Monthly Archives: December 2017
It feels right that my last post for ERWA should be my favorite post of the year. On the 30th of the month, I’ve been posting on the ERWA blog for five years and the December 30 posts are always the ones I enjoy most. They’re more festive, more reflective and more fun because they’re winding up the old year and anticipating the New Year about to begin. I always feel like I should write something profoundly moving for this end of the year post. Last year the stress of not feeling very profound got to me and I gave it all up and just wrote a poem instead.
There is no dearth of inspiring posts this time of year. In fact, inspiring posts are easy to find any time of the year, and even I’m not sadistic enough to subject you lovelies to yet another one of my bad poems.
Any December 30 can’t help but bring with it a look back at what the year has brought and a look forward to what is ahead in the year to come. That has never been more true for me than it is this year. As I mentioned, this will be my last post for the ERWA blog. As much as I will miss my monthly palaver with my wonderful friends here, it’s time for me to move on. (Though I have every intention of popping by and checking in from time to time) Over the course of the last two years my writing has been slowly transitioning from erotica and erotic romance to urban fantasy and paranormal. I still have an open bedroom door policy and I still believe that just as sex is a vital part of our humanity, it should also be a vital part of the stories I write. But sex has become less the driving force of my stories and more a component of a larger whole. Much of that transition has taken place in my Medusa’s Consortium series, which strangely enough began with the very erotic M/M romance, Landscapes. (free at the moment, BTW)
The heart wants what the heart wants, and I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for urban fantasy and paranormal. There’s no time like the present for me to experiment and spread my writing wings.
I want to thank you all for being so tolerant of my navel gazes and for following along on those strange wanderings through my imagination on the 30th of every month. It has been a pleasure to be a part of such a respected blog. Most of all, it’s been a joy to share a bit of myself, my filthy mind and my writing journey with you. Believe me, you have given me a much bigger gift by reading and commenting than I could have ever managed in my monthly postings.
As you reflect on the events of 2017 over a little fizz or maybe a nice cup of hot cocoa, I hope that the memories warm you and inspire you and that the year past has brought you much joy and growth.
I thank you again for sharing the journey this past five years, and as I close my last ERWA post, I leave you with one final really filthy, seasonal story from my own blog. Please read and enjoy Doing the Gingerbread Man.
Happy Holidays Everyone! Wishing you all the best in 2018
I read an interesting post on Facebook in which the writer asked everyone for their 2018 goals. Not resolutions. Goals. He said most people broke resolutions or never even bothered to attempt to meet them. Goals? More realistic and more likely to be attempted and fulfilled. So I asked myself, what are my goals for 2018?
Here are a few:
Finish my erotic fairy tales collection and self-publish it.
Publish my two erotic fairy tale novellas in print. These two books are Trouble In Thigh High Boots (erotic Puss In Boots) and Climbing Her Tower (erotic Rapunzel). You may find the ebooks at Amazon and Smashwords.
Finish my horror novel Hell Time.
Find an agent for my thriller novel Secrets and Lies.
Find a home for my bisexual werewolf erotic romance novel Full Moon Fever.
Send out my newsletter regularly.
Submit to a minimum of 5 submission calls in 2018. Bonus points if I publish at least 5 stories.
Join the YMCA and make an effort to swim and work out this winter and spring. My husband and I are joining the Y next week.
Head to the beach every day in late spring and summer to swim, walk, and otherwise get some fresh air and exercise especially after being cooped up in at home all winter.
Save enough money each paycheck to fund a trip to Europe most likely taken in 2019 or 2020.
Sell more books!
Make an effort to attend more book events like readings and conventions but only when money permits. Those events tend to cost more than I can afford.
Bake more. I didn’t bake enough in 2017 which is a shame since I enjoy baking very much. I didn’t bake as many cookies this year as I usually do so I shall remedy that in 2018. Here are the last two recipes I made – pumpkin bread and pizzelles. Pizzelles are anise-flavored Italian waffle cookies.
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup olive oil ( can sub with canola or vegetable)
2 eggs, Beaten
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup walnuts (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Sift together flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda.
- In a separate bowl combined pumpkin, oil, eggs, water, and spices.
- Then, combined with dry ingredients but, do not mix too thoroughly. Stir in walnuts.
- Pour into a well-buttered 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. Bake 50-60 minutes until a thin skewer poked in the very center of the loaf comes out clean. Turn out of the pan and let cool on a rack.
- Makes one loaf. Can easily double the recipe.
- If desired, you can use them in a muffin tin as well. They come out just as moist. If you use muffin tin bake for 20-25 minute.
You need a pizzelle iron to make these cookies. I’m sure you can find one on eBay or at Amazon. I have an electric one that makes four pizzelle cookies at once. It’s over 30 years old. My mother gave it to me when she saw how much I loved those cookies. An Italian neighbor made them all the time.
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
3/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon anise extract
1 tablespoon anisette liqueur or Sambucca (optional)
1/4 cups anise seed
1 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) melted butter
Beat the eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla until well combined.
Stir in the flour and baking powder, mixing until smooth.
Add the melted butter, again mixing until smooth; the batter will be thick and soft.
Heat your pizzelle iron. Grease it as directed in the manufacturer’s instructions. As the iron heats, the batter will stiffen.
Cook the pizzelle according to the instructions that came with your iron. In general, they’ll take between 45 seconds and 2 1/2 minutes to brown.
Remove the pizzelle from the iron, and cool on a rack. If desired, use a pair of scissors to trim any ragged edges.
Dust cooled pizzelle with confectioners’ sugar, if desired.
Now that 2017 is drawing to a close, I’m ready for next year. 2017 was a bit of a slow and rather uneventful year for me writing-wise. I need to be more proactive. I plan on that starting Jan. 1 with my stint at Night Owl Reviews. I’m in an author chat that day at 8 PM EST. I’ll talk about my erotic romance novel No Restraint. Here’s the link to join in:
See you there, and have a fantastic 2018!
A bit of sexy holiday silliness…
A Visit from Mistress Nicole
‘Twas the night before Christmas.
Outside the snow fell,
But inside Club O,
It was hotter than hell.
The slaves were all hung
on their crosses with care
in hopes that their dominants
soon would be there.
The Doms were preparing
the racks and nail beds
with visions of ropework
and chains in their heads.
My pet wore her collar
and I with my tawse
was laying down stripes
red as old Mr. Claus.
When out at the entrance
arose such a clatter
I left my cuffed slut
to see what was the matter.
The light on her breasts
was like new-fallen snow
when compared to the crimson
silk corset below.
Her hair was like fire,
her lips were like cherries,
a ruby stud winked
in the dip of her belly.
Her black leather boots
clasped her legs to the thigh.
Her emerald eyes twinkling,
she raised her whip high.
“I’ve come to reward
all the masochist perverts
for all the year’s humble
and diligent service.”
Though purely a top
as you’re likely to meet,
I admit I was tempted
to kneel at her feet.
She strode through the dungeon
with oiled single tail.
Her lash made the subbies
all quiver and quail.
To each bottom’s lips
the delicious Domme bent;
she wouldn’t do more
till she had their consent.
But then she let loose
while we tops watched in awe
as she happily flogged
half a dozen subs raw.
“Now, baby – oh, boyo!
Breathe, girly – Now, Pet!
Take this now! Don’t you move!
Are you hard? Are you wet?”
As her whip kissed their flesh
we all thrilled at the sight,
while their asses turned scarlet,
their spirits took flight.
When at last she relented,
the ritual done,
we Doms found that we,
like our slaves, had all come.
And we heard her exclaim
as she vanished from sight:
“Merry Kinkmas to all!
May your bonds remain tight!”
A good sexy story offers us a glimpse into the secret lives of strangers. Through her sensibility and skill, an erotica writer enables us to expand our own sensual experience through the bodies and minds of her characters. That, for me, is the eternal allure of a well-written sex scene.
Perhaps this desire to pull back the curtain on hidden erotic pleasures is why I am especially drawn to find out more about what sex was like in the past. We know it happened, because children were born, but did our ancestors experience it as more than a furtive, shameful act for the sake of male sexual release and procreation? More to the point, did women ever enjoy it?
The process of researching historical erotic fiction allows us to uncover treasures that reveal that at least some people in the past had a hot time between the sheets—or elsewhere. I’ve been learning about everything from marriage manuals and Edwardian underwear to red light districts and contraception for my novel-in-progress set in the 1910s. The novel’s completion is a ways away, but I’m happy to announce the publication of a short story informed by many of my discoveries: “The Back Room at the Saloon” in The Big Book of Submission, volume 2, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel.
In the nineteenth century, female submission was regarded as a natural component of marital relations. As my protagonist prepares to fulfill her duty with her husband of a year or so, she repeats to herself the words of advice her mother told her the day of her wedding. This was likely the only sex-related information the young bride ever received from an experienced older woman:
“A good wife gladly submits to her husband’s desire.”
Like “Lie back and think of England,” these words suggest that the passionless bride has to suffer, while her husband selfishly takes his carnal pleasure with no regard for hers. But fortunately, as the story unfolds, we see that my protagonist’s husband, John, is genuinely concerned about his wife’s physical and mental gratification.
Would a man in the nineteenth century even know, much less care, about his partner’s sexual pleasure? We generally assume that because there was little public expression of sexual pleasure in the past, good sex didn’t and couldn’t exist. Still today we are encouraged to censor the enjoyment of sex and assume that a lack of public celebration signifies absence. The media demeans the sexual pleasure of anyone who isn’t model-gorgeous, young, and “cool.” Older people, married people, anyone who couldn’t make it onto a Men’s Health or Playboy cover and “nerds” (I must plead guilty to all four sins) are supposed to have dull or nonexistent sex lives. Even the suggestion that such unworthy folk might experience sexual pleasure is disgusting.
Of course, we unworthies know the truth about our own eroticism. The gulf between what we do in private and what we admit in public can be a Grand Canyon of difference. Was the same true of our corseted and suspendered nineteenth-century forebears? Did they ever experience a jolly time in the bedroom?
We do have a few illuminating glimpses of sexual joy in America in the nineteenth century. To name just a few examples, Emily Dickinson’s brother Austin, engaged in a passionate (and mutually orgasmic) three-way relationship with Mabel Loomis Todd and her husband in late-nineteenth-century Amherst. The diary of Mary Pierce Poor, the upper-middle-class wife of pioneer financial analyst Henry Varnum Poor (yes, of Standard and Poors), shows that the couple had sex approximately every five days and always right before he left for a business trip and right after. This frequency continued for the 27 years of their marriage and is consistent with that reported by married couples in the 1970s (Contraception and Abortion in Nineteenth Century America by Janet Farrell Brodie, 10-11).
Mary Hallock Foote, a writer and illustrator of stories of the Western frontier in the late nineteenth century, provides one of my favorite pieces of evidence that women in the nineteenth century had erotic impulses. Foote’s letter to a female friend in 1877 describes a spontaneous orgasm during a church service in the company of two male friends, Mr. Hague and Mr. Ashburner.
“’…The organ made me feel so strangely—Its throbbing seemed to stifle me and for the first time that pulse within me woke and throbbed so strong and it took away my breath.’ Seated between her two men friends, she felt faint. ‘Everything grew dark and I did not know anything for a minute—I don’t know how long—but came to myself with great drops of perspiration on my lips and forehead—Mr. Ashburner was looking at me very closely—Both Mr. Hague and Mr. Ashburner were delicate enough not to allude to it.’”
Foote went on to describe the interlude as the “strangest feeling,” that “double pulse—that life within life—I cannot get used to it!” (The Bourgeois Experience: Victoria to Freud, vol. 1 Education of the Senses by Peter Gay, 351)
Ms. Foote was young and unmarried at the time, but in my opinion, even if one does get used to “that life within life,” one can certainly never get enough of it!
In “The Back Room at the Saloon,” I put my faith in the ability of lovers of the past to transcend their culture’s fear of sexual exploration. My highly respectable married couple not only achieves mutual pleasure, but actively creates it by pushing–within the privacy of their own home—against the many erotic taboos of their time. John’s willingness to teach his wife about male sexual pursuits encourages her to assert her own desires. At the time, a saloon was an exclusively male preserve where only women of ill-repute could enter. Just by stepping inside, a respectable woman was respectable no more–and thus free to do a lot more than she otherwise could as a proper lady.
I don’t want to give away all the good bits, but I would like to finish off with a historical note about “French love,” which plays a role in the final climax of the story.
Again we have little evidence from the nineteenth century that “respectable” couples engaged in oral sex. In the podcast “19th-Century New York City Prostitution,” Elizabeth Garner Masarik and Sarah Handley-Cousins inform us that a sporting man in New York would have heard all about the services available at Miss French’s on West Twenty-seventh Street and the House of All Nations, a brothel offering courtesans from Ireland, France, Germany, England, Asia, Africa or South America, all ensconced in rooms decorated with the appropriate ethnic decor.
“Many women who worked at the House of All Nations specialized in the ‘French’ style, which consisted of ‘unnatural acts’ – the code word for oral sex. Reformers often blamed Paris for these ‘unnatural acts,’ prompting one social reformer to complain that women working in ‘French’ houses’ stoop to practices that the ordinary American girl could not be induced to do.’ It is interesting to note however that a study in 1908 found that of 2,000 surveyed prostitutes, almost three-quarters were American-born.” (“19th-Century New York City Prostitution”)
If American professionals could “stoop” to give a blowjob for their trade, isn’t it possible that a loving wife, supported by her husband’s appreciation of her sensual curiosity, might attempt the act of her own volition? Indeed, is erotic contact “unnatural” if it is quite easily accomplished without any props or interventions?
“The Back Room at the Saloon” gives new meaning to the words “A good wife gladly submits to her husband’s desire.” The story is a work of my imagination, based on intriguing hints of from letters, diaries and frank marriage manuals by brave pioneers of centuries past. But I hope that I’ve also captured some timeless truth about what really happened behind closed doors so long ago.
As John reassures his wife: “It’s nobody’s business what a man and his wife do in private. Trust me, dear, and all will be well.”
I think I was about six when I first learnt the whole ‘twelve days of Christmas’ song. Even at that age, the gifts on offer struck me as rather unmanageable in terms of frequency, quantity and accommodation. What sort of man, after all, sends their partner ten leaping lords?
And how does one convey one’s varying levels of gratitude for the continuous influx of peculiar gifts? By email, of course! The finely crafted email is the handwritten letter of yesteryear, and the means through which I intend to convey poor Donna’s yuletide saga…
Is there a learning point in this exercise? Hmmm… yes, and no.
Yes, in that telling a story in the epistolary form is a good way of making the reader imagine all the chaos happening ‘off-screen’, so to speak.
No, in that it’s December, there’s shopping to do and nativity plays to attend, and I just wanted to write something fun rather than ‘educational’.
Have a great winter break folks, however you choose to celebrate.
On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me… a wanker with a spare key.
I hope you landed safely in Riyadh and that you got a decent night’s sleep after the rough journey.
I found the sweet little note you left on the kitchen table—you have twenty-four gifts organised for me? Wow! One day at a time, eh? It’s a good thing I work from home; I can catch all those delivery men.
However, as grateful as I am for the imminent arrival of lovely pressies, I would’ve really appreciated it if you could’ve warned me about ‘Spud’ (what’s his real name?)
I realise that you’ve served together and that he needs a place to stay for a couple of weeks, but he gave me a bloody great shock by arriving while I was in the shower. Literally! He apologised for needing the loo in an emergency, but he didn’t show much sense of urgency while washing his hands and face. That man cleans himself at the speed of a sloth giving himself a pedicure. Thank goodness for frosted shower glass! Let’s hope this has just been a case of first-day teething problems. I’m sure he’ll settle in.
Right – I’ve got dinner to make, so I’ll email tomorrow.
* * *
On the second day of Christmas, my true love sent to me… two dirty gloves
Hi love, quick text to say thanks for the first pressie. I love the pre-loved gauntlets. They’re very robust. I’m sure that if I ever need to handle a batch of thermite cacti then I’ll stay very safe, lol. Are we getting a stove? I’d love a stove. Some of our neighbours have applied to have one installed and they keep going on about not having to pay for heating anymore. Warm nights by the fire sound ideal to me—especially with that dodgy door leading out to the roof terrace.
Spud made an effort to apologise for springing in on me yesterday by bringing home burger and chips from Tony’s Takeaway. It was a nice thought but—alas, like the gloves—the chips had clearly been ‘pre-loved’ between Tony’s place and my front door.
Hope you’re getting through your first day okay. I know it’s always rough when you go back on tour. xxxx
* * *
On the third day of Christmas, my true love sent to me… three French hens!
I hope you had a good day setting up and that you won’t get sent out to some grim fox hole straight away.
I now understand the gloves! The three French hens arrived in the early afternoon, and I needed the gloves to round them up and get them out of the kitchen. Damn their claws are sharp! They also move surprisingly fast once released from a cage. For the time being, they’re hanging out on the roof terrace. I had to nip out this afternoon to buy them a hutch (no idea what you call an enclosure for hens), and spent a good couple of hours trying to build it.
Spud isn’t hugely fond of the hens, I’ve noticed. He complains (without a hint of irony) that they’re ‘messy.’ Hmm. Sorry. I WILL try to stop complaining about my sudden house guest. If he could replace some of the red wine he’s been working his way through, then that would be grand.
Are the hens safe with pizza, by the way? I’ve noticed that pizza certainly isn’t safe around THEM.
Much love. I’ll try to call tomorrow.
* * *
On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me… four calling birds
Just a quick note to say thanks for the calling birds. I’m afraid they turned out to be quite temporary presents. Spud left the door of the roof terrace open when he went for a smoke and the birds made a swift exit, stage left. The hens didn’t follow them, you’ll be glad to hear. Mind you, it’s probably a good thing that we don’t have seven birds roaming around the apartment. My neighbours slipped a passive-aggressive little note under my door this evening, asking me if the ban on pets had been relaxed.
You have the greatest imagination for gifts but I’m not sure our flat is really designed to accommodate quite so much wildlife 😉 (gentle hint).
Right, I’m behind on my work so I’d better spend a few hours catching up. Love you lots
* * *
On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me… five gold rings!
On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me… Six geese a-laying
I know things got heated on the phone, and I’m sorry we argued. But I did try hinting that I couldn’t take on any more animals. Goose eggs might be great for Christmas, but the bloody geese aren’t. They’re like miniature forces of destruction. I’ve already had to sell two of the five gold rings to cover the cost of repairing my furniture and getting the carpet professionally cleaned.
It’s all very well telling me to put the geese on the roof with the hens, but these geese:
- a) are unexpectedly murderous – we only have two French hens now
- b) aren’t having any of this sit-in-the-cold rubbish. They like being warm, it seems.
We managed to get all six of them outside, but after their streetfight-showdown with the hens, they lined up by the doors, giving us death stares through the glass. Even Spud was freaked out in the end. Sorry love, but tomorrow morning, those geese (and the hens) are going straight to the park on Millbank, where they can squawk, cluck and screech to their hearts’ content.
* * *
On the seventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me… seven swans-a-swimming
OUTGOING TELEGRAM OFFICE: RAF_LN
DESTINATION OFFICE: SdA_Rh
Attn: Captain Daniel Forrester
Stop it with the bloody birds STOP
Swans are fucking evil STOP
Send me one more bird (or creature) and we’re finished STOP
* * *
On the eighth day of Christmas, my weirdo sent to me… eight maids a milking
I’m tempted to email your CO and ask him to send you for a psych-eval.
What in the name of the fat noodly fuck am I supposed to do with these maids? WE DON’T HAVE ANY COWS! We don’t even have any room for them to sit anywhere, let alone stay here. They’re just wandering around the flat, clenching and unclenching their fists, looking lost, libidinous and weird.
Spud’s cheered up for the first time in a couple of days. He’s convinced he can get at least four of them to ‘milk’ him. He’s an annoying git, but I’ve seen the ‘goods’ and can understand why he thinks he’s a two-maid job.
I’ve spent the money from gold ring #3 on minibus hire so Spud can drop the maids off at various railway stations tomorrow.
I missed my publishing deadline, by the way. Thanks a bunch for keeping me so busy.
Ps: please, please tell me that there aren’t any cows coming? That should be a stupid question, but I wouldn’t put anything past you anymore.
* * *
On the ninth day of Christmas, my dickhead sent to me… nine ladies dancing
Dan, allow me to summarise. Nine ‘ladies’ dancing in the corridor = eight morally offended neighbours = 7 formal complaints to building management = six rude messages left on my voicemail = five equally irate messages left on their voicemail (I’ve blamed you, by the way) = four dancing ladies being arrested = three arrested ladies demanding I pay their bail = 2 hours sleep last night, and one furious EX-FIANCÉE.
* * *
On the tenth day of Christmas, my ex-dick sent to me… ten lords a-leaping
You immature tosspot! The last thing I need while I’m packing is a bunch of drunken peers flinging themselves around the flat. I don’t know WHY I even answered the door.
I’ll be as glad to leave Westminster as I am to leave you. Spud was my hero today. Using a cattle prod, he persuaded all ten lords to make themselves useful by carrying all my boxes down to the moving van. It seems that Spud doesn’t like being leapt upon any more than I do.
* * *
On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love sent to me… eleven pipers piping
Joke’s on you, buster. When you get home, you’re homeless. We’ve been evicted. Spud has found a two-bed apartment in Lambeth. I’m moving in with him.
Have fun sweet-talking the bailiffs and reclaiming your worldly goods from SCARY_BLOKES_STORAGE.com.
* * *
On the twelfth day of Christmas, your ex-girlf sent to thee… twelve drummers coming
Thanks for your call. I couldn’t make out much of what you were saying—you really ought to shout more slowly when calling overseas—but I gather that you objected to the early-morning bukkake shower. Spud and I both felt that, after so many angry messages, we ought to try showering you with love and affection. I’m only sorry we weren’t there to see you receive your unexpected bounty. And in answer to your question, yes, the drummers will follow you around, alternately drumming and coming for the rest of the day.
I trust there will be no more Xmas gifts from you.
Your ex, Donna xxxx
By Ashley Lister
There are some forms of poetry that are so simple it’s easy to forget how compelling they can be. This is the loop poem and, in my humble opinion, it’s a powerful way of introducing repetition.
Leather, lace and whips and chains
Chains me to the bed at night
Night time comes and so do you
You lick and suck and sometimes bite
In each stanza of a loop poem the last word of the first line becomes the first word of line two. The last word of line two becomes the first word of line three. The last word of line three becomes the first word of line four. This pattern is followed for each stanza.
You pull the bindings far too tight
Tight enough to make flesh red
Red marks are like your calling cards
Cards hand-delivered to my bed
The rhyme scheme for the above format is xaxa, where x is an unrhymed line of poetry, although a rhyme scheme is not a necessity for this type of poem.
As always, I look forward to seeing your loop poems in the comments box below. And, finally, I’d like to extend season’s greetings to all the regular readers of this column. I genuinely hope the new year brings you all those things that you personally desire.