At Mother’s Command

“Where are we?” Max inquired, having kept silent for the entire trip. The outline of a stately mansion came into view as they approached a massive black security gate.

Stella glanced at Rocco without offering an explanation.

Rocco peered over his shoulder and gave Max a comforting look before stating, “Home.”

Max wanted to blurt out with a laugh, but then she remembered the situation was all too serious.

“She lives here?” asked Max.

The car rolled to a stop in an area of the driveway where several expensive cars were parked under protective awnings. Ignition off, Rocco answered, “Yes, Max. This is where Sumera lives. It is also where your mother and I…” He cleared his throat before finishing the sentence, “where Stella and I met twenty years ago.”

Max’s mind was racing, noticing an attractive Asian woman riding a horse through the gardens in the distance. A younger fair-skinned man walked beside her, appearing to be attached by a leash that went from his neck to the woman’s hand. She was dressed in black and brought the horse to a halt so she could wave at Stella and Rocco.

“Who’s that?” Max asked. “Am I related to her, too?”

“No,” Stella assured, “that’s Marielle and her…”

“Her what?”

Stella blurted, “Trainee…”

At Mother’s Command

Okay, before we begin…spoiler alert. Imagine growing up all your life as a normal girl, going to school, having friends, and living an otherwise normal life in the suburbs when all of a sudden on your eighteenth birthday…

…you learn your parents are…

…wealthy billionaires and you never knew?

…vampires?

…wizards from a secret school of magic?

No, let’s try mixing the Legion of Doom with the Fetish Society, throw a dark castle in there, and for your coming-of-age party you learn your parents are a slaves to “Sex Luthoress” super-villainess and you are somehow the new princess of a perverted house of twisted desire. Really, that is the vibe I got, and I blame myself watching the Justice League trailer over and over again because I like Jack White and hoping against hope for a Legion of Doom origin story movie…but that is beside the point.

But a Legion of Doom group of super-villains who do kinky fetish stuff?

I’m in.

With myself as the woman in the cat-suit. See you, that is going to last for a whole week’s worth of bed-time fantasies.

Okay, back. Whew. Those still have some staying power. Let’s begin again.

More like a tour guide than a father, Rocco said, “Those who belong here are allowed entrance. That key was designed for you, and only for you, and not to be shared with anyone, Maxie.”

“Uh, okay.” The bizarreness was inescapable, like getting an unexpected and long-lasting hug from a stranger. Max asked, “So, the birthday gift comes with rules, too? What if I lose it?”

Rocco and Stella slipped into their secret language again, conversing without uttering a word. Then Rocco answered, “A lost key is punishable.”

Stella added, “And you’re not the irresponsible type, Max. We raised you to be accountable and conscientious.”

“What’s the punishment?”

I would say jumping tracks onto a pair of seemingly unconnected story-lines of two other couples at the manor. This is a minor complaint, honestly, but I felt a bit jarred at the sudden jump away from the ‘story of Max’ here. The beginning of the story so solidly sells Max and her predicament that following her was the only thing I wanted to do. I found myself so lost in Max’s coming-of-age and new life that all I wanted to see was Max exploring this new world, finding the secrets of what goes on in this house herself, and slowly uncovering the mystery of her true lineage and with every page we dive deeper into the perverse and twisted nature of this Fetish Society and what goes on in this house.

Max’s story is sold and delivered upon very strongly. The reason why I feel the disconnected jump is not because of a negative quality to the work, it is because the central story was delivered upon so wonderfully that I didn’t want to break away. It is the mark of a well-crafted plot, but there are also feelings that develop when you have such a strong central character.

We become attached, which is not a bad thing, but feelings can develop when our attention is diverted elsewhere.

The side stories themselves are very well-done and kinky as all hell, and I enjoyed them very much – but I wanted Max in them. I wanted Maxina, the nubile, inexperienced, fish-out-of-water girl discovering who she is, to be the reader’s eyes. I wanted her to peek through the curtains and watch these couples. I wanted her to have that strange feeling in her loins as she realizes this is, no, this can’t be, who she is. I wanted that moment of rebellion. I wanted that rejection of her true nature. I wanted that strange suspicion and question in her mind of, “what if this turns me on?”

And all that comes from this single moment.

Perhaps we get that in coming books, perhaps, and I am being impatient. I have always said the mark of a great book is if the reader is sitting there frustrated wanting more, flipping pages, writing negative reviews, and screaming at the writer for not giving them what they want. Great writers never give the reader what they want. But on a more basic, storytelling level, I wanted Max to be involved with these other couples. I know it is a bit trite to have the other actress in the erotic movie “peek in” on a couple doing their thing, but this is a larger metaphor for how we, as humans, are exposed to a new world of sensuality and lust…and love. We all have that “peek in” moment in our lives, and I don’t fault it as a literary device since it is a basic and natural experience for us as humans.

A note, wow, a very brave start on this one. We get a three or four chapter long introduction just building relationships. I need to say these were very well done, and the feeling of anticipation and curiosity I got from this long, slow burn kept me on the edge of my seat. Nothing was revealed, things were teased at, and I was sitting there wondering if her parents really weren’t vampires or wizards the way they were acting. It is a wonderfully done piece of writing, very nuanced and layered, and worthy of great regard in the crafting and execution.

And when it was revealed her parents were into some seriously kinky shit?

Yes, that worked for me. Of course, in my mind I am a bit twisted and imagining this is something much more strange and comic-book villainous, but those are just my fantasies, and a great book always inspires us to imagine we could be somehow a part. And I did. The characters feel like they are are ripped out of some kinky, Game of Thrones type fetish show, they have some seriously real weight and presence to them, and I could imagine them being played by some serious acting types. Really, yes, the writing has this gravitas to it that thrills me, and the ‘acting’ in this book blew my mind in the way it was written and slowly revealed in the central plot.

This is an amazing work which stirred some very powerful and compelling feelings within me. Perhaps my initial responses are wrong and the next book in the series will explain more, I am not a perfect reader and I know the joy of being a submissive to a dominant writer. We need to learn patience. Why things were done the way they were. Perhaps we are too quick to judge, and we need to give things a chance and time.

We need more understanding and calm in these times, for sure.

Highly recommended. A strange and mysterious journey into womanhood, dominance, fetish, and self-discovery. There is rebellion here, and a wonderfully sold and delivered cast of characters who grab our attention.

And in the center stands Max.

And the question of who she is, and the choices she shall make.

I am ready for book two.

And that, my friends, is the mark of a good book.

Wednesday Workshop: Engagement Inside the Scene

There are times when the most beautiful words are the most simple ones.

To write and communicate ideas, we don’t need eloquence. We don’t need to overdo things. We need to connect, to communicate an idea or feeling, and not get mired down in distraction. I find when my writing is the ‘worst’ is when I am distracted in real life, trying to hash through a bulk word count, and not really thinking about what I am writing. I liken it to riding a bike and not really paying attention to your surroundings, and often that leads to trouble. With writing, I find the same applies.

I can write on ‘cruise mode’ and I find those sections are often in the most need of attention later. I wasn’t thinking when I wrote that, I didn’t know what I wanted to say, or I had no real plan or thought about how things were going to go. Though it is a liberating experience to free write, and I still dislike highly-planned sections. But you have to be paying attention when you write. You can’t be a passive observer of your words, you need to focus, think a little in the character’s head, and come up with some secret plan of how the scene is going to go.

You don’t want to be a stenographer recording the details of a scene from the outside, but you want to be inside the head of one of the participants. You want to be inside a point of view. You want to be reacting, living as that person, and providing an account from a unique and personality-driven perspective.

You want to be engaged when you write, and this is a different thing than ‘wanting’ to write. I find that once I engage with a character in a scene, my natural hesitance to ‘starting in’ disappears. Let’s say you are writing a scene where Price Charming and Cinderella are sitting in their post-marriage dinner table and discussing things. I am being vague because the word ‘things’ should set you off and have you asking ‘what things?’ It is a difficult scene to write because you have nothing to work with, like the archetypal actor or actress shaking their head and asking ‘what’s my motivation?’

Okay, good. The perfect cold start and it is difficult to jump in and start writing that scene.

Let’s introduce a conflict, the Prince wants to have dinner with Rumpelstiltskin, one of his Knight’s College pals, and Cindy there can’t stand the obnoxious dwarf. Better, now we are getting somewhere, and we have some fire and heat for this scene.

Now we could go about writing this two ways. We could hit a cold start, record the scene as if we were listening in on a conversation, and the result would be something like us (in real life) listening in on an argument we heard on the television on a drama show or soap opera. We would hit the back and forth, have Cindy say ‘not on your life,’ and have the Prince sugar coat it and try reasoning with her. We would most likely end up with something a little flat, and if it were me, I would go back over this later and wish there were a little ‘pop’ to the entire interaction.

Or, we could dig our heels in as Cinderella and roleplay this out. What would you say if you were in her glass slippers? What does ole’ Rumple look like? What do we dislike about him? Does he smell, pick his nose, pull on his ear hairs, or do something else in past meetings that grosses us out and instantly hits the ‘no’ button for us? Do the two guys always end up drunk at the end of the night? Does the dwarf leer uncomfortably at you and try to sneak peeks down your blouse? How would you respond to the Prince’s every attempt to convince you? Would you try to flat-out say no, brush it off, or somehow remove yourself from the discussion? How would you feel if you had to say ‘yes?’

All of the above is ‘writing 101’ yes, but it highlights a point – try to engage yourself with every scene you write. You have to invest a little of yourself emotionally in what you write, and then you will start to find the ‘secrets’ of the scene. Those things which thrill you, attract you, or make you excited to sit down and write through this entire event until the end.

But going back to the first statement, we don’t always need the most eloquent words or structure of phrase to communicate. Many times, simple is better.

You will also find that is true when you think about engagement in a scene. Those simple motivations are better. We don’t need to come up with a complex plot or backstory to how Rumple blew a snot into his soup on the last visit and never noticed and then write 5,000 words of the entire triggering event. We just need simple emotions and feelings to fuel engagement. The snot blow into the soup can be a great reason and sum up how disgusting the dwarf is to her, but leave it at that. The reader doesn’t need to know everything right now, nor does the writer have to explain everything in detail.

At least, not now, and never all at once.

When we laboriously go over every little ‘reason why’ someone acts the way they do there is no mystery, no suspense, and no further interest in that conflict or character. The reader blinks, says ‘okay,’ and moves on. With Cindy, we could just say ‘he disgusts me’ and leave it at that, and save the snot incident for some comical and appropriate moment later when Rumple does show up and soup is served for lunch.

If we played that card early we would have lost that moment later.

We would have dropped the snot joke early, then like a good joke told too many times, repeat it over and over until the audience groans.

Keeping it just ‘he is disgusting’ is a good start, and sets up everything else later. We can parse out all those disgusting habits slowly, drop hints in their argument, pull some from the memory bank as she dreads the dwarf’s arrival, and expectantly wait for them to happen when he does arrive.

And then turn it around like a sneaky ninja and have Rumpelstiltskin unknowingly attend Royal Charm School and have those bad habits (slightly) under control. Surprise! She still hates him and is looking for his to yank an ear hair out in polite conversation, and the dwarf is trying his best to put those old habits in check. Another level of conflict, and another layer on the cake.

And we didn’t telegraph or give any of this away ahead of time.

We did have a plan, but we were guided by the notions of ‘keeping it simple’ and ‘holding a little back’ when we came into this scene. We resisted the fear to explain everything from the start, and smiled as we listed those annoying behaviors she was sure she would see, and used those as ‘worry fodder’ for Cindy for that scene and future ones, and gave her something to bitch about up until she was proven wrong.

And we didn’t tell the readers everything ahead of time.

We held things off until they were needed and they would pay out.

We kept motivations simple and didn’t repeat ourselves endlessly.

Sex Machine (Alison’s Erotic Adventures Book 7)

“The thing is,” Kate said over her shoulder, “you’ve led this protected life. You never had to use your body to get ahead. You know, sleeping with the professor. Or the boss. You never had to do all the degrading, humiliating, infuriating things that women have had to do over the millennia to survive, much less make a living. The cards are stacked against us. So we have to use what we have. Which in your case, is your pretty face and curvy round ass.”

Sex Machine

Forget teetering close to the edge, we have fell the fuck off. There are some of us in denial, free falling through the air and staring at the ground saying, “fight the power,” over and over again and all of us know the shit is about to hit the fan, and we are the shit.

From political power, economic security, and the yoke of organized religion – women are taking it in the ass right now. Even if you choose to do the ‘family’ thing and settle down with a guy you are all but fucked, as forces exist to take that dream away from you. Even if you value nothing and want to enjoy the free flow of information and ideas, you are screwed. You want work to pay for that life? Good luck when companies can legally import slave labor. This is not a right thing or a left thing, it is a fucked thing.

Understand no matter what side you choose you are fucked.

Your happiness and gratification is the enemy.

So what to do?

Let’s read! Something dark, something filthy, something perverse which takes society’s rules and douses them with a generous bucket of ‘fuck you’ and lights a match. You know, those rules that people write when they sit in a room and poo-pooh any form of sex beyond cutting a hole in a sheet and turning out the lights. When people put the false ideal of ‘never offending anyone’ up on a pedestal just to make themselves look better by banning and hiding things they have no right to judge.

Free speech is a human right.

Free speech is now ground fucking zero.

So, the book? Deliciously pervy, wonderfully raw, and blatantly sexual. A delight of strange smelling and sticky foreign food, if foreign food was the pleasures of unknown sex. A mindless romp down the corners of some dark alley, where strange grunting noises are heard, screams echo out, and the smell repulses you yet attracts you in the same whiff. The danger draws you in. The disconnected and animistic nature where sex is the only thing that matters, the only human action in which we find meaning, and the only interaction between people that matters nowadays.

In sex, there is a purity and a truth.

Which is why everyone tries so hard to do away with it.

The selfish and disconnected desperation of masturbation, yet it is also the moment in which we are free and never judged for the thoughts going through our heads. We are probably among the last generations who can masturbate to our own thoughts, before mind reading devices penetrate our heads and reveal to everyone our innermost secrets. When someone invents a mind-reading phone, because that would be so cool to have, you will know the freedom of thought is over.

The book hits upon the notion of same-sex relationships, finding that truth within your gender and connecting to another soul there. It challenges the notion of finding love by degrading the act of same-sex sex into the exchange of bodily fluids and moments of muscle-spasming passion, yet in those exchanges we find a bond and trust that defines the same-sex relationship. Beyond the physical into the need. A merging of the two into one ideal, the breaking down of self-image into the submission and humiliation of being another living thing’s sex toy.

Same sex relationships search for a meaning beyond the reproductive, and we get that deeper thing going on.

And finally the book dives into sex between different genders, and the book takes a different tone. Gang bangs, disconnected sex, factory-line pleasure where women are the robots pleasuring an endless line of men. Sex between genders becomes either a preconceived means to reproduce, or a circus of freak-show acts for the thrill of it all. This is an apt metaphor for the media and entertainment nowadays, nothing really means anything, it is all an act and a show, and people go through life to check the checkboxes, stick prong A into slot B, and go to sleep so the next day it can all be done again.

And when we have sex, we are never truly fulfilled.

There is no satisfaction for our empty soul.

It is an act, perpetuated by the media, to let loose negative societal pressures they put upon us. Sex is not sex. They want sex to be releasing the burden of your fucked-up life, and the orgasm to be a release of tension caused by the world around you. Sex is not an internal thing, it is a release of external pressures. Sex is a reaction to negative news. Sex is frustration with your life. Sex is a release of negative emotions.

Sex is not a spiritual thing anymore. It does not bring us peace or gratification. It is not for us, it is for them.

And then, our heroine in the book helps a group of scientists replace women with sex robots.

Oh, how perfect this is. The digi-Pussy, product of thousands of man-years of development, engineered by Silicon Valley and social media companies to be the 100% perfect replacement for the last social interaction we actually have a choice over anymore. The last social interaction the media and societies fight so hard to control.

Sex.

Now, i-Sex promises to revolutionize sex with sexual ‘apps’ you need to pay for and download from the online sex store. Nevermind the really dirty aspects of sex will be hidden in the adult dungeon or never allowed on the store in the first place, this is 100% safe, corporate controlled, societal approved sex. You know, the types of sex we don’t want on the store are probably what you would expect…

Make sure the sex is work safe, please.

Which really is no sex at all.

No connection. No looking each other in the eye. No consequences. No touching. No meaning. No decisions. No moment shared together. Nothing.

Everything is digitally protected and insulated, just like real interactions are to social media interactions. Somebody else will decide if a sex act upsets you or anyone else in the world, and it shall quickly be banned. Even something as innocent as kissing a tit will be deemed offensive.

Because it offends someone, in a room, sitting there and saying ‘tit kissing’ is obscene and nobody should be exposed to it. Ever. Nobody in that room will disagree, because they all want that person to look good, wholesome, and everyone will nod their heads and agree to the ban. And then they will program the computers to filter it out in the digital memory hole of banned activities that never did exist, nor should they ever now going forward.

Let’s slice off a clitoris next. Women don’t need those! Everyone in the room nods.

Society is safe again, let’s have a parade!

Yeah, fuck you.

And the characters in this book seek the pleasure they can never find. Scenes are disjointed, cut off before they grow tired, yet also they are cut off before any real satisfaction can be had. They climax, but each climax feels like it means less and less, and they endlessly chase the next one as if it shall bring meaning to their lives.

Still, the sex here is nasty. It breaks rules. It goes places it shouldn’t. It satisfies me on a deeper level, one where a base and nasty version of myself resides and smiles in delight at every perverse turn of events. It mocks the rules, focuses the camera close on the forbidden parts, and lets loose in a desperate attempt to sate the fires burning inside. When I know, and the book knows, they are out of control and can never be put out. Each act demands a more perverse one the next time. We spiral off into a haze of pleasure and a panic to top ourselves the next time. And then, as soon as we settle in, the sex is taken away before we grow tired and we are left wanting.

Teased.

Our imaginations drawn upon, yet never taxed by a buffet of too much, and too long.

A taste, with the plate taken away, and we smile as we know the next taste will be even more savory.

And then that plate, taken away.

It highlights the war on sexual gratification perfectly, while deftly teasing us with each taste in defiance.

And yet, in another way, each climax feels like more and more. The connection between these characters cannot be broken. Sex unites them. They find pleasure in the company of each other. They know what turns each other on. Instead of two, they become one. Sex becomes a bond. A meaning between two souls. Even if the sex means nothing, if it is more of the thrill in a defiant act against society’s rules, it brings these two people together. There is a lot of public and risky sex in this book, and I suppose the theme here is defiance and rebellion against arbitrary rules.

Just like this review.

Rebellion.

Arbitrary rules.

The thrill of breaking them.

The connection between people, bonded through sex and intimacy, that society fights to control. That every movie, piece of technology, snippet of pop culture, news story, and Internet ban seeks to inject itself between the last truth we have between two souls.

That moment, during passion, where two people look into each other’s eyes and know the truth of life.

Wednesday Workshop: Life on the Branch

There will come a time when you will be like the caterpillar.

You will be happily crawling along, eating leaves and hanging to branches, and doing your normal thing. Your days shall be full of slow crawls, dragging your inches long posterior along the branch, and staring out at other branches full of juicy leaves that you could never get to because it would require you to crawl all the way back to the tree and all the way up to a new branch in life.

You will make due with the choices you made in this life and in this crawl, and if you accept things, life will be good. You know, things are really pretty good, all things considered. You may be going through a rough spot in life, it may be raining and you have to stay still for a while to let the torrent subside, but there are still a wonderful bounty of pickings ahead of you should you choose to get your hundreds of legs moving in one direction. And yes, getting a hundred legs moving in the same direction, especially in this day and age, is no small feat for that many small feet.

And trying to move a hundred legs feels exactly how your life is going right now.

But you can, and you shall. No matter what letters come in the mail, what nasty phone calls you receive, who bothers you, the chores, the trips to the doctor, the long lines at the DMV or some other office, daily chores, responsibilities, and all of life’s necessary distractions – you are who you are. You do what you do. You lick the envelope, do what you need to do, and take pride in the fact that just doing what is expected of you is some great achievement. Because, in reality, it is. You did what was expected, filled out the forms, and checked off another box in life for a hundred more to come.

You will be a happy, if not constantly busy, little caterpillar.

And then the urge shall strike you.

You will need to gather things. You will need to prepare for some great change in life. You will need to add some other extra element to your planning. It shall be as if Mother Nature herself has pre-programmed you to do what you need to do, to save up, to prepare, and to make changes in your life for something coming in your life. You won’t know what it is, but you shall know something big is imminent and you need to add a little more to your already hundred-leg workload to get ready for life’s hidden call.

You will need to build that cocoon.

You will need to get ready for your great change.

I know. Don’t tell me this! I got a hundred legs and a miles long tail to support here! My life just takes so much energy to maintain right now, and I can’t add another ounce of effort to my already taxed and tired body. This is it. This is all you are going to get. Between Facebook and writing and everything else I want to do versus what I have to do, I do not have one molecule of life to give you, Mother Nature.

But the feeling shall sit with you like an unpaid bill sitting on your desk for days.

If you could only put that effort in and get it done, things would be so much more easier. One less thing to worry about, and one more checkbox marked off in life. Let’s make room for this whole needless and likely waste of effort cocoon thing, shall we? And so it goes, you make room in your life, you do things a little differently for the next couple weeks, you save up, you shove things around, and you make time for something you feel is totally unnecessary yet required of you.

Just like everything in life.

And like that, change shall come to you.

You shall be embarking on that next great phase of life, one where everything you done and everything you were means nothing now. When you start building that cocoon, you will know what it is for. You will know that the effort isn’t fruitless, and that the energy wasn’t wasted. You will realize, halfway into building this little shelter, that it will be necessary, and in fact needed, should you want to be successful in this new phase of life.

Slowly, your life will revolve around building the change in your life that you need.

You old life will become routine, and you shall focus on making that little house hanging from the branch the best it can be, or all that you need, depending on your energy level. However it comes out, it will be a monument to everything which came before, and also a relic of those times. You will be moving on, and moving out, so your little nest shall be a place of shelter which you will need before your life entirely changes.

And change may hurt, because you feel that new set of uncertain wings growing inside your back. You know you will need to learn how to use them should you not want to fall to your death in this new moment of life, but I have this feeling Mother Nature has you covered.

A lot of the things we find we need to do we are already prepared for, so don’t be afraid.

Then will come that moment.

When you leave it all behind for that new life.

The door to your cocoon will be open, all the work shall be done, and you will have accepted that all your old routines are going to change past this point. You will have resigned yourself to this change, and be ready for it. Your new phase of life is about to begin. But there will be that one last thing you need to do before you can begin.

You will need to let go of that branch.

Oh, it is going to be hard to let go, for all your life a hundred legs have kept you grounded and clinging onto that sole source of life support for you. The branch educated you, fed you, provided a means to have a life, supported you, and became your world while you crawled upon it, day after day. You are familiar with every bump and turn of that piece of wood, where the leaves are eaten out, where the pickings are good, and what branches are too thing and weak to support you.

But you shall need to let it go. To step from this sole source of what was into an uncertain cocoon of what could be.

And into that cocoon you shall step, because you know there is nothing left for you in this old life compared to the one you have coming up.

For soon, you shall have wings.

Your new life shall start.

And you shall fly.

Be proud of all that you have done here in this life. Be happy to have survived life on the branch, and to have built that cocoon to move on. Be happy for your achievements, the books you have written, and the tough life that you may or may not have lived.

You will look back at this branch as a butterfly as one place, long ago, that you have lived. You cried there. You worked your whole life there. You lived there and that branch is still very much a part of you.

But there shall be so many branches out there, and an entire world out there that your new wings shall take you to. You will be living a new life now, free from the constraints of what once was, and open to the possibilities of what could be.

Do not deny the power of your wings.

And do not reject the power of change in your life.

For in your life, there will be that moment that calls to you to fly free.

Writing the Intimate Character

One of the nicest things that has ever been said about me is that my workshops are the typical pap and drivel one would find in a subscription to a writing magazine. Now, I still subscribe to two writing magazines these days, so what looks like a snarky Internet comment, to me, is actually a reaffirmation of what I do, my tone, and how I write to my audience.

I feel there is no greater honor than to be held in such low regard, but then again, we are erotica writers, so we are used to such treatment – and thank you, whomever you are, for that lovingly snide and insightful comment.

That said, when that comment was made, one of my writing magazines had an advertisement to pre-order a book on writing, Writing the Intimate Character: Create Unique, Compelling Characters Through Mastery of Point of View, by Jordan Rosenfeld. So I decided to celebrate the moment by pre-ordering a book I thought I would find interesting.

And wow, this book is a life-changer for a writer.

It tackles a very narrow and tight subject, expressing character through the use of point of view. It is unbelievably dense, yet informative and approachable, and I liken reading this book to pushing a clean silver fork through the gooey and hot layers of a thick chocolate brownie.

Yes, it is that good, almost orgasmically so.

Now, I love character writing. I also love technique books that deep dive into the specifics of the craft. I love books that get in and take the damn thing apart, revealing terms and technique in sections of writing one would pass over and say, “Oh, that’s nice.”

But why is it nice? What point-of-view is that? What type of cue was used? Is this interior monologue or a character reaction? What is the difference between a sensory cue and an image cue? How do you spot dialog that is too “on the nose” and what does that mean? The book lays out a dictionary of terms and concepts for writing in point-of-view and hits it out of the park in showing us what those are and how they are used. If you slow down and take in every term and example, you treat your writing mind to a college course of technique and practice in writing for point-of-view.

And there are exercises at the end of every chapter, just like a workbook. That, is the crackling and flaking crust of this brownie of writing technique deliciousness.

Beyond just point-of-view and technique, we get more in depth the farther we go. We are treated to specific and technical discussions of topics related to point of view and character development. We learn about the use of setting, visual imagery, philosophy, and more in exposition. Where else can you find find this in a book, as it is not really an easy subject ot even explain or type into a search box in finding a writing book on Amazon.

Every sentence will be filtered through the eyes and personality of your characters, resulting in rich, immersive fiction.

That. That is a line pulled from the end of chapter three, and I hit on these points in a workshop recently. How can your characters sound like someone unique and different than you, the writer? You have to put yourself in another person’s mind to write for that someone else, and not only that – it has to sound like someone else. The viewpoints have to be from someone else. How the character describes the scene to the reader has to come from the character, not the writer, and the observation of the scene has to be from someone else’s experience, point of view, and vocabulary.

By the middle of the book we are treated to first, second, and third person chapters that layer on practice and examples on technique for using each. Want to know about omniscient point of views? Unreliable narrators? How to you pull off a PoV shift and head jump and get away with it? Should you? Yes, I know, there is a lot here.

And I am just in the middle of the book.

By the end of the book we stretch our wings, and we are treated to chapters on plot and scenes, multiple characters, and moving beyond the traditional point of view forms. There is a relaxed pause here, and we are encouraged to take what we learned and put it in practice. It is like that part of the college course where you just bled through the highly technical midterm and mastered all the basics, and not the course gets really imaginative, creative, and fun as you use the things which you now know and put them in practice. We are encouraged to experiment and reflect, be creative and try new things, and put technique to use while exploring how things work from other writers’ creations.

And by the end, we get a wonderful wrap-up chapter about deciding which point-of-view is right for us. It is a sweet and wonderful going-away present, the aftertaste of the brownie that lingers with us in a wonderful afterglow as we know the moment is over and it is time for us to move on.

I didn’t want this book to end.

But I knew it was time for me to take what I learned and move on.

Just buy the book if you devour technique and the intricacies of the craft like I do. The presentation is really quite wonderful for a book of this sorts, with graphics and a floral motif that lightens the mood and keeps things from being too terribly dense, but don’t let that graphical flourish fool you. Once you dive into each chapter, concise yet laden with practice and detail, you will discover more about yourself and your craft than you initially realized.

As the fork slides through and you take a slow moment to consider each sentence of every chapter, you will understand that much more. It is dense, but incredibly rewarding should you take your time to savor each bite.

It is one of the best writing books I have read this year.

But then again, take my free advice for what’s it’s worth.

And question everything told to you.

What you believe in and love is what matters the most. It is the reason why we reflect. Others may say things, but we use those words to reflect upon what we believe, and through this process we find the truth. Your truth will be different than mine, because we are different people.

Each with a unique and interesting point of view.

Wednesday Workshop: A Dance of Words

Take my hands and we shall dance.

Let us dance off into a cloud of dreams, together, my hand in yours. I shall step softly at first, letting you follow along, and when the time comes for you to float away and fly, I shall let you go. I shall lead and then sense the moment when you want to take this away, and let your spirit soar as you twirl and step along with me.

Yet my hand shall always stay with you.

I am a writer, a scribe, a weaver of words and spinner of careful prose. This is also my dance, but I shall completely and totally let it be yours for the time we spend with each other. You may not know where we shall go, but I promise you if you stepped to me with baited breath and anxious anticipation I shall deliver my best for this time, this moment I share with you.

This dance.

And I shall give your imagination room to soar. Worlds, vast and forgotten, all yours to explore. People, interesting of vile, all yours to consider. Lustful moments or showers of tears, lives changed in uncaring moments, and every emotion ever had under the bright sun, shrouded by the fogs of morn, or covered in the deepest darkest night. We shall dance, together, yet you shall be free.

Free to live in this world, if only for a moment, and until the words on the page run out.

Until the ink runs dry I shall write, and we shall dance.

And my hand shall always be there, for a dance is not a dance if it is done alone. This is not mere random movement, but a synchronized moment shared between two souls. A meeting of minds. A linking of passions and heartache. Communication.

To reach out and to touch another across the vast space of distance and for every moment until now and forever.

Long after we pass our words shall be telling our stories.

A dance, eternal, with every new person who picks up our book, from this moment until the end of time.

I shall watch you twirl, bow, and dip. I shall be there to lead, to open the door, and to let your mind wander in the realms of my imagination. I shall step closely by your steps, my feet guiding yours, but the dance itself entirely yours in that moment and time.

Think of me as a ghost whispering the words of a forgotten time.

Think of me as a voice, lost to this world yet still a part of it for those who discover me.

A treasure, perhaps, yet I never think of myself so. I am just a writer of words, one who takes thoughts and gives them form. One who takes emotions and struggles for a way to express them in a way they could be understood.

An impossible task, I know.

But yet, I hold my hand out for someone to take it, and I lead the next on our dance together, through my words and through the lens of every event, passion, and moment I have had on this earth from the moment I was born until now.

And then after, we dance.

With words written in stone, my hand leads, yet the one doing the moving here is the one who is free. For my words will never change, once created, yet they shall inspire the dance in generations to come in ways I would have never imagined. My hand shall lead from a time and a place afar, yet the dance we shall have will be as unique as every reader in this world.

And in that is the beauty.

An idea, shared, with reactions to it forever different and forever lasting.

A moment, a piece of a life, captured forever, and leading the way.

Yet this moment, this idea, this piece of life – it leads, yet it does not force the way. It does not step on the toes nor does it swing you around as if you were a rag doll. It is calm, it leads when it needs to, and it lets a partner soar as if on air. The moment together is beauty. The moment together is real, even if it is one person, reading alone.

It exists, and it only exists if read. With only words between us this shall be.

And something shared.

A dance.

My Husband’s Adventures

Anyhow, I had been contemplating making peace with Alicia. Enough time had passed. I had been thinking about her ever since Jackson got a landscaping gig on her property. I’m not sure if Alicia was trying to make amends with me by hiring Jackson, but it got me reconsidering our stupid girl-feud.

I’ll never know why I was compelled to do this, but one day, after cashing in a sick day so I could take Chelsea to an eye appointment, I made up a lunch for Jackson and his crew. For the first time in my history as a housewife, I decided to surprise my husband with a hot meal.

Pulling into the driveway, I saw Jackson’s truck. No sign of him or his crew. I peeked around the ivy-lined fence. Nothing out back, either. But the glass patio door was open. Suspicious, I invited myself in. Two melting drinks on the tea table, iced teas barely touched.

And then I heard it. It sounded like a woman in distress. Banging sounds, yells. Heart pounding, I thought about calling 911. But where the fuck was Jackson? Cellphone in hand, finger on the emergency button, I moved quickly down the hallway toward the noise.

As I headed for the ruckus, I realized those noises sounded a lot more ecstatic than distressed. Still, I told myself, Alicia might be in trouble; I needed to see what I needed to see. One more corner on padded carpet, and I peeked around the bedroom door, which was wide open.

The scene was everything I’d never wanted to see…

My Husband’s Adventures: Confessions from the Wife of a Cuckold Bull

It’s like reading some cuckold queen’s perverse diary of debauchery and sin.

And that’s why I love it.

Today we dive into a unique perspective of cuckolding and wife sharing from the point of view of a wife of a ‘bull’ and I was lost the very soon after I stepped into this book. When I started, we had the typically trying back-history bit of getting started info dump, and I felt that familiar feeling of a slow narrative start, but then something changed.

A good reader knows when they are being setup by a master, and this tingled my sexy-sense and snapped onto me like one of those powerful rare-earth magnets. I akin this to the feeling a horror movie aficionado gets if the start of a scary movie feels a little slow; but damn, the tension is being ratcheted up as tight as the strap of a pipe wrench is on the pipe of my shower-head by some sexy plumber that I want to check the plumbing with.

If you know what I mean.

So the slow start builds, and diverges a little bit with a husband she leaves and never gets involved with again throughout the book. Okay, so another man drops in, and the fun begins as the well-endowed male piece of female fantasy drops into the book and literally hangs out with us for a while. And I do mean hangs out in the quite literal sense of the word.

Object of my desire, meet our hotwife trying to control this bull of a man.

And from there the rodeo begins as our couple meets female rider after rider, with differing situations of work and relationship, crazy schemes and lustful admissions, and the men who these wives can’t please sitting in the crowd slack-jawed and pencil-membered as our husband breaks each and every one of these hot female filly wives.

This is told in past-tense and almost in a style that reminded me of a naughty admission years after the fact, and the power still had me gripped from the first ride to the last, bittersweet moment. Normally I like present tense, but here, we dip in and out of the history of these two entirely from her perspective, slowing down time in the most intimate of moments, and then hand-waving off months or weeks as we setup the next encounter. The book is remarkably well paced and has a strong sense of beats and timing, yet it also has a strong sense of patience when it sets up the next forbidden thrill.

Great heat must be built to, and this book does a wonderful job setting up multiple partners with each encounter wonderfully different and delicious all the same.

Another wonderfully strong point is the description of the build up and climax of each encounter, focusing almost clinically but yet still powerfully on the woman’s point of view and feeling of that climb and release. I found the descriptions here of those ‘building points’ and how each woman reached that apex in a different yet still satisfying way to be one of the really memorable takeaways here. Rarely do I find a book that treats every woman as a different and special garden to explore, with secret places that make each feminine grotto special, and with unique and sensual ways each one of these bloom in a dewy climax.

I wanted just a little more playful spanking here, I know that it not some people’s thing, but the thought of her husband leaving another wife’s cheeks slightly pink and flush for the other man to see gets me off – at least in this context. A little something to remember him by, you know the feeling.

Here, there is a wonderful collection of different and special women we are treated to, with each one of them bringing in a different experience and rising to the climactic heights in a different and beautiful way.

Alicia tried to break the tension. “Let me get us … another round of…” and she escaped to the kitchen.

But somehow, I knew what to do.

“Alicia, that won’t be necessary,” I called after her. “Why don’t you and Jackson head to the bedroom while Brad and I have a chat.”

Alicia’s conflicted expression relaxed into relief. At least she knew how to play this particular part. She and Jackson headed inside after exchanging a knowing look that annoyed me no end. That left me to the awkwardness of Brad.

Things got even more bizarre. Brad wasn’t what you would call a chillaxed stoner. He seemed twitchy. Settling into my chair, I sipped my cocktail as if Brad and I were old pals. I was starting to enjoy his predicament.

Brad was fed up.

“Why … w-why are you doing this?” he stammered.

“Well, Brad, you like to watch. What gives you the right to watch and not me?”

Awkwardness, stumbling engagement, and losing our way through things which are not supposed to happen.

Yet they do, behind closed doors and never spoke of, even in whispers between lovers or friends.

These things happen in the blistering heat of the moment, and yet we go on living like they are the normal state of affairs between us. Some couples can, and others can’t. Here, we have a couple that dangerously straddles that line, and even after this should have become routine it still never seems so.

The danger is there all the way to the end, yet in this danger we find truth.

This is a book which is going to stay in my mind for a while, seeding the fantasies within. Highly recommended for cuckold fans and those who like a little mystery and danger to wife sharing and cuckolding.

Wednesday Workshop: Seasons

The seasons change, they always do. From that first thrilling flake of snow, to the amazing sight of a world covered in white, to that longing desire for the snow and ice finally to go away and the anticipation of spring, the seasons change. All too often, we find ourselves wrapped up in the moment, our lives defined by the exact second we live in, when nature’s slow march fools us time and time again.

We try to find meaning in the space between heartbeats, and we too often define ourselves in by what we see and what we hear this very moment. We constantly chase the second hand of the clock, seeking happiness and meaning in the next sensation that enters our consciousness, yet we only find ourselves spinning in circles.

Frustrated. Disappointed. Alone.

We grow jaded to constant input, and our lives become defined by steady streams of meaningless notifications and alerts. We live for the moment and await the next stimuli to enter our consciousness, and then we live for that. We forget about the seasons, that this next update on the something or other we find interest in is only one drop of rain or one snowflake to fall. We become so wrapped up in the moment of the life of the single snowflake we try to find meaning in its circuitous fall to the ground.

When there is no meaning.

A longer view is needed. The seasons change.

So a snowflake falls, either the first of the season or one unwelcome in the early spring drudge of mud and dreariness. Is this the eagerly anticipated first snow, or the last snowstorm of the season? We need to know, because we need that context.

We need to be able to put the singular moment into context with our lives.

So a snowflake falls and melts away, does that mean suddenly your world ends? It does not change the bills in the mailbox yet to come, the chores needing to be done around the house, the things which need to get done this week, or showing up at work tomorrow. It does not change that next book to be written, nor does it change the education you have or the one you may be pursuing. The fall of one snowflake will rarely change your life, for the good or the bad, and even if they come down in a blizzard seemingly all at once, it most likely means little to the grand scheme of things.

Your life.

Your future.

Following the dreams I know you have.

The seasons shall come and go, and while at times a storm may rage, you need to take a larger view. A plan is always nice to have, and dreams are especially so, and you should not let one storm dissuade you in the bit from following either of them. In fact, you may choose to enjoy the ride and take in the spectacle of it all, smiling as you watch the winds blow and the rain come down in sheets outside.

It is only the weather, and rarely does it change our lives. Even if a wind were to take the roof of your home away, it is still a minor and insignificant moment in the story of your life. You would note it as one of the strange things which happened to you as you walked this Earth, but it would probably never rank up their in the list of things in which you would love to be remembered for, or as an accomplishment of a goal which you would hold high.

Tragedy does not and should not define us, yet too often we feel it does.

It is so easy to get wrapped up in the moment, lost in shock, and waiting for the next snowflake to fall. To pin all of our hopes and dreams on the next circuitous route of the next event in our lives, that singular moment we use to distract ourselves in the present when a longer-term view would suite and serve us so much better.

A single flake of snow falling does not change who we are, and really, it shouldn’t. For if you define your life around one singular event you are sure to be disappointed more often than not as things never seem to go your way. Not enough snowflakes fell to cover the world in white. It missed my tongue. It melted away.

We miss the grand scheme of things as we wander lost through the randomness of the present moment. We define our successes and failures on the lives and accomplishments of others and not ourselves. Our dreams become lost in the happenings between heartbeats, instead riding high on the soaring clouds of hope we rest our heads on at night.

What we choose to do matters.

Who we are matters.

Our dreams, in the longer-term view of the seasons and the lives we have yet to live, matter.

We know that we change a lot slower still, and we grow better with time despite that nagging feeling life is leaving us behind. While the snow may fall outside and the rain comes and goes, what matters more is us, here in this moment, with work to do and projects to finish, and our dreams in a endless state of progress.

Because the seasons change.

But what is more important is us.

Your dreams.

And you.

Safe Landings

The heat between their bodies was like invisible friction setting off sparks and flames within them. From outside, a blaring taxi cab horn broke the spell, and they snapped to action.

Elaine twisted a tube of red lipstick, and swabbed a dab with her pinky finger.

She applied it to her lips and then spread it on Tessa’s, too, before kissing her. “Let’s go, beautiful.”

The cab ride was sublime. Elaine rested her hand on Tessa’s knee, and stroked her ticklish spots. “You’re so hot.”

Tessa’s playful giggle had an addictive quality, and it stirred Elaine’s ravenous libido. “So are you.”

“I wish we could make love right here in the backseat.”

Tessa quivered from Elaine’s exploring hand, caressing under the hem of her skirt. “We don’t have enough time. The airport’s only a few blocks away.”

Elaine leaned in, and whispered, “My panties are soaked just being next to you. I’ll have to change them before getting on the plane.”

Safe Landings

Wow. Just wow. I don’t know what I am more fascinated with here, the explicit sex or the traumatic recovery of our two main characters after a tragic and life-changing airline crash. Did I just say airline crash? Yes, normally I would say something so incredibly libido-suppressing as an airline crash would make me blink and think twice about a book’s heat level, Kay Brandt proves me wrong and through recovery we find love, and through love we find recovery.

And one of the hottest characters in the book in the early going does not survive this event, and her memory becomes a connection between the two women here trying to deal with what they lost.

Her vision blurred with tears. “I try to not see their faces, though. In therapy I will, except I won’t see the faces… of the ones I want to.”

Steven took the cup from Jessica and held her in his arms with a gentle, rocking motion. “However long it takes, and whatever we have to do, we’re going to bring you back to life. I’ll be right here for you after the session today, and however many more. We can order dinner in, maybe share a few glasses of wine, and talk out your feelings,
or say nothing at all.”

“I’m not drinking, remember? Makes the anxiety worse. Are you sure your boss won’t be mad about taking more time off? Don’t lose your job over this. The last thing we need is for the two of us to be hanging around depressed.”

“It doesn’t matter. Your healing is the only thing I care about. You need to care, too.”

Jessica wondered if she did care about getting past the darkness, or if she ever would. What she felt was more than depression—it was guilt over being alive. “I just want the noise to stop—the grinding sound of metal, and the plane ripping to shreds. I even hear the dead engine, even though it didn’t make a sound for the last half of the flight.”

Steven cupped his hands over her ears and kissed her head. “I wish I could take it all away.”

And throughout, we attend therapy, we watch them cope, and we cry along with them as they deal. Life is dealing with it. Dealing with loss. Dealing with tragedy. Dealing with that knock on the door or that letter in the mail. That photo on the wall of that person we know will never be coming back.

Yet, we are expected to.

Those we lose would never want to see us tear ourselves down because of them.

So how, do we come back? How do we live a normal life? How do we move from someone in a constant state of mourning to a happy, productive, living, sane, and normal person again?

And you know what, part of that becoming normal is enjoying sex again. You can’t imagine how hard that is if you have never been through it. Coming back to just be able to come without feeling guilt or remorse. Letting go of that guilty thought in your head that you can’t enjoy life because something terrible happened and you blame yourself for it, so therefore any time you really start to enjoy yourself guilt kicks in and you punish the hell out of yourself just for allowing yourself to feel normal again.

So this book explores that, and takes us along for the tear soaked and lustful ride.

And the sex is graphic, and the raw emotions are just so as well.

Tempted but not swayed, Jessica wasn’t up for free-styling. “I promised Steven I wouldn’t go places without telling him, and he’s expecting me to go to therapy.”

“And he wouldn’t understand?”“He’d understand, but it’s not a conversation I feel like having. I’m not good at living in such a strained environment with him and I don’t want to create more stress.”

“You’re right,” Elaine said, halting her persuasions. “I break my own rules for following through with commitments sometimes in favor of spontaneous whims.”

“I’m not the spontaneous type. A planner by nature.” Jessica spotted a fresh bruise on Elaine’s neck and wondered what it was from.

“Correction—you weren’t that type,” Elaine chirped. “Who you and I become in the weeks and months ahead remains to be seen.

So we live on, and these characters do as well. The trauma is forgotten, but the dull pain of loss never fades. We get moments like this, little tastes of dealing, little snippets of recovery, and little times when we pretend we are normal again. Loss defines us, and yet we stay strong yet we feel weak inside in the endless stretches of loneliness which define how we feel when we realize we are alone but must carry on.

And we can pick ourselves up, smile, flirt, and laugh again some day.

We can find that inner goddess inside us who enjoys those moments of total passion and bliss.

She returns to us and smiles.

Life.

We can enjoy her again and wrap ourselves in her sensuous arms.

To share that kiss. To allow ourselves a moment of guiltless arousal. To feel passion again in her arms.

And the book takes us on this journey, letting us forget those terrible moments which define us, and to thrust us deeply between the sheets of two lovers, lost in the storm together yet completely forgetting about it as the winds and trees lash at the windows and the rain comes down in sheets outside.

Yet what happens between the sheets inside our bedroom defines us.

And the storm outside is forgotten.

And the passion inside brings us back to a place.

Which we call.

Life.

Wednesday Workshop: How We Write Reveals Character

This is one of those very subtle, yet important things.

How we write reveals character.

What does that mean? You ever write something, let’s say we are writing for a secretary who loathes her boss. Let’s make this a female boss because I’m in a catty mood. We could write something like this:

She read my report glanced over the paper, like she found something wrong and expected me to squirm. I wasn’t going to give her the pleasure.

Great stuff, and something I would love to write more into. It hits the notes of power over her, passive aggression, and those all-too-familiar office moments where the slightest thing can set someone off. We also have a hint of the relationship here between them, where there is a resistance to the triggering behavior, and an assumption that the prodding gives her boss a perverse pleasure. It does a lot with a little, which is why I love lines like this.

Now that we have hit the basics, we can ask two questions:

  1. What does this reveal about the target of her observations?
  2. What does this reveal about the observer?

We know #1, most of us have been here before in a situation where the boss is out looking for blood and we fight that war of subtle and hidden aggression with the most minor moments of provocation and disguised action. We get that, and we can all write from our experiences to get moments like this across.

But it is #2 that I wish to focus on today, the theory that what we write can reveal just as much about the observer as what is being described. When we write we look through a pane of glass, our experiences, and we tell people what we see beyond the window. In this case, it is a familiar experience of passive office aggression, and we can hit all the bitchy boss notes, the little provocations, and that tension of not taking the bait and wishing this day was over. We get it, and we can write through the situation and fill it with tension, drama, and familiarity.

But when we look through a pane of glass, we can focus our eyes just a little bit, and see the reflection of ourselves.

There is always a subtle piece of the observer in what we write.

In this case, it does not come across as strong, and the glass does not show the reflection of the observer all that well. It could be anybody, which both makes this piece of writing relatable, but also a bit bland. We have no real idea of the personality of the observer in this piece, only that it is someone sick of her boss and wishing the clock would strike five. It could be anybody, and the words convey no real ‘reflection’ of the personality making this observation. If this was our experience, then we are more writing in the author’s voice than a characters, and that is fine if we had these experiences and wish to throw those down directly for all the world to see.

But what if we wanted to show character through what we wrote? You know, take a little bit of the reflection of the character going through this, and show the reader a little of the ‘other person’ in the picture – instead of writing this in the author’s voice. Let’s try:

She read my report glanced over the paper, like she found something wrong and expected me to squirm. I know not everyone has a perfect life like you, bitch. She looked up again. I wasn’t going to give her the pleasure.

A direct thought written right in there, and it reflects back a little on the person living through this at the moment. This is not the author, this is the character speaking now. This is a bit on the bold, brash and telling side, but it does make this feel like ‘someone else is telling us this’ better. We are a step deeper in a character’s narrative, and a step out of the author’s narrative. I had to break it up with a second action as well to transition, just because I felt it worked better.

All well and good, and we are starting to see the person looking through the glass a little more. In this case, we are being very overt about the fact she hates her boss, and I am wondering if there isn’t a more subtle way to do this. Well, there is. Remember, what we say and how we say it matters. Let’s think about that and try again:

She read my report and leered over the paper, like she found an innocent mistake and expected me to squirm. I wasn’t going to give her majesty the pleasure.

Subtle changes, and not many – but important ones. What type of moment was this? Leered, like the glance was obscene and unwanted. We colored that action with a word that comes from the observer’s vocabulary and experiences, and also reflected the observer’s state of mind in that moment. What type of mistake was it? An innocent one, and this reflects the types of mistakes she thought she makes and gets burned for, and also a reflection of the high regard of which she holds her report. And the final one, her majesty, it reflects the royal nature of how she sees her boss, her boss could totally not be a queen or totally be one, but this is how she sees her and her choice of words in describing her boss gives us a better idea of how the observer sees the persona and situation.

And notice how all of a sudden the experience becomes less generic, this isn’t the writer talking, it is a specific character in a specific moment. Out writing loses the generic voice, and it becomes a character speaking to the reader.

These words are carefully chosen, and swapping them out gives us a totally different view of the observer, and also the observer’s emotions and character.

She read my report and belatedly glanced over the paper, like she found one of my typical oversights and expected me to squirm. I wasn’t going to give miss perfect the pleasure.

It is less combative, still a little bitchy, but there isn’t as much tension here. More of the blame is being reflected back upon the observer, and even the categorization of her boss as ‘miss perfect’ isn’t as harsh as an uncaring royal. These two could be lovers, with her boss wanting better for her subordinate.

When we reflect the  character observing the scene, we need to pick our words carefully to match the mood and viewpoint of the character in that situation.

Now I could have been overt about any of these observations, and come right out and said, “I hate how she always thinks she is the queen of the office!” – but I didn’t. I purposefully dropped some colorful words in there which reflect how the character, not me the writer, sees the situation. All of a sudden, that first, almost generic, description of her boss becomes personalized commentary on her boss, and the writer starts to disappear.

We see the other person’s reflection in the window.

Not the writer, or a generic could-be-anybody experience.

How we write reveals character.