• Bridge Ladies

    Bridge Ladies When I set out to learn about my mother's bridge club, the Jewish octogenarians behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, their gen, and the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
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Don’t Go Chasin’ Waterfalls

This is all everyone is talking about.

Now, I ask you. Not a one of you sent me a vampire novel that I could sell for millions and around the world. Does anyone out there have some BDSM?  IDK, IFLKM. (I don’t know, I feel like killing myself.) Not really, it’s such a fun crazy circus right now. I just can’t quite tell if I’m the seal with the ball, the Capuchin monkey in a red fez, the muscular acrobat with a half boner, or the drugged lion with a mangy coat wishing he were free.

Do you get HBO?


65 Responses

  1. i don’t get HBO right now, but am currently into Shameless.

    ummm…Averil…you out there tonight???

    • Finally, my moment has arrived.

      Yes, as a matter of fact, I have a novel of erotic noir, 3-4 weeks from completion. It’s about a young writer whose hobby is breaking and entering, out to avenge her mother’s death by making a tool of her unfortunate boyfriend. Want it?

      Also, I love Luck. Such a pack of degenerates, and one sweet Irish Rose trying to keep her head above the manure.

      • Have you read the excerpts at the link? Sometimes I think the stupidest things writers do is imagine that the words matter.

        “Argh!” I cry as I feel a weird pinching sensation deep inside me as he rips through my virginity.

      • I haven’t, because to be honest this book gives me palpitations. I think it must be engendering some latent competitive instinct in me.

      • My fave: “pulls a condom onto his considerable length.”

        God help me.

      • Grab this, Betsy, while you have the chance! Word on the street is that the real housewives of Long Island are done with all three installments of SHADES OF GREY. They’re pump is primed.

      • *their*

      • (6 a.m., first sip of coffee, and I read, in this order)

        “pulls a condom onto his considerable length.”
        God help me.
        Grab this, Betsy, while you have the chance!


      • I read this article over the weekend and immediately thought of you, Averil Get on the stick. Yeah, you heard me.

      • Ouch.

        I’m currently trying to remove any misguided literary tones from the book and replace the multisyllabic words with things like, ‘argh’ and ‘holy cow’. If I can find a place for August’s velvet panther line, I think we’ve got a hit.

        Note to self: Make the heroine trip over something.

      • “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people.” — H.L. Mencken

        Not to mention their taste. Salty and smooth. And expandable.

      • “Don’t you have a gag reflex?” he asks, astonished.

      • Make the heroine trip, yes, but she should land face-first into a blow job, taking his “considerable length” into her gag-less throat in one fell swoop. Let’s jump the shark and get it over with, shall we?

  2. Luck is a great show and reminds me I sure don’t have any.

  3. Well….. not that I was doing it as part of a craze or anything, but I wrote a zombie novel that I’m very proud of. I’ve always loved zombies ever since my dad showed me Night of the Living Dead (yes, the horrible quality black and white original) as a girl. I’ve been obsessed ever since. Then after a few years as a medical student, I started to look at the genre in new ways. The result was a book with my own unique explanation for their existence, and a tragic hero, who endures pain and sacrifice with their own brand of sarcasm. I’m quite proud of it if I do say so myself.

  4. HBO? Horses-Boots-Olympics? Sorry, the photo reminds me of my sister & her horse (she was named Horseman of the Year in 2011). I am so very proud of them both!

    Meanwhile, I just returned from a Women’s Nat’l Book Assoc. meeting. The topic was ebooks and its impact on writing and publishing. I feel like a culinary arts student being told to refocus my efforts to only learn deep frying techniques.

  5. “Don’t worry,” he breathes, his eyes on mine. “You expand too.”

  6. I didn’t know. Where have I had my head? And all I got my husband for Christmas was a flannel shirt.

  7. At this time I don’t get HBO. But there is a rhythm to life, an ebb and flow of things good and bad that washes over us. I’m sure that thinly disguised evil will wedge its way into my life with the next wave. This time I am ready: I know that television is death to creativity. Watch it and you will be absolutely screwed! Maybe not as well as by an equestrian but screwed nonetheless.

  8. No HBO. But we get Qubo and Nick, Jr. . .

    And a friend is writing a BDSM novel. It’s difficult to describe it, as everything I’ve thought of automatically becomes innuendo and double (or triple) entendre in my fevered little brain. But the relationship in it is as important as the descriptions of the lifestyle and that’s saying something.

  9. I’d be more likely to watch C-Span (zzzzz) or a religious tirade (hahaha) than a program with a vampire, zombie, or other surrealistic creature.

  10. I get some of it.

  11. I don’t know everyone, so I don’t know what they’re talking about. The someones I know are talking about the NCAA tournament, poetry and poetry readings, corrupt judges, drunken judges, and drawing, but nary a peep about the twilight of kinky shades. What a boring and limited lot my covey of someones, n’est-ce pas? And no hobos hereabouts, only common vagrants and other disposable youth. Isn’t there a war someplace they can be sent to fight?

  12. And what is with all this “fucking a billionaire,” “contract to marry a billionare,” “A billion dollar boner” shit?

    I just Kindled one of these $2.99 billionaire romance tropes to discern what all the fuss is about.

    I think I’m ready to sell out. Peel a condom on my considerable Faustian erection. Wake me when the monies start rolling in.

  13. This is really interesting for me. My novel coming out next month has quite a few soft-mommy-porn moments – all in my heroine’s quest to learn the Italian language and pay rent in Milan. I think I’ll be diving off this springboard, hopefully.

  14. I miss the days when vampires just killed people and 17 year-old virgins fucked other 17 year-old virgins, not 90 year-old billionaires.

  15. When I started reading the review my first thoughts were Ugh, Ugh, Ugh.

    I read further; Oh, if it helps women’s health maybe it’s not so bad.

    I started reading the excerpt. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

  16. I don’t get HBO. I don’t have a television. This blog and others are all the entertainment I have time for .

    As for 50 Shades of Grey . . . bah, everything old is new again. I read Anaïs Nin’s Delta of Venus more than 30 years ago, so many times I practically had it memorized. It surely has GOT to be better than the 50 Shades of Grey. Except Nin’s male heroes are not billionaires, just loutish boulevardiers and down-on-their-luck painters wearing berets and striped French t-shirts. And you had better believe there were none of these namby-pamby “safe words” so oft-touted nowadays. In Nin’s books, when a man takes charge of a woman, he owns her. Like this:

    I think Shades of Grey book is less about the sex than it is about the money and the stuff. It started off as Twilight fanfiction, for pete’s sake! It’s like Harry Potter for randy ladies: It’s not great literature, but if it gets women reading (and discussing their sexuality), then it’s just got to be a good thing.

    I give the author props for covering all her bases; “Argh!” the heroine cries as she loses her virginity. What is this, pirate fiction too?

    And it’s not just books; the ladies are getting more and more into the films. Just ask Bret Easton Ellis, who is hooking up (!) with dominant-next-door James Deen to make a micro-budget noir film. Mr. Deen, they say, is popular with underage girls who have moved beyond the chaste limits of Twilight.

    • Like http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4MnpzG5Sqc, it may be a simplistic narrative of a complicated story but if it gets people talking, I say fantastic.

      As for that video, oy. I admit I wanted her to smack a few heads as her partner spiraled her around by her feet. Do you think it was a woman at the end, disguised as a man?

    • I want some of what he’s smokin’.

    • yikes! what a performance. Smoke, no doubt is rising from Martha Graham’s tomb! As for me, I’ll look for a dance partner at the fais do-do, where the right waltz (my fav: “Lovers’ Waltz” as played by Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys), with the right partner, is nothing less than public seduction. The two-stepping can get a bit wild and at one particular old bar, the linoleum floor used to melt in the summer heat, but no one has sailed through a window.

  17. Fifty Shades of ‘Grey’…my hair.

    HBO…Game Change, S.P. is a really smart dumb person.

    My cat-n-nine ‘tales’ is down to seven, I had to use my blindfold for a mini-pad, my basement is flooded to the eye-bolts and I lost the key to my hand cuffs.

    I am so far outside the three rings; I thought BDSM had something to do with a twin size mattress from Sleepys.

  18. Fifty Shades of Grey on GMA right now.

  19. Writing still matters. There’s always going to be a Dan Brown, a Stephanie Meyer, an ‘EL James.’ But for the handful of bad writers who make it big there are thousands of others out there cramming up the slush. So if you CAN write well then you must write well. Because it’s what you do. So please, don’t even think of slumming.

  20. “my inner goddess is prostrate.” wtf?

  21. Kick the vampires out of your bed and go see Jeanette Winterson somewhere on her US tour. Here’s a link to the schedule (if I did it right). That’s what I’m talking about.

  22. Damn. I better hurry up and read Harry Potter.

  23. Every erotic romance writer is screaming into her ball-gag right now. I think the most frustrating thing must be the media’s portrayal of 50 Shades, as though it’s some new genre, akin to Stephenie Meyer creating vampire romance.

    The excerpts are appalling and unsexy, and I’m someone who loves to be turned on by erotic romance. Also, when will “bodice ripper” die as an expression????

  24. I fell in love with David Milch from a 2005 New Yorker profile of him, which in turn made me a fan of his first HBO endeavor, Deadwood, and now Luck. Because of the racetrack jargon, there’s a learning curve with Luck, but it pays off. Here’s an excerpt from the Milch profile (which I’ve read countless times because of the brilliant things he says about writing in general).

    (Steven Bochco on Milch)

    He’ll wrestle his demons forever, but I’ve never known anyone else who has learned to put his demons at his service in quite the way he has. I think that’s his real genius. And David is a genius in the literal definition of that word. He is truly unique, truly original. ‘NYPD Blue’ allowed him to exorcise some of his demons or, certainly, to turn a light on in the room where they reside. None of this was done from a distance. He took on addiction, alcoholism, racism—things that are just so fundamental to our nature and things that are dangerous in society he found a way to explore cold-bloodedly. In a medium that is utterly fearful, he has been a fiercely brave writer.

    • I loved that New Yorker piece too — and my husband and I used to watch Deadwood episodes twice. So excited about Luck — we live on a thoroughbred horse farm and down the street from a track. So so sad that it is cancelled!

  25. Well… in related news, my hunger name is Simohn Flickerwood and I was killed eating rat poison.


    Can we do a Shades of Grey names website with soft porn names and positions? Like:

    My shades of grey heroine name is Simohn Flickerwood (funny how that still works) and I got it from behind with a velvet-covered dildo.

    • Suddenly, he throws me to my knees. Holy cow! The silk sheets are as smooth as silk under my spread knees. “Spread your knees,” he demands.

      Why are the sheets so cool while you’re so hot, my inner goddess whispering into my ear.

      “And now,,” he purrs, from behind me, like a muscular velvet panther. “Miss Flickerwood, I am going to ram this into you, baby, and hard.”

      • My moist tightness welcomes his colossal gift. The pulsating throb of my holy lair cries for more.

        “Do you like it, baby? Tell me how you like it,” he growls in my ear, before biting down on my tender flesh.

        “Oh, Mr. Billionaire, I’ve been so naughty,” I croon. “I want your member up so deep in my honeypit I ooze sweet nectar onto these silky, silk sheets.”

      • There’s this internet meme thing where you create your pornstar/stripper name by combining the name of your first pet with the name of the first street you ever lived on. I’m Frosty Harding. Awesome, no?

    • Fess up, Suzy. You ghost wrote those books!!

  26. Really? A fun, crazy circus? Because I read that excerpt and if Vintage just paid 7 figures for it, well, IDKIFLKM.

    I defy you to tell me that would have gotten anything but a form rejection from you. Come ON.

    Of course I have HBO. Marginally off-topic: People who don’t watch tv–or pretend they don’t watch tv–are so fucking pretentious. It’s 2012. (17th-century equivalent: “Oh, I NEVER listen to the town crier. I get all my news from the Oxford Gazette.)

    Also, re: billionaire-fucking as erotica, let’s remember what they really look like: http://bit.ly/boIU99

    • Ten bucks says they didn’t pay seven figures, either they’re lying or playing games with the contract.

      Whatever happened to Amanda Hocking?

      (I don’t watch TV. Unless there’s one within twenty yards of me, in which case I do nothing else.)

    • Allen. Yeah. Our resident NBA team owner.

      Here’s an acronym I used a lot back in the day, hanging with my best friend Fluff: YNSP. As in: Your Next Sexual Partner. We used to try and scoop each other with sightings of not-so-exquisite dalliance possibilities. Dalliance possibilities? Listen to me. This 50 Shades crap has infiltrated my corpus callosum.

    • I didn’t say I don’t watch TV, though I haven’t seen that show. I said television kills creativity. My statement was too inclusive; I can’t speak for everyone. I should’ve said it kills my creativity. Television is a colossal waste of time in this century or any other.

    • Shanna, thanks for the personal email, and don’t worry. It is kinda pretentious to say you don’t watch TV. Even if someone completely stopped watching at the age of 18, those thousands of hours of childhood catatonia in front of the Three Stooges et al (or whatever the current inanity is) made me what I am today, so there’s really nothing to feel superior about.

      • I agree completely. There’s nothing superior about refusing exposure to anything that has the potential to inspire. If it weren’t for my dad showing me the classics and my constant need for music, I would never have even started my novel.

  27. I’m just freaking out because it took me so long to figure out what BDSM is. Back when phones were analogue, I was cool. Or at least I knew the lingo. Jaysus. Porn sells. Surprise? No.

  28. Okay, I’ll admit it. I had to google BDSM. If that makes me pathetic, I can live with that. Do people do anything else in these books besides leak on the sheets?

  29. Boys and girls, I’ve been at work all day and it seems you have all run down hill while I’ve been gone.

    Tsk, tsk…do the nasty, write about it and get seven-figures?

    Okay, here goes…fuck you. Okay I wrote about it, anybody want to pay me.
    No…well, fuck you anyway, yuck yuck. Sometimes I just crack myself up.

  30. Update: word in the gutter is that women are now buying their husbands grey ties.

  31. Shit.I only skimmed the comments when I made that comment yesterday. I wasn’t talking about you, JD, and I certainly wasn’t talking about TP, whom I adore, and whose comment I didn’t see because, ironically, I tend to skip over the posts with embedded videos. (TP, you are the earnest exception to my completely anecdotal rule.) I was taking about almost everyone in Hollywood I’ve ever worked for, including the actress who insisted she didn’t watch her own show. It would be like a writer saying he doesn’t read the genre he’s writing in. I think you’re missing out, JD, because there are some amazing stories being told on tv today, especially HBO and Showtime, but if you’ve isolated a form of media that kills your creativity, well, right on. Personally, it’s the snackable content and false intimacy of social media that’s making me creatively fat and lazy.

  32. It’s a good thing I came back to your blog, Betsy…I haven’t even heard of all this! (I do live on a horse farm, in Kentucky…)

    The title of my play is Shades of Gray. Because it was inspired by Dorian Gray, and the main character is named Gray.

    Though probably Oscar Wilde would have loved all this…

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