Happy New Year!

Can you believe it is already January 5, 2014 already?  Time does run away from us if we are not vigilant.  I have several wonderful ideas to blog about.  I come up with them in that twilight time when I am falling asleep.  They are wonderful ideas and I often compose much during this time.  Too bad that there isn’t something there to record those ideas as I fall asleep.  When I wake in the morning, they are often little more than dreams that I do not remember.  Sometimes I do remember, but I still do not write them down before I get on with my day and forget them.  I need to work on that.  I already have the note book and pen by the bed.   *shakes head* I just need to use them.    

One idea was my thoughts on all of the end of year “Best of” lists.  How subjective can something be?  I read several of these lists. Few had any of the same authors or titles on them.  If there was one or two, it was no where near the same place on another list. Many of the titles and/or authors I had neither heard of or read.  A few I had, but I was very surprised at how many I had not.  I always thought I was a voracious reader.  But these lists make me wonder.  Than a few of my friends posted how many books they read last year.  That also made me wonder.  Am I really little more than average?  Well, average in the group I have chosen to be a part of anyway.  And that brings me to the next subject that has floated in my mind the past few days.

Babylon 5!  I own this series on DVD.  It is a favorite, but I had not watched in a couple of year.  This past week I spent much time watching it.  I like to watch something while I am crafting.  This week I was cross stitching quilt blocks.  Both were enjoyable activities for me.  Anyway, my Babylon 5 marathon was very thought provoking for me this time around.  I picked up on just how many times the Universe was mentioned as an entity and/or deity.  This belief is something I have been looking into for sometime now.  I have found validity in the belief.  Putting something out to the Universe has actually worked for me.  So finding this concept buried in a Science Fiction program like Babylon 5 was surprising, and not surprising to me.  Surprising in that I actually made note of the references during this viewing.  Not surprising because this seems the perfect forum to promote such a belief for those astute enough to note it.  

Now you may be asking why I am combining these two very different sounding ideas in the same blog.  One of the things I put out into the Universe was how to make my love of reading work for me.  This has lead me to making friends with reviewers and writers and following many of their blogs.  Hence the look at the “Best of” lists and just how subjective they are.  

I read and watch what I like.  What makes my list, will not make your list.  My tastes are very eclectic!  Most of the reading lists I looked at were Erotic romance based.  However, Babylon 5 is Sci-Fi.  Two different genres, but I love both.  Yes I read Erotic Sci-Fi Romance and I watch Romance as well as action adventure.  (The Erotic video world leaves much to be desired, so I usually read my “porn” rather than watch it. But that is another blog topic for another time.)  Hence, “Best of” lists are very much the opinion of the writer of the list depending on their taste and what they have had time to read that year.  My question is, “How can we give much validity to these lists, then?”  

I actually found the lists a bit frustrating, just because I hadn’t read most of the titles on the lists.  Yes, I felt a bit intimidated because there was so many titles I hadn’t heard of, let along read.  But, also because there were many titles that sounded good and that I wanted to add to my tbr list.  (Ha!  Maybe is the answer to my question. To sell more books.) This is frustrating because that list is already nearing the four digit range in number of titles.  I just do not have the time to read as fast as I acquire more titles. FRUSTRATING! Especially when I do viewing marathons so I can work on my crafts.  I need to work on a schedule to do all of it, because here it is January 5, 2014 and I have yet to finish a book.  I currently have a couple of good ones going, I just need to finish them.  One that note, I am going to go read a book!

Sliding Into the Abyss

When I started this blog I had the vague idea that I would do some book reviewing.  I read so much, and I don’t like many of the reviews that are out there.  I mean really, there is a blurb, and often and excerpt, on the book.  Why do I want another persons’ take on what the book is about?  I want to know how the book held their interest. Did the book engage their imagination?  Bring them into the story and make them feel like part of it?  A few reviewers do this, but not many, without the rewriting of the blurb.  (My thoughts on that –  writing a book report as proof of reading the story.)  So – why not write my own reviews, my way?  

I haven’t done much of that so far.  Working on that.  It isn’t that I don’t read the books, but more like I get so involved in reading the books and going on to the next one, that I forget to write the review.  Then when I think about it, a myriad of other excuses arise and it doesn’t get done.  Working on that too. 

Anyway, today I want to tell you about a series of books that I have been enjoying.  It is by an author I found on a blog called One Handed Writers.  That is a really fun blog with several different writers sharing thoughts on any number of subjects from rants about banning books to promoting their latest release, and anything in between.  Well one day “thedeltonian” was the featured blogger of the day.  She went on this wonderful rant about inspiration or where ideas may come from.  She has a very twisted mind, which is disturbing because I actually followed her train of thought.  Anyway this twisted thought process led to the title, Sliding Into the Abyss by pen Echo Chambers.  This rant, on it’s own, inspired me to find this series of books and give them a try.  I mean, if she could entertain me with this rant about thought process, what could she do with an entire series of books?

Series Blurb: Echo Chambers presents: Sliding Into The Abyss. A BDSM Series for adult readers only. Contains graphic scenes.
It all started simply enough, an overheard exhibitionist fantasy, a witnessed tryst involving a light spanking and sex in front of an imaginary audience. Then came the offer they couldn’t refuse: repeat the scene in front of an actual audience and you can save your jobs – and the business of Fran and Lou Evans, their kind-hearted bosses. 
In order to prevent layoffs, Matt Tanner and Sue Braden, the clandestine lovers, find themselves throwing BDSM parties in the building’s lower floor – a former nightclub, now without a tenant – for the rental fees it brings to Fran and Lou. Soon they become familiar with a whole new vocabulary: sensation play, Dom and sub, exhibitionism, voyeurism, bondage and discipline, St Andrew’s Cross … and “penance” a penalty imposed by their new clientele upon each other, one that the members of that group will do almost anything to avoid.
But the secret gets out, and other employees enter into the mix. Alternately amused, baffled, and horrified at the situation, and desperate to keep Fran and Lou from discovering their shenanigans, they wander through a world not their own, and find that the magnetic pull of the taboo has them slowly Sliding Into The Abyss.

Hence, Sliding Into The Abyss: Episode 1 – To Spank or Not To Spank was located and read.  (Blurb: Faced with layoffs, employees Matt and Sue receive an offer from a savior — or could he be the Devil — named Mr Nathaniel Tielson. In exchange for putting on a show, he’ll provide business for the floundering firm. Desperate, they take the first step that starts them Sliding into the Abyss.) Yep!  Loved it.  Engaging story. Interesting characters that I would like to know and be friends with.  Nicely paced.  Left me wanting more.  Fortunately, I knew going in that this was a series. So, I was not surprised that there wasn’t a real end, but thankfully, there wasn’t a cliffhanger either.  There was enough here that I got the rest of the currently available series, Episode 2 – Turnabout, (Blurb: After the ‘success’ of their first show, Mr. Tielson requests a second, but not the same as the first. Matt and Sue pursue ideas which draw co-workers Hans and Angela closer to the slippery slope. They have high hopes for their show, but a mistake shows them that what they’re getting involved in has a darker side.) Episode 3 – St Andrew Regrets, (Blurb: This week, Lady Godiva and Sin — who perpetrated ill on Matt the previous Friday — will begin to pay their ‘penance’. And Sue’s angry. All that’s left is for Matt and Sue to work out a new act. Fortunately, someone owes them a favour. Meanwhile, Angela’s slide continues apace, as a chance she takes leads to an comparable thrill. And Kim is faced with a decision: should she put a kibosh on the downstairs activities once and for all?) and Episode 4 – Seek and Ye Shall Find (Blurb: Angela takes her new found hobby to the next level with Bethany; the hosts of the BDSM club get a new addition from the staff of the upstairs business, but will the Friday show prove too much for the newcomer?).  

These are Novella length (80 – 102 pages) stories.  Each spans about a week’s time and builds upon what has come before.  The same cast of characters appears in each, with introductions of new characters, as needed, as the story progresses.  The way this is written reminds me of the series of old, with a new chapter each week.  (Unfortunately, timetable for this appears to be a new chapter once a month.) Same cast, but a new adventure.  As titles indicate, these adventures tend to be of the sexual kind, kinky sexual kind, and get more dramatic and exciting with each chapter.  

I love how the author has written this!  She gives us an exciting adventure, but leaves us wanting to come back for more.  This is not for those who get bent out of shape because there is S.E.X. in the book.  Because there is not only S.E.X. in the book, there is KINKY S.E.X. in the book.  As the story progresses and we learn more about the characters, we are also learning more about the world of BDSM.  This author is educating the cast of characters, and maybe even the reader, with questions and answers throughout the story.  It is well done.  

I really think all my kinky, smutty friends will like this and should give it a read.  

Hurtful people

Question – Why do people think it is their right to trash other people?  If you don’t like something, turn it off!  Stop reading it!  Leave it alone!  Walk away!  But to berate someone else just because you do not agree . . .  Really, how sad can you be?  

I have many author friends.  They write in many different genres, but I will admit that there is a heavy presence of Erotica.  I like this genre.  It happens to be the only place I get any excitement in my life.  I enjoy it.  However, I will admit, occasionally, I will come across something I do not like and/or downright offends me.  Do I write a scathing review castigating this poor author for being a degenerate?  Of course not.  I quit reading the book, delete it from my files, and move on.  Done!  Over with!  

So why are my friends lamenting because some idiot has to publicly announce they think – whatever.  My opinion, these “bad reviews” is simply the reviewers way of dealing with a guilty conscience about reading such “smut” and probably enjoying it.  I mean really? How do they know the story is immoral if they didn’t read it?  How do they know that questionable acts happened if they didn’t read it? But, if they were so offended by this, why did they continue to read it?  And then further, to announce to the world that they did read it?

These authors are only sharing stories.  They don’t advocate that one goes out and does anything they write about.  In fact, most of them adamantly advise “don’t do this at home” type warnings.  Most authors in erotica post warnings about what is in their books and advise that if you are offended by this content, not to read it.  So why are you reading it in the first place?  

Do you want to know what offends me?  The blood and gore in a Steven King novel.  I no longer read Steven King.  I find the wars of Clive Cussler disturbing, so I do not read him.  Oh my.  These are HUGE, number one, best selling authors.  But tell me, are these guys sick because they make a living writing stories about blood, guts, war?  In my mind I wonder.  Such violence!  How can a sane person have that kind of stuff going on in their mind?  And how can sane people actually pay to read this stuff?  Makes me shutter. So why are the other genres any different when it comes to what people will and do read and write?  This is fiction folks!  Make believe! Read it or don’t!  But no one has died and made you the sensors of everyone’s mind.  

It is my contention that writing a bad review, or trashing an author or anyone on Facebook, Goodreads, or in any other of the various forums to be found on the internet today, only shows your stupidity and narrow mindedness!  

Yes!  On my personal blog I am trashing the ignorant and intolerant people who feel it is their right to trash others.  But no one reads my blog.  And if you do, (thank you) it is your choice.  Read it or don’t.  Comment or don’t.  Agree, or don’t.  But this is between you and me.  I am not trashing you all over the internet.  I am venting on MY blog.  

You are in my thoughts!

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I learned something today.  In the Victorian era, flowers had meanings.  Well I knew that, kind of.  But, today I learned what the Pansy meant when sent to someone.  The Pansy means, you are in my thoughts.  Isn’t that beautiful?  I really like that!  The Pansy has always been special to me!  Not only is it a rather pretty flower, but it is really rather hardy and strong.  I have never liked the bad rap that has been given the Pansy.  They are not weak!  Why is someone called a Pansy if they weak?  It has never made much sense to me.  Personally, I am proud to call myself Pansy!  I only wish I were as strong and beautiful as the flower.  But alas, all I can say is, you are in my thoughts.

Not very babbly

I gave my blog this wonderful title, “Babbling Brook” and what do you know?  I find myself a blank page and can’t think of what to write.  Sometimes I will lay in bed at night and things will come to me, but by morning when I sign on to the computer they are gone.  And here I sit, tapping at my keyboard, wondering what to write now.  How very sad.  I know I have much to say.  Really I do.  But what do I really want to say?  That is the question.

I love to read.  Read all the time, when I can get away with it.  I just finished Taming Cross by Ella James.  It was okay.  Didn’t like it as well as Selling Scarlet, but I finished it and I am looking forward to the next book, Unmaking Marchant.  I thought that was an interesting title since this trilogy is about the friends – Lizzy, (aka Scarlet) Cross, and Suri.  Although, Marchant has been a presence in each of the books.  From the blurb, maybe it is because there is so much more to uncover about Marchant than Suri.  We already know a lot about Suri’s past and I just knew by the end of Taming Cross that Suri had to be getting together with Marchant.  I mean, the next book had be Suri’s HEA, and Marchant was just too prominent.  Had to happen.  

Anyway, why was Taming Cross just okay?  I wasn’t very fond of the way the POV kept switching.  It seemed to mess with the flow and/or the pacing.  It didn’t really work for me.  I found it a bit distracting.  I could see why it was done.  We did kind of need to know what was going on with both Cross and Merri.  But it just didn’t flow well.  The overall story was good.  The way the characters grew and learned to like themselves and deal with what live has dealt them was interesting.  But, I frankly had to talk myself into finishing this book.  It was by no means a page turner, in spite of the plot.  You would think that excusing a girl who has been sold to a Mexican cartel as a sex slave would be more very exciting.  But this just wasn’t.  It was like listening to a shell shocked victim telling their story in a dead monotone.  No emotion.  Just getting the story out.  I certainly hope that Unmaking Marchant is better story telling than this one was.  

Okay, that was the book of the day.  I am also participating in Kim Harrison’s read along of the Rachel Morgan Hollows series.  I have this series a couple of times already, but it is fascinating to read it with the author and get some of her insights into the characters.  It is really a lot of fun.  

What am I going to read next?  Haven’t decided.  I have only about a thousand books on my tbr (to be read) list, so there is a few to chose from.  I will never catch up!  

And I am feeling like I want to do some quilting.  I haven’t done any for a good long time, and I have several started.  Maybe some day I will finish one or two.  I know I have a couple of nieces who wishes I would.  They were supposed to be wedding presents.  *sigh*  Maybe for the twentieth anniversaries.  I am so bad about that.  I had hoped to continue in my grandmothers tradition of a quilt to commemorate weddings and births.  I managed births until a couple years ago.  I have fallen behind there too.  (Baby quilts are so much easier and faster than wedding quilts.)  So I really need to act on this feeling and work on some quilts!  It would be more productive than making another pair of socks.  Everyone already has socks!  

So I will leave you with that.  I am off to dig in my quilting stash to see what I can find to play with.  

Y’all have a wonderful!  Until next time . . . 

Welcome to the Babbling Brook

My mind wonders all over the place, when it isn’t shut down.  I imagine everyone’s does.  This morning I woke up with this story partially formed in my feeble mind and wondered where it came from.  I have never been a writer.  I love to read and follow many published writers.  But to write myself?  That is a very scary thought.

This is not the first time that I woke up with ideas floating in my head.  But, this morning was the most complete group of ideas I have had yet.  It even sounded like something I might like to read.  Quirky and fun with more twists and turns than a mountain road.  Now how weird is that for someone who doesn’t write?

This is something I haven’t consciously dreamed about.  I mean, what do I know about writing?  Just what I have read.  But wait!  Some of what I have read lately has been really BAD!  The most recent example was a story with a basic subject that I usually enjoy, but this one I could barely bring myself to more than scan, it was that boring.    Let’s hope I can do better than that!

Then there are the works that are so badly edited that one wonders why the author does not use spell check, have any other editing tools available before publishing, or if they even bother to proofread what they have written.  I know I can to better than that.

Either way, I have come to the conclusion that writing a blog may be a good first step, not to mention practice, in the art of writing.  As the title of this blog indicates, you are likely to find most any topic discussed here.  From what I dreamed last night, (this morning) to a review of the book I recently read.  Did I mention I read A LOT?

So, please, enjoy the trip.  Who knows where we might end up!