Tag Archives: sexuality

My Fine Flippin’ Friends

In the past few weeks I’ve had this remarkable surge of creativity, with so many projects that I’ve sat on for a long time finally coming to an exciting conclusion.

It’s been a very satisfying journey and yet it feels like I’m only getting started. As such, It’s all I care to blog about these days, though it does seem a little narcissistic. In my defense, it is not that I crave feedback or attention or anything like that. More often than not, I think of my art as not really about me . . . it’s about the pictures . . . and it is simply nice to have them viewed.

Last night I thought this post would be showcasing five or so recent pieces, but by the time I went to bed there is one that really stands out on its own and I want to present it that way.

The piece is called, “Being Flippant”. It is so wonderfully simple. Also, it is one of those that can be comfortably viewed in the original way (shown first) or flipped over (the second image below).

That’s it for now. I hope you like it, and thank you for all the recent comments.

Being Flippant

Being Flippant – as originally created.

Now here is the same picture, simply flipped:

Being Flippant upside down

Being Flippant . . . and upside down!

Finally, just for fun, I wanted to see how a group shot might look . . . perhaps a bit much?

collage of Being Flippant

The whole flippin’ group!

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My Smashwords Author Interview

abstract art

Did Knee

Smashwords has this really nice feature. Authors can select from a list of questions and provide answers that form an interview. There’s also the option of selecting your own questions. It’s a great way to explain one’s work, much easier than trying to do it in an essay or a blog post.

Rather than send you to my Smashwords page, I’ve included the interview here, just below. If you have questions of your own, please feel free to use the reply link and ask away . . . just don’t ask about my radio, okay?

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Is it true that you write naked?

 Now why does this question remind me of Marilyn Monroe? There was all those reporters asking her is she has anything on when she goes to sleep. She once gave me this fantastic response, “Did I have something on? Of course I did, I had the radio on!”

My writing doesn’t punch the clock, except perhaps when I’m writing about something timeless. I haven’t worn a watch in over a decade. I’m not always writing, but when I do it can be noon as easily as the middle of the night. When I actually sit down and type is another story. My mind is very active – sometimes too busy – I get lost in my thoughts. When that happens I may just as well be naked. But then, even with our clothes on, aren’t we all pretty much that way?

 What is the greatest joy of writing for you?

 I have a strong need for finding a creative outlet. It really is a passion and a very satisfying one. I’m an artist as well. While I’ve always felt that I would do a little writing some day, there were times that I didn’t think the joy of creating art could be found in writing. I’m so glad to find out that I was wrong! It seems storytelling is a bit of a gift for me, and moving people, making them happy, giving them something to think about . . . this process is one of my great joys in living.

What do your fans mean to you?

When I hear from a fan, when she tells me what the book has meant to her, that can go right to the heart. It’s one thing to write something, hoping that it affects someone in a very positive way – it’s quite another to find out about that when it actually happens. While I don’t need that kind of feedback for motivation, it certainly does help. It’s much the same with my art. Sometimes I ask myself, “Why bother, aside from my own joy in the process?” Then a few people come along and tell me how it has moved them somehow, and I know it’s not just about me, that it is simply something worth doing, and so I continue.

How do  you approach cover design?

 I’m a firm believer that the cover shouldn’t matter. I also know that from a marketing perspective, it is important, especially in terms of catching people’s attention, and even more so for an unknown talent. As an artist, it is a different kind of challenge, and I couldn’t be more pleased in finally coming up with a cover that matches the book in both content and tone. I guess I’m a bit of a tease, and my cover is a gorgeous tease, but also it’s an honest one. It’s also a little mysterious, as it’s supposed to be!

What is your writing process?

Basically it comes down to elements and rules. While I’ve internalized much of the “Element of Style”, I still refer to it in a pinch. I’ve been using it for over 30 years now. I’ve studied all kinds of writing manuals over the years, though it seems the best ones have to do with writing advertising copy. Those books really do teach one how to write concisely, yet effectively. As for rules, once again I lean towards simplicity. I follow W. Somerset Maugham’s teachings, something I stumbled upon over 20 years ago, “There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”

Funny how it works. I read his “Of Human Bondage” in high school and now after all this time I begin my novel with three words, “Bound and impatient.” It seems like my characters must be somewhat like Maugham, just trying to figure out the rules of life are as they move along. One of them wants to be a writer.

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

First of all, when I’m writing that is almost the only thing I do. Then there is the time spent on marketing, which actually takes up more time than the writing, at least for now, as an unknown independent author. When I’m not doing something book-related, by far my favorite activity is my art. Between the two that doesn’t leave much time, and that time is spent mostly with family, a little reading, watching a good movie, going for walks, trying to make the odd person laugh or smile – mostly strangers – or just being a pain in the ass for someone – mostly friends.

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?

 At my age, and almost without exception, there is this incredible urge to pee. Not to pee? That is out of the question!

Is there anything you want to say specifically about Dawn at Last?

 The most frustrating aspect of trying to describe the book concerns this issue of genre. I never gave it much thought until after the book was finished. It really crosses a number of genres, and I can’t find one where there’s a really snug fit. I really wish “Adult bedtime stories” would become a genre. That’s perhaps the best tag I could put on it, in a few words. My hope is that people will read the first few chapters and then decide if it fits for them. It really is one of those books that kind of grows on you as it moves along, so if you enjoy the first 10%, it only gets better.

What are you working on next?

 When I was about 2/3 done Dawn at Last it occurred to me that this could easily turn into a trilogy and I was quite excited about that. Since finishing the book I’ve vacillated on that notion, but readers keep telling me that I must continue the story. So given that, and my joy in cooking, for now I am stewing!

The characters make it easy to continue the story, but they also make it more difficult to keep them out of trouble. After all, there is only so much an author can do to protect the likes of Dawn and Sunni and Andrea. The trouble I see them getting into down the road is already starting to piss me off, and it doesn’t look like the men in their lives are going to help them too much, though I’m sure they will try their best.

Is it true that you once looked like Brad Pitt?

 Well yes, so I’ve been told, but you have to consider the source. She was only about 11 at the time, one of my two daughters, and the comment came shortly before her birthday . . . such a clever little girl! They are both gifted in their own ways . . . remarkable young ladies . . . now much quicker than their father. By that I mean it took me about 10 years to finally explain to my little one that since I’m older than him, in fact he looks a little like me. To clarify though, the actual statement was, “You know dad, if you had hair you’d look just like Brad Pitt!”

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Now please don’t be shy about using these share buttons – I’m honored when you do. 🙂

Piece of Cake

It’s about time something was done about this.

The Government of New South Wales has decided to clamp down on what social scientists are claiming is a phenomenon on the verge of getting out of control.

Apparently the feminists in the province have successfully defended their right to decide for themselves in terms of whether their sexual orgasm is real or not; their right to falsify their own climax has passed the third reading and will soon become law.

In her oral defense, the champion of the cause, Mona Lottz, cited the famous case of Kramer vs. Kramer, and after that hearing the assembled members succumbed, stating that their decision is a landmark victory for women, and that it was time to give the issue a rest. Apparently three female members – backbenchers – were heard to howl upon the handing down ceremony.

To appease the male members, and also quoting Kramer vs. Kramer, men now have the same legal right, however this applies only when they are alone, and certainly not in public.

The scientists were ecstatic, claiming that these decisions will now alleviate the pressure caused by a related problem of both men and women claiming that they feel they are not getting enough sleep.

Legislators agreed, and now the house rests – A Fake Confession

Faked2

Can you tell the difference?

For Your Eyes Only…Only for You?

When I was a kid, and then still when I was a young man, I always looked forward to the next 007 flick. I don’t know about you, but for me it was all about the gadgets and special effects, and of course the leading ladies. Yeah, I know, there’s plenty of stereotyping that goes on, but then there’s the humor, so hopefully no one took the sexism to heart.

Then it got to the point where for me at least, the introduction and the ending credits became worth the price of admission all by themselves. In this particular case for example, as much as I like the video, I can’t remember a damn thing about the movie, nor do I care to now. And I must have seen it at least three times.

This video, For Your Eyes Only, has always captivated me. There’s the music, the intriguing and mysterious lyrics. . . “no need to read between the lines.”, and then there’s the visual portrayal, and finally, all the technology that goes with it.

It’s pretty amazing to think that this video was done so many years ago. We tend to think of all this layering as being much more recent than 1980. But then the machine that was eventually to become known as ‘the fax machine’ was actually based on technology from the 1920’s.

It’s funny how the ‘warm and fuzzy’ I get when I watch this video is also the same way I feel in writing many parts of novel. It is hard to blog about that, partly because what is really a very simple story seems to be deceptive in a way. I say ‘deceptive’ because as it is coming to completion, I see that it has many different layers, and to talk of one without the other is damn near impossible. It’s kind of like trying to describe the rain coming from one cloud when it’s actually coming from more than you can count. . . but not too many!

But I’ll try to touch on of those layers here. It actually does concern the issue of audio and video technology and what happens when they become somehow entwined in a very sensual experience. Should some experiences be “for yours eyes only”?

So the issue becomes an ethical one, and there are so many these days, so many that I wonder whether humanity will ever be able to catch up with all our modern technology. If you think about it, then in a way the technology controls our sense of right and wrong, or perhaps puts that sense to sleep, for your shut eyes only?

And does technology have karma? It must, at least in the sense that it seems to be an inextricable part of much of the human condition. But then what is karma? And I’m sorry, but I’m not going back to writings from thousands of years ago to try to understand that. I’ve already done that many times over the years. But there are things that happen, and they involve technology, technical applications in the context of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. . . well those events have crushed any personal understanding of that term ‘karma’, at least in the traditional sense.

In my writing, one of my characters finds herself disturbed by the term, so the best she can describe her own feelings on the matter is, “the blending and churning of time and truth.”

Anyways, these are the musings of someone finds inspiration in the strangest places, even a silly little introduction to a James Bond film. I think the next music I post here will be ‘Rainy Days and Mondays’, the live rendition by Sharon Clark.

Have a wonderful weekend.

PS – The last 007 film that I’ve seen was a breakthrough film for Halle Berry, with an exquisite Madonna intro and conclusion. Since then they have completely lost any appeal, but then I haven’t seen the intros.

So tell me, am I missing something, anything?

A Tender Page of Beige

Typohhh_Cover_WP2

A naughty little book

for quiet fireside evenings!

An imagination,

a glass of wine.

and…  thou ? !

Such a poetic note, handwritten, and a rather pleasant surprise, as it was found upon opening the book, on a blank page of paper no less…one with many shades of beige.

I picked up this book at what is now my favorite used book store. It’s full of pleasant surprises and mysteries, some of which are too private for posting. What’s pleasant about this handwritten note above is not only the words but the beautiful calligraphy, almost a work of art in itself as it looks so genuine. And as this wonderful gypsy that sold it to me pointed out, “I wonder who she was?” which were my thoughts exactly, as in, “What was her story?

As it turns out, the book is a hard cover first edition. It is a book of short stories by an author who’s work I’ve only read once before, about 30 years ago now. It’s called “Little Birds: Erotica by Anais Nin” which was published shortly after her death.

I’ve mentioned a little about erotica in my last few posts, including a discomfort in getting caught up in its current popularity. So I received another surprise in this book, and this occurs before the stories begin, in the preface. I’m including a quote from that preface, as she expresses how I feel about the whole issue of writing of the erotic better than I can…really quite remarkable!

Before adding this quote I should mention that Anais Nin had a soft spot for these writers, ones she knew at the time, who wrote a lot of erotica. She talks sympathetically about how these people were poor and hungry and wrote in this style simply for the money. She then goes on to say:

It is one thing to include eroticism in a novel or a story and quite another to focus one’s whole attention on it. The first is like life itself. It is, I might say, natural, sincere, as in the sensual pages of Zola or of Lawrence. But focusing wholly on the sexual life is not natural. It becomes something like the life of the prostitute, an abnormal activity that ends up turning the prostitute away from the sexual. Writers perhaps know this. That is why they have written only one confession or a few short stories, on the side, to satisfy their honesty about life, as Mark Twain did.

But what happens to a group of writers who need money so badly that they devote themselves entirely to the erotic? How does this affect their lives, their feelings toward the world, their writing? What effect has it on their sexual life?

As I’m typing this quote I keep thinking of it in the context of not so much the writing of the day, but of mass media in general, the eroticism of it all, whether it’s magazines, the internet, music videos or television. The words of Anais Nin become somewhat prophetic in the sense that our culture has somehow lost its way in this assault on our senses…how much candy is too much?

And with that I look forward to finding another book of hers, titled, “The Novel of The Future”.

PS – I didn’t realize it before, but her writing is the epitome of “The Elements of Style”…a wonderful companion!