April 11, 2018

Love Code

Since November, I've (somehow) managed to finish, revise, update, polish, and publish:

Up next? Love Code! A novel that has taken me (literally) more than two decades to finish. If you are one of my Patreons, you're the first to receive any of my work. Plus, I'll mail you postcards, short stories, fingerless gloves, plaid-of-the-month, matchbox stories, and other doodads, depending on your level. 

Your enthusiasm helps me in innumerable ways. But let me numer a few:

1) money in the bank (seriously, you have no idea how grateful I am each month)
!) I'm not alone! (writing is a solitary activity—engaging with an audience is a treat)
Q) making connections around the globe—I have a serious hard-on for purchasing international stamps. Yes, I'm that geeky
9) using tech positively—I'm remain a low-tech girl in a high-tech world, but I'm over the moon to use the interwebs to discuss coffee, sex, fucking robots, etc.


March 27, 2018

Robots Can't Fuck

...or can they? Robots Can't Fuck is my latest novelette. I hope you enjoy this brand-new bite-sized book! Portions appeared on Patreon, but this is the first time the story has been in print from start to finish.


February 26, 2018

Blue Valentine & Other Stories

I've only been talking about rebooting this one for a decade or so! Yes, the novel has made the very slow leap to digital. Originally published by Magic Carpet Books, and written in an era before e-books or Google, Blue Valentine is a flashback. A memory. The book was categorized as erotic romance, which was a new shelf for me. I was accustomed to the smut shelf, or no shelf at all.

Thank you for supporting an indie publishing company!


December 27, 2017

pr0n: a comic science fiction erotic novella

After nearly two years (damn, I'm slow), I've actually managed to finish a new novella called pr0n, all about an alien who learns that his name means fucking... whatever fucking is. You can read the first four chapters on Amazon, while I take a little nap. I've been up since 3 a.m. today, but at least I have something to show for it!


December 10, 2017

The violent snares of love

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This comment was submitted to my "Reading is Sexy" post. The "elove" at the end caught my eye. I tried to translate on Babel Fish and got:

Video beautiful woman msvt. video chatroom hibb. free video twaric. Jin Ping Mei video chatroom. Love ing free video video and music. The adult makes friends the video net 0.1 night of fervor chatrooms. On-line a piece of - free movie. Makes friends the chatroom meet520. sentiment color to chat. Perfect sweetheart video .c fonts - video beautiful woman 0.1 Yuan really crisp yellow movies. On-line a lengthy picture. The free video mm17i. beautiful woman regards the net evil spirit. The video makes friends - the beautiful woman hall .0401 video and music video beautiful woman chatroom. East east adult forum. The free adult piece appreciates the .ut female with the chatroom 0.8 big entertainment network - video. The free video chats the no4. beautiful woman video to chat the net. Li's sentiment color plays .080 free to chat the net. Makes friends toot toot gets together the net. The video and music video chats. Immoral woman free video chatroom. The native place autodyne - makes friends the net. The man helps .520 video chatrooms. The adult chats fm1768.love104 video and music video love Xiu. Young Gao video chatroom. Loves the video chatroom really. Limit portrait girl. The free video and music video hibb 0.5 minutes protect the half-length video beautiful woman. The violent snares of love like the chatroom 0.1 sentiments pasting picture area .sex888 the free movie .uthome free chatroom. The harem video chats the net. Blue color sweetheart video net. Video and music chatroom. Native place autodyne. The network makes friends hibb the 17hi.go2av movie. The beautiful woman makes friends - free video .show girl5320 to paste the movie 0.1 clear videos to chat the av127. video to make friends is in love with the .kiss adult chatroom. The sentiment color makes friends the video. Taiwan sentiment comprehensive forum. 104 are in love with the speed dating net .18 beautiful women video .1111 video net love. The beautiful woman makes friends elove


Obviously, this is some serious Chinese spam. But I do adore some of the more interesting phrases:

"Make friends toot toot."
"Beautiful woman regards the net evil spirit."
"Really crisp yellow movies."
"Blue color sweetheart."

And, hands down, "The violent snares of love." I'm sort of inspired by that one. We'll see where this goes...


December 04, 2017

Six by Jax

My beautiful friend's beautiful book is now available for purchase. Six by Jax contains six (I'm sure you figured that one out) sultry stories by one of erotica's bright lights. On Patreon, I've posted a story of hers—not in this collection—for free. (Well, free for $1/month subscribers.)

I've also received the rights back to A Waste of Chi (which is the original title). Harlequin published the novella as A Taste of Chi. The story has been expanded from a fairly fade-to-black ending to one that is more in line with my own personal tastes. So, dirty, as you might imagine. The short should be live shortly. (The novella should be live novelly?)

As one little indie writer at sea in a rowboat, I'd like to thank you for stroking my oars.


November 22, 2017

Where have I been all your night?

...or year. Or decade. Where have I been since 3 a.m. this morning? Or possibly since the late 80s. At a typewriter, word processor, computer, notebook, junk mail envelope. Writing in sand, in my mind, on the back of a faded photograph. Tracing my fingers on the mirror in steam while you shower and talk to me about your day.

Where have I been?

I don't know because I don't matter.

What I do or where I go is irrelevant. Scientists say we're 55% water. I believe the rest of me is the words and the stories and the nagging, insistent tugging inside to set them free. This is all I think about. So that if I'm lucky enough to find myself at the Frankenstein ballet or in an auditorium listening to David Sedaris read, I'm still halfway gone somewhere else.

The voices in my head don't believe in coffee breaks.

But I do.

See? I'm learning. Or I'm trying. That's it. Trying. To cut some slack. To take a walk and see the sky—not see the sky through some imaginary someone's eyes. To take a class, not because a character wants to but simply to learn a new trick. (Yeah. At this age? Me and new tricks are getting along like coffee and cups.)

There's a balance somewhere. Maybe deep down dark in the dreaming zone. A balance where I can have a little bit of me mixed with all the other people who live in my head. I always say that my mind is a bus station. Every so often, though, I've learned to ride alone.

I'll be honest. When we last spoke, I was worried. With everything I knew in publishing changing, with everything I've been taught turning out to be if not wrong then wrong-ish, I felt groundless. Floorless. Hanging from a marionette thread.

I forgot that the words don't care. They'll come wherever I am.

Over the past year and change, I've managed to pen 19 chapters of an alien erotic novel called pr0n. I'm  22 chapters into a shifter book tentatively titled The Shift Key. And I accidentally began a seriously dirty, every-room-has-a-story piece called The Bad Hotel.

Also on Patreon, I run a book club (with a flicker of regularity). Currently, we're reading Rutger Hauer's memoir. I mail postcards, scarves, hats, short fiction, matchboxes, and this month buttons and some leftover books. You can read all of the serials mentioned above for $1/month. A little more wins various prizes and a lot of gratitude.

Where have I been for the last quarter of a century?

It all started with once... upon... a... time.


The Fine Print: I am also thigh-high in an interactive how-to called Slow Brew, and I am curating an erotic anthology in the ether.

September 28, 2016

The More Things Change...

Actually, everything changes. I'm always surprised when people want—or expect—you to stay as you were, doing what you always were doing, looking the way you always looked. I've tried my whole life to constantly challenge myself, to move forward, to strive harder, to reach further. In a word (actually in two words): To change. The one constant for me is the words. I'll always be putting them down on something. Somewhere. The wheres and the hows might shift.

Right now, I'm still moving my words from here to Patreon. And yeah, some are vanishing. (Where'd they go? Poof!) But others are being dusted off—words I wrote a decade ago—and given a new shiny coating.

At some point, this blog will most likely be gone. That's okay. It's all going to be okay (she said to herself multiple times a day). The more things change, the more they change. I think I'm good with that.

Interesting side note—I tripped over this poem by Robert Herrick the other morning, and the words keep circling in my head.

Why Flowers Change Colours

These fresh beauties, we can prove.
Once were virgins, sick of love,
Turn'd to flowers: still in some,
Colours go and colours come.


P.S. I know there's something inherently silly about posting while simultaneously deleting. A little two-steps-forward, three-steps-back. I'm sure this will surprise nobody, but that's the kind of game my brain likes to play. Burn the candle at both ends? Ha. I'll also singe the middle.

September 11, 2016

What If It Doesn't Work?

There's a scene in Home for the Holidays in which Holly Hunter describes her work at the museum:

I mean, I'm working, studying, struggling, year after year. You know how it is. Working, studying, struggling, year after year. And it's technical, I'm thinking. Yes. But today, it's like he knows me. And no time has gone by at all. Time doesn't matter. You don't want to eat. You don't want to sleep. You forget what day it is....

This is absolutely how I'd describe my world, except Holly Hunter reconstructs paintings and I deconstruct sentences and shuffle the words back together.

Lately, I've reached a new level of understanding. (Figment, for me, was different from anything I've ever done. Writing the novella felt like breaking through a wall. In my skull.) Of course, my timing is poor. Life as I knew it is gone (as a writer) but the words haven't stopped. In fact, they come so fast, I share a few of them with other people. (That is, I'm ghostwriting.)

If you've come to know my blog (since I began in 2006), you know things change. At one point, I hosted contests. Played bingo. Offered giveaways. Explored flash poetry. Ran writing marathons. Organized blog tours. Interviewed authors... But what I want to do is actually what I've always done. Write.

So I'm putting up my latest novella chapter by chapter on Patreon. For a dollar month, you can read this novella as it comes to fruition. Will I publish the book when it's complete? Maybe. I don't know. I haven't figured that out yet. Also for the $1 a month, you can join my book club. Last time, we read Chaucer. This time, I'm working on a few different ideas readers can consider.

For $3 a month, I will also send you a handmade postcard featuring photos I've taken while out and about and quotes from books I adore.

For $5, you'll have access to never-before-published short stories. One coming up is called Amuse Bouche. I love this story. How often will I post? I'm an insomniac, so you can do the math.

For $10, I will mail you fresh-off-the-press microfiction. On colored binder paper (this month). Soon, in multicolored envelopes (I ran out).

For $20, I will send you one of my matchbox stories. $20 seems a little steep, but shipping is close to $7. There's a chance, I will send you more than one, if I create a series. You never know with me.

What if you don't want to pay anything? No worries. I'm sliding my favorite posts from here up for free at Patreon. Will some of the posts from this blog disappear? Yes. Definitely. (In fact, I'm already down to 750 posts from close to 5,000.) Truly, I am striving for a balance. This space helped me in so many ways. But do I really want to carry my publishing woes around with me? If I were packing for a trip, would I take the items that remind me of someone who hurt me? No. So while I won't forget the journey that brought me here, and while I will probably lift some of my snarkier asides (because you can't take the snark out of the trollop), I'm going to jettison many of the rants.

Now the big question—what if it doesn't work?

Well, fuck. That's pretty much the question I've faced every step of my career. So I'm doing what I always do. I'm closing my eyes and jumping.


P.S. I woke up to a fabulous surprise in my inbox this weekend from a generous longtime reader. Thank you. Day made.

June 21, 2015

Writing from the Dom Side

When I first posted Friday's excerpt (back in 2007), I touched a nerve with some of my readers. One wrote:

Slipping into Jack's role made me incredibly uncomfortable. Nervous. I didn't want his control or his position. But it also flipped the switch, casting a light, allowing me to see something I wasn't sure of.

Other readers were intrigued:

I always like to read from the Dom's perspective, get inside his head to even try to see how those wheels are turning. This entry by far was, it was the perfect way to start my morning inside the head of a clearly calculating, controlling and amazing mind. You wrote Jack like a pro, at least how I imagine he would be in my mind.

At the time, writing from a male point of view had not been supported by my publishers. In fact, my desire to write from a dominant female pov—or even about a dominant woman—had been rejected by one publisher who was adamant that what readers wanted was either third person or first person from a submissive female. (I'd pitched "Girls Who Wear Glasses" about a woman who likes to tie up her men.) Thinking back, I believe the publisher's own fantasies ran top male, sub female—and he wasn't interested in thinking outside his own bedroom.

Sometimes I'd be able to wedge a bit of unusual kink into the books—but mostly, I toed the line.

I used my blog to try out new voices. To push my own boundaries.

With the advent (am I using that word correctly?) of self-publishing, I've been able to explore whole new worlds. The book I'm working on now (started in 2013, but stalled because I was actually scared of what I was writing) is something I hope to publish in a brand-new manner.

The novel follows multiple story lines. What I'd love to do is finish the entire manuscript and then post the work in pieces with (I hope this doesn't sound silly) the different story lines written in different colors. I know. I know. That sounds juvenile. But I can see this in my head. If it doesn't work, then it doesn't work. But I would truly love to share the book in a new way. Then maybe I would gather all the pieces and publish them as a trade book as well.

And now, here's a little more from the past. I originally published this on 5/3/2007. I updated one character name, but other than that, here are the raw words:

You understand the game now, don’t you? I’m playing round robin. Or maybe I’m just trying to schedule an international circle jerk. Where I spiral us round and round until we all come together.

And hey—it’s not even global orgasm day…

A is for Alex, and the boy is far better behaved for me than Jack. I can slip into him with ease. I can be him, my body taking on his mannerisms. He doesn’t rebel the way Jack did. He doesn’t tell me to go fuck myself, he’ll use his own damn voice thank you very much. He lets me slide right in, lets me feel him, see him, be him.

And now you can be him, too.


A hand pets your head, letting you know that you’re golden. And while that should make you feel relaxed, make you feel at ease, you are lost in two places. You think of Samantha, standing behind you with her cock out, and you think of who you might have been in some other time and place.

You told her all about it, on that first fucked-up night in Paris, when you took her out to calm her down. To soothe her soul. You took her out into the night. Walking through the darkness until you found the right place. Sharing secrets while sitting by the river, drinking because you’d thought that was a good idea at the time. Told her that every so often, you have this pang. Not of regret or longing. Of relief. The pain you feel is from the sensation that you almost didn’t make it. You would have jumped. You were out on the ledge, and you would have fucking jumped.

There was blackness for you after you split with Jolie, after you watched her hook up with Craig. After you watched all of your friends hook up. Or grow up. Or something. You thought of joining one of the gay clubs on campus.

Are you lying to yourself now?

You thought of standing out on the street on Sunset to get what you wanted. Street trade. You knew you could do it. Pick up the type of person who would satisfy your needs. If only for a night. And yet the fear stopped you. Danger. The unknown. Some sense of self-preservation.

The blackness was with you all the time. Making you smoke too much pot. Drink too much vodka. Hang out in your apartment in a haze. Pulling it together for classes often enough so that you didn’t flunk out. But not often enough to erase the darkness that surrounded you.

And then, on some sort of a whim, you went to the job board. Saw the advertisement. Personal assistant. Something jumped out at you. Who the fuck knows why. Ended up meeting Jack for lunch. Staying with him the rest of the day. Being fucked by him that evening.

How can you have all of these sorts of thoughts while you’re blowing him? When you’re on your knees in a high-end hotel in Paris, with your lover before you and his lover behind you.

Because the world is crazy.
Or you are.

But that’s how you work. His cock consumes you, yet unless you’re bound down, unless you’re forced to submit mind, body, and soul, your thoughts take these weird little journeys. These side trips.

You didn’t leave after that.

Yes, you got your stuff. Your clothes. Your porn. But you didn't leave. He moved you into his place in Malibu. Guest room. Out of the way. He started you off slow, so you could finish your classes, graduate. And suddenly you were doing a lot better in school. Suddenly, you were living up to your potential.

He didn’t explain exactly what he wanted, but you were okay with that. Because from the start he gave you what you needed.

Like now. Now, as he pulls you back in that way of his, understanding you’ve slipped into your own thoughts. Pulls you back with a word. Not your name. But hers.


And you perk up your own ears because you know she’s got that strap-on, and you’re guessing from past experience that the synthetic cock has your name on it.

Fucking nerve the girl has, doesn’t she?

You kind of like that. You didn’t expect it.

Maybe that’s what Jack truly rescued you from. The expected. The life that everyone wanted you to have. The life that even you thought you wanted you to have. You didn’t think you deserved anything better. Porn in a box in the closet. Your soul in that box along with it. The rest of your life a fucking act. You live in L.A. You could have been a star, the act you were putting on. The blackness was overwhelming, but you had a secret. Under the porn, you had a way to end everything. A way to step out when the pain got too strong. When the vodka and the pot stopped working.

And Jack saved you.

What he did was simple. He stripped away the act, and now you can just be.

You can suck him.
You can bend over for him.
You can take him when he wants that.

But most important. You can just fucking be.

And that’s why everything else comes so easy for you. The things he has you do to her. The things you get involved in. Get to watch. Get to play.

He’s growing more excited now. You can feel the change, the shift in him, and that brings all your focus to Jack. Because now the night is going to really start. You feel that. Now, you’ll get to see exactly what Jack has in mind for his players.

Whatever it is, you’re there. You’re ready. You’ve been his from the start.

You’ll be his until the end.


January 31, 2015

"You're no Nin."

Here's this unusual thing that happens to me. Someone will post a comment here, Tweet me a Tweet, or drop a note into my box that says (in a nutshell), "You're no Nin."

Through the heart!

Except, not. I only read the two collections of short stories by Anais Nin. And while I appreciated her use of words, I wasn't transported. Nin was never an author I strived to emulate. I can't think of an author, in fact, who I would be insulted by being told I'm not. (Unravel that, if you dare.) Seriously:

You're no... Hemingway.


You're no... Raymond Chandler.

Truer words were never spoken.

In the 90s, the author I used to be regularly compared to was Emma Holly, who I don't know, and whose books I've never read. "Alison Tyler is no Emma Holly." Okay. I'll accept that. I'm also no Nora Roberts, no Stephen King, no Elmore Leonard, and no William Kennedy.

In truth, I can't imagine wanting to be known for writing like someone else. The most recent note I received read, "You might be good. I don't know. I've never read your work. But you're no Nin."

After all these years, I have finally figured out what my response should be:

"Thank you."


P.S. You have no idea how unbelievably proud I am at knowing who Evan Peters is. P.P.S. Fabulous Holden Caufield shirt is by Up Shirts Creek.

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.


July 16, 2014

Let's Talk About Fuck

You know me and fuck. I love fuck. It's one of my favorite things to say, and (apparently) to title my blog posts with:

• what the fuck...
• I'm not going to fuck you.
• dropping the f-bomb

And those are just some of my headers. When I did a quick search on my laptop, 2,499 files come up featuring the word "fuck."

Which is probably why I was so surprised to see the reviews of Allie Brosh's fabulous Hyperbole and a Half that were focused (negatively) on her use of the word "fuck." (Her dedication even reads, "What now, fucker?")

I mean, fucking hell man, what is wrong with people? There are so many more serious issues to be aggressive about. "Fuck" is a only word. I love words. "Fuck" has a cadence, a hardness, a power. "Fuck" can't hurt you. A good fuck can make you feel like you're flying.

Granted, Hyperbole and a Half has nearly a perfect 5 star rating out of 2,000 reviews. So I'm sure Ms. Brosh's not complaining. I'm simply the person who likes to poke around and see what readers are saying on the high and low ends of things. And the problems with "fuck" baffled me:

"I was not aware of some of the language. It was offensive to me and feel there should be a warning in the description."

All right, so I'm the bastard who wishes there was a big gold warning star on the book that said: THIS BOOK CONTAINS THE WORD FUCK. ARE YOU HAPPY NOW, FUCKER?

In the sake of full disclosure, I will also say, I'm obsessed. I'll admit this freely. (For instance, I know that if you type in "fuck" on Amazon, you win 69,408 results. Did you know that?) Recently, Glamour published a write-up about a Saturday Night Live player who accidentally said "fuck" on her first show. In the magazine, Glamour referred to the word as f*ck. We all know she said "fuck." Why do we need the fucking asterisk? (I always read the word as "fick" or "feck" or "fock" when there's an asterisk.)

The New Yorker uses the word "fuck." (Thank fucking god. What a brilliant article!) The New Yorker treats us like we're adults.

What are we being protected from? I guess that's my real question. Are we back to the 80s era when Tipper Gore wanted to label the Filthy 15? Why not protect us from real issues—from being denied birth control. From being denied marriage.

I know that given my occupation I may be considered jaded. But at least I know the difference between a f*ck and a fuck.


December 27, 2013

"Oh, you evil temptress..."

Last summer, I chanced upon a copy of Hello Sailor at a second-hand bookstore. Snagging such a score reminded me of how I used to buy books (back in the Paleolithic Era before the internet). Yes, I was one of those superficial magpies who would agree to date books for the cars they drove, or the suits they wore. I mean, I fell in love with titles and the covers. With the mystery of what might await me.

I discovered several of my favorite authors this way. I bought David Lodge's Ginger, You're Barmy on a whim in England. The original cover of The Further Adventures of Slugger McBatt by W.P. Kinsella called out to me from a bookstore shelf in San Francisco. And I devoured the Delacorta books—one after the other after the other—on a trip to Manhattan. Their jello-pretty packaging drew me in. The rhythm and poetry of the words won my heart. I read one a day on my trip.

Hello Sailor was my first completely magical experience like that in a long fucking time. And I have to say, I love this book. Love it. I don't know why there isn't a Kindle edition. Hello Sailor has its own Wiki page, but the write-up doesn't do the book justice. I want to stop reading constantly and share the funny parts with whoever is nearby. (So if you're in line at the post office, and a silver-streaked girl in nerd glasses starts reading passages to you from a battered copy, that's me.)

So I'm wondering. How do you find books? Do you take recommendations from friends? Search reviews online? Read excerpts in magazines? Or do you experience love-at-first line? You had me at Hello, Sailor.


P.S. The lipstick above is called Hello Sailor, and when I posted a link, CB Potts called me an evil temptress. Which I'm pretty damn happy about, I must say. The cologne is by Gaultier. I like the sexy, sailor-y bottle.

November 07, 2011

Seeing Red

Monday seems like the perfect day for an installment of my hospital billing saga. You'll remember that the amount we owed went up each month, even though we had not visited the hospital recently. (Knock wood, throw salt.) When I would call and speak with a customer service representative, the woman would tell me to wait and see the following statement.

You'll understand how jittery I felt whenever I opened the new wave of bills. It was like Christmas! In hell. This month, I held my breath, pulled out the crisp white bills, and saw that each of our five statements had gone up by thousands of dollars. One statement that only had $208 remaining shot to more than $6 grand. Of course, this was an error. I never believed the hospital would actually try to collect on the error. But it was an error that had become increasingly time consuming.

The amount paid also did not reflect what we'd actually paid. On one statement, the dollar amount paid was listed as $69. We'd paid $30.

So, I got Laura on the phone. Yes, your favorite and mine. Laura. And I calmly told her we had a problem. "I need a statement that reflects what we actually owe and what we've actually paid," I said. I guess that is a lot to ask.

She looked on her computer and she proceeded to teach me basic math. "Well," she said, "you made two $30 payments—one in August and one in September—and $30 and $30 is close to $69."

I don't know about you, but I am not so okay with best guess math when it comes to my bills.

"But we didn't pay $69," I told her. "No matter how many of the five payments you add together, none of them equals $69."

"Why don't you wait until next month to see if the statements are fixed."

That's when I saw red. Like, actual spots of red. Laura and I were about to break up. "Look," I said, "your automated system calls me every week. There is always a problem. I spend hours of my life on the phone trying to sort this out. And I have been doing this since 2009."

"Ma'am, if you raise your voice at me I will disconnect the call."

I hadn't realized I'd raised. "Do you know what I'm going to do?" I asked.

"I want to remind you that you're being recorded."

"I don't fucking care if I'm being recorded," I said.

"If you use profanities, I will disconnect the call," she said.

"I get up at 4 a.m. to work. And I do not have time to unravel your mess. The next time you send me out a bill that doesn't make sense, I will send you a bill for wasting my time."

"Ma'am," she said.

"If you ma'am me," I told her, "I will disconnect the call."

She ma'am'd again. I hung up.

I have a friend who refers to the type of angry I got as "being in the rage bubble." I'd never been in it before.

It took a nice, slow shot of tequila to make it POP.


April 16, 2011

"It Takes One to Know Someone"

So I put up my favorite SPAM the other day, and Georgia responded as only Georgia can. Now, I received a *new* favorite SPAM:

Hello from Sandra

My name is Sandra I got your contact details today on world-english.org
and I am interested in knowing you and being friendly
with you . I would appreciate if we get acquainted as soon as possible, you
can reach me through my private e-mail stated below so that we can get to know each other better.
My private e-mail: sandragodwin87@yahoo.com
I quite believe that we can start from here since it takes one to know
someone. I want you to understand that race or distance does not matter but
loving and caring matters a lot in life. I look forward to hearing more
from you soonest .
yours Sandra

...and Georgia responded as... well, you get the picture:

Hello from Jeanine

My name is Jeanine. I bet you didn't know that!

I am having some friendly feelings for you. I don't know anything about you, yet i feel very friendly. We could get acquainted if you write me at my private email stated below.

my private email: jeanine@iamprivate.com

It's private! even though i have stated it on the world wide web. We can start from here because that is the soonest point we can start at. Someone knows something though not everyone knows anything. race does not matter, as long as we start from here, the soonest point. distance does not matter because racing will be fast knowing you!

loving and caring matters, especially in knowing email friends.

know me soonest,

Love from, Amy--I mean Jeanine, though Amy would like to be knowing you too.


I'm crying, and I've already read her reply three times. Happy Saturday!


April 13, 2011

From My New Friend "Happiness"

So yesterday, I got this SPAM:

How are you today, Hope all is well with you and your health? My name is Miss Happiness However it really pleases me to write you for a lovely and sincere friendship even if we haven’t met or seen each other before. I will be so much appreciate to see your reply soon so that i can give you my picture for you to know who i am

I shall appreciate an urgent response from you.
With lots of love from your new friend Happiness

...which I sent to Georgia, who responded with this one that she wrote just for me:


I am fine today, Miss Happiness, thank you for asking my health. my name is Miss Hi-Jinks. I would like to please you for having a lovely sincerity relations even if we never met because I reside in limbo. I will be you picture bride i am pretty pretty pretty. i milk cows very well. i will look for astonopropriate response from you.

love your number one friend,

Miss Hi-Jinks



March 07, 2011

Catch 69

I like that better than Catch 22. Okay, here is the way the modern world works. One of our Pretty Things Press titles has gone out of print. An online bookstore continually orders the book, although I have done everything in my power to say, "This book is no longer available." No results. Orders keep coming. ("Why not reprint the book?" you ask, smartly. These orders are for very tiny quantities. No way for me to do even a short run without losing mucho dinero.) Anyway, I select, "Cancelled: Permanently Out of Print," but the store gives me an error message.


Apparently, I have to tell them *when* I am going to be shipping the permanently out of print title that I am not shipping to them, because, yeah, it's permanently out of print.

I don't know. I guess I could ship those books yesterday. Or hell, maybe tomorrow. I'm feeling pretty whimsical. Maybe I'll ship them in March 08. I had a lot of stock back then. On my desktop is the nifty packing slip that the store creates for the books that don't exist.

Suddenly, I feel as if I'm in a porn version of Kafka.


P.S. I knew of all my favorite ETSY sellers, Beanforest wouldn't let me down.

April 29, 2010

Pocket Erotica

I was going through old notes last night — see, I wasn't just watching TV on my computer, I was cleaning my office while watching TV on my computer. And I found this notebook filled with plans for Pretty Things Press. One concept I had was for a series of books I was calling "Pocket Erotica: Put 'Erotic' In Your Pocket." (A play on "put a rocket in your pocket.") My plan was to bring out pulp-novel sized smut books, like the vintage ones you find for .35 cents. Super short novels that cut right to the chase — all the sex, some of the plot. You know? With luscious, sexy covers.

At first, when I saw the notes, I felt bummed — I'm at a place where printing books is a dream.

But then I realized — I'm doing this! I'm putting erotica in people's pockets with the Kindles and the iPhones! We've got gorgeous covers and enticingly erotic interiors:

Sure, the format is different from what I initially envisioned, but hey. I'm flexible.


P.S. You try to find something that fits "erotic" + "pocket" on ETSY. It's not easy! This pendant is fucking awesome, though. I just have to go look up my hanky code.

January 07, 2010

Choose Beauty

2009 ravaged me. I didn't sleep well. I didn't eat well. And I worried all the fricking time. You can see 2009 in the hollows under my eyes and the lines in my forehead. You can see 2009 in all of the recent photographs of me. But I don't care. Because 2010 is the year I've decided to choose beauty.

Do you know what I mean? The lines are there to stay, but the attitude behind the lines has shifted. See, I am embracing the frippery again. I am reveling in colors and silver-dangling earrings that nearly hit my shoulders, and glossy black leather boots that ride higher than my knees. And I'm even embracing those hollows and smudge-marks under my eyes. Because we lived through a year. Sam has the actual scars—and I have the worry scars. And fucking hell if I'm not going to wear them with pride.

The other afternoon, I ran into a deejay we know. Carly said, "Do you know how Sam talks about you?"

"What do you mean?"

"Your name comes up and he says, 'Isn't my wife beautiful?'"

Truly. So this year, I'm going to be. Lines and scars and hollows and all.

And I was wondering... won't you choose beauty with me?


P.S. This tiny camera necklace is only one of many charming items I am lusting after by phoebe marie, who has the most fabulous intro ever: "hi. i'm phoebe marie. i like photography and cupcakes and things that are deadly."