inspiration

On Jackie…

I was not planning to write a post today, but when I saw the news about Jackie Collins on Twitter…I was heartbroken. You see, I would not write the way that I do if it were not for her. Yeas ago, I read an interview with her, about not knowing how her book ends until she is finished writing it. I realized that I did not have to write an outline, or even know how a piece is going to end to create it.

Jackie Collins was serious about her craft. People always categorized her novels as trashy. My mother had a copy of Chances which was recommended to her by a friend, and I skimmed it like it was my job. My mom did not finish it, but the bits of it that I skimmed stayed with me and influenced my earliest writing endeavors. When I was younger, I always wanted to write stories with glamorous backgrounds and lots of romance and sex…I hung onto to the lots of romance and sex, and Paris is pretty glamorous as a backdrop for many of my stories (and New York!). But they are included because I love them, not for their glamour. 

Jackie took on her critics, she was passionate about the stories that she wrote. I remember her with her big hair and leopard skin clothing in interviews–the epitome of glamour herself–being so animated with a glint in her eye as she talked about her newest novel. She never stopped. I was delighted to follow her Twitter account, because her enthusiasm and zest for life was so evident in it. 

My interpretation of her spirit and dedication to the craft stayed with me. When I first started writing, I mimicked the authors I first saw around me (i.e. Jackie Collins!). The more I studied writing in school, the more I veered off onto my own ideas. My form is still evolving. I just wrote a story, and experimented with something I had never experimented with before. When I gave it to my editor, I was not sure what they were going to think. I only knew I was passionate about what I had created.

They loved it.

It is so important to write what you love, and not to overthink it. There is so much going on with this industry right now, with this genre in particular. When I was on a publishers’ panel last month, the big thing that I kept telling the audience was to write what they want to write. That is what is going to sell. Not some made-to-order confection that is what you think is going to be successful. It might be sweet, but is it for you?

Jackie Collins was one of my earliest influences as a writer, and her joie de vivre and love of the craft will always stay with me. If you imagine me writing, it is always with joy, with love and reference for genres that people like to smirk about.

It is my joy, and I am thankful for writers like Jackie Collins who helped me embrace it.  


Jackie Collins holding Power Trip via wikipedia

Sticky Note No. 9

I have not done a sticky note in over a year. Charlie has been doing them lately, with much nicer postcards as I would expect from her! But I saw my blank pink stickies in my wallet, and became inspired by the cut on my finger which I acquired today in a much less romantic way!!! As I started to write, a Paris train ticket slipped out from between the pages…

…so this is for Charlie, go read her stories.

she looked down at (the) perfect triangle shaped cut on her finger now. she looked out at emptiness, well france outside of paris. just wide, wide areas of green and people actually living their daily lives. she sucked on the cut from closing his cufflink…

Sharing My Inspiration

Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind is written large in his works.–Virginia Woolf



I read this gorgeous post by Molly of Molly’s Daily Kiss, and loved the beginning where she writes that she had never written in detail about the experience she began the post with. She notes however that this experience has spilled into her fiction. 

Years ago when I was in college, a guy asked me if he would show up in one of my stories? I said maybe–his arm, his leg or some other part of him. He looked at me like I was a witch, and I gave him a Mona Lisa smile. Another guy talked to me with restraint, because he said I was a writer and made up stuff. That I had to be a good liar. He made me feel like a witch at Salem.

We writers are magical people, we write the world–real or imagined–with our slant. Everything that I write is not about me, and may not be my experience but it is my slant, my take. My fiction is usually either something that I am curious about, so I create a circumstance that I have to research to make it ring true. The other times, it is my life experience to the exponential. So if I felt or experienced ABC, I would write ABC to the second power. For me it would be far too boring to write verbatim about my life, so I make it more extraordinary and sparkly!

When I studied writing in school, I learned two things that I apply to anything I write: a) write about what I know (or research it to know it) and b) the problem with writing about things that really happened to you is that you try to recreate it exactly. I do not know anyone who has a photographic memory, and trying to write something to become like an old photograph? Exactly that way it was? It means nothing gets written at all.

Even if you write about something that is completely outside of your experience, you still season the piece–with you. The reason why someone is always in Paris in Wicked Wednesday, is because I am a Francophile! The office that Nichy and Gavin work in for Masturbation Monday, is remarkably like the one I currently work in. There is always a piece of me in my writing, whether I plan it or not. Reoccurring themes, scenes, things always seem to occur. Sometimes I write something and get a sense of dejá-vü because I have written something like that before, and I might write it again. My writing is not different from my dreams, which are filled with reoccurring events as well. I use my dreams as fodder for fiction too. 

So what I told the first guy was true, anyone I know might appear in one of my stories. Most likely, a mannerism of theirs, or some other small or large detail. And the other guy was right too, I do make up stuff I hope in a convincing fashion, and I cherish my ability to do so.

Frederic Leighton’s Flaming June on view now at the Frick

  

Sticky Note No. 5

This is inspired originally by Blacksilk–the entire concept. This particular note is inspired by the rain, and facts true and false. I executed it because of the lovely, lovely, lovely Marie Rebelle, who runs Wicked Wednesday and so inspired my last post too…

Transcript: the missing word is a caveat of writing on the train.

i don’t care if i get (wet). you don’t he says. i don’t. she opened the door where literally buckets fell on her of rain she had lingered with him until the sky darkened and the drops were thick before buckets, buckets poured on her. it was outside without looking back that she felt him, not the rain, but him and what it had been like to linger with him using the premise of the fear of rain to stay even though he did want her to go but she had to in the pouring rain except the rain was him.

photo of sticky note taken on the lap of f dot leonora while on the train

Motel Stories

The first time is always the hardest. Although my first time…with a guest blogger, I joined forces with my friend Oleander Plume. We wrote stories based on a phrase I overheard, that she tweeted would make a good story. You can read that here.

This time thanks to my semi-addiction to my Tumblr which feeds to my Twitter, Kenny C. tweeted that this image would make a good story. Inspired, I said let’s do it! I am thankful to him, for getting me focused on this project. We have swapped blogs for today, below is his steamy “motel story.”

A Fantasy Fulfilled

The clouds finally parted, and a streak of sun shined on his life for the first time in two years. The light was named Anaé, and Nick knew the moment he saw her that she’d change him.

She was lithe, with dark hair and big eyes. He approached her at a wine bar in the suburbs. Nick hated the fucking suburbs. To him they represented the lies of marriage. The lies of the middle class American family. He left the suburbs, and all its lies, two years ago and found a small room at a downtown motel. The place was old, but clean and fairly safe. He took a second floor room and moved in a few personal things to make it home.

“I like malbec…from Mendoza.” Anaé sat across the table from him, her lips perfectly glossed and pouted.

“I do too.” Nick had caught her eye as she ordered her first glass and waited until her glass was empty before making the bold move to ask her if she was expecting someone. She wasn’t, and after the usual pleasantries, they settled at a quiet table.

“Have you been to Argentina?” Nick asked. He was dressed in his work attire. A suit. Nick was a suit now and although he’d once hated the idea of tying a tie each morning, it had grown on him.

“I have. Have you been?” Anaé kept her glass close to her face as she talked. Her eyes were painted dark. Nick liked that. Like wearing a tie, he’d let go of previous prejudices about women and what he found attractive. She wore a black cocktail dress that fit her perfectly.

“I haven’t. It’s on the list.” He smiled, then tasted the wine.

“Oh, there’s a list? I must hear more about this.” Anaé smiled as she talked, her eyes teasing Nick.

“Actually, I don’t have a list. Just a few things I’d like to experience.” Nick held her gaze. His heart flipped in his chest, then flipped again. He hadn’t had the attention of a woman like this since well before he was married.

“Tell me some of the things on this list, I’m interested.” Anaé touched the glass to her lips and continued to stare at him.

“Will you tell me some of yours?” Nick asked. Anaé nodded, smiling.

Over the next hour they shared, wine and stories. Aspirations. At one point Anaé excused herself to the ladies’ room and Nick noticed how the men looked at her.

When she returned the eyes of the men were again on her body, her beauty. They couldn’t help themselves. The conversation continued. More wine. More smiles and sharing. They grew increasingly comfortable with one another. The bar emptied out, suburbanites returning to their heavily mortgaged homes with manicured lawns and friendly neighbors. Nick had no mortgage, no lawn, and his neighbors included a drunken writer and a young couple who’d eloped.

“Tell me, Nick,” Anaé smiled devilishly at him. “Is there anything sexual on your list of things you’d like to experience?”

Again, their eyes locked as Nick considered the question. The malbec dampened his nerves, and heightened his sexual senses. “Just one.” he said.

“Tell me.” she said.

Nick began.

He woke with a wine induced headache that subsided when he remembered his night with Anaé. His morning was spent sipping black coffee, ignoring the work on his desk, and replaying the conversation from the night before. He floated when he thought of her words, her smiles, and the way she felt in his arms when they hugged before leaving in separate taxis. His confidence refreshed him with possibility.

At three in the afternoon, while in the break room pouring what must have been his tenth cup of coffee, his phone beeped the familiar sound of an incoming text. His heart filled, then filled even more when he saw it was from her.

‘There’s something I’d love to show you tonight. ;-)’ Nick read the message again. He contemplated the possibilities. He read the message again as he walked back to his desk, spilling coffee on his shirt. At his desk, he read it again.

Nick ignored his work for twenty minutes, the same as he’d ignored it all day, then answered Anaé’s text, ‘I’d love to see. 8 o’clock.’ He added his address and room number.

Once home from work, he poured himself a drink and took a shower. He put on a fresh shirt and pants. His thoughts were scattered, yet focused only on her. At 8:15 he checked his phone to see if he was mistaken on the time he’d given her. He poured another drink. At 8:25 he heard a car door slam in the parking lot below. He glanced through the thin curtain and saw her, Anaé. It was only then that he was certain it wasn’t all a dream.

She had on a long black coat and her hair was pulled back. He lost sight of her while she climbed the motel steps but his heart jumped nonetheless when she tapped on his door. He opened it, smiled, and without a word, welcomed her into his room.

He handed her a drink, whiskey, per their conversation the night before. She touched the glass to her lips without taking her eyes off his. She was even more stunning than he’d remembered. The room was illuminated only by the red neon light of the motel sign near the road.

Nick sat in the chair near the window. He downed his drink, an attempt to quell the nerves. She bent over and set her drink on the small table next to Nick. He could smell her perfume.

Anaé stood before him and opened the coat. Under it, she wore only a short, black camisole. She took the coat off her shoulders and set it on the bed next to him. She stood still for a moment, and then began moving her hips back and forth, slowly. There was no music, but Anaé moved her body with a slow rhythm. Nick settled in his chair.

Anaé’s hands caressed her body through the silk camisole. Her fingertips traced her hips and across her chest. Nick watched, fighting the urge to reach out and grab her small body and hold it against his. After a few moments, Anaé took the thin straps off her shoulders and let the lingerie fall off her breasts. They were small, with dark nipples that were puckered and standing up.

She moved between Nick’s knees and bent over, her hands resting on his thighs. Without kissing, she grazed her lips over his. Nick again fought instinct to take her. She continued tracing her lips over his cheek and down his neck.

Anaé stood, and pushed the camisole down over her hips. It fell to the floor. She was naked now, and Nick could see the small black patch of pubic hair between her legs. It was sleek, and lay flat against her body. He watched as she began moving her hips again, though this time, he could see the entirety of her body. She turned around, like her breasts, her ass was small and round, not yet affected by the cruelty of gravity.

Again she put her hands on Nick’s thighs and touched her lips to his. They were sticky, and her breath smelled of the whiskey she stopped and sipped every few minutes. Not yet had a word been spoken, but so much had been shared and experienced since she entered his room.

Anaé held Nick’s head with both hands and massaged his face with her nipples. They were as hard as pebbles. Nick opened his mouth and let them in. His hands, which had hung at his side until now, were on her hips. Anaé ran her fingers through his hair while Nick tasted her breasts.

Anaé rubbed Nick’s penis through his pants, then lowered his zipper and took him out. Her long, delicate fingers wrapped around him, and Nick let out a sigh. Anae stood, and walked to the dresser across.

Nick stood, and moved behind her. He traced his finger tips up and down her back for a moment, their eyes locked in the reflection of the mirror. He kissed her thin neck and shoulders, kneeding her breasts and nipples with his hands. She bent over the dresser, her eyes inviting Nick to put himself inside her. He did, slowly. Anaé gasped, then looked at Nick over her shoulder.

She was tight around him, pulsing with each stroke. Nick knew he wouldn’t last long, the moment was too electric, too intense. This young, exotic girl, smart, well-travelled, and here she was, fulfilling one of his fantasies. It wasn’t lost on him that her every move had been about him. About making his moment perfect. She was still looking over her shoulder at him with that same devilish smile on her face as she had the night before when she asked if any of his unfulfilled experiences were sexual. Nick smiled at her. It was then, the moment perfect, Nick finished.

Anaé turned around and Nick kissed her deeply. He wrapped his arms around her small, naked body and held her tight. Then, still without a word, Anaé moved away from him, put on her coat and stuffed the camisole into her purse. She smiled at him as he held the door, then she left.

Nick watched out the window as she climbed in a waiting taxi.

A few hours later, his mind still filled with the images of Anaé dancing before him, Nick’s phone beeped the familiar sound of an incoming text. It was her.

The clouds that had shadowed his world for the past two years were now fully parted.

Steamy enough for you?! I love how even though we did not plan it, Kenny and I have similar moments in our stories…You can find mine on his blog, and follow him on Twitter.

photo courtesy of tumblr

Sticky Note No. 4

I had an idea for a story last night, one that mixed horror and erotica. It seemed a good idea to start with a story on a sticky note a la Being Blacksilk, to whet my appetite. Plus last night, I had unexpected inspiration from Twitter to start really brainstorming something…
Conveniently it is raining today, and I have a gorgeous picture I saw on Tumblr in mind to put me in the mood…This is a very rough draft on a pink sticky note below…typos included!

She had outdone herself. Her taste in men was always particularly bad: an assortment of creative types, overzealous creative types, addictive personalities, semi-abusive–she had been lucky to get out of that. And now, now, she smiled as the rain beat against the windows of the car and on its roof like a melody she must observe. now she was heading to a motel to meet a man whose online darkness was so sparkling. he told her he’d do things to her she would be ashamed she asked for. It was all part of the game. He said he could kill her.

20140605-090044-32444914.jpg

Sticky Note No. 3

Ever since I read Being Blacksilk’s post on post-it size stories, I keep my pink stickies in my bag, hoping that I will be able to come up with a story to fit its tiny pages. Generally with me it is never a lack of desire to write, it is just that the words do not always come pouring from me. It must have been pouring rain outside this morning however, because the thunder literally woke me up. It was so loud, it took me a second to realize what it was. A text later rejogged my memory, and I dug down in my purse for my pad. I started with thunder, and the rest followed…transcription of my relatively neat print below…

She could not sleep through a storm, the smallest sounds put her off. The thunder woke her up. She had not slept on the plane and even the soft hotel bed was not going to help her. The flight to New York had been fraught with a lot of things racing through her mind like a horse race without mint juleps. She drank wine on the plane whenever it was offered. Very tipsy, she’d hoped the alcohol would lull her into rest. But her mind could not rest. He was on top of her as if he were there.

Wicked Wednesday Prompt #98 — “Hunger”

I guess I got attached to my characters from last week, because in the middle of trying to write something completely different this story came to me:

She had no idea Paris was rainy, everyone knew it except for her. This trip to Paris was her first, and by herself. Rafe was still in New York, unable to leave his job and join her.

Paris was more than she expected it would be but even so, she was hungry for more: of the city, of life or of something she could not define while studying her alleged grande cafe which had beads of honey on the edge of it from the spoonful she had put in it. Her heel knocked against the wooden leg of her chair.

“Your engagement ring is lovely, you must have quite a love story.”

Eliza looked at the man at the table next to hers, her heel stopped knocking.

“I do,” she said as she would say eventually with Rafe when they married.

Her foot tapped again on the wooden leg of her chair.

“Do you want to tell me?”

She shook her head, and stood up on the high heels that Rafe had encouraged her to be comfortable in.

“It’s a long story.”

His answer was lost in the rush of heat that overcame her, at the sight of the man walking toward the fountain across the street. Eliza put several euros on the table and walked outside in her trench coat. She looked down from both from the rain and not wanting to be seen.

What would she say to him, him to her? She did not know his name, only his body and scent. She had to abide by his rules–no guilt, no names and no questions–because she had none of his details. It felt suddenly as if her heart had moved from her chest to between her legs, she felt her labia twitch in response. The thumping there was so intense, she could barely walk but she did staggering far behind him. He did not seem to have a destination, so it was awkward for her to appear as if she was not following him.

She took a deep breath, and turned in the opposite direction.

The next few days were filled with meetings. Her heart had returned to its rightful place in her chest, and she had nonstop correspondence with Rafe.

After one meeting she saw Angelina, their notorious hot chocolate called to her from what she had read about in guidebooks. The chocolate would be a meal as well since she had not eaten. Waltzed into the grand dining room by the hostess, she immediately ordered a hot chocolate in French, and when the waitress walked away her heart dropped back down between her legs.

He was sitting diagonally across from her, there was no way he would not notice her. She looked down at her napkin until the word Angelina on it became a blur, as she studied it to not look at him. When her hot chocolate arrived, she looked up helplessly and he was staring at her. Only because he was looking at her, did she look back at him. If she had wanted to say anything, he silenced her by putting his fingers over his lips. The thumping increased between her legs, she could barely sit still.

Eliza dipped a spoon into the whipped cream next to her chocolate. She remained silent after a quick merci to her waitress who handed her more napkins. Using peripheral vision, she watched him sign his check and get up. She closed her eyes as she brought the chocolate to her mouth to savor the rich liquid. It was everything she imagined it would be: Paris, the chocolate, but she was empty.

When she opened her eyes, there was a hotel card on the table and she knew he had left it there. She wanted to jump up from her seat, and the reckless way she desired to she would have spilled her thick liquid chocolate all over her lap. Instead she pretended that she was savoring the chocolate that had become flavorless because she was so excited to follow him to the room number written on the card. She licked her upper lip for flavorless whipped cream and chocolate. When she paid her bill and got up, she felt as if she would black out from anticipation.

Relying heavily on the GPS app on her phone to get to the apparently nearby address, Eliza managed to find the hotel which was blocks away. He waited for her. Burping up a little bit of hot chocolate that she had sipped too quickly, she walked over to him. Nervously twisting her engagement ring, she stood in front of him. He took her hand and kissed her fingers, and almost the diamond of her ring.

She became lachrymose. It was not that she was sorry about what she was doing. She had never done anything like this until him, and she wanted to do it again. Wanted to touch him again, wanted him to kiss her again, wanted him to everything again. Her thighs tremored with the heavy thumping between her legs.

She had hungered for him, for what she had had with him in a dark hotel room ever since she had had it. Nothing had been the same since. Even with Rafe which was nice, but it was not this. Rafe fucked her like she was perfect, and she was not perfect.

She wanted to be fucked like an imperfect woman.

They got into the elevator together, Eliza studied his long fingers pressing the buttons for the floor they were going to. This hotel was not like the mirror-filled one where they had met, but she was happy. She did not want to see the lust on her face, just wanted to feel it thumping between her legs.

Inside the hotel room, he kissed her and she gnawed at his lower lip as if it were a meal. She wrapped one leg about him, and he kissed her neck. Offering more of her neck to him, she pressed her head to the wall as he pressed himself to her. And even as between her legs thumped harder with lust, she felt something quench within her.

Find more Wicked Wednesday here:

wickedwed

photo by f dot leonora

 

Sticky Notes No. 2

I have been very inspired this week, and very inspired today. This day in Twitter, there were several tweets about a woman walking a man on a leash in London, which became my singular fascination for the day. Was it that he was “smartly dressed?” Or that he was so obedient as she walked with her to-go coffee or tea? A media source said people did not dare suggest this was a BDSM scenario…

Having my pink sticky notes in my purse ever since I was inspired to by Being Blacksilk’s blog post a few weeks ago, I wrote my second very short story on the train which I am pretty sure I will expand at some point…

This is the sticky typed out:

it was almost his idea, but anything great that came from him was ultimately inspired by Her and he had no desire to take credit. it was a pleasant evening at home with her early summer so still bright. he saw the sun from her feet and when he looked up at Her the setting sun made Her look like the Madonna. she rubbed just under his chin, and he was soothed. she was happy with him and it was then he suggested that they go outside on his leash.

“Please Sir,” he asked her humbly.

photo by F Dot Leonora

 

Sticky Notes No. 1

I met a lot of luminous people at Eroticon 2014, and attended equally as luminous sessions there. A lot of people were able to do a roundup of everything on their blogs, I fear I am not that gifted to capsulize everything in that way. Today is three weeks since the conference began, and it still is impacting me. For all the sessions I attended it was nice to compare notes with everyone else, especially when they attended a session I did not.

Being Blacksilk attended a conflict session that she described to me, and promised she would post her notes from it. She did, and I was so appreciative. I was even more appreciative when I saw her latest post. I attended Kristina Lloyd’s Flash Fiction session, and had every intention of trying my hand at it. However seeing Being Blacksilk’s sticky note micro-fiction prompt made me realize even I could do that! So I did on the train this morning, and took a picture of the sticky note on my lap with my iPhone.

I really liked this story, after I knew what I would name my protagonist I was ready to go. I actually am itching to finish this story, and just might. At first I was like maybe I would do it as a series of sticky notes, but that is not going to be powerful enough for me to explore it all. I am thinking I might start more of these in the future on sticky notes, and I will probably share them intermittently. I need inspiration however I can get it, so I will be keeping a pink post-it pad in my purse…

Below is the transcript of the story in case you cannot read it, although I do pride myself on my very neat penmanship acquired from Catholic School!

Eliza was always waiting. As a younger woman with her friends in bars looking for Mr. Goodbar like the novel and movie she had read. Now she was in the hotel bar waiting for her fiance. Curled protectively over her drink, she thought about all the things going on in her life, all at once at a pace she could barely control. Slowly, a man sat beside her at the crowded bar, everything about him was slow, measured including his smile at her. Eliza felt inside her as if everything had stilled in that moment.

photo by f dot leonora