Thursday, 1 December 2011

NaNoWriMo 2011, Excerpt 4

Follow the tag Nipisi for more from this work in progress...


Juliet sat with her back to the door and pushed like her life depended on it.

“You have to let me in,” said the Nipisi on the other side.

“No I don't,” she thought back, too concentrated on the exertion of trying to keep the door shut to manage physical words. She couldn't keep them out. They were stronger than her. But she was going to try for as long as she could. She would retain her humanity. They could not stop her from remembering any more. They couldn't break her. They would not break her. Right here, with her back pressed against the door, she was sending them a message that she was going to win. She didn't know what winning was going to be. Knowing that there was an outside world didn't mean she wanted to see it. She didn't know what she was doing here and she couldn't remember how or why she ended up in this cave, but she wanted control of her own thoughts. She wanted freedom to decide what she wouldn't and wouldn't remember. She wanted to feel like a human being again.

“Juliet, you're sick,” said the Nipisi, “let us in so that we can help you.” Juliet could feel the weight of the nurse pressing against her mind, trying to soothe her, trying to make her calm down so that they could sedate her. But then what? For more days than she could remember now she had been suffering visions like headaches, suddenly and unexpectedly cascading down on her when she tried to think about anything. She knew that the nurses were poking about in her mind and she couldn't stop them but she also knew that they were failing. She was tired of the things that they were trying that didn't work. Couldn't they just leave her alone? Couldn't they allow her to remember things? Was that so dangerous?

“Stop it!” she screamed, surprised to find that the sudden burst of anger gave her strength. “Stop trying to control me! You can't do it! Leave me alone!”

“Juliet, we can't do that.” The voice was as level as if they were asking her if she wanted tea. How could they be so passive? Couldn't they see they were hurting her? Couldn't they see that they were making her sick? “Please, let us in.”

Juliet sagged against the door, finding that her strength was beginning to fail. She knew that they would overpower her, but she couldn't stop trying. The door gave an inch and Juliet rammed against it, shoving it back in place. Her feet were starting to slip; the carpet didn't allow much purchase.

“Should we call the Enforcer?” A different voice on the other side of the door. There were more of them now. This was her last stand. If more of them pushed against the door then she would certainly lose. Why were they letting her hear? Why weren't the keeping their conversation to themselves?

“If we call the Enforcer we'll be in trouble.”

Juliet knew that name, and it made her afraid. She let up for a moment and the door pushed opened a fraction. She watched it with wild eyes, knowing that if the Enforcer got called in then she was certainly finished. Probably in more than just a mental capacity. She pushed more urgently. She was starting to sweat.

“We're in deep trouble here already.”

The Nipisi were scared. If they were scared of the Enforcer then she definitely should be. The gap in the door was getting wider. She squeezed her eyes shut and wondered if she could find any more strength to keep them out. She couldn't give up, she just couldn't...

“She can't hold out and she knows it. Just give it more time.”

“Please,” she thought, “please leave me alone,” but it sounded futile, even to her. She was too tired to keep going. She couldn't help it. The door gave another inch. Her feet slid on the carpet. She tried to dig in but it wasn't going to help, she was going to lose and it was going to happen soon...

A tentacle found it's way through the gap in the door and snaked it's way towards her. The Nipisi couldn't see where it was going but it was just a matter of time before he found her. She tried to shuffle over out of the way but that ruined her leverage on the door and just gave him more room to get another long feeler through. The bud on the end flexed in and out like it was breathing.
“What are you going to do?” asked Juliet. She couldn't take her eyes off the tentacles but she tried to keep pushing. There was no response, just the determined searching of the Nipisi to get hold of her.

“Answer me!” she shouted, and then everything happened at once. The Nipisi's limb found her and coiled around her neck, effectively paralysing her. Her feet lost their purchase on the carpet and she slipped, the door crashing open even as she fell against it. The Feeder made his way into the room unsteadily, even though he was so solid that he couldn't have lost his balance when the door gave in. He didn't let go but wrapped another limb around her waist, lifting her straight off the floor and tightly into his embrace. She was held fast as two nurses followed the Feeder in, closing the door behind them quietly. One of them held a large syringe.

“Oh god, no,” thought Juliet. The three Nipisi stood sedately as she shook with exhaustion and fright, desperately trying to think of a way out of this. The nurse with the syringe made a move towards her and she wondered how they could be so calm when she was struggling so much.

“Wait!” she shouted, her eyes on the syringe, “lets talk about this!”

The nurse didn't stop moving but she saw her his eyes flick to the other nurse.

“Juliet,” said the other nurse serenely, “there is nothing to talk about.”

Friday, 25 November 2011

NaNoWriMo 2011, Excerpt 3

Follow the tag Nipisi for more from this work in progress!


Dark. Always dark. When there was so much light in her dreams it was hard to understand why it was so dark every time she woke up.

She was shaking a little bit and her body was too hot. It had been a few days since the last harvest and her body was tight and tingling. Her nipples were sore and her cunt throbbed and her skin felt flushed and over-sensitive. When she rolled over in the bed and the cover touched her she moaned, as though someone else were touching her. She needed to be fucked. She found her fingers drawing towards her clit and wondered what she was doing. She didn't know why but she needed to touch herself. Spreading the folds of her labia, she dipped her fingers into her wetness. She bit her lip and allowed her body to sag into the sensation. This wasn't like the harvest. This was different.

Since the Nurse has fixed her, she was remembering more. She had spent hours in the last few days going through her mental map, rearranging things, reliving memories that she didn't know she even had, piecing together a life that she hadn't known existed. She knew that there was a world outside the cave in which she lived. She knew about the sky and the sea and about windows with light that didn't come from globes. She knew about planets where there were no Nipisi and about other people and talking and laughing with them. She didn't really talk to people here. She was beginning to change. And now she was touching herself and she knew that too came from some memory. She had been touched like this before.

She knew to rub slow, languid circles around her clit. This was a lazy, warm sensation, not frantic and enhanced like it was with the Nipisi. This was pleasure for the sake of it, not for the harvest. She remembered the feeling of the delicate flaps of skin between her fingertips and how her skin felt like it was on fire when she traced her fingers along it. She was somewhere between discovering her body for the first time and remembering that it had been there all along. Her breathing was slow and uneven. She could feel knots in her stomach tightening and uncoiling.

Flashes of memories occasionally filled her vision. They were memories of moments like these, hot and sticky and filled with a contrasting sense of urgency but not wanting it to be over. Sometimes there were faces but they were indistinct. There were fingers that weren't her own but that felt just as good. There were whispered words that made her entire body tremble with delight. There was peace and wonder and a deep, deep sense of satisfaction. Her knees twitched and her back arched her off the bed. She curled her toes as tendrils of heat twisted through her body. She was going to have an orgasm, right here on her own. She felt wicked and dirty, as though she shouldn't be doing this, but it felt so unbelievably right.

She murmured a sigh of contentment as her fingers continued their motion. Dipping in and out of her pussy, rubbing the length of the folds of her labia, around and around her clit until she didn't think she could stand the touch any more and then sweeping away only to begin the delicate dance again. After a few more motions of this, she could feel a churning sensation low in her belly. She almost stopped because of the shock of it. She wanted to feel every moment of this. It was so intense and yet it was not intense like being harvested, where there was plain and pleasure and the discomfort of being tapped like a river by the Feeder. This was all pleasure. It almost tasted sweet. It was a number of things that she barely remembered.
At the very peak she felt the shudder begin to take over her whole body and she closed her eyes and almost lifted her entire body off the bed.

“Oh Simon!” she cried, and there it was, the wave of sensation that flooded through her from the top of her head right to the tips of her toes, leaving her entire body throbbing and light, like it didn't belong to her. She was warm, so warm. And so tired. Even as her body felt far away it felt heavy, her arm and legs weighted down so she could lift them. She allowed herself another sigh of contentment and realised she was sleepy. She didn't want to move from this position at all. It was too lovely. She wanted to just lie here for a bit and savour this sensation. Yes, that was a good idea, she'd just keep her eyes closed for a little bit longer and let herself recover. Gosh, what a good girl she was. What an odd sensation and yet so fulfilling and so wonderful. How could she have forgotten about this?

On the fringes of her consciousness she was aware of voices.

“This is too dangerous.”

The voice was not her own and she was too drowsy to wonder who it was.

“What would you have us do?” A different voice.

“She is too strong. I don't like it.”

“We can't just cast her out. She remembers too much.”

“You need to break her.”

There was a noise, something like exasperation.

“If I break her, she'll be useless to us. If she wasn't such a rich harvest we wouldn't have kept her here so long.”

“What are we to do?”

“You need to harvest her soon. Her body is going into shock.”

“Very well.”

“We're watching her.”

“Not hard enough.”

“Sorry, sir.”

A pause.

“You know nothing of sorrow.” The voice was tinged with so much malice that a shiver of fright ran through Juliet's body, even as she was drifting off too sleep. “You will be far more sorry by the time I am done with you if this situation is not resolved to my satisfaction.”

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Escape From the Pleasure Planet ~ The Synopsis

This should give you a little insight into what my NaNoWriMo is about. For simplicity's sake, I'm only posting excerpts from Juliet's point of view here, but Abby and Simon should pop up later on!

~~


Simon and Abby have arrived at Entero, the galaxy reowned “Pleasure Planet,” for the seventh and final time. Exhausted and disillusioned after years of searching Entero for Simon's missing childhood friend, they are all but out of hope. A chance meeting with a stranger throws up a vital clue which could lead them to an answer – but they're no longer so sure they want to find out what it is.

Juliet is all but declaring mental war on the telepathic Nipisi that run Entero. Frustrated by memories of a life she doesn't remember and a man she can't forget, she is fighting back against the caring but selfish alien race that are determined to control her mind.

When the two worlds finally collide, the fallout is unimaginable. Juliet has spent years at the mercy of captors who have controlled her through her sexual cravings and knows nothing of intimacy. Simon is torn between the woman he thought he'd lost and the woman that never left him. And Abby wants to help Juliet to begin to rebuild her broken life – even if it requires some unconventional therapy.

With their impossible mission seeming to be at an end, the three face more questions than they started with. Can they help each other to find the things that were lost? Or has time taken away any chance they had at normality?

NaNoWriMo 2011, Excerpt 2

Another excerpt from Escape From the Pleasure Planet. This is a few chapters later on from this bit.

It was a starry, starry night...
[Juliet] couldn't open her eyes, and she couldn't move. There was nothing but an inky haze. She couldn't access her mind map and she was confused. Was she awake or asleep? Was she dreaming?

Images flashed in her vision, their details obscured and indistinct. Faces that she didn't quite remember surrounded her. Voices echoed in her ears that she was sure she'd heard before. She sighed inwardly. Her mind was now a battlefield, the casualties of several years of memory repression and mental manipulation and the constant battle to retain things that she didn't want to forget. Neither side was winning. She couldn't remember anything distinctly any more, but the Nipisi could no longer keep her from remembering. It was going to take a lot of Nurses a very long time to sort this out.

She was sat in a seat in a large container. Through the small window to the side of her she could see nothing but blackness and thousands of tiny pricks of light, stretching away forever. Giant spheres passed them by as she watched. The vessel was moving at quite a speed. She was surrounded by people that she didn't know, not all of them even human, but no Nipisi anywhere. She was slightly scared, and sore. She rubbed her temples and her face was bruised and swollen. A man was watching her from a seat on the other side of the vessel with concern, and she hid her face away from and stared out the window intently. She didn't want to talk to him. She didn't want his concern. She wanted him to forget that she was there. She wanted to forget who she was.

A sphere – a planet – was coming into view if she peered in the direction that the vessel was going. A thrill of excitement shot through her. She'd always wants to come here, in a way. It was like a little curiosity in her that had never had the chance to voice itself. Even when she was happy, she had wondered what this planet would be like. Now that she was broken and unhappy, she needed to know. It was like a compulsion. The planet was vast, big expanses of purple in amongst writhing waves of gases obscuring something else, and to the north, she could see giant buildings of grey stone, similar to the ones that she knew from home. Here was a planet that was both alien and human. It was a curious juxtaposition, but she felt comforted knowing that she was not leaving home entirely behind, and yet here was a place that she didn't need to be reminded of it constantly.

She wasn't sure why she'd lied about her name on the boarding form. She just knew that she didn't want to be herself any more. She wanted to be somebody different, even if it was just for a little time. As the vessel came into dock on the planet, she felt a little surge of excitement and a little bit of terror. How long would she be here? She didn't know. Hopefully long enough to forget what she was leaving behind and build herself a life that she could live with.

The memory faded away and Juliet lay looking at the inside of her eyelids.

She'd changed her name? How had she forgotten that? And what had it been before?

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Escape From the Pleasure Planet, a NaNoWriMo Novel

Not a terribly long novel at the moment, either. I haven't been writing for a few months because there's been a whole lot of stuff going on, but I'm currently chipping away at my National Novel Writing Month attempt. I've been taking part in NaNoWriMo for a few years, and I help to organise the meetings in Bristol & Bath and it's utterly the highlight of my year. Without NaNoWriMo I would never have got properly into writing. I would never have finished a novel, or found that I love writing Erotica, or met some of my dearest friends. It has in many ways changed my life. How many endeavours can you say that about?

I don't intend to post all of my novel, but I thought it'd be fun to post bits of it here, just to prove to you that I'm still alive, and that I'm trying my hand at something altogether more daunting than anything I've ever written.

Oh yes. This is tentacle fantasy set in space. And in the true spirit of NaNoWriMo, it's very rough around the edges. In fact, my tentacle monsters, seriously look more or less like this:

If you'd like to read more of that, go here. Seriously. Awesome.
For clarification, my be-tentacled (also telepathic) alien race are called the Nipisi, and they feed on sexual energy from each other and from humans. There are three classes: the Feeders, who have the joyous task of "harvesting" the energy, the Nurses, who look after everybody, and the Underlings, who are the servant class and generally get the shit jobs and get fed upon by everyone else. Well, most of them do...

~~~

When [Juliet] awoke, the room was dark. It was cold and damp and smelled unfamiliar. She could feel a breeze along the floor and the damp smell rose with each gust. Her skin goosepimpled and blushed. The comfy pants she had been wearing were gone. She was wearing a thin tunic like the one she sometimes wore when the Nurses checked her, and she was cold. Something was wrong.

A long, thin limb coiled under the tunic and up her back, delicately tracing her skin as it travelled upwards and out the top of the tunic. It coiled around her neck a few times and squeezed gently, knocking the air from her lungs.

“Don't scream.” The voice was raspy and rough and resounded harshly around her thoughts, bouncing off the mental walls in place to keep the Nipisi from the areas she didn't want probed, like her personality.

"What? Who are you?" She didn't need to say the words, thinking them was enough. The Nipisi heard. Juliet didn't need to see the pale and pasty body of the underling to know that it was him.

"Hush," said the underling, "you've seen this before."

"What?" Juliet was confused.

"I remember when you first arrived, so pink and fresh and weak." The voice was unpleasant and Juliet couldn't help but squirm. They were not the easy, smooth flowing words of a feeder or a nurse, they were unpractised and unskilled. She could barely believe he had his appendages wrapped around her but even as she thought, he was sliding one slick, bud shaped fist down her stomach and parting her thighs to slip between her legs, where her lips were moist and waiting, a side effect of the drugs which the Nurses fed her after each harvest.

"No," she said. The underling squeezed her neck, choking off her air, using the moment also to wrap a thick coil around her breasts, teasing her nipples so that they swelled beneath his touch, hard and sensitive.

"You don't have a choice," said the underling. Juliet wasn't sure what to do. He was right, to an extent, her body would react to his touch as though he were [a feeder], but her mind recoiled from the thought of him feeding from her. It was dirty and disgusting. He was an underling. She was far too prized a possession to be fed from like this.

"Are you?" he asked. "Aren't you just a plaything of your master, to be harvested and fed upon just as I am? What's so wrong with my touch that I disgust you so?"

"You're not right," she thought weakly, "you're not allowed to taste me, you may be no better than me but you're not my equal."

"Wrong." The fist pentetrated her and she let out a hiss of air as it expanded and filled her, caressing her insides and causing a muffled moan to escape her lips. Unfurling from around her neck, the underling continued his upwards journey, pulling on her hair and dragging around her mouth to gag her. She bit down by the underling was undeterred.

"Feisty," he said, drawing out of her cunt and plunging back in, sending a fibril further back to probe the delicate pucker of her anus. "Do you like it there too?" he asked, lubricating her with his own vile fluids before diving in, causing Juliet to nearly double over with pain and surprise. She loved it there, she really did, but she didn't want him to know that. She couldn't let herself be taken and used by an underling like this.

She could feel him battering against the inside of her head, trying to find the walls which made her dislike him so, trying to pierce and penetrate her mind so that he could invade her body and release the pleasure that he needed to feast upon. Juliet considered her options. She could allow him access and give herself over but know that she would be reviled amongst her peers as a slut, one that enjoyed debasement from all Nipisi kind. He was not strong enough to overpower her.

“You once were. You were once a happy little whore, fucked and owned and taken by any that wanted you,” replied the underling, squeezing on her breasts and gently, so gently stroking her ass and her cunt and making her quiver with unwanted lust and desire. “There, I can feel it. You want me. You want to be overpowered and fucked like this. You're a filthy whore, just like me.”

Juliet's eyes were slits, tears forcing themselves out, her body shaking and sweating as the underling tried to work out what it was that would make her submit to him. She flailed her hands and he grabbed them, pulling one then the other behind her back.

“You don't have any more limbs to restrain me with,” she thought triumphantly. Releasing her aching cunt, he forced her to her knees, pulling on her wrists so that pain shot through her arms and into her shoulders. She tried to cry out but his fist in her mouth made her choke.

“Don't try me, slut.” A thrill of excitement ran through Juliet before she could clamp down on it and hide it from the creature. “That's what you get off on,” he said. He pushed her down into the floor, stroking her splayed ass as she choked and gagged and tried to breathe. The tone of his voice had dropped a couple of semi-tones and his low bass growl reverberated inside Juliet's bruised mind and stroked the aching walls of her conscious, rumbling quietly in a way which made her knees shake.

He had found the spot inside her that no Nipisi had touched in years.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Crawl Home, Slut


I can hear the swish of the flogger as he paces the room behind me. All I can see is the pillow crammed underneath my chin but I don't need to see him to know that he's cross. He's been cross ever since I walked through the door. He didn't speak to me as he cuffed me to the bed. Sometimes he'll let out this huff of irritation and that's all I've heard from him and now I am bored. I'm not in the mood for this but I'm the sub, not the sir. It's not my call.

The flogger lands on my bare ass with a thud and I flinch, but I don't respond. He has to hit me harder than that if he wants a reaction. He know this, and hits me again. I bury my face in the pillow and try not to think about why he's so annoyed. I know what this is about. A flurry of blows rain down on my thighs and back and I settle into the soothing warmth that accompanies the dull pain. It's not until he starts deliberately hitting me between my shoulder blades where he know it stings most that I even let on that it hurts.

“Bastard,” I say quietly. Ouch.

He pauses at my remark and swishes the flogger some more. A heavy blow lands on my ass and I yelp at the sudden shock.

“I can't believe you went to him.”

There it is. There is the source of the annoyance.

Swish. Thud.

“Did he treat you well?”

Silence.

“I asked you a question. You will answer.” I sigh into the pillow.

“No.”

“Pardon? I didn't hear you.” The anger in his voice is palpable but ineffectual. I am numb, save for the warmth of my assaulted ass and thighs.

“No sir, he didn't,” I say louder.

Swish. Thud. Yelp.

“Was he a conceited asshole, like I said?” I exhale again, breathing through my gritted teeth and drawing on the pain to try and provide feeling to my words.

“Yes, sir, he was every inch the bastard you predicted,” I say. I am impassive, no longer hurt by that knowledge. It did hurt, it hurt like fuck. But that was before. I have shut down and am no longer affected by his actions. I just left it all behind. That won't spare me the consequences though.

“And you went to him anyway.”

Silence.

“Whore.”

The flogger batters on and on relentlessly, harder and harder until I am clenching my ass to try and absorb the blows, gripping the rope with balled fists and beating my feet against the cuffs. Tears are welling up in my eyes but I shut them, determined that I will take this punishment as I should, without fuss and without tears.

“You. Deserve. Everything. You. Get.” he hisses between blows, the exertion of the beating making him pant. “You filthy whore,” he adds maliciously. I've never seen him this angry. I'm actually starting to get a little bit scared. I don't think I can take much more of this pounding but I'm too proud to use my safeword and I always have been. Today will not be the day that he bests me. Tears are streaming from my slitted eyes and I can't help but sob. I've learned my lesson.

He stops suddenly and I am stunned by the silence. It feels loud after the volume of the flogger. My body is on fire, stinging and aching and overheating. Sweat glistens on my skin. It itches but I can't get at it to wipe it away. My nose is running. My muscles slowly uncoil and I sag against the bed.

As I start to relax, I break down. I can't keep all this tension pent up inside me. It flows out of me in a rush of desperate, tired tears. I deserve everything I get, but that doesn't make it any easier to live with.

A gentle hand against my inflamed skin makes me jump. His fingers are almost painful in their softness as he massages my sore back, caresses my flushed ass, strokes my aching thighs. He draws his fingers down to my cunt, which betrays me with its wetness. He pushes two fingers inside me and draws them slowly in and out. I breathe heavily through parted lips, struggling against the pain, exhaustion and arousal. I want him. I want him to fuck me. I want him to fuck me while I'm tear-stained and broken and I will be his once more. He knows it's true. We've been here before.

Leaning down next to me, he takes his fingers out and trails them along my skin.

“You're mine,” he says. The certainty with which he says it makes me shiver. Or maybe that's the touch of his hand on my body.

He plunges his fingers back inside me roughly. I cry out.

“I fucking own you, you hear me?” He pumps my cunt a few times. “This is mine. Not yours to give to anyone else. Mine.” He grabs my hair and looks into my make up streaked face. I expect him to say something but his expression is contorted with rage. He is too angry to speak. He throws my head back onto the pillow and climbs off the bed. I hear the clink of his belt as he undoes it and pulls down his trousers. He pushes my shoulders down into the bed as he climbs on top of me once more.

“I'm glad he hurt you,” he hisses into my ear, his solid weight on my stinging flesh almost more pain than I can cope with. He is slick with sweat. It runs onto my back, cooling my skin. “Perhaps next time you'll remember who your friends are.”

Wrapping his arm under my waist, he picks me up and shoves his cock inside my sodden hole unceremoniously. He slaps my ass and I choke on a sob. This twisted tangle of pleasure and pain is my perfection. He knows that's why I do it. I do it for the thrill. He and I both knew that man would fuck me over and I would come back here desperate and beaten. But he knows that's how I want it.

“I wish he could see you now, you fucking slut.” There it is again, the anger. But he gets off on this too. He gets off on seeing me debased and berated like this.

He fucks me hard and carelessly, not interested in my enjoyment. I muffle my cries of pain. He is cementing his ownership of me, flaunting his dominance over my mind, body and emotions. I bury my head in the pillow and let him get on with it. When this is over, things will be fixed and we'll move on. Until the next time, at least...

He comes without fanfare. He's done. That's it. He strokes my hair briefly, and then he's gone. I hear the door slam as he leaves me, still cuffed to the bed. Dripping. Aching. Broken. Messy.

His.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

August Erotic Meet, Soho


There are now a number of write-ups of the Erotic Meet around the web, and you can find some of them here:

Annie
Joe/John
JoshJilly Boyd

And here's mine: It was great to see so many people, most unfamiliar but some I knew. It is a real credit to Annie that the Meet has come on such a long way since there were eight of us in a pub in May!

The new venue is fantastic, cosy but large enough, and you can actually hear yourself think. As great as everyone has said the bar staff were, I wasn't all that impressed, but that's not really important – the drinks weren't hideously expensive, so what else do you want?

Starting the evening by getting everyone to introduce themselves was an excellent idea. It's amazing to see so many different uses of erotica represented.

My most valuable conversations were with Rebecca Bond and her friend Parv, and Daniel Doherty, and were about websites. I'm still trying to work my way around hosting and HTML and how to establish a brand that truly represents me. I've been talking to a lot of people with websites - Annie built her own from scratch and Rebecca paid someone to do it for her but was very clear about she wanted. I think I'd like to build mine but know I need some help...

I would have liked to have spoken to a few more people about self-publishing and writer craft, which are my pet subjects. It is becoming apparent that the best way to get stuff out of these meets is to have some stuff you know you want to bring up but to be flexible because you never know who you're going to meet. (A particular highlight was Inky. He's a cuddly legend.) Since you're all reading this, I shall ask now: what kind of blog posts about self-publishing and writer craft are you interested in reading about? I like to talk about editing (and often lack thereof) in a general sense but I also like to use other people's work to demonstrate my opinions – is that the kind of thing that would be useful to people?

One thing did become clear – I could do with a business card. People kept asking for one. So I guess I should definitely get my website sorted out in time for the next Meet!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Review of The Sevarian Way by Justine Elyot


I was instantly caught by the cover and the blurb of this novella:

In space, no one can hear you scream, so you can spank as hard as you like.

What's not to like? The story is that of a Commander and an Ensign - who are forbidden from BDSM practises by their own culture - exploring the kinky practises of an extinct race on a deserted planet. It's a gloriously original idea, brilliantly executed.

It's refreshing to read an author that really captures the appeal of BDSM. Elyot exposes the heart of the dom/sub relationship, often leaving me with a lump in my throat as I empathised with Suka's reactions and thoughts about her experiences at the well educated and inventive hands of her Commander. There are various scenes of different kinky practises and they are realistic and engaging with a futuristic edge. I found myself getting very jealous of the characters at times – there are definitely things that go on that I'd love the chance to get a go at. I finished the story pining to be able to meet the race that the pair are exploring and experience things the way they do.

Beyond the story, what really caught me is the language. Here is an author with an extensive vocabulary, the likes of which I haven't read anywhere else in the erotic genre. Elyot proves that you can write erotica with intelligent, literary flare. I'll definitely be reading more of her work.

Conclusion: Futuristic yet realistic, with pant-moistening play, stunningly written. 4.5 out of 5 stars.

The Sevarian Way is available from Total E-Bound and Justine Elyot's website is here.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Wise Words from Around the Web

I recently discovered Keyboard Hussy and her wonderfully, refreshingly opinionated blog about her exploration into the world of self-publishing. One post in particular has really inspired me, and it's this one. In it, the author discusses the pros and cons of worrying about poor self-published authors, and concludes that she's just going to get on with her own writing, rest of us be damned. I agree that good writers will ultimately triumph over rubbish ones. I left a little comment thanking her for her thoughts and got a reply from someone else which I liked so much that I am posting it here. I'm not sure he's right about everything, but I do think what he says is quite insightful, and it's given me something to think about.

~~~~

Elenya,

“You know, your point about not caring and just getting on with writing has totally made my week. Why worry about what you can’t change when you can worry about how you’re going to one-up them all by being awesome?” (This was quoted from my comment.)

Yoda to Luke:

Control, control. You must learn control!

You’ve got it. You, and only you, control you destiny. Which doesn’t mean you shouldn’t listen to other people. You should. But you should analyze what they are saying, and what it means to you.

"You're pretty heavy for a small guy."

Take my prediction that Brick and Mortar book stores will be mostly dead by the spring of 2013. To most writers this sounds pretty scary. To me it sounds like a huge opportunity.

I write odd stuff. I’m working on a non-fiction book about agriculture in the Province of Ontario. While it’s mostly about Ontario, it will be of interest to farmers, and farm equipment fans worldwide. It’s not the sort of thing that traditional publishers would publish unless a government grant was going to cover the publishing costs. Since I’m my own publisher, and I’m publishing it as an EBook, my costs are pretty low, so I should make out by going totally electronic.

Genre fiction writers will also do well. The latest Harry Dresden book just came out. We bought the EBook version, it arrived on our IPad the morning of the release, we didn’t even have to leave the house to get it.

On June 14, 2011 I ordered David Weber’s How Firm a Foundation from Amazon. It will arrive in the Kindle App in my IPad on September 13, 2011, saving me fuel to drive to the store, time, and $13.03 in cost. Oh yeah and it weighs several pounds less. I have over 500 books on my IPad including De Bello Gallico and Other Commentaries by Julius Caesar in English and Commentarii de Bello Gallico by Julius Caesar in Latin thanks to Project Gutenberg.

So keep pushing. If my predictions are right, we are on the verge of a new age for artists (with artist being used as a word defining a creator of any sort, whether of a classical sort of artwork, i.e. painting, sculpture, stained glass, mosaic, etc., of written works, i.e. poet, fiction or non-fiction writer, of music, i.e. singer, singer/songwriter, musician, of well, just about anything that requires creativity, which is a pretty wide range of endeavour.

Of course the publishers would have you believe that we are coming upon a huge disaster. What they don’t want you to know is that out of a $10.00 EBook sold by a publisher, you will get about $1.00, while out of a $2.99 EBook sold by you directly through Amazon you will make $2.09!

Think. You would only have to sell half as many EBooks through Amazon direct to make a living as through the publisher. Another way of looking at it is that you are giving the publisher $5.98 for each EBook sold if you allow them to have EBook rights.

Do the numbers add up?

They of course will tell you that this is standard with all new contracts. You should sit back and think. If they want the rights so badly, just how valuable are they to you instead, and why shouldn’t you keep them, and tell the publisher to drop dead?

Anyway, it’s two hours past bed time, and I have some heavy duty editing to do tomorrow.

Have fun, and keep on writing. YOU are in control. Show them how good you are.

Wayne

The commenter's website is here, by the way, should you be interested in looking.

~~~

What do YOU think? Please let me know!

Monday, 15 August 2011

Thoughts on the Bristol Erotic Meet

This post originally on the fabulous Erotic Meet website.



So it turns out that local legend has it that there is real human skin on the door of The Hatchet. Many thanks to Lucy Felthouse for pointing out that slightly grim bit of history.

Annie has already done a fabulous job of summarising what went on at the recent Bristol Erotic Meet, so I shall point you at her rather than rehash what she's said. I’m just adding a few points about what I got out of the meet.

It was really great spending the evening with Annie, Erotic Moonbeam and Smut Muppet as we're all coming at erotica from different angles. I spend a lot of time thinking about writer craft and publishing these days and it was really good to discuss those themes. I imagine I shall ask the same questions at the London meet as I don't tire of talking about these subjects! We talked about other stuff too (such as website coding and honesty when reviewing work by other people) but these are the things that stood out to be as particularly interesting:

Fiction vs Real Life: A reader doesn't know whether what you're writing did or didn't happen. Which is quite freeing, as it means you can write whatever is in your head, real or otherwise.

Professionalism vs Enthusiasm
Lots of people write erotica simply because they want to, and other people write it because they want to make money out of it. There is nothing wrong with either camp, but the attitude that goes behind each camp is different. What bothers me is there is generally no way of telling between one and the other when you're buying fiction until you start reading.

I left feeling rather patted on the back in many ways. It's nice to bounce ideas off other people and find that you've been going in the right direction all along. Especially when the company is so attractive. ;)

It was really good of Annie to come all the way over for the meet and there had been a lot of interest so the number of people that turned up was a little disappointing. I guess it's still early days for the Bristol meet and I hope we'll have lots more fabulous people at the next one.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Six Sentence Sunday: 14/08/11

Ooh, I've never posted one of these before! Here are six sentences from an as yet unnamed story that I'm working on for an anthology submission:

The vodka burned as Claire swallowed but hit her system almost immediately, making her head spin. Perfect, she was drunk enough to do something ridiculous. She stood up and stalked slowly over to Nick, motioning for him to pull his chair out. Straddling his lap, she leaned back against the table so that she perched neatly on the end of his knees. Taking hold of his hands, she placed them on the top button of her blouse and bit her lip as she looked at him, willing him to take the hint.

“Claire,” said Tom threateningly from the other side of the table....

Check out the rest of the Six Sentence Sunday authors here:


Wednesday, 10 August 2011

The Rug

This is the first Wank Wednesday I've done in a while! But you know, the mood took me, and I liked the idea. The prompt this week is plum.

~~~


I’d wanted a cosy little cottage for as long as I can remember. The idyllic country lifestyle always appealed to me. When I came out to this picturesque village to visit a cousin I saw the cottage for sale and just knew I had to have it. I gave up quite a lot to move, but my work wasn't based anywhere special, so I figured I'd just go for it. Lost a boyfriend of three years in the process but at least I realised what an ass he was. So I was alone, but I was happy. Better that than with someone and unhappy, right?

Sometimes I still can't honestly believe the place is mine. It has all the period features you'd expect – visible low slung beams and a cute little kitchen and a massive fireplace. The fireplace is my favourite bit. I furnished the slightly threadbare cream carpet with a luscious fluffy plum-coloured rug I found at a local antique market. Something about that deep shape of purple just makes me feel sensual and relaxed. My evening routine fast became lazing about in front of a blazing fire, just me and a glass of wine and some Bob Dylan on the record player. I would snuggle up on the rug and gaze up at the beams and I blush to say there was a little bit of self love too.

After a few months though, I was bored. I found it difficult to meet new people and make friends. All the decent men were clearly already happily married, living their own idyllic countryside dreams with 2.4 children. I absorbed myself more in my work in order to forget how miserable I was becoming. One night after I’d worked much too hard and drunk one too many glasses of red I dozed off in front of the fire.

I woke up suddenly with that strange sense of someone else in the room that you can never quite explain. I just knew there was someone there. My eyes adjusted to the darkness of the room as I sat up and there she was, sprawled on the other end of the rug like a cat, watching me with lazy eyes.

“Who are you?” I spluttered, foggy with sleep and confused as heck as to where this stranger had suddenly appeared from.

“Ssh,” she said quietly, “just relax.” I was too stunned to reply as she raised herself up onto her arms and crawled across the floor towards me, her curvaceous ass swinging behind her. She was dark skinned with long curls which spilled around her shoulders and over her chest. Her eyes gleamed in the darkness. Her grin could only be described as seductive.

“I don't understand,” I said feebly, wondering what on earth she thought she was doing. The way that she climbed on top of me as I lay on the rug spoke volumes about her intentions. “I don't swing that way,” I added, wondering if that would make her stop. I’m not into girls, I never have been...

“Why are you so wet then?” she asked innocently as she unbuttoned my trousers and wriggled them down my hips.

“I'm not,” I began, but her fingers dipped into my pussy then and it was apparent that I was wet. Incredibly wet. Uncomfortably wet. I moaned as she thrust one, then two fingers inside my sodden hole and slowly drew them in and out. My brain tried to wonder how I could be so turned on but was distracted by the wondrous sensation of her soft fingers splaying inside me, reaching up to hit my g spot in a way my boyfriend had never quite managed. She withdrew her fingers and sucked them thoughtfully as a I pined for her touch once more.

“I still don't get it,” I said. The woman said nothing, just pulled my trousers and then my pants off as I wondered if I should do something or stop her or start screaming because there was not only a stranger in my house but one that seemed intent on fucking me, despite my not having any lesbian tendencies.

“That's okay,” she said, “because I intend to give it to you.” She pulled my legs apart and crouched down between them, trailing her damp fingers up my bare thighs and making me sigh contentedly. “Mmm, you do have a beautiful pussy,” she remarked, before thrusting her fingers back inside me as she bent down to take my clit in her mouth. I was entranced by the sight of her ass waving in the air as she sucked and nibbled at my trembling bud. Unsure what else I could do, I lay back and gave in as she worked away at me, building me up until I crashed into an orgasm so wonderful and so satisfying that tears were streaming down my face by the time I'd finished. I looked up to ask again who she was but she'd disappeared.

I woke up again then, even more confused than the first time. My cunt ached. Dream orgasms weren't so unusual but when I sat up I realised that my trousers and pants were discarded on the rug, exactly where the woman had left them. I rubbed my eyes and took myself to bed, convinced that I must have dreamed the curious incident.

She visited me twice more that week, each time when I fell asleep on the rug, never when I dozed off in the arm chair or when I collapsed into bed, exhausted by the sex workouts that she was giving me. Each time she explored my body further, taking me to the precipice of sheer bliss and disappearing when I cascaded into climax after earth-shattering climax. The second week she came I tried again to tell her that I was straight but my the time she'd done with me I had rescinded the statement. Never before had my body been treated the way she treated it. I spent my days in a bleary haze, wondering how to make her visit me again. I started to wonder if I could do the things to her that she was doing to me but she never hung around long enough to ask. After three weeks of all-consuming lust I realised I needed to find out what was going on. I took myself off to the market where I'd bought the rug, wondering if there was something I should know about

When I got to the market I realised how ridiculous the idea was. Did I think the rug was possessed or haunted or something? Could I really just come out with such a stupid question? I was still quite new here and it was a small village. Word would get around that I was crazy and nobody would talk to me. I made my way to the stall pensively, no idea what I would say when I got there. I quickly tried to come up with some excuse for coming back. Perhaps I wanted something else the stall holder had to offer.

As I weakly attempted to make conversation with the kindly older lady that had sold me the rug, I noticed an ass bent over some boxes in the corner of the stall. I would have recognised that ass anywhere; it was the one that haunted my every waking moment and dominated my dreaming ones. As the owner of the ass stood up my mouth fell open in shock. It was her. The woman that had ruined me for men with her wicked mouth and prying fingers. Long curls of hair bounced down her back and her eyes were as shiny and bright as I remembered. I stared at her dumbfounded as she handed something casually to the stall holder, barely giving me a moments notice.

“Is this it, mum?” she asked. The lady smiled and took in my expression.

“This is my daughter,” she said, introducing us. The daughter smiled and said hello. She didn't seem to have any idea who I was. I was inwardly gutted. I'd come here looking for an answer and still didn't seem to have one. I was about to turn and leave when the stall holder was called to another customer and the girl grinned at me knowingly, that wicked gleam in her eye that made me instantly wet. It was a sign. It had to be. I took the plunge.

“Would you like to go for a drink sometime?” I asked. Perhaps this was social suicide, perhaps not. It had to be worth a shot. The girl looked at me for a few moments more and then chuckled softly.

“What if I don't swing that way?” she said playfully.

“I used to think that,” I said. “But give me a try. You never know.”

“Sure,” she said with a wink, “you just never know.”


Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Bathtime: An Ode to my Fishie

'Sup?

This is a little bit daft, but I enjoyed it. It's been ages since I wrote longhand, so I got out my favourite pen and a notepad I like and out tumbled this little story:

~~~

I’m luxuriating in the bath. The water is so hot I can only just about sit in it comfortably and full of bubbles. Steam wafts gently towards the ceiling and I am surrounded by blissful peace and quiet.

I reach for my fishie vibrator for some hard earned me-time. He looks a little bit odd – big googly eyes and orange and yellow flame motif – but to me, he's perfect. He's mine. I switch him on and watch him float. He emits a soft buzz and sends little ripples out across the surface of the water. My clit throbs slightly in anticipation.

I like being called a slut and a whore but not all the time. My fishie doesn't call me names or demand anything of me. I can think about whoever I want. I don't have to worry which name I moan. Fishie just vibrates away quietly and non-judgementally as I fantasise about two to three different guys and the odd girl, my imagination flipping easily between them, their hands and mouths and cocks all utilised for my pleasure, and mine alone.

That big googly eye presses deliciously against my clit. I tingle with warmth and delight as I massage over and around, as slowly or as quickly as I like. I pinch my nipples and think about my bloke, lapping his tongue against my hard, tingling bud. I press the long thin slat of the fishie's tail just inside my cunt and think about a guy I want to fuck, imagine him lazily stroking his cock against my entrance, at my beck and call rather than my submissive self at his. I spread my lips with my fingers to push the almost silent vibrator harder against the knot of inflamed nerves. Gratification fans out into my stomach and thighs and I press my legs against the sides of the bath, each new sensation as pleasing as the last.

Sweat is dripping down my forehead and landing on my bare chest. I feel each trickle running down my face and remember passionate, sweaty sex, the feel of sweat dripping from am exuberant lover. This is where I get to relive each moment, flicking through them at my choosing. I can take the awkward moments that I would rather forget and twist them into glorious experiences that I never want to end. My fishie doesn't ask me how I want it, he just smiles as I flip him over, the hard edge of his tail digging into my throbbing clit, urging me towards my climax. I add fingers to ease myself slowly, teasingly over the brink into a warm, decadent orgasm, taking my time to savour the waves of easy pleasure that rush over me. Only when I’m alone do I get these relaxed, lazy orgasms, which is part of what makes them so special.

I shiver despite the heat of the water and revel in the gentle throb of my pussy as I let my fishie float to the top of the bath. He bobs about, as happy as I am, ready to go again but equally pleased if I decide I’m done. I switch him off and put him back and I can just sit and wallow in my bath, no need to clean up or make small talk. I don't need to analyse my performance or his. I can just be. My fishie is an unconditional, exquisite lover. My next bath could be tomorrow, or it could be months away. But fishie will be there, patiently waiting for the next time I decide I want some me-time.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Sub Face

I'm apparently on holiday. I'm not good at taking holidays. I find it a bit difficult to slow down. I've been a very busy person for as long as I can remember. I always have to be doing something. My leisure time especially is usually spent doing something I consider "constructive." Even if I sit and watch TV I like to scrapbook or sew. If I'm talking to someone, I fidget with things. It's like there is a part of my brain which needs to be occupied constantly in order for the rest of me to function.

BDSM has been a bit of a revelation to me in some respects. Whilst I get a sexual kick out of playing, the main benefit is that of incapacitating me. The first time my husband and a playmate tied me up they went off to make dinner without me and I nearly freaked out because I couldn't do anything to help. Now, you tie me up and I realise I can't do anything and my brain just... shuts down. It's a bit miraculous. So, forgive me if this a bit of an odd holiday past time, but I spent much of yesterday like this:

"I know you've got a camera there... oh, fuck it."

Of course, two blokes and an incapacitated me leads to other things, but that's a story for another day....

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Lessons in "Oh." (A Review)

I bought “Lessons in 'O' : Deep Throating /Oral Sex / Three Some/ Lesbian” by Gemma Parkes from the Amazon.co.uk Kindle store because Parkes tweeted that it is number 17 in Best Female Erotica 2011 list and I presumed this was based on sales. I realise now it was just a list by someone on Amazon. A lesson for me in more careful purchasing. There aren't any reviews for this particular piece but there are reviews of other works by same author and they're generally quite good so I presumed this would be alright.

I bought it, despite the fact that the tag words are in the title, and “threesome” is left as two words rather than combined into one. I bought it despite there being no front cover, so to speak, just a slightly odd CGI image of a pair of lips which looks like it wasn't actually rendered, it was lifted straight from a work in progress on a 3D modelling package.

My second impression was about as great as my first. The formatting was annoying – I had to turn the font size down because it was enormous. There are no proper line breaks or tabs for new paragraphs. There's a serious lack of punctuation right from the off. I was at this point feeling distinctly disappointed. I make no secret that I've not read a lot of erotica lately that I've enjoyed, but I still wilt a little when I try someone new that doesn't raise my expectations. Looking over the comments I've written already I'm wondering why I still went ahead and I bought it. I didn't want (perhaps unwisely) to judge the book by it's cover.

The premise is... bizarre (slightly creepy, I thought), but gets points for being original. Ellie's guy would like her to read his ex-girlfriend's book about oral sex in order to become better at it. Being a good girlfriend, Ellie does try it – and then invites the author/ex-girlfriend over, and lesbian antics ensue.

There's a lot of quite well written sex and it's quite light hearted, but that was about it, really. The dialogue is very clunky and made me cringe more often than relate to the characters. The ex-girlfriend is painted as intensely irritating (and a bit mentally imbalanced, if I'm honest) and I found myself wondering what Ellie was doing with her. There was no “Three Some”. Overall I felt it was confused, with the issues overshadowing the occasional glimpses of potential brilliance. Nothing that a few solid edits couldn't fix, perhaps, but not ready to be in the Kindle store yet, even at £0.86.

Conclusion: Not without merit, but not worth paying for. 2 out of 5 stars.

In the interest of constructive criticism, here are some (hopefully) helpful comments:

  • First impressions are incredibly important. It's unfortunate that many readers will judge your book by it's cover but it's the truth. Make sure that your work looks professional from the outside.
  • Please, please, PLEASE get someone with a decent grasp of grammar to check over your work before you publish it.
  • Check that your work is properly formatted for the medium you're selling it for. If you don't have a Kindle, find someone who does. Your reader will thank you.
  • I don't like to judge an author based on one piece of work, but many readers will do just that. You could be selling hundreds of other stories but work like this may well be putting off many more “come back” readers that you would otherwise be attracting. It pays to get it right all the time. This leads me to....
  • ...if you go back to a story like this and realise that it is letting your other work down, take it out of circulation and fix it. Don't just leave it there like a bad smell.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

No More Mrs Nice Reviewer

Last week I wrote a blog post about editing. I was very nice in it and only named one author that had pissed me off. I was extremely tactful even though I was so angry that I actually had to stop reading for a bit the other night because everywhere I looked I saw spelling mistakes and I could barely see the rest of the story.

Since then, I've thought a lot about how tactful I should be when reviewing others work. At first I thought I would just not mention shoddy work, as it seemed unkind to name and shame people. I wondered how to tell an author tactfully that their work isn't great. Then I read something very interesting in a book. It paraphrases to this: by putting your work up for sale, you are saying that you as the writer and editor of your writing have decided that it is fit for public consumption. This means that you aren't asking me for my critique as a writer, you are asking for my money and my opinion as a reader. I have limited time and money to spend reading, so I feel that what I'm reading should be worth it. I could point out that I also have a desire to let other readers know when something isn't worth paying for, but that is a minor part. It would be hypocritical to let you assume I'm that altruistic. I have a lot of opinions as a reader, and I'm about to start expressing them.

Oh, I am so talking to you.

Yesterday I bought a story from the Kindle store. I read it, despaired of it, and asked for a refund. I'll be damned if I'm giving any more of my money or time to poor work without expressing my opinion about it from here on in. I am done with paying for work that isn't finished.

I'm no longer afraid to say what I want to say about writing I don't enjoy. I don't owe you constructive criticism, self-published author. Since you've already published you're basically telling me you don't need it. So you'd better get used to the idea of people telling you your writing sucks, because that's what it'll come down to if it's not a polished product when you put it up for sale.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Nosce te ipsum

If I ever get a tattoo, I think it might be this one.

“Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster.” ~ Sun Tzu

This past week I've written thousands and thousands of words. None of them have been fiction. Not all of them have been on my own page either – they have been through twitter, in comments on blogs, via MSN and text messages. I've spoken to a lot of people and written about that too.

There have been many, many words about editing (and lack thereof) and if and how that affects quality of content. I have considered where inspiration comes from – how do you write realistic erotica straight from fantasy? How do you inject fantasy into real events to make them fiction? How do you write a first draft without getting stuck? How do you do anything without getting writers block somewhere?

I have thought about the background of various prolific authors and the demographic to which they appeal. I have wondered why these authors are doing so well when I don't think their content is particularly good and I haven't enjoyed it much. By extension I have considered which demographic I am a part of, since it isn't theirs. I have begun to think about how to differentiate between “erotica” and “vapid romances with explicit sex”. I've pondered how one would set up a classification system for different themes in erotica in order to find the stuff that I'm going to enjoy, as my pot luck approach is not serving me well.

I've discussed erotica as a genre and its place in the wider world of fiction. I've thought about how it is presented to outsiders and considered that in order to be taken seriously, something has to give. I have wondered how to give erotica as a genre the stamp of professionalism which will make it comparable to other genres of writing, but which many erotica publishers don't appear to consider important.

Moving that discussion along, I've looked at self-publishing. If you can't trust a publishing house, how and why do you publish yourself? I have worried about how I am going to make a name for myself as writer when there is so much shit out there putting people off trying indie authors. Should I be concerned about them? Is there something that I can do to change the status quo?

There are so, so many opinions and suggestions about all these subjects. I have considered how to express my own opinion without burning bridges with the writers that I should be impressing in order to market my own work. Can you be really, truly honest without pissing people off? What if you're scaring off people that would read your published work if you weren't criticising other authors they really enjoyed? I have been advised to be completely honest rather than dumbing down my opinion. I have been thanked for my honesty but then removed a tweet in which I criticised somebody's work because I was concerned I'd upset the author. I've stopped myself saying a whole number of things that I feel very strongly about but which I feel aren't beneficial to express.

To return to the quote at the beginning of this post, I realise that writing is not really an enemy. I do, however think that in order to succeed at anything, it is vital to know what you are up against. I'm sorry if I haven't come across coherently as I would like. I've tried to condense a whole lot of thoughts into a much shorter space. I have barely scratched the surface of this art but I already feel I've learned a lot. I'm beginning to understand myself not only as a writer but also as a reader. (Don't ignore readers – without readers there would be no writers.) Most importantly though, I think I'm beginning to understand my place in this industry of writing. I have a plan, of sorts.

I also have a whole lot of thoughts and opinions, and you can bet your ass I'm going to share them with you. And I'd really love you to share your thoughts and opinions with me. We are, after all, all in this together, are we not?

Monday, 25 July 2011

On Editing (Or Not)

As a disclaimer: I don't really want to offend or upset anyone with this blog, but given the perhaps sensitive nature of the content, I guess it might be taken as a personal dig at various people. It's really not. Also, I appreciate I’m setting myself up to be a hypocrite. I’m not perfect and neither is anyone else and that's not the end of the world. I’m mainly asking for a bit more vigilance on this matter.

I’ve just sat down to write a review of Alice by Selena Kitt, and you know what? I can only think about one thing. A characters name is misspelled twice on page one. This was at first confusing, and then so annoying I nearly stopped reading the story there and then. How could someone have published something with such an obvious mistake so early on? I had however paid for it, and it seemed a waste of my money to stop reading it, so I persevered. My expectations of the rest of the story has bottomed out. I thought “if she can't spend the time making sure her characters names are spelled right, why should I assume she expended any effort making sure the story is any good, or the grammar is understandable?”

See, you laughed at that, didn't you?

In fairness to Ms Kitt, Alice is an excellent story once I got beyond that, and I promise not to overdo this gripe again in my review. But the point stands that rather than going on and on about great the story is, I’m sat here ranting about the spelling. Is that really what you want your work to be remembered for?

I’ve come across a lot of poor editing in recent months, and it's really starting to get to me. Before I read erotica I think perhaps I took editing for granted. You'd come across the odd misspelled word in a book and it'd be funny. But since I began to read erotica, I routinely come across sentences that don't make sense, words spelled incorrectly, and grammar in all the wrong places.

Admittedly, most of the erotica that I read is free, and the quality varies wildly, which is what I expect of self-published fiction and is probably one of the reasons why self publishing is prone to bad press. Lately though, I’ve been buying more erotica from seemingly reputable publishing houses and I’m astounded to find that the issues persist there. It's making it very difficult to know what is and isn't worth buying. Slowly but surely, I am losing my faith in published erotica as a genre worth taking seriously. And that makes me very sad, because I like to think I’m good at what I do and I wouldn't want someone else to dismiss my work off-hand because they'd had bad experiences with other pieces of fiction.

Will somebody please think of the children?!

My most serious issue is with authors that charge for their work because they truly have no excuse. I think it's demeaning to your readers to expect them to pay for mistakes that you could easily have fixed. However, to authors that put their work out for free I say: don't do yourself down by failing to edit properly. Not charging for your work is a poor reason to put out any old rubbish. I recently read a story with a friend of mine which would have been average if it had been edited for grammar and misspellings, but which was truly dismal because the incorrect punctuation made a number of sentences almost unintelligible. Thankfully, we laughed our asses of so it wasn't a wasted time, but I feel for the author as I seriously doubt it was her intention that we mock her story rather than enjoy it. I read a free story by another author which was quite good for content but poor on grammar and I’ve been seriously put off looking at the work they have for sale because I have no reason to expect it's any different.

Perhaps this is a bee in my bonnet because I am a writer and spending my time nit picking my own grammar and spelling is what I'd ultimately like to be paid to do. If, however, this is as widespread an issue as it seems to be, then people need to be standing up and complaining about it until things begin to change. Lets not allow the poor editing of some to ruin the reputation of everyone out there that is writing genuinely fantastic erotica.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

My Very First Submission

Hooray!

I have done it. I have submitted my first piece.

It has been an impressive journey to here already. It began in November when I wrote Need, and stepped up a notch in January when I began this blog. The Erotic Meet in London in May further spurred me on to believe in myself and to try and put my stuff out there. I thought I'd get here quicker, honestly, but I'm still a beginner so I'm trying to be patient with myself.

I worried and worried over this piece. I love it, don't get me wrong, but editing and re-drafting and reading it to other people and hearing back that I wrote naval when I meant navel... Well. It has been quite an experience! But the first of many, I hope. This is only the beginning, obviously. I won't know for a while yet if the piece has been accepted, and even if I'm lucky then the publishing is still a way off too, but it has begun.

*pats self on back* Well done, me. :) And thank you all for being here for me and encouraging me. And helping me with this piece and telling me it doesn't suck.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Things I've Learned From Being a Lousy Full Time Writer

Some of you will know that I was made redundant at the end of May, and that I'm going back to university in October. This has left me with a big time gap, and rather than try to get another job, I decided that I wanted to spend the time writing. Writing full time is one of my pipe dreams, and I was looking forward to devoting some time to honing my craft and (hopefully) making a little money.

I was all fired up and excited about getting to spend more time writing, and yet the amount of writing I'm doing doesn't seem to be much greater than it was when I had a full time job. I've achieved some things I'm very proud of, but I'm disappointed that I haven't managed more. I have learned some stuff though, and I thought I'd put down a few of the things I've picked up. (Mainly to remind myself, actually.) Here they are, in no particular order. (I'd like to point out that some of these are not original. I have plagiarised from things I've read, but in a roundabout fashion rather than a quoting word for word. Sorry I can't remember who half of them are.)


Why does anyone do this?

1. Set Targets

I thought about setting myself targets - get a book finished, write 10 short stories, write at least 5000 words a week, that kind of thing. I then didn't set targets. Mistake. My biggest achievement thus far is finishing my first novel, which I managed by setting myself the target of finishing it in June. If I had set more goals, I would have managed more before then.

2. Turn Off Twitter

I can waste hours on social networking, and MSN, and texting, and petting this kitten. In fact, I very rarely achieve anything in a reasonable length of time if I don't turn it all off and make myself ignore all those distractions.

3. Have a Plan

Still learning this one - I'm reading Nail Your Novel by Roz Morris, which I wholeheartedly recommend. It's about making your writing life easier by planning and editing in a controlled fashion. In the last two days I've written 6000 words - basically more than I've managed since last November - because I'm working to a plan of how the story is going to go. I wouldn't say it's actually easy, but it's certainly much easier than anything else I've written for a while.

4. Find Encouraging Friends

Finishing my first novel has been an epic battle. I've been writing for years and yet until last month, I'd never finished a novel. I'm convinced the key to my success is a good friend of mine who poked me every Thursday, week after week, and said "finish your novel." If I ever get it published, I'm dedicating it to him. People who make you write when you don't want to and tell you that you're awesome when you're convinced you suck are a Godsend.

5. Chill Out

Almost as much as under-thinking stuff, I tend to over-think things. I get so wound up in a scene that I will swear at it for hours and not put words down. They just stick in my head and won't go to my fingers. Stop for a bit. Make some tea. Go for a walk. When I've untied all the knots in my head it's much easier to go back and finish something.

6. Get On With It

I don't care that it's hard. Just finish the damn thing, will you? It won't write itself if you sit and complain. Sometimes I just have to sit and slog through something. I hate every word and every minute, but the writing gets done. And it's not usually all that bad, either.

7. Choose Your Battles

Initially I found that I had so many ideas that I couldn't focus on one to write it. I had loads I could think of, but I wasn't achieving anything. Now I have a board on my wall. It has notes on all the things I want to do. I put one or two in the WIP column and try and forget about the rest.

8. Always Carry a Pen

The number of times I've been struck by inspiration at the gym and not been able to write it down and then I've forgotten it. Damn, that's frustrating. Now I have a pad and a pen. I make notes everywhere. They're very useful.

9. Read About Writing

Not more than you write, obviously, but reading about editing and how to structure my time and how to improve my output is already making me a much more effective writer. I've got a long way to go before I'm turning a profit, but I can see the standard of my work has gone up, even in a few months.

10. Try Anything Once

Ah, it always comes down to this. My little mantra for life serves me so well on so many levels... As much I hate the idea of properly writing a plan, or writing in 25 minute stints and taking a break, I've found they really help. I thought being a writer was this fantastic, whimsical thing where I get to do what I like, and it's not. It's bloody hard work. And I'm still not working nearly as hard as I need/want to be. But everything I try makes me a better writer. And it's not all completely unenjoyable. As in everything in life, there are bits I enjoy, and bits I don't. I bet I've barely even started. I've made positive steps though, and when I go back into full time work in October, I know that these things I've learned now will help to output more and better quality writing than I was before. :)

Gosh, this is a long post. Well done if you made it this far. Have a small, slightly green looking monkey. I'm sure he's very friendly. :)


Wednesday, 6 July 2011

An Odd Pair, Part 2

Continued from Part 1.

~~~

“Fuck me?” I ask, knowing that you will say no, and that you will satisfy me and yet still leave me wanting. Your every move seems calculated to make me want you more, to make me unable to forget you when we are apart. I sigh as you grin and shake your head, renewing your assault on my throbbing clit. I reach down and undo the buttons on your trousers, wondering if I can somehow convince you otherwise. With my hands around your hard shaft I am unmade, incoherent with desire, and any thoughts of talk dissolve as you work my cunt with deft fingers, dipping in and out of my hole until I want to scream with the need to feel you inside me.

“Please,” I breathe hoarsely, and your fingers probe deeper, sending my over-worked imagination into paroxysms of lust. It is all I can do not to draw your naked cock inside me but I know that you will withdraw and I could not face feeling you inside me and then not getting to experience your climax. No, I realise, I will have to let you have your wicked way with me and then I will come back, again and again until you relent. Therein lies the draw, and the reason why you have such a profound effect on my desire.

You are biting your tongue and grinning wickedly, and I resist the urge to ask you if you find this funny, but my legs are buckling beneath me as I feel my orgasm beginning to build, a heat which spreads through my stomach and my thighs as if to consume me from the inside out. I shift my ass onto the counter behind me so that I can wrap my legs around you, and you pull me roughly towards you, kissing me again and again until I don't think I can breathe and I’m not sure I need to. I am high, my head light and swimming, my brain unable to think of anything more than the fire trying to break loose in my sex.

I am still holding your cock and you rock forward and backwards so that I can feel your hardness, each ripple and throb pulsing through your length transmitted to my fingers as if magnified a hundred times. You are breathing heavily, and I am pleased that I have at last forced your reaction.

“Please fuck me,” I whisper again, although I do not expect an answer.

“Perhaps,” you say quietly, “if you're a good girl.”

The heat with which you drip the words rolls over my skin and I moan, knowing that I cannot hold off coming much longer. You are massaging quicker and quicker circles over my button, but the fingers inside me are still slow and lazy, taking time to explore and stroke each nerve ending of my sodden cunt until I want to beg you to stop because the pleasure is too much, and I don't know how much more I can take.

“Are you a good girl?” you ask quietly, and that tips me over the edge, and I scream as my whole body jerks violently in ecstasy, wave after to wave of release flooding over and through me, all the way to my fingers and my toes. Sounds escape my lips, sounds of delight and pride and surprise. My hands around your cock fall slack and you pull me closer into you, massaging my back with one hand as the other rests on my throbbing clit. I am almost choking as my heartbeat pounds in my chest. My skin is tingling and my brain has gone numb. Sensory overload, I decide.

When my breathing has almost returned to normal, you wrap your hand around mine, your cock still between my fingers, and gently rub up and down. You are still hard, and I like it. My insatiable lust for you begins to whisper quiet, dirty thoughts to me, even as my body begs for mercy.

“I'd say you've been a very good girl,” you whisper with a sly smile.

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