Love, delicious as breath.

in writing •  4 months ago


I don't read or write fiction.

So I was surprised to be invited to apply for a ghostwriting gig as a... romance writer! 🤣

I've been out-of-relationship for awhile, so romance doesn't feel very familiar, either.

But I still went for it, mostly because of this excerpt from their description:

For these projects, note that the hero/heroine's romance IS the plot (everything else that happens should revolve around the characters' interactions). The story isn't what keeps our readers turning the pages in our books, the CHARACTERS are (we can't emphasize this enough). We're looking for stories that are fresh, fun, and sexy and specifically DO NOT have complex plot twists or storylines. One of our most popular NYT bestsellers was a hilarious romantic novel where the hero and heroine stayed in a house and talked the entire time, with no secondary characters AT ALL. Similarly, our readers like our isolated cabin in the woods romances that likewise focus on a fun, funny, sexy tale of two people in isolation.

Maybe it was the "isolated cabin in the woods," that hooked me.

When I applied, I was forthright about not knowing, reading, or writing fiction.

But I also told them I thought I might have some transferrable skills that could fast-track my learning curve.

I submitted the following sample below.

(FYI: Franti is 100% made-up, and the winter clothes in the image above don't match the story.)


Fat, heavy drops raced down.

They banned together, and formed a union that broke her internet signal.

"First world problems are real, when you live in the first world... or work for those who do," she thought to herself.

A digital nomad with a true lust for life, Lobelia had moved herself to a Caribbean paradise.

Her online freelance-writing clients were still based in the States, though... and they were not sympathetic to wonky wifi connections.

Under a deadline and unable to work, she was stressed.

And in he came.

"Forced break," Franti boomed.

He carried a freshly blended mango, pineapple and lime smoothie that he handed to her.

"See why I love you so!" she screamed in delight.

Lobelia loved her tropical smoothies, and she loved her tropical man.

She met Franti on a permaculture farm. They were both learning to install regenerative food systems, and the spark between them -- over a sage bush -- was undeniable.

They bonded immediately, as if they were merely continuing their connection, from another life-time.

"They will feel like home," finally made sense to Lobelia, ever since Franti had entered her life.

She took several sips, "Mmmmm..." she purred, looking at him gratefully, loving the tastes in her mouth.

With his usual bass, Franti declared: "No open tabs. No word-counts. Just you and me tonight, baby. I did a special rain-dance, to get this time with you."

"Oh, I have you to thank for this outage?! I'd be mad about that... if I weren't so flattered."

"Come here," he said.

"Ooooh, masculine decisiveness feels so good coming from him," she mused.

Lobelia put her glass down, and scooted toward him.

She got close to his caramel face, "Yes?"

He pulled even closer, so that their exhalations warmed each other's upper lips.

They were both neurally-sensitive empaths, and they never tired of exploring the subtleties of each other's body and energy.

One day, they stumbled upon this unusually satisfying thing... that when your upper lip is warmly breathed upon by the out-breath of your beloved's nostrils -- and vice versa -- you unite so deeply and tenderly, it is common to end up weeping together.

And if there is any sadness in those tears, it is only because of all the previous moments that were lived without knowing this kind of closeness.

Intimate breath.

It's different from the athletic gasping that happens after cardio-sex. (And there IS a place for that!) But this is more similar to the way kittens share breath, snuggled nose to nose.

It is a primal, pre-linguistic, innocent place that all lovers should experience at least once.

Franti and Lobelia breath-bonded so often, it had turned into a shared meditation.

And when one of them was imbalanced, or not being their best possible self, they helped the other return to the home-base of their heart.


It's short, less than 500 words.

Since I don't know the conventions and formulas -- and don't necessarily want to learn them -- maybe I could take a more anarchistic approach to fiction?

I suggested the publishers roll out a series of "empathic fiction," or "tantric fiction."

And if they don't want to, maybe I will continue to play around with the idea myself.

I don't mean to be disrespectful to genre-readers who expect their tropes and formulaic sequence... but those probably aren't my readers.

I'm wondering if people who are interested in personal growth and evolution might also enjoy some dialogue, setting descriptions and plotted action to carry the wisdom. Like I tried to do with the nuzzled breathing. It's a great experience that, hopefully, others might be curious to try after reading about it.

Sapient seeds can be planted all throughout an entertaining or even enticing piece of written work.

What are your thoughts about a hybrid of tantra and/or empathy, joined with fiction??


Please don't miss "Being human together can be weird and messy..."

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That was luuuush Erica! Follow your heart, you have found a few unwritten niches and your soul is so rich and bountiful every word is a pleasure to read


@elissahawke: When I got on Steemit 2 years ago, yours was The First Voice to make a great impact on me. Bold, daring, raw, imaginative, truth-seeking, truth-sharing, all the best things. Thank you for inspiring me so, then and now.

As a follow-up, the person who received my submission was highly irritated by it/me. Not for my lack of experience, but for my brazen departure from what was requested. I was scolded so badly, it was laughable.

But he was right. (Albeit, harsh! lol)

It wasn't a total loss, though. I got learning from it:

Lesson #1: If a traditional publisher requests something specific, give them that requested thing, and don't naively think a single flash of inspiration will disrupt their marketing plans, or an established industry (romance lit.)

Lesson #2: It's okay to NOT be traditional.

Lesson #3: If the inspiration is strong and lasting, then take that new idea (he confirmed that no such markets currently exist), and see what can be made of it... outside the box of sterilized conformity.

After that word-lashing, your comment is especially appreciated and consoling.

Thanks again, sister in syntax.

Love is very great


@canon12, I agree. Love is the Greatest of all.

erika erika
delicious are u
ur taste to have
desires consume
honesty is a tale
n not a sin

morena tropicana, eu quero seu sabor, aaay yeh yeh yeh…

check out the music, translate the words, the world is what u make of it…

beijos, edú

@erikaharris Nobody can STOP you Now, You can do This............


YES, blend it up, and make my own genre-smoothie!

That is awesome. Thanks for such a great and relevant gif, @stokjockey. I'm sorry that I saw it three months late.


Not to Worry, Hope your Day is going well...........

Hello @erikaharris, thank you for sharing this creative work! We just stopped by to say that you've been upvoted by the @creativecrypto magazine. The Creative Crypto is all about art on the blockchain and learning from creatives like you. Looking forward to crossing paths again soon. Steem on!


@creativecrypto, THANK YOU for your acknowledgement! It means a lot, and I certainly do hope to cross paths with you again. Art on the blockchain is something I am very interested in.

Good on ya, Erika. Your diving into that little intimacy practice portrayed a delicious aspect (one of many!) of relationship. May it inspire those who read it. Keep writing.


Thanks very much, Becca!! I remember writing you to ask if you were aware of any such genre, @venusandherlover. I greatly appreciated your encouragement then, and now.