Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Industrial (re-)action

What a bummer. Woke up this morning to the thought that today is one of Significant Other's rest days (SO works shifts) and rainy, mid-week days off often turn out to be play days. Spent some time thinking about recent naughtiness and misdemeanours that might need to be addressed...
And then I remembered that today here in the UK the public sector workers are on strike. Which means that the school is shut and the kids are home. Damn!
So here I am trying to get my books straight to send to the accountant. I'd rather be finishing up the edit on Project Kindle, my attempt at a spanko novel, but can't really do that with the offspring around.
So it's forms, figures and a calculator. It's probably for the best as I'm very close to the returns deadline and I don't want to get hit with the penalty surcharge (Note to editor: is there a story idea here? Lazy client, strict accountant...)

Update: It has been brought to my attention that the vengeful accountant story is already out there... It has been made flesh as part of the marvellous Pandora's new Dreams of Spanking project. Wow, how sexy is Kaelah's accent?? Lovely pussycat too.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

In the method

Why is it that you can just take against some film actors, while others you really warm to? I've read a lot about 'A Dangerous Method' and I love the Freud/Jung thing, the costumes look fantastic and I can't get enough of Viggo Mortenson (good enough to eat).
And to that the fact that the script has been written by Christopher Hampton. How good much better can it be. I'd put 'Dangerous Liaisons' in my Top Six all-time costume dramas.
But can I go and see it? Reading Hermoine over at Hermoine's Heart on the subject reminds me that I have to decide one way or the other soon. It's Keira Knightley. I have a real problem with her. She always seems so limp lettuce-lifeless in whatever role she takes on. Loved 'Atonement', but KK didn't convince, while 'The Edge of Love' lost it every time she was on screen.
The critics don't sell it to me. For example, the guy in The Guardian says "what the spanking can't do, unfortunately, is knock some life into this heartfelt, well-acted but curiously underwhelming slab of Masterpiece Theatre".
But I'll probably swallow my pride and go and buy my ticket if only to sit in a crowded cinema watching a spanking scene. That's too good to pass up on.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Surf break

Up early today to face a day wading through a mountain of words. I can only do editing in big chunks, but today I fear I may have bitten off more than I can chew - 30,000 words by the end of the day...
I plan to be especially sharp on the use and abuse of the semi-colon today, thanks largely to a useful discussion about punctuation over at Remittance Girl. Already straightened one or two out since I started and it's only breakfast time.
'Breakfast' is probably stretching it as I've only had a coffee and a short recreational bit of web exploration. I've been trying to find out a bit more about the artist Jim Black, but haven't got very far. Apparently he was a Belgian whose real name was Luc Lafnet and who died early in World War Two. He lived in Paris and published his erotic art under pseudonyms - one of which was Jim Black.
The Jim Black drawings are wonderful. I love the energy of them - there's usually a lot of emotional intensity in there. The spanker is in a passion and is spanking in anger. Often every muscle is being tested by the effort of correction. At the same time the poor spankees (both female and male) are overcome by the moment.
Anyway, no more spanko surfing - the semi-colon calls.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Those were the days...

Or were they? It's interesting how long it takes for a decade to begin to go all hazy with nostalgia.  The 1990s are in sharp detail - we were there, weren't we, so we know. But the 1890s are all fuzzy and soft focus and just right for all sorts of imaginings.
At the moment I'd say that the 1950s were going through the process. They are certainly being re-invented and especially by spankos, who see the decade as a sort of domestic discipline nirvana. And why not?
The fashions turn up in shoots and there are any number of stories featuring no-nonsense dads, scarily strict mothers and 18-plus daughters (and sometimes sons) who accept corporal punishment when they do wrong.
And it sort of works for me as a child of the 1970s. Growing up in the 70s corporal punishment was part of our lives, but a rarity (where I lived anyway). But adults were more than happy to tell us about how we had it good and how the tough the rules - and punishments - were when they were kids.
As a spanko-in-the-making it gave me a thrill - it was scary and exciting all at the same time. I'd love to know your favourite decade for spanko fantasy - please vote in the poll over on the right of this page.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

The End

No more new chapters, first draft complete. Just after mindnight I had the pleasure of typing 'The End' and the first draft of Project Spanko Novel was complete. At about 15 per cent over the target word count it is now going to need a lot of pruning, but it's a big step in the right direction. It has been fun and a treat to be writing something that is led until by you - no publisher or editor tugging at the reins.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Start the week

Early start to the day and it's grey, cold and gloomy outside. Plus fog and heavy rain. Significant Other has an exam. I suggest we forget the exam and stay under the covers in bed for an hour or two. I have a very attractive mental image of how we could spend the time. A grumpy SO says I'm naughty and heads for the motorway - without pausing to address my naughtiness (sulk).

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Travel section

First-class seating
Four episodes in and I'm loving the costume drama Pan Am. The hype was misleading - it is not the new Mad Men - but it's fun and the costumes are unbelieable (as is the CIA sub-plot). Those tight, blue pencil skirts are worth watching in themselves.  Then there's also the Spanking Startles.
I've only seen three of the four episodes and have notched up two so far. That's a little under a Spanking Startle an epidsode. Maybe in time we'll get an actual spanking... Christina Ricci or Margot Robbie? Tough choice.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Our present difficulties

How subtle should a Christmas present hint be? From time to time we've talked about the sort of hairbrush I need. And I mean NEED.
Classic, made of wood, not too big, not too small. You know the thing otherwise you wouldn't be here.
But my mostly-vanilla Significant Other doesn't seem to get the message. A tacky plastic supermarket hairbrush may do the job but it spoils the moment if you're obsessed with period detail.
Yes, I could buy my own I know. But that would miss the point - it's the thought that counts, isn't it? Just the right brush all wrapped up in Christmas paper with a little bow on it would be the best present ever.
Another hint will have to be pinged in SO's direction and I think I've just found the perfect thing. In all the Love our Lurkers excitement I missed Dioneo's great post 25 Reasons Why Spankos are So Awesome over at Ecco Spanko. It's wry, witty and made me laugh.
As a sometime kayaker I like number 13, 'If one of us is up a creek, there's probably a paddle around.' From experience I'd recommend taking a spare paddle just in case, but I digress. Dioneo's reason  number 2 is the one I'm hoping SO will pick up on: 'We're the reason antique shops sell hairbrushes.'

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

An eyeful of inspiration

Life's an odd mixture at the moment. I'm close to the end of the draft one of my first novel, an adventure into trying to spin out my spanko fantasies, and trying to hit a self-imposed deadline. That's exciting, but it's happening at a time when there are deadlines in my ordinary writing life too.
So, I'm having to squeeze two or three hours into the day for the novel and do everything else as well. It's normally an hour early in the morning and another at midnight.
When there is time to write it's often difficult getting my head into the right space to order. It can take some time browsing through photo blogs to get there.
The great thing about the randomness of the stuff you come across is that it can send your imagination off in directions that might otherwise not have come along. Like this image discovered this morning.
What is it all about? Love the outfits and the period feel of it all. I've spent the rest of the day with it on my mind (when I should have been focussed on something much more 'important'). 

Monday, 14 November 2011

I like...

Interesting thoughts on ads over at A Voice in the Corner. Those advertising creatives are naughty, aren't they? Picture one really caught my eye, not because of his dire hair but for her luscious underwear. Drawers, pants, knickers? Not sure what you'd call them, but I love 'em.
I wish I had a pair to tuck away in the bottom drawer for those special occasions. If anyone knows where I could get something similiar do please, please let me know.

Are you sitting comfortably..?

Then I'll begin. (But before I do, I want you to get that thought about comfort, sitting and a well-whipped bottom out of your grubby little mind). What's history and what's historical fiction? The line is being blurred, says leading historian and fiction author Alison Weir.
I've just been listening to a fascinating discussion about writing history on BBC Radio 4 and thought Weir's contribution was spot on. She talked about the line between history and historical fiction (in books and on film) and how it is becoming dangerously blurred.
Her latest non-fiction work Mary Boleyn: 'The Great and Infamous Whore' tells the story of Anne Boleyn's sister. There's little fact to go on when it comes to Mary's life, says Weir, but her story has been spun and re-spun by so many historical novelists that the truth was been all but smothered.
Maybe historical fiction writers should put 'health warnings' on their work. Something to make it clear that what they're offering isn't a history lesson, but a fireside story.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Book Club: Frank & I

I like the idea of being a member of a book club, but from what I've seen in practice they look a little dull. Reading Booker prize shortlist novels is dreary enough without having to then dissect them with a collection of worthy lit chicks.
How much better to a member of a book club that discusses the sort of books you like to read? So I've decided to launch my own club here. Yes, there is a drawback - it's only got one member, me. But the upside of that there's little chance of a serious fall-out at meetings.
To kick things off I've chosen the 19th Century classic Frank & I. Spolier alert here - it's the story of a runaway who is taken in by a charitable English gent. At first he thinks he's a boy, but he's actually a girl.
There's a lot of corporal punishment of the MM-but-actually-MF variety. Then there's plenty more MF with a little FF thrown in for good measure. Lots of spankings, canings, birching etc, but for me it quickly gets a bit repetitive.
What I find fascinating about Frank & I is the insight it gives into the life of the wealthy Victorian landowner, or at least the author's take on that life. Charles Beaumont doesn't really have anything to do but enjoy himself and as a rich man the women around him are expected to serve up what Charley fancies whenever and wherever he fancies it.
For example, he keeps a young women called Maud in a house in London for when he's in town. Maud is less than enthusiastic about Charley's new-found interest in "the rod", but puts up with it. Charely says "I slept with her every night and in the mornings always renewed my vigour by birching her big, white bottom till it turned red as a rose, smarting pain making tears come into her eyes". Not much sense of a 50:50 relationship going on.
Mind you, by the end of things the girls do seem to have things sorted out to their own liking. Frances ('Frank') is the beautiful, accomplished mistress of her own destiny while cheerful Charley has become a bit of a sad, old loser. Serves him right, I'd say. 

Dirty little secret

I met a writer friend for a drink last night for a bit of literary chit-chat. He's had a couple of novels published, but has to have a day job. I make a living from journalism, but I'm a novice fiction writer.
So we go in for a bit of mutual mentoring.
And he's delighted my current project is going well, but would like to help. When he offered to read and comment on completed chapters I had to look away because I was struggling to a straight face and I'm pretty sure I blushed beet red.
The prospect of my rather prim and proper (very vanilla) friend reading all that STUFF cracked me up.
I suppose I could bowdlerise it just for him - go though the draft and edit out all the red bottom-related material. It would take a lot of cutting, but at least his read through wouldn't take very long...

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Out from the shadows

I've been a lurker myself for far too long now, I know. Shame on me. It's one reason why I've decided it was time to set myself some homework - by creating this blog. And by doing more commenting elsewhere.
Having taken the plunge I'm finding it really quite exhilarating. I have so much to ay and would love some of it to be a conversation.
LOL Day seems like a great idea. I'd be thrilled if you'd take the time to comment, even if it was just to tell me to stop nagging. Anyway, I'm off to do my own commenting elsewhere.

PS No link between LOL and the image. It was just one that I feel some sort of link with.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Maid to measure

Is that a saucepan?
Maids in fiction get a raw deal. Or in the world of spanko reality, a raw ass. Often hot, red, stripey.
She's there to get something for somebody, do something for (or to) somebody or have something done to her by somebody.
That's how it is for Robert Coover's character in 'Spanking the Maid', or how I remember it anyway. It must be more than 15 years since I read the book. StheM was first published in 1982, I had a first edition at one time and for a spanko it was a buzz.
Somewhere along the way I threw the book out, which turns out to be a mistake as I could get £50 for it at the moment on eBay. But now it turns out that the novella has been re-issued with another of Coover's short stories as a Penguin Modern Classic, so I think I'll have to re-read it.
The Guardian's review sums up how the story works: "A maid and her master are each committed to their own hard service: she, attempting to perform her simple duties without error; he, supplying punishment by rod, belt, hairbrush, whip, cane and slipper when she inevitably fails."
Coover didn't mean it to be titillating, but for a nascent spanko it was thrilling stuff. How I wanted to be that poor maid facing spanking day after day with no end in sight.
Sometimes revisiting a book or movie that you once loved is a disappointment, isn't it? StheM certainly isn't everyone's cup of tea. One Amazon reviewer asks: "How much do I want to read about the naughty maid who can't do her work properly and needs to be spanked in a variety of different ways."
How much? In my case, quite a bit.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Photographic memory

There’s a problem with writing novel-length fiction if your memory isn’t as sharp as it could be. Mine’s pretty good, I would say. It can deal with a mountain of stuff pretty well – the kid’s lunch money, the deadline for my weekly column, the tax form, putting out the dustbins... it goes on.
So somewhere in there with all that I need to find room for my characters – their back story, what they wear, how they look. It’s a problem. This morning it was Felicity’s ass.
It’s been five chapters since it last made an appearance and I can’t remember much about it. Voluptuous, womanly and wonderful or neat, toned and athletic? JLo or Lindsay Lohan? The chapter in question isn’t on the flash drive I’m using today so there wasn’t time to look back. Felicity is having to journey on into chapter 12 with ‘XXXX’ where her bottom should be.
It’s far from ideal. Speaking to another (vanilla) author recently he told me he cut out pictures from magazines of men and women that he wanted to use as models for his characters. Stuck on the wall next to his desk they were an instant reference point.
Good idea. But I’m not sure how having a print-out of Felicity’s rear end on the wall would play with my family, friends, visitors or the guy who comes to read the electricity meter.

Mirror, mirror

More on perspective. A beautiful image new at MarQe's Study. A well-placed mirror gives a handy extra dimension, doesn't it. Good for checking out your cane stripes after the event too.

Monday, 7 November 2011

All about perspective

What makes the perfect spanking picture? I've just been reading Pixie's post about her picture particulars and find what she has to say interesting (and the comments too). I'm not sure what I like best out of a situation. Seeing the spankee's face is important and I love it when a good anguished facial expression is combined with a nice red bottom in the same shot. But then I do also love cornertime shots too and the pre-punishment moment of anticipation.
Seeing the spanker's face is less important. My preferences are probably about identifying with the spankee - I want to be in her skin.

Poor marks for history

Silence. Sit up straight at the back. Yes, I mean you. Now I've got your attention, open your history book.
If you have one. Because history teaching in the UK seems to have got seriously lost and the subject is in serious trouble.
What I remember from my time at school is lessons that were deadly dull, but at least we learned a few facts. The Romans, 1066, a Hundred Years War that didn't last 100 years and Queen Victoria as Empress of the globe's pink bits.
More recently history teaching has been squashed under a suffocating duvet of political correctness. Add in a severe attack of cultural cringe and the patient is looking terminal.
There's no Island Nation story because the curriculum hops about from one period to another and British expansionism is airbrushed out. So kids end up knowing a bit about the Romans, a fact or two about the Tudors and that Victorian children worked down mines and got whacked a lot, but have no idea which period came first.
Pupils don't learn about big events, instead they're asked to empathise with the people of the past. In practice that seems to mean that they visit a museum where someone dressed up as a Victorian schoolmarm shouts and waves a cane to convince them that 19th Century Britain was a very scary place to be (forget all the great things achieved during Victoria's reign).
It's good news that the government is taking the problem seriously enough to have a review of the way history is taught. But the heat generated by the debate doesn't suggest that things are going to get any better soon.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

As good as it gets?

For atmosphere? It has to be the work of Louis Malteste. His creations draw me in in a way that nobody else's manage to do. I can look at those drawings time and again and never be quite sure of the story behind each one.
I know most (all?) were book illustrations, so presumably he was making pictures to match the stories he was given.  A job of work that he did with real aplomb.
But I like to look at thepictures as stand-alone images without that baggage and love weaving my own little daydreams around them. It is something to do when you're on the train to work.
Here's one for Monday morning. Not sure what's going on here. It's clear she's going to get what's coming. Those pretty drawers are going to be around her knees and the birch on the chair is going to get used. But why are the flapper girls getting to watch? And is that a playful pat on the bottom. or a slap?

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Tightly laced

The corset. Could anything be more sexy, to look at anyway. To wear they're not so much fun. What I find fascinating about corsets is the way they have gone from an everyday, practical item of underwear to something that symbolises sex to us 21st Century types. And a garment that was seen as restricting and controlling women is now all tied up with the image of women in control, the woman with the whip. Is it going to happen to things we wear today? Will today's cheap and cheerful supermarket knickers thrill 22nd Century fetishists?

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Queen Victoria's big pants

Passion killers. That's how the BBC breakfast bloke described Queen Victoria's silk drawers a day or two ago. She wouldn't have been amused, neither was I.
Yes, they're big and a bit plain, but it's all a matter of perspective, isn't it? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I'd say that on the right behind those drawers - or something like them - could set the pulse racing.
Something like them must have worked for Prince Albert. Didn't he and Queen V have loads of kids? And they turned out to be hot stuff at the auction in Edinburgh - somebody paid £10,000 for them.
One question though, what did Victorian men wear under their trousers? When I've been researching 19th Century women's underwear there's lots of detail, but about men's pants nothing. Is that because I'm looking in the wrong places, or did Prince Albert and his contemporaries go commando?