Happy New Year and Happy Birthday…

donna1

…to one of the best of the best erotic writers in the world, Donna George Storey. 48 kisses to you today, Donna! You’re an amazing writer, culinary genious, master baker, great friend, loving mother, sexy wife…and you do it all with such perfect je ne sais quoi style…. Thank you for your friendship. Later tonight, I’ll be raising my glass of bubbly dually celebrating your birthday and the new year!

 

Happy Birthday and Happy New Year!
Neve Black

The Ghost of Christmas Past is Sleeping on my Sofa

As we get closer to the end of this year, as well as the end of a decade, I’ve been reminiscing with my past lately. It feels a lot like Dickens’ ghost of Christmas past has been tapping loudly at my front door. No wait, that’s not correct. You see, he’s surpassed knocking; he’s pushed his way inside and has been unexpectedly camping out on my sofa for the past few days. So, consequently, I’ve been consumed with my own thoughts because of his visit. It seems as if my thoughts have somehow grown legs too, because they’re walking down lots of old roads. Some of those roads are paved streets with warm and welcoming bright lights, but some of those roads are more ominous, filled with pot holes that lead to nowhere. Black bile thoughts live on those treacherous, old roads. I don’t really like to visit the past too often because I run the risk of evoking a melancholy mood. And lo and behold. Guess where I’m at right now? Yep, the corner of gloomy state of mind and pensive. Furthermore, I feel that if you spend too much time in the past, then you’re not living in the now. I prefer the now. Hey, I’m even cool with tomorrow, but yesterday, not so much.

But Dickens’ ghost of Christmas today or Christmas future aren’t the ones sleeping on my couch right now, hence I’m lacing up my hiking boots and putting on my swoosh coat; turning around 180 degrees and walking back into my past.

Want to come along? Awww…come on. I promise it won’t be that bad.

It doesn’t seem possible to me that I transplanted from Laguna Beach, CA to Cleveland, OH, 10 year ago this week. I remember being sick as a dog; home in bed alone when the millennium ball dropped and everyone said goodbye to 1999 and hello to the bright future of 2000. In retrospect, I wonder if being sick that eventful night could have shaped the forthcoming decade?

Damn.

I really do have much to be thankful for over the past decade. I am greatly appreciative for my health, positive outlook (most of the time), generous spirit, prosperous writing, and the continued support from my friends and my family through some of my darkest hours. I mention darkest hours, because as my mind spans backward in time, the year 2009 has been one of the most difficult for me.

It’s been said everything happens for a reason, so I’m sure 2009 has its reason for being such a bitch. The year has been at the very least, economically challenging for everyone I know. I was hit hard with economic downturn. My bill paying job was in real estate. The real estate industry was tossed around this year like a mobile home that’s been caught in a tornado. I lost my job because of it, which forced me to make new choices on where I was going to live and how I was going to pay my bills. I chose to rent out my house and move into my friend’s Natalie’s house. I’ve taken some time to reassess both my career and living options this past year. Along with all that, I also painfully ended a very long-term relationship with someone that I trusted. He was my business partner, my lover, and my friend. And if that isn’t enough, along with completely changing my career path, and searching for a new place to call home, I’ve also recently ended another relationship with someone that I cared for. Yes, all these things happened in one year. And yes, I’m lamenting here. And, why yes, I do know that I have a lot to be thankful for, and finally, yes, I do realize when one door closes, another door opens… yadda, yadda, yadda… but, shit, my fingers got stuck in the door jamb a couple of times when one of those many doors was closing and damn, it still smarts.

Ouch.

So with all that being said, and re-reading what I’ve written so far, I’ve decided to kick the ghost of Christmas past out, on his black bile butt. I think he’s stayed far too long in my head and on my sofa. I’m looking forward to a bright future. I’m looking forward to 2010 and a new decade. And I will not under any uncertain circumstances cast a patina finish upon the next decade by missing New Year’s Eve by being sick.

 

How about you? Have you had any unwelcomed melancholy guests lately? What are you looking forward to next year?  

 

Neve Black

Lebensluge:

Like many of the readers out here, I’m a multi-novel reader. I juggle reading at least two, sometimes as many as five books all at the same time. I suppose the quantity of books is dependent upon my reading-hunger pangs. I know that seems crazy, and what’s crazier to me is that I know I’m not the only person that does this. We writers and readers are a voracious bunch, aren’t we? Based on economic conditions and my “crazy” reading habits, I get most of my books from the library (F-R-E-E) which is great on the pocket book, but I must admit I miss being able to annotate (insert: scribble) and dog-ear the pages inside the books that I own. I truly enjoy going back and re-reading the words, the paragraphs… those great passages in books that have breathed life into my soul.

Heavy sigh.

Among the current stacks of books I’m devouring right now, I’m finishing up a novel by Ward Just, titled, Forgetting, which received a nod from the late John Updike. The novel is sublime and superb. It’s beautiful and touching, but also painful and melancholy too. Suffice to say, my soul is humming. This book is one that’s been borrowed from the public library, so I suppose this post is my way of annotating a haunting and unsettling line that I found inside the pages of this delicious novel. The words have quite literally stuck with me for days now:

Lebensluge, which is a German word translated to mean: The lie that makes life bearable.

Read it again:

The lie that makes life bearable.

Again:

The lie that makes life bearable.

 
What do you think?
Do you think everyone has their own lebensluge?

What are some haunting passages that you’ve read lately?


I’m starving,
Neve Black

Winter Soltice and Capricorns

Today is the first official day of winter; Winter Solstice, which is the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. Today is also the final day of Sagittarius as we move into the sun sign of Capricorn tomorrow. Happy Birthday, Capricorn!

Is there anyone out there that cares to share their carnal Capricorn knowledge besides, the romping, fun-loving Roxanne in her story, Sex through the Zodiac? Anyone?  Ahhhh, come on, speak up and speak out why don’t cha? Okay, I’ll start. Yes, me, Neve. I have some personal Capricorn experiences to add to this blog conversation:

In my younger years it seemed I attracted and was equally attracted to Capricorn men over and over and over, again. I was even married to a goat once a long time ago in a land far, far away. Suffice to say, I know quite a bit about the sun sign of Capricorn. If memory serves me correctly, they tend to be rather horny goats and they could most certainly keep up with my strong Scorpio libido. Ole’! I also found every Capricorn that I was involved with romantically to be very driven, and they seemed to have their eyes and fingers on the brass ring all the time. Many of the same characteristics I would find in Capricorns seemed to mirror my father, the stead-fast Taurus’ reliability and ability to conquer anything, which is probably why I’m attracted to earth signs to begin with. Every sign, like every person has their strengths and weaknesses. After saying that, what’s been very puzzling to me about the Capricorn men I dated was how they appeared to me initially: strong, brave, intelligent, forthright, honest and forever climbing up, up, up. However, as time marched on in the relationship, each Capricorn deteriorated into something completely opposite from whom and what they were originally. I’m not sure if this is relevant, but did you know Tiger Woods is a Capricorn? Ahem, and no, I’ve never dated him. Now, in the defense of any Capricorns reading this and feeling slighted by anything I’ve said, thus far, please know, my sun sign is fraught with challenges and these thoughts are my experiences. This isn’t to say that every Capricorn is like this, okay? Furthermore,  might I point out that my tract record with men is…well, let’s just say, don’t go placing any bets on lucky Neve in Vegas, baby. Also, I know one very wonderful Capricorn woman that I’ve grown to love and respect. And as time goes by, she’s everything and so much more, not less.

Roxanne is nearly beating down the door of this blog trying to get her own Capricorn experience out here to you, dear readers, so with no further introduction, heeeeeeeere’s Roxanne!:

 

sexthroughthezodiac

“… Eric walked with purpose in his stride, as if he was absolutely sure of his next step. He opened the door to his office and as I suspected, he had a large corner office with a panoramic view of the city and lake. It was beautiful. Eric’s desk and chair were arranged so that his back was against the window and the glorious view. No Capricorn I read about would allow for any distractions when he was hard at work. You could tell this goat was proud of the fact that he climbed to the top of his business mountain, though. I’m sure there were some late nights spent gazing out into the city lights below after spending countless hours working on business deals.

I took a seat in one of the chairs facing his desk and he walked around his desk and sat in his leather captain-looking chair. He was keeping a certain amount of distance between himself and me. I felt like he was sizing me up. I could almost see his risk calculator turning inside his head. I could almost read his thoughts: “Yes, I’m undoubtedly attractive to her, but is she worth the ride, or will I somehow, someway pay dearly for this later?”

I bit my tongue because I really wanted to tell him that he was really just 1/12th of my plan this year. He didn’t have to worry about this Scorpio girl. She was a sure thing. No strings attached, just ready to jump onto the back of this sexy goat and go for a ride. I refrained because even though any man, even a Capricorn, would find that approach tempting, he probably would be more inclined to think it a bit too risky. If I said too much, I’d be headed for the elevator doors faster than he could say, “Warren Buffet.

Capricorns have a high regard for quality. They like investing in things for the long-term, and I knew Eric was sizing me up as a potential sexual partner. Capricorns are capable of having a short-term affair, but they want a certain amount of reassurance that the long-term effects of a short-term affair will be a good investment of their time and energy. They also don’t want to taint their reputations by getting involved with the wrong type of short-term affair. Prudence is important for Capricorns.

I wanted him to know that spending an evening with me would definitely be worth his while.
   
“I’m glad you could get away tonight.” He said, barely smilin
g at me from across his desk.
   
“Yeah, me too. I guess we’re both lucky there was a break in our schedules.” I said, wanting him to know that he wasn’t the only one with a busy life.

    
“Are you hungry?” He asked me, searching my face for what to do next.
     
“Mmmm…a little. I guess I could eat. I wouldn’t mind a drink though.” I said, trying to make him feel more comfortab
le with the situation at hand.
    
“Oh, of course, where are my manners? I have a small refrigerator here in my office. I have bottled water, diet pop, regular pop and clear soda. Or, we could grab a drink at the bar downstairs in the building?” He said throwing out all the options.

He wanted me to make the decision for him. I could tell he was on the fence about how this was going to go down, but I also knew he was interested, or else I wouldn’t be there. It was beginning to get dark outside and the city landscape began to come to life with lights that reflected against the darkness. The night was starting to wake up. 
            “Eric. The view is breathtaking from here. You must be very good at what you do in order to have this of
fice space,” I said sincerely.

The lines across his forehead softened as he swiveled his chair around and said, “Thank you. It is something, isn’t?”
            “Roxanne, what do you?” he asked me sincerely, turning his head and looking at me.
            “I talk people down from ledges, so to speak.” I said smiling.
            “Are you good at it?” He asked.
            “I think so. I’ve had no jumpers this month.” I responded, smiling and letting my hair fall over my shoulders softly.
     Eric’s face softened some more and I knew I’d feel those tender, hard-working lips on mine before the night was over.

I stood up and walked toward his side of the desk. Eric’s eyes followed my every move. I leaned up against his desk, the hemline to my dress brushed up against the side of his thigh. I moved a little closer to his chair, feeling my leg come in contact with the leather of his chair. Within moments I felt Eric’s arms around my waist, pulling me down and onto his lap. I was sitting across both his thighs.  I put both my hands at the top of his chair, bent forward, closed my eyes and our lips met, gently at first and then more passionately as we each took a deep breath in and moaned, letting the air escape.

The attraction I felt for him was strong. Eric sat up and pushed me back and onto his desk; his hands traversed my body, squeezing my breasts before lifting up my skirt and running his hand across my thighs. He sucked and bit into the base of my neck and then kissed me hard on the lips. I spread my legs a little wider and his hand met my crotch. I quivered at his touch. I was on his desk, on top of his important papers, and files. I could see his laptop screen glowing off to the side. I felt like the most important person in the world at the moment. I had managed to pull sexual rank over his business needs. This Scorpio girl had some needs of her own that needed to be fulfilled by this horny goat.
Then he stopp
ed….”

 

You’ll have to buy the book for the ending,
Neve Black

 

The Moon and Sixpence

During my final week of furlough before beginning my shiny, new job on Monday, I visited one of my favorite places this past week, The Cleveland Museum of Art, or CMA. The CMA has a Paul Gauguin exhibit on display right now and I’ve been jonesing to see it. If you’re your wracking your brain wondering why the name, Paul Gauguin rings a bell for you, but can’t quite place his significance, let me refresh your post academic, art history class memory: Monsieur Gauguin is best known as the Frenchman, that worked as a stockbroker and part-time painter who essentially kicked his banking career to the curb, and deserted his family to pursue a painting career in Paris, and then later in Tahiti. Yes, Tahiti as in the South Pacific. If you’re interested, the life of Gauguin is immensely fascinating and I do recommend adding his biography to your list of must reads. For example, his father was a French journalist and his mother was Peruvian, the daughter of socialist. Gauguin lost his father when he was three years old during a voyage from France to Peru, leaving his mother and sister to fend for themselves (rather telling, isn’t?). While spending time as an artist in Paris and Arles, he formed relationships with other artists, like Cezanne, Van Gogh (whom he lived with for several weeks) Laval and Bernard. He ultimately journeyed to Tahiti, where he painted the native Tahitians and also created spectacular wood carvings. Gauguin died in Tahiti of syphilis.

I suppose it’s sort of a downer to end this post on a STD note, isn’t? No worries. Cheer up. I have great news!  You see, Santa was listening this year when I climbed up on his lap; looked deep into his sparkling, blue eyes and asked him to pretty please, with a Neve Black cherry on top to have the CMA show a few films (yeah, shocker I would ask for this) to compliment the exhibit. And Santa certainly did not disappoint me and neither did the CMA. As a gift from both Santa and me, you too can enjoy one, two or three of the CMA’s,  Holiday Film Festival: Gauguin on Film, which shows December 26- 31 at the CMA. Oooh and one of the films is, The Moon and Sixpence, which is based upon one of my very favorite authors, William Somerset Maugham (swoon).

 

A former banker turned artist -
Neve Black

Empanadas and Bottle Caps

The universe responds favorably to forgiveness and generosity. This year, give and forgive, it’s good for your soul and the much needed peace here on earth.

Peace
Neve Black

Note: today’s post title is how I give, without going bankrupt. Oh, and my forgiving piece..that’s a process improvement, work in progress.

Tis The Season…

for miracles… I saw Santa Claus walking in the Cuyahoga Valley today. No really. He was wearing his traditional red and white Santa suit from the top of his red, furry hat, down to the smidgen of snow on the tip of his black boots. Okay, here’s more proof that miracles really do exist: I’m conjugating like you wouldn’t believe these days…verbs, you naughty minds; verbos en Espanol. It’s as if the conjugation light bulb over my head was miraculously changed from 60 watts to 150 watts, because now I’m getting it!  I’m sooo getting it. It’s a miracle. Need more proof? Well, I did get a job after 297.5 days. Still not convinced? Damn. You’re a tough audience, aren’t you? I also noticed while slipping into a pair of my favorite jeans this week that my ass still looks pretty damn good for an old broad. Heh. That’s from the miracle of walking though, me thinks.

The miracles do continue this season….This Thursday night, December 17th, I’m tending bar at the world famous, Literary Café with Che Guevara. We’ll both be there, so feel free to stop in and order a beer (insert naughty Christmas ale); a shot of whiskey, or make me proud and sip on tequila, like all the bad little elves do, and tell me all about the miracles you’ve been experiencing this holiday season.

Until then…you sexy thing:

 

 

I believe in Miracles…
Neve Black

Wrong Side of The Equator

ski

I’m working on the final, final, final editing process for a short story with a daunting deadline. This week marks my final, final, final days of freedom too, because starting next Monday, I’ll be joining the ranks of the 9-5 world. Bitter sweet, so they say. Actually, it’s more sweet than bitter though. I’m thrilled to start my new job.

Speaking of work…I’m going to try walking back and forth to work each day, because I know my schedule is going to explode with busy (cubed) and I don’t want to miss out on getting my exercise on. Plus, I’ll be inside all day and I simply must have fresh air each day, or I get cranky. Yes, I know its December and I’m fully aware of what side of the equator Cleveland is on…the wrong side. Hear me out though: I live about three, maybe four miles from downtown, which is where my new job resides. I purchased a long, winter coat from my local thrift store this weekend (see above image for similarity). It’s more like an industrial-type of coat, really. I think Neil Armstrong may have used a coat similar to my bargain purchase when he walked on the moon some time ago. I say that because there’s not a single molecule that’s getting through the layers of this bad boy. Did I mention that the coat is a real looker too? Yep, sexy. It’s the color of hot cocoa and fully insulated on the outside and the inside. So, essentially from the tip of my head down my ankles, I look like a piggy in a blanket. It swooshes loudly when I walk too and I’m sure I’m communicating with aliens or perhaps Canadian geese that are curiously still here and look at me as if I’m quite mad as I intrepidly swoosh my way through the city streets.

What about you? How’s your winter wonderland? What final, finals are you working on? Oh and how do you get to work each day?

 

Who said bus pass?
Neve Black

O Christmas Ale

So, last night I met some friends at a local haunt to toast in the holiday season with what was supposed to be one, cold and delicious Christmas Ale. My master plan was to have one beer and then scoot on my way to catch a film. Um, how does the saying go, “life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans…” It appears my taste buds had their own plans in mind because I ended up staying  well past the scheduled show time and then proceeded to drink 1, 2, 3, pints, plus two sips of a fourth before crashing and burning. And crash and burn I most certainly did. Heh.

And this isn’t the first time my taste buds have won the battle over my good judgment when the devilish Christmas Ale has been involved.  After sleeping most of my day (insert: hung-over ass) away I scrambled some of the words around to the song,  O Christmas Tree and came up with my version below. I might ask Andy to videotape me singing this, because I have a feeling these lyrics might resonate with other Christmas Ale junkies out here too:

O Christmas Ale! O Christmas Ale!
Thy contents are so unchanging;
O Christmas Ale! O Christmas Ale!
Thy contents are so unchanging;
Not only golden when summer’s here,
But also when ’tis cold and drear.
O Christmas Ale! O Christmas Ale!
Thy contents are so unchanging!

O Christmas Ale! O Christmas Ale!
Much pleasure thou can’st give me;
O Christmas Ale! O Christmas Ale!
Much pleasure thou can’st give me;
How often has the Christmas Ale
Afforded me the greatest glee!
O Christmas Ale! O Christmas Ale!
Much pleasure thou can’st give me.

O Christmas Ale! O Christmas Ale!
Thy red colors shine so brightly!
O Christmas Ale! O Christmas Ale!
Thy red colors shine so brightly!
From base to head, gay and bright,
There’s only splendor for the sight.
O Christmas Ale! O Christmas Ale!
Thy red colors shine so brightly!

O Christmas Ale! O Christmas Ale!
How richly God has made thee!
O Christmas Ale! O Christmas Ale!
How richly God has made thee!
Thou bidst us true and faithful be,
And trust in God unchangingly.
O Christmas Ale! O Christmas Ale!
How richly God has made thee! !” 

 

Happy Holidays
Neve Black

Ouroboros…

“…is the serpent or dragon devouring its own tail, endlessly destroying and replenishing itself. Its never-ending circle is a powerful representation of the eternal cycle of existence….”

ouroboros

For those of you that don’t know this, I am a traditional girl. Stop snickering. Really, I am. And I’m sure I’m not much different from many of you that find some of those traditions bubbling up to the surface during the holiday season. For example, one of my sisters was a prima ballerina in the local ballet company in San Diego. Yes, Virginia, non-cultural San Diego really did have a ballet company back in the day.  Thus, when I was much more immature than I am today, I wore my Sunday’s best outfit and went to see at least one (usually three) performance of The Nutcracker Suite each and every year for almost an eternity. My sister was the pristine, lithe Clara pirouetting and grand jeté’ing across the stage to the music of the Russian composer, Tchaikovsky. I was always very proud of her. The life of a dancer is very difficult, to say the least. To this day I can probably recite The Nutcracker story to you, to include the music. The story for me always had such dark nuances running through it and I remember as little girl being afraid of the mouse king and the weird, nutcracker prince. Time passes and young ballerinas grow up and ballet companies are forced to close due to lack of funds, but traditions live on…or at least for me, they have mutated (for lack of a better word) into something else.

For many years now, I usually go and see at least one stage performance each holiday season. And much like the subtext of The Nutcracker Suite, the performance I choose usually has dark elements running through it also. Sorry to rain on  anyone reading this that prefers their Chrismas tradition with a lot more white and less black, or Black, but in my defense, it was my strict Catholic upbringing combined with my mom’s conviction to expose her children to culture that created my weird sense of Blackened holiday spirit.

Today’s post header and definition found at the opening of this post has been adapted into a play, baring the same name and context, which was written by Tom Jacobson. The script was written to be performed in the opposite direction to make another play, thus performed as a comedy or as a tragedy: “two American couples get caught in a chronological palindrome on a trip to Italy. Stigmata, alchemy, adultery and St. Catherine of Siena’s severed head plague a nun and a minister in this circular love story.”  Sticking to my holiday tradition, non-traditionally speaking of course, I really enjoyed this play. It was traditionally, just untraditional enough for me.  

So, if you’re anything like me (w-e-i-r-d) and still enjoy a traditional Christmas story, but with a wee bit of spike added to the punch, then go see, Ouroboros. It plays here in Cleveland for short while longer. Oh, and I’m adding the script to my “must read” list of interesting works.

 

 

Neve Black