A serialized novel about Lydia, a free-spirit caught in the modern cage of dead-end jobs, loveless relationships and mountains of debt trying to squeeze out drops of life in a catatonic world. New chapters sent monthly. Written & read by Kitten Holiday

Chapter One Coming Soon

Hello! I wanted to give you an update on the release of Chapter One of Pleasures of the Damned.  Unless there is some unforeseen emergency, I will post both the written chapter and an audio recording of Chapter One and the Prologue this weekend. 

You can read the Prologue here

Substack subscribers will get the novel and content on writing only and not the other essays and posts about pop culture, sexuality, dating and human nature that I offer to $5 and $10 supporters on Patreon.  

I know some of my readers are only hungry for fiction so I thought this would be a good option to split it out.

Both options will give you the audio files if you would rather listen than read.  

Ok, now that that's covered, on to the good stuff. 

In addition to Chapter One, I will be posting an essay on Point of View.  This novel has been percolating in my mind for almost two years but one of the biggest hurdles to getting started was settling on Point of View. I share the process I went through to determine the point of view and what strengths and weaknesses each Point of View has in my opinion.  This essay will be available to all Patreon Supporters, but only to Patreon Supporters. 

Initially, I was planning on posting one chapter a month, but there are two problems with that:

1. Writing only one chapter a month will make the book stall out and I'll lose interest, so I'm going to be focusing on the novel until it is finished. 

2. I don't have a lot of self restraint, especially when I'm excited about something, so I can't wait a month to publish a chapter.  So I'm going to be publishing them as they are finished. Hopefully I will write 2-3 chapters a month.  

3. The draft of the play is complete but I went through some workshops and need to make some changes.  It's always good for me to work on something completely different to get some space between a project and it's revisions. 

So, hang tight! I will have some exciting material this weekend.  

If you aren’t here for the fiction, I will also be posting my long awaited post on Patreon about Erotic Hypnosis this weekend. (I’ve been away from the computer for several weeks but haven’t stopped writing!)

I'm also toying with the idea of starting a podcast.  I want to talk about books, writing, craft, publishing and interviewing authors.  So, let me know if that sounds interesting to you.  

I hope you are doing great! 

Thank you again for your support! It means a lot to me!

Love, 

Kitten

Shouting Out Great Content!

A shoutout to some of the best content creators I know and a few I just discovered including Goldmunc Unleashed, Walter Kirn, Matt Taibbi, Bret Easton Ellis and hot subscription platforms like Patreon and Substack.

Good morning!

It's the last day of my vacation. I've had a fabulous time with family in Boston and then New Hampshire for two weeks. We've had great food, gone on hikes, been zip lining, toured caves, cooked together, laughed together, road tripped together and the younger generation all took a week of science camp together. This is very special to me because I live so far from family so it's like moving planets to get everyone together.

In addition to all the fun activities, I've also had some down time to read and listen to some podcasts and I want to introduce you to a few gems I've discovered.

I have always had eclectic tastes in art and literature. When I was developing my creative eye, I was really into absurdist theatre like Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter and Eugene Ionesco. The first play I ever had produced opened in Pittsburgh then was put on by a director at Hampshire College who produced it in an evening of theatre with Pinter and Beckett. Can you imagine what that felt like to a 17 year old girl to have her name on the program with Beckett and Pinter?

I'm getting back to my roots working on a new play "Divorce Party" that makes light of modern divorce. So far it's a hit with my online playwriting class. This fall I'll workshop it with my Playwriting group locally.

In addition to absurdist theatre, I was also hooked on black comedy, irreverent, anti-establishment voices. I've been thrilled recently to find some of these voices are still prolific and making waves and many share my same creative and political sensibilities.

The first I discovered was Walter Kirn who I met when I was in college and then reconnected with last year. He ended up writing about me in his latest Harper's article, Illiberal Values.


Recently, I have rediscovered Bret Easton Ellis, author of Less than Zero and American Psycho. I found out he has a podcast here on Patreon: Bret Easton Ellis Podcast

I have always been a fan of his writing because I've always loved irreverent voices and underground communities and subcultures. I've had an anti-establishment, rebellious bent in my personality for longer than I can remember, but confirmed by others who remember me. I've only listened to two episodes so far but the one I listened to yesterday as we drove from New Hampshire back to Boston was fabulous:

Bret Easton Ellis on Alex Israel - Podcast

In it, he talks about the insanity of the extreme left, the outrage culture and hypocricy of hollywood and the corporatization of speech and thought.

"Welcome to 2018 where corporate culture dictates how we express ourselves as comedians as writers as filmmakers as artists as citizens."

"We must adhere to the corporations rule book about humor about freedoms of expression what's funny what's not. As creatives, as artists it seems we can no longer push the envelope, go to the dark side, explore the taboo. Or you can I guess but that's depending if you want to feed your family "

Bret Easton Ellis is a liberal democrat, but he is also a free thinker who isn't hypnotized by the MSM narrative. He talks about his boyfriend suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome and believes many people on the left are dangerously brainwashed in their echo chamber.

If you are looking for creative voices who aren't just droning on repeating what's popular, he's a great find. And of course, his old books are still fabulous. I wish writers today were taking the kind of creative risks writers like him were taking years ago.

In addition to Patreon, I'm testing out the substack platform. Many of my readers aren't interested in my opinions and essays, but they still like my fiction. Just like other of my readers like my opinion essays but couldn’t care less about fiction. Shout out to those of you who like it all or who can still enjoy part of my writing even if you don't like all of it! Hats off to you because we need more people like you to think for yourselves and not get angry about difference and thought diversity!

Free Thinkers Rock!

I'm going to be posting the serialized novel "Pleasures of the Damned" on substack as well. Those who subscribe there will only receive the novel. They won't get content to the membership essays on the blog or content on Patreon. One great thing about substack that isn't available on Patreon is that I can give away Gift Subscriptions. And so can you! So if you are enjoying my fiction and want to share it with a friend you can buy it for them! And if you are someone who has a big audience and influence who wants to help me promote my work, I might give you a subscription for free! I will also give you a free subscription if you are struggling financially, suffering from chronic illness or just super cool. I'm not in this for the money. There are benefits to asking readers to "invest" that have more to do with creative freedom than financial freedom. It's the creative freedom I'm after.

Creative freedom will lead to financial freedom, but creative freedom has to come first.

So, this is how I think the set up will work:

It doesn't matter to me how you subscribe, I just hope you do and I hope you subscribe to what you will enjoy most!

Pleasures of the Damned shares some key stylistic similarities with books like Bret Easton Ellis’ Less than Zero. It also shares qualities with Charles Bukowski's Women, Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Leonard Cohen’s Beautiful Losers.

Pleasures of the Damned is about a Lydia, a free-spirited bird caught in the modern cage of dead-end job, loveless relationships and mountains of debt trying to squeeze a few last drops of life out of a catatonic world.

It's dark, funny, dirty, depressing and hopeful but most of all it's relatable and convicting. For as much as these characters look like aimless, pathetic losers, they also look a lot like you and me. Taking a step back and looking at the world we live in makes it look absurd and insane! Remove yourself from the day to day and you can see it for what it is. We are addicted to our phones, avoiding emotional attachment, working in jobs like hamsters while building up debt on impulse buys and wrecking our health with alcohol and stress. Sounds insane! It is! And here we are living it. You are. I am. And so are the characters in Pleasures of the Damned, though obviously to a more extreme level. You wouldn't read it otherwise. Stories need to be more dramatic than real life to shine that bright light on the issues.

In my research of Substack, I found some other writers of interest who are also blazing an alternate path to traditional publication through subscription based platforms like Patreon and Substack.

I listened to an interview with Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone writer and infamous accused mysoginist writer at The Exile, a job that got him in a lot of hot water last year and forced him out of traditional media. He wrote an anti-Trump book last year called, Insane Clown President. The interview was fascinating on several levels. He talks about how media has changed, particularly how it has become more biased and less objective and how reporters have become more like activists. He talks about the corporatization of media (this is a theme building momentum among writers it seems!) and he talks about his experience with self imposed exile in Russia being a badboy reporter and socially imposed exile when his bad behavior made national news and pushed him out of the "in crowd." He's writing a new book as a serialized novel on Substack called "The Business Secrets of Drug Dealing." I have subscribed both to see how he uses Substack as a tool and also because the book sounds fascinating. I think the guy himself is a douche but he does offer an unusual perspective that I'd like to witness and observe from an inside angle. Here is the free podcast. If you are a content creator or writer who isn't sure if traditional, self-publishing or subscription publishing is right for you, check it out. I think it's the future of content creation but I admit I don't really have my finger on the pulse. It's what I'm going with anyway.

#004 – Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi discusses the state of the media, his serial Substack novel, and the furor that almost brought him down

The last person I want to mention is my friend Goldmund who just started a Patreon recently to promote his photography and his writing on game. If you are interested in sexual dynamic, social skills, beautiful women and strong creative personalities, you will love Goldmund. He's a genius at generating interest in his work, a fabulous storyteller and a genuinely cool guy. He's worth checking out. Tell him I sent you!

Audio versions of my newsletter will return next week when I'm home and have access to my fancy pants microphone! These are only available to Patreon subscribers so sign up if you'd rather listen than read.

I hope you had a great summer too! Tell me about it at Kitten@KittenHoliday.com or on Twitter.

Love, Kitten

Off Grid August

But baby, I'll send you a letter ...

I just got home from several days camping in Western North Carolina. Internet connections were spotty at best and it was even harder to plug the phone in to charge it. I was as close to “unplugged” as I could get without being completely unavailable. 

When I was twenty, I went on afour month trip through Europe on a EuroRail ticket. This was before cell phones.  I bought by the minute phone cards in each country I visited so that I could call home once or twice a week.  Except for the moments when I was on the phone, no one knew where I was.  I could be in Paris one day and Rome the next. If I went missing, no one would know what country to start searching to find me. This was both scary and thrilling, but mostly thrilling. 

Now that I am older, being completely unavailable is not as thrilling and even less realistic.  I am responsible for many things and accountable to several people.  Disappearing is a luxury afforded to the very rich or the very young. I’m neither. 

The week in the mountains brought back a taste of that inaccessibility.  It wasn’t just that I was inaccessible, but more so the world, the internet, the digital age was inaccessible to me. What a gift. 

One night in my tent, dead tired at 9 PM I was closing my eyes and thinking about how wrong I was about nature. “I will get some peace and quiet!” I thought as I was planning the trip. I remembered nature being peaceful.  There is nothing peaceful about nature at night.  The cicadas and frogs put on a raucous show when the sun sets. It’s loud in every direction. The next morning was peaceful. There was only the rustling of leaves and the hiss from the propane on my stove as I boiled water for coffee.  If you want quiet, you’ve got to go to bed before dark, wake up before light. These aren’t things I do at home. 

Social media has been getting more out of methan I’ve been getting out of it lately. This is a problem.  There was the big blow out in June between me and a few thought leaders in the manosphere. It was long overdue but in retrospect, I wish I’d avoided it all together.  

Jordan Peterson “Life isn’t a game; it’s a set of games. And the rule is, ‘Never sacrifice victory across the set of games for victory in one game.’”

This is just another way of saying, don’t win the battle but lose the war, except it frames life in the context of play, engagement and discovery instead of violence, power, or domination. Framing matters. 

It’s easy to get caught up in the game of social media and convince yourself you are winning.  I have thousands of followers across several platforms. I have “fans” and just as important in the influencer currency, I have “haters.” I am a great success at the social media game. But am I winning that game at the expense of others? In the end, what is the prize of winning at social media anyway? 

It’s not book sales and I’m not sure it’s readers either. In the beginning, social media was a way to get my writing out there. That was 2014. It’s 2018 and my audience is not growing. Is it my writing? Is it the subject matter? Is it the platform? 

It’s me.  I’m not growing.  I have lost my focus. At first it was erotic fiction, then dating advice.  Now I have been collecting old essays into a book but it isn’t fun. It’s old material and more often than not I feel like this project is holding me back. But I can’t tell you what it is holding me back from because I don’t know where I want to go. 

I want to write. 
I want to write stories. 
I want to write essays. 
I want to write plays. 
I want to write letters. 

I want to connect with the page, with my characters and tell stories that resonate with readers. I want to tell stories that make you feel something intensely. I want to give you emotional and mental experiences through stories and drama. I want to give you an experience.  

To do this, I need to be more connected with my only promise is to myself: I will do whatever it takes to reconnect with my creative spirit, to break away from the crutches of immediate gratification provided on social media, to push myself to tell the stories, explore the ideas and create the emotion that will move and change you. I need to break my old habits so that I can dig deeper, go farther and find more. If it works, I will have more to bring back and share with you

I will still write emails as long as this proves to be a fruitful tool for expressing myself and reconnecting with my voice but I am making no promises about frequency, subject matter, length or tone. 

It’s time to do something different. It’s time to go it alone. I'm going offline for August. No social media, no twitter, no facebook, no Instagram. No instant gratification, no distraction, no more being on call for nothing.

I have lost my voice and my focus. I’ve been playing one game at the expense of the others which means I am losing at life. I am consumed with what is right in front of me and missing out on the beauty in the distance. 

I have lost myself and have become the crowd. 

I don’t need to be in a different place, or be a different person. I need to create different habits. My time is incredibly limited. I can’t squander it on things that don’t help me grow, on people who are not engaging with me earnestly. The thrill of getting a reaction, or reacting, is a pale imitation of the thrill I want to create through stories. 

Why am I doing so many things I don’t want to do? Why am I spending hours a day, every day, writing things I don’t want to write? 

I didn’t write: I want to write status updates, I want to write tweets, I want to write marketing messages, I want to build a brand, I want to create a sales funnel. I didn’t write any of that because I don’t want to do any of that.  I want to write stories. I want to write essays. I want to write plays. I want to write letters. 

Did you notice something missing when I wrote above what I want to write?

That’s a problem. 

Social media has killed daydreaming. Constant connection with others has killed our connection with ourselves. If I’m not connected to myself, I can’t pour myself out into my writing. If I don’t pour myself into my writing, it won’t quench your thirst for a new experience when you read it.  

The crowd is online, so I'm going offline.
But baby, I'll send you a letter.

Love, 
Kitten

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