Sylvia Plath: My First True Obsession

Sylvia Plath was my first true obsession. I was a teenager then. My English teacher talked about Sylvia Plath, and introduced her poem, “Daddy” to the class one Wednesday afternoon. It was pivotal for me. I was hooked, I was mesmerised, I fell in love and desire for her: her brain, her struggles, her words, her intense emotions, her lack of ambiguity (she either loved or hated a person) and her undeniable power.

The internet was non-existent for me at the time. To find out more about this enigmatic woman, I almost camped at the public library near my house and searched everything related to Sylvia Plath: biographies (mostly for photos that I could stare at for hours, believing that memorising her features could help me understand her more), her poetry collections and other writers’ commentary on her. Sylvia Plath, Sylvia Plath, Sylvia Plath: the name that drummed itself in my mind all my waking hours, and during fitful nights of bizarre dreams as well.

She was born on October 27. I have considered posting this on her birthday, but somehow it’d feel like a calculated hypocrisy which I’m convinced she wouldn’t approve of.

You could read biographies of her, but it wouldn’t really make you know her.

Her poetry offers a glimpse of her mind at various stages of her life. So go here for a complete list: Sylvia Plath’s poetry.

Her novel, Bell Jar would awe you in the strength of this extraordinary woman. Imagine she was only a teenager when she went through the mental breakdown! Get a copy and be awed: Sylvia Plath’s Bell Jar.

But besides these, I think it’s eerily revealing to really get inside her head by reading her journals. Not the abridged version Ted Hughes published after her death, but this unabridged version:

The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

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If you are still hooked and interested as I once was (and still am), grab a copy of her drawings as well. Yes, she is so scarily talented, isn’t she?

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I hope this extraordinary woman continues to be admired, respected and obsessed over, generations to come. Thank you for enthralling me, Sylvia Plath!

 

Romance, Romance, Romance!

I find autumn romantic. Some find it depressing with the leaves falling; the crisp, dry air may even be triggering your nose allergies, but I love the cooler air; I love wearing long-sleeved blouses or wrapping myself up in a wool cardigan. The extra touch, the soft fabric, the need to get warmer feel romantic to me. Romance is in the air all year round, but for me, autumn is when romance abounds. I fell in love with my very first heart-throb in autumn, so the link between romance and autumn is very personal to me. To celebrate this special season of romance, let’s have plenty of romance quotes to pamper the shameless romantics out there!

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(Pic credit: Stockvault – a free stock photo site!)

“Romance is everything.” — Gertrude Stein

“I think romance is anything honest. As long as it’s honest, it’s so disarming.” — Kristen Stewart

“Romance is the glamour which turns the dust of everyday life into a golden haze.” — Carolyn Gold Heilbrun

“Tradition wears a snowy beard, romance is always young.” — John Greenleaf Whittier

“Poetry, beauty, romance, love… these are what we stay alive for.” — Robin Williams

“Romance is tempestuous. Love is calm.” — Mason Coole

“The best scientist is open to experience and begins with romance – the idea that anything is possible.” — Ray Bradbury

“Wave after wave of love flooded the stage and washed over me, the beginning of the one great durable romance of my life.” — Bette Davis

“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” — Oscar Wilde

 

Distilled in Time: Virginia Woolf’s Suicide Note

There are moments that are forever distilled in time. One moment, one decision, one thought that is captured forever in the minds’ of men. Virginia Woolf‘s suicide note is her last piece of writing, and the heavy significance it holds makes the emotions embedded within even more painful to read and to feel. I came across its original handwritten image from the Open Culture website. Their article on it is also well-written. Go read it if you’d like.

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(Pic credit: an Open Culture article)

The first time I heard the suicide note read aloud was from the heart-wrenching movie, The HoursNicole Kidman’s performance in it blew me away. If you haven’t watched that movie yet, please do. It was moving and very well-made. The novel which inspired the movie was The Hours: A Novel by the giant (apparently, I’m biased), Michael Cunningham.

The impact of the suicide note itself is powerful. I share it with you here:

Dearest,

I feel certain I am going mad again. I feel we can’t go through another of those terrible times. And I shan’t recover this time. I begin to hear voices, and I can’t concentrate. So I am doing what seems the best thing to do. You have given me the greatest possible happiness. You have been in every way all that anyone could be. I don’t think two people could have been happier till this terrible disease came. I can’t fight any longer. I know that I am spoiling your life, that without me you could work. And you will I know. You see I can’t even write this properly. I can’t read. What I want to say is I owe all the happiness of my life to you. You have been entirely patient with me and incredibly good. I want to say that – everybody knows it. If anybody could have saved me it would have been you. Everything has gone from me but the certainty of your goodness. I can’t go on spoiling your life any longer.

I don’t think two people could have been happier than we have been.

 

 

New Flash Fiction: Queen of Dilbots

Shall I? Yes, let’s. Why not? This is my first attempt at a flash fiction piece with some sci-fi elements in it. Still erotic in nature, not explicit, but the ideas are there, I believe. Hope you enjoy it, I present to you: Queen of Dilbots!

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(Pic credit: Hot Robot)

Queen of Dilbots

He was a surgeon. I was a small-time smut-writer. We met at a mutual friend’s Christmas party and hit it off right away. Our sparks flew everywhere. I could have sworn that the room was ablaze in purple because of us.

He had to travel often for medical conferences; he was a big somebody. I showed him an oversized pink dildo that I bought online the first time he had to fly away for two weeks.

“That’s kind of big.” He flashed me his lopsided grin.

“Yes. Reminds me of you.” I answered.

“Pink?”

“Yup. Hot pink and oversized.”

We laughed.

I meant it as a flirt, but he took that comment to heart: that the dildo served as a reminder of him. During his medical conference he made a call to a friend of his, a mechanic, and to a cousin of his, a chain adult-store owner.

With his anatomical knowledge and the expertise of his pals, they designed the first RX series, the prototype that raked in two million dollars the first quarter. “RX” stood for Robot Extra, “Extra” as in oversized. It was the first artificial intelligence robot aimed only at sexual pleasure. Sanitation was a given. Customization of facial features, skin tone, height, weight and anything any man or woman could imagine was possible. The AI program was written with a complex algorithm that made the robots seem humanly spontaneous and adventurous.

He signed his share of the design patent in my name; he made sure I was financially secure to do anything I wanted for the rest of my life.

With the launch of the RX series, I became known as the “Queen of Dil-bots.” When the first quarter’s paycheck rolled in, I almost pissed in my pants laughing. He proposed to me that night.

Fast-forward ten years to today: I am obscenely rich. I have even learned to be charitable at times. Prisons are more peaceful now, with various models of pleasure robots donated each year. Social media reports that I am kind and humane. Truth is: I simply love the extra positive promotion and cash.

I let my fur coat drop to the cold floor. I watch him, my handsome husband, lying in this white bed, tapped into machines, his life sustained by tubes. All that filthy money and so-called modern technology are useless in healing him.

I straddle him and slowly fondle him, making him hard. Then I ride him. I know he hears, feels and knows me. That great mind of his trapped in this unmoving body; it drives me mad. Is he perhaps a lunatic already, imprisoned inside his own brain? I cannot bear that possibility.

He has always loved my being in charge sexually, sitting astride him and controlling our movements. He soon climaxes. I relish the gush of his hot cream, that organic fluid with all its germs but real, alive and truly human filling me up.

“I love you.” I whisper in his ear.

I unplug him from the machine as I wash down the cyanide pill with a cold beer.

See you again in oblivion, or heaven, or hell, wherever you wake up in, fully alive. Burning in fire for all eternity with you still beats seeing you lying immobile. Wake or sleep forever with me, my love.

 

Me as a Life-drawing Model

It is true. I had been a life-drawing (or figure-drawing) model for about 2 years. Yes, nude. It was during a time when I was depressed and needed a boost in self-confidence, particularly confidence in feeling that I was beautiful as a woman, as a human; that even if the man I lived with at the time did not desire me, it was not because I was fundamentally unattractive. I needed to believe that I was not ugly.

(Pic credit: The Gor Project – 3: Photograph of a model attired as a Gorean “kajira” (slave-girl), wearing a Gorean “camisk” garment by Marcus J. Ranum)

It would have been easy to go to a random bar each night, find one-night-stands and numb myself into believing that I was sexually attractive, but that would probably have been damaging to my sense of pride and dignity later on. I needed a “clean” sort of ego-boost. Denial of sex from the man I wanted made me question my raw sexual appeal. I had convinced myself that there was no beauty in my body, which was why I (believed) I failed so miserably in making him desire me.

I guess at the bottom of my heart, as shattered and blackened as it was at the time, there was still a tiny seed of hope. I might not have the charms to make all men love me, but surely, I could not be that ugly.

Posing nude at art classes as a life-drawing model lifted my confidence. It was physically “hard work” as well: thinking of new poses every 15-30 seconds, 1-5 minutes (for shorter sessions) and holding an interesting pose for longer sessions that lasted from 15-30 minutes made you rediscover muscles you never knew you had.

If you want to find out more about life-drawing modelling as a living, I recommend this book:

Modeling Life: Art Models Speak About Nudity, Sexuality, And the Creative Process by Sarah R. Philips

It was not the route that I had chosen, but those 2 years of modelling made me believe that I was good: not just “beautiful” (because there is beauty in all human bodies from an artist’s perspective), but that I was able to come up with interesting (sometimes even described as “wacky”) poses for artists. That was a compliment towards my creativity, of my ability to inspire. That was truly ego-boosting.

My life-drawing modelling experiences found their way (always as a positive, healing, affirming experience) in two of my books: Almond Scent, a lesbian erotic romance, and my latest M/F erotic novelette, Through His Lens. I’ve truly enjoyed writing both of these stories.

If you ever want to try out a part-time job that is satisfying in a completely new (but truly all-encompassing) way, life-drawing modelling might be an option. Be sure to contact genuine art studios or art schools, though. Safety first. Always.

 

New Release: Through His Lens – an Erotic Novelette

Hi, and yes everyone, after more than a year of short stories, I now have my first novelette, a contemporary erotic romance titled, Through His Lens!

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Title: Through His Lens

Keywords: contemporary / erotic romance / vanilla M/F

Pages: 45

Buy linksAmazon USAmazon UK | Smashwords

Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23201114-through-his-lens

Blurb:

Newly divorced and rediscovering her place in the world, Fiona found a strange solace in taking photos of herself. Next step: she hired a professional photographer to take her portraits. Modelling for him felt empowering. Would this be only a one-time thing or would she have the courage to pursue a relationship with Nathan, the photographer whose green eyes captivate and disarm her?

Note: Explicit sex scenes. Adult material intended for readers aged 18+.

 

Excerpt:

I wake up feeling refreshed.

Orange light streaming in through the curtains shows that evening is soon approaching. I walk to the bathroom for a shower.

After stripping myself bare, I scrutinize myself in the full-length mirror.

Quite simply put, I still have a hot body. My curves are smooth and pleasing to the eye. Perhaps I am a bit pale from working indoors all the time, but that can easily change. Besides, there is a frailty to the paleness of my skin that I like. A hint of sadness lingers on my face, but generally, my features are attractive. Yes, I decide: I can be considered beautiful.

I take my cell phone and mindlessly begin taking photographs of myself: close-ups of my breasts, full-body shots, slanted angles of my bottom arching up, several near-identical snaps of the small of my back, my legs as I stand tip-toed, the bend of my arms, and a few of my neck as I elongate it.

The thrill of seeing my naked body stacking up in my phone’s photo album is delightful. I am like a teenager first experimenting with her exhibitionist tendency.

That is when I remember Nathan, my wedding photographer who I have heard also does portraits occasionally. He had sent me emails about one or two of his exhibitions before. I skip over to turn on my laptop, butt-naked, and type his name on the Internet to find his website, with a large gallery of his recent works.

I like what I see. His photographs are professional and far more atmospheric than the clear, almost childish ones that I have just taken.

Several of his albums are boudoir photos: some are nude photos of women reclining in various poses on a bed, others are of women dressed up in lingerie and corsets that must have taken hours to bind oneself into. But whatever the respective styles are, I admire all of Nathan’s work.

Too bad he does not have any exhibitions going on at the moment, or I would love to go see his work displayed in real life, while he stands nearby, looking handsome and confident, thanking people for their compliments.

Did I just describe him as handsome and confident?

I grin.

First day of my divorce, and I am already developing a crush on another man. Maybe I am not as innocent as I have imagined, after all.

I stare at his phone number on the browser for ten seconds.

I shake my head.

My eyes continue to gawk at the same spot.

Reluctantly, my feet carry me to the kitchen, boiling water and making myself a large mug of decaf tea, still butt-naked.

Armed with my comfort drink, I return to my computer screen, my full attention fixed on Nathan’s number.

By the time the tea is finished, his number is imprinted in my memory.

I close the browser window.

My butt refuses to move.

I laugh at my juvenile behavior. I type the number onto my phone and call Nathan.

“Hello, Nathan Gould’s studio.”

“Hi, my name is Fiona. You were my wedding photographer a few years back.” Shit. My hands are sweating. “Em… I was browsing through your website and I got interested in your portraits.”

“Nice hearing from you, Fiona. Do you want to do a family portrait?”

“Oh, no, no,” I fidget. “I, err… I just got divorced.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.”

“No, no, it’s a good thing actually.” Damn. Did I have to say that? I clear my throat. “Anyway, I was wondering about, em… the boudoir photos.”

“Sure, let me send you information on a few of our standard packages. You can go with those, or we can arrange something based on that.”

There, the sound of common sense and business; his sober tone puts me back on my tracks.

I give him my email address and hang up. Time to really get my shower.

Enjoyed the excerpt? Get it now!

Buy linksAmazon USAmazon UK | Smashwords

Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23201114-through-his-lens

 

Book Cover Reveal: Through His Lens

This is a significant moment for me. Always a short-story and flash fiction writer, this is my very first novelette, truly completed and ready to upload! Through His Lens is a contemporary erotic romance between a divorcee named Fiona and a photographer, Nathan. I am so excited to share the Book Cover Reveal with you today. Yes, I designed it myself, as I have created all my other book covers. ;-)

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Sometimes emotional healing comes from unexpected sources. Admitting and accepting defeat in love is painful, but perhaps, it takes even more courage to begin a new relationship. I truly enjoyed writing this story. I’ll tell you more about the tale behind this story next time. Release date: Next Friday, September 12th!

Blurb: Newly divorced and rediscovering her place in the world, Fiona found a strange solace in taking photos of herself. Next step: she hired a professional photographer to take her portraits. Modelling for him felt empowering. Would this be only a one-time thing or would she have the courage to pursue a relationship with Nathan, the photographer whose green eyes captivate and disarm her?

Note: Explicit sex scenes. Adult material intended for readers aged 18+.

Hope you like it. Stay tuned for its release next Friday, September 12th!

kisses,

Anna