A Woman’s Guide to Men’s Man-Part Pics

June 2nd, 2011 Kathleen O'Reilly Posted in Funnies, Newsflash 2 Comments »

The Washington Post has a thoughtful piece on the non-alllure of man-parts pics. Actually, I should clarify, because obviously there is an allure of man-part pics to the man who took the pic of his man-parts. But for women, it’s a non-starter.  And yet, the pics continue, as if some men cannot comprehend that a woman is not thrilled by the 800 by 600 close-up of their man-parts.  Oh, we  silly-willy women!  Not appreciating glandular grandeur on a phone and/or other computing device! 

So what is thrilling?  What visuals stir the senses?  According to the article, “folded laundry.  Maybe in a wicker basket.” 

Ah, yes. 

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Crystal Ball Time: Romance Novels in 20 Years

April 27th, 2011 Kathleen O'Reilly Posted in Newsflash, Reading Matters Comments Off

There has been a lot of discussion regarding feminism vis a vis romance vis a vis sex.  DearAuthor had a great discussion that raised a lot of questions and spawned a lot of passion debates.

When I was in my 20s, I wanted my own software company, a Red Porsche (911 aka the BubbleButt, not 944), and a maid.  When I was in my 30s, I wanted to see the world, have kids and have a maid.  Now, in the 40s, I actually only care about the maid.  (THAT WAS A JOKE.  KIDS, DH, I LOVE YOU MADLY).  I have always believed that a romance novel was a fairly empowering device on many levels.  In most cases, it is the heroine who is the catalyst for changing the hero.  In the best sorts of romance novels, the heroine is a force to be reckoned with.

Kathleen as CEO!

I have read and enjoyed romance novels that I wouldn’t consider empowering, the ones where the hero is all-powerful and the heroine is merely a lamp-post in the story.  By and large, I can’t glom a lot of stories like this, because eventually they do start pissing me off.   What’s fun in one book, starts making me self-analyze in Book 2, and by Book 3, I start questioning why I are still reading this and if it makes me a bad person, much like watching a Scream movie marathon.  HOWEVER, I think the reasons I can’t do a glom is because that in the 20s, I wanted a Red Porsche and my own software company.   Inherently, I recognize the disconnect between my own life goals (at one time) and what I’m reading on the paper and yes, it will begin to bug me.

So, the flipside of this is, if I didn’t have those particular life goals in my 20s, if instead I craved a more traditional life, a family, a husband, I don’t think I would question anything because there is no disconnect in who I am.

As people, we tend to grativate toward newspapers, blogs, friends, who reinforce what we believe is right.  One of the worst parts of the Internet is that we can always find newspapers, blogs, or online friends who reinforce what we believe is right, and we forget that we are all different.

Several years ago, I was talking to my dermatologist and she asked if what I did ever became boring, writing the same story over and over again.  I explained to her that everyone’s story is different.  Each person has a unique love story, because while we may share subsets of belief systems: the same set of goals (i.e. a Red Porsche), the same set of fears (sharks), or the same things that piss us off (Congress), the way these pieces come together is always guaranteed to be unique.

So, while I don’t worry too much about the feminist-anti-feminist mores of romance novels, I do wonder how things like this will shape the future.  Woman have surpassed men In Advanced Degrees.  From the HuffPost:

Among adults 25 and older, 10.6 million in the U.S. who earned a master’s degree or higher were women, compared to 10.5 million men. Women, however, still lag men in subcategories such as business, science and engineering.

In terms of finishing college, women surpass men in earning bachelor’s degrees, by 1.5 million.

In about twenty years from now, sitting in corporate america, women have better resumes than men.  In about twenty years from now, we will see a lot more women in top jobs.  In about twenty years from now, little girls growing up will see a lot more women CEOS and they will be wanting Red Porsches as well.

What I do wonder is in twenty years from now we will see more romance readers wanting career-oriented women (i.e. ‘that’s my world; I want to read about it’) or less (i.e. ‘Calgon, take me away!’).    So, what do you think?

In twenty years, do you think readers will want more career-oriented heroines or will they want less?

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Pain is a Four-Letter Word

April 19th, 2011 Kathleen O'Reilly Posted in Newsflash, Reading Matters Comments Off

According to an article in the Telegraph, swearing after hurting yourself can help numb the pain.  As a rule, I am not a swearer.  We had strict rules in our house, and I don’t know that I ever heard my parents say anything inappropriate.  As such, I never did, either.  Much.

But there are times, when I’m scared or shocked or anticipating disaster that my mouth engages without the rules. 

When I write, I usually try and use the vocabulary that is appropriate for the character.  We have ideas in our head about swearing (or at least I do).  Higher class, higher education usually swear less.  Sometimes a male will use swear words to show dominance or arrogance or toughness.  A female might do the same.  Swearing as an intimidation tactic. 

There are readers who complain about swear words in books or movies.  I know I HATE movies with a whole lot of extraneous swearing.   What do you think?  Does swearing bother you in books?  In movies?  Or do you consider it authenticity?

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Air Traffic Controller Asleep on the job? There’s an App for That…

April 14th, 2011 Kathleen O'Reilly Posted in Newsflash Comments Off

Apparently, the FAA has been attacked by another case of sleeping sickness.  DC, Reno, Seattle, Lubbock and Knoxville were all  reporting cases of sleeping-traffic-controller disease.  The FAA says, put another controller in the tower, but I can think of a gazillion ways to prevent sleep:

1.  Put newborn baby in tower

2.  Leak the tower phone number to charitable tele-marketers.

3.  Give the controllers a DHARMA like environment where they must push the button every 108 minutes or else the tower will blow.

4.  Attach a mild electric shock to the air controller’s chair.  If no one is answering the phone, activate the charge.

5.   Every seventeen minutes play Crazy Bob’s furniture commercial at standard cable volume. 

All of these solutions are inexpensive and effective, and today I’m announcing the creation of my exploratory committee to run for President of the United States.

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The Hidden Billet of Love

March 22nd, 2011 Kathleen O'Reilly Posted in Blogroll, Newsflash Comments Off

Ah, l’amour.  Antique l’amour is even l’amourier.  Jezbel has a post on a 200 year old love letter that was found in a chair.  An upholstery shop was repairing the chair, and discovered the old note folded in the arm of the chair.  It’s like An Affair to Remember, but really, really old.


I can picture this strapping French dude (much like Gaston from Beauty and the Beast) showing up every Tuesdays at 5:30 and every Friday at 5:30, waiting for his love, but alas, his little cabbage is nowhere to be found because the dude’s meddling aunt (much like meddling relatives found in every Barbara Cartland romance ever… written….) hid the the note in the chair in the arm of the chair.  Finally, fifty years later on her deathbed, she was about to confess her sin to her nephew, but only the following words escaped her lips before she expired. “I have done something… dreadful.  She…,”

After her mysterious pronouncement, Gaston immediately guessed the truth, and rode his trusty stead to the home of his little cabbage only to find her living happily in the castle with the Beast and lots of dancing furniture (including the chair, which had harbored the love letter all these years, never letting Belle know the truth).

Brought low with despair, Gaston threw himself off the steep walls of the castle, and the dancing furniture celebrated with a grand feast.

The End.

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ARC: Ante Up for Reading First (technically should be an ARF)

October 26th, 2010 Kathleen O'Reilly Posted in Newsflash, On Biz, Reading Matters Comments Off

Forbes has an article about a book club wherein members pay to receive an advance copy of a book and then discuss amongst themselves — all in advance of publication.  In Kathleen’s never-humble opinion, this is a really awesome idea.  Think how much MORE money JK Rowling could have made by selling an ARF of Harry Potter VII.  I myself would have reached into the old pocketbook for an ARF of the newest Reacher novel.   Publishers are enthusiastic, but wary, but I think it’s a total win-win-win. 

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Turning the E-Page

October 21st, 2010 Kathleen O'Reilly Posted in Kindle, Newsflash, Reading Matters Comments Off

USA Today today has a great article on the growing popularity of ebooks (sales up 193% over a year ago), but there’s a lot of discussion about how the eboook market is a limited market.  I agree with that one, but something that Seth Godin (I think he’s the one) said a while back has stuck in my noggin.  The people who now have ereaders are the die-hard readers, the bibliophile (ebiblios?), the limited market of the population that account for (now Kathleen’s making up stats) 75% of the books being bought.  Yes, I think 80% of the population will not have an e-reader, but only 75% of the US population read at least ONE book (2006 data — there’s probably something newer and even more alarming, but I’m too lazy to get it.  Sue me.) 

The general consensus seems to be that people who get an ereader end up purchasing more books (Kathleen’s experience has shown this to be true), so all in all, to quote Martha Stewart: “It’s a good thing.”


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Dialog in the Movies: I’m Mad as H&#K and not going to take it anymore!

October 20th, 2010 Kathleen O'Reilly Posted in Newsflash, On Writing Miseries Comments Off

Actually, the NYT has an article on the lack of memorable one-liners from Hollywood recently, and I’m thinking: “Ditto”.  Sure, nobody puts baby in a corner, but when it comes to rounding up the usual suspects of great dialog, even Sorkin has lost his mojo. 

I’m currently writing the opening scene for book 3, and was pondering the first line, so this article really resonated. 

Just wanted to share

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In Praise Of Manly Men

October 19th, 2010 Kathleen O'Reilly Posted in Newsflash Comments Off

The New York Times has a piece on the change in male models from ‘pretty boys’ to ‘manly men.’  And can I say that it’s about time?  Fashion, especially men’s fashion, has always caused me to giggle because it is SO not about my world, life watching an alien life form with curious eyes.  However, finally, a fashion article I can get behind.

I remember a few years ago, Harlequin was having trouble with getting cover models because the talent agencies would send them pretty boys instead of manly men, and finally they began to recruit outside normal talent channels.  Hats off to Dior and couture!  I for one, welcome the change.

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This Just In: Pollsters Say that Most Americans Unable to Believe S&%T

August 17th, 2010 Kathleen O'Reilly Posted in Funnies, Newsflash, Uncategorized Comments Off

Gawker and the NY Post are both reporting the latest in Cougar news.  Women are not actually hunting down young men in huge numbers.  I know, all of you cougar-istas are surprised by this finding, and I’m sure your age-appropriate SO is sighing in relief, and yet, we consider to be surprised that all of humanity is not exactly alike.

Drudge is reporting that 25% of Americans believe Obama is a Muslim. I believe 20% of earthly residents believe that aliens (space, not the other kind that make Lou Dobb’s head explode) have actually landed on earth and walk amongst us.  73% of Americans are unable to believe this S&IT, which has gone on to become a best-seller, 73% of All Americans Unable to Believe this SH&T My Father Says.  And 89% of all Americans believe politicians are corrupt (I just made that one up, but I bet it’s true).

Also, in other news, both Wired and Newsweek are reporting that the Internet is dead, although NPR and BNET both say that the reports of the Internet death (by both Wired and Newsweek) have been greatly exaggerated.  I say that you are not actually reading this post on the Internet, instead it is being channeled through your computer via the Psychic Friends Network (which actually died in the 1980s, but nobody knew, because DUH!).

Also, the New York Times is reporting that John Lenin is still dead.

Fiction is not dead.  On the Internet, nothing will ever die.

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