Pandemic Diary – Me No Pause, Some Book Reviews, Capitalism, Supplements, Please Buy Me a Computer

My last two posts are the result of a brain riddled with stress through the fog of menopause, and today’s life of pandemic, war, poverty, inequality, fascism, book banning; legislative cruelty, oppression, and bigotry; stupid politicians; greedy corporations price gouging everyone and everything; rich assholes lecturing us poors about our work habits because they need someone to exploit and condescend to, et cetera. I had to go back to see what I wrote I was so disconcerted and adrift. 

Apologies if the writing was all over the place and overtly limp, queasy, and faltering in all its stickiness. In an attempt to maintain a flow of writing, oftentimes you’ll get the awkward and undereducated—since I am—unpacking the inelegant and unintelligible in words and sentences haphazard just cuz—all things UN. It is ANnoying and EMbarrassing, but whatever, I’m gonna go with the spate of it because I cannot seem to find ground in my work lately. If I need to jettison the lot of it, so be it—this will be my dumping pit. 

My liver needed a break from the supplements so I stopped taking them. When that happened, the menopause flooded my body leaving me inundated with symptoms. I won’t terrorize you with what those are—for now; it’s not pretty—scattered brain a big part of it on top of the currently fucked up ADHD I have makes for some rather gritty-eyeball-inducing times. I’ve been going through this now on and off for eleven years. I really, really want it to be done. Oh, and when they tell you supplements don’t work, maybe not for everyone but they sure as hell work for me. 

On capitalism and the U.S.—I am not a capitalist, but I’m not an anti-capitalist; I’m more an anarchist-capitalist, if there is such a thing? (After researching it, nope, I absolutely am not.) We’ll probably never get rid of capitalism in my time or ever. This capitalism, however, is diseased; there is rot and contamination. And that’s really all I got. I’ve tried to do the appropriate amount of push and pull with it; I like nice things like everyone else, especially more so since I rarely get them, and I’m a bit more privileged than some and have enjoyed few (very few) privileges on the fringe of some rich people—still, the unfairness hits me directly in the center and doesn’t really abate even when one is enjoying something nice. I do a philosophical dance with capitalism daily and more times than not, I wanna punch someone in the throat who deigns to even suggest that capitalism is fair in its current iteration. It is not. 

If you dive into a book with an I’m an adult, I’m not a child and I don’t need a book to tell me those things kind-of-attitude—first, congratulations, what a big ego you have, and second, a child will likely have a more open perspective and experience than an adult when they read a book, perceiving things adults casually dismiss, assume, or glance over without thought so I wouldn’t necessarily reject it so casually or carelessly. Perhaps we should endeavor to be more child-like when we submerge ourselves into a book or any art so we can view it with fresh eyes and attitude? Just a thought and a reminder that suspension of disbelief is a thing you ought practice when reading or experiencing art, but far be it of me to tell y’all what you ought do—you do you; you always do. You can still suspend disbelief and use your brain to critically analyze—these are not mutually exclusive acts; well, perhaps for some people they are; so much work for such limited minds. I made note of suspension of disbelief before, but apparently, y’all need to hear it again. 

I found another thing that made me squirm annoyingly when I was reading a historical romance story—anachronistic dialogue, like really. And before I forget, the A single sentence paragraph should be an exception, not the rule was a suggestion and not to be taken absolutely. I realize that these single-sentence lines move the action along in romances. I love big fat densely packed paragraphs filled with all kinds of goodies, but I’m well aware that the action lies in those single sentences too, thus I have no expectation one way or the other regarding them—just saying, in case that remark made you a bit twitchy. 

I don’t know about y’all but I’ve had to cut back on my expenses even more so than usual, especially since my desktop computer is about to give out. Subscriptions are the first to go, unfortunately. If I don’t have a computer then I’m screwed because I cannot even work my jobs. I’ve taken my refurbished fifteen-year-old Dell XPS as far as it can go. It is now groaning and cursing at me to allow it to retire respectfully. If anyone has an overabundance and burden of money and would like to spend it on someone else who has very little, I need something along these lines—Dell XPS with an Intel i7 core plus at least 16-32 GB of memory, an Nvidia video card, and at least 512 GB to 1 TB of storage. This will probably do me for the next ten to twenty years—if I/we (as in humanity) survive that long. Are you seriously asking for help, you ask? Yes, I’m not above it, and when the need is dire—well. I’d rather people not give me money, just send me the computer if I may be so bold to request, because of taxes. I haven’t recovered still from the last time I was ravaged so thoroughly by taxes while making poverty wages. And I haven’t even bought new glasses or contacts yet. Poverty is expensive.

Instead of catching up on all the book reviews I missed, I’m going to place small reviews here. I’m working on my other writing and full reviews are being set aside, for now. 

Romance Authors that I’ve found and favorited over the last several months: Joanna Shupe, Leigh Bardugo, Tessa Dare, Jennifer Ashley, Courtney Milan, Amalie Howard, Eloisa James, Lisa Kleypas, Loretta Chase, and Mary Balogh

Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone Trilogy (YA and not romance but it very well could be) and the entire Grishaverse Series is an exceptional one as is the Netflix series. My favorite is probably Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom, but I loved Shadow and Bone too. The worldbuilding is remarkable and the characters singular. I would’ve liked to explore more of the gothic romance between Alina and the General, alas. Perhaps they’ll explore it in the show since Ben Barnes is so pretty and entertaining. King of Scars and Rule of Wolves had me shipping Nik and Zoya so much I read both books in two days—marvelously written chemistry, as in steamy and will they or won’t they. The Grishaverse definitely has become my favorite Young Adult series. Absolutely looking forward to the remaining seasons of the Netflix series. 

Jennifer Ashley’s Mackenzies & McBrides Series is really good. I have yet to get all the way through it (on a budget remember; the library rocks)—the last one I read was Rules for a Proper Governess. My favorites so far besides The Madness of Lord Ian McKenzie were Lady Isabella’s Scandalous  Marriage (artist!) and The Duke’s Perfect Wife although I really liked all of them.

Amalie Howard’s books were a nice surprise. The four books I read were all really good: The Everleigh Sisters (or Regency Rogues) Series, Rule for Heiresses, and The Princess Stakes. Bravo for the four joys!

Loretta Chase was yet another surprise. The Fallen Women Series was a fantastic change of pace and one I would like to read more since one can easily get tired of the rich/innocent/virginal/woman trope. Don’t Tempt Me may have been a bit problematic culturally per the reviews but it prompted me to do more research and discuss it. I enjoyed it nevertheless. I’m working my way through her books and am enjoying every book. The Scoundrels series and The Dressmakers Series (more sisters) are really good. 

Eloisa JamesEssex Sisters Series quickly became my favorite before Joanna Shupe’s Uptown Girls booted it into second place. This would be another series I would love to see made by Netflix. The Wilde’s is fun—Say No To The Duke was my favorite. 

While I was reading Joanna Shupe’s books, I was working through Mary Balogh’s Westcott Series—I’m waiting for the sixth book in the series from the library. Her books are a bit more sedate than what I normally prefer. I love her big fat densely packed paragraphs though, her nuance of humor, and her characters are unusual and not more of the same. Her sex scenes always leave me a bit detached, but I enjoy her books nonetheless. I especially enjoyed Viola’s book as an older woman and hope for more of those in historical romance. It gets old (PUN!) when the protagonists are all twenty-some-year-old rich aristocratic virgins. Didn’t I write that earlier?

Stay safe, y’all. 

© 2022 Matilda London/Pamela Gay Mullins

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