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Welcome to Six Sentence Sunday. So many writers participate in this weekly event. Please visit "the list" and find some more Six Sentences to break up your day!

From my random and ongoing series of short stories (not yet published of course) known as the Neurotica collection: Erotica for the insecure and self-loathing.

This follows from another few excerpts found here and here. In this episode, the female protagonist and her more confident friend Jill are at a Swingers Party. They have found Mr Right Now and are getting into it.


I sit on the bed and slide back to the headboard so I can support my back which always bothers me because although I mean to get to my Pilates class I never do because I just hate myself in yoga pants. I just know if I got there and worked a bit more on my core muscles my back would feel so much better and come to think of it I probably would look pretty good in my yoga pants even if they are a synthetic fibre. I spread my legs to show you what I have and for a moment I worry that what I might have is a stray piece of toilet paper stuck on my hoo-hoo. Then I remember I checked first, before we got here and I was sort of doing that last minute diagnostic to see if the panties and bra matched because one time I went on this date and they totally didn't match and I could tell it kind of killed the moment. Phew. I take the vibrator and turn it on so I can pleasure myself or at least look like I'm doing that because it seems to be what all the guys want these days while Jill nibbles your enormous wiener.

_

 
 
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I am deep into writing another historical romance (the other? The Fire, but surely you know that by now, ok, it’s actually historical erotic romance). But this isn't what my blog is about today. It's about penises.

Manroot. Cock. Dick. Manhood. Shaft. Wiener. Baloney Pony. Dinky. Bone Phone.

Although the list is not endless, it is vast. Let’s not get distracted. I'm here to discuss my latest favourite cage match.

Dick vs. Cock One of the reasons I love to write historical is a) I love the potential for opulence in historicals and b) I hate constantly having to find plausible variations for penis and vagina.

While musing, yesterday, synonyms for Sir Whatshisname’s schwinghammer I realized that women just don’t say the word “dick”. We might call someone a “dick” but we don’t generally refer to a tallywhacker as a “dick”. I took this survey to the streets.

Findings In a totally unscientific survey of random friends and family I found:
·    100% response rate from women that they don’t use “dick” to refer to a man’s Johnson.

·    100% response rate from men that they do use “dick” to refer to their winkies.

So my new question was formed: in Romance, I have never EVER seen the word “dick” used. I have seen cock. In Erotica, I did some surveying, as best I could and I found two authors who DID use “dick” (as well as “slit” which personally makes me cringe) and it made me wonder: were these authors actually men and didn’t know a woman’s secret world? Or did people beyond my reach use “dick” and I just missed it? And were these stories written for a male audience? Was I overanalyzing? Did I have too much time on my hands? I wondered, too, why words like “panties”, “slit”, and “gash” also make me cringe. I confess I’m still working on this and the topic will have to keep for another blog.

I ask for an obvious reason: I write historical but I also write romance, erotica, “erotic romance” (whatever), and I need to use cock constantly. In my last two erotica stories (published on the lovely Lady Cheeky’s site: In the Library and At the Office, I stick to cock exclusively.

Manroot, manhood, shaft, head, etc in the historical world give me some variety, however amusing, without a cringe-factor. Contemporary romance depresses me because it’s cock cock cock or, bizarrely “him” as in “she held him in her hand” or “she guided him into her passage” etc making one desperately want to open a debate of ontology vs physiology. In brief, I could choke on all the cock I write in a contemporary. I am not the type or writer to avoid writing out the sex scenes although many do, in all subgenres. Sometimes I think I know why: it’s the vocabulary.

I asked my friends which words they did use to refer to their partners’ doohickey. This is what I got back:
·    “Thing”
·    “Little Brian” (Joe, Steve.. you get the idea)
·    “Purple-veined Monster of Delight” (ok, that was mine)
·    “Cock” (said in undertones)
·    “Penis”

I asked them what they used when they talked dirty. Most of them cringed then replied:
·    “Cock”

Talking Dirty Know what else was universal? Discomfort with dirty talk. That actually didn’t surprise me. It’s called “talking dirty” for a reason. When we watch porn the dialogue can get pretty funny. I’ve seen more than my fair share and now watch it analytically more than anything.


I know several of my friends watch porn because either a) they enjoy it or b) they don’t want their partners to watch it alone. The dialogue, they tell me, is not realistic. And why should it be? It’s fantasy. Is the dialogue any more real in a so-called chick flick? Not really.

My friends tell me they simply don’t know what to say when their partners ask for dirty talk. They have little to draw on and feel almost stupid saying things like “fill me with your big dingus” or “my honey oven overflows with my desire” (ok, that’s me again). You get the idea. They feel stupid saying something which isn’t natural to them.

For some women, talking dirty is a very comfortable thing. I wonder if it has anything to do with our comfort level with just, in general, referring to our genitalia. Most of us have been raised on euphemisms. In fact, in our house (VERY Catholic) we didn’t refer to our parts at all. Not one bit. Ever. I never had “the talk” from my Mum. If it hadn’t been for Judy Blume I would have been in serious trouble. I actually had a doctor’s appointment once and gestured to my womanly bits with a downward glance and a serious of pointed head nods. No. Really. That was before therapy.

But it does mean that there are lot of us writers out there trying to decide which words to use when we write “scenes”.

Dick vs. Cock So I have come to the following conclusion, and I know there are many of you out there who will disagree: “dick” is a man’s word whereas “cock” is universal. Why “dick” doesn’t seem to be a woman’s word is beyond me except to say I prefer the word “cock” but overall, I will stick to historicals when I can so I can use my personal favourite:

Love lance

En garde!


 
 
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From At the Swingers Party, Neurotica (erotica for the insecure) Version, in which the female protagonist muses on her first trip to a swingers party, post-divorce.
_______________________________

I secretly always wanted my ex to let us have a threesome but it was too wild for him and I never got the nerve up to ask anyway because I was afraid he’d think I were a lesbian which is not to say anything against lesbians although my mother would die if I were one which I’m totally not. Once she said she would be ok if one of us kids were gay but since we were all safely married with opposite-sex partners it was kind of a throwaway line. I don’t know why she even bothered really. I’m glad I am wearing a sports bra kinda of thing though in case we do get naked so you can’t see the strap marks I always get. I get a bit back-boobish so the sports bra is good for hiding all kinds of faults even if it’s not sexy, it really will serve its purpose. I kinda hope we do it in the dark anyway because my husband and I always did which was fine by me because I think soft and squishy feels better than it looks.
_______________________________

There are so many wonderful authors who post excerpts of published works, as well as works-in-progress, for Six Sentence Sunday. Please find them here!


 
 
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The first six lines from my recently published novella The Coach House.

Unless there was some Tall Dark and Handsome silently breaking into women’s homes, making thoughtful and passionate love to them, then quickly disappearing, Carys had been having an erotic dream. And from a purely analytic perspective, Carys knew that some unidentified and sexually sophisticated man could not possibly have seduced her twice that night in her sleep as she lay next to her snoring but otherwise comatose fiancé. Nonetheless she rose from the bed to take a shower in the wee hours, scanning her nude body carefully in the full-length mirror behind the bathroom door but finding no love bites or any other incriminating evidence. Obviously she had been dreaming. She slipped carefully back into bed with heavily snoring Steve, whom she had not seen naked (not that either complained) in five years.

It certainly hadn’t been Steve.

__________________________________________________________________________

So many wonderful writers participate in Six Sentence Sunday. Please find more of them here!

 
 
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From my Neurotica Story: Going to the Swingers Party.

My friend Jill said it was time for a change. The problem is I have no idea what non-vanilla sex really is. I mean, I’m kind of open to new experiences intellectually but to actually go and do something about it is so beyond my cognition. I am sure it would be fun to get off my back for a change but then what? Do I really want some guy I hardly know looking at my gelatinous bum or seeing my face sag over him as I ride him, assuming my trick knee doesn't give out first? Kinda makes sense, really, to stay on your back because gravity is just so much gentler although it does drop my boobs under my armpits which is totally preventable as long as I remember to keep my arms to my sides to hold my cleavage together.

Welcome to Six Sentence Sunday. You can find links to nearly 200 writers who will be posting six sentences from their work here.  


 
 
The fantasy author (and future guest on this blog) Karen de Lange has tagged me to do the Next Best Thing Challenge. The idea is simple:

1) Answer the 10 questions below.

2) Spread the fun and tag 5 more people to participate.
(NOTE: I have only four just now as I found out my fifth is unable to participate, drat).

So, thank you Karen!

1. What is the title of your book / WIP?

Neurotica: Erotica for the Insecure

2. Where did the idea of this book come from?

Frankly, I was just having some fun one day after I had run out of ideas for a short story I was working on. I was thinking how so many of us are just so terribly self loathing and insecure, particularly when we are naked. The rest just flowed, as they say.

3. What genre would your book fall under?

Erotic comedy, if that exists. If not, it does now. Maybe instead of neurotica I should call it cumedy. Ok, pretend I didn't say that. Besides, people would think that was just a typo.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

There is nothing I would love to see more than a film of my neurotic stories. When I think of my stories, I always think of their being a British film. I love the films of Richard Curtis so much. I don't know if he appreciates that endorsement, but there you go. I don't have anyone in particular in mind, but I do know they would have to be comedians, British, and terribly good-looking without knowing it.

5. What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

I think the title says it all: erotica for the insecure.

6. Is your book published or represented?

Highly doubtful. Having said that though, don't you think it's about time someone published this genre? I mean, let's face it, most of us are neurotic to some degree. And most of us have sex, to some degree. Very few of us are comfortable in our skin. I think this insecurity is something virtually everyone can relate to at some point. Perhaps not exclusively, but we all have our moments.

7. How long did it take you to write it?
 
Still in-progress. I began several of these stories will I was massively pregnant back in 2010-11. Everything has been on hiatus for at least a year. I have a babysitter for approximately 4 hours a week so I would say that the last 10% will take as long as the first 90%. 

8. What other books in your genre would you compare it to?

I cannot think of any other books in this genre. I have read many delightfully neurotic comedies though. But none like this in particular. I'm not sure if there is a reason for that, meaning there is no market for it, or if I am about to go as large as 50 Shades. Let's hope for the latter. Babysitters are expensive, even if it's only for four hours a week.

9. Which authors inspired you to write this book?

Woody Allen, for one. Many people do not realize he is an author as well as a filmmaker. Erma Bombeck for another. Of course, neither wrote erotic stories. Woody Allen is terribly neurotic and Erma Bombeck, aside from being my idol, has a wonderful way of expressing the ordinary most extraordinarily. I like to think of his neuroses combined with Erma's lovely sense of humor. The erotica? Well I guess that's just my scribbling down my friends' anecdotes from their dating days.

10. Tell us anything else that might pique our interest in your book.

It's funny. What can I say but it's just funny and I hated to waste all those improv classes from Second City. The steam is steamy and appropriately inappropriate as necessary. I think many people can identify, however briefly, with the insecurity. I don't think any of these stories sustain themselves as a novel. But as little snippets, randomly, while you're sitting on the commuter train or waiting for an appointment etc., well, they're just the right size.

I have written these, lengthwise, for the smartphone generation.

If I should ever get the time, and anyone with small children will tell you this will never happen, I intend to make audio versions of these. See the point above, I hate to waste all those improv classes. Although I am massively introverted, I do enjoy doing standup. I also intend to learn Japanese and put my tax receipts in the appropriate envelope before year end. We will see which of these I manage to tackle.

Arigato.

I guess it's Japanese. My accountant will not be surprised.

:)

And the four authors I’m tagging (I'm going for electic today):

Paula Tiberius

Gary Vanucci

Jessica Subject

Alexandria Szeman

 
 
From my upcoming Neurotica (erotica for the self-loathing) short story: At the Office

I’ve been wanting you for months now. At first I thought you were watching me to report to my manager how often I went to the bathroom but I can’t help it, I have this fear I’ll pee myself if I get preoccupied at work and don’t notice the signs so I make a mission to go every 45 minutes. I see how your eyes follow me and it finally occurred to me that I might actually be attractive to you--or maybe you really are just a snitch. I never read people right. I think I’ve got it figured out then next thing I know I’m in a five-year relationship with someone who’s been sleeping with my best friend in his spare time and somehow I missed it even though it was blindingly obviously to anyone else but me. In fact, my friends told me a few times about it but I was in total denial. Even so, I am willing to second-guess you’re watching me.

 
 
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The one and only Gregory Twinklebear
It is a difficult thing to be a writer with severe bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome. You have to find new ways to write because you cannot help yourself, you need to write. Having voice recognition software does help, but I find what I miss is the actual physical process of writing. To put it frankly, I like to type.

Ever since I was a little girl, I loved the actual physical process of typing. I love the clacking of the keys. I love the idea that I'm playing a keyboard. When I was little, I dreamed of nothing more than having a typewriter to myself and piano. There's clearly something within my brain that makes me want to type, to play piano, or just in general press buttons. I don't know whether it's the cause-and-effect syndrome which captivates me. Or whether I'm just a little bit hyperactive I like to move a lot. Having the software does help me keep writing, but it prevents me from doing what I love the most which is wiggling my fingers around like a Charlie Brown character playing the piano.

At first it's a bit difficult learning how to speak into the microphone. But I'm fortunate that I am ancient and had a lot of practice with Dictaphones back in the 80s and 90s. But still, there is something very sad about not writing, literally, anymore. Anyone who knows me knows that I can talk blue streak for hours on end. But it's just not the same when it comes to writing. I want to write I don't want to dictate. But when the choice comes down to not writing at all or dictating, obviously dictating wins.

But it is like having a ghost to do my writing for me. My five-year-old son is enthralled by all this. He stands next to me and watches as the words magically appear on the screen. Sometimes accurately sometimes not. He is keen to give it a whirl too. Mostly to search YouTube for Scooby-Doo videos. He can read and write, but the idea of speaking to the computer is just too exciting for him to resist. He wants a space helmet too. I may have to glue-gun a collander to his mic.

Anyway, being a Frank Zappa fan I of course could not resist typing a few inappropriate words. Don't worry, my son was watching BBC Kids by this point. My favorite catch-all test phrase for voice recognition software—and I don't remember which tune this is from—is “titties and beer, titties and beer, titties and beer” which comes out today as: “duties and beer, kitties Anne deer, TDs and bear”. I was amused to find all the permutations of titties and beer which appeared earlier today, on the software’s first run.

But looking at the screen now watching my words magically appear I see that the software has learned what titties and beer sounds like now which is bizarrely gratifying. As an erotic romance writer, goodness knows I will be having to write the word titties or some variation thereof shortly. Having to constantly edit for naughty words in one of my books would be a most tedious task. I would say “heinous” but goodness knows what the software might think that word is.

This blog was dictated by my new software. I had only to add some punctuation (and fix titties and beer).

 
 
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First I must thank a few of my tweeps (I feel strange writing that term but perhaps only because I am over 45) for having this idea pop into my head.

So thank you to ‏@xTHE_BUBSx @tiffw88 @callmemrwayne for cracking me up on Thursday during our excursus on excessius buttocks and junk-in-the-trunk, a discussion springing from my feeling my age as I reached for my bifocals to read my twitter feed.

My comment? That at 40 my bum fell two inches. I cannot swear to it, but if my back would allow me to pivot, turn, bend or creak just a little bit more I could see to tell you with great certainty that yes, my bum is a bit lower, a bit rounder, and bit heavier than the last time I saw it in its entirety some 20 years ago.

I was lean then. All of 118 pounds and boxing. About 5% body fat (actually, I have no clue on the actual percentage, I am making this up) and all muscle (largely true). Certainly no boobs. In fact, I never owned a "real" or "functional" bra until I was 39.

Then motherhood and forty struck. I regret neither. Narratively my life is more rich. When I was a lean mean boxing machine I had little to say or write. I was too busy overworking at a miserable job then hanging out in a gym. I regret the former, not the latter, by the way.

Nothing more exhilarating than hanging out in a real boxing gym and having a fantastic work out. People asked why I boxed and I replied honestly: I like to box. Pure and simple. Sure, the workout felt great. Nice to strike something with all your might. How often do you get to do that in your day-to-day? I can tell you: almost never.

Nothing is more exhilarating than doing the speedbag or padwork with your excellent coach (who shall remain nameless because I don't want to embarrass him).

Nothing. Until I had my critters and realized that having your four-year-old observe that Jabba is an omnivore is pretty fantastic. Then he connects that Jabba, a mollusk apparently, is likely a hermaphrodite and observes "he must be sitting on his testicles but I guess that's alright because he still has a vagina" and I realize that the trade of buns-for-babies worked in my favour.

My junk in the trunk. I never get to the gym much now. I just had my second critter (at 45) so my junk and my trunk have grown astonishingly. Occasionally now I feel self-conscious. Usually when I fold laundry and misrecognize my husband's jeans for my own. As he's 8 inches taller than I am, the mistake rankles just a bit.

But while some talk of standing on the shoulders of giants, I sit on the buns of a forty-something mother. A little taller than I used to be, but only when sitting down. As I told @xTHE_BUBSx, at least now that I have a much larger bum, I can see over the hood of my car.

--Sophie

ps Give my tweeps a follow. They are worth it.



 
 
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First I should say this photo is only slightly relevant to my blog. I am not writing about bunnies stuffed into my maternity bra. I am writing today about "purple prose" and how much I love it.

Purple prose? What's that you say and what does it have to do with bunnies stuffed into the largest bra I've ever owned? One my husband can wear on his head quite comfortably? He's a big guy. This is a serious bra. Room for the bunnies for sure.

Purple prose is eloquently described by wiki, but I would hate to see you leave my blog so I'll quote here:

Purple prose is a term of literary criticism used to describe passages, or sometimes entire literary works, written in prose so extravagant, ornate, or flowery as to break the flow and draw attention to itself. Purple prose is sensually evocative beyond the requirements of its context. It also refers to writing that employs certain rhetorical effects such as exaggerated sentiment or pathos in an attempt to manipulate a reader's response.

I love purple prose. Like bunnies stuffed into my bra, it makes me laugh. I was editing the other day and came across a gem or two I excised from The Coach House which I thought I might share. You see, as much as I love to write erotica and romance, I love to write comedy. I think of myself more as a humorist who gets some now and then {smiley face}. In particular I like to write purple prose in a Dark and Stormy Night kind of way. I keep the really bad ones for use in my "Mimi" book as I call it (coming soon to an agent near me, if I find one).

His manly hands, roughened by centuries of toil and exercise impatiently sought her womanly passage which was already growing wet with pleasure long-antcipated. Panting like a wolf on a cold October night after howling at a full moon although he was a vampire and not a werewolf, Daniil tore open his blue Oxford silk shirt and deftly, without thought, unbuckled his belt, flinging himself on her desperate to feel her desire beginning to meet his in a greeting of mutual attraction and delight. He was nearly breathless in his desire for her curvaceous torso ending in long legs not unlike the legs one sees on a very beautiful Greek statue, but not so white as his because he was a vampire and she, a delicious mortal human woman, as warm as they come. Moving her gently rounded hips provocatively, Carys whispered almost timidly like Beatrix Potter's Mrs Tittlemouse, “Kiss me, Daniel. Kiss me my love.” His full and sensuous lips swiftly answered her softly spoken request, and to her delight his velvet and probing tongue was firm and assured, although a tad cold due to his lack of circulation, but that in itself had a relief for her lust-heated body. Daniil kissed her deeply, ardently, as though he might swallow her if he were so inclined. She allowed his tongue to carry her into a purely sensual world of pleasures hitherto inexperienced, as the kisses of her fiance Steve repulsed her in their dead-fishlike quality.

Obviously I didn't keep it in the final version of The Coach House. But every once and a while I get bored trying to think of new ways to say he grabbed her lady parts and smooched her. I always complain that finding words for pussy just gets to be too much for me. I guess that's why I also took to writing Neurotica randomly. My next posting, p'haps. Purple prose is what the erotica/romance writer does when they really just want to say: they got it on.
 

--Sophie.