My rape and abortion story

A lot happened in the year 1973. I was fifteen, taken out of state by adult men (in their 20’s) and an eighteen year old girl I’d just met… I liked her, she said she felt like my big sister and would protect me. As the youngest in this group – and in my own family of four older brothers – I confess my childish desire for the sister I never had. And she knew one of the guys driving us out of state, so everything would be okay, right? Right?

Blessedly, I don’t remember too much of my rape… the men kept giving me drinks, supposedly ‘sparkling fruit juice’ they called it… they didn’t mention the drugs in the drinks – I just remember feeling weird and floaty, seeing trails of color everywhere, my movements so sluggish that for some reason, it made me laugh. I remember being scared and crying, hurting, as I found myself sprawled on a bed… I think I had my top on still, but couldn’t find my panties. I did find my jeans and slipped them on as my new-found big sister slipped quietly into the room. She placed her slender index finger over her lips and motioned for me to follow her with her other hand. I remember her brown eyes were rounded and wide, I could see a large circle of the whites around her eyes. I figured she was as scared as I was. I followed her down a short hallway. We paused at the end as she stared intently to the left, then slowly slid her body to the right, hugging the wall. I did the same. I saw the two men that had driven us here, sprawled out in chairs, sleeping or passed out. Two other men were sort of hunched over on the couch, asleep? Drunk? Drugged out? I didn’t try to reason out why they were unconscious and still at that moment, I just sidled around the corner following my ‘sister.’

She was standing at a backdoor in the kitchen area, fumbling with locks. Her hands were shaking so hard she could barely undo a lock; she glanced at me with her wide, dark eyes, her black hair tumbling across her face. Her skin was so pale and white, she could have passed for a vampire… but I knew she was of Indian descent, her skin was typically the color of a latte coffee – that definite undertone of a healthy dark brown mixed with creamy whiteness, normally gave her a golden color that enhanced her beauty. Yeah, there was some ‘chick-envy’ going on there; she was everything I wanted to be: tall, slender, usually filled with self-confidence and assurity of herself and her surroundings, she drew people – not just males – to her, like a moth to a flame. But now she was scared and trembling, and that fact ratcheted my fear level way up. I slid over to help her with the locks. There were four of them attached to the door. Who had four locks on their doors? I started at the bottom lock and let her keep working the top; we were in each others way and if we hadn’t been so terrified, I’m sure we would have dropped to the floor, laughing. It seemed to take hours upon hours to unlock those locks, with both of us stiffening and stilling every time a snort or fart or some other gaseous sound or mumble came from the sleeping men. In reality, it simply took a minute or two before we were able to open the door and slip outside.

It was pitch black. I honestly cannot recall the moon or stars in the sky. That back door seemed to open onto a field of shin high grass and weeds with no comforting light pole to be seen. Off to the somewhat distant right, we heard a car pass. I was scared and wanted to run to the left, what if it was one of their friends out looking for us? She leaned over and whispered into my ear, “We need to head to the road, get a ride into town… to safety.” I nodded after a second and we turned to the right, heading for that unknown road. It only took us a few minutes to reach and cross the paved road so we could hitchhike towards lights we could barely see – they seemed so far away, yet they were a beacon to us. We trudged on and on… finally, headlights cast over us and we turned, both of us sticking our right thumbs out as we stood about a foot off the road. The car sped past us, never slowing. Typical teens, we cat-called and hurled curses at the car racing away and continued our walk. The distant lights of the town really didn’t seem any closer, so we quickened our pace.

“If I had known,” she said, her tone very low and quiet, “they would be that way… they’ve always been good to me… kinda like big brothers, ya know?” She paused to chew on her lip and glance sideways at me. She continued after I gave one quick nod. “They only gave me drugs if I asked for them, they never….” I saw tears streaking down her face and she squeezed my arm. “They were never… rough… with me….” Her voice trailed off as tears kept flowing down her cheek. Before I had a chance to speak, we saw the headlights from two different vehicles heading our way and we turned, right thumbs extended.

I remember the high pitched wail of sirens and screams as I tore away, from somebody, and raced to my ‘sister,’ laying in a crumpled heap several feet away from me. The screams grew louder and louder as I saw the thin strips of chrome siding impaled in her beautiful body, another in her forehead. The hands that had been holding me before came back, grabbing and shaking me… that’s when I realized the screams were coming from me. The next thing I remember was standing in a small, rural hospital room, my beautiful sister weakly moaning as I pulled her slightly into my arms… her final breath was a blessing and a curse washing over me and I sobbed. I held her, sobbing; I don’t know how much time passed before I heard a voice calling my name. I finally looked up and saw my father standing in the doorway and raced to him, throwing myself into his arms. I don’t remember leaving the hospital or the long drive home, although I kind of remember being curled up on the back seat, still sobbing for what I’d lost. Later, the memory of laying on my father’s couch and being under an afghan my mother had crocheted; my mother walking through my father’s front door, tears streaming down her face as she gathered me into her arms and held me tight to her chest. Eventually, again, I don’t know how much time had passed, I found myself back inside of a hospital… as the fogginess slowly lifted and I began to emerge from the semi-comatose state I had been in, I understood I was in a mental ward filled with teenagers. I remember trying to work with the doctor to piece together what had happened; he filled me in on what he knew as a fact: my ‘sister’s’ funeral had taken place a week after her death, four weeks earlier; I had been catatonic for five weeks; the various drugs in my system, from that night, had not caused any permanent damage that they were aware of and were no longer influencing me; I needed to accept and understand my role in what happened that night, before I would be allowed to be released.

I remained a resident of that mental ward for about three more weeks as my brain worked to process everything they told me. I was angry. I was grieving. I was filled with a deep sadness and sense of loss – I hadn’t even been able to go to my new-found ‘sister’s’ funeral! I later learned she had lied to me, about a great many things… mainly, that she was newly married and off on a fling before she buckled down to being a wife. And, that she was mentally ill, herself. I ‘met’ her husband on the phone. I was cruel to him and called him a liar. Today, as an adult, I can remember the pain and anguish in his voice – and his compassion for me, as he wished me well. Back then, I just remember shouting at him on the phone, then vomiting.

Roe versus Wade had passed sometime around all of the happenings of my drama. I didn’t want an abortion; my mother dictated I would have one. I didn’t want a child of rape, either. You could have a voice in the decision, if you were sixteen or older. My baby was due two months after my sixteenth birthday. Legal abortions were provided in New York; my mother flew us there. I gaped in wonder at the tall skyscrapers as I dragged my rolling overnight bag behind me; my mother snapped that we weren’t there to sight see. She lectured and hissed at me, telling me I better tell the people at the hospital that I wanted that abortion. But I don’t, not really. I only had around ten days left in my pregnancy, before they would deem me too far along for a safe abortion. I did as my mother told me; I was terrified. When a nurse took me to the elevator, my mom said she had to return home, for work… but she’d return after it was over to collect me. Collect me. In the room I shared with another woman, I huddled on my bed and cried. She was older and tried to reassure me, said it would be okay… and I found myself pouring out my story to her. She came over to my bed and hugged me, wiping the tears from my face – until a nurse walked in and yelled at us. I understand doctors and nurses are trained to save lives, but the nurses cruelty and mean comments were completely uncalled for… you deserve what you’re getting you little whore… shouldn’t have spread your legs you little slut… you don’t deserve this pain free treatment, whore… and the woman in the other bed yelling at the nurses, calling them cruel, heartless bitches. I had been given drugs to induce labor. The pains wracking my abdomen terrified me even more and I screamed until a nurse smacked me sharply across the face… and a tiny misshapen blob popped out of my body. The nurse that had smacked me yelled at me about the mess I had made, and made me clean it up myself.

I’m telling more now than I’ve ever said aloud before, but I won’t describe that tiny lump of flesh to anyone, other than he was a male and, not normal. I personally placed him into the red hazardous waste plastic bag the nurse had tossed at me. I held him in my hands as I was roughly shoved over to a gurney and wheeled into a surgical suite to finish the procedure. I remember the smug look on the face of the nurse that had smacked me, then her downcast eyes as the surgical nurse gasped at my entrance. I remember her whispering, “Oh baby, I’m so sorry, you shouldn’t have had to go through that.” I remember her tightly gripping my hand, her other hand stroking my arm as the doctor performed the d(ilation) and c(urettage) procedure that finished cleaning me out. I remember the doctor’s jaw clenching as my angel of mercy whispered what happened. That nurse had me rolled into the recovery room and kept me there, stopping in to check on me often, throughout the night. Before her shift ended, she let me know my roommate had told her what had happened and the nurses that had been so cruel to me were being reported – I didn’t care, I was numb – and that she, my roommate, was fine. She also said my mother was due to pick me up in about an hour. She hugged me and whispered, “I know it isn’t an excuse, but they were angry they had to help end a life… never mind it was conceived in rape or unhealthy and drug laden.” She sighed deeply, and pulled back to look into my eyes before continuing, “They should have given you the care you deserved….” She squeezed me one more time then turned and left.

Months later, my mother told me new rules were put into place at the hospital where I’d been treated so cruelly, because of me. I’m glad other women would be treated with dignity and care, but I couldn’t fully release my anger and anguish over what I had been through… especially when I learned a cousin only a few months older than me was pregnant, and her mother, my aunt, was going to help her raise it. That hurts, still to this day… although in fairness, that child was conceived in love (puppy love, I’m sure) and not from rape… that child wasn’t filled with drugs from drug-laden parents… that child wasn’t malformed or unhealthy.

My own children are aware of some of these details. I had to give them a reason why their mother always becomes so very sad, every April, once they were old enough to make that connection. April is when the child would have been born, you see. My abortion was rough on me and likely changed me, in many ways. There were many mistakes, when Roe versus Wade first came into being. Giving women the right to choose what she does with her own body is not one of them.

I’m outtie….

Sheesh, again?

House hunting is a bitch. Especially when you have to be concerned about more than just yourself.

I was on a writing roll for awhile. Then everything came to a screeching halt because of house hunting… family issues… minor illnesses (flu-type crap)… more family issues… impatience…. *sighs*

Somehow, after one of Microsofts many recent updates, a file folder that held documents I used quite often for my other domain, went missing. Just gone. Nowhere to be found on the laptop I had been using, or the back-up laptop, or the desktop that holds almost every document I’ve created for the last several years. Just vanished. Pain in the ass, but I logged into the site and simply downloaded everything. But the template I had created was now gone – okay, I made a new one in minutes, but still…. I resent Microsoft changing where I save items – I use to save safely into my Documents folder because even if a PC crashes, those items are likely savable… no, in their wisdom, Microsoft changed the location to the OneDrive cloud thingy and apparently periodically remove items to create space for new items, and that must have been where the file folder previously mentioned was saved. Arghhhhh!

You know that ‘Do Not Call’ list you can register your number to so that it’s supposedly illegal for data farmers and scammers to get your info and call you? I’ve been registered for years. Yeah, they’re calling me. Daily. Many, many, many times a day.

M’kay, I’ve bitched so I am so outtie….

I’m so bad

So, I finished Lynette’s Choice and no one has purchased or reviewed it. Fine, my name is an unknown as a writer. I’ve reviewed some – although none so far this year. I’m working on Robert & Allison’s story, which is the second in the planned (stand alone) series, and have included a couple of hot kisses in this one. Still don’t think I’m ready to write full erotica… I know what I like to read, unsure what I’m willing to write though.

Some issues with my vehicles, but all being worked on and repaired. The Benz still has a chance, which is good cause I really like driving it. I still haven’t really driven the Beast cause there’s a power steering issue that I might have an issue with and haven’t had repaired yet… so my daughter or son-in-law drives it. *shrugs*

Landlord’s family is causing issues with my family, and landlord has pretty much said he’ll just walk away from everything instead of putting his foot down. Coward. So we’ve been house hunting. Actually, found something we’re all pretty interested in… but now comes the jumping-through-lenders-hoops for financing. Argh. It’s a pain.

To touch base on previous issues mentioned in last post – I placed a spending moratorium on myself and am sticking to it fairly well, other than gas, smokes, occasional snack and Starbucks. Balances are slowly going down; not as fast as I’d like because of other crap – huge power bills, larger phone bills, etc. But, still going down. I now have 4 credit cards slightly under the range I set for myself, and the ones that aren’t are paid on time with over payments and such, so in good standing. Actually, every bill I pay is in good standing. I just owe a tad more than I want to. Landlord was in hospital for around a month when all was said and done, and out of work for a spell afterwards – obviously. But the manipulative old coot started taking advantage of every single person that cam to help, and the one that helped THE most (my daughter) he essentially used her and tossed her to his family wolves. Hence our needing to move… one stepchild wants to bulldoze the trailers and sell the property, but idiot hasn’t factored in – it’ll be split between 18 frickin kids!!! Apparently the big-mouthed one has financial problems and doesn’t realize that A) this property is only worth about $10,000; and B) if he’s lucky he “might” get to pocket around $1000, but likely MUCH less, once property is sold.

So majority of my time has been spent on researching things – non-writing related; viewing properties; spending time reassuring my woosy Collies – they try to act like they’re my protectors but if push comes to shove I think they’d toss me to the wolves so they could get a running start. Big babies. Instead of reading, late at night I veg in front of telly. Gotta get things taken care of so I can get back to my main loves: reading and writing.

With that said, I am so outtie….

Blah blah blah

I know, it’s been way too long since my last update and there has actually been a fair amount of things going on. Where to begin? So, I did end up purchasing a camper with a slide-out, a 32 footer, 2001 model that weighs a ton (not literally, thank god!) I still own the RV and will officially put it up for sale after the holidays. I also bought a 2003 Chevy Silverado and the engine roars to life like a beautiful beast… which is why I call it The Beast. Grandbaby says it’s a “Silverado” because it’s silver. *grins*

I started school. I withdrew from school two weeks later. *sighs* I shoulda followed my own instincts instead of allowed myself to be influenced to start when I did. It was too soon, plain and simple. I started October 30 and I honestly had still not recovered from the trauma of selling my house, moving into a hotel where my poor Collies got fleas for the first time in their lives, moving into the RV with a newly discovered roof leak that contributed to my bronchitis coming back with a vengeance, then moving into my camper which truly feels like a home to me, by the way. Moving happens to be one of the top five stressors and I moved three times within the space of roughly ninety days. I donated to NaNoWriMo and didn’t get my donation gifts, nor did I write anything due to school, etc. Heard a close family member is losing his fight to cancer, much to the dismay to his children – although he’s a true fighter and not ready to roll over and die, either… and, daughter’s landlord fell pretty darn ill and she is the main one that was visiting him in hospital for the three weeks he was there – and is doing most of his running, chores, etc.

I did manage to read a few more books, but only posted/wrote one review. After upping my Goodreads goal to 75 books, I need to read six more to meet said goal – but I am still two books ahead of schedule.

I paid off my Rooms To Go account, loaned my daughter a grand for x-mas shopping and more, paid on credit cards – but still owe more than I want still. I redecorated the camper – removed the high bed and now have an office in the former bedroom, and gave the futon to my elder grandbaby after I purchased an oh-so-comfy daybed. I’m kinda liking my iPhone 7, more than I ever did the iPhone 6, but some of the OS changes have made a few favored apps incompatible, and some are apps I purchased awhile ago. *grrrr* I am paying most of the housing costs for my family, which is still cheaper than what I has been paying in my house – for the most part. My Starbucks spending has roughly quadrupled and I’m spending on my credit cards as quickly as I make payments… hopefully it’ll slow once the holiday is over. Sheesh, and I don’t even like x-mas!

*laughs* Five hundred words in this post (and counting) is the most I’ve written in awhile. With that said, I am so outtie….

Wowsers

So, the closing went as smoothly as a closing can… the week in the hotel was plain out awful, the room sucked, my poor Collies got fleas there! My girls had never had fleas before in their lives, either. I purchased a used RV to live in, kind of too quickly cause it definitely has issues… but, the girls and I are parked in Spring & Bill’s front yard – with their flirtatious landlord’s permission, too. The girl’s stress level is beginning to level out, although they do get a bit nervous when I have to leave for a bit… they’re not getting enough exercise, either, with my sedate walking. Bill suggested I look into an actual camper and I have been, actually. A camper is slightly roomier compared to an RV; currently the girls and I trip over one another, a lot, especially if it comes with a slider.

I haven’t paid my credit cards in full, but have paid them down considerably; all of my former utilities are paid in full, of course. I outright own the RV and don’t pay rent, although I will be paying the larger portion of Spring & Bill’s electric bill to help them out, and I paid their internet bill – even though the speed is slower than molasses… hopefully, Xfinity will be installed on Friday the first. I have the lion’s portion of my house profit in a savings account, with several thousand dollars set aside for bill paying, too. I have refunds from my escrow account and house insurance coming yet, too. If I can get into a decent camper where I’m not tripping over my girls – two and four legged varieties – sometime soon-ish, I told Spring I could probably stay in her backyard for an indefinite time period, saving money to add to my savings and helping her out.

I completed another couple of reviews, although I’d actually read around five books during my time in the hotel. It took some time to upload them to the various sites… I also bought myself a new laptop. Dell Inspiron, of course. I gave Spring one of my other ones… oh, and bought myself an iPhone 7+ too, gave Spring my iPhone 5S. Been doing Starbucks for all adults almost daily – my biggest expense and necessary luxury! That’s the biggest highlights from the last two weeks. No writing, although getting ideas. Oh yeah, I’ve also been fighting a case of bronchitis since closing, too.

M’kay, I am so outtie….

Will I ever write again?

So I’m stressed, royally. On reviewing, I’m over 50 books now… just thought I’d mention that since my previous post was about some reviews, porn versus erotica. I checked with SNHU about possibly returning to school, working towards a BA in psychology to add to my current degree.

M’kay, I’ve kept this hush-hush… I was made an offer on my home that I felt I couldn’t turn down. Yeah, it’s officially Sunday now – closing is in two freakin’ days. Spring and family (Bill is such a hard worker!) have already moved all the big stuff – that I’m keeping – like my bedroom outfit, desks (I think I have four), bookcases (sheesh, six or seven I kept, two went to Goodwill and two went to Spring), couch and lazyboy rocker went to Spring, fridge (buyer wants to put a stainless steel one in, mine was black), and washer… the waterbed and matching oak dresser went to Goodwill, along with a very heavy desk and another couch.

Sounds okay so far, right? I still have a minimum of one trailer load of boxes to go into storage… yeah, every thing but my laptops, one desktop PC, and a couple of outfits, went into storage. Why? I have no clue where I’m gonna live. Hence, Stressville, U.S.A. I’m in a hotel for a week. Planned on doing house searches here which is why I kept the one desktop out… but, apparently the APC battery backup does NOT like the outlets here and keeps beeping. And my Collies are stressed enough without listening to the beeps. Sheesh, Stevie wouldn’t even walk upstairs to our room – booking.com sucks, btw – and had to be carried up by either Spring or D, I’m not sure who cause I was trying to get Luna to chill and quit whine/crying like she was injured. She’s scared. Both girls are, they’ve never been in a move before… I owned my home just shy of six years… Luna is five and Stevie is four. Add into the mix their alpha is stressed – moi’ – and we have semi-terrified dogs. *sighs*

I’m hungry. I’m sore. I’m exhausted. I need a shower. I was ready to cry when Spring and family went home. I hope sleeping in this king-size bed with me will help the girls chill out, cause I’m going to be in and out of the room from tomorrow on. Finishing up the house, closing, searching for a place to live… k, getting myself stressed again and watching Animal Planet was leveling me out. So, I am so outtie….

porn-vs-erotica

Finished another 2 books for the reading challenge, so now at 40 read with 5 to go to meet the current goal I’ve set. I’ll likely up the goal number before I read number 45, by the way.

The last piece I finished was highly distasteful to me; I called it porn and said it nowhere resembled a romance, let alone erotica. Why? The views are probably fairly subjective, as in: one mans porn is another mans erotica. Dr. Leon Seltzer PhD actually wrote an interesting article for Psychology Today titled “What Distinguishes Erotica from Pornography?” on April 6, 2011 which tries to define the difference between the two, and I tend to agree with much of what he said in the article.

To me, it boils down to: porn is a means to get turned on and find release; whereas, erotica may also do the same but brings in the sensuality of and emotional connection of possibly the very same acts. It doesn’t matter if its a man and a woman, man and a man, woman and a woman, or a combination of those two and/or more… it is the connection and emotions all of the parties show and feel for one another. It is not a difference in graphical description… I have read some very graphically explicit sex scenes that are pure, sensual erotica that can leave a reader with a hard-on or dripping wet, but they are still erotica and not porn – in my opinion – because of the sensuality and connections between the parties involved.

Connections, that’s the thing. ‘K, I am so outtie….

harshness

Still only doing reviews and not any creative writing; am now eighteen books ahead of schedule for the Goodreads/Kindle reading challenge. I’ve read 38 books so far out of my planned 45 year total goal. And another book started earlier tonight… late last night? (Er, since it’s officially after midnight, that is.)

Once upon a time, a female named Emma worked for Inkitt Publishing, and Emma did her homework before requesting this reviewer to read some of her clients writings. Not all of the work submitted was four or five star Amazon review material in this reviewer’s eyes, but Emma and I had a decent working relationship. Alas, then Emma stopped sending this reviewer anything… she had apparently left Inkitt. She was replaced by Kevin. Kevin, it would seem, not only does not review what his reviewers want to read, he also apparently does not read the books he sends them to review. Since Kevin started sending me requests, I have read more trash than I can remember ever reading. Tales with no plots. Stories that are told and never shown. – Writer’s remember, show, don’t tell! Writings that twist and turn to try to keep excitement going but never answer the questions they posed. Narratives so full of grammar, punctuation and spelling errors it makes a readers eyes bleed.

Hence my title for this piece. As a reviewer, my hope is that my critique will offer one persons viewpoint in the hopes of improving a piece or exchanging ideas. As a reviewer, I desperately try to critique in the way I was taught – comment on a positive for every negative mentioned. But, the last – three? Four? – stories Kevin sent me, I was hard pressed to find a single good thing to comment about. The stories were told. There were errors galore, including way too many tense issues. The writers seemed to change their plot or theme once they began their tale. Their characters were flat and one dimensional; two-dimensional characters almost seemed an improvement. Dialogue was stilted and unnatural sounding, often just repeating what the narrator had already told readers, over and over and over again. I don’t want to be ‘that mean reviewer’ that gives one or two star Amazon reviews… but that is what I’ve been reduced to. Thanks, Kevin.

I’m taking a break from Inkitt and reading writer requested stories. Hey, that’s how I found my newest fav paranormal romance writer, Tamsin Ley, after all! M’kay, back to reading my latest author requested tale, so I am so outtie….

Only reviews, still…

K, so I’m eight books ahead on my year total of 45 books to read for the year (recall, the Goodreads reading challenge sponsored by Kindle) but still no creative writing of my own. ** In other words, I’ve read 23 books since January 1, 2017, to date. Oh, and started another earlier today not factored into the total count yet. ** I have found a couple of new-to-me writer’s that I’ve reviewed and simply adore, though. Tamsin Ley sent me advanced reader copy’s (ARC’s) of two of her steamy romances featuring unusual shifter’s… so far, a merman and a centaur and both were yummy! Next planned project from Tamsin is a Djinn, so unsure how that’ll be. Next is Jen Blood and her newest mystery featuring a character she apparently had introduced in an earlier work, Jamie Flint, a canine rescue and search trainer/worker. It’s obvious Jen is a dog lover and pays attention to critter behavior, because her doggy descriptions and behaviors were absolutely spot on.

I know I explained to my Mom, years ago, how I hear voices in my head, i.e. the characters asking me or screaming at me to tell their stories; sometimes I can close my eyes when I hear a loud enough voice, and am able to describe the character fairly accurately… other times, they invade my dreams, take them over and show me tidbits of their story. So, I keep dreaming about a Scot named Cian… sometimes he’s a wolf shifter, sometimes a Druid, and sometimes both. And sometimes the right side of his face is scarred – which is really cool when he shifts to a wolf cause he’s a black wolf and the scars show as pure white hair on his muzzle and around his eye. (My daughter thinks the scarring is due to my nightly habit of falling to sleep to Phantom of the Opera, by the way.) He’s always an alpha male. Always. But I think he’s only showing me his ending. Not his death, dummies! His happily-ever-after ending, marriage and a bairn on the way. Cian puzzles me. I’ve dreamt of him for about two weeks now, and usually by that time I’ve gotten a world created and other general set-up taken care of. But the scenery keeps changing and Cian isn’t being very forth coming about any incidents in his life – other than when he got the scarring. That was from a witch hexing him before he was old enough to shift and heal, so the scarring is permanent. Still unsure why she hexed him, and something about the hex forcing him to turn into a feral wolf by his thirty-fifth birthday, unless he’s married to a woman that loves him. Huh. Guess he gave me more than I realized. In fairness, I have been sleep deprived so not always thinking clearly… staying up too late playing games and reading.

Wow. I guess I’ve really been messing up here, so I am so outtie….

Ahh, the reviewer

I haven’t been working on my stories lately. Poor Robert and Allison are still awaiting their ultimate connection while Lynette and Lachlan are in need of a cover before uploading/publishing. *sighs* However, that does not mean I’ve not been tending my craft, either.

I may have mentioned I joined the Kindle sponsored Goodreads read-a-thon and upped my one year reading goal to 45 books – from 30 – by year’s end. I am six books ahead of schedule, by the way, having finished fifteen books as of yesterday. And with each book comes a review, as well. So I have been busy writing, critically thinking, and poking my muse with – hopefully – well thought out and informative reviews.

Alas, one cannot please everyone all of the time. A book I finished on the first of this month, An Affair to Dismember, was reviewed; all reviews are first posted to Amazon, then one of my other domains (Scribes Canvas was formally a webhost reseller domain but is now a reviewing only site), and sometimes on Goodreads as well. I gave the story three stars on my Amazon review.  I felt it was fair; five stars are reserved for those stories that are truly extraordinary while a single star, and I’m not sure if I’ve even gone that low thus far, are for stories that I wished I never committed to read and want to forget, just utterly despise them for whatever reason. Three stars mean I liked the book well enough and recommend the writer to other readers, but does not necessarily mean I shall be a big fan of the writer or go out of my way to purchase new books to grace my bookshelves.

My reviewing style is one honed from graduate school. It’s not an educational or school-like voice, but still one chosen to keep “me” out of it. Meaning, the review is focused on the story and the author, not the reviewer, so I never use first person references as the reviewer. If a sentence calls for a “me” voice, I refer to myself as “this reader” and not “I” or “me”. I use critical thinking when reviewing. I try to balance bad comments with good – make sure a positive comment comes before a negative one. I hope my critique is read with the intention it was written in, as an informative and helpful tool for the writer. It is also hoped the writer remembers I am but one solitary reader and may very well be alone in my opinion, but I am very much entitled to that very same opinion.

Most writer’s seem to appreciate my reviews and take them in the spirit they were written. After all, many come back and ask me to review their next offering, as well. However, some of their, hmm, well-meaning, friends choose to attack my review for whatever reason. In the aforementioned review, two such people took great pains to leave comments about my use of “this reader” in the review. No comments about the story. No comments about the creator of the story. Just, my references to “this reader”. Now, how does that help the story’s writer in any way? They wanted to lecture me on, I guess, arrogance, and instead presented their own. While drawing (negative) attention to the written review, which can actually do more harm to the story reviewed than my actual review.

Another kind soul apologized for their behavior. Not necessary but much appreciated. She hoped their mean-spirited comments would not push me away from reviewing. They won’t. I’ll keep reviewing and eventually return back to my own writing. When I am ready.

Until then, I am so outtie….