Sunday, August 29, 2010

Four Great Artists; One mediocre flash fic

This is going to blow your mind.

Digital landscapes by Alex McLeod. Yes, digital. Via Heiko Windisch, "It smells like epoxy, styrofoam and wood glue, but it's all virtual." Alex has wallpapers and lots of art. Get them full-screen and just dive into the shining detail. Some of the most amazing art I've seen in a while.

And Heiko's got cool new stuff as well. His version of his hometown, Heidelberg, is featured at Society6. I dig Heiko's stuff; we've got two pieces here. Not to mention, he's a super awesome guy.


More art of today: via Don Simpson (another artist I've long admired and whose work occasionally adorns my neck), digitally fabricated jewelry that is then rendered in 3D.

Martian flytrap earrings by improbablecog. I had a hard time choosing a piece because they are all so fucking cool. And the prices are waaaay reasonable. I'm sending B a link today, as my birthday creeps ever closer.


Look at that -- artists rec'ing artists. I find that beyond cool.

Quick fic: Space Baby

Space Baby fell to earth in a puff of spores. We did a write-up on him while he vegetated at Lou's place. We expected a bigger response. Even he seemed a bit disappointed by the reaction. It was hard to tell, since he mostly curled over and over on himself in the hammock Lou had strung up for his cat, Harley. But still, he seemed to exude a musty disappointment. Our editor wanted to fire us, but in truth, Space Baby wasn't the craziest story we'd submitted. There was that one about the governor's wife and the corn field at midnight and the giant slug. Space Baby thought that was a good one, but knew he was bigger bananas than a giant gob of mucus. When he got too large for the hammock, he poofed and rolled his way down to the Daily Observer and into the editor's office and now, we've got job security and Space Baby's front page news. Lou and I don't find the constant sneezing to be much of a trade-off, but honestly, the constant shedding of skin cells is making me feel a bit tired. I think I'll curl up in Harley's hammock and take a nap. Deadline's hours away.


Space Baby. You know you want one.

Happy Sunday, all!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

OneWord, the comedy issue; Shaggable Men

OneWord thinks they're funny.

For the past several days, I haven't been able to play over there. I have been reading, friends! But I can't write. As soon as I click Go!, it immediately says my time is up. Instantly. As well, a few other features aren't working for me. I've tried logging out and back in, restarting computer (because we all know that restarting your computer is the easiest way to fix anything), and a bunch of other things, to no avail. I tried to message them using their Contact Us! button, but I couldn't.

Then last night, I finally was able to get through using the Contact button. I sent the above info. My reply from tech support:

Maybe it's a sign and your time really is up?

Oh, HAHA, OneWord.

I replied: If the angel of death is communicating with me via the medium of OneWord, my nightly prayers are about to undergo a radical change. Suggestions?

He then told me that they'd upgraded to the latest version of WordPress, which they did to solve problems with other browsers. Apparently, now there's a problem with mine (IE8), and he asked if I could change browsers.

Le sigh.

I suppose I could. Feel free to bash IE if you'd like and tell me what you use. I'm just... Look, I'm just one of those people who wants to turn on the computer and have it WORK. NOW.

And I seriously miss playing OneWord. Mimi's all up in there, and I can't write mine nor reply to hers, and hers are good and I want to plaaaaaay!


Okay, enough whining. Hey, at least I only whinge about the small stuff, right? And besides, the guy at tech support, (name deleted to protect the innocent), was awesomely funny last night. I'd find out where he lives and go have a beer with him, but we'd probably spend the entire night trying to out-do one another with teh funny. Also, there is that whole, "I'm in a long-term, seriously committed relationship" thing to think about before having beers with random geeks.

Before I head out for the day -- the long, dreary, depressing work day -- I leave you with my list of totally shaggable tv guys.

1. Mike Rowe. He's hot anyway, but his jeans, holy shit. They look like he bought them one size too small and then stuck them in the dryer for two hours. My only complaint? WTF, cameraman for the Ford commercials, why do you shoot him from the waist up? WHY? You want to sell me a Ford F-150, give me all of Mike. You can even zoom in on his package. Actually, please, yes, do that.

2. The guy from the car insurance ads, "World's Greatest Spokesman." You know him. "Guys! I just gagged. Okay, for every year without an accident, take fifty... No! Take one hundred dollars off her deductible. Hook, line, sinker. Done." Oh, yeah. Don't you judge me! He looks like he'd be a freak in bed.

3. Wyatt. He used to be the weatherman for Fox 2 Detroit oh, two years ago. Yeah. He left to work for a politician. I still think about his puppy-dog eyes and his happy-go-lucky demeanor and his big, broad chest and fine ass.

4. Scott McGillivray, host of Income Property on HGTV. There simply is not a finer specimen of the male form on the planet. His arms are the most spectacular arms ever created, and I say this as a true connoisseur of male arms. He has actually replaced the previous all-time winner of Best Male Arms, Ben, a line cook at a restaurant I used to work at fifteen years ago. Every time Ben put a plate in the window, well, it was heaven for me. But Ben's gone, and Scott is on my television almost every day, and he's got that charming smile and that flippy hair and OMFG, those arms!

5. I'm not 100% on this one, but I'll list him anyway. Mike Wolfe of American Pickers. B wants to be a picker. Of course, last year when he was obsessed with Top Gear, he wanted to host a show about cars and drive cars and maybe just be the Stig. Anyway, this year it's Pickers, and I can repeat, with perfect inflection, their opening. I particularly like doing this part: "And I'm... Frank Fritz." I do it with the same face that Frank's got and everything. "And we're saving the history of America, one piece at a time." Anyway, that Mike, well... I know some girls who should check him out. *coughfangirlscough* No, the resemblance isn't strong enough, but he's wicked wiry thin, he wears perfect jeans for him, he doesn't think twice about clambering over a pile of dusty old stuff, and when he gets excited, he looks like such a little boy, and it's absolutely endearing.

I gotta go do my yoga and weights. I will add (or deduct) to this list periodically.

For those who've been asking about my back: better. Not great, but definitely an improvement. I don't want to stop doing the yoga and weights, for sure. In addition, we've got a Sleep Number bed (which I cannot talk highly enough about), and I went up by 10. The added firmness was slightly uncomfortable at first, but now I love it and I think it's doing wonders for my back.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


It's Three Word Wednesday. No humor this week.


A dog yelped from far off. Below us, the mountainside was shrouded in fog. I imagined the dog picking its way through the rocks and trees, stumbling. I sipped my coffee and waited for our guide to tell us it was time to move again.

We were walking the Trail of the Tiger, also called Bravery, also called The Evening Swallows. It depended on who you talked to. An old man in the village who smiled and packed rice into bowls with his dirty bare hands for hungry travelers had given me my bowl and said, "Luck for your walk on the Path of Sorrowful Words." At least, this is how I translated it. The pamphlet in the travel agent's office had called it the Trail of the Tiger: A Spiritual Hike Into The Mountains of Tibet.

In preparation, I had walked miles each day with my husband. The bottoms of his sneakers wore out, as did mine. We never held hands while walking. We sometimes talked.

I had gone raw, eating only organic vegetables and fruits, prepared in a dizzying amount of ways for the first six weeks, then dipping suddenly into predictable salads for the last two. Dan ate seafood as well, and I swear I smelled chocolate croissant on his breath one afternoon.

I had tested how long I could go without a shower. Two days in Michigan. Four, here in Tibet. It was no longer a test.

I had abstained from everything I previously took pleasure in: sugar, weekly dinners at La Cucina, hair dye, sex. Disappointingly, my hair did not turn a regal, steel-shot gray. It looked faded and dull and had wiry white hairs sticking out from unfortunate places. Dan did not seem to notice that I was abstaining from sex.

The guide announced that breakfast was finished. Wearily, we gathered up our packs. The sky was turning rosy and gold, another stunning dawn. As I stretched my arms and shoulders, I watched the guide go to the edge of the trail and say some words, head nodding. With a snap, he tossed something into the fog below.

"What was that? That you just did? What did you do?" I asked, bowed slightly under the weight of my pack.

"I say a prayer." He tilted his head. "You say one too."

"Um..." I never prayed. There were no words readily available on my tongue. "Our Father..."

"No. You say this."

"All right."

"You say: to the spirit of this mountain, if it pleases you--"

"To the spiriti of this mountain, if it pleases you--" I obediently repeated.

"May we pass in peace. May no one be harmed."

"May we pass in peace. May no one be harmed. Will the spirit understand this if I'm saying it in English?"

He smiled. "And if they lose their footing, may we find them down the mountain so we may give them a proper burial."

"And if... What?"

He laughed. "Now throw something that is valuable to you."

I thought for a moment. What did I have on me that was valuable? I couldn't give up my shoes. I had some coins in my pack. I hadn't bought any souvenirs.

I touched an ear. Dan had given them to me for Christmas twenty-one years ago, this pair of diamonds. No more than tiny chips. We'd been so poor then.

I undid one earring and held it between my fingers, showing it to the rising sun. It caught the glow, a halo of light as I turned it.

He whispered in my ear. "And now you say, thank you."

I tossed the little earring over the trail's edge. "Thank you," I said quietly. I couldn't see where it went.

"Ah, good." He patted my arm. "Now, maybe if you fall, the dogs won't eat your bones."

"That's... wonderful. I sincerely hope so." I followed him, a throb in my one naked ear.

Down in the fog, the dog yipped again. I wished Dan could be here to hear it.


Thank you for reading. As always, critique welcome. I had wanted to add a line about how she thought she was on a pilgrimage, but she didn't know to where. I couldn't find where it would naturally be, so I left it out. Ah, well.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Art and fic recs; Six Word Memoir

Via the super-awesome art rec blog, Eclectix, some shots from the current show running at the Bristol Museum, England.

My favorite:

Dark bride and groom on a stack of books, by Mike Stilkey.

I'm proud that I recognized quite a few artists featured. I wish, however, that I could see more art in person, rather than online. If I had a week in NYC or LA, I'd probably spend it all in museums.


Science geek? Lit geek? Stoned out of your mind and yet still able to read and comprehend shit? Pruned's series of stories in which Chicago is re-imagined over and over is epic and yet tiny. Flash fic, each one, with an accompanying strange pic.

Magnets beneath the city that send beams to a machine that can dissolve cancer cells. One second in the machine can bankrupt a small nation. Or a subterranean system that goes for miles... and doesn't exist. Just like your kid.

Whoa. And can the sci-fi authors take a peek? This is fresh stuff.


Today's stuff is pretty fucking amazing, wouldn't you say? These are things I look at and think, If the planet was destroyed tonight, look at what would be lost.

Gryff cat is love. That's you final thought for the day.

Wait. One more. It's my damn blog. ;)

Six Word Memoirs:

China berries, metal roller skates, hospital.

Hehe. Yeah, that about sums up my childhood.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

It's Zombie Sunday! Get yer undead, right here!

Whoa. Killer nuns. And the rest of Drew Falchetta's work is equally fan-fucking-tastic. I've seen a lot of artists paying homage to his work, and it's easy to see why. This guy brings it.


We took Gryff to the vet yesterday for a check-up. Good news: he's in perfect health. Bad news: when the vet walked into the room, he exclaimed, "Wow! Annette told me he had a huge head!"

GiantHead!Cat was not amused. He head-butted the vet when the guy got in for a closer look at his eyes.

Also, his tail appears to be the result of a birth defect, and not an old war injury. The numerous scars on his face and ears, however, say that he was a bit of a brute on the streets. B now hums the "Rocky" theme whenever Gryff goes strutting by.

Friday, August 20, 2010

New fic up at A Twist of Noir, plus unrelated babbleage

New flash: Daughter of Peaches at A Twist of Noir. Thank you, Christopher! And to everyone who loves crime/mystery and noir, Twist of Noir will be shortening its word counts. Read the entry below mine: not just flash fic, but challenging flash fic. Sound like a good time? Sharpen your pencils. It's ON.


Kim Wright guest posts over at Eric's Pimp My Novel, and the topic at hand is envy. Boy, is this something writers rarely talk about. I am well aware of my own envying, which occasionally gets out of hand. Pure, unadulterated jealousy, leeching by the spoonful into my shriveled little heart.

Hi, I'm RSB, and sometimes, I fucking hate you for getting something published before me/where I haven't been able to/for writing something brilliant/for consistently turning out awesome shit/for having better hair than I do.

Now excuse me while I have a glass of wine. (vino cures all)

Great examples, great dissection in a fairly short essay. Read. Nod your head in agreement. Because you've been jealous too, admit it. ;)


I posted about a line of fragrances from Melodie I just tried this past week. I have to give HUGE, mad props to the owner of Melodie, who came across my blog and took action, even though she didn't have to. Melodie and Theme are two lines by the same visionary fragrance blender, and while I highly enjoy Theme, I was not happy with Melodie. I put it down to personal preference, not the quality of the line.

I've thanked her privately, but I'm saying it again here: Thank you! And once again, this shows exactly why you should buy your perfume from her. Not just because it is incredible, modern, and sophisticated, but for the outstanding customer service.


Myself and some other fine writers have been hanging out daily at OneWord. I urge you to come over and play. You can find me there as -- yes! -- RS Bohn.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Theme/Melodie Fragrances

I recently received more fragrances from Theme, including a small bottle of Amuse, my very favorite of all of them. I was heartbroken when my miniature Amuse ran out -- not only do I adore the scent, with its soft vanilla topnote and undertones of Play-Doh (oh, yes!), but "amuse" is one of my favorite words. It's as if it was created for me. ;)

I've always loved the purity of Theme's fragrances -- see my first post about them. Sarong is another favorite, and similar to Amuse with its vanilla topnote but it's a bit more exotic, tropical. The descriptions are what you receive, and while they may not be as poetic as BPAL's or Scents by the Sea's, I think they match the freshness and simplicity of the fragrances. They are definitely fragrances for the modern woman.

This time around, I decided to try some from Theme's newest, second line of fragrances, Melodie. Called "vintage," I was intrigued, and ordered four minis.

Three of them I had to scrub off within ten minutes. They made me nauseous and gave me an instant headache.

I don't think I should summarily dismiss this line, as there are surely women out there who will find them beautiful. Just like with Theme, they are long-lasting, and a little goes a long way. But unlike Theme, I don't find them "pure" or "fresh." They were cloying and complicated, and reminded me of my grandmother's fragrances. In other words, they are exactly what I am not looking for in a perfume, and the opposite of Theme.

When I originally came across Theme and got my first set of minis to try, I knew I'd struck gold. Finally, a line of perfumes that isn't heavy or, well, too perfumey. And as an added bonus, when I wear Sarong or Amuse, the Mr. can't stop putting his nose in my cleavage or at the back of my neck or wherever I happen to have sprayed it. He finds them sexy, and I get so many compliments and "What perfume is that?" when I wear them.

But again, there are surely women who will find the Melodie line their perfect fragrance brand. And out of four, there was one I liked: Vanilla Souffle. No surprise, the vanilla again! The other three I tried were Fig Charming, Linen and Lace, and Peach Petals. I found Fig Charming so offensive that I not only had to shower and scrub it off, but I had to put the clothes I'd been wearing in the basement, as I could still smell them in the hamper.

I highly recommend Theme. Amuse is my favorite, and she ships super, SUPER fast. She's very friendly and communicative, and will even custom-blend perfumes (see her Etsy page). Also, every order I've received has come with one or two freebies, such as the Honey Balm this time (yummm...) and coupons for future orders. And I should add that a freebie of Melodie's lip balm, with its faint rose scent, has become practically my favorite lip balm ever.


In other news, I've had back problems for some time, and it's behaving badly again. B has been doing a bit of massage each night in bed, which helps, and then four days ago I started doing yoga again. I haven't practiced in quite some time, so I feel a bit sore from stretching my legs, especially (I am the least flexible person on the planet), but it's a good sore. And it absolutely helps my back. Today I decided that I should do it twice a day instead of once in the evening, and I added some reps with light hand weights afterwards. I think I need to not only stretch, but build up strength in my back. That should help.

I've also got a knee problem, which scares me, as it's been going on for months, and we're planning on going to Disney in October. Disney is... a helluva lot of walking. Right now, I can't make it around the block. I'm getting a knee brace today, and some joint supplements (as if I don't take enough vitamins already), and hoping that the yoga will improve the knee as well. Wish me well, and if anyone has any helpful hints about improving flexibility or dealing with pain/discomfort, hit me with it. As long as it doesn't involve seeing a doctor, as I don't have insurance. :) Oh, to be poor in America. Greatest country on Earth!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

3ww: Trunks for the Memories

It's 3WW! Captain, forgive me for what I am about to do.


Trunks for the Memories

It was just another Wednesday night in just another cantina on another armpit planet. A bar like the rest of them across the galaxy, smelling of dust and dirt, horny men and perspiration. The guy serving up the drinks -- was it a guy? the lavender tank top threw her off -- made 'em strong, kept both his trunks out of the booze, and threw in a free one every three or four. The sign over the bar, roughly translated, said this particular dive was called Slugs On Fire. After a few waitresses went by with flaming plates, she wondered if perhaps it wasn't the name of the bar, but the nightly special.

She sat at the end, purposely out of the light. But yep, here came another of the local yahoos, sidling up. Of course, they all sidled, having one leg shorter than the other.

"Howdy, ma'am," he said. Well, what he actually said was, "Zibbit plu oskosk," which does not exactly caress the human female ear. She grimaced and made a show of turning back to her drink, giving him the cold shoulder. Dejected, he sidled away. She sighed.

Couldn't a girl have a drink by herself? Was there something so morally offensive about a woman drinking alone in public that every male in the vicinity felt compelled to save them? Maybe she should start wearing a fake wedding ring. Although, the rings weren't a sign of a committed monogamous relationship all over; she was on a different planet every week, and the ring wouldn't work on half of them. Plus, her girlfriends all told her that wearing a ring was a sure-fire way to get guy's attention. Something about men knowing you were taken so you wouldn't get all crazy obsessive with them. Cow, milk, something along those lines.

The bartender sent over number nine. He motioned with his left trunk to a guy sitting on the end. She waved the drink away. The bartender shrugged and left it.

And here he came now, sidling up like he was her personal savior, trunks thrown back to reveal a mouthful of Earth-straight, Hollywood-white teeth. She was not impressed.

"What's a pretty girl like you doing in a place like this?"

"Hey, I just want to be alone tonight." She nodded towards the glass. "Thanks for the drink, anyway."

"Aw, come on. No one likes to be alone."

"I do. Beat it."

"Listen, why don't we get out of here--"

"I said, not interested."

"We can go back to my place..." His trunks massaged her shoulders. She stiffened.

Oh, he did not!

He did. One trunk traveled lower.

"Get your trunks off me," she grit out.

"Hey, baby, it's all right."

She jumped up, shoving the stool over. He looked down in surprise at the item in her hand.

"Hey!" said the bartender. "No weapons allowed in here!"

"Don't worry. She won't use it. Will you, darling? Come here..."

There were guys like this on every planet in the known universe. God, she hated them. So full of themselves. She aimed.

"Leave. Me. Alone." She didn't want to hurt him.

"Sweet thing like you doing with a nasty weapon like that." He wiggled his trunks suggestively. "I've got a couple of weapons you might like to play with better."

Okay. That was it. Time to teach this moron a lesson. Phaser on stumble -- fire!

He started forward, nearly fell over, righted himself and tried again. Bam. Into some chairs, knocking them over.

"Hey! What the--!" Up, down, pitching forward onto his hands. He grabbed a table and stood, fell over again.

She pocketed the phaser and walked regally around the stumbling fool towards the door. The cantina had exploded with laughter, and Mr. My-Trunks-Are-Deadly-Weapons was blushing to the tips of his floppy ears as he crashed about.

She ran into the Captain on the way out.

"Lieutenant Uhura! I would never expect to find you in a place like this," he leered. "Coming or going?"

"With you, sir?" She batted her eyes and felt the trigger on her phaser. Moved it to Floppy, just in case. "I've got to get going, sir. Sorry."


She was already gone, sashaying down the boulevard. Just another Wednesday night on just another planet.


A/N: I might have taken liberties with one of this week's words. And with certain characters. I humbly beg your forgiveness.

But taking liberties is what it's all about, I went to White Castle and I got thrown out.

Beastie Boys RULE.

Also, Jonathan Frakes from ST:TNG once hit on me in the bar I was working at, while he was in town for a sci-fi convention. True story. He's a slug.

And no, I am not drinking. It's too early. Catch me later. ;)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Review: "Strange Toys" by Patricia Geary

Last year, my favorite book was Scarlett Thomas's The End of Mr Y.

This year, Patricia Geary's Strange Toys.

And I just realized that both books share in common a peculiar trait: neither is easily summed up. And what they're about, precisely, is really, in the end, up to you.

This is especially the case with Geary's Strange Toys.

Pet is nine when her sister, Deane, does something so awful that she faces trial. Pet is sixteen and living with the repercussions of Deane's actions when she's given the opportunity to find her sister and --

Pet is thirty when she meets a man who gives her a third chance at using her power.


Pet is nine when she stands in Deane's room and finds the book. Pet is nine when she stands in Deane's room and finds her long-lost kitten, Marmalade, stuffed and ratty. Pet is sixteen and wants to confront Deane. Pet is sixteen and wants Deane to take care of her.

Pet is thirty and still has the poodles, the arm band, the ju-ju. Pet is Hannah, and yes, there is a woman who can lift a thousand pounds.

I could re-write these fifty different ways. And each one would be correct. Just as I suspect that if you approached Geary and told her, "Strange Toys is about this," she would answer with, "Yes."

Some readers want everything tied up neatly at the end. They want to know how it all turned out, and more importantly, what it all meant. If that's you, skip this book. But if you want to take a trip back to your childhood and remember all those games you made up with your sister, to smell the backseat of a car on a long family road trip, to look out the window of that car and see the Other Place reflected in your mind's eye, in the eyes of a cigar store Indian, in the signs for roadside attractions that have long since dried up and tumbleweeded away, then read this. For surely, no other author I have ever read has so perfectly captured the voice of youth.

And when Pet moves on, you move on with her. Every character in this book is absolutely alive, and you never know what's around the corner. And just like Pet, you're feeling your way along, trying to decipher the code.

I desperately wish I had someone to talk to about this book. I want to talk about Deane, a major character we never actually meet and what that means. I want to talk about how we never find out Pet's real name, and what that means. I want to talk about Stan and Linwood, and how they created their present because they held on so grimly to one piece of the past. I want to fuck Alonso. Hey, if you read this, you would too. And I want every single thing I collected when I was a girl, I want it now, here, on an altar on my dresser. Because I believe.

If you're still confused, I'll leave you with these: Geary's been called a "master storyteller." YES. She has unbelievable skill, and she never falters for a moment. Many reviewers on Amazon say this is their favorite book, ever. Ever. I can absolutely see why, and it'll surely be in my top ten and be re-read to tatters.

Most of those reviewers also lament the lack of attention she's received. Strange Toys did receive the Philip K. Dick award in 1987, which may make you think it's science fiction. That's where I found it in the bookstore. It most certainly is not. Is it fantasy? Not really. General fiction, mystery, what is it? And this, I agree with reviewers is the main issue. This is nearly unclassifiable, except that speculative fiction has come of age recently. If it had been an acknowledged genre in 1987, I'm sure it would've received more attention. In the end, I'd call it the most glorious, twisting, decadent spec fic I have ever read. And I strongly urge everyone to get a copy.


My new banner is by roxicons, who has some of the most beautiful icons and banners. I've downloaded a lot of hers, and she has a brand new fall-themed collection.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Review: "Fast Girls: Erotica for Women"

If I'm being honest, he wasn't the most gorgeous naked man I'd ever seen, but he was the most attractive man in my apartment at the moment, and a most willing participant in my sex games.

-- From "Confessions of a Kinky Shopaholic," Jennifer Peters


Get your Number 14s ready. Rachel Kramer Bussel's newest anthology,  Fast Girls: erotica for women, has possibly some of the hottest smut I've come across in some time. And you know I read a lot.

In "Confessions," our protagonist is fresh from the adult toy store with a bag bulging with new toys. Next to her on the bus, a man who may or may not be trying to get a peek into that bag. Who hasn't thought about this, about the attractive stranger who knows our dirty secret and who's willing to come home for a few hours of fun, no strings attached (but nipples clamps, hell yeah)?

At its core, that's what Fast Girls is about: women engaging in sex for the pure pleasure of it, indulging in their wildest fantasies with no guilt and no anxiety. If you're looking to be swept off your feet by the romance, look elsewhere. While some of the stories do feature women in relationships, even those don't make the relationship itself the feature. It's not about the man, the woman, the partner... it's about you. It's about knowing what you want and going after it.

Random encounters with nameless strangers, boyfriends who live across town, friends with benefits -- and you can put aside all of your preconceived, cliche notions about loneliness and daddy issues. These are women in charge of their sexuality, women who know themselves and what they want, and who are fearless in pursuit of it.

One fabulous aspect of the collection is its diversity. RKB has gathered together an impressive set of stories, no two of which are the same. This means that, yes, you might read something that makes you uncomfortable. Bussel's own "Whore Complex" did that, pushed me to my limits of comfort. And in the end, I realized that her protagonist is stronger for knowing herself, knowing what gets her off, and going after it. And that, in itself, is completely empowering.

Highlights of the collection are Susie Hara's "Waiting for Beethoven" (gorgeously written erotica, almost dreamlike), Suzanne V. Slate's "Panther" (tapping into my own bestiality fantasies without ever actually going there, it's a piece so highly erotic in such a short amount of space that your mind will be blown), and Elizabeth Coldwell's "Princess," a story that took something that is not my pleasure at all, thank you very much, and had me sitting there thinking at the end, "Mmm... maybe... yes."

With high-quality writing across the board and a little something for every woman who finds strength in her sexuality, I highly recommend this book, but do keep your #14 close at hand. That or a willing participant in your sexual games. ;)

*And a reminder: I also reviewed RKB's anthology, Please, Ma'am, which featured submissive men. Delicious, divine, submissive men. Another recommended book. Next? Who knows? I just know that I'm really, really, really enjoying her anthologies.

*And another reminder, as if you needed one: My all-time favorite vibe -- a deargodwhatthehellohjesusfuck sure-fire deliverer of orgasms and greatest tool for finding your G-spot ever -- is the Doc Johnson Lucid Dream 14 Multi-Speed, Waterproof G-Spot Vibrator, Twist-bottom Control, Purple

Order some books, put new batteries in your 14, and shut your cell phone off. You can thank me later.

Friday, August 13, 2010

OneWord, Ramshackle Review, SFaD

Thanks to NewPages, I learned about OneWord. You get sixty seconds to write on a random word.

There is a timer. Yes. And when it's finished, you're finished.

In my pre-tea fugue, I naively clicked. And wrote.

I highly suggest this. Sixty seconds of OMFG TYPE TYPE TYPE!!!! Followed by, OMG, people can see this? Hehe. Do it. That was fun.


Now that I'm calm again, I can talk about Ramshackle Review, Mark Reep's newest endeavor. If you follow me, then you know of my love for Mark's art (see the sidebar for a link). He also writes, and now, he's putting on his editor's hat. I'm extraordinarily pleased to have a piece of mine accepted for issue one.

Many thanks to Mark for helping me polish up the piece. I honestly can't wait to see RR up, as Mark has a unique and fascinating vision, and I think RR will be something different and very, very cool on the zine scene.


i35 of Short, Fast and Deadly: Clothing Optional. Scot Siegel's "Bareback Rider": yes.

Two more themed issues announced. One is ghosts. Go see the other.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Gryff lays down the law

You no can haz remote. I tell what program we watch. No more So You Think You Can Dance. Bah.

I said no! No remote for you! We watch Wipeout. I laugh.


I have no idea why the voice I do for Gryff is a bizarre LOL/Russian accent mash-up, but there you have it.

Don't tell me you don't do voices for your pets too. Because I know you do.

There is no real post today. Just this. I've been really exhausted lately, and hoping that, since things in all areas are quieting down a bit, that I'll be back to normal soon. I'm only writing about 200 words a day, and even I can't say that's "real" writing. It normally takes me about 600 to get into the groove.

Three Word Wednesday (see my previous post) had some stellar offerings this week. There doesn't seem to be a common theme, which I enjoy when bloghopping. Recommended reading.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

3ww: A Remedy

It's Three Word Wednesday!

A Remedy
A florid perfume for a florid man. He sat; the chair shivered beneath his weight. Lila crinkled her nose none too delicately.

"What is that, Walter?"

He stuffed a white linen napkin beneath his shirt collar, took a second from the seat next to him and arranged it over his ample lap.

"Why, it's only Mrs. Morrison's Digestive Remedy, my dear." He took a roll from the basket.

"But why do you smell that way if you have consumed it?" She shook her head, watching him slather on half a stick of butter onto the poor roll.

"I have not consumed it, at least, not in the traditional sense." He set down the knife and reached beneath the napkin, fingers fumbling.

"Is this a joke, Walter? I'm sure I don't understand." Her own bony fingers twisted one of the two hundred gray pearls hanging from her neck like so much rain-laden spidersilk.

"My darling, surely you are aware of my greatest desire in this world."

"To be a father to a child." She added, as if in afterthought, "Or three. Perhaps one son, two beautiful daughters."

He waved a hand, crumbs flying. "Oh, yes, of course. But also to perform the greatest gastronomic feat this world has ever seen!"


He flipped up the napkin, showing his shirt unbuttoned. Revealed beneath that fine Egyptian cotton was not a hairy expanse of forty-year-old banker, but an enormous blue glass bubble. No heart, no lungs, no liver -- only the bubble, with a small amount of liquid sloshing about inside.

Lila sat straight up in her seat, shrieking, "Walter! What have you done?"

"Now, dear, now. It will all be all right. I am taking you to New York next week, and you may pick out the most expensive dress you can find. You must look your best."

"My... my best?"

"Yes. For I have been to see the one and only Dr. Darius, and he has cured me of all mortal restraints when it comes to dining. And next week, darling, next week!" Producing a bottle of the Remedy from his pocket, he opened a small door on the front of the bubble and poured a little in. He shut the door and popped the roll into his mouth, masticating with enormous relish. The bread fell into the bubble and, in moments, was entirely disintegrated by Mrs. Morrison's Digestive Remedy. He smacked his lips and began to close up shirt. "Next week, we shall dine at the world famous Rickenbacker, and I shall eat everything on the menu!"

"But... but, darling, you've already done that."

He smiled, leaning forward and shaking the table a bit. "Twice."

Lila fidgeted, not touching her food for a minute, leveraging options. Finally, she asked, "And shoes?"

"The most expensive you can find."

Lila nodded, smiling primly. Well, then. It was all settled.

That night, her husband rose at two a.m. for his customary snack. Their cat, Betty, jumped from the bed and raced in front of him. He often shared his milk, if not his turkey or salami.

The sound of glass shattering woke her. She peered into the darkness, but hearing nothing more, went back to sleep.

In the morning, she found a frothy puddle at the bottom of the stairs.

"George!" she called to the butler. "Come clean this up." And she went to the sitting room and had her coffee, thinking how diligent her husband was to go into work so early that morning.



Thank you for stopping by and reading! Critique welcome.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Flash Fic: Safe Haven; Hotels for Writers

I could not find a single author/book on my list at the used book store. Came away with some rather odd choices, including a 1990 flip-book of Beijing tourist attractions and a chapbook of strange poetry by a Detroit woman who farmed. I'm not sure what she farmed. I'll let you know when I figure it out. Right now, it appears to be death and afterbirth and pears, but who knows.


Safe Haven

Daughter of blue eyes peeled the apple with stubby paring knife: her grandma's, once used to stab a coon in its eye when it crawled in through broken screen over sink. The small room fills with sweet rotted aroma. The apple turns to brown pulp, drips into yellow bowl full of October's fruit. Daughter sloshes brandy over mash. Pulls on her boots. Takes the bowl onto a weak wooden porch and leaves it for overnight fairies and midnight butterflies, visitors such as dragonfly queens and rat kings on their way to safe haven. In the morning, she stills sits beside the bowl, eyes never having closed. Before dawn can touch it, she brings the remainder inside and crawls into the bed of blue eyes. His lips plow through it, and he falls back, drunk on night dreams all the rest of that day. She rests, and wakes at sunset to find there is no more fruit. A whole season's worth of fruit, gone. Spring is six months away.


I never get tired of looking at extraordinary hotels all over the world. I am planning my big Book Tour, you see, and at certain points, I will grow weary of the crush of adoring fans and the constant non-stop moving from city to city, and I will need to Get Away. For three days, maybe four, I will be a recluse, even my agent will wonder where I am. Cell off, laptop on but ignoring email. Curled up in cubes of milky foreign sunlight, politely smiling at the random other guest before returning to my tea or glass of wine and my book. And then, Ta dah! I will show up just in time for my next appearance. Perfectly pulled together, Chanel suit and string of pearls, maybe just a slight sheen of perspiration on my cleavage, the only evidence of the passionate tryst I indulged in with the random guest (who was quirky and had a furry chest and smelled like whichever country I was in, and who never learned my name).

Anyway. Hotels for the overburdened author yearning to Get Away, next stop: Norway.

Hotel Mundal.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Feminist Sci-Fi on the Rejectionist

Last week was Feminist Sci-Fi/Fantasy week on The Rejectionist. I finally caught up this morning, and the interviews are incredible. Highly recommended. My reading list has suddenly quadrupled, and I'm heading to a local used book store this afternoon.


The new issue of Danse Macabre is out, and Chris Hugh has got a story that sorta blew me away. Too frickin' clever, smart, funny, and fast-paced. The Bride of Frankenstein Dances With Celebrity.

She's terribly smart and funny anyway; her blog is filled with gems. I can't wait to see what she pulls out of her hat next. (hat! I said hat!) Read and show her some love.


That's enough for you on a Sunday, eh? Me, I'm off to the bookstore. And finishing frosting my Lemon Raspberry Coconut cake. Yes!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Six Sentences, Blurbs and Gryff

At the Last Minute: my Six Sentences. Thanks so much to editor Robert McEvily for featuring my work and for his kind words.


Newpages posts an excerpt of Laura Miller's article, Beware of Blurbs, from, thus confirming what I always believed. I don't read blurbs to decide if a book is worth my money and time. Actually, I rarely even read reviews. It's a bit of a crapshoot, to be honest. The best one can do, I think, is to find a like-minded friend and talk books.


I'm really exhausted. So much going on around here at the moment, it's nearly non-stop. Writing is suffering, though I hope things get back to normal this weekend.

One of the changes around here is that we've adopted a cat from our local shelter. B wanted a female torti kitten. He picked out a 3 yr old brown tabby male. I have not said a word about this. Right now, I am the supportive and loving wife. (that could change at any minute)

He was called Roscoe, but now he's Gryff, short for Gryffindor.

What a handsome fella, right? Now to convince Callie, the resident Princess Kitty, that he's just the guy for her to snuggle with.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


It's 3WW! Is it crazy that I have been waiting for today since Sunday?


At the Start

I'm trying very hard not to fall in love with him. We go out for drinks, I laugh and our faces almost touch. I tell myself it's dim in here, hard to see. I lean closer. He touches my leg while talking about his boat, and I tell myself it's too soft, it's the feeble glancing touch of an old man. Because he is. Old enough to be my father, at least. I don't know how old, but I've got a good guess.

He throws a hundred down on the bar and helps me put my coat on. When we step out onto the pavement, I thank him for the drinks and say I'll see him tomorrow at work. He frowns.

"You're shivering," he says. "That coat isn't keeping you warm."

"It's fine."

He reaches to pull the collar together; my exposed neck warms. He buttons the very top button, and I think I must look silly. Not glamorous at all like this.

"I'm going to buy you a new coat," he says. "Tomorrow. A warm one."

"Absolutely not! Don't be ridiculous."

He grins, and I see the boy he must've been. Mischievous. Sure of himself. He brushes the hair from my ear, his leather gloves on my skin giving me new shivers. He leans in and whispers, "I predict that tomorrow, you will be wearing a new coat."

He walks me to my car, and I hope he mistakes my blush for the effects of cold air. His kiss on my cheek is chaste, his breath heat and brandy.

"Goodnight, Lauren."

I watch him go, wondering what sort of coat his wife wears.


Thanks for reading! The words this week were: drink, feeble (the trippin' up word!), and predict. I've got a piece up tomorrow at Six Sentences, if you are so inclined.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

New Molotov Cocktail; Nathan Bransford on the One Question

Volume 1, Issue 10 of The Molotov Cocktail: almost as good as it gets. I'm only saying "almost" because, at this point, I think editor Josh Groller somehow attracts and finds the best in dark flash fiction, and he manages to wow me every issue.

Four stories each issue. This time, "Once" by Shea Newton got me giddy, but three other stories are fabulous in themselves. Josh is looking for the good stuff. You know you got it (am I looking at you, Chris Hugh? I think so!). Submit.


From Nathan Bransford's post last week, The One Question Writers Should Never Ask Themselves:

*And quod erat demonstrandum pro quo tempura I don't actually know Latin, the one question that aspiring writers should never ask themselves when reading a book is, "Do I like this?"

Here's the thing about the question "Do I like this?" Who is that question about? Well, it's about you. It's about your taste, and whether the book fit in with your likes and dislikes. It's not about the book. It's about you and whether the book spoke to you.

In other words, all you're learning about when you ask "Do I like this?" as you read a book is yourself.

Now, don't get me wrong. Knowing what you like is important. But by the time we're an adult we pretty much know our likes and dislikes. Sure, some things can take us by surprise (like my inexplicable and deep-seated love of The Bachelor), but plumbing the depths of our likes and dislikes is about entertainment, it's not knowledge that is overly helpful as a writer. Knowing your likes and dislikes will help you imitate, but it won't help you learn tools you can really use.*

Read the rest of his entry for more insightful information and different facets of this topic.

I realized that I tend to do just this: read and decide if I like it or not, and based on that, whether it's a good book or not. What am I taking away from the experience, what do I learn? This has given me a lot of food for thought over the last few days.

Have an excellent Tuesday, my friends. And heads up: Thursday, I'm up on Six Sentences, and soon (very soon, my preciouses), Cast Macabre. Muahahahaaha!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sharon Olds, BK Loren, Roscoe, and the Library Hotel

Sharon Olds was recommended to me, and I confess that the first two poems of hers that I read touched me not. But Leaving the Island caught me unawares, and I have been unable to forget it since reading. I've gone on to read much more of her work -- she's published nine volumes of poetry so far. She's been called "raw," and she says that she is not a thinker -- take from that what you will.

Her work touches on almost universal and yet mundane aspects of human existence. If you do click on the above link, be aware that, like a number of her pieces, it almost hurts to read it.


Thanks to the NewPages Blog for linking to the winners of the 2010 New Millenium awards for poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. I discovered BK Loren's Cerberus Sleeps last night, which has also been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

At first, this short story, its language, its images, all seemed somewhat derivative, but within a few paragraphs, I was pulled into in so thoroughly that by the end, Cerberus and his family lived in my head. Loren has imagined a quietly breathtaking story that sneaks up on you, much as my dog does when she knows she is seventy pounds and yet would like to share my lap. The story of the immortal dog Cerberus -- yes, that Cerberus -- found in a pound and adopted by an unknowing family facing problems we all may face in this lifetime is profoundly beautiful and moving.

I especially liked that Loren made Cerberus a pit bull. Next time you're looking for a dog, remember to look at your local shelter. You never know really who may be looking back at you through the bars.


Speaking of dogs, we've had two sick ones here, and I am absolutely drained and still must go to work tomorrow. We're not sure how, but they both have infections in their gut, meaning various bouts of diahrrhea (which, of course, occur either A. when we are gone from the house or B. sleeping), homemade diet each day of boiled turkey and rice, and antibiotics three times a day. Added to that are an imposing number of errands that suddenly had to be done over the last 3-4 days, coinciding with sick dogs, and my other half's desire for a cat reaching peak intensity, and it's all been a bit much.

Good news is that sick dogs are on the mend, errands are caught up, I've decided that being a month away from 38 doesn't mean that I'm not still sexy, and we now have an application in at our local shelter for Roscoe, a cat who didn't check anything off B's list of Cat Requirements, but who we are very excited and hopeful for.

We already have a cat, as many of you know: Miss Callie, who is eight. B wanted another torti, which means female, and he wanted a kitten. Roscoe is a three year old male brown tabby missing one third of his tail, a freakin' enormous head, and personality plus. The Dearborn Animal Shelter found him as a stray, and you can see his pic on their site. Cross your fingers for us. We really want this boy to come live with us.


When I want to escape from it all, I dream about jetting off to NYC and staying at The Library Hotel. Rooms organized by Dewey Decimal system? Employees called "librarians"? A poetry room, reading room, and a writer's den? All in a building with elegant, modern, dark-wood rooms with plenty of windows?

Please, I beg you. Please. Send me here.

Take the virtual tours. You'll be glad you did.