Writing While Spelunking…

shutterstock_93664576 SpelunkngThe time of year has arrived.

When this girl, who abhors tight spaces and is deathly afraid of heights, goes cave diving.

Okay. Not exactly cave diving, as in underwater tanks and fish, but certainly rappelling into the great depths of my mind to find what mysteries lie undiscovered…

In other words: I’ve entered my writing cave.

Never fear.

Every writer braves the solitary element, countless times. One must pass through the gauntlet to arrive safely on the other side.

Our motivation? The promise of the prize. The journey. The destination. While the entire exercise is no easy feat, it is an honored rite of passage.

Harrowing at times, the key to a successful expedition is preparedness. The rest? We trust by faith.

Spelunking is cave exploration (in my phobic mind, to the depths of the earth.) Dangerous. Exciting. Traveling to places no man has gone before. The reward is the ability to share an incredible story.

Entering one’s writing cave has some parallels to spelunking, and I shall heed their common life-saving advice:

  • Research to the point of total preparedness
  • Bring essential equipment: flashlight, chocolate, Twitter access…
  • If you encounter what seems like an impassable block, don’t panic. Take deep breaths until you find your path.
  • Embrace the darkness, bravely traversing until you find the light.
  • Understand you have to get a little dirty for a big payoff ;)

Writing while spelunking is the epitome of multi-tasking and a challenge I welcome. I shall endeavor to reach out to Twitter daily and Facebook and my blog on an intermittent basis, although it is possible that signal strength during various parts of my journey could be patchy at best.

Pray that I make it out safely in the end.

Notes of well wishes will be greatly welcomed.

If you don’t hear from me for several days in a row, send food. It’s possible we got trapped in a landslide. But don’t worry. I’m not alone. I’ve brought the biggest, baddest, alpha male to keep me company.

{smiles slowly}

Oh, yes. My journey is being guided by Skorpius. I have faith he’ll keep me safe and see this epic odyssey through. He insists on finally sharing his story with the world, after all. The title of the novel I’m working on is Born of Mist and Legend (100% Skorpius approved.)

While I’m negotiating corridors tighter than I’d like to think about until absolutely necessary, please continue to watch over my affairs. The incredible support you’ve shown thus far has been amazing, and has carried both Highland Legends Series titles on the Amazon Best Seller lists since their releases. I trust you all implicitly to guide others in promoting and protecting my books at their tender young age.
(Contact information is listed in the back, in case of emergency.)

Whether you seek to join me in exploring hidden secrets buried deep in caves history, are taking a lunch break from work, or looking for a relaxing scorching nightcap to an evening, both Forged in Dreams and Magick and Bound by Wish and Mistletoe will keep us connected in our hearts, even if we’re thousands of miles apart.

Forged in Dreams and Magick Cover

Bound by Wish and Mistletoe Cover

And should you want to join me in helping those most lost in this world, while enjoying or gifting romantic poetry as we approach Valentine’s Day, please consider a purchase of Utterly Loved.

Utterly Loved Book Cover

Happy reading, everyone! And wish me a safe and happy spelunking! :)

Your humble shoe,

~ Kat

© 2014 by Kat Bastion

A Date with da Vinci

Vitruvian Man

Hello, my friends!

Want to go on a Renaissance adventure? We did on Saturday, when we went to the Arizona Science Center to experience “Da Vinci – The Genius” for an afternoon.

{piles you all into the car with us}

First, a pit stop to Starbucks, as a proper odyssey requires the beverage of the masses.

Next, we crank the music up for a bit of audio caffeine. Mr. Bastion was in charge of the tunage, and it was 80′s rock in full force and effect. Granted we did start with a love ballad, Journey’s “Send Her My Love”, but then it was AC/DC and “Back in Black”. Before long, we hit a trilogy of Def Leppard songs, “Rock of Ages”, “Photograph”, and “Pour Some Sugar on Me”, in that order. Hope you aren’t shy with your singing. Every word to the songs was belted out at the top of our lungs.

At some point, mass laughter erupted in the car, as I commented about how our trip to see a Master of Renaissance art had turned into Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. And…when you go on a Bastion outing, truly, we’d have it no other way.

Ummmmm… Have you ever been to a science museum?

No?

Neither had we.

Culture shock ensued, with rapid eye-blinking and deep breaths. Before we’d even gained entrance, I felt like our Bill & Ted’s phone-booth time machine had transported us directly into Sky Harbor International Airport. At Thanksgiving. Lines to ticket counters snaked around poles in a maze format, and children and families were everywhere.

Did da Vinci approve this? {whispers} I’m quite certain he would’ve approved of every minute in the caffeinated car ride. #JustSayin ;)

After we acquired tickets, we went up to the 3rd floor and down several corridors to the exhibit entrance where an elderly female volunteer, and gatekeeper to the exhibit, spoke at her leisure to two other older female guests. The moment their conversation ended, she closed the stretchy rope barrier, and looked down her nose at us, saying “This is a ticketed event.”

I glanced at Mr. Bastion, wondering if somehow she’d heard word of our rock party on the way over, because my khaki linen shorts and v-neck black t-shirt seemed nondescript enough. Mr. Bastion pulled the tickets from his pocket and she opened the gate, making a final comment in a firm tone, “No pictures.”

Do you get riled on a primal level when someone tells you not to do something? Mmmmhmmmm…

You’ll all be so proud of me. My inner-rebel wanted to take pictures so badly, but my inner-angel won out. Partly, because I have a respect for rules, even though I do sometimes break them, but mostly because I was there as a guest to enjoy myself, and did not want to disturb the enjoyment of others.

We stepped into the exhibit. Clearly, I’d been star-struck by the name Leonardo da Vinci, and had forgotten where we were: a science center. “Da Vinci – The Genius” was billed as the most comprehensive exhibit to tour the world on Leonardo da Vinci, and upon seeing the massive room with an equally impressive number of people rivalling an amusement park, I’d be inclined to agree.

Mr. Bastion and I waited patiently in a long line for all of forty-five seconds, before our inner-unruliness had us break rank. We meandered from exhibit to exhibit that talked about his various codices and who currently held them. Many of his inventions were brought to life in replicas from tiny journals, to massive flying contraptions. He developed a diving suit and had a fascination with clocks. An emergency bridge, a tank, and many other wartime inventions were created by him.

I was drawn to the paintings. Beautiful works of art captivated me, and I found myself staring at them, lost in every stroke, the use of light, the way transparent fabric looked so real, I felt as if I could touch the gossamer fabric.

Of course, the geek in me was amazed that the world, just a few years ago, stumbled across an unknown painting by da Vinci. La Bella Principessa, was sold at auction in New York in 2009 for around $20,000 as a purported German work from the early 19th century. An analysis of the da Vinci-esque painting revealed a finger print on the work that matched a finger print found on one of da Vinci’s unfinished paintings, St. Jerome in the Wilderness. The lost da Vinci, La Bella Principessa’s value? An estimated $160 million.

The discovery of a lost da Vinci painting wasn’t what left me speechless, though. I stood before one of the many giant placards on the wall that described two mural paintings that were commissioned to two different artists…and never finished. Da Vinci…and Michelangelo. Fabulous sketches of horses and soldiers were hung beside the story, but I got stuck on the name-dropping as my mind transported back to their time, imagining da Vinci painting on one wall of the Council Hall in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence and Michelangelo painting on the other. {makes a note to bring them coffee and cake pops from Starbucks on the next phone-booth time machine trip}

That’s right, my friends. I have a date with da Vinci. It matters not to me that the paintings were never completed (da Vinci’s never dried properly and Michelangelo’s never made it past sketch stage and onto the wall.), and eventually da Vinci’s partial mural was painted over. {takes a hit on my oxygen tank and passes it to you} I can still be there in my imagination, cheering da Vinci on. Granted, I’m an impartial supporter—and a fan of Michelangelo—so sorry Leo, you’re going to have to put up with me cheering on the prodigy, too.

Oh, and by the way, Mr. Bastion has been telling me all about a book that he’s been reading, Da Vinci’s Ghost by Toby Lester. It talks about not only the life of da Vinci, but also the great inspiration of many of his works, the ancient Roman engineer Vitruvius and his writings. Mr. Bastion highly recommends this book to anyone interested in Leonardo da Vinci.

And…I also have a date with Mr. Bastion at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy. Our interest in the Uffizi was sparked by Sylvain Reynard in his wonderful fictional novels Gabriel’s Inferno and Gabriel’s Rapture.

My date calendar is filling up!

It’s been a blast traveling with you, my friends.

In September, the first novel in the Highland Legends series, Forged in Dreams and Magick, will be released. I can’t wait to take you on an incredible adventure into the Highlands of Scotland during a time when…on another content in Italy…Dante Alighieri was about to pen his imaginary journey to the netherworld, arguably starting the Renaissance period.

If you had a chance to go back in time to spend the day with anyone and do anything, what would it be? What would you bring as refreshments?

Your humble shoe,

~ Kat

© 2013 by Kat Bastion

 

The Lure of The Great Alpha Male Re-Blogged

talktotheshoe:

Since I’m writing about Great Alpha Males in the Highlands, and everyone seems to be drawn to this page, I decided to share with you again what seems to be on all of our minds… I hope you enjoy. ;)

Originally posted on Talk To The Shoe:

The Lure of the Great Alpha Male

© 2012 by Kat Bastion

We all want him.  Not just any alpha male.  
We all want the Great Alpha Male.

The Alpha Male…

An alpha doesn’t walk into a room.  He commands it.  Without effort, he could defeat every male there.  The intangible vibe pouring off those broad shoulders announces the danger louder than a bull horn.  Every other wise man in the room heeds the warning.

Every single woman responds to the dominant presence.  Instinctually.

Something primal takes over.

Our hair gets fluffed without thought.

Perfectly glossed lips get licked.

Shirts are pulled down lower, chests stuck out further, hips swayed another degree right and left in an unconscious effort to gain the spectacular male’s notice.

The mating dance has begun. 
He surveys the group of potential females. 

Each woman hopes for a chance to be the one…
The female above all…

View original 370 more words

A Love Affair With Words…

A Love Affair With Words …

© 2012 by Kat Bastion

Do you have a love affair with words?

Have you vibrated when you’ve found the perfect morsel, a rush of satisfaction firing through your veins when you know only that single descriptor will do above any other?

Do you obsess about your own?

Have you moaned in need, knowing exactly what you want to say… but it’s just out of reach, on the tip of your tongue, tormenting you with a taste… but not quite gaining substance?

Do you crave them from others?

Have you searched for that secret place of solitude, away from the world, where you can escape for an hour, or two… or many… into a dreamland spun by another?

Do you find yourself addicted?

Have you strived to find that sweet spot of balance and rhythm, a natural ebb and flow, teasing a heart-felt work of art from a cold slab of marble?

Do you long to turn the most mundane into something spectacular?

     … {smiles slowly} ….

To walk into a British car auction, testosterone pinging in the air.

In an arena dominated by wealth, your pulse accelerates as the journey unfolds.

The sensuality… palpable.

Your gaze travels the room until… your breath catches.

She lies there in beautiful repose, the object of your desire.

Exquisite curves beg for your touch.

You lick your lips.

Unbidden, your body leans closer.

The eyes of a voyeur stare deep into her soul.

Bared for you to devour.

You imagine sliding in…

The fit tight… but perfect.

She hugs your body as if the two of you were created together.

Your fingers slide over her soft, supple skin.

A firm grip… takes control.

You swallow hard, slamming zero to sixty in record time.

And still… you push her harder.

She takes everything you have to give her and screams for more.

You shift gears…

She responds… purring…

Faster…

Hotter…

Forcing…

Vibrating…

The auctioneer’s voice over the intercom interrupts the two of you and you snap back to the room. You stare back longingly at her. The moment was shared. The erotic experience happened. The memory, a snapshot forever kept in the album of your mind.

… {inhales deeply} …

Do you have secret liasons with your thesaurus?

Have you squealed in delight when a “word of the day” account followed you on Twitter, following back the decadent account with breathless anticipation of a beautiful relationship?

… {whispers} … I –so- have…

Do you have a love affair with words?

I do…

Your Favorite Shoe,

Kat Bastion

© 2012 by Kat Bastion

The Lure of the Great Alpha Male

The Lure of the Great Alpha Male

© 2012 by Kat Bastion

We all want him.  Not just any alpha male.  
We all want the Great Alpha Male.

The Alpha Male…

An alpha doesn’t walk into a room.  He commands it.  Without effort, he could defeat every male there.  The intangible vibe pouring off those broad shoulders announces the danger louder than a bull horn.  Every other wise man in the room heeds the warning.

Every single woman responds to the dominant presence.  Instinctually.

Something primal takes over.

Our hair gets fluffed without thought.

Perfectly glossed lips get licked.

Shirts are pulled down lower, chests stuck out further, hips swayed another degree right and left in an unconscious effort to gain the spectacular male’s notice.

The mating dance has begun. 
He surveys the group of potential females. 

Each woman hopes for a chance to be the one…
The female above all others that he has chosen.

We’ve already chosen him, even if our stubborn mind puts up a valiant fight.  Our body overrides reason.  We are biologically programmed to choose virility.  We seek protection from the one most able to provide. 

Sound animalistic? {smiles slowly}
Oh, yes.  Most definitely.

A glance comes our way… devastating.

The voice… deep and soul-penetrating.

Those eyes… demanding.

Our breath quickens. 

Our pulse races.

We swallow hard, our throat suddenly Sahara dry.

Logic steps in, creating a tug-of-war with our bodies and minds.  We shake our heads, clearing lustful thoughts.  Will-power soon falters, our gaze traveling back to the object of desire.

Every action is geared toward the heart-pounding hunt.  It’s one thing to find him.  Quite another to ensnare the specimen alpha male.

The alpha male, may dally with many females, but chooses only one as his mate.  Someone worthy of everything he has to offer.  A powerful woman… is his counterpart.

When the two meet, it is in every way, a collision.
The dance continues, and, yet, has only just begun.

Fighting. 

Resisting. 

Overpowering. 

Submitting.

No matter the strength of his female…
the alpha male must overpower her to have her. 

By choosing him, she agrees to be owned by him…
whether she realizes it or not.

The Great Alpha Male…

If we’re lucky, we haven’t found just any alpha male.
The rare few capture the Great Alpha Male. 
The one that is innately alpha… and so much more.

When the larger than life man falls to his knees…

When the man who can conquer legions yields to a woman…

When he rips his chest wide open, handing her his very heart…

That incredibly lucky woman has found…

… the Great Alpha Male.

Romance is filled with larger than life Great Alpha Males. 
The Highlands are filled with them… in reality and our fictional worlds. 
Hence, my unending love for Highlanders. 

Who is my favorite Great Alpha Male?
So far, it would have to be Jericho Barrons. 
He may not be a Highlander, but damn, what a Great Alpha Male.
And… he was part Pict, after all.

Who is your favorite Great Alpha Male?

Your Favorite Shoe,

Kat

© 2012 by Kat Bastion

Sex Condiments ~ For The Love Of Sensuality…

Sex Condiments ~ For The Love Of Sensuality…

© 2012 by Kat Bastion

We’ve all dabbled in a bit of food… a lot of sex.

No? 

Everyone hasn’t raced back to their hotel room with their man after a romantic dinner, holding the strawberry cheesecake, not able to wait until they got through eating dessert in public before devouring each other in private?

And… when you got back to the hotel room. 
And… were told to strip as he climbed into the hot tub. 
And… he looked at you as if you both hadn’t just eaten. 

As if… he hadn’t eaten in years…

Your man, holding that cheesecake with a wicked smirk on his face.

You did not strip fast. Oh, no.

The sensual dance had begun. Every sense you possessed had already heightened.

By the time you stepped into that hot tub, he had already painted every curve of your body with his mind.  You stood there above him. He sat in the swirling hot water below you. With his fingers, he smeared in achingly slow precision the confection, a five star pastry-chef-created masterpiece, onto your skin in all his favorite places. Together, you created a new work of art.

Hot licks and sucks, moans and shivers, laughs and begging followed as he made dessert out of you…

Mmmmmmm… {thoughts get sidetracked in the fantasy for a moment}

What is it about food…and sex?

If the food is spectacular? Mouths water. Moans are elicited. Breaths are held.  Satisfaction is written on your face as you wrap your lips around your first juicy morsel before the fork is slowly pulled away.

It’s foreplay. If the food is stellar, it can be orgasmic. … {whispers} Although, that can be quite embarrassing in public. If you tend to get…loud.

Sex Condiments… A Party In Sensuality:

Sex Condiments in particular heighten sensuality, bringing the five senses up front and center.

  • Touch:  Hot or cold.
  • Taste:    Sweet, Salty, Spicy…
  • Sound:  The sounds? Very different.
  • Sight:    Things dripping, frosted, slathered, begging to be licked…
  • Smell:   Sweet…mixed with that heady, musky scent of her arousal as the heat gets ramped up.

Haven’t we all wanted to become condiment connoisseurs?  Operating purely off instinct and spontaneity.  If the mood strikes and the topping is available, then partake.  Wholeheartedly.

Suggested sex condiments:

  • Chocolate frosting
  • Ice cream
  • Honey
  • Strawberry cheesecake after a delicious meal in your hotel room hot tub… Oh. Sorry, I strayed there again, didn’t I? {smirks}
  • Whipped cream
  • Hot chocolate sauce or hot caramel sauce

As a writer, the poetry of food and sex is unparalleled. As a woman… or a man… research for writing is a requirement. Lots, and lots, of painstakingly slow research…

What is your favorite topping… I mean sex condiment?

  • Was it being blindfolded, hands bound, not knowing what your wily man was up to, only to gasp in shock when he dripped freezing ice cream onto your most sensitive erotic nerve center? Followed by the soothing heat of his mouth…
  • Your strawberry cheesecake hot tub incident? When laughter… and moans were the alternating sounds?
  • How about when you straddled him, watching his wide-eyed expression below you as you drizzled honey onto your breasts? Slow moving trails of amber liquid pulled by gravity, falling from hardened tips, dripping one sticky drop at a time from your chest onto his until he cannot watch anymore and launches upright, helping clean up that sticky mess with his mouth…

What about hot chocolate or caramel sauce? Whipped cream?

{smiles} Oh, if you haven’t tried them yet, I am so guessing you will…

Since you cannot seem to identify your absolute favorite… More studies are definitely in order.

One VERY important caveat: I’m fairly certain it’s bad for a woman’s … inner ecology… to get sugar up in her whoo-ha (highly technical term) so be sure to clean it completely off slots and tabs before connecting. Licking and sucking thoroughly is suggested, but not guaranteed.

The laughter cleaning up every doorknob, wall corner, counter surface, and floor tile smudged with chocolate or honey… for days… Will be Priceless. (But, watch out for ants!)

Happy research, everyone!  Please comment and share your favorite sex condiments.  Your tips and comments.  And… your research results… {smirks}

Your Favorite Shoe,

Kat Bastion

© 2012 by Kat Bastion