Wednesday, December 6, 2017

It's Krampusnacht!

Let's not forget those old pagan traditions like Krampusnacht. Now go find yourself some naughty brats and swat the hell out of them with a switch.

And of course, Krampuss. :)

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Le Carnaval des Animaux (L'aquarium) - Camille Saint-Saen

I heard this on the 2017 USPS Christmas commercial - The Biggest Gift.

Friday, December 1, 2017

The Romance Reviews - Win A Treasure Chest Of Goodies

Want to win a treasure chest of goodies? Go to The Romance Reviews and sign up! One of the prizes includes my book No Restraint, an exciting and sexy novel about a young woman, Alex Craig, who accepts a new job at a company that makes high end, expensive sex dolls. She meets the man of her dreams, the V. P. Jackson Beale who introduces her to a life of good food, drink, love and decadence. By joining this contest, you will agree to be added to my mailing list.

Here are the prizes.

Gold chest - $60 plus all the books in the covers on the page, including mine.

Silver chest - $30 plus all the books in the covers on the page, including mine.

Bronze chest - $10 plus all the books yada yada yada.

Here is where to enter - The Romance Reviews Win A Treasure Chest Contest

Good luck to all who enter! And welcome to my mailing list. :)

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Women Who Refuse To Take Their Husband's Surnames

I found this article about women who did not take their husband's surnames upon marriage interesting and I do agree with it to some extent. I took my first husband's surname. That marriage ended in an ugly divorce. I kept my maiden name when I married my second husband, and we're going strong over 20 years later. Take all that as you like.

I kept my maiden name because it's my name. I am already known well by that name. I  used it for my past political and feminist writing. I am aware of the irony of my maiden name coming from my father – another man – but I didn't sign over my identity by changing my name upon marriage. That's how I see name changing for me personally. I already have an identity and I didn't want the hassle of changing a multitude of legal forms. I could have taken my maiden name as my middle name and my husband's name as my married name but I rejected that, too. I did that for my first marriage. Switching back and forth before and after that marriage was a pain in the ass.

The problem is that the description of men whose wives do not take their surnames as being perceived as being "less masculine"  in the article from the Independent seems to be seen as a negative thing. Far from it. How do we define what is masculine? The traditional definition seems to me to be somewhat harmful to men. Some positive attributes considered masculine include being assertive and ambitious. However, "real" men are also strong who keep their emotions in check. Big boys don't cry. Brute force is a positive thing. And what's wrong with a man being seen as more feminine? A balance between stereotypes would go a long way towards showing more humanity.

Those who decried the research (the term "hostile sexism" was thrown about) thought of men whose wives did not take their surnames were "disempowered as a result of their wife’s decision." That's a load of crap.

This statement also intrigued me: "A woman's marital surname choice therefore has implications for perceptions of her husband's instrumentality, expressivity, and the distribution of power in the relationship," explains lead author Rachael Robnett. My marriage is not traditional. The power is evenly distributed throughout our relationship. There is no God-ordained leader in my household. I'm not submissive and when I'm upset or angry I feel free to express myself without repercussions, unlike my first marriage. That's not related to whether or not I took my husband's name but due to the nature of each marriage.

I also kept my maiden name upon my second marriage because I had taken his surname for my first marriage. I had done it once and didn't see a need to do it again. I also didn't have a traditional white wedding for my second wedding. We had a nondenominational ceremony in our backyard with me in a green lace dress. The town clerk officiated. Our sons and my son's best friend attended. Then we went inside, had my chocolate sachertorte wedding cake I had baked and watched Hellraiser. Hey, there are newlyweds in that movie! It's appropriate!

I am probably viewed as non-traditional in my marriage, my actions, and beliefs. According to previous studies, "women who violate the marital surname tradition are viewed differently from others. They are described in terms of instrumental traits that in a gendered society are typically assigned to men. These include having a higher status, wielding more power, being more self-focused, ambitious and assertive. These traits contrast with the expressive characteristics that are typically assigned to women, such as being more nurturing, kind and having less influence and power." My husband freely expresses his emotions like sadness and insecurity as well as anger. Why is anger seen as a masculine emotion? I see why nurturing is seen as feminine since women traditionally have raised children, but that is not an exclusively feminine characteristic.

My point in this rambling post is that keeping my maiden name was a personal choice between me and my husband with my feelings being paramount. Maybe it reflects the dynamics of my second marriage, maybe not. I just know that traditional definitions of masculinity and femininity can be harmful to both men and women. It's time we viewed ourselves as individual human beings with our own wants and needs and not be held hostage by stereotypes.

Monday, November 27, 2017

What I Am Thankful For

Thursday, Nov. 23 was Thanksgiving in the United States. It's a holiday dedicated to when the Native Americans and American colonists broke bread together. It's a day of remembering what you are thankful for.

It's also a day of massive, bloat-worthy Triptophan turkey dinners, insane political talk from Crazy Uncle Joe at the dinner table, greedy shopping binges, and kids flushing their underwear down the toilet so that you have to pay the exorbitant Holiday fee to have a plumber unclog it. It's all about family get-togethers and good cheer in between two much pumpkin pie and copious amounts of cheap wine that loosens tongues.

I was hanging out on FARK, my favorite not-news social media aggregator, when I saw a post about "what are you thankful for today?" The comments included the usual snark like:

A couple hours ago my cat walked right up to my feet and immediately puked. I thanked her for missing my feet. But not my socks I left under my desk last night. Did make clean up easy.

My cat came up to me in bed and expressed displeasure of hosting 2 dogs by projectile vomiting on me. Intimacy, I am thankful for.

Health, familial stability, kindness and understanding. And all you assholes, I'm thankful y'all're here too.

I have weed.

I woke up again today. That was good.

Living in a country where I can buy one of those enormous containers of Utz cheese balls.

Most comments were sincere though, and they reminded me of what I am thankful for.

I am thankful that I don’t have to cook Thanksgiving dinner. If you're not American, have you ever seen a Thanksgiving dinner? There's a picture of it next to the word "gluttony" in the dictionary.

I also have weed.

I have good health and a husband who loves me very much.

I know better than to talk about religion and especially politics at the dinner table today or any other day for that matter.

My son is doing well. He has a job he loves but he needs to find his own place. He's working on that.

My husband is doing well. He's retiring in about two years. He's my soulmate. I don't know what I'd do without him.

My two blind cats. They love snuggles and petting and they keep me entertained.

I have the ability to write freely. I wish I were paid better but I have writing freedom lots of people don't have. I also get support for my writing from my family which I understand lots of writers don't have.

So on this Thanksgiving 2017, I wanted to write about what I was thankful for. I know I'm very fortunate, and I will not look a gift horse in the mouth. So now that the holiday season has started whether you live in or outside the U. S., get those lights lit and that tree up. Wrap those gifts. Enjoy the endless streams of Christmas music (or gouge your ears out with an ice pick, whichever applies). Seasonal affective disorder doesn't start for me until January so I'm going to enjoy this good mood while I can. Happy holidays, everyone!

Friday, November 24, 2017

All My Podcasts To Date

I haven't decided yet if I'm going to continue Into The Abyss With Elizabeth Black. I took a break all summer and fall and I really don't feel up to it for the holidays. I'm concentrating on my writing since I have a book I need to finish, one that needs editing, and one that needs a hell of a lot of work. In case I decide to stop doing the podcasts, here is a list of all the ones I've done so far. They include my show Into The Abyss With Elizabeth Black and my other show The Women Show.

Into The Abyss With Elizabeth Black

Josh Malerman

Sephera Giron and Cal Orey

Billie Sue Mosiman, Sephera Giron, Nikki Guerlain, Dana Fredsti (259 listens in 4 days)

Tom Deady (60 listens in 3 days)

Bennet Pomerantz (34 listens 2 day; maybe 109 on 3rd day)

Walt Bost (47 listens 2 days, 18 3rd day)

The Women Show

Gina Kinkade

Trent Zelazny

Christine Morgan

Brian M. Sammons

Madeleine Shade

Joe R. Lansdale

Leigh M. Lane

Jen Winters, Phoenix Johnson, Christine Morgan

Jack Ketchum

Broad Universe – Terri Bruce, Morven Westfield, and Trisha Wooldridge

Cherry Wild, Sophia Soror – Fairy Tales Show

Loren Rhoads (last show – July 21, 2016)

Blog Talk Radio Shows With Marsha Casper Cook

Valentine's Day – Me, Melisssa Keir, Lindsay Downs, Bernard Foong, Walter J. Bissett, William Maltese,.

Joe Lansdale, Trent Zelazny, Christopher Beck, Brian Moreland (Brent Millis was invited but never showed)

Trent Zelazny

Madeleine Shade, Dellani Oakes, Melissa Kier

Cree Walker, Sharita Lira, Angelica Dawson, Gina Kincade

Naughty Nights Press Authors

Trent Zelazny, Dana Fredsti

Madison Montgomery, Dawne Prochilo, Brindle Chase, Kathleen Tighe, and Jean Joachim

Nikki Guerlain, Lori Wolfe Safranek

Daniel Knauf

Romance Is In The Air – Romance Authors

Dellani's Tea Time

Dellani Oakes, Viv Drewa, Jo Ramsey

Anything Goes

Elizabeth Black, Melissa Keir, Leeann Sontheimer Murphy and Yvonne Mason

Elizabeth Black (me as guest)

Elizabeth Black (me as guest)