Tag Archives: finewhine


I do not know if I was taught this, or if I realized it through life experience, but it is my belief that you do not hurt people you love.  I know this is simplistic.  We all know very well that we do hurt the ones we love.  (The ones we shouldn’t hurt at all. . .)  And sometimes it is with acute deliberation.  We either need to prove something to ourselves or to another.  It is actually amazing how often, in retrospect, I have consciously done this, and the variety of reasons or rationalizations that I have used.  And then there is the big general question that haunts my every waking and sleeping moment.  “Is this love?”  Followed closely by its red-headed step-child, “What is love?”

A very well-known person who is respected for her advice column and recently had a best selling book got into an on-line controversy about a statement that she made.  Actually, she tried to stay out of the fray and the disagreement was largely among her commentors. A year later it cropped up again.  She is so much younger than I that I blame my general disagreement with her philosophy on the fact that my life experience has been extremely various, and I KNOW better.  I also seldom, if ever, had to do a brief hiatus with heroin to clear my mind in order to come to a decision. She is read by so many that turn to her for help in their moments of confusion, and her advice is always so unilateral.  I feel it is dangerous, and, in fact, when the subject was re-introduced this year, it was someone who started out by saying why they thought her advice was dangerous.

I think we never stop learning and it is not a good idea to think our viewpoint is right for everyone.  I had a conversation with my daughter today and we were both growing increasingly uncomfortable.  Finally I said I thought this was the type of conversation we should have over martinis. It was SO not mother-daughter, but SO chick to chick.  I kind of felt like I should not have said many of the things I said, but, on the other hand, I am glad she knows my viewpoint, and she already knows I am anything but coy.

Nevertheless, when I made the remark about the martinis, she said she wondered if the baby would wake up when we shifted her from one car to another.  We neither of us said, “Ahem.” but it was an “ahem” moment if ever there was one.  Yeah, you DON’T want to know what we were discussing.  Not that the subject has not come up previously in my blogs and fiction, cuz it has.  But a blog, whether it is true or not, I like to believe is anonymous. The thing that we agreed on was that what ever may seem to be the right thing to do at one moment in your life, may in fact later be the wrong choice.  And you can never be sure.  How can you even think you are sure if you are over the age of twenty?  (Under that age, saying you are sure is utterly meaningless, even to yourself.) And you are never going to know until experience shows you whether it is right or wrong.  So, if it is going to hurt someone, for whatever reason, the one thing that I know about love, or even consideration or empathy, is don’t hastily make a decision that will hurt someone.  Circumstances may change for any number of reasons and you may wish you had a do over.  I am betting many of you already know this.  I bet many of you wish you had a do-over for lots of events in your life.  I know I do.  It may be for a marriage, or a break up, or just for picking out what color coat you wanted.  Whatever.  You may not get the do-over, so stop and think.  And, take a freakin’ long time to do it.  If it feels right is NOT a good reason to do something.  Not if love, whatever the heck that is, is involved.  Anywhere.

I do not fear pain.  I have learned a lot from it.  I know it goes away.  But still, there are times when I have a choice about whether or not to inflict pain.  And even though I know it will go away, they will get over it, be better for it, I hope I will choose not to inflict that pain.

But what the heck.  I do.  Don’t I?

Photo Attribution:  Oh, fuck.  That’s my grandma.



I fear criticism. I take even the mildest criticisms very personally and let them hurt and fester way out of proportion to the actual purpose, meaning, or intent.  For instance:  people post book reviews when it is clear they did not read the book.  I don’t understand it.  No matter if it is just stars or the reader of the review sees it for what it is, still it takes down my average.  And why do they do that out of a clear blue sky?  Well, I might as well ask why a random stranger drags his car keys through the paint on a random car.  Some thing is just wrong in the head.  And since there are now more people on the world, we see more of these strange people wreaking their hurt because of the way it makes the inside of their head feel.
I mentioned to someone that I am not a good reviewer.  I don’t like to hurt feelings.  That is all I remember hearing in my childhood.  “Her feelings are hurt.”  I guess it is good they acknowledged I had them even as they blithely rode roughshod over them. If I promised it, I will pick out a good thing about the book and emphasize it and give four rather than five stars.  (There should be about ten stars.  I can never make  a choice.)But on a forum where a person asked for a critique of a preliminary excerpt, I remarked how good they were at telling a story even though I was not the intended audience.  I commented that there were a few minor syntax problems, but I wasn’t there for an edit.  The asker went all postal about how they were an English teacher and how I could shove my syntax errors.  Well, the person did not put it exactly that way.  I put a negative review on Amazon for a book about Jesus that was some preposterous metaphysical theory and was a grammar disaster.  I felt so bad about it I went back and took it down.  The person got to say what they wanted to say, and anyone should get a pat on the back for that, much less having the courage to display it to the whole world.
Then there are the times I have asked specific people about specific matters in relation to one of my books.  When they said something was wrong and I objectively pointed to my research backing up my statements they got all hostile and said a couple of insulting things. This was a person who said nothing about imbalances or inconsistencies in my writing or story or method.  Just facts the person homed in on.  I thanked that person for their brilliant ideas and support and quietly rolled up my rug and folded my tent.  The very best thing anyone said about anything I wrote was “crazy good read” and I cannot get over it.  I always feel like I feel a certain way about something but someone doesn’t get it.  When I am surprised at the way someone reacts to something —  for example, in the face of disaster a person commented to the person experiencing the disaster that God didn’t give you more than you could handle and the person took it negatively and construed that the person was trying to explain to her that God wanted her to have the disaster because otherwise she would not have been able to cope with the outcome.  Like the disasteree had the mind set that the commiseration offerer was saying, “Better the plane crashes carrying the guy you might meet and marry in twenty years cuz you might get a divorce if the plane doesn’t crash.  So here, God says, have a plane crash on me.” So it is like a very brilliant light in the wilderness that I feel someone read my words and got what I was saying.
I write what a learned person said was “third person omniscient”.  Yet I get remarks about my POV changing.  I can just see the person shaking their head over something I wrote and I feel like I wish I could have been there to hold their hand so they could fully enjoy the mastery of my story telling.  Seriously.  Don’t think I am kidding.
I get sad.  A person is blogging on all the steps to publication.  The person put up an excerpt of the finished product.  POV changes?  Yeow.  Run on sentences.  Wrong word used for meaning.  Awful. Commas joining two sentences together when the first part needed a question mark.  I couldn’t stand it.  And the person will get an editor and publish on Harlequin and buy their daughter an Arabian thoroughbred.  I made sixty dollars last month.Have you read any of my excerpts?  Not asking you too.  If you were going to, you would have done so by now.  I put “Sex in the Shower”, a part of one chapter in one book, a true excerpt.  One person said it was beautiful erotica.  Not.  Nice to hear, but it is just kind of a sexy, light hearted event.  One person said they couldn’t enjoy it as anything but a how-to list since I didn’t paint my characters deeply enough for her.  (Excerpt)  Another person said they felt sorry for me if I thought that was racy.  (Well, I talked about him elsewhere.)  Sex in the Shower has had more hits than anything I ever posted and that was it for written remarks  I won’t tell you the site I posted it to cuz I love it and they are cracker jack with commenting and always asking for more.

I just don’t get it.  And I feel very sad that I know I will never get it, never understand the different ways people see things, because I feel like I should.  But I accept my own argument that it is all about me, and let the twisted little suckers go find their own way. That, as far as I am concerned, the way I see things is right, and I accept that is so, even knowing it may be right ONLY for me and as far as the general population is concerned, I am the twisted little sucker wandering in the wilderness.

I know I am doing something right because one of my older books has a spot in an algorithm somewhere and her activities have huge repercussions.  The other books, tiny repercussions.  So I hold on to the hope that this next one will do it.  I am hopeful about this Smashwords series highlighting thing they just invented, and this entire book, which is EXACTLY like all the others, has been written because I have a great title.  Well, we will see.  I am not on the ropes yet.So fie on thee that has read not a single Elizabethan historical romance and dares criticize my little sweeties for hopping in the sack with more than one person in her lifetime. I had my day in the sun, and I intend to blind you with that reflection before I die.Actually, this whole post started out because I had another huge spike in my blog stats and I do not know why.  I so want to know so I can follow through on it, but whatever.  I feel like I am through for the night.
I will generously repost for the day shift, although, I guess for my readers across the sea this is the day shift.Y’all know how much I love you, right?  Cuz I do.  Thanks for stopping by.  Y’all come on back now, real soon.

Illustration attribution: emoticon from colourbox considered by its use on the web as public access.

Story: My Learning Curve


I used to walk my dog every day until he got a little crippled. There was a ferocious Rottweiler around the corner that scared me. He was huge and could clear the fence if he tried. He barked and snarled like he hated us. So I started to carry a knife. Not a handy folding penknife or a lethal looking switch blade. No. Too reasonable. I selected a non-folding small fruit knife with quite an extreme taper. I put it in my pocket. I felt quite safe for several days. Then one day, I leaned down to tie my shoelace and stabbed myself in the thigh. It didn’t bleed very much but did drip a little. It hurt like a son of a bitch. I hobbled home clenching my thigh. Lesson to be learned? None apparently. I had no knife when the fucking blue pit bull tried to swallow Henry.

And further proof that my learning curve is in fact a straight line:  my husband has a food broker pal and Louie, who is sort of retired, helps him at food shows. Lou is a glad hander and Chuck, the broker doesn’t like to speak up. So Lou brings stuff home. This amazing chocolate BRIX is formulated to go with wine. Fuck that. It is damn good chocolate. I am huge on the raunchily named “mouth feel” and this stuff is incredible. It comes in a solid brick. (Get where they are going with that?) and you have to break off a chunk with something like a cheese knife. I usually put it on a saucer. I was feeling lazy and reclining. I had a super sharp paring knife. I didn’t bother with the saucer. I left the chocolate in the cardboard box which was resting on my reclining body at about diaphragm level. I inserted the knife into the chocolate and met resistance. So I poked harder. Yeah. I stabbed myself again. Only a bruise this time. Excess avoirdupois.


Photo Attribution:  www.colourbox.com

Fugue-ing Around


I CANNOT believe the last thing I posted was that Feature and Follow thing which I never do right anyway. 

I am walking around every minute I am awake thinking “me, me, me”.  I am going to research whether it is possible to self-induce a fugue state.  I use this device all the time in my novels.  Every time something gets overwhelming I just have my adorable heroine go fugue-ing off, barefooted, into the Redwood National Forest, or The Great White Nowhere, or the Saint Louis Cemetery.  Myself, it would hurt my feet.  I am too constantly painfully aware of what is going on in my life.  I feel like a huge China (Ming Dynasty preferably) vase and I am aware of that tiny crack just starting in the bottom and if some one puts one more drop of water in it,Kablooey.

Obama said no fireworks on any military base anywhere.  I would have taken up a collection to have them at Great Lakes.  It is pivotal in my year.  I had a sign from Above.  The fireworks in the neighborhood had just started and I was cleaning (and cleaning, and cleaning, and cleaning) Louie’s room and a halogen bulb on the hall light just out side his door blew up gloriously.  I choose to consider it a sign that God (my bud) was reassuring me that Obama was wrong.  (I used the word wrong here because I thought some of you might be offended or consider it disrespectful if I said “an asshole” instead.)  Obama is undermining our nation.  You didn’t hear it here first, but I think the fireworks thing was just another step on his part — another chip at the foundation of our Nation, another drop of water in the China vase of our beloved country.

Anyway, the news about Louie is not too good.  Physically he is coming along, but the memory problems and the personality change are obvious and I do not notice improvement.  For instance, he can’t text.  And all I get is “Can you hear me?” To say I am discouraged is putting it mildly.  And my father calls at least once a day to check up.  Finally, I had Lou call him today because my father cannot hear my voice on the phone and all I get is “I didn’t get that.” Lou spoke to him after both my brothers tried to explain and I actually went over to his house to explain and my father has not a clue as to what happened or is happening.  “Are you home?”  he asks Louie.  “No one is ever there when I go over there.”

I have no more patience and I cannot think  of a reason in Hell or on Earth or in Heaven as to why I should try to muster up patience.  When have I ever been on the receiving end of that?  I am bitter and pissed and I feel, honestly, I do not deserve this.  Misfortune?  My cup runneth over.  My mom said I was like that Little Abner character that walked around with the rain cloud over his head (Joe Mfblsztk?)

Every one, EVERYONE overestimates my ability to cope. I have been hearing that shit for too many years.  Sure I am crying poor me, but when some one says, “If any one can handle it, Ditty can” when my heart is so broken I feel like I don’t even want to recover, then I feel like it is time to say, “NO.  I can’t cope.  It hurts.  I am tired of it.  Stop it.  God, or someone, stop raining this shit down on me.”  Yeah, I know, every one has pain in their life.  Some of you have pain that is fresh and raw and may seem unbearable.  The difference is, I have had it in spades.  I can match you and double.  And I know it is bearable.  I am just fucking sick of it. 

Obamacare Personalized


So my husband, Louis, had a fall today and went to the hospital in an ambulance.  His pelvis is broken but not near the hip socket, so, instead of pinning it, they are “just going to let it heal”. 


I wonder if, because of his age, he has been put on one of those death lists I have been hearing about. I am not an orthopedist, but I have to wonder how quickly weight-bearing bones heal in a slightly over weight man of his somewhat advanced age. What is a little lingering intense pain when you have out-lived your “usefulness”?

I won’t sarcastically thank the voters of America until I have more information.  I’m good that way. 




Illustration attribution:  crosbiew.blogspot.com

Paying Attention


I notice that several of the people who’s blog I read also read mine.  I am pretty sure not everyone who hits on my blog reads it.  I could be wrong about that because every now and then I will get a nice comment from some one who got what I was writing about.  I sometimes get comments that make me think they were reading a different blog altogether, but it is nice to know my words can mean different things to different people. And then there are the New Zealand Plumbers.

Someone just went over a million hits and offered a little contest event to celebrate.  She did mention that it would be nice if each of those hits was a dollar.  I have mentioned it would be good if each of my hits represented a book sale.

I just went to a book promo site and literally begged people to purchase one of my books that was not doing well.  I really have no expectations that it will help, but I am beyond being reasonable about that book.  It is not my usual fare, but it is a quick little non-fiction read that is fun.  I honestly thought it would be a big deal.  I have read so many articles about gender issues lately that I almost think I started something.

In a blog that was about giving a certain type of speech to certain audiences and the pros and cons of it, I chose to comment not on speech giving but on the content of the speech (politicizing gender issues).  No one commented back but two comments after someone left a comment about gender imprinting that was almost exactly what I had said in my book.  That affects me the same way that writing about washing the counters and having someone I know is a reader write about washing counters the next day.  Ditto:  boys haircuts, pets, serendipity, destructive storms, etc.  Sometimes I think it is flattering, but sometimes, when it is really noticeable, I would like a nod. (Yes, Roy.  I saw your wonderful reference and link.  Have you thought about cloning yourself?)

I have been on what, for lack of a better term, I will call the downside of having interest in this project.  I look at my past results and I know exactly what I have to do to duplicate that.  It is time-consuming and boring, but it is not difficult and it bears very sweet fruit.  Yet, I sit, I mull over the phrasing of a scene in my mind.   I know I should write the scene down and then work over it, but I don’t.  I mull til I fall asleep.

Sometimes I think it would be nice to be noticed, to have people pay attention to what I have to say, but lately, ironically, since I have more blog hits every day than I ever imagined, I kind of don’t care.  Well, it isn’t really that I don’t care because I know how I react to nice reviews and good numbers or compliments, (I probably get much more pleasure out of it than it deserves, but I think I already wrote that blog.)  but I am wondering what difference does it make.  Anything I do, some one else can do, does do, is doing, is maybe even using me for inspiration.  I know I never thought I would come up with a game changer so I do not know what is lacking in my approach to the process right now.  I do know that I am dying to reunite Maisie and her husband and will play solitaire on my iPhone for an hour and a half to keep myself from doing that.

If you don’t eat your meat, you can’t have any pudding.
You can’t have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat.

Someone just went over a million hits and offered a little contest event to celebrate.  She did mention that it would be nice if each of those hits was a dollar.  I have mentioned it would be good if each of my hits represented a book sale.

I just went to a book promo site and literally begged people to purchase one of my books that was not doing well.  I really have no expectations that it will help, but I am beyond being reasonable about that book.  It is not my usual fare, but it is a quick little non-fiction read that is fun.  I honestly thought it would be a big deal.  I have read so many articles about gender issues lately that I almost think I started something.