#SoSS November 2018

It is a very long time since I wrote a #SoSS. It isn’t that I don’t read and comment on other blogs, I do. But I am not so good at getting my shit together to work out which ones I want to share. Let alone writing about it. But in an attempt to start my new years resolutions early I’m planning to write one each month.

It was reading this post of May’s about shadow banning that prompted me. When I was shadow banned, it irritated the hell out of me. Lately though since I have other things to worry about it had all slipped my mind. I’m picking up new followers so I don’t think I am on the banned list right now. I shall make a point of sharing more posts on Twitter though so that they get seen. 

This week’s Wicked Wednesday prompt was writing, it was great to read about everyone’s writing and blogging history. I particularly loved Modesty’s post (and accompanying photo), and hadn’t realised she had published her Modest Diaries. They certainly seem worth a read. Also worth checking out is Floss’s post. Not only is she a wonderful writer of fiction and non fiction, she is also a poet. I am in awe of the talent that is out there amongst our blogging community. 

On the theme of writing, the Smut Marathon reaches the final voting round tomorrow. I haven’t written any fiction since the round where I got knocked out. The monthly assignments certainly made me get on with writing and I know my style and content improved over time. Marie will be running the competition again next year (as she tells us in her #SoSS today) and entries open quite soon. I am undecided as yet whether to enter. But I will give it serious consideration. 

when I write these blog sharing posts, I try to include something new. I didn’t so much find The happy Kinky Couple, as they found me to ask to swap links, which I am happy to do. They are a couple, like us in their 50’s who found kink relatively recently and have just begun to write about it. Their blog can be found here – go have a read. 

Finally I would like to thank everyone for the support you have given me over the past couple of months. Discovering I have breast cancer is the definitely the worst thing that has happened to me and to us. The love and support from fellow bloggers and twitter folk has been a great help. I plan to continue to write my weekly diary. It is important for me to be able to describe the physical and emotional effects. But also, as many people have said it may help others in the future. This is the link to the posts (if I can’t self promote on my own blog, then where can I)? I don’t know if people are ready to see my new body, but I am almost ready to share. But that will be on another day. 


Looking back at my Smut Marathon experience

Today the round 7 Smut Marathon results were published. We had been out for the day, but as I was the passenger rather than driver, I was able to take a look at the comments and then results. I was pleased to see that my favourite story came top and that others I enjoyed did well. The quality in this round was amazing and voting especially difficult. 

Round 6

In round 6, I was eliminated from the competition, something of a relief. On 15th July, when the results were published I was feeling rather unwell. At that time I didn’t know what was wrong, but for a few days I had been tired and lacked energy. Worse my bladder had developed a mind of its own. When I needed to pee, I really did. 

I was also in the middle of packing up my house to move. Months, if not years of preparation to leave my marital home and move in with Master were coming to a conclusion. The Smut Marathon was really the least of my priorities. In the run up to the deadline, I wasn’t sure I would even be able to write. But in the final few days I wrote something.

In hindsight it is clear that just dumping my thoughts into a document and editing for word count only is not going to be enough. But to be honest, I felt the need to send something, anything. It felt wrong not to submit an entry when others had been eliminated in the previous round. So time for a confession. Until today, I have not looked at my entry, I haven’t read anyone else’s. I didn’t vote and I didn’t comment. when the results were published, I responded to Marie’s email telling me I had been eliminated. But I didn’t look at the scoring or anything else.

I feel embarrassed to admit this today. But in mid July I had no energy for a writing competition. I had a urinary infection, was about to move house and like most of the rest of us in the northern hemisphere was existing in a heat wave. 

Today I have read comments on my entry – #14 Slave’s deepest fantasy. People were in the main kind but clear. My punctuation left something to be desired, I used the same or similar words in close proximity (a pet hate) so clearly I hadn’t edited properly. What is more, mention of the prompt was at best transient. I could have done better.

What I have taken from the competition

Fiction is something I have to work at. It doesn’t come naturally to me, even adapting my own life experiences feels like hard work. I struggle to be creative, to think outside the box. I am in awe of my fellow participants who easily write about crime, vampires and science fiction. In part, this might be due to the fact I don’t read masses of erotic fiction and when I do, it is reasonably mainstream. But I know my writing has improved during the time I was part of the Smut Marathon. I have been encouraged by the wonderful feedback and help from Marie. But also the comments left by the judges and those voting. 

My favourite round was 5 – I wrote a story from the perspective of a sex toy. I will post the story on my blog in the next few days since I am proud of it. Somehow I found my creative juices and allowed my writing to flow. In that round, I received my best votes and also feedback. I will take that forward into next year. Because people, I know I can write, I can edit my work and I can put commas in the right places (most of the time). I also do have a creative side and I can show it. I will take the experiences of this year with me. But also, I will continue to learn from those still in the competition.

Smut Marathon review Round 4

The Smut Marathon has moved onto round 5 and I am still in the competition. If anyone had told me at the beginning I would make it to round 4 and beyond, I would have been happy and proud. But on Sunday when the results were published I felt despondent. Not because I had made it through but because I saw that I came last for round 4.

This round we were asked to write a masturbation scene, involving one person and one toy. I took this literally and so didn’t ask for guidance. Consequently I edited out most of the references to another person. This made it a standard masturbation piece, that didn’t really include any context. But my original story of 500 words was much better. It included clear reference to the person who had turned her on all day and who she was due to meet later.  See 8, A Hot Day for the final entry.

Worse, in my editing I failed to recognise that I had mixed my tenses, something I was critical of others for. The key message here, is to check editing and perhaps get another person to proof read.

Voting

Marie does an amazing job. Not only has she created this whole competition which she manages day to day. But she sends the prompts, updates and reminders to all of those involved and also analyses the results. The analysis is testament to her love of statistics. Comments can be left following voting, and are posted once this has closed and results are imminent. The voting system is complex but means that while the judges have 9 votes on a sliding scale everyone else can only vote for 3. For those of us in the competition, this feels unfair. We are allowed to vote for ourselves and if you do, then you can choose only two other entries.

We are all looking for different things when judging the writing of others and unless I have missed something until today I was unclear of any judging guidelines. But having read the blog of one of the judges I can see that he is following some clear criteria. 

This includes whether the entry is original. This made me think about other comments from the judges. All of whom have commented have mentioned originality.

My writing

I am not a writer of erotica per say. That is not what my blog is about or for, though I have made a few fictional attempts. I am not even very good at writing about my own experiences creatively. Mainly because, once in sub space I struggle to remember and later to express the deeper meaning of what has happened.

I am a slave and one of the things I can’t do in my relationship is to orgasm without permission. I am also a 55 year old woman who doesn’t really need to orgasm every day. Put those 2 things together with the fact that we don’t live together then this provides the context. I don’t masturbate alone and am not all that good at expressing experiences.

So writing for this assignment meant I was in the main working from memory. My story wasn’t original, wasn’t well edited and contained poor grammar.

But I do take some comfort in Marie’s comments:

There is nothing wrong with this scene. It’s a masturbation scene that works. However, it might just be a bit too standard. Maybe the shower would have been a better setting, with her on her knees fucking a dildo?

Thoughts about how to be more original and start to think outside of my comfort zone. Whether I can do that remains to be seen, but I will give it my best shot.

Thoughts going forward

It isn’t just judges who put a lot of effort in to this. We are spending time as contestants with our entries. I urge others to comment too. That includes the judges. I know we are all busy people that have plenty else to do but comments matter.

I urge Marie to publish criteria that the judges are working to, so we all know. If this is already out there, then please let us know. If judges are working to different criteria then I urge this to be corrected.

I urge those not involved and those who are out of the competition to vote and to comment. Your thoughts are necessary and welcome, even if they feel difficult to manage.

Finally, I urge those who are doing well to recognise the fact and to perhaps support the rest of us and help build confidence. After all, a competition is nothing without participants.

 

 

Blogging A-Z 2018 V

I am behind again, V should have been yesterday. So tomorrow, when I have more time, I’ll catch up properly.

Voting

In just a week we have to vote in the local council elections. But since this isn’t a politics blog and making it into one would be a mistake I am going to talk about a different vote. Submissions for the 4th round of the Smut marathon are due in by Saturday and voting starts again on Sunday.

I began my entry for this round about 10 days ago and edited it right down the following day. But I only just submitted tonight. After the voting round last time I feel a bit nervous about my chances. In the second round I received quite a bit of criticism about my entry,  in terms of grammar and content. But I was surprised to find myself climb the rankings in the vote. Then in round 3 I received lots of positive reviews. People though, said they needed more votes than the 3 allowed to be able to vote for me. And so it was that I received no jury votes and probably just my own vote for myself from the public.

I think though the important thing is for more people to join in with the comments and vote. Because the more people that contribute, then the greater meaning the whole thing has.

This latest assignment was tricky, since I was in new territory. But actually I enjoyed it more than the others. So, I am hopeful I will receive some constructive feedback and at least a few votes. Whatever, the main thing is that when you get the chance, you should vote. This time too, I am going to make time to comment on everyone else entry too.

Good luck everyone.

Smut Marathon – Thoughts on rounds 1 and 2

The results for round 2 of the Smut Marathon are in and I am happy to report I made it through. There have been several times over the past few weeks that I have had cause to question my motives for entering the competition.

It isn’t as if I am a prolific writer of fiction, erotic, smutty or not. I lead a busy life and have enough deadlines to meet without putting myself under pressure in this way. I am not entirely keen on my work being critiqued and criticised, well certainly not at work. While as part of this competition your work is voted on and people provide feedback. However, the thing that makes this different is that entries are anonymous until each round ends.

Round 1

As soon as the first assignment arrived I considered withdrawing. While I was fully aware of what a metaphor is, I don’t use them in my writing. Having pulled myself together though, I did some research on the internet and had a look at a few examples. I decided that my focus would be about a person who lures their prey into their nest or den. Then wrote something, found it to be far too long and so began editing. Happy enough with my completed entry, I prepared to hit ‘send’. Only to re-read (or probably read) the rules and realise I had 2 sentences rather than 1.

“Leonie wondered why she decided to have sex with a man that was definitely not her type; pursuing her prey had been much more fun than capturing him.”

I was amused then, to be criticised by one of the judges for my use of a semi colon. There were a few other comments, one or two complementary but I didn’t score particularly well. I needed to up my game.

Round 2

In this round we were asked to write a piece of flash fiction incorporating one of the metaphor sentences. This was to be no more than 100 words plus that of the chosen entry. 

I spent a few days deciding on the entry to use, and then went with my initial gut instinct – Libido by Nero J Black. I wrote my story in long hand while eating noodles in a café one lunch time, then typed it onto my work iPad. It was 250 words long, but was a start.

A few days later I went back to it and started to edit it down. By the time it was 150 it looked different, though was essentially the same story. Word by word I paired it back further until it was exactly 113 words long. Mine was called ‘The Risk’

When voting began I was pleasantly surprised to find that my metaphor from round 1 had been used by 2 people.

Comments and voting

This time I received a greater number of  comments most of them positive. What is more, I also received votes from 2 of the judges and some public vote too. Maybe then I am not so bad at this kind of thing after all. In the next round, which I can’t discuss yet, I will have to write something I have never before attempted.

Final thoughts

Fewer people voted this time than last and that may have affected who went through and who didn’t. I gather from reading twitter that some of the entrants didn’t vote and since you can vote for yourself that might not have been the best thing. Some of the well established and talented sex bloggers haven’t made it through which is a great shame. Anonymity may have played a part, but also that this required most if not all of us to write in a way that we don’t usually.

I don’t know if this will be my last round; as I said, I am well and truly out of my comfort zone now. But I am really glad I entered the Smut Marathon. I have learnt much about writing, but also about myself.

Thoughts on my blog, sex and coffee

The blog

Thank goodness I have now pretty much sorted out the blog. Losses mainly amount to a few posts and a lot of lovely comments. But lesson learned and time to move on. There is still some blog tagging to do, but no hurry with that. It has made me think however, about posts, pages and writing in general as I move forward.

The Smut Marathon, which I haven’t written about until now, is giving me cause to question my writing style. Over time, people have commented on and praised my direct style of writing. This has emerged over time, I think, because the papers I produce for work need to be like that. Too much story telling and narrative is not really required or wanted. This gives me a problem when it comes to detail for fiction, or even to be honest factual blog posts.

Back to the Smut Marathon which has now reached the second voting round. Without going into any detail (which is not allowed), I have made some observations about writing style. I am in awe of those able to produce such wonderful erotic flash fiction. The level of detail some people achieve in 100 words is fantastic and also very hot. It gives me something to work on, but makes me question my own writing style. Often, even factual posts are short on detail, mainly because I write in something of a hurry. But also because I tend to forget stuff. Something I think, to do with my personality type – get in there, get to the point and get out kind of stuff. But this whole experience is causing me to reflect and take stock. Even if I don’t get through to the next round, I will continue to take something from the experience.

Page updates

I managed to retrieve the pages on my previous blog. These are mainly about me, and my previous and current relationships. I have been sex / relationship blogging for 5 years next month, so this is the right time for a page review. I have had to strip out many links from the pages because they don’t work any more. But I know Master likes these because it helps him gauge where I and indeed we are going relationship wise. Therefore I am going to reorder the pages and start something new for this year onwards. We really (at last) are getting to the point where final preparations are taking place for us to move in together.

Sex and coffee

Apologies to Marie But this next bit will be my attempt to incorporate this post into this week’s Wicked Wednesday prompt.

There was a time when I had pretty much given up coffee. At the beginning of the day, I would drink green tea. After all it is meant to be good for you. Unsatisfying, but purifying and good for you. Before I met Master, and having given up instant coffee, I would rarely drink a cup of filter coffee. This would usually have been bought in a shop. Over the past 4 years though I have increasingly enjoyed that coffee at home in the mornings. I doubt I would give it up now, whatever the health benefits of an alternative. I especially like coffee  at his place, since he bought a proper bean to cup machine. That coffee is to die for.

Added to that, is the fact that our sex life generally occurs in the mornings (something I have written about quite a lot). It is not the coffee that makes us have sex, nor vice versa. But the thought of good coffee persuades us out of bed after sex. Leading, in my mind to an association between the two.

I love sex with him, and I love his coffee machine and I love him. Excellent reasons for moving in!

Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked