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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

Naked Lunches:
Picnics, Porn Stashes, and the Roots of an Obsession

 

Cooking up a Storey by Donna George Storey Back before kids, one of my favorite dates was a picnic. I’d dress up in something a little frilly—a skirt was a necessity of course—and pack my special wicker picnic basket with bread, cheese, fruit, fine chocolate and a bottle of red wine. My lover of the moment would haul the basket while I carried the blanket through meadow and forest. We’d wander until we found someplace fairly private at the edge of campus or in a park or a glade in the woods. The photograph below was taken during one such picnic my junior year of college. My boyfriend and I (he was sort of a jerk, but provided much material for future stories) were alone to feast and be amorous until a groundskeeper rode by on his lawn mower. Thank heavens I was wearing a skirt. And please don’t ask what happened to that poor banana!

Donna Picnic

A discussion of picnics, naughty and otherwise, is obviously appropriate to the season, but you may be wondering why the topic of porn stashes comes to mind as well.  It is perhaps merely coincidence that the summertime marked my first exposure to visual erotica in the form of my older sister’s collection of Viva: The International Magazine for Women, which she hauled home from college and displayed temptingly in her nightstand bookshelf.  Yet I can’t help but wonder if other fellow writers made similar use of the freedom of summer vacation to lie around in their bedrooms masturbating to pictorials from “borrowed” porn and getting quite a different education from the lessons they sat through in school.

In any case, those dirty magazines sure kept me entertained through many a long  July afternoon.

And so, this month I’d like to continue my exploration of the mysterious ingredients that flavor the erotica writer’s work by uncovering an imaginative link I discovered between picnics and porn just a few short weeks ago.

It's a cliché in American culture that a boy gets his first glimpse of the erotic form of the opposite sex from his Dad's porn collection—usually Playboys or Penthouses, possibly Oui—which the lad manages to locate in the corner of the closet when his "special dirty magazine homing device" is magically activated around the age of fourteen.  One seldom hears of a girl’s initiation in this way, but thanks to women’s liberation and the happenstance of birth order, my older sister provided me with the all-female equivalent:  those aforementioned back issues of Viva, Penthouse’s sister publication, and a dog-eared copy of Nancy Friday’s My Secret Garden: Women’s Sexual Fantasies.  The latter may more rightly claim direct influence on my erotica-writing career because of its focus on the expression of the female sexual imagination through prose.  But there’s no doubt Viva worked a more subtle, almost subliminal, magic on my adolescent mind.

A lot of the magazine was safe enough, a veritable treasury of 1970s American cool culture. There was very highbrow fiction, like an excerpt from Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior, and interviews with Warren Beatty and Helen Reddy as well as feminist roundtables and confessions from Vietnam vet’s wives. But there were also pictures.  Of naked men.  Sometimes these nude fellows were alone, like their Penthouse pet counterparts, sometimes they lounged languidly with their female lovers.  As I had an impeccably modest father and no brothers, I’d never before seen one of these strange creatures sporting lengths of flesh-colored garden hose between their legs.  Viva’s pictorials were softer than the Penthouse’s I glimpsed from friends’ brothers’ stashes—soft focus, soft cocks, soft stories in pretty historical settings.  For the most part, these scenes aroused me far less than Nancy Friday’s collection of taboo-breaking female fantasies, many of which shamelessly violate the rules most publishers set regarding underage sex, incest and bestiality.  But there was one exception, a special favorite pictorial that I turned to—and which turned me on—again and again and stayed with me for over thirty years.

Viva Image

Not that I really thought much about it in the intervening years, except for the occasional hit of nostalgia on a hot summer afternoon.  However, when I started writing erotica about ten years ago, I realized that I could probably get a copy of this particular magazine on ebay to compare my memories of the fantasy to the “real” thing.  After all, it surely meant something that the images lingered so clearly in my mind.  And as a smut writer my sexual memories and fantasies suddenly took on new importance as material, treasure, my true vocation.

I wasn’t quite sure which issue I was looking for, but I remembered the story started with a woman in 18th century dress carrying a picnic basket out to the woods. She nibbled fruit and sipped a little wine. Then, tipsy on booze and the great outdoors, she stretched out on her blanket and pleasured herself. A passing Continental soldier espied the lady and decided to join her. She didn’t mind the company and a merry feast ensued. My best guess was the July 1976 issue, which would surely have something with a Continental soldier, but alas after acquiring the whole bicentennial year at an e-bay auction, I discovered I was wrong. Nor did the scene appear in any issue from 1974 or 1975. I had nearly completed my set of early Viva’s before I finally hit the jackpot—December 1973.

Viva image

To my surprise, even after all these years, “Secrets from My Diary” didn’t disappoint. In fact, it was better than I remembered. There were some especially interesting scenes involving food. For example, the man (not a soldier but a certain Lord Ffetherpenney) eats a wedge of mango from between the lady’s legs, while she sucks her own fingers. Soft core it is, but nicely suggestive. In another the lady pours wine in the man’s mouth, missing badly and licking the wet stuff off of his lips and chin. There’s a nice butt-kissing scene and another of my favorites: the half-dressed lord carrying the naked woman fireman-style back to his four-poster bed. This early pictorial is one of the hottest in my whole collection, so it’s no wonder it stayed with me.  But still, it seemed little more than a fond memory with minimal impact on my life.

Then, a few weeks ago, I was looking through some old photographs and came across the picnic photo I posted at the beginning of this column. And suddenly it struck me. My urge to dress up in long skirts and drag my boyfriends out to the woods, mosquito bites on my butt bedamned, surely originated in my subconscious memories of the 18th century diarist and her lord capering en plein air.

But which came first? Was I drawn to the food porn pictorial because the circuits of pleasure were already set in my brain—a “sex, food, and writing” blogger waiting to happen? Or did Viva create new ones that still stoke my libido today? Did they feed each other, like the lady and her lord in the sunny glade?

Perhaps I should stop grasping for an answer and start packing up my picnic basket instead?

See you in the woods, Lord Ffetherpenney!

In honor of picnics and the porn that inspired them, this month’s recipe is for couscous salad, a high-protein dish that makes a perfect offering for potlucks in the park or amorous outings that require a bit of hiking to reach that perfect out-of-the-way glade.  The recipe gives specific quantities, but when I make it myself, I just chop a bunch of vegetables and toss them into the bowl with the steamed couscous.  And I always toast up an extra handful of pine nuts, because they’re crunchy and deliciously indulgent.  I hope this inspires you to do a little sexy culinary capering en plein air this summer yourself—banana optional!


Naughty Picnic Couscous Salad

(6 servings)

1 10 ounce package quick-cooking couscous
1 14 ounce can vegetable or chicken broth
2 tomatoes, chopped
A bunch of green onions, chopped
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and well drained
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch long julienne
1/2 cup dried currants
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup freshly toasted pine nuts

Dressing:
5 Tablespoons lemon juice
4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
1 drop hot pepper sauce
Pinch of garlic powder
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Bring broth to a boil over medium heat.  Add couscous (check package if more liquid is needed), off heat and cover.  Let steam for five minutes.  Uncover and cool, then fluff.  Transfer couscous to a large bowl.

Add tomatoes, green onions, chickpeas, bell pepper, currants and chopped parsley and mix until well combined.

Blend lemon juice, olive oil, cumin, curry powder, hot pepper sauce and garlic powder in a small bowl.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add dressing to couscous and toss to combine.  Refrigerate at least one hour.  Can be prepared one day ahead.  Mix in pine nuts just before serving (take nuts in separate container for a picnic).

Donna George Storey
July 2009


If you have any comments or insights to share about this column, please drop by Donna's blog or send an email to: donna@donnageorgestorey.com

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
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Faithless
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'09 Book Reviews

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Best Women's Erotica '09
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Bottoms Up
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Enchanted Again
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Frenzy
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In Sleeping Beauty’s Bed
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Like a Thorn (ebook)
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Nexus Confessions: Vol 5
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Playing with Fire
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Sexy Little Numbers Vol 1
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Up for Grabs
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Novels

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The Ages of Lulu
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Amanda’s Young Men
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As She's Told
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Bedding Down
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Broken
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Brushes & Painted Dolls
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The Edge of Impropriety
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Exposure
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Free Pass
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The Gift of Shame
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Ready to Serve
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The Big Penis Book
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