Archive for December, 2010

December 29th, 2010

Recommended Reading #27: Fiction



      “Naked Ambition” by Savannah Stephens Smith (Erotic Fiction) 2003

I read this story for the first time years ago, when the Erotica Readers and Writers Association website was new to me. I was perusing its erotic fiction section and came across this. I was blown away by “Naked Ambition” then, and I still am. It remains one of my favorite erotica stories I’ve read.

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      “If You Love Something, Set It Free” by P. S. Haven (Erotic Fiction) 12/23/09

(Scroll down a bit for the start of the story.) I’ve tended to love P. S. Haven‘s work, and this story is no exception. While I did mention it here last year after I first read it, it’s one I definitely wanted to highlight in this feature.

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      “In My Father’s Footsteps” by Jeremy Edwards (Erotic Fiction) 11/2010

If anyone reading this isn’t familiar with the fiction of Jeremy Edwards, I certainly recommend checking it out (especially his novel, Rock My Socks Off). This recently-published story struck me as having a different, less comedic tone than much of his work, and I loved the story both in and of itself and also as an impressive contrast as such to so much of what I have read (and loved) from him.

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Recommended Reading posted every Wednesday

December 22nd, 2010

Recommended Reading #26: Humor



      “The Freaks Come Out At Night” at PostHumorous (Halloween, Humor, Non-sex-related, Social Commentary) 11/12/10

From one of my favorite (safe for work) sites to go for entertainment/humor, here is a tale of air travel that seems not only amusing but also timely given that a lot of people may be traveling around now. (I myself am driving rather than flying this year, but I do look forward to wearing this when I make a trip to pick someone up at the airport later this week.) Granted, holiday-wise, the post is about Halloween rather than any more recent or imminent holidays, but it made me laugh, which is why it’s being featured here. ;)

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      “With Friends Like These…” of The Adventures of Cynical Woman (Comic, Humor, Writing) 11/21/08

If you don’t know The Adventures of Cynical Woman, the cartoon strip by Helen E. H. Madden, I recommend checking it out. It centers around the jobs of stay-at-home mother and work-from-home erotica writer—and how/where/when they intersect! This one made me smile. :)

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      “The Naughty Night Before Christmas” by C. Sanchez-Garcia (Erotic Poetry, Humor, Christmas) 12/15/10

I laughed out loud at this (what I found) delightfully clever poetic ode on the Oh Get A Grip! blog. :)

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Recommended Reading posted every Wednesday

December 22nd, 2010

The Philadelphia Erotic Literary Salon Rocks!

I just got back from the Philadelphia Erotic Literary Salon, which of course I wanted to post a reminder about today before I went, but amongst the traveling (without my computer) and preparation, I did not find the chance!

Anyway, I enormously enjoyed The Erotic Literary Salon and really recommend checking it out and/or attending it in general to all in the Philadelphia area. If I lived there, I suspect I surely would! The Salon is held the third Tuesday of each month, and the press release here contains the details about each month’s upcoming Salon and featured reader. Also, I was really remiss in forgetting to thank the numerous audience member readers tonight once I got to the microphone (an indication of nervousness, I suspect!). As was the case when I attended last month as well, I was deeply impressed by and appreciative of the open-mic readers’ offerings. It was an honor, and humbling, tonight to follow them.

I want to thank once again the founder and organizer of the Salon, Susana Mayer, for inviting me to be the featured reader this month and for creating such an incredible event that so many of the participants seem, in my experience, to enjoy so much. And a big thank you as well again to Jeremy Edwards for putting Susana in touch with me!

I also want to extend special thanks to Erobintica, who was also there tonight (and read one of her flashers from one of Alison Tyler‘s past flasher contests). Tonight was the fourth time Robin has been with me immediately prior to my doing a reading, and each time I have experienced her as exhibiting the same graciousness, patience, and support amidst (and, um, sometimes in response to) my running around like a grasshopper on speed—even the two times she was reading herself at the event in question (and apparently not seeming nearly as frazzled in preparation as I!). I appreciate it very much, and I thank her for not only her support again tonight but also for her presence at the Salon, which she too traveled to attend.

Incidentally, Robin also helped with videotaping my reading, which I plan to put up as soon as I 1) discern or attain help from someone who knows how to discern how to do such a thing, and 2) am not in the middle of packing for or traveling for the holiday season.

In the meantime, happy (slightly belated) Winter Solstice, and lovely Winter in general to all!

Love,
Emerald

“I’d drive a million miles to be with you tonight…the words we use are strong…get out what’s inside of you; everybody have fun tonight…”
-Wang Chung “Everybody Have Fun Tonight”

December 17th, 2010

Illumination

Earlier this week, I wrote about avoidance and anxiety. It happened that the next day, the ongoing Inner Work group of which I am a part had a conference call, which we have scheduled sometimes in addition to our two annual in-person weekend retreats.

A participant on the conference call talked about, as I interpreted it, a feeling she had been experiencing of “non-movement” lately. She said she didn’t see it as necessarily an egoic resistance or defense maneuver but just a slowing down or quietness of action. She wondered if there may ever be an energetic “pause” in the experience of Essence—that there might be a time in the authentic experience of ourselves in which there did not seem to be any particular movement seeming called for.

Immediately the internal response in me was, Of course there may. And that was when I realized it.

I had forgotten it was Winter.

As I’ve mentioned here before, Winter is the season in Five-Element Acupuncture that offers stillness, silence, immersion in the mystery, respect for unknowing/the unknown. In listening to my fellow participant’s question, I realized the entire season of Winter, as I understand it, represents and invites the very phenomenon of which she spoke. Winter itself could be one answer to the very question.

At that moment, this seemed obvious to me—and yet immediately preceding her inquiry, this awareness had been entirely blocked from my consciousness. The exposure to this conversation invited an entire reframing of the perception of my recent experience. The anxiety I have experienced recently may be specifically related to the call of Winter—or more pointedly, my own ignoring and forgetting of it—and the perception of and frustration with avoidance may not necessarily be with actual avoidance of things as much as—or at least as well as—a product of the resistance to, paradoxically, slowing down, surrendering to the authentic stillness deep within me as invited by this season. A part of me may in fact have been deliberately blocking the conscious awareness of and remembrance of the symbolism of Winter, finding the stillness, silence, and surrender to the unknown that Winter invites intimidating and unnerving. And of course the further I am from what is true in me, including connection with the flow of the Earth and its offerings, the more anxiety I am likely to feel.

Nothing I said in the post on Monday was wrong. It just wasn’t seeing everything (as probably my perspective now isn’t either; it has just expanded to encompass more than then). I was seeing something from a particular, and limited, perspective; others were, at the time, blocked from my consciousness. It was like looking at a rainbow but with such a narrow perception that all that is seen is blue. The gift of my colleague’s sharing invited the expansion of my awareness to include more than one color—which, of course, may change the whole perspective.

The anxiety is still there, and the reasons for it I expressed have not changed, in my perception. The reframing did not make the anxiety go away—it allowed for a different relationship to it, a new awareness of why it may be there and how to awaken more and hold within myself the invitation and response in me that feels truly called for. That might not be the one the culture surrounding me, or anyone with whom I’m interacting, or perhaps particularly a part of me that is made up of structures that formed in my past may seem interested in. But as I said at the end of the post earlier this week, anxiety may be an invitation.

The message I feel right now is, Slow Down; It Is Winter. Alas, I had forgotten. Thank you, Universe, for the reminder.

As I mentioned last year and the year before, today, December 17, is the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. Organized events are planned today around the world to commemorate this designation and the sentiment behind its inception in 2003.

My red candle honoring such is lit and pictured above. From the mystery, stillness, and depth to and from which Winter calls us, I acknowledge and observe as love all who have been affected by violence in their professions as sex workers in the last year and ever, all who have felt directly impacted by such, and all who have committed it, as well as everyone everywhere. It is here especially, in the darkness, depth, and unknowing of this season, that the ultimate Oneness that we are may be so clearly seen.

May we so.

Love,
Emerald

“If you touch the sacred quality of winter inside yourself—that quality of everything returning to its most essential form—you find yourself falling off the end of the mind and into openness.”
Adyashanti

December 15th, 2010

Recommended Reading #25: Relationship



      “What if Ward and June Cleaver Were Swingers – Honesty” at Gentle Nibbles (Relationship, Non-monogamy) 6/7/10

I love this offering from the Gentle Nibbles swinging website about straightforwardness in intimate relationship that, to me, is offered with charm, humor, and sincerity. There seemed no judgment postulated here about what particular behaviors or relationship models are “better” than any others—just an offering on the subject of sharing and openness that the author(s) seem to want to share with the sincere motivation of supporting fulfilling sex and intimate relationship for all. :)

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      “Sexually Free vs. Promiscuous” by TM Bernard (Self-Awareness, Sacred Sexuality, Relationship) 10/21/10

While this piece covers much more than relationship, including (what seem to me) acute spiritual, self-awareness and sociological insights, I include it here because I like how the author relates these things to relationship with others (and ourselves). Case in point: “When we make love from a conscious place, we choose lovers and experiences that reflect our most authentic selves, and challenge us to grow sexually and otherwise.”

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      “All I want for Christmas is nothing” by Tracy Clark-Flory (Relationship, Memoir, Non-sex-related) 12/14/10

There seems little to add to this to me. It was a piece I experienced as deeply moving, and I offer it with reverence.

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Recommended Reading posted every Wednesday