Friday, July 8, 2016

I just don't understand

Maybe its a good thing I don't understand, because if I did understand then I would be a part of the problem. Why is there so much hate? Why? Why are people in 2016 who are different in any way, shape, or form being killed-tortured-beaten-maimed-threatened-hurt or even living in fear?

Why are parents in denial that their little darlings are bullying other children?

Why do we have to prepare for active shooter situations at work and school?

Why are those of any faith (Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Pagan, or any other of the bazillion faiths in this world) worried that they will be persecuted?

Why are members of the LGBT community fearful of violent acts against them?

Why are different ethnicities being shot and profiled while other races are getting away with murder, literally?

Why are protestors retaliating by shooting police who had nothing to do with violent acts that happened in other states?

Yes, if you are breaking the law and the police try to stop you from breaking the law, you should stop- don't run, don't try to escape, blah blah blah... That doesn't mean you deserve to die if you do try to run to avoid getting caught for a non-violent crime. The Police are supposed to protect us, the citizens. That is their job. There are more good ones than bad ones. However there are some that are bad. There are some that screw up royally and it costs someone their life. There are some that get so wrapped up in the power trip that they think they are above the law. But again, there are more good than bad. My hope is that all the bad ones get caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

I can not for the life of me figure out why any of these things and so many other horrible things are taking place and why we as a society can not figure out how to stop it. Are we so beyond the hope of living together peacefully that we should just give up? What kind of a society are we leaving for our children? This is not what I want for my four sons.

Where I grew up there was not much diversity. I didn't know many people who weren't white. I honestly can say I didn't meet anyone who wasn't under the Christian umbrella  until I was married and moved to Central Ohio, except for a few Pagans I met in college. I only knew a handful of gay people and they were closeted for the most part. Once I met some people who were different , it was very intriguing to me to get to know them and broaden my horizons. I had so many questions and always asked their permission before bombarding them with my usually silly questions (everyone laughed in good humor at me wanting to know stuff that seemed so common place to them).

After a few years the novelty of diversity faded and I loved the fact that my four sons all had friends of various faiths, races, and genders. They didn't care if someone was gay or straight, male or female, a believer or not, what mattered is that someone was nice and was their friend, and that made me proud. Seeing them grow up in a society where everyone was equal and differences were embraced made me happy and sad. Happy for them and how lucky they were, sad at how much I had missed out on and that I didn't get these experiences until I was an adult. Better late than never.

Then one day my youngest son, he was four or five at the time, came running inside upset. He'd been playing outside with kids from our neighborhood when something went sideways. He was madder than a hornet who's nest had been busted up. He stormed into the kitchen to tell me all about it. "Mom! This stupid black boy..." I cut him off right there. I refused to let him call names, much less make comments that could ever come off as racist. But he continued all about the stupid black boy and that he had said something and done something and each time he said "stupid black boy" I chastised him. He grabbed my hand and pulled me to the door so he could show me the traitor. When we went outside, there were no children that were African American. No Latinos. No Somalis. No Indians either. Confused, I asked him if the child had left and he said "No Mom, he's there!" and pointed at a little boy with blonde hair and fair skin. He was wearing a black shirt. To my son, this was the stupid black boy. He wasn't describing his skin color, but the color of his shirt. It never occurred to my son to use black as a descriptive word for race since my son is racially colorblind. I wanted to cry. Happy tears. Why can't we all be racially colorblind? His closest friend is African American. When I think of it, all of my sons closest friends are different races. Either African American, Latino, Greek, Vietnamese.

My husband's best friend is African American and Muslim. We consider him and his family part of our family. Even if they are not blood, they are still our family, maybe even closer than some of our blood since we chose them. I have very close friends who are gay. I have very close friends and family who are Jewish, Buddhist, Catholic, Atheist, Pagan, and pretty much every variation of Christianity. I fully support the LGBT community. I will never know what it is like to be
African American, LGBT, Muslim etc., but I have had crap held against me for being fat, for being female, and I am not saying that what I have dealt with is anywhere near the same bullshit that these groups have had to face and still face... but I have had a taste and it sucked so with that said, I will stand with those who are being mistreated, those who are being threatened, hurt, violated and even if no one ever reads this blog post, I at least know what I stand for.

This shit needs to stop. NOW. Stop attacking each other. Stop the hate. Stop hurting one another. Just stop it so we can hopefully start to heal.

Black lives matter. Gay lives matter. Muslim lives matter. Police lives matter.
ALL LIVES FUCKING MATTER!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Did ya miss me?

Wow... I know I hadn't blogged in a while, yeah I've been bad, but I had no clue it had been ten months, yikes... I'll be better I promise. Isn't it funny how life gets in the way and flies by? Anyway, no excuses. Let's get reacquainted and caught up.

So we bought out house and got moved in, that was huge. My oldest son (who recently turned 19) moved out, nearly as huge. Our second son graduated and turned 18, super exciting. the younger two, 13 and 15 are going into 8th and 9th grades and are working out and getting super pumped for our family trip to the beach.

My publisher went out of business. That sucked. My book was pulled off of all sale sites. I stopped getting royalties. Not like I was getting bank, but still, the random checks were still nice. I remember when I go the very first one and how excited I was, I even took a picture of it. It was sort of cool to have a tangible thing to prove that I actually made money doing something that I loved doing, something that I never meant to do, something that a lot of others never believed I could do. I actually considered NOT cashing it and framing it. For a few minutes. Then I took the picture and went to the bank. My publisher reverted the rights back to me. Now I own my own book. I already owned the cover. Now I own it all. It is mine.

I am reworking it. Editing it. AGAIN. Changing things. Making corrections. Tightening the story. And fixing all of the little details that have been pointed out to me over the past few years that somehow slipped past my editors. I've definitely learned a lot since Illuminated was first published in 2013 and I stopped working on the follow up Enlightened out of frustration with the publisher and a few other things that I just didn't feel like dealing with at the time. Now I am faced with what to do with them... As of now, once I am done, I will re-release Illuminated then shortly thereafter Enlightened will follow, both will be self published.

Now that those unpleasantries have been shared...

I've been dealing with back and joint pain for several years now, elbows, knees, ankles, wrists, hips...  I've gone to several doctors who have told me that I'd be pain free if I'd just lose weight and get in shape. So I did. I lost 95 pounds (yay me) and would go to the gym and afterwards would be in agony for days. I would walk on the treadmill for 15 minutes and halfway through I'd be holding onto the rails bent over supporting myself because my back hurt so bad. I'd try to do arm curls and it felt like my elbows were going to snap. Lunges and squats were impossible. I could do yoga, pull down type weights, and a few others but I was super limited and if I pushed just a bit too far I paid for it for days. No one would listen to me. Even my husband would get frustrated that I didn't go to the gym as often as I should after my surgery. I wanted to.

I went to my doctor again and asked her again for help. She wanted me to go to physical therapy for the third time. Three times per week for eight weeks, with my insurance at $30 per visit that comes to $720. I insisted that the previous two times were no help and I didn't think another time would be any different and I really didn't want to pay $720. Finally she agreed to refer me to a rheumatologist. So a week ago I had my appointment and he actually listened to me. He and his staff spent nearly three and a half hours with me, he ordered a full work up, blood work, and even x-rays! He said his initial impression is that I have arthritis, calcium deposits in my joints, and fibromyalgia. He told me he wanted to wait for the tests to get back to diagnose, but he felt confident with the fibro and arthritis. He prescribed a neuro med for me too.

This week I heard back from his office that the x-rays showed that my sacro-illiac joints are eroding which he is super concerned about. So now I am waiting to hear back from his office about when I will have an MRI of my back/spine. I am so glad that there is someone listening to me but I am also scared what will be found. At least I have found help and that is what is important.

So that is what is going on in a nutshell. I will do my best to keep you apprised to the details as the occur and not take so long to do so. I am going to finish up will Illuminated and Enlightened and Bael's story (I really need to come up with a title for that one). I'm going to go for now, my wrists and ankles are really sore and I'm getting tired. Good night blogsters.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Happy birthday to me!

I am officially 37, well as of one minute ago I am. So far 2015 has been pretty crazy, I go a new car, well it's new to me anyway. Then I had my stomach surgery and since then I have lost 80+ pounds (woo hoo!). I got a promotion at work, I attended the Lori Foster RAGT conference in June and then we bought our first home at the end of July! My oldest son moved out, and now we have a senior as well as a 7th and 8th grader. Now I just added another year to my age.

My weekend started off going out with a few co-workers for drinks after our shifts ended. Hanging out with them outside of the office was fun. It was interesting getting a glimpse of the guys I spend 40 hours a week with away from the daily grind. I hope we do it again soon.

I spent this weekend baking pumpkin cupcakes with whipped cream cheese frosting, both gluten free and regular, pizzas, again both gluten free (Chebe is the best crust I have ever tried!) and regular. I also made loaded baked potato salad, deviled eggs, and brewed iced tea. We had a BBQ and our friends and family made a GF carrot cake (OMG my mom is amazing), and pasta salad. We grilled various sausages from Schmidt's in German Village, steaks, and juicy Lucy's (burgers with cheese stuffed inside). It was wonderful. Spending a nice, relaxing weekend with loved ones was definitely awesome.

 Our life has certainly been chaotic this summer. We are still unpacking and getting settled. Since we started this process back in June, nearly every weekend has been filled with chores, moving, packing and unpacking, organizing, donating unneeded items, looking for misplaced items, fixing just about everything (that is an entirely other blog entry), and the list goes on and on... So needless to say, a bit of fun was well deserved.

I even took my birthday off from work. Which was definitely a good call since school starts on Tuesday for my two boys in junior high and I have yet to buy all their school supplies and my driver's license and tags expire. Oh, and I still have to go to the grocery store so they will have something to put inside their lunch boxes. Even though I won't be at work, I will be a busy girl!

Now that I am 37 years and 43 minutes old, I guess I should go to bed.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

And it continues...

So last Thursday we were supposed to close on our house but because our lender/loan nazi has decided to take his good old sweet time and dick around with our paper work while trying to drive us absofucklinglutely batshit crazy we did not. Oh yeah, and this asshat has still not given us an actual closing date either. Can you tell that I am a bit frustrated? Sorry for venting...

We have the loan, it has been approved, but for some reason, we are still sitting here in the dark waiting to get the final word that all the T's have been crossed and all the I's have been dotted so we can finally get the keys to our home. We are hoping that it will happen by the end of next week. At this point, we have no clue.

I have started packing. Jamie has not. Why you may be wondering have I begun the process of cataloging our belongings and placing them into boxes, wrapping all fragile items in newspaper and bubble wrap, and filling our hall, living room, and bedrooms with boxes and totes when my husband refuses? Because he has reached the point of doubt. Doubt that we will get the house, that the seller will continue without a closing date, that our lender is ever going to do his damned job. Jamie doesn't want to put our lives away only to be disappointed if we lose the house because our lender has dragged his feet for so long that everything falls apart for us. Honestly I can't say I blame him. Sitting here in my living room looking at the brown boxes and Sterilite storage tubs currently surrounding me filled with knick knacks and clothes and photos makes me anxious.

What if he is right? Unpacking them would be difficult if we lose the house we have come to think of as our new home, the home we plan on building with our sons. Our family needs a new home. A few months ago our dog Brutus died, and we have all been sad since then. Our current home where we have lived since 2004 is filled with memories, good mostly, but once Brutus passed, it just seems so sad here. Time for a fresh start. We had already begun the house hunting process before we lost Brutus , so it isn't just because of him we are leaving, but it is time for sure. In fact, he is coming with us, well, his ashes are anyway. We'd never leave him behind.

I was able to get this past Thursday and Friday off work for the planned closing and move, but since that fell through, I spent the days off taking my kids to doctor appointments, school shopping, going to yard sales, and going to the gym. What makes me even angrier is that I can't get any days off this week so hopefully IF we do close this week, we can do the closing before I go to work at 2 pm. My mother in law is planning on coming up to help us pack and move, and my mom is also planning on helping. We have a few friends who are supposed to help too, but I am not sure with all the help we have planned it will be enough now that I only have Saturday and Sunday and weekdays before 2 to move.

The bad news (yes there's more) is that we have to pay another month of rent but the good news is that we have the whole month to move so there isn't such a big rush. Oh well... Nothing we can do to change any of this. As I write this reflecting on this past weekend that should have been chaotic and stressful and busy and exhausting, this weekend wasn't so bad at all.

Aside from errands, we spent family time poolside, went shopping, and even to a concert (if you are not a James Bay fan, you do not know what you are missing). Maybe next weekend will be crazy and this time next Sunday I will be in my new home. I guess what's meant to be will be.

Monday, June 29, 2015

What were we thinking?

Of all the insane things we have done, buying a house has got to be at the top of the list. I know it is a right of passage of sorts, but I am not sure we are ready for this level of insanity. Now we have been thinking about this for a very long time and are not wanting to rush into anything though I think there isn't a way to be 100% secure when purchasing a home.

There are so many unknowns... What if this is not the right house for our family? What if our dream house comes on the market after we start this process? What if we are making a huge mistake? What if what if what if... I am driving myself crazy  about all the "what ifs". I keep trying to reassure myself and usually it works, or at least helps, but nagging thoughts sneak in from time to time causing me to freak out. We have planned as much as we are able and have tried to be as educated about this process as possible. We have searched and searched for a good house, and let me tell you, finding a house both my husband and I agree on has been difficult enough, then getting our four sons to concur with our decision has been an adventure in itself.

When we started looking, we sat down together and listed all of the features that we required, others that would disqualify a house, and some that we wanted but were not deal breakers. What did our lists contain you may be wondering... Here are a few. Must haves: three or more bedrooms, stay in the same school district, at least one and a half bathrooms (no way in hell I am sharing a potty with five guys), and a decent kitchen. Deal breakers: anything opposite of the must haves list, Wants: fireplace, deck, hardwood floors, two car garage, and main floor laundry.

So we decided to start by getting pre-qualified for a loan. Seemed like a good place to start since if we didn't have the money then we were dead in the water. We turned in the application, then got a call from our lender requesting additional information. Once we gave them everything they needed, we were told that we were approved! Pretty amazing first step. Then it was time to find a realtor. So we asked around and one of my co-workers recommended the realtor that helped her and her boyfriend purchase a home last year in the exact same area we were looking in, and my coworker couldn't say enough nice things about her realtor, so I gave her a call on Wednesday. The realtor eagerly sent us emails with homes for sale meeting our minimum requirements. Five homes looked good, so we set up showings for that Saturday. By Friday morning, three of the houses were in contract, all three had been on the market less than forty eight hours. Yikes.

Saturday afternoon arrived and I was nervous and excited. We planned on meeting our realtor at the first home at one. The house would definitely need some work, but the price was good, so we walked in the front door. Everything was out of date, light fixtures, carpet, appliances, paint, pretty much everything would need to be replaced. Did I mention the awful sponge painted walls and the golden rod shag carpeting? It smelled musty and the floors squeaked and creaked. Oh, and there was a typo on the listing, only one bathroom. On to the next house.

House number two looked much more promising from the outside. It was a split level foyer so we decided to start up stairs. The carpet was brand new, and were a nice neutral light tan shade and was super soft. The walls were freshly painted tan and trimmed in white. The kitchen was small but had just been renovated. New cabinets,new stainless steel appliances, new sink with a new fixture. The full bathroom was also redone and would work well for us. The three bedrooms were on the smaller side and the closets were also smaller than our condo currently has.

We headed downstairs and were pleased with the half bath and easy access to the garage. Though it was only had one stall, the garage door was brand new. The next room was a large family room/den/rec room. Then we took a peak inside the utility room, the only room that was not finished, but looked easy enough to finish. Then we found a surprise. After opening the last door off of the utility room, we found another room. It was big enough to be a fourth bedroom, though it couldn't be considered a bedroom since it lacked a closet. We would figure that room out later. We next headed outside to check out all of the landscaping and yard.

There was a tool shed beneath the second floor deck, lots of trees (which needed trimmed in a bad way), new mulch and river stone walled flower beds, and overall, was lovely. A few other items we found to be cool were the new windows that tilted in for easy cleaning and the new light fixtures through out the house, including the one directly above the front door. Overall, we really liked the house. It wasn't perfect, not our dream house, but it was a great house at a great price in a great neighborhood. Add to that how fast houses in our area had been selling faster than funnel cakes, we knew we needed to act fast if we wanted this house.

But did we want it? Or did we want to keep looking? We left the house and said good-bye to our realtor and headed home to talk. Within an hour we decided to make an offer. We sent a text to our realtor and then we waited. We offered $4,500 less than the owners asking price and asked them to pay for the closing costs. We were told that it would take a few days most likely to hear back. However, the next morning they countered our offer, they agreed to pay all the closing costs, but would not go any lower than $1,500 less than asking price. We accepted with the stipulation that the inspection went well. And with that, we were in contract.

We had seven days to complete the inspection. So we found a guy and within five days, we had the house inspected. He found a few small things that needed repaired, the three biggest were that the exterior water spigots were missing, the whole house was in need of insulation, and biggest of all, the AC was not working. So we sent the report as well as our repair requests. Within twenty four hours, the seller got back to us and agreed to do everything with the exception of the water spigots and the insulation. We accepted and officially are in contract. Now we are finalizing the loan information and are waiting for the promised repairs to be completed.

Now we are busy planning our move, the new patio and fire pit in the back yard, and where all of our belongings will end up. We are set to close in less than a month and I feel like we will not be able to pack up ten plus years of stuff in enough time. What will we bring with us, what will we trash or donate or give away? My stress level has increased tremendously and we are no where near done. There's no turning back now. We are in the midst of the first time home purchase for our family.

But I am so excited and absolutely can not wait until the end of July when we are handed the keys to our new home. That's right, HOME.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Five reasons we can't handle marriage, I think not...

The other day I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and this article, 5 reasons we can't handle marriage anymore, shows up. The title grabbed my attention so like any other nosey person, I clicked the link. The author of said article, Anthony D'Ambrosio, states that he believes in marriage, love, etc. and not surprisingly is newly divorced (he was married in 2012 according to the article). Giving D'Ambrosio the benefit of the doubt I read his opinions about why marriage is basically doomed. I even let his thoughts marinate for a few days, but decided I need to share my thoughts on this matter.

 Reason #1: Sex becomes almost non-existent...
Seriously? He wants to blame the failure of (his) marriage on the stereotypical BS because he couldn't be bothered to make love to his wife "once every couple weeks, or when it's time to get pregnant". What a load of crap. I have been married for nearly 12 years and we still have sex several times a week, and not just going through the motions sex, but hot, heart pounding, make your toes curl, super fun sex. Oh and for those nay sayers who believe his dribble, we have four children and both work full time, stressful jobs as well as normal run of the mill day to day responsibilities. Intimacy and sex are a vital part of marriage and anyone who says otherwise is either delusional or is a liar. If you don't make time for your partnership to flourish then you are doomed to fail. Sex is fun. Sex is healthy. Sex is normal. And if you aren't having sex with your spouse, then don't be shocked when you find out someone else is.

If "it becomes this chore. You no longer look at your partner wanting to rip their clothes off, but rather instead, dread the thought" then you are in major trouble. I agree wholehearted with this. My question is why would it get to that point?  It isn't difficult to make an effort. Send a sexy text, buy some new panties, or simply take your spouse by the hand and lead them into the bedroom.

D'Ambrosio states that we see others who are more attractive than our spouses and that you have to be perfect. Ummm... I am far from a Victoria's Secret model but my husband still smacks my ass, tells me he wants me, sends me naughty texts, and reminds me constantly of his desire for me. When I see him, I still get butterflies, still long for him to touch me, to kiss me. We have fun and play and laugh. We are far from perfect, but we fit together perfectly. Now I know there are exceptions to everything, there are medical and physical reasons why sex may not be possible, but there is no reason why intimacy isn't possible.

Reason #2:Finances cripple us...
Again, pure and simple crap. So what if you are poor, broke, living beyond your means? When we got married I was a waitress and made $2.13/hour plus tips and he made just over $6.00/hour (minimum wage at the time). We struggled. Was it easy? Hell no! There were times we had to choose what bill(s) we weren't paying each month so we could care for our young family. However, there has never been a point where we gave up on our marriage because money was tight. Stop making excuses.

Reason #3: We're more connected than ever before, but completely disconnected at the same time...
We live in an age of technology, and yes sending a text is easier than making a call and yes, people spend a lot of time on their devices. I totally agree on that, though I also know that you can connect while being connected and can use technology to your benefit. How you ask? Well, for starters, make technology work for you. Set up your calendar to remind you of important dates, use social media to share photos or send messages (and they can be private messages so you aren't forced to share with the world), as I said previously- send fun and sexy texts when calling isn't appropriate. We even find shows or movies to watch on our iPad and snuggle up in bed to watch together. We could watch on the TV, but getting up close and personal to watch on a 10" screen is fun, plus coping a feel is encouraged when in bed.

Technology makes our lives easier. There is an app for just about everything, and you can use them to do things together even when you are apart. For instance, we are thinking about buying a house and since we work opposite schedules, we can look at houses on our phones and text each other when we find something we are interested in. Of course we could wait until the weekend and do this side by side, but doing it on our free time frees our weekends up to look at the few houses we are actually interested in instead of spending the whole day going from house to house and we still have time to go to the gym together, stop by the books store, and all sorts of other shenanigans.

Reason #4: Our desire for attention outweighs our desire to be loved...
This one is super easy-why not get attention from those we desire and love?? Stop worrying about everyone else in the world and focus on those that really matter. You want a successful, happy marriage? Super! Pay your spouse a compliment. Send them a letter (or flowers or candy or whatever they like). Plan a fun day out, a picnic, a walk after dinner, a concert, or a day at an amusement part to surprise your spouse. You don't need an excuse to have a date and focus your attention on each other. Everyone wants to feel special, so what better way to show you care than to do something for the person you are sharing your life with.

Reason #5: Social media just invited a few thousand people into bed with you...
D'Ambrosio says that social media is the root of all evil, well maybe I am paraphrasing a bit here but that is the gist of this section. That we share too much leaving nothing sacred. Maybe some people do, but sharing memories, moments, and parts of your life on social media is an awesome way to include friends and family who you can't see as often as you would like into your life. Posting info about my day to day life allows me to keep in contact with loved ones and spend most of my free time with my husband and kids. This reason to me is the silliest of all for a reason marriages aren't "handled" anymore.

"Marriage is sacred. It is the most beautiful sacrament and has tremendous promise for those fortunate enough to experience it. Divorced or not, I am a believer in true love and building a beautiful life with someone...I do fear, however, that the world we live in today has put roadblocks in the way of getting there and living a happy life with someone."

Marriage is most definitely sacred. It also takes work and is not perfect. If you do not and are not willing to put the effort in your marriage will be a failure. If any of these reasons are the reasons you can't handle marriage, I feel sorry for you. Some people get married for the wrong reasons, some people grow apart, some people aren't willing to be active in their marriage, and on and on, but if you stop being intimate, let money get in between you, allow technology ruin your life, seek attention outside your marriage, or are a social media whore you should work on you before you can be a part of a marriage.

Marriage is a partnership and is something you share with that one special person who you can't see yourself without. Think back to your first date, your first kiss, and all your other firsts, if you don't feel that same way (or hopefully even better) then you should reevaluate what has gone wrong so you can get back there. This list is ridiculous. I don't expect everyone will agree with me and that is fine. I believe in marriage and families and love and maybe I am just super blessed and that is why I feel the way I do, but I don't think that is it. I honestly believe that if your marriage fails it is because one or both spouses stopped trying.

I wish you all love and luck and happiness.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Everyone else is doing it...

Whether you love it or hate it... Have read all three books once, five times, or not at all. Went to see the movie on opening weekend or refuse to add to the success, you simply can not ignore the presence of Fifty Shades of Grey (FSOG). Facebook, blogs, commercials, twitter, national news. It is everywhere. I am not intending to insult anyone for their literary/movie tastes but I am to the point where I want to say my piece.

A few years ago, my husband, Jamie and I were at my youngest son's baseball game. We sat in the bleachers at the Catholic school down the road from our house and cheered on his team. Jamie turned to me and asked me something he had only asked me one other time.... "Why haven't you read those books yet?" I didn't have an answer this second time. (The first time revolved around Twilight and I don't care, I am so glad he asked me that first time because it is what prompted me to write my first book, too bad I can't say the same the second time).


As I paid attention to those around us, every single woman either had a copy in their hands or was talking about it. What the hell? The only response I could muster was something along the lines of "I don't know, I'll check it out later." I started listening to the conversations going on around me and was surprised to hear moms talking so openly about an erotica novel. One mom in particular stands out in my mind even years later. She was always perfectly coiffed, dressed, and spoken. She sat there in her white capris, sleeveless polo shirt, and sandals with her Louis Vuitton bag (I looked it up and it cost nearly $2000, and yes it was real) and Prada sunglasses. Her fingers graced by envy inducing diamonds, her nails recently manicured. She was one of the loudest on the bleachers that day, and she was not even paying attention to the game. As I listened to her go on and on about how she couldn't wait until after the game when she could drop her son off at home with his older siblings so she could run to the local adult store to pick up yet another vibrator and stock up on batteries since she had "worn out her current one" and her husband was out of town for the next week.


At that point I joined in the conversation. I needed to know what the big deal was. I had heard of FSOG but since I wasn't a big erotica reader, I hadn't paid it much mind. You would have thought I smeared my face with mud and asked if I looked all right from the looks I got. These women were ravenous, jumping at the chance to convert me to a FSOG fan. WOW... After the game we stopped by the grocery store for a few items and there near the registers was a huge display of THE books. What the hell, why not? I picked up all three books and added them to my cart. Let's just say I did not share the same enthusiasm as the bleacher women. It was painful to read. I will tell you I made it through the first two and nearly finished the third book, but I simply couldn't stomach any more (I have yet to finish those last few chapters).


I am not going to bash E.L. James, though the books were poorly written (has the woman ever heard of a thesaurus for God's sake?!?!) It is awesome that she has been so successful and made erotica acceptable to discuss in public, I think this was the first time it was trendy for women to not only read erotica, but to talk about it EVERYWHERE. I thought FSOG may open its fans' minds and the erotica market would blow up, but the majority of readers of FSOG have not delved further into erotica (in my humble opinion). Several friends of mine would turn fifty shades of red if they read Anne Rice's Beauty series though when it comes to FSOG my friends think Christian and Ana are so delicious. These women (my friends) ravished these books, but stopped there instead of finding something new (and good) to whet their sexual appetites.


The movie was WAY better than the books, but how could it not be?? Movie goers are thankfully deprived of hearing about Ana's Inner Goddess and Subconscious (BTW, you are not aware of your subconscious, so this particularly drove me up the wall). Dakota Johnson

played a pretty good Ana and while I find Jamie Dornan
attractive, he in no way was what I envisioned as THE Christian Grey. Notice that is not a smolder...That part should have gone to Ian Somerhalder
and no I don't give a damn that he has the wrong hair and eye color, no one smolders the way he does... God that man is beautiful... Okay back to the movie or I will go on a Ian-fest... I did enjoy the movie and found it overall sexy, well done, and if the books were like the movie i would have been a fan. The story line is basically the same without all the repetitive words, obnoxious Anaisms, and editorial snafus.

Now to discuss the rash of authors slamming the books and getting called jealous. So what if they are? Would I love to have the success James has had? I would be stupid not to and any author that claims otherwise has questionable sanity. And I wouldn't classify it as jealousy, but would definitely call it admiration for the success ONLY. I don't write erotica, but do write sex scenes and try to make them naughty and realistic and tasteful. I do not find her sex scenes (let's be honest here, it is really the same sex practically in every scene, so I am being generous here) to be that erotic. For me it was more like insert tab A into slot B with a few sex toys tossed in so it passes for something similar to BDSM. I am not going to even touch on whether or not it is actually a true representation of BDSM or that community since I am not involved, but I do know a fair share to think it isn't a good representation of what real BDSM relationships typically are. Side note: I did manage an adult store for five years, and worked for a national adult store for another three. I have also been to swing clubs (for work) and have witnessed every aspect of BDSM that I have heard of. So I do have quite a bit of insight on this matter, FYI. 


For me it is hard to figure out what drew so many people to FSOG, maybe their own sex lives are way too vanilla, who knows and who cares, especially since there are so many well written, super sexy, beautiful erotica novels vastly available.


All I do know without question, is that I would love to have the marketing and fan driven success that Ms. James has had. Maybe one day...