Friday, November 30, 2012

Feature and Follow #16


Q: Activity! Who is your to-die-for book crush? What do you think they look like? Add an image to make us all happy.

 This is really really out of my normal scope of books that I review or read. I don't really read country romance, or cowboy stuff. But maybe I should start because there's something about a guy in a cowboy hat that just flat out does it for me. So much so that I made my hubby wear one when we got married! Really melts my butter, if ya know what I mean! Frankly, not every guy can pull off the look, but this one sure does!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Don't miss this live chat with Julie Kagawa, author on December 2nd at 7pm ET! And Francesca Lia Block AND Holly Black!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Hope 4 Paws Motivation Monday #6

You know what motivates me? When I start to feel really a lot of pity for myself, or feel sorry for myself, I have to remind myself sometimes that its not all about me. Problems have a way, really, of working themselves out. I am definitely one of those people who believe that I didn't rescue my pets, they rescued me.
After seeing these two videos, I donated to Hope 4 Paws, and I hope it will inspire you to help, too.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Pretty: A Novel by Jillian Lauren

Pretty: A NovelPretty: A Novel by Jillian Lauren

I loved this book, and I would keep it in regular rotation to read again and again.
I've been there, Bebe.
Bebe is the main character, and I love novels written from first person, inside the character's head. She's currently in a halfway house, recovering from a bad car accident which killed her boyfriend. It's novel about searching, about connections, about family--and lack thereof--about love and loss and sex and drugs. All the good makings of a novel. It's not for the squeamish, it's not for anyone who can't handle drug use, recovery, addiction (of all kinds--sex, drugs, and food), and the impulses that ultimately make us cracked, flawed human beings.

View all my reviews

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Things I'm Thankful For x's3: You are Not Alone, Politics and Books!

 There are a lot of things I am thankful for.

You Are Not Alone
I can remember many a Thanksgiving and holiday season I've spent alone. And depressed, and probably in some degree of pain from a medical condition. So I'm thankful for my husband, and the love he's given me over the years. I am so happy, grateful, lucky and blessed I have someone who loves me, cares for me and looks out for me.
But I'll never forget what it felt like to be that girl--scared, sick, alone, and depressed. No one to talk to. Nowhere to go. Feeling lost, feeling so isolated from the family experience of love and togetherness, no matter how dysfunctional many of our families can be.
If anyone who reads this blog ever feels that way, and wants someone to chat with, I'm always available on Twitter! Seriously, I'm there all the time! @xbluestockingx
And so I'm thankful for social media that lets me connect with awesome like-minded people. 

This is from Randi Rhodes, I did *NOT* write this--this is all her, but I am thankful for the exact same thing, this is merely a quotation (Randi's words appear in quotations):
"I’m also thankful that, even though we’re driving toward a fiscal cliff, Republicans are not in control of the wheel. They’re fighting with the President for control of the wheel, so really nobody is in control. And having nobody in control is still better than having Republicans in control. President Obama is going to sit down and deal with Congressional Republicans over a way to avoid going over that fiscal cliff. From the story of the original Thanksgiving we learned that even people with profound differences can sit down together and celebrate the bounty of this great land. Of course, in the years and decades following that celebration, one group methodically took that land from the other group, so let’s keep the similarities to thankfulness and turkey.

This year President Obama continued the tradition of “pardoning” a Thanksgiving turkey ( video here). Think about it—of all the turkeys in this country, one gets picked out for special treatment. If Mitt Romney were president, that’s how everything would be run."

Speaking of the family togetherness I mentioned: later today we're going to be eating a late dinner (I think 6:30 is late for Thanksgiving dinner, but hey, I'm not cooking) at my in-laws. My in-laws are die hard Republicans. As you can see from this and other posts, I most certainly am not. So I know that later today I am going to have to hear some right wing political diatribe on why Obama is responsible for every bad thing that has happened in the history of the world since time began.
I made a plea earlier on Twitter, but in case it got lost: anybody have any tips about dealing with your conservative in laws? That doesn't involve alcohol. Hurting myself doesn't make someone else change their minds, or lay off the conspiracy theories, racism and homophobia. I'm open to ideas.

You know what kept me company during all those alone times, during the looooong hours from  the time I wake up in the morning on previous Thanksgivings, feeling bad and in pain. Books, of course. Those tiny time capsules or escape tunnels that let me get away and hang out with much more interesting people, who take me on adventures, lead me into romances, make me think Really Deep Thoughts and always have time for me.

I can forget writing. I know what its like to write for my life.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Writing Music

Best Writing Music of 2012 @GalleyCat

I love music. I love combining different disciplines.
When I was in grad school, I adopted the habit of listening to a lot of progressive, house, electro, chill, psybient music. I'm one of those people who can't work in a vacuum. I have to have noise, or else I go crazy.
But, I'm a little crazy anyway.  =)

How to Write Story Through Character via @SHalvatzis

Friday, November 16, 2012

Feature and Follow #15



FF 2012 Feature & Follow #123

 Q: Books are turned into movies all the time! Turn it around. What movie would make a great book?

 I like movies about how people get fractured, and damaged from abuse, especially young women. Maybe it's because of my own experiences. I tend to write a lot about this issues as well. So one movie I'd like to see turned into a book would be "The Ward". It would be interesting to see a book written from all the different perspectives of the main character's personalities. Hmmm...that sounds like a good idea,

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

No more Free Shit to People!

I hate it when people want stuff. And things. Free stuff and free things, on my dime. 

Things like..being able to marry the person of your choice. Things like control over the decisions about your own body, the private decisions you  make in your own bedroom and in your doctor's office, things like not being shamed if you happen to be assaulted. Some thoughts about what happens to your taxes.
Want to improve unemployment and reduce the amount of people on welfare? Invest in education. Stop this anti-intellectualism. By this I mean the shit I have to hear from students on a regular basis: this arms-crossed-over-chest voice where they inform me they'd rather have an elephant sized needle inserted into an eardrum than read a book--gasp!--for fun. And that, my dear child, is why a career in the fast food arts is the best you can hope for.  
Access to affordable health care? Why, that's just a slippery slope to the Third Reich! Because when I think of Hitler, the first thing I think of is health care. He was really cool like that, all caring and compassionate.
Free hot meals to old people? Shut up, Grandma, go back to work! Never mind that your skin is like paper, or it can take you ten minutes to get to the other side of the room. So what if you paid into the system your whole life, stop taking my money!
A safe home for abused and abandoned children? Shouldn't have had that kid in the first place, but as conservatives, we'll force you to have the baby anyway. What happens to it after it's born isn't our problem. And believe me, the places these kids often end up in aren't exactly Disneyland. Best scenario:  wonderful two parent adoptive family (as long as they're not filthy homos) with a nice house, a puppy and a meal at least three times a day. Worst scenario: continually being abused in different ways and shuffled from home to home. Being separated from your siblings. Being constantly told you're worthless and no one wants you, until by the time you're 12 you're well on your way to being a criminal.  So, obviously, in order to be "fiscally conservative" we'll vote to cut pre-natal funding (for that all important fetus), WIC programs, and after school programs. We'll vote to cut out library programs, and useless things like art, music, theatre, and dance. 
A helping hand when you fall on hard times? Since its never happened to me, I can't relate to it ever happening to someone else, so I don't care. If you lose your job or your husband, and you were stupid enough to believe in the Dream and you aren't employed within, like, a week, you're a lazy society-draining leech and should have seen it coming. This is what really gets me mad. This arrogance that people have in which they are, somehow, assured that their lives are perfect, and will remain disaster-free. Your husband won't ever leave you. Your kid won't become unexpectedly sick. You'll never get into an accident, or be the victim of some kind of crime. You'll never have to take time off to care for a sick parent or child. And the judgement that people pass on the people this has happened to absolutely stuns me.
Assistance for those who are wheelchair bound, blind, deaf, or mentally disabled? Well, maybe they can take comfort in the fact that people Republicans align themselves with, like Ann Coulter, will insult you to your face and look down on you for being born in the first place.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Who The Hell Cares About These People?

I can't believe these reports I'm reading about secession, and employers laying off workers to be spiteful that their candidate didn't win. If you hate this country so much, leave. Don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out. There are plenty off other places to move to where a national religion is forced on you, you can disrespect women all you want, and you'll never have to worry about getting an education, earning a decent wage, seeing a doctor, or voting ever again. Grow up. 

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Friday, November 9, 2012

America exactly?

Every candidate--every single one of them that voiced the opinion that women's bodies are something to be legislated or controlled lost in this election. If your response to rape is anything except AW HELL NO doesn't deserve to hold office.
I wish this would give conservatives the opportunity to re-think their values. But what I see on Facebook a lot, because I have Republican friends and family, is this woe-is-the-country America lost, the Constitution lost, things like that.
And I'm trying to figure out how letting people love and marry whoever they damn well please is a loss. I'm trying to figure out how women holding more elected offices than ever before is a loss.
As I teach my students in my critical thinking classes, you MUST look at both sides when writing an essay or academic paper. So I'm trying to take my own advice. Why exactly is this a huge loss "for America?"
The argument seems to be mostly about welfare and taxes. It's this idea that we will be thrown into TAXAGGEDON (in caps to covey more fear) and that we'll be so taxed at the end of the next four years we'll barely have a paycheck left, and all our hard earned money from people who actually work for a living will be given to lazy people who don't feel like working, affording them food, free healthcare, iPhones, stops at the beauty parlour and flat screen tvs.

I  never really thought of myself as a liberal until I moved to the tiny rural and very conservative little mountain town I live in. I had no idea that that thinking gay people are you know, human beings and that women can make their own decisions about their lives was a radical thing.
Let it be said that in addition to being a teacher, I also work part time with the Division of Aging and Elder Services--most commonly known as the Meals on Wheels program. This program provides a free hot meal to elderly people, and the homebound elderly in my community.
 That's what Fox News doesn't tell my conservative relatives and friends: the majority of people on welfare are: the elderly, the genuinely disabled, and children.
Of course there are people who take advantage of the system. Of course there are--and people like that will always exist. But it's not the majority of people.
Let me tell about the time I was in grad school. I was working two jobs and going to school, and while I could see the clinic on the campus for something small, like a cold or the flu, they couldn't help me after hours or if something really majorly bad happened. And something majorly bad did. I didn't know anyone in the city, so I had to call an ambulance and get rushed to the hospital. If I hadn't gone to hospital, I would have died. I was not a bum. I was working. I was going to school. But I could only afford so much as a young single girl trying to make it on her own.
That's who Obamacare is for--the working people, the working students like I was who might be able to afford a roof over their heads, but not much else. I used to get so irritated with the insurance people for coming into my two jobs and trying to get me on their insurance plans for a mere $500 a month.  If I had an extra $500 a month I would have been able to pay my phone bill and not ride around in my car on gas fumes. I would have been able to afford something other than fast food for dinner. When my evil roommate kicked me out because she wanted a new place, and gave me exactly one week to move my belongings, (which is ILLEGAL, by the way) I was essentially homeless, because like most young people, I didn't have a back up plan. 
The response from conservatives usually is "Oh, I would support it for YOU, but not anyone else."
I "made too much money" to receive any kind of government assistance, so I was stuck with bills that I'm still paying for, years later. Am I hearing from conservatives that I would have been better off dead? If I hadn't gone to hospital, I would have died. There it is, plain and simple. 

Here's an sample from the article titled "Your Lack of Insight and Compassion Make You Ugly" written by Lorelei at  and the link is here, and I want to promote it as much as possible. The article is well written, and contains many wonderful responses. There is a Creative Commons license on their website that I am using. The article was posted September 12, 2012.
 I always tell my students that when they research something, they need sources to back them up. Well, here's one of mine. Apologies for not putting this into MLA format!

"Hey, people on welfare, conservatives would like you to know the rules. So here they are:
  1. If / when you lose your job, be sure to sell all your nice electronics and luxury goods immediately and make sure you are always dressed well in public (but not too well, because then you are clearly not in need of any financial assistance and will be judged for not immediately selling all your nice clothing, too).
  2. Cover up your tattoos, or people will snark that you are spending your welfare money on body art, even if you have had those tattoos for years, or you have a friend who is a tattoo artist who did them for free.
  3. Are your shoes nice? Better not wear them in public, especially while at the grocery store paying for food with food stamps, because you MUST have somehow magically converted those food stamps into enough expendable income to buy those shoes. Never mind that they were a gift, or you bought them years ago, or that they actually have huge holes in the soles and tattered insoles because you can’t afford to replace them.
  4. As a bonus, be sure not to have a job with flexible hours or work from home or work as a stay-at-home parent, because judgmental people will be on your ass and assume you are on welfare based on limited or non-existent evidence (even if you are not) and whine bitterly about having to contribute to social safety nets for the needy. That is right: You don’t even have to be on welfare at all, you can simply be out in public with your kid(s) during normal business hours and have total strangers assume you are on government assistance if you don’t look prosperous. Isn’t that cute? "
And more from the same article:
“If you think someone on welfare can afford an iPhone, you are mentally deficient. It is more likely that they fell on hard times after purchasing the phone or being given the phone as a gift (such as being laid off or having a family member die, or dealing with medical expenses). Welfare checks do not come anywhere close to covering the cost of a new phone. Further, that person on welfare probably paid as much in taxes over the years as you have, if not more, so it is their own tax money being used to help them out when they have fallen on hard times. Try a little more compassion and a lot less of this bullshit “let’s pick on the poor” fantasizing.
I have also just been informed by someone who should know first-hand that sometimes the government hands out a cheap pre-paid mobile phone with 250 minutes on it to the very poor who can’t afford a landline, so they can look for work and communicate with officials handling their accounts. And yes, that phone does look, at a glance, like an iPhone, but it is not. It is a cheap piece of shit. They didn’t buy it, there are a limited amount of minutes allowed, and they do not own it; once off welfare, they have to give it back. (P.S. Did you know that about the pre-paid phones? I didn’t. I learned something new today.)
If you are on food stamps you can NOT buy non-food items AT ALL. No alcohol. No tobacco. No “hot” food from the grocery deli. No pet food. No toilet paper, toothpaste, shampoo, razors, aspirin, vitamins, etc. Just food. And some jurisdictions do not allow pre-prepared foods (like frozen dinners). Food stamps are distributed via debit-card like food stamp cards, they are not little pieces of paper you can buy or sell or trade for things. The average allotment per meal for food stamps is a dollar and change. Think hard about how well you can eat for less than two bucks, then do that three times a day for months on end.
Oh, people on food stamps can buy birthday cakes from the bakery, but I suppose they should just suffer in silence and not waste their food money on something as frivolous as a child’s birthday cake. Your anecdotal evidence of one or two assholes you know working the system does not indicate that every single other person receiving aid is likewise irresponsible or taking advantage.
There will always be stupid people who do not manage money of any kind well, but that is not an excuse to pretend that the poor, who are struggling to EAT and not be homeless, and to find work when work is hard to find (I have three advanced degrees, great references, a lot of skills, a lot of experience, and I send out a MINIMUM of 50 applications every single day and I have been unemployed, after a layoff, for almost a year…why & how would someone who has fewer of those qualities and advantages than I have manage get a job more quickly or easily than I?) and I hope that some of the most judgmental among you have to experience what it is like to fall on hard times through no fault of your own and to hear nasty comments about it constantly from uninformed, rude, thoughtless people like yourselves who think it is funny to mock the down-and-out and impoverished and to make snap judgments about them.
When and if it happens to you, I hope you will remember every single derogatory and nasty comment you ever made about your neighbors and fellow citizens who are struggling to survive, and I hope you will feel a little shameful about it.
Be sure to sell all your worldly goods, even if you have to take a financial loss (because poor people don’t deserve anything nice, right? and it is your job to assume that they spent “your” money on anything that isn’t completely crappy, correct?) and never buy anything but the bare essentials while you are at it, too."

And I haven't even started in on the misogyny and the anti-women regulation over female bodies and their respective parts yet. I'll have to save that for another post. Till then, dear reader.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wordless Wednesday #7 Election Reaction



His inability to do math is also telling, as Obama has won both the popular and electoral vote

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Reminder: Mitt Romney is appalled that people feel entitled to food.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Motivation Monday

Inspirational quote to help you kick off the weekend!

Seriously. ~Haru "Mitt Romney hasn’t given a national television interview since sitting down with Wolf Blitzer on CNN 23 days ago. He has not answered a single question from the press in 22 days. Among the requests that he has turned down, Romney has refused to answer questions from children on Nickelodeon. He has refused to be interviewed and take the questions of young voters on MTV. Romney was so terrified of The View that he canceled and sent his wife in his place. He has turned down David Letterman, and every major news network including Fox News. Bill O’Reilly has been screaming at the top of his lungs trying to get an interview with Romney before election day, but the Romney campaign made it clear on October 23 that they were scheduling no more interviews. However, this ban has also extended to the members of the press who are covering Romney everyday. The pool reporters covering Romney ask questions each day, and the candidate pretends that he doesn’t hear them. This has gone on for the last 22 days."

Falling off the Challenge--It's all on Me

It's that long stretch of afternoon that usually gets me. Especially on Sundays. I always have things to do, but they're at war with...