An Anniversary Message

They say marriage is about sparks,
About that someone who in the dark
Sets your mind and loins aflame.
But isn’t that meager? Lame?

I’ve learned in this blissful year
That’s it’s more like cracking a beer
Open and accepting farts
Are made by those with good hearts.

So while I take a hot shower,
You grunt on the throne with power.
It’s the sign of your loving care
That you keep pooping and don’t stare.

Happy Anniversary!*

This was written for Chel Owens’s A Mused Poetry Contest for 2 October 2020. I got my idea from these stupid things online about how “I wish everyone would realize love is about little things like snuggling or getting to the point where you don’t care about each others’ farts!”

Yeah, maybe you’re right, but it’s also just not terribly fun to think about in terms of romance. So here I go, making fun of those things.

*It’s not my actual anniversary.

Photo by Designecologist on Pexels.com

Book Review: Outlander

Way back in 2018, back when I was young and fresh, I read The Time Traveler’s Wife. I was disappointed because Outlander had been checked out at my library by other people and the wait list was so long that I was convinced I’d never get it.

Well, it finally became available, at long last!

And then it turned into the first book I’ve absolutely refused to finish since Thoreau’s Walden in high school.

The Book

51prw27sxwl-_sy346_Outlander
Author: Diana Gabaldon
1991
Amazon Link

Before you wonder why I even started this novel, I want you to realize that I thought it was about a time traveling WWII nurse who went back to 18th century Scotland and re-invented and produced antibiotics. I was excited for a novel to include details about bioprocessing and medical knowledge.

lol

A Crappy Review

The book started alright. I thought it was a little weird that there was a sex scene with Frank, husband of Claire, but that wasn’t too bad. I knew there was a significant romance portion of this book.

But then she went back in time and got humped by Frank’s ancestor. There were lots of times when Claire was threatened, nearly killed, imprisoned, etc. because she was a single woman in a terrible situation, but the juxtaposed insistence that she was “strong and independent” and her absolute melting whenever anything she wanted crossed paths with a man just felt so wrong. It made me wonder what the point of the novel was.

Then Claire was forced to suddenly marry the main love interest, Jamie, and it just turned into a massive pile of smut. I kept going, thinking maybe it would be done soon, but then the love interest raped her while they were at a camp with other men. I was like “WAAAT” because I get furious at rape scenes. But I was like, “Well, perhaps this was a one-off thing, and she did start saying she liked it after he went too far. Let’s give it some… fuck, 1990’s slack? It’s just an awful book. Push through it.”

Then the next scene, Jamie punishes Claire for “making him look bad,” when what actually happened was she saved his life. He spanks and rapes her, definitely against her will. At this point I thought, “Maybe he wasn’t the main love interest, and in the next chapter she kills him.”

When the next chapter had Claire melt into thinking it was her fault and she had to do what Jamie and the other men said, I was like, “No. No, if you don’t slice him to pieces and run back to the standing stones, this book is stupid and I refuse to read further.”

And so I quit. I have no idea who this book is written for, and I can’t make any suggestions. I think the messages contained within the book are terrible for anyone, male or female, and it was definitely not about producing sulfa drugs like I’d wanted it to be.

1/5 Discoball Snowcones, But only because 0 isn’t an option

1 Discoball Snowcones

SPOILERS AHOY

I didn’t finish the book, so I can’t really give spoilers. However, I looked up the rest of the plot before I finally decided that I could never finish it.

After the aforementioned rape and beating scene, I looked through the plot and found out there was definitely a male-male rape scene. I was like, “What the eff, this book is straight up erotica and smut the whole way through.”

How didn’t I know this beforehand? How did I get led so astray?

Next week:

First, in about an hour another book review will be popping up on my site: Where the Crawdads Sing. Stay tuned for that – it’s fantastic!

Book Review: Pride and Prejudice

Last year, I did a little survey whimmajig about the 100 books to read before you die. I decided to make a dent in that.

One book EVERYONE seems to have read in high school that I completely missed was Pride and Prejudice. My high school was weird, so that’s my excuse.

The Book

prideprejudice423x630Pride and Prejudice
Author: Jane Austen
1816
Project Gutenberg Link

I got my copy of this book from the library. It’ll be my second true romance book, but I think it was published too long ago to be sordid or contain many instances of the word ‘cock,’ so I’m not really sure what I’m supposed to be expecting here. I know that many consider Mr. Darcy to be swoon-worthy, but I’m not sure why yet.  Let’s find out!

Non-Spoiler Review

I’m still not a romance person, so this book probably wasn’t the kind I’d read for my own enjoyment. Even so, I found it often witty and always passably good. One line I think I laughed aloud at was when a woman set out to “accidentally run into him [her beau].” I thought that was pretty witty, and it made me feel more connected to this time frame.

Front and center was the ridiculousness of much English pre-Victorian niceties. The ideas of inheritance presented here seemed stupid to me, when Mr. Bennet had at least 2 rather capable daughters who could have easily dealt with everything. I had quite the time figuring out what it meant to be entailed, and I’m still not 100% sure I’ve got that concept right. Either way, my favorite part of this book was learning more about English customs at the time.

Also interesting to me was the main character. I didn’t expect to like Elizabeth so much, but I did. It was interesting, I thought, to have a book from this period with such a feminine focus. The men felt more like forces, almost like weather, and the wiles and whims of the ladies all that mattered. I didn’t know books like this existed so long ago, and I found this one to be strangely feminist. The characters were definitely exploited and considered – sometimes in a very straightforward manner – to be inferior to their husbands or other males, but the women were often the only characters that felt three dimensional. It was really a bizarre experience.

Overall, this was far better than I expected it would be.

4/5 Discoball Snowcones

4 Discoball Snowcones

SPOILERS REVIEW

Dare I need a spoilers review?

Maybe – I didn’t know what the climax would be before I read the book, though I was aware that the goal was to get Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy together. You may disagree, but I thought Lydia’s engagement to Wickham was such a nice climax/twist. Right when Elizabeth figured out that Wickham was wicked (lol, the alliteration), her younger sister fell into his trap! There was a lot of focus on the value of female purity and virginity in those passages, but it was still a shocking event.  Well played, Austen, well played.

I also liked how much of the book was about Elizabeth’s perceptions of Mr. Darcy. Who he really was didn’t matter so much as who she thought he was, and it was intriguing to see that perception change. I almost felt like my perceptions changed with hers, and it was so weird! Sleuthy Elizabeth was such a delight.

Even so, I found the ending where Elizabeth finally said yes to Mr. Darcy’s proposal to be… cliche. It might not have been at the time, but I found it a bit groan-worthy. Even though Elizabeth knew him to be honorable, kind, and generous, I still didn’t think they’d spent enough actual time together to make a good guess on their match.

Next week:

We’ll be jumping into a new month and new theme! I’m really excited about this next one, so be sure to stick around!

The Bicycle Outside

vintage-1149558_1280

I pulled the hood of my jacket up and knocked on the door. Her bike was locked on the rails, so she was home. I swallowed my fear.

“Yes?” she asked, opening the door. Her jaw was somewhat square, but I couldn’t let that stifle my bravery.

I coughed. “I live across the street, and I noticed your bike. Uh, it’s cool.” I wiped my brow sweat away. “I like bikes. You want to go riding in the country this weekend? I’ll drive.” Why’d I say that? I hated biking.

She smiled. “With me?”

I nodded.

“I’d love to.”

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This was written for the Carrot Ranch’s November 21st Flash Fiction Challenge: Romance. So, I am terrible at romance, but I remembered this award-winning (haha! I am so proud!) poem/post that I made back in July. That poem left everything unrequited, so I decided to write a follow-up in which the speaker braved up. The “square jaw” is supposed to hint that the female character has transitioned, which was inspired by North Carolina’s extremely transphobic HB2 law (now defunct). One day I should write a post about that and why a repealed bill is still important!

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay