A Kallmaker to soothe the grumpy butch

It’s been a tough week,

seems like there have been,

many of those,

this Summer,

hot and humid,

makes for low sales,


a grumpy,

sleep deprived,


with wonky concentration.

But, I still got my looks and a rockin’ new haircut:-P

The kitchen is getting a face lift,

new doors,

on the cabinets,


a subway tile ceramic back splash,

looks good,

brings it,

into this century,

from the nineties,

mom is over the moon happy,

I like it too.

The problem is that it messes with ,

my already messed up,


oh well,

it will be finished soon,

I hope 🙂

My lady sent me,

a package with some books,

she’s so sweet and considerate that way<swoon>

One of the books,

helped with my mood,


my concentration problems,

a Karin Kallmaker romance,

that I hadn’t read,


I have read all but,

the last two,

I read one last year,

that I wasn’t crazy about,

the story didn’t work for me.

However, even a Kallmaker,

that isn’t her best,

is still head and shoulders,

over most romance novels.

The one I read this week,

is Warming Trend,

set briefly in Key West,

but mostly,

in Alaska.

An Alaskan setting is perfect when you are suffering from the heat

I liked this book,

a lot,

good romance,

an intrigue,

some science,

that seems credible,

mind, I’m no scientist.

I enjoyed the info about ice,

and the effects of,

man made havoc.

The main character,

Ani is a brilliant,

butch ice geologist,

well, almost she’s working on her Phd,

full of passion,

and irresistible naivete,

a strong, smart, character,

who perhaps trusts people,

too much.

Her work ethic and honesty,

are exemplary,

she doesn’t play games,

she doesn’t even know how,

thinks everyone is like her,




working in the interests of science.

I’m simplifying a complex character,


this is at her root.

A good story,

interesting characters,

even the ‘vilain’,

isn’t one dimensional.

The secondary characters are well drawn,

the mark of good fiction,


it’s wonderfully romantic.

Good read,

entertaining, sexy.

Just what a grumpy ole butch needed.

Later girls,







Finding comfort in old “Friends”

I’m trying not to feel down but, I’m not really succeeding.

Yesterday, I went to the Grande Bibliotheque.

I visit every 3 weeks or so.

I got a Henning Mankel for my mom, she loves his stuff,


 not so much.

I went with my friend Sylvain he explored and so did I.

I’ve already mentionned how I love to randomly peruse the stacks,

well, quasi randomly,

 I would never peruse in economics or  something like that.

I came across a whole bunch of Muriel Spark’s  that I have never read,

it wasn’t that difficult I have only read two or three.

The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie, left such an impression on me as a teenager.

The movie starring the wonderful Maggie Smith might have left an even bigger impression.

I love books about boarding schools or just private British schools,

 it is one of those inexplicable things,

 like my love for books about Himalayan exploration,

 go figure.

Anyway, Miss Jean Brodie, Goodbye Mr Chips and To Serve Them All My days

I would re-read in a heartbeat.

Funny, how things impress you at a young age.

Twenty years ago or so, I watched The Prime Of  Miss Jean Brodie, with my ex.

She had never seen it and I wanted to share it with her.

 Now, my ex is nothing like me,

 very logical, very Cartesian.

I think, by now you guys know, that I am a hopeless romantic.

So, she says to me, ” how can you admire that character, she’s  a bloody fascist.”

I was deeply offended but, on second look she was  right, she usually is.

Miss Brodie is blinded by beauty and ideal she doesn’t see the ugly,

 in her or in others.

If you haven’t read it you should, it is slim and a quick read.

Most, of Spark’s books are slim and yet, they are dense and full of the darkest irony.

I’m not sure I always get her irony but, I enjoy trying.

The novel I picked up yesterday is called,  The Girls Of Slender Means.

I have seen it on a list of  must read books. I’ll let you know.

Another book I brought home is, The Christmas Holiday  by Somerset Maugham.

Somerset Maugham is one of my favorite writers.

 I’m shocked to notice that I have never mentioned this fact.

I have read many of his books–  novels and memoirs as well as numerous short stories.

I think he is a master.

The book I picked up yesterday, is called Christmas Holiday  and I had never heard of it.

I love his style,

 precise, never flowery and yet not stark like Hemingway.

I also love the fact that he never rewrites the same book twice.

Don’t get me wrong I like coming back to a familiar world  ( Harry Potter)

or to an author who uses recurrent symbolism  ( John Irving-bears, Vienna and wrestling).

Maugham is an old pro, was he died in 1965,

who I am always willing to follow on a journey through the human psyche.

Although, I have read about twenty of his books , only one I didn’t enjoy, The Magician.

I have no interest in the paranormal, OK, little interest.

Should be finished Finders Keepers, the Karin Kallmaker, today.

I’ll have quite a bit to say about it.

Later girls

take care

and don’t get heat stroke


Top Lesbian Romance novels part 3

As I look over my list, I’m struck by how many of them deal with loss and grief. 

 Lisa Shapiro’s Endless Love deals with the death of a young woman’s lover and how she climbs out of the abyss of that grief.   Andrea (I’m pretty sure it’s Andrea) in the first part of the book  is a college student in a New England college.  Andrea is a loner and a brain. She needs extra money so she starts to tutor, Ryan.   Ryan, is a jock theology student.They fall in love, and Ryan dies. 

 In the second half of the book, Andrea is working in an ad agency, writing copy. She is still a loner and her trust issues are worst then ever. Her parents are divorced and her sister is dealing with severe mental illness. In walks Gwen, her new boss. Gwen is very beautiful and accomplished and has had to start all over again after a massive heart attack nearly took her life.

Both of these women have lots of pain in their past, and don’t trust that love will ever happen again. In spite of themselves they fall in love. It is a very hopeful novel. Bad things, even tragic things, happen to all of us. Lisa Shapiro in Endless Love, helps us to believe that you can find your way back and that love will make it bearable. 

This book is about quirky, oddball types who make it. It gives hope to all the quirky oddballs out there and I know that represents legions of us. 

Watermark by Karin Kallmaker is also about grief. Rayann and Louisa have been together a long time , they are very happy. An accident takes Louisa, and Rayann must rebuild her shattered life. She has friends, she has family but, she no longer has Louisa, the love of her life. She takes a new job and meets Reese, a young woman who is nothing like Louisa. Louisa was much older, Reese is much younger. Rayann resists Reese, she is still in love with Louisa, but Louisa is dead.

Again this book is about grief and how difficult it is to surmount. It is beautiful and sometimes difficult to read because of the pain the characters are experiencing.

A good novel takes you on a voyage, both of these novels do that. They are not happy voyages but, voyages nonetheless.

You feel for and even with, the characters. Everyone has unresolved pain and issues. Reading about fictitious characters dealing with hard stuff  helps to put context and texture to your own baggage. It brings solace and you don’t have to open things up publicly. Novels are cheaper and more fun than psychotherapy, and for most of us, all that is required.

Later guys


Romance, why am I so attracted to it?

“Love, in a world where carpenters can be resurected, anything is possible”

  Eleanor of Aquitaine


Years ago I discovered Lesbian romance novels. I had never really enjoyed romance novels I didn’t find

them realistic. But, when I discovered the novels of Karin Kallmaker I didn’t really care how realistic they were, I was hooked.

You see,  I had read gay and lesbian theme books before, but, they always tended to end badly, to offer no hope.

It could also be that at the time I discovered Kallmaker I discovered the gay, lesbian and feminist bookstore

(the now dearly departed L’Androgyne.)

I wanted to read about women like me. Women  who were attracted to and loved other women. I was not suicidal

and I was not ashamed but, I was starving for representation. At the time, lesbians did not exist except in a pathetic

or derisive way in books or movies. Sometimes it feels like yesterday and sometimes like a century ago.

It is in fact fifteen, twenty years give or take a year. The world has changed a lot since then. We went from kd Lang

and Melissa Etheridge coming out to the big splash of Ellen. In Canada, where I live it is legal to marry—- that my friends is progress.

It used to be that we would get excited about a movie where the lesbian(actually bisexual) character

was a vampire because there on screen were two beautiful women (Susan Sarandon and Catherine Deneuve in The

Hunger) kissing and topless.

Kallmaker and others represented lesbians in happy mode. Wooing each other, breaking up, getting back together and having hot and heavy sex. The sex was hot but, it always involved love and that to me is irresistible.

I’m a hopeless romantic. I love a happy ending. I know, from personal experience, that life isn’t like that

 but, so what, a girl can dream can’t she?

I’m attracted to romance novels  because, I’m attracted to hope.