July 02, 2015
About six months ago, I revealed this plan to showcase authors I've had the honor and pleasure of working with over the past twenty-mumble-whisper years. I'm not 100% sure how many stories each book will have. Six? Seven? Ten?
My proposed format is to write a little intro about each story. Why I chose the piece. How it resonates with me. And a little foreword about each author's unique and sultry style.
Honestly, I don't know if there is a market for single-author collections compiled in this manner, but I'm hopeful. Because I have a lot on my plate right now, my goal is to release the books on Valentine's Day. (At least some of them.) But I will be showcasing different covers and authors as I move forward.
The photo is by Riendo.
Authors I'd love to, well, love include (in no particular order):
• Sommer Marsden
• Sophia Valenti
• Angell Brooks
• Thomas Roche
• Andrea Dale
• Heidi Champa
• Cheyenne Blue
• Shanna Germain
• Nikki Magennis
• Donna George Storey
• Dante Davidson
It's always dangerous to make a list. I'm sure I'm leaving people out. But this is a work in progress. Stay tuned for more info as I hone the concept. And let me know what you think.
P.S. To the many authors who are waiting for word from me about the books I have in the wings... I'm sorry. I still do not have any news to share, but I promise to be in touch as soon as I do. These things are out of my hands.
July 01, 2015
So I fucking love this quote. I'd never heard it before. The image is courtesy of WhiteCellarDoor on ETSY. Check out the site for clever, witty and surprising quotations.
This quote is perfect in so many ways.
And it's something I need to remember.
When I first started writing erotica, the market was miniscule. There were only a handful of places that would even consider publishing racy stories. There was no internet the way it stands today. Saying you wrote erotica was like admitting you were dirty. In a bad way. Some people were horrified. Some were curious yet judgmental. Some asked when I was going to write something for real or write something good.
The truth is that I've always written for multiple genres. One of my earliest ghostwriting jobs was in horror. (It was literally a ghost-writing job!) I've written for mainstream magazines, newspapers, travel sites. And when I started penning porn, I didn't actually understand the genres. That if you wrote romance, there was a whole section waiting for you at the bookstore. But if you wrote smut, you might find yourself on a sexuality shelf, maybe. If you were lucky.
One of the best things about the revolution in publishing (and there's one going on)—is that you can write in whatever style you like. You can make up a new genre. And there's a place for your work. I don't mean to sound like a Pollyanna. (I had to look that up!) But it's the truth.
Even more exciting, you can connect with people who want to read your work. How cool is that?
Yesterday, Sophia Valenti said: Writing is such a solitary experience; you have to work on what brings you joy.
And Delilah Night said: Last week I finally picked up the proverbial pen. Yesterday I sent out the story to betas. Bc who doesn't like shapeshifting reindeer?
Where we are is new. How it will end up, nobody knows. But these are the facts: you can write your words and you can publish your books. (I am working on a 100% totally free guide to self-publishing right now that I hope to have up shortly.) There are so many possibilities for how you share your work.
And to any naysayers? Just tell them you're a peach.
June 30, 2015
This piece was originally published on my blog in 2007, I think. Then revised for a short story and re-revised for a novel. Apparently, I like to work my words hard. Currently, I'm slamming myself against a new novel, a novella, a collection of shorts, and (for some unknown reason) I'm mining through a shifter book I started in the 90s. 240 pages of something—horror erotica?—inspired by Kafka's Metamorphosis and a frenemy. It's a bit of a relief to know that yes, I actually can reach the finish line with some projects!
Safe contains one of my all-time favorite scenes. Picture above is by Riendo.
By the time we got to the club, I was shaking with nerves. Jack didn’t seem to notice. He paid the cabdriver, but didn’t lead me to the glossy red front door of the building. Instead, he ushered me around the corner, into the mouth of a dark alley, and pulled something unexpected out of his pocket.
“Put these on.”
They were panties, ruffled black satin panties with full coverage front and rear. I didn’t understand, but I didn’t hesitate. Jack held me steady while I stepped into the knickers and slid them up under my tightest of dresses. I don’t know why I was always so many steps behind Jack, or why I could never see the full picture. Because as soon as we entered the club, he herded me to a coat check corner, unzipped my dress with one quick tug, and handed the shiny sheath to the pretty dreadlocked woman running the booth.
I’d thought the panties were to make me feel more comfortable, less exposed. In a way, they were. I’d probably have hidden under a chair if Jack had made me walk around entirely naked. But I wasn’t so far from it. I crossed my hands over my breasts, and Jack, grinning at me, pulled my hands down to my sides and relieved me of the nipple clamps he’d attached back at the hotel. Then he handed me a bra that matched the panties.
It was as if I were in one of those dreams where you find yourself naked in a store window, and people point at you and stare. No, I wasn’t naked, but the bra and panty set didn’t provide me nearly as much coverage as I would have liked.
“You’ll feel better like this, won’t you?” he asked, as if he only had my best interest at heart.
Before I could answer, Jack had moved on, now fastening that hateful leash to my collar, giving the coat-check girl a wink and dragging me along on tottering heels behind him.
The crowd was made up of a mélange of hipsters: young, dressed in dark colors, all looking as if you could cast them in an ad for some cool new vodka. When I looked around the room, I realized that Jack was the most out of place. He was older than many of the patrons by a good two decades, and he had on his simple expensive black attire. No rubber or vinyl or netting for Jack. But he moved as if he owned the place, his confidence so obvious, so attractive, that I knew when people stared at him it was in awe or lust, not condescension. He let the leash hang between the two of us, not keeping me tight at his side, but I worked to stay close by. I didn’t want to be caught up, twisted around other people. I wanted to be next to my man.
Jack didn’t spare me a glance; he simply led me through the crowd to a corner of the room where a long, leather bench ran the length in both directions. I didn’t have to be told not to sit at his side. I sat on the floor, my knees beneath me, my back arched, and Jack put one hand on my head, kindly stroking my hair, as if I truly had become his pet.
The music was loud, and the room was warm from all the dancing bodies, but as I looked around, I realized that I fit in. There were others in similar attire to my own, or lack of attire. I saw collars and cuffs, a variety of toys on display. And I felt myself start to relax.
Jack was hardwired into my emotions. How else would he know to act as soon as I began to feel comfortable? How else would he understand just when to strike in order to keep me off balance?
He bent down to whisper into my ear, “Choose your safeword.”
This wasn’t anything we’d talked about before. Jack read me so well that I put my trust totally in him. I didn’t ever think I’d want him to stop before he was ready. “It can’t be no,” he continued, “because sometimes no doesn’t mean no.”
I nodded, swallowing hard.
“It can’t be please, or stop, or anything that might come to your lips accidentally. You have to think of a special word, and then you have to tell it…”
Of course, I thought he was going to say “to me.” What other words would complete that sentence? But Jack was different. Jack was always three long strides ahead of me.
“You have to tell it to him….”
Jack motioned to a man standing nearby. Someone I hadn’t even noticed yet, my eyes busy roaming the crowd, looking for like-minded subs. This man was dressed for the part of the Dom. Leather pants. Tight black shirt. And a crop in one hand.
Did he know Jack?
Were they friends?
My mind raced faster than ever, whirling with possibilities. Jack owned a place in New York. I knew that. But I hadn’t considered that might mean he was a regular at clubs like this, clubs that catered to the darkest of sexual fantasies.
“Go on, now,” Jack hissed, tossing the handle of the leash to the man. “Make sure you tell him, kid. He won’t stop otherwise.”
Oh God… Oh, my fucking God…
Had I thought Jack was kind by giving me panties to wear? Had I thought he was being considerate by taking off those painful clamps and providing me with a bra? There was nothing kind in his blue eyes now. There was nothing considerate at all in his expression. It was as if he were a stranger.
The man tugged on the leash, and I felt my heart stop. The collar was pulled tight on my neck, and I had no choice but to stand and follow or be dragged along behind. But dragged where? I turned my head, looking at Jack, pleading with my eyes, and felt a fresh wave of ice-cold panic when I realized he wasn’t even paying attention. Was he not going with me? Was he not going to come?
I wondered suddenly if this was another test. Should I now refuse to let this man, this Dom, whip me, even if that was what Jack wanted?
I tugged back on the leash, using both hands, and the Dom stopped and turned, and I saw a smile on his face that I was entirely unprepared for. He came close and bent down low. “Spunk,” he said. “I like that. So many subs just come along willingly, no heart at all.” His grip was like iron as he brought my wrists down from the leash and captured them easily behind my back. I was wrong to think that Jack wasn’t paying attention, because suddenly he was behind me, a set of cuffs in hand, locking my wrists into place, making struggling that much more difficult.
Still, I wasn’t ready… I pressed back against Jack, pushing my body into his. I turned my head to look over my shoulder, meeting his eyes.
“Go, baby. Follow him.” His expression was fierce.
“I will,” I said, my voice shaking, “If you want me to. But I need to know…”
He put up a hand, stopping the Dom from moving, and he turned me around to face him.
“You need to know what?”
I didn’t know how to phrase it. If this were a test, then I should be smart enough to figure it out for myself. But was the test whether I’d let another man punish me? Or was it whether I’d refuse, dig in my heels and let all hell break loose? My heart sank. I couldn’t read Jack’s eyes. In total desperation, I went on my knees once more, not knowing what else to do. I wanted to curl up into a ball. I wanted to have a safeword to say to Jack, so that he would let me know the answers to all my questions. To my undeniable relief, Jack bent down with me, in order to hear my voice, begging now, unsure, scared.
He stroked my hair. He lifted my chin.
“Are you disobeying me?” His eyes were warm now, but his voice was cold.
I shook my head.
“Go with him. I want to see what you look like when another man whips you. I want to watch. Do you understand that?”
Now, I nodded.
“Will you do this for me?”
I nodded again, and I let myself be brought back to standing, let the man lead me to another room, understanding that Jack would be close by. That this was what he desired.
It was all I needed to know.
Jack followed after us. I was secure in the knowledge of his presence. Maybe he would punish me later for this scene that was about to play out, but not because I had failed a test. Simply because punishing me made Jack hard.
The Dom never told me his name, hardly spoke to me at all. He bound me in place in one of the back rooms, and then told me to address him as Master.
“Do you understand?”
“Yes, Master.” It sounded phony to me. A game. A play. Jack was Sir. No doubt. No hesitation. But I obeyed, for Jack.
I’d been trying, working, to come up with something that would make sense. I understood what Jack had said. Not no, stop, don’t, or please. Still, it had to be something that I could make myself say, not something silly that would add to the oddness of this encounter.
“Uncle,” I finally whispered, remembering playing rough and tumble with my cousins every summer, torturing one another until one would call uncle. That seemed okay to me, and then the man, who might have had similar experiences in his youth, gave me an accepting nod.
“Thank me after each stroke.”
He moved to stand behind me, and fear flashed through me once more. The sound level in the place became white noise, a background melody. I could only guess that this man was making me wait in order to further ratchet up my level of total insecurity. But then I saw, in a mirror on the wall, that he was talking to Jack. And then suddenly he came forward, and with a flash of silver, my panties were cut from my body. I closed my eyes, and tried to find that place within myself where I can make everything all right. That safe place.
There was no word of warning before he started. There was only the sound of my heart beating in my ears, and the sensation of the crop meeting my skin. And then Jack, in front of me, pushing my hair from my face, staring at me, drinking in every sensation that flared through my eyes.
I flinched at the blows, my body tightening, then working to relax. “Thank you, Master,” I choked out. Every time. Kelly and I had played a similar game. Kelly had liked to hear me thank him each time he brought his belt against my ass. I was trained already, the only difference was the public quality of the location, and the fact that it was a stranger cropping my naked skin.
“Thank you, Master,” I said over and over again, thanking this cruel Dom for hurting me, for giving me the pain that both Jack and I craved.
Still, Jack wasn’t a stranger. Jack was in front of me, watching me, and his closeness gave me strength. The Dom didn’t ask me to count. I don’t know how many stripes I took. I felt as if I were hovering above myself, watching, free from the pain. But finally, Jack gripped my face between both hands and whispered, “He won’t stop, kid. He’s like a machine. If you think you’re going to outlast him, you’re wrong.”
I’ve always been the kind of person to take a dare, always the one who needs to prove her strength. I’m built small, but tough. And I felt as if I would be letting Jack down, even as the tears started to streak my cheeks, even as the skin on my ass and upper thighs began to throb, to shriek in protest.
“Say it, kid,” Jack urged, and I met his eyes, and said, “Thank you, Master.”
“Say it,” Jack demanded, as the Dom behind me struck again. I sensed we had a small crowd around us now, but I didn’t turn my head away, didn’t even lift my eyes to the mirror to see.
The crop struck another blow. “Thank you, Master,” I murmured.
“Christ, baby doll, tell him your safeword.” Jack didn’t know my safeword, and somehow this gave me a tiny spark of power. Was I topping from below? Had I gone over the edge? Jack had brought me here to teach me something, and clearly I was failing to learn the lesson at hand.
The crop sliced through the air. “Thank you, Master,” I parroted, my face glistening from the tears now, my voice barely audible. And then Jack did something that made me wetter than I’ve ever been. He moved his body to shield my own, covering me up with his own skin. I could feel his arms tight around me, his mouth against my ear. “Say it,” he insisted, and then his body tightened, and I understood that the Dom—not seeming to care who the fuck he cropped—let a blow land on Jack’s body. And then another. And another. Jack didn’t flinch, didn’t say a word to me; now, he simply protected me.
And I couldn’t stand that. “Uncle,” I said, loud enough, and the Dom dropped his weapon and Jack moved aside, so that I could be released from the bindings. Jack took off his shirt and pulled it over my naked body, then carried me through the crowd and out to the front of the club. Somehow, he slid me back into my dress. Somehow, he got us a cab, and I found myself curled in his arms, safe once more.
Safe at last.
I hope you enjoyed the piece. Let me know if you have a moment...
June 29, 2015
As a fan of weddings (and a collector of wedding cake toppers!) I was thrilled with the news on Friday. I've always wanted to write a book called "From Paper to Diamonds—Surviving the First 60 Years of Marriage." (My grandparents were hitched for 64 years and my folks recently celebrated 48.) My book would have advice from couples for each time period. The first night. The first year. The first five. And so on. (I don't have a TBR pile, honestly. I have a TBW pile. To Be Written.)
In honor of the historic decision on Friday (#lovewins), I wanted to do a different type of post. Something poetic. So here we go. Will you write me a short definition of love? What love means to you.
I always think of the Shakespeare sonnet #116:
Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds. Or bends with the remover to remove...
But in your own words, rather than Shakespeare's:
How do you define love?
I can't wait to hear!
June 28, 2015
For several years, this novel confused me. That's putting it mildly. The novel scared the shit out of me. I would open the file periodically and tease out a few more words, move a sentence here. Cut a paragraph there. As if I was writing, but I wasn't. I didn't really understand the combination of characters. And I didn't know what they wanted from me.
Then a few weeks ago, I had a breakthrough. The novel is frightening to me because I have multiple strands to keep track of. In fact, at the moment, this is my abbreviated character list:
the stranger who saves her
an angry young man
the John who loves her
the girl who broke his heart
a bookstore clerk
What happened a few weeks ago was that I finally understood the overlapping story lines. I got it. I felt as if I'd been standing outside an exclusive club, trying to sneak in, when suddenly the front doors opened wide and the bouncer waved me through. Except my characters would never go to a club. They're much more Nighthawks at the Diner.
Still, I'm working without a net. I've never written this type of surrealistic, multi-layered fiction. And I've got a constant inner monologue of doubt to contend with. You're not good enough. This is out of your league. You don't know what you're doing.
And being *my* inner dialogue there are often swears. So: This is out of your fucking league. You don't know what you're fucking doing.
But I'm shutting that voice down the best I can. And I'm trying so hard to make this work.
He takes the paper. He reads the words.
“What happens next?” he asks.
I know better than to pretend his question confuses me. I know better than to respond with, “What do you mean?”
“What happens next?”
I don’t know yet. They haven’t told me. I reach for the pages, but he catches my wrist and drags me to standing. We’re going to the wall. I can feel it. He cuffs my wrists together so I’m facing the cold white plaster. I rest my cheek against the wall and wonder if he’ll flog me or fuck me.
I hear the belt whisper through the loops on his slacks.
I didn’t do well enough. He wants more. This is for my own good. I close my eyes. I take the punishment.
The window is gone the next day. There’s a new light on one wall. A neon light with a low buzz. The letters spell out Open like in my story. Or nearly. O_en. When I walk to the wall where the window used to be, the plaster is seamless. It’s as if there never was a window.
I wonder if we’re going back to the same story.
I don’t start writing until he arrives. I walk the length of the room, the chain trailing with me. The room is always the perfect temperature, and I am always naked.
He enters the room and locks the door behind him. He puts the key in his pocket. I look at him carefully, but I can’t tell what he’s thinking. I can read my characters easily. He’s always a puzzle. Are we going back? Will we work on the story in progress?
No. He wants something new. I can tell by the way he appraises me.
“Write me a story,” he says.
I wait for the prompt, the match, the tiny snapshot he holds in front of me. “There’s this café,” he says next. “No, that’s too fancy a word. It’s like a truck stop. She’s a waitress, and she’s got a bad habit.” That’s all he says, the only hints he gives me. But I can already feel the people moving around in my head. The man with a scar from his wrist to his elbow, a woman’s name inked on his chest. The waitress with a tear in her black stockings, a collection of safety pins chained together at the bottom of her second-hand purse.
He leaves and I stare at the wall. Is it early in the morning or dusk going to night? I don’t know. In my room, time doesn’t matter. In my room, it’s all about the words.
The diner was off the path from nowhere to nowhere else. A stopping place in what always felt like the middle of the night. That couldn’t have been possible. Day must have broken regularly, the way day does. But this trucker always found the spot in the wee hours. That’s simply how the schedule worked out. The sky was black and the restaurant was bathed in a halo of gold.
He was looking forward to seeing her. She had tired eyes but a kind smile, and she made him feel good when she poured his coffee. He went to a lot of diners. He met a lot of waitresses. This one was unique. She had dark brown hair with a hint of red, like maraschino cherry juice mixed with cola. When she smiled, he felt like he was home.
He hadn’t been home for a long time.
She glanced up when he came in this time, and she reached for one of the old porcelain mugs and filled it to the brim. By the time he sat at the counter, the cup was waiting for him.
He had planned to say something this time. More than the average dishwater small talk. The ebb and flow of plates and cups in the sink. He was going to say something, tell her what his apartment looked like, with the view of the empty field that people cut through to get to town. A place he could hardly bear to stay in, even for a night. He needed to be moving. When he was in his bed, he rocked himself to sleep.
Objects in motion stay in motion.
He couldn’t stand to be at rest.
June 27, 2015
I wrote Tiffany Twisted in... wait. I had to look it up. Well, Virgin originally published the book nearly nine years ago (July 1, 2006), so I probably wrote the novel in 2005. And I'm sure I've mentioned this, but the book was almost a crossover to the mainstream for me. A major box store came *this close* to ordering 6,000 or 8,000 copies (can't remember the figure). Ultimately, the buyer passed because of the "occult content" (of which there is almost none).
Yes, this is what life was like before you could buy smut in the supermarket!
The novel continues to receive positive reviews, even after all these years. And I've often threatened to write a sequel. (The follow-up book I pitched my editor back in the day had Tiffany and Kurt swapping bodies once more, and Kurt giving birth while trapped in Tiffany's form. My editor said the world was not ready for a story like that. Maybe the world is now.)
To my utter delight (and surprise), Tiffany wins me more fan mail than any of my other works. In fact, this week, I received two notes regarding the title. Honestly, I can't tell you how pleased that makes me. Writing can be so lonely. Knowing readers enjoy what you're doing is thrilling!
For old-school readers (like me), you can actually still find paperback copies of Tiffany Twisted. Apparently, there is 1 left on Amazon. (At Barnes & Noble, the used copies start at $1.99.) And there is a Kindle edition of the book that is not linked to the paperback on Amazon (although I have begged).
If you read the book, I'd love to hear your thoughts!
June 26, 2015
Bent Over His Desk
The Spanking House
...which is so fucking cool I can't even say. Although I've been quiet(er) lately on the publishing front, I'm still mired. Indies are keeping me sane(r), so I'm delighted that they're taking off! (Thank you, Violet Blue!)
Now, without further ado (I love that phrase), Free Smut Friday!
Well, actually, there's a little further ado. Just a bit. "Even Deeper" is the next installment in my serial about Jack, Samantha, and Alex. The novella-length work is close to 20K, and I'm hoping to hit "publish" next week. Here is a snippet:
The crop felt light now in my hands. A magic wand rather than a weapon. How odd. If I had been the one in Alex’s place, I would have looked upon the thing with fear. But now it was my friend, an assistant to finding out more about Jack and Alex. When Jack had given me Alex this evening, had he guessed how I would want to play? Did he think pain would be involved solely for the sake of sex? Or did he know me well enough to be sure that I’d realized what a true gift this was?
Bluebeard’s door was open. I was stepping inside.
Carefully, I traced the tip of the crop along Alex’s spine, and the boy shuddered. So pretty. I took a sip from the glass of whiskey he’d poured, savoring the bite, and then I dragged the crop down between Alex’s asscheeks, letting him feel the point even through his boxers.
“Does he touch you gently?” I repeated. “Or does he only touch you hard?”
“You can answer that yourself,” he said, and I struck him once. A little wake-up call.
“Why would I want to answer for myself when you can answer for me?”
“I meant,” he said, eyes narrowed at me, “that there’s no reason to think he treats me any differently than he treats you.”
I laughed at that, then struck again, quickly, several times in a row, so that Alex sucked in his breath. Christ, I could see the pleasure in this. Of course, we were playing a game. Alex could have refused to bend to my will. He could have overpowered me in a second. But I knew that he wouldn’t. Jack had given him instructions—as he had given them to me—and Alex lived for Jack.
Still, I wondered how far I could go. How much I could torture him. Not physically, but mentally.
“Don’t lie to me,” I told him. “You’re an extension of Jack. You’re his right-hand man. When he can’t be there, he sends you. You’re not on the ground next to me, kissing his feet, unless he wants you there. Most of the time, you are elevated, on a pedestal, right by his side. I want to know what it’s like when you’re alone with him. Do you fuck him? Or does he fuck you?”
“Come on, Sam.”
It was quite the little speech. Had I rehearsed the words in my head? Not knowingly. But I’d wondered. Every time we played together, the three of us, there was a power shift. Alex changed the dynamics simply by being there.
Did Jack bow down to him behind closed doors? That’s what I wanted to know. I don’t know why. I had images, visions of what the two of them would be like when I was absent. Were they equals? Did Jack have an equal? I couldn’t see that. I couldn’t believe it.
My plaything was thinking. I watched his eyes. He was trying to figure out how much to tell me. Or how to phrase what he was planning on saying. I didn’t want to give him the time to think. I struck again, and then, slowly, sweetly, climbed onto the bed and pulled down the boxer shorts, admiring the lines I’d driven into his flesh. Admiring the pure strength of his body. Strength he was containing—not for me, but for Jack.
“Count,” I said, because counting would keep his mind off the rest.
I stood by the bed. I looked at his face. His eyes were unreadable now. He’d gone somewhere else. Was he imagining that I was Jack, punishing him for some unknown indiscretion? Or was he accepting of my authority, even if I only had the power for one night.
I knew what it was like to be in Alex’s place. I knew what he was going through, and I relished every fucking second. We reached twenty before I stopped. Before I gave him a breather. I ran one hand over his heated skin. I pet him, knowing that my palm would soothe the sting.
“You fuck him,” I said, deciding on it. “You go to his office sometimes, when nobody’s there, and he tells you how to do it. You fuck him against the windows. Splayed. He gives himself over to you.”
“You use his own belt on him. Don’t you? He tells you how hard to strike. How much to make it hurt.”
He didn’t say yes, and he didn’t say no. He was gone, still, eyes wet, expression immobile. If I said the wrong thing, would he be off the bed? Would he overpower me, even with his wrists bound together. Would he take charge?
No. I could have had him lie there with no bindings at all. Jack had bound him with a command. Alex was a far better sub than I was, much more obedient in so many ways. He would have been meek on the plane. He would have taken any change in plans in stride. And look at me. I pouted. I squirmed. I demanded to know things that weren’t mine for the knowing.
Like this: “Does he touch you gently, or does he only touch you rough?”
“What the fuck does it matter?” Alex said, and I smirked at him. He didn’t like me repeating things. I got that. He didn’t like me pushing. But was there something deep down in him that wanted to share? My life with Jack was open for Alex’s viewing. He not only saw our day-to-day routine, he co-starred in it. I was curious about the time before me, or the times when I wasn’t with the two of them.
I wanted to know.
“It matters,” I said, shrugging. “It matters to me.”
“Then ask Jack.”
“He gave me you.”
“For one night,” Alex countered. “One night.”
“Did you know that on the plane? When you were messing with me, did you know that we’d be here, like this? When you bought that crop, did you know I was going to use it on you?”
Alex wouldn’t look at me. But I didn’t mind. We had all night.
###This portion of the story was originally written in January 2007. When I take this long between writing and editing, the work almost feels as if it was written by someone else. Strange sensation. Voyeuristic, even.
June 25, 2015
This could also be titled: Having wayyyy too much fun with matchboxes. And you can see the story in the works. The next time someone asks me for a light, I'll be passing them Bent Over His Desk, Filthy Housewives (edited by Violet Blue), or Haunted by Sommer Marsden. Talk about an ice breaker....
Want your own? I just learned that you (or I) can send safety matches in the mail! I thought mailing matches was prohibited. Which means I can make up a slew of erotic indie matchboxes to send as prizes! (Watch this space.)
In other super-cool news, Sommer has a new book out called Chasing Shade, which is already nailing fab reviews!
And now for a bit of the work-in-progress that is devouring my days and keeping me up at night... I am, quite honestly, terrified of this book. It's not behaving in the way my novels normally function. (I'll post my character list soon so you can see what I mean.) At first, I was pushing back. Then I was floating on the words—not participating, but observing. Now I'm in. I get it. And I'm still fucking scared. Isn't that crazy after all these years?
“Write me a story,” he says. That’s how our interactions usually start. “Write me a story.” What comes next is different each time. “Write me a story about a magician.” A wand appears in his hand. He flourishes the stick and a spray of stars glitter from the tip. “He meets a girl who needs to believe in magic.”
Who doesn’t? I think as I look at the silver stars adorning the glossy white floor.
She didn’t want to go out with the gang. They were always pulling at her, telling her she could use a change of pace. “A night on the town.”
She never went. Nights out meant boys. And boys meant trouble. She was fine with her routine. Everything felt peaceful if she followed her own predictable schedule.
“We bought you a ticket.”
They had no idea. Her life at work was a facade. She could zip on a skin and be who they wanted her to be. Strawberry-blonde hair up in a twist. Tiny gold hoop earrings that her father gave her for her sixteenth birthday. A little hint of cherry lip gloss on her thin lips. At home, she unplugged, unwound, stood naked in her bedroom and let the cool breeze from an automatic fan flow over her.
She never went out with them.
Until tonight, because she had a curiosity where magic was concerned. Sometimes she moved things with her mind.
It was adult theatre. A dark-eyed magician who had to drizzle the cynics with wit and skill, so that even those disbelievers felt they got their money’s worth. She sat with the people from work—not friends, not by a long shot—and although she knew this man was no magician, she appreciated his nimble fingers and could imagine him touching her body.
For the finale, she helped him from the audience.
He was as astonished as the crowd by the trick he’d performed.
Sometimes he stops by to see how I’m doing. He’ll read over my shoulder and pepper me with questions. At first, I tried to hide my work. I didn’t want him to read what I’d written until I was finished, and I shielded the pages with my splayed fingers, but that never went well for me. Now I fidget as he reads, and I try to prepare answers to what I know he’ll ask.
“She can move things with her mind? How do you know that?”
I sit and bite my lip. I only know what the characters tell me.
“What can she move? What does she do with her power?” He leans in and kisses me, and I feel sparks inside my belly. “Why are boys trouble?”
I think he may have given me my title. I try not to let him see the glee I feel at grasping that missing link: No More Boys.
The first time was the worst. She was in her dorm room with her boyfriend. He wanted to touch her, to slip his hand up under her shirt, but he was nervous. She didn’t know what she wanted. At least, that’s what she told herself. But when he hesitated too long, she moved his hand for him. She grabbed him with her mind and put his hand on her breast. The jolt was fantastic, a beam of radiating energy she felt deep through her core.
It was lust that made the power glow. If she didn’t feel lit up inside, she could control herself. She needed cool. She needed ice. The boyfriend had fled, scared, and she’d gotten a reputation.
No more boys.
But the magician with his slicked blond hair and his rabbit-fast way of talking, he stirred something inside her. So she helped him. She went back the next night without her gaggle from work, and she assisted from the audience once more. It was easy, something she could do almost without planning. She simply saw the action in her mind and willed the objects to follow her command.
Flowers bloomed from his wand—tropical flowers that weren’t made of paper or silk. These were fresh blooms, a riot of fuchsia and glistening purple. Their lush, obscene fragrance danced in the air. When he held the flowers, he looked directly at her.
On the third night, he seemed to be waiting for it. This was the night she raised her hand when he asked for a volunteer. She was wearing a short dress shot through with gold thread. Warmth radiated through her.
She levitated for him.
“How do you see the people?” he asks. “How do you know their stories?”
I don’t have a response for this, although similar questions keep me up at night. But I try my best. Not answering is not an option. It’s like a crack in the wall. A fissure. I can watch them. I know what they’re thinking. They show me what they want me to see.
“You talk about them like they’re real.”
They are real. I simply write down what happens. However much they allow me. Whatever glimpse they give.
“You’re making that up,” he says. “You know what happens to liars.”
This is the strangest roller-coaster of a writing ride I've ever been on. We'll see what happens!