I know I haven’t written about writing much as of late. And this, after all, is supposed to be a writing blog. Or, at the very least, a blog about a writer. Neither of which I’ve delivered on as of late. Of course, I have what I think is a valid excuse. Moving out of the country, as it turns out, is both exciting and exhausting. I find myself longing for my bed nearly as soon as it gets dark with about ten more hours of work still ahead of me… and I find myself waking up long before it’s light, the list of things to do already whipping around my brain.
So, bear with me a few more days, will you, while I finish getting ready for this new chapter in my life. (There, I threw in a writing reference… see how I did that?). Today was the big moving sale (It’s pouring, of course. Welcome to freaking Portland.). My life, auctioned off to the highest bidder. Enough money to finance the driving trip across the country. And a very final and clear realization that, yes, this is actually happening.
Tomorrow begins three more days of cleaning, finalizing, packing my two suitcases, and officially saying goodbye to my home.
And then… and then… I will be on the road. And you know what I’m most excited for? To write. To write about writing again. To spend my days immersed in literature and how-to and poetry and prose. To play with words again. To find my characters. To make things up. To, as Ursala Le Guin says, lie in order to tell the truth.
So, here I go. On the road again. Thumb in the air. Wind on my hair. Bags in the back. Fingers on the keyboard. The car in fifth gear and my imagination and creativity in overdrive.
Kiss kiss bang bang, s.
“Fiction writers, at least in their braver moments, do desire the truth: to know it, speak it, serve it. But they go about it in a peculiar and devious way, which consists in inventing persons, places, and events which never did and never will exist or occur, and telling about these fictions in detail and at length and with a great deal of emotion, and then when they are done writing down this pack of lies, they say, ‘There! That’s the truth!’” ~Ursula Le Guin
I swear I do this every year as my birthday approaches. Go on a mini-rant about how much of an Aries woman I am. About how so many of my most favorite women friends are Aries (And, yes, even a few of my favorite male friends.). It’s a funny thing — I don’t really believe in predicting the future, I’ve never had my palm or my fortune read (although I’d like to, absolutely), I think psychic hotlines are a fun and entertaining form of bullshit (although I’ve never called one of those either), and yet… I have a thing for my horoscope. Although, big shocker I’m sure, I’ve never had anyone do an official star chart or whatever those are called either.
Still, I’m an Aries through and through. (You knew this, didn’t you?)
- Animal: Ram (Duh)
- Color: Red (Of course)
- Starstone: Diamond (which I hate, by the way. However, I love sapphire, which is a birthstone for April and also a starstone for Taurus)
* Coming in first
* Championing Causes
* Waiting Around
* Admitting Failure
* No opposition
* Other people’s advice
Um, yes. That just might be me… -laughs- Just a little bit….
And here is one of the basic “You are an Aries” listings. This one is from Astrology Online, which is just the first thing that popped up when I typed in Aries. The color-coding is mine. Red for the places that I know hit my personality spot-on:
The spring equinox, March 21, is the beginning of the new zodiacal year and Aries, the first sign, is therefore that of new beginnings. The young ram is adventurous, ambitious, impulsive, enthusiastic and full of energy. The Arian is a pioneer both in thought and action, very open to new ideas and a lover of freedom. They welcome challenges and will not be diverted from their purpose except by their own impatience, which will surface if they don’t get quick results.
Aries subjects are courageous leaders with a genuine concern for those they command, being responsible people, it is rare that they will use their subordinates to obtain their own objectives as leaders, but occasionally it does happen. They do not make very good followers because they are too “take charge”. They may be unwilling to obey or submit to directions for which they can see no reason, or with which they disagree. They are much concerned with self, both positively and negatively – self-reliant but also self centered (sometimes) and concerned with their own personal advancement and physical satisfaction. Their immense energy makes them aggressive and restless, argumentative occasionally, headstrong, quick tempered, easily offended and capable of holding grudges if they feel themselves affronted.
As the first sign in the zodiac, you, as an Arian (as you are referred to), is to simply “get something started and lead the way”. The Sun in this zodiac position gives your will free rein to express itself. You could be doing this in the form of some leadership role, or by forcing others to look at themselves in a new way. You can accomplish this by knowingly carrying out a deliberate act in the name of some cause that moves you. A negative effect of this sun sign is that you could sometimes unknowingly make it hard for others to relate to you, as you really are.
In your personal relationships Arians are frank, direct and candid, and make enthusiastic and generous friends. You are liable to have a high sex drive and make passionate but fastidious lovers. There is, however, a negative side to your associations with other people. You can easily be irritated by slowness or moderation in your companions and, though yourselves sensitive, ride roughshod over the sensitivities of others. The intensity of your sexual urges can drive you to promiscuity and a Don Juan-like counting of conquests of the opposite sex. It can also trick you into early unwise marriage which may end disastrously.
Yeah. That’s me, mostly in a nutshell.
So, I’m curious: What sign are you? Do you fit it? Have you always thought you were supposed to be another sign instead? Do you throw horoscopes out in the window in favor of some other way of learning about yourself and/or your future? (I’m a big fan of the anneagram too, by the way, for those of you who know that one.)
Tell me all! Hard-headed minds want to know!
Kiss kiss bang bang, s.
“I wanted to be the first to win three Oscars, but Miss Hepburn has done it. Actually it hasn’t been done. Miss Hepburn only won half an Oscar. If they’d given me half an Oscar I would have thrown it back in their faces. You see, I’m an Aries. I never lose.” ~Bette Davis
PPS – Big birthday love and wishes to the other Aries creatures in my life. I adore you all, and I hope this new year brings you only the best and brightest of things.
Did you come here from Alison’s? If so, I’m impressed that you figured it out so quickly. Or perhaps you’re just here by accident, and don’t know what I’m talking about. (If that’s the case, I encourage you to check out her Boudoir Blog (is it bad that I can never spell that word? I have to look it up. Boudoir, not blog.)).
A few weeks ago, the gorgeous and talented KM and I rented a hotel room, dragged everything and anything that was even the least bit sexy out of our closets, and spent a sunny, gorgeous afternoon shooting photos. It was such a pleasure to have those stolen moments, to pay attention to the light and the fabrics, to turn on the music we loved, to drink coffee and taste chocolate, to remember that while we are older, we are not old. We will never be old.
Yes, I know this attitude is considered a pipe-dream. I do. But I don’t care. Forty is not what it used to be. By the time I hit 50, that won’t be what it used to be either. Sure, I know it’s not cool to be over the age of 22 in our culture and dare to show your body. Dare to claim your sexiness. Your lust. Your desire.
All the signs are pointing toward yes. And if there’s anything that I can really take from all of my recent experiences concerning age and sex and desire, it’s this: The only road blocks I put up are my own. The only “I can’t”s come from my mouth and brain. My body is only part of my appeal, only part of my sexuality, and a small part at that.
What are you doing today? Climb into bed. Sink between the covers. Shred the sheets. Twist and turn. Pant and gasp and settle and sleep. Awaken anew…
Kiss kiss bang bang, s.
“Bed is the poor man’s opera.” ~Italian proverb
PS – If you’re in love with hotels, and sex in hotels and just hotel beds in general, you’ll love Do Not Disturb: Hotel Sex Stories, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel, which features tons of great hotel-sex stories. Or, check out the Do Not Disturb blog here.
Oh, shoes. Oh, boots. Oh, Dansko walkers and pin-striped fuck-me-pumps and thigh-high zip-up leather boots. Oh, parting is such sweet sorrow. Oh, bring me some money to ease my pain.
I don’t really have a shoe fetish, nor do I really really care that much about things in general. Yes, there are some things that mean a great deal to me — I’d be sad to part with them. Namely: books, art made my friends and loved ones, irreplaceable items, jewelry, sticks and stones and shells from my travels, photos, my journals, cards and letters. Things like that.
But for the most part, things are just things. Useful for now, appreciated for their texture or their color or their way of filling a blank corner in the living room. Still, getting rid of all of the things in my life is… wow, interesting.
I’m having a huge moving sale next weekend. Most of my stuff is sorted, set aside, ready to be sold off to the highest bidder. It’s an odd feeling. I’ve been in Portland a long time. Even though I’m not much of a consumer, I’ve accumulated a lot of stuff. Things that measure decades and shifts in my life much like layers of soil do, sifting down to hold events in their place. Now I’m digging down, uncovering, discovering.
Remembering briefly, and then putting a sign on each item. For Sale. To Highest Bidder. To Best Home. To Someone Else Who Isn’t Me.
Kiss kiss bang bang, s.
“If I shall sell both my forenoons and afternoons to society, as most appear to do, I’m sure that, for me, there would be nothing left worth living for.” ~Henry David Thoreau
Two days ago. Candles and the suck of cigarettes on a side porch in Texas. You can almost see the stars. Drinks make the heat burn less. Or more, depending on who you are. We’ve already had a dinner and a phone conversation filled with Tex-Mex and funny, fantastic friends, with collars and cuffs and boyfriends and lace. Now, the conversation slips from BDSM to music to love to pick-up lines to oral sex back to BDSM. We talk about fire and wax. From a plastic chair on the balcony, with a plastic cup in hand, I watch the flicker of flame. I’d put my fingers in it, but I’ve played with fire enough on this trip. I bear the marks already. Instead, I flick the lighter, let the play of orange and red dance along my fingers.
If I had a theme for this year, it would be this: I’m playing with fire.
After a year in which I spent much of my life feeling like I was being buried alive, suffocating slowly in a grave of unfeeling, this new rawness is welcome. This pain. This red. This fleeting and too fast-fading reminder upon my skin.
I’m home from Texas now. It’s cold. No heat. I miss it already. This place is too much like the ground I don’t want to be deadened in.
Still, hope, in the form of a book. Contributor’s copies of Playing with Fire, the new collection by Alison Tyler. All kinds of red-hot stories by some of my favorite authors, including Nikki Magennis, Sommer Marsden, Jeremy Edwards and many more. You can find the TOC and the list of authors at the Playing with Fire blog.
My story, “White Heat, White Light” is a retelling of the Andromeda myth, the story of the chained lady. I picked the book up and started reading my story, something I rarely do, and I had a moment of wonder: I like this story, a lot. I don’t remember writing it. I am a better writer than I think I am. Playing with fire, playing with the strike and flare of words: this is what I’m made for. This is the reason I’m here.
From “White Heat, White Light”:
Somehow in the dark, his tongue touches, scents, the center of me, touches the hot wet pulse in my center. I’ve had snakes there, all hiss and tongue, but they are no match for what he does for me. The tip of his tongue laps at me, sinking deeper and deeper until his stubble scratches the inside of my thighs. I buck against the chain around my waist, not sure if I’m moving toward him or away. I put my fingers on his head, deep in the soft, short hair, but he shakes my hands away. He is eating me alive.
This time, I don’t cry out. I bite my lip to keep the voices inside. I wrap my hands backwards around the tree, holding myself there as though the chain might brake. If I were to come free now, I tell myself I would run, I would run back to the cabin and the man sleeping in the window light. I would go with the speed of light, with my winged sandals, and I would not be too late.
When he finally stands, I unbutton his jeans, pull them open until the zipper slides apart and they drop. He takes his own underwear down. He is the curve and strength of the Archer against my thigh. There are so many ways to tell this part of myth, but they’ve all been told before. Choose your objects: Bows and arrows. The slide of sword. The king’s scepter. The queen’s pride. This sea, taking him in. The serpent, devouring. If I could tell it different, I would. Reverse roles, be the one who enters or the one who chains.
“Fuck, Cassie,” he says, as he slides in all the way, pushing me hard against the bark, lifting me as high from the earth as my chains will let me go.
I don’t tell him he’s confusing me with another girl. Wrong myth.
It makes me want to relight the flames, let my fingers sink over the wicks and wax and wet heat, sit for a moment with the sizzle of skin. Lick the wicks. Tilt the taper until there’s a pattern of red on my pale palm. Remember what it feels like to blister and burn. To heal again.
Kiss kiss bang bang, s.
“I haven’t a clue as to how my story will end. But that’s all right. When you set out on a journey and night covers the road, you don’t conclude the road has vanished. And how else could we discover the stars?”
Texas, here I come…I hope that ginormous state is ready for me. I’m going to walk the cities, cheer the bucking broncos at the Houston rodeo, ride the bulls (or whatever else I find), buy myself a pair of cowgirl boots, wear braids and a ten-gallon hat. I’m going to eat BBQ, and dance my ass off at one of the gay dance clubs. I’m going to scout out a rare sex-toy store. I’ll sleep on a friend’s couch, and in an overpriced hotel bed with crisp white sheets. There’s a road trip in my future, screaming country songs that I don’t know the words to out the window. A night on a balcony with smoke and fire and drinks. A chance meeting in a Ft. Worth park.
But mostly there’s going to be me, in my jeans and my new cowgirl boots, strutting my stuff.
Texas, are you ready for me?
Kiss kiss bang bang, s.
“Some folks look at me and see a certain swagger, which in Texas is called ‘walking’.” ~George W. Bush
It’s been quiet around here, I know. It’s not that I don’t love you anymore. It’s not that I don’t think about you every day. It isn’t that I’m not writing or dreaming or making up what I want to say to you in my head. Yes, that still-blank card on the corner of my desk is for you. Yes, the check is in the mail. Yes, I want to call.
But. Fuck. Me.
My schedule is about as insane as you might imagine. Preparing to live outside the country for six months is, yes, what I thought it would be. Packing, prepping, cleaning, organizing, finalizing. A full schedule of work. Another trip on the horizon. Buying the things I’ll need. Final photo shoots. Meeting deadlines. Somewhere I lost my license, which of course I need to travel. Getting my eyes checked and my teeth cleaned and my body poked and prodded while I still have insurance. Emptying and painting my place. Finding a home for the pet. Truly, closing things up. Although, oddly that’s the easy part.
Keeping things open, that’s the hard part. Trying not to leave behind friends without a final hello. Crossing paths with those who matter. Finalizing things and futures and temporary goodbyes. Remembering to say “I love you” and “I want you” and “Thank you” and “I won’t forget you.” Finding the time and energy and attention, that’s the hard part.
When all I want to do is curl up in clean, crisp white sheets in the sunshine. Close my eyes and stretch my body into a low purr. A cat nap. Dream of being there already. Dream of having done everything right. Dream of nothing.
I’ll be back with a fervor, but not quite yet. There are too many other things keeping me from the page at the moment. Soon, though, you’ll hear my low rumbled purr and you’ll know I’m on my way back.
Kiss kiss bang bang, s.
“Set aside half an hour every day to do all your worrying; then take a nap during this period.” ~I have no idea who said this, but I’d like to try it.
PS – Gorgeous sleepy photo by this artist.
I know I’ve said it before, but I love doing readings. I never used to. They used to make me nervous as hell. I’d have to eat a cookie beforehand. Listen so closely to the readers in front of me that I forgot I was getting ready to stand up there myself. Use the bathroom sixteen times.
Now, I’ve gotten over much of that. Although I still tend to start out with a rather shaky voice — or hand. Or both. Still, I find this part of me in the process. It’s a funny, joke-cracking, whip-smacking side of me that loves the actual process of performing.
So, tonight I have the wonderful opportunity to try out all those skill by reading at the QLiterati event, hosted at the Q Center. Here’s the scoop on the very cool program:
A LGBTQ reading series, hosted by Diane and Jacob Anderson-Minshall, QLiterati! features emerging and underground writers and spoken word artists. QLiterati! events offer an open mic, gourmet snacks, raffle prizes, multiple readings, audience Q&A’s and the occasional literary superstar to draw a crowd.
Wednesday, March 11th, 2009
Q Center, the NEW location
4115 N Mississippi Ave, Portland (map)
Readers tonight include: Jason Zenobia, Daniel Skach-Mills, myself and Sandra de Helen.
I’m not sure what I’ll be reading yet — poetry? fiction? But I am going to give something away. Maybe a copy of Susie Brights X: The Erotic Treasury. Should be tons of fun, either way. Plus, if you come and see me read, I’ll autograph your boob, er, book… well, hell, both if you really want me to.
I have more news, about how I’m going to spend much of my day today, but I’m going to make you wait for that. Because I’m such a horrible, horrible tease that way.
Kiss kiss bang bang, s.
“All you owe the public is a good performance.” ~Humphrey Bogart
PS – Photo by this artist.