Sometimes Bad is Bad

My copy of Manhandled by E. L. Scobie arrived in the mail on Saturday afternoon. Studly brought the mail in, and I didn’t see the book until Sunday.

This is me before reading the book.

Immediately I set about reading this salacious looking novel that was published in 1963, a Midwood Book, by Tower Publications in New York City.

Having read my share of romance novels over the years I imagined this particular book would be tame in comparison to the bodice rippers I’d devoured in my twenties and thirties. I was both right and wrong.

This novel is hardly tame; however, the sex scenes aren’t titillating at all. With one really sweet exception, they’re just sad and tawdry. The front and back covers had more campy sexual appeal than the entire contents of the book combined.

I tried googling Scobie, with no luck, and I’m certain the author used a pen name. This seems to be his/her only published work, but it was, indeed, published which makes me think the author might have been trying a different genre. I’ll give the author this much—he/she wrote lyrically about the beauty of the area in which the book is set.

The book was disappointing. It didn’t make me want to lure Studly Doright to my boudoir for a night of passion, which had been on my mind. Instead, it inspired me to daydream about fishing in a cold mountain stream. And I dislike fishing. Go figure.

Peace, people!

A Little Beach Music

“Besides,” she said, out of the blue, “We have nothing to gain now, yet nothing more to lose.

So take my hand, no, this one. Hoist me up from my place in the sand.”

Together they eyed the waves, sidelong glances at one another

Wedged between sighs masquerading as cogent thoughts. Neither had the means,

Nor the answers. “Will you love me still once this is done?” He asked.

“What makes you think I love you now?” She replied, as the gulls wheeled over head.

https://youtu.be/hu-bXvuPm7c

Opposites Attract

Forty-one years ago Studly Doright and I exchanged wedding vows in a small Baptist church in Dumas, Texas. We were young, dumb, and totally in love. We were also poor, a fact I didn't fully comprehend until I began counting the funds we had remaining after spending a quick honeymoon in the dubious luxury of the Camelot Inn in Amarillo, Texas. 

We'd gotten married on July 30, 1976, and I remember turning to Studly on our 45 mile drive back to Dumas, Texas, and the rental home we'd signed a six month lease agreement on and saying, "This can't be right. We only have a hundred dollars left and you won't get paid again until the 15th." 

Thus began my understanding that my life had changed forever. No longer was I under the financial protection of my mom and dad. I was now a partner in a brand new relationship that extended beyond romance and into the arena of money. I was woefully unprepared for this new reality.

Thankfully, Studly was barely more prepared than I had been. Did I mention how dumb we were? The difference between the two of us was that he never doubted his ability to provide. I worried, but he never did. 

Somehow, we always managed to scrape enough money together to pay the rent and buy groceries.

Nowadays, the money isn't as tight. I still worry, though. Studly still doesn't. I guess that's the whole opposites attract theory in action. We've made it this far and that's no small feat. I think we'll shoot for at least another twenty years.

Peace, people.

Love on the Mild Side

“Look up,” he urged, “See the cardinal?”
“Where? Oh, there! I see her!”
“Not HER,”  he laughed. “His plumage gives away the gender.”

“That’s just wrong,” she sighed. “The guys have all the good stuff.”
“I agree,” he smiled. “After all, I have you.”


End of the Middle

Deep inside the story, past the start of the beginning, but before the middle of the end

When the boy has met the girl, and kissed the girl, but not yet lost the girl, that’s my favorite part.

The waters are still calm and the wide open skies are blue. Conflict sits on a shelf by the door.

At the end of the middle, she is still his. There’s been no misunderstanding, no complicated,

Convoluted, comical slash and parry. Only long, hungry looks and a shared danish.

Outlander Angst

I started book seven of the Outlander series today. Those of you who urged me to read Diana Gabaldon’s epic tale of love, lust, war, and time travel should be thoroughly ashamed of yourselves. Before entering the universe occupied by Jamie (sigh!) and Claire, I was relatively normal. 

And, when pressed as to why I hadn’t read the books, being the avid reader that I am, I’d smirk, “I don’t read romance novels,” in a slightly condescending voice. 

Then one day I panicked, having found myself without a book queued up on my Amazon wish list, and so to pacify my earnest Outlander loving friends I placed an order for that first book on kindle. I’ve not been the same since.

From the outset it was clear that the first book, from whence the series takes its name, was more than a simple romance novel. There was complexity here, and, well, time travel. I read science fiction and fantasy, so this was right up my alley. 

In the middle of the third book of the series, Voyager, something shifted. I began dreaming about the characters, not just as they are in the books, but as if we were interacting in real time. We’d have full-blown conversations. In addition I began thinking in a Scottish accent. Please tell me I’m not nuts. 

Now, at the beginning of book seven, I’m on the verge of a breakdown. At present, there are eight books in the series. I’m on the next to the last one. 

The books are long, and I am not a fast reader. Jamie (sigh!) and Claire will be with me for at least another month. Even so, that special heartache of knowing I’m in the final stages of a great series has set in. I can’t put the book down, thus I soon will have nothing left of Jamie (sigh!) and Claire.


And if anyone suggests I watch the televised version of the series, I will slap them. After all, I don’t watch romance!

Peace, people.

My Husband is no Poet

Married young
my high school love
nearly forty years ago

Romantic novels
formed expectations
of how our lives should go:

Every day a poem
written in honor of
my beauty and my style,

Long conversations
about my attributes
all to make me smile.

Instead I got
this grounded man
no poetry in his soul

Who works so hard
to care for me, my
well-being is his goal

And if that isn’t
poetry of a sort, I reckon
it should be

The poetry of keeping
one’s hands on the wheel for
his woman’s sake

The verse of tending
to her every physical need in
sickness and in health

Maybe this man is the
poet I longed for in days
long past

Or perhaps he’s the muse
who fills my pages with tales
enough to last.

Happy anniversary Studly!