Category Archives: Reblog

PFF6 ~ Forgettable

Welcome to my Friday Flashback! This post originally appeared here on July 12, 2017, a mere two years ago. Some people (women) are unforgettable, larger than life, and you retain vivid memories of them decades after your last meeting. Even if you’ve only met them briefly, something about their looks or vibe is utterly captivating.

I’m not one of these women. People forget me instantly. They forget my name and that they ever met or knew me. Men who slept with me don’t even recall it. I’m bland and ephemeral. Light as air. I should have been a spy, blending into the scenery wherever I roamed. I do like staying home though.

Windsong

I can’t seem to forget you…
Your 
Windsong stays on my mind.

Remember that commercial for the Prince Matchabelli perfume from 1980? I thought about it tonight when I unexpectedly ran across someone online from years ago and remembered him, but he had no memory of me at all. It was so vivid for me too, that connection we had during a time that was intense and painful for both of us, about a decade ago, and yet… it clearly meant nothing to him. Nothing at all. He apologized for failing to remember me, but it’s happened before, many times.

When I messaged this man, I was so… buoyant. I think that’s a good word for the emotion I felt earlier today. I had to shop at Target, and the whole time I was a bit floaty, thinking to myself how wonderful it would be to chat with someone who knew me from the time before… before the divorce, before my mother was gone. Why this is important to me, I don’t know. But it is. And so for a couple hours I felt light and happy, certain that my life would take a new direction as the man and I renewed our friendship.

I came home, put my stuff away, fed my kitty, fed the feral kitties (all three were around tonight!), got a snack, logged back on, and after a little while a message arrived. The man did not remember me. Oh well. Then that old commercial jingle popped into my head and I wondered if it would be possible to find it on YouTube. Of course… first hit.

[I replaced the dead video with a new one.]

PFF5 ~ Holy Matrimony!

Welcome to my Friday Flashback! This post originally appeared here on July 5, 2014. I hope you enjoy the romance novel review even if you aren’t a fan of the genre.

At The Duke’s Wedding

At The Duke’s Wedding [dead link deleted] is a collection of four novellas, all set at a grand old English estate during the week of festivities surrounding the wedding of the Duke of Wessex. Each novella has a different author.

 

WARNING ~ SPOILERS ABOUND ~ CONTINUE AT YOUR OWN RISK!

 

1. That Rogue Jack by Maya Rodale. This story is incredibly, tediously stupid. Jack is a gorgeous moron who misplaces the heirloom wedding ring he picked up for the groom from a jeweler. Inexplicably, the bride-to-be requests great grand Aunt Whozis’ companion, Henrietta, to get moronic Jack to hand over the ring. They spend days sneaking around trying to find it because Jack, who is a moron, can’t remember where he put it. As they do this, they fall in love. That’s the plot.

2. I was going to stop reading after that first awful story, but decided that wasn’t fair to the other authors. Glad I continued. In P.S. I Love You (by Miranda Neville), the witty and poetic scarred-face Christian reluctantly agrees to write love letters to Rosanne for his boring but good-looking cousin Frank. Of course Chris falls in love with Rosanne because her letters are so charming, and she with him, though of course she thinks he’s Frank. When they all meet at the Duke’s place, complications ensue. Predictable, but actually good.

3. When I Met My Duchess by Caroline Linden.  This story is about the Duke himself, who is not some old gross gouty fellow but young and beefcakey, and how he falls for his betrothed’s hot and unconventional sister the moment she steps down from her carriage in front of his house. Oopsy. I liked it. 

4. How Angela Got Her Rogue Back by Katharine Ashe. The title is misleading and also clunky ~ unforgiveable! But let us proceed. This story involves time-travel, which I don’t mind at all, if it makes some kind of sense. Even a little bit of sense will do. Modern-day Angela materializes at the Duke’s party 200 years earlier after reading a weird book and falling into a Michigan river. That was OK, but less so was the convoluted blackmail scheme she thwarts to save Viscount Studmuffin’s family. What really bugs the crap out of me though is when Angela ~poof~ vanishes again for no reason. I totally lost interest in the story right there. But I finished it of course, and read the teaser for an upcoming story, which has the Duke’s little sister finding Angela’s cell phone…

Onward!

PFF4: Ommmm

Welcome to my Friday Flashback! This post originally appeared here on June 29, 2011, and my feelings haven’t changed. It’s great to zone out with a repetitive yet productive task to get centered. This week I also had a bunch of shredding to do, so the post is timely as well.

The Zen of Shredding

Sometimes when I’m upset, nothing beats a repetitive task that (1) is a little bit physical, and (2) makes a moderate amount of noise. So yesterday I shredded paper all day, which was great. Shred shred shred. Just feed the sheets in, not too many, maybe 8 at a time … zaLOOP, keep them going in, left hand, right hand. Soon the red light comes on indicating “basket full.”

Get a big trash bag. Unplug shredder. Pull out basket. Hold trash bag open with one hand … plunge other hand into slightly warm mass of crinkly confetti, scoop into bag, handful by handful. Pull individual paper pieces from blades (my favorite part). Slide basket back into machine. Plug in. Turn on. Tune out.

Drip in a little oil.

Start over again.

~*~

Please check out my book Going Dark, free on a special promotion right now! No worries if you don’t have a Kindle ~ you can download a Kindle app for phone or tablet, easy peasy. Don’t forget to review my book after you read it. Thanks a million!

PFF3: POV PP

Paula’s Friday Flashback this week is a post from June 21, 2013, wherein I rant about point of view switching within scenes. Enjoy!

Minor peeve. I was careless with “only” in my post. Sorry about that.

Point of View

Sorry, got distracted.

One of my huge pet peeves while reading is a mid-scene POV switch. This shouldn’t be a problem in a first-person novel (one would hope), but writers will switch deliberately or sloppily while writing in third. Grrrr! In olden days, it was acceptable to write in scattershot POV, but the contemporary way is to keep to one character’s viewpoint per scene (and sometimes per chapter).

This makes a lot of sense if you think about it. The reader can relax and trust the writer to put you inside one character’s head at a time, with sensory data and thoughts being processed by him or her (or it, if non-human). You only know what that character knows during this time, feel what she feels, etc. If the story is a romance, you’re there with her wondering if the hero will ever return from his quest. If the story is a murder, you’re right there with the detective putting the clues together.

I recently read a short story in workshop where two men were involved in a tense situation, involving a possible murder, and the POV flipped from one to the other. It was difficult to get “into” the story fully because of this and it also led to confusion about who was thinking/feeling what at times. When we know the writer has stuck us inside only one character’s head, these problems are mitigated simply by the fact that anyone’s thoughts or feelings are THAT guy’s. We don’t have to wonder.

Someone said that wrt to a novel you should write a scene from the POV of the character who has the most to lose at that point. I’d like to say this is a Jennifer Crusie quote, but I can’t remember and CBA looking it up at 5:30am. It makes a lot of sense and doesn’t only apply to romance novels of course. Though I find it the most irritating when a romance novelist (either deliberately or stupidly) has a switch in a sex scene. It’s so distracting. This is the perfect example of a time you need to stay inside one character’s head for the duration of a scene and not mess up. I think this is why I had to give Animal Attraction only two stars on Goodreads. That just bugged the hell out of me. And Shalvis is not a beginning writer, so no excuses.

I’m not sure how any of this applies to second person. I haven’t written anything that way, too annoying, nor did I read BLBC. I think second is like first though, but with this hipstery distancing thing going on, right? I don’t know. Can’t deal with it.

Whatever. DON’T SWITCH MID-SCENE. Ever. This is one of those rules that you don’t break even when you are all jaded and above following rules.

PFF2: Crabby Book Review

Welcome to the second edition of Paula’s Friday Flashback! For this one, I present a crabby book review I wrote on June 14, 2013. What makes this funny (to me) is that just yesterday I was defending the entire romance novel genre from that twit Nicholas Sparks, but here 6 years ago I was disgusted with it myself! Hah. That’s probably because I was dating back then and trying desperately to blame my poor choices on anything other than my own bad judgment. Oh, it must be because I was overly influenced by romance novels. Sure, Jan.

Or maybe I’m just inconsistent. Whatever!

*

Animal Attraction

By Jill Shalvis. I gave this book a 2-star rating (“it was okay”) on Goodreads even though I enjoyed it for the most part, but I’ve given better books a 3-star, and I want to have some sense of fairness in my ratings.

As I thought objectively about AA, and disregarded the fact that I ripped through it because it was fun and sexy and had a kitty (and lots of other aminals too ~ hero Dell was a vet), I realized it had one of the Fatal Flaws of romance novel writing. The “plot,” such as it was, hinged on the premise that there was an End Date looming, a date at which our heroine Jade absolutely had to leave Sunshine, Idaho and return home to Chicago, therefore preventing Jade and Dell from becoming emotionally entangled, which they would resist in any case since Dell was one of those emotionally unavailable kind of guys we all break our hearts over in real life though in RNs they always become available which upfucks the brains of women who read these STUPID BOOKS but I digress, and they both knew this. (Of course Jade tried not to become physically involved with him either, but that didn’t work. Obviously.)

But as it turned out the End Date was totally arbitrary ~ Jade didn’t have to leave. She had made a promise to her family she’d come home, mostly because they’d been nagging her unreasonably, and since she was a 30 year old woman, it would have been totally acceptable, if not downright advisable, for her to tell them, dudes, I found a good job, a cool apartment, and a great boyfriend here in Idaho, so BACK OFF, I’m staying indefinitely. And so basically there was no plot if you discount this made up out of thin air date. If you do discount the date, then the whole story becomes this whiny thing of ermahgerd I gotta go, can’t let myself fall for hunkyvet, and him thinking why must she go, everyone abandons me just like mommy. Bleh.

Plus there were sloppy POV switches within scenes (annoying and unforgivable!) and missing quotation marks, super-distracting. Upside, the dialog was great and witty, and there were fun minor characters. Shalvis has a ton of books available and I can tell from the blurbs and reviews (however positive) that they’re all gonna be about the same. But one was enough for me.

~*~

Check out Fandango’s FF, where this whole idea originated. It’s all his fault! 😂

Paula’s Friday Flashback

Fandango has yet another great idea! Is there no end to them? (Rhetorical.) He suggests we repost an older post today to give our readers a {{{ fLAsHBacK }}} to days gone bye. Now, I am not following directions precisely (when do I ever?) cuz I used to not only skip bunches of days but also delete posts on whims. Crazy wot? So, this particular post I’m sharing is dated June 6, 2011, which was yesterday. Deal with it!

More on Romance and Porn

Because you are not tired of this topic yet, nope. 🙂

(Look, it was either this or complaining about how my dad can’t handle his banking any longer and now I have to pay his bills on top of all my other monumental burdens like, um, deciding whether to blog or hem my beige pants.)

So this Salon article, which was criticizing a hit piece targeting romance novels, purportedly set out to defend both porn and romance, but did neither very well. Sometimes I wonder why I visit Salon at all; so much of the writing is pure crap.

But that’s not what I’m here to discuss. I followed the link to the KSL article warning women away from the potential addiction of romance novels, which I have to say was much better written than the Salon piece, even if you disagreed with it. I suppose there is a nugget of truth to the idea that if you spend all day every day reading about perfect alpha fantasy men you’ll eventually find your own normal lump of a husband not measuring up in comparison, but most women aren’t going to be consuming romance novels like the way they eat bags of Snickers bars in the closet for Pete’s sake.  (Not SAYIN’ anyone here does that with the Snickers bars, ahem.)

Never mind that in any case. I followed a sidebar link from the KSL piece to Moore to the Point’s romance novel bloggery. Obviously this is a religious dude with an agenda, but so what if he makes a good argument, I say. And I’m saying that.

Both are based on an illusion. Pornography is based on the illusion of a perfectly willing, always aroused partner without the “work” of relational intimacy. Often romance novels or their film equivalents do the same thing for the emotional needs of women that pornography offers for the erotic urges of men.

And in both cases, what the “market” wants is sameness. Men want the illusion of women who look just like women but are, in terms of sexual response, just like men. Women want the illusion of men who are “real” men, but, in terms of a concept of romance, are just like women. In both artificial eros and artificial romance, there is the love of the self, not the mystery of the other.

Ooh. Interesting, no? I think so! Discuss. I have to get ready for work.

~*~

I don’t actually have to get ready for work today, June 7, 2019, cuz I took the day off to celebrate National Donut 🍩 Day!

P.S. My dad passed away March 11, 2013.

Monday Meandering

It was bothering me that my full-size bitmojis appeared on my iPhone reader as humongous pictures dropping off the sides of the screen. Other bloggers’ pics do the same, btw ~ not photographs, which seem to know how to behave themselves, but graphics grabbed from the web, which do not. Anyway, I’ve been resizing mine to medium in the app but haven’t noticed a satisfactory difference, so that’s why I went down to thumbnail on this one. It just bugs me when pics are off. Now the thumbnail will look weird when I view my blog on the web… sigh. 😜

*

I finally figured out why my YouTube vids weren’t previewing properly ~ when I take the link from the YouTube app, it’s a shortlink. I then have to paste it in a browser to get a real link that creates a preview. What a royal pain in the ass. Is there any more annoying problem in the world today, I ask you? Oh, for the halcyon daze of olde when we didn’t have the convenience of apps to bitch about and had to trudge 5 miles in the cybersnow every time we wanted to copypasta any damn thing. 🙄

*

I was just about to stop at Target after work on Friday night to buy a space heater when I remembered I had one. And it wasn’t hidden away in a closet ~ it’s right next to the TV cabinet. This is what happens when the unused spaces in your brain get old and frozen. 🥶

*

My MO in Blogland is not to keep score cuz that’s just annoying and frustrating. I follow around 700 blogs and only 500 or so follow me. But who is MO anyway and why am I letting him set precedent? This I began to wonder today as I unfollowed a few bloggers in my feed who never like any of my poasts. Pffft.

To each their own, but if all a blogger does it repost old stuff, and not interact with me, I’m going to be faster with the unfollow click. I mean, I go to the trouble of writing fresh new boring crap for you guys every single day! I don’t want my feed filled with a parade of moldy recyclables. If I see I’ve already hearted it… grrrr!

Seriously one guy reposts his half-dozen sensual love letters to his “goddess” every night and I’m just BARF ALREADY! Write something new to her, dude. Geez. 🤮

*

I just looked up the definition of cartoon cuz I wasn’t sure what counted. Obviously the shows we used to watch on Saturday morning, but comic strips too? Yup. And movies like Frozen? Yup. And those quickie caricatures? Yup. Also, the word comes from Italian, carta (paper), if anyone cares. First known usage was in 1671, as in a preparatory design. You’re welcome. 😜

*

I’m on the Nextdoor app to keep track of local doings. I was motivated to download it when the OCRegister went to a pay site. I miss the OCR, gotta admit, but I’m not gonna pay. I have no paid subscriptions to anything. Nextdoor is sometimes helpful/interesting, but Twitter is actually more on top of breaking emergencies. Of course there are trolls and idiots and assholes on ND because it is social media. People won’t follow rules and simply must jabber on about “the wall” and whatever other stupid BS pops into their heads. 🤬

Naturally there are the sea lion men, barking questions at women, only to tell them that their opinions are invalid. I ran into one of these jerks this weekend who told me I can’t have an opinion on my city after “only” living here 5 years when he’s been here 25. I muted him. It’s too bad they are only mutes and not blocks like Twitter. I would prefer it if he was not able to see and/or reply to me again. Same goes for anyone I mute in the future.

This is one of the things that makes it hard for women to express themselves online (not to mention in meatspace obviously). You have to constantly worry about angering some wacko man, especially if he’s local. Who even knows what might set some lunatic off into a rage? Idk if this guy is totally fine or a nutball, but I got a bad vibe, and so I let him have the last word because I see from other threads that it’s important to him. And I didn’t insult him like another woman did; I just quietly faded away. I’m not embarrassed to admit that I’m scared of men who seem trollish and unhinged. We read stories all the time about women being stalked and attacked by nutjobs. And crazy men are everywhere. We’re never safe. 😢

No, I’m not being overly dramatic. Just go look up the statistics about violence against women. This is another reason why I quit using dating sites. Besides all the benignly obnoxious jerks and liars and creeps, there are rapists and con men and murderers lurking there. It’s documented. And when some rando gets angry because you reject him after chatting, how do you know which group he falls into?

Not worth the stress.

Day 20960 — Dreams Deconstructed

Day 20960 — Dreams Deconstructed

https://zeroisms.wordpress.com/2018/12/06/day-20960-dreams-deconstructed/
— Read on zeroisms.wordpress.com/2018/12/06/day-20960-dreams-deconstructed/

Check out this cool Jeannie photo on my friend’s blog!

All About Orange

The fact that I have this photo in my blog media library gives me the idea I have written negatively about orange before. But instead of searching for that poast, and lazily efficiently reblogging it, I’ve already banged out a new one. Maybe next time I’ll remember to look for a pic before I start typing like a maniac. Who wants to bet on that?

Orange has never been a favorite color or flavor of mine. There are a few exceptions. Color-wise, I like a dash of bright orange with pink and yellow, lime and purple, for that crazy fruit bowl tropical look. Perfect for the muumuu you need on a cruise to cover up the 10 pounds you gain the first three days before the dysentery hits. And naturally orange is the appropriate base color for Halloween shirts, preferably with black cats, owls, and bats decorating a spooky crooked tree. Boo!

Food-wise, oranges suck. What is up with these things? All pulpy and seedy, with icky white strings you have to keep peeling off. Feh! Waaay too much work. I don’t mind some orange juice, sans pulp, if it’s mixed with mango juice, but that’s a lot of sugar. Did I mention I’m eating a lot less sugar now? Paula’s diet… always a fascinating topic, but we’ll leave that for another poast. As far as the actual taste of orange? Meh. It’s good in cake, I guess. But there’s that pesky sugar issue again! Same with Panda Express orange chicken (soooo sweet and yummy). Oh, here we go with the Panda Express haters piling on to tell me it’s not real Chinese food. 🙄🙄🙄

Okay. Not gonna write a book rn. Bottom line: orange is pretty much last on my list, except for pretty flowers obviously, and it’s not because of you know who.

Another Reach into the Archives

Bouquet. [50-word drabble]

She ran, laughing, plucking flowers at random until her arms overflowed. This one, she cried! And this one and this. Each time she had found the most glorious blossom ever, another flower even more vibrant beckoned. Soon, reaching for the next would mean dropping them all. I watched, and waited.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Reach