365 days in the life of a writer…
“No way in hell am I writing an end of the year post,” I said. Yet, here we are. 12 highlights (and a few lowlights) from 2015. From last to first, here we go:
Number 12: The EuphOff 1 and 2
Back in March, the lovely and talented Jane Gilbert (The Chintz Curtain) threw down the gauntlet and challenged her fellow erotica writers to a “EuphOff” – create a 500 word story using purple prose of the worst kind. I jumped head first into the fray and created this. In November, she slapped us with one petite leather glove and called another duel – “The EuphOff Part Deux”. The stakes were higher this round: we had to include the phrase “throbbing love tunnel” in our piece, and there were prizes. (Honestly, she had me at throbbing love tunnel!) You can read my contribution to round 2 here.
Number 11: Backyard Glory
Originally written for Kayla Lords’ Masturbation Monday, this m/m piece has taken over the number one spot in terms of popularity on my blog. This thrills me, especially since I am working on a m/m novel. Backyard Glory was one of those stories that practically wrote itself, I love when the ideas flow like that.
Number 10: Ladies Who Lunch
I wrote this piece for Alison Tyler and she loved it. I will be thrilled about that for the rest of my life, even though the publisher axed the anthology. My first F/F piece – I’m pleased with this one – and I rarely say that about my own work.
Number 9: On Trigger Warnings: Redux
For someone like me (who avoids conflict like the plague), taking the unpopular opinion was terrifying, but if you don’t face your fears, they own you. Unfortunately, I took a beating for this post and the backlash continues. Fortunately, I wrote a piece with Xan West about trigger warnings and felt redeemed. Thank you, Xan!
Number 8: The E.L. James controversy
While I’m on the subject of backlash, how could I not talk about this gem? It all started when I made a comment about E.L. James on Facebook. Rachel Kramer Bussel (who, as you know, I adore) asked if she could include my quote in a piece she was writing for The Frisky. I was thrilled to be asked. Cosmo expanded on the piece and to my utter shock, I was included. Me in Cosmo? No fucking way! Unfortunately, I took some heat for that, mainly, for daring to have an opinion that didn’t mesh with other writers, one even went so far as to write a blog post explaining why I was wrong, although they did keep me anonymous (thanks for that). Look, I’m a nice person. I’m always going to be a nice person. If you don’t like a person’s work, fine. But attacking the person who created the work is wrong, and I am never going to apologize for thinking that way.
Number 7: You want me to read what?
Speaking of Rachel Kramer Bussel, my daughter Quinn and I did a mother/daughter review of her fantastic book Sex and Cupcakes. The book opened up a dialogue between us that in turn made me a very proud mom, but still ashamed at the state of sex education in the U.S.
Number 6: Shoulder Shaming?
My daughters never cease to amaze me, and this time, my youngest had the spotlight. Her speech about dress code blew me away, and I had to include it on my blog. Special thanks to Happy Come Lucky for inspiring this piece, as she does so often.
Number 5: Guest Stars!!!
I had a number of fantastic guests grace poison pen/dirty mind this year. You can read them all by clicking here. Huge thanks and sloppy kisses to Exposing 40, Benji Bright, Lana Fox, Julia Von Rist, Xan West, Roger Jackson, The Prompted writers, Giselle Renard, Tabitha Rayne, K.A. Smith, Jaylan Salah, F. Leonora Solomon, L. Maretta and C. E. Hansen! Can we do it all over in 2016?
Number 4: Burning Pages (This post contains a trigger warning, please take care if you need to.)
2015 was the year I finally found my voice and divulged secrets I’d kept hidden for 40 years. Posting this piece was difficult, but the freedom I felt afterwards made it all worth while. After this, I took another giant step and started trauma therapy. (I chronicle my therapy sessions on this blog, but I will not link directly here, since the content is especially dark.) Special thanks to Marie Rebelle for including this as one of her favorite posts of the year.
Number 3: Books, books, books!
I added a big stack of books to my author library this year! Redeeming Cupid by Oleander Plume, Tie Me Up edited by F. Leonora Solomon, Take This Man edited by Neil Plakcy, Bondage Bites edited by Alison Tyler, Bases Loaded edited by F. Leonora Solomon and Gym Boys edited by Shane Allison. Pinch me, I’m dreaming, right?
Number 2: Prompted, the Anthology edited by F. Leonora Solomon and Oleander Plume
It started with a contest – pick a prompt, write a story. The entries I received were amazing and picking three winners was torture. Then, the idea struck. What if I turned the stories into an anthology? I asked my dear friend F. Leonora Solomon if she would co-edit and Prompted the Anthology was born! The list of writers is stellar, as you can see here. We hoped to have the book out in 2015, and it’s my fault the volume isn’t ready to go. But, I promise, sincerely promise, that Prompted will be published in 2016 and it will be worth the wait!
Number 1: A gay porn/sci-fi/comedy about a rock star, a vampire, a computer geek, and a dude named Sugar?
I adore Go Deeper Press and have been a HUGE fan of Jacob Louder and Lana Fox since they hit the erotica scene just three years ago. When they sent me a contract for a book I’ve been working on called Horatio Slice: Guitar Slayer of the Universe, I promptly died of happiness and then rose from my grave to get to work. I do not have words to express my excitement and joy about this, I really don’t. GDP has published fucktacularly amazing writers like Dario Dalla Lasta, Benji Bright, Xan West, Natty Soltesz, Alison Tyler, and Abby Rode, not to mention Jacob and Lana themselves. Can I really be included with these people? Me? Look, if I’m dreaming, do not wake me up.
I am working hard on Horatio, and again, I solemnly promise this book will be out soon. While 2015 was a ROUGH year for me, having a project like Horatio to work on kept me going and saved my sanity – I can’t wait to share it with the world! Much love, hugs, kisses and undying respect for Go Deeper Press, thank you for your patience, support, amazing editing and friendship.
2016 – bring it on!
What does 2016 have in store? First, Horatio. Second, Prompted. Third? More goofball, porny tales. More characters who defy stereotypes. More vampires, a hell of a lot more vampires. More fun! But first, Horatio, and I can’t wait for you to meet him! *breathes into paper bag*
To my dear readers and friends, thank you for reading my stories, holding my hand in the dark and sticking around for the ride. I wish you all a new year filled with happiness, success and more love than you can handle. In the words of Horatio – “It’s go time.” Are you ready? I’m ready. So ready.
Let’s do this.