Archive for October, 2009

October 29th, 2009

Please Indeed (and Thank You!)

Adding to an exciting writing week for me, I have received news that Cleis Press approved the table of contents for Rachel Kramer Bussel‘s forthcoming anthology Please, Sir: Erotic Stories of Female Submission, and it includes my story “Power Over Power”! I am delighted, of course, to be included in this anthology, the table of contents of which includes authors such as Donna George Storey, Charlotte Stein, Justine Elyot, Heidi Champa, Alison Tyler, and Sommer Marsden, to name but a few. The full table of contents may be found at Rachel’s blog here.

The book, whose beautiful cover is off to the left there (complete with an outfit that I want), is available for pre-order on Amazon and is scheduled for release next May. Yay!

Love,
Emerald

With characteristic efficiency of motion, Dominic reached with one finger and pulled my chin up. A shudder ran through me as I felt his power — the power I saw in every move he made, that he exuded at the front of the class, that he spoke when he told us what we were capable of, that coiled and expelled from him whenever he slammed any part of his body into the punching bag. The power that lived unquestioned within him, so seamlessly that it was as though it wouldn’t exist without him.
-from “Power Over Power

October 27th, 2009

BWE 2010 Release!

My contributor copies of Best Women’s Erotica 2010 arrived today! It looks so beautiful, and I am so excited to have a story in this anthology alongside fellow writers Heidi Champa, Rachel Kramer Bussel, Alison Tyler, Sommer Marsden, and many more. (The entire table of contents may be viewed via the “Look Inside” option at Amazon.)

So far I have only read the introduction, written by editor Violet Blue, and her obvious enthusiasm therein makes me even more eager to delve into the rest of it. I was also utterly beside myself to see what Violet wrote about my own story in the introduction:

Finally, bringing the fantasies nearer to reality is the book’s closer and showstopper, “Shift Change” by Emerald, which makes sure that for us, a trip to Apple’s Genius Bar will never, ever be the same. And the wait will seem just a little more endurable with the fragments of Emerald’s multipartner story floating wishfully—and giddily—through our heads the next time we have to “take a number” to get a minute with a Genius.

(“Showstopper”! I was seriously speechless.) Thank you to Violet and publisher Cleis Press for including me in this edition of BWE. It is an honor.

Off to read!

Love,
Emerald

I walked up to him, and he turned to me, never breaking eye contact as he dropped his cigarette and crushed it out with his boot. I didn’t break stride until I was touching him, my lips devouring his, the smell of cigarette smoke fresh in the cold fall air. His response held no hesitation, and his arms wrapped around me, his hands roaming from my ass up to my neck through my hair. I normally hated cigarette smoke, but I loved the way he was touching me so much that at that moment it barely fazed me.
-from “Shift Change

October 25th, 2009

Halloween Past and Preview

So, Halloween is this weekend. I love Halloween. Even back before I appreciated all the seasons and did not feel a fan of fall, I still liked Halloween. This year, I have a Halloween party to attend on Friday, and my costume is all ready to go. Yay!

A few years ago I had an opportunity to dress up for Halloween for the first time in a number of years. A good friend of mine was having a party. I didn’t know what to go as, and I encountered a number of cute costumes as I perused the familiar lingerie websites where I did much non-Halloween shopping for possibilities. My attention was caught by a bee costume that I found one of the most adorable things I had ever seen.

At the same time, there were a couple references to bees that had occurred in my experience recent to that time. I had read for the first time The Secret Life of Bees a couple months prior and found it one of my favorite novels ever. I had just made the decision to leave the day job world for the sex work world, and I had procured and profoundly appreciated a documentary called Portraits of a Naked Lady Dancer — produced by Queen Bee Productions.

Thus was the first time it occurred to me for a Halloween costume to be not a random choice but rather something that seemed relevant to my experience during the given year/time. That influence was there when I chose to go as a bee that year. (Later, when I met Rick, whose favorite holiday is Halloween, he informed me that he had consistently chosen his Halloween costumes that way — the idea didn’t even seem to be a surprise to him when I shared how fascinating I had found it.)

Incidentally, last year I did not have an opportunity to dress up for Halloween, but following the theme I just described, if I had I knew exactly what my costume would be. The reading of the Japanese-themed Amorous Woman by Donna George Storey, along with making the acquaintance of Donna both online and in person, were significant aspects of 2008 for me. With this introduction to Japanese culture and fascination particularly with geisha, I determined sometime in September that if I had a Halloween party to attend that year, I would go as a geisha. Alas, those plans did not work out, but even though I did not actually get to execute it, the costume choice of geisha for me was a distinct reflection of my response to Amorous Woman and the immense pleasure of being personally acquainted with the author.

So back to the bee costume. I love my bee costume, and as I commented on P. S. Haven‘s recent Halloween post, I would love to find more opportunities to dress up as a bee and use it again! I also wrote a story inspired by the costume (and a little bit of autobiography…) that Alison Tyler included in her K is for Kinky anthology.

Here I am decked out as said bee following the Halloween party I attended that year:

As I recall, the next year I didn’t have opportunity to dress up for Halloween. The following year, however, I was doing a model promotion for a new sex toy/product company in the area. Their launch party happened to be on Halloween, which delighted me because it meant I got to dress up. (Yippee!!) There were again reasons I chose the costume I did, and that year I went as an angel. Unlike with my bee costume, I didn’t actually buy an angel costume but rather put it together with things I had or procured — white corset, white mini-petticoat, white arm-length fingerless gloves, white stockings, and clear high heels. And a white fuzzy halo and feathered wings.

I also determined that I wanted to be glittery (not unusual), so on Halloween evening after I had assembled and donned my costume, I took the opportunity to sprinkle silver glitter over my hair and self in general. I did this because angels seem glittery to me. Well actually I did this because I love glitter and would do it all the time if it seemed appropriate to shed glitter everywhere I went, but anyway, I had a little container of silver glitter with holes in the top like a saltshaker and stood in front of the mirror shaking glitter on myself. Funnily enough, silver glitter is actually quite like salt in that even though you do not necessarily see it coming out of the shaker, it is indeed coming out. Failing to realize this, I kept shaking and shaking, not understanding why no glitter seemed to be coming out.

Uh, yeah…it was. When I moved, it was like Pig-Pen of the Peanuts cartoon except instead of a cloud of dirt, I had a cloud of silver glitter puffing around me. Turns out in the exact angle at which I was looking at myself in the mirror, the silver glitter wasn’t visible. A microscopic turn, and there it was. Oh, yes, there it was indeed…. I left a considerable trail of silver glitter in my wake everywhere I went that night.

Here’s the full-length costume (which would have been better taken not against a white background…):

(And here’s a pose where the wings are more visible ; ) ):

I really don’t have a picture in which one can see how much glitter was all over me. Like the angle at which I (apparently) was standing in front of the mirror, the angle at which the photos were taken doesn’t do the abundance of glitter justice. I later ended up with a rash on my legs because so much glitter got in/on my bed, however. Yeah, as pretty as it looks, the stuff is actually sharp.

It will likely not surprise readers familiar enough with this blog to have been reading back in April that this year, I am dressing up for Halloween as Minnie Mouse. My costume is ready to go, but I will not be stepping out in it until Friday when I attend the Halloween party on my calendar. (The next night, the actual night of Halloween, I am attending a concert to which I will probably wear my costume as well.) I plan to take pictures again this year, which I look forward to posting here if they turn out. ; )

Happy Halloween to all!

Love,
Emerald

“Dressing up to touch all this, I’m dressing up to dance all week…dressing up to be all this…”
-The Cure “Dressing Up”

October 16th, 2009

And I Am a Former Sex Worker

I don’t know how I missed this when it first came out (in April), but I was checking out the website for the 2010 New York Sex Bloggers calendar (featuring such bloggers as Audacia Ray, Urban Gypsy, and Rachel Kramer Bussel, all of whom are also featured in the inaugural 2009 calendar hanging on my entry way wall) and clicked over to Sex Work Awareness, which sales of the calendar benefits. It was there I found this spectacular video, which of course I want to share here:

Beautiful. Huge kudos and thanks to the Sex Work Awareness Speak Up media training workshop for this magnificent public service announcement.

Love,
Emerald

“She’ll tease you, she’ll unease you, all the better just to please you, she’s precocious, and she knows just what it takes to make a pro blush…”
-Kim Carnes “Bette Davis Eyes”

October 13th, 2009

A Musical Interlude

(Beautiful photo is courtesy of Scarlett Greyson.)

Last night I was taking a drive and listening to some songs I have found supportive either now or in the past when I have felt challenged. As I have mentioned here, I have felt that way lately, and music has seemed quite an important support for me in this context. As I was listening to it last night, I thought of some others I know that have specifically felt challenged recently, and it occurred to me to share here some of the songs that have felt helpful and supportive to me. Perhaps some of them will resonate with anyone who may read this.

The iTunes playlist on my computer for this general category is 99 songs. I’m condensing it here to 10 that resonate with me right now and/or that I have found particularly supportive in the past during times of struggle. If audio/video was easy to find on YouTube or elsewhere, I included the link.

(Note: I do notice that almost half of these songs are by Live. That is likely because almost anything by Live fits into this category for me — I particularly recommend the albums Songs From Black Mountain and The Distance to Here.)

Lastly, I know this blog is generally about sex and this has little to do with it. But you know, there’s a reason I included a “Not @ Sex” category. I hereby exercise my reserved right to use it.

In no particular order:

1) Walk On – U2 (lyrics)
2) Love Shines (A Song for My Daughters About God) – Live (lyrics)
3) Wings – Live (lyrics)
4) Overcome Live (lyrics)
5) Run to the Water – Live (lyrics)
6) Let It Be* – The Beatles (lyrics)
7) Broken – Lifehouse (lyrics)
8) Someday – Rob Thomas (lyrics)
9) Into the West – Howard Shore & Annie Lennox (lyrics)

The last one, which feels particularly resonant to me right now, I’m embedding here. And it goes out to every single person reading this, whether I know you personally or not.

10) Jubilee
Mary Chapin Carpenter


(Generated by Mp3Realm.org)

I can tell by the way you’re walking
That you don’t want company
I’ll let you alone and I’ll let you walk on
And in your own good time you’ll be

Back where the sun can find you
Under the wise wishing tree
And with all of them made we’ll lie under the shade
And call it a jubilee

And I can tell by the way you’re talking
That the past isn’t letting you go
There’s only so long you can take it all on
Then the wrong’s gotta be on its own

And when you’re ready to leave it behind you
You’ll look back and all that you’ll see
Is the wreckage and rust that you left in the dust
On your way to the jubilee

And I can tell by the way you’re listening
That you’re still expecting to hear
Your name being called like a summons to all
Who have failed to account for their doubts and their fears

They can’t add up to much without you
And so if it were just up to me
I’d take hold of your hand, saying come hear the band
Play your song at the jubilee

And I can tell by the way you’re searching
For something you can’t even name
That you haven’t been able to come to the table
Simply glad that you came

And when you feel like this try to imagine
That we’re all like frail boats on the sea
Just scanning the night for that great guiding light
Announcing the jubilee

And I can tell by the way you’re standing
With your eyes filling with tears
That it’s habit alone keeps you turning for home
Even though your home is right here

Where the people who love you are gathered
Under the wise wishing tree
May we all be considered then straight on delivered
Down to the jubilee

‘Cause the people who love you are waiting
And they’ll wait just as long as need be
When we look back and say those were halcyon days
We’re talking about jubilee

Love,
Emerald

*Years ago I avoided this song because of what I interpreted as the overt reference to Catholicism in the mention of “mother Mary.” Then I realized the Catholic church doesn’t have a patent on Mary, and if I want to interpret it simply as a reference to the feminine Divine, I will. (And do.)