As I keep writing about Maddie, the hero of Maddie Aflame, I remember all those who helped inspire her. Today: thank you, Rumi for the beautiful words above. And here’s a sensual snippet from Maddie Aflame, when flames really are being fanned:
While I licked Aud’s right nipple, making her moan as it stiffened, I held her left breast in my hand, which was now only slightly sore and pink from yesterday’s flames. Her cool skin soothed my palm, and feeling the weight of that smooth, taut flesh was enough to make me throb between my thighs.
The more Anaïs Nin fans I meet, the more I realize that hoards of us have been saved by her writings. For me, both Delta of Venus and Incest were my saviors, both in different ways. As an incest survivor, I grew into a woman who was brimming with darkly erotic stories about incestuous affairs, but believed those inspirations to be a sign of my deep sins — proof that if there was a Hell, I was probably going there.
The fifth in a series of fire-themed posts about passion, illness, identity, and adventure, in celebration of the forthcoming erotic novel series, MADDIE AFLAME! You can find the first post here and other Maddie Aflame! posts here.
Fire burns us and inspires us. Fire can kill us, but also cleanse us. When I think of fiery pain, I remember the stuff that makes us yell or double up. When I think about fiery sex, I dream of sex that is passionate and brave. But what if the fire we felt during pain and passion was accompanied by real flames?
“I’m hellishly lonely. What I need is someone who could give me what I give Henry: this constant attentiveness. I read every page he writes, I follow up his reading, I answer his letters, I listen to him, I remember all he says, I write about him, I make him gifts, I protect him, I am ready at any moment to give up anybody for him, I follow his thoughts, enter into his plans — passionate, maternal, intellectual watchfulness.
“He. He cannot do this. Nobody can. Nobody knows how. It is an art, a gift.”
–Anaïs Nin in Incest: The Unexpurgated Diary of Anais Nin 1932 – 1934
Isn’t this just the way with those of us who give, give, give? I feel like I’ve spent my life working on boundaries — figuring out when to give with glorious commitment and when to say no, when to stop and look after myself. There are many great books about learning to say no, but one thing I’ve rarely been told is that giving is an art.
“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” –Anaïs Nin in Mirages: The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin 1939-1947, ed. Paul Herron
Perhaps unsurprisingly, given its popularity, I came across this quotation fairly early after my discovery of Anaïs and her writings. What I didn’t realize was that this beautiful line from her diary was crafted when she was looking at her life candidly and taking responsibility for difficult emotions. “I have created the isolation in which I find myself,” she writes in Mirages. “Life shrinks in proportion to one’s courage.” (As Paul Herron says, those were the original words Anaïs wrote in her diary. She edited them later, adding in “or expands.”)
I think Anais gives us a wonderful lesson here, as always: When we feel down or lost, that’s often when we can most deeply learn about our emotions. If we can see what got us to a dark place, painful though such vision can be, we can start to refuse the darkness.
We can expand.
One night, when I was a kid living near London, my mother accidentally left the back door unlocked. I went to bed that Saturday with a song in my heart because five fresh cream cakes were sitting on the sideboard, set out for guests the following day. (Damn, did I love cream! Still do!) But that Sunday, we awoke to upturned furniture, drawers emptied, and my mother’s handbag nowhere to be seen. […]
Read the rest of this post here: Go Deeper Press Protected by Flames (Aflame Post 3) » Go Deeper Press
Pictured left: Oracle card by Josephine Wall — click the pic for her website.
“Her sex was like a giant hothouse flower, larger than any the Baron had seen, and the hair around it abundant and curled, glossy black. It was these lips that she rouged as if they were a mouth, very elaborately so that they became like blood-red camellias, opened by force, showing the closed interior bud, a paler, fine-skinned core of the flower.” — Anaïs Nin in ‘The Hungarian Adventurer’ (in Delta of Venus)
A long time ago, when I first arrived in the USA, I was taught how to write literary sex scenes. The instructor was fantastic, but also had strong opinions about not describing sex organs in any detail. Graphic descriptions of such bodily parts, he said, often came across as objectification and didn’t feel as sensuous. It would be years before I’d ask myself, “But if I can say ‘he reached for her arm’ why can’t I say ‘he reached for her cunt’? Why does my instructor see one as more objectifying than the other?” The answer, of course, is social shame — the same social shame that I eventually decided to fight.
“He churned, thrashing sensually as if he would make love once and forever, with his whole force. The candles burned away. Tristan and Isolde sand sadly. But Rupert and I twice were shaken by such tremors of desire and pleasure that I thought we would die, like people who touched a third rail in the subway tunnel.” —Anaïs Nin on her first lovemaking with Rupert Pole, excerpted in A Cafe in Space (ed. Paul Herron) vol. 13 from the forthcoming Trapeze: The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin 1947-1955
As a writer, I love it when sentences roll, gathering speed like an ocean’s white horses. Such flow and momentum are particularly important in my erotic work, where, whether the desire I communicate is thirstily romantic or burly, and bestial, I want nothing more than to feel on the page.
This is the second in a series of fire-themed posts about passion, illness, identity, and adventure, in celebration of the forthcoming new adult series, MADDIE AFLAME! from Go Deeper’s BENT imprint. You can find the first post here. (To buy the image to the left from Blue Angel, click here.)
Here is the opening of the first of the Maddie Aflame! books, in which Maddie suffers from Combustion Syndrome, and queerness is illegal. The project is still being written, so this is very much a sneak preview. This passage contains descriptions of the body on fire, ghosts, sensual kissing, and a homophobic attack:
It was dark in the alley when the flames started prickling. I could feel them kindling in my chest, then shooting down my arms, so I stared at my palms dreading the first sparks.