Posts Tagged ‘Getting Even: Revenge Stories’

Mitzi and Teddy Hit The Shetlands

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Shetland IslandsMy famous furry sidekick and partner in crime Teddy Tedaloo (or McTedaloo) and I are recently back from a glorious weekend in the Shetland Islands of Scotland (aye, laddie), where I was invited to appear at the ninth annual Wordplay book festival. Though I’ve been to other parts of Scotland (see my blog posts 1, 2, 3), this was my first visit that far north, and I was warned of high winds that might blow me over into Norway, but instead I just ended up with my hair being blown the wrong way.

On the Saturday I did a talk and performed readings from my short story “Hell is Where the Heart is” from Getting Even: Revenge Stories and two selections from In Sleeping Beauty’s Bed: Erotic Fairy Tales. I think it went over fairly well, since I didn’t hear any snoring. On the Sunday morning I conducted one of my erotic writing workshops. The somewhat unusual fact that it was scheduled at 10am on a Sunday morning was pointed out to me by several people, and, though I worried that it might conflict with church services, I went ahead with it anyway, playing to a sellout crowd who clearly found some divine inspiration!

Mitzi Szereto and Teddy Tedaloo

Mitzi Szereto and Teddy Tedaloo on the boat cruise

I tell you, it was all happening in Lerwick that weekend. Aside from Wordplay, there was Screenplay (the film festival), and even a blues festival taking place. Ted and I managed to squeeze in the screening of Requiem for Detroit from film director Julien Temple, who was in attendance. We even went on a boat cruise to Bressay and Noss, which left at least one person seasick (Ted was looking a bit green himself) due to the rough seas, though it was great fun when we went along at a swift clip. We were at the aft with some of the heartier passengers, hanging on for dear life to a pole, the wind in our hair (and fur), as we rode our watery roller coaster. It left me feeling unsteady and queasy for the next 24 hours, but hey, it was worth it!

Mitzi Szereto and Teddy Tedaloo with BBC Radio Shetland presenters Amy Fisher and Jonny Polson

Mitzi Szereto and Teddy Tedaloo with BBC Radio Shetland presenters Amy Fisher and Jonny Polson

When I landed in the Shetland Times, I figured I was a pretty hot commodity. I (along with Ted) was also interviewed by the presenters of BBC Radio Shetland’s arts and culture programme “Sideways”, and they were most impressed with Ted’s erudition and fine fashion sense. In fact, I suspect the young lady presenter quite fancied him (can’t say I blame her, Ted being an extremely handsome bear). I suppose with all this publicity it shouldn’t have been surprising that the entire town seemed to know who I was – from the local tourist office to the blokes who operated the tour boat (one of whom suggested I teach erotic writing to the other passengers). I tell you, I was feeling like a real celebrity. Until…

…I found out that Teddy had almost made the cover of the festival brochure. At that point I began to suspect that it might not have been me the festival folk wanted to grace their stages, but Ted. This wasn’t the first time I’ve been upstaged by him; however, things really became glaringly obvious when Julien Temple entered into a discussion with Ted about doing a film about his life, only to end up in tears (Julien, not Ted) when they couldn’t agree on a soundtrack. Julien wanted The Sex Pistols; Ted’s more a Temptations bear. He loves their song “My Bear.” (I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day…)

Mitzi Szereto and Teddy Tedaloo at Fort Charlotte

Mitzi Szereto and Teddy Tedaloo at Fort Charlotte

Which brings me to the subject of food. Did I mention the breakfasts at our hotel? You’d never get that kind of breakfast in London, EVER. I asked for a small kipper to accompany my other selections, and I got a kipper the size of a vintage Cadillac. And it was a real kipper, not some freeze-dried, shrink-wrapped, bargain kipper either. One breakfast was enough to feed me for an entire week.

Of course, no venture outside of my front door is complete without some mishap. My worst fear on returning home was the tube strike, which began at tea time on the day of the evening I was to fly back to London. When I arrived at Gatwick, it was pissing down with rain. However, the adventure had only just begun, for my suitcase had not arrived along with us. I suspect it had remained behind at Edinburgh airport (where we changed planes) to avail itself of the whisky-tasting table at the duty free. Note that I’d carried this piece of luggage with me for the two flights on the way up, but encountered a problem at Sumburgh Airport in Shetland, where my tweezers appeared to spark fears of a terrorist attack.

They searched my suitcase and everything in it looking for my sinister contraband – you’d have thought I had a bomb strapped to my back from the way they were going though my stuff. When they found the offensive item and threatened to take it off me, well… I wasn’t having it. I can’t buy those tweezers anywhere (and they never caused a problem before in a carry-on), so after a few minutes of discussion, they agreed to mail them back to me if I paid for postage. Then it was suggested (especially since the plane was a small propeller one) that I should just check the bag all the way to London. By that time I would have agreed to anything, therefore I hurriedly checked it, instantly regretting it and having an ominous sense of foreboding that it would not be arriving with me. All during the flight I feared the loss of my mobile phone charger, my camera charger, numerous items of clothing, my favourite black suede boots, the Shetland fudge and Scottish tablet I’d bought, bits and pieces from the festival…

Despite my scarily accurate sixth sense, my tale has a happy ending. The suitcase was recovered (and fully intact) and delivered to my home the next night, and Teddy and I are now making really quick work of that Scottish tablet and Shetland fudge!

If you fancy trying your hand (so to speak) at a bit of erotic writing, you can catch me at my Literotica workshop in the first weekend of October on the Isle of Wight.

(A bit of after-party merriment, featuring fellow Yank, Will Kaufman.)

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Interview with Mitzi Szereto

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Check out my latest interview at Eden Fantasys, where I discuss writing, blogging, Mitzi TV, erotica, my new book In Sleeping Beauty’s Bed: Erotic Fairy Tales, the publishing business and, of course, being a social media maven! There’s even some advice for aspiring writers.

Mitzi Szereto is best known for writing which mixes classical elements with current trends. How does combining the past with the present inspire Mitzi’s creative process? How does she see the erotic genre evolving in the future?”

Click here for full text of the interview.

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Burning Man: A Local Tale

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

In this fragile and depressed economy, I wouldn’t want to wish bad on any business. But there are times when it’s pretty obvious that a business is a serious blight to the community. Sometimes you aren’t aware of just how major a blight it’s been…

…until it’s gone.

I refer to the recent (and what appears to be major) fire at a popular nightclub on the local High Street: on the surface an unfortunate event, in reality a blessing – at least to us poor bastards who live within drunken shrieking distance of it. It happened early Sunday evening before it was due to open. I’d just arrived home from a Mitzi TV video shoot in Kensington (an arduous task, since there was engineering work on the rail line, necessitating a replacement bus service which increased my travel time by a good hour each way). I was attempting to chill out when I smelled a very nasty burning. And no, I wasn’t cooking!

My initial thought was, had Burning Man suddenly been relocated from the Nevada desert to a town located on the edge of London?

When I went to look out the window for any signs of new-age “radicals” singing “Koom-By-Ya”, I saw that the air was thick with smoke (slightly worrisome what toxins might have been IN that smoke), and it sounded as if every fire engine from every fire brigade in southeast England was heading my way. I was ready to grab Teddy and my laptop, and get the hell out.

Fortunately, such measures proved unnecessary; the smoke appeared to be slowly thinning. Just to make sure all was well and neither Burning Man nor Armageddon was taking place in the hood, I decided to find out for myself what was happening. However, no sooner did I reach the sidewalk when a neighbour called down to me from his balcony (Romeo, oh Romeo!), informing me that the entire High Street was closed off and the famous infamous nightclub had been charred. Satisfied with this explanation (he was cute, surely he wouldn’t lie to me?), I returned to the warmth and safety of my flat, where Teddy and I kicked back with some Swiss chocolate.

Well, that night was the first night in two years I heard nothing but blissful silence. No shouting, no yelling, no shrieking, no sirens – nothing but a gentle breeze and the occasional chirping of a bird (along with Ted’s occasional snore). Coincidence? When the same thing happened on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights, I had to conclude that no, it was not a coincidence, but a direct result of the fire. Clearly, the vast majority of anti-social behaviourial problems and criminal activity taking place in my town stemmed from one main source: the nightclub.

No more nightclub, no more problems.

I can’t begin to tell you what a pleasure it’s been not to hear drunken sluts shouting and shrieking till all hours, along with their chavvy male equivalents who seem to think that being a “man” means to be so inebriated they can’t even walk. Oh, and of course swapping STDs with their drunken female counterparts in a toilet or alleyway.

In the immortal words of Alf the Cockney Devil from my short story “Hell is Where the Heart is” (Getting Even: Revenge Stories): “Put the spoiled little shits in the army, that’ll make men of ‘em.” (And women, too, no doubt.) I should add that Alf’s idea of a real army was the Israeli version. Wish I could say these booze-soaked blights to modern civilisation were an anomaly. Alas, they’re more the rule than the exception in the cities and towns of Britain.

All I know is, I don’t want things to go back to how they were. In fact, I’m tempted to run for political office, if I thought I could keep this menace of a nightclub from re-opening and re-attracting the scummier residents from the less salubrious towns within commuting distance to mine. Just think what I could do if I was on the local council. We could have a Mitzi TV video featuring quirky councillors engaging in a singalong at their local pub!

Oh, yeah, I did that one already.

Okay, how about an egg and spoon race?

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BlogTalkRadio Interview with Mitzi Szereto

Thursday, August 6th, 2009
Mitzi interviews engine

Mitzi Szereto on a Mitzi TV shoot in London

An entire hour of talk on subjects ranging from the internet, world travel, culture shock, life as an expat, books, fairy tales, erotic writing, Las Vegas, British drinking habits, English football, blogging, sex, and Mitzi TV! (Originally broadcast on 4 August 2009 on the “Sin City Sessions” programme with Marq Piocos, BlogTalkRadio).

 

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Win a Signed Copy of “Getting Even: Revenge Stories”

Monday, June 29th, 2009

getting-evenEnter to win a signed copy of Getting Even: Revenge Stories! Subscribe to my mailing list and the RSS feed. Yes, it’s that simple!

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BBC Radio Interview with Mitzi Szereto

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

Interview and discussion of erotic writing and male versus females writers; (broadcast on 24 June 2009, the Dave Monk programme, BBC Radio Essex)

Listen Now: http://mitziszereto.com/Mitzi-on-BBC-Radio-Essex

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Author Appearance in Vienna, Austria

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

Me and Ted (photo credit Eric Schneider)

I write, I blog, I Mitzi TV – and now I’m doing a gig in Vienna! Can it get any better? Please join me at Shakespeare & Company Booksellers in the beautiful city of Vienna for an intimate evening of seductive tales and chat.

When: Friday, 17 July 2009 @ 7:30pm
Where: Shakespeare & Company Booksellers
Sterngasse 2, 1010 Vienna, Austria
Phone: 43 1 535 5053
Email: booksellers@shakespeare.co.at
http://www.shakespeare.co.at

You can also join me earlier in the day and walk with me on the “Mutzenbacher Tour” (email Shakespeare & Company for details).

Hope to see you there!

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Waiting For Godot (or Rather the Argos Delivery Man)

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

It’s now Day 2 in – dum da-da DUM - The Adventures of the New Vacuum Cleaner!

…Well, if it ever bloody gets here, that is.

Don’t you just LOVE waiting around for delivery men? I say “men” because they are usually always men, therefore it figures that everything will be a complete cock-up (no pun intended) when men are involved in having to sort anything out other than their dirty socks. Though come to think of it, they can’t even get that right. Indeed, the world is run by men. Do we need any further evidence of their incompetence? Having said that, I’m no great fan of women either. On the contrary. In fact, I think we need an entirely new gender since neither of the two we’re now stuck with appear to be of any benefit to society, or the world in general. Back to the drawing board, Mr. Darwin!

So, yesterday while I waited at home all day for the Argos delivery van, my little heart pounding with excitement over the prospect of finally being able to vacuum my carpets after more than two months (my previous vacuum committed suicide) – forgoing an urgent trip to the post office I should add – an attempt was made to deliver my new vacuum cleaner to the occupant of another flat. I find this most disconcerting, seeing that my address was correct on the order and has since been confirmed and reconfirmed and reconfirmed yet again. I’m certain they all went down the pub last night while I left the outside light burning my carbon footprint even deeper into the earth’s soil as I waited for an after-hours delivery that never arrived. If this keeps up much longer, I’ll be thirsting for revenge .

The thought that someone else might be vacuuming their flat with my lovely new bagless vacuum cleaner with hose and attachments which was ordered for me as a gift by one of my loftmen really sticks in my craw. I can’t abide infidelity of any sort, not even if committed by a vacuum cleaner. As for the bestower of said vacuum cleaner, I have a suspicion he’s trying to make up for the rather lax service of late I’ve been receiving from my original loftman, who’s ignored my numerous and increasingly desperate pleas to take me to Ikea to buy some lamps (I had two die on me) and a new kitchen rug (spilled bleach on the old). I also have several empty suitcases on the landing along with two empty boxes that need storing up in the loft. I’m now at the point where I’m calling this catastrophe on my landing “Installation Art.” Tracey Emin‘s got nothing over me!

I tell you, things are getting so grim round ‘ere that I’ve been forced to advertise for a new loftman. I mean, what’s a single girl living on her own in Blighty to do? As I’ve found out, you can’t count on anyone these days, especially men. I did get some replies to my job posting, however, and yes, I’ve pretty much decided on my new loftman. He’s cute, foreign, and he really likes my bear. As a matter of fact, they’re becoming quite chummy! The only problem is, my prospective loftman doesn’t have a visa for the UK. But other than that, he’s perfect!

Meanwhile, from the upstairs window I peer down at the street below, hoping to see the Argos delivery van pull up outside. How much longer must I wait?????

 

 

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Nicked by the Old Bill: I’ll Go Quietly, Officer!

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

London Met Form

An evening of tech networking at a trendy bar in Brick Lane last Friday evening kicked off to a resounding start when I had the pleasure of being searched as part of a terrorist operation by London’s finest. (Or should I say the pleasure was all theirs?) Apparently what transpired is officially classified as a “Stop and Account” – and I’ve a souvenir to prove it. Okay, I know I can get a bit intense sometimes, especially in romantic situations, but to be stopped by the police as a possible terrorist suspect? Bad enough my poor bear had to contend with a body search last September at San Francisco International Airport, but now me? Is something wrong with this picture?

I know; you probably don’t believe me anymore. Hell, I don’t believe me either. My life just seems to get more and more ridiculous by the day – and these are just the little tidbits I choose to actually tell you about. Can you imagine the bits I don’t disclose? Why, it doesn’t bear thinking about! Now before you go getting all hot and bothered, let me clarify the situation: it was not a body search. There was no patting down of my bits (they just love doing this to me at Heathrow!), and no bodily orifices probed. (I prefer to reserve that for special occasions.) Besides, it was too bloody cold out to strip off for the London Met. No, it was more of a handbag search – and a superficial one at that, as if we were just going through the motions…

…As perhaps we were.

Why me? That’s a question I always ask myself – a question for which I never receive an answer. I can only conclude that it’s my aura. It was all my fault, I realise that now. I saw people being stopped left and right, and wondered why there was such a huge police presence on Brick Lane, especially at only half past six in the evening. I’ve been there many times and never have I seen this. I mean, had someone stuck a bomb in a curry? Had one of the Bangladeshi sweets exploded with nails? Maybe I should’ve taken the hint and gone off in the other direction, but I couldn’t find the venue where this geek and meet was supposed to be held and frankly, I was getting annoyed.

I noticed one officer standing about with nothing to do, so I went over to ask him for directions to the bar, which to all intents and purposes either didn’t exist or didn’t want to be found. Well, not only did he give me completely erroneous information (guess he wasn’t from around these parts), but he glommed onto me for this terrorist schtick. I told him that I’d always thought London coppers were supposed to be nice, not like the big bad mean ones in America with their big guns, whereupon he assured me that London coppers are nice, and they don’t carry guns. (Is that a gun in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?). He then proceeded to take down my vital statistics (well, those I chose to give), even asking for my address. I should have lied. For all I know that cheeky copper will be coming round with a dozen red roses and a box of chocolates on Valentine’s Day. I mean, you can never tell these days.

Now I don’t want to get all controversial here (or maybe I do), but it seemed odd that in an area of East London so heavily populated with ethnic minorities I saw not even one member of an ethnic minority being stopped – only those who were clearly not members of an ethnic minority, just pasty English folk (or, in my case, pasty Hungarian-American folk). Granted, perhaps if I’d hung about longer it might have happened, but I was there long enough to suss the setup, and thereby conclude that what was purported to be an all-inclusive “Stop and Account” did not appear to be so all-inclusive.

Was this a case of reverse-discrimination tactics by the police to prove a point to those in the local community who are generally the targets of such discrimination? Because I can’t help thinking that if someone from a minority had been stopped for a terrorist search (and possibly detained), all hell would’ve broken loose – especially in this part of London. The incident would have hit every television channel and newspaper in the country, with every solicitor in the country fighting one another tooth and nail to take on the case pro bono. Hey, I can only go by my observations, and that is what I observed, so please don’t lay any accusations of racism on my doorstep (though I’m sure someone will still have a go at me). I had a long-term relationship with a man from a country on virtually everyone’s shit list – a country accused of sponsoring terrorism; I doubt the BNP will be welcoming me into their ranks anytime soon!

As for my new career in anarchy, despite the very respectful and friendly demeanour of the officer in question, I wonder if I should have kicked up a fuss. I mean, how often do you hear about expat American authors being “profiled” by the police? I might start a whole new trend. In retrospect, however, it was probably a wise move on my part to omit the fact that I write and edit erotic fiction (including the hair-raising M. S. Valentine novels) when speaking to the officer, even though I could have gotten some book sales out of the deal. And it was probably wiser yet to keep stum about my foray into crime fiction with my anthology Getting Even: Revenge Stories. Think what might have happened to me then!

Mind you, don’t most prisons have WiFi access these days?

Stop and Account

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Three Chavs and a Packet of Crisps

Sunday, January 25th, 2009
mitzi-on-south-bank-jan-2009

Mitzi Szereto on the South Bank, London

Well, I’ve barely been back in the UK for 24 hours and I already have an all-new train adventure to tell you about. I mean, I didn’t expect this much excitement so soon after returning home to Blighty, but as they say, “It’s all go round ‘ere!”

It all began when I dragged my jetlagged self into Central London on Saturday to meet a friend for lunch, with us starting out in the South Bank and ending up at a curry house in Soho. Okay, so the vindaloo nearly killed me (more like blew the back of my bloody head off), but I managed to survive both it and the usual swarm of Saturday afternoon humanity one tends to encounter on Oxford Street. I’m sure my face was still beet-red from the crowds and the vindaloo by the time I reached Tottenham Court Road tube station, having to reroute myself there after the big Gaza demonstration screwed up any chances of making it into the Oxford Circus station, let alone crossing the road to John Lewis, where I’d hoped to find an adaptor. Instead I glommed onto two confused-looking women and hurled myself in the opposite direction, just wanting to get the hell out of there asap.

The tube wasn’t very interesting, but my train ride back to Essex was. (If you’ve been keeping up with my blog posts you’ll know that something always seems to happen on my train.) Being an early Saturday evening my car was crowded with passengers on their way home from their various outtings in the city, so I sat with a trio of lads, who instantly took me under their protective wings and welcomed me to their little party. I must’ve looked more lost and forlorn than usual, so I was happy for the distraction and hilarity they provided – and they provided it aplenty! Indeed, there was never a dull moment with this charming troika, who started out by offering me polite little smiles, after which proper introductions ensued. Obviously I didn’t tell them that I’m a famous author of both erotic literature and revenge stories. After all, a woman must maintain some aura of mystery, right?

I had a front-row seat as one of them received a phone call, the booming male voice on the other end giving him a right bollocking for not turning up for a job interview. The rest of us were trying to contain our laughter so as not to make the situation any worse for the hapless job seeker, but we weren’t too successful. I don’t usually like to laugh at other people’s misfortunes, but in this case I made an exception. He probably wouldn’t have gotten the job anyway. I mean, if he’d wanted it badly enough he would’ve gone for the interview surely? He soon saw the funny side of it after the caller rang off, whereupon he decided to discuss Michael Jackson until I cut him off, informing him that I can’t stand Michael Jackson.

After disclosing that two of them were aged 19, with the one next to me a seasoned old man of 20, the lad across from me (their chief spokesperson from what I gathered) played a game of “Guess the Accent” and got mine right on the second try (Canadian is usually the first guess). He next began to interview me as to my relationship status, gaping in disbelief when I told him. He digested this information for a moment, then asked politely and respectfully if I’d consider going out with him, only to engage the shy lad beside me into this romantic discussion, suggesting to him that he might “walk the nice lady home” from the train station – that “nice lady” being me. Seems all three of them wanted to walk me home, and it wasn’t even dark yet! Who says there’s no gallantry in the Englishman? – or, for that matter, the Essex chav? And before you scoff, let me say this: I didn’t hear one single curse or foul word pass through the lips of these lads. Now if that isn’t proof that God exists, I don’t know what is.

Anyway, they invited me out for a night on the town (or rather the town we all coincidentally live in). In fact, there was even a mention of a dozen red roses. Although I didn’t give them a definite answer, I didn’t say no either. Just before they got off the train at Romford (they decided to kill some time at The Brewery since I’d said I was jetlagged and planned to just crash at home for the night), I was given the phone number of their head honcho.

I tell you, if an artist had to paint my life, it would definitely be Salvador Da were he still alive. Nevertheless, I have to admit, those lads from the train made me laugh, and they were very sweet and gentlemanly too. I could do worse. (And honey, I have!)

So what do you think? Should I take them up on their offer?

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