Writing for Readers

I’m both a reader and writer; more of the former than latter. I’ve always maintained that there is no such genre as fiction, primarily because actual fictional prose would be incomprehensible. Not so much in terms of language or syntax — even that makes sense when done correctly — but in the shared human existence. When we read, we filter the story through our own biases and empirical history. Even if we have no relevant parallel to the narrative, we can still imagine the scenario and empathize with the fictional characters.

As a writer, the question becomes: Do you write ‘what you know’, or create an entire landscape with no semblance to reality? The most successful books, screenplays and movies, are either lushly detailed fantasies set in exotic realms far away, or romantic struggles that echo the common frustration and exhilaration of finding that special life-partner. “Know your audience” is drummed into every hack that has ever put stylus to papyrus. There is no magic formula for writing; just hard work and placing word after word until the manuscript is completed.

Last year at this time, I was working on a short story for a Sexy Little Pages submission called “Corrupted”. The editor, Charlie Powell, broadcast the following information.

“Since the beginning of time, everything has been promised to liberate women has also been accused of corrupting them. Think suffrage, trousers, the pill, the internet, feminism, learning to drive, owning a house, having a bank account, working… Or, more recently, alcohol consumption and selfie culture. I’m looking for fresh and sexy takes on these issues, along with anything else that women have been criticised for doing.”

I started blocking out a plot, who, where, when and why. The lead character is in the title: Ghosting past Emily. As always, that came first. The ghosting refers not to specters haunting a dark mansion, but the practice of deliberately — and without warning — dropping all electronic contact with someone.

The place, San Francisco. Silicon Valley. Emily is in tech, not programming though. She’s Japanese-American, another strike, and lastly, a dominatrix on the side. All the ingredients needed to raise the hackles of white male dominated corporations. The irony is, this was written before that bastion of power and sex started to crumble under the relentless onslaught of pissed off women.

My short story of 3,900 words was accepted for inclusion in September, 2017 and Ghosting past Emily is now available for order from Amazon Kindle for $3.99. The publication date for the Corrupted anthology is March 8th, 2018.


I didn’t choose the sentence in the graphic, by the way. I’m unsure as to how much if any of my story I can share, so for now, that will have to do.

The truth about editing

It sucks.

I mean; it really sucks.

You work really hard on a story, send it to someone, and they go; “Meh”.

I write a variety of things; poetry, essays, flash fiction, short stories and long-format novellas and novels. But no matter how meticulous I craft my narrative and characters, there is always room for improvement. The key is finding the right editor.

For me, it’s Ina Morata of Clarian Press. She has a keen intellect and an extensive depth to both grammar and vocabulary [albeit of the English-English language variety, which leads to interesting discussions when Americanisms crop up] along with a historical literary provenance, that creates a template for how a story should read.

The most important lesson I’ve learned from having my work edited by numerous people, is that the only goal an author should have, is to seek the best possible result. If an edit makes for a better book, then make the change and don’t mourn your original efforts.

Nearly as important though as a writer, is to find your ‘voice’; the style in which you are most proficient. That voice needs to be a solid base so that no matter how much editing is done, it is still recognizable as your own. A good editor trims the excess, prunes back the prose so that new growth and grafts make the finished product even more fruitful. Writing is not about word count, it is about making each word important and integral to the story.

I always start my long-format fiction in flash style. I think of it as splashing paint on a canvas. It’s not meant to be perfect, or even coherent. It’s an experiment to see if the characters and plot have potential. The more you write, the more you cast off. There’s nothing wrong with that. Always seeking the perfect first draft is guaranteed to make it impossible to ever finish anything. Imperfection is not only inevitable, but essential to editing.

What I call a first draft is a misnomer. Before I submit a piece of fiction, long or short, the manuscript has normally been ‘edited’ by myself at least a dozen times. I swap chapters, change tenses, substitute narrative for dialog and vice-versa. My style, my voice, has developed into exploring the emotional bonds we create and the consequences of our actions. I don’t fill in the background normally; the physical aspects of the characters, the detailed clothing or places they inhabit. I enjoy reading books that do so, but for me, as a writer, I don’t think in those terms when creating.

A good editor partners with the author by taking that first draft, reading it, then breaking it down into various components. Keep. Change. Discard. While ultimately the decision remains with the author, by explaining the whys, an editor guides the prose into becoming stronger and better. The mantra, “If it makes a better book, any change is good”, is very helpful in taking personality and emotion out of the process. Which leads back to the title of this post.

The truth about editing, is that it is extremely difficult and fraught with feeling: if you allow yourself to believe your first draft is perfect. It’s not. It’s only a starting point. Having other eyes read your work can be intimidating, but the payoff can be a spectacular result.

Happy writing,

Byron Cane

Why do I write about spanking?

Happy October! The time of year when Halloween merchandise is everywhere—except when subsumed by the avalanche of cheap Christmas imports. *Sigh*

I am working now—at a paying job, since writing hasn’t paid off, yet—and after two years at home, it’s an adjustment for both of us. Speaking of writing though, I recently signed two contracts for publishing my work. I’ve mentioned both before, and I don’t have specific publication dates or cover designs yet, but when I do I will plastering that information all over my blogs.

The first contract is for my short story, Ghosting past Emily, part of the Corrupted Anthology from Sexy Little Pages. I have submitted stories for other anthologies, but this is the only story that’s been accepted.

The second contract is for the novella, The Spanking Misadventures of Stephanie, with Clarian Press.

Readers who were with me last year know that Stephanie was the star of Wicked Wednesday for four months. I pulled the posts down at the end of the year, and turned the weekly episodes into a novella anticipating that I would submit the polished work to publishers. I did so, but the first two I sent the novella to rejected poor Stephanie. This link is to the page at Clarian Press for Stephanie. The tentative publication date for Stephanie is November, 2017.

Which turned out to be a good thing: I’d rather work with Clarian Press. In the future, there will more works of mine published through Clarian Press, including in 2018, my BDSM LGBTQ novel called Breaking Grace. You may have noticed that all the short stories in prior Spanking Newsletters have been deleted. That’s because I’m putting together a collection of spanking stories for a novella length publication.

So, why do I write about spanking? Where did my interest come from?

It may surprise you, but I have no recollection of an exact date when spanking became the erotic focus of my life. I do know it was B.I. [Before Internet] when the local newsstand served as the purveyor of all things naughty stashed beneath the counter. Eventually those skin mags came out into the light, and for a brief moment, enjoyed the spotlight of fame and notoriety that only mainstream media could bestow. Them came A.A. [After Amazon] and everything changed.

Until 2006, I didn’t write anything, short story, poem or longer fiction, that featured spanking. I never considered the possibility of writing for publication, I think because I’ve read so extensively my entire life, that I didn’t consider my thoughts worthy of posterity. It wasn’t until commentators on my first blog expressed unwavering belief in my talent, that I slowly began the process of taking fantasies from my mind and putting them on ‘paper’; until self-publishing my first novel in 2007.

For me personally, spanking plays on outsize role in my writing, because I ‘see’ it in every story I write. It’s not that I start with a spanking scenario, and then wedge fictional prose around the action; I incorporate spanking into everyday situations as a natural consequence of the characters’ relationship. To me, both in my personal life and professional fiction, spanking feels right in any social setting. My fondest dream is that the handshake and fist bump, will be replaced with a sharp smack on the butt whenever people meet.

It wasn’t until July 2016 when I brushed the cobwebs off my spanking blog and decided to buckle down and finish Breaking Grace. In the process I started posting again and met the most wonderful people. Through comments and emails my love of spanking took on a new perspective: D/s. Every post, every comment, brought new insight and allowed my imagination to create settings and characters that readers enjoy. It’s been an absolute pleasure to have so many followers and friends. What more can I say? I lurv spanking.

Hope you enjoyed this newsletter and see you next month here, or get your daily spanking, at Spank Me Hard… Please?.

Byron Cane

Spanking Newsletter #3

Cut through the noise.

At no point in human history has it been both easier to publish yet harder to be noticed. Through 99% of the past, literacy has been the barrier separating the elite—including organized religion—and those simply trying to survive day-to-day. Up until Johannes Gutenberg brought the printing press to Europe, the primary means of communication were sermons and plays. It was very easy to control oral information for the authorities. A severed tongue stilled treason.

Between Gutenberg’s Bible and the rapid explosion of the World Wide Web, books became more and more common and difficult to stamp out. Censorship no longer could solely focus on bards and troubadours, but fought a steadily losing battle against underground pamphlets and other scurrilous publications. Contrary to modern thinking, porn—both visual and written—has existed for as long as humans have interacted.

What is new, are the many e-publishers who have taken the erotic story off the dingy back room shelves, boldly cast off the raincoat and openly called upon writers to submit their best smut. I answered that call, and submitted to four different prompts over the course of several months. The first three were rejected. Not a surprise, because I don’t really write what editors are looking for. I prefer to write quirky.

If I had to pick one genre of fiction I gravitate to the most, it would be science fiction. I do realize that there are as many distinctions in sci-fi as there are in romance, but I tend towards hard science if I had a choice. This is a segue into one of the submission calls I entered for an erotic take on gluttony; more specifically in terms of a Deadly Sin. The setting is in a future where humans have settled other planets.

The story is long, at 4,000 words, and is graphic and disturbing for those that like a nice, neat stroke story. This is not one of those. After the story, I will have a brief explanation as to the reasons I wrote as I did.

As written, this short story could serve as the beginning, the middle, or the end of a novella or novel. I wanted something gritty. Something disturbing. Even so, it’s a lot tamer than it could be.

The title as always came first, but the Black, does not refer to skin color, but the history behind the shade. Black has always meant evil, and foreboding deeds in sinister towers. Sable was a heraldic term, and besides, it’s also a marten, and wouldn’t make sense tied to Feast, while ebony is fine if you’re a piece of furniture.

A staple trope of sci-fi is planets settled by either religious or ethnic groups—with the odd evil corporation tossed in—seeking a harmonious paradise untainted by ‘them’: All the while blithely forgetting that Old Earth had always been riven by sectarian strife and wars of purity.

[The major problem with outsourcing Earth’s excesses to the stars, is that there is a net increase of at least 83 million people each year. Assuming a cold sleep ark could carry 10,000 passengers, then each and every year 8,300 ships would have to leave just to break even. That’s one ship almost every hour-on-the-hour. At that’s at the current population level of 7 billion+. Sci-fi writers sidestep this conundrum by killing off most of the population first with handy plagues, wars or aliens. Sometimes all three combined.]

Anyway, my presumption is that Africa rose to preeminence and left in a massive surge leaving behind the ‘coloreds’ to their fates. They took with them slaves, and allowed immigration to the Empire. Gluttony in this case is not only food, but an entire culture bent on gorging in every way possible to wipe out the past.

Erotica to me does not automatically mean sex. The setting, the tone, the genders; all of these factors make the story work. The sex should feel organic: within the flow of plot, and not a jarring action. But then again, that’s just another label for something that people do every day—even in outer space.

Hope you enjoyed this newsletter and see you next month here, or get your daily spanking, at Spank Me Hard… Please?.

Byron Cane

Spanking Newsletter #2

“Once upon a time…”

Have you ever wondered who the first hominid was that used this phrase—or something similar? A Homo erectus hunter, explaining about the lion that ate his grandfather? Or maybe a Neanderthal shaman telling the youngsters, that mammoths used to migrate through the valley. When did Homo sapiens sapiens begin to view time as linear? To start creating vocabulary separating the moment that is, from the time that was and the potential that might be?

Memory is fluid. The conflict between what we remember and what we fail to perceive makes us human. Our brains censor the optic inputs and makes us believe life is only the sum of our experiences.

Physicists of all stripes will tell you—quite bluntly—that time is an illusion created by humans who cannot grasp the infinite. Past, present, future are simply constructs of the mind. We base clocks on our planetary rotation and our calendars on the seasonal orbiting of the sun. But every planet, every solar system, every single galaxy in the universe uses a different standard of measuring time.

This matters, because as fiction writers, our brains are genetically wired to the 24-hour/365—plus a fraction—day cycle a year. We can not truly imagine a world of 28-hour days or 18-hour days or 100-day years: it’s not possible because we physically react to time, not just mentally. Every ‘time’ we carve out a place for a character, the genetic—and more importantly, the societal biases we carry, influence the story in thousands of unseen ways, even if we are striving for objectivity.

The portly man—already a suspect—walked with his wire-haired terrier across the viaduct, both hunching slightly under the glowering clouds and occasional spats of moisture; tweed jackets obscured by fluorescent slickers, striped golf umbrella buffeted by swirling gusts, the dog at least, knew to mark his territory.

jsomt nddeit alxkoir kjaoe lho gagm ffos ggqpq hhblsbp ds gk akktp.

Which of the above sentences are fiction? I would argue, neither of them, nor, has anything ever written or ever will be written, actually fictional.

If time and space are infinite, then it must follow, that every single possibility exists somewhere/someplace. If you subscribe to the fanciful notion that: ‘Give a monkey a typewriter, and eventually it will create Shakespeare’, then the corollary is: ‘Give a writer a computer, and every single time, they will describe an actual event.’ This becomes a certainty when quantum mechanics are included—with the theory that for every single instant, from the perspective of every single person, there is the possibility of infinite alternate universes spinning off with every non-choice made.

At the level of quantum foam, everything and nothing is real—yet. Life itself, the universal actions of particles can be dreamed as a perpetual collapsing quantum standing wave of probabilities. Fate, karma, serendipity, chance, luck; throughout recorded human history, one of the strongest shared themes of sagas and journals, is the sheer randomness of life. Coupled at times with a healthy sense of deja vu.

This doesn’t even begin to take into account quantum entanglement, or the persistent belief we all live inside either God’s dreams, or a computer simulation of virtual reality.

That’s why, when we see or hear the words, “Once upon a time…”, we already have set parameters and expectations for the story that follows, based upon our own personal self-created fictional universe.

Mistress Time is cruel: Or so says my Muse, although she is actually my second wife, not linearly, but simultaneously in all aspects. If you get my drift.

So what does any of the above ramblings have to do with spanking or writing? Nothing—and everything. Are we simply an organic-chemical machine with intelligence that is a constantly updating sum of all our actions: Or are we free-flowing souls encased in a shell of free will and water? In other words; do I choose to write because I did so before, or because I will after?

If you are in a D/s or DD relationship of any definition, then at every quantum moment, you either choose to remain, or cease. The bell curve of probabilities states you will choose the action most closely aligned to both entropy and inertia. It takes energy—lots of energy per Newtonian physics—to move into a different orbit. If the Dom is always the one supplying that energy, the D/s or DD relationship will likely fail. A submissive who is a black hole, will only succeed in destroying everything they touch.


My second novella for the Paranormal Erotic Romance group, was called The Witch of Olympus Hollow, part of the Lust in Spring anthology.

This was—except for one chapter—a relatively easy and straightforward story to write. The title came first, then the concept of using diary excerpts, followed by the decision to write in first person from the perspective of the narrator. The Olympus in the title led to Greek mythology and the Spring theme to Gaia. The last part was to place the prologue and epilogue in the present and the bulk of the novella in the past. The location was even easier; far western North Carolina.

Although the novella already had a ‘green’ tinge to it simply by the theme and characters, it wasn’t until I settled on both a god and goddess, that the eco-organic arc of the plot became the driving force for the protagonist. By the time the novella wraps up all the loose ends, Olympus Hollow had morphed into a symbol of sustainability.

The following excerpt was originally posted on my other blog, and can be read there as well. It is the prologue plus a portion of the first chapter.

“Once upon a time…”


The Witch of Olympus Hollow


As the title says, people round these parts think I’m a witch: these parts being Olympus Hollow. There you go; I repeated the title for y’all. No applause needed, we’re good. Or as the saying goes: word.

My name is Gale Johnson, of the Johnsons of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, on the Main Line. How I ended up in the far southern reaches of Appalachia, that story is the fault of my mother: harsh but true. I was angry with her for a long time, besides being a stuck-up bitch when I arrived.

I believe I was likely manic-depressive or bi-polar back then, but that doesn’t excuse rudeness. All that’s long past now. I’m eighty-five, or will be next April 1st, the joke’s on me, right?

Leastwise you think I’m a bitter old woman, nothing could be further from the truth. The tale I shall shortly relate here shall only be released upon my death. Ergo, I am currently deceased—with several mitigating circumstances.

I’m not trying to be lawyerly here. As you’ll discover at the end of my memoir, the situation was not exactly cut and dried. In all honesty, I’m probably confusing you—I like to talk—so rather than work backwards in a logical manner, I will instead start at the beginning.

It’s a good thing I kept up my diaries all these years. I’d forgotten I’d written them in first person, present tense back then. The conceit of a recent college graduate I’m afraid, trying to be grownup and sophisticated.

I decided to share excerpts within the prose to highlight my state of mind. I apologize if my lack of empathy shines through my journal entries of those days in 1952, but I will not censor to meet modern sensibilities. I’m too damn old to be PC.

I was young and sheltered: a northern white girl dropped into the segregated South. I did not know of course, that Pennsylvania and the other states of the Union were just as divided as any Confederate state. I had always naively assumed people lived within racial and ethnic boundaries because they wanted to by choice.

So many changes in my lifetime, including the internet and access to a world of information. It’s a lot easier these days to write your thoughts and store them in the cloud.

I do enjoy the spanking blogs; I’m a connoisseur you might say, although my experiences would beat the pants off most of the fiction. Just sayin’: not braggin’.

I’m rambling again, my apologies.

I’m sure you saw the snarky tweets from Clear Cut Resort LLC? The ones where they bitched and whined in 140 characters about the fabulous luxury vacation homes and world-class golf course they wanted to build, but were denied? Or maybe you viewed their lovely Facebook page, with the glossy retouched digital pictures and the CGI video of happy families bathing in the hot spring, frolicking in the natural pool and riding horses through the manicured forest.

I told their Armani wearing lawyers to shove it on more than one occasion. That is our land the fuckers wanted, and they will never get it.

The following is an excerpt of an audio recording by the late Gale Johnson.
Transcript begins:

Is this thing on? Damn technology. Used to just push a button.
I got it. Chill, dude.
Well, if you’re hearing this, I’m dead. Nothing like my beyond-the-grave voice in stereo, is there? My lawyer, don’t start, insists that I express my wishes verbally, due to the salacious contents I intend to have published.
So here goes.
Like I said, I’m not worried about Olympus Hollow.
I left the land in good hands, very good hands.
~witchy cackle~
What do you mean you want a will and last testament?
Fine! You’re all a bunch of blood-sucking parasites.
Being of sound mind and body, I hereby bequeath all my knowledge and worldly goods to my anointed successor as per the agreement with the principles notated in my memoirs.
Everything you are about to read actually happened to me.
I personally vouch for the authenticity of my interactions with every named person.
All mortal persons, mentioned in the main body of work, are now deceased.
Any persons named in the epilogue, have signed affidavits allowing their likenesses to be utilized in print.
All proceeds from the sale of my memoirs, and any profits from future visual media productions, shall accrue to the Olympus Hollow Charitable Foundation, Inc.

End transcript.

Chapter One

Dear Diary,
April 1st, 1952
Happy Birthday to me! Today I turn 21 and only three weeks to graduation! My sorority sisters fooled me again and made a BIG deal out of my birthday. That’s why I’m standing at the moment. The paddles are no fun, even though I should be used to them after four years.
I made a wish, of course I did! Chance is so dreamy. He promised me a very special surprise for our date this weekend.
Dear Diary,
April 23rd, 1952
Thank God I got my monthly! Chance is beastly! I never should have believed him. Thankfully Mother will never find out or else her hairbrush would be worn out on my hiney. Sabrina says you can’t get knocked up French kissing or heavy mouth petting but I’m glad anyway. I never knew keeping my knees together would be so difficult in the heat of the moment.
Dear Diary,
May 3rd, 1952
Guess what! Great-Aunt Abigail—my namesake I’m told, although I’ve never even heard of her—has invited me to her home! I’m very excited! NOT! An urgent family matter says my dear mother.
Mother says I’m to obey my aunt in all manners. I argued that I’m a college graduate and a grown up, but she packed my hairbrush anyway and even said that G-A.A—aka Great-Aunt Abigail—knew I needed an occasional good dose of discipline! I am so EMBARRASSED!
My beloved parent told me I’d be standing on the train ride to Washington if I didn’t zip it. Daddy only grunted and refused to take my side. He never takes my side!
Dear Diary,
May 9th, 1952
And so it comes to this. A present for my college degree, the sharp Buick Roadmaster Riviera coupe in Olympic Blue, is sitting outside in the rain back home. While I, after three separate train rides, followed by an ancient bus that trundled up into wild Injun country in far western North Carolina, have finally arrived at the thriving metropolis of Olympus Hollow, population 243.
This is my stop; the driver is calling.

“You mussa be Miss Gale.”

I glanced around in distaste. The bus stop was not a proper station with water fountains and lavatories but merely a wide spot in the road. Wild chickens and feral dogs kicked up dust, while several old white men in denim overalls and seed caps rocked in chairs on the porch of Jebediah’s General Store and spat long streams of brown juice into the dusty gravel parking area.

The speaker was a Negro and his mode of transportation a mule wagon. I was evidently on another planet. This was most defiantly not Cavalcade of Stars with Jackie Gleason. There was no sophisticated sketch comedy in these characters.

I had no congress with the Negro in Bryn Mawr—there were none—although there were plenty to be seen in Philadelphia. Unsure of how to respond, I stuck to politeness.

“Yes, I am Gale Johnson. I am here at the invitation of my Great-Aunt Abigail to spend the month. I was told she would pick me up.”

“Isa be yur ride, Miss Gale. Miss Abigail, she beein’ a touch unda da weatha.” He hopped down and placed my luggage in the back of the wagon. “Ifin ya’ have a seat, Miss, I’lla havin’ ya’ up da mountain ri’ quick.”

“You be careful now, boy, ya here?” one of the white men called out. “Dat be pree-shee-us cargo you be haulin’. Miss Abigail liken to give ya boils iffen ‘er niece ruffles ‘er purty dress. Ain’t that right, sweet thang?”

“Yes, sar, Massa Bohannon.” My driver clucked to his mule and we lurched forward.

I could feel my cheeks flame and stared stiffly ahead while the men guffawed and slapped their thighs and whistled. The harsh ammonia smell of sweat and the sharp scent of fresh dung assaulted my pampered nostrils. We were not moving fast enough to ward off the black flies and soon my hands were in near constant motion in a futile effort to remain pest free.

Then we turned off the narrow highway onto an even narrower track and it was as though we entered another land.

As far into the distance as I could see were rafts of azaleas, rhododendrons and flowering trees and shrubs of every description in a riotous explosion of reds, pinks and whites. The flies and the offensive odors vanished. A shiver ran through me as if were dunked in ice water. An electric current sizzled in the air and my hairs stood up on end.

We passed a large quartz granite marker set off to the right. I heard a loud crack as if thunder had come to the smoky blue sky.
“Did you hear that?” I yelped and clapped my hands over my ears in reflexive protection. “Is there a storm coming?”

“No, Miss Gale, it be a fine day. Isa don’ heard nothin’ but da birds and da bees iffen ya please.”

I looked at him suspiciously but since all I could hear now was the creak of the wheels and the mule’s labored breath, I let it go, and lost myself in the incredible display of vernal color. I’d been annually to the Philadelphia Flower Show as long as I could remember, but this natural extravaganza was beyond anything I had ever seen.

I noticed too, the gravel drive was smooth and the grass verge was neatly mowed. Certainly, a motor vehicle would have no problems ascending the slight grade. Which begged the question, why the mule and driver?

I snuck another peek at the Negro on my left. I felt uneasy. My social upbringing and schooling did not address this situation. I took the easy way out and decided to let Great-Aunt Abigail perform the introduction to her servant.
Dear Diary,
May 9th, 1952
The Negro’s name is Leroy. G-A.A. explained he and his family live a mile away and farm the land for produce and raise livestock for meat. They are neighbors, not sharecroppers nor employees. I sensed there was much more to the situation but I at least loosened my tongue enough to speak coherent sentences to Leroy.
I felt diminished by my reticence and got the impression Leroy was not awed with my whiteness but would tolerate my ignorance unless I proved malicious.
It was near lunchtime and G-A.A. had prepared ham, cornbread, green beans and either sweet tea or lemonade. After we finished eating she gave me a quick tour.
“This isn’t what I was expecting, Great-Aunt Abigail,” I said as I studied the modern Kenmore kitchen under the glow of electric lights.

“Well,” she admitted, “if you saw some of the folk round here, your preconceptions of dirt floor hovels, outhouses and candles would not be remiss. I do what I can to support the local crafters, like purchasing furniture and linens and labor. I’d like to do more, but these are proud people, Gale—black, white and red—and don’t take kindly to charity. This was Cherokee territory. The Scotch-Irish who eventually settled here cling to Old World traditions and Indian heritage through pure cussedness.”

According to my Great-Aunt, the dwelling was cozy: warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The house sat on a small knoll and faced southwest. The outside foundation to three feet up was constructed of weathered fieldstone held together by gravity. The remainder of the exterior to the eaves was American chestnut, harvested when the blight swept through the Eastern part of the country in the early part of the 20th century. The wide porch was laid with Longleaf Pine planks that matched the interior floors.

At her urging, I took time to wash off the travel grime with hot running water and then laid down for a short nap.

This beginning highlights many possible angles: Mental illness, racism, classism, corporate control and even spanking. It also demonstrates the malleability of time. For Gale Johnson, writing her memoirs sixty years after the events recorded in diaries, it showed that what her mind remembered wasn’t always what actually happened.

The spanking in this novella is primarily between Gale and her Great-Aunt Abigail as was quite common in 1950’s America as an accepted/expected form of discipline. There is also a scene between Gale and the Greek god she meets. As she stated in the prologue though, she implied there was constant spanking going on that was likely erotic and submissive in nature, but I ran out of words.


To my disappointment, he had not come again in my mouth. I was puzzled when instead he leaned over the ledge and raised his buttocks above the surface of the water. It was shallow enough for me to stand so I moved next to him and asked what he was doing.
“Since I am the cause of your next punishment,” he said, “I offer myself in recompense for your future suffering.”
“But how will Miss Abby know?” I complained with a pout.
He twisted his torso to pin me with glowing emerald eyes. “Because you will tell Abigail the truth. You will always tell the truth, Gale, it is required of the Guardian.”
He faced away once more. “Spank me, Gale.”
I bit my lip in consternation. His buttocks were round and taut as a pair of ripe cantaloupes. I gave a tentative tap, and light bloomed for an instant at the point of impact. I slapped his cheeks again and again. Colors flared. He encouraged me to strike harder so I did. I spanked as hard as I could. On his solid backside, iridescent shimmers darted like a school of silver minnows.
“Ow!” I cried out and shook the sting from my wrist.
“Try slightly less strength and keep your arm loose,” he recommended. “Keep a steady pace and vary the location. After all, you’ve been on the receiving end often enough, Gale, to know how it works.”
My eyes narrowed at his flippant remark. I tried it his way. It worked.
I spanked his luscious bottom hard. The silver sparks grew deeper in tone until the entire surface turned a pale blue phosphorescence that offered hints of deep ocean currents.
Every blow echoed in my mind. Emotional memories flooded: silent tears rolled down my face. I kept going faster and faster as bitter anger from past punishments was purged from a place I’d unknowingly locked away.
I stopped abruptly.
I was drained.
I was free.


Hope you enjoyed this newsletter and see you next month here, or get your daily spanking, at Spank Me Hard… Please?.

Byron Cane

Spanking Newsletter #1

Welcome to my first [hopefully of many] monthly newsletter about writing. I started reading at a very young age, and by the time I was in middle-school, was reading at least three books daily. Like all youngsters, I devoured the classic young adult section. This was in the 1970’s, and many people thought the Golden Age of Literature lay in the misty distant nostalgic past. Some still do.

Without getting into a graduate level dissertation, that perspective has some merit. Some would argue that civilization peaked in Ancient Greece or India, and has gone downhill ever since. Certainly in term of great Sagas, there is nothing to match in modern times. The few tropes that humans can connect with leave us, thousands of years away, limited to more and more outrageous fiction.

But then again, can any fiction, of any genre, compare with reality? If you read non-fiction history, as I do, then following up with any fictional rendition of the events, will likely leave a flat disappointment behind. Yet, as the cliche goes [Too real for Hollywood], there is a place for fiction in our lives. I read because I want to be taken away to someplace new. To meet a person I’ll never know in real life. To be moved.

One of the first recommendations a budding author receives, is to ‘write what you know’. So? Do I know spanking? Compared to…? Yes, I’ve spanked and been spanked, but am I an expert? Hell no. Nor do I claim to be. In reality, my spanking fiction is more about setting the stage than in describing the physical act. I would rather write something atmospheric than blow-by-blow.


I first created the character of Sir Nachton MacRath —click his name to read the entire story at my other blog—for a short story prompt during Halloween 2016 called, The Bloody Merry Book Club.

Excerpt #1:

“We need to shake things up this year!” The speaker was Joyce as she addressed the other nine members of the monthly Bloody Merry Book Club. The name was selected due to two factors: the love of alcohol and murder. “We’ve done the classics, the cooks, the cats – the many, many cats – the widows and the creatures. It’s Halloween girls! Do we really want to spend the night trick-or-treating again? Let our menfolk take the kids for once.”

Excerpt #2:

“This ladies is the selection for the coming month. Rather than discuss last month’s novel I wanted to introduce a new author to us.” Joyce paused and raised her book so that embossed figure on the glossy paper glittered in the candle’s glow. “Lysander Stanopolis has created a character that thrives in the dark corners of twisted souls. Sir Nachton MacRath is a Scottish Highlander Vampire Steampunk Regency Pirate who solves the coldest of cases for the Crown.” All eyes were on Joyce as she continued dramatically, “Ladies of the Bloody Merry Book Club! It is with great pleasure that I introduce to you, the immortal Sir Nachton MacRath!”

Excerpt #3:

Sir Nachton MacRath, a Scottish Highlander Vampire Steampunk Regency Pirate who solved the coldest of cases for the Crown was there to catch her before she landed on top of her now silent phone. “Do not fear, Lady Joyce. I always take care of my own.” The emergency exit slowly swung shut behind a tall sable figure with a limp female tenderly cradled in his arms.

If, on that fateful night of All Hallows’ Eve, around about midnight, as the revelers cheered the ticking clock into November, if you would have glanced out a window at the back lawn a strange apparition may have been spotted. There was a puff-puff of smoke and stately rose, running lanterns on, a steam powered airship piloted by Sir Nachton MacRath as he steered towards a vertical slit of orange light in the moonless night sky. A bright iridescent flare erupted as the airship parted the veil at the stroke of midnight and vanished from our world for all time.

This was intended to be a one-off spanking horror satire story with a grisly ending. Like many of my short stories under 3,000 words however, this touched a chord with certain readers, and they demanded that I write something further. So I did. The first decision I made, was to take The Bloody Merry Book Club and place it as the prologue of a new novel called, The Case of The Scarlet Paddle. Which by some strange cosmic coincidence is exactly the title of the book that Joyce selected for the club. Amazing!

Only problem, Joyce is from present day America. Sir Nachton MacRath takes her, all the books and his trusty sidekick back through the portal to Victorian England—Steampunk version—where the date is November 1st, 1865. The excerpt that follows is from the novel, the end of Chapter Two, about 9,000 words in, which is where the prologue converges with the main story line.

Just then, light flashed through the propped open basement door. They could hear the sounds of footsteps and women’s voices. “The game commences!” MacRath said as he stealthily hovered at the bottom step and waited for his cue. The detailed note had explained that Sir Nachton MacRath was an honored guest and would be reading an excerpt from his latest novel. The paddle was an incentive, Lady Joyce had written, and that she wanted a dramatic entrance in full costume. At last, he heard his name being announced. “Wait here, Duncan.” He donned a mask, yanked the door wide and vaulted inside. The door swung closed behind him.
Duncan sat, then got up and paced nervously. He could hear nothing from the basement, only the faint strains of mysterious music from somewhere inside the mansion proper. He checked his timepiece repeatedly: half three in the morning England time. He jumped when the door abruptly banged open and MacRath wafted up the steps cradling an unconscious female in an outlandishly risqué outfit.
“Ye knocked a strumpet out?”
“Calm yourself, Duncan. Lady Joyce swooned when I revealed my comely visage. Evidently the men of this time are hideous in appearance and she could not take the strain of my vivid features.”
“Aye, Yer Lordship, and I’ve got me a bridge over the Thames to sell ye for a fair price.”
“Now is the time for haste not mirth, Duncan. Inside on the tables are a number of books. Gather them all, there is a box to carry them and also fetch the paddle. Bring them quickly.” As Duncan hopped down the steps MacRath called out, “There is a mechanical speaking device that Lady Joyce dropped at the door. Bring that as well.”

They arrived back at the airship a little past four in the morning. Walker and Chief raised eyebrows at the sight of the woman but said nothing out loud. MacRath tucked Lady Joyce into the remaining empty chair and checked her vitals. He suspected she was awake but shamming sleep. When he clicked the belts around her shoulders and waist her eyes popped wide open with fright. MacRath placed a finger over her mouth. “Do not scream, Lady Joyce. I mean you no harm.” He focused his sight on her and said, “Sleep now. You are safe. Sleep now.”

Her eyelids drooped and her head lolled to one side. Satisfied he had enthralled her MacRath turned his back and went forward to direct the liftoff. Once back in England, presuming safe transit, he informed the crew they would set down back at the River Brue and load enough water to return to Oakdell Hall.

Airborne again, this time with running lights on, Walker steered a reciprocal heading as the paddle urgently flashed. At midnight, the orange rift appeared and MacRath took the Coventina through accompanied by a strident triumphant blast of song from the scarlet paddle. The crew knew instinctively they were back home in England and soon landed to refuel. The routine completed, they launched again as the sun began to rise over the eastern woods. There were quiet congratulations as the familiar landscape of Oakdell Hall hove into view. The sentry roused the ground crew and soon the airship was moored safely on the pad. MacRath relaxed at the mission accomplished. He would have been less sanguine had he realized Lady Joyce had watched through slitted eyes the entire flight.

I’ve written 21,000 words so far as a first draft. Setting the novel in an alternate history gives me latitude with characters and technology. Thankfully the internet has extensive archives of Victorian historical facts, so the research—both topical and geographical—has given me a sense of the times. I decided to place the novel in 1865 so that any research I do, can also be used for The Bumhampton Chronicles. [Minus the Steampunk, magic, vampires, airships and a few other minor details.]


I got sidetracked in November, 2016, when Ina Morata, a fellow erotica author and very good friend, wrangled me an invitation to join the Paranormal Erotic Romance group. After the initial shock [and after she talked me off the ledge—authors you know] I plunged headlong into writing a 24,000 word novella due for beta reading in one month!

Up until this point I had never written anything paranormal—not strictly true, since I self-published a novel under my complete real name in 2007. But that novel was not erotica, a paranormal romance, yes. However, since at present I am still keeping the spanking/erotica separate from my real life… Anyway—I read lots of werewolf and vampire stories, but this was for Valentine’s Day! What could I use? Well, all my stories are spanking themed: I have a vampire in Sir Nachton MacRath; he’s already spanked Lady Joyce… The novel wasn’t going to work because of the Erotic Romance part of the Paranormal. I’d already decided that the novel wasn’t going to be erotica, but a Steampunk Mystery/Thriller with spanking.

So I had to come up with a different concept. Enter, the ‘Prequel’! When in doubt, go backwards and write something completely different. The result of course, was Sir MacRath Thrashes his Valentine, part of the Lust in Lace Anthology, available on Amazon Kindle Unlimited for free. The following excerpt is part of the prologue that that can read in it’s entirety on my other blog.


For the first time in ten days, the steady thump-thump of the engines and the boiling splash of the magnificent side-mounted paddle wheels fell silent. The harbor pilot called down to the tug. Thus began the ancient and primal ballet of man versus water as seasoned hands strove to bring the steamer from America into safe mooring.

As it docked, heavy hemp hawsers and thick bollards were tossed over the side to waiting stevedores. The shrill triumphant shriek of the steam whistle echoed among the emigration sheds where the starving poor sought passage to a new life in the former colonies.

Vast clouds of slate gray and white gulls took flight as the noise reduced the raucous calls of workers to pantomime. The blast faded and the flocks swooped to await handouts from the new arrivals. A crowd had gathered to meet the arriving ship. Touts held up placards bearing names of lodging and dining establishments. Open steam carriages emblazoned with coats-of-arms and commercial enterprises chuffed impatiently quayside, chauffeurs chatting amiably with gloved hands held over barrels of flame.

A late arrival coasted silently to a stop along the quay. The pennants on the front bumper proudly waved the Three Lions of the House of Hanover. Eyebrows rose: no Royal had been listed on the telegraphed manifest.

Sir Nachton MacRath waited at the gangplank to debark, nose wrinkled in protest. The tide had reached slack, raw sewage and industrial offal collecting in rotted mats along the banks of the River Mersey.

After eighteen years away, on this fifteenth day of January, in the Year of Our Lord 1854, he prepared to once again set foot on his native soil. Well, to be precise, tarred oak planks covered with bird droppings and rubbish. Six months removed from San Francisco, he was glad to be finally back, although unsure of his welcome. He had run afoul of the Regent in late 1835, and despite repeated assurances from the Queen in the following decades, he had decided instead to tour the Near East and China.

As you may note, the date is January, 1854, eleven years prior to the events unfolding in The Case of The Scarlet Paddle, thus neatly side-stepping the whole time continuum bit. Clever trick, I must say. 🙂 The blurb that was chosen for Amazon is as follows:

In Byron Cane’s Sir MacRath Thrashes his Valentine, MacRath is a centuries-old vampire returning home after decades of absence. It is 1854 in steampunk London, and Her Majesty has appointed MacRath Her Chastiser of Loose Morals. Phoebe Hayward is a lady of good breeding, but quite a handful. Despite discovering the man ordered to discipline her is actually a vampire, she can’t help falling in love. MacRath will ensure she is well punished and dominated in all ways as befits his naughty Valentine.

One thing that I must mention, was that the Victorians were raving mad about Valentine’s Day, and sending elaborate cards. Thanks to the Penny Post, an entire industry sprang up to support the romantic holiday. Queen Victoria was not amused. The following excerpt is when MacRath first spanks and sexually touches Phoebe, even though he knows he shouldn’t.

MacRath opened the envelope and saw a confection of lace and hearts with a bright red bow wrapped around a chubby Cupid. The text read ‘Be my Valentine’. He glanced at her and saw her face was bright pink. “Would you want this of me?”
Phoebe murmured softly, “I’ve thought of little else since we collided.”
MacRath cupped her warm cheek in his cold palm. She made a squeaky noise akin to a surprised kitten and sagged into his hand.
He felt his instincts flare in warning. A simple touch of her skin, and he felt the need to dominate her overrule centuries of engrained caution.
“Yes, darling Phoebe, I will be your Valentine.” He felt her shiver. “But before pleasure comes pain. I would have you over my knee and exposed for my discipline. Will you submit to your Valentine in all ways?”
She didn’t speak, only nodded. He sensed she was probably too shy, too naïve, too nervous, but she allowed him to carefully draw her limp body down over his lap. She lifted up when commanded and he gathered the hem and folds of her gown and neatly folded the bunched fabric over her back. His hand roamed over her cotton drawers and slowly, very slowly, pulled them down until the cool draft from the window swirled over her bare bottom.
The room was cold. Vampires had no need of warmth, being creatures of the darkest haunts of nightmares. Fluids, on the other hand, flowed freely when warmed. MacRath fully intended to thoroughly warm his Valentine.
Backed by decades of frustrated exile and the power of suppressed lust, his arm moved in a metronomic blur, the sound of impact a sustained fusillade of loud cracks. The faint pink blush of punished flesh became a raging torrent as heated blood swiftly rushed to the surface of Phoebe’s globular bottom in response to the painful stimulus.
His fangs had dropped and saliva pooled by the time her feeble cries penetrated his hazed state. He rested his cool hand on the scorched skin. The shimmer of red glowed brightly in the dim light. His long pointed fingers dipped between her restless thighs.


Phoebe at first thought herself in a familiar position. The hard protuberance under her soft belly though, revealed a difference she’d never before experienced. She knew what ‘it’ was in the abstract, but to be surrounded by and under the firm control of such masculine power caused an interesting reaction in all sorts of unexpected places. Then the punishment began.
Phoebe wailed under the chastising onslaught. Any romantic thoughts of tender spanking quickly vanished when the pain overwhelmed the tentative stirrings of damp arousal.
The quilt was at first cool and dry under her turned cheek, but became hot and wet as the heat built in her backside. She cried out in wordless wonder and anguish. She felt her waist lifted higher, her body jackknifed in midair until only forehead and toes remained in contact with the bed. The very pinnacle of her existence, the essence of her being, was focused solely on the one square foot of flesh where a stern hand pounded a harsh lesson in obedience.
And then it was over. One single minute had changed Phoebe’s life forever. She poured out all her guilt in gasping sobs. Broken pleas for forgiveness, eyes unfocused as adrenaline coursed through her veins. Limbs trembled, held suspended in space and time. She felt nothing but the fiery burn of punishment. Then, like a lighthouse beckoning safe harbor, a sudden conflagration ignited.
She stilled as a cold touch whispered over her curls and swollen folds. Her mouth ceased its pants of pain and softened into moans of surprise. She heard from some distant shore a siren call of pleasure and, like be-spelled mariners of old, she ignored the safe guide-beam of propriety and steered her course deliberately to wreck upon the rocks of fallen souls.
“Phoebe, allow me to comfort you. Soothe your aches, tend to your womanly garden and pluck the thorns from your flesh.”


I’m quite pleased with my contribution to Lust in Lace. I was able to beta read the other authors in the anthology, working with my friend Ina, as well as Emma Jaye, plus the editor and self-publisher, Devi Ansevi, from whom I learned quite a bit about writing and editing.

Writing the novella revealed something that has occurred before every single time I write lengthy fiction. At some point in the process—it varies in each manuscript—the characters begin to take over the narrative. It never happens [so far] in anything less than 5,000 words, and sometimes it will be closer to 20,000 words before they get tired of my fumbling efforts to create, and start dictating instead. When that happens, invariably the characters get together in a room and start reading from scripts as if in a play or soap opera.

I’m not allowed in until they finish rehearsal.

Hey… I’m just the narrator, not the talent.

Hope you enjoyed this newsletter and see you next month here, or get your daily spanking, at Spank Me Hard… Please?.

Byron Cane