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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

Tie Me Up, Please:
Resolutions, Blindfolds, and the Eroticism of Oatmeal



Cooking up a Storey by Donna George Storey The writer in me doesn’t much care for New Year’s resolutions. On the whole they tend to be boring and humorless—the opposite of a compelling story. Many seem almost punitive for the over-indulgence of the year-end festivities: Eat less—and less interesting—food, exercise for several hours a day, cure every bad habit you’ve ever had. Yet for as long as I can remember, I’ve dutifully made a few predictably saintly resolutions each year, mostly to be broken by January’s first sunset.

This year, however, I’ve decided to try something new. Instead of the usual “eat healthier, exercise more and produce deathless prose every time I sit down to write,” I wondered what would happen if I came up with a list of resolutions that actually made me want to keep on with the program for my own pleasure, rather like reading a good story. “Eat more ice cream, take lots of naps and never edit the first draft” was one possibility, but I sensed that wouldn’t satisfy for long. I expected I’d have to think long and hard to come up with a list of positive resolutions, but to my surprise, my answer popped into my head quite effortlessly one early morning as I took my usual “power walk” through the sleeping town.

I decided in the coming year I would resolve to do one thing: Pay attention.

An apparently simple act—too simple to even qualify as a “resolution.” I knew, however, that it was going to be quite a challenge for me.

For much of my life I saw attention as something I received from others. I thrived on attention and praise from my parents, my teachers, my boyfriends. I craved attention for my writing—did my words even exist without approval from editors, readers and critics? Like sex, I could never get enough of it…but more on that connection later.

Only in the past few years have I realized I have much more control over the attention I give to the world around me. I learned this best on my early morning walks—a healthy habit I developed in my forties that incidentally had nothing to do with a New Year’s resolution. When I hit the pavement each morning, I can’t help but imagine the dark, quiet streets are mine alone to savor. Six in the morning is a good time to notice things: the beauty of the full moon sailing in the clouds, the dizzying scent of cinnamon buns at the bakery on the corner, the moan of a freight train floating up from the tracks by the bay. Yet my solitary wonder is also mixed with a sense of loss. I rarely notice these riches in my distracted daytime life and I am a poorer person for it.

My hope then is to bring more of that early morning openness and sensitivity to the rest of my life and especially my favorite activities (listed in no particular order)—writing stories, having sex, and cooking and eating good food.

I have no doubt my writing will benefit from this resolution. Paying attention will not only make my writing richer, it will make me more of a writer. Because, in fact, the writer’s main mission is to pay attention to the things most people ignore. In a way, we rely on writers to pay attention for us, to offer us what we are perhaps too busy or lazy or untrained to give ourselves—an unusual, but perfectly apt metaphor, a character’s essence captured in one perfect sentence, a brilliant plot that makes us see cause and effect in a new way. None of this is possible without the most careful attention to the details of human existence.

I’d also like to pay attention to the broader picture of my writing life. I’d like to look back over the past year critically, not to chide myself for the novel I didn’t write or the stories that didn’t succeed, but to identify the projects that were especially inspiring as well as the ways I came to understand my personal writing process more intimately. I hope this will make it easier to take on fewer projects I feel I “should”—because they’re more marketable, for example—and take on more that will nourish my spirit and my craft in meaningful ways.

On to sex. There is no doubt that paying attention is crucial for great sex. New lovers excite us because we automatically pay attention to the unfamiliar scent of their skin, the secret code of their moans and sighs, the rhythm of their fucking. With long-time partners—a category that includes the oldest partner of all, ourselves—we tend to take these things for granted. It’s all too easy to stop paying attention and fall into rutted routine.

As I pondered strategies for bringing more attention to my lovemaking, it occurred to me that, paradoxically, my approach might have something in common with the traditional asceticism of New Year’s resolutions. The truth is that restraint and deprivation heighten awareness. If you’ve ever dabbled in bondage, you’ll know what I mean. I’m no more than a dabbler, however. When I’m in the mood for sexual sensory deprivation, I rely on a simple scarf I use as a blindfold.

I have a special fondness for blindfolds. The first erotic story I ever wrote, “Blinded,” involves a couple that could be truly intimate only when they were blindfolding each other during sex. In my hands-on research for the story, I discovered that shutting out my visual sense, in a way that was different from just closing my eyes, made me exquisitely aware of other sensual input. Disorienting and liberating at the same time, it was also profoundly exciting. Seeing my partner blindfolded also brought about an interesting shift in perception. I felt more powerful, more in control, and yet his vulnerability also brought out a deeper tenderness. Of course, if blindfolds don’t do it for you, there are countless other things to try. Introducing any novel element to sex with a lover or yourself will accomplish the same thing: a new position, hand cuffs, a fur glove, crème de menthe blowjobs, costumes for role-playing (consider shopping at Halloween stores on November 1 for bargains). Another pleasurable resolution might be to make a wish list of twelve and try one each month in the coming year.

Last on the list, but never least, is food. Most of us indulge over the holidays, but we do it mindlessly, perhaps to avoid thinking about the calories involved. I just finished baking eight different varieties of cookies, most of which I give away, but plenty are left to sweeten my twelve days of Christmas and make the waist of my jeans tighter. Frankly I’m relieved when January rolls around and I can eat more simply again. I’m at the age when healthy food actually makes me feel good—or perhaps I never noticed the relationship before.

In past years, my menu for the first week of January was monastic in its austerity. Egg white omelets with spinach, grilled fish and undressed salad. Grim food of atonement for sugary holiday sins. But in keeping with my new resolution, I’ve decided instead to start off this year with a first meal that will celebrate attention to detail and the richness of simplicity. The meal is inspired in part by the Japanese New Year festival. In Japan when you perform an activity for the first time that year with a pure heart—eating, writing, bathing and probably having sex, too—it sets the proper tone for the entire year ahead.

In that spirit, I’ll conclude my column this month with a menu for a January breakfast. Choose the first day of the year when you don’t have guests or brunches on your schedule. The meal is low in fat and high in fiber and protein and will satisfy the requirements of the traditional dieter. But as you will see, it’s also delicious and sensually indulgent. Feel free to change the ingredients to your taste. Just keep it healthy—and pay attention!

A Spiritual Breakfast Ritual to Start 2008

Ingredients:

One cup of yogurt
One serving of hot cereal such as oatmeal or mixed grain (not instant)
One serving of seasonal fruit such as Satsuma mandarins
A hot beverage of your choice
Sensually pleasing bowls and utensils

Notes:

The yogurt provides protein to keep you satisfied until lunch. I prefer nonfat plain yogurt and add a dash of vanilla and/or cinnamon. If you need sweetness, add honey or maple syrup, but use a light hand to allow the natural tartness to shine through. Serve the yogurt in a parfait glass or ice cream dish. It will taste even better.

Choose a boutique brand of hot cereal if possible. The difference in quality over mass-produced is noticeable and since the point is to take notice, you owe yourself the splurge. Organic oats harvested by virgins wearing blindfolds is ideal, if you can find it (I’m still searching, but hopeful). Avoid overly processed instant cereal because the process of cooking and stirring makes for a deeper bond with your food, which is what the ritual is all about. Once the cereal is made, you can also add a touch of unprocessed sweetener if you must—a bit of dried fruit will add plenty of sweetness—and vanilla and cinnamon. Serve the cereal in a pretty ceramic bowl.

Method:

Arrange the food neatly on a table with some exposure to the morning light. This meal is best eaten alone with no distractions such as a book or TV. Soft, calming music in the background is fine.

Close your eyes, take a deep breath and feel your body’s hunger, your desire to eat wholesome food. Open your eyes and appreciate the look of the meal before you. Notice the bowls and utensils. Imagine the effort that has gone into their making. Breathe deeply again.

Take a spoonful of cereal or yogurt (the order is not important), let it linger on your tongue. Imagine how it will nourish your body and mind for a year of creative efforts. Taste another food. Give it the attention you would give a fine wine. Notice the texture, the temperature, the flavors, any lingering taste on your palate after you swallow. Meditate on any memories that arise from this food. Contemplate writing an essay on the essence of oatmeal or yogurt or mandarin oranges or whatever you are presently eating. What would you say?

Repeat each step—slowly—until you finish your meal.

Take a final deep breath and appreciate the sense of fullness and satisfaction the meal has given you. Visualize the positive nourishing energy coursing through your body.

Get up from the table and find your partner. Take him/her/them/yourself to bed and have wild, rollicking sex while one of you wears a blindfold. Write about it afterward.

And finally, remember to have a happy new year of good food, great sex and fine writing!

Donna George Storey
January 2008

______
"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 and a number of sexy men and women along the way—was published by Neon/Orion in 2007. It’s currently available at Amazon UK and from her web site (DonnaGeorgeStorey.com) in the US. Stay tuned for a big US launch in June 2008.
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 ...
Review by Cervo

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
Review by Rob Hardy

The Book of Love
Review by Rob Hardy

Casanova: Actor Lover ...
Review by Rob Hardy

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...
Review by Vincent Diamond

The Not So Invisible Woman
Review by Ashley Lister

Swingers: Female...
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Who's Been Sleeping in...
Review by Rob Hardy