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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

Cracking Foxy

by Robert Buckley

Havens on Earth

 

Nighthawks by Edward Hopper

Cheers was the place where "everyone knows your name." The idealization of the friendly neighborhood bar, a sanctuary where the price of a beer bought you more than a beer; it bought you respite from life.

There are so few real sanctuaries available to us common toilers. Neighborhood bars, of course. But, what about a place where no one needs to know your name? A place that puts you right at ease, at once friendly, familiar, yet anonymous. Such places are imbued with a kind of magic, a low-intensity magic, to be sure, but tangible in its ambiance and aromas.

They call such places diners.

The classic diner stands out as unique among all other architecture. Usually it's in the shape of a railway car, sloped clean lines, determinedly art deco, meant to resemble diner cars on trains, which had a well-deserved reputation for good and tasty food, due in no small part to their all-black culinary crews. They were ubiquitous once in the Northeast United States where they existed in industrial areas and served round-the-clock factory shifts. Good food served all day … no kitchen breaks. You'd be hard-put today to find a working factory, much less one with round-the-clock shifts served by a 24-hour eatery.

In addition to the classic venues you can include local coffee shops and hash houses, delicatessens and cafeterias, all of which have survived. Not so the marvelous automats of Times Square, where you could drop a coin into a slot and take a chicken sandwich out of a tiny window in the wall.

But the neighborhood diner did more than serve industrial-sized appetites. It was the setting for nascent love stories, where a guy brought his date after a movie and treated her to a burger and a shake, or if they were a bit more mature and sophisticated, a cup of coffee and a slice of pie.

The pretty waitress who served the fantasies of the line workers might also yearn for more than a flirty chat with a special regular.

Diners also served as havens on the highway. Long before the so-called fast-food era, before McDonald's and Burger King made dining on the road just more-of-the-same, diners welcomed travelers, lonely and road-weary, and they too could sense the magic. For while each diner was unique, each offered that same coddling welcome that conveyed the idea that here you will find respite, here we are all strangers and the best of friends. Stay as long as you want; have another cup of coffee; have another piece of pie.

The sprawl of fast-food franchises was based upon the notion that travelers would embrace the familiar. One Burger King looks the same as another and geography has nothing to do with it. It was just like the one at home, no surprises. Makes one wonder what allure there was in traveling if you only drove from one bland venue to another, nothing to distinguish them.

And while diners offered comfort, no two were exactly the same. In fact, they had personalities of their own.

Diners have survived into the 21st century, but they are fewer and farther between. The best remain the neighborhood sanctuaries, even neighborhoods that have changed economically and ethnically.

The branded fast-food franchises, however, have taken their toll on the homely highway havens. Still they persevere along swatches of interstates and turnpikes, most especially in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, just off the storied parkways of New York State, and western Massachusetts. Often, though, you have to keep an eye peeled for them.

Are there bad diners? Can't say I've ever found one, even including a few greasy spoons. Even the inferior ones do one or two dishes better than anyone else. The offerings are homely, comfort food. Order the mac and cheese, or meatloaf and gravy, hash and eggs. If they screw up one of those standards, well maybe something iswrong. But only if they forget the warm rolls and pats of butter.

Diners have fed me some of my best ideas, and fertile settings. Such inspiration is in no way unique to me; consider Edward Hopper's "Nighthawks." Or try to recall how many times the late, great Rod Serling set a Twilight Zone episode in an upstate New York diner. Serling, who lived in the area, no doubt, loved diners, and had frequented them in his neighborhood.

That he could as easily introduce space aliens to the confines of a small-town diner as he could a traveling salesman, speaks to the fertile ground diners offer as a story setting.

Taking the cue from Mr. Serling, I had a pair of angels visit a diner on Christmas Eve. Just another pair of customers.

I would invite any writer, most especially one of erotica, to sit in a diner for any length of time, take a look around and conjure a story from the souls who have found a special kind of sanctuary there, along with a burger and fries, or a coffee and a corn muffin, be they customers, waitresses, short-order cooks, or weary wanderers.

You can bet some, if not all of them are hoping that by the end of the day, there'll be another soul, another warm body to rub up against, and help keep the blues at bay for another day.

I suppose you could set a story, even an erotic story, at McDonald's or Burger King, but I can't help wondering whether the sex would be hurried, the way meals are prepared and hurried. Romance? Impossible. Romance can't be hurried; it has to simmer a bit. And it can't be supersized.

I don't know if younger generations will, or will have the chance to discover the special magic of diners. Maybe the magic won't work for them. But what are we to make of the chains like Johnny Rockets, or the car-hop take-off featured in "Pulp Fiction" That emulate an earlier time.

Perhaps one generation's nostalgia ignites the next generation's curiosity.

As for me, I'll pass on the Happy Meal for a meal that makes me happy … if only for a while.

Robert Buckley
March 2009


Read more of Robert Buckley's Cracking Foxy in 2009 ERWA Archive.

______
"Cracking Foxy" © 2009 Robert Buckley. All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or part without written


About the Author: Robert Buckley is senior fiction editor at ERWA. His stories have been published in various anthologies, including editions of Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica and the Coming Togther series of altruistic erotica.



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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