Archive for March, 2015


chicken 2

First, turn on your computer and open the file of interest or spread the written pages you’d like to mull over out on a nearby table. Do a quick read through so that the thoughts of what you are working on are fresh in your mind.

Turn on oven and pre-heat to 325 F.

Wash hands.

Take the fresh, preferably organic, free run, o’natural fowl, from the refrigerator. Remove the innards and plop them into a small pot. Add salt and pepper and just enough water, then place the pot on the back burner on low where it will simmer.

**note: this can be used to make gravy or can be frozen as soup stock for future use.

Wash the bird, pat dry with paper towels and place it in your roasting pan. At this time some thoughts of your manuscript should be floating around in your head. I prefer quiet during this process but some may like music to help create not only the scrumptious meal but the atmosphere needed to work on your bit of writing.

This is where the fun begins…   massage

Pour a generous amount of Extra Virgin Olive Oil over the chicken and rub it over the bird as if you were giving your lover a massage. Close your eyes and feel every inch of the skin and meat underneath your fingertips. Work the oil well into the entire organic material. By now, glimmers of your manuscript should begin to formulate. New words might emerge, an idea not yet considered. Keep rubbing.

Add sea salt, fresh ground pepper, tarragon (all to taste) and rub the ingredients into the bird. Slice one large or two small lemons. Squeeze the juices over the chicken and place the remainder of the lemon inside the gullet of the bird.

Check the gizzards on the back burner. Add more water if necessary.

Wash hands (usually several times during the exercise)

Place the roasting pan in the heated oven.

Pour yourself a nice glass of chilled rose or pinot grigio. Sit down and continue the mulling process while the fowl roasts. (you have about an hour) This may require a pen or the use of your fingers to add, change or rework your writing.


**note: Basting is required periodically during cooking. A basting brush is great but a large spoon will suffice.

Remove chicken when the skin is golden brown and a leg or wing pulls easily away from the body of the bird and when the juices fun as freely as the words you are writing.





Hello and happy Monday!

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend!  I’m drinking green tea today and listening to D’Angelo’s album Black Messiah.  It’s a perfect music curtain for this lovely afternoon, and I just can’t believe how fast the March has swift by!  I do look forward to the Spring though, with warmer weather and lots of great things to come.  Among them my fifth book (doing the final editorial revision now), and submitting my book of Erotic Short Stories to the publisher as well.

I will keep you posted, in the mean time, do share with me what you are drinking and listening today!


Listen to D’Angelo Really Love here:


Portrait from a Pompeii fresco

When asked why he wanted to be taught one of her poems, Solon the Wise remarked:  “Because once I’ve learned it, I can die’.

Such great respect for her art was universal in Classical Athens.  She is still a household name in 2015.  Where does her everlasting power come from?  Sappho’s ‘afterlife’ is a fascinating story, since although the only facts about Sappho herself lie in her poems – she has been the subject of some wild fantasy over the years.  This titillation surrounds her sexual orientation.  The prudish Victorians were quite adamant about denouncing that she was a lesbian.  19th-century German scholars seemed to place her as a sort of headmistress, presiding over a boarding school of schoolgirls.

Despite being a well-respected figure in Athenian society whose works were appreciated enough to be recorded and revered, she was also a countercultural icon.   Of course, her poems carry words of passion for other women, although not in ways that might resemble homosexuality as it is so strictly defined today.  She was admired for her deeply personal themes, the nuanced elegance of her writing, her acerbic wit, and playful tone.

Since silent reading at home in your favorite chair was virtually unknown in the ancient Greek world, most people got their drama-fix elsewhere.  Writing for the New York Times, Daniel Mendelsohn looked deeper into this.  In his musical reading of Sappho’s poetry, he asserts that the Ancient Greek language was tonal – similar to Mandarin Chinese is today.  High tones and low tones of the same sound indicated totally different meanings.  To illustrate, in the late 400’s (BC), when one actor read the line with poor intonation – it was like hitting a false note that completely changed the play: a line meant to be read as “After the storm, I see a calm once more”, ended up as “After the storm, I see a weasel once more.” At that moment, the crowd burst into laughter, and comedy was born.

Since Classical Greek language had this kind of musical quality to it, the romantic genius of Sappho’s lyrical poems is that even without a band, she seemed to have been the defining singer-songwriter of her generation.  If we look at her take on Homer, the patriarchal icon of Greek sagas, we see her subversively rebellious genius.  In readings of The Iliad, Helen is usually demonized for leaving her home and parents for Troy.  Yet by exalting a life lived for love and art above the usual themes of civic duty and moral values, Sappho’s version personalizes and romanticizes Helen’s journey ~ the very first “make love not war” song.

In the end, although no one will ever know how Sappho’s melodies really sounded, its no wonder that her unwritten melodies are still with us today.


Sex In The Novel

Posted on: March 24th, 2015 by Madison Lake No Comments

heath ledger

I’ve been asked more than once if the things I write about in my romantica are from experiences I’ve had. Wouldn’t you like to know?!

I do believe that to be a good writer, one must write what they know, and who doesn’t know about sex – at least to some degree?

I guarantee, all my stories are fiction. They are based on things I’ve heard or read about or seen in a film, or pieced together from all of the above. They are fantasies, completely made up. Sure, there are emotions and descriptives that are taken from my own experiences, but generally my imagination wanders and a story unfolds.

One piece in my new collection of erotic short stories is about an awkward, shy guy named Floyd who sells insurance. But Floyd is a member of a private fetish club where one night a week he becomes someone else, and lives out his own fantasy in a place he feels safe to do so.

I’ve never been to a fetish club, although once I was propositioned to go with a very young, very handsome Heath Ledger look-alike dressed in chain mail after we had danced together at a party. But I have talked about fetish clubs with people who have been, I have read about them, I have researched, so I feel comfortable enough to write about the subject, or at least include it in a story.

Readers will always want to personally attach a writer to their work. They will always wonder if the writer actually did this or that. It’s one of those things you have to live with. Let people think what they want. They will anyway.

As for me, I’ll keep writing out my fantasies for you, no holds barred, no regrets. Well, maybe one; when I didn’t take up the offer to check out the fetish club with my knight in shining armour. Just for the experience, of course.



The History of Sex – Part 148 – Sex on the runway.

Posted on: March 19th, 2015 by Madison Lake No Comments


The runways confidently walked by women adorned with bedazzled beards sporting boxy suits and men with long wavy hair draped in dresses. This year’s Paris Fashion Week did not shy away from the centuries old obsessions with androgynous dressing.  A dress for a man who isn’t Scottish?

Why, yes says Kanye – the self-proclaimed fashion icon – forever asserting his place at the forefront of modernity – who’s daughter has a trans grandfather.  Since 1919 when women’s rights activist, Luisa Capetillo was arrested in Puerto Rico for wearing pants in public, gender-blending clothing became a symbol of freedom and independence.  As society’s gender roles and definitions continue to blur, we witness law-makers scrambling to catch up; it wasn’t until 2012 that The Royal Canadian Mounted Police allowed their female officers to wear pants and boots, and in 2013 Turkey finally lifted a ban against female lawmakers wearing pants in assembly, as their male counterparts always have.pants

As usual, fashion has its finger strongly on the pulse of popular culture; even the Gap has carried “boyfriend jeans” for years.  The latest trend in the mainstreamiization of the equality of the sexes is witnessed in the promotion of gender-neutral clothing for adults.  A new Toronto-based clothing store “Future Is the Future” does not distinguish between men’s and women’s clothing selections, stating simply, “Anything can be worn by anyone…Clothing aisles don’t decide who you are. That’s your job.”

As Grace Jones, Kathryn Hepburn, David Bowie, Carrie Bradshaw, and Bugs Bunny have all proven; we are whoever we want to be when we have the right clothes.

Hopefully, with the rise of androgynous fashion on the runway, I’ll never have to give my boyfriend his jeans back.