Firefly Flames – Sensual Sunday

I’m sorry I missed a few Sundays.  I was out of town visiting my daughter and when I got back, catching up was a bit overwhelming.

Today’s SS is brought to you by the magical firefly.  I saw my first fireflies of the season two nights ago while out walking.  So, I wanted to be sure to include them in a coming Sensual Sunday.  The below is a fictionalized story inspired by a real event.

Sensual Sunday is meant to be writing practice.  I’m looking to hone my ability to write about sensual things or even to write sensually about regular things.  I don’t go back and edit them.  Or, at least I try not to.  The point is to try and get a good first draft down. And to resist my urge to edit into oblivion.  I’m also working on staying in tense.  So I do a rough draft and look back to see how often I stray.  This way I can see if I’m improving.  Sometimes when I’m absorbed in the story, it’s easy to wander.

****

fireflies

Even in the middle of a huge grassy yard surrounded by trees, the July day had been blazing and sticky.  The smell of beer, damp skin and barbeque smoke clung to everybody.  But when the sun began to dip below the treeline and the bugs began to sing, the heat let up and I noticed you again.  Standing by a chain-link fence beyond the giant oak people had been sheltering under for shade.  A beer in one hand, the other leaning into the fence, your hip a little oddly out, almost feminine.  Not body language I was used to seeing on a man, but I liked that somehow.

I approached from your open side, only about two feet away from you I leaned onto the fence and looked out over the tall grasses and wildflowers.  Without looking at you I said, “I’ve had fun talking to you today.”  I could see you smile out of the corner of my eye.

“I’ve enjoyed talking with you, as well.”  You turned towards me and took a step my direction.  I wondered why your sexy young (rude) girlfriend wasn’t at the party, too.

I turned towards you and could feel the gravity and spark flowing between us.  “Look, we’ve had some amazing conversations today and I think you’re a really great guy.  In fact, I would love to go somewhere with air-conditioning and iced coffee and talk to you for hours, but I have to be honest with you, I don’t like your girlfriend.”

“Oh?”

“Yes, I’m sorry.  It’s just, you’re so nice and before I start to get even friendly with you, I didn’t want to seem fake or anything.  Like, I can’t be around her and smile and pretend like I like her if I run into the two of you together.  It’s a small town and that kind of thing happens.”  Your brow knitted and you took a casual sip of your beer.  I could feel myself getting more nervous.  I mean, were you flirting with me?  Seriously?  That’s not cool, even if I don’t like your girlfriend.  But I want to flirt back. But what kind of guy goes to parties and flirts with strange girls when he has a gorgeous girlfriend at home, even if she is a self-centered brat?

I could feel myself wind up, the nervous talking was going to keep pouring out of me.  I told myself to shut up now.  Shut up.  “I mean, I know we only met today and I know you’re not from in this town and all, but we do have some of the same friends and we could end up at a party together, again…like before.  And well, if we did and I would say hi to you and I guess I could smile at her, I mean, if we were good friends I could do that for you, I just don’t, well I’m sorry.  I understand if you’d rather not be friends.  It would just be too complicated.  I’m just being honest.  I think it’s important to be authentic.”  I mean, what is a nice guy doing with that girl anyway?  It’s fine if I just talk friendly, right?

You let out a laugh.  It gave me a chill up my spine.  Your voice was deep and had a resonance that danced across my skin.

That shut me up.  Ouch.  Laughing.  I felt a hot flash of embarrassment rush over my entire body.  “I’m sorry.  I talk too much when I’m nervous.”

“You’re nervous?”  You sipped your beer again.  You and your damn casual body language.  So relaxed.  Confident and cool.

I nodded, not daring to open my mouth for fear of what might tumble out.

You stepped in a bit closer.  We were almost touching.  You emptied your beer and turned the cup upside down on a fencepost.  We were now facing each other and you put your hands on my shoulders and looked down at me.  I thought my knees would buckle.  I was undeniably attracted to this man on every level.  Even though my face was hot and I wanted to look away, I was transfixed.

Finally you said, “We broke up.”

I managed to croak out an, “Oh.”  I leaned forward, we both did.  Our lips barely touching we breathed each other in.  Then gently we both pressed forward and parted lips and kissed, warm and sweaty and salt and beer, the flavors of the day and the smell of spice and warm emanated from him.  We pressed hard into each other, everything behind us, the music, the lights, the splashing and talking, suddenly sounded far away.   I felt the kisses in my toes and my low back, my neck and my belly.  It reached every part of me and eventually, we finally came up for air.  When we did, we noticed the field beyond the fence, with a black backdrop of silhouetted trees was alive and sparkling with fireflies.  You put your arm around me and we stood there, watching them and whispering about how magical fireflies are and imagining stories about what they might have inspired throughout history.  We stood there a long while, whispering, breathing, laughing and holding each other. Eventually, legs tired and bug-bitten we climbed into my truck and headed to the all-night diner and talked straight through until the breakfast rush.

Raven Heights Radio – Podcasting Adventures

ravenheightsradio2

Sooooo…

Next month I am meeting with epically cool Program Director for Raven Heights Radio, Erica Winter.  She also happens to be the on-air personality and we will be chatting about Red August, fairy tales and feminism.  There is plenty to say about the writing process or the story itself, so who knows what paths we may find ourselves winding down?

This past year has been all about me stretching outside of my comfort zone.  I probably come across as total extrovert to a lot of people, but I am actually a pretty equal mix of extrovert and introvert, which in my case manifests in terrible fright of public speaking.  Since Erica is so great, I think Raven Heights is going to be a great way to kick off public speaking about my book.

I sometimes wonder if I should even talk about being nervous – since it shows a lack of confidence.  But I’ve never been much for masks and games – I try to be authentic.  I’ve found it more rewarding to connect with people by admitting when I’m nervous or feeling vulnerable.  It serves as both as a way to measure my growth and to let others who feel the same way know they are not alone.

I’m mostly excited to be doing new things and learning how to be comfortable talking about my work in a public way.  I’ve always blogged about it, but blogging is writing and it seems like it has an added layer of protection from the public somehow.  Maybe somebody can articulate why doing a podcast with somebody is different than writing in my blog about it.

Anyway – I will let you know when the podcast is complete or you can watch for it and listen to other podcasts at Raven Heights Radio.

You can also follow Raven Heights on their Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/RavenHeightsRadio?fref=ts

 

 

Keeping The Company of Wolves

Lookie what has come to a local (for me) bookseller!  Daedalus always has great prices on books – I mean, you can get every gift you need for an entire year at this place, but I am pretty excited about this bad boy.  This shall soon be mine!

Here is the blurb from the Daedalus site:

A storytelling sorceress, Angela Carter has often been named as a literary godmother to Neil Gaiman, David Mitchell, Audrey Niffenegger, J.K. Rowling, Kelly Link, and other masters of supernatural fiction. Along with her James Tait Black Memorial Prize–winning novel Nights at the Circus, she is most often recognized for this pivotal collection of stories, from 1979. The Bloody Chamber mines some of our most enduring fairy tales—”Red Riding Hood,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Puss-in-Boots,” and “Bluebeard” among them—and includes the story that inspired Neil Jordan’s 1984 film of the same name, “The Company of Wolves.” Carter extracts hidden themes and parts of the tales that went untold, giving them new life in a gorgeous prose style steeped in the romantic trappings of the gothic tradition. “Since I first came across The Bloody Chamber, I have kept a copy with me wherever I have been living,” writes Link in her introduction. “Reading Carter, each time, was electrifying. It lit up the readerly brain and all the writerly nerves…. The girls and women in The Bloody Chamber remake the rules of the stories they find themselves in with their boldness. And Angela Carter, too was bold. I have tried to learn that lesson from her.” This handsome trade paperback edition celebrates what would have been the tragically short-lived author’s 75th anniversary.

“Sex isn’t a subtext in The Bloody Chamber, but the text itself…. Carter produced … fiction that was lavishly fabulist and infinitely playful…. Salman Rushdie, who became her friend, described her as ‘the first great writer I ever met.’ Yet her legacy has been a slow and stealthy one, invisible to many of the readers who have benefited from it…. Most contemporary literary fiction with a touch of magic, from Karen Russell’s to Helen Oyeyemi’s, owes something to Angela Carter’s trail-blazing.”—Salon

“She was, among other things, a quirky, original, and baroque stylist, a trait especially marked in The Bloody Chamber—her vocabulary a mix of finely tuned phrase, luscious adjective, witty aphorism, and hearty, up-theirs vulgarity.”—Margaret Atwood
bloodcover

Snuggle Puppies

I found this short article to be quite interesting.  I’d love to read more on the subject of “petting parties” of the 1920s.

One thing I noticed was the mention of how young women are pretty much the ones people were trying to stop from going to the parties.  I suppose it’s not totally illogical, since if there aren’t girls then there’s no party.  But it’s the attitude about the girls that seems to put the onus on girls to uphold all the morals. You know, the girls “allow” liberties.  It’s too bad that the usefulness of this kind of sexual and social experimentation wasn’t seen as a gateway to healthy sexual behavior.  I could see how parents might worry things would get out of hand.  But instead of teaching sexual information, girls were maligned as the gatekeepers and therefore somehow the troublemakers and conduits to misbehaving.  It seems later was twisted into an idea that if you wanted to open the gates, you were not a good person.

There is one thing that’s for certain – I think girls are often the ones being told to watch out for their chastity because they are the ones who can become pregnant.  And ultimately, they are the ones who can be abandoned in a crisis pregnancy.  Men can walk away.  They can imagine themselves as innocent if they can convince themselves that she was with anybody else.  It’s as though this one simple fact of biology has made all kinds of strange, teetering, oddly shaped social constructs around sexual behavior.

Very interesting topic.  Also – I still use the word “spooning” but we definitely need to bring back “twosing.”

pettingparties

A Little Behind

I have to giggle like a third grader at the title of this post.

Anyway, I’ve been out of town finishing some fashion and accessories work and shooting photos.  That’s something I do when I’m not writing.  Which I want to constantly be doing, but it’s not practical.

I went down to Virginia Beach for Mother’s Day week and visited my daughter who modeled my creations.  She had a friend come over, too, and she did some modeling as well.  It was nice to have a visit.  I’m happy to be back at my writing desk, but adventures are good.  Don’t you think?  In any event, it’s put me behind here at home – but only a little.  I’m catching up today and I have to say, it’s going a-okay.

I’ve had so many ideas flowing through me for additional books in the Red August series that I just can’t wait to get down to it.  I have to clear some of this boutique stuff off of my plate first though.  But I do want to say that I try to enjoy everything while I’m doing it.  I don’t always want to be looking to the next thing as what is going to be the best and most happy thing.  I am happy making jewelry and shooting photos.  I am extremely happy writing.  I hope that the joy that I get from doing these things are imbued on the objects I send out into the world and the projects I sell to support myself.  I want them to be as wonderful to receive as they are to create.

“Red August” continues to be on schedule for the August launch date.

Thanks to everybody who supports my work!

Here is a sample from the photo shoot.  You can find my designs at GypsySiren.com.

_MG_0055