Archive for May, 2012

What they want, what I want

I recently posted Chapter 9 of Rhythm and the Blue Line. If you’d like, go ahead and read to catch up. There may be spoilers here. It’s okay, I can wait. 🙂


Okay, I can’t wait anymore. Hope you’re back. I spent a lot of time on this chapter, more than I expected and definitely more than I wanted. I hate having big lags between chapters, and I’m sure you all know from previous comments that my lag had its origins in Ch 7, which underwent a lot of rewriting before I finally posted, and then the 2011 holidays threw me further off track. When I could at last get to chapter 9, I was glad, but let me tell you — that first scene gave me fits (and my beta reader too, no doubt).

It was a good experience overall, though, and hopefully the next time I need to write a scene like that, I will know what to do. Feedback has been positive and all I can say to that is thanks so much. But there’s a “but.” You knew there would be, didn’t you? The “but” is summed up like this: Brody should’ve knock her dad on his ass though!

I see it as a white-knight syndrome. At the risk of spoilers (last warning), let me sum up the scene. Ryan is waiting for Brody to pick her up after work. While she waits, her father unexpectedly confronts her and accuses her of advising her younger brother to throw away a professional basketball career. An argument ensues in which Ryan’s father pulls no punches in criticizing her — he calls her best friend a slut, insults the music she creates, and says all her friends are drug addicts. Ryan doesn’t hold back on her end either, and somewhere towards the end of the to-do, Brody comes up.

Several readers have commented as the one above — they wanted Brody to step up and defend/protect Ryan. Admittedly, I could have gone that way, but why? Why can’t Ryan stand up for herself? Why does she need to be rescued? I mean, this is a young woman who has spent a long time striking out on her own path, fighting her parents’ disapproval all the way. She’s hardly a shrinking violet or damsel in distress. So I think when Ryan says to her dad, “I’m fucking finished with you!” , that’s about all that really needs to be said.

As I wrote the scene, it’s hard to tell how much of everything Brody heard. I don’t think that was intentional, but that’s how it turned out. Another reader thought Brody was too passive, especially for an athlete who plays a fast, hard game like hockey. My beta reader’s take was that athletes are disciplined; they know when to step in and when not to. Brody thought his places was not in the middle, but beside Ryan, to offer support. This is not as proactive as clocking her dad, but it doesn’t mean it was the wrong thing to do. And if Brody isn’t entirely sure what he walked in on, then I think it’s pretty reasonable that he’s not going to get between a father and his daughter. I also think it shows some respect for Ryan, that Brody knows she can handle herself. It’s not for him to step in and defend her honor — she’s capable of that herself.

So if what I wrote wasn’t what you expected, well, I guess I can’t do much about that. All the same, I hope you enjoyed it.

And I’m working on Ch 10, I promise!


New Chapter Posted

The next chapter of Rhythm and the Blue Line, Chapter 9, is now up at Literotica. It’s also up at, and at Enjoy, and feedback is always welcome!

Note on Lush: I have to post in shorter bursts there, so Ch 9 on the other sites is Chs 32-35 at Lush.


After dinner, Ryan told Brody to go while she cleaned up. He shook his head and they put away the leftovers and dishes, then he pulled her back to the living room.

“So what will we watch tonight? Food, superheroes or exploding buildings?” Ryan asked.

“I thought maybe we could listen to some music.” Brody went over to his iPod dock and turned it on. “There, how’s that?”

Ryan listened for a few beats and grinned. “Nancy Sinatra? Really?”

Brody flushed, turned around and tapped the buttons on the iPod. “What the fuck?” He gaped at the music player. “Bax, that son of a bitch! This is his iPod. I can’t believe this!” He scanned through the songs. “He switched with me! There’s all kinds of—of—I don’t know, sixties and seventies easy listening crap! Jesus, that stupid piña colada song is on here!”

Ryan laughed while he sputtered in indignation. “I thought you were trying to suggest I dress like a go-go dancer with knee-high boots.”

Brody stopped and grinned her. “I think you’d look fantastic in knee-high boots.”

“Keep dreaming.”

Brody put the offending iPod down, walked over and slid his arms around her. “Okay, you got me. Guess we’ll do without. I just thought it might be better if you wanted to talk.” He pressed his lips to her forehead. “I think you’re still upset.”

“Yeah, I am. I’m trying not to be, but I am.” Ryan let him pull her to the couch.

“I’d be upset too, you know. Your dad said some pretty lousy things.”

Out of the pop culture bubble

I love pop culture. It’s fun and funny and weird and covers a range of things — there’s pretty much something for everyone. That said, I also like what’s a little off the beaten path. Movies that don’t get huge openings, musical groups that don’t or won’t rule the charts, those television shows that are good enough to get renewed even if they aren’t water-cooler conversation.

And sometimes, I’m outside that bubble completely. Exhibit A: Reality TV. I have not watched any of it, not even way back when the only “reality TV” was MTV’s The Real World. My first reaction on learning what TRW was about was — how could these people be so desperate for attention that they would do this? At any rate, I wasn’t going to watch. I couldn’t imagine wanting people to watch me in such a situation, and so I wasn’t going to watch anyone else. So, and I say this only as a fact, I have not watched (aside from inevitable snippets) Survivor, The Bachelor/ette, Project Runway, Big Brother, nor any of the History/Discovery/A&E shows on real people in dirty dangerous jobs or real people who hoard everything. If you watch it and enjoy it, have at. I’ll just read something until you’re done.

I have to say that I would place the competition reality shows like Survivor, Dancing with the Stars, American Idol, etc., in a slightly different category. Those are basically game shows of a short and to me that’s different thanReal Housewives of [Wherever].

One of the biggest crazes I was on the other side of was Titanic. Anyone reading Rhythm and the Blue Line might remember Ryan and Brody watching a movie (The Crow, one of my all-time favorites) and Ryan delivering her opinion of Titanic: “[It’s] an overlong piece of dreck.” No offense to James Cameron, who has made some cool movies and for whom I have a great deal of admiration regarding his underwater explorations. I just recall being appalled at the gushing reaction to this movie, where so many people thought it was so romantic. Sorry, 1500 people died (including the lead guy in the movie) — that is by no means romantic, not to me. However, millions of people spent billions of dollars on tickets, etc., and so I’ll just let that one go by and remain on my little iceberg island.

The latest craze I am not participating in is EL James’ 50 Shades trilogy. There are a few reasons for this, I guess, although I admit I should reserve complete judgment until I read it. But we all read critics and as opinions and so far, I haven’t seen anything that makes me want to go read this. It’s not even the fact that it was originally Twilight fan fiction. I haven’t read any of the Twilight books (yet another pop culture item I missed/avoided, although hey, I did read and see The Hunger Games), but I’ve also read that the author made many changes and so it’s no longer what it started out as. No problem.

I did read the free sample of 50 Shades of Grey on Amazon. Um, it was okay. Over on Literotica, where I post stories for free, there’s been much railing about 50 Shades. Many are appalled that there are hard-working writers coming up with original stories that got passed over by what they see as a hack. Yes, well, that does happen and I don’t see the point in getting worked up about that. Others have said it’s so poorly written it’s laughable, although the excerpt I read seemed, I don’t know, competent enough.

My biggest problem with the sample, and which made me not care about reading more, was the beginning premise.  The heroine, Ana, goes to interview hunky CEO Christian Grey. Okay, fine. Ana’s roommate is the editor of the college paper but is too ill to conduct the interview herself. This was again, fine, until it’s revealed — Ana has no experience in stuff like this, she’s not involved in the school paper, and she knows nothing about Grey. The roommate forgets (on purpose?) to give Ana any background info.

I’m sorry, that’s just too much for me. Logic (it seems) would dictate that another member of the paper’s staff should be assigned to do this. I don’t like when characters act illogically for no apparent reason. An acquaintance who’s reading it told me that that is all explained, but I don’t want it explained. I either want it logical from the start, or I want there to be some kind of hint that there’s an explanation coming, and I got no hint of that.

I admit that likely the main reason I’m not reading it is that I have little to no interest in the BDSM relationship that I understand makes up the bulk of the trilogy. I am not down on BDSM itself, don’t get me wrong — I’m fine with pretty much anything consensual between people in a relationship. It’s not my thing, but if it works for you or someone else, fine. I’ve been told that Ana signs a contract that gives Grey control over her for something like two years. Sorry, no can do. One thing you’ve probably noticed in my stories is a sense of equality between the characters.

There’s always give and take in a relationship, so I’m not saying that in all the things I write about it’s all 50/50 between the characters. Surely one will give more and the other take more at times, whether we’re talking emotionally or sexually, but that’s how real life works. Plus some people like to be more dominant, although not necessarily to the extent of trying someone down (but hey, why not give it a try if everyone’s good with it?).

So if you’re reading 50 Shades, I hope you’re enjoying it. I may even read it myself some day, because as with Titanic, there comes a time with these pop culture phenomena where I have to see it for myself.

Just not right now. And you can’t make me. 🙂

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