Monthly Archives: June 2013

Titania’s Secret: A Twisted Shakespeare Rewrite, For Your Eyes Only

By Cris.real293 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Cris.real293 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

This rewrite of the story from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in which the Queen of Fairies falls for a man with a donkey’s head, contains a forbidden surprise.  The piece first appeared at the wonderful Night Train Magazine and was written by yours truly.  (Also, check out the upcoming writing course on forbidden fairy tales at Grub Street, Boston, next Saturday.)  Enjoy!

 

Titania’s Secret                                                                                                 

 Truth be told, I still yearn for the ass.

Don’t misunderstand me, I would not have been unfaithful – had I known I’d been enchanted, I’d have stopped the spell.  And yes, the Queen of Fairies shouldn’t dote on a beast, but how was I to help it, in the end?  That wiry mane, those dark, wet eyes… and though beforehand I’d have loathed his smell, at the time it was sweet as summer hay.  Even his laugh was a poem – hee-haw…hee-haw…hee-haw!  The magic had only misshapen his head, but I sensed the beast elsewhere: it heaved within his tunic, sinewy and strong, as if he could lift anything, pull anything, for days (and suffice it to say, at the risk of being unseemly, his more manly parts were also built to suit!).

Before my husband duped me, we fought on a mountain making lightning crack the air.  Our quarrels – and there’d been many – made the poor earth suffer: the rivers flooded, pears rotted on the bough, oxen died in droves.  But still we clashed about the boy and what could I do?  I’d made a fairy promise.  His mother had died in childbirth, and I, who can break moonlight from a terracotta urn, could do nothing to bring her back to life; even at her final breath, I could see us eating mangoes on a Goan beach, where I’d cupped her belly and blessed her unborn child: she was dressed in emerald silk, her laugh smelt sweet and the white sands sighed beneath our soles.

Afterwards, my fairy-charges kept the child; played lullabies on grass-pipes, crowned him in daisies, made frogs belch bubbles from the lake; and I saw him clap his hands as they kissed his dimpled cheeks.  But my Oberon thought I’d just give him the boy because he was my lord and wanted – what? – a toy?  Well, I would not let him, and so he grew cruel and I forsook his bed.

Then came the night I woke to the moon and a most becoming song.  I rose, without thinking, and followed the voice.  It was a stranger by the elder trees, his ass-ears tipped with moonshine, singing at the sky, eyes half-shut.  At once, the scent of magic filled my head, but I thought it was this demi-god that tricked my senses so.  I fell to my knees, as a queen never should, told him I loved him, begged him to be kind.  He looked at me and spoke the humblest words:  “Mistress, there’s no reason for you to fall for me, but I understand completely!  Love and reason are not friends.”  I laughed for it was true – he was wise and divine – and I led him to my bower and bade him sit.  I called upon the forest to wind about him: the thornless rose caressed him, ivy lounged against his chest.  My charges filled the air, swift on silvered wings, as I sent them to the Orient, to Egypt and Rome, and they returned with purple figs and sweet, dark berries, which I fed him from my fingers, kneeling in his lap.  Once we were alone, I raised my skirts, and we made love in idleness, his beast-scent in my head: I rose and fell, light as glass, and crushed the flowers we’d decked him with between my fists. 

He brayed.  I kissed his neck.

I forgot to ask his name.

Oberon woke me at dawn, his thumbs on my eyelids.  I roused myself and looked at him; I felt he’d taken something.  His smile was half-cocked, there was triumph on his face.  “Look, my love,” he whispered and gestured to my side.  I stared, open-mouthed, as I saw the sleeping ass, and my mind raced beyond my breaking heart: I knew I had to play the part, or Oberon would quit me (no queen can be enamoured of a beast).  I fell into my husband’s arms, as if I was afraid, and, as he held me, I looked for the boy; I’d forgotten the mite – this was my sin – and I knew he was the reason I’d been duped.  “Where…?” I began, but my husband grabbed my face. 

“Do not fret, Titania.  The child’s where he belongs.” 

I hid my soul’s earthquake behind a mask of wax, bowed and said, “Yes, my lord,” for I knew the boy was taken and could not be mine, unless I used slyness and stealth.  I glimpsed my lover, found his ass-head gone.  He was human now.  I laughed to keep from crying. 

“Just a dream,” soothed my lord, stroking my hair.

What a fool to think a dream could mean so little!

Now his followers have the child, they’ll make him hunt and skin.  I can’t abide it!  This was not his mother’s wish.  From the elder trees, I glimpse him with his toy spear, and plan to break him free.  For I swore I’d protect him and I won’t forget, and my lord’s guard is lowering – he thinks I’m no threat.  He doesn’t know he wounded me, for how can I trust him?  The man who made me fall in love, then woke me up again?  Granted, he still charms me, makes moths dance round my head, claps fireflies from the darkness and makes them spell my name – and yes, I like to lie with him, to feel his hands upon me, and make the soft rain fall with him or hear him speak of need – but at nights, while he sleeps, I turn towards the dark and ache when his snoring sounds like braying.  And often, when I wake, I find him watching and know I’ve been murmuring, dreaming of the ass, and he kisses me fiercely as if to scold us both: for though it was my lover who wore the donkey’s ears, it was my husband made a cuckold of himself.

Are you after some sizzling fairy tale action?  Why not…

Look up my Forbidden Fairy Tales Writing Course in Boston on Saturday June 29th!

Go buy Femme Fatale: Erotic Tales of Dangerous Women or Alison Tyler’s sexy Those Girls for more forbidden fiction…this time, with a much hotter core.

Go rock those hips at the Donkey Show in Boston!

Go sign up for the first ever online mermaid-themed self-love spa, and love your erotic self, romantically, sensually, emotionally, bodily!

Namaste.

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Behold! A New Go Deeper Press T-Shirt Design for You to Ponder!

Hi, hi. Okay, so, Lana and I are getting ready to order some shirts, you see, and very, very soon. Since a fair majority of you seemed to express interest in having a shirt option that featured our logo, please see Shirt No. 3 below. How’s it working for you?

Shirt No. 1: Indie Is Our Game

Shirt1

This is our introduction-to-the-world shirt: who we are and what we do, what our passion is. We’re thinking it could be your passion, too, and of course you want to share your passions with your community. But, you know, we need to confirm this. 

Shirt No. 2: A Tribute to the Forefolks of Our Genre

Shirt2

These folks are the ground breakers–the innovators!–for what would become modern-day erotica: Anais Nin, Henry Miller, Pauline Reage, and Vladimir Nabokov. Thanks to the kind people at deathwishinc.com, from whom we stole this idea (their original was “Tribute to the Greats”). So, what do you think: Did we hit the nail on the head here or what?

Shirt No. 3: Outside the Box

shirt3

By popular demand!

Thanks for supporting Go Deeper Press. If you’d like to browse our erotic, sex-positive e-books for brain and brawn, you can find our website here.

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A Sexual-Spiritual Mermaid Reading for Today (Monday, June 10th)

The one-card reading for today. (Click the image to buy the deck from Blue Angel Publishing).

The one-card reading for today. (Click the image to buy the deck from Blue Angel Publishing).

This is the first in a series of oracle card readings for our sexual-spiritual blog readers. This reading is for anyone who visits the blog today (June 10th, 2013), and is also for those who will be attending The Mermaid Voyage online. (You can sign up here.) Here is the divination:

Card: Reflections

Deck: Oracle of Mermaids (Lucy Cavendish, Blue Angel Publishing)

Lana’s reading:  

Today is a great time to let ourselves reflect.  Take a moment, today, to enjoy your inner world.  Imagine.  Remember that what lies inside of your self is every bit as important at what is outside.  Value yourself, the gifts within you — your erotic yearnings, your ability to connect, your rich imagination, your fire, your power.  Part of romancing ourselves is learning to love our own dreams, inner figures, and thoughts.

Erotically speaking, it is a wonderful time to focus on Venus within yourself.  Who is your own Goddess of Love?  What does She (or He or Ze) do when others treat her unfairly, beautifully, harmfully, kindly?  And when others need her, yourself included, how does she help and protect whilst still holding onto her boundaries?  Your inner Goddess is more powerful than you can even imagine.  Get in touch with her today, and enjoy her.

Remember that “What you contemplate can actualize.” (Taken from the card itself, in the words of Lucy Cavendish.)

Lucy Cavendish:  The card can mean “contemplation, a time of gathering all the threads of the half-formed thoughts, and following some through to their end, and reaching a better understanding of what it is you are currently looking at.”  Also: “Reflection also means to have greater understanding of yourself — there is no outer contemplation that does not have its echo within.”

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One Million Moms Attack the Prettiest, Fiercest Boy You Know (Plus, Write With Lana!)

shezow-character-shezow570x420

SheZow Kicking Ass

One Million Moms can find one million ways to be cunts. Latest example? The organization’s attack on cartoon superhero, SheZow. The little crimefighter in pink is the alter ego of a young boy named Guy Hamdon, who magically transforms into SheZow by putting on a ring and (this is the best part) shouting “You go girl!” If you can stomach it, read the Moms’ barely literate hate speech by clicking right here.

You know, I’d guess that a good majority of moms actually know how hard it is to be a kid, especially if you’re a kid that, for some reason, just doesn’t fit in. The reasons could be simple: you don’t throw a ball well, you’re painstakingly shy, or you’re too inside your head, preferring to read and draw over socializing with the rest of your class. The reasons can also be not so simple: Let’s say your skin is darker than everyone else’s, or you kind of spend a lot of time thinking about kissing another kid wearing the same dress as you, or you just don’t feel right in the skin of the gender you were assigned.

I find it strange that these Moms are more compelled to attack a television show rather than accept all the beautiful ways their kids can be kids, that they’d use ignorance and attack language to mandate what’s appropriate for their children and yours.

The Moms say that the Hub channel shouldn’t air a cartoon that features a “gender-bending character.” Okay. You, dear Mothers, shouldn’t be working yourself into a tizzy over how television will “dictate” who your child will grow up to be or love. You want to protect them, right? Start with a hug.

Many thanks to wickedgayblog.

Now, we at GDP know that you, amazing readers of our blog, probably don’t care if your kids grow up to be a fairies of any sort. And if they do, you’re likely not to call them monsters or accuse them of trying to pollute the morality of our always fair and pure United States. Oh, this reminds me! Speaking of fairies and monsters, Boston-area folks should check out the new Grub Street classes offered by our Lana, run under another equally sexy name: Forbidden Fairy Tales and Vulnerable Monsters. That’s right: Lana can teach you about way more than how to write hot sex. She’s the total effin’ package. Details below!

Vulnerable Monsters

Thursday, June 27th, 6:30-9:30pm at Grub Street headquarters.

From fairy-tale wolves to modern-day vampires, monsters have often stood for the violent in us; but many authors stress another side: how vulnerable it can feel to be different. Drawing inspiration from literary examples and classic types, you’ll create a monster or human hybrid who exists in a world of people. Through our writing, we’ll challenge readers to ask deeper questions, such as, “What is it like to feel monstrous, and how do we cope when we do?” This seminar will be a great way to build a new story or to better understand the character(s) in an existing story or novel.

Forbidden Fairy Tales

Saturday, June 29th, 2:30-5:30pm at Grub Street headquarters.

From Sleeping Beauty’s kiss to Bluebeard’s room of horrors, the fairy tale has always been a powerful vehicle for fiction. Authors like Angela Carter, Karen Russell, and Anne Rice have used this traditional form to create original work that taps the depths of sexuality and/or darkness. Whether you’re a sensual/erotic writer looking for exciting material or an author of darker fiction with a taste for creative twists, this fairy tale night will challenge and inspire. Together, we will read and explore excerpts from stories that draw on traditional fairy tales, and we’ll respond by writing our own scenes and/or short shorts. You’ll have a chance to share your writing with members of the group and receive ideas for further development. Expect to leave the class with the first draft of a short short or excerpts that can grow into a unique scene or story.

Thanks for supporting Go Deeper Press. If you’d like to browse our erotic, sex-positive e-books for brain and brawn, you can find our website here.

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Help Go Deeper Press Select Our Team T-Shirt

Hi ho! Angela here, and I’ve got to say, I love hearing your opinion. So, I’m looking once again for your shrewd eye, your sound advice, and, of course, your high sense of fashion. Have a look below, and then add a comment that’ll let me and Lana know which shirt design you prefer. You know, the one you’d likely wear to Christmas mass or to your ex-wife’s wedding.

One more thing: I need to thank this handsome gentleman from vgkids.com for the unauthorized use of his pretty face.

Now, on you go!

Shirt No. 1: Indie Is Our Game

Shirt1

This is our introduction-to-the-world shirt: who we are and what we do, what our passion is. We’re thinking it could be your passion, too, and of course you want to share your passions with your community. But, you know, we need to confirm this. 

Shirt No. 2: A Tribute to the Forefolks of Our Genre

Shirt2

These folks are the ground breakers–the innovators!–for what would become modern-day erotica: Anais Nin, Henry Miller, Pauline Reage, and Vladimir Nabokov. Thanks to the kind people at deathwishinc.com, from whom we stole this idea (their original was “Tribute to the Greats”). So, what do you think: Did we hit the nail on the head here or what?

As always, thanks so much, GDP family.

Thanks for supporting Go Deeper Press. If you’d like to browse our erotic, sex-positive e-books for brain and brawn, you can find our website here.

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Erotic Mermaids! Win the Mermaid Voyage!

MermaidVoyageLogoSome say that a mermaid is half-fish, half-woman. But I take a different point of view. After all, there are so many people who feel like they are defined as “half and half” when really they are whole—complete and unique—just as they are.  Every time we look at ourselves as “half one thing, half another,” we’re failing to see the whole beauty of ourselves. And part of The Mermaid Voyage: A Two-Week Journey of Erotic Self-Discovery is accepting ourselves, right here and now, as gorgeous and whole.

(Also, ya know, I haven’t heard anyone define angels as half-person, half-bird!)

I sometimes wonder whether the “half-and-half” definition of mermaids has something to do with the stereotypes we buy into. At Go Deeper, for example, when we were designing the Mermaid Voyage, it was hard to find images of mermaids who weren’t skinny, with flat tummies, tiny waists, and (I’m guessing) 34C-sized breasts. And seeing how the Voyage is about romancing your erotic self in terms of body, mind, and soul, how on earth could we justify images of mermaids that always have the same body shape?

Well, we’ve done our best with the images we can afford to buy for the Voyage, but of course, as a small press, we have our limits. That said, we want to add some images and/or descriptions of mermaids with different body shapes to the Mermaid Voyage materials. So! Here’s a chance for you to win the Mermaid Voyage for free.  (Yes, you heard that correctly! A two-week self-love course, with daily audio visualizations and a wealth of other goodies, for zero dollars!) We’re asking you for portrayals of mermaids that crack open the general stereotype. You can describe the mermaid(s) in words or visually, and we’ll publish the winning portrayal on our blog and website. Here are the rules:

  • Submissions must be your own original work.
  • You need to be prepared to share the image on our blog in exchange for a free Mermaid Voyage, launching July 1st.
  • You must email your mermaid portrayal to GDP by June 20th (email address: submissions (at) godeeperpress.com). Please put “Mermaid Contest” in the subject line. Otherwise, we might miss it!
  • The mermaid portrayal doesn’t have to be erotic, but sensual, sexy elements are always warmly welcomed.

Good luck!  And a big “Yay!” to the rich variety of body types that we so value at GDP!

Yay for the Oracle of Mermaids - the mermaid on the cover may be slim, but she has a tummy!

Yay for the Oracle of Mermaids, which I’ll be using with Mermaid Voyagers – the mermaid on the cover may be slim, but she has a tummy!

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A Fetish for Shoes

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Yours truly is going nuts about kinky shoes today over at the wonderful You Gotta Read Reviews.  Go check out my erotic obsession…and see how writing a novel on the subject really inspired me.

And those who are interested, the erotic novel is doing remarkably well in the UK, where it recently received a lovely five-star review from Suzanne Portnoy, but you don’t have to live there to buy it!

Thanks for supporting Go Deeper Press. If you’d like to browse our erotic, sex-positive e-books for brain and brawn, you can find our website here.

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Magical, Girly James Deans: An Interview with Author Carolyn Turgeon

Carolyn Turgeon's "Mermaid"

Carolyn Turgeon’s “Mermaid”

Carolyn Turgeon is a mermaid.  In fact, do visit her “I am a Mermaid” blog (where she interviewed yours truly, in fact) to see just why.  I actually discovered Carolyn via her blog and was fascinated by her interviews with people who identify as and/or are connected with mermaids.  What’s more, her books sound wonderful, and I’ve downloaded Mermaid onto my Kindle.  Can’t wait to start it.  Carolyn’s novels include: Mermaid, The Fairest of Them AllRain VillageGodmother, and the middle-grade The Next Full Moon (the latter is young adult).  She’s published by wonderful publishers such as Simon and Schuster and she’s also simply dazzling.

Well, seeing as our Mermaid Voyage: A Two-Week Journey of Erotic Self-Discovery  launches on July 1st, Carolyn is clearly the perfect candidate for a celebratory GDP interview.  Enjoy!

1. What are “Mermaid” and your new book “The Fairest of Them All” about?  

Mermaid came out in 2011 and is a retelling of the original Hans Christian Andersen little mermaid story, but it’s the story of both the mermaid the human princess, who’s almost a non-character in the original but is the one who ends up marrying the prince while the mermaid herself ends up bereft and alone. The book alternatives, chapter to chapter, between their two stories, and becomes more about their complicated relationship as unwitting rivals for the prince’s love than about either of their actual relationships with the prince!

The Fairest of Them All comes out in August from Simon & Schuster and is about Rapunzel growing up to be Snow White’s stepmother. To some extent it’s about what happens after you get the prince—and then get older. And then have a younger, more gorgeous girl getting all the attention. Like Mermaid, it’s more about the complicated female relationships than anything else!

2.  Does erotic love play a big part in your books and stories?  

Well in both Mermaid and Fairest the characters are motivated by their love for hot princes who end up possibly being a little disappointing, as princes often are. In Mermaid, our mermaid changes into human form and has a red-blooded human body, and the intense sexual desire that goes with it, for the first time. She doesn’t know how to navigate these feelings or the social arena she now finds herself in and so behaves in a very uninhibited fashion that might ultimately cost her. (She is at a medieval court). In Fairest, Rapunzel can feel people’s emotions and desires when they touch her hair, which is magical, and first experiences this power with the prince as he climbs her hair into the tower. It’s pretty intimate and intense for both of these characters, dealing with such unbridled feeling they’re not totally equipped to handle. I have three other books, too (Rain Village, Godmother, and the middle-grade The Next Full Moon), and my characters are usually motivated to some extent by erotic love, whether or not it works out for them in the end!

3.  Are any of your characters very erotic or sensual?  

I think they are. Godmother’s about the fairy godmother from the Cinderella story—now an old woman in NYC with wings she has to conceal who’s always remembering the world she had once and lost. The book alternates between her current life and a long flashback to what really happened on the night of the ball, and it turns out that as a fairy she was (like my later mermaid) perfect, immune to pain or desire. When she starts entering Cinderella’s thoughts and dreams, she becomes jealous of human desire and ends up sacrificing everything to experience it for herself. Both my godmother and my mermaid transform from magical creatures into embodied humans and as a result a whole sensual human world opens up to them, for better or worse.

Rain Village is about a strange, tiny girl who feels like a freak, until a sexy ex-circus-star gypsy-like librarian sweeps into town and sees something beautiful in her that no one had ever thought to see before. It turns out that the girl’s tiny body, so awkward on earth, is stunning and brilliant when she gets on the trapeze. She’ll end up a famous aerialist, and will fall in love with a beautiful, sensual tightrope walker who adores her and is baffled by her former insecurities. So she, too, undergoes a transformation that includes an intense erotic awakening.

4.  In your opinion, why do so many people think mermaids are sexy?  

It’s interesting, given that they are half fish and a dangerous magical creature. But they also have that curving S shape, they’re accessible with their long hair (typically) and bare breasts, they live their lives submerged in water, with all its erotic associations, its mystery and danger. They literally come from a part of the world, the deepest ocean, that is terrifying and inaccessible, and they could pull you down there at any moment, but that terror is also associated with the subconscious, death  and birth, desire. They kind of embody what’s most beautiful and most dangerous and intense all at once. They’re like a magical, girly version of James Dean. But the mermaid is very much a powerful female symbol, too.

Also: we all grew up with Splash and The Little Mermaid, so we’re pretty much brainwashed to love them.

5.  What do you think of the notion in folklore that sailors have been lured to their deaths by seductive mermaid song?  

I think mermaids are alluring and dangerous, and that poor Odysseus had to be tied to a pole with wax in his ears to resist them (those were sirens, but still). Hot ladies in the sea (or manatees, as the case may be) would naturally present an occupational hazard to drunk sailors such a long way from home.

6.  If you had to set up a date for a friend with one of your characters, who might you choose and why?  

Honestly, I think most of my characters are a little too dark or maladjusted to be good dates for my friends, but then I guess that’s the case with most anyone. I do, in the crime novel I’m writing, have a genuinely good, loving, gorgeous man who’s engaged to our protagonist (a man she’ll do all kinds of terrible things to hold onto), so he would be a good candidate. Though actually, I think my friends might be too dark and maladjusted for him

7.  Are you excited about the launch of “The Fairest of them All”?  How will you celebrate?

I’m excited, and am doing a bunch of events for it, in NYC and Pennsylvania and San Francisco and Baton Rouge. Lots of stuff! But it’s kind of weird in that I finished that book a while ago and am totally immersed in projects now that are big departures—a historical novel and the crime novel I mentioned. But I love this book, with all its witchery and dark forest, all its eating of hearts, and hope readers love it, too!

Thanks a million, Carolyn!

Thanks for supporting Go Deeper Press. If you’d like to browse our erotic, sex-positive e-books for brain and brawn, you can find our website here.

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