Friday, 22 July 2016

Frankie and Johnny

The movie came out in 1991. I saw it in the cinema.
What I didn’t realise until this week when Garry Marshall died, was that it was yet another of his amazing movies, may he rest in peace.
I just watched the trailer to remind myself, but it looks like a romantic comedy. Two people who work in a diner fall in love. He - Al Pacino - is the chef chasing the waitress - Michelle Pfeiffer. He says in the trailer that they should be married and that they definitely should have kids. They are fated to be together because of the Frankie and Johnny song. Nathan Lane is her BFF and he’s funny and adorable as always.
Garry Marshall made some of our favourite romances and this one sticks in my memory for another reason.
It was 1991. I was in my twenties.
There is a scene… spoilers for those who haven’t seen it… where Franky tells him she can’t have children because of something her abusive ex did to her.
But this scene… oh, my god this scene. It hit some woman in the audience in a way that she was not prepared for.
She … sobbed. Loud, heart rending sobs.
Her heart… oh, my god, her heart. I am a sympathy crier. And I’m crying now just remembering how distressed this woman was and it was a very long time ago.
And we all knew. It was her. She was seeing her story on that screen and she was not ready for it. It smacked her sideways.
Stories can do that. The best ones do. They resonate.
But I have always regretted that I was so paralysed; stuck in my seat when all I wanted to do was get up, find that woman and give her a hug because by God, she needed it.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016


I don’t own an e-reader but I do use several on my computer: I read books in pdf’s on adobe, Kobo and kindle apps. They also work on my phone. It’s a Samsung.
But… I keep forgetting I have Kobo. I find the app difficult to use, to search, to read on.
So when push comes to shove, I go for the kindle app.
I also listen to some books on audio as I walk my steps around the suburb. But again, this is Audible, an Amazon affiliate.  Plus, if I already own e-books, the audio books are much less to purchase.
Tonight I nearly purchased an audio three book deal that I already owned on Kobo.
I’m not sure why this is. They send me offers, they try so hard. Perhaps because I find the Kobo app less easy to use? I don’t know. If I had a Kobo reader, I’m sure I would have a different opinion. I don’t normally buy things in app, though.
As it was, it was Goodreads that saved me from paying twice for a book series I already owned. I really don’t have the funds to pay for the same thing twice.
But this week, I will be doing my walks to classic novels. With the Amazon whispersync option, if you already own a kindle book, they will sell you the audio book for $2.99 regardless of the original price. So I will be walking as people read me the Mysteries of Udolpho and the Bronte books.
And I can’t feel bad about that.

Friday, 10 June 2016

it's my sixth anniversary

I wrote this post back in 2013, but it still works. Except that 'What was she doing?' is now on the fave list of 1469 fanfiction readers and pushes it down to fifth place. It has over half a million hits.

June 9th. On this day back in 2010 I posted the first chapter of a little story called ‘What was she doing?’ My first attempt at writing fanfiction and the start of my obsession with putting the characters Paul and Bella from Twilight, together. It is little, too - just under 30,000 words. At least compared to some things I write now.
banner by lapushstarlight

The title is actually the first line of the story. I am utterly hopeless at thinking of fic titles. If you save a document in Microsoft Word it defaults to name it whatever the first line is. That was the rough draft name and it just stayed, then it spawned a whole set of W stories after that. It is on the favourite list of 999 people at fanfic. That puts it at fourth in that list. Not bad for such a little story.
Some days I look at it and think it begs to be rewritten, but if I started doing that with my old stories I would never write anything new. I’d be trapped in an endless cycle of rewrites. And in a way, it is a view of me back then; my style, my mistakes and things that I would write differently if I wrote them now. It’s historic MTR. I still get reviews from people who love it and take the time to tell me that, and I really appreciate that.

So I will pour myself a glass of wine tonight, toast that story and all the people who read it, and remember how it started my continuing obsession with writing.
Thank you all.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

I’ve heard he’s an exceptional lover

In one sentence is the spark of a story. Ignite.

Mission: Write a story, a description, a poem, a metaphor, a commentary, or a memory about this sentence. Write something about this sentence.

Be sure to tag #writeworld in your block!
“I’ve heard he’s an exceptional lover,” her sister whispered in Andrea’s ear as they waited for Prince Robert to enter the room. The disturbance at the door indicated that his party had arrived.
“How did you hear that?” Andrea asked. No reply, other than a smirk. The only rumour Andrea had heard was that he had come to ask for her sister’s hand. As the elder of the two it was appropriate. Andrea didn’t envy her. She was not ready to leave her home nor was she ready to marry at seventeen. Just as well her sister was the beautiful one and got all the attention.
Robert strode through the crowd. It parted easily in front of him. He looked regal and dangerous. A big man with broad shoulders. And then he took off his helmet. Brigid stifled her gasp. Robert had clearly been struck across the face with a sword. The scar stretched from his cheek, over a ruined nose and up to his forehead. The marks where it had been stitched were visible. He stood, waiting for the moment to pass.
Andrea wondered if the rumour had been started to make up for his looks. He had a beard, like most men in society but he kept it neatly trimmed; it could have covered some of the scar but he hadn’t bothered. He was at ease with how he looked.
Her sister was not. The negotiations broke down. Robert and his advisors left in a huff. It was too late to ride for home but they would be gone in the morning and any hope of an alliance went with them.
Andrea found her father staring out one of the tall windows. Peering past his shoulder, she could see Robert’s camp. “She refuses him,” he said without turning around.
If Brigid had listened to news rather than gossip, she would have known how important this alliance was to the kingdom’s security. Robert fought well. His soldiers loved him. Andrea wasn’t sure if that made him a good leader, or a better man, but it did make him a formidable ally and an even more dangerous enemy. She knew her sister would not be swayed by such arguments.
Her father’s shoulders were tight with tension and his face etched with worry. She had to do something, so she put on a hooded cloak and snuck out of the palace to the camp. His guards stopped her. “I-I need to speak to Prince Robert.”
“Speak?” One chortled. “A little thing like you.” He leaned in too close to her face. “He’ll eat you for dinner.”
“Long past dinner,” said the other. “More like a midnight snack.”
They laughed wickedly.
“Now!” she demanded. Fear overcoming her nervousness.
Her voice carried and a man walking past took a second look at her. Robert’s second, Laurence, ordered the guards back to their posts, and took her to his leader’s tent. “I apologise Princess Andrea, but you should not have come unattended.”
Too frightened to speak, she held tightly to the edge of her cloak and just nodded.
“He is not in a good mood,” he added.
Robert was sprawled on the floor of his tent.
“You have a visitor.” Laurence did not announce her name. She glanced at him but he shook his head and motioned that she stay in the opening.
“Not a woman.” Robert groaned. “This is your fault for starting that stupid rumour. I need wine.”
“No,” said Laurence. “And it’s not a rumour if it’s true.” He kicked Robert in the side. “Get up and bow to the princess.”
“What?” Maybe he’d already had some wine. He seemed slower to Andrea. “What princess?”
“God’s blood, Robert.” Laurence threw up his hands and sat hard in the camp chair. He waved at Andrea to enter.
Robert rolled over to his knees and looked at her. “Huh,” was all he said.
She had never been so insulted in her life. “How dare you?” she demanded. “I came here to make you an offer that will hopefully get both of our kingdoms out of this mess and you can’t even be bothered to greet me appropriately.”
Robert glanced at Laurence, who had his arms crossed and an ‘I told you’ look on his face.
“What offer?” Robert asked.
“To marry me, but I am inclined to withdraw it now.”
“Please don’t,” muttered Laurence. “She came alone,” he added for Robert’s benefit. “I’d suggest her father does not know she’s here.”
“Exactly. I may be the poorer choice in beauty but it could work. If I return, no further harm is done.” Andrea brushed down her skirts nervously, knowing she really was second best. “If I don’t return it could enhance your … reputation  to say I was held here until I accepted.”
Laurence sat forward in the chair. “Clever.”
“Why would I do that?” Robert said. He rose to his feet and made an abrupt gesture. “I would never stoop to such vile behaviour. I’d rather walk into the castle and ask for your hand properly.”
“Oh,” she said.
Laurence snorted. He rose, clapped his hands together and said, “Great. I’ll cancel the order to leave in the morning. You have ten minutes.”
Robert blinked at Andrea. He had just understood that he had accepted her offer. “Please sit, Princess.” He waved at the chair. “Wine?”
She shook her head to both.
“I was rude and I apologise. I know what it is to be judged by your looks. I was not pretty before this.” He waved at his face.
She nodded warily. “Is it hard to breathe?”
“Only when I am ill.” He reached out a hand to her.
She took it and he wrapped the second one around it, drawing her closer. She felt how big and rough his hand was but also how gentle. He smiled down at her. The scar did not affect his mouth as he pressed her knuckles against his lips. “Are you sure about this?” he asked.
Laurence had said the rumour was true and it worried her. “I know nothing of love. What if I am not good enough?”
He frowned at her, and his brown eyes looked worried. “Let us find out. May I kiss you?”
She nodded.
When Laurence returned, he had to clear his throat loudly. They pulled apart. Andrea was very glad that she still had her cloak on and that Laurence could not see where Robert’s hands were. They were cupping her buttocks and holding her in so tight against him that it made her knees weak, which coincidentally made her lean against him harder.
Laurence offered her his arm and she needed it to walk without tripping as he escorted her back to the palace.
In the morning, Prince Robert threw open the chamber doors and demanded his princess. Brigid paled. Andrea stood to move towards him. The King opened his mouth to protest and then shut it again.
“Princess Andrea,” Robert said as he dropped to his knees in front of her, his face transformed in adoration. She placed one hand on the top of his head and leaned down to kiss his forehead. Then, whatever he said to her, made her laugh and everyone could see the woman she would become and that she, too, was transformed.

Monday, 16 May 2016

May update

So I have been taking things a little easier after writing 92k in April. Reading a lot. 122 books already this year. Check out my pinterest page here:
I have been doing more work on the poly threesome story that I should NOT be writing. Bad, bad brain. I read a very short erotica story that I did a Goodreads review of and said something about how there could be a really good story in there if they had dealt with all the conflict that they had just glossed over. And then, because I can’t help myself, I started to write it. Ideas come from literally everywhere.
Naturally, one of the guys has morphed into a paulish dude. (My favourite fanfic character to write) That could be just because it feels easy for me to write him, and I was doing this story for the 50k for camp nanowrimo and I really didn’t need to be writing something really hard. But I am at the point where I really like them. And they are happy.
And now, of course, I have to hurt them… mwahaha.

*rubs hands* bring on the angst and the pain…

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

The House of lost Hearts

I have sent the work off to a friend to read through for me. Someone who’s opinion I trust. It is about 95% complete and has 85,000 words. That makes it a short book; standard for a romance. There are a few gaps: names I have yet to choose, and some scenes need more details or description. I use this symbol %% to mark the spot and it is very easy to search through it for those gaps.
I have read through it so much I can’t ‘see’ it any more. And it needs a fresh set of eyes. Then I guess I will have to go through it again.
Welcome to the life of a writer. At least there’s one joke that makes me laugh each time I read it. Although I'm not sure if that is a good or a bad thing.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Meeting a Twilight fan

I was at the Medicare office this week making a claim.
[No, I can’t do it online. No, I don’t know why it won’t let me do it. I don’t mind walking up to the mall.]
I yawned, and the lady asked me what job I did to start so early and be off work in the afternoon. I have struggled with owning the fact that I write, so I decided to step up to it and I answered that I was a writer.
“Oh, wow. I admire anyone who can produce a whole book.”
And off she went to prattle on about her favourites (Nora Roberts). When she asked me what I wrote I said supernatural stuff; werewolves and so on. Also one of her favourites. I said I had given a lot of stories away. [It’s the easiest way to explain fanfic to people who don’t know what it is.]
I wasn't sure that I could write a whole book either.
And then she leaned forward and she said, “One of my favourite books is Twilight.”
Really? I love it, too. We chat about going to the midnight movie sessions.
“I adore Edward.”
Wolf girl all the way, I say.
“You think she should have chosen Jacob?”
No. [How do I explain my obsessive adoration of Paul?] I have written alternate versions of the Twilight books.
Here, I say, and I write out my fanfiction name for her. Google mrstrentreznor and you will find my stories.

It will be interesting to see if she has read any by the next time I go in to the office. But even if she doesn't like *my* stories, hopefully I've opened a whole new world of fanfiction for her to read.