Blessings for a Beautiful 2019!

Thanks so much, gang, for hanging out with me in 2018! It has been really just an amazing year. And most of you have been with me through all of it:

  • Trying to find a house to buy out in the Hinterlands
  • Finally finding the 117-year-old home of my dreams & I move in!
  • I learn to live with an astoundingly noisy train that practically runs through my house
  • Me and my cats are overjoyed with a house that has 21 wonderful wide-open windows as spring arrives
  • Starlings and robins build nests all around the outside of my house and my world comes alive with birds
  • Baby raccoons are born in my tree and fill me with delight!
  • The Mormon missionaries come into my world  for 4 months and open it up to so many beautiful things
  • But then ultimately I decide I am a sinner and likely to stay that way!
  • I fall into lust (from afar) with all those 20-ish-year-old Boys of Summer and then
  • The Muse returns to my life with a  vengeance in July and I start really writing again
  • the Mob comes back, briefly, into my world and I realize I’m nuts!
  • I decide not to be nuts and then I fall in love instead which turns out to be exactly the same thing
  • I go to NYC. I go to LA. I once again have way too many projects on my desk
  • And now here we are, at the precipice of another breathtaking New Year!!

I hope it’s a really good one, friends. Fight to stay positive, even when you see a little darkness maybe coming your way. The darkness won’t last if you can be good to yourself and hold others in the Light.

Take care. I love you. Thanks for visiting!!

Me, going on forever back in October

Redemption & Black Rain

It’s Patti Smith’s birthday today. I think she’s something like 110 years old, but don’t quote me on that.

Pictured above is a photo of my original copy of Horses, that I got for Christmas 1975, when I was 15 years old.

To that point, it was the greatest Christmas present I ever got. I was only out of the mental hospital for a few weeks by that time (if you’re new to the blog, see posts from August, I think? One titled “ooh yeah, throwing up”.)

Angels truly blessed me by bringing Patti Smith into my world when I was at my absolute lowest. She kept me alive, and helped me believe in the validity of myself — kept me writing songs, too, until I was old enough to get the hell out of Dodge and go to New York City and become a singer-songwriter.

Directly before being put in the sanitarium, I had bought a copy of the book Cowboy Mouth, by Sam Shepard and Patti Smith. I bought it  at a library sale for 10 cents. I had no idea who either of them were back then. I bought the book because it was a collection of plays, and because I liked the feel of the book in my hands, you know?

When they came and told me I was getting locked up in a loony bin, I was absolutely terrified. And they came for me at the final moment, you know? They said: Pack some things, we’re putting you away. Right now. In my 14-year-old terror, I grabbed whatever I could find that I thought would save me, and as luck would have it, I grabbed the book Cowboy Mouth from the top of my dresser.

Obviously, confinement in a mental hospital was a truly low point in my life. And I didn’t “get better” in there, unfortunately. I got worse. Because I learned how to fake everything and conceal my problems, because I was always trying to avoid conflict with the staff and things like the “Isolation Room.” An actual padded room, with a metal bed, a thin mattress, no lights and just a small window way at the top of one wall. How my mind really, really wanted to get out of that window. But anyway.

I read Cowboy Mouth and fell in love with Patti Smith. I had never encountered a woman who could write like she could. She was transgressive and courageous. I didn’t really use those terms back then, I just knew she gave me a fierce amount of determination to survive all that had happened, and was happening, to me.

The angels stepped in again, while I was waiting to see my appointed psychiatrist one afternoon. There was a copy of Mademoiselle Magazine on the coffee table in his waiting room. I flipped through it to discover an interview with and photos of Patti Smith!! That was when I learned that she had a record coming out at the end of that year – Horses.

Honestly, it gave me something to live for. And made me more determined than ever to move to NYC as soon as I could conceivably do that. Because, clearly, Patti was NYC at that point — all those poets! All that rock & roll. Wow.

Well, Horses was the most amazing album I ever heard in my life. It changed me. It solidified my determination to survive my own life – all the rapes and the utter abuse and cruelty. The only other record album that had a similar effect on my determination to survive came 10 years later, in NYC, when I bought The First Born is Dead by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds.

You know, sadly, the man in my family who bought me Horses for Christmas, who made me so happy and gave me something to help me be courageous about life, was also the same man who, a couple years later, abducted me out to the country, drugged me and raped me for hours on end.

You know, the angels will give you something transcendent and beautiful, and then Life comes along and says “there’s a catch.” The angels have given you the key to your redemption already, but you have to remember to use it when the black rains come.

It’s sometimes a struggle to find that key when you really need it most.  But I tell you, gang, I keep working on it.

Anyway. Happy birthday to Patti and to everything she’s always stood for in this world.

Oh for heaven’s sake, people!

Okay, I’m just kidding. Nothing makes me happier than having readers download my books, whether or not they’re free.

But, seriously, this is getting insane. I have no clue where all these people are coming from. The numbers long surpassed the amount of followers I have on my blog.  And I only advertised the Smashwords sale on my blog. And only deranged lunatics would download the same eBooks over & over & over, ad infinitum.

And I like to think my followers are not deranged lunatics. It reflects better on me when they aren’t. My followers are all really cool, smart people!

Anyway, it just astounds me.  Where do they come from? And now people are starting to download Freak Parade like crazy. I have no clue why all of the sudden that happened.

And what’s funny is that almost no one downloads Twilight of the Immortal. It has erotic sex scenes in it, but it is certainly not graphic sex. And it is really well written fiction. But nobody wants it! They’d rather have, I don’t know, 5 pages of graphic fellatio or something. It’s just so funny.

I’ll tell you, though, sometimes I read over these old stories (from The Muse Revisited Series) and I am frequently flabbergasted.  The short story titled August on the Lake (in Vol.3) was written expressly for a French publisher and was immediately translated into French (as Aout sur le lac). I think the only English version of the story is in The Muse Revisited.

I was told that, in French, it was a really beautiful story. That it was literature and not the usual smut. (Thank you. I like to think that my entire life is beautiful literature and not the usual smut! Anyway.) I’d forgotten that it was written specifically for a French publisher and for an anthology about: Yes,  fellatio.  And as I re-read it, years after its publication, I was dumbfounded. Why would I go on & on about fellatio here? It was not a topic my work was ever really known for. It actually made me uncomfortable to re-read it. Like, What the hell was on my mind when I wrote this strange story that seems to be, in a lot of ways, about my second husband?

Eventually I figured it out. But really, I don’t remember any of my stories verbatim.  And if I happen to re-read one, it becomes brand new to me, and I’m reading it as any other reader would and oftentimes the stories are a little shocking. Yes, even to me. If a story wasn’t written  for a specified topic, then the stories almost always reflect something that’s going on in my mind, my world, my relationships, my life. (A reflection, not a memoir…) And sometimes it’s just too intense to revisit it.

“Awake in the Dream of Life” was only published once in print (although it’s included in the eBook, Dirty Filthy Lovely: Dark Erotica). A woman originally published it, even though she wasn’t really happy about it but she wanted me in her anthology of popular women writers so she published it – I guess in the category of: Popular Women Writers Who Are Out of Their Fucking Minds.

When I re-read the story several years ago, I was, like, Holy Moly. No wonder women were upset by this story. Men loved it, of course. Men into BDSM, I mean. One of my long-time publishers at the time read the piece and said it was the best thing I ever wrote but that he could never publish a story like that; he wouldn’t want to deal with the reader backlash.

At the time, I just could not understand why people were so upset. But I was in such a bad place and had no clue my mental state had sunk into that. Happily, though, it is now documented for all time! Because I’m a writer and I write stuff and out it goes — into the world!

I’m not even really kidding, you know? It’s one of the reasons I don’t actively seek “followers” on any of my social media accounts. If you want to be following me, thank you. That’s great. It is. But you have to actually want to be here of your own volition because only God knows what I am going to wind up putting into your world.

It was one of the reasons I was actively seeking obscurity. I had no control over the amount of people coming into my world by way of my writing. In the old days, I had thousands and thousands of people reading my blog every day. And those weren’t “followers” because there was no such thing back then. They were actual readers, every day. And nothing I could think or do or say was private anymore. Including, naturally, my family.

MOTHER: “Are you really that much of a drunk??!! Is that all you do is sit around and drink booze??!!”

ME: “Um, no, I was just being funny on the blog.”

COLLEAGUE IN SOME FOREIGN COUNTRY: “Is that what you really think about my writing??!!”

ME: “Um, no, I was just being funny on the blog.”

FATHER: “Is that what you really think about the President of the United States??!!”

ME: “Um, yes, that’s what I really think about the President of the United States.”

And for that comment, I was promptly disowned, disinherited, cast off, forgotten by my adoptive father. Seriously. Blogs can be a real pain, and sometimes damaging to me, when people are actually reading them.

But my attempts to live here in Crazyland in obscurity have come to naught.  I mean, I don’t want my career to be obscure. I just wanted my private life to be obscure within the town I am living. But it just doesn’t work if you have a blog that people read. Obscurity is an impossibility.

The other day, when I said that Kara was my only friend out here in the Hinterlands, someone wrote to me, personally, and reminded me that she was my friend, too. Oh gosh.  Of course you are. I’m so sorry if I hurt your feelings. I had no idea you were reading my blog…

And then also the other day, my niece, who doesn’t live too awfully far from Crazyland, sent me a link to an essay she wrote. She wants to be a writer, like me. It was a good piece of writing, but it was all about how she struggles with depression.

And I was, like: No, no, no! This is not acceptable. You were born to have a life that was better than mine.

When my niece was born, it was at a time in my life and in my marriage when I was coming to grips with the fact that I was going to remain childless. I was so excited for my brother when his daughter was born. And I was excited for me, too. A little girl, connected to me, who gets to have a much, much better life than mine was. A life not full of the garbage I had to deal with. And yet, all these years later, she’s dealing with depression. And here I blog about my crippling depressions and I guess I make it seem somehow okay.

But it’s not. It’s not an acceptable way to live. Her life is supposed to be better than mine.

Well, how is she supposed to know that, I had to ask myself; if you ignored her for most of her life?

Because I had a falling out with my brother – but the outcome for my niece was still the same. I was gone from her life from the time she was 4.

Choosing obscurity, choosing to isolate – I see now that it isn’t really very fair to other people, because they still exist. I know I still have to find a balance between the people who are toxic to me and the people who aren’t; and how to protect my private life but still be a public writer. But I’ve got to deal with it.

That balance is tricky for me, but I’m learning. When I consulted that reader in London a couple weeks ago, as a Christmas present for myself, I knew I was having some very serious problems with my mind. I needed help finding my balance; to feel grounded again, to get clarity.  How to show up in the world as myself, and not to detach and dissociate.

The reader in London was so helpful to me. He really was. He told me what I needed to work on, 3 times a day for twenty minutes each time. And he said, “Stick with it, and in 3 days things will begin to turn around. And if you stay with it for a month, you will be amazed by the difference in your life.”

Well, he was certainly correct.  Everything is changing, sort of at warp speed. And I think this indescribable frenzy of eBook downloads is part of the river of change. That flow. Suddenly, more and more people are also following the blog, and all my other social media accounts. People are just suddenly showing up, you know? Including my niece. And yesterday, even Mob Guy #2 returned very suddenly and said, “Please, Marilyn. Come on.  I’m still waiting for you to come back to me.”

What the heck??!! Where did you come from all of the sudden??!! (My answer was still no, but it was nice to be so suddenly thought of, so intensely.)

I mean, it’s certainly not bad stuff, but it is a lot of stuff. And I have to step up and be accountable for all of it, even the stuff that I totally fucked-up and can’t repair, because I’m not obscure. I do exist in the world. So. It has been very, very interesting. To say the least.

Okay, you guys have a wonderful weekend. Thanks for visiting Crazyland!! I’m always happy to see your bright, shining faces. I love you guys! Take care and see ya.

PS: I don’t actually live in Crazyland. It’s a play on words – on the name of the actual town I live in, which was founded by  a Mr. Samuel Frazey in 1828.

Like White on Rice, Gang!

The downloads of free eBooks are happening so fast and furiously that I have to wade through a literal ton of ping! alerts just to get to my actual email.

And 99% of those downloads are still for The Muse Revisited Volumes 1 through 3. The downloads are now far surpassing Christmas Day, which, until the days after Christmas, was my busiest download day in 10 years.

I’m not complaining, I just don’t really understand it.  The stories are really old. And yet it’s like a feeding frenzy.

And then – also on the day after Christmas – my year-end royalty check came from a publisher who’s been selling eBook editions of my 3 erotic romance novels for 10 years now (originally published in print by Barnes & Noble way back in 2004). And this same publisher also publishes a collection of my dark erotica, Dirty Filthy Lovely. Again, a collection of stories written a long time ago, and published in numerous print markets before being put out to pasture as an eBook.

Really old stories. I mean, really old. And I’m still getting checks. Or whiplash, in the case of this current download frenzy on Smashwords that keeps sending these ping! alerts to my iPhone, which only send my head spinning to my iPhone screen in breathless hopes that the guy I insulted beyond belief has suddenly realized he likes vitriolic vipers who are out of their fucking minds and so is finally texting me again — but au contraire!

Don’t mind us, says the iPhone screen. We just wanted a little more of your porn.


I also got a really lovely Christmas card from Little Brown & Company in the UK. A huge publisher.  Known hugely for publishing incredible literature.

Why am I getting this lovely Christmas greeting from such an awesome publisher, I wondered blankly. Upon investigation, I discovered, Oh! Because they’re my publisher!

They’re the ones who publish Neptune & Surf . I didn’t know that! They bought the rights from somebody who bought the rights when Hachette took over the world.

Yes, another really old pornographic book that is still in print. And in just a handful of days, guys, that book will have been in print continuously, without interruption, for 20 years!!!!!

I sometimes even get letters in the mail from Virgin Publishing in the UK – forwarded to me from my ex-husband in NYC who still lives in our incredibly beautiful apartment on the Upper West Side but I am not bitter, gang. Not in the slightest… it does not bother me one bit that I lost everything I had in the world.  Except for my guitar. But I see these letters and I think, Hmm. Why is Virgin Publishing writing to me? And it’s, you know, because they own the rights to a German translation of a filthy dirty story I wrote a million years ago that now German people cannot get enough of.


You know, I bring this up because in the month of January, I have to spend a whole heck of a lot of time on Skype – several hours a week, for the entire month – working with some producers in LA to make sure I’m presenting my CLEVELAND TV pilot script in the best possible way. The production company that has already optioned the pilot has “strongly suggested” I do this. So I’m doing it. On Pacific Coast time. Which means, during my nighttime hours, when I’m already brain dead, I have to have these Skype conferences to nitpick my pilot script. All because I am an unproven writer in a new market. So even while everyone loves this TV pilot and its premise, especially this new revised version (because – yes! It now has sex in it!), no one will put money into it until I can get someone with a track record to attach to it.

I don’t even want to be a TV writer. I don’t. I just want the “created by” credit here. I want this particular show to be out in the world because I get the distinct impression the characters are going to matter to people.

ME: So. You like the writing. Everyone agrees it’s a good idea. But as a writer here, I’m “unproven.”

Hmm. Something’s really weird here. I can’t quite put my finger on it. “Unproven.” I see. Meanwhile the pings! continue…

All righty. I gotta get crackin’ here. Within these last few days of December, I have to re-write the show bible to match the revised version of the TV pilot script. So, onward!

Thanks for visiting, gang. Have a really blessed day. I love you guys!!

Best gift ever??!!

I think maybe it is, folks!

Kara, basically my one & only friend out here in the Hinterlands – and she’s from New York originally, so I guess that explains it.

But anyway. As luck would have it, Kara has been reading my novel, Freak Parade. We got together for dinner in town last night and to go see a play  (a revival of Gypsy), and she brought me a Christmas present!

This is not an appeal for anyone to read Freak Parade, it’s just that, in the book, the main character, Eugenia Sharpe, always  drinks Wild Turkey & Diet Coke.  And this is what Kara got me – a bourbon flask!!

How cool is that, really? How intensely targeted and thoughtful.

Yes, I used to also drink Wild Turkey & Diet Coke. But let’s not have that conversation again about  fiction versus memoir!

I don’t drink Wild Turkey anymore – I can’t handle hard liquor since becoming a vegetarian.  But I was still overjoyed to receive this gift and will just treasure it forever.

It is so wonderful to have a friend and to have the friendship just happen organically, you know? It’s not based on any sort of networking at all. Knowing Kara has really been incredible.  I’ve blogged about her before – she is definitely on her own planet, but it’s a planet I always enjoy visiting.

At one point, I finally told her I was a writer and she started not only buying my books, but also reading them! And we’re still friends. Go figure…

I don’t tell anyone out here that I’m a writer.  I came out here to the Hinterlands, to this wonderful, tiny, crazy town, to live in obscurity.  To have no past for anyone to know about; no career; no identity. In fact, I always remove my middle name from everything out here because it makes me even more intensely obscure once my middle name is removed.  I try to be friendly and everything when I’m actually out in the town and have to interact with people, but mostly I settled here because I just wanted to be a woman who practically didn’t exist anymore except when I was upstairs at my desk, all alone, writing.

In the last 15 years or so, I systematically lost pretty much everything in my life that meant anything to me. All I had left was my writing, and then my ministry. And I found a way to be content with that. I really thought that was going to be my life – writing, house in the middle of nowhere, 8 semi-feral cats, cemetery plot up the road.

I was so totally okay with that until I fell in love. And then everything inside  me changed and my head exploded. (I think that exploding head is what caused me to lose my mind – just a wild guess. Perhaps it’s on the floor here somewhere…) And then suddenly I wanted EVERYTHING.

Just everything.

But wait, I know what that means – it means you will once again lose everything. I can’t go there again, can I? The prospects of all that loss will kill me.

But who knows, right? I just gotta learn how to wake-up in the morning and try not to make everybody crazy right along with me. A tall order these days, gang! But I’m working on it.

And speaking of work… I gotta get back to the new novel today. So I’m off!

Enjoy Thursday, wherever you are in the world! Thanks for visiting. In spite of everything I grumble about, I’m real glad our paths are crossing, gentle readers. I mean that. See ya!

Yes, I Want You! The beginning of the end of sanity around here….


Okay, since several readers have asked what happened to the “BDSM story about the girl and her bladder” (!!) I restored the post, gang.  It’s down there on Saturday’s post, titled That Time of Year.

The story is called “Necessary to her Good.” But you can also download it for free right now at Smashwords, in The Muse Revisited, Volume II: Erotic Novellas and Longer Works. The direct link is in yesterday’s post.

On a more personal note

I won’t say I had the worst Christmas ever – nobody I loved died – but it ranked up there in the Worst Top 5.

I don’t know why my own insanity is always my undoing. Just lucky, I guess, gang.  Because while it’s happening, it does not feel like insanity. All day yesterday, I tried really, really hard to not make the damage worse.

I laid around in bed most of the day.  Then sat at the kitchen table and stared for the rest of the time that I wasn’t in bed. I never got dressed. I did wash my hair! That was pretty cool. It was great to look in the mirror and see that my hair looked really nice, even while the rest of my life felt incomprehensible.

I’m one of those people who tends to play a song over & over & over & over.  I’m just like that. I get hooked to a  groove. I’m also one of those people who believes that Tom Petty wrote a song for every single, solitary thought I could ever have in my head.

In fact, when my birth mom was here visiting, she would mention something or other, and I’d think to myself, Hmm. That’s the title of a Tom Petty song. Then she’d say something else, and I’d think, Hmm. That’s the title of a Tom Petty song. It went on and on. If you are like me, and know absolutely not only every title  but also every lyric Tom Petty ever wrote, you will notice how uncannily true this is.

Anyway. So yesterday, all day long, in an attempt to both keep my sanity, and to not create anything worse than I had already created, which is starting to feel like it cannot be undone, I played this Tom Petty song over & over & over (primarily to be reminded of the 2 opening lyrics; If he don’t want to talk, leave him alone), and eventually the day ended and that was that.

I’m hoping that for some currently unfathomable-to-detect reason, next Christmas will be better. Let’s hope so, gang.


Should I Be Flattered?!

You guys are funny!

Twice a year, I participate in the Smashwords FREE download sale and I am usually pretty surprised by how many readers take advantage of the sale, but YESTERDAY, gang. Wow. You outdid yourselves!

I guess nothing says Christmas like free porn, huh? It was actually my busiest download day ever. And I’ve been participating in the sale for about ten years.

I don’t have access to any of your private information, but I do get an email every time a download of one of my books occurs.  And it was just ping! ping! ping! ping! ping! ping! all day and all night and into the wee small hours of the morning.

And almost everybody downloaded some combination of The Muse Revisited Volumes  1 through 3.  It really was astounding to me, because these are collections of really old stories that have been published already, repeatedly, all over the place.

So, yes, actually, I am flattered. However, the title of this post doesn’t actually relate to that. I question whether or not I am flattered because of something else.

Over the weekend, in anticipation of the free download sale, I posted the story “Necessary to her Good” in full here on the blog site. It is no longer here on the blog site because now the sale is happening, so if you want to read the story again, you can just go get it for free until New Year’s Day.

So, I’m sorry, but yes, the story is no longer here. But I also want to clear up a misconception that was brought to my attention by a gentle reader and that is: My stories are fiction.

If something I wrote is a memoir or an essay, then it’s true. Otherwise, it’s not true. It’s fiction. 95% of what I’ve written in the scope of my 30-year career as a writer is fiction, gentle readers.

When I say that stories are based on things that happened to me, or people I knew or was in love with, or based on specific eras of my life, it only means that there are true elements within the story that served as a springboard for my imagination.

So when a reader thinks that an intense story like “Necessary to her Good” is a memoir,  that’s when I have to wonder if I’m flattered that readers think my capacity for unbridled whore-dom is unfathomably boundless!!

Mostly, I’m just kidding, but it is kind of alarming. You think I did all that stuff? Multiplied times the stuff in every story I’ve ever written? And that I’m still just sitting here at my desk, drinking a cup of coffee and not off in a lonely forest somewhere screaming and trying to shoot myself in the head to make all the pictures stop?

Actually, I am kind of flattered, because it means I’m an effective storyteller. But if you’re new to my work – even though these stories were written years ago, to some readers they are brand new – they are still just stories. Stories I did work really hard at to make as believable as possible.

For some reason, God made me an erotic storyteller. I didn’t want it to be that way – trust me. I wanted to be much more commercial. But that’s the way my gifts came out.  Even as a little girl, I was always making up erotic stories in my head. It was just always the main way I saw the world.

Another story of mine that was popular and that got re-published a lot, is “Daddy’s Girl.” It’s a lesbian BDSM story. And it’s an homage to a babysitter I had when I was 7 years old that I was really smitten with. Just totally in love with her. She was a tomboy, an Italian who went to Catholic school. Even though she lived on my block, I knew nothing about her because no one in her family went to public schools. I have no idea if she wound up being a lesbian or not. I knew absolutely nothing about her.

When I was a little girl, I was really, really shy. So I would just sit on the couch and stare at her when she would babysit us.  Whenever she would speak directly to me, I would just melt inside. God forbid, I ever saw her out on the block, because I would just freeze; I was so in love with her. And at night in my bed, I would create these little fantasies where she would spank me. These fantasies were incredibly compelling to me and my imagination. And they became my world. I didn’t even know how to masturbate yet, or anything. I just had these stories in my head that overwhelmed me.

And that isolated segment of my childhood became a totally over- the-top BDSM lesbian sex story that everybody just loved.  Over 30 years after the fact. And I believe it’s because I could still tune in to who I was when I was 7 and how much I loved that 15 year old girl, who I never actually truly knew.

To me, erotic stories only work if they are as believable as possible – if the love is believable. When I was 13, I read Story of O and I thought it was real. To me, it was just so believable – more believable than anything erotic that I had read up to that point. Story of O just went beyond anything I could have imagined on my own at that age. And it turned out that it was written by a heartbroken writer in Paris because her lover (a publisher) had left her – and so she wrote something to make him remember her pretty much for all time. And then the book became a worldwide classic of BDSM erotic literature – because her desire for him was infused in every page; not because it was, as I had mistakenly believed, some sort of “memoir.”

It took me years and years of trial and error, gang, to get to that level of storytelling. It wasn’t by accident or anything, I did work really hard at it.  Like any other writer, my first stories were rejected and I was heartbroken, but I kept at it. Until a few years into it, I finally hit my stride and everything I wrote got sold and published.

Erotic literature is one type of literature that always gets judged really harshly. People usually even refuse to call it literature, since so much of erotic writing is actually genre fiction, and not literature. I’ve certainly written for genre fiction markets and those are my least favorite of my stories, because they are so restricted by  the formula of the genre. Even “Necessary to her Good” had a required formula, in that it had to be a love story, and so it had to have a “happy ending.”

In real life, the guy the story is based on was indeed married and his wife had hired a private detective. And when he came to tell me it was over, I was crestfallen, you know, because we’d had some amazing times, but I wasn’t devastated for months. I was over it pretty much by the end of the day. But that wouldn’t have made for a very moving love story, would it?

I want a reader to read “Necessary to her Good” and really think about love. What it makes us do or want, or how it makes us feel.

In Freak Parade, the first sex scene between Genie and Eddie lasts 20 pages. A 20 page sex scene. I had to sustain the eroticism for 20 pages.  Most erotic short stories, in their entirety, do not last even close to 20 pages, and I wrote one sex scene that lasted 20 pages. But it was because I wanted my readers to believe that these two people were in love. For real. I wanted my readers to get lost in it, to believe that erotic love can be that transporting.  I want my readers’ minds to feel loved after reading that scene.

Freak Parade was written for a man I was in love with. I wrote it because the night I met him, when he was 38, I knew I was meeting him at the most amazing point in his life  and I wanted that version of him to live forever. I tried to infuse an entire book with just that one feeling of how it felt to meet him for the first time. I had to set up the plots of an entire book to be so intense, that it would feel believable that a girl could merely see a guy’s face and finally find her reason for being.

Most of Freak Parade is based on real things, real people, real situations. However, its raison d’etre is to show that a girl can fall in love with a guy, and a guy can fall in love with a girl, and the world suddenly makes sense and changes forever. (And with luck, you get to have a heck of a lot of crazy sex in the process!!)

All righty!! On that lofty note, folks…

Have a happy Feast of St. Stephen! Enjoy what’s left of your Christmas spirit. (And in spite of the tone of this post, please don’t hesitate to write to me. I always enjoy hearing from my readers, even if they kind of think I have an unbridled capacity for unfathomably boundless whore-dom! I’ll find a way of looking at it so that it feels like a compliment!!)

Okay! See ya! And thanks for visiting, I love you guys.

Smashwords Sale Begins Today

Merry Christmas, gang!

It’s that time of year again. The Smashwords sale starts today and runs through January 1st.

All of my eBooks that are published on Smashwords are available as FREE downloads, in all eBook formats until New Year’s Day.

This includes:

Twilight of the Immortal;
Freak Parade;
The Muse Revisited, Volume 1: Early Erotica;
The Muse Revisited, Volume 2: Erotic Novellas & Longer Works;
and The Muse Revisited, Volume 3: More Early Erotica.

Since today is Christmas, I thought I’d post an excerpt from Freak Parade, wherein our 2 main love interests – Eugenia Sharpe and Eddie Ramirez – resume that tortuous process of falling in love, and it takes place on Christmas Eve.

Freak Parade was sort of the turning point in my career, in that it came along in 2005, just as the publishing industry was starting to have some huge financial upheavals. Even though I was a steady seller in a niche market, publishers were shying away from niche markets in droves.

(That’s sort of an interesting image, isn’t it? To shy away from something in droves?)

Anyway, my agent shopped Freak Parade for 5 years. Every publisher except one loved the book but would not publish it because it was impossible to pigeon hole it; to label it. And they only wanted easy, massive sales.

Freak Parade is not an easy sell. It is literary with tons of graphic sex. It’s a romantic love story but it has rape, drugs, and violence in it. It has lots of gay, lesbian, and bisexual BDSM sex in it, even while it is primarily a heterosexual love story. And it’s also a book about how racist New York City is towards Puerto Ricans.

So, 5 years into it, I told my agent to stop shopping it and that I would publish the book myself. Even though it primarily sells as an eBook nowadays, when I published it in 2011, it was primarily a trade paperback book. It was my first time involved in the editing, formatting, designing, and packaging of a print book from start to finish. And, to my delight, Freak Parade took home the Silver Medal that year at the Independent Publisher Book Awards in New York.

So here is an excerpt from Chapter 15, it runs about 8 pages. 

Merry Christmas, everybody and thanks for visiting! I love you guys!!


Freak Parade

When I got down to the street, Eddie Ramirez was waiting in the falling snow, in a black cashmere coat and faded blue jeans. He looked too sexy, too indescribably tall, dark and handsome. It all came back to me now of course, just how handsome he was. I recalled him perfectly now, every chiseled angle of his face and the spark of fire in his gleaming brown eyes.

“Look at you, mami,” he cried. “I didn’t know you had such long hair. You’re such a little white girl – like an Ivory girl. You’re even prettier than I remembered.”

“Hi, Eddie.”

He held his arms open for me and I went right into them, effortlessly, like I’d done it all my life, like I hadn’t agonized over how he’d slipped right through my fingers every night for a tortuous week. He kissed me right on the mouth. “I didn’t think I would ever see you again, Boo.” He squeezed me tight. “No,” he corrected himself, “no that’s not true. I knew I was going to see you again. I wasn’t gonna have it any other way. But I couldn’t understand why you left me like that; I couldn’t make sense of it. And that Frankie – shit. She is so hard to reach on the phone, have you noticed that about her? I don’t have a phone of my own. I gotta go down to the street to the payphone if I want to call somebody, and then she never picks up. So tonight, I’d had it. I went over to her apartment and I waited in front of her building until somebody let me in. Then I pounded on her door until she opened up. I knew she was in there. She was in there with Pablo so I don’t have to tell you what they were doing – and I don’t mean fucking, excuse my language. Give it a rest already with the eight ball, you know? All I wanted was seven little numbers. How long can that take?” He finally paused to take a breath. “I called you twice, mami, but the first time, nobody answered. I’m so glad I tried again.”

Held in his arms like that, the scent of his incredible cologne was soon permeating my brain again, edging me into a swoon in record time.

“And how was your week?” he asked.

I didn’t even want to think about my week. I wanted to pretend my week had never happened. I was afraid it might break this phantom spell, this spell of Eddie Ramirez filling my senses. “It wasn’t so good, but it’s over. I just want to move on.”

“Whatever you say, mami.” He took my hand and we started walking. “Starting now, we’ll just move on.”

When he took my hand in his the thrill of it shot down to the center of my womb, the spark was that primal. He had such masculine hands. I wanted to be naked and at the mercy of those hands. But I couldn’t say a thing like that. I had to keep a lid on all the shooting sparks. I didn’t want to blow this chance again. Yet I wanted to say something – something extraordinary – but I had no words that could match the crackling sound my whole body was burning to make.

What was with this guy, I wondered. Why did he make me feel so breathless? At least it hadn’t been a figment of my imagination, I thought gratefully; that hypnotic trance we’d been in at the Sidecar Lounge had been real.

“So,” he said.

“So?” I looked up at him expectantly. Specks of snow had fallen into his thick brown hair and were melting there.

“You and me, we have some unfinished business, don’t we, mami?” He said this with such quiet authority, it made my pulse jump. Wow. He definitely had that daddy thing going on. I hadn’t counted on that. My electrified womb was quickly turning to a big quiver of Jell-O.

“What does that mean,” I asked; “Unfinished business?”

“We had something going there and you left me.”

Which reminded me: “Hey, did you really bring me flowers?”

“Yes I did, and do you know how far I had to walk to find a store that was selling flowers at that hour? Why did you leave me, mami? We hadn’t even said goodbye.”

“Well, I didn’t know you were buying me flowers. I thought you’d ditched me.”

“How could I ditch you? Mami, you were making me crazy. Don’t you remember what you were doing to me? I couldn’t hold you close enough.”

“Yes,” I said. “I remember.”

“And you think I get crazy like that for just any female? I can have my pick of the females on a Friday night, mami, trust me. And none of them get me as worked up as you do.”

Wow. What was he saying? I was almost afraid to find out for sure. I didn’t want this little bubble of delight bursting right in my face. “But you didn’t say where you were going. You were the one who left me sitting there all by myself. And besides,” I added half-heartedly, not wanting to remember but needing to plead my case, “my ride came.”

He put his arm around my shoulders and pulled me closer to him. “Your ‘ride’ came. Right.” He looked down at me disapprovingly. “And I hope you enjoyed your little ride because it certainly wasn’t a ride home – we found that out right away. You better be careful on those little two a.m. rides, mami, there are some freaky motherfuckers in this town.”

Ouch. No way on earth did I ever want him to know how right he was or how much I regretted that ride; now more than ever, I wanted Taddeo Fischetti to be a past chapter in a closed book. A book I was going to douse in gasoline and set on fire.

“I guess you think it isn’t any of my business,” he went on, “and maybe it isn’t. It’s just that I’ve been around, in places that pretty white girls like you shouldn’t even know about and I’ve seen some sick shit happen to females who were too stupid to be careful. It’s no joke what goes on out there.”

“I know,” I said.

“Right – you know,” he said doubtfully.

We walked as far as Fourteenth Street then we crossed Second Avenue and headed back down towards Chas’s place. The snow was beginning to stick. With so little traffic out, even the streets were taking a light dusting of pure white snow and holding it. I knew it wouldn’t last long, that purity. But for now, it was beautiful. The entire night was beautiful. It was Christmas Eve and for once, it actually felt sacred. The twinkling Christmas lights strung on all the fire escapes were ethereal now in all that snow. It was snow that was coming straight from heaven.

“So what are you doing tomorrow,” I asked. “Are you going to be with your family?”

“No, moms isn’t exactly speaking to me these days so I’m steering clear of her until she gets over it. And she’s pretty much all I got.”

“But what about your kid? Aren’t you going to see him on Christmas?”

“I already saw him. His mother gave me about five minutes with him this evening before she started picking a fight with me, so I had to clear out of there. It always gets ugly with her and then the kid starts crying. It’s almost better to not even go.”

“That’s sad. Where does he live, your son?”

“Over in the projects, on Avenue D. I seriously doubt you’d be familiar with it.”

I wondered if that was where Pablito lived, in the projects on Avenue D.

“And what are you doing on Christmas?” he continued. “Where’s your family, mami?”

“Far away from here; I almost never see them anymore.”

“Have you lived in the city a long time?”

“Long enough – fifteen years.”

“That’s definitely long enough. So you came all the way out here from wherever you came from just to work in a store? Isn’t there something else you’d rather be doing?”

“I don’t know what I want to be doing, but no I didn’t come out here to work in a store. I came out here to be a singer, I wrote songs.”

“So what happened? Why aren’t you doing that?”

“I already did it.”

“You did? Weren’t you any good at it?”

“I was. I just didn’t like it.”

“Really? You were good at it? Did you make CDs and shit like that?”

“Yeah, shit like that.”

We’d reached St. Mark’s Church now. It looked idyllic in the falling snow. We stopped and leaned against the iron fence. He said, “You made CDs, really? Anything I would have heard of? I listen to white music, you know. I listen to all kinds of music.”

“I only made one CD and you probably have heard of it. It was called Alarmed at Carnegie.”

He looked at me, puzzled, like it was ringing a distant bell. Then he said, “Hey, I know that one. That was you, mami?”

“That was me. My real name is Eugenia Sharpe.”

“That’s you, mami? Shit, you’re famous.”

“Well, I was.”

“How come somebody famous like you knows a female like Frankie? And what are you doing living downtown, taking a walk with a poor Puerto Rican like me? You’re one of those uptown girls. I can tell.”

“Not anymore.”

“Sure you are, mami,” he said. “You might not be living there right this minute, but you’re still an uptown girl. Put it this way, you ever want to move back uptown, you can, like that.” He snapped his fingers. “In a heartbeat. Me? I want to move uptown? It’s not so easy. Maybe as the super of somebody’s building, they’ll let me move uptown. I mean, I’m a plumber. I work on boilers and shit. I know my way around steam heat. But just to live uptown and enjoy myself? It’s not gonna happen.”

“Why do you say it like that, Eddie?”

He made a face, like he couldn’t believe his ears. “Well, you think about it. When you were living uptown, how many of your closest neighbors were Puerto Ricans?”

I’d never actually thought about it and now I was kind of appalled. He was right. There were plenty of Puerto Ricans uptown, even in Darryl’s building – Carlos, for instance. But none of them actually lived there; they lived farther up, thirty or forty blocks up. Strange that I’d never noticed that before. Where the hell had I been? All that time on Central Park West and my brain had still been living in a downtown world.

“What’s that look for?” he said quietly, his finger tip landing gently on the tip of my freezing nose. “Don’t feel bad about it. You didn’t make the rules.”

“There aren’t any rules, Eddie. Times are different now. You can live wherever you want to, if you can afford it, I guess.”

He leaned up against me, pressing me against the iron fence. There was that scent again, right up my nose, filling my head. The pressure of his body against mine felt so comforting, so full of promise. I wanted to make love with him, for sure. It was going to have to happen at some point. I was going to be naked with this man somehow, some day.

He kissed my mouth tenderly and smiled. He said, “You’re living in a dream world, my little white girl. There are rules. Trust me. And they are written in stone.”

I simply didn’t agree with him, but I didn’t want to argue. I wanted to be kissed some more.

I put my arms around him. “Nice coat,” I said.

“I know. Cashmere. But it’s old. I used to have a lot of nice things.”

“Used to?”

“Yeah. I had money once. Lots and lots of money.”

That sounded familiar. “Really? You, too? You’re kidding?”

“No, mami, why would I kid you?”

“Well, how did you get all that money, as a plumber?”

“No, mami, not as a plumber.”

“Well, how?”

“Just think about it. Where does a poor Puerto Rican living in the projects ever get lots and lots of money?”

I didn’t understand, or maybe I just didn’t want to.

“It’s an old formula,” he explained patiently. “You get rich quick but it doesn’t last. You wind up either dead or in jail.”

I stared at up him blankly, losing track of what he was saying, enchanted yet again by his perfect lips, his sensuous mouth.

“Drugs, mami. But that’s over now. Now I work for a living, so I have no money at all. Funny how that works out.” The tiny diamond in his left ear winked at me.

Drugs. Shit. Well, since he wasn’t dead it only left one thing. “Does this mean you were in jail? In Ryker’s?”

Mami, what would you know about a place like Ryker’s?”

“Nothing. But just tell me.”

“It’s Christmas Eve. Let’s talk about happier things.”

“Okay,” I relented, not wanting to know about anything that might spoil my vision of his perfection – not yet. “Kiss me again,” I said.

“That’s more like it, Boo.”

He kissed me again and his mouth opened this time, our tongues meeting with that sweet urgency, quickly becoming the focal point of the whole quiet, snow-covered world. He stopped briefly to unbutton his coat and then to unzip my jacket. “For later when I’m alone,” he explained, pulling our warm bodies up close, mashing us together. “It helps me to imagine you, you know? All your curves that are in all the right places; I try to picture what you look like.” Those large, capable hands of his held my face tenderly as he kissed me again. “When you’re naked,” he added, “you know what I’m saying? I try to picture what you look like.” He was already hard. He pressed up against me insistently. “God, I missed you, Boo. Did you miss me?”

That was putting it mildly. “I missed you,” I assured him, my head swimming.

“Sometimes it seemed like you were just a dream, I could barely remember you at all. But I couldn’t forget this, how your body made me feel, mami. That part was no dream. I wish I could take you home with me. I wish I had a home to take you to.”

“What do you mean? You don’t have a home?”

“Not a real one, not right now. I have a room in a sort of shelter. It’s a horrible place but it has heat – it’s mostly for homeless people who have AIDS. It’s run by a retired priest I know. He’s old now. I do plumbing for him, construction, odd jobs; things like that. So I don’t pay rent there. But maybe it’s better this way, taking our time. Maybe we shouldn’t rush, you know? I don’t want you to disappear again.”

“I’m not going to disappear, trust me. I won’t. I’d invite you upstairs for some wine or something, but my roommate has company. It’s his apartment. He’s letting me stay there for awhile so I don’t want to crowd him.”

“He has a lady up there, right now?”

“No, he’s gay.”

This news took Eddie off guard. “You live with a fag, mami?”

“He’s not ‘a fag,’ he’s gay. And he’s one of my best friends.”

“Forget it. I didn’t mean anything. I just don’t get along with fags, is all, or with gays. Whatever. They hit on me constantly. They’re aggressive about it and I’m not into guys. I just want to mind my own business, you know?”

“I know, but I can see why they’d hit on you.”

“And why’s that?” he asked. His dark eyes glistened in that promising, irresistible way. He rocked himself against me rhythmically. “Why do you suppose men are always hitting on me, Boo?”

I knew he was playing dumb, but I went for the bait anyway. “Because you’re gorgeous, Eddie. Who wouldn’t want to have sex with you?”

“Is that so? What about you, mami?” His cock felt rock hard now, pushing up against me. I was aching between my legs, totally aroused, going quietly mad for him. “Do you want to have sex with me?” he asked.

I couldn’t believe I was blushing but I knew I was, as if no one had ever asked me a question like that before. In fact, too many people had asked me that question and yet this time my desire to say yes, I want to have sex with you overwhelmed me.

“What did you say?” he asked softly. “I didn’t hear you.”

“What was the question again?”

“Do you want to have sex with me?”

I smiled but I didn’t reply.

“You want to know what I think?”

“Yes,” I said.

“I think I should get you back home. You’re covered in snow, you know. You should go in before you catch pneumonia.”

I moaned in disappointment. I wasn’t ready to let him go. He zipped up my jacket for me and headed across the street. With a heavy heart, I followed his tracks in the snow. He kissed me again when we were just inside the doorway. “I’ll call you tomorrow.”


“I promise,” he said. “I’ll make a special trip down to the street just to use the pay phone. I’m going to think of you tonight, you know what I mean, right?”


“Will you think of me?’


He shook his head. “You’re such a little white girl.”

“Merry Christmas, Eddie.”

“Merry Christmas,” he said.


© 2011 Marilyn Jaye Lewis