Some writing and music tidbits

Words on Paper

Tuesdays in Blog Me MAYbe are themed “May I tell you something about myself?” Here are some tidbits about my tastes in writing, my characters, and my tastes in music:

I HATE Word with the fire of a billion Suns, though I’ve lazily kept using it even after re-installing Pages just out of force of bad habit, and because I like how it autocorrects typos, and how you can teach it new autocorrects based on your most common typos of words not already in their system. But I hate how you can’t get into the dictionary of words you added during spell-checks, and remove them if the dictionary gets too big, or if you realize you added a misspelling. I loved being able to do that in the older programs.

If it were possible, I’d track down old copies of ClarisWorks or MacWriteII and install them with my external disk drive. I’d even love to go back to using a vintage Nineties computer just so I can have all the old familiar programs back. Yes, they were technologically inferior, but I loved how they had all the basic stuff right on the top bar of the document, and in a few basic menus. You didn’t have to hunt all over to find out how to do things, or wade through twenty different menus and formatting bars.

The character I’ve been with the longest now is Henry Unicorn-Mitchell. I created him sometime in the late Eighties, when I was still mostly doing picture books. I suppose I liked him so much I decided to use him again when I started my first Atlantic City book in November ’91. Now that I think about it, it’s entirely possible I also created some of his friends along with him, like Harry, Dan, and Dave (in much different incarnations, of course).

Though after participating in the Dust It Off Bloghop, I’ve begun to reconsider my decision to permanently shelve my old character Anne Terrick, who was created even before Henry and called Ann-Ann (or An-An, maybe). I kid you not, her actual name was really originally Ann-Ann. Perhaps all her story needed all along was some major retooling. I wouldn’t have matured as a writer if I hadn’t let her story go and realized it needed too much surgery to bother with, but I could still retain the same character and general concept while making a much better, stronger, more realistic, more historically accurate saga told in journal form.

After all, my first Russian novel lost a lot of the original 1993 material and took on a much different plot trajectory, but that didn’t change the same general storyline I had in my head. It just got more mature and developed a lot more twists and turns. The junk was tossed and the glimmers of gold were brought to the surface and radically reworked. It was really a stroke of genius that I hit upon the idea of Lyuba ending up with Ivan instead, and eventually of them having secretly been in love all along. Otherwise, I’m not so sure that book could’ve been saved or become what it eventually did.

The newest vinyl in my album collection is Join Together, a triple album of The Who’s 1989 25th anniversary tour. I also have a large commemorative magazine documenting that tour, found in the vintage music magazines section of Amherst’s Mystery Train Records.

The most current album in my collection (in CD form) is George Harrison’s posthumous swan song Brainwashed. I have very mixed feelings about this album and rated it 3.5 stars on my old Angelfire site. Too many of the songs are too downtempo, don’t really go anywhere musically, and sound all the same. (I’m obviously not going to hold it against George for sounding kind of weak on some of the tracks, knowing he was very sick at the time.) There are only a couple of tracks I really love, like the title track, “Any Road,” and “Marwa Blues.”

Currently the oldest records in my vinyl collection are from 1964. I’ve got Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. and a bunch of those crappy Capitol repackagings of The Beatles’ early catalogue.

I’ve got, like, seven albums made in my lifetime from people who got famous in my lifetime, out of 33 albums I own that were made in my lifetime. And both of those bands are now eligible for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, so my tastes aren’t that modern. (Okay, technically they’re from three bands, but one of those bands was just a spin-off and not an entirely new entity.)

The most recent addition to my vinyl collection is So Red the Rose (1985), which was a present from my so-called fiancé/boyfriend/whatever he still peripherally is to me.

Horny Hump Day—Julieanna, Henry, and Adeline

(Warning: Not safe for work or appropriate for those under age 18!)

This week’s snippet for Horny Hump Day picks up shortly after last week’s left off. Julieanna has fallen out of love with her husband for not the first time and hasn’t slept with him for about five years. (Not by choice; her buffoonish husband Kevin neglected to tell her he’d been in an accident that gave him problems with impotence, and didn’t even try to work on his erectile problems.) She decides to have a little fun in the bubblebath with her notoriously sexual friends Henry and Adeline while she’s still there. Julieanna found the couple’s X-rated newspaper with an ad for penis enlargement surgery circled, and Henry has just admitted that he’s getting it done.

***

Julieanna pushed away the bubbles and looked through the water to see just how big Henry already was, and smiled when she saw he was standing at full attention in spite of being submerged in water. She held her hand over it to guesstimate the size, and figured he had to be at least five inches. “Who knew a woman like Adeline Myers would turn into such a sexual wildcat she couldn’t be satisfied with a perfectly respectable, average size?”

Horny Hump Day—Julieanna, Henry, and Adeline

(Warning: Not safe for work or appropriate for those under age 18!)

This week’s snippet for Horny Hump Day picks up shortly where last week’s left off. Julieanna left a Christmas party to get their extremely late friends Henry and Adeline. Just as everyone suspected, they were no-shows because they were too busy having various sorts of sexual fun. Now Julieanna, who’s very unhappy in her marriage (and a few years later starts an affair with her first love Harry, who’s also unhappy in his own mistake marriage), decides to have a little fun before she has to go back to the party.

***

“This looks like more fun than anything Kevin’s done with me in I can’t remember when,” Julieanna said as she began taking her clothes off.

Adeline’s jaw dropped as Julieanna removed her last article of clothing, climbed into the bubblebath, and reached for the weekly X-rated newspaper she and Henry subscribed to. As Julieanna was looking through the newspaper, she began giggling when she saw an ad for penis enlargement surgery had been circled.

Horny Hump Day—Julieanna, Henry, and Adeline

(Warning: Not safe for work or appropriate for those under age 18!)

This week’s snippet for Horny Hump Day features Julieanna Malspur, the great-aunt of Alicia from my previous samples. It’s 1960, and everyone is annoyed because their notoriously oversexed friends Henry and Adeline haven’t shown up to the Christmas party yet. Julieanna, who loves snooping and doesn’t always have the greatest sense of social propriety, takes it upon herself to go over to their mansion, catch them in the act, and bring them to the party whether they like it or not.

Henry is possibly my most special character, since he’s my oldest character I’m still working with. I created him sometime in the late Eighties, when I was still making picture books, and for whatever reason decided to use him again when I started my Atlantic City books in November 1991. Little did I know I’d still be writing about him into the present day (when he and Adeline are still as oversexed as ever!).

***

Julieanna followed the loud amorous noises up to the fifth floor, where she peeked into a bathroom and saw Henry and Adeline groping one another in a bubblebath. Unnoticed, she tiptoed into their bedroom and started going through their gigantic walk-in closet, unable to believe the things these supposed goody-two-shoes, devout Christian, staunch Republicans had on display—a golden vibrator, lingerie that left nothing to the imagination, an entire bookshelf of romance novels, erotic paintings, a photo album so kinky it turned her stomach, and a collection of sex toy catalogues she was shocked had made it past the Comstock Act.

“Henry, may I borrow these velvet handcuffs?” Julieanna asked as she casually walked into the bathroom, savoring their horrified looks at being caught in the act.