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Why I’m not doing NaNoWriMo

I’ve attempted NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) several times and “won” once. Since I’ve had kids I’ve usually tried to do it, and failed every time.

Chris Brecheen’s post NaNoWriMo: The Good, The Bad, and The Really, Really Ugly inspired me to write this post, but I agree with many of his reasons not to do it, and I’ll use my own experiences to highlight why. Chris’s points are in black.

It’s a terrible month to do it. As a mom I’m already overwhelmed by life in general. However in November I have one child’s birthday (and birthday party), Thanksgiving with all the attendant cooking and the added bonus of my children at home for three days, the usual family commitments–rock climbing/gymnastics/Mandarin/karate, along with the day to day stuff. Now I’m sure I could find things to complain about every month, and the pace of my own writing reflects that I have never really found the balance between writing and family, but November seems like a rough month in general.

Some people stop writing because of it/It instills a sense of failure.

However, even though I know Nano is a popular event among aspiring writers, I implore people who have never had any real experience writing a high word count every day not to participate or at least to lower the word count or in some other way practice self-care. I wish I could tell you they always listened. But we don’t live in the magical sugar cane land of rainbow unicorn farts and candy corn mountains. Instead, Charlie gets his kidney cut out, and what I have is a collection of friends and acquaintances in various levels of existential crises about whether they’re even really writers and how impossible writing can be. They burned out like shooting stars and slammed into the unforgiving wall of Nanowrimo.

Because of Nano, there are some people out there who AREN’T writers anymore.

The one year I won, I felt like a million dollars and I felt inspired to start a blog that I dutifully wrote in for two years until I had a kid. However, it should also be said that the one year I won I’d just had back surgery and wasn’t allowed to do very much. I basically stayed in my house alone, watched tv, and wrote. NaNo was the thing that brought me back to writing after not having done much of it in six years. However, the first time I attempted and failed NaNo, I didn’t shrug it off. I did feel like a failure. I didn’t exactly stop writing, but I stopped believing I could write a full book. I stopped and started and failed to write several books, which reinforced that belief. I couldn’t even get them to fifty thousand words, much less more, which reinforced that belief. Completing NaNo isn’t a measuring stick by which you can define your ability to write.

People think they’ve written a novel. Fifty thousand words is a lot but as Chris points out, it’s also a totally abitrary number. For most anthologies I’ve been involved in, it’s the bare minimum for a print run. It’s nearly two hundred double spaced pages. But by most publishing house’s standards, it’s a long-ish novella. A full on novel is usually nearly double NaNo’s goal of fifty thousand words. Further, like Chris points out, there’s a whole cottage industry around NaNo that preys on the winners, offering to publish their books for a fee. Or authors shoot themselves in the foot and self publish without an edit. I certainly felt “done” and was super proud of my “book.” I even printed it out and had it bound. That doesn’t make it a book and more importantly it doesn’t make it a good book.

It emphasizes word count over everything. Let’s build on that–it’s all about vomiting up a first draft. About halfway through Not What His Mother Expected (I know, terrible title) I realized that the main couple wasn’t the interesting part of the book. His sister and her girlfriend would’ve made a far better star. But I didn’t start over and rewrite it as Not What HER Mother Expected. I kept going because you’re not supposed to edit–you’re just supposed to vomit out your ~1700 words a day–and part of the reason NWHME sucks is that it really shouldn’t be about the main couple. Further, there’s no real emphasis on the all the work that comes after. There’s no EDitDEcember (and Jan and Feb and and and). There’s no real value of craft.

Personally, I learned my craft first when I wrote, obviously. You can’t edit or improve that which you never wrote. I started on Literotica.com, which I highly recommend for erotica authors. I found a supportive community, which in turn encouraged me to write more. I got better by writing more stories. But I didn’t really get better until I started editing. Finding good beta readers who didn’t stroke my ego, but rather told me what sucked was bruising. I still brace myself when I get comments from betas or editors. Writing fifty thousand words one time did prime the pump, so to speak, but it isn’t what made me a good writer.

I stopped writing this entry to go and find my NaNo story. The prologue was so bad I could barely get through it. Honestly, it’s so bad I can’t even bring myself to share anything beyond the title with you.

Word count matters eventually. Short story submissions usually have a minimum and maximum word count. As I said above, short story anthologies usually have a minimum word count to get a print run, and publishing houses each have their own rules about what constitutes a short story/novella/novel. But you will not be published (outside of self publishing) if you don’t edit.

Also, word count outside your novel doesn’t count for NaNo. This blog post is over a thousand words and I wrote another blog post for my other blog about moving my cat to Singapore. Probably about the daily NaNo word count between them, but neither “count.” Technically, neither does any of the editing/extending that I’m doing on Plunder because it’s not a new, shiny story that I started on November 1, 2017. And I find that irritating because all of it is writing. Maybe in thirteen years, when my youngest is in college I could do NaNo as a personal challenge over and above whatever novel I’m editing and blogging (or whatever we’ll be doing in thirteen years) but certainly not this year.

So no, I’m not doing NaNo, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. If you want to do it, go for it. But be aware of the high “failure” rate and don’t beat yourself up for not finishing. Don’t beat your chest and think you’re done when you do finish (well, beat your chest because it is an accomplishment). I’ll cheer you on, but I’ll do so from the bleachers.

Seeing my photos (Wicked Wednesday 282)

It’s ironic that this week’s Wicked Wednesday prompt is Mirrors. Monday I posted a snippet of For Love of Snow White, which included a mirror scene. Today I’m going to talk about photos, both sexy and not.

I hate having my photo taken. I never like what I see. I hide behind the camera more often than not, preferring to take photos of others. So it was one of the most difficult experiences of my life to decide to do a boudoir photo shoot—it wouldn’t be just photos of me, but increasingly nude photos of me. Would I like some of them, or would my self esteem be shattered by photos that reflect the negatives and imperfections I see in the mirror after nearly 40 years of being subjected to a media barrage that my value lies in how fuckable I am (and at times in my late teens/early twenties I based my self-worth on whether people found me fuckable).

About a month ago, I posted about doing a boudoir photo shoot. I purposefully wrote that before I’d seen my photos because I was worried that my own insecurities in looking at photos of myself might taint my memory of the shoot.

Well, I’ve seen the photos and we selected 16 to keep. Here are two examples of photos I’m really happy with…

I can honestly say that the experience is very high on my list of things I was terrified of, but am so glad I tried. I have been very self conscious about my body for decades and to see photos where I actually feel like I look sexy is new and a little scary. It calls what I see in the mirror most days, and gives me a hint of what my husband sees that I can’t.

 

wicked wednesday

 

I’d definitely do this again, and not just because it gives me a glimpse of what’s on the other side of the looking glass.

My take on Snow White

Once upon a time,a long time ago in a kingdom far away from California, a young woman wrote a story about Snow White for literotica.

I started with two premises in mind—what if beauty was a curse, and what if the Evil Queen wasn’t evil? The result was a short story called “For Love of Snow White.” I wrote it in 2002 and barely thought of it for over a decade. But I saw a call for submissions that would fit the story, so I pulled it out of my archive, polished it up and sent it in. My editor asked me to expand it–which I did by about 10k words. The resulting story is still called “For Love of Snow White,” and while it is not erotica, it is a dark feminist take on the Snow White story.

Here’s a snippet

The carriage ride to the convent was long, and my book held little interest for me. Idly, I took my mirror from the pocket of my gown.

“Mirror, Mirror in my hand, who’s the fairest in the land?”

I received the answer I’d dreaded for five years. I was told “You, my queen, are lovely as a pearl, but your beauty cannot compare to the girl’s.”

The new god’s curse had struck in full.

“Mama!” Snow greeted me with a warm embrace.

“Snow! Let me look at how you’ve grown!”

No longer garbed like a novitiate, Snow White was breathtaking. She had hair as black as midnight cascading to her waist. Her skin was pale as the snow she was named for. Snow White’s eyes glowed bluer than any sapphire. Her lips formed a perfect red bow. She was dressed in a blue gown that accented her womanly curves and she moved with a grace that even I envied. Her voice was soft, yet carried a note of seduction that she seemed unaware of. She had reached her majority and her powers, although untrained, were at their full strength.

The king and priests had spoken—she was to leave, no matter what the head of the nun’s order thought of it. I took her home, too distracted by the mirror’s revelation and worried by Snow’s beauty to take advantage of the two hours alone in the carriage. She was silent, looking out a window rather than wanting to talk. Perhaps she was thinking of Charmaine. I should’ve taken her to the stone dance right away, bespelled the driver, anything. But how could I know what was to come?

You can read my almost novella in Myths, Monsters, Mutations edited by Jessica Augustsson, forthcoming from Jayhenge in 2017

I did a boudoir photo shoot

*This is not a sponsored post. I was not asked to write this post. I received zero discounts or perks.*

I’ve wanted to do a boudoir photo shoot for a long time now. As an amateur photographer I’m fascinated by sexual photography–naked or nearly so bodies, fetish photography, the whole nine yards. I longed to be a model in one of those photos, but the voices in my head that said I’m not pretty enough or thin enough drowned that desire in a bog of self doubt. I generally hate how I look in photos, with the exception of my wedding photos (which the voices remind me was twenty-five pounds ago). But beneath all of that was a sense of inevitability.

Several months ago I was introduced to Groupon (remember, I just moved back to the US–I’d heard of it but it wasn’t as big a deal as it is now when we left in 2010). One day I was idly scrolling through offers in my area and stumbled across a discount for a boudoir photography shoot with two photos for a steep discount.

My partner turned forty last year and I turn forty next year. No matter what the voices in my head said, he has always found me beautiful.  decided to push my boundaries and do this shoot for him. Or at least I told myself it was for him.

I booked my date and because of childcare and travel issues had several months to dread and second/third/hundredth guess my decision. Initially I made up a bogus appointment to explain why he needed to take the kids one day while I went into San Francisco. I’m a terrible liar and my excuse fell apart, so I told him what was up. He was incredibly supportive and together we crafted the four looks I would shoot with.

The price of the shoot was just the beginning. I hadn’t thought about all the details.

In the months before the shoot…

I’ve had back surgery, and was told heels were off limits for me. But I wasn’t about to wear flats in a sexy shoot. I bought three pairs of heels and a pair of dominatrix boots.

I bought a new piece of lingerie.

I bought new lacy panties.

I bought a man’s white shirt as mine didn’t look so fresh, and I wanted a better fit.

Celebrate Your Sexy sent me an email to ask me questions, including how do I feel about photos of myself and what are my concerns. (Top concern–I’d hate the photos and it would wreck my fragile self esteem).

The week of the shoot….

I got my eyebrows, lower arms, under arms, and full legs waxed.

I got a pedicure and acrylic nails.

On the day of the photo shoot…

I couldn’t find one of my outfits and had to rethink an entire look. This totally freaked me out. (It was on top of my bureau so I wouldn’t lose it–which I discovered that night.)

I had my hair and makeup done.

When my stylist asked what I wanted done with my hair I said “make it look like I just had really good sex.” My straight hair was curled and teased. Since I was (mostly) going to keep my glasses on, we added fake lashes and just did some liner on my eyes. I did a blood red lip (fiery liquid lipstick from Stila–it is my go-to and the only red I’ve ever tried that didn’t look pink-y or orange-y).

All of this added up to way more than the photo shoot cost. A more secure/more cost conscious person could probably do without these extras, but this is my journey.

The experience…

I was ready about an hour before my shoot, and I sat in my car so as not to sweat my make-up off in the insane heat wave that gripped the Bay Area a few weeks ago. This gave me plenty of time to contemplate if I wanted to take anxiety medication.

I drove to the location of the photo shoot with a carry-on suitcase full of clothes/shoes/props and texted the photographer that I was downstairs.

The photographer immediately put me at ease. We talked through my outfits and shoes. She let me plug my phone in and put on a playlist (regret–should’ve had a better playlist as it wasn’t something I’d really thought about or planned for). We talked about my props and which outfit they went with, etc.

We set up my four outfits, and I changed into the first one–a sexy red dress with red heels with a matching black lace bra and panty under it. The photographer started me off on the bed, moving the lights and herself around me. She walked me through poses, and told me to tell her when something was just not okay for my back or any other reason. Some poses were indeed uncomfortable, and I gained a small appreciation for what it must take to create ads and layouts in magazines (apart from photoshop).

My second outfit was a turquoise bra and panty under a white men’s shirt and black heels. I posed with a copy of Capturing the Moment. I wished I’d brought my own laptop, but the photographer lent me hers. I’m hoping I like one of these photos so I can use it here on the site.

My third leaned hard into kink. A nightie with a vinyl/pleather breast bra top, black lacy panties, and dominatrix boots that on my five foot two/three inch frame went nearly into my vagina. I posed with a riding crop with a sparkly handle and one with a heart-shaped surface.

My fourth? Mesh with nothing under it and black heels. I should have felt self conscious or uncomfortable, but by that point I felt comfortable with the photographer, with my body, and most shockingly–with the camera.

The photos…

I’m seeing them on Friday. I wanted to write about the experience before I saw them, and then I’ll write another entry about that experience.

Final thoughts…

I had such a positive experience that I volunteered to model in a plus sized lingerie show next month. It was a safe space.

After the shoot they give you a pamphlet with next steps and it’s not until you reach that point that you learn the ridiculous per photo costs. However, this seems to be a standard thing in the world of boudoir photography. So the selection process will be brutal, or at least I hope I like enough of the photos for it to be a difficult decision.

I’d definitely recommend Celebrate Your Sexy if you go into it knowing the photos are really expensive. They shoot all over the US.

Here’s hoping that I’ll have an excellent Friday morning.

I write sex books

My older daughter, Athena (not her real name) in her first week in an American school made a new friend. The friend’s mom was volunteering for playground duty, and upon meeting Athena asked her what myself and my husband did for work. My husband’s job is innocuous–he’s a programmer.

“My mom writes sex books,” Athena tells her.

Fast forward to last week. I meet the mom for coffee–it’s my first time hanging out with her and I’m hoping to make a good impression. The story comes out after I said I write romance novels.

I am mortified.

That afternoon I shared what I’d learned with my daughter, and asked why she’d said that. I wasn’t angry with her, I just wanted to know why.

“That man is naked on your cover. He’s not wearing a shirt.”

She means RJ.

I asked her what she thought sex was.

“I don’t know.”

Cue my buying Sex is a Funny Word from Amazon, and asking her to say I write books, or I write romance books instead of sex books.

My friends have found this whole story hilarious. I am moving from mortification to amusement as well.

On moving, and writing

I moved back to the US in February. It’s now nearly August–nearly six months of being “home.” Except it’s not home. Not my coast. Not my state. Not my city–definitely not this as I live in the burbs. My neighbors tell me it’s a city and that there are over 100k people, to which I reply that my last home crammed nearly 7m people into the same geography of 1/4 the size of Rhode Island. In fact, it’s a lot like moving to Singapore, only I like the food more and there’s Target.

Six months.

Six months of my children begging to move back to Singapore, their unhappiness mingling with my own until even retail therapy is no form of therapy at all. Six months of scolding myself for not adjusting better, even as I know that re-entry is often as or more painful than leaving. Six months of having my youngest home all the time because here she’s too little for Kindergarten and the pre-schools all have waiting lists. Six months of trying and failing to find a place in my house where I could write but be away from my children (especially the one who can read over my shoulder and who doesn’t need this thorough a sex education at her age) when my bedroom is half the size it was and can no longer fit my office. Six months of getting lost every time I leave the house (thank Google for Android Auto and Google Maps).

Plunder was supposed to be done nearly three months ago. After all, I rationalized to myself–it’s not like I’ll have friends there, I can just write. And write. And write. Hell, I might even finish it in the two weeks my kids are with my in-laws.  I’ve barely begun to write the second draft.

When this entry publishes, I’ll be back in Boston for the first time in nearly four years. I’m frightened it will also be too unfamiliar, too alien and that nothing will feel like home again. I’m scared that I’ll forever be in-between. Not Boston. Not Singapore. Not the West Coast. Not at home anywhere.

That melancholy, right there. That’s where I’ve been for the past six months. Depressed. Frightened. Trying to reassure my children when I’m just as unhappy as they are. Looking for doctors, orthodontists, the good Target, the good grocery store, buying a car, talking to teachers, looking for a Chinese tutor, and sometimes just too depressed to even get out of bed.

I took the first really hard steps–I told my partner that I thought I was far past the normal amount of grieving. I’d even shut out my therapist (whom I have a skype relationship of 2+ years with). I got my mental health meds adjusted to help drag me out of the darkest parts of the depression.

I’ve started writing again. Who knows if any of it is any good, but I’m at least doing it. I’m sharing here because in writing erotica we lay ourselves bare–we share fantasies, we share desire, we share romance and sex and relationships. Sometimes, a relationship is difficult, even when it’s with ourselves.

Hold me accountable to write here again. Poke me on Twitter, leave a comment on the blog, email me at delilahnight at gmail dot com and say “hey, where are you?” Writing for me = mental health.

 

Guest Post: Malin James on Stereotypes, Identity and Roadhouse Blues

Today I get to host the lovely Malin James. Malin’s writing style has always made me a bit weak in the knees. She can convey more power and sex in 5 words in a minimalist, gorgeous voice. Her story The Green Lady was one of my favorites in Under the Mistletoe. Today she’s here to talk about her new book Roadhouse Blues.

First of all, thank you for having me, Delilah. It’s wonderful to be here.

One of the most unexpected things about promoting Roadhouse Blues is keeping track of what I talk about, when and with whom. Between interviews, conversations, emails, social media and posts, I have the constant, nagging worry that I’ve already said whatever it is that I’m going to say. One thing does seem to keep coming up though, so I figured it was worth going into in a little more depth.

One of the best pieces of feedback Roadhouse Blues has gotten so far is that it subverts certain stereotypes. My writing process is pretty organic, so I rarely go into a project with a specific mission in mind. That said, there was something that I knew I wanted to do very early on—I wanted the stories to be about characters whose inner lives don’t necessarily match their outward appearances.

I’ve already talked a bit about the fact that Styx, the town the collection is set in, creates an external pressure that binds the stories together. It’s a socially conservative place in the middle of nowhere—the kind of place where it’s often easier to just do what’s expected of you. It’s the kind of community that is so small that the consequences of challenging the status quo can be huge. So, with a few major exceptions, most of the characters don’t openly challenge it…but that doesn’t mean that they privately conform.

That’s where I go Joe, the good ol’ boy mechanic whose marriage is quietly and lovingly non-monogamous; and Liz, his boss and long term lover; and Luke, the high school football star turned diner owner who plays his private life extremely close to the vest; and Maybelline, the stripper whose relationship to sex is complicated and deeply internalized, despite the fact that it’s her job to perform an exaggerated portrait of female sexuality. In fact, that notion of performance is at the center of it all—how do we identify, and do we choose to perform that identity or keep it hidden?

That’s where stereotypes get interesting. For some characters, like Liz in “Down & Dirty”, stereotypes are a burden—something she actively chooses to defy. She owns a garage at a time when women don’t even pump gas, and she takes a deep, carnal pleasure in her body’s raw strength. She takes the stereotypical idea of what it is to be feminine, balls it up and eats it for lunch without ever compromising the complexity of her identity and sexual needs.

Other characters, like Luke in “Truck Stop”, use stereotypes like a mask. Of all the characters in the book, Luke is the one who is most conscious of the bifurcation between his public image and his private life. Because of that, he deliberately plays up the stereotype of the ex-athlete, business owning, pillar-of-the-community to shield aspects of himself, specifically that he is a gay black man in a “shit-kicking Christian town”.

Unfortunately, choosing to remain closeted is nothing new, especially since the reality is that being openly gay is still dangerous in parts of this (and other) countries. Given where he lives, Luke is instinctively aware of the danger that his sexuality could put him in, so he chooses to remain closeted…but not so deeply closeted that he doesn’t know himself.

There’s nothing delusional or stereotypically tortured about Luke’s relationship to his own sexuality. He owns his attraction to men. He’s at ease with the fact that he’s had gay sex, and that he misses it. He misses that part of himself. And yet, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t know what acting on it could cost him, so, unlike Liz, he uses a stereotype to protect himself. But that doesn’t mean that he owns his identity any less than Liz. He just owns it privately, which is why, every now and then, he allows himself to indulge. That’s what “Truck Stop” is about—Luke setting aside the safety of the stereotype to engage in truly hot, authentic sex with another man.

I’m not trying to imply that stereotypes can’t be dangerous, because they can, especially when we don’t question them. Stereotypes are why we have hate crimes, misogyny, profiling and pretty much every cultural phobia you can think of. Stereotypes are the illusion that we have even the first clue about a person based on how they look, and they are very often wrong.

And yet, stereotypes persist, and because they persist, they pose an even more insidious threat, because if a person buys into the stereotype that describes them, it can flatten the glorious individuality that is every person’s right, and twist them away from their far more complicated, authentic self. Self-awareness is the answer to that—self-awareness and autonomous self-ownership, regardless of how a person defies, or uses, any given stereotype.

That’s why I wanted my characters to move seamlessly through the world they live in, while remaining aware of, and faithful to, their private realities. Sometimes, that reality manifests internally, as it does for Maybelline in “Marlboro Man”. Sometimes it’s flagrantly displayed, like it is for Liz. And sometimes it lands on a halfway point between the two, and that’s where Luke sits.

Stereotypes, identity, performance, authenticity. These are some of the basic human factors we all confront as we find our way in the world. If there’s one thing I’m proud of in this collection, it’s letting my characters navigate what the people around them think and expect, and then decide for themselves how they want to respond.

And now, here’s a snippet from Luke’s story, “Truck Stop”.

Excerpt:

Luke didn’t really think he’d see Jim again. Between the fluster and the blushing and the chemistry, it was pretty damn clear that trucker Jim was into guys. It was also pretty damn clear that he didn’t know what to do about it. Once upon a time, Luke had been the same. All red-faced awkwardness and bright, shiny eyes. He knew how rough it could be. Sometimes moving on was easier. At least, that’s what he’d told himself.

Luke spent the rest of the afternoon taking orders and fixing food. Jack was off his game, over-salting chili and under-cooking fries. Too many doubles, Luke figured. He’d have to make him cut back, but, in the meantime, it kept Luke busy, which helped him forget about sexy, bright-eyed truckers. He did a fine job too…until Jim came back a few minutes before close.

“Hey,” Jim said, shoving his hands in his pockets. He looked like a sheepish kid. “Ran out pretty fast this afternoon. Sorry about that.”

“No worries,” Luke said, ignoring everything south of his hips. “Here. I owe you some change.”

Luke opened the register, but Jim shook his head. “No, keep it. Call it a tip.”

“Okay….” Luke slipped the money back and quietly shut the till. “So, what brings you back?” His voice felt strong and deep in his chest, like all of him was there. That should’ve worried him, but the worry didn’t make it through the good.

Jim took a deep breath, like people do when they’re going to be brave or very stupid. “I came back to see you.”

He took off his hat, a gentleman come a-courtin’ with rumpled hair, like he’d just rolled out of bed. Luke’s pulse jumped. He was standing in a room with a fine-looking man, and the room was full of windows. Anyone could see.

Luke cleared his throat. “How about some pie?”

Their eyes met. Thick, caramel silence.

“Yeah,” Jim said. “I’d like some pie.”

Luke flipped the closed sign and locked the door. It was pretty goddamn clear they weren’t talking about pie. His hands shook as he lowered the blinds. He never lowered the blinds. He was too wary of being set up. Trucker comes in, makes sexy eyes…next thing you know, you’re getting punched in the head. Jim could be fucking with him, or trying to steal his till, or just looking to bash gay guys in the act of being gay, but Luke didn’t think so—not with the way he ran out and came back. Luke didn’t think so, and he was willing to take the risk.

By the time he got back to the counter, Jim had taken off his jacket and was sitting at the counter, tight and sharp as a wire. Luke got the coffee pot and brought over a mug. Jim touched his hand.

“Better not,” he said and smiled. “Haven’t been lucky with coffee.” His hand stayed on Luke’s, pale and rough, clean beneath the nails, as his eyes filled with a soft, silent pleading. Luke thought about all the good, wholesome, down-home sex he never got to have, and the last of his caution slip away. He leaned in, drawn by those pretty, pleading eyes, but Jim got there first.

Jim kissed him, hard on the mouth, like he making an important point. Luke stiffened—not turned off, just surprised—but Jim hesitated and started to pull away. Luke put his hands on the other man’s back and pulled him back in. They didn’t talk. They barely breathed. They mauled each other right out of words and the mind to speak.

Jim dropped to his knees. Luke tried to pull him up, but the younger man stopped him with those big, bright eyes full of let me and please. Luke let him go and leaned back against the counter. Jim unbuckled his belt like a kid on Christmas day. He had no idea if the guy had even seen another man’s dick, but there was something sweet about finding out.

 

Author Bio:

Malin James is an essayist, blogger, and short story writer. Her work has appeared in Electric Literature, Bust, MUTHA, Queen Mob’s Tea House and Medium, as well as in podcasts and anthologies for Cleis Press, Sweetmeats Press and Stupid Fish Productions. Her first collection, Roadhouse Blues, is now out with Go Deeper Press. Find out more at malinjames.com.

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