“Why not? You’re single, aren’t you?”

Someone I once met, and haven’t seen for years, suddenly sent me a picture of his erect prick without warning. I told him I wasn’t interested in knowing him that intimately and his response was: “Why not? You’re single, aren’t you?”

So… because I’m single I’d automatically want to get intimately involved with any man? Wow. I did not know that.

I do find it interesting what some men think is acceptable behaviour. Should I also mention that the man mentioned above has a fiancée? When I told him to direct this attention towards her instead, he said, “Later. Right now I’m turned on by the thought of you seeing it.”

Wait… you’re turned on by the thought of me seeing it? Really? So me taking a look, turning away in horror because I had no idea it was going to show up, is a turn-on? OK, then! Things must be going really well for you in your relationship if that’s a turn-on…

I’ve not been on Tinder myself, but I follow Tinder Nightmares on Instagram with great enthusiasm. On one hand it’s entertaining in a “human zoo” kind of way – on the other hand it’s horrifying to see how some of these men behave. Since when was braindead caveman behaviour regarded as a turn-on by anyone?

Or do these men keep doing it because it does work?

I’m publishing it

After giving it a lot of thought, I’ve decided to publish my latest novel. Thaaat’s right, I’m putting myself out there for the world to judge. At the moment the release date on Kindle is set to the 15th of June, a mere 10 days away.

If you want to have a look, there’s a sample chapter available here.

Oh, and if you have kindleunlimited you can read it for free.

Do all men cheat?

Before you comment that “women cheat too”, I’m obviously aware of that. However, my (potentially) romantic dealings are with men.

Why do I ask this question that so many have asked before me?

Well, I was thinking back over the past two or so years and the men that I’ve interacted with. Seven spring to mind as very obviously wanting sex. As in, telling me what they want. Five of them were married, the other two in committed relationships. That leaves how many single? That’s right, zero.

The Men
The first that springs to mind was someone I’d worked with for quite a long time, when he suddenly latched onto me and said, “Sometimes you just make me so fucking horny” and followed up by asking me to go to the shower room in the basement and fuck. Where did that come from? There wasn’t even a hint before this moment. I ended up quitting, cause he didn’t take no for an answer.
Status: recently married with four kids.

Another one, at the new company I started working for, was the office flirter who was so obvious about it that nobody took any of it seriously. He’d flirt with every woman between the ages of 20 and 60, and we’d all enjoy it because it was innocent fun. Then, one day, he took me aside and said, “…but you’re special.” After he quit his job, he asked if I fancied it within two text messages – the first of which was “hi”.
Status: married with three kids.

One of the more remarkable ones was the out of work actor in London that I met through a friend. He had a woman with him and the four of us went for a late night meal. A day or so later he found me on FB and we started chatting. I’d barely even registered him when we went out, but I had noticed his lady friend giving me the evil eye so I just assumed they were a couple. He was fun, very outgoing and entertaining (did I mention actor?). After what couldn’t have been more than a few minutes he said, “[name of woman] is really jealous of you.” I asked why and he said, “Because she knows what I’m like.” I said that, “your girlfriend can relax” and he responded, “She’s not my girlfriend, actually, she’s my mistress.” Right. Mistress. Just like that. Five minutes after we started talking. Really? When I said nothing he added, “She’s already jealous of my girlfriend but now she’s also jealous of you, because she knows you’re my type.” This was the moment when my head just about exploded. It went even further than that, and ended up with a *delete* gesture on my end as well as a “this guy blabs, don’t trust him with anything” warning to his friend.
Status: girlfriend and mistress – and looking for more.

Another rather remarkable one was the Italian who barely knew a word of English, but could talk at great length about how much he loves cunnilingus. That’s right, he didn’t know the English word for “great” but he knew all the words for that. He even said “I would like to die doing that!” Right. Did I mention that this happened within about five minutes of meeting him – again, through a mutual connection who was out of the room for three minutes? By the time he returned I sat there with a horrified expression on my face. When I later told him he didn’t know whether to laugh or just facepalm himself, muttering something about “…Italians…”
Status: married with two kids.

The remaining three are in marriages/relationships where sex isn’t happening. Or at least not to the extent they want – or the way they want it. One would insist on sending me pictures of his dick without warning every time he was high, horny and lonely, and (in any state of mind) ask what I wanted to do to him when we next met. When the answer to that was “nothing” and that I would have just asked to see his dick if that’s what I wanted, he took the hint and dropped it. The remaining two would do similar things: make it obvious their relationships are like the Sahara desert, then let on what they want me to do about it.

Is It Me?
You know, I almost wish I could say that I came onto them first and that I encouraged them in some way before the subject of sex was suddenly on the table. I don’t dress provocatively, I don’t shove my tits in people’s faces, I’m not particularly outgoing (I’m more of an introvert if anything!) but I try to be friendly to the best of my ability. Friendly, to me, means trying to co-exist in this world without too much drama – not “I said ‘hi’ to you so that means I want to play with your prick.”

This could have easily been flattering attention – although some of it was somewhat primitive – if I was interested and they were single. But they were all taken. Is it the invisible “Fuck Me, I’m Easy” tattoo across my forehead that’s confusing them?

Seriously, guys, what the hell?

Writer’s block – argh!

When I was travelling recently I found the inspiration for my next novel. In, I thought, quite an unlikely place: a museum. One of the exhibitions described a relationship between two people who were a perfect fit, the other half that they could be themselves with without having to explain their quirks and needs – but because of circumstance they couldn’t be together. They had two meetings, a stormy affair if you will, then he died five years later and left his most prices possession to her. She lived another 20 years, virtually clutching this thing he’d given her till the last moment – still loving him.

Why there’s not a book or a movie about this already is beyond me.

I started researching further into the nitty-gritty details, and was blown away. The question now is… should I take inspiration from this story and just write it how I want – or come clean and reveal who these two people are, historically, and risk getting historians breathing down my neck? I’m tempted to do the first – but rather than what I originally planned to do (bring it forward into current times), I think I need to keep it in the time it actually happened. Otherwise there are details that are lost, details that are important for the overall feel of the piece.

Unless, of course, I can find an equivalent event in current times.

I’ve done this before. I took inspiration from a man who lived in the 1400-1500s and brought him into the 21st century by paralleling events. It worked then – but I’m not sure it will in this case.

Another problem is that doing research into one of the main characters, he reminds me more and more of someone I’ve known in the past. I think this is part of why I can’t seem to get going, because the way they express themselves and the way they act is so similar that my mind is just blown. Let’s just say that it’s not a person that would have been easy to deal with/live with by any stretch of the imagination and doing the research is draining.

And yet, I can’t not write this story. It’s too powerful not to.

Damn it.

Writing: Emotional bonds with characters

When I write I don’t have a huge register of characters. I have one hero/heroine and everything tends to spin around this particular person. There will be guest stars, but they’ll always play a minor role.

I’ll sometimes base the character on someone I know or someone I’ve encountered. For instance, back in 2003, when I wrote my first novel, I had regular run-ins with a singer that I had a huge crush on in my teens. I worked around the corner from where his studio was, which is how these encounters happened. Meeting him as an adult – and coincidentally getting a rather surprising kiss from him – sparked oh so many levels of inspiration. I read the novel now and cringe but a lot of it was based on how I felt when I was around him. Even though he was older, had greying hair and wasn’t in the same shape as he once was… he was still sexy.

Very sexy.

12 years later, having finished off my latest novel, I’ve written about a man who I don’t know – but I’ve had a very clear idea in my head about what he’s like. He started out a bit like Quasimodo. Even down to the hunchback with a face for radio. Not the greatest physical start – but as I began building him, he turns out to have other qualities that makes up for that. He attracts a woman based on his impeccable manners, his personality, his masculinity, his calm energy, his intelligence and eloquence… By the time I’d paired him up with someone I thought, “I can see why she would go for him. He doesn’t look like Johny Depp, but he’s got actual qualities!”

I think I got a little crush on him.

Tall, dark, mysterious, sense of humour and personality… don’t mind if I do! Funny thing is, I sent it to someone and her reaction wasn’t dissimilar to mine: “He’s eloquent, intimidating and masculine. Who cares if he’s a hunchback, I’d give him one!”

This may also give a little insight into what women actually want ;)

My point is… every time something horrible happened to him, I found myself getting a little upset. I almost wanted to apologise to him for being so mean – and comfort him that he’d get his revenge in the end. It may not all be worth it, as such, but that nobody would get away with anything. I even created a crutch to help him through the hard times, that secured his focus on his goal: to even the score.

Now that I’ve finished it, I kind of miss him. Weird, right?

On the other hand: in order to write believable characters, whether they’re meant to be lovable or not, don’t we have to care about them?

Even if it’s just a little?

Getting back into writing

Ever since I can remember I’ve been writing. I was one of the oddballs that actually enjoyed writing assignments at school. I’d run straight home and do them immediately, even though we typically had two weeks to get them done.

In my spare time I wrote romantic short stories with about fifteen pages leading up to the most innocent kiss imaginable. This was before I’d even been kissed properly, so I had no clue. But I fantasised about it a lot, and writing about it felt rather naughty.

Then I started writing novels.

  • Back in 2003 I embarked on my first novel. It took me six months and is the longest I’ve written to date, at about 90.000 words. I like the plot – but looking at the writing makes me blush. I’ve tried to re-work it but it’ll always be a teenage romance coupled with… well, other stuff.
  • In 2005 came number two, a 75.000 word novel that I wrote as a dare under a pseudonym. The idea was to write about the male equivalent of Bridget Jones – who was looking for the man of his dreams. In 2006 is was published and was actually well received by the gay community. Several people wrote me and said, “Finally something for us that’s got both sex and a story line!” This one also took about six months of writing an hour a day.
  • Based on the above, I was commissioned to write a short novel in 2008 about a couple rekindling their relationship on a boat in the Pacific somewhere. I got paid about £2k to write 30.000 words based on what they wanted me to write and took it. I hated it, and still don’t want to be reminded of it, but it was done and it’s out there. Such a cheesy tale. So unlike me. ;) And I only had five weeks to do it in.
  • In 2010 I wrote about 40.000 words in 17 days. I don’t know what came over me, but I kind of missed my character from the 2005 novel and re-created him – but straight. With a sad back story that made him behave like a bit of a basic, selfish type to avoid any emotional attachments. Of course… he’s got no such luck.
  • In 2012 I started writing the novel that this blog is named after. A Masochism Tango. At present it’s about 60.000 words – but I fear I’ll never get it done. I tried to finish it off about a dozen times, but always came up with new things to add to it. Perhaps I’ll publish it as a serial instead of a complete book.
  • Late last year – in 2014 – I finished what I think may be my, err, masterpiece. About 45.000 words – with, perhaps, the strongest plot so far and totally different from anything else I’ve written. It’s got love against all odds, loss, murder, madness… sort of in that order. It’s based on a man who lived in the 1400-1500s, who’s inspired both dramatists and musicians, and how this story would have looked if set in modern times.

The last one took me nearly a year to write, because I’m so uninspired. Well, I’m inspired – but not. I sit and stare at the page and write absolutely nothing. Then I read what I’ve already written and end up hating it. This is the case with pretty much all of it. After the 8th read I just want to burn it all.

Then again, wouldn’t that be the case when reading any book for the 8th time in as many weeks?

Anyway, I want to start writing something new. I’ve got the idea. I’ve started. Five pages in and I’m stuck. I don’t know how to get past it. Wanting it but not being able to do it is infuriating. This happens a lot. I get the idea, start writing and give up after a maximum of 25 pages. Like I’ve managed to bore myself with it.

Ugh. Next…

Perhaps I should just edit all of the above and get them out there for the world to judge.

Quitting Facebook – Accessing Messenger without FB

I’ve just discovered something that’s a legitimate way to ONLY access Messenger without actually being on Facebook. Yes, indeed!

Facebook separated messages from the rest of its mobile app last summer, and Wednesday it did the same for laptop and desktop computers with the release of Messenger.com. Now you can access your Facebook messages on the Web without getting getting distracted by your News Feed and the rest of Facebook. It should prove a productivity boost for anyone who uses Facebook Messenger increasingly as a supplement to email or IM. (source: CNET.com)

In fewer words: Go to http://www.messenger.com/login and log onto your FB-account. W00t! :D

Quitting Facebook – Day 5: Logging on

I logged on this morning… noticed a couple of George Takei posts at the top of my feed… a picture of Easter eggs… then logged off. In other words, my level of interest was pretty much zero.

I think, personally, that Facebook is a place where you go to get addicted to attention or addicted to certain people. Because you see them every day and find them funny or clever or whatever, the road to feeling like you have something in common is about as long as a garden path. It’s like meeting someone on a dating site. You have a lot in common when you’re screen to screen, then you meet and realise a) you have nothing in common, really and b) their personality in real life is actually a little unpleasant.

Why? Easy. Online you can edit yourself. Most people do it, others don’t. With the latter, at least what you see is what you get. With people who moderate themselves to the extent that they manage to hide what/who they really are, it’s trickier to know who you’re dealing with. There are several people that I enjoy having lively discussions with online that I actually think are prats/unpleasant in real life. So I stick to dealing with them online, where I can just walk away from the computer instead of throwing things at them.

Walking away from Facebook certainly gives you perspective on certain people. Not having them in-your-face on a daily basis makes you realise who’s valuable and who’s expendable. Being totally honest… if I stopped being on the FB Messenger, there are – perhaps – 12 people that I’d miss exchanging messages with on a(n almost) daily basis. These are valuable people. The rest of my “Friends” list? Expendable. Other people I simply communicate with on email and SMS/Viber and that’s enough.

What’s true of everyone on my list is that I don’t have a need to follow their every word, share or like on Facebook.

Quitting Facebook – Day 4: Over it?

I’m already used to not going on Facebook to check “what’s going on”. I’m just rather enjoying the private conversations I’m having with people via messenger and couldn’t care less about everything else that’s going on.

That didn’t take long!

I went to see “Fast&Furious 7″ yesterday and I wanted to say something about how moving the ending was, as a tribute to Paul Walker. Then I thought, “Who do I know who’s actually interested in this?” I could think of one. So I told him. You know, like we used to in the old days. Direct our messages to people who are actually interested, rather than throw it into a great, big nothing and hope for a few “Likes”.

I’ve never been one for collecting “Likes” anyway. I could, I’m sure, write stuff on my wall that would get a lot of people involved by being provocative or by posting pictures of myself dressed in dental floss – but I’m just not that bothered about getting confirmation that people “Like” me. I’ve often wished there was an “Unlike” button, especially when it comes to links to the latest moronic stunt by people like Westboro Baptist Church.

Another thing I never understood was the need to collect thousands of people. I have felt like I’ve had trouble keeping up with 60 people, so I can’t imagine what the news feed of someone with 6000 friends look like. It must look like a chat room with new things being posted, literally, every 20 seconds. Is it a way to feel popular? I ask because I don’t know, but I can imagine this is a part of it. I remember MySpace was a place where you just hunted for new “friends” just to say you had umpteen thousand people on your profile. That was, if anything, even more exhausting.

Huh, I wonder if I still have a MySpace profile… ;)

One day I abandoned MySpace and never looked back. It was long before I signed up to Facebook, which I didn’t do until others had been on it for years. I was just happy to keep in touch with people on MSN – which is kind of what I’m doing now, by accessing my FB Messenger via Digsby. It’s actually incredibly calming to not have to be on Facebook at all.

I don’t miss it. Hallelujah :D