Thursday, September 27, 2012

Looking ahead

Yeah, most of my posts lately have been sorta down-in-the-dumpsish. It's all that quicksand and stuff. But, despite momentary (and yeah, maybe long moments) bouts of oh-woe-is-me, I'm actually kind of excited about what the future may bring.

I've decided to pick up and finish my languishing novels. Dammit, it's time I stopped being afraid of them and just write the fuckers. Yeah, plural. There are three of them. One was started about seven years ago. The other is 2-3 years old. The last one still just two separate stories with the same characters, those stories sort of egg and sperm about to meet. I still don't know what will come of this one, and it's what I'm most excited about working on. I'm actually going to (reallytrulypinkyswear) set up a routine where I go someplace and write for a set period of time on each day (well, most days) that will be purely for working on these. The idea scares the hell out of me, so I'm going right towards that.

There are other projects of my own that have been languishing too. They need to be picked up and dusted off. Then there is a big project that is not my own, but has unfortunately been somewhat open-ended and so not been kept on track. I met with one of my co-horts today and we're trying to figure a way to get this to not turn into something that never happens.

Yeah, I'm being vague, but I need to right now. I need to keep my focus unfocused, the better to see what's on the periphery.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Door Closing

In May 2001, more than eleven years ago tonight, I walked through the door of an old train station turned art gallery where a weekly poetry series was held. Though I'd started writing poetry again (after quitting while in my early teens), I wasn't there to share any of it. It would take me awhile before I got up the nerve to do so. But I enjoyed listening to the other poet's works, and eventually became a "regular."

It changed my life. Over the years I went from being the woman who sat quietly over on the side, to reading, to performing, to hosting, to booking features, to pretty much running the series for a couple of years (which ended in Dec. last year). I'm no longer shy and afraid, though I still have major bouts of self-doubt. Duh. LOL.

I've half-jokingly called the series my "mental health night." Being able to write, and share some of it, helped get me through some dark times. I learned a lot about myself and about writing. Over the years I've had dozens of poems published and it was a poet-friend who gave me the nickname Erobintica, when I started venturing into the erotica world, after sorta kinda becoming known for my erotic poems.

Tonight is the last night of that series, though it's been in transition this whole year. I'm hosting and since it's been a bumpy transition, I'm not sure if I'm going to say anything or not. I may just introduce the feature, and later the open mike readers, and leave it at that. Most of the folks attending these days don't know the history of the series. And the series has been going much longer than I've been part of it.

I'm feeling waves of grief wash over me at random times. And it's not that I wish it weren't ending. I sense that it's been ending for several years. I jumped in and saved it once, partly out of my own need to have there be a place each week to go to. I let go at the start of this year because I wasn't sure when we'd be moving from here (and still aren't sure).

It's not like I'll be losing poetry. Last night I went to a wonderful reading and I'm still writing. But this is the end of something that I have already been missing.

There's that old when one door closes another opens saying that sometimes pisses me off to no end. Maybe because it's kinda true. It's just that it would be easier if we could see that next door. Usually we can't. Or we can but we're not sure if we're seeing the right door. Or we don't want to go through it. Or a thousand reasons for standing there like a deer in headlights.

The poetry world is funny. There's its cliques and critics and sad comedies. I have poet friends who aren't really talking with other poet friends. Usually over deeply held, though still-sometimes-petty reasons. I've always been the idealistic little child wanting diverse folks to see past their differences. The older I get though, the less hopeful I feel about that happening.

So, this afternoon I'm probably going to just read and take a walk and drink my beloved mocha.

Tonight, I'll hear the latch click shut on an era of my life. I wonder what the next door will open to.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

On Deleting a Post

The other day I wrote, and published a post that with some reflection, I decided to take down. A few people read it and upon talking with them (virtually or IRL), it was obvious that it was in many ways, far too much to ask of anyone to have to deal with. The title of it was Inconsolable. That tells you a lot right there.

I've been having a hard time of it. I'm at a turning point in so many areas of my life that I feel kinda dizzy. The ground is shifting under my feet. Earthquake. Quicksand. Or even just like when you stand on the beach and the water runs out and the sand pulls away and you feel like you're going to lose your balance or get pulled out. Under.

Digging bare toes into shifting sand. That's what it feels like I'm doing.

I'm trying to be open to what the seas of change are telling me. But what I'm hearing is scary. Dare I reinvent - that's not the right word - myself at this late stage of the game? Am I mixing too many metaphors?

Monday, September 10, 2012


This time I wasn’t going to turn around and go back. That line means so much in so many different ways.  
This time I was going to keep going, and even if I looked back, it would only be briefly, in the way that one should walk in the woods, always turning to look back the way you came, so that you can recognize the your path from both directions. 

This time I wasn’t going to feel bad about my decision. I’d made it. That’s what mattered.

I tend to worry and wobble and waffle a lot. Should I or shouldn’t I? I run through the myriad variations of what could happen IF....   

I’m really good at talking myself out of things. But lately, something’s shifted in me. 

Maybe it’s age. I’m coming up on what some folks call “double nickles” and for some reason it feels more significant to me than the big Five Oh. Maybe it’s because my children are all grown, and though not all gone (one is still in college and so will likely be home for a couple more school breaks), my days as FULL-TIME-MOM are over. 

Those may be contributing reasons, but I think the main reason is that after spending most of my lifetime doing for and being thoughtful of and working around others, I now want to do some of the things I want to do, whatever they may be, and irregardless of whether others (family, friends, complete strangers) may think.

Yesterday, when I kept driving, and then arrived at my destination, getting my campsite set up all by myself, I felt self-sufficient. Something I’ve not felt very often in my life. Instead, I’ve felt very dependent. Oh, I’ve had moments. But for the most part, I was always something–daughter, girlfriend, wife, mother–that defined me by my relationship with others. And as a result, that’s how I thought of myself. I never thought about what I would do if .... I could do anything I wanted. Because that’s never even been a concept I could relate to. 

What’s amusing though is that lately I’ve been thinking of myself as “incorrigible.”

incorrigible |inˈkôrijəbəl, -ˈkär-|
(of a person or their tendencies) not able to be corrected, improved, or reformed: she's an incorrigible flirt.
a person of this type.

That is not something I would have ever thought of myself as in the past. Incorrigible. Or a flirt for that matter. Hahaha. 

Where was I? Sorry, I got lost in a bit of a reverie. 

And the trees behind me are reflecting on my laptop screen and its pretty. And it’s kinda nice to not be connected to the rest of the world. What I hear is this: someone driving in stakes for a big tent that will provide shelter if it rains (I’m at the Maine Primitive Gathering), someone else setting up their own tent while talking to their neighbor, crickets and cicadas and rustling leaves, the occasional car going by on the road, voices and occasional laughter. A small plane far off. The birds are quiet right now, but I imagine they’ll make their presence known later. 

There is no particular point to this post. It’s just me realizing that my life has shifted, and I’ve shifted with it. I still get triggered by situations that evoke memories of past difficulties (there’s a euphemism if there ever was one, hahaha) and react in ways I wish I didn’t. But I do tend to chill once I recognize where my reactions are coming from. In the meantime I may have pissed off and/or upset folks. Or at least exasperated them. Tough. I have to stop apologizing for being who I am. 

I want those people who like/love me to like/love me for who I really am. In all my incorrigible glory. Yes, glory. I’ve hid that side of me for far too long. You know that feeling that just makes you want to burst with overwhelming joy? That feeling that makes you want to make love to the whole world - everyone and everything. That feeling. 

What’s that saying? Well-behaved women seldom make history. I bet they were incorrigible too.  

Friday, August 10, 2012


I was fired for "insubordination" from the very first real job I held. Though I wasn't told that at the time. I'd worked there for two and a half years, starting part-time while still in college and going full-time when I graduated. It was just a file clerk/errand-runner job in a huge law firm. As far as I knew, I was well-liked and applied myself to the job with the 'no matter what you do, do it well' philosophy that I've always believed. I don't do things half-assed. Yeah, I fall down a lot, but I get back up. Sometimes I dust myself off, sometimes I don't. A little dirt never hurts.

It was the end of a Monday afternoon, everyone leaving for the day, when the office manager called me in, and proceeded to tell me "we have to let you go," and that I was really over-qualified for the job, and I should have no problem finding a job in my field. Yeah right. I'd just graduated six months before with a degree in Geology and I'd kept working the file clerk job hoping to save up enough money so I could hit the road in my old VW camper van looking for a job since I was lucky enough to finish up with school just as all the likely jobs dried up. It was the times. I'd had to move and get rid of my VW in those six months, I had rent and other bills to pay.  Needless to say, I was stunned into silence.

The real reason I was fired is probably a couple of reasons. They were probably paying me too much for the job, but they'd just given me a large raise two months before (in a fit of -we're expanding and doing so awesome that we want to reward everyone even though we really can't afford to-ness). And, I'd been working there long enough to feel comfortable with everyone, and since I don't have a single shred of reverence for hierarchy, I worked with a familiarity with everyone that, until a couple weeks before, had never been questioned.

One of my jobs had always been to take sandwich orders from the lawyers working on their lunch hour. I'd go office to office and ask. Never a problem with that. For two and a half years. But at some point, after the office expansion and remodel and new names added to the masthead (then up to six - I can still rattle the list off like it was yesterday - but I'm not typing it here), one of the newly promoted (though not to the masthead and maybe that's why) lawyers decided he didn't like being approached in his new corner office by a lowly file clerk, and it was decided I should go through the secretaries. But because I wasn't invited to the office meetings where new office procedures (aka RULES) were announced, and nobody told me afterwards, one day I went in and asked him for his sandwich order. Silly me. He didn't get angry or anything. Just told me that I needed to go through his secretary from now on. Huh? It made NO FUCKING SENSE to me. But I complied. Still, I was soon out of a job.

When I went for unemployment was the first I heard of the "insubordination" charge. I told my side. The unemployment folks believed me but told me the law firm might fight it. They didn't. I think they knew. I learned a valuable lesson then. Though some folks might say I didn't learn anything, LOL.

I remain insubordinate.  Hierarchy be damned. Gets me in trouble time and time again. People love their hierarchies, their chain-of-command, their power. I hate them. And have been known to disregard them time and time again. And while I'm in the middle of it, I can be a basket case of self-doubt. What are you doing Robin? You'll get yourself fired. You'll get your husband fired. Your family will hate you. Your friends will desert you. But looking back on all those times, I don't regret a single one. I'm glad I stood my ground. It may not have worked out. And yeah, I've thrashed a bit in my disappointment.

This is a bit of thrashing. It's hard for me to stand my ground when people I care about see things differently. I am a child of alcoholics, always wanting to keep peace, sometimes at any cost. The cost has been too high at times. And now I am old enough to realize that it's time to live my life as I see fit, as I want to. The signs are everywhere, popping up in front of me and to each side. Signs are what we make of them. I am seeing. I am listening.

I started reading Cheryl Strayed's Wild, about her trek along the Pacific Crest Trail, after picking it up at a reading of hers. You know how sometimes the perfect book to read shows up at just the perfect time? After the reading I had her sign my "Write Like A Motherfucker" mug.  Yeah, signs.

I'm sure I will piss many people off. Make just about everyone uncomfortable. I also know that I'll backslide. A lot. But I will pick myself up and go on with skinned elbows and knees. And I will love big and aim true.

And damn! I wanted to add a photo at the beginning of this post, one of Randy Lagana's and can't. Not sure what is up with that. I've used it before on this blog. Oh well. I'll figure it out another time.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Thoughts on years of blogging.

When I first started this blog, way back in mid-December 2008, it was because I figured I needed some sort of place to hang my virtual-hat as I ventured into the world of erotica. I'd started entering Alison Tyler's short short story contests, and other folks seemed to have a home base, so I would too!

At first I was pretty sure I was just talking to myself. And I was okay with that. I didn't get any comments that December. But I was venturing out and commenting on other blogs and thought "well, at some point someone will follow me home." That sounds kinda creepy, doesn't it? LOL.

I did my first post of 2009 on Jan. 5. That day I'd sent off my first erotica submission, a story I'd written many years before. But I got 2 comments from other erotica author/bloggers. The very first one was from Jeremy Edwards. That's cool, because I couldn't remember who had first commented on my blog (I went looking as I started this post), and now Jeremy is someone who, with his lovely wife Helia Brookes, are real world friends. As are many of the friends I've made through the virtual world of erotica blogs.

The other comment was from EllaRegina, whose entry in that first contest, spurred my entrance. I did get to meet her IRL, but she's been scarce these days. I hope she is well.

That year, 2009, was my most prolific year blogging, with 233 posts. I was drawn out of my shell, and that was the year I befriended artist Randy Lagana, whose work I was familiar with from a project that had been abandoned about four or five years before. I wanted to use some of his photography, etc. to illustrate my blog. I've never been one much for grabbing things off the web. I take/took a lot of my own photographs and if I used somebody else's work, I asked first. For the most part. That's just how I am.

I did an interview series with Randy, in three parts: 1, 2, 3. I should probably go back and read them. It's been awhile since I have. I had coffee with Randy this morning. We're now working together on the revival of that long-ago abandoned project, a poetry and photography journal: Stark. Randy has been taking nude photos of the poets that are included in the collection, some of them from the original selection of poets, some new. I'm one of the original ones, and I've not had my photo shoot yet. Soon.

He met me when I was new at all this, and full of enthusiasm and tentativeness. Now, not many people read this blog. I don't post often, and I'm sure those two things are interrelated. This post is an attempt to correct that. I started off blogging despite having no readers. In a way that gave me the freedom to write whatever I felt like.

Think I'm gonna try that again.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The non-perils of sex writing

A few days ago, a friend sent me a link to an interview in the Paris Review: Nicholson Baker, The Art of Fiction No. 212.   Though I'd been intrigued over the years with various titles of his, I'd not read any of his books yet. When House of Holes came out last year, I put it on my mental "to read" list, but of course our library doesn't have it (or any of his sexually-themed books). I've since checked out The Mezzanine (his first novel) from the library and started it last night. I think I've found another writer whose strange work I love.

The interview is long, and I had to read it in chunks because I was otherwise occupied. But it is well worth the time. What I most loved about the interview was Mr. Baker's answer to the question "Can we talk a little about the perils of sex writing?" Mr. Baker answered "Yes. There aren't any."!!! :-)

I would love to know if the interviewer was as flummoxed as it seemed. A little further on, Mr. Baker is asked "Is writing about sex arousing for you as you’re writing it?" and part of his answer is the whole reason for this post. "There’s no point in doing it if it isn’t arousing to some degree. Erotic-romance novelists talk about, after certain chapters, taking a “fun break.” You’re imagining all these wild, explicit things. I think it would be really perverse to sit there completely unmoved."

But we, as in those of us who write erotica/smut/porn/whatever already know that. ;-)

Something about reading this review made me very happy. Nicholson Baker had much more to say about "sex writing," so go read the interview. It's great!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Sexy Mama blogging at Good Vibrations blog

In a fit of confidence and bravery, I answered a call from Charlie Glickman, that I saw on Facebook, for bloggers (especially for their Sexy Mama series) for The Buzz/Good Vibrations Online Magazine. And got the job!

I'd heard Charlie speak at Momentum, and have been reading his stuff for awhile. I sent some writing samples (from here and other places), and it meant a lot to have him say that he likes my writing style.

I'll be blogging mainly about sex and parenting, though I gather whatever tickles my fancy is fine. I'm thrilled to get a chance to pursue some subjects in a way that didn't feel quite right for this or other venues. I opted to write as Erobintica, for a bunch of reasons. I'll write about those another time, but for now...

Here's my first post: Hard To Teach If You Didn't Learn

Accepted into Best Erotic Romance 2!!!

Sorry this is a bit late being posted, but Kristina Wright, accepted my story "Another Chance" for inclusion in Best Erotic Romance 2013 (or BER 2)!!!!

It's an honor to be sharing the pages with these folks. And I'd find links to folks's sites, but my laptop is being real slow. Maybe I'll add them another time. Yeah, am thrilled!!!!!


Table of Contents
Foreword                                                            Saskia Walker
Introduction: Can’t Get Enough
Kiss and Make Up                                                Heidi Champa
Waiting for Ilya                                                Teresa Noelle Roberts
Three Nights Before the Wedding                        Catherine Paulssen
Flowering                                                            Donna George Storey                       
Teach Me                                                            Jeanette Grey
Last Hundred Days                                                Geneva King
The Price of Love                                                Kate Pearce
Another Chance                                                Erobintica
Cutting Out Hearts                                                Kristina Lloyd
Chocolate Cake and You                                    Victoria Blisse
Adagio                                                            Torrance Sené
Nothing Important Happened Today                     A.M. Hartnett
Renovate                                                            Nina Reyes
Trouble in Paradise                                                Crystal Jordan
Kiss of Peace                                                Dominic Santi                       
Grounded                                                            Nikki Magennis
Sweet Memories                                                Kristina Wright

On getting a very nice review

Yesterday, thanks to Emerald, I got to read this really nice review (of Suite Encounters: Hotel Sex Stories) at Erotica Revealed. She (Em) wanted me to see this because the reviewer, Nathan Burgoine, said some especially nice words about my story, "Return to the Nonchalant Inn."

On a completely different note, “Return to the Nonchalant Inn” by Erobintica was a lovely piece with a man and a woman reminiscing on the erotic adventures of their youth – but from a vantage point of an older, wiser – and still sexually heated – perspective. I think the inclusion of this story, with a woman confident and content in her mature body, was an absolute win for the collection – and a very strong reminder that eroticism doesn’t die with the passing of years.
I've been reading that over and over again. And at times it makes me choke up. I'm 54. Not getting any younger. And as I said in my last post, I was afraid "Erobintica" was fading away. Yeah, in a way I think I've been mourning some lost youth that I never really had, because back then, I was not wiser and I sure as hell wasn't confident, or even content in my younger body. But these past few years, Erobintica has been a journey for me. And I'm learning something new about myself every day. Sometimes I like what I learn, sometimes I don't.

Or more exactly, I don't like some things about me, even though they may be crucial to who I am. Who I will be happy as. When you deny parts of yourself, you shut yourself off from being "confident and content." I've always been worried about what people (those amorphous "people") would think and worried that those who mean a lot to me wouldn't like who I am (or want to become). But that kind of worrying and thinking is so fucking self-limiting, that it was almost as if a sign from Eros, that I saw this posted on Facebook the other day. I saved it on my desktop and even printed it out so I can glance at it often:

I've always admired that in other people. Maybe it's time to try it on for myself.

Just when I needed it most

We're just about ready to put the house on the market. The painting and refinishing and packingpackingpacking (and filling a 10 X 10 storage unit almost to the ceiling) and purging is almost done.

I've been neglecting my writing. Have only written one poem (and that was about packing) in the past several-or-more months. I think I did crank out a story or two. And I've hardly blogged at all. Not much to say.

And for awhile I kept worrying that my Erobintica days had seen their best and that she'd be slowly fading away. Because it felt like that to me. Inside. Where the spark for her lived. Yeah, I was thinking past-tense when it came to my erotic core. I won't enumerate the reasons for that. Because I discovered she wasn't gone, just asleep.

Several good, no, make that great! things have happened lately, to give me a bit of a boost just when I needed it most. Some I can write about, some I can't. But let's just say that I'm back and ready to gaze below the surface again. :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A month come and gone

I haven't been here since April. Blogger has a new look since the last time I logged in and posted anything. I almost couldn't, because I had to change stuff since Google is so all-tentacled now and I've been around on Blogger since before those days. Not with this blog, but another old one. For a moment I was afraid I couldn't get into my own blog to post!

We have been very busy with getting our house ready to put on the market. We want to move to Maine once it's sold. But we've been in it for more than 18 years and it's a lot of work. We missed our aimed-for date of March. Then April went by. Then May. Now it's June and we still have work to do. I've neglected my writing as well as [obviously] my blogging. Time to remedy that. Beware, the next paragraph will have lots of links.

Yesterday I traveled into New York City to attend a reading at Bluestockings for Kristina Wright's just-released Lustfully Ever After. I met Emerald (who was reading) and Tess Danesi in Grand Central and we had a wonderful dinner together at Noodle Bar. Then we walked the couple blocks to the bookstore where we met Sacchi Green and Michelle Augello-Page (both reading) out front. Inside was Kristina, and it was wonderful to finally get to meet her in person. Then Jeremy Edwards and Helia Brookes showed up. The reading was wonderful, and afterwards we wandered around finding a place that could seat our group. We ended up at Sauce, and had some delicious food, desserts, and wine.

Riding the train home, I realized how nourishing the evening had been for my writer-self. I've been so focused on doing stuff to the house–packing, cleaning, painting, refinishing, "staging"–that I've not allowed myself to go to that writerspace and that I've missed it. Sitting at the computer typing words, or scratching in a notebook often don't seem as important as taking another load to the storage unit or painting more window trim. But I realized that one of these days, hopefully soon, this house will be sold. And that writer-self needs to still be here. I do believe that if you don't use it, you lose it, mainly because I've seen it to be true. I need to use my writer muscles more. So, I'm going to try to blog more regularly, and not think of writing as something to do when...

So thanks to those wonderful folks last night. The connections I've made–no, change that to the friends I've made–through this online world of erotica authors, mean a lot to me. And here I sit, looking at all these words I've quickly written and I'm thinking "yeah, I need to do this more."

Friday, April 20, 2012

Next best thing to being in 5 places at once: The Momentum Conference e-book.

A few weeks ago, I went to the 2nd Annual Momentum Conference outside Washington, D.C. Subtitled "Making Waves in Sexuality, Feminism, and Relationships," I found the conference to be even better than the first one in 2011.

One drawback to successful conferences like this one is the inability to be in multiple places at once. Considering all the sessions I attended were great, I knew I was also missing wonderful stuff in the other sessions. Unfortunately, one must make choices.

But this year, Tess Danesi, Dee Dennis, and Inara de Luna have edited an e-book of "Selected Essays by 2012 Speakers Advocating Change in Current Sexual Dialogues," which allowed me to not only sit in–well, in a manner of speaking–on sessions that I'd had to pass up, but also gave me really good notes for the ones I did go to. As soon as I got home from the conference I bought it (though it has to be on my husband's PC Kindle since I have a "vintage" mac that doesn't support hardly anything anymore).  When I saw Tess asking if folks wanted to write about it on their blogs, I jumped at the chance.

But this e-book isn't just for folks that went to the conference, or even for those that missed it even though they wanted to go. From the foreword by Dr. Joycelyn Elders to the lovely closing poem, "Easy Does It" by Leela Sinha, this book is filled with fascinating essays. There are a few weird blips (blank spaces in lines, what might have been a few missing words), but nothing horrendous. I do wish I had an e-reader for this though.

I know I'll go back and read the essays by the folks I heard in the various sessions and the opening and closing plenaries: Dr. Elders, Esther Perel, Rebecca Chalker and Lara Riscol, Allison Moon, Charlie Glickman, Audacia Ray, and Joan Price among others. What I was interested in was what the folks I didn't get to hear were writing about.

I jumped around a bit. I loved Ned Mayhem's "Sexual Science, Academia, and the PSIgasm Project" and it's 4 1/2 pages of notes at the end. He brings up the good point that if legislation and medicine are based on sexual science, then we better be sure it's good science.

Stef Woods' piece, "Sexuality and Social Media" resulted in my first jotted down quote: "The movement from cave paintings to provocative Calvin Klein billboards to a blog about sexual expression is merely an evolution of delivery, not concept."  Yes!  And she talked about a "Sexual Genogram" that I'm going to have to go back to, because I was very interested, but lacked time to think about it when I read it.

Then I had a "wow" moment while reading "Self-Expression & the Contemporary Media: A Call to Action" by polyamory advocates Lisa Speer, Brian Ballard, and Jasmine Goldman. I hope they don't mind me quoting this - but it meant enough to me that I wrote it all down longhand in a journal. I intend to pondering why it got to me so in a future blog post. And if you've read my blog for any amount of time, you know why this hit home for me.

"We'd posit that a large portion of shame stems from not owning who you are and your choices. This type of self-censorship afford and individual some comforts: not feeling odd or standing out poorly amongst peers, not facing a barrage of scrutiny and doubt concerning your personal choices in life. The cost of these comforts, however, are staggering. The perpetuate behaviors such as hiding, being purposefully unclear or only revealing half-truths, and most alarmingly, living in a constant state of fear of discovery and anxiety... all frames of mind that chip away at one's joy and self-expression [emphasis mine]."

I also enjoyed Avory Faucette's "An Exercise in Sexual Orientation" with its discussion of sexual scripts,  why gender?, and designing your sexual orientation. "Some of the things I like have a relationship to gender, and some of them don't."

Even though I'm only familiar with Fetlife through hearing about it from other folks, I thoroughly enjoyed Cunning Minx's very practical guide to "How Not to Be a Douche on Fetlife."

The last piece I got to read (in other words, yes, I haven't read the whole book, which I like, there's more to look forward to!) was Maggie Mayhem's "How Your Sex Community Can Combat Sexual Assault (Without Forming a Lynch Mob). All I can say is I love her wisdom.

If you're wanting a great summary of all the essays, go here to check out what Rebecca Chalker had to say, since I've yet to finish the book. Oh, and rather than infest this post with a bajillion links, go here to read about the presenters and find links to their own sites.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Guest blogging at Oh Get A Grip today

Today I'm guest blogging at the wonderful group blog, Oh Get A Grip. Back in December, I posted here about how excited I was to find Best Erotic Romance, which includes my story "Till the Storm Breaks," on the shelf of a Barnes and Noble in New York City. A friend took a picture of a bundled but ebullient me holding a copy and posted it on Facebook. Kristina Wright, the editor of that anthology, remembered that photo and asked me if I would be interested in writing about that experience – my first paid print publication of erotica – for OGG. I'm honored to write about the subject of Firsts.

Note: I don't have internet access during the day, so I won't be able to comment until later. 

Decisions decisions decisions

It's past midnight as I type this, and while I'm quite tired, I'm also energized. I'm here at the 2nd Annual Momentum Conference: Making waves in sexuality, feminism, & relationships in Washington, DC. I'm looking through the program, trying to decide which panels to take today (because it is after midnight), and wishing I could be in 2, or even sometimes 3 or 4 or 5 places at once. This year there are 40 panels to choose from over the course of two days. I'll be writing more about it tomorrow. Oops, later today.

Unfortunately, we don't have free internet in the room, so I'll post what I'm writing when I go down to the lobby area in the morning. I saw Emerald [link] this evening and she'll be here all weekend. I came down with my friend Dr. Susana Mayer, of Philly's The Erotic Literary Salon fame. Got to say hi to Rachel Kramer Bussel, who will be presenting an Erotica 101 session on Sunday.

Tonight there was a Meet and Greet with a free ice cream sundae bar (I enjoyed my first real treat of the past couple weeks. Then Maria Falzone had us laughing with her "Sex Rules" comediceducational performance. After a short break, the Opening Keynote Plenary with moderator Carol Queen and panelists Dr. Charlie Glickman, Dr. Logan Levkoff, Audacia Ray, and Bill Taverner got the serious part of the weekend started with a discussion of sexuality in today's culture.

I'm tweeting at times from the conference – @erobintica, and follow the hashtag #mcon if you're interested. Also, there's a live blog of tweets from everyone at the MomentumCon website [link].

But now, back to deciding what to go to this weekend.  

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sexy senior acceptance!

I'm very excited to announce that I'll have a story, "To Bed," in the upcoming anthology Still Naked: Erotica for Seniors, edited by Joan Price. She's the author of Naked at Our Age and Better Than I Ever Expected. This was a call specifically for writers over the age of fifty. I'm 54. Though I don't consider myself a "senior," I do know that there is a difference between my erotic self now and even just five years ago. I'm trying to work that out in my writing as I discovered of late. But this piece that's been accepted for this Seal Press anthology is more memoir, so it should be interesting to see what feedback I get on it.

And on top of all this, I get to meet Joan Price this weekend at the Momentum Conference in Arlington, VA. This conference is about "Making Waves in Sexuality, Feminism, and Relationships." I'll be blogging more about that tomorrow and over the weekend. I went last year, to the very first Momentum, and it was fantastic.

So, yeah. I'm excited! :)

March out like a wildfire

It's hard to believe it's almost the end of March. Time is flying by as Mr. E and I fix up our house and clear out close to twenty years worth of accumulation. We're hoping we can have it ready for market sometime in April and that the perfect person/people will see it and snatch it up. We want to get up to Maine. You've seen my pictures over the years. I need, no, NEED, to be up there.

But, as a result of all that effort, my blogging has been minimal at best. But there's a bunch of things happening right now and I need to blog about it. So, I'll be blogging up a firestorm over the next week or so, trying to get back in the habit of blogging.

Oh, and this Saturday, I'll be guest blogging at Oh Get A Grip. I was thrilled when Kristina Wright, asked me. This week the theme is "You never forget your first (editor that is)." So check it out. And I'll post a reminder on Saturday.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Best Sex Writing 2012 goes beyond the headlines

Note: This post is part of the Best Sex Writing 2012 virtual book tour happening in March. Check out the other dates at

I usually enjoy the Best Sex Writing series, but this one–Best Sex Writing 2012, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel– is definitely going to set the bar pretty high for future issues. The past year has seen a lot of fascinating, and at times aggravating, sex news. And with Susie Bright as Guest Judge, I knew there would be some great stuff in here. She wants us to get fired up since "we're here to reveal the well-sharpened pitchforks of sexual hypocrisy." And those pitchforks and torches and other assorted idiocy are still dominating the news this lovely election year.

Rachel says she could "have filled a book twice this size." I don't doubt it. But these pieces, varying from old-fashioned (sadly since we could use more of this these days) journalistic pieces to a humorous instruction manual, to pseudo-excerpts (what do you call an excerpt that is different?) from books that are better than what made it into those books. I have to say, none of the pieces in this collection bored me. Even the ones I didn't expect to find interesting, I did. Even if you've read many of these pieces online or in print, this collection brings them together in a way that reinforces, for me at least, why this series is very much needed.

A few highlights from BSW 2012.  

Katherine Spillar's Sex, Lies, and Hush Money: This piece, which originally ran in Ms, is about the John Ensign scandal, just another one of a seemingly endless supply of "family values" Republican hypocrite stories. While it may not seem like a very "sexy" read, it's one of those stories that gets your blood boiling, though not in an erotic way. If you don't think this is a timely piece, consider that presidential candidate Rick Santorum played "a minor but still telling role" because he's the one who "alerted Ensign to the fact that the whole sordid tale was about to be leaded to the media." 

Amber Dawn's To All the Butches I Loved between 1995 and 2005: An Open Letter about Selling Sex, Selling Out, and Soldiering OnThis personal essay by the Lambda Award winning author (for Sub Rosa in 2011) was my introduction to a writer whose books I'm now wanting to read, despite the pile of a couple of dozen (at least) books that I'm almost finished, in the middle of, just started, or got-to read. Also, I'll admit, I'm partial to the "open letter" form of personal essay. What's it about? It's all in the title. A wonderful piece. 

Joan Price's Grief, Resilience, and My 66th Birthday Gift: A version of this is in her book Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud About Senior Sex, which I'd read last year. This piece is about the erotic massage that Joan bought as a birthday present to herself a year and a half after the death of her husband. In the version here, she paints a more detailed picture, and the emotions of the experience are better portrayed than in the book. I'll probably be writing a post about the book itself sometime in the future, since I found it personally helpful. 

Roxane Gay's The Careless Language of Sexual Violence: This piece, which was originally published at The Rumpus, is her reaction to a New York Times story about a Texas gang rape of an 11 year-old-girl - no, make that about the poor town and how this crime had ruined lives and ripped a town apart.  I'd followed this news story, had read the Times piece, and Roxane's sharply critical writing about the language we use was like welcome common sense to me. She examines her own writing too: "As I write stories about sexual violence, I wonder if I am being gratuitous. I want to get it right. How do you this sort of thing right?" She's still at it here

Adrian Colesberry's Adrian's Penis: Care and Handling: There's a lot of "heavy" in Best Sex Writing 2012 (and I think that's a good thing), but there are pieces that are "light" and humorous without being stupid. I'd heard about How to Make Love to Adrian Colesberry, but had no interest in reading it. But then I read this excerpt–complete with endnotes!–and if the rest of the book is as charming, I just might have to.

Lidia Yuknavich's Love Grenade: I'd already read, and been blown away by, The Chronology of Water, which contained a version of this piece. I like this one better. Not that I went line by line to compare (though I was tempted), and I kept wondering which version the author liked best. But lines like this "We ate the animal out of each other's bodies we ate steak we ate chocolate two women my chocolate"  make me swoon. Yeah. I hope to write more about this book soon.

Well, I could go on and on, I even thought of writing a brief reaction to each and every piece in this collection, but with 24 authors represented, I'll just say go buy the book. If the subject of sex interests you, you won't regret it.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Why I signed

The Electronic Frontier Foundation letter to Paypal.

If you don't know what this is about, check out the Banned Writers site, There you can find links to all sorts of articles and blog posts and petitions. Basically, Paypal sent a number of ebook publishers a letter telling them  to stop publishing erotica (and one would assume other works as well) containing themes of rape, incest, bestiality or they'll have their accounts basically shut down. So these ebook publishers informed their authors to take down any offending works. This bothers me so much, that I'm writing here to try and make sense out of why I'm so all-fired-up about it when on first glance it doesn't affect me at all. 

The other day, I posted a short piece over at We Who Are About To Die, a "lit blog" that I sometimes contribute to. The title of the piece was "First they came for the underage, incestuous shapeshifters." Yeah, it's a cheeky title, but I'm quite serious. Erotica, which I write, and have published, is being targeted right now, not "literature." In fact if I recall correctly, the wording of the original request had to be reworded so that it was understood that only "icky" writings had to be removed. [I could be wrong here - I remember reading something - but I've read so much the  past couple of days that if I go searching for it, I'll never get this post written.]

Literature is full of underage sex, rape, incest, and bestiality. Here is a short list that Remittance Girl compiled. 
The Old and New Testaments
Most Classic Greek homoerotic poetry
Romeo and Juliette
A Clockwork Orange
The Tin Drum
Little Birds
Flowers in the Attic
I, Claudius
Everything by the Marquis de Sade
Story of the Eye
Moll Flanders
Tess of d'Urbervilles

I'll add (though some may not consider it fine literature) an international bestseller that's been made into a movie twice: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. This book has all those no-no themes as the basis of the entire plot of the book! I mention that now since I'm rereading it after having seen the 2011 US version, so it immediately came to mind.

Remittance Girl (RG) is one of the first erotic writers I came across when I started to explore erotica online a number of years ago, long before I ever thought to share the few things I'd written or write it (erotica) seriously. And publish it? Never did I dream...

But I did. The saga of my journey is contained in the posts of this blog, now more than three years old. The friends I've met in the erotica community of writers are some of the most supportive of any community I've ever been part of. And so it only seems right to me to be supportive of those writers, even though I've not personally been affected. At first glance. 

If you look over on the right side of my blog, you'll see the link to Coming Together: Al Fresco, the anthology that my first piece of published erotica (other than on this or other blogs) can be found in. If you click on the link, it takes you to a page about the collection, published through All Romance Ebooks. But if you click on the link that takes you to ARE so you can buy it, you get a page that says "You must be logged in to view this page" just like you see when you click on the "Erotica" link on the site. You cannot see the books that are offered. You can see other books (including "Erotic Romance"). So, since CT: Al Fresco is exclusively through ARE, that means that the anthology that contains my first published story is, in my opinion, not really available. That makes me sad, even though I've always felt a bit conflicted about the label "romance." Which is ironic because my first published IN PRINT erotica is in Best Erotic Romance. Go figure. 

This morning I was taking a walk and was thinking about the whole situation. I'd signed the letter. Even though I don't foresee myself writing any underage rape incest bestiality stories anytime soon, and I sure don't go searching them out to read, I most certainly don't believe that those subjects should not be written about, no matter how repugnant you find them. It is in the shameful shadows that these things occur in real life, and I believe that writing (whether fiction or non) shines a light. Writers who want to explore these subjects should be able to, AND be able to share their work with those readers that want to read it. I wondered how it felt to suddenly find that your work is "banned." 

We're used to submission calls listing what we cannot write about. I've not been writing long enough to feel comfortable (or even uncomfortable) writing - that is JUST WRITING something with one or more of the forbidden topics. I understand the reasoning. I understand it all too well. Don't want to make something that is damaging in real life seem attractive or even worse, arousing. But wait. If we're writing stories, make-believe, why then don't we ban anything that has violent themes? Why allow books that have murder in them? I'll get back to this in a minute.

It's because of the sex. People in general are terrified of the power inherent in sexuality that's shown in all it's complexity. Makes us "animals." And even more terrifying is women's sexuality. That's plainly clear in the current round of slut-shaming and contraceptive wars. Most of this "transgressive" erotica is written by women for women. It's scary to the powers that be. 

Maybe you think that this kind of writing should be banned (though if you do, I'm not sure why you're here reading this blog - because most of the searches that bring folks to my blog are pretty interesting). But it's a slippery slope. If these nasty things are banned, what's next?

Already many authors are feeling the irritation of the binds that they have to work under. Early on in my erotica "career" I sent a short flasher to a blog contest, one of Alison Tyler's flasher contests, anonymously posting it in comments like was required. When my entry did not show up, I inquired. Turned out that my story, Pulsating Jets, which concerned a couple–not alone–in a hotel room, couldn't be posted the way it was written. The couple was sharing the hotel room with their children, who were asleep. Could I change it? I did change it. I understood the ramifications (someone I respected having her blog shut down) and I wouldn't have wanted that to happen. It wasn't a major change, but going back and rereading it, I realized that the change made the story less "true" in a way. By the way,  here it is (scroll down to read the story). 

I have other stories that I've never attempted to publish because I remembered that. Stories in which married parents of children have sex with each other. But the children are in the beginning of the story (at the school bus stop) and I was afraid if I didn't cut that out, nobody would want it. And I didn't want to cut it out. Maybe that's just me being overly cautious. I'm still finding my writerly erotic voice. 

Some of us write because we want others to read what we write because we enjoy reading what other writers have written. I think it's sad when I stop myself from writing something because I'm afraid of what other people may think of it (I've done that a lot this past year). I think it's sad when others do it. But this time I'm bothered enough that other writers are being told their work isn't "okay" that I'm not only standing up for them, but standing up for myself. 

This is not finished.  I have much more to say. But it's almost 6:30pm and dinner is almost ready. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A link and a cheer

Today, I weighed in on the Paypal debacle over at the blog We Who Are About To Die, where I have a once-in-a-while gig as The Naughty Librarian.

I'll probably write down some thoughts here at another time. Lately I've been very busy with packing up my household in anticipation of putting our house on the market and moving (when it sells) to Maine. Writing has sort of taken a back seat to all that. But not entirely.

Today I got an acceptance email! Looking forward to announcing that soon. But it couldn't have come at a better time. :)

I know I've been neglecting this space, but rest assured I've not abandoned it. I'll be back once the house is ready. In the meantime its packing and sanding and painting.

*Oh. Just found out that the link to Coming Together: Al Fresco, the anthology containing my first published erotica story, takes you to a page that requires you to log in before you can see the results. Great way to do business!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Coming Together to Share the Love today

Today I'm guest blogging over at Lisabet Sarai's Beyond Romance blog for the Share the Love blog bash this month. We're celebrating the Coming Together series, and because my very first accepted piece of erotica was Wet As Spring, in Coming Together: Al Fresco,  I'm not only giving a little background to the story, but you can read some of the story. You might get drenched!

If you leave a comment on each day (the whole month of February) you'll get a chance to win a $50 gift certificate from All Romance ebooks and a Kindle Fire! The schedule and links is on the left at Lisabet's blog.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

January has been zooming by

So, I came here to add the button for the Coming Together "Share the Love" February blog bash, and realized that I had not posted at all this month! And January's almost over!

I've been busy trying to catch up on stuff from last year. I let a few spinning plates fall. But luckily they didn't shatter, and I'm back at it. I've been submitting poetry, making plans, even writing!

So, I promise to come back and start posting again. Soon. Very soon. Honest. "Erobintica blog" is on my to do list every day. Yeah, yeah. I know. In the meantime, here's something I read that has really made an impression on me. (It's not naughty stuff at all so you can read it from work)

Here's what is sinking in:

"To put yourself forward as someone good enough to do interesting things is, by definition, to expose yourself to all kinds of negative judgments, and as far as I can tell, the fact that other people get to decide what they think of your behavior leaves only two strategies for not suffering from those judgments: not doing anything, or not caring about the reaction."
~ Clay Shirky, "A Rant About Women."

I don't think it's coincidence that since I've read this I've submitted 10 poems to 3 different journals.