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“Large brown velvet moths settled upon each of her breasts. An orchid opened on one shoulder, a striped gecko displayed the inside of its mouth on the other. South Sea islands showed up on her belly and disappeared into the shaved split between her legs. A sea serpent slid down her thigh. Constellations unfurled on her right arm. On her left arm, winds chased clouds to the wrist. And so on. In the last picture, she was completely covered in tattoos, including her neck and her face …”

From “The Wolfman and the Mule,” between the DEAD LOVE covers. (more in from this selection at a later date in “Chapters”)

Sometimes life imitates art. That is what happened when I met Chris Rainier. He was giving a presentation of Ancient Marks. It was as if Alain had come back or stepped right out of DEAD LOVE. How do you tell someone you thought you’d invented them, that you pined over them for what felt like forever, that you’re glad they’re alive. Of course Chris isn’t Alain. But here is another weird thing: His good friend is the man who suggested the recipe for a zombie. They are a pair, those two. Brilliant artists. I’d follow them anywhere … but isn’t that just what zombies do? Oh, I can be so predictable.

If you love tattoos as I do, check out Chris Ranier’s haunting video, Ancient Marks, with music to die for by Anoushka Shankar.

post photo courtesy of Anthony Long Wu; his tattoo—the laughing buddha, a symbol of his belief and culture.

Hot Flashes coverOh, yes, it IS Fat Tuesday and that is a day of absolute deliciousness.

So in honor of Fat Tuesday and the Big Easy, we offer up a tasty bit of Amy Thigpen’s yummy look at Maw Maw and the Treme and the steamy music scene in “the City that Care Forgot.” This is just an excerpt, mind you. For the whole, delectable tale, you need to buy the book!



The Big Easy, the City that Care Forgot, the Crescent City—she is

named for the crook of the Mississippi River she inhabits and the lazy

debauchery she engenders. I call her home, and I know that what is best

about New Orleans happens mostly during the dark in the neighborhoods

that my Maw Maw warned me about.

Maw Maw was born in the Treme, just the other side of Rampart

Street from the French Quarter. This place and her first husband, Roy,

schooled her early in debauchery and its consequences. It’s where Roy was

shot and killed outside of a bar in broad daylight after a fight involving the

dice or the numbers—she won’t say exactly. When my 17-year-old Maw

Maw went to collect Roy’s things from his friend, he wouldn’t believe she

was Roy’s wife because, “You’re not the blonde I’ve seen Roy with.”

My Maw Maw’s heart was double-broken that day, and I believe that

right then and there she began her retreat from the sensual joys that are

New Orleans. Continue Reading »

deadloveR3Love in the dark??? Here’s a little excerpt from DEAD LOVE, due out this Fall from Stone Bridge Press. Check it out at There’s a limited edition hardcover with a Manga supplement available too!

“You might imagine, as I would have if it had not happened to me, that a near-zombie girl would just stand there like a big blow-up doll. Not at all. I am a seemingly will-less creature, and let me tell you, it takes a great deal of will to resist sex. All living things are designed for it. It is their singular purpose. There was no doubt about this in my body.  Horny as any bitch in heat, I was down to the basics. I was consumed with a slimy, single-celled reproductive certainty, swamped with a kind of glandular ecstasy. I couldn’t fight it. I wanted to crawl up the wall. The world turned hot and juicy.

Imagine that you are eating a peach and it begins eating you back. That’s how surprised Alain was when the laconic object of his attentions mounted a counter attack. I wanted to devour him, and I don’t mean metaphorically. This is the point at which murder takes place—murder or self-immolation. This is the lust that kills. Remember the praying mantis, the black widow spider, crimes of passion and desire. But, something inside me—some ancient parasitic wisdom—prevented me from devouring him. It did not stop me from trying to swallow his tongue. The drooling thought “deliciousness” popped into my head, and my salivary glands sprang a leak.

Meanwhile, I had become a balloon. All my hormones adjusted their levels and discharged. I was enflamed and unstoppable. My breasts, which I have already explained, were plenty large, seemed to swell. My womb seemed to have opened up like an umbrella, the blood in it beating like a big vodoun drum. I imagined my lips splitting, oozing blood; breasts spilling milk; innards raining spicy mucilage. I was caught in my own monsoon. I wanted more.

More, it seemed, wanted me, too. I could feel it making a case for itself between my legs at the Ark of the Grand Central Orifice. Taking a deep breath, that collapsed our cheeks, I sprang, wrapping my legs around Alain’s waist. Like a prizefighter caught by hard right hook, he staggered and very nearly fell. To his athletic credit, he managed to retain his balance. Then we became a kind of carnival balancing act, a two-torsoed creature waddling into the bedroom where we turned and collapsed onto the bed, which, in turn, collapsed under our weight. Kaboooooom.

Now Alain was beneath me, his face under mine, his lips pink and tasty. I slipped into the saddle, slid onto that brilliantly designed, perfectly sculpted horn. What a ride we had then, my pony and I. Alain was watching me with a mixture of terror and desire. He could no more stop than a male mantis can shake its amorous mate. I was a pole dancer sliding up and down, a jillaroo bouncing along in the outback, a frigate ship tossed on the Cape of Good Horn. Straddling him, both hands on his chest, I rode him into the sea. I was in some kind of organic nirvana. Mandalas and kaleidoscopes were opening up like flowers deep inside me. Waves of purple and pale chartreuse, plumes of iris and swamp grass scrolled past my upturned eyes. Lust flashed giddy tattoos all over my flesh in a rose-red flush. I couldn’t actually hear it, but I was wailing like a cat in heat, my caterwauling sailing up and out the window, turning heads all along the canal. The big dopamine hit mushroomed up and into my brain. “Oh, oh, oooooh,” I crooned as the dike burst and the waters of the Isslemeer came in, flooding Amsterdam.

I think it was good for him, too. He lay still for a moment, his face in a grimace. “God,” he said gazing up at me in a kind of adulation. “God, that was good. What exactly are you on?” he wondered aloud and put his hand over his eyes.

I sat looking down on him, my body suffused by a delirious glow. A silky endorphin parachute was carrying me back to the bed. I was paralyzed and couldn’t move. Not unusual for me, but I had also found peace and a strange form of union. In Alain, I’d touched some lost part of myself. I was transformed forever. That’s how I became Alain’s slave.”

Hot Flashes 2 cover

Monday, February 8, 2010, 5:30pm

@Book Passage in the San Francisco Ferry Plaza

Left Coast Writers® and Book Passage host a reading and pre-Valentines Day treat.

Editors Linda Watanabe McFerrin and Laurie McAndish King introduce the Hot Flashes Sexy Little Stories & Poems writers in Continue Reading »

get-attachment-7Join Lone Morch, acclaimed Dare to be Beautiful photographer, filmmaker and founder of Lolo’s Boudoir on February 13th, at one of the most beautiful resorts in Northern California, The Claremont Hotel Club and Spa, and get the new feminine super powers every modern day woman needs…


the day you make taking care of yourself a reality
9-5 PM
Berkeley, CA

This isn’t just another workshop or conference with break out sessions. This is an experience that participants create together – full of interactive talks, live performances and group interaction. Continue Reading »


Sometimes the slant of sunlight on the hills …

as here

the new light fingering its way

into a darkened chamber

into sleep

crisp morning licking

at the pillowcases and

the sheets to drive

us out

our bodies, calipers,

curled drowsily

toward one another

flame red

twin tulip petals tipped

in scarlet

in that refraction

our kisses multiple and

so inflected that

the sun comes rivening into

our plain souls

suffusing us.

—Linda Watanabe McFerrin

Accepting submissions: Hot Flashes 3: more sexy little stories & poems

P1010152Champagne and bijou …

Artist Jacqueline Miyata opens her studio again for the holidays. Jacqueline’s work in semi-precious gemstones and metal is unique, organic and inspired by the beauty of the natural world. Her versatile pieces are truly a blend of technique and inspiration. Miyata specializes in hand wrought chain, often creating custom designs in a variety of metals. This is not jewelry for shrinking violets. It’s bold and Continue Reading »


Bonk? Boink? Bang? Call it what you will, it’s arguably the most exciting act in our repertoire. People do it. Politicians legislate against it. Scientists study it. And Mary Roach makes quite a case for it. Roach’s book tells you all you need to know about the “curious coupling of science and sex” … and then some. Pages and pages of research on the topic are totally informative, sometimes funny, sometimes silly, sometimes so painful—think penis implants—you’ll have to laugh.

Check it out!

Masks and Miyata

Masks and Miyata

It’s a month of masks and disguises when secret sides emerge. Our not so secret passion is the work of artist, Jacqueline Miyata. Jacqueline works in semi-precious gemstones and metal. She specializes in unique, organic designs inspired by the beauty of the natural world. Her versatile pieces are truly a blend of technique and inspiration. What we love most, though, is her chain work. We’re not sure how many feet, yards, miles of handcrafted chain she’s produced, but we know all of it is exquisite and we’d happily deck ourselves out in nothing but that! Jacqueline Miyata’s work is available through the artist or at one of her exclusive Open Studios.

Leafy Sea Dragon

Leafy Sea Dragon

Check out the sexy little seahorses at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. We could learn a lot about romance from them. Seahorses court with color changes and synchronized swims, often holding tails and slow dancing for hours. When they’re ready to make the big commitment, they release their hold on the sea grasses that anchor them and rise upward, nose-to-nose, in elegant spirals. The courtship doesn’t end with parenthood either. Did you know it’s the male seahorse that carries the eggs in his pouch? The newly slim female swims away, but she returns to visit her guy every day and the romance continues. Colors changing, they whirl around holding tails in their very own version of a Viennese waltz. In 2 to 4 weeks, depending on the species, the male releases the oh-so-fragile fry. They drift away on the current, hopefully to mature and find their own dance partners one day.

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