Posts Tagged ‘behind the music’

The Joke In Last Week’s Story

September 15, 2011

For those of you not paying attention (I know some of the people who read this blog also buy my books, and it’s distinctly possible that you lost track of when exactly the underprivileged get to read my stories) this week’s update was “Yesterday”. (I will resist the temptation to point out that it was actually Saturday.) The story is based on the Beatles song, and there is a reference to it in there…but probably not the one you think.

Back in the 80s, you see, there was a wonderful syndicated comic strip called “Bloom County”, a personal favorite of mine that also happened to perfectly capture the zeitgeist of the Reagan era. And as you may or may not recall, depending on your age, one of the big elements of the 80s zeitgeist was MTV.

“Bloom County” had an excellent strip about MTV; in it, one of the characters talks about how he used to love the song “Yesterday”. ‘It made me think of porpoises frolicking under Antarctic rainbows,’ he says. ‘Then I saw the video on MTV. It was full of explosions and half-naked women slinking around. You know what I think of now when I hear that song?’

And anyone who read last week’s story knows the answer… ‘Half-naked exploding porpoises!’

See? I told you there was a reference. 🙂

Behind the Music: Voices Carry

June 17, 2011

It’s been quite a while since I’ve done one of these, but you might remember that it’s a series about how my real-life experiences with hypnosis informed different stories I’ve written. This time, I’m going to discuss “Voices Carry”.

Actually, the reason I haven’t posted about this one is that to some extent, I kind of already did. Back in the first incarnation of this blog, when it was on HypnoThoughts, I posted a fairly detailed recounting of a truly wonderful experience I had with Lady Ru’etha during a brief layover She had in the Twin Cities. We had some lovely public tranceplay, some delicious snuggling, some quiet conversation…it was a very special day.

What I didn’t mention in that post is that I immediately left the airport and headed for work after Lady Ru’etha got onto Her plane, feeling like I was lighter than air the whole way. And the song playing on the radio was, you guessed it, “Voices Carry”. And I’m so bouncy that everything sounds romantic, even a song that’s very clearly about a romance where one partner is ashamed of letting anyone know that he’s dating the other, and I’m doing my usual thing of thinking about the title of whatever song I’m listening to on the radio and wondering if it could be made into a story…and then it hits me. We were doing public play. What if someone had overheard Her hypnotizing me and gotten drawn in?

From there, the story flowed very naturally and organically. The main character became a woman, because hello, cute woman being seduced by hypnotic Goddess = awesome! The story became a very thinly-veiled version of what actually happened (except that in the story, Lady Ru’etha was heading home, not heading out on a trip, because I thought it lent more of an interesting tone to the ending knowing that the main character lived in the same city as the hypnodomme. Oh, and the places are all fictionalized.) And the end result is probably one of my favorite stories.

OK, it wasn’t that short. But it would have been a lot longer if I hadn’t already described most of it.

Behind the Music: Love Like Winter

September 16, 2010

We tried not to end it like this. Really, we did. We worked out the basic outline together, thrall and I, and we knew that the key to saving Abby was finding the one person she was truly passionate about; only that kind of passion could survive the process that drained Abby and make her want to keep those energies for herself, instead of storing them passively to be passed on to Dalila in turn. Carly had to sacrifice herself for Abby, we knew that. But we tried to think of what might happen next.

At one point, it was going to end with Abby resolving to find some way of making Carly fall in love with someone, just so that she could drain them. thrall actually suggested an epilogue set some five hundred years in the future showing exactly that. But we both knew, I think, that deep down this was how the story ended. It ended with the kind of love that is beautiful, and tragic, and beautiful because it’s tragic. It ends with one person loving another enough to give up their soul for (although IIRC, thrall was very specific about not wanting to use the word “soul”. She felt that it had a different connotation than simply being “the animating vital force”, and was more pure and incorruptible. I had no problems avoiding the word…well, it was sometimes hard to come up with a good synonym. But no emotional problems, that was the key point.)

Other than that…I remember having to rework that first joke a lot to make it more understandable. (It’s a ‘Sleeping Beauty’ reference, for those of you who still missed it. The three fairy godmothers in the Disney version were Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather. One of these things is not like the others…) I remember proudly coming up with the way Carly was going to lose the flashlight, and how when I typed the first bit–where she accidentally switches it off with her tongue–thrall said over the phone, “But really, she should lose it completely…” just as she saw the bit about her spitting it out and dropping it fill in on her side of the connection. We were totally in sync there. I remember it very specifically being thrall’s idea that they didn’t scream when they died. (I hope that is giving credit, and not assigning blame. I think we bear an equal amount of blame for how little sex is in the final chapter, though.)

We agreed to split the final scene; that meant I got to write the final confrontation between Carly and Dalila (which I really wanted to do) and thrall got to write the final reunion between Carly and Abby (which she agreed to so quickly that I’m pretty sure we both think we got the best of the deal.) But I loved writing that scene. I loved the way that the two characters talked to each other when the masks were off and the claws were out, as it were. Carly’s line, “You don’t have friends, do you? Just things you own and people you haven’t killed yet,” is one of the best things I think I’ve ever written.

Oh–credit where it’s due, thrall added in the line, “See, killing you would be a hell of a great thing. Right up there with blowing up….oh, fuck, I don’t know. The shark. The Death Star.” in rewrites. Credit where it’s also due: I added, “The Ark of the Covenant.” Specifically, I added it while giggling madly and saying to myself, “She might well kill me for this, but I don’t care!”

And of course, the final scene that thrall wrote was brilliant, emotional and sweeping and hot all at the same time…but hey, I didn’t expect anything else from such a great collaborator. We enjoyed the hell out of writing this, and I hope you enjoyed the hell out of reading it! Thanks very much to those who did!

Behind the Music: A Whiter Shade of Pale

September 9, 2010

At some point fairly early on in the development of the White Album, thrall and I had a bit of an extraordinarily polite bicker (all our bickers are extraordinarily polite; I think we’re both deeply terrified of hurting the other’s feelings) about what to call the story. She wanted to call it “Love Like Winter”, whereas I was (as usual) stuck in the 80s and wanted to call it “A Hazy Shade of Winter”, after the Bangles song. Our compromise involved turning the single story into a trilogy, with “A Whiter Shade of Pale” coming in as the middle part. (Also amusing was the way she kept calling the individual sections “chapters”, and I kept calling them “stories”. This is because I am almost pathological about not posting multi-parters anymore.)

As a result of my pathological fear of multi-part stories, we designed each section of the White Album so that it would a) have enough exposition so that if someone read the story by itself, they’d at least be able to pick up on what was going on (although you do get more out of it if you read them in order) and b) have an ending that, while possibly open-ended, was at least an ending. So if you read “A Hazy Shade of Winter”, and then your Internet connection shut down forever, you would at least have the satisfaction of believing that Abby and Carly got happily drained and enslaved at the party. If you moved on to “A Whiter Shade of Pale” before the gremlins ate your wi-fi, you’d at least have the dubious pleasure of knowing that the story ended with Abby becoming a mindless slave, once and for all. (And “dubious” is the word for it…in retrospect, that ending might have been a bit too convincing, judging by the reviews. Oh, well. We’ll see who comes back next week.)

That’s the genesis of this story, in the loosest sense…let’s see, what else can I tell you that thrall hasn’t already mentioned in her own blog post about this story? I remember it as being much longer, originally; the outline had Abby going back for her clothes after being seduced the second time (the scene in the bathtub) with Carly watching for her and totally missing her because she was so pale as to be unrecognizable. The argument that was merely glossed over was going to be a full scene in its own right, as well. But we both felt, during the writing process, that the story was starting to turn into a slog, and there was only so many times we could play the “Abby goes back to Dalila against her will and gets drained a little further” card before it got old.

(Fun story: thrall came up with the name “Dalila”, insisting not just on that name but that particular spelling because she wanted the character to sound like a pretentious model. I hated the name, but acknowledged that its irritating obnoxiousness was exactly the effect that the character would be going for, and agreed to it. About halfway through this story, thrall stumbled on typing the name and grumbled, “God, I hate that name! Can’t we change it?” My revenge was making her stick to it.)

As to Geoff…I really could have written a lot more of Geoff’s “vampire-hunting” exploits, if there was time. Because one thing that gets clarified a lot in the next story is that Geoff is completely and totally wrong; Dalila is no more a vampire than she is a succubus, or any other specific monster from mythology. So all of his attempts to “slay” her and her minions started from a false premise and went spectacularly wrong. He’s tried spiking their food with garlic, splashing them with holy water, all sorts of classic methods from movies and books, and they’ve all failed completely. That’s why Dalila never killed him; she was too busy laughing her lily-white ass off. (Incidentally, one thing that Geoff never tried was sunlight, because while he was starting from a false premise, he did his homework; the “sunlight kills vampires” meme was invented for the movie ‘Nosferatu’ because it was more visual than “having to lay on a bed of soil from your native land at dawn”. It never appeared in Stoker’s book, or any vampire folklore prior to that.)

(Speaking of, and totally apropos of nothing, one of the best vampire tricks for hiding one’s coffin was in the movie “Son of Dracula”. Alucard floats his coffin in the Louisiana bayous, with an anchor to prevent it from drifting too far. As dawn approaches, he just turns into mist, seeps in through the cracks, and then resolidifies. His additional weight causes the coffin to sink. Try getting to that, vampire hunter!)

Anyhow, what’s there to say about next week? Lots of things happen. There’s a scene inspired by Steven Moffat (who is too brilliant–it makes the rest of us look bad.) There’s a hint to the final ending already in place, and a character who returns to tell Carly some of the things we already know…and others we don’t. Carly gets to put her bartending skills to good use, and how do things finally end? With “Love Like Winter”. See you there!

Behind the Music: A Hazy Shade of Winter

September 3, 2010

Given that thrall has talked on her blog about the writing of this story, I figured I should go ahead and do the same. For me, of course, it started with thrall telling me about it when we met in person, and Lady Ru’etha making it quite clear that She would like to see a collaboration between the two of us. (That’s generally motivation enough for me.)

After that, there was a lot of plot discussions; for me, it was key that we not get too “vampire-y” about the creatures. I didn’t want this to be “thrall and Jukebox’s vampire story”, I wanted it to be a little less easy to pin down and categorize. Some of the characters in the series might call Dalila and her kind vampires, but that’s not necessarily what they call themselves. They could just as easily be succubi, or something far more mutable and unrecognizable, which is just what I wanted them to be.

thrall mentioned in her blog that I had someone very specific in mind for Flora, and it’s true; in my heart, she is forever Flora from the court of Amber (who spent a lot of time in high society on a Shadow very similar to our Earth, for the benefit of those who only dimly remember “Nine Princes In Amber”.) She’s just passing through this story, which is probably very lucky for Dalila. 🙂 The other characters didn’t have specific actors associated with them for me (it was actually quite interesting to see thrall’s conception of them) but I’ll confess to a sort of Cate Blanchett-y feel to Renata, in my head. Only more cutting and cold…I won’t get into much “who wrote what”, but I wound up really jumping at the chance to write Renata’s dialogue. (My favorite moment is when Carly asks if she and Dalila were lovers, a thought that provides her with her first genuine moment of mirth in centuries.)

Oh, now that I think about it, she’s got that in common with Morpheus from Sandman along with the skin color. One of the most effective moments with Morpheus was when he just started cracking up, because you never saw it from him. (Inspiration is sometimes just subconscious plagarism like that.)

Other than that, the story unfolded very naturally for both of us; once you’ve got the characters so clearly set into your mind like that (I might not have had pictures, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t know them) writing is just a process of figuring out what everyone wants and is willing to do and letting events take their course. Dalila wants Abby, Abby wants to photograph Dalila, Carly is protective of Abby. All those things lead to the story we wrote like water running downhill.

So what’s next? After all, Dalila seems to have what she wants by the end of the story, and both Abby and Carly have been drained white. But of course, no matter how much color fades away, you can still find “A Whiter Shade of Pale”

Behind the Music: Sweetest Perfection

February 11, 2010

Technically speaking, I shouldn’t talk about this story in this blog. Because the “Behind the Music” series is about how my real-life hypnosis experiences informed my stories, and technically speaking, none of the events in “Sweetest Perfection” actually happened. But nonetheless, it remains a real-life hypnosis story.

See, one morning as Lady Ru’etha was driving to work, She gave me a call on Her cell phone (as is Her occasional wont.) We were having a nice, normal, semi-random chat about nice, normal semi-random things…and then suddenly and without warning, She triggered me. Dropped me like a rock, right there over the phone. I was sitting at my computer chair, but the computer no longer held any interest in comparison to my Lady’s voice.

And then She described to me the trip we were going to take to Chicago in a month or so. She guided me through a visualization of going out to eat together, and all of the wonderful tranceplay we would do right there in the restaurant under everyone’s noses. (She said later that She described us dining with friends, but I missed that bit due to the cell phone connection, so the fantasy became a dinner with just the two of us.)

And then, before bringing me back up, She commanded me to write a story about it. She ordered me to write a story in detail about the experience I’d just imagined, using our real names. Later, She said, I could revise it for publication on the EMCSA (which I did–Michael and Lynn are not our real names) but for a little while, She wanted it to be a story just for Her.

And then, on Valentine’s Day of the following year, She commanded me to post it to all of you. Because while She likes having things just for Her, she’s not selfish. 🙂

Behind the Music: Say It

December 23, 2009

And so once again, I pick up the irregular “Behind the Music” feature, which tells stories about how my real-life hypnosis experiences (which are what this blog is about) led me to write some of my stories (which are probably what led you here.) Today, we’re looking at “Say It”, which was a story I posted in November of 2008 (although, as with many of my stories, it was written much earlier. I think I wrote this one in mid-February of that same year.)

As with many of my stories, I kind of have to disappoint my readers and say that none of this happened…exactly. You’ve probably guessed from reading the story that Mark and Judy are myself and Lady Ru’etha, respectively, but we never had an experience like this, on a cruise or anywhere else. But Lady Ru’etha did meet a very nice couple at a hypnosis convention the weekend I wrote this, and She shared an interesting story with me about their meeting. (Which is, naturally, Hers to share or keep quiet, as She wishes.) She then dropped me into trance, and guided me through a fantasy of some of the things that might have happened, if I had been there and things had developed a certain way and we had wound up enjoying ourselves along the lines of…well, along the lines of this story. Then She had to go (She was still at the convention, and it was a very busy weekend for Her) and left me to float for a bit and enjoy the fantasy (while chanting the exact same mantra that wound up in the story) until my alarm went off.

When I woke up, I wrote this story. It isn’t one of my better ones, I think…it’s a little too eager to get to the fun, mainly because by the time I wrote it, so was I. 🙂 But it is a notable first; I’d used a lot of words to describe hypnotized sex toys, but this is the first time I ever felt a strong enough connection to the character in the story that I actually described a character with the word “tranceslut”. That’s a pet name Lady Ru’etha uses for me when I’m under, and up until then it had felt too personal to share…but when I was typing out that mantra, it felt like it needed to be the exact same one I’d been repeating for the last hour. So I used it…and had a very hard time stopping my fingers when I got to the end of the story. 🙂

Behind the Music: Winter Wonderland

August 5, 2009

Back when this song was written, traveling Protestant ministers (known as parsons) went around from town to town, marrying Protestant couples who might not have a priest of their faith nearby. So the song is actually a romantic–

What? Oh. Right. Sorry, this is me explaining about the story “Winter Wonderland”, using a musical metaphor, not explaining about the song. Right. My mistake. It’s been a while since I’ve done these.

This one was actually done “on commission”; Lady Ru’etha wanted to do a free induction as a holiday gift to Her listeners on Her podcast, and after I’d written “Imagine”, She thought that I’d do a really good job at it. I was a little less certain (I’m a bit more confident than I was then, but I do still struggle to write hypnotic inductions; I try to think of them as monologues in a story about a hypnotist, and that usually works, but I’m not professionally trained, and so I’m always nervous that I don’t know what I’m doing. Lady Ru’etha has suggested rectifying that…but I digress.)

I was a little less certain, but let’s face it–I am putty in Lady Ru’etha’s hands. She did dangle a little reward in front of me, to sweeten the deal; once I’d finished writing the induction, I’d be allowed to listen to a hypnotic MP3 of Hers, called “Voice”. (Yes, this is also the story of how I first became conditioned to “Voice”. Amazing, innit?)

Being from a state that has plenty of snow, I knew full well how wonderfully hypnotic it can be, standing out there on a winter night when it’s just barely cold enough to snow, but still warm enough that you feel like you can stand there forever staring at the big, fluffy white flakes as they drift down through the air. That was my starting point; I went from there into toasty fires, Christmas presents, and generally free-formed a nice little erotic trance (if I do say so myself.)

It turned out to get my Lady into a bit of trouble, though; I kind of went ahead and wrote something nice and erotic and D/s and hypnotic, because it was intended for Her and that’s how I think of Her. But some of the people in the EMC community felt like it went a touch too far for a “free gift” induction; suggestions to enjoy obeying, and to let the memories of the session get wrapped up like a special present to enjoy later felt a little uncomfortable to people. So the text version of my story is not the podcast version up on Her website, because She is utterly ethical and wants to make sure that anyone getting the urge to obey Her completely and surrender to Her hypnotic will is doing so of their own volition. 🙂 She changed it not long after the thread in question (after holding off for a few days, at my suggestion, just to make sure that the people who really wanted to risk listening to the original version had a chance to download it. It’s a real sad part of our community that people who leave it sometimes have to take their contributions with them as they go, and I encourage people to avoid doing so where possible.)

That’s really about it…except that this was the first story I ever posted out of order. Why? Because nobody posts “Winter Wonderland” in late April, even in Minnesota. 🙂

Behind the Music: Imagine

May 27, 2009

Originally, when I first wrote it, “Imagine” didn’t have much to do with Lady Ru’etha. (That’s what the “Behind the Music” series is about, examining the real-life hypnosis elements that have worked their way into some of my stories. You can, of course, find more information on the stories behind my stories by buying “Greatest Hits, Volume One”, which includes a section describing exactly that.)

But at first, “Imagine” was just another story, with me trying to do something a little experimental by writing a story that was a) told entirely as a spoken monologue, b) used no gender-specific references, and c) had “Imagine” as the first word of every paragraph. I thought it worked fairly well when I sent it off to Lady Ru’etha to read (one of the perks of brainwashing your favorite writers, you get to read all their stories early.)

A few days later, I was chatting with Her in text when She sent me an email with an attachment that had the filename, “imagine.mp3.” She played a little coy about what it was, just telling me to listen to it, but I had kind of a hunch even before I put on my headphones. Even so, the experience of listening to Her speaking those words was qualitatively different from just reading them; I’m so accustomed to going into trance for Her already that it felt like the words weren’t mine at all anymore. I was totally divorced from the perspective of writing the story, and immersed in the experience of listening to Lady Ru’etha hypnotizing me with it. Oh, and I found out that it’s awfully tricky to take your shirt off while wearing headphones. 🙂

She’s since put the recording up on Her NiteFlirt page, and She’s talked to me about putting it on CD as well (She’s got some fun news about that coming up over the next few weeks.) But despite enjoying it several times since, nothing quite matches the surprise of finding out that the words I wrote belonged to Her just as surely as I do.

And on that note…

[10:52:22 AM] ladyruetha says: **HUG**
[10:52:26 AM] ladyruetha says: I need to get going to lunch…
[10:52:32 AM] ladyruetha says: And you… need to sleep for me.
[10:52:40 AM] jukebox says: And i need to eat and sleep. Yes my Lady.
[10:54:08 AM] ladyruetha says: Good boy. Eat and as you finish, feel yourself sinking down into trance before you even put on Voice.
[10:54:19 AM] ladyruetha says: It’ll feel so good.
[10:54:41 AM] jukebox says: down. yes my Lady. Must finish blogging first though. hypno-blog.
[10:55:23 AM] ladyruetha says: Good boy. You can even blog from trance. In fact, just keep typing as you were, and let people know that I hypnotized you. You may wake when you’re ready to post and put in one last line telling people what happened. You may even copy and paste this chat session.
[10:55:47 AM] jukebox says: Yes, my Lady.
[10:56:02 AM] ladyruetha says: Good boy. I look forward to seeing the results. I’m going to lunch now. I love you, pet.
[10:56:13 AM] jukebox says: i love You too, my Lady.

And I’m back. 🙂 And now I’m off to eat and sleep, as commanded. At times, I feel very lucky to be me.

Behind the Music: Take My Breath Away

May 5, 2009

I figured that maybe some of the people reading this blog wonder to themselves, “How much of these stories is just Jukebox making stuff up, and how much is based on actual hypnosis experiences he’s had?” To be honest, a lot more of it is “making stuff up” than people probably hope for. As much fun as I have belonging to Lady Ru’etha, there’s a limited number of hours in the day and we do enjoy each other’s company in more than just a D/s capacity. Not to mention, my real life experiences tend not to involve werewolves, vampires, nanites, or secret conspiracies of telepaths. Which rules out a big chunk of my stories right there.

But that doesn’t mean that Lady Ru’etha hasn’t been an influence on a lot of these stories. “Take My Breath Away”, for example, isn’t based on a specific hypnosis experience, but it borrows from a number of things that She and I have done together. When I wrote this one, it was when She had just re-awakened my love of writing erotica, and I was in the midst of a big rush of creative writing (to give you an idea, I was writing roughly five or six stories a week during this period.) I felt a strong desire to write something that stood as a tribute to Her, something that would give people an idea of just how much fun it can be to be hypnotized by Her. (At this point, I do feel the need to point out Her website, where you can pick up CDs and arrange a NiteFlirt call and find out these things for yourself. Yes, it’s a shameless plug. But I only plug the things I actually like, and boy do I like being hypnotized by Lady Ru’etha. 🙂 )

So the basic structure involved a fantasy She and I have had on occasion, where She finds some sweet, hypno-curious young woman and slowly seduces/induces her into hypnotic bliss, using me as both a subject for demonstration and as a hypnotic focus. (This is key–in the story, Tara is hypnotized long before she actually closes her eyes and goes under at the end. She’s totally focused on watching Jon and listening to Ruth, she’s stopped thinking critically about what’s happening about three paragraphs ago, and she’s open and accepting. That’s all hypnosis, even if she hasn’t realized it yet.)

I modeled Ruth on Lady Ru’etha, of course, and I like to think I’m familiar enough with Her style of inductions that this was obvious to Her fans even before I said it. Both Jon and Tara are modeled on me, at different points in my personal timeline–Tara is me, circa 2001, when I knew that hypno-kink was an interest of mine, but I didn’t know what could actually be done with it (if anything) and I was a little uncertain of what I wanted to try (if anything.) Lady Ru’etha was one of my guides there (an upcoming story, “Feels Like the First Time”, goes into this in a bit more detail. But I digress.)

This isn’t a fantasy we’ve ever played out, by the way, so the actual incidents described here have never happened. Well, not quite the way they’re described. I do have a tendency to be so cued in to Lady Ru’etha’s speaking style that I can tell just from Her tone and inflection if She wants me to go under…and my subconscious tends to err on the side of “yes,” so there have been times when She’s woken me from trances that strictly speaking, She hasn’t actually induced. (There have also been times when She hasn’t woken me from those trances, too.)

Likewise, we’ve done a lot of fractionation play, and it remains a favorite of Hers and a major part of Her style of hypnosis. (In “Mountain Lake”, She does a neat trick with nested countdowns, inducing you further from inside an induction to great effect.) She’s brought me up and down like a yo-yo on more than one occasion, and the bit about my eye getting stuck shut actually happened. I seem to recall that She put me back under just as I finally got it back open.

Of course, this story was fairly light on the actual sex, and heavy on the hypnofetish. I try to vary that from time to time–I feel like it’s a bit of a cheat for a writer of erotica to always cut away from the sex and focus only on the seduction, but I’m aware as well that for a lot of hypnofetishists, the induction is what they get off on a lot more than the sex. So I mix it up a little, and this one felt “complete” after Tara went under more than others. Let’s face it, if you can’t figure out what they did after this, you probably should be looking at regular porn for a few pointers anyway. 🙂