August 23, 2016

Thinking Inside the Box

I've been working hard—spiraling, swirling—on how to make my tiny works of fiction and books in matchboxes available to people who want them. At first, I thought if readers used the button to buy me a virtual cup of coffee, I could then send a thank you as a form of a prize. Which works, sort of. I mean, I'd rather you buy me a real cup of joe, you know? And we sat at a cafe somewhere, shot the shit... okay, that's not going to happen. (And where the fuck does the term "shoot the shit" come from? I will definitely be looking into that.)

Then I thought, try Patreon. You pledge, I send. Sort of works. But still... not sure why it's not sitting right with me. But it isn't. (I'm still dicking around with this. I worship the concept of prizes. And I could send patrons Valentines... So this isn't a no go. Just on hold until I wrap my head around the concept.)

But I'm all about gut reactions these days, because I spent so many years not listening.

So here is my current short-term plan. I will send you 1-4 matchboxes (if you would like them). You will agree to cover shipping (which is $6.95 for priority in the U.S., but I may be able to make that cheaper if I can figure out a way not to crush the boxes—and $9.95 to Canada. I'm still looking in to overseas).

Then, when you get the boxes, you can email me an Amazon gift card for whatever you think they're worth. (These come in increments from $1 up.) I can use the funds to buy the supplies I need to make them. (That's how early I am in the stages here.) I have big goals here. There is more to the matchbox idea than meets the eye.

So what do you think? Totally under-caffeinated crazy talk? Or a possible something?

The next stage is the micro fiction. I'm actually thinking that I'll send those shorts out as a way to thank readers for buying my longer works. Two novellas are almost complete. So I'll keep you posted.

If you're interested in my matchboxes, hit me at msalisontyler at yahoo dot com, and we'll talk! Each matchbox has a tiny 30-50 word story inside. They all kind of go together, but I think they stand alone, too.


August 20, 2016

Go on. Glow for me.

My micro recently shrank and slid into matchboxes. How unexpected! Each matchbox contains a tiny story—30-50 words. Surprisingly, to me, the pieces are somewhat connected. The first is called "Wishy-Washy," the second is called "Hello," and the third is "Glow."

They are match "books," I guess, stories you could keep in your pocket. I'm not entirely sure where I'm going with these, but I'm intrigued and a little in love.

If you're interested in owning one, drop me a note to msalisontyler at yahoo dot com. I'll be creating limited editions of each "title." Not exactly 100% sure how I'm going to make this work. But I'll let you know when I do!


August 14, 2016

Inside Out & Upside Down

My fiction has been shrinking. I wonder if this has happened in relation to my insomnia. My fiction's getting shorter while my nights are growing longer. Who knows? What I do know is that I am obsessed with micro right now. Telling a story in a handful of words.  Spilling them, spinning them, rearranging the letters. Choosing the perfect punctuation, as if selecting a piece of art for a tiny studio. (That question mark looks a little crooked. Can you tilt the curve to the left?)

The other day, I pulled over at a laundromat to take this picture, and then I wrote a poem:

She spun me round.
Inside out & upside down.
Something lost & something found.
Bubbles whirled & troubles drowned.

Then I wanted to write micro poetry for all sorts of appliances. That's my headspace. (Expect an Ode to a Pay Phone sometime soon.)

I've written and edited more novels and anthologies than I am years old. I've penned well over 1,000 short stories. Maybe my brain needs a different puzzle. Because I no longer have a desire to fit in. To choose a trope. To follow the rules. Case in point, my latest micro fiction (500 words) is a happily ever after, with a dark twist.

Words rarely confound me. But I'm slightly stuck here. I know what I don't want. I don't want to deal with people pirating my work as soon as I release something new. I don't want to tie myself in knots over insane contracts. I don't want to bend over, unless I want to bend over.

So I'm on my own path. Trek. Hike. Journey. If you see a silver-streaked minx writing poetry by a gas station pump or next to a juke box or vending machine—go on and wave.


July 29, 2016

Micro Fiction Flash In the Plan

So I'm actually doing this. I had an idea, and I've brought the thing to fruition. (Cue applause. Thank you. Thank you.) I'm writing micro stories. (500 words. As on the dot as possible.) And I'm mailing the stories to readers. At the moment, I'm trying to figure out how to best make this work. So stay tuned!

MicroFiction #1: The Blues — a story told from the POV of a pair of pants.

MicroFiction #2: Overlapping—a snapshot of office gossip w/a pair of pants at the center of the action.

MicroFiction #3: A Shimmer, A Glitter, Aglow—a Happily Ever After story about breaking free

If you'd rather I emailed you (instead of snail mailing) a story, let me know. I can work up a PDF. And if you'd like me to send you a piece, and then let you decide for yourself how much it is worth to you, I'm fine with that as an option, too. (Hit me with a note at msalisontyler at yahoo dot com.)

Why am I doing this?

In a strange way, this is how I started. I used to write short fiction for my friends—mumble, mumble decades ago. One-page stories that I would mail to them, or tuck in their pockets, slip under their doors. And I'm doing my best to not only think outside the box, but to destroy the box. Shred it. Set it aflame.

Next up? Why, yes, I'll be taking your suggestions. And for fun, I'm slipping in a crocheted ring with every story.


July 22, 2016

Why Do We Have... many words?

That's what an acquaintance actually asked me the other day. "Why? Why can't we just have one word for, say, house and home."

"Because those two words mean different things."

"Well, how about coat? Why can't we only have coat? Why do we need jacket, bolero, trench, blazer..."

I was aghast. Chagrined. Knocked on my side. I did my best, but I think more coherently with my fingers. I tried to compare words to colors. We don't only have red, yellow, and blue. We have all the blends, all the mixes. Imagine trying to paint a picture with only one shade of, say, gray.

"Not the same," said the friend concisely. Precisely. I floundered, flailed, tried to grasp an argument that would keep me afloat.

I've been pondering—thinking, ruminating—this discussion ever since. I spend a major part of my life dabbling with different words. Stroking them, caressing them. Trying to figure out exactly which one suits my current needs. I bank words when I find ones that resonate. I slide them into a special place, under lock and key, for later use. I know I'll come back. I always come back.

"Why?" queried this non-writer. "Why do we have so many?"

Know that I persevered. I drew from my skills, telling a make-believe story with my colorful language... whispering to her in the quiet corner of the cafe how a man she has a crush on might take her behind the building, undo the shiny, pearlescent buttons on her dress one by one, wrap his strong fist in her glossy dark hair, tilt her head back, kiss her neck slowly, so achingly the wisp of a breeze might stir the leaves around them, might dance with the hem of her sundress, the hot breath of summer making love to her as much as the man....

Until her cheeks turned that pink you see in the sky at sunset.

"Why do we have so many words?' I asked her back. "Because we're so fucking lucky."


P.S. If you want to purchase 500 of my words—printed out for you and annotated by me—hit me with a note to msalisontyler at yahoo dot com. I am trying something new. More details here.

July 20, 2016

Would you bake me a cake?

I read an article—okay, I skimmed a headline—about a bakery that wouldn't sell to a lesbian couple. I only read the headline—because I couldn't stomach the story—and I seethed.

Anger clouds my brain. I go to "What the Fuck?" really quickly, and then I babble. You need—or I need—cool, calm, and collected in order to make the words flow.

But here is the thing I keep mulling over. So you won't bake a cake for an LGBTQ customer. Would you bake one for me?

I've had the most sizzling sex life. I've fucked two men—gorgeous, beautiful men—been the filling in their sandwich, been the... (wait for it) icing on their cake. And the women—oh, yes, those women. I've been a corner in a foursome, an aperitif before the event. Would you make me a cupcake? Would you ice my cream puff?

Will there be some point in the future when vendors will be able to say, "Have you attended an orgy? No pie for you. Did you splosh? Did you skinny dip? Was there a night—oh, one wondrous night—when you lost all sense of decorum and gave yourself up, let yourself be passed from one man to the next? Limbs tangled and entwined. Moonlight caressing your sticky body? I thought so. No yule log for you. No gingerbread house."

It could be a fab premise for a sci-fi film if it wasn't so fucking offensive.

How about fantasies. If I've thought about doing something dirty, would that nix me for the nougat? Would I get no devil's food cake if I haven't been an angel?

You don't know me. You don't know what I've done or who I've fucked. You can't tell that from looking at me. So would you? Would you bake me a cake?


July 17, 2016

Cream Rises

I read "National Ice Cream Day" as National Cream Day. Paul said, "That sounds like a writing prompt..." So I wrote.

Cream Rises
by Alison Tyler

"Cream rises," he said. "Good things always come to the top."


"You know what I mean." He winked at her. "Life has a way of sifting, of shifting, so that what you don't need falls away, and what you crave is lifted."


He wrapped her right wrist in a violet silk scarf and effortlessly, easily, bound her to the brass bedframe. He did the same to the left, using a cobalt scarf this time. She felt taut, pulled tight. He moved to her ankles. Was he making her into an X? Where was the spot to mark?

"Cream rises," he repeated, and his voice had gone a little whispery at the edges, a little gravelly down below. He was clothed and she was naked. Her body began to respond, her juices slickening the tops of her thighs.

"Cream?" she echoed, and he gazed up her body from between the V of her thighs and then kissed her lightly all the way, taking his time, savoring her. She was in the center of his bed, splayed wide. Open. His mouth on her skin caused pure powerful tremors to ripple through her. She shut her eyes. He made her float.

A nibble here. A small bite there. He could eat her with a spoon. There was no rushing. He devoured every move she made. The way her hips shimmied. The sweet flavor of her essence, like nothing he'd tasted before. Ambrosia. Desire. Heaven. Sin.

When he thrust his tongue between her juicy lips, he found her cherry. He licked and sucked. She sighed and begged. He slid his hands beneath her ass, cupped her vanilla cheeks. She shuddered as he pressed his face into her split and dined.


He'd come back. For seconds.


300 words. Microfiction. A sundae for Sunday. If you enjoy my shorts, consider playing along with my latest idea. My writing—mailed to you—all the details are here. You never know what I'm going to whip up next!


July 12, 2016

The Blues

This morning, I wrapped up a piece of micro fiction. I was shooting for 500 words. The finished product is actually 501. (I kind of love that.)

Years ago I created something called "Pay as You 'O'" — I put up a story, readers could download the PDF and then send me what they thought the words were worth.

This time, I thought I'd offer the piece in the mail. Yes, snail mail.

The story doesn't have explicit sex. My beta reader said, "It's like a romance... between a woman and her pants." I couldn't have summed up the words better myself.

If you're interested, email me your address to msalisontyler at yahoo dot com and we'll talk details.

Just one more crazy idea from your favorite trollop. Powered by coffee, just like Saint & Sinner. (Where my shirt is from.)


July 05, 2016

Moon Me

David said he liked my writing prompts, and it's been a while since I dangled one from the end of my string. So here we go. Using this picture (taken by David—how meta is that?), slam me hard with 100 words. Why 100? Because I worship micro fiction. You can send your polished piece to me at msalisontyler at yahoo dot com.

Deadline 7/31. (There are 31 days in 7, right?)

Rules? Be over 18. Don't gross me out. Don't steal other people's words. All the usual b.s. Questions? I'm generally up.

Status report... I'm working on *all* of my projects right now. Seriously. I think I'm writing four novels and eight short stories. None are finished. Which is about par for my course. Average for my at bat. I always have to remind myself that I will finish. I do finish. I simply haven't finished yet.

But 100 words? I might take a swing myself.


P.S. If you want to seriously delight me, please order one of my indies. Every sale is so greatly appreciated.

An Every-So-Often Orgy
The Dom Channel

July 01, 2016

New Month. New Goals. New Wall.

When I woke up this morning, I realized it was July. And I thought: New month—new goals.

This year I started a new wall. Somewhere, I have a picture of my old wall. (Aha! I found it!) My new wall is making me six kinds of happy.

In fact, this year, I've started all sorts of things. (You should see my mind right now.) I'm juggling four novels and even more short stories. Starting is always easier for me than finishing. I'd always rather French kiss you hello then slip out the back door with a silent goodbye.

My favorite two projects at the moment revolve around coffee and keys. Two important themes, apparently, in my life. Coffee appears in 733 files on my hard drive. Keys show up in 1,760. I love what I'm working on, and I hope to have sneak peeks before too long.

One thing I've accepted since shifting my perspective is that I don't really know what I'm doing. I never have. I've always fallen backwards into projects. There has never been a plan. (Which I think is pretty obvious based on my crazy trajectory.)

But now I'm trying. So here is my idea: I have decided to attempt to sell 100 copies of Figment this month. I do not know if this is possible. Truly, my best-selling titles average 12 copies a month. (And I'm grateful for every last one.) But if you like my writing, and if you're into indies, and if you're at all curious about what I think is my best work, this would be the month to check me out.

In news of the silly, I put up a very short—micro-short—work this month. The whole thing is only a handful of words. But a friend dared me, and I said, "What the fuck," which can be dangerous. Zen and the Art of Plums is a compilation of all of the dual-meaning sentences we found ourselves saying about our plum tree. I actually thought I'd add more to the book if people send me in suggestions, so the book may grow over time. (Like the plum tree itself.)

What are your goals this month? This year? This life? Care to share?

I'll cut a plum...


May 30, 2016

I heart you...

I've been editing recently.

More serious editing than I've ever done in my life. You see, I've been editing my filing cabinet. My computer. My closet. This blog. My dresser. My bookshelves. My office. My inbox. My life.

At one point, this site boasted nearly 5,000 posts. Now, I'm down to under 1,000. Why? Because it's time. Time for me to get rid of the excess weight.

What am I keeping? That's a good fucking question. As far as I can tell, I'm keeping anything that delights me.

This is interesting, honestly, in the mess of letters and papers I paw through. Greeting cards with faded signatures? Tossed. Even if they're from people I love. But a 23-year old scrawled note from an editor I worshipped? Kept. Letters from best friends I no longer know? Tossed. But photographs of the arms—yes, the arms—of a French beau I made out with decades ago? Kept.

What's the point?

I have an end in sight. I have a goal. A place I'd like to be. With a filing cabinet I can find things in. A closet of clothes I adore. A bookshelf of titles I would re-read any day. A memory box of the type of memories worth, well, remembering.

Along the way, I've tripped over concert stubs for shows I have no recollection of attending. (I saw Paul McCartney? Really? How fucking cool is that?)

For this blog, I figure if I can hone this down to the pieces that resonate, I'll feel good. And sure, there are sad posts, and a few rants here and there, and poems, dreams, porn, and hope. Why?

Simple. Life.

But mostly there are words. Words that show I'm striving every day to become better at the only thing I've ever wanted to be. A writer. I'm struggling. I'm putting one word after the other as I've done since I first held a pencil, slammed the keys on a typewriter, met my first computer.

And I'm grateful as fuck for everyone who has been willing to join me on the ride. So I wanted you to know that I ♥ you.


May 23, 2016

Reboot • Reset • Restart • Rewrite

I've been a publisher, an editor, and a writer for most of my adult life. But recently, I jettisoned two of the titles. Which leaves writer.

This shift in perspective has taken me a little while to get used to. I feel as if I've recently rebooted. Restarted my engines. Rewritten my DNA. Reset my perspective.

I'm reminded of the scene in High Fidelity where Rob writes down his five dream jobs and the last one is architect. Laura says:

"It's got to be architecture then, has it?"
"I guess."
"Seven years' training."
I shrug.
"Are you prepared for that?"
"Not really."
"No, I didn't think so."
"I'm not sure I really want to be an architect."
"So you've got a list here of five things you'd do if qualifications and time and history and salary were no object, and one of them you're not bothered about."
"Well, I did put it at number five."

(God, I love this whole scene. In the book and the film.)

The truth is that being a writer is all I want to be. All I know how to do. If I were to make a list of my dream jobs, there'd really only be one. 

My dream job list:

1. Writer
2. Writer
3. Writer
4. Writer
5. Writer

What a beautiful fucking word.


P.S. Your support means everything to me. Each time one of my indie titles sells, I am seriously thrilled. An Every-So-Often Orgy, The Dom Channel, and Alison After Dark cost about as much as a gourmet cup of coffee. Sip me slowly. Savor every drop.

April 24, 2016

I should have...

While cleaning up this week, I fumbled over this note (written on the back of a letter dated 12/97) that is yet another fragment of Figment. This title clearly haunted me for years. I'm now powering through a book I had on hold for a little while. But I broke through a hurdle, tore down a dam, surfed over a... basically, I had a brainwave, and I know where I'm going.

For someone with as bad a sense of direction as I have, this is sublime.

In news of the strange, two different interactions caused me to write what I guess are poems this week. One when I brushed up against Somer Canon...

And the other following a conversation with David and Nancy.

Here's hoping your weekend has been glorious and filled with adventure.


April 18, 2016

Trollop with a Question #91

Right now, this is what I'm working on. Well, this and a few (hundred) other projects. Because my brain is a bus station, and ideas climb aboard at all hours of the night. But while I'm in my office, working, here is a Monday question, inspired in a great deal by a picture David shared.

It's midnight—give or take six minutes. You're out on your own, craving an adventure. How far do you go? What do you bring with you?

Okay, so that's two questions. But I'm often up in the night, wondering about people who are on the move. It's probably why the characters in Figment are all on journeys. And why I am drawn to movies about a) insomniacs and 2) people who end up in unexpected locations. Why I love Nighthawks at the Diner. Why sometimes you'll see me online at two in the morning. Already talking about coffee.

Oh, coffee.

As a writer, the past few years have been daunting. Not simply financially, but emotionally. All I want is to write—and to connect with readers. I started this blog nearly a decade ago, and I had no idea if anyone would be out there, reading the words I typed. Since I began keeping track in 2007, this crazy blog has been visited 1,794,579 times!

Off in the wilderness of my sleep-deprived brain, I think I forget sometimes to say how much this means to me.

So thank you! Thank you for riding my bus.


April 11, 2016

Trollop with a Question #90

The past few years have been transformative for me. Not because something happened and I changed, but because many things happened and I didn't like my responses.

I used to say that I was thigh-high with deadlines. Now, there are no deadlines. This is good. This is what writing used to feel like for me before.

Before I knew all the rules.

At the moment, I'm almost done with several new (and not-so-new) projects. So I'm going to dive down deep for a little while and see if I can type "fin" on any of them. Starting has always been far easier for me than finishing. I'd rather say hello than goodbye.

While I'm underwater, please answer my latest question, which is...

I've given you a magic bicycle. 
You can peddle anywhere. 
Where do you go...and who do you take with you?


P.S. Thank you for your continued support—and general friendliness. I truly appreciate your willingness to play along—still, after all these years.

April 08, 2016

I want to be your perfect night.

A while back, I wrote a piece called "You're Doing It Wrong." I'd read a headline that queried, "Are you failing correctly?" And I thought, WTF? Can you actually fail wrong? I've failed often. Spectacularly even.

But recently I thought this: we're bombarded all the time by people we don't know telling us we don't know what we're doing. Over the years, I've had more than my share of strangers chiming in to tell me I suck.

Here is the success part. I am strange. Yes. That's my message. What I like is strange. My favorite books are rarely anyone else's favorite books. The music I play endlessly is generally not the music of the masses. The way I wear makeup—glittery blue liner in the daytime, dark red lipstick at all hours—is not the way the magazines advise to apply the stuff.

So maybe for me success is reaching out to eight other people. Eight people who like what I write. I am not going to go viral. (But viral has such a negative sound to it.) The truth is, I don't care. What I want is to connect. To create the best fucking work I possibly can and to be able to get that work to my readers.

I started penning this piece before I survived yet another author's spew attacking indie writers. Now, I know the majority of other writers have not experienced the journey with traditional publishers that I have. But for me, self-publishing equals freedom. This writer compared literary fiction to opera and self-published fiction to chart music.

Honestly? My vision is like this...

It's late. You've gone to your favorite dark, hole-in-the-wall club. And you've randomly landed on a night featuring a band you've never heard anything about. The music is insanely good. Intense. The rhythm does something to you. Ricochets inside you. And you're flying. Everything about the night is magic. The bartender winks at you when you snag another round. The neon is glowing. At the end of the evening (or maybe early next morning), it turns out that the band is selling their CDs from the back of their van. You buy one for $8 bucks, the crumpled bills in your back pocket. On the way home, you relive in the night, that new music surrounding you. Every time you play that CD, you think of the way you felt. The club. The front man in his leather slacks and formfitting scarlet t-shirt. The hot female bassist with the asymmetrical pink hair. The androgynous drummer.

Maybe that band never makes it. (Whatever "it" is.) But, damn, man. That was one perfect night in your life.

There. That's it. My goal. My definition of success? I want to be your perfect night.


April 04, 2016

Trollop with a Question #89

I put up questions for 88 weeks. And then I stopped. Cold turkey. Not really cold turkey. I stopped because I had so much else weighing on me. I wanted to finish things. Figment. The Dom Channel. This new sci-fi erotic novel that is swirling through my nights. But I miss my questions. So, I thought here & there, front & center, sporadic & nomadic, I will toss a query your way.

Ampersands delight me.

They turn up in my world over and over. On my hard drive, I have 5,887 files featuring ampersands. This blog hosts 616 posts containing at least one &, including:

You think you're such hot shit.
Is this not totally fucking cool?
Free Smut Friday

My filthy Harlequin novella Tied Up & Twisted even features an ampersand on the cover!

But what I really adore are the t-shirts filled with &'s. I did a little research and discovered the origin. And now I am planning on digging a little deeper to find the genesis of the ampersand itself. But while we're waiting for that, here's my Monday question:

What would you put on your ampersand shirt? 

(The original was four names. You can break the rules if you'd like.)

I cannot wait to hear your responses! And I will be working on one myself...


P.S. I haven't been sending out prizes lately—because I lost my job. Unfortunately, there's not a lot of spare change for postage. But you know me. I adore sending prizes. So if I can come up with a way to do so, I will. In fact, I can definitely afford to send Fortune Fish. Problem solved!

April 03, 2016

No longer only a figment...

Oh, look! Figment is showing up on Kindles all over the world—and I'm so thrilled to see the photos by Sommer Marsden, Tiny Elvis, and David. This novella is my heart, my soul. Honestly, I am still a little dazed that I finished the story (or at least the start of the story). There is already one review on Amazon, too! (Thank you!)

You can send me your pictures to msalisontyler at yahoo dot com, and I'll put them up. here. (I'd love that!) Currently, I'm working on the print book, and another project that I can't wait to share.

In other news, Violet Blue made me smile like a fool when she put up this photo

Finally, I've been playing around with web design, and look what I figured out how to do! I'm ridiculously proud of myself:

"I really enjoyed the way that Ms. Tyler knitted her yarns into a wondrous novel." —From a 5-star review of Figment


March 28, 2016

The moon in her coffee. The stars in her sighs.

I'm (obviously) not much of a photographer. When I first attempted to take the picture this morning, I shot a video by accident. ("In a world where a woman hasn't had enough java...") That's what happens when you attempt to use devices before caffeine. (Or, at least, when I do.)

But the image—if it were clearer—would be of the moon surrounded by a handful of stars. Which made me think...

The moon in her coffee.
The stars in the sky.
Another sip.
Another trip.
She closes her eyes.

The moon in her body.
The stars in her sighs.
The darkness around her.
The shadows. The cries.

He holds her hips firmly.
Their lust is the prize.

Actually, I was not trying to write a sexy poem. I was trying to write a coffee poem. You see, coffee is a major plot point in one of the projects I'm working on now. (One of how many? Sixteen? Twenty?) I am juggling, as ever. But embracing the chaos, which is the best I can do.

Coffee is truly my last vice. (That's my last coffee on the wall... looking as if...) More on my new project soon. Until then, here's another of my odes.


March 22, 2016

Yes, yes, yes!

Yes, yes, yes! I have finished Figment! The long story—or short novel—is just shy of 30,000 words. I've been working on this project for years. In fact, recently I was doing an archaeological dig in my files, and I turned up early versions from decades ago. The concept haunts me.

This book is my answer.

Along the way, I confused and confounded myself. But finally I unraveled the story that I wanted to tell. Originally, I stamped Erotic Metafiction as the subtitle. Unfortunately, on Amazon, several of my titles are difficult to find unless you type in the title and subtitle exactly. I wanted Figment to be easy to find.

What I learned near the end, was that—holy fuck, this is only the beginning. Which made me ungodly pleased, because I didn't want to lose all the characters yet. I wasn't ready to see them go.

Trust me when I say that this is by far the strangest story I've ever written. And also the one I am most proud of. For backstory, check out: Remind yourself...

But better yet, please buy the book. This is indie erotica that is dear to my heart, and your support is greatly appreciated.