August MacGregor

Celebrating Sensuality. Intended for mature audiences, 18 and over


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April Update

It’s been a while! I hope you’ve been well. Many weeks have gone by since I last posted on my blog — and it was quite a change going from posting every day during January and February to taking a break.

While I’ve missed posting on my blog and reading other blogs, the break has been a good one. It’s helped me get on a better track with my day job. Which has been busy, so I was relieved to take away the deadline of posting every day that I had put on myself.

Also, the break from my blog helped fine-tune my focus back onto longer stories — instead of poetry and flash fiction. And that’s been wonderful.

Because I’ve come to realize a big difference in writing flash fiction versus longer stories. Coming up with shorter pieces (fewer than 1,000 words) is neat for seeing what kind of story you can tell in a condensed amount of time. They’re fun to write.

However, you don’t get immersed in the story. Not like you do with a novella or a novel. It hit me when I made the realization that maybe it’s the reason why my short stories don’t sell very well on Amazon and Smashwords. I thought about it from a reader’s point of view, when I pick up a novel and dive into it and find out where it takes me. I like rooting for the characters and seeing what happens to them. Seeing if they change, grow, as the story unfolds.

And that’s what I’ve been missing as a writer when I focused on shorter stories. I missed connecting with the characters and pulling for them. I missed imagining the possibilities of where the story could go. Then seeing how I think the characters would react to the expanding story.

And that’s what I got back to when I returned my attention to longer stories. I was able to immerse myself in them. Like I said, it’s been wonderful. I’ve had such a good time writing a few stories — and I even managed to finish a couple.

I’ve worked on different types of stories: more romantic and sexier ones under my August pen name, as well as more vanilla stories under my real name. It’s been interesting to see that I write slower with the vanilla stuff. Nothing like the sexy scenes (or anticipation of sexy scenes) to get the fingers flying on the keyboard. Except for the dangerous stuff — like in the thriller novel on which I worked for National Novel Writing Month last November.

I’m still planning to get back to that thriller novel. Eventually!

But I’ve been wrapping other stuff up first. The big one was completing my second novel, Tara & Steve: A Tale of Swingers. This project started off several years ago as a series of short stories about a dating couple that tries out a swinging lifestyle — and the consequences that those adventures have on their relationship.

I tied together the short stories into chapters for a novel and hit it hard with my editor’s hammer. Well, that sounds too violent. More like a pen, with removing stuff here and adding stuff there. The novel is the longest story I’ve written so far, at a little more than 135,000 words. And, damn, that sucker felt good to publish.

I also finished a story that started off as a short piece last year on my blog. It had bugged me that the story wasn’t done, since the characters yearned for more than where I left them. So I expanded the story into a novella, and that’s published, too. I’ll have a post about it next week, as I’m going give the ebook away for free on Amazon for 5 days. It’s about Beltane, the Gaelic festival to celebrate fertility and the arrival of the warm season. The event comes on May 1, so I want to make the novella free leading up to that day.

The original story ran last year in two parts, and I deleted those posts because the ebook is under Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing Select (KDP Select), which means the story can’t be available electronically anywhere besides Amazon. It also means that if you have Kindle Unlimited, the story is free any time it’s within the program — well beyond the 5 days when it’s free to everybody.

So that’s an overview of what I’ve been up to since my last post. Lots of work on my day job and lots of writing. Of course, getting out and enjoying the sunshine, too :)

After posting next week about my Beltane novella, I’ll probably duck out again for another break. I apologize for not keeping a more regular schedule of posting. But some stories have their grip on me, and it’s really hard to stay away from them for long. I’m not sure what I’d post about if I did have a regular schedule — since I’m not going to return to writing poetry or flash fiction any time soon. I hope you understand. Writing the longer stories is like a drug that pulls me in and gives me a rush that’s amazing.


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A Slower Pace of Blogging

Another month has wrapped up, and I want to thank all of you who read my poems in February and gave such wonderful comments. Truly, I was surprised about the reactions. In planning for February, I wanted to publish a love poem a day, and I didn’t think beyond that. It turned out that these poems gathered more likes than anything else I’ve written on this blog.

So, thank you. You’ve humbled me.

Now I’m turning to look ahead. My posting will slow down a lot, compared with posting daily in January and February. This comes for two reasons.

Most importantly, I need to focus more on my day job — as I’ve been allowing that to slip. Time management is definitely not one of my strengths, and I’ve got to get back on track for my job.

The other reason is that, as I carve out time to write, I’m going back to work on stories that are longer than poems and flash fiction.

Through the past few years, I’ve published 24 erotic and romantic ebooks, from short stories, to novellas, to a novel. Given the amount of my works in progress, I could certainly churn out many more of these. Sexy stories are a thrill to write. So I’ll be looking to wrap up some of these stories and publish them as ebooks.

But I’m also going to work on other types of stories, due to a creative urge to go beyond sex as a big part of storytelling.

Also, there’s a practical reason to see how non-erotic ebooks would sell. February has been a small uptick in sales for me, probably because I put all my ebooks on sale at 99 cents each. I’m grateful for my sales, as there are so many options for entertainment out there. It’s wonderful to me when someone chooses one of my books.

I have to wonder if non-erotic books would sell better and help get me closer to becoming a full-time writer. After all, according to the July 2014 Author Earnings Report, erotica represented only 1.2% of ebook sales on Amazon for that month’s snapshot.

My non-erotic stories will not fit under my August pen name, but will be published under my own name. I would like to eventually get to a point where I find a kind of balance, when I work some on erotica and some on non-erotic stories.

This doesn’t mean I’m saying good-bye to this blog. I will be popping back in now and then. You’ll see a poem occasionally, as I still have many of those that I haven’t published here yet. In diving into love poetry for February, a book of poems resulted — something I hadn’t planned. So, I’ll be sharing more of the poems in there.

And I’ll be popping in to read your blogs, too. Since starting this blog a little more than a year ago, I’ve made fantastic connections with you guys, and I’ve enjoyed your beautiful writing. I’m certainly going to come back and enjoy more of it.

Thank you again for supporting my blog. Your likes and comments have been wonderful, as continue on this journey as a writer. I deeply appreciate you.


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A Beginning

“Let love into your heart,”
she whispered.
“Life is much better with it. Trust me. Trust me on this one.”

His face rose,
from looking at his feet, to seeing her.

“Let yourself be vulnerable,”
she said softly.
“Let yourself be loved. And let yourself love someone else.”

She smiled at him. A smile of warmth,
light in the dark room.
“You’ve been alone for too long.”

He nodded. A gentle nod.
It wasn’t a lot, but she didn’t expect a lot.
It was a beginning.


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“I Want to Die While You Love Me” by Georgia Douglas Johnson

sun shining through trees, by Tony Armstrong (Flickr, Creative Commons)

Tony Armstrong (Flickr, Creative Commons)

I Want to Die While You Love Me

Georgia Douglas Johnson

I want to die while you love me,
While yet you hold me fair,
While laughter lies upon my lips
And lights are in my hair.

I want to die while you love me,
And bear to that still bed,
Your kisses turbulent, unspent
To warm me when I’m dead.

I want to die while you love me
Oh, who would care to live
Till love has nothing more to ask
And nothing more to give?

I want to die while you love me
And never, never see
The glory of this perfect day
Grow dim or cease to be!

*****

From The Book of American Negro Poetry (1922), edited by James Weldon Johnson. Source of poem: Poetryfoundation.org. The photo above is used under the non-commercial Creative Commons license. Click on image to jump to photographer’s Flickr page.


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Piece by Piece

Piece by piece
of clothing
dropped to the floor.
Night by night
the clothing was shed,
to be picked up
the next morning
in less rushed times.

This shedding
was much more comfortable
than the shedding
of some of
the fortifications around his heart
as he shared
some of the
multitude of his emotions with her.

Lust,
she told him,
is easier than love.
But love is much deeper.
You are right to be careful with your heart.
And I will also be careful with it.


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Forever and Ever Diamonds

diamond ring, by Tim S (Flickr, Creative Commons)

Tim S (Flickr, Creative Commons)

Diamonds,
the company wants us to know,
are forever.

And that’s true even when
the relationship has ended.

The jewel a sparkling reminder
of what once was.

And happily ever after
was not accomplished,
not this time.

But not all relationships
work out like fairy tales,
diamond marketing, and
romantic comedies.

Moments will sparkle
like that diamond
Moments will cut
like that diamond
Moments will fade away
Moments will last forever,
perhaps polished and multi-faceted,
like that diamond.

*****

The photo above is used under the non-commercial Creative Commons license. Click on image to jump to photographer’s Flickr page.


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“A Love Song” by William Carlos Williams

abstract yellow and clouds, by webtreats (Flickr, Creative Commons)

webtreats (Flickr, Creative Commons)

A Love Song

William Carlos Williams

What have I to say to you
When we shall meet?
Yet—
I lie here thinking of you.

The stain of love
Is upon the world.
Yellow, yellow, yellow,
It eats into the leaves,
Smears with saffron
The horned branches that lean
Heavily
Against a smooth purple sky.

There is no light—
Only a honey-thick stain
That drips from leaf to leaf
And limb to limb
Spoiling the colours
Of the whole world.

I am alone.
The weight of love
Has buoyed me up
Till my head
Knocks against the sky.

See me!
My hair is dripping with nectar—
Starlings carry it
On their black wings.
See, at last
My arms and my hands
Are lying idle.

How can I tell
If I shall ever love you again
As I do now?

*****

From William Carlos Williams’s collection, Poems 1916. Source of poem: Poets.org. The photo above is used under the non-commercial Creative Commons license. Click on image to jump to photographer’s Flickr page.

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