Posts tagged ‘erotic writing’
What better or more fitting way is there to spend Valentine’s Day than with a bottle of Lambrusco, copious packets of Walker’s crisps, a slew of horror flicks, two pervy cats, and four psychotic bison frise dogs breathing down your neck? Yup, that’s exactly how I spent what’s supposed to be the most romantic day of the year.
Rather than endure Valentine’s Day on my own (last year I’d given a talk on erotic writing to creative writing MA students at Roehampton University, which was followed by a “date” consisting of my being allocated one token drink, my evening culminating in a delayed train home due to a “fatality” on the line at Romford – not sure if the suicide was a result of a broken heart or a result of living in Romford), I decided to head to that exotic gem of northern England known as Blackpool. Bear in mind that this English seaside resort town has as one of its claims to fame a “space invasion” (where’s Ziggy Stardust when you need him?) featuring several hovering spaceships on Gynn Island (in reality a roundabout), not to mention copious doses of the clap from all those hen nights (a more sedate version of which can be found in my short story “Hen Night” on Amazon Kindle) and stag dos and assorted dubious establishments catering to – dare I use the word – gentlemen.
Now I’m not going to diss Blackpool. I’m sure it’s a damned sight better than Skeggie (aka Skegness, home to the proverbial “dirty weekend” – a place where I’ve yet to go and may well manage to live without having gone). Blackpool does have some good things going for it (other than the Tower, Blackpool rock, and zillions of cheap trinkets on offer) – one being that my good mate Ashley Lister and his lovely wife Tracy and their lovely son Ashley Jr. all live there, the other being that it’s known as “the gay capital of the North”. Although I always seem to miss the Gay Pride Parade, I did go to a drag club called Funny Girls there a couple of years back. It wasn’t too bad as far as drag revues go, save for the fact there was no place to sit and I ended up with a hell of a backache by the time the show ended. Plus the place was packed with raucous females out on a hen night which – in my humble view – is enough to turn even the most masculine hetero male into a raging queen. What made it even worse was the fact that these creatures all wore these cute little furry bunny tails clipped to their rather uncute and unlittle posteriors. The sight was enough to make any man’s mars and venus shrivel up and die.
Meanwhile back at the ranch. At Chez Lister, we partook of a romantic orgy of blood, zombies, cannibals, vampires, and crazed killers all weekend long, the lineup of which included: Sweeney Todd; Dracula, Prince of Darkness; 30 Days of Night; 1408; Hannibal Rising; and Vacancy. Now I must confess that I did feel a bit of the old amorous Valentine’s Day tingle while watching Hannibal Rising. That Gaspard Ulliel isn’t too shabby. In fact, I can conjure up some very romantic scenarios featuring him in the lead role (no pun intended). Oh, and Andrew Garfield too. Okay, let’s throw in Jamie Draven while we’re at it; I do want to be fair here. And if anyone out there knows one or more of these nice lads, kindly pass on the word that I’m single and an absolutely lovely lass – they’d be hard-pressed to find better! (Hey, if I can’t use my blog for my own sinister purposes then what’s the bloody point?)
Did I mention that I played Upwords with the two Ashleys? For those of you unfamiliar with this board game, think of it like council estate Scrabble, with the words forming those grim tower blocks you see all over Britain which were built in an effort to provide public housing and which in London you can now pay full market rent to live in – no extra fees for the graffiti, broken lifts and muggings. During our tourney, I somehow managed to end up with too many tiles of the letter U; I suspect it was part of some father-son plot to cause me to lose the game. Things really began to disintegrate when I was forced to repeatedly place words such as “oh” and “uh” on the board. I mean, how lame is that? Three games and I’d had enough. I next embarked on a jigsaw puzzle, but got annoyed after about an hour, retiring to the living room for a PlayStation game featuring Darth Vader and a host of other butch animated male characters, along with a handful of pneumatic animated female bimbos emitting noises like their flesh-and-blood pneumatic counterparts in porn. I must admit that while playing I became increasingly aggressive, experiencing a killer instinct the likes of which I hadn’t experienced since I lived in Los Angeles – an instinct that usually kicked into gear whenever I drove on the freeways, which was pretty much all the time.
Now don’t go thinking that my Valentine’s weekend was all bloodshed, mayhem and crisps. There was some romance (other than that provided by Monsieur Ulliel). I got to lie back on the sofa in peel me a grape fashion listening to Ashley Jr. play the piano. Then there was my toast thief Spike, who courted me all weekend long by performing The Spike Dance. I tell you, it’s a real talent to be able to get your head and your arse at the same angle. Imagine a U-shaped dog and you get the picture. And hey, if you think it’s easy, YOU try doing it!
Hmmm. I wonder what’s in store for me next Valentine’s Day…
View the rest of my holiday snaps on Flickr.
Watch videos from my “dirty weekend”!
Let me just say that rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated.
It was like a scene from out of an Agatha Christie whodunnit: an old manor house, a howling wind blowing in from the raging sea, mysterious and menacing creaks in the night. Whispers of “Let’s kill the erotic writing tutor” could be heard emanating from dark corners – corners where hands might jump out at any moment to wrap around your neck.
Or rather MY neck.
Six women and one man, all locked up for Literotica, an erotic writing weekend on the Isle of Wight. Sure, they looked so innocent and friendly on arrival. So who would suspect that beneath these civilised veneers lurked a bloodthirsty desire TO KILL? I myself suspected nothing. (Mind you, I rarely do.) I conducted my workshop just as I’ve always done, imparting a bit of professional and personal wisdom, and inspiring participants to write freely, to strive high, and to leave behind their erroneous assumptions that erotica is nothing but poshed-up porn. I could see I was winning the battle. These people were actually creating work that would have been equally at home in a respectable literary novel as it would in a respectable sexy novel. “Get rid of the top shelf!” I cried. “No more one-handed reads!” I cheered. And the crowd roared back, hanging on my every word.
So why should one of these nice people wish to kill me – and to kill me in one of the most slow and agonising ways possible – by poison? Was I too hard on them? Did I give too much homework? Did they take offence at my bear’s critiques of their work? Or indeed, was it even one of the workshop participants at all? Perhaps the mild-mannered Greek proprietor of our windswept country house was behind it. Now I’ve heard of not wanting to pay someone for services rendered, but come on – isn’t this taking things a bit too far? (Actually, I did kind of wonder why that plumber’s van hadn’t moved out of the car park for the entire weekend.)
I admit they were clever. They waited until after I’d signed their copies of Getting Even: Revenge Stories (
)– (Christ, I knew I shouldn’t have brought that one along) – and The New Black Lace Book of Women’s Sexual Fantasies (
Ca). Just think how much these copies would have fetched on eBay had their sinister murder plot actually come to fruition!
It’s hard to believe that the people with whom I’d enjoyed a friendly Saturday night pint at the local pub could, within only a matter of minutes, turn on me like that. I was fine up until then. Had they put poison into my untended pint while I nipped to the loo? Had they coated the rim of the glass with some deadly nectar so that when I raised it to my unknowing lips, I’d ingest the substance? Had someone truly NOT enjoyed reading their copy of Getting Even? I mean, everyone kept saying how they couldn’t wait to get stuck into it, especially the story I wrote. So what gives?
I suspect the physicist. As the only male in a group of women, he was already anticipating the worst from before he’d arrived on the island. Yet I did my best to make him feel welcome and comfortable. I even spent extra time with him chatting about such things as parallel universes and cloud computing as we sat drinking cups of milky tea. What more could I have done? Hey, was it MY fault that someone said (no it wasn’t me!) that all men are crap in bed? Okay, so I nodded to be polite. I mean, wouldn’t you have done the same if you’d been in my shoes?
As you can see, I survived the weekend, albeit quite the worse for wear. And yes, I’m booked again for yet another erotic writing workshop weekend next November. I wonder though if someone might be trying to tell me something. For on the final leg of my journey home, the man seated behind me on the train kept singing about Nosferatu.
Hmmm… I have been looking rather wan of late.
Okay, let’s get this straight: I’m a car person. I started driving when I was just a wee lass of 15. I’ve always gone everywhere in a car. Having spent a bit of time in California, particularly in the hardcore car culture of Los Angeles, I can definitely say that I often feel as if I’ve had my legs cut off living a car-less life in Britain. It’s not that I’m “green” – rather I’m simply too skint to own a car. (Subliminal message: buy more books buy more books!!!!!!!!!!!!)
Which relegates me to the glorious dregs of public transportation, where you can experience a lifetime’s worth of experience just trying to get home from an evening out. Mind you, not all experiences are worth having. I mean, living in a cave with Osama bin Laden isn’t an experience I’d wish to partake of. I wouldn’t care to shack up in a cave (or anywhere else for that matter) with Robbie Williams either. Or George Clooney. Or Nicholas Cage. As for Andrew Garfield (oy, such a nice Jewish boy!) … now you’re talking! And let’s throw in Jamie Draven while we’re at it. If Osama still insists on lurking around, we can always get him to make the kebabs. But that meat had better be Halal!
Right, so where was I? Oh, yeah, trying to get home. I can write a book about this, believe me – and who knows, maybe one day I will. Perhaps another in my Erotic Travel Tales
Ca) anthology series. Erotic Travel Tales on British Public Transport – now there’s a catchy title. Or how about Erotic Tube Tales? Err… no, better scrap that one! Speaking of which, I always need the tube (London Underground to you non-Brits) and the train to get home. Note that I’m not factoring in the bus in this discussion, since I tend to avoid them now that I’m living in the Greater London area. I’ve had my fill of psychotic drivers who slam on the brakes in a standing-room only bus, then sit back and enjoy the mayhem. These early-release programmes from prison just don’t work, in my humble opinion.
The other week while waiting on a train platform, I observed a young couple arguing heatedly over the controversial subject of mayonnaise. And yes, I mean that creamy white stuff you slather onto bread when you make a sandwich. I edged discreetly away from the pair, concerned there might be bloodshed. I mean, a discussion of mayonnaise would surely have propelled even a peaceful chap such as Mahatma Gandhi into the ranks of ASBO status. Things soon calmed down, however, when the fellow nearly broke into tears, proclaiming to his woman in a sledgehammer urban London accent that he wanted to be the best he could be for her (a rather syphilitic-looking specimen), and that he was concerned for her health (bit late for that, mate!). I almost wept I was so moved. Well, no, actually I didn’t.
The night would later reach a climactic crescendo as I walked home from the railway station and happened upon a quartet of lads with pint glasses in hand, whereupon two of them (the lads, not the pint glasses) proceeded to urinate the lager they’d been consuming all evening against some unsuspecting trees. (I’ve heard of taking the piss, but this is ridiculous!) They didn’t seem bothered about me, although that’s probably got more to do with the fact that I don’t look like I belong, since I don’t go around with my arse (and the bit wot goes in front) sticking out from under my skirt or my boobs falling out of my top or – the ultimate giveaway – staggering about shriekingly drunk on heels so high they’d give a normal woman (or trannie) nosebleed. Nope, I’m definitely not one of these fair English maidens who end the evening unconscious in a gutter with an all-new strain of STD incubating in their loins.
Now I suppose I could regale you with some tales of true horror, but that wouldn’t be fair. After all, it’s not all gloom and doom in the big bad world of British public transport. Why, I’ve even had my fair share of romance on these journeys, and that doesn’t include eavesdropping on couples indulging in sweet-talk about Hellmann’s or being felt up in a crowded tube train – which luckily has never happened to me and likely never will, since I AM the woman who edited Getting Even: Revenge Stories (
Ca) remember? Anyway, one time there was this rather curious fellow across from me on the train making quick work of two large tins of lager who kept insisting I listen to the music playing on his iPod, as I was sure to “love it”. I told him I only love Staind. He seemed to believe my love would extend to the song he was playing (and perhaps to him). It didn’t. He was crushed. Bad enough I’d broken his heart, but when he got off the train at the same stop as me, well… let’s just say that I walked pretty darned fast up that hilly road home!
Then there was that proposal of marriage from a rather cute bloke who, in an empty train, decided to come sit near me (thank god for CCTV), only to spend the next few minutes gazing at me all starry-eyed. He finally blurted out something about my being a very attractive woman (so who am I to argue?) and pleading with me again and again to please please let him kiss me. He later called out to me to please please wait as I hurried along the station platform to the exit – and consequently, away from his matrimonially minded clutches. Last I heard he was heading off to Southend (or Sarfend as it’s known round ‘ere).
I admit London is probably the place to see and experience it all (whether you want to or not), but that’s not to say other cities in Britain are lacking in travel weirdness. The strangest (well, it’s a toss-up since it’s ALL pretty effing strange) was in a Leicester taxicab, where the driver held me hostage outside my flat as he begged me to let him take me out to dinner. He insisted he could make me happy; apparently he knew what I needed in my life and he could offer this to me – and I should give him a chance to prove himself. I gotta admit, that would’ve been one hell of an offer if he hadn’t been so keen for us to move to India – though I reckon it would’ve been a lot more exciting than Leicester. He wrote his mobile number on the back of the taxi company’s card, then grabbed my hand, not letting go until I promised to call him. Funny that he didn’t waive the fare though. Now THAT would have made me happy.
Gosh. I do hope he’s not still waiting for my call…
Well, it was yet another lovely week at the University of Wales in Caerleon – my third time at the Writers’ Conference. My erotic writing workshop attracted a diverse group of men and women of all ages and persuasions, and a surprising amount of talent. Some excellent work was produced in a short amount of time, ranging from the poignant to the downright hilarious. I don’t want to play favourites by mentioning specific pieces, but yes, I did find myself moved by several of the works presented on the final morning of the course. What is always rewarding to me is when people tell me how I’ve changed their perspective on erotic writing and that I got them to do something they never believed they could do – and to be comfortable in doing it. One participant even wrote a charming little ditty about me and Teddy (my bear, if you’ve not figured that out yet!). And yes, it’s suitable for those of a more delicate persuasion. I should add that this wasn’t part of the homework I’d assigned, but rather a … well… dare I say, “tribute”?
One great thing about the conference is that I got fed and fed and fed some more (I don’t like to cook). I partook of two desserts a day; anything with cream was fair game – and I was prepared to fight till death for it too! Of course, having Teddy with me tended to put anyone off violence at the dessert section. I doubt I gained any weight though; the region is extremely hilly and after schlepping back and forth to the village enough times (no one in Wales seems to know what “schlep” means), not to mention on the campus itself, I probably ended up losing weight. And yes, everyone kept asking me where I put it. I do hope they were referring to the dessert.
On Monday evening, Teddy and I went along on the pub crawl (though I’d already been in my favourite pub the night before – The Hanbury Arms – where Alfred Lord Tennyson apparently went on the piss and where I had my toes bitten – and I’ll leave you to ponder that one). On Tuesday I paid yet another visit to the Roman ruins, which has the remains of an amphitheatre. It was a perfect day, the clouds were threatening overhead, a drizzle had begun, and I stood in the centre of the arena no doubt looking very peculiar. I also wrote something on a stone (using another stone as pen), but I’m not going to tell you what it was. It’s personal. On Wednesday afternoon I went on the excursion to Hay on Wye. Well, if you’re really into mouldy musty old books, this is your Mecca. Everyone ran off to find their treasures; as for me, I found some ice cream and a pair of one-of-a-kind earrings in an artsy little shop. Or at least I think they’re one-of-a-kind. Our coach driver was a roly-poly fellow from Brecon who made a lot of sheep jokes. All I know is, I’ve been to Wales many times, and I’ve yet to see any kind of dodgy activity with sheep. Mind you, I did notice a cow walking a bit funny.
Moving on from the profane to the sacred, the highlight of the week was definitely the Thursday evening appearance of the Cwmbach Male Choir, a cheeky bunch of Welshmen who performed for us and then as is customary each year, continued in the bar for another two hours till midnight, downing pints and singing everything from Elvis to weepy Irish ballads. When they left (threatening to kidnap both me and Teddy), a disco ensued, but it featured so much Abba that I was finally forced to seek refuge in the computer room to check messages and return pokes on Facebook. (I don’t care what anyone says: I am NOT going to see “Mama Mia.”)
Sadly, I couldn’t stay forever in that lovely land and had to return to London right at the Friday evening rush hour. The tube quickly jolted me out of my Welsh tranquility with its delayed trains, trains that didn’t stop where I needed to stop, and trains that just sat there because there was a backlog of trains. One can’t help but wonder how Britain actually ran an empire when they can’t even run a transportation system. But I’m not going to get all political here. I probably should stick to writing fiction. It’s easier.