Archive for eroticalexxandria

Key to success: BICHOK

Ever wonder how some people manage to be models of production, tapping out story after story without flagging or stopping? How do they do it? Well, I can tell you and when you hear the answer, you’re going to say, “Well, duh!” but it’s actually a difficult task that not everyone can seem to accomplish without a little push.

The answer is this: BICHOK (Butt In Chair Hands On Keyboard).

Yep, simple and yet, oh so complicated.

How many times have you sat at the computer with good, solid intentions but after staring at the blank screen for a few minutes, wandered off to do something else that seemed far more pressing than your awaiting WIP? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Procrastination is a writer’s bane and the antithesis of success but if you can manage to keep yourself in that chair long enough to pound out a few words, you’re on your way to success.

I’m a prolific writer — but I know writers who make me feel as if I’m standing still. Truly prolific writers have learned how to master the BICHOK concept and have put it to good use.

All writers have tricks up their sleeves, some use aromatherapy by lighting the same candle each and every time they write, tricking the brain with olfactory senses to work hard while others play inspiring music or playlists. Truthfully, I’ve used both of these kinds of inspiration but what truly works for me is good ol’ competition. Huh? You say.

Let me explain. Writing is a solitary endeavor but with the advent of technology, we can feel surrounded by people via our computers. I started writing sprints with friends about two years ago using Yahoo Messenger. We would take 30 minutes and write like fiends, then share our word count. You might be surprised how that tiny elbow nudge of friendly competition can kick the muse in the behind. I’ve since encouraged a few more writing buddies to sprint with me and a revolution has begun of furiously typing writers and collectively we’ve managed to master the BICHOK concept.

Another great aspect of the 30 minute writing sprint is it doesn’t feel like a terribly long while but when you’re finished and you have all those lovely words to account for your time, it feels like quite an accomplishment — far better than your best score at Solitaire or Angry Birds (or whatever your favorite game happens to be).

So, if you need help getting your butt in the chair, why not try one of the ideas I mentioned. You might be surprised how inspired you can be!

Warmly,

Alexx Andria

Oops, I Did It Again

I forgot my blogging day after I’d made a point to remind myself about the blogging schedule. Argh! Life intrudes on our best intentions. I wish I had something interesting and valuable to say but my day has leached all my creative juices and now I’m just ready for a sandwich. :-/
Speaking of sandwich, I’ve recently joined Weight Watchers 360 to help combat the sedentary lifestyle of a writer. So far, it’s going great! The new mobile app for the iPhone is really awesome and makes keeping track of your points so easy that it takes all the guesswork out of losing weight and getting fit. Not to mention, there are all these great tools integrated into the app that make it fun! I love the scanner. No more trying to figure everything out on my own.
I’m not a huge fan of resolutions but I do like tools that help keep me accountable and I feel this is a great start. Anyone else using the WW360 app? Please share! If you have breakfast tips, let me know. That’s the one area that I could use a little creative thinking as I’m a huge cereal eater.
Anyway, that’s my post on the fly! I promise next time I’ll be far more creative!

Warmly,
Alexx

Romantic adventures

I’ve always fantasized about taking a romantic adventure with my husband but it’s difficult to find one that doesn’t involve swapping partners, a la Hedonism.The fact of the matter is, while I love sex, I’m serially monogamous and the idea of bumping uglies with a stranger leaves me cold.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my share of naughty adventures but experience has taught me that I don’t need a little strange to keep things lively, which saves me a ton of money on condoms. :-)

With that said, I’ve always wondered with a tantric weekend with the hubby would be like. Years ago, I stumbled upon a tantric weekend getaway retreat website that absolutely made me green with envy because I wanted to go so badly but it was way too pricey for our meager budget at the time and besides, my husband gave me an arched brow that smacked of incredulity when I showed him the website. He’s not really into the talking, feeling, touchy-feely type of intimacy that those types of retreats advocate and teach. *sigh* Ah well. Perhaps in another life…

Anyway, just because my husband isn’t game doesn’t mean your significant other might not love a couples retreat filled with massage, deep breathing, sexy times, and juicy, succulent fruit enjoyed while blindfolded.

Here are a few websites I managed to scrounge up (no, I haven’t tried any of their services) that might be just what you’ve been looking for to rev up those intimacy engines.

http://www.intimacyretreats.com/

http://www.ecstaticliving.com/

http://www.loveforcouples.com/en/retreats.html

http://www.gottmancouplesretreats.com/retreats/deepening-friendship-intimacy-day-one.aspx

http://soulbound.me/events/09-02-2011/sensual-love-retreat

A word of caution, always check references for any retreat you might find of interest to ensure it’s exactly what you’re looking for as most places do not offer refunds under most circumstances.

Good luck and happy humping!

Alexx

The Pitfall of Expectations

Recently, I challenged my husband of 18 years to plan a romantic getaway for the two of us. I gave him some loose parameters to work within and a fairly easy requirement (I want lots of sex) and a suggestion that wherever we go should be within a three-hour radius of where we live so that we didn’t spend most of our time traveling. Seemed fairly straightforward, right?

Well, apparently it wasn’t. I guess it’s the whole “men are from Mars and women are form Venus” thing because suffice to say our romantic getaway was anything but romantic.

It started off well. My husband booked a lovely bed and breakfast (http://www.innatoccidental.com/) and selected the one room with the private Jacuzzi. Sounded fabulous! Then we had mudbaths scheduled in Calistoga followed by a romantic dinner at a very chic restaurant about an hour from the hot springs. So, we get to the room (beautiful!), made plenty of innuendo about what we were going to do in the Jacuzzi (yay!) and then hopped in the car to our mudbaths.

Unfortunately, the traffic was a nightmare and we missed our original slot and had to take the next one, which was two hours later (totally eclipsing our dinner reservation, so we canceled dinner). But even so, I was still excited about the couples mud bath. (Goodness gracious, that’s an experience that I don’t think I will repeat any time soon but that’s another story.) We had some time to kill so we found ourselves in an adult store (yay!) where we perused all manner of naughty fun stuff and took some goodies home with us. Of course, I was excited about trying out our new toys and couldn’t wait to get back to our room but by the time we finished our mudbaths and couples massage it was so late that we headed to a Denny’s for a bite to eat (oh, how romantic!) and then headed back to the B&B. When we returned to our room, it was 11 p.m. and I was beat. My husband ruefully asked, “Did you want to get in the Jacuzzi?” and I gave him a look that said, “What do you think?” and then climbed into the bed to sack out.

The next morning my husband rose early to go zip lining while I sat in the lovely romantic bed and breakfast completely ALONE. I ate my breakfast and drank my tea in the quaint breakfast room then headed back to the room where I proceeded to test out my new toys.

Now, I’m sure you’re asking why I didn’t go ziplining with my husband. Well, it seems my beloved forgot that I’m deathly afraid of heights and the thought of ziplining through a canopy of trees 86 feet from the ground and then RAPPELLING down from said trees was enough to send me into a shaking, crying mess so I opted out of that little adventure. (Oh, and did I mention it was prepaid and nonrefundable?)

So my romantic weekend I spent mostly pissed off.

And I didn’t get any sex (aside from what I provided for myself).

By the end, I was sure divorce was imminent and I let him know exactly how I felt about his weekend choices. We ate lunch at Francis Ford Coppola’s winery, which was awesome, except when we weren’t glowering at each other, we were suffering through agonizing silence fraught with tension. Definitely not a highlight.

But an unexpected pitstop saved the weekend.

We stopped at a working winery inside an authentic Italian castle (http://www.castellodiamorosa.com/) and not only did the tour but the wine tasting as well. By the end, I was loving my husband again and he was very grateful. I was delighted with the architecture and the history as well as the gorgeous landscape and we both had a wonderful time.

I came away from the experience realizing I should never put my hubby in charge of anything remotely romantic but also, that even though I was disappointed that my expectations weren’t met, I still got to spend time away with my favorite person in the world. I wish that our time had been spent with less clothing between us but there’s always the next trip.

And I’ve already given him a heads up. Next trip, it’s just me and him, doing it like rabbits. Think that’s clear enough?

How about you? Share some of your romantic adventures (or misadventures!) I’d love to know that I’m not alone!

Tootles,
Alexx

Mean People Need More Orgasms

Okay, maybe that’s just a theory of mine but I think my theory is valid. Orgasms release endorphins and endorphins make people happy. So if you’re grouchy…get laid, STAT!

So, what’s with my little rant? Well, I just got bombed by a rash of one-star reviews and it seems to me nowadays people are just mean when it comes to online reviews. It can be about a toaster or a literary masterpiece, the Internet has created a nation of meanies who feel compelled to trash whatever they please without consequence. Honestly, I doubt any of these one-star, foul little cyber gremlins would dare to be so rude if you were standing right in front of them, looking them in the eye as they spew vitriol at the innocent people who had the audacity to offer a product for their reading pleasure. Here’s the thing…I recognize I am not the right reader for certain story lines or plots so I don’t read them. Wow. What a concept. And here’s another thing, people who use bad reviews to push their own agenda are not being transparent in their machinations. We all see what they’re doing and it’s irritating as hell.

I’ve been blessed with wonderful fans so I’m not crying about the one-star stink bomb attack but it does chap my hide that one-star can completely kill the momentum of your story, which seems wholly unfair. One person’s trash is another’s treasure, right?

I guess I live by a different standard and thus, I never feel compelled to stomp someone else into the ground simply because I’m displeased by their product. If I don’t care for a book, I SIMPLY DON’T READ IT AGAIN. Wow, another novel concept.

So, tell me, when you see a one-star review, how does it affect your buying decision? Are you willing to take a chance or does that one-star scare you away? I’m curious. For me, it doesn’t scare me away unless they are gobs of one-star reviews then I’m curious as to what could be so bad that so many people felt the need to shout it to the world. Anyway…my mini rant is over. Have a great, five-star day!

 

Warmly,

Alexx Andria

Maybe It’s Just Me…

Most people don’t realize they’re different until they mention something in passing that they do or say and then are surprised by the looks they receive in return by the people who don’t do or feel the same.

I guess you can imagine that I received a lot of those surprised looks.

I was a strange kid with a very active imagination. No one was shocked when I became a writer, and later a published author; in fact, some in my family were likely relieved that all that strangeness had had a purpose after all.

I’m also a romantic so it seems only natural that I love to read and write romance but I also love sex so, again, it’s only natural that I would enjoy writing erotica.

But I do have some funny quirks that I’ve discovered through trial and error that only I share.

Such as…

* When I see couples dancing on the dance floor…I wonder if that’s what they look like when they are having sex. Okay, hear me out on this one. Sex is the horizontal mambo, right? If you have rhythm, you’re likely to have some pretty decent moves on the mattress. But if you’re stiff as a board, I imagine you don’t move around much when knocking boots with your honey. (I love to dance and I have some moves, not ashamed to admit it.) The next time you’re at a wedding reception, check out the dancing couples. If nothing else, it’ll give you a chuckle (you dirty minded perv.)

* I used to dance with my clothes on the hanger. I didn’t want them to feel left out. (I also try to move rocks around as much as possible, because how else are they going to get from Point A to Point B?)

* I love the smell of tarweed. It reminds me of horses and even though I never owned horses, I had plenty of friends who did and I secretly coveted their horseflesh.

* I’m a nympho maniac. Okay, maybe not technically, but my husband swears that I am, at the very least, insatiable. I do love sex. I think about sex as often as a man and I’m down to get jiggity whenever the mood strikes.

* I love any documentary about sex. Everything fascinates me — from the biology to the psychology. Ironically, I was a late bloomer and didn’t lose my virginity until I was 17 and graduated from high school. You’d think with my fascination I’d have been a raging slut. Alas, I was a good girl (until I wasn’t.)

* Scary movies make my teeth chatter. I’m talking, chatter as if I were stuck naked in the Antarctica. It’s totally involuntary, I can’t help it, and my husband thinks it’s hilarious. I do not find it as humorous and thus, avoid scary movies.

* In my youth, I was a tad obsessive about things that interested me. Hence, the late bloomer admission. Who had the time to notice boys when there were so many other more interesting things to focus on?

* Sometimes I get so sad when I think about the animals we eat that I consider becoming a vegetarian, until I remember that I hate vegetables and love meat.

* I worry that aliens eat our babies like we eat the young animals of other species. (I know! I’m cracked in the head!)

* I worry that our above ground pool is going to have a catastrophic failure and flood our neighbor’s yard. I worry so much that my husband has to reassure me every time we get in the pool by showing me that the pool is completely secure.

These are just a few of the instances where I’m plainly the only person thinking these thoughts. I could go on all day about my weirdness.

 

Tell me I’m not alone and share some of your quirks with me. We strange ones need to stick together. :-)

 

Alexx

The Open Secret

I write under a pseudonym for my erotica but I write under my maiden name for my contemporary trad publishing and although I’m not entirely tight lipped about my true identity, I have kept it on the down-low.

So, a funny thing happened the other day that I thought I’d share.

A friend texted me the other night and she admitted she was at the country club bragging about me, or more specifically, me as Alexx Andria, and that stirred such excitement that the ladies decided to start a book club in my honor with the first meeting in September. First, I was flattered but then I started to wonder…what happens at an erotica book club? Then another friend was telling me that ladies have started having 50 Shades of Grey-themed parties that get pretty wild. That got me to wondering…what is going to happen at this book club party? Before my imagination ran away from me, my friend assured me it would be a fun party with some drinks but other than that, she didn’t exactly know what people did in a book club, even an erotica themed book club. I relaxed but then another thought came to me…I guess the secret will be out of the bag once I go to this party. I mean, it’s not a huge secret but…*shrug* oh well. I guess I’ll have to just see what happens. Hey, maybe my new-found notoriety will boost sales. They say there’s no such thing as bad press, right? I suppose I will put that theory to the test as it’s bound to happen that someone will become offended when they discover a dirty-minded pervert is living and writing amongst them.

Right now I’m chuckling, hearing that oft-quoted saying by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich (and falsely attributed to Marilyn Monroe), “Well-behaved women rarely make history.” Ain’t that the truth.

Ah well…I’ll let you know if anything made me blush. Wish me luck.
Smooooooch!

Alexx

How To Gift An Inappropriate Item

 

My best friend is a wonderful woman. For the purpose of this blog, I will call her Jane.

Jane is smart, hard-working, adventurous, with a carnal appetite that matches my own dirty mind. How do I know this? Oh, in case you didn’t know…women are notorious sharers about what goes on in the bedroom so if something kinky has gone down beneath the sheets, chances are, the female half of the equation has shared the deets with her close girlfriends and compared notes. My best friend and I have known each other since we were babies and thus, there’s nothing we haven’t shared with one another, including sexual tips, frustrations, scares, worries, and hot moments with one-night-stands.

Anyway, as I was saying, my friend Jane is fabulous in all ways, but I was shocked to learn that she had yet to buy or try a vibrator. When I gaped in shock at her admission — life without my vibrator wouldn’t be worth living — she simply shrugged and said she didn’t need one.

What? In my world, saying that a woman doesn’t need a vibrator is akin to saying she doesn’t need air to breathe. Simply does not compute. Your guy may be a stallion in the bedroom but a trusty toy is reliable EVERY SINGLE TIME. I’ve never sighed in frustration with my vibe. Nope. Not once. In fact, it’s nothing but smiles and stars each time I rev that bad boy up. So, of course, hearing this, I decided I should educate her in what she’s missing.

The question was…how do I gift something so personal? I tried inviting her to a passion party but she didn’t want to travel; I tried sending a naughty catalog with items of personal recommendation circled in red but she claimed the toys were too expensive (well, good toys are an investment, right?) and simply threw the catalogs away.

Her resistance left me stymied. So, realizing I probably had to take matters into my own hands (heh) I started to devise ways to purchase the toy and send it to her. But then I wondered, what if one of her kids happened to open the box from the mail delivery and suddenly Jane is having to explain why someone would send her such a giant, veined “thingy” in the mail.

Then I thought maybe I could just deliver it in person, but then I wondered, is that weird for another person to hand over something of such a personal nature? I could just see how that conversation would go:

Me: Oh, it has three speeds, too! Personally, I like the highest speed but you might want to start off slow.

Jane: *eyes bugging* You put this…where?

Then, the worst case scenario, of course, would be, her fiance walking in as we’re giggling over the gigantic love toy and it’s accompanying gadgets. I can only imagine how that conversation might go. I suspect Jane’s fiance would simply turn red and leave the room. And I would never be asked to come for dinner ever again.

*sigh* As you can see, I’m in a bit of a pickle. Her birthday is in February, so I have some time to figure it out, but I suspect either way, a gift of this nature is always going to be a bit awkward. Perhaps I should just shrug off the worries and just go for it.

Besides, once she has a bit of private time with the new toy, I suspect she won’t care how it arrived as long as it’s within reaching distance in the bedroom.

Have you ever gifted someone you weren’t having a sexual relationship with, something, well, er, sexual? Please share your tips and stories! Perhaps I could learn a few things!
Warmly,

Alexx Andria

Anaheim Prep

In my other life I’m a traditionally published romance author and once a year I set aside a week to go and mingle with other writers at an event put on by the Romance Writers of America. This year the RWA conference is in Anaheim, California, which means I can actually drive to the conference as opposed to flying and that makes my pocketbook happy.

Of course, I’m not nearly prepared. But then, this is normal for me.

Last year, I was nominated for a RITA award and I didn’t even have a dress picked out until two days before I was scheduled to board my plane to New York. I am — in a word — a procrastinator.

However, this year, it’s not procrastination that has kept me from getting ready in a timely manner; it’s simply been a consequence of not having enough time in the day to do everything that needs to be done as well as pack for a major conference.

I do love the conference though. I love the workshops, the camaraderie, the parties, the mingling…I always leave with a host of memories, not to mention enough books to start my own bookstore.

Even though the publishing world is changing, one aspect remains the same — the need for good books — and going to a major conference and listening to writers you admire talk about their craft is inspiring. I learn something new every time I go to conference and I recommend the experience to writers of all levels. I am not the same writer as I was for my first conference and yet, I always manage to find something of value that I can apply to my craft.

Writing is art that is created in solitude but hanging out and chatting with other writers is an opportunity to share your hopes and dreams, struggles and challenges and know that when you say something like, “My characters just wouldn’t shut up so I had to get out of bed at 3 a.m. and simply write that damn scene!” they will totally understand and nod in commiseration.

If you haven’t had a chance to attend a writer’s conference and you’re serious about your craft, I would highly recommend the experience. It doesn’t have to be RWA, there are many different types of conferences out there, big and small, but find your right fit and take the plunge. Writing is as much about discovering as it is creating, but sometimes in the process of writing about the characters, you discover bits about yourself as well.

To all attending RWA, maybe I’ll see you at the hotel bar at the end of the day!

Warmly,

Alexx

Chasing Trends

Sometimes when I’m lacking in inspiration I peruse what’s trending on the Hot New Release page. Truthfully, sometimes I’m baffled by what’s hot and what’s not but by challenging my own views I’ve found my way into some really hot stories that I might not have found otherwise. But it made me wonder, as erotica writers chase trends and kinks, what do our readers think about this merry zig-zag? I love writing paranormal but I was afraid to take that leap into the unknown because paranormal wasn’t my bread and butter as a traditionally published author. My “thing” if you will, is gritty contemporary romance but truthfully, my reading pleasure is usually found in paranormal or historical romance novels. So when I started writing erotica, I desperately wanted to try my hand at something “otherworldly.” My first foray was a vampire erotica romance novella that I wrote under my own name. It did moderately well enough that readers are always asking for the sequel. This gave me the confidence to go a little deeper and try my hand at really hot erotica, no-holds-barred, batten-down-the-hatches-and-hold-the-fuck-on, which is what happened when I wrote my Breeding Prophecy series. My God, I had a blast. It was alternately disturbing and sexy — two words that aren’t typical bed fellows in my world — and I was hooked. But I never would’ve thought to try it if I hadn’t seen a number of werewolf stories hitting the Hot New Release list. The best part? My readers have really responded to the new series, even though I don’t usually write paranormal. I think that’s what I love the most about indie publishing. I can write whatever I want and no on is telling me that my readers don’t want that kind of story from me. I can write whatever tickles my fancy and whatever sparks my creativity. There’s something very liberating about freefalling into the creative pool. So, yes, I’m gleefully chasing trends and trying my hand at whatever sparks an interest in me. So far, my readers don’t seem to mind if I jump from billionaires to beasts and I’m happy to keep bouncing around.

How do you feel about your favorite author chasing a trend? Pull up a cyber chair and let’s spark a discussion. I’m all ears. :-)

Tootles,

Alexx

P.S. You might’ve noticed that I totally spaced my Monday post, which is why I’m posting today. I chastised my phone for not alerting me properly and it is now set to remind me so it’s back to every other Monday for this gal. Sorry for the confusion!

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