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 29, 2012

Helping Vampires to Save the World

Here’s what Lisabet Sarai has to say about Coming Together: In Vein, the new anthology she’s edited for the Coming Together charity anthology series. And at the end, I’ve posted an excerpt from my own story in the book, Jessebel, narrated by a transgender character in a western town a few years after the end of the Civil War. Sorry, all the sex comes at the end of the story; you’ll have to get the book for that, and so much more by the other terrific authors.

Now to quote Lisabet:

Let's face it. Vampires are sexy. Something about the undead stirs up our juices. Perhaps it's their irresistible power. Even when we know the danger, we're so very tempted to surrender to their all-consuming lust. Maybe we want to comfort them, to save them a lonely, bloody eternity. Maybe we secretly crave immortality ourselves.

Vampires are frequently portrayed as evil or at least amoral, viewing humanity from the jaded perspective of centuries. Now, though, vampires are doing their part to save the world.

Coming Together: In Vein is a brand new collection of vampire-themed erotica and erotic romance edited by Lisabet Sarai. All sales of this novel-length volume support Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières). MSF works in nearly 70 countries providing medical aid to those most in need regardless of their race, religion, or political affiliation. Right now, despite being barred from the country, MSF doctors and nurses are in Syria, working with patients from both sides of the civil war. They're performing surgery in caves and sneaking into refugee camps to distribute desperately needed medications.

You can help MSF in its life-saving mission, simply by indulging your passion for vampires. Buy a copy of Coming Together: In Vein in ebook , Kindle formator print.

Enjoy! Then help spread the word! Every copy we sell has the potential to save someone's life.

The list of contributors  includes many names you'll recognize. Every one of these authors has provided his or her work free of charge, to support the charitable aims of the project. Furthermore, the editor is giving away a free copy of her short story collection Body Electric  to everyone who buys a copy of Coming Together: In Vein. (For details of this offer, click here)

You'll find an excerpt below – just to whet your appetite.

Sink your teeth into Coming Together: In Vein. Help our vampires save the world.


Sacchi Green

“See there, Cap’n, ain’t she somethin’? Jezebel, they calls ‘er, but most likely she’s just plain Mabel or Hildy underneath it all.”
I looked through the drifting cigar smoke and shifting bodies. Maybe three or four of those figures were recognizably female—for damned sure not counting my own well-concealed form—but there was no doubt as to which one had sparked the old stable hand’s enthusiasm. I couldn’t see much; her back was to the door, and a rancher’s burly arms enveloped her in a most unchaste fashion as they danced, but even so there seemed to be a glow about her that drew the eye. Chestnut curls tumbled across slender shoulders, and emerald silk clung to rounded, swaying hips that promised the uttermost in carnal delights without sacrificing the least degree of elegance.
“Sure is, Bill,” I agreed, “but what’s a fine piece like that doing in a place like this?”
“Plenty of business, that’s what.” Bill elbowed me in the ribs. I only just managed to pivot enough to keep my bound-up tender bits from taking the full impact. When I turned back the girl swung around so that for a moment, before her partner’s bulk blocked the view, I saw her face, beautiful in spite of all its paint, not because of it.
The room swirled around me. The floor tilted. I clutched at the back of a chair, muttered an apology to the card player occupying it, and lurched back out through the swinging doors.
The last time I’d kissed that face it had been ashen, dirt-smeared, streaked with blood and my tears. The last time I’d held that dear body in my arms, life and warmth had seeped away.
The last time I’d seen her, she’d been dead.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

What Editors Look For

Writer and reviewer Ashley Lister has a new book coming out: How to Write Erotic Fiction and Sex Scenes. On the blog for his book, he's been posting daily bits of advice from writers and editor, and mine went up a few days ago. You can see them all linked from Ash's Facebook page, and I linked to mine from my Facebook page, but as a public service of sorts I'm re-posting it here. (We were limited to five suggestions, which was a good thing; otherwise I'd still be going on about it.)

1) Tell a story as only you can tell it. Be familiar with other writing in your genre, but don’t imitate anyone else. As an editor I look for an original approach and a distinctive voice; something to set a story apart from all the thousands I’ve seen before. Surprise me!

2) Make your characters so real that the reader can tell them apart just by the way they act and speak, even when you don’t specify who’s speaking.

3) Pay attention to the rhythm of your prose. Vary the length and structure of your sentences (unless, of course, you use short, choppy sentences or long, rambling ones to make a certain point or define a character.)

4) Don’t assume that grammatical constructions you see over and over must be correct, or should be used over and over. There’s no need for sentence after sentence, or even paragraph after paragraph, to begin with a participial phrase such as “Opening the door, she crossed the room.” Think about that. Is the room so small one could cross it while still in the process of opening the door? Even when there’s no such grammatical problem, overuse of “ing” looks amateurish (and is, obviously, one of my pet peeves.) There are other more varied ways of avoiding too many sentences that start with “she” or the character’s name.

5) And speaking of pet peeves, particularly when dealing with erotica, PLEASE be sure you know whether your character’s movements and actions are physically possible. I’m not talking about superhuman endurance, or strength; I’m just considering logistics. Remember whose various parts are where, and don’t tie the reader’s (and editor’s) mind in knots trying to figure out how what was up is suddenly down, and why what faced one direction (and was, in fact, tied that way) is suddenly available for full frontal play. This sort of thing can apply to any scenes of concentrated action, erotic or otherwise, but interrupting the flow of a sex scene is especially, well, frustrating.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Next Big Thing – Writers Discuss New Work

As part of ‘The Next Big Thing Blog Hop,’ I was tagged by the wonderful writer Sally Bellerose in her post this week.  The purpose of this hop is to expose folks to writers and their work that perhaps they haven’t heard of, whether a new release or a Work in Progress (WIP). This is week 25.

According to the rules of the hop, I will be answering some questions (the same ones for every other blog hopper) about either my newest release or my WIP and then at the bottom of the post I’ll listed authors who will do the same thing in their blogs next Wednesday Dec 19th.

What is the working title of your book?

I’m cheating here right away. My anthology releases this year were Girl Fever: 69 Tales of Sudden Sex for Lesbians (edited for Cleis Press) out in June, and Heiresses of Russ 2012: the Year’s Best Lesbian Speculative Fiction (co-edited by my alter-ego Connie Wilkins with Steve Berman for Lethe Press) out in October. My next anthology, Wild Girls, Wild Nights: True Lesbian Sex Stories (edited for Cleis Press) will be out next June.  But I’m going to discuss a short story just out in November in Kristina Wright’s anthology Duty and Desire: Military Erotic Romance (Cleis Press) and being reprinted in Radclyffe’s Best Lesbian Romance 2013 (Cleis Press) in February. The story, “Sergeant Rae,” is quite short, but sticks in my mind, and I might yet expand it to novel length. Maybe.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I’ve never served in the military myself, but the concept of women (especially lesbians) serving under all the constraints and tensions of such a situation has fascinated me for many years, and I’ve written several short stories about women soldiers from WWII to Vietnam and on to Iraq and Afghanistan. All that research still simmers in my subconscious, and this time an irresistible pair of characters bubbled to the top and demanded that their story be told.

On the off chance that you might be interested in more stories about lesbians in the military, here’s a list of mine:
“To Remember You By” in Hanne Blank’s Shameless: Women’s Intimate Erotica, 2002, Seal Press, reprinted in Maxim Jakubowski’s The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica, Vol. 3, 2004, Mammoth Books, and reprinted again in my own collection for Lethe Press, A Ride to Remember, 2011. (In WWII London, a WAC nurse meets an American woman pilot who ferries planes for the RAF. This one is also posted for free on my blog, temporarily, if you scroll down far enough and search for it. I wrote a sequel with the same characters 30 years later, but by then they’re no longer in the military.)

“At Liberty” in Ultimate Lesbian Erotica 2005, edited by Nicole Foster for Alyson Press, 2004 (An Iraq War vet with PTSD climbs Miss Liberty.)

“Dietrich Wears Army Boots” in Wicked: Sexy Tales of Legendary Lovers, edited by Mitzi Szereto for Cleis Press, 2005, reprinted in my collection A Ride to Remember, Lethe Press, 2011. (Fictional treatment of Marlene’s actual service entertaining the Allied troops during the Battle of the Bulge in WWII.)

“Lipstick on Her Collar” in Lipstick on Her Collar and Other Tales of Lesbian Lust, edited by Sacchi Green and Rakelle Valencia for Pretty Things Press, 2008, reprinted in Best Lesbian Erotica 2009, Cleis Press (In Vietnam a WAC jeep-jockey shows a woman reporter the ropes of being In Country.)

“Danger” in Lesbian Lust, edited by Sacchi Green for Cleis Press, 2010 (An Army nurse and a WAC, both just back from Vietnam, meet accidentally on the scene of the Stonewall Uprising.)

“The Gift” in Best Lesbian Romance 2011, edited by Radclyffe for Cleis Press, 2011. (A British soldier in Afghanistan has a dream encounter with the lover she left behind her.)

What genre does your book fall under?

Both anthologies that include my story are classed as erotic romance, and that’s a good fit. Duty and Desire is mainly heterosexual in emphasis, with a few LGBT pieces like mine. Best Lesbian Romance is, obviously, filled with lesbian stories. To be most specific, my story “Sergeant Rae” is lesbian erotic romance, but could fit easily in an erotica book as well.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

That’s a really tough one. For the younger, vulnerable-but-tough-as-armored-tank-treads Jenny, I could see someone like a younger Sissy Spacek, if there’s such an actress out there. For Sergeant Rae herself, my vision is so specifically of someone I’ve known very well, but is not an actress, that I can’t think of any professional actress who could handle her.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

An injured army tank mechanic and a paraplegic sergeant find love and healing in the aftermath of war.

What is the longer synopsis of your book?

Sgt. Rae saved Jenny when their convoy hit a minefield. Jenny gave Sgt. Rae, more drastically wounded, a will to live through months of hospitalization and therapy. Now they work to heal and make a life together in rural New England. 

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

All my work so far has been short fiction in books from established publishers, but if I expand it into a novel, who knows? 

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

A couple of weeks. But it’s quite a short story.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

All the history and memoirs I’ve read about women in the military, as well as stories I’ve been told, inspired me.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Besides dealing with women in the military, the story addresses the aftermath of wars, disabilities, gay marriage, and a certain psychological element of the need for kinky sex.

Here’s snippet that might pique the reader’s interest:

Sgt. Rae was so strong she could carry me at a run through gunfire and smoke and exploding mines. Two years later, she’s that strong again. With just one hand she can hold me from getting away, no matter how hard I struggle. Even her voice is enough to stop me at a dead run, so it doesn’t matter that she can’t run any more. And anyway, I’d never want to run away.
I’m smaller, but I’ve got my own kind of muscle, even if it doesn’t show. A mechanic in an armored tank unit has to be strong just to handle the tools you need, and if you’re a woman doing the job you need a whole extra layer of strength. I’m not an army mechanic any more, but I can still use tools; Sgt. Rae isn’t an army Sgt. any more, but she’ll always be in charge. At the town hall where she’s the police and fire department dispatcher, they tell me she’s got the whole place organized like it’s never been before.
In our house, or in the town, I’m supposed to just call her Rae these days, and mostly I remember. I’m just Jenny. In the bedroom, we don’t need names at all, except to wake each other when the bad dreams come, and whisper that everything’s all right now. Or close enough to handle, as long as we’re together.

Next Wednesday check out these author’s blogs to find out about their Next Big Thing:

Jove Bell:

MJ Williamz:

Teresa Noelle Roberts: