Shakespeare wrote that the courageous die only once but cowards suffer a thousand deaths - in their imaginations, of course. Something similar could be said of writers. We might not imagine our own deaths with any great frequency but what about la p'tite morte?
If I’m asked where I get my inspiration from the question makes about as much sense to me as being asked where I get my air. It’s all around me, noticeable only when it’s absent.
This morning’s mail brought the usual bills and flyers, plus a deckle-edged cream envelope addressed to me in what looked like real hand-writing. Felix and I have never been to a munch, which is what a kinky brunch is called in Southwestern Ontario. But surely if we received a handwritten invitation he'd be willing to don his tux and I could wear...oh any number of gauzy trifles and...I slit open the envelope to discover an offer for ten percent off a gym membership. WTF? If I want to be stretched, folded and twisted, it won’t be in the interest of exercise, in which in fact I have very little interest.
Yes, the impact of reality can be a shock, but nobody said writing erotica is easy. In this case my error led me to a story idea about a subbie who has a little too much fun at her first munch, due in large part to a misheard (dare I suggest misspoken) directive from her Dom. In a vanilla relationship, this might lead to a big fight, but in the D/s world, it can be downright dangerous.
Last week, while I was walking down
Or what if there had been no handy doorway, and I’d got so drenched that my dress turned transparent and clingy, so by the time I got inside the pharmacy the a/c made my nipples hard and I sneeze and a distinguished baritone, no, make it soprano, says, ‘Bless you.’ By now I’m not exactly me, I’m Madeline Moore, author, and I’m not exactly daydreaming, I’m a writer at work. The soprano isn’t exactly the sexy cosmetics gal with the spiky blonde hair, she’s – OK she is the sexy cosmetics gal with the spiky blond hair but now we’re talking story, not idle fantasy. A Cure For the Common Cold? I like it.
Naturally books and pictures are an easy way to turn on the tap. But reruns on TV? A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to catch the CSI Las Vegas episode in which Grissom first meets Lady Heather, the professional Dominatrix. It was the fourth time I’d started to watch that episode. I still have no idea how it ends. Once those two meet, the plot goes one way but my mind has gone in another, entirely different one, and I’m a happy little mental voyeur till long past the closing credits.
Speaking of Lady Heather, in the last episode starring the fearless Domme she made a deal with an evil client that entitled him, for a six figure sum, to choke her to death. That was one story during which I definitely didn’t daydream. It was not only verrrry kinky, without any sex, but gave us a peek into the tightly-wound emotional makeup of Gil Grissom, and, as an added feature, showed the maturity of his relationship with Sara Sidle. ‘Do what you have to do,’ she said when she found out Grissom had spent the night with Lady Heather. Later, he told her, ‘I was being a friend.’ Good stuff, CSI! With prime time TV like this, who needs...but...I digress...
Just about anything can veer off, in my mind, into erotic realms. Any new place I go could be the gateway to some wild sexual adventure. Any piece of mail – any new acquaintance – or just a clear starry sky.
Weather is a particular source of inspiration for me. Snow conjures up dreams of being trapped in a log cabin with a stunning ski instructor or a devious snow bunny, or both. Cold hands on hot parts, in real life or in my imagination, are always a turn on. Hot sunshine evokes Hawaiian beaches, and hula dancers in grass skirts, and muscular bronzed lifeguards, for a start. Hot blood, temperatures rising, sweat… Rain is particularly evocative. It figures prominently in my story Hurting Hugh in editor Mitzi Szereto’s anthology Getting Even: Revenge Stories,coming in October 2007 from Serpent’s Tail Press.
‘Some things are so damn beautiful you have to be happy just to see them. Like Northern Lights. Or a train crossing in the rain, with the bright beam of the engine lighting up the rain like a spotlight, and the red lights of the crossing bars flashing and the blaring whistle of the train competing with the clanging of the crossing bells. It's surreal.’
‘But it was the rain that really tipped the balance. I knew he probably couldn't tell who was behind the wheel, not with his poor night vision and all that rain streaming down the windshield. Plus, I knew the rain would wash away the gore so I wouldn't have to get my hands dirty hurting Hugh.’ (I love that last line.)
When I find myself grocery shopping, after the initial shock wears off, not only are there all those people I don't know to fantasize about, strangers who could be incredibly depraved under their mundane facades, but there’s a ton of femme fruit, like melons and peaches, and all those phallic vegetables like cucumbers and parsnips. This sort of musing led to my first published piece, a little story called Breakfast With Tiffany that was included in a 'confessions of everyday women' type tome so I'll say no more lest the ruse be uncovered.
Here's how it works: I take everyday life and put it through a mental process I call The Eroticizer. This mini-distillery vapourizes the mundane, exhaling it in a misty cloud while isolating the sex-essence into a liquid pool of gold at the bottom of a Pyrex beaker. I mix this extract with other essential elements, like description and characterization and verisimilitude, and the result is released into the world like a new perfume, eau de erotica, or Essence of Madeline. My erotic fiction.
It has been said that to the pure, all things are pure. Likewise, to the prurient, all things are prurient.
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