Living With Mr. Cray

Part One – Foundation of Lies

This blog has been all over the place, so in the spirit of trying to maintain some continuity, I’ve decided to entertain everyone with tales of living with a crazy person.

I recently escaped a long, long, long relationship with an egocentric narcissist. It actually took ten years from the light bulb moment of “I need to get out of here” to the first cleansing breath at the realization that he was finally, actually, (mostly), gone.

cute-hallelujah-gif-212

But long before that day he was nothing more than a good-looking coworker. One thing about narcissists–they always know how to get what they want. It’s their primary function. They can be super charming and are masters at telling people what they want to hear in order to best manipulate them.

In hindsight, it’s easy to piece together the lies and misconceptions. The toughest part for me was trying not to wallow in guilt for not being “smart enough” to see through the bullshit from the beginning. It’s hard to keep in mind that some people are masters of deception and love to use vague language so the tables can later be turned to make everything your fault. “You misunderstood” or “You heard wrong” or “You’re crazy”.

crazy

If you think you might be dealing with a narcissist, ask direct questions. Do not use euphemisms or assume that they understood your question. (They understand perfectly, but they will pretend not to when given the opportunity.) In my case, my first mistake was asking, “How long has it been since you’ve been with anyone?” What I meant was, “How long since you’ve had sex with anyone?” His answer? “Two years.”

I was instantly smitten by the idea of such a handsome guy having enough self-control to stay celibate for two years. What a guy! It was the first of many misunderstandings on my part. In reality, he had already slept with several of my coworkers, most likely during the same week of my question and possibly even the same day. When confronted about his “lie” much later, he insisted that he’d hadn’t been in a relationship in two years and obviously that had been what I’d meant.

Obviously.

What a guy.

obviously

 

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The A to Z’s of Debauchery

This is going to be my attempt at writing a weekly blog post, since I sort of fell out of the habit for a while there. I hope to fill up this journal with things I enjoy, things that other people enjoy, and possibly things that no one should enjoy. Since the subject of debauchery is relevant to my interests (see Name) I’ve decided to mostly make a 26-part list of awesome things. I’m not totally sure where the letters X and Z are going to come in, but starting at A will give me time to think of something. I hope.

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GET THEE GONE, TUMBLR!

Just kidding. I used to think Tumblr was a horrible, childish, time-wasting site, but then I realized that most of the problem was user error. I was doing it wrong. When I first signed on to Tumblr I immediately followed ALL THE BLOGS, with little rhyme or reason other than a momentary “Oh shiny!” reflex. I was quickly overwhelmed. Shoes, shopping, fantasy, erotica, art, porn, food, all of it flew past in endless scroll after endless scroll. It was fascinating, but ultimately unrewarding, especially after I realized I was wasting HOURS watching pretty things flash past on the screen. There was no interaction and no productivity. Tumblr was a time-sucking black hole.

Tumblr, dark and great

Tumblr, dark and great

I stayed away from it for a long time after that, which turned out to be a good thing. Most of the ridiculous, random blogs I’d initially followed had died out or started posting very sporadically. It no longer became an impossible chore to keep up. I also weeded out the blogs that I found most distracting or time-stealing, and I started to replace those with things I actually thought might be useful. Beautiful landscapes and photos of architecture can be inspirational and evoke places in your imagination that you would like to see your characters populate.

Never mind my characters, I want to go here!

Forget my characters, I want to go here!

I stopped following shopping, shoe, and recipe sites and tailored my Tumblr to things that would help with my writing, or people that would make me think. A daily splash or two of reading about how female characters are ignored in mainstream media help cement my determination to keep my girl characters plentiful and real. A dash of inspirational quotes can pump up the writing motivation and a goodly dose of humor makes everything better.

So writing. Such words. Wow.

So writing. Such words. Wow.

Tumblr can be an obstacle or a useful tool, and I’m rather pleased to have learned to use it for good, rather than evil.

 

BLOG HOP!

I was tagged in the My Writing Process blog hop, which is a fun way to acknowledge fellow authors and maybe turn someone on to new creative works. And I love to answer questions, so here goes!

1) What am I working on? Currently, I’m working on the sequel to Be Careful What You Wish For because Seth has an enormous story line that is only hinted at in the first book. I also thought up an original fantasy novel that would tie neatly into Kendra’s universe, but I’m trying hard NOT to abandon my current book in order to write ALL THE NEW THINGS. It’s easy to start things. To finish them is not so easy.

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By Huw Williams (Huwmanbeing) (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

2) How does my work differ from others of my genre? Surprisingly, there are few novels with djinnis (or genies or jinnis) as characters, at least in the romance and erotica fields. In fact, on Smashwords there seem to be none, because I had to create all the tags. On the downside, this means no one is searching for djinni novels. In the promotional world of writing, apparently it’s possible to be too original. Nevertheless, I love Seth and his entire magical ilk, so we’ll just keep cranking them out until people find us. 😀

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By nathanmac87 (Genie Uploaded by Anastasiarasputin) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

3) Why do I write what I do? I enjoy reading erotica and infusing romance with magical elements. Also romance, relationships, sex, and even meeting new people can be difficult and fraught with emotional minefields. Fantasy is so much easier! We can ride along with our heroines (and heroes) as they meet, have glorious sex, and fall in love, without the undue emotional trauma that we suffer when we attempt that on our own. Also, I would really like to have a sex djinni, but the chances of that are quite slim, so I will continue to play pretend and act out those scenarios in my own head. And then write them down for others to enjoy.

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By Wolfgang Staudt from Saarbruecken, Germany (Hero Uploaded by russavia) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

There seems to be a greater freedom these days when writing romances that allows authors to deviate from the typical. I’ve had a wonderful time making Kendra hetero-flexible and Seth utterly omnisexual. I’m not completely sure how my readers will feel about it, but I love having the liberty to bring unexpected persons into Kendra and Seth’s relationship. Ultimately, the love story is about the two of them, but they definitely don’t exist on a deserted island. There will be friends, lovers, and enemies, and every combination thereof that will affect how they react to every situation that gets thrown at them. Rather like real life.

4) How does my writing process work? I tend to begin with a vague idea and scribble that down. In the case of Be Careful What You Wish For, I wanted an erotic romance that hadn’t been done thousands of times before. I also considered magical elements, but did not want to fall back to vampires, werewolves, and similar themes we’ve seen recently. Once I decided to create a sex djinni, I went to work on Seth’s back story, which became more and more complicated with every page of research I discovered.

Tagging time! I think I’ll go with these three fabulous authors, since they have a collaborative work coming out soon and you should definitely check them all out!

Diana Copland – Author of A Reason to Believe and many other amazing works. She began writing in the seventh grade, when she shamelessly combined elements of Jane Eyre and Dark Shadows to produce an overwrought Gothic tale that earned her an A- in creative writing, thanks entirely to the generosity of her teacher. She wrote for pure enjoyment for the next three decades before discovering Livejournal and a wonderful group of supportive fanfiction writers.

G. B. Lindsey – Don’t be fooled by her lack of published works; this amazing author was born and raised in California, where she earned her undergraduate degree in Literature and Creative Writing from UC Santa Cruz. Her first love has always been writing: as a child, she cultivated such diverse goals as becoming “a cowgirl… and a writer” or “a paleontologist… and a writer.”

Libby Drew – Author of a slough of books including 40 Souls to Keep, a paranormal romance, Paradox Lost, a time-travel story, and Bending the Iron, a contemporary romance. Libby’s parents explained that writers were quirky, poor, and often talked to themselves in supermarket checkout lines. They implored her to be practical, a request she took to heart for twenty years, earning two degrees, a white-collar job, and an ulcer, before realizing that practical was absolutely no fun.

Their new collaborative effort, the Secrets of Neverwood Trilogy, is due to be released on June 30th. Ladies, if you would continue this blog hop, just tag answer the questions above and tag three other authors to keep it going!

Ten Reasons Why Reading Porn is Good For You!

1) You can do it anywhere! Pull it up on your phone while sitting at the doctor’s office. She might wonder why you’re panting and sweating, but determining why is her job, right?

You seem cheerful today!

You seem cheerful today!

2) It’s STD-free! No one ever caught a sexually transmitted disease from a story, unless… Well, it’s probably best not to think about that too hard.

I'll just take a couple of these into the bathroom with me...

I’ll just take a couple of these into the bathroom with me…

3) No one will look down on your kinks. You can read about sex on Crisco-covered sheet and no one will sneer at you! No shaming!

Always buy in bulk!

Always buy in bulk!

4) Everything exists online. Do you want to read about kinky elevator encounters? Sex on a plane? Sex in public? Sex with assorted vegetables? Sex with twins? Giants? Ghosts? Fairies and ogres? It’s out there waiting for you!

Or a whole hockey team?

Or a whole hockey team?

5) Less mess! Let’s face it, reading about sex on oil-coated rubber sheets in a hell of a lot cleaner than trying to wash that shit out of your hair in real life. And chocolate syrup is more fun imagined than attempting to scrub it out of a white pillowcase.

Cleaning supplies, check!

Cleaning supplies, check!

6) Endorphins! You can get a free supply of sexy endorphins even while sitting next to a smelly creep on the bus. Just ignore them and focus on those fictional hands sliding over that sexy, but fictional, skin. Oh yeah, right there, baby, take me away.

I got your endorphins right here!

I got your endorphins right here!

7) It’s good for relationships! You might never consider cheating on your spouse or significant other, no matter how hard that gorgeous bank teller hits on you, but it’s perfectly okay to dig up that story about after-hours bank sex, or even bank robbery sex, with the added benefit that you might be so turned on that your boy/girlfriend won’t know what hit them when you greet them at the door dressed in stockings and holding a bottle of love juice. It’s win/win!

Yes, I have been reading. How did you know?

Yes, I have been reading. How did you know?

8) Educational opportunities. You could learn some new tips and techniques to try out in real life! Be sure to do some research first. Sex while sky-diving might work out great in fiction, but possibly not as well in actual practice.

Sex UFO! (No, it really is!)

Sex UFO! (No, it really is!)

9) No strings attached. When you read a story, you don’t have to worry about the character stalking you or calling you 500 times a day. You don’t have to buy them a drink or dinner and there are no awkward silences the next morning, regardless of how kinky the sex got the night before.

I'm not stalking you.

I’m not stalking you.

10) No dressing up! (Or dressing down.) Wear whatever you want! Pajamas and that ratty shirt you should have tossed years ago? A Snugglie? A bikini? Nothing at all? Or even a cocktail dress when you sneak into the bathroom to read porn instead of mingling at that lame office party? No problem! Erotica won’t judge.

Love me, love my Santa onesie.

Love me, love my Santa onesie.

Okay, maybe it will judge a little bit…

AND WE’RE LIVE!

Finally, after much agonizing, editing, rewriting, editing, adding, editing, deleting, and EDITING, it’s FINISHED. The book is live. I have released my darling into the wild and can only hope she finds a spark of love out there, somewhere. 😀

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*runs around flailing*

It’s available HERE on Smashwords and HERE on Amazon. You can click those sites to find the official blurb and read many sample pages, but the long story short is that it’s a book about a girl who finds a genie (sorry, djinni) and has many adventures–okay, screw that; she has sex. Because of reasons.

Also, it’s on sale for TWO WEEKS ONLY at the fabulous price of $.99 so get it while it’s CHEAP. 😀

Here is the UK Amazon link, since it’s different: CLICKY Let me know if you need additional country links – there are many!

Cocktail of the Month – January

The weather has been typically winter-horrid here, although we don’t get epic levels of snow like many other places. For those of you battling the white enemy with snow shovels, gloves, and ice scrapers, I thought I would remind you of something white that is much easier to swallow. I call this my old standby because I almost always have the ingredients on hand to make it. And it’s always delicious.

Also, since January is typically the time for dieting and cursing the holiday sweet consumption, I was going to make this a low-fat version, but fuck that. If you make it with 2% milk or something, you’ll just be tempted to have more. This way, you’ll be good with one. Usually.

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By Cun at en.wikipedia http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html from Wikimedia Commons

White Russian

1 oz vodka

1 1/2 oz Kahlua

1/2 cup Half n’ Half (or cream)

Ice

Put all ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake well to blend. Pour over ice and enjoy.

Cocktail of the Month – December

I’m totally late with this due to excessive partying. Okay, perhaps more organizing and putting away after the holidays, but I can pretend I was involved in a social whirl of activities! I did manage to attend a couple of holiday parties and one brilliant 21st birthday bash, so I can’t claim to have been a complete homebody. I will try to dredge up some of the amazing cocktails we had during the bar crawl, but for now this is my standby “warm-up” drink because I usually have all of the ingredients on hand. I also like the name, because I tend to drink it when the weather is miserable and it’s nice to whine about it.

WINEY CRANBERRY COCKTAIL

Cranberry juice

Red wine

Cinnamon

Nutmeg

Orange slice (optional)

Pour cranberry juice into a heatsafe mug to just over the halfway mark. Add red wine to fill the mug. Place it in the microwave and heat to your chosen temperature – I like mine at near-boiling because it cools surprisingly quickly. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg (or stir with a cinnamon stick). Garnish with an orange slice if you have one available. Warming and delicious, with just a hint of extra heat from the alcohol.

Enjoy and stay warm!

Cocktail of the Month – November

Since I love all things decadent, I’ve decided to start posting a cocktail of the month, mostly so that I will have all of my favorite recipes in one place. There are so many variations, and let’s face it, many of them are just pretty to look at. I’m in a celebratory mood just looking at this pic!

In North America, November means colder temperatures, newly leafless trees, preparing for influx of family and friends for holiday meals, and shopping. For me it means baking sugary sweets and packing on the carb-laden foods, such as ALL THE THINGS made with potatoes and apples and squash. It also makes me want to curl up in front of a crackling fire with a blanket and a nice, hot cup of something steamy and alcoholic, be it dark coffee generously laden with Irish Cream or hot apple cider spiked with cinnamon schnapps. For my inaugural cocktail of the month, however, I think I’ll begin with something that will kick off the holiday gorging season properly, something loaded with butter and cream and all things bad for you. Hot Buttered Rum.

Now, I am not a rum fan at all; it’s the only alcohol guaranteed to give me a blinding headache the next day (other than white wine and champagne–ouch), but I can drink it in small doses and this drink is worth a headache or two. It’s also rich enough that it’s hard to drink a lot of it. This is more of a sipping while chatting with friends drink than a hardcore “let’s get drunk” party cocktail.

Without further ado, here is the recipe:

HOT BUTTERED RUM

1 cup dark brown sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

1 pint Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (your favorite brand)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

dash of ground clove

Quality dark rum

Mix all of the ingredients together in a mixing bowl (minus the rum) and store in an airtight container in your freezer. (It might last you all winter if you hoard it for your own personal use.) When you’re ready for a drink, boil some water, pour one (or two!) shots of dark rum into a mug, add two tablespoons of the ice cream concoction, and pour boiling water over the top. Stir and enjoy.

Happy November!

Honesty in the Dating World

I listen to a radio show in the morning. People call or email in and tell the hosts about a date they recently went on that had—in their opinion—gone relatively well, and yet the second party had not returned their calls or texts, and they wanted to know why. Frequently it is because something went horrifically wrong on the date; sometimes it is a simple matter of the other party experiencing no sparks of attraction—and sometimes they feel actual repulsion—but other times the date would have gone smoothly if only the dater had been honest.

Why is honesty so difficult? In one case, the man (sorry, but so far I have only encountered this problem with the male half of the equation) became ill with the flu just before the date. He had been wanting to meet the girl after chatting with her online for two months, so the date was important to him. Important enough that he would cancel even though he was seriously ill.

The problem was not necessarily his bad judgment in not postponing the date, but the fact that he neglected to mention his illness at all during the date. He was sweating profusely, had taken no medication prior to the date, and sought to alleviate his symptoms with a margarita (another great choice). He came across as incoherent at times, and played off the sweating as “really hot salsa”, hoping his date was, apparently, stupid enough to buy it. She was not.

“It’s the salsa! *cough cough cough*”

Despite his assurances that he was not sick when she repeatedly asked if he was all right, she figured it out during the date (and especially after the date when she came down with the flu herself and missed three days of work), and yet the man was surprised when she refused to call him back or respond to his attempts to contact her.

He had lied, acted very weird during the date, passed on a flu virus to her, and yet he was surprised when she refused to go out with him again. I’m pretty sure the date would have turned out differently if he had simply sat down, admitted that he wasn’t feeling well and had only kept their date because he really wanted to meet her. She probably would have appreciated his honesty and arranged for a second date, especially if he was careful not to infect her.

In a second, similar situation, the man really wanted to meet the woman, so when he showed up for their date he decided not to mention he had just left the dentist’s office where he’d had a root canal. Needless to say, the poor woman could not figure out why he was drooling and slurring his words. Despite his assurances that he was fine, she could only assume he was drunk or under the influence of something stronger than alcohol. Needless to say, she did not call him back and when prompted, she wanted to know why he hadn’t just told her the truth.

“I’b fide! Really!”

While these scenarios are mind-boggling in real life, they can be excellent fiction fodder. Keep on being ridiculously dishonest, silly people! You might earn yourself a cameo in my next novel!