Friends with Benefits

by K D Grace Acquaintances of mine told me once that, while they had been friends forever, they’d made a pact. If neither of them was married by the time they were forty, they’d marry each other. This was long before My Best Friend’s Wedding. I suspected they were friends with benefits, but it would have been rude to ask.   The number one rule of friends with benefits is that you don’t talk about friends with benefits – at least not the friend with whom you have the benefits. That’s part of what makes those added benefits so sexy. You don’t fuck your friends … except when you do. And if you do, then the assumption is that the person you’re having sex with is not the person of your dreams, nor you theirs. But you’re still ,above all else, friends. If you go for it, then the assumption is that you’re both still looking for that special someone and you’re both okay with that, even encourage that. Friends with benefits involves a level of trust that might call for some secret keeping.    I got to thinking about friends with benefits on my walk today. There’s something really hot about having sex with someone you’re not supposed to, about finding that you’re attracted to someone you’re not really supposed to be because … well because you’re friend....

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A Cheeky Way To Improve Any Story

Elizabeth Black writes in a wide variety of genres including erotica, erotic romance, horror, and dark fiction. She lives on the Massachusetts coast with her husband, son, and her three cats. Visit her web site, her Facebook page, and her Amazon Author Page.  Her m/m erotic medical thriller Roughing It is out! This book is a sexy cross between The X Files, The Andromeda Strain, and Outbreak. Read her short erotic story Babes in Begging For It, published by Cleis Press. You will also find her new novel No Restraint at Amazon. Enjoy a good, sexy read today. ___ Opening a novel or short story can be a bitch. Elmore Leonard, author of Get Shorty and other novels, had advised writers to avoid prologues and to refrain from opening a story talking about the weather. Marc Laidlaw, an author who also helped develop the game Half Life, once tweeted the following advice about opening paragraphs of fiction works: The first line of almost any story can be improved by making sure the second line is, “And then the murders began.” Normally, a writer would not begin a sentence with the word “and”. Laidlaw purposefully included that word because it “gives my use of the phrase an extra florid, self-important note that puffs it up just enough to be suitable for narrative frivolity.” My husband and I had argued about the...

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The Free Lunch in the Secret Cave

by Jean Roberta Queers Were Here: Heroes and Icons of Queer Canada, edited by Robin Ganev and R.J. Gilmour (Windsor, Ontario: Biblioasis, 2016) This book is a charming little anthology in which a group of “queer” Canadians answers the question: Who were your role models when you were “coming out?” One of the editors teaches history in the same university where I teach English, and I attended the local book launch. In the introduction, the editors explain: “Our guiding purpose was the conviction that queer pioneers who challenged the dominant culture and fought for greater tolerance needed to be remembered and celebrated.” It seems that the 1980s were a crucial decade for most of the contributors, as they were for me. (I “came out” then too). Most of the contributors seemed to have been drawn to the “gay scene” in Toronto when they were young, and I recognized their references, even though Toronto seemed as far away from my prairie town as San Francisco or New York City. The contributors are both male and female, and none of them emphasize the differences between gay-male and lesbian culture, but the differences are clear. Much of the urban “gay culture” described by the men seems exclusive to them. This book fits into a pattern of recent histories of LGBTQ life in Canada since 1969.  All of them discuss the long-term influence...

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Signs of Hope

I just returned home to Asia, after a two week sojourn in the United States. Needless to say, I have many concerns about what’s going on in my native country these days. Missile strikes and the mother of all bombs do not leave me feeling sanguine. One aspect of my trip made me smile, however. In my wanderings through New England and New York, I visited a number of independent bookstores. I found them to be thriving, despite the influence of the eight hundred pound e-commerce gorilla we authors love to hate. In Exeter, New Hampshire, we spent a happy half hour browsing at the Water Street Bookstore (http://www.waterstreetbooks.com/). Housed in a hundred year old building overlooking the tumultuous water of an old mill canal, this shop highlights the work of local authors. Though it was quite early on a Saturday morning, we were far from the only customers. I dawdled in the fiction section, while my DH perused the history table. I particularly liked the handwritten review quotes and blurb snippets posted on brightly colored paper beneath many of the volumes, which made it possible to get a feeling for a book without even picking it up from the shelves. Of course, there’s a deep pleasure to be found in handling a physical book—admiring the cover, flipping through the pages, breathing in the scent of fresh ink. [photo...

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Naked for the Sake of Art: Audrey Munson, The Supermodel of 1915

I admit it. I made a terrible mistake putting “Republican” in the title of my column last month. Could you choose any better word to dash cold water on a reader’s libido even if it was paired with the magically profitable and compelling duo of “Fifty Shades”? I hope, however, to make up for my previous misjudgment this month by discussing a topic of timeless allure: a woman who takes her clothes off for the sake of art. My inspiration for this column is Audrey Munson, the model for numerous artists and sculptors in the early part of the twentieth century. Interpretations of her nude form appear in New York City as Civic Fame atop the Manhattan Municipal Building, on the Maine Memorial in Central Park, as the Spirit of Commerce on the arch at the end of the Manhattan Bridge, and as Pomona in the Pulitzer Fountain outside the Plaza Hotel. As James Bone writes in his biography of Audrey, The Curse of Beauty: The Scandalous and Tragic Life of Audrey Munson, “Wherever you go in New York City, Audrey is looking at you.” (Bone, 3) In 1915, at the Pan-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco, she was even more ubiquitous. Seventy-five percent of the statues and murals adorning the fairgrounds were based on modeling sessions with Audrey. “’America’s greatest sculptors are ready to admit that she is...

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Past imperfect

My kids weren’t the type to act out, as they say today, at school. For the most part my two girls got glowing reviews from their teachers, but then the apples don’t fall far from the tree, and I had my share of being called to school to discuss something or other one of my girls said or did in class. For instance, there was the time my older girl asked me how the Easter Bunny manages to carry all those Easter baskets to homes the night before Easter. After all, Santa had a big sleigh and elves to help him out. It seemed a reasonable question deserving of a reasonable answer. So I explained how the Easter Bunny subcontracted to thousands of other rabbits who then chartered hundreds of buses to bring them and their baskets to the neighborhoods. And that’s why, I told her, it was so hard to sleep the night before Easter with all those buses idling their engines. She nodded and seemed to accept my explanation, and that’s the last I ever expected to hear on the topic again. How did I know she would repeat the story to her classmates, that it would turn viral, as they say today, and that several parents would become upset and complain to the school when their children brought the story home? Seriously. So I ended up...

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Musings on Flash Fiction

By Ian Smith Most regular participants in the ERWA “storytime” workshop group will know I’m quite enthusiastic about writing flashers, our in-house term for flash fiction. Broadly speaking, flash fiction can be a short story of up to 1200 words, but lower word counts are often set for competitions and calls for submission. Being the ERWA, and up for a challenge, we limit flashers to no more than 200 words, ideally including some form of character development and a complete story arc, so that they feel like a complete story. No, telling a story in only 200 words isn’t easy! Before I joined the ERWA, the word count was only 100, and I’ve been really impressed by how much story could be told in some of these older pieces. Yes, I know there’s the familiar idea that you can tell a story in four words, typically something like “Wedding dress, never worn”. Personally, I don’t think that’s a story. It would be a great title or first line, but for me the story is why the wedding dress is unworn. So, why write flash fiction at all? I think it’s great fun. The challenge for me is to think about exactly what shows my story unfolding, and how economically I can share it with a reader. Writing flash fiction has become an integral part of my development as a...

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Confessions Of A Literary Streetwalker: The End Of Erotica By M.Christian

The End Of Erotica I want erotica to vanish, to disappear as a literary genre, to utterly and completely GO AWAY. Am I biting the hand that’s fed me? Sour grapes? Making noise for the sake of noise? It’s none of the above, so hear me out. Erotica exists because a need wasn’t being met. Readers looked around at movies, books, television, and every other medium and noticed that something was missing. Rob and Laura Petrie had twin beds, and Ricky Ricardo and Lucy pulled off a trick not seen since Mary got knocked up by a ghost: a virgin (as far as we know) birth. If a book managed to actually talk about what happened behind closed doors and under the sheets, it was immediately banned, burned, or branded INDECENT. So then came erotica: a peek behind those doors and under those covers. Sex was out in the open and, more importantly, it was profitable. Sex sold, and very well – and with anything that sells well, the people doing the selling began to make more and more and more of it. That, in itself, isn’t a bad thing. After all, if sex didn’t sell we wouldn’t have MTV, Fox, beer ads, Britney Spears, Ron Jeremy, the entire literary erotica genre, or even the Erotica Readers and Writers Association and my column. But all this and more is...

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Swifties Revisited

By Ashley Lister More than three years ago on this blog I mentioned the swifitie. Because I still think it’s a lot of fun, I figured it was time to revisit this writer-friendly parlour game. Tom Swift was the central character in a series of books produced between 1910 and 1933, the majority of which were attributed to author Victor Appleton. One of the characteristic (and much parodied) features of the narrative in these stories was the speech attribution. These attributions, usually adverbial, have become the source of an entertaining parlour game where the attributive adverb has to be linked to the content of the sentence, usually with a pun. “We must hurry,” said Tom swiftly. “I’m working as a security officer,” she said guardedly. “I have a cold,” he said icily. “Do you want to see my pussy?” she purred. “But I asked for a cabernet sauvignon,” Tom whined. “I was just looking at pictures of my mother,” Oedipus ejaculated. Take a shot at producing a small handful of your own swifties in the comments box below. It goes without saying that these swifties are entertaining as a writing exercise, and a great way for warming up your pen hand and getting words on the page, but they should not enter into serious attempts at fiction unless you’re determined to stop your readers from enjoying your work. I...

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Editing … Was it Good for You?

K D Grace I love editing. Always have. I know many writers don’t share the love, but I think editing is one of the sexiest parts of the writing process. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that, for me, if the editing process doesn’t feel like good sex, then I’m not doing it right. Take it off! Since I’m not precious with my words, one of the first, and probably easiest parts, of editing is taking it off. What I mean by that is stripping my WIP, undressing it, getting rid of unnecessary paragraphs, sentences, phrases, even whole chapters — anything superfluous or repetitive. I need to be sure I don’t repeat what’s already been said or what doesn’t need to be said. I need to trust my readers’ intelligence. They’ll get it the first time. Readers are as anxious as I am to get on with it, to get to the good stuff. That means I need to pop the story’s cherry and move on to the main act. So my first editing goal is to undress my work, get it down to the story beneath, to what really matters, what will turn my readers on. My job, at this point, is to expose that story and then let it seduce me. If it can’t seduce me, then it’s not very likely to seduce my...

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Hot Chilli Erotica

Hot Chilli Erotica

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Babysitting the Baumgartners – The Movie

Babysitting the Baumgartners - The Movie
From Adam & Eve - Based on the Book by New York Times Bestselling Authors Selena Kitt

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