Did Mary Magdalene enjoy hot springs?

The kinds of things you learn when you research for writing erotica: There are hot springs near two places where Mary Magdalene was said to have lived, namely, the town of Magdala, and what is today known as the Provence region of France.

The city of Magdala is said to have lain between the current town of Migdal and Mount Arbel, about three miles north of Tiberias, on the shore of the Sea (lake) of Galilee.
Mary is said to have lived in a cave at Saintes Maries de la Mer. (Lower left.)

Okay, I will admit the latter location is a little farther from the hot springs (“thermes,” en Francais), but I’m calling it close enough for me to imagine she could live in a place where she could take hot baths whenever she wanted. I just like hot baths.

Sadly, they are all closed at this time, because of the plague. One of the pleasures of erotica is that we can enjoy an imaginary world in which there is no disease.

I’m aiming for a full novel this time, so it might take longer than the usual short stories. I’ll keep you posted on when this book might be published. Till then, you’ll have to make do with my older monster erotica stories, available on amazon.

Tarot, The Fool

So lately I’ve been captivated by Tarot. I don’t have a deck myself, but I don’t know which one I want, of the hundreds of available choices, and the huge variety of artistic styles. I feel like I need a deeper understanding of the system in order to make a good choice, so I decided to start drawing my own. Right now I’m just sketching, because honestly my art isn’t very good. It probably won’t ever be a deck that I will print and use.

Rider-Waite-Smith fool card, 1910

Nonetheless, I started researching the symbology used in the cards, and began at the beginning, with the Fool. The deck that is considered the standard traditional set is commonly called Rider-Waite, though it was designed by Pamela Colman Smith, in 1910. Most modern versions of the fool depict variations on Smith’s design, with a youth on a journey. He’s looking toward the sky and about to step off the edge of a cliff, while his faithful little dog jumps toward his feet.

But it turns out that there is a much older version, dated around 1650, by the engraver Noblet. This Fool bears some similarity to the modern Fool, with a notable exception: in this card, the dog is some kind of web-footed dog-cat hybrid, and instead of jumping at his feet, the animal is clearly reaching for the man’s exposed and dangling man-parts.

The Noblet Fool card, ca. 1650

I saw this card in an image search, and was puzzled by it all day, until finally I went to the page where it appeared and read Michael S. Howard’s lengthy treatise on alchemy and the early Tarot. The animal’s gesture is an attempt to take forbidden fruit, and also recalls mad Saturn, who ate his children rather than let them take over his rule. Eventually Jupiter managed to castrate his father, and replace him as the highest god.

What does any of this have to do with monster erotica? I have no idea. Maybe it’s nothing more than that I like to look at man-parts, to partake of the forbidden fruit; even though in this case they’re not particularly attractive. History and mythology are so rich, and human experience and consciousness so varied, there must be a story in here somewhere, if I can tease it out.

What strange ideas are captivating and inspiring you these days?


An incredible sculpture garden lies on the expansive lawn of Kansas City’s Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. I had lots of feelings about many of the pieces, but Ursula von Rydingsvard’s statement struck me: “I am drawn to that part of the world where manmade walls erode in a way where there is no longer a strict line between that which man has made and that which nature has made.” Oh Ursula, so am I. That’s what Crea DelRand monster erotica is all about, the dissolution of boundaries between the wild and the civilized. I wonder if she likes monster erotica?

The sculpture she was talking about is called Three Bowls. Despite my imagined kinship with von Rydingsvard, I found her piece to be singularly not sexy. Some of the Henry Moore works were quite a bit more suggestive, which amuses me, as my parents were big fans, and I wonder how my mom would’ve responded had I said, Hey, that sculpture called Sheep Piece looks like a couple of sheep, you know, getting it on.

Let’s take inspiration and beauty wherever we find them, in high art or in cheap, sensational erotica. I love it all.


Sharing One’s Gifts

It was Thanksgiving Day, and, as always, my efforts to ensure that I had everything I needed to prepare my contribution to the meal didn’t quite succeed. I had the pumpkin, the sugar, the flour . . . but when I opened the drawer to get wax paper for rolling out the pie dough, there was an empty space.

I went to the local dollar store, and made a point of thanking the man behind the counter for working on a holiday. He said he was happy to be working for time and a half. A young woman checked out before me, buying two boxes of macaroni and cheese mix. The cashier gently teased her. I said, “Looks like somebody needs an invitation.” She just smiled and looked down. Obviously this would have been the moment to extend such an invitation, but I found myself unable to speak. What would I say? My family really would welcome a new friend, but she wouldn’t know that. How would I word an invitation to sound welcoming, casual, and fun?  I always botch these things. I talk to strangers frequently, but often as not I inadvertently insult them. And it wouldn’t be, “Come to my house,” but “Come to my in-laws’ house 30 miles away.” Would I offer her a ride? The car isn’t big enough for three adults and two children. Give her directions? It was too complicated, and I couldn’t get the words out before she was out the door.

I chided myself on the way home. Why am I so bad at these things? My mother-in-law wouldn’t have hesitated to invite someone to Thanksgiving dinner. She’s much better than I am at things like that, and she reaches out a lot. That was one of her great strengths as a preacher. But it’s never been mine. It occurred to me that maybe I’m just not meant to do this particular action. I guess if the Goddess had intended me to bring people spontaneously into my home, She might have made me better at it.

Do our abilities point the way to action? May I be forgiven for failing to invite a person alone on a holiday to come to my home, if I commit myself to what I’m good at? And what would that be? Writing formula-defying, unsalable, perverse erotica.

So that will be my promise to you, dear readers, in the next year. I’ve taken a year off, but in 2018 there will be new monster erotica. It’s my Divine calling.

Monster Erotica and the Dissolution of Boundaries

My research indicates that monster erotica readers have wide interests, and the sexually-oriented media they consume crosses genders and orientations without a second thought. We already know they read stories about sex between sentient species. Surely monster erotica readers do not agree with the sexually intolerant, repressive rhetoric that the extreme right is so fond of spewing. So, while I usually avoid politics here on my blog, I’m going out on a limb today.

The US presidential election really threw me for a few days. I wasn’t entirely happy with the choices, but as an erotica writer, I’m particularly appalled that we’re going to have that man as our President. And that other man as our Vice President.

Hateful, intolerant rhetoric is more than ugly words. It instills fear, and encourages people to close up, hole up, shut down. As the election illustrated brilliantly, vilifying groups of people goes hand in hand with building walls.

In contrast, my highest goal is the dissolution of boundaries. Let the imagination flower across all lines, and traverse every verge. Let there be mingling of every disparate desire and thought. Let love seep through every blockade. Let whatever divisions the mind seeks to hold be revealed to be illusion.

How can this happen in a time of blatant demagoguery? Of unabashed dehumanization of the other? Of unprecedented polarization?

It occurs to me that now, more than ever, the world needs monster erotica.

And so, for the greater good, all my Amazon titles will be free over the next few days. Check my author page to see which ones are free from day to day. Please help yourself to any story you haven’t read yet, and let the boundaries within your own consciousness be dissolved.

shaman-santas-giftAlso, look for my new title, Santa Shifter, on Black Friday. It’s still under review at Amazon, but will probably be available for pre-order tomorrow or Wednesday.

Thank you all for being with me in these challenging times.

Dragon of the Sheela Na Gig: excerpt


Sheela Na Gig in Fethard, Ireland. Photo Mike Searle via Wikimedia Commons

What is the meaning of these carvings set into masonry from the European middle ages? They’re often placed on churches, though the blatant exhibition of genitals certainly isn’t typical of medieval attitudes about the body, particularly the female body. Often the stonework is much older than the walls they are set into, as if they came from another structure altogether.

No one really knows why they’re there. So much of history has been lost, and only snippets of rumors hint at what may have been. One source suggests there may have been a kind of village healer, an old woman, whose methods included the display of her vulva. (I’d link it but I can’t find it now!)

I was captivated by Sheela Na Gigs long before I was an erotica writer. But since there is so little we know, our best source is our imagination, and that’s what I specialize in. In this story, the Sheela is a healer, and there’s also a dragon, because it wouldn’t be monster erotica without a monster, now, would it?

He picked wildflowers as he made his way up the forested mountain path, adding them to the ones he’d gathered in the meadow. It was said that the Sheela liked flowers. It was also said that he should follow the signs, not written in words, but carvings, set atop stone arches that stood over the path at infrequent intervals. The vulgar symbol was unmistakable: A cackling hag, naked and splaying her privates for the world to see. Though he was supposed to look up at the display as he passed under each arch, he found it difficult. The priests in the new church said that modesty was the hallmark of pious femininity; but when some of the elders of the village refused to enter a church without a Sheela Na Gig, the Father had relented and said that one could be set into the masonry, to serve as a reminder of the result of living a life of carnal sin. One would age into sagging flesh; once-youthful breasts would dangle; one would forget to comb her hair and behave decorously.


She knelt and held out her open hand to offer the gift: the yellow stone. She saw a flicker of interest in the eye, more twitching of the nostrils. She bowed her head. For a long moment there was no reaction; she began to wonder whether the stone was adequate. Perhaps it wasn’t big enough, perhaps the dragon (whom she thought of as he, though she’d never had any indication of gender from this beast) wanted something other than brimstone. Perhaps she wasn’t worthy. But she waited, until a long tongue flicked out, faster than she could track with her eyes, and wrapped around the stone. Then back into the slit of a mouth, taking the stone in. She heard the crunching of giant teeth crushing stone. She saw a ripple run down the length of the neck, until it met the torso. She saw the red glow in the belly flare brighter, and smelled the beast’s sulfurous breath. The hot wind blew her hair from her face.

The dragon lifted his great head and roared. She felt the mountain shake around her. Most people would have been terrified; but the old woman reveled in the dragon’s great power. It was power which she served; and which served her. She felt the vibration of the roar move through her body, awakening her senses, sending electricity from the top of her head, down through the neck, along the spine to the tailbone; and further down, to that deepest part of her. She breathed deeply of the hot, smoky air, raised her arms above her head, and keened in response. The two voices rose and blended into a duet. Woman and dragon swayed in rhythm to each other’s music.


I hope to release the full story at amazon by the end of this week.

Update: Here’s the link to buy it now at Amazon!


Monster Erotica: Dead or Alive?

Monster erotica has peaked. Though people are still offering it on amazon, nobody is writing about the genre. The latest news article I can find declared it dead, and that was last March. My favorite monster erotica bloggers haven’t updated their blogs since 2014.

So it would appear that I was late to the party, and might do well to quit wasting my time. I don’t have much invested, financially, so I could cut my losses and not be much worse off.

Actually, I wouldn’t be worse off at all. I’m better off for having done what I’ve done. I’ve learned a few tricks about writing that I didn’t get from writing a novel. I’d probably know more about writing, if I’d taken more writing classes in college, or gone to some expensive writing workshop in a distant location; but instead I’ve studied writing by writing erotica. Not a bad trade-off, in my mind. And, in my painfully slow way, I’ve learned more about production and self-publishing. If I keep up, by the time I finish my current (non-erotic) novel, I just might be able to publish it in a reasonable period of time, without pulling my hair out or smashing my computer. That’s a pretty big step, for me.

And I still get new ideas. There are more monster stories to be written. I haven’t written the one about the sheela na gig and the dragon. That’ll be one for the more mature ladies, who, I believe, deserve more quality erotica aimed to them.

Another new idea just came to me this week: it would be a combination of a bigfoot story and a satire on those goofballs hanging out at the nature preserve in Oregon. Snacks, anyone? Oh boy, that’ll be a fun one to write.

They’re all fun. Writing monster erotica is hilariously delicious. Cut my losses? Ha! I’m not quitting till I’m done, and I’m not done. I may be the last hold-out, but as far as I’m concerned, the party’s just starting.

Happy 2016, folks.

Anais Nin, 1903-1977

“I gathered poets around me and we all wrote beautiful erotica. As we were condemned to focus only on sensuality, we had violent explosions of poetry. Writing erotica became a road to sainthood rather than to debauchery.” -Anais Nin, Delta of Venus

Somebody on facebook posted a quote from Anais Nin. It was in a context completely unrelated to anything having to do with her or her life. It was posted by a person whom I do not know, though I do know the church he attends, and I’m going to guess that if he or his friends had any idea who she was or how she lived, they would run and hide at the sight of her name on their screens.

So today we’re having a little Anais Nin lesson on Crea DelRand. For those who don’t know, Nin is the Aphra Behn of modern erotica by women. She is most famous for her diaries, in which she wrote of her affairs with prominent literary and cultural figures such as Henry Miller and psychoanalyst Otto Rank. She plumbed the depths of her subconscious through psychoanalysis and writing, and may have seduced her father in her twenties, on the advice of a psychoanalyst. Anais Nin wrote what she wanted, the way she wanted to. She flaunted the mores and expectations of society. (Which is more socially unacceptable: incest, erotica, or surrealism?)

Nin was much more than an erotica writer; though it is the erotica which draws me to feel a special kinship with her. Let all of us honor her, we women who write about sensuality and sexuality, with beauty and passion.

“I will die a poet killed by the nonpoets, will renounce no dream, resign myself to no ugliness, accept nothing of the world but the one I made myself. I wrote, lived, loved like Don Quixote, and on the day of my death I will say: ‘Excuse me, it was all a dream,’ and by that time I may have found one who will say: ‘Not at all, it was true, absolutely true.’”

That Moment

“The moment that you feel that, just possibly, you’re walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself. That’s the moment you may be starting to get it right.” —Neil Gaiman

Think this moment never occurs for monster erotica writers? You would be wrong.

Who Reads Monster Erotica?

I read a tip about book marketing, which was to imagine the ideal reader for a particular book (in this case, people who read about people uniting with imaginary non-human creatures). Imagine what kind of bag that person carries. What are all the things in it? Or, imagine a room in the reader’s house. What does it look like? What objects are there?

In a similar vein, I went to Pinterest and searched “monster erotica books.” Then I went to the pages of people who pinned monster erotica-themed pins. Here are some recurring themes I saw:

Lots of books, naturally, including:
Body humor. Jokes about elimination. Jokes about sex.
Recreational drugs (Didn’t see any references to using drugs, just books about them.)
Pulp fiction
Horror, emphasis on the grotesque
Anything by Anne Rice
Children’s books:
Satirical, inappropriate versions of real books or characters
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Hunger Games
J.R.R. Tolkien
Fantasy and Romance genres

Silent Hill
Walking Dead
Royalty, as a theme in books as well as boards about real royal people

It’s tempting to draw conclusions from this list about monster erotica readers. But I think it’s early yet. I’m not ready to commit to anything more than monster erotica readers like to explore the limits of propriety. But we might have already assumed that, mightn’t we? I’ll continue to research this question.

Writers, who are your readers? Readers, what would you like writers to know about you?