Email: rachelkramerbussel at gmail.com



 

Lusty Lady

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Watch my first and favorite book trailer for Spanked: Red-Cheeked Erotica. Get Spanked in print and ebook

Monday, June 30, 2008

While I'm crassly self-promoting

I get these panics that nobody will show to In The Flesh, so want to give you some warning. I managed to overbook (whoops!) but will crack the whip to make sure we can have everyone read. If you caught any of Rachel Shukert's brilliant work, from the letter to Newt Gingrich in her book Have You No Shame? to her Salon tribute to Rock Band saving her marriage to many other hilarious things, you will want to come for her alone. And everyone else, who are all fabulous or I wouldn't have booked them. Many are returning guests with brand-new material. Hot! You can also catch me guest hosting with Anna David the day before, July 16th, on the Sirius radio show Sex Files.

IN THE FLESH EROTIC READING SERIES
July 17th at 8 PM
AT HAPPY ENDING LOUNGE, 302 BROOME STREET, NYC
(B/D to Grand, J/M/Z to Bowery, F to Delancey or F/V to 2nd Avenue, http://www.happyendinglounge.com)
Admission: Free
Happy Ending Lounge: 212-334-9676
http://inthefleshreadingseries.blogspot.com

In The Flesh
features a range of authors, from erotic writers D.L. King, editor of Erotica Revealed, and Susan Wright (A Pound of Flesh) to letter lover Samara O’Shea (Note to Self, For the Lover of Letters), memoirist Scott Pomfret (Since My Last Confession), Jeremy Edwards, (Clean Sheets, F is for Fetish), novelist Anna David (Party Girl) and playwright/memoirist Rachel Shukert (Have You No Shame?). Hosted by Rachel Kramer Bussel (Spanked, Rubber Sex, Dirty Girls). Free candy and cupcakes will be served.

In the Flesh is a monthly reading series hosted at the appropriately named Happy Ending Lounge, and features the city's best erotic writers sharing stories to get you hot and bothered, hosted and curated by acclaimed erotic writer and editor Rachel Kramer Bussel. From erotic poetry to down and dirty smut, these authors get naked on the page and will make you lust after them and their words. Since its debut in October 2005, In the Flesh has featured such authors as Laura Antoniou, Mo Beasley, Lily Burana, Jessica Cutler, Tracie Egan, Stephen Elliott, Valerie Frankel, Polly Frost, Gael Greene, HoneyB, Andy Horwitz, Debra Hyde, Maxim Jakubowski, Emily Scarlet Kramer of CAKE, Josh Kilmer-Purcell, Edith Layton, Logan Levkoff, Suzanne Portnoy, Sofia Quintero, M.J. Rose, Lauren Sanders, Danyel Smith, Grant Stoddard, Cecilia Tan, Carol Taylor, Dana Vachon, Veronica Vera, Susan Wright, Zane and many others. The series has gotten press attention from the New York Times’s UrbanEye, Escape (Hong Kong), Flavorpill, The L Magazine, New York Magazine, Philadelphia City Paper, Time Out New York, Gothamist, Nerve.com and Wonkette, and has been praised by Dr. Ruth. This is not Amanda Stern’s Happy Ending Reading Series.



Rachel Kramer Bussel is Senior Editor at Penthouse Variations, conducts interviews for Mediabistro.com, and wrote the popular Lusty Lady column for The Village Voice. Her erotic stories have been published in over 100 anthologies, including Best American Erotica 2004 and 2006, and she’s edited numerous anthologies, most recently Spanked, Rubber Sex, Yes, Sir, Yes, Ma’am, Dirty Girls, and Best Sex Writing 2008. Rachel has also written for AVN, Bust, Cosmopolitan, Gothamist, Mediabistro, Metro, New York Post, Punk Planet, San Francisco Chronicle, Time Out New York and Velvetpark.
www.rachelkramerbussel.com



HarperCollins released Anna David's novel, Party Girl, in 2007, the same year that an essay of hers appeared in the Dutton anthology Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys. Harper Perennial will release Anna's second novel, Kept Waiting, in March of 2009. Anna is also the sex and relationship expert on G4’s Attack of the Show, appears every month on the Fox News cult favorite Red Eye as a cultural commentator, has been featured regularly on The Today Show, Hannity & Colmes, and Showbiz Tonight, and occasionally pops up on MTV News, VH1 and E. Her Sirius radio show on the Maxim channel, "Sex Files," is the network's number-one specialty show. A former magazine writer, Anna is now the dating columnist for the Women's Entertainment Network's website, wetv.com, as well as the Editor-in-Chief of musician will.i.am's political blog, Dipdive. She's written celebrity cover stories, first-person essays, and reported pieces for The New York Times, The LA Times, Vanity Fair, Cosmo, Redbook, Self, Stuff, TV Guide, Movieline, Women’s Health, Ocean Drive, Vegas, The Saturday Telegraph, Esquire UK, Teen Vogue, Variety, LA Confidential, Tatler (Hong Kong), Emmy, msn.com and Maxim, among others.
www.annadavid.com

Jeremy Edwards is a pseudonymous sort of fellow whose efforts at spinning libido into literature have been widely published online (at Clean Sheets, Good Vibrations, Erotic Woman, and other sites). Some of his many anthology trysts have occurred within the pages of A Is for Amour; F Is for Fetish; Got a Minute?; J Is for Jealousy; K Is for Kinky; Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica 7; Open for Business; and Rubber Sex. Out on the newsstand, his lascivious prose has been seen in Scarlet. Jeremy's greatest goal in life is to be sexy and witty at the same moment—ideally in lighting that flatters his profile. Drop in on him unannounced (and thereby catch him in his underwear) at http://jerotic.blogspot.com

D. L. King is the founder and editor of the critical review site, Erotica Revealed. Her second novel, The Art of Melinoe, was published by Renaissance E Books last October. Her short stories can be found in several anthologies, some of the most recent being Best Lesbian Erotica 2008, Yes, Sir: Erotic Stories of Female Submission and Yes, Ma'am: Erotic Stories of Male Submission. She is currently editing a new anthology for Cleis Press.
www.dlkingerotica.com



Samara O'Shea is an outspoken advocate on behalf of the written word. She is the author of the forthcoming Note to Self: On Keeping a Journal and Other Dangerous Pursuits (July 2008) and For the Love of Letters: A 21st-Century Guide to the Art of Letter Writing. For more information or to order a letter that Samara will gladly write on your behalf, visit LetterLover.net.



Scott D. Pomfret is author of Since My Last Confession, an irreverent and lighthearted memoir in the style of Michael Moore’s Roger & Me describing three years of stalking the Archbishop of Boston during the Massachusetts same-sex marriage debate. Pomfret’s other works include Romentics gay romance novels, The Q Guide to Wine and Cocktails, and dozens of short stories.
www.scottpomfret.com www.sincemylastconfession.com



Rachel Shukert is an author, playwright, and performer. Her first book, Have You No Shame? And Other Regrettable Stories, was published in April 2008 by Random House/Villard. Rachel's plays include Bloody Mary, Johnny Applefucker, The Worshipped, The Red Beard of Esau, and Sequins for Satan have been produced and developed extensively throughout New York City, Massachusetts, and the Netherlands. She is currently starring in the live soap opera "Wasp Cove" which she co-creates and writes with Julie Klausner. She is also a co-founder of the theater group the Bushwick Hotel. Her writing has appeared in Nerve, Heeb, McSweeney's, and Babble, and featured in Best Sex Writing 2008 (Rachel Kramer Bussel, ed.), Best American Erotic Poems: 1800-present (ed. David Lehman) and The Future of Misbehavior (Chronicle Books) alongside Rick Moody, Douglas Rushkoff, and Will Self. She was born in raised in Omaha, Nebraska, and now lives in NYC with her husband and her cat.
www.rachelshukert.com



Susan Wright's latest erotic fantasy novel is A Pound of Flesh, the sequel to To Serve and Submit, published by Penguin Books. Susan is also the founder and spokesperson for the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom. She's written over 25 novels and nonfiction books on art and popular culture.
www.susanwright.info

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Reviews nobody cares about, not even me*

I have way more interesting things to tell you about than silly book reviews and my writerly malaise but am too tired. Soon...

obligatory gross self-promotion:

Dirty Girls blog

Yes, Sir blog

Yes, Ma'am blog

For now, my books get some good reviews over at the Erotica Readers & Writers Association.

*I do care, in a way, so I'm half joking. It's more that I wish I didn't have to care. I wish I didn't have to be so worried about every last sale that I felt the need to do every itty bitty little thing to spread the word. Because the thing is, for me, it spreads me too thin. I can't be my own publicist, marketer, booker and also, like, write. I can barely write as it is, as witnessed by the last year of just generally fucking up. Last week was a not so surprising revelation in that department, but clearly I've not been well.

As for the reviews, well, I'd rather have a review that says something than one that just says "I liked this book." I guess as an editor I'm supposed to just care about the outcome, but that is probably the umpteenth way I'm not really cut out for this business. Or hobby, as it were, in my case, or what it feels like right now. Don't get me wrong; I'm glad the reviewers liked them. I'm also itching to get the hell out of the erotica ghetto (you know, like have Publishers Weekly decide to actually review my book). And no I haven't shown the most...ambition when it comes to getting out of the pink ghetto. I don't want to escape it entirely. I love coming up with the stories I am writing lately, really twisted and fucked up and fictional ones where I just let myself go. I love finding new authors who just nail it, all the true perversity of sex on the page. But I want more than that.

I guess I just want to make books that my friends want to read too, that I don't have to feel weird about if my postcards spill out of my bag. I want both, because I don't see myself quitting erotica editing anytime soon. But I am ready for something meatier, something more challenging, something where I do not have to hustle so damn hard. It'll happen, and I'll remake myself as a writer. Maybe when the storm passes, I'll be able to share my own self-sabotaging moments. But it's not just that, it's something bigger. It's doing things by rote. It's knowing you can. It's losing that excitement I once had.

Anyway, you can read the full reviews if you're so inclined, at ERWA.

I'd also urge you to read my friend Donna George Storey's column about her "lesbian love affair with melons." That's way more interesting than babbling about my books.

Dark "Dreams" turns up the heat and melts in your mouth. Biting into extra sharp "Cheesy Boots" will have you licking your lips. Suck on "Icy Hot" and let it dribble down your chin, but don't expect it to cool you off; it was written to keep you fevered...

Dirty Girls is food for your libido; twenty-seven savory dishes of het, lesbian, and gay erotica, hot vanilla and hotter kink. Relish it in small, sensuous nibbles, or binge until you tell your hostess you couldn't eat another thing, but, okay, if you insist…just one more bite.

Taking a long hard look at male submission has never been so much fun! Yes, Ma'am; Erotic Stories of Male Submission gathers 18 delectable tales of submissive men dominated by strong, sometimes ruthless, women who know precisely how they expect to be pleased, and woe betide any subs who do or say otherwise. Luckily, equilibrium rules in this book , which means in "Angie Speak," there are plenty of men willing to take the derisive jeers and sneers that come with being the lowest of the low. But do not fear, they are not the weak, spineless creatures you may at first believe. Their inner strength proves that they too know precisely how to fulfill their own needs, holding the ultimate power between the two opposing forces of dominance and submission.

The demands of a college professor's assignments send protagonist, Tina, to her creative limits, as her dominating "Dear Professor Pervert" searches for new humiliating ways to keep her masturbation journal deliciously kinky; analysing and marking each attempt for its style and content. Top marks for Donna George Storey...

Here are several sexy women wanting to give up her will, be controlled, made to obey and (occasionally) be told NO! Why? Because it makes them happy. In their element, which is where you'll be when you read this book. "The Power of No," as author Teresa Noelle Roberts says, can take you to the most pleasurable, painful edge! Whether vanilla or not, "Sitting on Ice Cream," (Lisette Ashton) can throw even the most reluctant exhibitionist into the theatrical limelight. So many ways to submit!

"Dude (Let's Get Boners)" by The Hazzards

I totally heart The Hazzards - I love this song cause it's like that one kinda scary older song where they try to go all metal. But the best thing on Secrets just might be the Guns n' Roses cover ("Sweet Child O' Mine" sounding like it's done by The Softies).

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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Snapshots

Happier moments...

Victory over the piping bag with cupcakes from The Cupcake Crew

Yay!

With my old Williamsburg pal who has now gone all LA on me (but I still love her), Carrie Schultz (remember that name, TV watchers):



Even though I'd just been there, I went back to Batch for a little cupcake bloggers get-together with the fabulous Blondie and Brownie and Nichelle:

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All apologies

Also, I'm gonna be laying low this summer. I'm a big talker and big slacker, so I don't want to go on and on about what I'm doing or not doing. If I get something done, you'll hear about it. If I don't, which is way more likely, you won't.

I'm just trying to cut out everything extraneous, while also trying to grapple with a huge addition to my debt load. I'm used to debt, having lived with the knowledge that I get poorer every day, just by existing, all for those three years of youthful folly. I've worked on that but there is still a ways to go, so now there is farther to go. This is not as expensive an error financially, but possibly a bigger one in terms of its impact on my future. I am trying my best to be proactive and type my way out of it.

I spent this weekend indoors (not really much to be proud of for me), and actually realized that I like being alone. I need to do it more often. No pesky phone, no distracting internet, just me and some books and my laptop, and I hope to maintain that for the rest of the summer. There are few other things I'll be doing; saying goodbye the Jacksons, who I will miss dearly, seeing my mom when she's in town, seeing visiting friends like Wendy Spero.

I'm going to the outskirts of Seattle for 3 days at the end of July and returning to the fabulous Minneapolis, where everyone is incredibly nice and there are amazing cupcakes and the Fringe Festival (I'll be doing a reading and open mic at < Smitten Kitten the evening of August 10th), and I may do a very quick Martha's Vineyard trip at my grandmother's urging, but other than that, I'll mostly be at work or at home, where I should have been the last two years, instead of off doing this and that all adds up to a big fat nothing. I won't catalogue it all, but all those dumbass book parties, all the comedy shows, pretty much everything is just a reminder of my failings, but those are for me to reckon with. Like I said before, I'm used to being a failure, it's what I know, what I'm, dare I say, good at, but I'm trying to find new things to be good at, like succeeding. And of course I'll be at our cupcake events (July 14th is Cupcake Arts & Crafts Night and in August will be another Delicious Sandwich Social).

So apologies now if I don't make it to your party/reading/event, if I don't answer your calls and emails. I'll be back in September or sometime around then and will post here occasionally, but I'd rather save the real writing for things that matter. For now I'm gonna make like I don't live in NYC, which sometimes, despite my recent umbrella purchase, I wish I didn't.

I do have a few little projects I have to finish, trying to stay enthusiastic about them. I'm reading up to make the selections for Best Sex Writing 2009 before I turn it over to guest judge Brian Alexander, stuff like Mary Roach's Bonk, Gail Belsky's anthology Over the Hill and Between the Sheets, David Levy's Love and Sex with Robots, Dagmar Herzog's Sex in Crisis: The New Sexual Revolution and the Future of American Politics. Another project is a call for submissions for Bottoms Up: More Red-Cheeked Erotica (possibly NSFW, deadline July 14th, but sooner submissions very welcome). I'm in pretty dire need of stories, so if you know any erotica writers, send them my way as long as they can follow instructions, I have zero tolerance for those who don't (and you'd be surprised, there are many who just blithely disregard guidelines). I'll be making a book trailer for it. My very first time and helmed by a woman I think is brilliant. It will debut before the end of July. So promoting Spanked and cupcake blogging and writing, perhaps in vain but I have to try, is what I'll be up to.

Have a great summer everyone.

Over 40,000 people have watched this video...

Not that it really matters or anything, but I still hold out a vague hope of selling my True Sex Confessions anthology so I think the fact that this true confession of mine has gotten 40,000 views is something. Or not. I also have nothing much to say these days so videos and photos it shall have to be. Right now my judgment on pretty much everything is quite askew, but I'm trying to not give up especially because, as I said, I have no skills or training to do anything else.

I'm reading part of my essay from Lisa Solod Warren's anthology Desire: Women Write About Wanting. I wrote it in November 2006, back when I was still dating S. In other words, a lifetime ago. Also, In The Flesh is probably ending in December, so there are 6 more chances to see it. I'll do another True Sex Confessions, probably in November. All the dates are on the In The Flesh site. I may change my mind but right now the hassle of running it far outweighs any rewards, and I need to pare things down and focus on making money. I'm as far from a businesswoman as you could get, clearly, but an old dog can learn new tricks, I certainly hope. Someday I'll figure out how to not be a fuckup, and I'm hoping that someday falls in this calendar year.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Rachel Shukert on public speaking

by Jason Boog of The Publishing Spot

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Two very wonderful albums with composition notebook covers

Tuscadero’s The Pink Album



The new album by The Hazzards, Secrets, all about boners, periods, Hasidim, along with a cover of “Sweet Child O’ Mine” - it’s highly recommended.



Way back in 2004, I interviewed them for Gothamist. I also crowned them Best Ukelele-Playing Fag Hags in the Voice Best of 2006. Ah, Best Of issue, I miss writing for you.

Escort memoir The Price out in October from Phoenix

I had somehow missed that this book is coming out in October:

THE PRICE: MY LIFE AS NATALIA, NEW YORK'S $2000-AN-HOUR ESCORT
by Natalie “Natalia” McLennan

In this sexy, darkly funny, and surprisingly poignant memoir, famed New York call girl Natalie “Natalia” McLennan tells her full story for the first time. A cautionary tale about a bright, confident young woman who sells her future for easy money and glamour, The Price takes readers inside the world of the twenty-five-year-old girl New York magazine labeled “The $2,000-An-Hour Hooker.”



She was previously on the cover of New York and has done a ton of other media, and worked for NY Confidential:

got to get it up and shag it/in this free world

In this free world baby
Got to take it got to grab it
Got to get it up and shag it*
In this free world
-- "Free World," Kirsty MacColl

So, needless to say, I've had a really crappy week. But in some ways an uplifting one, an educational one, a perspective-putting one. I think it's really easy to let things happen to you, to watch life pass you by and never really question why you're doing things or what you want or are capable of.

It has also been proofreading hell week. Well, weeks, cause I am very slow. The thing I like least about editing books, aside from sending out rejection letters, is proofreading. It's like just hen you think you're done, you're stuck reading seemingly endless pages and by the end you never want to see your book again. Or at least, read it. I like to look at the shiny, pretty box of books, but I don't sit there and reread it to see what typos got left in. And as I learned with Dirty Girls, it doesn't really matter because in all likelihood they won't be fixed, so I can keep saying hello to the typos that do blare out at me, even in the 2nd edition, so I just don't think about it. I also proofread my books before I turn them in to the publisher, so doing it again is just a major pain in the ass. Yes, I know, a necessary one. I worry when I skimp on it that my books will be typo-ridden, but I also find it such a massive relief to be done with that. I have a battle plan for next time, though, but right now, I cannot think about that. It's all about the here and now.

These days I'm just not sure I'm up for it, not sure if it's worth it to be forever lugging around massive amounts of paper what feels like all the time. I'm sure there's another way to go about things, but I'm slow to change, I do things the way I do them and it's really hard to break out of those ruts. I bought this Betsey Johnson bag I'm probably returning, but I got it with the idea that I could magically morph into a one bag lady, rather than a three bag lady. But between a laptop, 200+ pages, books, and whatever else, it's a bit of a challenge. If I worked from home, it would be totally different, but then, so would a lot of things.



I did read one thing in Jean MacColl's Sun on the Water that just has been bouncing around in my mind, not letting go of its grip on me, I think because it's just so awful, you wonder how these people have moved on, and yet they have. Stop reading now if you are squeamish. I am, too, and I knew Kirsty MacColl was killed by a powerboat at age 41 in Mexico (click the link to find out about the campaign for justice surrounding her death). I did not know her kids were in the water with her and wound up swimming in her blood. That image, and the son telling his grandmother about it, is just so horrific.

Kirsty was so beautiful, and brilliant. Like her collaborator Billy Bragg, she made these songs with a real social conscience, but also these truly powerful ones about relationships and love and emotion. It's helping remind me what I once wanted to do with my life, and the massive gap between that and what I have done, well, it's a good reminder.



This one's not a video, just one of my favorite songs of hers, "Autumngirlsoup," that I found on YouTube:

Want a free Spanked postcard?



I ordered 5,000 promo postcards for Spanked: Red-Cheeked Erotica from the fabulous and highly-recommended 1-800-POSTCARD. Want one? (U.S. only, sorry.)

Send your mailing address to spankingantho at gmail.com and I'll get one right out to you!

The book will be here in late July...in the meantime, read the tantalizing introduction, why don't you?

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My book covers article blah blah blah

I was really excited about this article. And then, like everything I touch, I wasn't. I sat on it for a long time and I finally turned it in and was excited again. Then it was published...without book covers. I was disappointed at first, then I realized that I have no business at all writing about the publishing industry, at least until I sort my own shit out. More on that later, I'm still trying to figure out a lot of things, though some are becoming crystal clear. Perhaps I have no business writing about anything these days, but I'm sorting that out in my head.

Anyway, I think the article is okay and is on an interesting topic: author book covers and who decides what goes on your cover. I talked to a lot of people and part of the problem was that everywhere I went I saw new covers I wanted to include. I'm gonna be interviewing someone soon for the cupcake blog, and I only found her because there's a beautiful cupcake on her cover.

Most excitingly, I got to interview Evan Handler, after reading a post of his on Huffington Post, about how he designed his own book cover. Yes, I talked to Harry from Sex and the City. And if anyone remembers way back when I was on that panel about porn. I remember I thought I was such hot stuff cause someone paid me $500 to stammer and stutter in front of a crowd. I was terrified and so glad when it was over. I'm not match for anyone live; on paper is another story. Anyway, one of those people I debated was Pamela Paul, whose book Pornified had just come out. Needless to say, I didn't agree with it. Flash forward to 2008 though, and she has a really interesting new book out called Parenting, Inc., is also writing for Huffington Post, and is covering some very interesting issues, some of them dare I say are even feminist (maternal profiling, for example). So that was cool to talk to her. And I learned a lot about the process that I can only hope someday in the future I get to utilize.

So to supplement the article, here are the covers I had wanted included:

(they did use Evan Handler's, but I'll just post it here too)



Scott Pomfret's blog post about why this hot cover was rejected in favor of a really boring, dumb one inspired my story:



















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Shawn Colvin to write memoir



I’m really looking forward to this; she’s one of my favorite songwriters, and “Polaroids” was the first song I ever heard Mary Lou Lord sing (on the Safe and Sound benefit compliation). Via Yahoo!

Shawn Colvin, the Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter, is working on a memoir, “A Few Small Repairs,” named for her best-known album and tentatively scheduled to come out in the fall 2009.

According to HarperCollins, the book “will finally allow all of the fans that have followed her career over the past 19 years to further connect with her on a personal level that only a book could allow.

“In concert Shawn is known for engaging the audience and interweaving dialogue ranging from the very personal to the truly hilarious, so the book will be a natural extension for her,” the publisher said in a statement issued Wednesday.


There aren't many great versions of her doing one of my favorite songs, "Trouble," on YouTube, but here's one:

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

"everyone should have a noncreepy, engaging, scintillating Google self."

My friend Judy McGuire interviewed Jen Dziura and Bobby Blue for Time Out New York about dating in NYC.



Thanks, Metro!

Free newspaper Metro gave Cupcakes Take the Cake a shoutout today in their Blogarithms section ("A look at the best of the blogs") and said:

Cupcakes are delicious, yes but the they're kind of fun to look at, too. That's the genius behind "cupcakes take the cake," where not only do they review the best bakeries and dole out creative new recipes, but they photo document all their cute, sugary finds.

Want to know their advice on how to fill a cupcake? Check out a Metro near you.

Cupcakes by Sweet Avenue Bake Shop

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Violet Blue no longer on Boing Boing

Via Valleywag:



Violet Blue, a popular local blogger, columnist, sex educator and contributor to Gawker Media's smutty sister Fleshbot, seems to have rubbed someone at BoingBoing the wrong way. She discovered that nearly all the posts on the site that mentioned her or her work had disappeared — save for one, a post from last year on the Top 10 Sex Memes from 2006. Shortly after that post was discovered via Google site search, it disappeared as well.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Rock bottom gratitude

My friend Courtney sends out emails with these gratitude lists of hers. Every time, I think, "that's so powerful, I should do that," and then I don't. That's pretty much my attitude toward...everything, lately. So many ideas, some of them halfway decent, and no follow through. That's been the story of my life for far too long, letting life pass me by, going through the motions, doing busy work and caring way more about other people's careers than my own. And by not stopping and being grateful, I forget that amidst the stresses and drama and confusion, there is so much to be grateful for.

And sometimes that bypassing of, well, everything, catches up to you. Sometimes you get what you deserve, and today was one of those days. I don't think you need to be an alcoholic to reach rock bottom, and it's certainly not the first or, dare I say, the last time I will hit rock bottom. Having to leave law school with all those blurs of missed classes and emptiness in my brain in place of knowledge, filing bankruptcy, getting fired from my Voice column, dropping out of this or that project because I was just too big of a slacker to even make an attempt. I've been there, I get it, and, I won't lie, part of me finds comfort in it. I can embrace failure because at least I know there is nowhere farther to fall. It's fuzzy and familiar like my favorite cozy blanket that even in the heat of summer and a faltering air conditioner I often wrap myself in.

But one thing I'm pretty good at, next to reaching for that lowest common denominator, is getting myself out of it. I don't stay there; it's never the final destination. It's more like an old friend, one I think I want to hang out with, think will be so much fun, and then find, well, they're kindof boring. They're like this super sexy devil on your shoulder who looks like, I don't know, Justine Joli, but when you get them alone, they're like Tila Tequila. This supposedly "easy" life is actually a wasteland of nothingness, populated by others with their permanently deferred dreams. They're so blase and numb and checked out that were success to fall from the sky, they'd complain about the noise. I can be that girl too, so don't think I'm being so dismissive because I'm above it all. In Jonathan Ames's forthcoming graphic novel The Alcoholic, he writes, "I knew that there was an urge in me for total oblivion and total destruction." I thought that was so brilliant, because while it may seem counterintuitive, those of us who get it, know that there is a beauty in that world, and you don't need alcohol to get there, certainly. Some of us can self-destruct with our bare hands. It's a natural skill and comes far too easy. It's the default mode, the instinct, the safety when you wonder if things might be going "too well." You don't have to try. You don't have to worry about bad reviews or people talking shit about you because nobody knows who the fuck you are.

I totter between the promise and grandeur of Echobelly's song "Great Things" and, well, the lure of that rock bottom place, or just above it. The reality of daily life is that it's much more mundane. There are little moments that boost me, the whole hour long phone call with one of the most brilliant writers in the world, chatting away to me like we're BFF.



I can't be any more specific about things right now. No one died. No one was hurt. In the end, anything bad that happened was self-induced. And I guess if I can dig myself into a ridiculously huge hole, I can dig myself out, right? That was rhetorical, because I've learned that other people's opinions are, well, pretty meaningless. Sorry, I don't say that to be rude, and some of you, I love you dearly. You know who you are. It's more that I have to learn to trust my opinions, my intuition, my instincts. I am so blessedly good at psyching myself out before I even get started, and the bottom line is, I should shut up and go back to being a secretary, which I'm actually good at, if I can't handle rejection on occasion. And you know what? I'm not ruling anything out. Maybe I'm in the wrong business, maybe I'm not, but I'll find out.

So back to the gratitude...because I truly am grateful. I forget sometimes, or rather, I try to ignore all the people who believe in me so strongly. They scare me because I often doubt I can live up to their beliefs, and it's so often easier to not even try, than try and fail. But I love them for believing in me. Everywhere I look there's really awful things going on--death, breakups, sadness. This is not like that, but it is a learning opportunity, and a reminder to not take anything for granted.

Because like Sonya Aurora Madan, I too want to do great things. I may not know exactly what they are yet, aside from be a mom, but I do. And I will, even if it'll take a little longer than expected.

Christen Clifford's "(What I Know About) My Parents' Sex Life

I love the subtitle: "a.k.a. Fuck Me Like It's 1945"



You can catch her Wednesday, June 25th, 9 pm at PS 122 at 1st Avenue and 9th Street

Watch an interview with Christen at Naked City ("I'm interested in hiring an escort for my father") and read one at Daily Bedpost, quoted below:

Do you think you'll still be having sex with you're 70? 80? 90?

I hope so. Maybe my husband and I will get into a sexually permissive nursing home! We'll put on some Prince and I'll say "Fuck me like it's 1999, honey, only be careful of your heart."

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Off to Cupcakefest!

I'm off to Cupcakefest, organized by Sweet Avenue Bake Shop (who made our adorable Cupcakes Take the Cake cupcakes last week at the picnic).



From their recent email:

This is just a quick email to remind you all that Cupcakefest '08 is HERE! Tomorrow (Saturday, June 21st) we're unleashing the awesomeness that is Cupcakefest on Rutherford, NJ. The event is going to be at Lincoln Park in Rutherford, NJ, which is across the street from our shop (153 Park Ave). There will be five bands playing, including Brian Keith, And Then There Were Machines, Kieran Hobler, Thing One, and Junkpunch.

In addition to the free music, we're going to be giving away HUNDREDS of free mini cupcakes and drinks (while supplies last, of course). There will also be some other goodies given out for free, AND we're having a raffle with over $500 worth of awesome prizes including a digital camera, eco-friendly shoes, gift certificates, clothing, cupcake supplies, and LOTS more. The raffle only costs $2 to enter, and you can enter as often as you like. On top of that, all the profits from the raffle will be donated to Rock 'n Renew, an organization that sponsors urban renewal projects in New Jersey. We're also going to have our shop open with our normal menu for the day if you need to purchase more cupcakes or other baked goodies.

We hope to see you all there, because it's going to be a lot of fun.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

In The Flesh is TONIGHT!

There will be snacks galore and book giveaways and such...please come out and/or pass this onto someone who might be interested. thanks! Rachel

IN THE FLESH EROTIC READING SERIES
GLBT NIGHT
THURSDAY, June 19th at 8 PM
AT HAPPY ENDING LOUNGE, 302 BROOME STREET, NYC
(B/D to Grand, J/M/Z to Bowery, F to Delancey or F/V to 2nd Avenue, http://www.happyendinglounge.com)
Admission: Free
Happy Ending Lounge: 212-334-9676
http://inthefleshreadingseries.blogspot.com


In The Flesh’s third annual GLBT Night offers up a wide range of the queer writing, from Cris Beam reading her entry “dyke” from Ellen Sussman’s anthology Dirty Words: A Literary Encyclopedia of Sex, to Selfish and Perverse author Bob Smith, In The Flesh: LA host and Sexography author Carly Milne, spoken word performer Aimee Herman, and erotica writers Amie M. Evans and Cecilia Tan (reading from her new collection White Flames), both based in Massachusetts, and Charlie Vazquez (Best Gay Erotica). Hosted by Rachel Kramer Bussel (editor of First-Timers, Glamour Girls: Femme/Femme Erotica, Up All Night). Free candy and cupcakes will be served.

In the Flesh is a monthly reading series hosted at the appropriately named Happy Ending Lounge, and features the city's best erotic writers sharing stories to get you hot and bothered, hosted and curated by acclaimed erotic writer and editor Rachel Kramer Bussel. From erotic poetry to down and dirty smut, these authors get naked on the page and will make you lust after them and their words. Since its debut in October 2005, In the Flesh has featured such authors as Laura Antoniou, Mo Beasley, Lily Burana, Jessica Cutler, Stephen Elliott, Valerie Frankel, Polly Frost, Gael Greene, HoneyB, Andy Horwitz, Debra Hyde, Maxim Jakubowski, Emily Scarlet Kramer of CAKE, Josh Kilmer-Purcell, Edith Layton, Logan Levkoff, Suzanne Portnoy, Sofia Quintero, M.J. Rose, Lauren Sanders, Danyel Smith, Grant Stoddard, Cecilia Tan, Carol Taylor, Dana Vachon, Veronica Vera, Susan Wright, Zane, and many others. The series has gotten press attention from the New York Times’s UrbanEye, Escape (Hong Kong), Flavorpill, The L Magazine, New York Magazine, Philadelphia City Paper, Time Out New York, Gothamist, Nerve.com and Wonkette, and has been praised by Dr. Ruth. This is not Amanda Stern’s Happy Ending Reading Series.



Cris Beam is an author and educator living in New York City. She wrote the book Transparent: Love, Family and Living the T (Harcourt, 2007) about transgender street kids in Los Angeles and has written for several national magazines as well as the public radio program “This American Life.” Cris currently teaches creative writing at Columbia University, New York University, the New School and Bayview Women’s Correctional Facility in New York. She’s now working on a book about foster care in the U.S.
www.crisbeam.com



Rachel Kramer Bussel is Senior Editor at Penthouse Variations, conducts interviews for Mediabistro.com, and wrote the popular Lusty Lady column for The Village Voice. Her erotic stories have been published in over 100 anthologies, including Best American Erotica 2004 and 2006, and she’s edited numerous anthologies, most recently Rubber Sex, Yes, Sir, Yes, Ma’am, Dirty Girls, and Best Sex Writing 2008. Rachel has also written for AVN, Bust, Cosmopolitan, Gothamist, Mediabistro, Metro, New York Post, Punk Planet, San Francisco Chronicle, Time Out New York, Velvetpark, and Zink.
www.rachelkramerbussel.com

Amie M. Evans is a widely published creative nonfiction and literary erotica writer, experienced workshop provider, and a retired burlesque and high-femme drag performer. She also writes gaymale erotica under a pen name. Evans is on the board of directors for Saints and Sinners LGBTQ Literary Festival. She graduated Magna cum Laude from the University of Pittsburgh with a BA in Literature and is currently working on her MLA at Harvard. Evans has offered workshops at numerous conferences and universities, including Golden Crown Lesbian Conference; Plattsburgh State University; Wellesley College; Brandeis University; Cornell University and MIT. Evans is currently working on her full length memoir. She offers private and group writing instruction. She can be reached at pussywhippedproductions@hotmail.com.

Aimee Herman recently had a small volume of poetry with accompanying spoken word cd, self diagnosed lactose intolerance published by Baobob Tree Press. She has two other chapbooks of poetry, tastes like cheesecake (Butcher Shop Press) and if these thighs could talk (RoseWater Publications) and a spoken word cd, performance anxiety, available through cdbaby.com/AimeeHerman. Her erotica has been featured in oystersandchocolate.com and Cliterature Journal. Her three favorite things include peanut butter, black licorice, and Canadians (one in particular).

Carly Milne began her professional writing career at age 14 and hasn't looked back since. Her work has appeared in Glamour, Variety, AOL, Stuff, Maxim, Yoga Journal, Whole Life Times, Bitch Magazine and more. Milne has also had essays published in Virgin Territory (Three Rivers Press), Best American Sex Essays 2005 (Cleis Press) and Hooking Up: You'll Never Make Love In This Town Again Again (Phoenix Books), and curated the anthology Naked Ambition (Carroll & Graf). Her sexual memoirs, Sexography, was published by Phoenix Books in 2007. She lives in Los Angeles, where she is the curator of In The Flesh: L.A.
www.carlymilne.com



Bob Smith has appeared on The Tonight Show and had his own HBO Comedy Half-hour. His first book, Openly Bob, won the Lambda Literary Award for humor. His first novel, Selfish and Perverse, about three gay men and one lesbian in Alaska, was released in September and has been nominated for the Edmund White Debut Fiction Award from the Publishing Triangle. Armistead Maupin has said about his new book, "A thoroughly seductive and satisfying read. It makes you laugh, it makes you horny, it makes you want to fish for salmon."He can be reached at Bobscomedy@aol.com.
http://www.myspace.com/bobscomedy



Cecilia Tan is “simply one of the most important writers, editors, and innovators in contemporary American erotic literature" according to Susie Bright. She is the author of White Flames (due in May from Running Press), Black Feathers, Edge Plays, and Telepaths Don't Need Safewords and the founder of Circlet Press.
ceciliatan.com

Charlie Vazquez is the author of the queer punk adventure novel Buzz and Israel (Fireking Press, 2005), the fiction collection Business as Unusual (Fireking Press, 2007), screenplays, queer art essays and various published erotica stories, including contributions to three Alyson Books anthologies: Straight? 2 (2003), Best Gay Love Stories: NYC (2006) and Fast Balls (2007). He is featured in Cleis Press' Best Gay Erotica 2008 (2007) and the essay anthology Queer and Catholic (Taylor and Francis, 2008). He'll be re-publishing a second edition of Buzz and Israel and finishing his second novel in 2008. He currently resides in his hometown of New York City, where he also manages the website for diva-chanteuse Diamanda Galás. He can be reached at firekingpress@yahoo.com

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My interview with Tristan Taormino at Seduction Insider

NSFW needless to say - my interview with Tristan Taormino from the May 2008 issue of Penthouse Variations is now online at Seduction Insider:



Q: Why do you think it's important to bring an arsenal of toys? Do you do it because you want them in your movies, or just to give them more options?

A: More options. A lot of people still won't shoot vibrators during intercourse because they make noise, which fucks up the sound. Depending on what kind of vibrator it is, like a Hitachi Magic Wand, it covers what we want to see: pussy. So a lot of people just don't use them. I would say 89% of porn stars, when given the option of using a vibrator, will take it.

Q: What do you think you're offering your audience with
Chemistry that's not already out on the market?

A: I strongly believe that the dominant view in the porn industry is that couples and women want feature porn. They want big budget, script, plot-they want it to be a Hollywood movie with hardcore sex. And the truth is, not all women want the same thing. I like gonzo. The problem is, if you go to the video store right now, and if there's a gonzo section, it is likely you're gonna pick up something that's gonna offend a lot of people, because it's degrading, because there's no focus on female pleasure or female orgasm, because there are these circus stunts of "How many things can we put in how many orifices simultaneously?" And people-not just women-go, "That just doesn't turn me on."

My gonzo goes back to the original definition: There's no script, and you allow for spontaneity. I don't need to give them a script; I just want to let them talk. For the behind-the-scenes segments, I find that when I first start interviewing them, they're giving the same bullshit they say in all the behind-the-scenes videos. But then when you make them feel comfortable and they trust you, they say the most outrageous, insane things.


Read the whole interview

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Dirty Girls gets rave review in Baltimore City Paper



My anthology Dirty Girls: Erotica for Women just got a rave review by Petula Caeser in Baltimore City Paper. (There's even a really cute illustration!)

Of Marie Lyn Bernard's opening story "Fucking Around" she writes:

It's such a creative spin on erotic writing that I must admit to some professional jealousy as a fellow erotica writer.

She goes on to say:

...the way the Dominic writes about the calm manner in which he describes each act before he skillfully and excitedly executes it is erotica at its best.

It is just that type of creativity that keeps you engaged with theses stories, from beginning to end, no matter what the subject. It is easy for a writer to exhaust his or her options as far as scenarios, motivations, and descriptive language go when it comes to writing about sex, so I applaud these women for keeping their work fresh. Even when an author resorts to tried/true erotic themes--such as voyeurism, infidelity, strangers having sex in unexpected places, or threesomes--there were always enjoyable surprises in the plot, word choices, or characters. Bussel has done some of her best editorial work with
Dirty Girls: Erotica for Women. Each and every one of the book's 394 pages shows she knows what girls like--and you're fortunate that she does.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Thanks, Flavorpill!

If you don't already know, Flavorpill is a fabulous weekly newsletter chock full of things to do in your city. This week, they plugged my reading series. (June 19, 8-10 pm, Happy Ending Lounge, 302 Broome St., NYC)

This month's installment of Rachel Kramer Bussel's In the Flesh reading series is queer-centric, but all dirty-minded page turners are welcome. Trans advocate Cris Beam reads her entry from the anthology Dirty Words: A Literary Encyclopedia of Sex and former MADtv writer and standup comic Bob Smith presents sections of his raunchy novel Selfish and Perverse. Also reading are former sex-toy tester Carly Milne, retired burlesque and drag performer Amie M. Evans, science-fiction and fantasy enthusiast Cecilia Tan, and underground scribe Charlie Vasquez. Tonight's diverse offerings, by turns humorous and painfully honest, will definitely get your juices flowing. - Gerry Mak

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The latest in cupcake journalism

I did two interviews with very cool cupcake ladies on Saturday. The first was with artist Jessie Oleson of Cakespy. (I'll have photos from the craft fair up soon too.) I bought an adorable cupcake drinking diet coke piece of art from her. See the rest of our video cupcake journalism on the Cupcakes Take the Cake YouTube channel.



I also interviewed Jess from Melbourne, Australia's Sugadeaux Cupcakes, and got to hang out with her for a while after our picnic. You can get her "my cupcakes bring all the boys to the yard" t-shirt here.

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Dirty Words tomorrow

Sorry for the lack of blogging, it's been busy. Will post some pics here, but you can see some of the umpteen cupcake picnic photos I took on Flickr.

It's a busy week, and I really hope you will be coming out to In The Flesh at Happy Ending, 302 Broome Street, on Thursday 6/19 from 8-10. Several of my readers have stunning new books out; I'm in proofreading hell and also writing away so haven't had time to read them in full, but Scott Pomfret's Since My Last Confession, his memoir about being gay and Catholic, is hilarious and looks quite interesting, while anyone who loved Cecilia Tan's Black Feathers will also want to devour her new book White Flames. And so many others - I adored Bob Smith's novel Selfish and Perverse and am gonna ply him with drink tickets in an effort to get him to write another novel!

But first...on Wednesday, editor Ellen Sussman is reading from her new anthology Dirty Words at the Museum of Sex. I interviewed her for Penthouse about her wonderful collection that blends literary essays with snapshots of and ruminations about sex from numerous familiar writers. If you are at all entertained by sex, you'll want to read it. Plus it's got a great cover!



Check out who's reading with her:

Ellen Sussman
Toni Bentley
Whitney Joiner
Lisa Selin Davis
Allison Lynn
Abiola Abrams
Zoe Rosenfeld
Mary-Ann Tirone Smith
Amelia Perkins
Thaisa Frank
Merrill Feitell
Adrienne Brodeur
Elissa Schappell
Joshua Furst
Adam Wilson
Eric Goodman
Cris Beam
Melinda Davis
Jonathan Wilson

And her YouTube promo video:

Friday, June 13, 2008

Eat cupcakes with us in Central Park tomorrow!

Cross-posted with Cupcakes Take the Cake


photo by Flickr user heif

Tomorrow is our 2nd annual Cupcakes Take the Cake picnic in Central Park from 2 pm - 4 pm! 85 of you have RSVPed which means that there should be a crowd of 40-50 - if you can't bring cupcakes, we also need cups, beverages, napkins, blankets, and plastic knives. I think a friend is bringing some cheese for those who might get sugared out. And you don't have to RSVP. We look forward to seeing all of you (kids are welcome!) and more of your outstanding cupcake creations.

Cupcakes Takes The Cake will be celebrating our 2nd annual picnic at Central Park. We will be near Strawberry Fields which is near 72nd Street on the west side of the park.

We have lots of friends in from out of town, including Aaron Landry, who knows about all the best Minneapolis bakeries and Jess from Sugadeux Cupcakes, in all the way from Melbourne, Australia, who will be there.

Lux Sugar is bringing some of their treats to share, and I am hoping to bring some cupcakes from Kumquat Cupcakery.

Last year, New Jersey bakery Sweet Avenue made these amazing subway cupcakes:



What kind of cupcakes are YOU bringing? See you there!

What else is going on in cupcake land this weekend?

Also in NYC, Jessie Oleson from Cakespy is selling her cupcake art at the Renegade Craft Fair.

There's a Mini-Meetup of the San Francisco Cupcakes Take the Cake Meetup Group at GreenLee's Bakery in San Jose.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

In The Flesh is one week from tonight! (June 19th)

IN THE FLESH EROTIC READING SERIES
GLBT NIGHT
THURSDAY, June 19th at 8 PM
AT HAPPY ENDING LOUNGE, 302 BROOME STREET, NYC
(B/D to Grand, J/M/Z to Bowery, F to Delancey or F/V to 2nd Avenue, http://www.happyendinglounge.com)
Admission: Free
Happy Ending Lounge: 212-334-9676
http://inthefleshreadingseries.blogspot.com">


In The Flesh’s third annual GLBT Night offers up a wide range of the queer writing, from Cris Beam reading her entry “dyke” from Ellen Sussman’s anthology Dirty Words: A Literary Encyclopedia of Sex, to Selfish and Perverse author Bob Smith, In The Flesh: LA host and Sexography author Carly Milne, spoken word performer Aimee Herman, and erotica writers Amie M. Evans and Cecilia Tan (reading from her new collection White Flames), both based in Massachusetts, and Charlie Vazquez (Best Gay Erotica). Hosted by Rachel Kramer Bussel (editor of First-Timers, Glamour Girls: Femme/Femme Erotica, Up All Night). Free candy and cupcakes will be served.

In the Flesh is a monthly reading series hosted at the appropriately named Happy Ending Lounge, and features the city's best erotic writers sharing stories to get you hot and bothered, hosted and curated by acclaimed erotic writer and editor Rachel Kramer Bussel. From erotic poetry to down and dirty smut, these authors get naked on the page and will make you lust after them and their words. Since its debut in October 2005, In the Flesh has featured such authors as Laura Antoniou, Mo Beasley, Lily Burana, Jessica Cutler, Stephen Elliott, Valerie Frankel, Polly Frost, Gael Greene, HoneyB, Andy Horwitz, Debra Hyde, Maxim Jakubowski, Emily Scarlet Kramer of CAKE, Josh Kilmer-Purcell, Edith Layton, Logan Levkoff, Suzanne Portnoy, Sofia Quintero, M.J. Rose, Lauren Sanders, Danyel Smith, Grant Stoddard, Cecilia Tan, Carol Taylor, Dana Vachon, Veronica Vera, Susan Wright, Zane, and many others. The series has gotten press attention from the New York Times’s UrbanEye, Escape (Hong Kong), Flavorpill, The L Magazine, New York Magazine, Philadelphia City Paper, Time Out New York, Gothamist, Nerve.com and Wonkette, and has been praised by Dr. Ruth. This is not Amanda Stern’s Happy Ending Reading Series.



Cris Beam is an author and educator living in New York City. She wrote the book Transparent: Love, Family and Living the T (Harcourt, 2007) about transgender street kids in Los Angeles and has written for several national magazines as well as the public radio program “This American Life.” Cris currently teaches creative writing at Columbia University, New York University, the New School and Bayview Women’s Correctional Facility in New York. She’s now working on a book about foster care in the U.S.
www.crisbeam.com



Rachel Kramer Bussel is Senior Editor at Penthouse Variations, conducts interviews for Mediabistro.com, and wrote the popular Lusty Lady column for The Village Voice. Her erotic stories have been published in over 100 anthologies, including Best American Erotica 2004 and 2006, and she’s edited numerous anthologies, most recently Rubber Sex, Yes, Sir, Yes, Ma’am, Dirty Girls, and Best Sex Writing 2008. Rachel has also written for AVN, Bust, Cosmopolitan, Gothamist, Mediabistro, Metro, New York Post, Punk Planet, San Francisco Chronicle, Time Out New York, Velvetpark, and Zink.
www.rachelkramerbussel.com

Amie M. Evans is a widely published creative nonfiction and literary erotica writer, experienced workshop provider, and a retired burlesque and high-femme drag performer. She also writes gaymale erotica under a pen name. Evans is on the board of directors for Saints and Sinners LGBTQ Literary Festival. She graduated Magna cum Laude from the University of Pittsburgh with a BA in Literature and is currently working on her MLA at Harvard. Evans has offered workshops at numerous conferences and universities, including Golden Crown Lesbian Conference; Plattsburgh State University; Wellesley College; Brandeis University; Cornell University and MIT. Evans is currently working on her full length memoir. She offers private and group writing instruction. She can be reached at pussywhippedproductions@hotmail.com.

Aimee Herman recently had a small volume of poetry with accompanying spoken word cd, self diagnosed lactose intolerance published by Baobob Tree Press. She has two other chapbooks of poetry, tastes like cheesecake (Butcher Shop Press) and if these thighs could talk (RoseWater Publications) and a spoken word cd, performance anxiety, available through cdbaby.com/AimeeHerman. Her erotica has been featured in oystersandchocolate.com and Cliterature Journal. Her three favorite things include peanut butter, black licorice, and Canadians (one in particular).

Carly Milne began her professional writing career at age 14 and hasn't looked back since. Her work has appeared in Glamour, Variety, AOL, Stuff, Maxim, Yoga Journal, Whole Life Times, Bitch Magazine and more. Milne has also had essays published in Virgin Territory (Three Rivers Press), Best American Sex Essays 2005 (Cleis Press) and Hooking Up: You'll Never Make Love In This Town Again Again (Phoenix Books), and curated the anthology Naked Ambition (Carroll & Graf). Her sexual memoirs, Sexography, was published by Phoenix Books in 2007. She lives in Los Angeles, where she is the curator of In The Flesh: L.A.
www.carlymilne.com



Bob Smith has appeared on The Tonight Show and had his own HBO Comedy Half-hour. His first book, Openly Bob, won the Lambda Literary Award for humor. His first novel, Selfish and Perverse, about three gay men and one lesbian in Alaska, was released in September and has been nominated for the Edmund White Debut Fiction Award from the Publishing Triangle. Armistead Maupin has said about his new book, "A thoroughly seductive and satisfying read. It makes you laugh, it makes you horny, it makes you want to fish for salmon."He can be reached at Bobscomedy@aol.com.
http://www.myspace.com/bobscomedy



Cecilia Tan is “simply one of the most important writers, editors, and innovators in contemporary American erotic literature" according to Susie Bright. She is the author of White Flames (due in May from Running Press), Black Feathers, Edge Plays, and Telepaths Don't Need Safewords and the founder of Circlet Press.
ceciliatan.com

Charlie Vazquez is the author of the queer punk adventure novel Buzz and Israel (Fireking Press, 2005), the fiction collection Business as Unusual (Fireking Press, 2007), screenplays, queer art essays and various published erotica stories, including contributions to three Alyson Books anthologies: Straight? 2 (2003), Best Gay Love Stories: NYC (2006) and Fast Balls (2007). He is featured in Cleis Press' Best Gay Erotica 2008 (2007) and the essay anthology Queer and Catholic (Taylor and Francis, 2008). He'll be re-publishing a second edition of Buzz and Israel and finishing his second novel in 2008. He currently resides in his hometown of New York City, where he also manages the website for diva-chanteuse Diamanda Galás. He can be reached at firekingpress@yahoo.com

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Video interview about erotica and Dirty Girls

I did a video interview for Tango magazine about erotica and my book Dirty Girls, which just went into its 2nd printing!

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Adventures in book covers: The Bitch Switch



via Black Voices

The bitch is back and this time, she's teaching lessons!

Reality TV's most popular star Omarosa has signed a lucrative book deal with Phoenix Books to release her debut tome, 'The Bitch Switch: Knowing How To Turn It On and Off.'

"I am thrilled to have my first book published and I am so happy that it is a self-help book for women – and some men – who are tired of being doormats," she told me.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Stuff Very White People Like

Douche Me Not

I saw the first episode of WASP Cove and omg, it was hilarious. We were sitting in Comix, right in front of the stage, yet transported back to the heights of 80's ridiculousness. The best part imo was the live commercials, including one for Douche Me Not, captured above. Just wow. Plus it's written by Rachel Shukert and Julie Klausner, who play their respective roles to the hilt.

The next one's on Monday - I Highly recommend it, details at the bottom of this post.

Here's a description of the show from offoffonline:

Glamour. Passion. Betrayal. Caviar. Incest. Soup served at room temperature. These are just a few of the things that made television great. In the late 1980\'s, legendary producer Shmulik Adding, (the most Jewish person on the planet until a team of Hungarian scientists created the entity known as \"Alan Greenspan\" in 1926), taught America all it knows about the glamorous world of back-stabbing gentiles with his never-seen prime time soap opera, Wasp Cove. Now, live on stage, The Breathe Network presents the lost episodes of the ground-breaking dramatic tour-de-force starring estranged sisters Daryl Van Hampton (Julie Klausner) and Donna Kettering (Rachel Shukert), one a high-powered fashion designer, the other a vulnerable Connecticut housewife.

And a bit from Nate Sloan's writeup in New York Press:

“Rachel and I had discovered Dynasty over the holidays, a show that is somehow more insane than anybody ever realized when it was actually on the air,” says Klausner. “People who write sketch comedy who think their premises and characters are so fucked up just got served by Aaron Spelling 25 years ago. To make anything more bananas than the original series seemed like a fun challenge. It’s also worth noting that Rachel and I are huge Jews, and we always found it funny how Dynasty is basically Aaron Spelling’s love letter to WASP culture—between the gin and the sniping and the square-jawed shiksa goddesses pushing cold veal aspic around on their plates. To think, all this from a man who couldn’t be more Jewish if his first name was Rabbi.”

Wasp Cove 2: "Lights! Camera! Fashion!"

“Sloane, go to an undisclosed location while I confront my estranged sister.”

Wasp Cove is back!

And Episode Two is a work of art.

‘Lights! Camera! Fashion!’

Sloane’s first fashion shoot ends in tears as Donna falls off the wagon.Meanwhile, Rip flashes back to the swinging 1960’s, when Daryl was in his heart and in his bed.

Directed by Michael Schiralli
Featuring special guests Eric Drysdale, Miriam Tolan, Neal Medlyn, Andrew Andrew, David Ilku, Eli Newell, and Michael Schulman as Truman Capote.
Starring Chris Caniglia, Megan Stern, Rachel Shukert, Ryan Karels, Julie Klausner, Jodi Lennon, and David Rakoff Written & Created by Rachel Shukert & Julie Klausner


Monday, June 16th

8 PM at Comix

353 West 14th Street b/n 8th & 9th Avenues

212-352 2716

http://comixny.com for tickets

Tickets $15 in advance $20 at the door


(see full size image here)

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Sneak peek: Bedding Down

I'm really excited about this upcoming book that I edited for Avon Red, Bedding Down: A Collection of Winter Erotica. While we swelter in the heat, it's a good time to look forward to cooling off. It features seven erotic novellas that are dirty, but a little more romantic than my usual fare.

the beautiful cover of Bedding Down

Here's the table of contents, and I'll keep you posted on the book's release and events when I know more.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Perfect Chill

One Night in Winter by Kristina Wright
Six Weeks at Sunrise Mountain, Colorado by Gwen Masters
It's Not the Weather by Alison Tyler
Baby, It's Cold Outside by Marilyn Jaye Lewis
Northern Exposure by Isabelle Gray
Hidden Treasure by Sophie Mouette
Sweet Season by Shanna Germain

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Jennette Fulda's magic weight loss video



Actually, my subject line is a joke, because Fulda's Half-Assed: A Weight-Loss Memoir, is about how she lost over half her body weight, and there's no magic about it. It's a really inspiring memoir and I appreciated that she doesn't make it a simple "I lost all that weight and lived happily ever after." She questions herself and the fat-phobic culture, as well as how she was raised and her ideas about food, nutrition and body image. Mostly, she has a huge task ahead of her and she tells about her process in an engaging way (though my one big disappointment is she didn't talk about what diet she did, though in an interview she said it was South Beach). Check out her blog Pasta Queen and her blog about the book (which I find even more interesting, but I'm a book nerd) Half-Assed Book.



I'm posting this as part of a contest she's holding. You can win a Spaghetti Scepter! I don't even know that that is, but it sounds cool.

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