Self-Destructing/Southern Charm - Book Reviews

My reading list this month is long. In addition to the book I started 3 years ago and still have yet to finish, I had a twist on Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde as well as a Slavery perspective based on relatives in the author's life. Where to start? Well the quick read of book 1 in the Mr. Self-Destruct series, of course.

If you haven't gotten your hands on this book yet, it's for sale through the humorous writer himself, Mr. Joshua Peck. Basically a few years ago after joining an online writer's group I found myself laughing everyday when I'd spy a comment by this young man. In addition he was a self-publishing author and prolific with his work. I couldn't compete so I've sat back and just enjoyed his antics and body of work when I can afford it. Finally a week or two ago he asked little ol' me to give a book review on his work. I've read other stories, but to actually help out such an accomplished gentleman? Challenge accepted!

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde is a story by Robert Louis Stevenson. If you remember from an earlier post I have a special tie to Mr. Stevenson's work. My step-father had the same name and at such a young age as five years old I thought I was about to move in with one of my favorite authors. I bragged at school about how cool my mother was to be marrying Treasure Island guy. The school librarian corrected me, but that didn't stop me from being a long time fan.

Jekyll and Hyde is twist on Beauty & the Beast and now you know how ingrained this tale is and near and dear to my heart. Mr. Self-Destruct starts off by deconstructing the mind of a socialpath with enough open flaws to be thrown away in mental health system for life. It took me on a roller coaster ride through the mindset that is often scary and deals with some dark and tortured subject matter for a single character. It's an original take and successful tackle of this fave story of mine so please stop by and enjoy today.

I'm also finally getting into Seeds of Magnolia by Bill Miller. This subject matter although very important history of people of color, specifically the black community, I find it hard to tackle not only for myself but in general. It spans an ugly time in American history. One that America is unwilling to apologize for today. It seems that especially the government would rather forget that slavery built America and that a lot of people got caught up in this practice without a way out and without knowing what true freedom means. Does slavery still exist today? Yes and that's a bigger problem than just ignoring and playing ignorant to what was happening in this country 200 to 150 years ago.

So how do I move on from slavery? I vote and I practice a religion that speaks to me on a spiritual level. I discuss my own issues from being a victim of sexual assault by writing characters who deal with the same thing. I hope that my writing speaks to other people and helps them with their day. Bill Miller's story is a good one but that mental minefield was already cracked wide open with me and this just adds another layer to consider, how my ancestors were treated back in their day. I'm a third of the way through and it's promise to be an enticing story that hooks a reader is there. I'm just weird about the subject matter so please don't let my progress stop you from grabbing up this amazing story.

My Shitty Daddy Dom

This is my experience with one person I met on a different site. It is a cautionary tale from my perspective. Take what you need or want from my words and form your own opinion.

Internet based relationships are so common today, I believe people rarely take the time to consider there is a live person, a human being on the other end of that chat ID. Really, I swear, there is. Maybe you know this in theory, but it is something that is easy to forget.

I knew someone who didn't put that connection together. Granted he was a self-proclaimed asshole and stuff like that was why he announced it with pride. I found his view rather douchy and we are no longer speaking to one another.

So, I was going about what I do, which is write porn, when I come across someone who interested me. I observed their postings on a forum and got a feel for them before I made contact. We exchanged a few instant messages back and forth and after about a month we even exchanged phone numbers.

He identified himself as a Daddy Dom and polyamorous. Neither of these identifiers are true of this jerk. He’s on the ‘down low’. He is married, publicly and socially ‘heterosexual’ while indulging in adulterous usually homosexual extra marital affairs according to his own words.

The reason I didn’t see any of this at first is because I’d always thought that ‘down low’ guys were men who were closeted homosexuals, and although not every case is the same, usually what is really going on is they’re self-serving entitled assholes who want their cake and to eat it too without giving any consideration or respect to their spouse.

So, um, sorry about that, but back to my story. Mr. Jerkoff and I talked at length about what his current relationship status was, 'married, but unhappy', where his tastes lie, the particulars, pet peeves, etc. all the things two people getting to know each other discuss.

Something that should have sent up a red flag at the time was the 'married, but unhappy'. I have a personal policy about that one, where if a guy is 'married, but unhappy' I have no intention of moving our interactions to a RL environment. In other words, I will not help you cheat on you partner without their consent. I’m upfront and honest about my rule. I can't be convinced to break it, no matter what someone says or promises me.

Usually, I wouldn't even have gone phone # exchange with a ‘married, but unhappy’, but in this case, I bent my own rule. Mistake number one. In my defense, I liked him. I enjoyed our chats. He stimulated my mind. He appeared vulnerable, yet strong, and our chats were the highlight of my stressful day. I felt as if I could share my thoughts with him easily without fear of judgement. I received such support from him, I let him talk me into going for it, the phone calls I mean. I had to hear the voice behind the words.

So we spoke on the phone and it was satisfying and enjoyable and I let him into parts of me I'd never shared with a single soul, including myself. It was addictive, something I craved, wanted, no needed daily, hourly, every waking moment. Another month goes by and I give serious consideration to throwing my little rule out. Rules are made to broken and he seemed so worth it.

It was a two-way street, I wasn't having a stalker moment at the time. He said all the right things and I truly believed and trusted the words that poured out the tiny speaker of my cell phone. I was happy, he was happy things were great and then, suddenly and without warning he stopped.

The morning greeting via IM just disappeared one day. Out of the blue, just gone. For the first two days, I was like, hmmm, okay, he's busy. He has a wife. Stuff could be happening. Maybe he really doesn't have time to drop me a simple, "Good Morning" via IM. I didn’t know. I continued my morning virtual wave and tried not to let it bother too much.

Then as the end of the first week approached and even the two "Hey, are you okay?"s received no response either, I was worried something had happened to him. I didn't want to jump to conclusions, but seriously, I had no information to go on. Finally, frustrated, confused, and worried I broke our agreement and sent the following unsolicited text message to his cell phone, "Are you alive?"

Mistake on my part # 2, was agreeing to that particular rule. I mean, yes, I was chatting and then talking to a 'married, but unhappy' man. I was not allowed to send him a text unless he gave me permission to do so. This sent up a red flag, but like I said, I was already past the point of no return. I liked him that much.

That text message got an immediate response. I was admonished for sending it, as I knew I would be. He was fine, but very busy with work and there was a situation with the wife and he'd call me later that night. Two hours later, he calmed all my fears via phone and I was satisfied with this and we moved forward. This pattern repeated off and on over the course of the next month and finally I was done with it. I told him we could still be friends, but the phone calls stopped.

I did the things I needed to do to protect my fragile heart. I said I was pulling back, I'd gone too far and I didn't even want contact going forward for a while. Only problem with this course of action was I’d gotten something out of it all and I wished we could go back to where we had been months earlier, even though I was the one who’d cut off contact.

Then as if to pour salt into my wound he began publicly flaunting a new relationship on that other website I mentioned. I gotta admit, that hurt me on a level I didn’t understand. Either way, it was an ego bruising harsh reality, but some guys are dicks, not all of them, or even the majority of them, but occasionally you’re going to come across a few.

All of this was the inspiration for the following piece titled ‘Cyber Fuck’.

Cyber Fuck

At first it was me,
That's not true.
At first it was HER,
then it was you.

And I want to understand, I don't want to care. I don't want to hate or hurt or care. I don't need to see, and I see the way you say you would love me. And I want to feel secure. So I open to you. I let you see me. But not all of me. I let you see the lost me. The hurting me. The little girl who needs what only you can be. The loving, safe and secure Daddy. I crawl into your lap and let your arms wrap around me, and hold me. and I open to you, I let you see all of me. The most fragile part of me there is. The part of me that is there to give. The frightened piece of me that no one else is allowed to see.

Then I see HER. I see her, and she's not just one person. She's many women to you. She's your daughter. She's your wife. And I see you love HER. She's your friend. She's your lover. She's your mistress. There's my heart, on display to you. Trusted to you, and only you.

And so I knock at the walls that I've built around my heart. And I let it beat with something it hasn't seen, or felt or even known in years. And then I see you with HER. And I'm missing you, and hurting and then you do this thing. You cyber fuck HER, in front of me. And you know, because I've told you it will hurt me. And that when it hurts me you said it was nothing. That SHE means so little to you, that you're just trying to be a good person, to HER. That SHE needs you. I want to understand that, and not hurt because of it. But I can't. I just can't. Because I gave you more than I knew I had to give. And just like HIM, you hurt me too.

And so SHE comes between us. So I say that I won't care. I try to put the wall back up. And protect the fragile little thing I call a heart. And for a moment, for a second I believe that you really don't mean to hurt me.

Then I see you and SHE. SHE and you. And it hurts. My heart, the thing I know in my head must be protected. Because my body can't live without it, bleeds as you cyber fuck HER.

I bought the bricks today. I won't look, so I won't see HER...And I have a different hope. A new hope. I hope it never hurts again. That I cannot be cut, or slashed, or torn by YOU...

Me, Myself & Men...

When I question my sexuality, sexuality rarely answers back. I decided to take a break from men and define myself as Asexual when I was already in the early stages of menopause. In other words already in the middle of a mid-life crisis might as well go all the way. I'm just starting the next phase of my writing career, working on a lifestyle change as it pertains to my diets and on top of all of that trying to quit smoking. My body said 'no' so violently I recently spent two weeks in the hospital. More of my Higher Power laughing at my plans or am I so close to successful baby steps a warning to prepare for the war? I don't know for sure yet.

I feel like I'm transitioning between ugly duckling syndrome to swan like beauty. Finally a good friends advice is coming into play, "You'll get comfortable in your skin as you approach forty." Most days I don't mind calling myself 'single & lovin' it'. I'm open minded but have my preferences when it comes to men. Recently I found myself in the closest sexual relationship I've had to date. It's like I woke up in the middle of it, looked around and went 'oh yeah, the other shoe needs to drop' and as soon as I did it kicked my ass something fierce.

I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve so I didn't realize I was overboard in love and drowning until my life preserver got hard to see. That was about a year ago. Something about 16 years of friendship kept me going back for more punishment and not the good kind. I mean, yes, I'm a masochist and proud of it. But this was down right confusing and suffocating, I don't go for that breath play portion of my fetish. So what do you do when you think you've met Mr. Right and he turns out to be Mr. Right Now? I go back to my mother's advice and get used to rejection once again. This time with a sigh out loud.

How do I determine what song to sing? For me it depends so much more on my peer group, than when instead of flying I'd rather er, uh, get wiggy with it. Sometimes I want to be brave around men and instead I find I'm shy and closed off. If I find a guy cute I tend to blush. I have a similar reaction to very pretty women. As for me I've felt hetero-flexible for a long time, but recent events have me categorizing myself as Asexual. In other words, time to sex toy shop once again. *sigh*

The fact is overall it was a friendship that turned into more but when our vision of the future didn't mean together anymore it was time for me to move on. I ended up feeling thrown away for a bit. 17 years of friendship is valuable so I'm hoping that I can salvage that precious portion of the relationship and so far, things were settling back into that comfort zone. Then anger I didn't even realize I had about the way things played out, well, I've also been struggling with the emotion battlefield of my last posting. In the simplest terms, I need more time to heal from my broken heart.

Lucky for you my dear readers I've decide to release the break on my budding career to see if it will flourish or fail. I'm also hoping to secure a second job in case my plans aren't quite what my Source has in store for me. I'm hoping to publish Forced to Change this year. I'm back to the copy editing stage again so I'm hopeful this marathon is finally in it's last leg so I can start the next race career wise.

I'm now competing with my peers for that oh so awesome prize of NY Times Best Selling Author. Okay so I'll start smaller, but it doesn't hurt to dream out loud. I would be disappointed but not defeated if I don't get to the publishing milestone this year with FTC. I'm still in the planning stage for the follow up Changed by Time. I don't know what tomorrow may bring I do know that I hope this is the year to rise as it pertains to my career...So when told to 'go fuck myself' I decided it was time to do just that. Hello Masturbation Bedroom!!!

Valentine's Day Versus This Single Female...

A week late and a dollar short I’ve decided to weigh in on this dreaded holiday that I once upon a time considered pity party trigger material. It's hard being single. As a member of the table for one club for quite a few years I have a perspective to offer to this particular conversation. Previous postings that have tips on being a single individual are I Majored In Flirting In College & Flirting 101: Continued. My roommate true to form has once again proven a major advantage, 1/2 off candy in the days following Valentine’s Day. I read in the Satanic Bible written by Anton Szandor LaVey that everyone hates lovers, couples. For me it was an envy of their happiness that made me want to eat a gun.

Like most people I assumed I should search for true love, happily ever after and the whole kit and caboodle. I assumed I could find happiness with another human being. A very good friend suggested that being single was a good thing. She said that I was lucky to be single and childless. She is still a wise woman whose opinion I value. When she told me this I finally started to shift my thinking on the single life.

In the last year I've learned that my relationship with myself is the hardest one to maintain. When I compared myself to other people I tend to place me as second, not hoping for first place in someone else's heart. It is through self placement as first in my own heart and with the help of my Higher Power that I've started to see self love as a solution to loneliness. 

I was an only child growing up. Again I was told this was supposed to be a good thing by my peers. I didn't have siblings to fight with or over who was the favorite among my parents. According to both of my parents I was it. The one and only. My bio-dad reminded me often he wished I'd been a boy. He took that a step further and mentored young men when I decided his career choice for me wasn't the right path for me. My mother showed me through example how to be both parents by being a single mom most of my young life. She was my disciplinarian, protector, best friend, and advocate until her death. When she died, my world crumbled and I spent the next few years lost without her guidance.

The yearly round of holidays, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years tend to have me missing her presence. For the first time in a long time I tried to recreate the flavors of her soul by cooking black eyed peas and greens for New Year's Day. Okay, so I cheated on the greens and used canned. I have to say overall it was a pretty good cooking, not quite my mom's but the memory was less painful this past year than in previous years. So I'm calling it a win. 

As I look forward to this year, I'm trying to finish up the final draft of Forced to Change and publish it. My mother taught me to go after my dreams hardcore. From the grave I still feel her encouragement and unconditional love. She died while I was in college and as I move forward in my life it usually hits me hard the achievements she misses in my life. I spent a lot of time fearing and hurting that she didn't get to witness my graduation from college.

When I graduated from college it irritated me that my bio-dad claimed credit for that accomplishment. He went on to belittle my mother's influence and sacrifices. I agree that without his help, I wouldn't have made it through. We often bumped heads as he tried to iron fist me to the finish line, er, graduation day. My mother's death offered me opportunities that I appreciated more in the moment with a lower level understanding of the price I continue to pay, her physical absence from my life. 

My dad and I often had misunderstandings about who I was as a person. In my eyes he often failed to make sure I knew it was okay to be who I am. He constantly conflicted his actions with his words as he told me who he wanted me to be. He pressured me to be his ideal and until his death I continued to feel that pressure while finding that no matter how hard I tried, I disappointed him with my choices. For me it felt as if my parents were divided in their plans for me and until I found a solid religious foundation I couldn't reconcile their battle.

Today, I'm single and loving it most of the time. I try to try to be a better person and work on and own my issues. I pray constantly for my future. I use my past as a road map of who I could be with enough effort and hard work. Writing continues to be a marathon, not a sprint and four years later I still have yet to finish the work on Forced to Change.

As I stare at the finish line, publishing, I've taken a step back to reflect on the person who started this writing project with the one that I am today. So yes still single, but not as lonely. I’ve come to depend on my roommate and I've learned to be a friend indeed. For the time being I've shelved the hope of being #1 in someone else's heart as it is not part of what drives me to succeed or something by which I measure my own success. I leave this up to my Higher Power and I know that what is meant to be will be.