Thursday, January 22, 2009

Here's the thing

This might not be as anonymous as I want it to be, but I don't think there's any way to say what I want to say without it being obvious who I'm talking about. Let's just pretend the veil of privacy has remained drawn because I have to say this.

I started reading a book, and I fully expect to enjoy it because it's by an author I have very much enjoyed before. This author has a particular erotic kink... she likes her women to be hair-free 'down there.' (It's a pg-13 blog, forgive me.) In fact, she often makes a point of explaining how much better nookie is for the woman when there's no hair to get in the way of sensation.

And I'm all for it.

I like erotica, I'm happy to explore kink, even in its mildest form, which waxing is. But the thing is, this particular heroine is part animal, it's a paranormal book. But, this particular author likes her women to achieve their hair-free status via waxing.

So, it's page 25 or so, and the hero and heroine are getting it on, and the magical kitty is revealed. The waxed magical kitty. And I'm just thrown right out of the story. I mean, what animal do you know that will stand still for its hair to be ripped out from the root? It's tough enough to get human-beings to do that, but human-animal hybrids that are supposedly more in touch with their animal side? Human-animal hybrids that are all about their instincts, who switch themselves in and out of fur suits all day long?

You want me to believe that this chick gets her kitty waxed? This heroine who isn't even sexually active has chosen to have hot wax smeared over the most intimate part of her body and have her bits ripped free of naturally occurring hair? Does. Not. Compute.

It's clearly an instance of the author exerting her personal preferences over what's natural for the character. I see this so rarely nowadays that I am shocked when it occurs. Where was the editor, the agent, the critique partners? Why didn't her self-editor kick in?

I want to finish the book, because I'm sure I'll be drawn in eventually, but this whole incident has thrown me so far out of it that I can't even get engaged. Maybe after I finish the other books I'm reading I'll see if I can recapture my willing suspension of disbelief. I don't have high hopes though.

(The Now Reading section has been left out of this post for obvious reasons.)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Barack Tea Party

Two years ago I was fired.

Euphemistically, the boss said I was 'let go', but I believe in calling a spade a spade. I was fired. The truth of the matter is. I expected it to happen for about a year before it came, I was surprised my boss held off as long as he did. After all, he brought in my replacement for me to train many months before that.

My ex-boss was a small man, physically and mentally. He was a sexist. He was an elitist. He was a homophobe, but he wasn't a racist (at least not that I could tell). He was petty though. Small-minded, willing to bend the rules to line his pocket, happy to kiss any rich ass regardless of how that ass treated others. My ex-boss tried to be fair, he really did - it's just that his warped little mind didn't really get the concept that fair is for everybody, not just for him and his friends.

I hated that job. I really disliked him, and to tell the truth, he was no fan of me either. But my customers loved me, and I did my job well enough that we were willing to ignore one another, or paint false smiles on our faces when that didn't work.

That's just background though, what I really wanted to say was that I was happy I was fired. I was THRILLED. I was so, so glad to leave that toxic environment behind. I was happy never to see most of those people again. The gossip, the ignorance, the underhandedness, the out and out lies, the insistence that I sell to people who have no need. I was free.

That's what the inauguration felt like today. A throwing-over of the old, and a new opportunity for freedom. The toxic atmosphere has been blown away. I no longer have to bow my head and accept the crap simply because it's coming from the top down.

With the new administration, I can hold my head high again. I no longer have to accept 'isms' because they come from someone who can and will punish me for speaking out (and if you don't think that's what the misnamed Patriot Act was about, you're not thinking). The cronyism, the anti-intellectualism, the nod and wink to right-wingers while trying to sell the public something that they did not need and would ultimately do them harm - it's over.

The whole country got out from under the ex-boss. We all get to breathe again. We all get to look in a new direction, leave behind the false respect. Small-minded toxicity has left the building.

Let's all go get a new job and live in hope again.

(starting with me getting back to work on my writing)

Currently reading: Sexy Beast
Currently reading: Undead and Unemployed
Currently reading: Harmony's Way
Currently reading: Visions of Heat

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Something Stupid

I did something stupid tonight. I told a man that he's driving me crazy. Heh.

You see, a couple of months ago I adopted a soldier. It was going to be my gift to myself for finishing my book, but then I saw a TV story on and it was such a simple commitment, I couldn't resist.

But I got lucky! I got a soldier who actually wrote back!! I know. Crazy, right? They go through this whole song and dance on the SA web page about how you should never expect anything back from your soldier, and you're lucky if they write back. They tell you that you should only ever tell your soldier good news about your own life. Basically they expect us to think that our soldiers are so fragile that they can't understand that reality happens to all of us, and they expect us to bow down for a one-way relationship of sending joy and gratitude out into the ether, and never getting anything back. And I signed up for it, willingly.

I've written into the void before. Twice actually. People that couldn't or wouldn't write back, and I kept on writing them because I KNEW that they appreciated the effort. I KNEW that a letter from me put a smile on their face. It's a smug kind of joy I got from doing that, because my good act for them paid me back a great deal.

Now I was in a new situation. And wonder of wonders, the dude wrote back! But he didn't say anything. I mean, I know I'm a stranger. He's a stranger too, but we were both willing to try this experiment. And I kept diving in - sharing a bit about my life, thanking him for his service, asking him a bit about his life. And I kept getting nothing back. Now, by nothing I don't mean literally no response, I mean figuratively nothing of substance.

Have you ever had one of those conversations? Where you ask someone how they are and they say "fine." And then you ask them how their day was, and they say, "fine." And then you ask about work, and guess what? It's "fine." And every 'fine' is delivered with a smile and a wide-eyed enthusiasm to go on and ask more questions.

So you tell them a bit about yourself, and wait for a bit of reciprocation... yeah, not so much. And he was lovely. He was pleasant. He was happy to chat via e-mail, every day - so long as he never had to say anything. I know what you're thinking ... I'm too hard on him... he's an 18 yr old, thrust into an unpopular war, away from home for the first time and it's up to me to keep this ball rolling and make the kid feel better about the life he's living now.

But you're wrong. He's career military. Been in for over a decade. Took two vacations in the month we traded e-mails, loves his job and thinks every day in the service is fun and interesting. The man is in his early 30s and surely, surely by now, knows how to have a conversation. Maybe he doesn't understand the point of conversation? After a month though, I still didn't know. That's how little I got to know the guy. I would be happy to chat about anything he was willing to engage in. But there was no there there.

I know he's in the military and can't give out too much info - but believe me, I am not interested in State secrets. I just wanted to get to know the guy. Is he a jokester? An intellectual? Does he read political thrillers? Is Bill O'Rielly his hero? Does he have to have meat with every meal? Did he grow up with dogs or cats or a hamster? Soup or Salad? Truck or Sedan? Boxers or Briefs? Okay, I'm just kidding about the last one. My point is, talking with him is like pulling teeth. And tonight, I told him that.

In fact, I told him that I wouldn't be offended if he wanted to throw me back and pick up another 'angel'. I told him that he seems nice, but it doesn't seem like he wants to be friends. And that it's OKAY to not want to be friends. He didn't answer me. That was a habit of his.
I fear I offended him.
That wasn't my intent.

Characteristically though, his lack of response has proven my point. I didn't know how he'd take what I have to say, because I don't know who he is. And I don't know how he took my words because he won't tell me who he is.

Regardless, I signed up and I am happy to see my obligation through.
I just wish I could talk with him on his terms, instead of guessing what would interest him.

In other news, Bobo died on 1.9.09. It was awful to make the decision to end his life, but wonderful to be there at the end and feel the relief when he stopped suffering.

I was holding on to him for me, allowing myself a chance to say goodbye and apologize for not catching his illness sooner. He graciously allowed me the indulgence, but his body fought it every step of the way.

I made the decision late Wednesday night when he woke me up with a claw to my wrist, stinking of infection, and bobble-headed from dehydration. I spent the next two days crying about making the decision, about the pain he was in, about the pain I was in at saying goodbye to my friend and companion of 14 years.

By Friday afternoon (the earliest I could get in) I was taut from the stress, Bobo was exhausted from the ordeal of staying alive and we were both ready for it to end. The vet's office was very good. One woman even came in who wasn't on the case because she remembered us from when I first got the news, and just wanted to express her condolences. The doctor and techs allowed us time and our privacy, and when I finally said it was okay to give the final injections, Bobo was so pleased to be out of pain that I couldn't be sad about it any longer.

It was the right decision. He was his stubborn self til the end and I'll miss him.

Currently reading: Visions of Heat
Currently reading: Sexy Beast
Skimming: The Host (I finished it 5 months ago, but want to revisit the end again)
Just finished: Wolf Tales II
Just finished: Undead and Unwed
Just about to start: Harmony's Way

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Mary Poppins anyone?

So I have this theory that finding an agent is kind of like hiring a nanny. Go with me here. A nanny needs you for her income (or his, but I'm gonna stick with the feminine for this one). Without you and your baby, a nanny is out on the streets. And without a nanny, you have to do all the work of showing your baby to the world all by yourself.

But the good nannies? The REALLY good ones ... they're booked. They're booked from last year through 2020, and even if they aren't, they can say they are because they only really have time to take on the best babies. The cutest, smartest, best turned-out babies will catch their eye, and if you're lucky, they might just spot your kid on the side of the road and offer their card.

You want your kid to get out in the world and be admired in all the best places. The nanny can do that. She can get into places you don't even know about because she's been doing this for a while. So you, with your shiny, new baby, set out in the world to hire yourself a first-class nanny - and guess what? Everybody else in the freakin' city has their eye on your nanny.

This poor lady has ugly kids shoved in her face all day long with empty promises that, "you'll love him once you get to know him." So she gets to be picky... really, really picky. She gets to examine and criticize and reject your baby. And, if you want your kid to be well-received at the deb's ball, you kind of have to take it.

Then, when your kid is successfully entered into society, you get to pay her for all your hard work. And then, you hand over the next baby into her tender, loving care.

The agent as nanny. You need them to guide you through the vicissitudes of publishing a book, but they REALLY need you to pay the rent. Just a little something to keep in mind.

In other news, I wrote a haiku a couple of days ago.

Their eyes on a train
met. Her lips, plump, newly wet.
They haven't parted.

Just Finished: The Full Body Project (I was disappointed, I wanted more models and more individual shots)
Currently reading: A Kink In Her Tails
Just about to start: Visions of Heat
Just about to start: Broken [Edit: This is the BEST book I've read in the past 12 months]