I Would, But There’s This Doctor Who marathon on Netflix…..

I think some time back I promised I would discuss my dysfunctional life. Well, here it is, and what better place to start than the awfulness that is my romantic life.

I’m pretty sure I have “daddy issues,” but since I don’t feel like I’m really messed up, I don’t feel like I have daddy issues. Does that make sense? Anyway, I suck at this whole love and relationship thing. My decisions are run like the board of fortune 500 business. My brain has majority stock with 51% so it gets final say on all decisions. The heart is the vice chair, yet, even though it has the next controlling interest, it can often be overruled by the body i.e. want for food or sleep. I think my elbows are in charge of fiscal marketing or some such. Then you go all the way down the list and at the very bottom you have the vagina, dead last with the least sway on the whole operating system.

Why is this important to know? Well I’ll tell you folks, my brain is an asshole, and having an asshole in charge of a million dollar business means tax shelters and chemical dumping in residential drinking water. I’ve always been sort of ho hum on love, even as a child. Now you’d think my great love of Disney films would have messed me up in the opposite direction, but you’d be mistaken. Even as a child I could separate the reality of relationships from the idealizations. This can also be equated to my great hatred for growing up. (I saw through that scam long ago, the Toys R Us theme song got me hip to your game older adults)

My mother told me I couldn’t date until I was sixteen and I was fine with that. My dad said I couldn’t date till I was 30 and I was fine with that as well. I fought boys in the 1st grade for “flirting” with me. That was like an open call to war in my book. When I was in middle school, all of my friends had a crush on some guy or this one guy in particular, and I just didn’t get it. And since most of the girls I knew crushed on someone at some time I just pretended to crush on him too. I didn’t feel anything, I just felt sort of left out and slightly weird, you know? I did have crushes on celebrities and fictional characters though. This might be telling my age, but I was really into Tevin Campbell, but my first real heart go thump thump crush was……Patrick Stewart. That’s right motherf*ckers, f*cking Captain Picard. I stand by it 100% to this day, and I would still jump up on that old Shakespearean ass, what what!

However, as far as real life went, I just wasn’t into it. So time passed and because of my obvious handicap I never knew when a guy was flirting with me or not, because, my flirting sucked/sucks. Like that episode of Friends where Ross keeps talking about gas to the pizza girl he’s trying to flirt with, except I’m just talking about gas and not actually flirting even though flirting was, apparently, initialized.

So imagine my surprise in high school, when I get a bit of a crush on this guy. He’s really sweet, and funny, and he’s in the ROTC so that means once a week he wore a uniform and DAYUM. Did I mention he was super gay? Oh yeah, he was totes gay. My very first official live person crush was freaking gay, of course. I think I set the tone for my love life right there. A year later I think, I got a real boyfriend, and he was straight and everything. I liked him, I found him attractive, and I have/had a good love for him, but I don’t think I would call it can’t live without you die kind of love. It was an emotional attachment that I was able to detach pretty seamlessly 2 years later when I went off to college.

And you know what? I was relieved! Not because I wanted meet new guys or didn’t think my ex-boo was the best, cause he totally was/is (I still keep in touch with him cause he’s sort of awesome), I was relieved because I didn’t have anyone else’s emotional well being to worry about except my own. I didn’t date anyone for 4 years after I broke up with high school beau. Not a casual first date, or a talk on the phone get to know you thing, nothing. And I was perfectly happy with that. Then inexplicably there was a guy I liked, and I talked to him everyday, and we went out on a date, and then it took him three weeks to call me. My response to his not returning my call after a week was, (call, singular, there was one and voicemail and that is literally the extent of my effort when I am interested, no return call then…)Fuck that noise. I like to take hints, and when you don’t call to talk to me, the hint is that you’re not interested, and I hear you loud and clear.

And everything after that is kind of a boring blah blah. In my professional opinion I’ve had 4 guys that I would officially recognize as ex-boyfriends. I’m 50/50 for long term vs. short term relationships in that regard, but in reality, the number of short terms is probably much higher if you factor in relationships that never got started because I’m a Vulcan asshole. I like logic and if something doesn’t make sense to me then I don’t pursue it. Which is a double edged sword when it comes to relationships. Yes it weeds out the undesirables, but it also throws a monkey wrench into a relationship trying to find its footing. You have to listen to your heart a little bit to make sure that you’re not being a robot as one friend lovingly calls me.

But that doesn’t work too well for me either I figured, because…..well I don’t really speak the same language of my heart, so it’s really difficult to communicate with it. So in my last relationship I went back to being that little 5th grader who was just pretending to crush so she wouldn’t be the weird one. I thought my ex was hot (he was biracial and Russian, ooh la la) our conversation could have been more stimulating for me anyway, but it wasn’t terrible. We had fun together and once again I had emotions for him, I would even hazard to say there was a type of in loveness about it. And because this relationship happened right at the beginning of mid-twenties, and because I love to over self analyze I decided that, okay, it’s time to be an adult. (whatever the hell that means) So instead of calling it quits when things got hard I decided that I would do what I’d only witnessed and assumed other adults did, which was try to talk and work it out (yuck).

The end result being, that I stayed in a relationship much longer than I would or should have, and made a lot of compromises that just weren’t true to myself. With my end conclusion being that we just really weren’t compatible to begin with and were trying to force a square peg through a round hole. So we broke up, and I mourned the loss of my routine, and the time and energy I put into the relationship, and the adoration I was getting; but I’m not sure if I felt sad for the loss of the person, which is pretty messed up.

So I went on with life and made the conscious decision to abstain from dating while, unless I met someone really phenomenal; which evolved into abstain from dating for while; which has coalesced into abstain from dating, period.  And now I don’t date, and I don’t feel weird or bad about that. I think it’s my most natural state. I don’t see the point in participating in something that I’ve never been that jazzed about from the beginning.

My friends, god bless their meddling souls, have individually yet collectively begun to spin a little web of “you need to date” around me. It’s been…..oh shazbot, it’s been 3 years! Ha ha ha, no wonder they are concerned. It’s okay loves, really I’m fine. Don’t worry about me. Even some of my coworkers have picked up on the, I don’t think she’s been with anyone in a while vibe. Is it my deodorant? Do I smell like selfishness and apathy? They’ve started suggesting hookups and blind dates for me, I seriously thought that only happened in movies. Maybe my life is a movie now. If the end result is me in the Bahamas with Tom Hiddleston, then let this Rom Com commence!

 

Black Hair Story Month

Dear Curious People,

I know you have questions about my hair. It’s hair, but it’s different than yours or anyone elses that you know.  And you want to know what makes it different. Maybe you’re from a foreign country with a significantly limited ethnic population. Maybe your upbringing wasn’t as multicultural as some others, or maybe you’ve just been afraid because you don’t want to come off as rude or dun, dun, duuuuun, *whispers* racist.  It’s okay. I’m here to help.

I’m going to speak from the experience of an African American girl, because, well, I’m African American. (and a girl?) I can’t help you with other ethnicities  or nationalities, because I’m not them.

Okay let’s begin. We’ll start off with how to have the conversation. There are things that you should and should not do when approaching practically anyone about their hair, and there are ways to start the conversation with people, both strangers and friends.

Strangers

You don’t have any black friends. That’s okay, doesn’t make you a bad person, you just haven’t hit it off with any brown sistahs or brothas. It’s okay. So you see a Brown American on the bus or everyday at the office, but you don’t know them, and they have a unique doo or their hair length changes all the time and you wanna know, “What up with that?”

1. Do. Not. Touch.:

  • I know the Afro is huge, or the braids go all the way down to the waist. I know that tactile learning is a default setting embedded in us at birth as a means of investigating our environment. I understand. Do. NOT. Touch. You don’t know them, you’re not on an intimate level with them. Plus you can mess up their doo, and that is grounds for a physical altercation.

2. Catch more flies with honey, etc:

  • You want to know about our hair, try complimenting us on it first. It’s a pretty basic way to get a conversation going.

3. Don’t be rude:

  • This applies to strangers and friends. Something pretty basic, but it seems like people, even my friends don’t understand that asking the question, “Is it real?” is extremely rude. Yeah I know my hair was to my shoulders yesterday, and today it’s down my back. Are you blind that you can’t tell it’s not real? Your follow up question, “But it’s obvious it’s not real, how is me asking rude?” Here’s some context. You see a gentleman minding his own business, living his life, happy. He is obviously wearing a toupee, would you go up and ask him if it’s real? Also, it might be real, and you assuming it isn’t makes you seem like a *whispers* racist.

4. Questions okay to ask strangers:

  • Do you style your own hair/Who does your hair?
  • (In cases of intricate looking styles) How long did it take to do that?
  • I’m curious about your hair, do you mind if I ask you some questions?

5. Use good judgement:

  • Speaking just from my experience, hair is a sensitive subject for black women especially. Because of eurocentric beauty standards a lot of us have had emotional trauma (that word sounds too harsh, upheaval maybe?) as we’ve grown up because our hair wasn’t the norm, or wasn’t lustrous enough, or nappy ( I hate that word) In high school some assholes on the school bus put gum in my Afro cause they thought it would be funny. Luckily it wasn’t my hair, but it very easily could have been and I could have developed a serious self hatred for my natural locs.  So in the immortal words of Wil Wheaton, Don’t be a dick.

Friends

I don’t know how deep your bond is with your differently tressed friend, but if it’s close enough you can pretty much ask any question you want. Some advice though, don’t get it wet as a prank. You will die. Don’t touch it without permission, you will die. Do not tell or in any way announce that their hair is not real to other people no matter how obvious it is, you will die.

Helpful Facts

Here are some helpful facts that I am going to volunteer so that you can get at least a rudimentary understanding.

1. Natural Hair:

  • I work at a group home and we have some non-black and foreign employees that have to come and take care of our clients. That includes doing the hair of certain clients. So I find myself in the position every so often of having to teach someone how to care for permed hair, while explaining the difference between permed hair and natural hair. When we say, “natural”, we don’t mean real vs. fake. Natural hair is a term used to describe hair that is not processed with chemicals. Natural hair can be straight or curly or wavy, it can be intermixed with extensions, or blown out with a hair dryer. It’s still natural, as long as a perm hasn’t been used to permanently (get it, perm, permanently, see what they did there) alter its basic composition. When your hair is Natural water will always make it go back to it’s original state, no matter what you do to it. When it’s permed it will retain straightness wherever the perm has made contact.

 

2. Natural vs. Permed

  • It’s not a competition. Some people equate being natural with being a conscious African American plugged into the scene of Afrocentric culture, politics, and art; and some people just like the way dreads look on them. Some people think long straight hair is a sign of beauty and sophistication; and some people just don’t want to deal with the upkeep of natural hair so they perm it.  Whatever floats your boat. My hair is natural because I wanted it to grow and the perms were killing it, and I couldn’t (still can’t) afford to get them professionally done every 4 to 6 weeks.  It’s just preferences.

3. The nappy thing:

  • You might hear us use that word in jest or as an insult, but it’s a lot like the other n-word, don’t use it. Our hair is not nappy. It is curly. Take a moment to step into any shop that caters to ethnic hair and you’ll see various products with the words _____curly, or curly ____ written on it.

4. The water thing:

  • Something that may look to you to be a basic effortless style probably took half a day and an uncomfortable sleep on some night rollers to accomplish, so we don’t want it to get wet. For permed ladies who have new growth, which is newly grown hair that was not permed, getting their hair wet means that they will have two textures of hair that will simply not go together without some hair gel or a transitioning hair style. So they tend to avoid water outside of planned washing and styling adventures.  For the natural ladies, it varies. On a day where I just washed, detangled, and conditioned my hair; I don’t mind the rain. But if I took a flat iron or a blow dryer and suffered the agony of holding my arms above my head for an hour, oh you best believe I’m running for shelter at the first drip (not even waiting for the drop). Remember, water reveals all.

5. Length:

  • Remember up there somewhere when I said not to ask (unless you guys are totes cool bffs) if a person’s hair is real or not? Some of us can grow really long hair. Men typically have theirs dreaded, but some people are a bit more versatile in our choices. So assuming our hair is short is sort of rude. Sometimes you want to have a really cute short hairstyle so we braid our hair up and put some extensions or a wig on top. If you’re talking about a natural hair person, depending on if they have a tight curl pattern, their hair can shrink to a really short length when wet. If you clicked on the link, you see that her hair is long, but it’s even longer when she fully extends it. So never assume someone’s hair isn’t real just because it frequently changes lengths.

6. Care:

  • It varies. Some people find that washing their hair every day or two days makes it more manageable. Some people go by a weekly or bi-weekly schedule. Some just wing it. Whenever it needs to be washed, we wash it. Permed or natural, our hair (usually) doesn’t produce a lot of oils, which is why it doesn’t slide and flip and yada yada like those Garnier Fructis commercials, also why it tangles a lot easier and why we need to add oil to combat dryness and breakage. It also means it doesn’t get  gross and disgusting (sorry, that was rude, I meant oily and gnarly). With this advantage, or disadvantage depending on how you look at it, we have the luxury of choosing when to wash our hair. It does get dirty from sweat, products, and dandruff if you have a scalp condition. But because general upkeep of our hair usually involves combing and brushing, any buildup from sweat is routinely scrubbed off. Products, oils and such, are absorbed into the hair over time or into whatever headdress/pillow we wear to bed/sleep on, so oils don’t remain for long. Dandruff is handled by the oil, or if it’s a medical condition by special shampoo. People who wear protective styles, i.e. braids, updos, clean their scalps with alcohol or witch hazel,  wash the braids, or in the case of the truly lazy (like myself) wait till we take them down to wash the hair.

7. The hair pat thing:

  • You’ve probably seen this on t.v., usually on some black girl with an “attitude”. Because our hair doesn’t produce a lot of oils it’s a lot more delicate and easy to break. People wearing protective styles either with weave or without pat their heads to scratch it. Scratching it will separate the hair from the bulk and cause split ends and breakage at multiple locations. The same for people with permed highly styled hair, with the  added inconvenience of messing up the style.

Helpful Terminology

Doo or Do- Hairstyle, as in hairdo.

Doo Rag or Do Rag- A piece of cloth or satin, like a bandana or scarf, used to keep hair in place while sleeping or lounging.

Protective Style- Any form of style that keeps the ends of your hair from being loose and therefore able to split or break; A hairstyle that does not require daily manipulation.

Reversion, to Revert- Like the literal definition of the word it means to return to a state that once was. In hair terms it is the act of styled or permed hair coming into contact with water and assuming it’s natural texture and pattern.

Blow out- The process of turning ones curls into a full Afro.

Weave- A much faster way to say hair extensions; hair real or fake that is added into your hair to make it longer and/or fuller.

Dreadlocks vs. Twists- Dreadlocks are semi-permanent. They can be undone, but depending on the amount of time they’ve been in may need to be cut before detangling can begin. Twists are not permanent and depending general state can be undone by hand or with the aid of a comb. Scissors usually not needed with exception of weave twists.

Transitioning- The act of growing out your perm to be replaced with your natural curl pattern. A transitioning hair style is a style that masks the differences in texture, usually something involving braids or curls.

Big Chop- The point in time when someone decides to cut off their permed hair to be completely natural.

Perm- Like a perm that produces 70s style curly hair, only it makes hair straight. Once again it refers to permanently altering the state of hair chemically. I’m sure there are some technical terms that differentiate the processes, but I don’t know them cause I don’t have level 7 clearance.

Kitchen- the hair at the nape of the neck. I don’t know why it’s called a kitchen. My hypothesis is that when you get hot and sweaty right in that area the hair starts to shrivel up like bacon in a frying pan. (More knowledgeable people, am I right? Close??)

Tracks- Associated with a type of weave sewn onto a band to create strands of extensions to be sewn or glued in ones real hair.

Hope this was helpful to you.  There are countless videos on youtube that can be more thorough than I was and could probably answer your more complex questions. Even so, if you feel like asking me a question, or scientifically disproving the existence of fish, just leave a comment below….or to the side….or wherever the hell my comments bar is (I don’t play on my own freaking page, how sad is that?)

Naturally Yours,

J.R.H.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Canon, by Peter Jackson

So I’ve been meaning to make this post for a while, but of course procrastination and whatnot. As some of you may know if you’ve been paying any attention at all to the things I blog about, I am a nerd. Now to what extent you hold my nerdiness is up to your powers of perception. My hope is that you have gleaned that I am in fact a huge giant mega-nerd. So large in my nerdom that if you decided to take me down you’d employ the use of a gundam, or on the cheap end a very large cockroach.

But I digress.

I saw The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug the week before Christmas (that’s U.S. Christmas, other Christmas dates are respected, but serve no function as a time marker if they don’t take place on the 25th of December for the purposes of this blog…..I’ve been on Tumblr too long. Everything is a socially sensitive subject over there….what was I talking about?).

Right. So I saw this latest installment of The Hobbit. I saw this with my friend from out of town and my coworker/friend. Neither of them ever read the book, so they both naturally liked it. And why shouldn’t they? The film was obviously made for them. It was crafted to appeal to a broader more general audience. Not to us book worm, Tolkien fanpersons right?

Did I mention that I wasn’t pleased? Yeah I wasn’t pleased….Well that’s not entirely true. Smaug was incredible. If I had to tell you the single greatest scene in the movie, it would be Smaug and Bilbo’s conversation. I mean that’s what I was looking forward to at least, and man did it deliver. I was similarly looking forward in the first movie to Bilbo and Gollum, and that one was pretty ho hum for me, but this scene was a complete success as far as book to film goes.

I guess my end feeling then wasn’t unhappy. It was conflicted. I like fanfiction. I think it’s a great addition to canon moments in films and books, and this was definitely like watching some really dope ass fanfiction come to life.  But that judgemental, snobbity, critical fangirl part of me kept screaming CANON, CANON, CANON. Seriously, I had physical reactions to some of the scenes and I think I frightened my friends.

Admittedly, some of it was for little things that shouldn’t have bothered me but did, like the scene in the forest. It’s supposed to be pitch dark in there in the middle of day, the Wargs are their own race in cahoots with goblins (they can talk they’re not just pets, the elves don’t save them from orcs or whatever they were fighting (I can’t remember), Bilbo keeps his goddamn ring on while talking to a 6000ft dragon! Anyway you get the idea, little shit.

Other things were bigger. Enormous. Glaring slaps in the face of my childhood and love for this book. For instance Beorn, the guy that can turn into a bear, was NEVER a slave to goblins, and he could fully control himself when in bear form. And you know that really awesome fight scene with everyone floating down the river between the dwarves, the elves, and the orcs? Never happened. Never happened for so, so many reasons that I can’t in good conscience begin to speak on because this blog would get obsessively long.

So let’s see what pissed me off the most. Hmm, let me think, oh yes! Tauriel.

Shh, shhh. Before you start barking about how she was a much needed female presence in an almost exclusively male story, just listen.

First of all as an idea, she represents the giant fuck you that Jackson was hell bent on issuing to the Hobbit. “Let’s make a three movie epic out of one book,” “Let’s resurrect a dead Orc and make him a principle antagonist,” “Let’s include so many nonexistent sub-stories just to enrage the nerds.” Until finally he just said “Fuck it, I’m making my own character with absolutely no lineage from the Tolkien universe.”

The Mary Sue had this to say about the inclusion of Tauriel in this latest installment of Middle Earth. To which I say, different strokes for different folks. There’s nothing wrong with liking Tauriel. Like I said I enjoy fanfiction and OC’s are fine by me. She’s an excellent fighter, she’s funny, thoughtful, and intelligent, none of that makes her real in the Tolkien universe no matter how awesome you think she is. And her presence would hurt a lot less if she wasn’t obviously meant as a love interest for Kili. If you read The Mary Sue’s article you’ll see where she mentions Evangeline Lily refusing to do the movie if there was a love triangle angle, and how she isn’t playing into it, yada yada.

I don’t see love triangle true, but it’s very obvious there is a love story between Kili and Tauriel, whether Lily supported it or not. And in the end it’s what’s onscreen that’s going to make the difference because there is no guarantee that the vast majority of people are going to read this article or whatever interview Lily did where she spoke about this. So what I got from Jackson was, this bestselling, epic, timeless adventure can be improved with romance. And I call bollocks, but that’s because I don’t need romance to make a story better. Again, maybe it’s just me.

There are an entire host of characters that appear in the movie who have no role/or just a passing mention in the Hobbit novel. Such as Radagast the Brown, Legolas, Galadriel, and Azog(the white orc) for a start. So why don’t they make me angry? The answer is they do, but they have the decidedly redeeming characteristic of being what boys and girls? *Interminably long Dora the Explorer pause* That’s right, canon. Those guys appear in the Tolkien universe somewhere at some time.

Is it sad that there are so few female leads in the Tolkien novels? Yes. It’s also sad that the only black characters are literally black and creatures of evil. Doesn’t mean that if I had the reigns on the whole Middle Earth project that I’d just start writing in a bunch of kick ass black female characters. As a fan sure, yeah, I’d write the shit out of that, but if I procured the rights to an author’s work (a bestselling author’s work) to adapt it to film I’m not just gonna insert a bunch of stuff that never happened. I would feel some sort of duty to do right by the original text to the best of my ability. I know that film makers have to factor in broader audience appeal over a niche set of fans.

This isn’t just about editing out some scenes or transferring dialogue from one character to another, or implying a relationship here and there that canonically isn’t evident. This is the super critical nerd part of me talking now, I see now why the Tolkien estate hates the Peter Jackson films. All of this work and essentially with his choices he says that the work of a lifetime that literally has encyclopedia’s of information, ancestries, maps,  and mythology; wasn’t good enough as is. It wasn’t socially inclusive, okay. Doesn’t stop it from being awesome, and awe inspiring, and a spectacular adventure.

To summarize:

Love/Hate the movie

Love/Hate Tauriel

Love/Hate Peter Jackson

Love Smaug (of course cause I like villains)

I’ll probably buy it on blu-ray when it comes out because the idea of not spending an entire day watching all three Hobbit films then going immediately into the LoTR trilogy, which I already own, is just too painful to bear.

Quel re Mellon,

J.R.H.

Add New Post. Okay.

I haven’t been on here in umpteen days, eleventy-seven hours, and horcrux minutes. I usually don’t write quick updates, but this is mostly out of guilt for abandoning my blog. I still love my blog, but lately my thoughts seem to melt away without forming any kind of cohesiveness that can be turned into an entry. I’m working on that now.  Starting tomorrow, I’ m making myself dedicate a minimum of two hours a day to writing SOMETHING. Anything. It doesn’t matter what or the format, so long as I write.

I want it known that thus far, these are the recommended tags WordPress has suggested:

 Lord Voldemort

Relationships

S.H.I.E.L.D

Magical objects in Harry Potter

Phil Coulson

Death Watch

Marvel Comics

Panel

Two of those I get, the rest, I’m just going to assume WordPress can read my thoughts and be done with that.

Anyway, I like some of the changes that have taken in place on here. Especially with the little pop up window to read blogs you follow, that’s pretty sweet.

No thoughts to ponder, no new books or movies to review, nothing dramatic or hilarious going on in my life, just a whole lot of unbloggable blah happening. When I get my mind into a more intelligent head space again I’ll come back and regale you with the inner workings of my madness. Till then, continue to enjoy your vacation from me.

I’m going to apply all of those tags because, why the hell not?

J.R.H.

The Trouble With Love

I have a problem. Well, I have a host of problems, but we’re just going to discuss this one particular problem right now.

I use to think that, if I tried and failed at a career in writing fantasy/sci-fi novels, that I could make a decent living as a romance novelist. I spent an entire summer of my early college career reading romance novels. I was moving out of my dorm and someone left a box of books on the front desk marked FREE. So you know I was all up on that like Miley Cyrus on a wrecking ball. Inside however, to my ultimate disappointment, was a bunch of trashy romance novels.

Of course I became irrationally angry that the free stuff wasn’t what I wanted and walked off to continue the moving process.  Later that night however, my roomate was already gone, and I was bored and a little lonely. So I went back down and the books hadn’t been moved. I decided that freeness and curiosity could forgive the deed I was about to commit and I grabbed two.

The first book was small so I read through it like a breeze. There was a line in it that was literally something like “Damn, I’m in love.” I kid you not. In order to show the audience the character had fallen in love, the character literally just said it…to no one. I can forgive it, if it is a confession to someone else, but just to say it soliloquy style? Only Shakespeare can do that, and you’re not Shakespeare romance novelist whose name I can’t remember.

I believe the next one I read was a Sandra Brown book. Here’s the thing with Sandra Brown novels; if you find the right one, like I believe I read a lot of her murder mystery ones then it can be entertaining as all get out, but you only need to read one in your entire life. The plot, the protagonists, and the ending are all the same. She’s fond of making the female lead a virgin for some reason, and as part of the happily ever after someone is pregnant. That’s it. That’s every Sandra Brown novel.

I reached my limit when I was on a trip by myself and had to stay in a hotel. I went to CVS (a pharmacy/convenience store for anyone outside of america) and bought this trilogy. It was written by a well known romance novelist, whose name I can’t remember, and it was an attempt on my part to merge my favorite genre with my least favorite. It was a fantasy romance trilogy that takes place across parallel universes. Ours and one where magic and vampires exist.

You want to know how good those were? They were the last three romance novels I ever read, ever.  I’ve read some pretty good romance things written by amateurs on fictionpress.com as well as some fanfictions about characters I like, but it makes up such a small portion of my copious reading career. I mean even when I was a teenager and should have been into that sort of stuff, I just wasn’t. I need a complete story, one not centered around some “epic” love story.

In any case, after my brushes with romance stories, I thought I could definitely join one of those crap factories that produce senseless harlequin after harlequin. You know the ones with Fabio or some equivalent long haired dream boat with flowing locks and a ripped shirt on the cover.

Here’s my problem though. I suck. S-U-C-K at writing romance. It’s important to know your strengths and weaknesses. I once wrote a short story in psychology class about a man who died from a heart attack because his car got stuck on the side of the road, and while he was walking to the nearest gas station it began to rain and the man was hydrophobic. (we had to write a story about a phobia on our vocabulary list, this was when I was a teenager, and yes I know something is wrong with me) That is my wheelhouse. The slightly deranged or extremely deranged. The broken, the bad, the angst. I do that reasonably well I think. I can’t for the life of me get this whole sex scene/warm romantic moment thing down.

I tried to write a sweet drabble for my friend the other day, and it ended up being about how the romance between these two characters had failed. What the hell? I don’t know why. My mind must have some physical aversion to this strand of writing.

And I’ve been thinking about it for a while now, and realize even my daydreams about being with people I have crushes on, end terribly. Much like Sandra Brown I end up pregnant at the end, but alone. Usually because of some asshole thing my love interest has done that I simply could not forgive. I suppose this has something to do with my personal views on love, but I choose to believe it has something to do with an alien invasion. Because denial rocks!

This is a good thing though, this revelation. I started writing again so that I could improve and you have to replace your weakest link if you’re going to make a strong chain right? Despite my disparaging opinion about love and romance writing, I think a good story, a complete story, needs that element in it. If you’re going to show the berth of life and human existence you have to include all of its elements; from the seediest and the low to the redemptive and the glorious, and that gamut includes icky love stuff too.

List of things I’ve written where the story went awry:

  1. Story began: about a man and a woman who lost their mother and were trying to cope the best way they knew how. Story ended: Ghost story where the two relive over and over the night of their death after the man went crazy dug up their dead mother, then drove them off the side of a bridge.
  2. Story began: mundane story about a suburban man going to work dreaming of escaping his horribly mundane existence. Story ended: Man having a totally neutral conversation about his suspicion that his neighbors punctured his tires because he ran over their garden gnome, then he casually mentions how he murdered his wife and buried her in her parents’ backyard while they were on vacation. Out of respect of course.
  3. Story began: wrote a fanfic some years back about a video game I liked to play that was rated E for everyone. Taking place during the moments you don’t see played out for you on screen. Story ended: The story didn’t end because I never finished writing it, but it was going in an odd direction. There was a chapter where one of the characters, being worshiped as a deity, was made to walk naked to the town fountain, where she was communally bathed by everyone there.

That’s just a taste, of the things that I remember. I believe I started this entry off with I have problems, it’s your fault if you read to the end and expected a different result.

Who’s the crazy one now?,

J.R.H.

Welcome Back J.R.H.! Because I Know No One Else Will Say It

I haven’t been updating for the past few weeks. This is news to no one as I’m sure the followers I’d acquired were only doing so to make me not feel bad about myself.  It’s okay and greatly appreciated. Usually I’d make some big promise like, I’m going to blog everyday, or I’m going to do three a week to make up for the absence….

But let’s just be honest, you know and I know that I’m not going to do it. I’ll have a ton of ideas that I never fully flesh out and by the end of the week I’ll be lucky to get the mandatory 1 blog out before Sunday.

In this case though, I don’t feel guilty really because, drum roll please……

I’ve been writing!!

Yay! The whole point of me starting this blog was for me to work on my writing skills outside of an academic environment.; to express the insane thoughts my friends/acquaintances/immediate family members don’t give a crap about and quite frankly there is no segue into a conversation about running zombies vs. shuffle zombies.

I’m not going to lie though, I have been spending an inordinate amount of time on Tumblr as stated in my previous post. It’s just so fun and entertaining.  I have forsaken my, albeit limited, time that I would spend on Twitter with Tumblr now, who’s nicer to me and has awesome grammar (for the most part). Bitches love awesome grammar (for the most part).

Back to the main point. I’ve been writing!! It excites me, that I’m excited about the fact that I’ve been writing! Which is exciting. It’s nothing extraordinary. In fact it’s a fanfic, which of course means the characters and setting aren’t mine and there is a general air of losery sadness about it, BUT I’m genuinely enthused by writing it.  It was actually supposed to just be a little short story  or a long short story, but now it seems to have grown some legs. I’m not sure what my end game with it will be, but I feel inspired to write it and that is all that matters to me at the moment.

I may even start giving my on story a shot again. I started writing on it, but the little monster that lives with my muse who looks a lot like me, but has a tail and is always drinking a red bull for some reason, told me I sucked and nobody would want to read it if I ever finished.  Also that I was fat….. She’s mean.

I’m going to spare youmyself of telling what the source material of my fic is, because quite honestly I don’t need your judgement limited wordpress community. That would be….Illogical.

I gave it away didn’t I?,

J.R.H.

 

Tumlbr Down the Rabbit Hole

I’ve been cheating on you. Not you, person reading this. You WordPress. I’ve been cheating on you with a another blog website. Namely with tumblr. I know, I know. I should have told you, but it just sort of…happened?

I blame my friend, whom I refer to as Lady Bones. It’s like a gateway drug. I wanted to share a gif I found on the website with her, and since we have incompatible tech, I thought, well I’ll just sign up for one and send her this.

She was already on tumblr, the photo I wanted to share was on tumblr, it all made perfectly innocent sense. And then I started…..browsing. Just here and there at a couple of things. An actor, a scene, something funny. Then it all just got out of hand. I don’t know!

It was all just so tantalizing. They make everything so easy, one click and you’re done! You’re an individual by the conglomerate of things you choose to put on there. It’s just that simple. I don’t have to put any original content up at all if I don’t want to, and still my page is awesome. And the page customization, so quick! She was easy and brightly colored and I’m weak!! She seduced me with Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto. How was I supposed to say no to that!

Please forgive me WordPress. You see how I capitalize your name and not tumblr’s? That’s love right there. I left blogger for you, remember?! I know I have to put more work into you, but that’s what makes our relationship so special. It’s not about the glitz and the glamour and sound bites. It’s about you and I creating a life together to make something we both love….

Wait a minute….

Don’t you brag about being the most popular blog on the web? And about having over 500,000 bloggers or something like that? Why am I apologizing to you when you have no fidelity to me! I take it all back now. I’m going to keep using Tumblr. Oh you like that, yeah I capitalized it, and least she doesn’t pretend to be something she isn’t.

And that ladies and gents is my explanation as to why it took me so long to post this week. I fell into the hands of tumblr and have been unsuccessful in extrapolating myself from said hands. In any case some slightly good news, I have some blogs pre-written…or half pre-written, they’re not done yet, but the ideas are there safe and sound. Which should make for some fairly simple and quick updating this coming week.

Toodles,
J.R.H.