I smell like two people! Or, how I write sex scenes.

Relax, all you authors and writers of erotica; your jobs are safe. Nobody will accuse me anytime soon of trying to steal your thunder. Not by a long shot.

This week I confessed to my publisher that no matter what genre I try to write in, everything comes out silly. I said, “I think my genre is Silly.” My publisher feels it’s a perfectly acceptable genre. I like this person.

bowchikawowowBecause I love writing with humour, I just had to extend it to our most vulnerable space–the bedroom. While sexual activity can be mind-blowing and magical and filled with fireworks, sometimes the clunkiness of life and the quirks of people can take it to a different place. A ridiculous place, really. I know in my life some of my biggest laughs with my spouse have been in bed, when things haven’t gone to plan. Yet, those odd, imperfect moments always created a deeper intimacy between us. Made everything a bit more real, and somehow a bit more perfect.

If you’ve not read Life in the ’Cosm, then warning, spoilerishy things are imminent

As most of the book was a stream of consciousness, I didn’t limit where I went in my writing. I got the first two chapters down, and then opened chapter three with:

Self-gratification was not an easy task in the flat.

Okay, so we’re going with masturbation in this scene, I thought, refusing to delete what I’d written. It made sense. My protagonist had been longing for someone he literally couldn’t have and the poor guy was ready to explode. I gave Virj some release, but not without adding a little mortification to the mix. (You never know where Splot is slithering, or when Sonny will barge in with breakfast questions.) A beta-reader loved that scene and told me they could totally relate to Virj’s embarrassment.

Later on in the book, there’s that infamous moment when you’ve had too much to drink and only just realised you’ve slept with someone but have no memory of it:

She paused again, frowned, lifted the sheets over her head, and inhaled deeply. Then she screamed on top of her lungs.

“I SMELL LIKE TWO PEOPLE! WHY DO I SMELL LIKE TWO PEOPLE?”

A valid question. We all know our personal perfumes, so when a foreign scent is blended with ours, we’d obviously like some answers. In my life, I’ve often said after a passionate tryst with my beloved, “Gee, it smells like two people who love each other.” Because doods, it truly does smell like two people! Amirite???

Also, sometimes there’s that gloppy sensation:

She shifted her position and immediately pulled a face. “Ew, I’m so goopy down there. When did you last masturbate, in your teens?”

Again, a valid question, if you cannae remember anything from the night before. Am I the only one who feels this way?

I loved adding the awkward things about sexual activity. It made me laugh, and I think it made my readers laugh, too. We can relate to the embarrassing, smelly, and goopy side of sex because that’s often what it’s actually like. Not every sexual encounter is a well-choreographed dance that ends in simultaneous orgasm. The films might want to have us believe that, but I think we writers need to tell the other side of it from time to time. We need less, “She was enthralled by his throbbing love-wand,” and more of, “OWWW! Get off my hair!”

Or is it just me?

Watching people work through those clumsy moments makes them more endearing to me as a reader, too. I don’t want to roll my eyes at the sexually unattainable. I want to laugh with empathy. I want to say, “Oh, heck, yes, I totally get it.” I want to see the sexy in the awkward, because people are still desirable when they’re goofing up. Maybe more so than when they’re suave, in my opinion. I want to make love to a real person, not a robot.

Unless it’s a cute and clumsy robot who blushes and reads poetry. I’d have to mull that one over.

Anyway, here’s to klutzy sex! Sláinte! (Raises cupcake in a toast.)

/cg

CGAuthorCait Gordon is an Irish-Canadian warrior princess and author of Life in the ’Cosm, a space opera about a little green guy who’s crushing on the female half of his two-headed colleague (Renaissance Press). Cait’s also the editor of the Spoonie Authors Network blog.

 

Review of Life in the ’Cosm, by Author Jamieson Wolf

The following is Canadian author Jamieson Wolf’s review of Life in the ’Cosm from his post, Best Books of 2016. Thanks, Jamieson! We can’t wait for your upcoming Lust and Lemonade this spring!


Life in the ’Cosm by Cait Gordon

20161123_135849_hdrThis isn’t your typical boy meets girl story.

Virj Ofreesin is writing a fantasy novel. In it, the girl he loves is in love with him* but can’t have him. In reality, she is actually part of the Dwa species, two sharing one body, able to spend eternity with their soul mate.

Though everyone from his gay dads to his sentient daisy Sonny and his Ovum, Splot, tells him that it will never happen, Virj isn’t one to give up on his hearts desire. He had loved Frayda for three years. He won’t stop loving her just because everyone else is telling him that it can’t happen. The heart knows no limitations.

Then he meets Noola. She’s annoying, constantly chipper, a total klutz and dresses in eye watering sparkly clothing. She is also living in the same complex as [Virj] and happens to be the new editor at his office. Virj wonders how his life could get any worse.

When he learns that the Dwa Frayda and Jobie are ill, he agrees to fly to a planet in the middle of a war zone to retrieve a mystical plant that only grows upon its soil. He is congratulating himself on his bravery…until Noola says that she is going with him.

Armed with his tablet and his thirst for sweets, Virj is a man on a mission.

Life in the ‘Cosm is an intergalactic joyride of epic proportions. Laugh out loud hilarious, touching, endearing and wonderful don’t do it enough justice. The book was a joy to read from start to finish. The characters were awesome and had so much depth to them. Yes, this is a sci-fi novel but one with heart, verve and warmth. I loved this book so very much and can’t wait for Virj and Noola’s next adventure!

  • Ah, but is Frayda in love with Virj? Read for yourself, peeps! ~Cait G

Beyond the cupcake.

If you don’t know me, then you might not grasp how shocking the title of this post is. Anyone who’s encountered me on social media or in real life knows that I love cupcakes. My erotic fantasy is Ewan McGregor giving me a come hither look while holding up a tray of assorted gluten-free, vegan fairy cakes. (He can even walk away and leave the tray of cakes, really.)

But as much as I love icing, there’s more to me and my writing than that.

Life in the ’Cosm: not just cake in space

When you write a book you’re also tasked with some self-promotion. I normally would add this tagline: Life in the ’Cosm, a story about love, adventure, and dessert. Or, I’d call it a comedy sci-fi with an unusual amount of cake. beyond-the-cupcake

While my book is funny (I know this because people have told me), and my protagonist Virj Ofreesin loves eating sweets, the story goes beyond the cupcake. Even though every character is made up, a lot of different feelings I had went into the book.

Because I hadn’t planned to get published originally, I wrote without limits or expecting anyone to read it. So, I went down a few roads that I wanted to explore:

  • Discrimination against LGBTQIA people by para-religious organisations.
  • Truly gracious spirituality versus religiosity.
  • Gender fluidity and changing preconceived gender roles.
  • Diversity in sexuality.
  • Dealing with disability.
  • Cyber affairs.
  • Chasing fantasy to the exclusion of those who truly love you.

If you haven’t read the book, you’re probably thinking, This is a comedy? If life has taught me anything, it’s that even during the heaviest and deepest moments, something happens that makes me laugh. My darkest moments also have included some of the funniest memories. I think seeing the humorous side of things has kept me alive.

Warning: an expressive extrovert lives here

Writer Amy M. Young called me an extroverted tornado, but she admits that I am extremely introvert-friendly. So, I have that going for me. Whoot!

While I like to talk about cake and can do it forever and ever and ever, I will get passionate about issues that matter to me. One of the reasons my writing includes characters who are gender-amazing and/or are more than cishet (cisgender and heterosexual) is because the majority of my close friends can claim one or several letters in the LGBTQIA acronym. What they endure matters to me, and even though I’m cishet myself, I really want to include gender and sexual diversity in my books. To me, it’s a reflection of real life.

Because I also manage a disability, it was important to me to include a character in Life in the ’Cosm who deals with one, too. She is also feisty to a fault, and robustly sexually active. You know what? We who live with disabilities like sex. Yet, it’s often thought that it’s taboo to think of us that way. (See my post in the Spoonie Authors Network blog called, Sexy and disabled: yes, you can be both!).

So, I often use my creative writing, non-fiction blogs, and social media statuses to discuss my viewpoints in these areas.

(Btw, if you’re wondering why I didn’t include people of colour as part of my creative writing, it’s only because almost every single character is a different colour from each other. In real life, I am very pro ethnic and racial diversity. Heck, I grew up in Montreal, Quebec. It was like having the whole world in one city!)

So, yeah, and stuff like that.

Anyway, just wanted to share a wee bit o’ insight into my own character. But please do not interpret this as my putting cupcakes as a lower priority in my life. I can love people and be an activist and an author while eating dessert, too. I can multitask, you know.

Hm. This post’s made me hungry. I think I need to merge some ingredients now.

Later, peeps!

/cg

CGAuthorCait Gordon is an Irish-Canadian warrior princess and author of Life in the ’Cosm, a space opera about a little green guy who’s crushing on the female half of his two-headed colleague (Renaissance Press). Cait’s also the editor of the Spoonie Authors Network blog.

WRITE EVERY DAY! Or not.

This week the awesomely awesome author S.M. Carrière wrote a blog called Can we not? The essence of the piece was how much some writers feel they need to dictate to other writers about how they should and should not be. In my comment I wrote:

I think I’m overloaded with writers on [social media] telling us what to do. I’m not so great at taking orders (Irish, you know.). One of the worst for me is the: YOU HAVE TO WRITE EVERY DAY! EVERY SINGLE DAY. IF YOU DON’T, YOU’LL BE A LOSER WITH NO FRIENDS, YOUR LOVED ONES WILL FORGET YOUR BIRTHDAY, YOUR HAIR WILL FALL OUT AND GROW BACK AS WORMS, AND ALL THE NEW-BORN PUPPIES ON THE EARTH WILL DIIIIIIIEEE!

I have a hard time expressing myself.

An occupational hazard of being an author is you tend to follow other authors on social media, then the ALGORITHMS OF DESTINY find out your interests, and you’re pummeled with articles and adverts. One that gets to me is the “Write and publish a book in a weekend!” course. (Yeah. No. Go away, mkay?) When adverts find me, I can meh them off most of the time. My problem is more with writers bullying writers on how to do pretty much everything. This is not the same as sharing tips or experiences that someone thinks might help. This is more like: there is only one way to become an author. Or even worse: you’re not a real writer if...”

Not coolbeans, peeps. Some writers never write books; they write blogs and they’re good at it. Some writers become self-published authors. Their books seem real to me; they have words and everything. Some writers can push out two books a year. Some take a decade to write one. Still all legit in my eyes. Some writers are super structured with outlines. Others open a laptop and go, “Wheee, I have no idea where I’m going and I love it!” (I might resemble that last person.)

Some writers are able-bodied. Some have disabilities that impair cognitive function. Some can blaze on the keyboard with ease. Others have too much pain to type or even sit up to use their dictation software. If you command that all writers must write every single day, can you see how this might be an ableist thing? Maybe let’s not assume everyone’s life is exactly the same.

laptopSo, let’s think twice before telling another writer what to do, or making them feel like they can’t sit with you. (Oh yeah, it’s Wednesday! I better wear pink.) Seriously, though. Be kind. You can go very far in life by being encouraging.

And if people have quirks that drive you bonkers, take advantage of filters and mute functions. You’re not tied down like the guy in A Clockwork Orange. Chill, doods.

I see this post is also telling you how to be. Oh well. It’s hard to avoid that. I hope you interpret my message as a Be Excellent to Each Other sort of thing. That was my intention.

Write as much you wish, when you wish. I won’t judge.

Peace.

/cg

CGAuthorCait Gordon is an Irish-Canadian warrior princess and author of Life in the ‘Cosm, a space opera about a little green guy who’s crushing on the female half of his two-headed colleague (Renaissance Press). She’s also the editor of the Spoonie Authors Networkblog.

Are you a procrasti-writer?

There’s an old joke about cis men and self-gratification: Nine out of ten guys masturbate, and the tenth one is a liar.

The same could be said for writers and procrastinating. I think we’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t delay working on their manuscript. I rarely procrastinate with anything else in my life (maybe biz accounting because ugh) but even I put off working on my stories.

Why do we do that? We love writing, so how do we justify not writing? I suppose it could be a number of things like:

  • We’re blocked.
  • We’re feeling insecure about our merit as an artist.
  • There’s something great on Netflix we need to binge.
  • Hey, when did my closet get so messy?
  • I haven’t talked to my mom in awhile. I should phone her.
  • Ugh, my nails need a good trim.
  • Oh, there’s a sale on Amazon!
  • I should work out. Maybe at walk outside at least.
  • What’s Talia doing? I’ll send her a text.
  • I’m hungry and there are no cupcakes in the house.
  • I should bake cupcakes.
  • Oh, no flour. I’ll go get some now.
  • I’m tired from my sugar rush.
  • Just a short nap will do.
  • Oh hi, honey, I you’re home early!

You know, extremely hypothetical things like that. *cough*

litc-jan26-2017

When art imitates life in my microcosm.

Just DO EET!

Seriously, this is what works for me. I have found myself absolutely not in a state of mind to write, but like with exercise, if I start, I end up doing pretty well. I have all sorts of legitimate excuses I can pull out of my bottom, like chronic pain and fatigue, but  I wrote Life in the ‘Cosm while really suffering. So, I know for me, it can be done. (Again, this is my life and no judgment on anyone else who deals with pain and fatigue.) I have dictation apps and apps that read things back to me, and these accessibility tools got me through my first book.

What I’m discovering now is that if my brain doesn’t want to brain within a certain structure, then I’ll just let myself brain any way I want to. If I don’t want to continue with a specific chapter just yet but have an idea for another, then I’ll write the new chapter. Often, I’ll go back to the former chapter and be able to write it better so it links to the new content.

Lately, I’ve just gotten into writing short stories. Wow, this is great fun. Because of the limited word count, the end comes much sooner than with a full novel. It challenges me to write more with less, and I’m wondering if this will help me improve my overall chapter writing. I often like to think of short stories under 5K as scenes or chapters. Works in my mind, anyway. Short stories are a great kickstarter for a procrastinating writer, in my opinion. Poetry would work a treat, too!

You are better than you think you are.

Ohmigosh, this. Last night I went on a spectacular ride of sheer panic at my perceived lack of skill. My bff talked me off the ledge and I tried taking her word for it. Sometimes at night I go into I’M THE AWFULLEST WRYTUR IN THE UNIVERSE AND BEYOND mode. Often I’ll get some sleep, start writing again, and then all is well.

I really believe the remedy to thinking you’re the awfullest wrytur in the universe and beyond is to keep writing. Get out of your own head. You’re better than you think and if you’re that worried about your skills, you’ll probably do what you can to improve yourself. Remember, every one of us writes crappy first drafts. Every. One. Of Us. I seriously encourage writing crappy first drafts, because at the end of it, you have a first draft, dood!

So, off with you! And me, too.

Time to stop making excuses and do the thing. Even beginning with a few words or sentences. Writing a paragraph is more than not writing one. Imma take this advice, too.

Must dash. There be words I must smith!

Good luck, fellow scribes!

/cg

CGAuthor

Cait Gordon is an Irish-Canadian warrior princess and author of Life in the ‘Cosm, a space opera about aliens with issues (Renaissance Press). She’s also the editor of the Spoonie Authors Networkblog.