Monthly Archives: February 2014

Merlin Club S01E06, “A Remedy to Cure All Ills,” or, “A Remedy to Cure All Ills Except for This Thing Going on with My Face.”

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Merlin club is a weekly feature in which Jessica Jarman, Bronwyn Green, and myself gather at 8pm EST to watch an episode of the amazing BBC series Merlin, starring Colin Morgan and literally nobody else I care about except Colin Morgan.

Okay, I lie. A lot of other really cool people are in it, too.

Anyway, we watch the show, we tweet to the hashtag #MerlinClub, and on Fridays we share our thoughts about the episode we watched earlier in the week.

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The night Cinna ascended

My cousin Desiree– known to the citizens of Trout Nation as D-Rock, destroyer of worlds– had a gerbil. Its name was Cinna. D-Rock bought this poor creature when she saw it in a tank all by itself at the pet store and an employee remarked, “He has to stay in there because he’s a bully.”

The bully part was the selling point, I’m pretty sure.

From the moment it was purchased, D-Rock devoted as much time and energy as possible to make sure this gerbil had a rad life. In a huge glass tank, she assembled a veritable city of cardboard boxes and wood shavings suitable for burrowing. Cinna was king of a deserted city, master of all it surveyed.

While D-Rock was recently on vacation in Mexico, Cinna lived with me. It was, without doubt, the most ill-tempered rodent I have ever seen. As I sat at my desk working, Cinna would come out of its little box houses and challenge me, standing on its hind legs and chattering, then dropped down beneath the lip of the cage and popping its head up for surveillance. When I fed it, it ate its bowl. When I gave it water, it flipped the dish. And ate it.

Last night, when D-Rock went home from my house (we watch TV together nearly every night) she found that Cinna had passed from the realm of her cardboard kingdom, into the universal consciousness.

So she tweeted it.

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Falcons are a recurring theme with D-Rock. It has been foretold that purchase of a falcon will be the final straw in her marriage, but we all know that bird is coming someday.

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Yes. She constructed a funeral pyre, whereupon she cremated the body of the Gerbil.

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Rest in peace, Cinna. You gave no fucks and lived life by your own rules.

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My Hair

I’ve received a lot of comments on the last 50 Shades recaps in which people are like, “Your hair is awesome, how did you do it?” So I thought I would share the mysteries of my hair with you.

First of all, it’s pretty faded looking, now. When I started out with it, it looked like this:

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But I actually like that it’s faded a bit, because I think now you can see more of a difference between the blue, green, and purple than you could at the beginning. However, the orange and pink got way muddy.

This is what it looks like now, two weeks after the initial coloring:

Photo on 2-21-14 at 4.31 PM Photo on 2-21-14 at 4.32 PM

 

So, how did I do this? Well, I didn’t. Jen, the salon manager at Ulta on 28th Street in Grand Rapids, MI, did it. The colors she used were by Pravana, in orange, pink, green, blue and wild orchid. She lifted it first (I have naturally dishwater blonde hair), then applied the colors in sections with foil. When it was done, she rinsed each color separately– in ice cold water. I’m not kidding, you guys, it was suuuuuuuuper painful. I had a headache for the rest of the day. But it was really the only way she could do it and keep the colors from bleeding into each other too badly, and I knew what I was getting into.

I also knew the colors wouldn’t last super long, so I wasn’t disappointed when they started to fade. In fact, I like the way the green fades so much, when I go in to get my color redone, I’m going to have her lift the rest out and just go full on green, with blonde highlights.

Thanks for all the nice comments about my hair, you guys! I would have answered them all individually, but I figured this was way faster. :D

Merlin Club S01E05, “Lancelot,” or “The one where Merlin is way more concerned with the bro-code than with the outlawing of magic.”

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Merlin club is a weekly feature in which Jessica Jarman, Bronwyn Green, and myself gather at 8pm EST to watch an episode of the amazing BBC series Merlin, starring Colin Morgan and literally nobody else I care about except Colin Morgan.

Okay, I lie. A lot of other really cool people are in it, too.

Anyway, we watch the show, we tweet to the hashtag #MerlinClub, and on Fridays we share our thoughts about the episode we watched earlier in the week.

Continue reading

50 Shades Freed recap, Epilogue or, “This is what E.L. James has wrought. And we all have to live with it.”

So, here we are. I think this is going to be the last recap. I know there’s “bonus” material, like the first chapter written from Christian’s POV and a story with him as a child, but after this epilogue, I’m honestly defeated. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I fear for women. I fear for the women who embrace this book. I fear for the women who will raise their Greybies to be “gentlemen” like Christian and “strong women” like Ana. I fear for the lives of domestic violence victims to be, the woman who seek out their own Christian Grey and find him. I fear for the women who see their abuse experience reflected in this book, and who find no solace from people they used to trust, because they know that they’ll never be understood so long as 50 Shades is the greatest romance of our time. I fear for the children who will be born to dangerously flawed fathers because their mothers believe, from the example set in these books, that abusive men can change through the shared miracle of unwanted pregnancy.

I’ve seen comments from people out there on the internet saying that they felt the tone of my recaps moved from funny to tragic, and that they could tell that the subject matter had begun to depress me. That assessment couldn’t be more on point. I used to find it fun to mock this book, thinking that surely, at some point in its meteoric rise, people would begin to see how ridiculous it is. But that hasn’t happened. To every person who staunchly believes it is going to happen, that movie will flop, that people will suddenly get what we’ve been saying all along: I understand why you’re clinging to that delusion. It’s easier to live in a world with hope. But there is no hope here. The movie will be a box office success. More fans will be introduced. The cycle will start all over again.

I’ve tried to refrain from too many vicious personal attacks on E.L. James. I’ve said some snarky stuff and left it there. But I’m done with that. This woman is a danger to women and to society in general. She is an ignorant, arrogant, self-important wannabe who accidentally made it, and now believes her own hype. She will never acknowledge that her book is a piece of abuse glorifying trash. She will never do anything to set right the horrible things she’s put into motion. She is, if not the literal devil, certainly a very close approximation of that kind of evil. She is Sarah Palin. She is Michelle  Bachman. She is every woman who betrays other women, on a bloated, disgusting scale. Maybe I would have pitied her once, but I have no doubt that she knows what she is doing, and that it will sell and line her already swollen bank account. Perhaps whatever book she is crafting out of unsubtle plagiarism for her next release won’t reach such an impressive height. I can only hope that comes true. But there will never be any consequence for the way she’s endangered the lives of women who want to live this “fantasy” she finds so romantic, or portrayed sexual ignorance, lack of consent, and outright abuse as not only desirable, but utterly necessary for a woman to be worthy of love. No matter how much you want to believe there will be, there never will be and justice .

Now, onto the shit show that is the epilogue.

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Everything is actually about the same size in Texas as it is everywhere else.

I’ve returned from the Montgomery County Book Fest alive and well! Everyone was super nice there and I met some really great authors and readers who are now Facebook friends with me, and who I hope I will see again in the future. I delivered the opening key note and talked about the privilege of literacy, which I’ll turn into an essay and post here soon, and I think it went really well.

Also, some of you amazing Trout Nation citizens showed up and I was SO TOUCHED! Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! Every time someone said, “I read your blog,” or “We’re friends on Facebook,” I got all choked up.

I feel really badly, because one of you who did come out gave me two amazing presents, but it was right after my key note address and I was still so nervous and shaky, I totally forgot your name and I feel like suuuuuuuuch and a-hole. I swear I wasn’t trying to be an a-hole, but I was coming down from an anxiety high and I was totally overwhelmed by the kindness of everybody, you included. I STILL LOVE YOU!

But look, here are the cool presents, which I absolutely love, so thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, they are amazing!

Photo on 2-17-14 at 11.25 AM

 

And these came from the Etsy store of Robin S. Silvers who I will be bookmarking and buying stuff from in the future, for sure.

I also met a really cool lady named Aileen Kirkham. She is an author, educator, and storyteller who runs a literacy program in Texas and serves as a volunteer librarian at a foster home. She accepts donations, so if you’re inclined to donate to literacy programs, here’s her website where she wears a pirate hat.

Despite my best intentions, I never got to meet Marissa Meyer or get my book signed, but I did meet another author, Dax Varley, and her book totally intrigued me, so I bought it. I haven’t read it yet, but it’s called Severed, and it’s a Sleepy Hollow YA. So like, how do you not get it? It’s 99 cents on Amazon.

I got to meet so many great authors and volunteers and readers at this thing, it was a blast and I hope I get to go again someday!

Merlin Club S01E04, “The Poisoned Chalice” or “The one with that hat”

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Merlin club is a weekly feature in which Jessica Jarman, Bronwyn Green, and myself gather at 8pm EST to watch an episode of the amazing BBC series Merlin, starring Colin Morgan and literally nobody else I care about except Colin Morgan.

Okay, I lie. A lot of other really cool people are in it, too.

Anyway, we watch the show, we tweet to the hashtag #MerlinClub, and on Fridays we share our thoughts about the episode we watched earlier in the week.

Continue reading

State of The Trout: I’m not dead. Also, a puppy.

Hey everybody! I’ll be at the Montgomery County Book Festival this weekend, giving the opening keynote address, so right now I’m speaking very confidently to myself in the mirror and timing myself on a stopwatch.  If you’re near Conroe, TX, come over and see me!

In other news, I know I haven’t updated the 50 Shades recaps in a long time, but I thank you for your continued patience. I’ve gotten some emails asking when I’m going to be updating, but please remember, the blog is kind of a sideline to my whole author gig, and I’m in the middle of two back-to-back release months. I’ve also got a couple of deadlines coming up, I hate disappointing you or making you wait, but I have to meet those in order to pay my bills and stay mentally healthy. I go away every now and then, but you know I always come back with a full tank.

In other other news, I got a puppy!

We’ve had her for a few weeks, but I don’t think I’ve mentioned her on the blog yet. There she is snuggling a stuffed hamster. Her name is Coraline, and she’s a pit bull.

In other other other news. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this yet or not, but my first New Adult title, Playing Him, a novella, will be featured in the anthology College Bound. The theme of the antho is characters exploring kink with their newfound adult freedom. Release date is still TBA, but I’ll keep you updated with all the details.

Okay, I’m off to Texas. Merlin Club will update as scheduled, because those things are easy as hell to post.

Merlin Club S01E03, “The Mark Of Nimueh,” or, “This is why bottled water is a good idea.”

merlinbanner2

Merlin club is a weekly feature in which Jessica Jarman, Bronwyn Green, and myself gather at 8pm EST to watch an episode of the amazing BBC series Merlin, starring Colin Morgan and literally nobody else I care about except Colin Morgan.

Okay, I lie. A lot of other really cool people are in it, too.

Anyway, we watch the show, we tweet to the hashtag #MerlinClub, and on Fridays we share our thoughts about the episode we watched earlier in the week.

Continue reading

Links to stuff!

Today I’m at Jennifer Weiser’s blog, talking about ten things you don’t know about me.

If you haven’t hit up the Coffee People tumblr, then what are you doing that’s so important that you don’t want to find out Coffee Guy’s name? Huh? HUH?

And my post about addiction and how we talk about it is on the Huffington Post, if you want to see the same thing but with “THE HUFFINGTON POST” written across the top.