring.  In spite of a greater acceptance of the discussion of sexuality, in order to be considered worthy of polite company, it still has to be shrouded in scientific data or focused on problems, addiction or a definition of “normal” behavior.  The expression of sex as pure pleasure is still mocked and ghettoized, 50 Shades of Grey to the contrary.  The Japanese word for literary fiction, junbungaku or “pure literature,” is apt for my argument.  Literary fiction in the U.S. as well still guards its reputation by focusing mainly on dangerous, adulterous or incestuous sex, the dark side of our libidinous urges.  Those who celebrate the positive side of sex and who write with the intent to arouse rather than frighten or disgust are assumed to be dirty hacks who don’t have enough talent to write “genuine” literature.

Now, there are no doubt writers who crank out clichés for hire and despise their readers in the bargain, but I’m pretty sure if you’re here at ERWA, you are not one of those people.  You write erotica because you are fascinated by sexuality, and you know that the body and the mind are not separate entities, with the superior intellect desperately battling to dominate our degenerate animal nature.  On the contrary, I believe that with every story we write that celebrates the full humanity of sex, we are healing that ancient, but false, divide.

Writing erotica has definitely changed the way I see and experience sex, and I learn something new every time.  With fifteen years of erotica writing under my belt, however, I sometimes worry I won’t have anything fresh to say.  Yet each time I sit down to write a new story, I’m determined to include something true, better still a detail or insight that changed the way I experience sex and desire.  I’d like to share an example of this from my story “Comfort Food,” which appears in Women in Lust, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel.

“With a sunny August sky cut by a cooling breeze, the weather was so perfect I could have ordered it off a menu.  Thanks to the pudding and the fantasy blowjob, all of my senses were heightened.  I reveled in the shapes of each leaf growing along the path, the sound of the birdsong, the clean scent of baked earth and oxygen-rich air.   And of course, all the time I was thinking of Joseph.  What was he doing now?  What experience in his brief life made him wary of sharing his recipes?  He was a cook who clearly enjoyed eating.  Would his cock be as solid and sturdy as the rest of his body?  And most intriguing of all—would his semen really taste like vanilla cream pudding? 

Thirty years ago, I would have called these obsessive musings a crush, but I was wise enough now to know it had nothing to do with Joseph himself.  It was all about me.  I was a woman who could feel and want and enjoy life’s sensual pleasures.  My desire made me more interesting to myself.”

What indeed is more fascinating than a person who cares and desires passionately?  If we write erotica that speaks the truth of our experience, our readers will connect with our bravery, and perhaps, slowly but surely, strangers at parties will no longer assume all erotica is badly written.

This month’s recipe for pecan bars has much in common with good erotica.  These small, nut-rich treats may just look like more empty calories, but time and time again I’ve gotten rave reviews from satisfied samplers.  Made with high quality pecans, they not only explode with flavor on the tongue and palate, they inspire the type of eloquent praise that can only come from an engaged intellect.  People have told me these cookies make them glad to be alive, that this may be the best cookie they’ve ever eaten, that they will remember this moment as the epitome of deliciousness.  The palpable excitement is quite frankly erotic.

These are especially appealing with pecans fresh from the autumn harvest—bon appetit!


fPure Pleasure Pecan Bars
(Makes about 32 medium squares, 48 petit squares, depending on how guilty you want to feel about eating one or two or…)

Crust:

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) plus 1-2 Tablespoons chilled, unsalted butter cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Topping:

1 1/4 cups packed golden brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
4 cups coarsely chopped pecans (about 14 1/2 oz.)—see note
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

To make the crust:

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with foil, leaving a 1-inch overhang on all sides.  Butter foil.  Blend flour, powdered sugar, cornstarch and salt in a food processor.  Add butter and process until the mixture just begins to clump together. The dough will be somewhat crumbly.  Do not over process or it becomes greasy when baked.  Pour into the foil-lined pan and press dough evenly onto bottom.  Bake crust until set and light golden, about 25 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Let stand while preparing topping.  Reduce oven temperature to 325F.

To make the topping:

Stir brown sugar, corn syrup and butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves and mixture boils; boil 1 minute.  Add pecans and cream; boil until mixture thickens slightly, about 3 minutes.  Stir in vanilla.  Pour hot topping over warm crust.  Bake nut-topped crust until filling is darker and bubbles, about 20-25 minutes depending on your oven.  Transfer pan to rack.  Cool completely (overnight is fine) in pan.  The topping will harden as it cools. 

Lift foil out of the pan onto a cutting board.  Using a heavy, sharp knife, trim off about one half-inch around all four edges.  Reserve these for family snacking.  Cut the rest into four even sections, sawing through the pecan layer gently.  Divide the remaining sections into squares of the desired size. 

These cookies can be made up to one week in advance.  Store between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container at room temperature.

Serve in muffin cups for fancy presentation.

Note:  The quality of the pecans does make a difference.  I recommend mail ordering from Sunnyland Farms in Georgia, which is an excellent source for premium pecans and mixed nuts.  You can get smaller one-pound bags for baking these cookies or load up for all your baking needs. The chocolate pecan turtles are pretty awesome, too.

Donna George Storey
November 2012


Contact Donna at Donna George Storey or at Sex Food And Writing
Donna is Cooking up a Storey in ERWA 2012 Archive

______
"Cooking up a Storey" © 2012 Donna George Storey. All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or part without written

About the Author:† Donna George Storey taught English in Japan and Japanese in the United States and has finally found the work of her dreams writing erotica. If you're really nice, she'll bake you a batch of her Venetian cookies, with layers of marzipan, jam and chocolate, that take a ridiculous amount of time to make and are (almost) better than sex. Her work has been published in dozens of journals and anthologies including Clean Sheets, Fishnet, Best American Erotica, Best Women's Erotica and Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica.
Her first novel, Amorous Woman-a semi-autobiographical tale of an American woman's love affair with Japan, Japanese food and lots of sexy men and women along the way-was published by Neon/Orion. It's currently available at Amazon and Amazon UK, and from her web site, DonnaGeorgeStorey.com.
For more of her musings on sensual pleasure and creativity stop by her blog:  Sex, Food and Writing. You can also take a quick trip to Japan with Donna's provocative Amorous Woman book trailer at: www.youtube.com



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