Tag Archives: genres

Bloggerz 2

12 silly eggs

Guess who is back with a dozen silly questions for us? Yep, you got it. The Blokey Guy aka Rory! Let’s get to it, shall we… I haven’t got all night.

  1. How spontaneous are you? Great question. I’m very fun and spontaneous, as long as I have a teensy bit of advance notice, say like 2 weeks.
  2. How flirtatious would you say you are and if that is not the word you would use then try the alternatives of ‘teasing or playful’ either way – how much are you of this? I’m loads of this as well, though perhaps I might use the word snarky or bitchy, but a rose is a rose, eh? 🌹
  3. How serious are you as a person? Welp, I would say I’m more serious as a person than I am as a kangaroo.
  4. Do you think the older we become certain emotions are easier to handle – say as an example ‘grief?’ Yes, especially when we can’t even remember what the hell happened the day before. That’s helpful.
  5. What is the most adventurous thing you have done to date? Probably dating a married man was pretty adventurous, and that worked out as well as you would expect. 💔
  6. What’s the craziest or riskiest thing you have ever done and simply got away with it or gotten caught doing it? Way way back when, I both took and gave rides from/to strangers. Don’t do this, kids.
  7. What do you think the future is of dating and other ‘other’ now that social distancing has become part of your life? Irrelevant, since I no longer date or do any other othering either.
  8. How different do you really think you are to the next person – are you prim and proper, or straight laced and serious, wild and abandoned or rebellious and controversial? I think I’m average/middle-of-the-road in almost all areas, except I can be alone for vast amounts of time and be fine (though I miss my family in this horrid lockdown). In fact, being overly social makes me exhausted and depressed, which seems different from what most people report.
  9. During this time of global concern how has your thinking changed with regards the planet, conservation, climate issues… or has it not changed one little bit? I’ve always been in favor of minimizing our pollution levels and finding ways to avoid destroying animals and their habitats. 🌎
  10. What ‘topical issues’ considered ‘taboo’ by society are you deeply passionate with and about to the point of doing something about it? None really. Just leave people alone to do as they will as long as they aren’t harming anyone else. Oh, I guess I’m a fan of internet reform, which no one likes, but I’m too lazy to do anything about it. If I were in charge, I’d likely disallow anonymity and multiple accounts. One account, per person, traceable across platforms. No trolling or sock puppets or other shenanigans used for evil purposes.
  11. What’s more important and or is there a difference between ‘Friendship and Companionship’ and if so what is that difference? There are levels to friendship for sure, from basic acquaintances to coworkers to peeps you want to hang out with in your free time. And then there are other people, maybe just a few, or only one, with whom you have a special connection (not talking romantic, though it could be)… someone who “gets” you and with whom you can easily share your feelings and experiences, knowing you won’t be judged or mocked or criticized. But also someone who shares things with you in return, so you feel you aren’t just taking but giving as well. This is what I consider companionship, beyond friendship. I don’t really have it in my life now, just sporadic friendship when people aren’t busy with other things, and I’m okay with that.
  12. What is your passion with regards writing genres – (1) what is your chosen genre and (2) what is the genre you might like to write about but lack confidence to start? I’ve written lots of romance and a little erotica, bunches of poetry, and a political romance. I’ve begun a few mysteries and “literary fiction” type works as well. Finished some shorter pieces in those genres. Dabbled in a bit of sci-fi too. As I keep saying, I’m working on a mystery/love story called Ghosted, which will be finished… at some point. Lack of confidence to write in a genre I haven’t tried before does not seem to be an issue for me. 🤣

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Image found on eBay.

Bingo Update 6

See previous update here.

Look! I haz a bingo! 😀

My choice for a book in the middle of a series was Faye Kellerman’s Murder 101. I read a bunch of her books way back when, loving her main character LAPD Lieutenant Peter Decker, along with his Jewish wife Rina. Peter met Rina on a case and their relationship blossomed; he eventually discovered his own Jewish roots too. The cases themselves were super interesting as well. If you don’t know, Faye is married to bestselling author Jonathan Kellerman ~ I’ve also read some of his novels, but prefer hers.

Anyway. I grew bored with the series after a while and quit reading the new books. But then I found Murder 101 in the used book pile and it intrigued me. Peter has retired from the LAPD and moved with Rina to a sleepy town in upstate NY where “nothing ever happens.” Hehe. There’s a snotty young Harvard dude named Tyler that Peter is forced to work with. Fun! It is a fun read… for a while.

Then the book gets totally bogged down in this morass of art history relating to stolen Russian religious whatsits. Tyler literally googles shit and reads it word for word to Peter in blocks of text. Ughhh boring! And while Faye did her usual great job with the main characters of Peter, Rina, and Tyler too, the suspects were interchangeable and dull. I couldn’t care about any or remember who was who after a while. Honestly, now, a few days after finishing the book, I don’t recall who the actual murderer was! Omg.

Here’s another issue with Faye’s writing, and I vaguely recall it from the past: too few dialog tags. While it’s not necessary (and sometimes annoying) to put “Peter said” and “Tyler said” after every para, you can’t go a dozen with none. Several times, I found myself going back up and counting them to figure it out. Happy medium, folks.

All that said, I gave the book 3 stars. I liked it overall. Some good, some meh. I see there are more FK novels continuing with Peter working in the sleepy little town and interacting with Tyler, who has become a family friend, and I’d give the next one a shot.

But not for this bingo… it’s time for a sci-fi or dystopia methinks. I mean, besides the one we’re living in… 😱

~*~

Image from Kriti & Ariel.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Bingo Update 5

Book bingo challenge

See my previous update here.

For the anthology box, I read When Love Rises by Michelle Stradford. I enjoyed it and gave it a 4-star review. Not 5, since I couldn’t connect that well with some of the poetry at the beginning. Here is my full review on Goodreads, Amazon, etc.:

I especially connected with the later poems in this book where I felt her true soul was laid bare. That painful, powerful imagery resonated with me. Throughout, her poetry contains wonderful metaphors and striking language. A joy to absorb.

I love poetry. I’m trying to get in the mindset to write more myself, but it’s so hard to focus because of the thing.

Next, I read Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, a book I meant to read last year. This book really grabbed me, which is odd because it focuses on topics I normally shun. First, it has a huge emphasis on the mother-child bond, in a kaleidoscope of viewpoints. Second, the story is told from the eyes of teenagers a huge chunk of the time. These days I generally dgaf about the angst of teenagers. You think it’s bad now, kids? Just wait. Third, there’s the familiar trope of boring suburbia, the bad that lurks beneath, and the MPDG who twirls in and shakes everything up.

And yet… the story held me immediately. I needed something exactly like this right now, something so different from what’s happening in the news. Remember when we as a nation were riveted by a stain on a dress? That was the most important thing going on. I find it hard to focus on trivia, but I don’t feel like watching a movie either. I haven’t turned on my TV in days except to exercise to a video (I get the news online).

So anyway. That’s when LFE took place, in the Time of the Blue Dress, around 1997, in a wealthy Ohio suburb. I was riveted by the story; I really wanted to discover what the various characters would do. Their actions seemed surprising at times and yet also inevitable, which I admire in writing. It’s a fine line. You don’t want to be predictable, and yet you want your readers to say… oh, of course. They would have done such a thing. I can totally see it now. And there were so many layers upon layers to each character and the part they played in this drama, that the finished “cake” felt fully earned.

I gave LFE 5 stars despite the fact that Ms. Ng had POV breaks within scenes and lengthy, meandering backstories with POV breaks in those too. That just goes to show you that the story and characters are everything; rules are still important, but they can be broken. I’m not sure why Ms. Ng broke them, but with her credentials you know she knows them. They weren’t mistakes. One critic suggested it’s a cliche to have someone die on an icy road or of a brain tumor. I didn’t cringe when reading them, but I can understand someone not liking those sections.

I can see that same critic’s point about the trope of the MPDG breezing into the small town and turning it upside down while discovering all is not what it seems. I guess there’s also the trope of the naive country bumpkin stumbling into the big city and encountering cynics and meanies. But everything has been done. The key is to bring your own voice and spin. That critic doesn’t believe that Ms. Ng added anything new, but LFE struck me as fresh and engaging.

To each their own! 🙂

~*~

Image from Kriti & Ariel.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Bingo Update 3

Book bingo challenge

Here’s my first Book Bingo post, followed by my next update. Today is my third bingo installment. Exciting, no? 🤣

So far in 2020 I have read 8 books. Here are my two latest reviews. Visit the links in the above paragraph if you’re interested in the previous reviews (they are brief).

Cappuccinos, Cupcakes, and a Corpse. I grabbed this book by Harper Lin only because of the cupcakes. I’m glad the bingo game is pushing me to read outside my usual genres, but if this is a typical cozy? Meh. The writing is lazy, tepid, and full of stereotypes.

*****SPOILER ALERT*****

Skip the italicized part if you plan to read this book!

I liked the budding romance between Francesca and Matty and the possibility that Matt killed his own father. That kept me going actually, that this whole nice guy routine was a total fraud, as it so often is, and the sweet boy Franny knew as a child had turned into a very bad man as they do. But no. After misdirecting us into thinking that an ex-con had done did the deed, Lin just flings a previously unknown character at us as the murderer. Well, poo! That’s no fun. I won’t read any more books by Harper Lin, no matter how much cake they contain.

Okay, you’re safe from the spoiler now! I’m moving on to a book written by an indie author, my friend JR Rasmussen. Unlike me, JR figured out how to focus on a genre and do the branding thing, gather a group of advance readers, and basically go about writing in a wholly professional way. She also has kick-ass covers on her books, not that we should judge by this, but… damn.

With that disclaimer, I also want to say that I wasn’t all that interested in reading her book A Dream Of Fire when it first came out. Dragons… meh. Magic… meh. Like I was happy for my friend and all, but I was sticking with romances. But then I got sucked into the whole Game of Thrones madness and was suddenly whoa dragons? Hell yes I wanna read a book with magical dragons!!! Gimme.

I loved A Dream Of Fire! Here is the 5-star review I just posted:

Thoroughly enjoyed this witty and exciting story! I used to avoid this genre in general, but Game of Thrones got me hooked on dragons and magic in fiction. This was a superbly well written story with great dialogue and interesting characters. Loved the imaginative spells!”

So there you have it. Unfortunately, my loan expired for American Gods and in the meantime I’ve somehow accumulated a pile of other books to read. I’ll be working on those for my next update.

~*~

Image credit to Kriti and Ariel.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Reading Challenge Bingo

Book bingo

(While waiting for my personalized card, I’m “borrowing” one from the host site.)

Here’s a fun game for readers I discovered via Teresa. Try to fill out this bingo card for 2020 with a variety of books. Sounds easy, right? I usually read the same kinds of books (romances and mysteries), so this will push me to expand my repertoire. Luckily, I have a small head start. Naturally, I will be obsessed with completing my card! 🤣

So far this year I can mark off:

1. A book published in the last decade. The first book I read this year was The Color Master, an enjoyable collection of short stories by Aimee Bender published in 2013.

2. A memoir. Next I read Hungry Heart by Jennifer Weiner, which had some tasty sections about writing, but was mostly tedious and overlong. Dare I say whiny?

3. A young adult novel. Yeshiva Girl by Rachel Mankowitz is a compelling story of a teenaged girl in a Jewish school on Long Island. I was lucky to find this book via Rachel’s blog.

I am in the middle of When We Believed in Mermaids, which will allow me to check off the multiple POV box. After that I plan to read American Gods by Neil Gaiman, which is a bestseller.

~*~

Image credit to Kriti and Ariel.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

The Magical Garden of Immortality [fiction 587]

Beautiful garden

The diner looked like any other, and Mitch was skeptical he’d come to the right place. He opened the door a crack and peered inside, expecting to see a dimly lit room full of candles and woo, but instead the light was bright and people were drinking their coffees and eating sandwiches.

A gruff voice behind him said, “You going in, buddy, or what?”

Mitch stepped inside. A waitress told him to take any seat, so he found a small booth for two and sat facing the door. A menu stood in a silver holder with a picture of a lush fruit bowl in the South Seas on the cover, and he picked it up. There were the usual salads and burgers, shakes and pies, on offer.

“You ready?” the waitress said, appearing in front of the booth with pencil and pad.

“I, um, heard that this place was a portal,” Mitch said. “But all I see on the menu is lunch.”

She rolled her eyes. “Check the back.”

Mitch turned the menu over. On the back was a list titled “Infinity Realms.” It was a double column and his eyes began to glaze over reading through the small curly font.

“Usually people know the one they want before they get here,” the waitress said. “And they just tell me the code. We’re kinda busy today and portals close at one.”

“Okay okay.” Mitch had made his decision this morning, after months of agonizing, and he wanted it done. “I found it. The code is XB8720A75.”

“A popular one.” She smiled. “Do you want fries with that?”

“No thanks. Just coffee, black.”

She returned in a minute with his coffee. “I’ll let you know when your portal is ready. You can pay now though.”

He handed her a cashier’s check. It was all he had; that was the deal.

As he waited, he imagined his realm. It would be full of natural beauty… leafy trees, a riot of vivid blooming flowers, butterflies and birds, a sparkling waterfall, lovely warm sunshine… a meadow to lie in, woods to wander in… but also people to admire his works, unlike here. They’d read his poetry and appreciate it. Women would respect his intelligence and deep thoughts instead of brushing him off as an oddball. They’d all compete to date him, but he’d only spend his time with the nicest ones who had tender temperaments.

“Okay.” The waitress reappeared. “Go to the men’s room.”

Mitch walked to the back of the diner and opened the door to the men’s restroom.

Swirling colors

It worked!

Mitch was no longer in the diner, but in a gorgeous garden where he’d live forever and be loved and appreciated. He bent down to sniff a fat yellow rose, but was disappointed when he couldn’t pick up a scent.

“Hi honey, welcome home!”

Mitch turned to find a naked redheaded woman slinking toward him. She reminded him of his third grade teacher. “Hi,” he said, embarrassed. “Would you like to hear some of my poetry?”

She wrinkled her nose. “Poetry? Ew. I want to devour you in a wild frenzy of lust! How does that sound for your last moment of consciousness ?”

“Not great.” Mitch backed away. “I don’t want to be devoured. This is the Garden of Immortality, remember?”

“Oh honey!” She laughed. “You must have put in the wrong code. This is the Garden of Immorality, and I’m the chief cannibal. Meet my friends…”

Mitch stared in horror as hungry naked women emerged from the trees.

~*~

Written for MLM’s Magical Garden Prompt.

Written for Teresa’s Immortality Prompt.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

PFF29: A Good Offense

Friday Flashback

Welcome to Paula’s Friday Flashback! This is a challenge begun by Fandango and it’s fun to see what we posted back when (as well as the comments). The below is a reblog of a post I made on December 22, 2013. I’m pretty proud of this rant. Enjoy! Warning: contains swearing.

The Defense Rests

Oh look, it’s yet another article dissing romance novels. (Ghosh offers a tepid “apology” for his diss here ~ he has clearly never read a contemporary romance novel. See my last paragraph about “journalists” who do no research.)

And so many women feel compelled to explain/justify their love of this genre. No one says to men, hey, why do you like watching those explody movies full of gratuitous violence? Or science fiction flicks with goofy aliens. And what about that TV show about zombies everyone loves? Yep, zombies are fine, no need to question anyone’s taste on THAT, but romance novels… now those are suspect.

Most people even accept that men enjoy pr0n. Some women might not like the fact that men enjoy it, but they aren’t puzzled by the idea. It’s not confusing. But people who don’t read romances act confused about women who do read them. “I don’t get it. They’re formulaic. You know how they’ll end.” And so? We always knew Columbo would get the bad guy, yet we liked watching him anyway.

I’m not sure why people have such a problem with romance novels. If you don’t like ’em, don’t read ’em. It’s fairly simple. I dislike all science fiction except the original Star Trek, so I avoid it. That works. I have no interest in any zombie type stuff, so I don’t read or watch it. No problem there. But people who don’t read romances seem to feel a burning need to continually diss the genre.

Beyond that, we have the explainers and the analyzers. Must don Freudian cap and tell you vhy you like zeeze books. You had a strained relationship wiss your fadder, yes? Zomg. SHADDAP.

You know what the problem is? Too many fucking “journalists” and not enough topics. Every week these explainer dorks are scrambling for something to write about, but they don’t go out and actually experience anything, interview anyone, take photos, etc. They just yabber away from their armchairs and make shit up. Hopefully something annoying that people will click on so they’ll see some dumb ad.  Many are still sailing in the faint breeze from that Fifty Shades book  and trying to make a penny off discussing erotica erm blah yip yap SEX whatever.

Leave us alone and let us enjoy our bodice rippers in peace.

/end reblog

~*~

Image from Pexels

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Dada’s Game

Surreal chess

The day was made of squares,
Newbright and melting gold,
Like crowns straight from the fire.
I thought I saw you there;
My breath turned into mist.
But knight came with a plot twist:
Ice blue squares adorned this board,
Glowing like a cheap motel.
The gold softened into quicksand;
My castles sank as the snow fell.
I watched your bishop’s mask slip,
Revealing the demon dog beneath;
It gobbled up my last three pawns.
Checkmate, you said,
Leaving me with a bill in hand,
And ghosting off to Forest Lawn.

~*~

Written for Dverse Surrealism.

Image credit to Pixabay.

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Rockumentaries & Things

I love musical movies… Hair, Chicago, Walk the Line, The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, Across the Universe, Mamma Mia (1 & 2), The Lion King, Grease, Fiddler on the Roof, etc. There are lots I haven’t seen and still want to ~ Meet Me in St. Louis, for heaven’s sake!

But that’s not what I came here to talk about today. Lately I’ve seen a bunch of rockumentaries, which is a class of movie I’ve avoided in the past because it seemed eh boring, like something from the History Channel. But first I watched one on Joan Jett and it was interesting! Last summer I saw The King in Long Beach and enjoyed that too. It was more an overview of the times than a laser-focus on Elvis, but even so. Good stuff, despite the history content.

Then I meant to see Bohemian Rhapsody on my Movie Pass, but it died so I didn’t. I watched it on Prime for $6 last month though, and it was great! I’ve always loved Queen’s music. RIP Freddie.

Next I went to see Rocketman. Wow. It was incredible. Taron Egerton did such a fab job portraying Elton John. The music. The costumes. All spectacular. And Elton as a little boy was just heartbreaking too.

Last weekend I saw Yesterday, which isn’t in the same category because it’s a romcom with a fantasy element, but regardless it’s entirely themed on The Beatles, so I say it goes in this post. I dare you to disagree! I loved it, btw. Super fun and adorable. Lots of Beatles’ songs throughout to keep a fan happy.

Yesterday I saw Echo in the Canyon, which is about the California music biz in the 1960s. Jakob Dylan interviews a bunch of old-timey musicians and plays clips of their songs, and he also recreates some of their tunes himself. He’s super talented… wonder where he gets that from? I’ve loved him since the first Wallflowers album, so I may be biased there. I highly recommend this movie to all music fans. Honestly, Jakob needs to do a sequel because there’s just so much more!

During the previews to Echo, we saw that there’s a new movie coming out in August sort of like Yesterday but without a fantasy element and themed on Bruce Springsteen. Guess who is gonna put Blinded by the Light on her must-see list?

🎶😀🎶💖🎶

We Don’t Want Him

Nicholas Sparks is trending because he refused to accept an LGBTQ 🏳️‍🌈 club in the Christian school he founded and there’s some ongoing litigation yada. Apparently part of the case has been settled, and he has the legal right to be intolerant, so that’s cool. I more or less support keeping it legal for private clubs to arbitrarily let in and keep out whom they please, as opposed to landlords, employers, public schools, etc. (Whether they should get tax breaks is a different issue.)

Just because something is legal however doesn’t make it good or right. It’s also legal to cheat on your wife. But that’s not what I came here to discuss today. If you don’t already know, Nicholas Sparks is a writer, a hugely bestselling writer. His books have been made into movies. You’ve surely heard of The Notebook? Well, there you go.

In the frenzy to bash Sparks, people have been conflating his books with romance novels and dumping on the whole genre. Now, I don’t mind bashing Sparks ~ I made a yucky 🤮 face on Twitter myself. I can’t stand his sterile prose ~ and that was before I knew he was super religious. Now my review of Safe Haven from 2013 makes a lot more sense.

But let’s be clear: Nicholas Sparks is not a romance novelist. He says himself he isn’t one, and he is correct. He writes general fiction (“love stories”) with romantic elements. It’s an important distinction, peeps! To be a romance novel, a story must have a Happily Ever After ending. If you want to bash the genre, go ahead. If you want to rag on Sparks, for his politics or his writing or both, have at it.

But please don’t lump Nicholas Sparks in with romance novelists. Cuz that just pisses me right off. 😡💥🔥 He’s not welcome in our club. On the whole, you will find the protags in romance novels to be a tolerant lot, or they become tolerant as the story progresses.

I note that in The Daily Beast article I linked in my first sentence, Sparks bags on the whole romance novel genre because he’s a stupid ass who has read none of the books he’s criticizing. Romance novels are not about “the taming of a man” ~ if anything, they err on the side of misogyny, even though they are written largely by women and mostly from the POVs of the female protagonists. What they are, are fantasies of what it would be like if an alpha hero fell in love with you and wanted you more than anything on this earth, and indeed would do anything on this earth to make you his own. And he succeeds. That is what romance novels are and why those of us who love them, love them. ❤️❤️❤️

Sparks can stick with his yawningly vanilla pudding Ken-doll heroes because there is obviously a market for bland safe smooth love too.

^^^ The sexual excitement level in a Sparks’ novel goes from zero to pudding.