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'08 Authors Insider Tips


Everything About Epublishing
by Angela James
Epublishing: A Different Way
Choosing an Epublisher
Your Milage May Vary
Understand Your Contract!
Reasonable Expectations


FictionCraft
by Louisa Burton
The Publishing Biz
Critiquing: To Give and ...
Commerical vs. Literary...
Antiformalism for Fun &...
So You Want to Write a Novel
The Story Idea
Planning Your Novel...


The Write Stuff
by Ashley Lister
5 Steps to Success
Inspirational
Opening Passages
Let's Get Critical
Writer's Block
Learning Lessons


Two Girls Kissing
by Amie M. Evans
Be a Finisher ...
Listen to Your Characters
Conferences: Act Now ...
Starting an Erotic Story
Exercises & Writing Prompts
Revising & Rewriting
Copy Editing
The Manuscript Critique
How to Submit Your Work
Reading as Craft


Guest Appearances

Adventures in e-Publishing
by Lisabet Sarai

For the Love of Man
by Laura Baumbach

How to...Influence Editors
by Alison Tyler

Marketing your e-Book
by Brenna Lyons


2008 Smutters Lounge

Ashley Lister Submits
by Ashley Lister
Role Play
Busy Doing Nothing
Picture of a Fish & Chip...
What I Did With My Summer


Cooking Up A Storey
by Donna George Storey
Naughty Cookies...
Tie Me Up, Please …
The Smut-Writer’s Holiday
Never Trust the Narrator ...
Compare and Contrast
Following the Pen
Naked at the Farmers Market
Im Easy, But Im No Slut
Good Girl Gone Bad
Pleasures of the Dark Side
Slow, Spare and Sexy


Get All Worked Up
with J.T. Benjamin
Raising Daughters
Jamie Lynn
Utopias
Lust
The Good Old Days
Election '08
Traditional Marriage
Campaign 2008
Free Will


Pondering Porn
with Ann Regentin
Masturbating on SSRIs
Sex and Disability
Besides Ourselves
Adjusting our Contrast


Sex Is All Metaphors
by Jean Roberta
Sex Is All Metaphors
Turn-ons and Squicks
Sexual Truth
Fickle Muse
Porn, Erotica & Romance


Provocative Interviews

Between the Lines
with Ashley Lister
Alison Tyler
Ashley Lister
Debra Hyde
Donna George Storey
Jeremy Edwards
Kristina Wright
Rachel Kramer Bussel


Erotic Hot Spots
by William S. Dean
Interview with Tilly Greene
Interview with Devyn Quinn


Getting Graphic
with William S. Dean
New Times for Readers...
The Future in Words ...
Interview with Fantagraphics


On Writing Erotica

The Accidental Pornographer
by Lisabet Sarai

The End of Innocence
by Lisabet Sarai

Get Them Off in High Style
Helena Settimana

So, You Want To Write Erotica?
by Hanne Blank


Web Gems
Hot Movies For Her

Cooking up a Storey

by Donna George Storey

I’m Easy, But I’m No Slut: Why I’m Hot for Passionate Plumbers, Vibrating Mixers, and Heirloom No-Fail Fudge

 

Cooking up a Storey by Donna George Storey My son gazes at the chocolate chip cookies in the supermarket bakery case, a tray of saucer-sized disks arranged in perfect, military alignment.  “Can I have one, mom?”

I purse my lips in my best imitation of a responsible adult and shake my head.  “You know why not.”

My son’s been reciting the nutrition facts on cereal boxes since he could sound out the word “phosphorus”, so you might expect him to acknowledge the likelihood of trans-fat and high-fructose corn syrup, not to mention dried egg white solids and artificial flavorings.  But at nine, he already knows just what to say to please the woman in his life.

“Yeah, mom, I know why.”  He smiles.  “Because they’re not made with love.” 

His blue eyes twinkle and I know right then that before the week is over, we’ll be stirring up some of my famous “Fuck You, Mrs. Fields’ Urban Legend Cookies” (see my April 2008 column “Compare and Contrast” for the recipe).  But I don’t mind, because I know it means we’ll spend a good hour of quality mother-son bonding time in the kitchen.  We’ll measure out the ingredients and mix them up in the KitchenAid Artisan Mixer I got for Christmas (thanks, Santa) that plays such a lovely humming tune. Along the way I’ll be sure to remind him that he has to pay attention to all my special tricks so he can pass on the secrets to his children. We’ll chill the dough, shape it with the cookie scoop and slip that first pan of chocolate-speckled golf balls in the oven.  When it comes out, we’ll face our last and most important task:  tasting a cookie warm from the oven, the chips still molten, the oatmeal dough as soft as caramel.

One bite and I’m sure you’d agree.  No dried out, mass-produced store cookie could stand a chance against this moist, melt-in-your-mouth morsel of mother’s love.

Now, lest you think I’m setting my son up for a life-long neurotic conflation of love and dessert, I’ll confess that I’m always boring my kids with my thoughts on the importance of love as an ingredient in every human endeavor.  Healthy stir-fries are on the list, too, as are iMovies about Joan of Arc for a class project, home improvements, and Web sites that serve as a resource for erotica writers (yes, I tip my hat with respect and no small portion of love to ERWA).  Sex?  Well, for me it goes without saying that love makes it better, although I learned that one the hard way, as I think we all do.  Not that we can possibly love everything we do, but when we do truly care about what we’re doing, it makes all the difference in the world.

Wait, I sense my wayward, wandering pen is lurching in a new, but related direction—straight from a fragrant kitchen to the murkier swamp of an artistic debate!  I know many of my fellow erotica writers are sick to death of the question outsiders love to ask us, sometimes with innocent curiosity, mostly in the spirit of challenge.  So, what’s difference between erotica and pornography? Read: “You put on high falutin’ airs, you self-described Erotica Writer, but aren’t you just cranking out the same obscene filth behind those arty covers?”  At the risk of boring a larger, though not quite so captive audience, I’d like to suggest there is a difference and that love has a great deal to do with it. 

First off, I will gladly concede that there is no objective way to draw a line between porn and erotica, just as the so-called Literary Canon is but a reflection of the prejudices and blind spots of the academy.  Sometimes when I’m asked about the difference—which has happened recently as I try to convince people my novel is more “e” than “p”—I steal that old joke that says erotica is what I like, porn is what you like and smut is what that other guy—the one we both don’t like—uses to get his rocks off. 

It gets a laugh, but I have more serious answers to give as well.  The ex-academic in me can’t help but observe that in porn, consumers have certain expectations that its creators dutifully fulfill.  In other words, it’s closer to the genre end of the spectrum, like mystery or romance series.  Erotica, on the other hand, more often claims literature’s prerogative to challenge and surprise, stylistically, thematically and any other way the writer chooses.

The humanist-feminist in me, who always wants to know why people do what they do, is always ready to step up and share my trusty sound-bite way to distinguish the two.  That is, porn is about sex between two bodies, while erotica is about sex between two people, including all the invisible parts of their humanity they bring with them—their emotions, their histories, their confusing and complex desires, their imaginations.

But recently the writer in me hit upon my current favorite definition of the difference:  porn is produced as a purely business transaction, erotica is created out of love.

Love?  How can that be?  It doesn’t fit at all with our culture’s portrait of an “erotica writer.”  You can see her, too—can’t you?—a slutty female done up in heavy eyeliner, a corset and garter belt, who is typing out nothing but thinly-disguised memoir or worse still, pathetic wishful fantasy.  Remember, too, that the sniggering word “erotica” takes away any of the nobility of the term “writer,” for indeed she panders to our baser urges in spite of the satin covering that claims to be art.  The truth is, she’s nothing more than a prostitute of the pen.

I assume this is what people are expecting because invariably when they meet me, a mild-mannered stay-at-home mom in jeans without a speck of make-up, the response is always the same—“You certainly don’t look like an erotica writer.  Not what I expected at all.”

I spare them my other lecture on how true eroticism is not about how we look on the outside, but how we think and feel on the inside.  Instead I smile and say, “Yes, I know.  Isn’t it nice that life is full of surprises?”

Because, in fact, I was surprised as anyone to discover that of any work I’ve ever done, this is what I love best.

I do love writing—even when I hate it—and I feel privileged to have the opportunity to pursue it.  However, my past is not without its taint of the commercial.  For a brief time, I did work-for-hire for a well-known web site under a pseudonym—the editor practically commanded me to use one.  At $750 for a 3000 word story, the pay impressed people who are impressed by that sort of thing, but I never really got into the job.  I’m not sure if it’s because the contract claimed all rights to my work for eternity throughout the universe including publication by means of any technology that would ever be invented in the future.  Or it might have been my dutiful attempts to avoid anything that would startle my audience out of the sweet daze of escapism.  In any case, I think these stories are by far the most boring I’ve ever written.  When I compare them to my list of top favorites, I see that what sets the latter apart is a genuine emotional investment in the piece.

Call me old-fashioned, but for me, love matters.

Now while cooking and writing might seem easy examples of the transformative power of love, I’ve noticed that it can make a difference in other situations that may not seem obvious at first.  Take home improvement contractors, for example.  To be honest, I find it almost unendurable to have a strange man tramping around my house in dirty shoes—I’m too afraid to ask them to take their shoes off, a custom I brought home with me from Japan—and nosing around my cupboards or appliances.

There was one day, however, when I had to call in a locksmith to work on my sticky front door lock.  My house was built in 1926 and I thought the man might suggest a full replacement, but to my surprise, when he saw the smooth, burnished metal, a light switched on in his eyes.  “I love working on these old locks.  It takes a lot of time and finesse, but it feels so good to get it right.”  There was definite pride in his voice, even a bit of swagger, but he delivered on his promise and I was left feeling a bit less disbelieving of those clichéd porn stories where the housewife indulges in a quickie with the plumber.  Come to think of it, I’ve yet to run into a plumber with the same enthusiasm for his work, but if I do I’m sure it will make a passionate story indeed—erotica, that is, not porn.

I’ll leave you now with a recipe that is the cause of much passion in my household.  August is the beginning of the season with the greatest variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, and since we’re all eating so healthily otherwise, I thought there might be room for a bit of pure culinary decadence—a nice batch of homemade fudge.  The following is an old family recipe which relies on evaporated milk rather than a candy thermometer to achieve the right fudgy texture.  Be forewarned, I once tried it with Callebaut cocoa and a fancy European chocolate bar, which I assumed would elevate the mid-twentieth-century Hershey-ness to twenty-first-century post-Alice-Waters gourmet heaven.  The result was very disappointing.  Stick with the all-American brands.  The only rare ingredient needed for this recipe is, naturally, love.


Heirloom No-Fail Fudge

Combine in a saucepan:

2 cups sugar
2 Tablespoons Hershey’s cocoa

Mix together well, pressing out the cocoa lumps with a spoon.

Stir in:

1 small can evaporated milk
Dash salt

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often.  Boil for exactly 5 minutes on medium heat, stirring constantly.

Add:

1 plain Hershey’s chocolate bar (regular not king-size)
1 Tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
(Optional: one large spoonful of smooth peanut butter)

Remove the pan from the heat and stir the fudge vigorously until it thickens a bit and the bottom of the pan is visible for a few seconds as you draw the spoon across it.

Pour the fudge into a buttered round 8” cake pan.  Be sure to leave a bit in the cooking pan to scrape out with a spoon as a snack with a glass of cold milk.  (I also recommend drawing clear-cut borders for each snacker to avoid brother-against-brother battles.) 

Let the cake pan cool for about 20 minutes.  Cut the fudge into squares before it hardens completely, but leave it in the pan to cool a bit longer.  Enjoy!

Donna George Storey
August 2008


Donna is Cooking up a Storey in ERWA 2008 Archive.

______
"Cooking up a Storey" © 2008 Donna George Storey. All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or part without written


About the Author: Donna George Storey taught English in Japan and Japanese in the United States and has finally found the work of her dreams writing erotica. If youre really nice, shell bake you a batch of her Venetian cookies, with layers of marzipan, jam and chocolate, that take a ridiculous amount of time to make and are (almost) better than sex. Her work has been published in dozens of journals and anthologies including Clean Sheets, Fishnet, Best American Erotica, Best Womens Erotica and Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica.
Her first novel, Amorous Womana semi-autobiographical tale of an American womans love affair with Japan, Japanese food and lots of sexy men and women along the waywas published by Neon/Orion. Its currently available at Amazon and Amazon UK, and from her web site, DonnaGeorgeStorey.com.
For more of her musings on sensual pleasure and creativity stop by her blog:  Sex, Food and Writing.



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'08 Movie Reviews

Almost Perfect
Review by Oranje

The Fold
Review by Ashley Lister

Two
Review by Spooky

Fallen
Review by Spooky

'08 Book Reviews

Anthologies

Best Bisexual Women's Erotica
Review by Ashley Lister

Best Fantastic Erotica
Review by Ashley Lister

Best Women's Erotica '08
Review by Ashley Lister

Bound Brits (ebook)
Review by Ashley Lister

Deep Inside: Extreme ...
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Dirty Girls
Review by Rose B. Thorny

Hide and Seek
Review by Ashley Lister

Hurts So Good
Review by Ashley Lister

J is for Jealousy
Review by Ashley Lister

K is for Kink
Review by Ashley Lister

Lust Bites
Review by Ashley Lister

Open for Business
Review by Rose B. Thorny

Possession
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Rubber Sex
Review by Ashley Lister

Rubber Sex
Review by Victoria Blisse

Seriously Sexy
Review by Ashley Lister

Sex & Candy
Review by Ashley Lister

The Shadow of a... (poetry)
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Spanked
Review by Victoria Blisse

Tasting Her
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Tasting Him
Review by Ashley Lister

Tasting Him
Review by Kathleen Bradean

White Flames
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Yes, Ma'am: Male Submission
Review by Angelika Devlyn

Yes, Sir: Female Submission
Review by Angelika Devlyn

Novels

The Art of Melinoe
Review by Ashley Lister

Demon by Day
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Gemini Heat
Review by Ashley Lister

Gothic Heat
Review by Ashley Lister

The Hidden Grotto Series
Review by Lisabet Sarai

The House of Blood
Review by Lisabet Sarai

In Too Deep
Review by Ashley Lister

In Too Deep
Review by Victoria Blisse

Incognito
Review by Donna George Storey

Nicholas
Review by Victoria Blisse

One Breath at a Time
Review by Angelika Devlyn

Out of the Shadows (ebook)
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Phantasmagoria
Review by Ashley Lister

Reckless
Review by Rose B. Thorny

Seduce Me
Review by Ashley Lister

Seduced by the Storm
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Serve the People!
Review by Donna G. Storey

Signed, Sealed and Delivered
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Sunfire (eBook)
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Templar Prize
Review by Angelika Devlyn

The Wicked Sex
Review by Ashley Lister

Wild Kingdom
Review by Angelika Devlyn

Gay Erotica

Backdraft
Review by Vincent Diamond

Best Gay Romance '08
Review by Vincent Diamond

Hard Hats
Review by Vincent Diamond

Leathermen
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Lesbian Erotica

Best Lesbian Erotica '08
Review by Donna George Storey

Best Lesbian Erotica '08
Review by Ashley Lister

The Night Watch
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Non-Fiction

America Unzipped
Review by Rob Hardy

Best Sex Writing '08
Review by Rob Hardy

Bonk: The Curious Coupling
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The Book of Love
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Casanova: Actor Lover ...
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Dishonorable Passions
Review by Rob Hardy

Flagrante Delicto (photos)
Review by Jack Gilbert

The Flesh Press
Review by Rob Hardy

Geisha, Harlot, Strangler, Star
Review by Donna G. Storey

The Humble Little Condom
Review by Rob Hardy

Instant Orgasm (sex guide)
Review by Ashley Lister

Man O Man! Writing M/M...
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The Not So Invisible Woman
Review by Ashley Lister

Swingers: Female...
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Who's Been Sleeping in...
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