27 April 2006

Feeling lazy..

... so can't think of much to say. But you could go and look at some beautiful art pictures of nude people here.

This is an example by Georgio Stashov.

21 April 2006


It's mine today along with the Queen (who turns 80), Charlotte Bronte, Iggy Pop, Anthony Quinn, Andie McDowell and Robert Smith, the lead singer from The Cure.

And these other romance writers. Stephanie L Smith, Sandi Brackeen and Angelle Trieste. Pop along and wish them a happy birthday.

18 April 2006

Job application

I hate, hate, hate them. It's like being back at school again. I'll be doing that for the next few days.

In the last week, autumn has hit. Where I live is full of European trees like maples, birches and liquid ambers. The colours are extraordinary. And the weather's been clear and cool. It makes me want to read poetry and watch old black and white movies.

13 April 2006


Ok so I should be writing. But it's Easter and I'm not going to work for four days so I feel like playing. So I'm tinkering with fonts and colours.

It's autumn here which is my favorite time of year. Easter, cooler weather, trees turning and my birthday all happen at around the same time.

I'm working on two stories. I hope to get one finished tomorrow and find an ending for the other one. Then I want to write some good, sweaty sex. Mainly as a writing exercise in description but also to get back in touch with some of my baser instincts. If I come up with anything interesting I'll post it here.

11 April 2006

Writer harassment in Italy

Sarah Weinman has a post about Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi's legal troubles in Italy. You can read all about it here. They were collaborating on a book about an Italian serial killer and ran into trouble with the Italian authorities because they suggested a great deal of bungling went on in the investigation. Preston was arrested and now Spezi is in custody.

Sarah's post has contact details where you can write to the Italian authorities with your concerns.

Literature and Romance

On Friday there was an article in the Sydney Morning Herald about the reading patterns of men and women. No surprise that women read books about relationship (Austen, the Bronte sisters, etc) while men, if they read fiction at all, read authors full of existential angst (Camus, Salinger etc). Sure, it’s a gross generalisation but on the whole, it’s probably true. The writer made the point that all the major writing awards like the Booker are run by men while the main readership is women. It was ever thus.

One writer’s festival that’s run by a woman is the Sydney Writer’s Festival to be held in May. The program came out on Saturday and has, as usual, very little in the way of genre writing and none on romance or erotica. I don’t think I saw anything on science fiction either. Some on crime and quite a bit on writing for young people.

While I never expect romance or erotica to be taken seriously by the literary establishment, I still don’t get why they aren’t the least bit curious about why women buy romance in droves. Do they think we’re all suffering from false consciousness so should just be ignored as an embarrassment? This strange avoidance of analysing why women read romance seems a great subject for some enterprising feminist cultural theorist.

Some work has already been done, and I see that RWAmerica is funding some research in this area (Empowerment versus Oppression: 21st Century Views on Romance Novels edited by Sally Goade and to be published by Cambridge Scholars Press – RWA provided a grant to Jayashree Kamble whose research will appear in this anthology), but there is a curious lack of interest in the cultural studies area. Fifty percent of paperback sales are women’s fiction (read romance). There’s a good thesis in there.

01 April 2006

New stories

I've got a new story up call Angel at ERWA. I've also got a flasher which is a bit of fun (scroll down).

And I've got a longer flasher at Flashing in the Gutters. There are some great short, noir/crime pieces here worth having a browse through.

Except for the flasher at ERWA both of these stories are dark. Prisons and the illegal sex trade. No romance to be seen.

By contrast, I read Loretta Chase's Lord Perfect during the week and thought it wonderful. She does witty and yearning so well. Pity about the silly cover.

I was thinking the other day why it is that I love dark, gritty, spare writing that can be difficult and intellectual, as well as unashamed happily-ever-after frivolity (and want to write both).

When I was about six or seven, my mother took me and my sisters into Town to see a movie. The Sound of Music had just been released so that was our aim. But the queues where impossible so in desperation she took as to see another movie that she though would be suitable. It turned out to be Zorba the Greek. She realised it wasn't suitable at all, but I think was to exhausted to worry and in the end enjoyed seeing an intelligent movie with her four children in tow.

It was full of what they now call "adult themes." I was bored through most of it but came awake with a start when Irene Papas and Alan Bates started doing something very erotic involving no clothes and him grasping her around the hips.

Later on in the movie she got stoned (the rock variety not the green vegetable matter variety). You couldn't have a woman enjoying herself after all. But I was aroused and fascinated.

Eventually I got to see the Sound of Music and loved that too. It inspired a whole series of amateur dramatics in my family and I got to play Maria.

I guess I learned early on that the pleasure of reading, viewing and listening can be experienced in so many different ways and fulfill so many different needs. And I was lucky that, on the whole, my family wasn't bigoted and anti-intellectual. I was bought up a Catholic and had a standard Catholic education, but it wasn't too rigid. While as a family we had lots of problems, at least we weren't discouraged from thinking and talking.

So I'm happy to read and write as the mood takes me. Sometimes it's about paedophiles and sometimes it's about aristocratic Lords. A nice, good balance.