Sunday, September 25, 2016

Give Peace a Chance

Annual Peace Parade in Honokaa. It was a small parade but so enjoyable to be in town and realize that in a couple short years, most of the people I saw I knew by sight.

Watched some young women do hula in a quiet, fully dressed, soft way and was enchanted. So beautiful: the small movements with such grace. Such large meaning.

I have signed up to receive 2 Beauty Boxes. One from Ipsy and one from Walmart. They're both cheap -- the Ipsy one is $10/monthly and Walmart is only $5/quarterly. It should be fun to get creams and beauty supplies and nail polish... I love nail polish.

Writing again. Stopped for about 2 weeks but now going strong again.

Real tired. Tomorrow has a few chores but Mollie and I are planning a quiet day together with a big delish dinner just the two of us. We're meatloafing and doing the mashed potato. Brownies for dessert.

We like those few times we get to be alone. We really just like each other.


Thursday, September 22, 2016

Not The Same

A few random thoughts:

At my job we have a couple of patients who are called "professional patients" because they're very hyper-aware of everything moderately medical and spend much of their time taking care of their various ailments. Which isn't to say they don't have legitimate complaints but rather, they're just annoying.

And female.

It occurred to me the other day when I got a phone call from another doctor's office about a patient who was in their office, there's another of our professional patients! But then I realized it was a man. And when I started thinking about it, had to recognize that the majority of our professional patients are, in fact, men.

Which then got me thinking about how much I dislike the p.p. women and thinking about it I recognized that I dislike the men just as much and all this time I never realized how sexist it was to point at the women only when the men are as bad or even worse. Also, the women are usually single. The men are often married and their wives are in on the action.

Which then reminded me of something wonderful I read that said in comparing Hillary and Donald, one can't compare because they are not the same. It's not picking the lesser of two evils when one is slightly icky because her ties to big money and changing sides on certain issues and the other is a racist, misogynist, xenophobic narcissist capable of starting WW3.

Nope, not the same at all.

And for those who love to bring up Bill and Monica: Trump cheated on wife #1 with wife #2 and has made inappropriate comments about his own daughter. I'll take Bill over that.

And on top of all this, I realized that one of the hardest things I ever did was ask for a raise because the work I do and how well I do it deserves greater monetary compensation. And being told no, then devalued me. And feeling devalued has changed how I feel about my job and my boss and I hate work now.

What a fuck fest.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Well damn...

You know that moment when you figure out what's been getting in your way forever?

I was writing a story and at 30,000 words it fizzled. Completely stopped. So then I put it aside and started something that's been writing itself. Until I hit 30,000 words.

30,000 words is my killer. So I decided to look at it in a logical way and figured out that instead of trying to power through or make myself crazy, I should accept 30,000 as my magic number.

So I wrote 30,000 words of the new story and love it. Part One is done. Now I'm starting Part Two which will have the second part of the story and be another 30,000 words.

Voila.

Lemons, meet lemonade. I'm thirsty.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Hold Your Breath by Katie Ruggle

Lou is a hurricane. 
A walking disaster. 
And with her, Callum's never felt more alive...even if keeping her safe may just kill him.
Lou's new to the Rockies, intent on escaping her controlling ex, and she's determined to make it on her own terms...no matter how tempting her ice dive captain Callum Cook may be. But when a routine training exercise unearths a body, Lou and Callum find themselves thrust into a deadly game of cat and mouse with a killer who'll stop at nothing to silence Lou and prove that not even her new Search & Rescue brotherhood can keep her safe forever.
In the remote Rocky Mountains, lives depend on the Search & Rescue brotherhood. But in a place this far off the map, trust is hard to come by and secrets can be murder...

I completely enjoyed this book. 
The story was told in third person from the heroine's POV only. Somehow, it only made Cal more loveable. The reader got to witness his surrender to the inevitable from a more remote viewpoint than being in his head, and yet I knew what he was feeling and even thinking sometimes, just by his interactions with Lou. And Lou - ah Lou!
I do like feisty, independent heroines, but when they get idiotically stubborn, so that they're a danger to themselves and others, well, that's when the book hits the wall, metaphorically speaking since I use a Kindle Fire. This heroine was NOT like that. She was a sheer joy. She was mature and grownup and recognized Cal's need to protect her and she grew adept at reading beneath his grumpy exterior to the loving person underneath. I truly admired her for that, because strong relationships are built on give and take - compromise - and Cal did his giving too, recognizing her need for independence.
The characters grabbed me so, the plot was almost incidentental. Okay, that's an exaggeration, the plot was pretty good, had me skimming so badly that I'll probably have to reread to get all the details. But the characters are just a joy to read, expecially Lou (and you know I'm not heroine-centric).
An example: Lou's money earning job is as a waitress at the local diner. Cal started keeping her company in the evenings, since she's alone and nefarious things have been happening and she's gotten into the habit of saving him a fancy scone. This particular evening there is a couple having coffee and the lady wants a scone ...

"Excuse me." The female half of the eavesdropping couple took a step closer to the counter. "Are there any more of those scones?"
Lou pasted a regretful smile on her face. "Sorry, no. This was the last one."
"I didn't see it in the display." The woman scowled. "I specifically asked if you had any scones, and you said you were out."
"I had to hold this one back. It was defective."
"Defective?' Her eyes darted between Lou's expression of fake sympathy and the small bite of scone Callum hadn't eaten yet. "It looked fine."
"I licked it." Lou heard Callum choke on the last piece of scone, but she couldn't look at him or she would start laughing. If his airway was blocked, he was going to have to give himself the Heimlich.
The woman's suspicious expression didn't ease. "Why did you let him eat it then?"
"Oh, his tongue is in my mouth all the time," Lou said sweetly, and Callum's coughing increased. "I didn't think he'd mind my germs."
With a sound of frustration the woman stormed out of the shop, followed closely by the male half of the couple. The bells rang merrily as the door closed behind them, as if celebrating their absence.
"Sparks," Callum rasped once his coughing died down. "You're going to kill me."
"But what a way to go."
"True." Grabbing her hand, he pulled her closer and leaned across the counter. "Now give me some of those germs."

There's a novella that preceeds this story, On His Watch, free at Amazon and I presume most other sellers. Lou and Cal both appear, but the story is of Derek, part of the Search and Rescue team, and how he found his romance and HEA.
And I'm on to read the next in the series, Fan the Flames, the story of the beautiful Ian. And, y'all, I have to say there are some really different characters and eccentrics in these books. Ian himself is one, a firefighter and also in a local MC. His heroine, Rory is another. From what I can gather her parents, who are dead now (haven't found out when or how yet) were a little bit on the wrong side of the law and she has inherited their business. Will try to do a non-review on this book too. :-)
So, in case you didn't pick up on this, I like this book and this series. It's not great literature, but it is entertaining literature with likeable characters and lots of eccentrics to warm my little heart. 
Totally recommended.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

With Sadness

You start to become aware, in your thirties and forties that the people in your parent's generation start dying. The movie stars of their childhood, the musicians and politicians and ultimately their parents, aunts and uncles and sometimes, even their older siblings.

But our generation will live forever. Until they don't anymore.

It's one thing to lose a Michael Jackson or Whitney Houston from drug abuse. Shocking to lose Prince. But then Glenn Frey of the Eagles and it started to feel really close to home.

Now people around us are losing those that are dear to them and it's a clarion call in the night. We are now that age. We are now losing our generation and soon our older siblings and childhood icons will pass.

In one week, two women Carolyn and I both care about lost their mothers. Carolyn just went through the loss of her beloved.

We're all so fragile. And time has such a strong way of reminding us how much.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

I'm in Lurve

If you've known me for a while, or even for a day, then you know I got my novel writing experience from writing fan fics.And whether you love or hate them, I unabashedly love them and am proud of some of the fics I wrote (and those I wrote with Carolyn).

I enjoy writing but I haven't had the same level of pure enjoyment in writing once I stopped writing fan fic. And I had a lot of reasons I assumed it was but recently I found out the truth.

Because I haven't been in love with the hero.

When I wrote fan fic, I was in love with my hero. I looked at his picture, I fantasized about him (and those fantasies became part of what I wrote), I felt giddy. When my heroes became characters I created with a little fandom shaping them, I wasn't as in love and the writing missed something.

I discovered this because I'm writing right now and I am in love with my hero. Utterly crazy about him. I want to write all the time so I can spend time with him. I want to know what he's going to do next. How will he win the heroine who is adamantly declaring herself unwinnable?

The secret about my hero is.... I'm writing a fanfic. I just spent the last couple of months binge watching House on Netflix and became completely immersed in that world. And I 100%, utterly and completely think Wilson is a hero. And in the realm of living in the afterglow of the show, I'm in love with Wilson.

So my character is Wilson. He's a little bit perfect but he has limits. He's sincere. He's the second banana and willing to remain so. And he's a perfect romance hero.

I'd write more about him but right now he needs to go fight with the heroine a little bit more. Then I have to figure out if it's going to be a gift of a cat or a hamster. But I trust Wilson will make the right choice.

I can't wait to find out. 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Understanding Triggers

My conservative brother and my liberal self have been in agreement with the "safe spaces" and "trigger warnings" that American colleges have adapted recently. I don't think it's a pussyfication of America but I do think it's going too far.

When you need a safe space because you see a Trump 2016 poster, you really need to get a grip. And I hate to think what's going to happen when you enter the workforce and get an asshole boss. Ain't no safe spaces in the real world, Petunia.

Which doesn't mean that there aren't things that are going to trip your trigger. Such as: Carolyn bought us I Give You My Body by Diana Gabaldon, her how to write sex book. And it tripped my trigger. I had to delete it from my Kindle and I suffered a very nasty reaction to something she wrote.

(And by the way: although she's a great writer, she doesn't write sexy in a way that makes me interested. I wouldn't suggest the book because her sex scenes are not sexy.)

Diana Gabaldon didn't write the book with the knowledge that something she wrote about rape would make anyone react badly. Carolyn didn't buy and share the book thinking there was anything in it that would make me cry. The trigger was mine based on my experiences. And part of what's necessary for me to survive in this world is to recognize that I, like everyone, have triggers and I'm going to have to face them now and again.

Sometimes it might be a Trump 2016 sign. And if it is, then place your I'm With Her sign next to it and keep moving. Sometimes it's a scene in a book or movie that floods you with bile. Acknowledge it, keep moving on.

It doesn't hurt to have trigger warnings but it shouldn't always be necessary and we shouldn't always have to be careful. The world is unpleasant and we face unpleasantness within it. It's our job to learn how to exist with things that bother us. We have to learn how to emotionally get past those moments. And we need to remember that just because it affects me in a bad way, doesn't mean it's a bad thing.

Part of what makes me strong is getting past the things that make me weak.

And Carolyn and I have talked about trigger warnings on other blogs and really aren't interested in them on this blog. If something trips your trigger then we're here to discuss it with you if you like, but we wont try to coddle you in our space because of it. Lean to suck it up Buttercup, and become the functioning adult we know you can be.