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'09 Authors Insider Tips

Everything About Epublishing
by Angela James
Digital Publishing & Print
Common Myths of Epublishing
Ebook Formats and Devices


FictionCraft
by Louisa Burton
Compelling Characters
Point of View, Part I
Point of View, Part II
Learning to Love Conflict
Story Structure
Keep ‘em Guessing
Keep it Simple
Keep Your Writing Real
The Importance of Pacing


Literary Streetwalker
by M. Christian
New World of Publishing
To Blog Or Not To Blog
Meeting & Making Friends
Thinking Beyond Sex
Selling Books
Walking the Line
e-book, e-publisher, e-fun
Still More E-book Fun


Shameless Self-Promotion
by Donna George Storey
Our Journey Begins
Pitches and Bios
Websites, Blogs & Readers
Publicists, Press Kits and...
Viva the Internet
Adventures in Cyberspace
Promoting In the Flesh
Make Your Own Movie
Bigger is Better
Looking Back, Planning Ahead


Two Girls Kissing
by Amie M. Evans
Questions to Ask Yourself...
Tough All Over


The Write Stuff
by Ashley Lister
Ideas
Practice Makes Prefect
5 Books for Fiction Authors
Poetry In Motions
Six Serving Men
Ashley Lister is Anal
Stealing Ideas
Celebrating Poetry


2009 Smutters Lounge

Ashley Lister Submits
by Ashley Lister
Myths
Graduation


Cooking Up A Storey
by Donna George Storey
A Year of Living Shamelessly
Adultery, Exhibitionism ...
John Updike Made Me Do It ...
Story Soup: Forbidden ...
Lessons from Amazon
Naked Lunches ...
Erotic Alchemy
Secrets of Seduction
Are You a “Real” Writer?
Don’t Fondle My Sentence


Cracking Foxy
with Robert Buckley
The Passionate Taphophile
Havens on Earth
A Knight Without Armor
Jail-Baiting
Magic Carpet Rides
Getting Hammered
Keep It Quiet
Hang Around for a Spell


Get All Worked Up
with J.T. Benjamin
Worked Up About Why
Worked Up About Why, Part II
All Worked Up About Porn
The Catholic Church
Purity Movement
The National Crisis
The Future
About Homosexuality
Public Indiscretions


Pondering Porn
with Ann Regentin
Premature Ejaculation
Auctioning Off What?


Sex Is All Metaphors
by Jean Roberta
Who's Who Around the Table
Retro-Shame
Ritual Sex
Mixed Legacy
The Spectrum of Consent
Drawing the Line
Marriage without the Hype
The Distracting Smirk
Innocent Guns
Gardens of Earthly Delights


Provocative Interviews

Between the Lines
with Ashley Lister
Anneke Jacob
D L King
Kristina Lloyd
Lisabet Sarai
Mitzi Szereto
Portia Da Costa
Shanna Germain
Sommer Marsden
Susan DiPlacido


Guest Appearances

Marketing a Self-Published Novel
by Jeanne Ainslie

Cooking up a Storey

by Donna George Storey

John Updike Made Me Do It:
Taboo-Breaking Fathers, Rebel Daughters,
and Porn Writers’ Pizza

 

Cooking up a Storey by Donna George Storey John Updike, a writer who’s had enormous influence on the way Americans write sex since the 1960s, passed away at the end of January 2009.  The award-winning author of more than fifty books, including novels, essays, poetry, criticism and memoir, was an acknowledged master of the beautiful sentence, but his lovely prose also made its way onto the bedside tables of less-literary Americans because of his favorite subject matter:  sex in the suburbs.

John Updike’s stories played an important part in my sexual education.  I devoured my parents’ copy of Couples to wonder at the easy infidelities that seemed to lurk beneath the dull surface of adult life.  I climbed into the consciousness of Rabbit Angstrom as he ran from responsibility into the arms of a woman who gave blow jobs and grew rich in a small-town American way, enjoying his wealth with spouse-swapping trips to the Caribbean.

Although he wrote stories that skated perilously close to erotica (and he was published in Best American Erotica several times), Updike was unquestionably a member of the literary elite, a fixture at the New Yorker, excerpted in Playboy, his voice thereby granted the right to speak the Truth of the American experience.

Yet, although I always admired his prose, particularly in such lushly introspective short fiction as “Museums and Women,” I felt a real resistance to his stories, as if they somehow diminished me in spite of their focus on the ever-desirable female.  My dissatisfaction finally found expression in the mid-1980s when I plucked an unpublished dissertation on Updike from the dizzyingly abundant acres of stacks in a university library.  This young female scholar also had an ambivalent relationship with Updike, but as a feminist she faced criticism from her own colleagues, who apparently told her they wished they could rewrite the Rabbit Angstrom novels from his wife Janice’s point of view.

That desire struck home for me.  For that is what I was missing in his purported definitive tales of WASP middle-class lust—a genuine female perspective on sexuality.  Yes, we had Anais Nin, but there was no contemporary female writer of national repute who wrote sex with the authority and poetry of Updike.  I realize now that part of my desire to focus my writing on a woman’s truth about sexuality is a reaction to the vision of John Updike, as well as other towering writers of the twentieth century such as Philip Roth and Saul Bellow.  While my voice is admittedly a tiny squeak in comparison to their resonant roars echoing down the halls of history, it certainly feels good to add something to the discussion.

I recently had the chance to write a story for Swing!, a new anthology edited by Jolie du Pré.  Never having tried partner swapping in real life, I turned—literally—to Updike for my inspiration, in particular the images and feelings his swinger stories aroused in me.  The title of my story is “John Updike Made Me Do It,” and the protagonist indeed blames the famous writer for giving her the idea to explore new sexual territory.  Only now, with the news of Updike’s passing, do I realize that my encounters with his novels made write the way I do, and for that I do owe him thanks, as any rebellious literary daughter should.

Now you may be wondering how I’m going to tie my “rebel daughter comes of age” theme into a recipe for a chilly March night.  It just so happens around about the time I was mulling over the death of John Updike and my complex feelings toward his legacy, my family decided it was time for another at-home pizza night, which is always a festive, but budget-friendly, way to celebrate the wonder of the weekend. 

As I was easing one of the olive-and-feta pizzas from the peel onto the pizza stone, my husband commented, “Wow, you really have that pizza thing down!”  No doubt he was remembering my earliest clumsy efforts when half of the topping spilled onto the stone to make a smoking mess.   I had to agree I’d come a long way.  Yet, part of me still couldn’t believe that I had the temerity to make my own pizza.  This was an art for professionals with wood-burning ovens and the eye-popping talent of throwing dough in the air to spiral magically into wafer-thin wheels of crust.  With my glitchy twenty-year-old oven and stubborn reliance on a rolling pin to shape the dough, I was unworthy even to attempt such a feat.

In other words, pizza parlors are the New Yorker, Knopf, or, in their more boutique forms, Algonquin Books.  My creations are humble blog posts, unagented, unedited, a free-form shape rather than a perfect round. 

Yet the pizzas taste pretty darn good all the same.

Best of all, I can make them exactly the way I want them.  Light on the cheese and a generous hand with the veggies means my version is far less greasy than the professional’s.  My pizza-loathing older son enjoys plain flatbread brushed with olive oil, my younger son the traditional tomato and cheese.  My husband and I get to experiment with healthy toppings that show off a crispy, yeast-fragrant crust—with a limitless menu for experimentation depending on the season and the contents of our organic veggie box.

It didn’t really occur to me until a few weeks ago that making my own pizza does feel like an act of rebellion, an attempt to grab a cultural icon and put my own stamp on it, a refusal to let the authorities define the way I satisfy my appetites.  Although we still patronize our delicious local pizzerias, one specializing in micro-thin Italian crusts, another in Chicago cornmeal crust stuffed pizzas, a third in sourdough crust with fresh herbs and vegetables, I always feel a special glow of achievement when I bite into my own handiwork and my taste buds sigh with pleasure. 

I suppose I have John Updike to thank for that, too.


My Recipe for Porn Writer’s Anything-Is-Possible Pizza

(Makes four individual pizzas)

I try to experiment with crust recipes, but my most recent favorite is loosely adapted from Cook’s Illustrated The New Best Recipe.  If you enjoy homemade pizza, I highly recommend getting a pizza stone and peel and trying out King Arthur Flour’s Italian-Style Flour.  It makes a very supple dough that bakes up crisp and airy—a noticeable step up from all-purpose flour.

For the crust you’ll need:

1 1/2 cups warm water at 105-110 degrees Fahrenheit
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 envelope active dry yeast
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil plus more for brushing
4 cups bread flour, all-purpose flour or, if you want to treat yourself well, King Arthur Italian-style flour, plus more for dusting and shaping
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Vegetable oil or spray for the bowl
Cornmeal for dusting  (another nice variation is to replace 3/4 cup flour with cornmeal in the crust recipe above)

Preheat oven to 450F with your pizza stone on the rack to preheat.  You can use a cookie sheet as well.

Mix together the warm water and sugar.  Sprinkle on the yeast and let stand for about five minutes until the yeast dissolves and swells.

Place the flour and salt in a food processor fitted with the plastic kneading blade and pulse to combine.  Let it run while you pour in the water and yeast mixture and olive oil.  The dough may need a bit more room temperature water or a tablespoon of flour to form a ball, but usually this amount works fine.  Continue to process for 30 seconds to 1 minute until dough is smooth and elastic.  You can also mix this in a bowl and knead on a floured surface by hand for 7-8 minutes.

Scoop the sticky dough into an oiled bowl with a spatula.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for two hours until doubled.  Punch down dough and turn onto a floured surface.  I divide the dough into four even balls and roll them in flour to keep from sticking.  You can toss the crusts if you’re able, but I just pat them into a disk and finish with a few quick turns of the rolling pin to desired thinness.

Place the crust on a peel sprinkled with cornmeal.  Brush the edges with olive oil.  Add the toppings (see below).  Unless you are a master with the wrist flick, ease the pizza gently from the peel onto the stone with a spatula so you don’t knock the topping all over.  Bake from 8-12 minutes depending on the crust thickness—a tinge of golden brown on the edges and/or on the cheese topping is a good indication it’s ready to eat.

Cut into slices with a pizza wheel or sharp knife and serve with a nice red wine.

Here’s a sampling of my favorite toppings—but remember, anything is possible:

The Classic:  Spread unbaked crust with jarred or homemade pizza sauce.  An easy sauce can be made by draining a can of chopped tomatoes in a strainer and stirring in fresh or dried basil to taste.  Sprinkle with grated mozzarella cheese—one or two ounces is sufficient for 1/4 of the dough.  Thin slices of fresh mozzarella work well, too.

Low-fat Mediterranean:  Spread unbaked crust with a light layer of tomato topping.  Sprinkle with any combination of Kalamata olives, feta, parmesan, artichoke hearts, and roasted or fried peppers.  Go light on the cheese.

Berkeley Special:  Fry some chopped onion in olive oil over low heat until caramelized.  Sprinkle over unbaked pizza crust and top with small cubes of mild goat cheese and toasted pine nuts.

Donna George Storey
March 2009


Donna is Cooking up a Storey in ERWA 2009 Archive.

______
"Cooking up a Storey" © 2009 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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'09 Movie Reviews

Blame It On Savanna
Review by Byrdman

Cry Wolf
Review by Spooky

Faithless
Review by Spooky

Heaven or Hell
Review by Oranje

House of Wicked
Review by Diesel

The Office: An XXX Parody
Review by Spooky

This Ain't The Partridge Family
Review by Spooky


'09 Book Reviews

Anthologies

A Slip of the Lip (ebook)
Review by Jean Roberta

Best Women's Erotica '09
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Bottoms Up
Review by Ashley Lister

Enchanted Again
Review by Victoria Blisse

Frenzy
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Girls on Top
Review by Ashley Lister

In Sleeping Beauty’s Bed
Review by Ashley Lister

Libidacoria (Poetry)
Review by Ashley Lister

Licks & Promises
Review by Ashley Lister

Like a Thorn (ebook)
Review by Lisabet Sarai

The Mile High Club
Review by Ashley Lister

Nexus Confessions: Vol 5
Review by Victoria Blisse

Nexus Confessions 6
Review by Victoria Blisse

Oysters & Chocolate
Review by Kristina Wright

Playing with Fire
Review by Ashley Lister

Sexy Little Numbers Vol 1
Review by Ashley Lister

Up for Grabs
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Novels

A 21st Century Courtesan
Review by Donna G. Storey

The Ages of Lulu
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Amanda’s Young Men
Review by Kristina Wright

As She's Told
Review by Ashley Lister

Bedding Down
Review by Victoria Blisse

Broken
Review by Ashley Lister

Brushes & Painted Dolls
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Cassandras Chateau
Review by Ashley Lister

The Edge of Impropriety
Review by Kristina Wright

Exposure
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Free Pass
Review by Ashley Lister

The Gift of Shame
Review by Victoria Blisse

Kiss It Better
Review by Ashley Lister

The Melinoe Project
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Mortal Engines & The ...
Review by Ashley Lister

The New Rakes
Review by Ashley Lister

Ninety Days of Genevieve
Review by Victoria Blisse

Obsession: An Erotic Tale
Review by Kristina Wright

Sarah's Education
Review by Ashley Lister

Seduce Me
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Lesbian Erotica

Lesbian Cowboys
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Night's Kiss
Review by Jean Roberta

Where the Girls Are
Review by Jean Roberta

Gay Erotica

Animal Attraction 2
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Boys in Heat
Review by Vincent Diamond

Faewolf
Review by Lisabet Sarai

The Low Road
Review by Jean Roberta

Personal Demons
Review by Jean Roberta

Ready to Serve
Review by Vincent Diamond

The Secret Tunnel
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Shuck
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Transgressions
Review by Vincent Diamond

Non-Fiction

Best Sex Writing '09
Review by Kristina Wright

The Big Penis Book
Review by Rob Hardy

Erotic Encounters
Review by Rob Hardy

The Forbidden Apple
Review by Rob Hardy

Hollywood’s Censor
Review by Rob Hardy

Lady in Red
Review by Rob Hardy

Licentious Gotham: Erotic...
Review by Rob Hardy

Live Nude Elf
Review by Rob Hardy

Live Nude Girl
Review by Rob Hardy

The Other Side of Desire
Review by Rob Hardy

Scripts 4 Play
Review by Ashley Lister