Reaching Out from a Mind as Dirty as All Outdoors

If you get lucky enough, I might post adult-only material from time to time, so be 18 or over, or please be elsewhere.

I'll be discussing erotica here, the writing of it and the people who write it, as well as what we've written. I find all these aspects stimulating, but if any of them bore you, feel free to skim. You never know what you might miss, though.




Total Pageviews

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Sharing a Post-Civil War Transgender Story

In honor of the passage of the transgender non-discrimination bill in Massachusetts, I’ve been wanting to share this story I wrote (under my alter-ego’s name) for my first anthology, Rode Hard, Put Away Wet. Not a winter holiday story, although there is certainly snow.

A bit of background first: it’s estimated that as many as 400 women served as soldiers in the Civil War in the US, on both sides. Some went to be near husbands or lovers, but many seized the chance to live, however dangerously, as men. Some were exposed when they were wounded, some long afterward when they died after maintaining a masculine identity for the rest of their lives, and some must have gone on to live life on their own terms and never be questioned. This is a story of one who went west and found everything he needed.


Snowfound

Sacchi Green

The lamps of Dutch Flat shone through the swirling snow as we rounded the last curve of the Bear River. Old Ulysses picked up his gait, not needing the lights to know that shelter and feed and the company of his own kind lay close ahead.
As for me, hunched against the cold in my sheepskin coat, hat brim pulled low to keep the snow clear of my eyes, I'd be happy enough for shelter, too, and a good meal. The company of my own kind was a more questionable matter. I had acquaintances in town, some who counted me as friend, but only one who understood the resolve it took for me to put on the face and manner that the rest took for granted.
The early snow lay a foot deep in the open, deeper where it drifted against outcroppings of boulders and scrub pine and juniper. Ulysses was the first to notice something different about the long, white mound at the edge of one such thicket, partly obscured by weighted branches.
I might have missed it altogether, being inwardly focused on reassembling my go-to-town identity. Jack Elliott, miner, trapper, supporter of civic projects and worthy charitable endeavors; a sizable man, good for back-up in a fight, known to crack heads together in the quelling of drunken brawls, and a sharpshooter from his days in the Union Army.
All this was, on the whole, true. A role I could live with. It was the frequent whispers, meant kindly enough, in general, that made my innards shiver. Some newcomer on the porch of the general store or in a saloon would lean close to an old-timer to hear about poor Jack Elliott, wounded so bad at the Battle of Chickamauga that his beard never grew again and his voice had gone up to about the pitch of an adolescent boy's.
Then they'd shift uneasily in their chairs until somebody commented that Jack surely had an eye for the ladies, at least, and would buy a girl a drink and even dance with a good deal of enjoyment, though nobody'd ever seen him go upstairs at the whorehouse. That'd bring a chuckle, and more uneasy shifting, but if I came close enough for hailing there'd be genial enough greetings and invitations to sit in at a poker game.
My ruminations had begun to drift back toward the girls in the dance hall, all curls and red lips and waists laced up tight to make their bosoms swell above their low-cut gowns. Ulysses' sudden halt jolted me. I looked where the horse was looking, and saw a twitch of movement. Just a juniper branch springing loose from its weight of snow, I figured, maybe triggered by some small creature sheltering beneath.
I urged Ulysses onward, but he stopped again when we'd drawn about level with the suspicious mound. My horse was not of a temperament to shy at trifles. Half Morgan, half Clydesdale, he had strength enough to fear little, wit enough to know what needed fearing, and courage enough to face the latter if I asked it of him. From Vermont to the war in the South to the Sierra Mountains he'd carried me, through the hellfire of battle and the solitude of wilderness. It wasn't fear, but more likely curiosity that halted him now, or perhaps his judgment that I ought to take notice of whatever this was.
Another twitch, more shedding of snow, and I saw that he was right. Jet-black hair lay beneath a powdering of white. I dismounted, my Sharps carbine at the ready, and gently prodded a snow-covered shoulder with the toe of my boot. No response.
I knelt, still cautious, and turned the body on its side. The face revealed was pale as ivory, eyes closed, with a knife slash and swelling purple bruise extending from the narrow jaw up over a delicate cheekbone.
A child? A female child? I dropped my carbine and brushed away snow with both hands. She wore a quilted jacket and cotton trousers, much too thin for the weather. I shed one elkhide glove and slipped a hand under the flimsy covering, looking for a heartbeat. The curve of her breast told me that she was, in fact, no child. I looked closer at her face and realized that she must be from the Chinatown section of Dutch Flat, populated by immigrants who had come first for the mining, then for the building of the railroad.
I touched a finger to her exposed throat. Cold. Cold as death. But not dead, not quite, not yet. A tremor of a pulse still stirred the smooth skin.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Guest Blog-What Makes a Story Paranormal?

Help me out! Go to my guest blog on Delilah Devlin's Girls Who Bite site, and give me your opinion on what defines paranormal romance/erotica. In my quest to get to edit something approaching speculative fiction. I really need to know what the readers think! www.girlswhobite.net

Of course you could always comment here, as well. It gets lonely here.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Lowdown on Editing Anthologies, Part 2

Now we move on to the what-do-editors-do-besides-reject stories part. Actually, rejecting stories is a major part of it, and possibly the most painful, so we’ll be including that too.

So you’ve managed to get a contract for an anthology from a publisher, or maybe you’ve decided to put an anthology together first and then work on getting it published. The latter used to be a really bad idea, but everything’s changing, so who knows? What I do know is that experienced writers are very unlikely to submit their work to an anthology with no publisher already lined up.

In any case, now you need to get submissions, and for that you need to circulate a call for submissions. If you wrote a knock-out proposal for the publisher, you can usually build on that for your CFS. The challenge is to make it very clear just what kind of story you want to see, and the overall effect you want your book to have, without being so didactically specific that you seem to want them to write to some exact formula. Getting stories that surprise you by being just what you didn’t know you wanted is one of the best rewards of the job. Keep it fairly short, and don’t lecture about “only your best work” or some variation thereof. You won’t discourage the writers you’re aiming at, and you’ll just annoy the good ones. No matter what you say you’ll have to wade through some less-than-stellar material. That’s part of the job. Do include your minimum and maximum desired word count, deadline for submissions, pay rate, contact information, publisher, and projected publication date if possible. If you omit any of these things you’ll get questions about them. Even if you don’t omit them you’ll get questions about them, but not as many.

Once you’ve composed your brilliant CFS (or guidelines, which is pretty much the same thing but implies more emphasis on the exact formatting you want, if you’re picky about that sort of thing) you need to get them out where writers can see them. You may want to send them only to a select group of writers you know, which would mean “invitation only,” but if you want to reach likely writers in general, send your CFS to the market listing web sites that specialize in the appropriate genre. For sf/f those would include www.ralan.com, duotrope, Cindy Ward’s and the Gila Queen’s lists, and others, which will probably pick them up from the first ones anyway. For erotica, http://erotica-readers.com/ERA/AR/Erotica_Authors_Resources.htm is the main place to be seen, and others will spread the word.

Then you wait for the submissions to come in. And you wait. And worry. Bear in mind, though, that any stories that come in right away were probably already written beforehand, and quite possibly already sent out to other places quite a few times. Some of these might turn out to be the perfect fit for your anthology, but the chances of that are considerably better with work written especially for your theme, which takes time. In my experience much of the best work comes in very close to the deadline. So you still worry.

Some editors don’t read any of the submissions until they’re all in. Even so, they should acknowledge their receipt so the writers know they haven’t gone astray. I like to keep up with things more or less as they come in, give or take a week or so, but I still let people know that I’m not making decisions until later. Some editors say they do “rolling” acceptances as things come in, but I’m sure they leave some room for those of us whose creative juices flow best under the pressure of a deadline.

I tend to group things into “Yes,” “Maybe,” and “No” files, but once I know what I have to work with, I may well go into the “No” file to choose work that fills a gap in the range I want, even if it will require some rewriting. Sometimes I’ll choose one story over a similar piece that might by some standards be better written, because it covers more bases than the other one; sometimes the writing will just blow me away and I’ll use it even if it scarcely comes close to what I thought I wanted. It’s all subjective—and then again, it isn’t, because I need to provide the publisher with a book that lives up to my proposal, and I need to give readers who pick up a book with this theme at least some of what they think they want.

I like best to give them more than they thought they wanted, but that can be risky. I go for variety, in tone, setting, characters, ideas, style, whatever, but some editors stick closer to what they know their readers prefer, and that’s not a bad plan, either. Whatever your editorial style is, you’ll get the credit (or blame) for the way the book as a whole turns out, even though we all know that the most important part is getting good stories to work with. Without the writers, we’re nowhere.

Once you’ve decided which stories you’ll use, you really get down to work. Sending out acceptances is fun; sending out rejections is awful. With acceptances, I always say that they’re conditional, pending approval by the publisher. With rejections, when I can, I include a few specific points as to what was good or not so good, but really, it generally boils down to just not fitting into the anthology as a whole, for whatever reason, and if there are hundreds of submissions, it’s better to hurry up and let folks know that they can send their work elsewhere than to take a lot of time on each one.

At this point you need to send out contracts for the chosen writers to sign, with the understanding that the publisher may yet decide against them. You need the contracts now, so that you can guarantee to the publisher that all the stories are available. Usually you e-mail your version and ask the writers to print out two copies, sign them, and send both back to you. The usual practice is to send back one countersigned copy to them with their payment when the book comes out. Some publishers have a form contract they want you to use, and sometimes they leave it to you. Some want you to send them copies of the contracts, and some would rather have you keep them. The exact wording of contracts is a topic I’m not going to deal with here, except to say that you should always read a contract through and be sure you understand it before signing.

Then comes the real editing part. Some stories need next to nothing beyond copyediting for typos; some prompt you to do considerable fact-checking just in case; and some can be improved by several sessions of back-and-forth revisions until writer and editor are both satisfied. Good publishers have good copyeditors, and no matter how careful you are they’ll probably find something you missed, but it’s nice to be told that the manuscripts you turn in are remarkably “clean.” (And sometimes you find things in the galley proofs that all of you missed before. That can be fun.)

When the stories are as good as they can be, it’s time to decide on their order in the book. Strong first and last stories—and middle ones; good variation, unless grouping similar ones fits your purpose better—or whatever feels right to you. Sometimes even a chronological order can apply. If the publisher doesn’t agree with the way you’ve done it, it can be changed. The thing now, as you’re facing your own deadline, is to write an introduction (if that’s customary with your publisher,) get the whole thing formatted as the publisher prefers (if you’ve been told,) and send it off on time.

Then you wait. Maybe not for long, but you never know. If you’re getting an advance, usually half of it will be paid when the manuscript is accepted, and half when the book comes out. When you do know which stories have been approved (and possibly gone to bat for a few, or chosen some yourself to cut because they say the book is too long,) it’s time to let the lucky writers know, and encourage them to publicize the fact on all their social networks. It’s never too early to start promoting.

Promotion these days is at least as important as any other part of the process. More important, in fact, since however good a book is, if it doesn’t sell and isn’t read, it’s wasted. I’m not going to get into that here, first because I’m still struggling with the concept myself, and second because it seems that everyone is struggling with it, and the whole idea of how books are published and distributed and read is in such flux that things could change at any time. Some people have a better grasp on promotion than others, though, so whenever I see an expert blog on that very subject, I certainly pay attention.

If any of you post your own Calls for Submission for anthologies, I’ll pay attention to those, too. Good luck!


Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Lowdown on Editing Anthologies, Part 1


The link I posted last time looks right, but seems to be leading to the wrong website, and even the right website appears to be having problems just now, so I'm posting the whole thing here. I'll be following it up in a few days with Part 2, dealing with what editors actually do once they've got an anthology contracted, while this first part is all about getting to edit an anthology in the first place--and the ups and downs of doing it at all.

Let’s think of this as a memoir, because we all know just how—shall we say, imprecise?—memoirs can be these days. I should also say upfront that my editing has been largely in the erotica genre, with just a bit of speculative fiction, although I have written enough of the latter to be an active member of SFWA.

Some of the best editors in any genres don’t get there by writing fiction themselves, but in my experience having a substantial body of published work is a good way to get a publisher’s attention. Being a competent writer is no guarantee at all of being a good anthology editor, but it has one great benefit; when you’ve had work in enough books or magazines with writers you admire, those writers will have enough confidence in you to send you their work, and without good stories to publish, you’re nowhere. You’re more likely to attract submissions from new writers, too, if they’ve seen your work or at least can google your name and come up with some credentials.

Another plus would be having a really good idea and the specialized expertise to back it up, possibly including non-fiction articles published in that field. An example would be an expert in fire-fighting technology proposing an anthology of future fire-fighting stories. There was a time when the go-to man for sf/f anthologies was Marty Greenberg, legendary for the editors and publishers he put together (Esther Friesner’s Chicks in Chainmail series is one example out of many hundreds.) But Marty died just a week or so ago; I’ve been reading many fond anecdotes about him in the obituaries discussion group on webnews.sff.net. The days when a chat with Marty Greenberg in the bar at an sf convention would lead to a publishing contract within hours are gone forever, and in any case, the publishing world, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, has changed greatly and is still floundering.

Some things haven’t changed so much. The very first consideration in pitching an anthology is to make sure the publisher you’re aiming at actually publishes anthologies, preferably those similar to what you have in mind, although offering something new and different just might work. You also need to decide whether you want to hold out for print, or will consider e-books. Look at the calls for submissions at ralan.com or duotrope (for specfic) or http://erotica-readers.com/ERA/AR/Erotica_Authors_Resources.htm (for erotica) or some similar market listings site, and see which publishers might fit with your ideas. Send a brief query letter (it’s best if you know the name of the publisher or an editor there) with a description of your idea and the reasons you’d be a good editor for it. They may tell you that their anthologies are all done in-house, but you just might hit them at the right time.

Which brings me to the memoir part, and the way I did it, with all the ups and considerable downs.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Blogging on Editing

I have a guest blog up on the Dead Robots Society website, Part 1 of The Lowdown on Editing Anthologies. In this part I meander through getting to be an editor of anthologies, with ups and downs of various sorts. Next time I'll talk about the nitty gritty of the job itself. http://deadrobotssociety.com/

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Writing Short-short Stories

I've just posted some thoughts over on Women and Words about writing first sentences, especially for short-short stories: "In the Beginning". Two weeks ago I made a similar post about writing concisely for short-short stories: "When Less Is More". Yes, I'm thinking about my anthology Girl Fever. The deadline for submissions is July 15. My upper limit is 1200 words, but at this point I really need more shorter work, 500-900 words. How low can you go?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Lesbian Lust Is a Winner!

The Golden Crown Literary Society (GCLS) just held their yearly convention and award presentations (and, the way I hear it, four days of nonstop fun, frolicking, hijinx, and close dancing the way only literary lesbians can do it.) My news is that my anthology Lesbian Lust won the award for best erotica! (Scroll waaaay back to my entry for November 19, 2010 for more info about the book.) All the credit goes to my fantastic writers--but I get get keep the award. I wish I could throw a celebration party for them all, but they're so far-spread across the globe that I couldn't throw it far enough to reach them.

Hmm, I wonder if anyone would notice if I posted some story excerpts from the antho here. I'll think about it.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Pointing Out Variety

I suppose I should be posting teasers from my collection occasionally, rather than complete stories like the previous one. And possibly I should demonstrate some of the variety, as a fair warning that there is edgy content, here, too. Even that aspect is always, I hope, a vital part of the story I'm telling; even the kink has, well, a point. A sharp one.

So here's the relatively innocuous beginning to my story "The Outside Edge." Things get much more edgy later, for good reasons, and there's a romantic element as well, enough that it was reprinted in Best Lesbian Romance 2010.

The Outside Edge


Suli was fire and wine, gold and scarlet, lighting up the dim passageway where we waited.
I leaned closer to adjust her Spanish tortoiseshell comb. A cascade of dark curls brushed my face, shooting sparks all the way down to my toes, but even a swift, tender kiss on her neck would be too risky. I might not be able to resist pressing hard enough to leave a dramatic visual effect the TV cameras couldn’t miss.

Tenderness wasn’t what she needed right now, and neither was passion. An edgy outlet for nervous energy would be more like it. “Skate a clean program,” I murmured in her ear, “and maybe I’ll let you get dirty tonight.” My arm across her shoulders might have looked locker-room casual, but the look she shot me had nothing to do with team spirit.
“Maybe, Jude? You think maybe you’ll let me?” She tossed her head. Smoldering eyes, made even brighter and larger by theatrical makeup, told me that I’d need to eat my words later before my mouth could move on to anything more appealing.
The other pairs were already warming up. Suli followed Tim into the arena, her short scarlet skirt flipping up oh-so-accidentally to reveal her firm, sweet ass. She wriggled, daring me to give it an encouraging slap, knowing all too well what the rear view of a scantily clad girl does for me.
I followed into the stadium and watched the action from just outside the barrier. As Suli and Tim moved onto the ice, the general uproar intensified. Their groupies had staked a claim near one end, and a small cadre of my own fans were camped out nearby, having figured out over the competition season that something was up between us. Either they’d done some discreet stalking, or relied on the same gaydar that had told them so much about me even before I’d fully understood it myself. Probably both.

Being gay wasn’t, in itself, a career-buster these days. Sure, the rumormongers were eternally speculating about the men in their sequined outfits, but the skating community was united in a compact never to tell, and the media agreed tacitly never to ask. A rumor of girl-on-girl sex would probably do nothing more than inspire some fan fiction in certain blogging communities. That didn’t mean there weren’t still lines you couldn’t cross in public, especially in performance—lines I was determined, with increasing urgency, to cross once and for all.

But I didn’t want to bring Suli down if I fell. That discussion was something we kept avoiding, and whenever I tried to edge toward it she’d distract me in ways I couldn’t resist.
Suli’s the best, I thought now in the stadium, watching her practice faultless jumps with Tim. You’d never guess what she’d been doing last night with me, while the other skaters were preparing for the performance of their lives with more restful rituals. She’d already set records in pairs skating, and next year, at my urging, she was going to go solo. It was a good thing I wouldn’t be competing against her.

I won’t be competing against anybody, I thought, my mind wandering as the warm-up period dragged on.

It had taken me long enough to work it out, focusing on my skating for so many years, but the more I appreciated the female curves inside those scanty, seductive costumes, the less comfortable I was wearing them. Cute girls in skimpy outfits were just fine with me—bodies arched in laybacks, or racing backward, glutes tensed and pumping, filmy fabric fluttering in the breeze like flower petals waving to the hungry bees—but I’d rather see than be one.
I’d have quit mainstream competition if they hadn’t changed the rules to allow long-legged “unitards” instead of dresses. That concession wasn’t enough to make me feel really comfortable, though, and I knew my coach was right that some judges would hold it against me if I didn’t wear a skirt at least once in a while. This year I’d alternated animal-striped unitards with a Scottish outfit just long enough to preserve the mystery of what a Scotsman wears under his kilt, assuming that he isn’t doing much in the way of spins or jumps or spirals. I knew this for certain, having experimented in solitary practice with my own sturdy six inches of silicon pride.
So why not just switch to the Gay Games? Or follow Rudy Galindo and Surya Bonaly to guest appearances on SkateOut’s Cabaret on Ice?
If you have a shot at the Olympics, the Olympics are where you go, that’s why. Or so I’d thought. But I was only in fifth place after the short program—maybe one or two of the judges weren’t that keen on bagpipe music—and a medal was too long a shot now.
I knew, deep down, what the problem was. Johanna, the coach we shared, had urged me to study Suli’s style in hopes that some notion of elegance and grace might sink into my thick head. Suli had generously agreed to try to give me at least a trace of an artistic clue. But the closer we became, the more I’d rebelled against faking a feminine grace and elegance that were so naturally hers, and so unnatural for me.
This would be my last competition, no matter what. Maybe I’d get a pro gig with a major ice show, maybe I wouldn’t. If I did, it would be on my own terms. “As God is my witness, I’ll never be girlie again!” I’d proclaimed melodramatically to Suli last night.
“Works just fine for me,” she’d said, kneeling with serene poise to take my experimental six inches between her glossy, carmined lips and deep into her velvet throat.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Story: To Remember You By

As promised, I'm posting (temporarily) the lead-off story from my collection. The final story continues the lives of the central characters 35 years later. Anyone commenting on this post gets a chance at a free copy of the book, once I get my hands on the hardcopies.

To Remember You By

"A movie!" she crowed from three thousand miles away. "They're making a movie of our book!"
"Our book" was Healing Their Wings, a bittersweet, often funny novel about American nurses in England during World War II. My grandson's wife had based it on oral histories she'd recorded from several of us who had kept in contact over the past half-century.
I rejoiced with her at the news, but then came a warning she was clearly embarrassed to have to make. "The screenwriters are bound to change some things, though. There's a good chance they'll want it to be quite a bit, well, racier."
"Racier?" I said. "Honey, all you had to do was ask the right questions!" How had she missed the passionate undertones to my story? When I spoke, all too briefly, of Cleo, had she thought the catch in my voice was merely old age taking its toll at last? The young assume that they alone have explored the wilder shores of sex; or, if not, that the flesh must inevitably forget.
I had to admit that I was being unfair to her. Knowing what she did of my long, happy life with Jack, how could she even have guessed the right questions to ask? But it hardly matters now. The time is right. I'm going to share those memories, whether the movie people are ready for the truth or not. Because my flesh has never forgotten--will never forget--Cleo Remington.

In the summer of 1943 the air was sometimes so thick with sex you could have spread it like butter and it would have melted, even on cold English toast.
The intensity of youth, the urgency of wartime, drove us. Nurses, WAC's, young men hurled into the deadly air war against Germany, gathered between one crisis and another in improvised dance halls. Anything from barns to airfield hangars to tents rigged from parachute silk would do. To the syncopated jive of trumpets and clarinets, to "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" and "Accentuate the Positive," we swayed and jitterbugged and twitched our butts defiantly at past and future. To the muted throb of drums and the yearning moan of saxophones, to "As Time Goes By" and "I'll Be Seeing You," our bodies clung and throbbed and yearned together.
I danced with men facing up to mortality, and with brash young kids in denial. Either way, life pounded through their veins and bulged in their trousers and sometimes my body responded with such force I felt as though my own skirt should have bulged with it.
But I wasn't careless. And I wasn't in love. As a nurse, I'd tried to mend too many broken boys, known too many who never made it back at all, to let my mind be clouded by love. Sometimes, though, in dark hallways or tangles of shrubbery or the shadow of a bomber's wings, I would comfort some nice young flier with my body and drive him on until his hot release geysered over my hand. Practical Application of Anatomical Theory, we nurses called it, "PAT" for short. Humor is a frail enough defense against the chaos of war, but you take what you can get.
Superstition was the other universal defense. Mine, I suppose, was a sort of vestal virgin complex, an unexamined belief that opening my flesh to men would destroy my ability to heal theirs.
My very defenses (and repressions) might have opened me to Cleo. Would my senses have snapped so suddenly to attention in peacetime? They say war brings out things you didn't know were in you. But I think back to my first sight of her, the intense gray eyes, the thick, dark hair too short and straight for fashion, the forthright movements of her lean body--and a shiver of delight ripples through me, even now. No matter where or when we met, she would have stirred me.
The uniform sure didn't hurt, dark blue, tailored, with slacks instead of skirt. I couldn't identify the service, but "USA" stood out clearly on each shoulder, so it made sense for her to be at the Red Cross club on Charles Street in London, set up by the United States Ambassador's wife for American servicewomen.
There was a real dance floor, and a good band was playing that night, but Cleo lingered near the entrance as though undecided whether to continue down the wide, curving staircase. I don't know how long I stared at her. When I looked up from puzzling over the silver pin on her breast she was watching me quizzically. My date, a former patient whose half-healed wounds made sitting out most of the dances advisable, gripped my shoulder to get my attention.
"A friend of yours?" he asked. He'd been getting a bit maudlin as they played "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To," and I'd already decided he wasn't going to get the kind of comfort he'd been angling for. I shook off his hand.
"No," I said, "I was just trying to place the uniform. Are those really wings on her tunic?" I felt a thrill of something between envy and admiration. The high, compact breasts under the tunic had caught my attention, too, but that wasn’t something I was ready to admit to myself. I watched her movements with more than casual interest as she descended the stairs and took a table in a dim corner.

Pride…and Prejudice

This is another column I've just written for Women and Words. It's a bit on the political side, but I do eventually get into connections with writing LGBT erotica. As a reward for making your way through this (or even if you don't,) tonight I'll post a considerable excerpt of an erotic story that involves writing about lesbians in an historical context, one of the points I discuss below. (The story just happens to be the lead-off piece in my new collection, A Ride to Remember.)

Onward to the column:

The Pride Match was this past Saturday in Northampton, MA. It was the 30th anniversary of the first such event, with billows of rainbow balloons, marching bands, Dykes on Bikes, little kids on tricycles or in strollers, puppies, politicians, groups from just about every school and civic organization and church in the region, and floats with fine and fancy drag queens. I was really happy to see the drag queens, because in recent years the whole thing had been tending too far toward the sedately wholesome (with the exception, of course of the Raging Grannies, who always liven things up.)

Don’t worry, I’m definitely going to tie all this in with writing. But before I get there, let me indulge in a few ruminations on where we are and where we’re going.

In the first few years of this Pride March (and others all over the country,) many marchers wore paper bags over their heads. Anonymity was a matter of personal safety, or at least of keeping one’s job. There were vicious hecklers, too, and misguided religious objectors. No hecklers show up these days (there’s plenty of security, and those Dykes on Bikes, and local police who are often “family” themselves, as is the Mayor.) There were some wearers of paper bags, though, carrying signs reminding us of former days, and of how much is still to be accomplished to reach true equality. An article in the local paper featured activists who argued that the March has become just a parade, not a protest, and that the party atmosphere obscures the problems that still exist, especially for transgender people. One speaker at the rally afterward told the crowd that we have Amherst/Northampton in western MA, and Cambridge/Boston on the east coast (and I’ll add Provincetown to the list,) but even in mostly-liberal Massachusetts there’s no place transgender people can feel safe to stop in between.

I’m inclined to think that that was a slight exaggeration, for rhetorical effect, but it’s close enough to the truth to be food for thought. And I don’t think we have to wait until all possible problems are solved before we celebrate how far we’ve come, and party because we feel like it, and because we can. But we still have far to go, and anyone who pays attention to national news can see that in some ways and in too many places we’re actually losing ground.

Enough with the politics. Onward to our writing, and reading. How do we handle the all-too-real world around us in our fiction? There’s nothing wrong with ignoring the problems some of the time; we all want to read lesbian fiction that shows us participating fully in society, without barriers, and, in fact, many of us do that. Most of the time. We want the world in our fiction to be the world as it should be. But sometimes there are stories that do confront inequalities and injustice and prejudice, and we need those, too. Stories need conflict; often that’s supplied by fighting crime or solving mysteries or battling the elements or even just misunderstandings, but we do have a built-in source of conflict in our current culture, and even if that’s not the focus of our stories, it can add an edge and a sense of risk that intensifies the rest.

In historical fiction this is especially true. If you’re trying to be accurate about an historical period, as opposed to writing fantasy, you can’t pretend that everything is hunky dory and being lesbian or gay doesn’t matter (unless, of course, your story is set in, say, the artistic circles of Paris in the early twentieth century, or possibly Greenwich Village, and even then you had to be either rich or a protégée of the rich to be accepted.) That gives you a source of fictional conflict right there. Sometimes I feel a little guilty about using the misfortunes of those who went before us as grist for the writing mill; on the other hand, those stories need to be told, and not forgotten, along with the protest marchers with bags over their heads.

That was my original intended link between the Pride March and writing--but today I was handed a better one. You’ve probably heard about the Eppie Awards for e-published books; this year’s winners have just been announced, and I’ve been seeing mentions all over Facebook. My friend Catherine Lundoff recently volunteered to be a “category screener” for EPIC (the Eppie awarding organization,) which involves a complicated system of deciding which judges read which books, and sending the books to them. Judges get to have books screened for content that they’d rather not read; that is, they can ask not to be sent certain types of books that might distress or offend them. Catherine posted to the Outer Alliance mail list, “The number one screen for content to determine which judges get what books is the following: ‘Content issues: GLBT content, excessive violence, etc.’” There’s another side to this, which is that we’d probably rather not have our work being judged by anyone who finds GLBT content offensive, but still—grouping GLBT content with excessive violence?

I don’t want to rain on our parade, but…well, food for thought.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Ride to Remember

My first collection of my own work is now out from Lethe Press. A Ride to Remember consists of thirteen lesbian erotica stories, two of them brand new, and several published so long ago in such hard-to-find paces that you're not likely to have come across them. At least four of them are arguably science fiction/fantasy, linking me to my speculative fiction roots. Here's a blurb from Catherine Lundoff, Goldie Award-winning author of Night's Kiss and Crave (which you really should check out if you haven't already.)

"Green’s fiction serves up the sensual and hot in this new collection of some of her favorite erotic stories. Unconventional protagonists, unusual locations and beautifully crafted prose make for an unforgettable read that will stay with you long after you finish the book. Amongst my favorites are the linked stories “To Remember You By” and “Alternate Lives” about the truncated relationship between a woman pilot and a nurse who meet during WWII, then again many years later when their lives have taken different turns. I would love to spend more time with these characters, as well as some of Green’s other pairings. A Ride to Remember has earned a place on my favorites shelf."

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Bonus Lesbian Cop Story

As promised, here's a bonus story about a lesbian cop, published long ago and posted more recently on the Royal Academy of Bards, so many of you may have seen it already.

Don't miss the additional free lesbian cop story posted on 9/25/13.


Healing

Late afternoon sunlight filtered through the hemlock branches. An hour ago it had blazed over the water-sculpted granite, and radiant heat still penetrated into places I had thought would never be warm again. My body adjusted to the stone's smooth contours and felt, for a while at least, at peace.
Something moved among the trees on the bank above. I kept my eyes closed, trying to block out everything but the ripple of water and the scent of spruce and balsam. Far below, where the stream leapt downward in the series of falls and slides known as Diana's Baths, there were swarms of vacationers, but they seldom climbed up as far as this gentler sweep of stone and pool. I'd hoped, foolishly, for solitude.
Someone stood there, watching. Move on, damnit, I thought, hating the unfamiliar sense of vulnerability, the suppressed jerk of my hand toward a gun that wasn't there. Maybe the Lieutenant was right. Maybe I really wasn't ready to get back into uniform.
Maybe I was hallucinating being watched.
I sat up abruptly. A hemlock branch twitched, and through its feathery needles a pair of bright eyes met my challenge. A child, I thought, glimpsing tousled russet curls and a face like a mischievous kitten. Then she moved into clearer view, and I got a good look at a body that could have held its own on one of those TV beach shows. So, for that matter, could her bikini.
She looked me over just as frankly. "Hi there," she said throatily. "I think I've got myself lost."
Eye candy or not, I resented the intrusion. "Well, there's upstream, and there's downstream. Take your pick."
"They both sound so good, I can't decide!" Her glance moved deliberately from my face over my body down to the long, semi-healed scar running from mid-thigh up under my cut-off jeans. The scar didn't seem to startle her a bit. I began to suspect a plot.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Annabeth Leong on "A Prayer Before Bed"

The final blog tour post today, and it blows me away. Annabeth Leong nails the way erotica can have depth and complexity and reveal its characters in profound ways. I could never have said it as well. Don't miss this one.
http://www.annabethleong@blogspot.com

[Tomorrow I'll post a previously published cop story of mine that wan't in the book.]

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

RV Raiment on "Chapel Street Blue"


[For this anthology I expected to get stories inspired by TV cop shows, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to use any, but RV Raiment’s tribute to the women of the classics I recall so vividly really blew me away with its blend of grit and lyricism.]


RV Raiment on "Chapel Street Blue"

This is the first time I’ve had the honour of appearing in one of
Sacchi’s books, and it is a very real pleasure. I find myself
snuggled between the covers with some very interesting and stimulating
writers, and it’s a pretty fine cover too.

So why ‘Lesbian Cops’? And why ‘Chapel Street Blue’?

Sacchi speculates a link with Hill Street Blues and isn’t too far off
the mark. NYPD Blue is in there somewhere, and no doubt other ‘Blue’
named books and series. And NYPD was controversially ‘blue’ in that
other respect too. Naked bodies – or the US TV versions of them –
abounded, and NYPD Blue went so far as to flash, I think, Jimmy Smits’
bottom on one occasion. What a shock it was to discover that not all
American males sleep and have sex in shorts after all.
‘Hill Street Blues’ had Robin, Belcher’s petite, dark girlfriend. Oh
how I lusted those many years ago. And the tall blonde sergeant,
Lucy. Those long, long legs…

Then ‘Homicide, Life on the Street’ and another blonde sergeant, but a
detective, played by Melissa Leo, only seen in uniform on too-rare
ceremonial occasions, and NYPD’s delightful selection of nubile and
delicious officers and detectives.

Nubile and delicious? And I’m talking about cops? Yes, but entirely
without disrespect.

I admire cops. I admire anyone who has the guts to do, day in and day
out, the stuff that most of us would never dare to do. And female
cops demonstrate the equality that has always been fundamental to my
perception of women – they are at the very least as strong, as clever,
as courageous and simply as fine as any man could ever be. Such are
the women I choose to write about.

Even my cop’s lover, former denizen of the underworld, is a creation I
respect and a woman I would respect in real life. Few of us make
truly ‘free’ choices, and the choices of some of those society affects
to despise often require no little courage.

I love the paradox of the woman in uniform – police or military. Dressed in symbols of power and authority which also mark
them out as placing themselves consciously and conscientiously in
danger, the bodies beneath seem almost engineered for just the
opposite. The female body speaks, somehow, in every curve and line,
of qualities of nurturing, gentleness and beauty. It is there at
every age and in every conformation of the female body, yet the female
mind and spirit outweighs it.

Several times while writing this I have been drawn to a conclusion I
have sought, on some level, to avoid, and yet I think I cannot. It
really is as if female courage is somehow more overwhelming, more
inspiring, than that of men, whilst it is that of men which gains the
most attention.

So I love and admire my women in uniform, and I salute them, here, in
the only way I know how.

R V Raiment


Excerpt from one of the grittier bits, and I do mean grittier:


“I hate Chapel Street.” Sally’s voice is sibilant with a darker passion than our own.
“I know.”
“Just routine stuff, of course. Caspar and Weiner were there from Homicide. Izzy Morgenstein and di Matteo called it in.”
“And the vic?”
“Some kid called Kassie. Short for Kassandra, spelled with a K.”
“Black?” “Yeah.” “Kassie who?” “Whitney.”
I try to remember, but the name means nothing to me.

Lynn Mixon Maps the Writing of Healing Hands

The semi-penultimate day of the blog tour! Lynn Mixon describes the process of building the story of a U.S. Marshall and a card sharp under the Witness Protection program.
lynnmixon.com

Monday, April 11, 2011

Teresa Noelle Roberts on Respecting the "Dress Uniform"

[In today's blog Teresa Noelle Roberts talks about her story, in which you discover (when you read the whole thing) how to have your kink and eat it too, while still respecting the uniform.]


Teresa Noelle Roberts here, and I’m thrilled to have a story in Lesbian Cops. It’s always a pleasure to work with Sacchi, and it’s doubly a pleasure to find my own work snuggling up to the brave and incredibly hot women in uniform (and friends) depicted by my fellow contributors. But I almost didn’t come up with a story for this anthology.
Usually when Sacchi wants me to submit something to her, I jump. (Yes, that’s supposed to sound both silly and suggestive. If you expect me to play this all vanilla and prim, you’ve got me confused with some other author.) I hesitated a bit over Lesbian Cops¸ though, because the first few stories that came to mind involved uniform fetishes. For one, I figured a lot of people would take that approach and unless I had a really clever twist, it would be hard to stand out. For another, I don’t find police uniforms sexy.
I’m married to someone in law enforcement. It would certainly be handy if I were kinky for uniforms. But my beloved is a humane officer, like the “animal cops” from that Animal Planet series. His uniforms are utilitarian and rather ugly—but at least they’re highly washable. That’s key in his line of work. Every time I do laundry, I do an entire load of uniforms that smell like dog and worse—unless he’s come home bloody and/or skunked, in which case he’s kind enough to deal with the mess himself.
Can you say “not sexy”?
I started a piece involving a cop and a dog trainer, the cop’s profession being only a tiny piece of the story, then discovered that my frequent co-author Dayle Dermatis/Andrea Dale was working on a story in which a dog played a key role. Quite a different story than what I’d had in mind, as it turns out, but since I knew there was already one dog-related piece in progress for Lesbian Cops, one that I was (correctly) confident would be wonderful, I decided to table the slightly kinky dog trainer. (I’m sure she’ll be back, though perhaps not with a lesbian cop as her partner in mischief.)
But that left me without a story idea and I was starting to get frantic.
When I was tearing my hair out, I remembered a firefighter friend telling me how a would-be girlfriend got pouty because my friend wouldn’t wear her dress uniform to a fetish event and couldn’t understand that it was, from my friend’s point of view, both a risky career move and fetishizing something she took seriously.
I don’t think that real-life relationship got too far.
But what if I gave that story a happy ending? I could incorporate my friend’s seriousness, my own feelings about uniforms being work clothes, conflict, tenderness, and good old-fashioned ingenuity, all mixed together as facets of a healthy, growing relationship. And I could weave in plenty of kinky while I was at it, because it’s just not a Teresa Noelle Roberts story if no one gets spanked or tied up.
But no dogs. Because dogs and kink don’t mix (and if they do in your world, please keep it to yourself. Like I said, I’m married to a humane officer and I’m pretty sure that would be illegal.)
And thus “Dress Uniform” was born.
Here’s a taste—slightly suggestive, but also showing something of the characters:

“Are you kidding? I can’t wear my uniform to the Fetish Fair!” I smiled as I said it, though, because Lisette was wheedling like a kid who wanted candy, and it was pretty damn adorable. Lisette looks like an anime girl, all big eyes, big smile and big breasts, and she was using all three of those attributes to good effect. Usually when she makes her eyes wide, smiles eagerly and poses so I can’t help but look at her cleavage, I’ll give in to just about anything she wants, especially if she’s also wearing a short schoolgirl skirt or cat ears at the time.
This time I couldn’t afford to give in. “I’d get in serious trouble if the Chief found out. Besides, they’ll have officers doing security detail. I don’t want any confusion, especially if God forbid there actually is a problem.” Not that I expected problems. The kink community may lead edgy sex lives, but we tend to be well-behaved in public, if only to avoid anyone asking if dressing your lover up in a pony harness violates some obscure local ordinance. Whenever you get a few thousand people together, though, there’s a potential for weirdness. Especially at a downtown convention center, where someone who thinks they’re on a mission from God to get rid of pervs could pay their $20 and walk right in to cause trouble.
“How about your dress uniform? No one would get confused then.”
I winced.
I’d just met Lisette the last time I had to haul out the dress uniform. I hadn’t known the officer who’d been killed. He’d been from a different precinct and we’d never run into each other on a detail or a Police Benevolent Association benefit. But that doesn’t matter when one of your own buys it. You go to the funeral in your dress uniform and you’re part of a strong wall of blue for the poor bastard’s family and you hope you don’t have to put on that uniform again for a long, long time—and that no one ever has to put it on for you until you die of old age.
Joe Morrissey had died less than four months ago. It was way too soon to put that uniform on for anything less than the president coming to our town and needing a police escort. Certainly not to gratify the whim of a lover. A uniform that still had a mass card in the pocket from a fellow officer’s funeral wasn’t sexy.
I didn’t say a word, but I’m not as tough as I like to pretend I am, because my eyes got misty at the memory. Within a second, Lisette dropped her cutesy face and was holding me. “Sorry, Barb. I wasn’t thinking. That was a bad idea.”




Elizabeth Coldwell's Lesbian Cops Blog, with Angie!

Don't miss todays Lesbian Cops blog from Elizabeth Coldwell. Steamy goodness on the dominant side of policewomen, with extra bonus Angie Dickinson pic!
elizabethcoldwell.wordpress.com

Saturday, April 9, 2011

J.N. Gallagher on "Officer Birch"


Why is erotica so dirty? No, wait – that’s not exactly what I’m trying to ask. Of course erotica is going to be dirty. Reading or writing erotica means reading or writing about sex, and sex is always dirty or, at the very least, messy. Messy encounters, messy clothes crumpled on the floor, messy emotions. Even when it's trying to be, sex is rarely clean and pure.

Maybe what I'm really trying to ask is – why do we treat erotica like it’s dirty? Why do we keep it hidden? Hidden on back-of-the-store shelves, hidden in our drawers, hidden on our e-readers? Graphic novelist Alan Moore has wondered why there are, comparatively, so few books about sex when there are infinite books about aliens and wizards and hard-boiled detectives and talking animals. Most human beings have sex at some point in their lives, so why do we read and write so much about the unreal when the real is staring us in the face and saying, “Write about me. Write about what you love, what you lust for, what you burn for in the pit of your stomach and the valves pumping in your heart.”

Maybe that's just my Catholic upbringing. Maybe you didn't have to fear getting caught thumbing through erotica anthologies in your local bookstore. Maybe you didn't have to hide your collection of On Our Backs magazines for fear of your parents or your partner finding them and asking, “Wait, you like this?” If so, I envy you. If you buy a copy of Lesbian Cops: Erotic Investigations and read my story, “Officer Birch,” then maybe you’re someone who will keep the book on your bookshelf, unashamed of what you enjoy reading.

Or, if you’re more like me, I invite you to join me in taking a small step. Leave a review on Amazon.com. Talk about it with an online pal or someone you trust in your real life. At least let the world know I like this. For some of us, this is a hard thing to do. But, it’s time – for this writer especially – to stand up and be proud of who we are and what we like reading and writing about. I hope you enjoy the story. Yes, it’s about sex, but it’s also about love and shame and fear and a bunch of other stuff, too. This story is a part of me and my life, and I want the world to know that.

Excerpt from “Officer Birch”

“Why does she bully you?” you said. “From what I’ve gathered, she doesn't act violently toward anyone else.”

“I don't know,” I said. “Does there have to be a reason? Sometimes people here just get singled out, and we have to deal with it.”

You were silent until I lifted my head and looked at you. Did you know that I fell in love with you right then, Officer Birch? Could you tell?

It might have been your uniform, immaculate and wrinkle-free. It might have been the necktie and cap, which no cops in town wore until you showed up and made them look like slobs.

It might have been your face. You looked so young, almost my age. Let's be honest—you weren’t pretty. You weren’t cute, either, not like the few girls I had managed to fool around with. They had long hair, beautiful breasts, curves to their figures. You had sharp angles, small breasts, a strong jaw. I didn't know if you had hair on your head. I couldn't see any peeking out from under your cap.

I had seen butch women before. Our Midwestern county was closeted back then but not totally straight. The difference was that none of them were anything like you. So handsome, so powerful in your uniform, even while sitting down and doing nothing. Masculine in every way yet nothing like a man. I got moist right there, and I didn't even know I was attracted to butches.

You rambled on about handling bullies. I wasn't listening; I was thinking. What would it be like to kiss your lips? What was underneath your cap? How would you teach me about hardcore dyke sex shit?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Blog Tour: Evan Mora, "A Cop's Wife"

About A Cops Wife…

When I first saw Sacchis call for Lesbian Cops, my mind filled with a hundred hot and dirty imaginings. When I sat down to begin writing, I was certain what would emerge would be kinky and sexy. I mean hey who hasnt had a fantasy about a smokin hot woman in uniform? But when I tried to assemble all the parts in my head, it just wouldnt come together. There was another voice in there, telling me very pointedly that I had another story to write.

Sometimes the things that we write are fiction through and through. Sometimes theres something a mannerism of a lover, a turn of phrase, a kernel of truth around which we craft fiction. And sometimes, entire stories are based on our experiences. Im not married to a cop, but my story A Cops Wife is probably the most personal story Ive ever written.

Two things were at work for me, and they blended their way into a fiction that nevertheless feels very real to me. Once upon a time, I had a long relationship with a firefighter, and I have endless respect and admiration for all emergency responders police, firefighters and EMTs and for the partners and spouses that support them at home. I drew on my own history to craft my character Amie, and to describe how she feels about being married to a cop:

There is an understanding that, on any given day, the likelihood that bad things could happen to your spouse is much greater than if they were say, an accountant, or a school teacher. You imagine what it would feel like to get the phone call, or the knock on the door, that tells you that theyve been injured, or worse, that theyve been killed.

People say I dont know how you do it, but the fact of the matter is, that despite this understanding, the fear remains mostly abstract because by and large, nothing does happen. And at the end of the day, you trust in the training and the instincts and the support that enable these men and women to do their jobs and protect the public.

Much more fresh in my mind though, was the subject material of the story: how do you deal with someone threatening your life? My partner (a very different kind of hero) spends much of her time helping people who suffered terrible abuse as children. Sometimes these people grow up to be very damaged adults, with a lot of misguided rage. And sometimes, though rarely, it winds up directed at her. We found ourselves in a situation similar to the one in my story in the spring of last year. How do you deal with that? What do you do when someone says I will kill you, with every bit of conviction they have? Let me tell you, its the stuff of nightmares.

And then I wondered, how would a cop, someone trained to deal with all manner of violent situations, handle something like that? How could they how does anyone fight something as intangible as words?

[E]ven like this, held tight in the circle of her arms in the privacy of our bedroom, he was there. He was everywhere. His taint was like a mist curling in through a crack in the window, seeping under the doorframe, spilling through the keyhole. It was insidious, filling the inside the room until I felt like I couldnt breathe again, until I felt like I was suffocating in fear and anger and despair.

Patrice was vibrating, struggling with emotions of her own. I knew I should say something about how everything would be o.k., and about how I knew she would catch this filthy coward, but the words couldnt make it past the lump in my throat. I was determined not to cry she didnt need that from me right now, but when she said, “I put a copy of my will in the lock box…” the tears fell of their own volition, and she rocked me in the dark, and nothing more was said.

Fortunately for me, and the characters in my story, things work out in the end. And the relief when its over? Indescribable.

After all these weeks of vacillating between belief and disbelief; strength and weakness; between calm assurances and horrible despair, I needed her the indisputable, solid proof that she was real, beneath my hands, against my flesh more than I needed air to breathe.

Sacchi has put together a tremendously diverse collection of stories which manages to capture both the fiery-hot fantasy that women in uniform can inspire, and the sometimes more serious reality of a cops life. Its a great read, and Im honored to be in the company of such fine authors. If you havent read it yet pick it up already! You wont be disappointed.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Blog Tour: Kenzie Mathews, "Raven Brings the Light"

When I talk about variety in Lesbian Cops, I really mean it. Today's perspective is from Kenzie Mathews, taking you to the Alaska she knows in ways outsiders seldom glimpse.

Blog for “Raven Brings the Light” by Kenzie Mathews

My inspiration for “Raven” comes from 1. I’m Alaskan, and 2. I was very upset by the girl’s murder represented in my story. You can Google her story: Alaska, the girl in the box murder. In the real story, no axes or machetes were thrown. I borrowed THAT part from my misspent youth (and I won’t tell that story now ‘cos I’d like to use that little bit of personal history for something else.) Of all my stories, this one tends to deal with darker themes. I let the love and the lust in it keep it light, but I can’t help thinking of crime stories/cop stories as being something that works in darker places.

I think the case really bothers me ‘cos I could identify with her. I grew up in rural Alaska, and despite the wonderful Disney versions of Alaskan kids with dog-sleds sharing hot chocolate over bonfires, a lot of the kids here run into trouble. It’s cold, it’s dark, and hitch-hiking for miles to drink, smoke, take drugs and hang with your friends might be your only social outing. We all have done stupid things and trusted the wring people. I love Alaska, but the kids here have it rough. There’s a strict conformity that aids in social survival but also stirs up rebellion. Sadly enough, a lot of the teens drinking and drugging with their friends out in the dark cold are escaping something worse waiting at home.

I created the characters Thomasane and Chris with Alaskan personality and temperament in mind. Alaskans tend to merge vulnerability with toughness. We’re survivors here but we all need each other to make it through. Thomasane represents for me a typical mixed race Alaskan. She’s both proud and ashamed of her mixed heritage. She carries both fierce tradition and cultural shame and pain. Because of wide-spread alcohol and drug abuse, some villages work really hard to remain dry. For many years, the the only businesses we had open for 24 hours were bars, liquor stores, and video shops. Every Spring the news gives the increasing number of homeless Alaskans, mostly Native, who died in the winter.

Chris is Thomasane’s perfect foil, and she’s not going anywhere. I wanted the love and heat to be obvious between them. This story comes from a longer version that I hope to eventually make into a novel. I did take some liberty with the small town being accepting of a lesbian cop and her lover, though. Alaska can be judgmental and conservative, but it’s my story and I wanted an accepting environment.

All the Raven stories are true Raven stories. They are perfectly gruesome and gleefully funny. Alaskans tend to crack jokes like that. Alaska, it’s big enough to hide all the bodies. How do you tell the difference between a tourist and an Alaskan? Tourist only has one dog in his car.

Here’s a brief taste of the story:

The only thing Alaska promises for sure is a beautiful death.
Thomasane and her partner Brady were the first Troopers on scene. And I know that not because Thomasane is some super trooper, even though she is….it’s just that it’s all small town out here. We’re such a small collection of communities, we only have four pairs of Troopers. But the territory they cover is vast.
So, now when Thomasane said instead, “Chris, did I ever tell you about Raven and the Hunters?” I said no even though I’m pretty sure I told her that story first.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Lesbian Cops Blog Tour

Does the thought of lesbian cops turn you on, or leave you cold? Whichever way you lean, these stories offer some surprises, and now the writers are offering extra insights on their work in a blog tour beginning on April 1. Check us out. All comments on any of these blog entries will be entered in a drawing for one of two copies of the book.
Here’s the schedule, with links:

March 31 Sacchi Green Interview
www.deadrobotssociety.com


April 1 JL Merrow
jl-merrow.livejournal.com/


April 2 Jove Belle
www.jovebelle.wordpress.com


April 3 Delilah Devlin
www.delilahdevlin.com/blog


April 4 R. G. Emanuelle
www.rgemanuelle.com


April 5 Andrea Dale

cyvarwydd.blogspot.com


April 6 Kenzie Matthews
sacchi-green.blogspot.com


April 7 Ily Goyanes
thesideshow.info


April 8 Cheyenne Blue
www.cheyenneblue.com


April 9 Evan Mora
sacchi-green.blogspot.com/


April 10 J.N. Gallagher
sacchi-green.blogspot.com/


April 11 Liz Coldwell
elizabethcoldwell.wordpress.com


April 12 Teresa Noelle Roberts
sacchi-green.blogspot.com/


April 13 Lynn Mixon
www.lynnmixon.com/


April 14 RV Raiment
sacchi-green.blogspot.com/


April 15 Annabeth Leong
annabethleong.blogspot.com


Besides commenting on the content of the blogs, feel free to comment (or e-mail me--sacchigreen@gmail.com) at the end of the tour with your own thoughts about what you wish we'd included in the book. Hot fantasies, wild imaginings, gritty realism--if you want to share it, now's the time. All such comments will be in the running for a third copy of the book.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Women in Historical Fiction

Another of my columns for Women and Words, but with more emphasis on erotica just for you.

Women in Historical Fiction

According to a survey on the Smart Bitches website, 81% of romance readers read historical romance. The rest of the results are interesting, as well. Yes, I noticed that erotic romance comes in at the bottom of the list, with only 45% going near it (or admitting to it, at least.)

The historical appeal fascinates me. I love historical fiction. I don’t know how the preferences of lesbian readers stack up against those of romance readers in general, but my general impression is that historical romance (or let’s just say historical fiction) isn’t heavily represented in lesfic as a whole. I do know of some but I’d be glad to hear your recommendations.

One difference, I think, between straight historical romance and the lesbian version, is that in ours, the women get to be the strong characters. No swooning in the arms of an alpha male. (Yes, I know there are some strong female characters in straight historicals, but I’m speaking in general terms here.)

This brings me to a subject I’ve long wanted to rant about. There seems to be a belief on the part of women who write m/m historical romance that there’s no point in writing about women in history because women never got to do anything adventurous. They were never strong. They weren’t worth writing about. I actually saw this stated by an author for whom I have great respect, and echoed with complete agreement in numerous comments from other female writers of m/m historical romance.

What! I’m not going to list famous women in history—we’re talking about fiction here, after all, although I do admit to writing short fiction that included Queen Elizabeth I addressing the troops before the battle with the Spanish Armada. But there have always been strong women, strong sometimes in the same ways as men, and often in much more complex and vital ways. In some sense the very fact that our patriarchal culture has at best ignored and at worst suppressed their history makes them even more interesting to write about.

What do you think? Should publishers be giving us more lesbian historical fiction?

Last year I wrote a guest column for the Oh Get a Grip blog . It was titled “Strong Women Ride You Harder”, on the subject of strong women in erotica, not specifically about historical fiction, but I do think it fits this discussion.

“Strong Women Ride You Harder”

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Erotica Readings: My Characters Made Me Do It

Lesbian Cops will be out in less than a month, and I'll be posting details about a blog tour here soon. I'll also have details about a contest for a free book, and an additional prize.

For now, I'm sharing another column I posted recently on Women and Words. This one is about doing erotica readings.


Most folks get nervous about reading their work in public, especially the first time, but when it comes to reading erotica out loud there’s a whole extra world of panic. Writing erotica is a very private, very personal process, at least if you’re doing it well, and if we thought then about speaking those words in front of an audience, we might not have the courage to write them down at all.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Posting on Women and Words about Writing Sex Scenes

I've been invited to post regularly on the wonderful Women and Words blog, and I've just hit the "publish" button on my first holding-forth. Whee! I don't intend to overemphasize erotica, but this time my theme is "Sex Scenes Without Fear" (You can read it without fear--nothing X-rated. Yet. )



Here's what I posted:

Sex Scenes without Fear

Hi readers and writers, I’m Sacchi Green, and I’ve been invited to play in this literary sandbox with you. In the future I promise not to concentrate too heavily on the erotica side of the force, even though that’s where I do most of my writing and editing, with six-going-on-seven anthologies in print. The most recent ones are from Cleis Press; Girl Crazy, Lesbian Coming Out Erotica (2009), Lesbian Cowboys (2009, winner of a Lambda Literary Award), Lesbian Lust (2010), and Lesbian Cops (April of 2011). I can be found online on FaceBook (Sacchi Green), Live Journal (http://sacchig.livejournal.com/), Lesbian Fiction Forum (Sacchi, http://www.lesbianfiction.org/) and http://sacchi-green.blogspot.com .
As I said, I won’t talk all that much about erotica, but this first time I’ll start out playing here with the toys I’m most accustomed to. (Hi there, those of you with dirty minds! Glad to see you! But I won’t be talking about that sort of toy here.)
So here’s just a bit of a chapter I contributed to Fran Walker’s Lavender Ink: Writing and Selling Lesbian Fiction from Bedazzled Ink (Chapter 10), titled, obviously, “Sex Scenes”.

What is it about sex scenes in books? Our culture’s conflicted attitudes toward sex are not only reflected, but magnified, in our reactions to the very idea of writing or reading about sex. No other section of a book, except, possibly, the ending, inspires so much flipping through the pages. Some readers avidly find the “good parts” and devour them first, while others make sure they know which pages to avoid. And it’s equally true that some writers can’t wait to get working on the erotic bits, while others, pressured to include them by editors or by their own assessments of the market, avoid writing them until everything else has been done and they can’t procrastinate any longer.
I won’t try to tell you, as a writer, that whatever method you use is wrong. If you can make it work, that’s great. But I will tell you what kind of reader you should write for: one who opens herself to your characters, gets drawn into their lives and emotions, and follows wherever the story leads because it’s so compelling that she can’t bear to miss a word. Not even words she might usually avoid.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Undercover with Lesbian Cops

It’s got to be a good sign when reading your galley proof gets you tingly all over again at what terrific work your writers have done. Lesbian Cops will be available in April, but I can’t wait that long to give you some hints of what’s in it, so I’m sharing my introduction below.

Stay tuned, too, for a chance to not only win a copy, but to share your own deepest thoughts and fantasies on the subject of lesbian cops. I know I’ve missed some great ones, in spite of the wide range in the book. I’m still pondering the details of this caper, so for now, you’ll have to make do with my intro.

Lesbian Cops
What is it about lesbian cops that pushes all the right buttons (and some of the deliciously transgressive wrong ones)? It’s not just the uniform, with handcuffs and weapons, or the confidence, authority and sense of danger. The intrinsic appeal of women taking on roles that have traditionally been seen as hypermasculine is part of it, of course. To hold their own they need to be hyper-strong, in body, mind and strength of will. That’s intensely sexy, for me, at least, and if you’ve read this far I suspect it is for you, too.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Recap of the Year in Writing

Not so much actual writing accomplished--a good part of the list below consists of reprints or stories written in the past and waiting until now for their true homes--but I'm feeling lucky.

My WWII history-meets-legend story “The Heart of the Storm” appeared in Best Fantasy Erotica from Circlet Press, reprinted from my 2009 anthology Time Well Bent: Queer Alternative History, and was also chosen for Best Lesbian Fiction 2010, coming from Bedazzled Ink in 2011.

“The Good Soldier”, another WWII more-or-less historical piece, appeared in Spank!, edited by D.L. King for Logical Lust.

“The Gift”, set in Afghanistan during the ongoing war, just made it into 2010 in Best Lesbian Romance 2011

“The Windskimmer”, a lesbian fantasy with no erotic elements at all, was accepted for Hellebore and Rue, edited by Catherine Lundoff and Joselle Vanderhooft and coming very soon from Drollerie Press.

“Freeing the Demon” was accepted for Dream Lovers, edited by Kristina Wright for Cleis Press, coming out next fall.

In the editing department, the anthology Lesbian Cops: Erotic Investigations was turned in to Cleis Press and will be coming out in April of this year.

And my personal favorite, although it’s very hard to choose, is the Lambda Literary Award Rakelle Valencia and I won in 2010 for our anthology Lesbian Cowboys, edited for Cleis Press in 2009.

I won't have much to say next New Year's Day unless I buckle down and get some fresh writing done.