Friday, August 29, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
She was hunched over the cash machine, crying. Paul hit the brakes and slowed to a halt. He wound down the window. She had one bare foot, and her hair was still wet. ‘Baby.’
‘Leave me alone.’
‘Come on, let me take you home.’
‘I don’t have a home. I’ve got nothing.’
‘You’ve got me.’
‘I have nothing.’
She kicked off her shoe and walked fast down the street without looking back.
Paul got out the car. He left the engine running and the door wide open. He picked the shoe off the street and held on to it, tight.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Ah, what can I tell you about Violet? That’s a whole other story. Right now, she’s standing in a bathroom a few inches from a beautiful man. He’s got a nervous smile twitching at his mouth, and there’s bottles of chemicals beside them and I haven’t furnished the bedroom yet.
I haven’t invented the bedroom yet. Maybe they will fuck on the floor, and maybe they will screw against the wall.
I made her strung out and half-dressed, on the run. She’s nearly home. But I can’t quite work out yet how she crosses that last space, to touch him.
Yes, this is where projects intersected. My current WIP's protag is called Violet. And I am still working on it ...
Meanwhile, I'm enjoying writing these flashes so much of course I'm not going to stop just 'cause I've run out of colours. Tomorrow, I'll move on to ... well, inevitably what's at the end of the rainbow is Gold!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Dirt blue, it doesn’t even exist. How can I write about what doesn’t exist? It’s only history.
Once, the Tuaregs wrapped indigo scarves round their heads like crowns. Blue kimonos made women dream of silk. The Yoruba passed cloths down as heirlooms, etched their life stories in wax.
We beat slaves to make indigo cake. We pissed in it, added arsenic, freeze-dried it.
Now your denim hovers somewhere between blue and bruise purple, and the jeans you wear are sweat-shop fakes.
Take them off. Show me where the veins run under your skin, the beautiful, dirty blue blood.
nb: I had a bit of trouble with indigo. Apparently it’s not officially, scientifically a colour. Doesn’t appear on the spectrum. Almost all indigo dye used today is artificial, no longer from the indigo plant. Actually, the history of indigo is endlessly fascinating. Find out more here
Monday, August 25, 2008
It rained for three months. Irma, wrapped in a wool blanket, sat by the window and watched. She held a mug of tea heated with gin, a bright shot to chase the clouds. As the days passed, she added more blankets, more gin. Miles brought his old records and they listened to them in the damp kitchen. He didn’t ask for anything, just offered her the long, spare music.
One night at the end of the summer, Irma let the blanket slip from her shoulders. Miles took her wet face in his hands, just as the rain hung up.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Ross always had a pocketful of peppermints. Steering his small boat out into the Minch, he tossed one over the side for luck.
Under the ice-flecked water, the ceasg batted aside silver mackerel to catch the sweet, white stone as it fell. She placed it in her mouth and closed her eyes.
A month later, in a wild storm, Ross was tipped over the side. The ceasg caught him in a trawl and dragged him to the seabed. When he opened his mouth, bright bubbles rose from it, and the ceasg leaned forward to kiss him with mint on her lips.
Minch – a sea strait off the north coast of Scotland
ceasg – a mythological Scottish creature, half salmon, half human
trawl – a trawler net
Remember, we were lying in bed with the morning sun cracking the windows and rousing us out of a hungover stupor?
I didn’t want to see the dawn. The heat haze.
‘I hate the summer.’
‘Yeah. But at least it brings out the bumblebees,’ you said, and buzzed your hand over my hips, let it drift down my belly so the hair on your arm tickled.
You had tan-stripes where your watch was, your T-shirt, your wedding ring. You turned me over to bury yourself between my legs, stuck out your tongue to find the nectar and suck, suck, suck.
My old boyfriend got abducted by the Hare Krishnas. Got his head shaved, his soul disinfected and a perma-grin pinned on his face. Spent all day banging a tambourine, chanting that spiritual scratch. Got bony.
But I missed his elephantine prick and his way with words. I broke into the temple late one night, crept through the dusty halls, found the bunk with his long, lanky body draped over it. Snuck my head under the covers, parted his holy, hairy legs and sucked until I heard him sing a new mantra: oh god, oh god, oh god, oh yes.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Okay, so here's the plan.
A flash fiction piece a day. 100 words or as near as dammit. To give myself a hook, I'm starting with a Rainbooow. (But not the kind that crawls up your ass.)
You called it my whore’s dress. I called it lucky. Short, tight, edged with frills that tended to swirl. In that dress, I could get off with three men at once. More. They’d gather in swarms. Hold my hand. Squeeze my ass. Twirl me round, spin me backwards, sneak up close so I could smell their sweat mixed in with the aftershave – pepper and wine and citrus. And the music would drench us and nobody could tell who was who or what, exactly was pressing up against us, just that it felt tight and good.
Stained and torn, I keep the dress in the back of the wardrobe. For the short, hot nights of the summer, when they come again.
Hm. Maybe Southpark and slightly flowery smut don't mix so well. Did anyone else read that in Cartman's voice? Eh bien.
Coming soon: Orange!
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
The Thunderbolt will be appearing in The Mammoth Book of the Kama Sutra, edited by Maxim Jakubowski, out on the 28th August in the UK, and in September in the US.
It's the first historical piece I've ever worked on. I like to lost myself in mountains of research at the best of times, and for this piece - set in India - I lost days reading about the flora and fauna of Rajasthan. This gorgeous book was also a great inspiration:
I discovered a lot of wonderful things about Indian life, poetry, art and festivals. Unfortunately, with my incredible Sieve Memory, I usually forget all but the oddest of details about five minutes after finishing a story. With luck, though, they're all buried in the writing.
Here's a little taste:
At that moment, Kamadeva the god of love loaded his bow. The string was made from bees and the arrow tipped with a lotus flower. He took aim at Bhanu and fired a shot straight into his heart.
Did Bhanu feel it? He felt afire – as though he’d swallowed hot coals and his whole body were burning.
Forgetting his huntsman’s garb, he walked forward from the shelter of the forest. As he broke cover, screams rang out and there was a flurry of splashing as the women ran to where their clothes lay on the bank. Only one stayed where she was. She turned her heart-shaped face to look at Bhanu, curious and defiant, a half-smile playing on her lips. Though the water must have been icy, she didn’t move but stood in the whirling current of the river and met his stare with bright brown eyes.
And here's the blurb:
"The original "Kama Sutra" was designed to help lovers to explore the height of sensual and erotic pleasure. Since then numerous variations have been produced on this manual for love-making. Here, in one giant volume, is the fullest ever collection of "Kama Sutra" positions and its modern variants, including all the positions featured in the original text plus over 50 more. Each position is clearly explained, with specially commissioned illustrations by award-winning artist Carolyn Weltman and Louisa Minkin. Also included are little known, revelatory stories of how each position developed, plus the full, unexpurgated history of the Kama Sutra's own genesis. Packed with beautiful illustrations and sensual nuggets of inspiration, "The Mammoth Book of the Kama Sutra" is the fullest ever collection of the world's most popular lovemaking text. "
Thursday, August 07, 2008
I was in the evening sunshine, listening to the Pixies.
Anyway, some good news:
Circus Excite is back in stock at Amazon UK. It seems to have been reprinted, which is good, I think?
Also - along with lots of lush writers like
Jeremy Edwards, Alison Tyler, Kristina Lloyd, Portia Da Costa and others, I've a story appearing in Ultimate Burlesque, a fund-raiser for Macmillan. Order already! Isn't it pretty?
There's a fancy ball and everything, but I'm not allowed to go. Someone has apparently ringfenced my booze quota already. Honestly, as if I'd drink more than my fair share and fall over and give smut writers a bad name ...