Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Making Fun My Bitch

 To make someone your bitch means to assert dominance over them. I would not be good on either side of that dynamic – dominatrix or dominated – not for me.

 I am, however, good at making fun my bitch. Opportunities abound.

Recently the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish ran an ad for professional bear huggers. The job requires hiking in wilderness areas, finding caves and crawling into them to see if there are bears, hugging the bears.

Easy peasy. 

So naturally, I thought of my ex-husband. He wants to retire from his Southern California stressful COO job and he loves New Mexico.

This is funnier if you know – he never walks out the door unless he looks like he just did a photo shoot for GQ. And his two closets are full of Lord and Taylor clothes that smell like Grey Flannel cologne mixed with dry cleaner

I started a text thread to him and my daughters with the job ad.

Marty: I only hug female bears.

Me: Unfortunately I don’t think they are that specialized yet. You’d have to hug both sexes. Not the job for you. Sorry I got your hopes up.

Marty: It’s ok. I can be a gender neutral bear hugger.

Anyway –this provided several texts throughout the day and many laughs.

Another source of amusement for me on a 3 or 4 times weekly basis is Arghink.com. Jennifer Crusie’s blog has a community of commenters that have been with her forever. As a Crusie fangirl / stalker I'm part of that community.

Where the fun comes in is – Jenny throws out a subject and people respond to it but they also go completely off topic. Crusie novels are romance genre so her commenters are romance readers and writers.

One 'Good Book Thursday' post, in which everyone is supposed to talk about what they are reading, took a turn into familiar Arghink territory – sex scenes.

A frequent commenter brought up alien sex scenes involving tentacles.

You read that right. Tentacles. Apparently it’s a thing. Not my thing but to each her own.

Their comments were hilarious. Especially when they started discussing what orifices the tentacles would go in.

Who needs television?

I could give you many more instances of how I’ve made fun my bitch but you might get the wrong (or right) idea that my brain functions differently than the average bear who needs a hug.

 So I’ll leave you here with an appropriate song to listen to: Strangelove by Depeche Mode

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Ebooks, Book Signings and more


These days I unapologetically read ebooks. Very rarely do I read actual books. Partly I appreciate the space saved and partly I appreciate the trees saved.

 Yet, I still love bookstores. And book signings which take place in bookstores.

 Nostalgia set in when I saw on Instagram and FB that Susan Elizabeth Phillips hosted an event at Warwick’s Books in San Diego. She interviewed Kristin Hannah who wrote the books from the television series Firefly Lane.

 500 people were there. The power of television.

 I have a signed copy of my most beloved author Jenny Crusies book, Maybe This Time. I got it signed when I went to a lovely bookstore in Louisville, KY to hear Jenny speak and sign books. Her speech was witty and charming. She generously answered questions, signed books and took pictures. I had a picture of us but I lost it somewhere in phone or computer changes.

There were maybe 50 people in attendance. I can’t remember the name of the bookstore but it has long since closed.

I got my copy of Susan Elizabeth Phillips book Heroes Are My Weakness signed in another lovely bookstore in Memphis TN. She entertained an audience of approximately the same number as Jenny, 50 people. Made everyone laugh a lot and gave out her signature red suckers.

That bookstore has also since closed.

I really do prefer ebooks but I will miss bookstores and book signings, for sure.

If you have to have paper books new things with promise are happening though! For example:

If you follow author Brenda Novak on FB you may have seen that she has a new idea. She created a travelling bookstore & coffeeshop and is going across the USA making various stops to promote and sell her book The Seaside Library due out 4/11/23. 

And flashfictionforum.com puts on an event that takes place in San Jose CA but is also live on Zoom. I joined the Zoom for the last one. 6 people read including my fellow pinellaswriters.org member, Susan Rogers. 

It was a stimulating evening of good reads from mostly new authors I've never heard of. I won a prize of a book titled If Not For You & Other Stories by Niles Reddick. I haven't read it yet but it looks good. 

Nowadays I carry my TBR (to be read) pile with me everywhere I go because it's in my ebook app in my phone.

You're welcome, trees. I love you!!!

Monday, March 6, 2023

Thoughts about a movie: Paterson

 Definitely worth watching! 

Adam Driver plays Paterson, a poet and bus driver in Paterson, NJ. His character grew up there. As did the famous poet William Carlos Williams.

His wife played by Golshifteh Farahani is a quirky fun story all on her own.

Nellie the English Bulldog won awards for her performance but died at age 8 before receiving them.

Paterson writes poems in a notebook. The foreshadowing is clear as his wife begs him on more than one occasion to make a copy of his poems. And he doesn't.

I feel okay about spoiler - ing since the film came out in 2016. Something happens to the notebook with his lifetime of poems which he has not backed up in any way.

The movie is poignant and beautiful even while it is simplistic. I definitely recommend watching it.

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That said - losing ones work is a nightmare for all artists. I have experienced it a few times. 

I carried a red hardback 9 by 12 inch sketchbook with me for a long time. 

It had extensive notes on a magical realism romance novel I was working on. I had completely named, designed and mapped out a town setting with a sprawling plant nursery and home for the main characters. I had character notes & back stories, plot ideas, etc.  

It had notes for a set of graphic novels I was dreaming up. The name of them was going to be Mad Tarts Guide To... The first one was going to be Mad Tarts Guide To Drinking and would have included drinks with exotic names like a Purple Jesus. 

I don't even remember what all was in that sketchbook. 

I was on an Amtrak train and a moron locked himself in a bathroom. They told us to evacuate and leave everything behind. I should have taken the sketchbook but they spoke as if we would be back on the train in fifteen minutes or something. Instead - I never made it back onto that train. They loaded us into a bus and onto a different train.

Bye bye sketchbook. 

I also lost a poem I really enjoyed writing and reading. If you read the legend of poet laureate Billy Collins you will know what a paradelle poem is. I had written one that was a masterpiece about Steve McQueen's blue eyes and Tom Hardy's luscious lips. It disappeared to I don't know where.

I am missing a scene that I love from my current work in process novel. I thought I found it once but if I did I lost it again. 


I leave you with a trailer for the movie Paterson: