Friday, February 28, 2014

Phallic Friday - vibe plus

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wildlife Wednesday - cicadas and kids

Cicadas are the sound of summer, and as summer finishes up, I thought I'd pop these photos here, even though I already did a cicada post (here).

When I was a kid, cicadas were everywhere. Not just the noise. I collected them too - shells and live. But as an adult I hadn't seen too many, which concerned me. Had I lost my inner child?

So a couple of times I've gone on my walk to the beach and made sure I thought about my inner kid (I had to do this when I was by myself, Mr E and my inner kid aren't real good together! He thinks I'll hurt myself, should act my age, etc :) )

So, I walked off the track, peered underneath things, poked around a bit, looked at about chest-waist height. And what did I find? The cicadas and the shells that I'd been missing as an adult! Phew :)

It's a bit scary that I've lost my inner child and have to consciously drag it back. When did that happen? I've always thought about being Peter Pan - and damn, I'm not!

But I can be. I can consciously decide to allow that kid out and she's there, getting all cobwebby as she climbs under branches to get a better photo of a cicada shell. She's there, bending up under branches and leaves to check out tree trunks to find live cicadas. But she's collecting photos now, not live animals and shells, and maybe that's a better thing! I'm sure the cicadas are happier :)

So, as summer comes to a close, and the cicadas quieten down, autumn appears, leaves turn, nights cool, and I'll wait to see what fun my inner kid can have in autumn!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sunday Story - Women's Fantasies

Rachel Kramer Bussel has a submission call for Best Bondage Erotica, Female Fantasy Erotica and Sex Toy Erotica. You can find them here. The first two close 1 March, the Sex Toys is 1 April.

I like writing for her anthologies for lots of reasons, like:
  • my first publication was in one of Rachel's anthologies (Gotta Have It: 69 stories of sudden sex)
  • she's easy to work with - polite, always keeps you in the loop, when she says a date she sticks to it, her contracts are easy to understand, she's a great editor and always has a huge mix of stories in her anthologies.
  • they're short, which I find fun as well as challenging
  • there's a range of interesting topics/themes each year
  • it gives your name exposure to people who may not have read your work before
  • it gives you exposure to other authors who are always interesting
  • some big name authors have stories in these anthologies
  • the submission process is professional, yet easy to navigate

She hasn't always accepted my stories, even after she accepted my first one. And that's good. It tells me that she makes choices based on individual stories and anthologies, not author names.

She also accepts new authors, and makes a point of including new authors into the anthologies. That's great. It opens a door. When you might think you're getting nowhere in your writing career, an acceptance like this can give you hope and help you continue your journey.

And short stories allows you to try something new, something different, and see how it goes. You can write in a different format, use an unusual topic, write with more emotion or less emotion. It's short, so you aren't taking a lot of time trying something that may not work.

I submitted a story for Female Fantasies. It's erotica because there was no happy ending. It's raw and not very feel-good. It's different.

And it came to me as I was driving to the markets the other week. Sitting in a line of traffic at roadworks, this women started talking to me, telling me her story. If I could have pulled off the road then and there I would have but the roadworks made that impossible. She stuck with me though. She told me her story and haunted my mind until I could scribble. Then I got home and that night her voice poured out.

When this happens, I don't know if I have a story. It sort of paralyses my mind. I get stuck in the, 'where did she come from?' and the, 'is she telling me the truth?' questions. So these stories get sent out to my cut-throat critics who I know will tell me if it's shit. Because I'm scared at this point. I'm scared because I can't tell if it's good or not. So I have to rely on someone else, or a couple of someone elses.

They came back saying it was good. So I worked more on it. Made a story. And submitted. Only time will tell how my story, and my cut-throat critics, went this time! But at least my female visitor has left my mind. She told me her tale and went away. I like that. I like that a lot.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Phallic Friday - Ben Wa Balls

Ben Wa Balls are another strange sexual pleasure item I thought I'd share today. They are weighted balls, about the size of a large marble, which are inserted vaginally.

They have lots of other names too, according to Wikipedia, they include - Ben Wa balls, also known as Burmese bells, BenoƮt balls, Orgasm balls, "rin-no-tama", Venus balls or Geisha balls. More info is on Wikipedia, here.

Ben Wa Balls can be used to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. After inserting the balls, they press down on the vaginal opening, and you need to have strong pelvic floor muscles to hold them in for long periods of time. I've read that you can vacuum and do other housework while holding the Ben Wa Balls inside, so you don't actively concentrate on them, leaving the muscles to work, while doing other jobs. How handy!

Ben Wa Balls can be used to practice vaginal wall contractions. You are supposed to be able to move two Ben Wa Balls around inside you, which makes for strong walls for partner satisfaction!

They can also be used as something to enhance the sexual experience, and to tease making a long drawn out tease to orgasm.

Many years ago I tried these but they were much better in my imagination than in practice - although maybe I needed more practice at them! I don't know.

There are similar balls (but with a flared end) designed to be used anally, which can also be used by men.

Of course, these things aren't for everyone.

Have you had pleasure from Ben Wa Balls?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Wildlife Wednesday - dead thing (with pics)

I know I was going to do things I knew from now on... but that was before this washed up on our beach. It's too incredible not to share with you. Well, I hope you don't mind blubbery mess photos.

So, on Tuesday, Mr E comes home from his morning (think dark of morning, not when the sun shines - a time I know nothing about except for when I'm reading a good book and get carried away and haven't yet slept!) walk and says, "When the tide goes out, you have to see this whale on the beach." We had a whale washed up on our beach a few years back, so I was imagining that sort of thing (a whole whale that was identifiable).

We go down to the beach later in the day at a reasonable hour when the tide is no longer covering the whale. And this is what I see!

"Is it a whale?" I ask, while covering my nose and then pinching it tight because the stench is horrendous.

I can't talk or breathe any more, so I shoot some pics, thinking that I'll identify the mess when I get home and my eyes aren't watering from the awful awful smell. And yes, there was a man fishing, in the zone of the smell - he must have had dead olfactory senses!

I look at these photos and I've no idea what it is. I guess it has to be some type of whale because it's big (maybe 3 m long or so), and that bone sticking up is huge (maybe close to 60 cm across). But I'm guessing with measurements here because I had to run from the smell! But look at how many footprints it takes for us to walk past it - it would have to be 3 or 4 m long.

So... a couple of days later (I forget what happened but I didn't get there the next day - must have gone out or something), I went down to take another look and get some more photos...and there wasn't much left!

We've had a lot of beach erosion lately due to changes in our beach last June (when the old river mouth opened due to flooding). So our dunes are ripped right back to half what they were. And the old river mouth is filling back up, so there is some sand deposition...but I didn't think there was enough sand being tossed back on short to cover this up!

There weren't any tracks from machinery, although they may have been washed away, but if machinery did it, why did they leave the bone?

My Dad said crabs would have picked it clean this quickly! Wow! Just wow! I've seen hardly any crabs at our beach, but I guess they could have all come for a feast - it certainly would have been worth their while! And there are birds. Fish may have helped too at high tide.

It's pretty impressive that the ocean can get rid of big secrets so quickly, isn't it?

If we hadn't gone down that first day, I would have thought Mr E was hallucinating in the early morning shadows!

If you're a carcase expert and you know what my mystery creature is, please feel free to share :)

Oh... more to add to this. Today (14th Feb), maybe 10 days after the mystery, a non-mystery washed up on the beach. So I went and took some photos and looked at the size. Today's dead fur seal, which you can read about here, was about one third of the size of the mystery carcase. So although I was a bit hesitant about the size of the mystery, today I'm very confident that it was BIG and whale size.

I stuck a footprint near the seal (not too near, this one stank too!) so you can get an idea of the size. And then I dug out some photos from the last whale that washed up, and I remember the size of that one didn't seem too huge, until you were right near it. It was startling for me to realise how big our beach was, and that there could be 100s of whales out there and you'd never know.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sunday Story - music and mood

Photo from:
I used to listen to a lot of music - different things for different moods. Music was a constant presence in my world. And then I got Ross River Fever and now I have sensitivities to things like noise. ARGH! Which means music! So now music is for when I feel good and am doing something that requires no concentration, like housework. Music isn't a huge part of my life anymore (I don't often do housework!!) and often I don't notice it.

But last Sunday night we had shown INXS Never Tear Us Apart, a telemovie about the band (okay, so I watched it today, Saturday, because I had to watch Torah Bright at the Olympics, and if not her, it would have been Rake, but it was up there!).

INXS were one of my bands in my teenage years. Lord! Michael Hutchence could move like sin and sing like sex, as he grooved his way into almost every female teenage heart in Australia. He was a rock god. I remember Mum not being terribly happy about INXS on Count Down, or my attempts at gyrating around the lounge room. So I wasn't allowed to own an INXS album. My friend taped hers for me (The Swing and Shabooh Shoobah). They were hidden from my Mum for my night time indulgences, quietly played on my tape recorder while I feel asleep.

Watching INXS on TV brought back all those memories. My teenage frustrated lust for an unobtainable sexy rock god. My confusion at my mother's reactions. My total worship of the band. My heartfelt thanks to my friend for the tapes. Oh, the music. The sex. The way that man moved. It all filled me with every bit of teenage angst and want and need.

There's something about music that can flick my mood or take me back to a single point in time. It's magical.

I sometimes wish I could write to music. Imagine writing a raunchy sex scene with Michael Hutchence whispering just to me, through my earbuds. Oh, the joy of that :)

Did you watch INXS? Do you have a favourite band?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Phallic Friday - gay footy player?

So...Naughty Ninjas launch today!! WooooHooooo!!

If you'd like to win an $80 Amazon Gift Card, sign up to the newsletter today. Just visit the Naughty Ninja website here. Down the bottom of the main page is a subscribe to the newsletter button. Click will be worthwhile!! :)

Now, to my Phallic Friday thoughts...

I just read this news article (you can read it here) about a college football player in the US who is openly gay (he's 24) and wants to play in the NFL. There's uproar! Apparently having an openly gay man playing football will upset the locker room, the team, the fans, etc etc etc.

Oh My!

I thought America had a much more tolerant attitude to homosexuals than Australia - largely because of the acceptance of gay marriage and the acceptance of high profile gay people. But wow. This is making me re-think my views on America.

It's always confused me that erotica is fine in some parts of the US and under the carpet in other parts. That sometimes our Aussie covers are deemed too risque for the US market. That sometimes our book titles are too confronting. And yet... America is supposed to be the home of democracy and choice.

Yet, with this story comes a whole heap of other sides.

It's not that much different to here - so long as it's not in my backyard, it's okay! I hate that attitude.

It's got to be okay with individuals on a one-on-one level first before it's okay in the big wide world.

Until people can be comfortable with other people, acceptance on a societal level will never happen. And that's sad.

When I was just out of school, I had a job where I worked (and spent a lot of time out of work at sport and social events) with a lot of gay women. Being young and naive, I didn't know they were gay for a very long time. And when I first found out, I freaked (not in front of them - but at home by myself). I knew a lot of gay men and I was totally okay with the homosexual thing. But when it's women, and you could be the target of their 'crazy lust', it puts a whole different spin on things. And I did take a while to work out for myself that if they hadn't in their 'crazy lust', had their wicked way with my naive, innocent self...then they were unlikely to push themselves on me when I knew they were gay. My knowledge, or lack of it, made no difference in the scheme of things. So after a few days of soul-searching, I realised I was being an idiot. They were my friends, gay or straight. It made no difference.

Since then I've lived in country towns with gay couples in the town. I know there's a superficial level of acceptance but sometimes there's fear of the unknown too. People make snide jokes, people worry about being 'corrupted', people talk behind their backs. It's not quite as acceptable as we like to pretend.

I think we have to make personal changes before anything will change. Each person need to look at their thoughts, examine facts, rationalise their way of thinking and see if they're right or if they need to change their attitude.

Will there ever be equality? What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Wildlife Wednesday - bug

I saw this guy on the bathroom floor the other night. I only noticed it because of the massively long antennae. Huge, aren't they?

So... I thought it would be easy to identify (why do I always think that?).

I did a Google search and there are photos like this on US websites were someone says they're cricket nymphs. But... I can't find an Aussie picture of a reputable website to make me feel happy with that definition.

In the back of my mind is something telling me that the massively long antennae are a key feature... but blowed if I can remember what of!

And I'm not sure those legs look like jumping legs. Wish I took better photos - but it was 1 am or something!

But it's not a termite (phew!), or a cockroach, so it must be something like a cricket or grasshopper or something like that, surely.

I'm getting some more pictures of things I know :) It's demoralising not to know what it is!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sunday Story - a new way to promo and stuff

I have to confess to loathing promo - of me, of my books, of anything really. I can sometimes tolerate doing a plug for others but compared to some people, I make a little bleat to their screaming cacophony. I don't do cacophonies anytime - oh, except cicadas! So I've struggled with promo.
But no more!

A revolution is coming!

On Valentine's Day (of course! It's the day for all things romance), I will be a part of a new way to promo - by having a laugh, by being funny or silly, by sharing humour or snark.

A shared blog, with social media links (like a Facebook page, and Twitter contests and things).

My biggest hope is that we'll generate some interest in ourselves, which may trickle down to a few people reading my stories.

But aside from the hope for readers, I want to enjoy social media. I want to be able to hang out with friends, laugh together, and pretend we live close enough to be cakking ourselves over lunch or coffee. I want to create a pseudo-world inside my computer screen :)

And the best thing is that you know most of the people - or you are most of the people! LOL

Two of my most frequent commenters will be with me in the craziness - Lily Malone and Rhyll Biest. So you know it's going to be fun.

Be ready for the big launch on Feb 14th!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Phallic Friday - merkins

Today's topic is the merkin - the pubic hair wig, originally used by prostitutes who had shaved their gentalia, or for prostitutes who wanted a point of difference and used a different colour pubic hair.

And for interest, my Wordsworth Dictionary of Sex tells me that from the 16th to 18th century the word was used to describe a woman's natural pubic hair, and to describe the female genitals themselves. Hmm... wonder how that changed.

I forget exactly how I came to know of the merkin, but it was definitely discussed in our office at work one day in the mid 1990s. Maybe it was through the TV show Sex, which was on at the time. It seemed to stimulate a lot of topics of conversation in our office. Our office sat at the bottom of stairs, as the last office before the doors outside, so you can imagine it was a hive of activity - and not all of it was work! Everyone stopped by to have a chat. I shared the office with two guys, one who was very chatty and one who could be when you got him warmed up. So it was a fun workplace - probably the best office I've ever had.

We had all manner of odd discussions. And I can't remember most of them, I just remember the hilarity of it. And the merkin was the brunt of many many many jokes.

Anyway, the merkin has resurfaced in my life. Not because I need one, but because I've joined with a bunch of Naughty writers who think they're Ninjas, and they've been talking about merkins. It's one of the jokes. And the other day one of them mentioned gold plated merkins as a prize for getting in our articles.

It stuck in my head - gold plated merkins - classic!

So, I went to the movies the other day with Mr E, and we had some time before the show (because we actually managed a sit down proper lunch in a cafe, not my favoured long lunch, but still an improve on the hastily scoffed pies he last treated me to). Spotlight is just across the road. I was thinking of gold plated merkins.

I was browsing the wool - which is often more synthetic than wool these days, which makes my skin crawl, but that's another rant. In the "wool" I found this gold stuff, and the gold and black. I got the giggles.

What do you reckon? Merkin material?

If you need some inspiration for merkins, just do a Google search for merkin images and be astounded by the variety!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Wildlife Wednesday - bugs in Qld

We went to Qld for Christmas and each time I've been to Queensland I'm impressed by the bugs that they have up there. They're bigger and brighter than we have here in NSW. I don't think it's my imagination...I'm pretty sure it's true. It's something I don't consciously think about and then when I'm there, I'm blown away all over again.
I think they further north you go in Australia, the more interesting the bugs. I remember being in the Daintree and they had cockroaches that wouldn't leave much space when you sat them in the palm of your hand. Truly a large cockroach!

I think colour also is more intense the further north you go. Colours here for beetles and bugs are brown or black. Once you go north, they become more iridescent and intense. Look at the colour of butterflies in North Queensland...they're stunning.

This Longicorn Beetle (I think) in the photo is not the greatest example of colour...but he was a descent size (close to an inch). We don't have many beetles that size. And this is just taken with my digital pocket camera, nothing fancy. I'm sure NSW bugs don't photograph with this much detail!

I did a bit of a google search to see if there's been research looking at gradients of insect size or colour...and you know, I couldn't find anything. Now that would be a fun project, wouldn't it? Travelling Australia catching bugs to see if you could detect size and colour gradients between north and south and/or east and west. Imagine the fun! Oh, but the stats should be a nightmare.

Better get back to writing :)

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Sunday Story - a little kink

Some good news today, well for me - I have a new story!

Rachel Kramer Bussel puts out a heap of fantastic anthologies of erotic writing. I've been lucky enough to have been chosen for her latest release (I think July it will be out).

My kinky tale is called "Control" and it's a scene from a submissive's point of view.

These stories are all short, really short, and I like the concentrated focus of short short stories (less than 1200 words). And with 69 in a book, surely there's a little taste of something for everyone?!?

I was a part of another 69 stories, Gotta Have It: 69 Stories of Sudden Sex, which Rachel Kramer Bussel also edited. It's now been made into an audio book with the sexy narration by Rose Caraway. You can hear five examples here and find out more about that book here.

The Big Book of Submission is available for pre-order on Amazon, and it's up on Goodreads. I'll let you know when it's out.

But if you're after another Big Book, try The Big Book of Orgasm (69 sexy stories), which is on Amazon here, but available elsewhere too. I don't have a sexy story - I'm only Sudden and Kinky! :)