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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
I’m Easy, But I’m 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

Slow, Spare and Sexy:
The Surprisingly Rich Pleasures of Waiting For It

 

Cooking up a Storey by Donna George Storey Halloween or Christmas?  When I was a child I could never really figure out which holiday was my favorite.  Halloween held the promise of transformation and a bottomless bucketful of chocolate treats.  Christmas offered piles of presents, my mother’s special cookies (five or six kinds!), and two whole weeks off from school.  Each brought magic to the lengthening nights.  Now I realize my truly favorite part of both are the flickering jack-o-lanterns in the autumn darkness and the Christmas lights strung in the trees like the jewels in Aladdin’s Cavern, their colorful glow bravely chasing back the shadows of winter.

Thanksgiving, in spite of its mini-vacation of a four-day weekend, never really made the competition.  For one thing, a chicken dinner with dressing, gravy, mashed potatoes and homemade pie was regular Sunday fare at my house.  And the prim Pilgrim cut-outs and miniature candles from Woolworth’s just didn’t elicit the same sense of anticipation as the shiny Halloween costumes and Christmas baubles.

In the last few years, however, I’ve begun to reconsider the appeal of the November holiday.  Or rather I’ve come to understand the charms of that quiet, no-holiday-at-all time between October 31 and late November when the official year-end holiday madness begins.   Once just a waiting period for the real festivities to come, the early and middle weeks of November are now the time of year I look forward to the most, my secret holiday of sensual luxury.  Only then does it seem I have the leisure to pause and appreciate the quick-fading afternoon sunset, dyeing the horizon fiery orange.  And, as the light fades, I find my other senses awakening.  Fragrances seem sharper—fresh apples, wood smoke and spice—and the sudden crisp edge to the northern California makes my skin flush and tingle just enough to bring back memories of the harsher climates of my East Coast childhood.

At this time of year I can indulge most fully in the subtle pleasures of contemplation, poised as I am on the brink of our culture’s busiest communal festivals of food and commerce.  I find that browsing through cooking magazines for new recipes is more satisfying than the actual, stomach-stretching feasts of the month ahead.  Mental indulgence without the carnal consequences—which is rather like the pleasures of reading and writing erotica, wouldn’t you agree?  In fact, as I sat down to write this column, I realized this new appreciation of “the moment before” season applies equally to my great loves of sex, writing and food.

Few would argue that so-called foreplay is a very enjoyable part of any sexual encounter.  Kissing, teasing, caressing, breast play, oral sex, role-playing, the list could go on and on.  One especially memorable example of an effective warm-up took place one autumn evening as my husband and I drove home from the symphony—in those days before kids when we could buy a season’s subscription to such culturally elevating events.  With words alone, a purring promise of things to come, he got me thoroughly primed for “the real thing” the moment we got through our front door.  I’ve been a fan of aural sex ever since. 

Especially since we’ve become parents, I’ve learned to enjoy the extended pleasures of mental foreplay hours or even days before a scheduled evening of romance—although come to think of it, it’s the same excitement I felt as a single person before a big date, with the added bonus that I’m certain the outcome will be mutually satisfying.   We’re told by the media that the best sex is spontaneous, but I’d argue that it’s rather like soup, which always tastes far better with a long, slow simmer and an overnight chill-down in the refrigerator.  Once in bed, the “soup technique” can be applied for equally delicious result.  Bring your partner close to orgasm, then let him or her cool off to let the sensations simmer before you warm her or him up again.  I guarantee the results will be worth the wait.

Lean, quiet times can benefit writing, too.  Since I began writing eleven years ago, I’ve come to see that my creative process seems to follow one of two paths.  The first is a messy affair of working out a story on the page with lots of chopping and cutting and revision.  The other method looks neater, almost too neat, rather like a neophyte’s idea of what a “real” writer does—she sits down at the computer and lets the inspiration flow forth in immediate perfection.   The cooking show equivalent of course would be the sleight-of-hand trick of the host describing the ingredients for some complex, temperamental dish, then immediately pulling out a sample of the finished product in its full glory with a wink and a “voila!”

Any veteran writer can only smile ruefully at such an image of the creative act, but in fact I have written a few stories might appear to have come to life so painlessly.  Interestingly enough, a story about the consequences of fertility technology called “Questions” that would become my first fiction publication followed this pattern—it was written in just a few days with minimal edits.  Of course, I’d been mulling over the ideas and questions for almost a year before I finally sat down to write it out.  Yet some of my best stories and my first novel flowed out in just this way; all spent months and even years percolating in that eternal mid-November waiting room of my mind.  Recently, I’ve had little time to do new writing, but I console myself with the knowledge that fresh ideas are quietly ripening in my head, waiting for their moment to come forth.

Of course everything leads back to eating, and November is clearly the start of the season for slow foods:  soups, stews, roasted root vegetables, baked goods like fruitcake (don’t grimace—if you don’t like fruitcake, you haven’t tasted the right recipe!), gingerbread and plum pudding that require aging for the richest flavor.  Mix up a big batch of these fall treats and the pleasure will go on and on.

After a very busy year of family travel and the challenges of promoting my first novel, I’m especially looking forward to the lean, quiet days of this November.  Over the years I’ve even pared down the Thanksgiving menu to allow more time for this precious period of quiet and thanks.  Sometimes we’re invited to celebrate with friends with turkey and trimmings, but if we’re eating at our house, our tradition includes dishes I can easily prepare ahead and finish up in the last lovely hours of November afternoon dusk.  The menu usually includes a wonderful butternut squash and chestnut risotto, some seasonal green, and the pumpkin pudding I mentioned in last month’s column or perhaps a pumpkin pie or cheesecake from a local bakery for a larger crowd.

Whatever our plans, there is one dish I make every year without fail.  It always gets rave reviews and my husband would probably threaten divorce if I didn’t whirr up a batch of my famous boozy cranberry relish on the Wednesday afternoon before Thanksgiving.  My version is based on a recipe by Marlene Sorosky’s Season’s Greetings, now sadly out of print.  I highly recommend it for holiday recipes from Thanksgiving to the New Year, but I couldn’t resist doctoring the original cranberry relish, inveterate editor that I am.  Over the years, I cut back on sugar, upped the cinnamon, and used a much heavier hand with the Grand Marnier (in my opinion, you can never use too much Grand Marnier!)  I recommend using high quality walnuts, not the borderline rancid ones you’ll find prepackaged in the supermarket.  Sunnyland Farms is an excellent source for fresh nuts, although Californians might want to try organic suppliers at your local farmer’s market—firm cranberries, tasty tart apples and newly harvested walnuts will make a difference you will appreciate.

But remember, you must make it at least one day ahead because the flavors need time to blend—this is, after all, the perfect recipe for the slow, spare and sexy days of November!


Boozy Cranberry Relish (makes about 5 cups)

2 package fresh cranberries—you’ll need 3 full cups which is a bit more than a package
2 medium Pippin or Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered and cored
1/2 cup sugar (or a little more to taste if you prefer sweeter relish)
1/2 cup orange marmalade
2 teaspoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
2 Tablespoons Grand Marnier
1 1/2 cups walnuts (about 6 oz), chopped coarsely
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Chop walnuts in food processor first.  You want some chunks rather than fine meal.  Remove to large bowl, preferable with its own lid. 

Pick over the cranberries and remove soft, rotting berries.  Measure, wash and drain.  Chop the cranberries finely in a food processor into uniform small chunks and add to walnuts. 

Peel and core the apples, chop them in the food processor lightly leaving some small chunks and add them to the cranberries. 

Stir in the sugar, marmalade, lemon juice, Grand Marnier and cinnamon.  Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight before serving.  Give it a stir or two during the waiting period to blend the flavors.  The relish may be refrigerated up to two months.  However, it is highly unlikely to last that long.

Donna George Storey
November 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 you’re really nice, she’ll 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 Women’s Erotica and Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica.
Her first novel, Amorous Woman—a semi-autobiographical tale of an American woman’s love affair with Japan, Japanese food and lots of sexy men and women along the way—was published by Neon/Orion. It’s 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. You can also take a quick trip to Japan with Donna's provocative Amorous Woman book trailer at: www.youtube.com



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