Monday, September 30, 2013

Art, Emotion, And Muses

A repost from October 2009
Michael and I

I got to participate in one of the coolest things ever.

I got to experience a photo shoot with the hugely talented and visionary Michael Baxter. Internationally known as the premier belly-dance photographer in the world, he was willing to meet with me and work on some portrait and retro-style pinup photographs.

Michael is the sweetest person you'll ever meet. He's generous, kind, and the very definition of artist. In between shots, we talked about what makes a photo or a paragraph or music into art, something transcendental.

Not to get all Aristotelian on everyone's asses, but we kept coming back to the idea that art evokes emotion. For example, tragedy arouses fear and pity, then creates a catharsis for those emotions. All art forms revolve around emotion- the arousal, examination, and release thereof.
Aristotle, author of the Poetics.

The visual arts can suggest a story in a single image. The written arts can suggest actions and meanings that re-create or imitate the world.

Thank you, Michael, for being a Muse for me.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Blast from the past.

Here's a  post from December 2009. Yeah, I've been here a while now!
Gilgamesh and Enkidu

The most powerful myths are about extremity. They force us to go beyond our experience. There are moments when we all, in one way or another, have to go to place we have never seen, and do what we have never done before. (p. 3)
Bernini's Apollo and Daphne

[Myth] enables us to place our lives in a larger setting that reveals an underlying pattern and gives us a sense that against all the depressive and chaotic evidence to the contrary, life had meaning and value.

A Short History of Myth
by Karen Armstrong.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Dream Big!

Self portrait of Peter Paul Rubens
Writers are told "not to quit their day jobs", that publishing is a difficult industry to break into, that you'll never be as big as you dream.

To these naysayers, I say,


Rubens, 1577-1640, was the foremost painter of his time and is considered one of the truly great artists of Western Civilization.

Rubber ducky added to show scale.
But most people know Rubens through pictures in a book - small pictures, if not down right tiny.
Look at these lovely thumbnails from the book The Louvre: All The Paintings.

Teeeeny-tiny little dreams. See that picture on the right with the three naked ladies just sort of hanging out? Yeah, looks like a masterpiece from a big shot artist, huh??

But! Rubens dreamed BIG. And I do mean BIG.
It's hard to take a steady picture in the presence of the magnificence of Rubens.

Here is (a crappy iPhone) photo of the painting in person, at the Louvre. With me, a 5'10" next to it to show scale.

This is not the dream of someone who is scared of losing their day job.

So dream like Rubens. Dream big. Dream of words thirteen feet tall and 10 feet wide.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Hitting it, Minnesota style.

A friend of mine (yes, a Minnesotan) asked for some sexy times in a ice fishing hut. And this is what I came up with.

Ice hard

Minnesota in winter was a hard place.

But not nearly hard enough, Mrs. Bjorn Johnson concluded. That damn Bjorn, fishing addict he was, had been up in that there damn ice fishing hut for the entire weekend, tending to the entirely wrong set of holes.

How was a woman supposed to get any lovin’ this way? She’d even wore her sexiest nightie -the long insulated green one without any feet – to bed last night, but her beloved Big B merely gave her a wet smacking kiss on the cheek and rolled over.

Discouraged, she’d put her footie pajamas back on and spent the night coming up with her cunning plan. If Mohammad couldn’t come to the mountain….

Already dressed in her warmest garments, Julika, sturdy, independent woman she was, strode across the three foot thick ice and throw the blowing snow to Bjorn’s sizable ice-fishing hut.

Not even knocking, she flung open the door. “Hello, darling,” she sing songed, walking into the heated room.

“Holeee cannooooli, Julika, what are you doing here?” Bjorn’s arousing Minnesotan drawl tingled her neglected places as he leapt to his feet, nearly upsetting the chair he’d been perched on watching the black waters under the ice. His shirt sleeves had been rolled up, revealing strong forearms, just like Paul Bunyan. Julika pressed her thighs together at the sight.

“Why, can’t a devoted wife see to her husband’s comfort?” she purred, peeling off her thermal mittens, her scarf, ear muffs, and stocking cap with the panache and confident cocked hip of a showgirl.

Bjorn gulped.

She unzipped her down coat, tooth by agonizing tooth, holding Bjorn’s gaze the entire time. He swallowed as she tossed it onto his small table, scattering fishing magazines and a lone copy of Maxim. She’d pin his ears back good about that later. Right now, this real life woman’s real life needs demanded attention. She was on a mission.

Her insulated vest went next. She peeled and tugged and unzipped and unbuttoned until she stood before him in her boots and clinging silk thermal long johns.

“Bjorn, I just had to know how your…pole…was doing.” Julika ran her hands up and down her torso and breasts just like she’d seen in the stripper aerobics tape Annika had snuck to her under the table at the last Church Ladies’ Social.

Her man’s blue eyes bugged out at her hard nipples and unbound hair. A gratifying lump appeared in his flannel lined jeans.

Leaning against the table, she spread her legs, letting him get a good look at her puffy hoo-ha pressed against her longies. Her fingers delved past the waist band of the drawers and stroked aching flesh.

“Now, you gonna provide for your woman, Bjorn Johnson, or am I going to have to become a DIY gal?”

What is your favorite "not the usual location" setting?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

What else have I got in my bag of tricks?

How about a little...


     Can I lose it with you?  We're kissing, hard, your tongue sliding around in my mouth, sucking on my lips.  I'm biting at you, nipping and sucking.  Your mouth is hot and wet, sweet with your spit and desire.  I start moaning and thrusting my hips at you.  You grab my ass and pull me in closer.  I wrap one leg around your hips and keep pumping against your jeans.  I'm losing it ‑ I'm clutching at your hair, biting at your neck and ears.  Will you let me go where I need to go?  Or will you stop me with a "Hey, that hurts."?  I suck your skin into my mouth, harder and harder.  I have to know ‑ will you stay with me, let me ride this heat until I can come?  Or will you chicken out before the sheer force of my need?  Or maybe I'll chicken out before you get where you need to be?  It's obvious this is not going to be some sweet, gentle session of lovemaking ‑ we both want it too much.

     You're biting my shoulder, ripping at my buttons.  We fall against the wall, thumping our bodies hard into each other.  You pull my hair, forcing my head back, not letting me escape your clever sharp mouth.  I feel my lips swell, my pussy growing slick with need.  I rub harder against you.  You bite harder, and grab my breast.  You squeeze, and push, and pinch.  I squeal, and I can feel my clit expand, my hood retracting.  I rip your shirt, and grab your nipples, hard.  I try to bend my head to bite them, but you still are holding my hair.  I groan protestingly, and you grin.  "You want something?" you tease me.  I growl and twist your nipples.

     "Give it up, give it to me," I snarl.

     "No."  You twist us, slamming me up against the wall.  You catch my hands with your one free hand and force them up under my chin.  You work your crotch into my spread legs.  I rub against your erection.  "No," you repeat, "you give it to me.  I'm not losing anything until you do.  I'm going to be here a nice long time." 
 You pull my hair harder, bumping my head into the wall.  I barely feel it.  You're kissing me again, not letting me take over.  I struggle, loving the feeling.  I adore it ‑ I can let go, lose control, take what I need and so can you.  We're feeding off of each other's slipping control.  Forced into taking what I need, instead of using the easy way out ‑ yeah, I've been wanting this for a long, long time.  Your hunger is just as greedy as mine ‑ you want a shivering, responsive partner ‑ not just one going through the motions.

     You bite my neck, hard.  I scream, my voice running up the scale of pleasure and excitement.  I buck my hips against you.  We're dryfucking, faster and faster.  We're moving fast and sloppy now, demanding as much sensation as we can milk out of each other.  I'm struggling to free my hands, wanting to rip your shirt to shreds, to feel your skin and mark you with my nails.  You force me back down. I refuse to relax and let you move me as you would.  You bite my cheek, my jaw.  I snarl again, snapping my jaws at you, trying to bite back.  You still have my hair in a fierce grip ‑ I'm not allowed to reach you.  I finally free a hand and I grab your hair, the long toffee colored strands tangling in my fingers.  I drag your head closer to mine.  Who gets to top?

     "Yeah, come on, give it to me," I whisper.  "I wanna fuck you."

     Your lips peel back from your teeth.  "Maybe I wanna fuck you,"  you hiss.  "Yeah, you're gonna be mine tonight."  

     I freeze and lick my lips.  The idea of you doing that to me delights me.  I shudder and my hidden lips spread wider.  My tongue snakes out, trying to touch yours.  You see my eyes soften and feel my body start to strain towards you instead of away.  You give my hair a yank.  "You gonna give it up that easy?" you growl.  "I thought you were gonna fuck me?"  Your lips curl in a sneer.

     My hand tightens up in your hair.  I yank you away from me.  My lips curl right back.  "I ain't giving anything away ‑ what you want, you're gonna have to take."  

     You grin wickedly.  I grin back.  I know what's in store for me.  

Tell me your favorite kiss!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Halloween, part three


He disappeared in the crowd of people. Shaking with shame and humiliation, Sula wiped off his kisses with her fist. Collecting her coat and bag from coat check, she slammed the elevator door shut. Too many people had witnessed her rejection. Thank all above it was Halloween, and no one would recognize her ever again.
Sula snuck to her bedroom without her family seeing her disheveled state. She hid her costume, washed her face and hair, and the next day, disappeared into her regular baggy clothing. Sula tucked the memory of the sexy Captain America deep into her brain where her family’s prying wouldn’t find it. Embarrassment made her cringe whenever she thought of her abandoned behavior at Halloween.
The weeks flew by in their usual blur. One day she woke still twisting with dreams of a finely sculpted mouth, smooth teeth, and a blue, red, and white costume lying in a wrinkled heap next to her bed. She put her feet on the cold, worn linoleum floor of her childhood bedroom. Looking out her window, she stared at the huge piles of rock, gravel, and decorative cement flagstones of her family’s landscape and farm supply business. 
For once she didn’t find them oppressive and desiccating. Instead, they were sturdy and powerful and patient. 
A flood of strength filled her, replacing her usual fear with calm and clarity. This morning, her angry father voice calling up the stairs didn’t make her cringe. She touched the window’s smooth glass as a plan to escape her family’s dominance crystallized in her head. 
During quiet hours alone in the business office, she searched for an apartment. She reworked her resume and emailed it out. Useful items for an independent bachelor girl lurked under her narrow bed. 
Finally, she drilled a hole in the shield, painted it silver, and put it on her charm bracelet where no one would notice it. The passion the errant Captain awakened now kept her keen and alert, ready for her life to begin. She bided her time through Thanksgiving and Christmas. 
Everything fell into place two days before New Year’s Eve. Tomorrow night, she could move into the apartment she wanted. A big shot law office wanted her as their office manager after the New Year. She could watch the ball drop in her own place.
During the night, she packed up the little used Honda she bought and hid the few boxes with blankets. When she came down in the morning, ready for anything, her mother told her the business’s inventory computer system crashed with the fury of an asteroid hitting the earth. 
Knowing it was her last day made her nod calmly. The promise of sweet freedom made anything bearable.
Nothing Sula did could revive the computer, though. Her father, sneering at her failure, demanded she call in a consultant. Flipping through the Yellow Pages, a perverse imp of mischief made her choose an ad with a shield on it.
The consultant came in, practically vibrating with energy and life. He bore a decided resemblance to a young Paul Newman. Sula felt a strange pull in her lower self, the first in many months. He introduced himself as Peter, shaking hands with the members of her family, charming her craggy father, her crumbled mother, and even her brothers, filled with their small cruelties. When he shook her hand, he glanced at her bracelet. “Hmm. And you are?”
“Sula,” she responded, distracted by her trembling thighs. 
“Sula,” he said. “A pretty name.” Her eyes widened at the uncharacteristic flirting and at the memory of Halloween. He was the right height, the right breadth. A thin flame ran under her skin and hardened her nipples. 
 “Well, show me the damage.” He picked up his briefcase.
Sula gestured for him to follow her to the ‘computer room’. The rest of the family left them alone together without a chaperone, unsuspecting of her churning desire. She opened the door to the computer’s room and escorted him inside. 
Peter took off his jacket and rolled up his sleeves. He sat at the console and asked, “So tell me again what happened?” As Sula bent over, she caught a whiff of his subtle, lemon tinged cologne.
He shook his head. “I’m amazed you kept this thing going as long as you did. You must be a miracle worker.” Even though the praise pleased her, she was no longer the sort to roll on her belly for approval. 
“Well, we’re all hoping you are an even bigger magician,” she replied. “How did you get into this kind of consulting?” 
“I liked feeling like Captain America, like I could ride into town and save the day.”
“Oh!” Sula dropped her pencil in shock. She bent down but Peter beat her to it. When she took it, he pulled her closer. 
“Sula,” he breathed, looking at her mouth. “I went back to the party, looking for you, but you had left. How have you been?’
Her heart pounded so hard she gulped for breath. “Fine, thank you. And you?”
“I’ve thought of you. I wish I hadn’t had to run off like Cinderella that night.” 
She straightened, pleasure at his words making her blood run hot. “Did your ride turn into a pumpkin?” 
 “Something like that.” He straightened his tie. “So, ah, what are you doing for New Year’s Eve?”
 “I’m moving into my own apartment.” She inhaled and let go of years of exhortations that only hussies asked a man out. Maybe only hussies got what they wanted. “Would you like to help me christen the place?”
The End. 

Mmm, Captain America helping me christen a new living space. Yummy!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Halloween, Part Two

Continued from previously....

Minutes or years later, she opened her eyes. And spotted Captain America in one corner of the ballroom. He had a shield strapped to his back, a martini with a twist in one hand, and the most luscious mouth she had ever seen. The belt did wonders for his firm thighs and an alluring expanse of blue cloth between. 
Sula rarely indulged her sexual side – the risks of disease and the disapproval of her family kept her firmly in line. But tonight was Halloween. No one knew her. She slid over to the honorable Captain. “Would you like to dance with me?” 
Behind the mask, he looked her up and down, his gaze catching at her breasts and lips. “Why sure, little lady.” 
She grinned, looking him dead level in the eye. She was too tall for girl, but he was just right for man. Caught up in her daring, she led the way out to the floor, but Captain America caught her. 
“Allow me.” He put his hands on her waist and settled her against his thigh. Her breath caught at his boldness. She thought they would merely dance facing each other, not slide against each other’s bodies in imitation intimacy.
George Clinton took them on a trip to Erotic City as the Captain gripped her waist. At his hot clasp, all of her hang-ups disappeared. Her head tipped against his neck and she breathed him through his costume. Nothing smelled like a man.
The hot beat had her tracing the line his muscles made down his arms to his hands then back up. His fingers inched down her hips until he clutched her ass with wide, strong hands. Kneading her, he watched her swallow and lick her lips.
The thin fabric of her lamé pants offered no shield from his assured touch. Sula wanted none. He slid down her body, his breath teasing at her belt. Her untucked shirt offered no protection and his mobile tongue circled her navel. She grasped his shoulders and rippled against him, lost in the sensations. 
Agonizingly slowly, he traveled back up her torso, kissing each and every button. When he reached her cleavage, he rubbed his face against the sides of her breasts, the fabrics of his mask and her shirt setting up a shiver through her. Then he licked a hot wet path from between her breasts to her collarbone. A slight graze of teeth of her neck had her whimpering and her nails dug hard into the chain mail like texture of his costume. 
He leaned in as the beat slowed.
Her eyes flicked down to his curving mouth. 
His lips were warm and dry and firm…and then he traced her lower lip with his tongue. Sula stroked her tongue along his. He pulled her upper lip into his mouth, sucked off all of her lipstick. Sula started. The heat pooling in her belly undid her. She slid his lower lip between her teeth and sucked back. 
He tasted of lemon and gin and a man’s desire. She grabbed his biceps, the feel of the nubbly blue cotton under her palms maddening to her heated senses. She held his face, the mask both safe and irritating to her. Wrapping the long strands of her gel stiffened hair in his broad and powerful hands, he pulled her even closer. 
They abandoned the lip sucking to slide their tongues against each other. He had a man’s tongue, pebbled but silky. Sula had been kissed before and well, too. She’d been to college, after all. But kissing Captain America was an education in just how expressive and sexual a mouth could be. 
The next song started, something faster, sleazier. When her back bumped against the wall, she gasped, surprised he had maneuvered them so smoothly though the growing crowd. 
Pressing her into place, he settled between her legs. She whimpered into his mouth and rocked against the delicious pressure. 
She rode his erection. He would fit perfectly inside her, like he’d been made for her pleasure. Sighing with the delight of that thought, she grabbed his hard ass and yanked him even closer.
The heat in her lower body blinded her with the strength of her need. Her hidden lips swelled deliciously painfully. She pressed hard against him, but the friction wasn’t quite right. Hitching her leg up, she wrapped it around his hip. A low growl answered her motion and he pushed her harder into the wall.
Her head tipped back against the plaster. Gasping, she rolled her head back and forth. Taking advantage of her exposed skin, he spread the collar of her shirt. His teeth nipped at the flesh over her collarbone.  Sula barely bit back a whine in time or she would have let the whole ballroom know exactly what she wanted.
 She stroked her hands down his face, down his neck, exploring his broad, hard shoulders, his firm pecs and hard nipples. She trembled as she reached his waistband, and as she reached to insinuate her fingers between them enough to cup his crotch, his hands caught hers and held them.
She broke away from the kiss, startled and upset. Her wide, glazed eyes met his, enigmatic and hot behind the mask. She pushed her arms against his grip, wanting to start them moving again, wanting to feel his body, his hardness against her. 
“Why not?” she whispered. 
The Captain looked at her smeared makeup,  her body straining towards his. He licked his lips but he held firm.
“I don’t even know your name,” he whispered back. 
“Sula. My name is Sula.” What was one more risk at the thought of not touching him? 
“Sula. Pretty name.” He nuzzled her ear. He still held her hands away from his body. She licked the exposed skin on his face. 
“Please,” she pleaded. 
He loosened his grip. Just as her fingers touched his erection, she felt a cell phone vibrate against her thigh. A quick check of the message window had him swearing. 
“Pretty girl.” He kissed her again hard. “I have to leave.” He wiped away a smudge of her bright red lipstick away from the corner of her mouth. He slid a miniature shield from his belt. Teasing, his hand traced the curve of her breast before dropping the shield into her shirt pocket. “Don’t forget me.”


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

While I'm stuck on fan fiction...

My homage to my favorite comic book character, Captain America.

Part One
by Linda Mercury
Rare, delicious freedom! Sula shimmied her shoulders to the bhangra beat in her headphones. She escaped her family’s choking grasp by claiming a new knitting group and snuck out a Halloween costume in her voluminous bag. One accidentally-on-purpose left behind cell phone and the night was hers. Giggles erupted as she got off the bus at the crowded Portland downtown transit mall. 

At a nearby greasy spoon diner, she disappeared into the bathroom to step into silver platform boots. Wild purple glitter on her eyelids transformed her sweet ‘Daughter of India’ face into the unfamiliar wildness of glam rock. She wandered the streets, laughing with everyone’s high spirits until a playful bass line tickled her ears. 

The pounding led her to a masquerade fundraiser for the Dove Lewis Animal Hospital. She paid her cover and took the ancient elevator to the ballroom. A goth, butterfly, and a zombie all complemented each other on the creaking ride up. The metal gates opened and Sula caught her breath.

Gossamer fabric and twinkling hanging lanterns transformed the space into a 1001 Nights fantasy. She bobbed her head to the funk as she got a Tequila Sunrise.

The ballroom echoed emptily at this early hour of the night, but the DJ, a blonde woman in a wheelchair, had the place thumping with sexualized vibrations. Sula took a deep drink, set down the plastic cup, and claimed a corner of the dance floor. The rhythm loosened her spine. The beat freed her mind, informed her feet. Years of repression boiled out of her.

Part Two, coming soon!
Tell me, who is your favorite All American hero?