I met Dulce Devine on Twitter because she was such an avid fan of two books I worked on–so clearly she has great taste! Additionally, she is a bewitching burlesquerina, playful pastie popper, published pin up, sensual sorceress, vibrations vixen and tarot enchantress in her own words. I loved that in my interactions with her, she uses as many hearts, kisses and cake emoticons as I do! Plus she has a vintage style that I adore! I wanted to know more about her, so I asked her to come visit me and tell me all about herself and her bibliophilia.
Here is Dulce!
I wanted to be a Rockette, but they wouldn’t even let me audition. You see, the minimum height requirement is 5’6, and I am a petite 5’1, so no kick line for me! Plus, the powers that be (my parents), insisted that I get a “real” job (whatever that means)!
I have always loved literature; therefore, it made sense that I went to college and accepted a position in a public institution. I was almost Dr. DeVine, I pursued my studies while teaching, completed all of my Ph.D coursework, passed my comprehensive exams with flying colors, and started my dissertation. I did a pilot study, wrote three chapters, and defended my proposal before I started butting heads with my committee. I was told that my work had “too much of a feminist and erotica focus.” This was perplexing to me because my research was on contemporary feminist fairy tale revisions…so of course I used a feminist lens! My advisor suggested that my work was simply too provocative for my conservative committee, and recommended that I make revisions suitable for a “more marketable and mainstream audience.”
I was frustrated and unhappy with that choice, and my soul told me it was time to move on, so I left the university and Ph.D program much to the shock and dismay of friends and family.
Last month, I answered another soul calling, when I left my day job in a public institution to create a living doing the things I am most passionate about. Everything from the disappointment of not being able to audition for the Rockettes to my Ph.D studies, has led me to this place and contributed to my blossoming in meaningful ways.
I am a certified reiki practitioner (currently working towards reiki master!), danseuse du ventre, burlesque performer, fitness and dance instructor, tarot reader, pinup model and yogi. I am a quirky Aquarian who loves all things decadent, dancing for delightful audiences, dark chocolate, red wine, delicious erotica, amazing sex, ocean breezes, gloriously crisp autumn days, vintage lingerie, and glitter. When I am not working, you will most likely find me barefoot, wearing faded Levis and a lace tank top and curled up with a good book.
Books have always been an important part of my life. One of my earliest memories of reading was when I was in first grade. My parents got called into a conference, and I was in trouble! Why? Because my class was divided into three reading groups: accelerated, grade level, and below grade level. We had one teacher and no assistants, and while Mrs. S was working with the grade level group, my accelerated group and the below grade level group were left to read independently. Not a problem for my group as we happily dug into our books, however, I noticed that the third group looked sad and confused. I snuck over to them, circled them up and read to them. It was wonderful until Mrs. S discovered me! I thought I was being kind and helpful, but she thought I was trying to hijack the class, and I ended up banished to the corner by myself as punishment. No one was allowed to talk to me while I reflected on my “bad behavior.” I’m still baffled by her reaction but it didn’t influence my love of books!
In high school I discovered Anais Nin. I remember being completely enthralled by her beautiful, haunting and bold words. I continue to read her work now and then, as it impacts me differently today as compared to the curious schoolgirl I was bintroduced to a lush and erotic new world.
Regarding my Ph.D work, highly influential books for me were: Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel, Chocolat by Joanne Harris, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues by Tom Robbins, The Rose and the Beast by Francesca Lia Block, and Kissing the Witch by Emma Donoghue.
Powerful books not related to my research that have stuck with me for a long time: Slammerkin by Emma Donoghue, Le Divorce by Diane Johnson, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon, and Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.
Of course I enjoy erotica, so I must mention the Sleeping Beauty trilogy (Anne Rice as A.N. Roquelaure) which I did not use in my research but should have! I adore erotic anthologies–delicious morsels which can be enjoyed in small bites, when schedules are busy but you need to have a sexy escape. Recent anthologies I have enjoyed are Chemical [se]X edited by Oleander Plume, Tie Me Up: a Binding Collection of Erotic Tales edited by F. Leonora Solomon, and Flappers, Jazz, and Valentino edited by Jillian Boyd. These super sexy anthologies are a wonderful way to discover crazy-talented writers you might want to explore further. You will be on alert when some of your favorite editors have a new project they are teasing (ahem… ). I’ve been reading Tamsin Flowers’ Alchemy xii series with its monthly installments, and that’s been tons of fun too. There is so much yumminess out there…what are you waiting for? Reading is sexy!!! I love to ask people what’s on their bedside table (or on their Kindle, idevice, etc.) if I’m looking for a recommendation. Currently on mine… Red Hot & Holy: A Heretic’s Love Story by Sera Beak.
Ahhhh, Dulce! Dulce also writes poems, maybe hopefully she might write for me one day? In the meanwhile while I dream, here is a dreamy tarot poem of hers:
Cheek to a cool, polished surface, listen for the doubt, black satin hitched, large hands palm peach-soft flesh, kneading, needing, ballet-pink lace resists, relinquishes, dew-drop tears glisten in a fluorescent glare