Friday, February 27, 2009

Mad March Hares

Coming up this month:

Bold, bright and Springy hi-jinks!

THE NEW RAKES will be featuring over at lovehoney as their erotic Book of the Month - I'm very excited! Excerpts and an interview are part of the fun - and there's a special treat for anyone who orders The Rakes during March. (Rocket 'n' roll, baby, that's all I'm saying ... )

Check in at Donna George Storey's Hotel Party. Over the next two weeks the register is filled with erotic writers who will be sharing hotel thoughts and little teaser-stories. Jeremy and Craig have already kicked things off, and I'll be posting a snippet as well as some photographs. I promise I'll turn down the sheets, too.

Alison Tyler's new collection of writer's notes is up for your viewing pleasure! And being added to all the time.

I will also be venturing out into the wilds to try and find more *shocking* tree-smut for your viewing pleasure.

I think March is going to be big yellow, and shiny. I can't wait!

That pic, by the way, is from The City. Some feral kid had drawn on the side of all the cars in the street, which was quite wrong, but I liked the line.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Tree porn #3

Not graphic enough for you?

You filthy sods.

Okay, here's a technicolour, uncensored close-up.

After a passionate embrace so wild it melted the snow, they lie shivering on the river bank, his foot trailing in the water so that the surface trembles.

Acorns are scattered all over the mud.

Ha! I love the countryside.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

This is not my beautiful house

Storm approaching. I can't protect my family. I don't know what to say to old friends I no longer love. I want to be able to drive, and get into my car and drive into the hills. I want to write good stories. I want to live somewhere flooded with daylight. Surrounded by grass.

I am painting on a dark ground, today. Burnt umber, layered and layered with purplish red-black. I am working on a story, another one about that thin, burning fear that threads its way through my days. God damn it. Please rain.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

For Alison

Images from The New Rakes

Alison Tyler is looking for writers' working notes.

I'dve emailed this pic, but my gmail appears to be buggered. So, for Alison, here are some what I s'pose you could call notes from The New Rakes.

Right at the start of writing it, Lina was called 'Jacqui' and the whole story was totally different - there were going to be a lot of liaisons in a deserted hotel, which you can see there with ragged red velvet curtains. I'd made a whole A1 board of pictures, characters and locations. I have also got folders full of scribbled notes, A, but I thought this was prettier!

Funnily enough, though I don't think I specified Kara's hair colour in the text, I was obviously thinking of pink hair when I gathered these pics. And it's pink on the finished book's cover! Gosh, psychic cover-art editors - what a blessing!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Pink knickers for freedom

I love this.

The Consortium of Pub-going, Loose and Forward Women sent thousands of pink knickers (chaddis) to the offices of a radical Hindu group in India, to protest at 'moral policing'. More here.

It's enough to make me buy a pair of pink scanties in solidarity.

Join the facebook group here. (And yes, men are welcome to join too.)

Friday, February 20, 2009

I wanna

Okay, just to explain my near-hysterical sudden blogging spree - yesterday I sent off a proposal to Black Lace. Today I can't stop - everything. I'm chattering a mile a fucking minute. In my head. And swearing far too much.

And now I am going to get drunk, put on red lipstick and back comb my hair. I am also going to put a padlock on the internet. Ciao!

No such thing as too much Cramps.

Yes, I know, this is not blogging. But fuck, aren't the Cramps just ace? I have a sudden urge to find something in leopardskin. And eyeliner. Lots and lots of eyeliner.

Happy weekend, all.

Ah, fuck

I know, I'm about a fortnight behind the rest of the world. At the very least. Anyway, I just found out that Lux Interior slipped off the mortal coil.

The Cramps were about the third band I ever saw live. They were disturbing and scary and wonderful. Lux slipped about all over the stage in his high heels. Up in the staid old Aberdeen Music Hall (no drink in the auditorium, no smoking, and I'm not sure they encouraged dancing), it was a revelation for a 14 year old country girl misfit.

I think tonight I'll pull out my 3D LP and look at the cover through slightly blurry red and green glasses.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Enlightened fucking?

'My first Zen teacher once told me he thought that sometimes the best way to avoid misusing sexuality is to fuck.'

Interesting discussion on sex and Buddhism here. I bridled a little at Warner's idea of polyamory, but I'm delighted to find someone who discusses sex and Buddhism so openly.

Damn, now I want his books.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Purple crocus, poems

A rumour of spring
... ghostly pale crocuses rise
from the sodden grass.


The lovely Neve Black recently read 'Madrid' and 'After Midnight' at a poetry night in Ohio! Isn't that the coolest thing? I'm really touched and delighted - here's a clip of the reading:

Monday, February 16, 2009

A small diversion

Promotional pic from 'Slope' by Pamela Carter.

Sadly, I never saw the play. But I did spend quite a lot of time gazing at the poster.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Less bump, more grind

Yep, I am hard at work, arse in the chair, nose to the grindstone.

But I wanted to *ooh* that I got copies of Afternoon Delight a couple of days ago. The book's themed around time (times of day), and I really can't wait to steal a few hours to read it right through. It looks gorgeous.

Last time someone asked me what I wanted most for a present, my answer was: "more time."

That's what I'd like for Valentine's day, I think. Time with boyf. Because - and I know, this'll make you want to puke - but sometimes a lifetime just doesn't seem long enough.


Monday, February 09, 2009

Cat v snow

Petra hasn't really seen proper snow before.

She's been out there all day, fighting it bravely.

So far, the snow seems to be winning ...

Meanwhile, forgive a brief silence. I'm snowed in, snowed under, and percolating. Back soon!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Ruffle my truffle

Welcome, friends and fellow feasters! I know you’ve travelled far.

Alas, we’re nearing the end of our progressive blog-feast. I hope everyone is suitably sated, sticky-fingered and ready to pop their buttons … although for the last course we aren’t going to need any buttons.

Please join me in the great hall of Comeagain castle, where the kind serfs have laid a roaring fire and piled pillows and sheepskin rugs over the flagstones. Yes, it’s cold outside, but I’m sure if we snuggle up close we’ll be all right.

Gents, you’ll find a kilt in culturally-appropriate tartan waiting for you in your room. Please respect local traditions by complying with the usual rule about underwear. Ladies, there are thick lambs wool blankets to wrap yourselves in. If the blankets tickle, please ask a serf to assist you with scratching your itch.

Ah, here’s the coffee. A good, strong Arabica roast. You’ll find a little dram helps to warm the parts other drinks can’t reach – either a sharp, smoky Islay malt or a smooth, honey-flavoured Balvenie from Speyside (my personal favourite)- at least 15 years old.Who’d like a dash of something inspiring in their coffee? How about a bit of poetry?

"I carefully arrange a chain of nips
in a big fairy ring; in each square glass
the tincture of a failed geography,
its dwindled burns and woodlands, whin fires, heather,
the sklent of its wind and salty rain,
the love-worn habits of its working-folk,
the waveform of their speech, and by extension
how they sing, make love, or take a joke."

From 'A private bottling', Don Paterson, God's Gift to Women

After such a vivid, sensually-drenched tour with our moveable feast, we’re going to take a little time to mellow and absorb. There’s a guitar, a harmonica, a penny whistle in the corner if anyone feels like honouring us with a song. There is no entertainment – other than ourselves. I can’t think of anything I’d like more than to spend an evening chatting with the assembled erotica clan!

As the sky is ivory black outside and the wind buffers in the chimney, it’s time to unwind and share stories.

What does the future hold for erotica? What would you like to see happen, in the genre itself and in your own work? Look into the flames and tell me what you see …

While you muse, please take a dish and help yourself to handmade truffles and some quirky little petits fours. One last little taste, bittersweet and delectable, to round off the meal.

Beware, these sweets are easy to make, but terribly messy!

Bite my cherry truffles

Fresh double cream
Chocolate – dark, good quality, finely chopped.
Cherry Brandy
Cocoa powder, to dust

Bring the cream to the boil in a pan. Add the chocolate and stir until dissolved. Scoop into a bowl and add the brandy, stirring well. Chill until quite firm. Dust your palms with cocoa powder and take little pinches of truffle mixture and roll into balls.

Sweet juicy shocks

I don’t know if this is a recipe, to be honest. Or if this is really ‘crystallising’. Anyway, I had these once at the end of a stunning meal and loved them – little brittle-shelled, bursting fruity mouthfuls that look gorgeous.

physallis/cape gooseberries/Chinese lanterns
Caster sugar

2 parts sugar to 1 part water. Bring to the boil in a pan. Pull back the papery leaves of the physallis and dip and roll in the hot sugar mix. Leave to cool on a plate.

Traditionally, petits fours (literally ‘little ovens’) were tiny cakes put in the baker’s oven at the end of the day so as not to waste the last of the heat. Often exquisitely decorated little delicacies made from sponge and marzipan, or choux pastry boats and fruit. I truly think that a good patisserie is the best place to find these. But we’re in the wilds of the Highlands*! Not a French baker in sight!

Luckily, I have a bag of marshmallows and skewers for toasting. As the guitar lulls us into the night and the sound of our voices drifts like wood smoke across the ancient stones of the hall, grab a gooey, sticky mallow and – be careful! – don’t burn your lips … let it melt on your tongue.

Lastly, please join me in another toast – this one for the inspirational and awe-inspiring Donna and Kirsten, who dreamed up this whole fabulous feast. Thank you both, it’s been a truly delicious adventure!

Dear guests, feel free to stay here by the fire all night, talking of life and lust and the future. If you’ve found something under the sheepskin rugs that you’d like to explore further, there are rooms upstairs with four-poster beds. But you may want someone to hold your hand, as it’s said these halls are haunted …

*(Okay, Dumfries. Do you need to see my poetic license, officer?)

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Es are good

Well, so I hear. Nothing stronger than builder's tea for me, thanks!

Anyway, The New Rakes is now available as an e-book. Various places seem to have it in cyberform, but this was the cheapest I found.

I do wish I had an amazing faux-ink-book-paper kindle-type thing. Without a proper e-reader, I find ebooks a hell of a pain to read, which is a real shame.

I'm just blurbling, aren't I? Many deadlines make Nikki a dull-eyed zombie. You shoulda seen my driving lesson this morning. Sheesh. Stay off the roads if you value your life and car, I would.

Join me tomorrow instead when I'll be wearing a proper frock or maybe something ridiculously and serving Very Intense Truffles as the final course of the lovely progressive dinner. I can't promise it won't be a bit burnt at the edges, but given enough whisky, nobody will notice, right?