December 21, 2014

Alison After Dark


I accept the fact that the timer has gone off, the bell has struck, the door has shut. I'm not going to make my twelve days of Christmas guides this year. I'll have to settle for nine and plan better for 2015. Which is sad because in the middle of the night I had this brainwave to do the Carlin words as Christmas guides. You know: The Motherfucking Christmas Guide. I'd include F-Bomb Lipstick, Fuck You You Fucking Fuck sweatshirts, cunt jewelry.... I think I could put together a very entertaining list. Ah, maybe for Valentine's Day!

Speaking of the middle of the night... Alison After Dark is finally out for sale. This insomnia-drenched collection features nine stories, including four original, never-been-published pieces. The line-up is:

The Keymaster
Seeing Stars
Cherry Slushie
Too Dirty to Clean
The Key
The Prince and the Upholsterer
Planes, Trains, and Banana-Seat Bicycles
All Things to All Women
The Keyhole

Seeing Stars was originally published in One Night Only. Cherry Slushie appeared in Juicy Erotica. Too Dirty to Clean is from His. The Prince and the Upholsterer showed up on this blog. Planes, Trains, and Banana-Seat Bicycles saw first ink in The Mile High Club (recently rebooted as Flying High).

The Keymaster, The Key, and The Keyhole are a trifecta of tales with a girlfriend-watching theme. All Things to All Women is a figging fairy tale set in 70s-inspired suburbia.

Behold... my intro—Insomnia: A Love Letter

Go on. Nominate me as the poster girl for insomnia. I could have a slogan, maybe a satin sash with the words embroidered in scarlet: “Insomnia. Want some?” Or possibly: “Insomnia. Get yours.” The truth is that I’ve never been a good sleeper. Whatever that means. I tend to stay up late and wake up early. I’m proof that you truly can burn a candle at both ends. Sure, I end up a little singed, but what’s soot between friends?

How does my sleep schedule (or lack thereof) influence my work? Simply put, it means I write at dawn, and I write at midnight, and I write for many of the hours in between.

Once upon a time, I wished I could sleep like normal people do. I bought sublime sheets to make my bed appear more inviting. I invested in down pillows. I sprayed soothing aromatherapy mist in the room. All of the luxury additions didn’t alter the fact that at some point I’d slip out of the bed and make my way to my desk.

The words call. Who am I to turn them away?

Now I embrace my lack of z’s. I’m the girl at the computer late at night wearing thin black sweats and a concert t-shirt so old you can see through the fabric. I’m the girl who can’t type fast enough to keep up with the words in her head. Hell, I moved to Los Angeles simply because I wanted to be where other people were up in the wee hours. The lights called me. I didn’t have stars in my eyes. I craved an “open” sign at all-night diner.

The stories in this collection are drenched in indigo. They’re midnight stories. The ones to read when you get home after that date. Or after that last drink. Or after an all-nighter. Take me with you to the 24-hour cafĂ©. Peruse me by the crisp blue glow of cobalt neon. And know that yes, if you’re up, I’m probably up, too.

Insomnia.
She’s all mine.
But I’ll share.

XXX,
Alison Tyler


P.S. Cover is by my muse—Riendo.

December 20, 2014

"I'm a Very Stupid Girl."


Years ago, I landed a job at a law office transcribing audiotapes. (Yes. Dinosaurs were roaming the streets. And the sun had not yet been invented.) I was able to hold that job for one whole week. (Insert applause here.) The job paid $10 an hour when that was good pay. I was in my late teens, living in L.A. and feeling like all that and a bag of chips.

But there was a glitch. The law office was in Century City.

I wrote about this years ago—six years ago—but the memory (old even then) is still new to me:

The crazy part was parking, which the lawyer paid for—otherwise the employees would have made no money. Century City seems to have been built without a concept for where people will keep their cars. Every day, there were different rules: park in the mall across the street, park at the movie theater, park by the doctor’s office, park in the hotel lot. When the lawyer asked me to come in on a Saturday as a favor to him, I parked where I had the day before.

At the end of the day, I gave him the stub for validation and he started to scream at me. Weekends had a whole different set of rules. But nobody had told me. “I’ll pay the parking for you this time,” he sneered, “if you tell me that you’re a stupid girl.”

I stared at him.

“Just say, ‘I’m a stupid girl,’ and I’ll give you your check for the parking lot.”

I was wearing a short denim skirt and a silvery t-shirt. My hair was up in a ponytail and I had on white go-go boots. I can see myself standing there, thinking that I needed the money, but realizing that I couldn’t say the words.

He wasn’t a Dom. This wasn’t a scene. I was going to have to return to Byron in the evening, who would not sleep with me because I’d bought the wrong type of toothpaste. I was going to wait until Byron went to bed, then stay up drinking beer out on our balcony and fantasizing about an out-of-shape producer who’d threatened to spank me because I’d let the coffee get cold. My life was chaotic, and I never ever felt as if I were on solid ground.

But I couldn’t say I was a stupid girl.

So I quit. I made the man print out a check for my hours and another one for the parking garage. I can hear the dot-matrix printer chugging away on the checks, see myself standing there, pink-cheeked, heart pounding, but unwilling to give in.

I left with a swirl of my ponytail and a click of my heels.

The point of this post is that I walked. And since then, I have walked out of multiple jobs. I don't know why this gives me such a rush of fucking pride. I probably ought to feel bad about my ... my what? My ability to take shit, I guess. But I will say this—companies often take advantage of writers. Many companies are surprised when you won't let yourself be fucked.

Why is this fresh in my head? Because this fall I was requested to do something as "a personal favor" for a company—when they wanted something major from me. But when I asked for something minor in return, their rude "no" was "just business."

Guess what these boots are made for?

XXX,
Alison

December 19, 2014

Yes, I said, Yes, I will, Yes.


Yes, I have finally sent out all the contracts for Hard at Work. And yes, I am aware that Cleis Press was sold this year—and that the publication dates of the titles I have in play seem to changing fairly regularly. And yes, I'm washing the dishes, folding the laundry, doing the Christmas shopping—and everything else on my list. But for today, I'm simply going to let you know that our trio of short story collections are now $2.99 each.

Skirting The Issue
Stocking Up
Cuffed

Wouldn't these little bundles make the perfect holiday presents to send? All of the proceeds for the titles from Pretty Things Press are divided equally among the authors. Riendo receives a royalty for her gorgeous covers for every sale.

Also perfect for the holidays—and on sale right now (I don't know how long this sale will last!)—are two fiercely fabulous collections by Violet Blue.


These books have a sultry, seductive quality that I find intensely addictive. Not only do I want both of them—I want more of them! All lined up in a row.

XXX,
Alison

P.S. I promise to provide more info regarding the Cleis publication schedule when I have it. To this date, I really don't know any more than the authors do.

December 18, 2014

"Take Your Pants Off"


That's what I thought the line in the song was from Flashdance. Not "take your passion," but "take your pants off." It gives the song a different type of meaning, don't you think? A subtle flare. But now, I keep running (head on, no brakes, full speed ahead) into articles, reviews, and random posts insisting how important it is for (fill in the blank gender) to edit or write (fill in the blank) stories.

And I have to say—I don't agree.

I'm the type of person who mulls things over. I bat. I play with. I kick the ball around. I see things from up, and down, and I peer into the pot. So I have considered this.

I don't believe your gender or sexual preference matters when you write a story. Why? Because the characters will tell you who they are and where they want to go. How they want to dress. Who they want to fuck. If you could only write about your own gender and sexual preferences, how dull would stories be?

I can put my hands out and touch a slew of male writers who can convincingly pen stories about women or from women's POV's. I can do the same for female writers who can create believable male characters. I write from male points of view all the time. I write gay, straight, lesbian, vanilla, fem-dom, BDSM, sweetly romantic, and dark raunchy smut. (Okay, you got me. My "sweetly romantic" is a stretch.) I'd be offended if someone told me I couldn't write from a male POV because I don't have a dick. Or that I couldn't pen lesbian stories because I'm currently with a man.

I want the right to write it all.

Apparently, feeling this way is one (only one of many) reasons why I'm shunned by a certain brand of feminist. But I've covered that before.

The topic is surreally bizarre to me. We don't expect our detective authors to be actual detectives. Or Western writers to rope cattle. Or sci-fi authors to live in outer space. (Maybe we want our cookbook writers to know how to cook—but non-fiction is a whole different animal.)

If we really had to take our pants off and show the goods in order to have a story published, what kind of world would that be? (Well, a half-naked world, I guess.) Or perhaps fodder for another story...

XXX,
Alison

December 17, 2014

On the Ninth Day of Christmas (Guide)


I'm probably going to run out of time. I mean, I can practically feel Christmas sneaking up behind me! That's okay. I love Christmas. And it was a little over-reaching for me to think I could collect items for 12 different guides. But still. I'm trying!

So far, I've curated:


Today, I've decided to go with Cuffs. You know me and cuffs. They are by far my favorite sex toy. And I especially love the way you can wear a leather or metal cuff out in daylight and nobody really knows your kink. You could simply be the height of fashion.

This fabulous one is from the Etsy store Amy Waltz. I also love the "basic bondage cuffs" from Misfit Leather (featured at the top).

For a completely different type of cuff, check out this set. Perfect stocking stuff, for sure!

Urban Decay—whose product names never fail to delight me—has a new eyeliner that comes in the color Cuff. Metallic, silver shimmer? Color me sold!

993 (no more, no less) stories of mine feature the word "cuff." (I just checked.) If you're looking for literary smut, we've got you Cuffed. Three ways. These stories by Sophia Valenti, Sommer Marsden, and yours truly all deal with the topic of handcuffs. If you're purchasing a Kindle for your favorite Kinkster this holiday season, why not Kink it up with this trio of tantalizing tales?

Finally, there's this. Apparently, you'll either love it or hate it. Truthfully, I am desperate for a black-enamel cuff with crystals. I saw one in a magazine for something like a grand, so that was a no-go. But what I adore about this is the first review.

As with each list, if you have other suggestions for items that relate to the theme—please slide them into my comments. As I trip over cuffs in my travels, I will post them here, too.

XXX,
Alison



December 16, 2014

Hardcore • Literate • Smut


This is so classy—I am in love with the seriously sexy series created by Violet Blue. First there was Filthy Housewives. Now (or soon) there will be Holiday Kink. (I went on Amazon to check for a link, and Amazon asked if I was looking for "Holiday Ink Violet Blue." No, Amazon. I wasn't.)

Violet puts together a book like nobody's business. Her stamp of approval on a story means the work is top-notch. Check out the stellar reviews for Filthy Housewives.

I appreciate the string of words: hardcore literate smut.

Yes, Virginia, you can have all three. And you can have them for Christmas!

XXX,
Alison



December 15, 2014

Trollop with a Question #35


I make resolutions all year long. Or, really, I should say: I make—and break—resolutions all year long. But as New Year's is right around the next bend—how did that happen?!—I thought I'd toss out the query for today's Monday question.

What resolutions do you plan to make this year?

I always seem to have the same types of goals: finish more stories and novels—especially The Lizard Queen, my sci-fi shifter novel started in the 90s (I don't even think the term "shifter" existed—mine was  inspired slightly by Kafka's Metamorphosis and slightly by the B-movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers) and The Great Distraction, begun in 2011, maybe, and Girls Who Wear Glasses, dating, God, to 2002? (When I first pitched this novel to my publisher, I was told nobody would buy a novel about a fem-domme heroine. Times—how they've changed.)

Some books and stories write themselves. I sit down, and the story appears. Fully formed. More often than not, I layer and build until a work is complete. The stragglers—they're the ones that keep me up in the night.

As for other resolutions? I like to make ones I know I have a shot at keeping, so: I will continue to be loyal, stick up for my friends, drink more coffee, watch my mouth, splurge on perfume, wear red lipstick for no reason, spin my discs (rather than my wheels), lose hours on the telephone, eat Sweet Tarts, and learn to sew.

Can't wait to hear yours...

XXX,
Alison


December 14, 2014

On the Eighth Day of Christmas (Guide)


Coffee is my middle name. Well, no it's not. But here's a funny story: When I was young, I wrote a report on mice. I had a mouse as a pet. I never played with dolls, but little mice figurines lived in my dollhouse. (If memory serves, they were dressed as famous characters, like Robin Hood. This is sounding creepier than it was.)

One afternoon, I was invited over to a neighbor's house for a play date, and the girl had mice everywhere. More mice than me! So when the girl's mother explained that her daughter's middle name was mouse, I said mine was, too. I was old enough to know that expression.

Except, it wasn't an expression.

The daughter's actual middle name was Mouse. And the mom called me a liar. Apparently, she had thought I was messing with her by saying my middle name was Mouse. (I think this is one of the first times that I realized some adults were crazy.) Needless to say, that was my last invitation to the Mouse House.

So—truth be told—coffee is not my middle name. It's my last name.

Today, I'll be pouring you a fresh hot cup of ideas for java-loving addicts on your list.

Coffee Heart necklace from Kitsch Bitch Jewelry

But First Coffee print and "A Morning Without Coffee is Like Sleep" from Handz

Hand-painted coffee cups from Trixie Delicious

Fun fact—my dad is a coffee fiend. My mom—not so much. But recently they purchased a percolator. Now, my mom is drinking cafe au lait in the morning. This makes my dad ecstatic. After a few eons together, he's converted her to the dark side.

Coffee-themed pencils from The Carbon Crusader—your choice, Twin-Peak pencils or Coffee Is Fuel for Genius

Oh, look, you can read a free coffee-shop-themed story by Dante Davidson!

• I take my coffee black. But if you're gifting a creamer, check out these fab spoons by Bella Jackson Studios

And then I replaced coffee with sex.


I just realized I haven't put in any links to actual coffee. My favorite coffee is Trader Joe's Bay Blend. But I will drink whatever you're pouring.

How to talk dirty... to your coffee maker.

• Perhaps the best coffee cup of all time... 




What have I missed? Do you have any coffee-themed gift items to share? Pour 'em into comments...

XXX,
Alison

December 13, 2014

Have Me for Free


My dream bar would have a jukebox in the corner, battered leather booths, a neon glow, a sultry hum. I've written many of my novels in bars. I don't mean I've set them in bars. I mean I've set me in bars. I wrote The Blue Rose entirely in dive L.A. bars. I penned that one by hand, and I still have the notebooks filled with my pathetic cursive. Actually, maybe I write in code. I'm the only one able to decipher the words.

Alison on the Rocks features six liquor-laden shots of my inebriated stories selected from over the years. The cover is by Riendo who seems to have the perfect photo for all of my X-rated occasions.

This weekend, Alison on the Rocks is yours free on kindle.

Cheers!

XXX,
Alison


December 12, 2014

It's Almost Happy Hour... Somewhere


This is the tree you can see from my desk. Or I can see from my desk. And yes, yes, I do favor Spiderman wrapping paper. You know me and Super Heroes. We go way back.

Believe it or not, I have been looking for a tree like this for years. Tiny enough to fit on a side table. Made of tinsel. Preferably cobalt blue. For once, my kiss of death worked backwards. Rather than knocking something off the scene—I mentally manifested the perfect tree.

Before you start to worry, no. I don't really believe that. Right time. Right place. Ta da! I have a friend who does believe in manifestation, but that's fodder for another post. Perhaps a drunk post. It's been awhile. Speaking of drunk (points, please, for my fancy pre-dawn segue)...

...since I can't wrap individual presents for everyone I'd like to, I've decided to give away Alison on the Rocks this weekend. The book will be free for kindle on Saturday and Sunday. The collection contains six shots of naughty bar stories for your tippling enjoyment. As ever, I raise my glass to Riendo for her deliciously chilly photo cover.

For more liquor-laced holiday gifts, pour yourself over to my second day of Christmas gift list.

XXX,
Alison

P.S. Now I can reveal that my incredibly silly Merry a Writer concept was to hang little book covers onto the tree. But that plan went the way of my Serial Cereal. (Hence the shiny ornaments instead.)

December 11, 2014

On The Seventh Day of Christmas (Guide)


I am a stocking and tights girl. When I'm not in Levis, I'm in tights and boots. My stockings don't fit in a drawer anymore. I have a drawer, and another drawer, and a basket.... I've written about stockings as a fetish (the link takes you to clips from stories by Helena Black and Shanna Germain) as part of my Fetish Fridays. (Remember those?) My story file currently contains 794 short pieces with references to stockings. (I wonder if this means all of those stockings were write-offs. You know, for research...)

The gorgeous tights above are from Nylon Journal. I want many of the offerings from this glorious ETSY site. In high school, I often wore a t-shirt with a barcode on the front beneath the word BOY. So I'm in lust with these clever barcode tights.

I don't save my fancy tights or stockings for a special day. I wear all of the different ones—from liquid metal to fishnet to polka-dot—on a regular rotation. One of my friends told me that an acquaintance had spied me at the grocery store in some dreamy set of stockings. He'd observed to her (about me), "That girl has some kink in her."

You think?

I have not ordered these ones yet, but I've fallen in lust at first sight.

I've learned that fishnets make people happy. I'm not kidding. If you wear fishnets (especially colored ones) people will talk to you about your choice of leg wear. Women may whisper to you about the first time they wore fishnets. Men may ask to pet your legs. (Whether you choose to let them, or tell them to buy their own fishnets to pet is entirely up to you!)

Here in the middle of my guide is a complete gratuitous link to Georgia in fishnets.

They're calling these ones knee-hi/thigh-hi—and I think that's because on someone like Sommer Marsden, they'd be knee-hi. And on someone like me, they'd be top-of-the-thigh high. I'm entertaining myself imagining an employee gifting a boss with these. Or maybe bosses buy these for themselves. Or for dress-up play. (Yes, you caught me. I'm mentally writing a story involving "boss" socks.)

I just realized I've only high-lighted black and white stockings and tights. So here is a little color to jazz up the joint.



Santa, I want them all!

Finally, if you're into stockings on a literary level, please consider our titles Stocking Up and Skirting the Issue. These little collections of fetishy goodness feature stories by Sommer Marsden, Sophia Valenti, and yours truly.

The cover art is by my favorite photographer (and actually my favorite artist) Riendo. All monies received from these collections are divided evenly among the authors. We are an indie publishing house through and through. In fact, I'm not even sure if we're big enough to be called an indie! Our holiday party could fit in a VW with room to spare.

But that's okay. Good things come in striped stockings...

XXX,
Alison

December 10, 2014

On the Sixth Day of Christmas (Guide)

The original 12 days of gift guides were supposed to be (in no particular order):

Stockings
Leather
Candy
Lipstick
Shoes
Cuffs
Coffee

Obviously, these could be retitled: Things Alison Tyler Likes.

Now, I've made the editorial decision to insert toys. (Wow, that could be read in a dirty way, couldn't it? Maybe it's a little too early for you. But in my world, it's never too early for dirty.)

Yes, I'm inserting toys. 

I've never outgrown my fixation—as evidenced here. I always have playing cards in my purse (or pocket). I'm rarely without dice. Twister is my cardio. So if you share my addiction, here are some choices for you—or for those lucky friends and family members on your list if you're the type to share your toys.

The Super Hero (and villain) playing cards fulfill two of my major addictions—super heroes and playing cards. (Oh, come on. It's early. That was funny.)

On the playing card theme, Sommer Marsden has a new title coming soon. Be sure to save the date—January 16th!

For the competitive type you plan to gift (or simply for someone who plays to win), check out these pencils from The Carbon Crusader.



I've long been a fan of wind-up toys. (Does anyone else remember The Last Wound-Up on Melrose?) A buddy once gifted me with a whole slew of wind-up toys for my birthday. The package was actually moving when I opened it, some of the toys jarring each other to life. I think wind-ups make great gifts—for all ages. The latest generation of wind-up toys includes Star Wars characters. I kind of have a crush on Chewbacca, so this wookiee wind-up made my day. (There is also a Storm Trooper, a Darth Vader, C3P0, and more.)


For the tee-shirt lover on your list, check out Snorg's punny I'd Hit That. (I'd totally gift this with a deck of playing cards. And some lube.) I've confessed my need to have dice nearby. I like playing with things in my pockets. (Read that however you'd like.) So if someone gave me a pound of dice, I would be ecstatic. Or you could buy a pound of dice and divide them amongst your friends.

When some people play with toys, they fight to win. Whether you're gifting a lover or a fighter (or both), this ring from Loving Anvil is certain to delight.


I could go on all day. Seriously, I love my toys. But I'll leave you with these and ask for more suggestions in the comments. I can't wait to hear your ideas!

XXX,
Alison

P.S. I made up a new word yesterday: "ideas" + "opinions" = i-pinions—which everyone seems to have a lot of lately.

December 09, 2014

Everyone's a Winner, Baby...

Photo by Riendo
Years ago, I woke up with the idea to start a Smut Marathon. I was inspired by reality shows, and I wanted to create something wicked for the erotica genre. Sporadically, I have hosted these contests which run for months at a time and put an intense amount of creative pressure on a slew of talented writers.

What I love best about the internet is finding people who are willing to play. One of my close friends pointed that out to me the other day. If you bat things back and forth with me, I purr. I get a hard-on for cleverness, and I light up when surrounded by other word workers.

Even before my SM contests, I used to host short writing challenges. I adored these as well. I'd toss out a theme, and writers who wanted to would hit me with their mini entries.

We've now come to last round of my last Smut Marathon. The challenge for this final round was to pen a 1,500 word story inspired by the photo above taken by Riendo. (In my next life, I'd like to be her camera.) I am making the executive decision to declare a three-way tie between the final trio of awe-inspiring authors—in ABC order:


If you were all here, I'd ask for a round of applause. A standing O, even.

As you're not, I'm hoping the authors will post their final stories on their blogs. I've decided not to do a poll but to let these three shine equally in the golden spotlight.

Thank you to all of the writers who participated in this (and the earlier) marathons. Your words rock my world.

XXX,
Alison

December 08, 2014

Trollop with a Question #34


My friends and I used to practice our Oscar speeches. No, I was never a thespian. (In fact, I just wrote about my tragic on-stage paralysis yesterday.) But we loved the concept of an acceptance speech. This may be why I adore dedications in books—both reading and writing them. You get to thank people. (Unless you're Robert Downey Jr., and you deliver the best fucking speech ever in which you decidedly don't thank anyone.)

So here is this week's Trollop with a Question:

If you were given the opportunity to deliver an award-party speech, who would you thank?

Personally, I would like to thank... Violet Blue for her recent nod to Those Girls, Those Boys, and Wrapped Around Your Finger. I'd like to thank Jennifer Peters for making my month. I'd like to thank Riendo for inspiring me, Thomas Roche for being there, and Sommer Marsden for everything. I'd like to thank Penthouse for fulfilling my fantasies as an editor. (I'm in love with my job.) And my readers because I'm incredibly grateful to have been writing in the genre for this many years.

Most importantly, I'd like to thank Sam. Every day. Every night.

Hey, this is kind of fun actually. I could go on all day. In fact, I might. Stop in and see who else I add!

But now, you.

Oh, quick aside, I recently learned that there is an occupation called "Gratitude Practitioner." I'd never heard the term before. So I've been mulling the concept around in my busy, dizzy mind. Although I am a huge thanker—saying "thank you" is free after all—I think I'd have difficulty being a full-time gratitude practitioner. Unless, I was allowed to say things like, "I'm so glad you are not my mother." Or "I'm thankful we live far apart." Or "I'm thrilled I don't wake up next to you."

XXX,
Alison

December 07, 2014

Right and Wrong


I have been wrong. I was thinking this the other day. I have found myself in situations were I was 100% sure I was right, but no... I was wrong. I try to learn from these experiences. I remember being in a play in school. The teacher had the bright idea (ha, ha, prepare to be punned) to stand at the back of the auditorium with a flashlight. She'd blink the light on and off if an actor had forgotten a line.

Can you see where this is going? 

I remember standing on the stage wondering which idiot wasn't saying the lines. Until a fellow classmate hissed my name. Blinking light. Not me. Hissed my name. Not me. And then I realized—everyone was waiting for me. I was the one not speaking. I was the (wait for it) idiot.

Once, I didn't get off the bus at my stop. Not that I forgot. For some other-worldy reason, I didn't think it was my stop. I saw my mom and thought, I wonder what she's doing at that stop? Seriously. The bus took off again and then I realized—with growing panic—that no, my mom wasn't wrong. I was.

But the worst was this. On my first serious no-adults present bike ride with a friend downtown, I made the plan to cross a road two ways. First horizontally, then vertically. (If I were a different person, I would tell you North then East, or West then South, or some such thing. But basically, first this way, then that way.) The "that way," was against a red light. I was still in single digits age-wise, but I can remember feeling the courage of my convictions. I mean, I knew we were going across, then across. And I went—and was hit by a car. 

My bike was crumpled. I was in the street bleeding. And this elderly woman came rushing up to... (if you think I'm going to say "help," you're sadly mistaken) scream that I had gone against the red. That it was my fault.

And she was totally right. It was my fault. I went against the red—not even realizing for some reason that the light was red. Or that red was wrong. 

I think sometimes your brain—or my brain—makes these false connections. You think you're right. You're 100% sure that you're right. You're right as the driven snow. But you're wrong.

I check myself daily multiple times. I do my best to figure out biases. I engage in research. I look all the time to see if I'm wrong.

Why am I writing about this? Because I was at a party last night stuck next to a woman who is never wrong. Trust me. She is always right. No matter what anyone said to her (or even near her) she had to instantly correct that person. I sat there politely (on the surface). But mostly I was in shock.

At one point, she rudely asked the catering staff what cut of beef the steak was. I almost turned to her and said, "The free kind." The caterer told her exactly what portion of tenderloin (or whatever the fuck) the piece was. But there had been this edge to the guest's tone. Like it was the cheap stuff. And she was going to let us all know.

Because that's what you do at a party.

I woke up this morning thinking that I'm so grateful not to be her. If that's what being right looks like, I am happy to embrace wrong. In fact, I'll fucking french kiss wrong right on the mouth. You can watch if you want. Wrong won't mind at all.

XXX,
Alison

December 06, 2014

On the Fifth Day of Christmas (Guide)

TV Brooch
Hmmm. You're saying No, she didn't mention anything about a television gift guide. You're right. Today is retro. Well, in my world, pretty much every day is retro. But today's theme is retro. This creatively customizable brooch is from Vectorcloud.

The Hulk
I could have compiled an entire list dedicated to superheroes. I am a long-time—I mean practically since birth—fan of comic books. My first tattoo was going to be Spiderman. (There were reasons for a last-minute change.) But I think I can slide The Hulk from Rooby Lane onto this list. I bought this skirt for a friend. Okay. I bought this skirt for me. (Does that make me my own friend?) I love it. Totally fucking cool. Incredible conversation starter. (Plus, I want just about all of Rooby Lane's infinity scarves. In case anyone asks you.)
Matchmakers (who I featured recently) showcases many retro book covers adorning matchboxes, like this one for The Great Gatsby. You can also order three custom matchboxes with the covers of your choice for $11. I think that would be an exceptionally cool present for a writer! In case you, um, know any writers....

And speaking of writers, everyone's a writer. So everyone needs pencils. The Carbon Crusader is my one-stop pencil shop. For "retro," I found these. And I did my research. "I know you are but what am I?" dates to at least to the 1970s, according to Wiki.



"I see London, I see France" dates to the 1960s. Why not wear the sing-song jumprope rhyme? I bought these earrings from Nina Gibson Designs, too. Also for a friend. Same friend, in fact. She's getting all the good gifts this year!
I See London...
Finally, if you're in the mood for a little retro smut (and who isn't?) please check out my Black Lace/Cheek title Melt With You. This time-travel novel takes readers back to the 80s. Where I spend a lot of time. At least, in my head!

So there you have it. My retro guide—which really takes you all over the map. If you have any suggestions for retro-themed gifts, please hit me with them in the comments!

XXX,
Alison

December 05, 2014

We interrupt...

...this cold to bring you a Kindle Countdown Deal. Right now, you can buy Those Girls from Go Deeper Press for only 99 cents! I'm actually not completely sure how the countdown deals work—but I think they're actually count-up deals. As in, the price will keep going up over the next few days. So if you've always been curious about Those Girls, now's the time to snag your copy!

XXX,
Alison

The Holidays Are a Great Time...


I know, I know. I already poured you a Liquor-filled Holiday Gift Guide. But this shirt made me so happy, I had to feature the tee all by itself. Oh, wait. I just found another one. What I meant to say is that I had to feature the shirts all by themselves....


Here is my mini update: I'm still working on sending contracts to authors for Hard at Work. Please bear with me. (Or bare with me, if you'd rather. I always have to look that one up. I swear there are sites that give you the wrong answer if you check bear/bare.)

I know readers (and writers) are waiting for the final installment of The Smut Marathon. I've been fighting this brutal cold for a few weeks now, and it's winning. So I'm moving a little slower than usual. Actually, I'm moving as fast as usual, I'm simply getting less done. It's like walking through molasses. Uphill. In full SCUBA gear. Wait, what was I saying? So hopefully by this weekend I'll have the last phase up.

Other writers have other questions for me, like: What does the Cleis sale mean for the future anthologies? Honestly, I don't know. I have no more information than you do. I wish I did. And I'm sorry I can't be more helpful. My understanding is that everything in the pipeline is going forward as planned. I will keep you posted as I learn more.

Oh, wow. I found another shirt. This one is very appropriate for me, because I have some seriously fundamentalist relatives who are planning on teaching me a type of religious yoga this season. The look on my face is priceless—but you can't see that.

Okay, back to the Dayquil. Already in progress.

XXX,
Alison

December 03, 2014

On the Fourth Day of Christmas (Guide)

Loving Anvil's word rings adorn my fingers daily.
My dad—a.k.a. my "personal clipper"—sent me a link to an article that showed the inflation for the true 12 days of Christmas gifts. I think the total (if you gave each of the gifts for every time the chorus is repeated) was over $110K. See, that's why I'm here for you. No $110K gifts on these lists. (Plus, how are you going to wrap 8 Maids a'milking?) I'm trying to find items for budgets ranging from the change in your pocket to the bills in your coffee can. (Wait. Where do you keep your Christmas cash?)

For today's guide, I am all about words. Now, obviously, this gives me the ability to choose almost anything. T-shirts. Posters. Jewelry. Books. There are words wherever you look. (Thank god.) So I'm going to feature a few of my favorites.

 Helvetica Necklace

Where there are words, there are fonts. This Helvetica Necklace is only one of many intriguing creations from Kitsch Bitch Jewellry. You could go a little crazy at the shop and not break your wallet. I don't even have a dog and I'm charmed by this French Bulldog. But I digress.

Kaboom!
As someone who has always crushed hard on the super heroes, I am in love with these Comic Book Kaboom arm warmers from MTcoffinzUnderground. This shop has such a dreamy steampunk sensibility. I am in awe of the damask skull arm warmers, too.

When giving the gift of words, you can reference movies, books, or shows that the recipient finds amusing.

This clever necklace from Ami Jane is ideal for anyone who adored Spinal Tap. (And please—don't tell me if you know someone who didn't adore Spinal Tap.)
Hooray for Spinal Tap!
Do you know a fashionista who has a thing for Poe? This insanely cool infinity scarf features The Raven. Literati Club also has scarves designed from Hamlet, Alice In Wonderland, Pride & Prejudice, and more.
The Raven

This wouldn't be my list if I didn't include some of my all-time, go-to favorite ETSY shops. The Carbon Crusader is on vacation right now, but she'll be back soon. A gift I give often is a pack of customized pencils.

Metal Taboo is a rock star in my book. I get so many compliments wearing her words. I have different necklaces for my different moods.

Rock Star
Trixie Delicious is where I go when I want to plan a dirty tea party. There are too many to choose from. I want them all! Actually, that's the main problem with most of the shops on this list. There are so many items that would make fabulous gifts—how will you ever choose?

Slut Teacup

And, of course, Loving Anvil (who loves you and anvils, according to her bio) makes my life complete. I wear three of her silver rings stamped with words of my choice every day. My hand feels naked without them.

Don't forget to stop back. I will be updating each list as I trip over new items.

XXX,
Alison