Seven lines from Prohibited Passion

Amy Jo Fleming tagged me in a Seven Lines post, and here are seven lines from my novella, Prohibited Passion:

“I’m not the sort you should be spending time with,” CeeCee remarked, seeing Ruth’s hesitation. “Go home, Ruth. Back to your safe bed.”
“I don’t want to.” The words popped out before she could stop herself. “I’d rather be here.”
CeeCee took a final drag on her cigarette and crushed it under her heel. She exhaled, making wavering smoke rings. Ruth smiled.
“All right then.” CeeCee held out her hand. “Come with me and I’ll show you the other side.”

I’m not tagging anyone else, but if you feel like putting up seven lines, drop me a note in the comments! I’d love to read your work!

Food: Crêpes, my favourite breakfast.


How can I explain how much I love crêpes? Perhaps it’s enough to say that I love them enough that I wish I could eat them every day, whether it be for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. As a kid, crêpes were the sort of thing we got as a special Sunday brunch treat (or on request for a birthday breakfast, which is what inspired me to write this post, given that it is my birthday and I had crêpes for breakfast.)

When I was in Paris, one of my favourite snacks was to grab a crêpe from a crêperie as we took in the sights. And crêpes go well with a bottle of apple cider, sitting on a terrace of a café in Montmartre.

Even once I went gluten-free, I have still been able to have crêpes. I just use GF flour instead of wheat flour. Thanks to the Gluten-Free Girl’s blog, I now have an easy way to make crêpe batter. It’s an easy method based on ratios (2 parts liquid, 2 parts egg, 1 part flour). To make one crêpe (using a cast-iron crêpe pan, not the electric ones where you dip them into the batter), you need:

1 egg
1 ounce of flour
2 ounces of milk
a dash of salt

Whisk these together and pour them onto the heated crêpe pan. Flip the crêpe when it’s ready, and then put it on a plate and fill it with Nutella, raspberries (what I ate today for breakfast), or whatever your heart desires. (If you’re using GF flour, you can use a flour mix, or simply pick your favourite. I especially like crêpes done with sorghum flour mixed with a bit of tapioca starch.)

Today is Bastille Day

Or in French: la Fête Nationale.

It commemorates the storming of the Bastille in 1789, which you may recall as the beginning of the French Revolution. After the Revolution, France became a republic. There are three ideals of the republic for all French citizens: liberty, fraternity, and equality.

There are celebrations today all over France, and in many countries of the world. I don’t know of any in my local area, though several of the French restaurants in the city are promoting Bastille Day specials.

More on Bastille Day at Wikipedia.

I’m laughing as much as I was when I read the original Fifty Shades.

Young, arrogant, tycoon Earl Grey seduces the naïve coed Anna Steal with his overpowering good looks and staggering amounts of money, but will she be able to get past his fifty shames, including shopping at Walmart on Saturdays, bondage with handcuffs, and his love of BDSM (Bards, Dragons, Sorcery, and Magick)? Or will his dark secrets and constant smirking drive her over the edge?

Actually, strike that. I’m laughing more.

Quite sensibly, I began reading Fifty Shames of Earl Grey when I was by myself, flying to Chicago. And I proceeded to laugh out loud — and gain some puzzled looks — as I read. But how to explain the jokes in Fifty Shames? I didn’t attempt it then, because I didn’t want to get kicked off the plane for being a pervert.

It’s a delight to read. I still think of lines from the book and snicker to myself during a quiet moment at work, or while I’m walking home. Who but Fanny Merkin could put together jabs at Twilight, Fifty Shades, bronies, tea, and tech (mini-disc player, anyone)?

Even if you haven’t read E.L. James’ Fifty Shades (or the entire trilogy), you should still read Fifty Shames. It’s better, it’s funnier, and you’ll want more when you’re done.

Buy Fifty Shames of Earl Grey at

Check out the site for more:

‘What did we suppress in order to become what we are?’

I just finished watching the film Caché (Hidden), directed by Michael Haneke, and starring Juliette Binoche and Daniel Auteuil. I’d seen it once before, during a film festival, and I came out of the theatre completely baffled by what I had seen. Thus, I decided to watch it once again and attempt to further understand the film.

In summary, Georges and his wife Anne receive a series of videotapes, each of which contains a long film exposure of the outside of their house. Later videotapes are wrapped in what appears to be child’s drawings. Over the course of the film, the footage on the tapes becomes more personal and Georges realizes who may be sending the tapes. Discovering the identity of the sender evokes old and guilty memories for Georges.

In an interview provided in the DVD’s special features, Michael Haneke states that the film was meant to discuss and evoke the French and Algerian conflict in the 60s, particularly the deaths of 200 Algerian protesters in the Seine, but to portray this conflict and guilt on a personal level, and to show what sort of things can be swept under the carpet. He compares the ability of a nation to forget or hide tragic things with that of a family or couple able to continue on with domestic life as usual, even though difficult or strange things are occurring. Hence his question: ‘What did we suppress in order to become what we are?’

That question resonated with me. As Haneke points out, Georges as a six year old has acted in a way that is considered normal, his protection of his own status and place in his home, as younger children are not as cognizant of the needs of others. Yet this action by young Georges has lifelong implications for the Algerian boy his parents were caring for. It makes me wonder, what has each person suppressed in their life, things they have done that they are ashamed of, that might crop up later?

As a writer, it intrigues me, and it would be an incredible basis for a story, or an intense back-story for a character. The wounds a person bears have an impact on how they act, and how they live, even years later. For myself as a writer, one of the hardest parts of writing is coming up with that back-story, that wound, and making it such that it colours the actions of the character, intertwining with every part of their being. Haneke’s question is going to become part of my plotting, I’m sure of it.

Are there films that you’ve seen which influence your writing?

I want to write a blog post about this article….

…. but yet I don’t really know what to say just yet. So, I shall share the article instead.

Go check out From This Day Forward: Marriage in Gay & Lesbian Fiction

“When gay people everywhere can marry, will that mean the end of gay literature?” I was regularly asked this question last spring while on tour for my most recent book, an account of how novels and plays in the years after World War II shook up sexual attitudes. This was months before President Obama announced his support for gay marriage; the subject was already very much out there.

But the question confused me. Why would a valuable piece of social progress close a literary door? Nobody thought women would no longer be a good subject for fiction once they got the vote. Nobody argues that African-American literature ended when Obama was elected. I soon developed a handy response: “Oh, no — gay marriage is going to give us a whole new subject to write about.” But since then I’ve been thinking it over more closely, wondering just how same-sex marriage might affect literature, about what could change and what may have been there all along.

My short story is free!

My short story, Betting the Farm, is free on Amazon from today through Friday! Check it out!


After her father’s funeral, Elly has come back to the family farm to pack up the heirlooms and arrange for the sale of the property. What starts as a lonely night turns into something more when a thunderstorm brings a beautiful stranger to her door…

(It’s also available at Amazon UK, DE, FR, ES, IT).