Wednesday, 25 June 2014

A Dedicated Readers Angst

Some of you know me and will agree with me but others will just assume I am a bitter reader. I am okay with that but for those who know me you will understand where I am coming from on this blog because I have expressed my concern to a few of you. I have wanted to write about it for a long time but I have felt too close to the subject to not just write a rant.  I have become a very cynical reader and this has caused me to get into a reading funk. I have read maybe six or seven books since August. This is something new for me, I have had reading funks before never one that has lasted this long. For a while I was scared that I would never be able to read again with the exception of a few authors. I have stepped back from some authors and had to unfriend them on Facebook and twitter. Most authors don’t care and very few read my blogs so no harm, no foul but I am sure other readers feel the same way as I do. I know I usually feel so much better when I write down what is bothering me so I hope they will feel the same release as I do just by reading this blog.

Now onto the blog, I have written what I consider the responsibility of a reader and an author before but if you have not read it I will state a few of them again. As a reader I have the responsibility to buy the book and not download it from a pirate site. Really, there is only one other thing as reader I have to do and that is to respect the author’s work and not to tell them how to write, what to write and when to write it. That is it. That is my job as a reader.

An author’s job it is to put out the best book they can at that moment. I know a lot of authors feel pressure to put out books quickly for their readers but you would not rush Monet and so why should you push any other artist to hurry?  Yes, I said that authors are artist and to me they are. Who else do you know that can talk to people in their head and put their stories down on paper without being medicated?

Now here is what is bothering me today and yesterday and for several months. I have seen a multitude of authors asking for reviews. It is not my job to promote your book. If I feel strongly about a book then I will review it but I shouldn’t feel guilty about not writing one.  And I do start to feel guilty if I read that an author is begging for reviews and I don’t write one. I start to feel as if I am letting them down.

Here is the thing, I am anti reviews. I have heard of some of the things that some authors have done and it sickens me to the core. I don’t trust reviews because of the things I have seen with my own eyes and heard from other about some of the tricks and things that authors have stooped to doing. Things like having husbands, beta’s, friends and even themselves writing 5 star reviews. Some have even made up multiple email addresses to use so they can write more than one review.  Things like this has made it hard for me to read some authors and I have decided to just stop buying the authors. Now there are some authors who give away copies of books specifically for reviews and if you get one of those then yes, you should write a review. But for all that is holy please don’t just ass kiss the author, be honest!!!

Now onto yet another thing that has helped foster this reading funk, the dedications and acknowledgements in the books.  If someone has truly helped you writing the book or supported you by all means put them in the book but lately I have seen several authors put review sites and some reviewers by name in the book. Am I the only one who sees this as a conflict of interest?  If you put their name in the book that will take away their impartiality when reviewing the book.  Most of you know I have beta read for a few authors and I never write reviews for their books, as much as I may love them. Now if someone asks me my opinion about a book I will tell them that I did beta the book and then give them my honest opinion.

I won‘t even get started on Street Teams. I know I am stepping on some author toes and I am sorry but these are things that have been sticking in my craw for months and sometimes even years.  Feel free to disagree with me and if you would like to respond feel free.

Sarcastically Sinful,


Wednesday, 18 June 2014

MY Obsession

I am going to admit to something that some people have long suspected but I have hidden for a long while. I am a bag whore. I love them and the bigger the better.  I have now moved from handbags to luggage.

 As a teen I never carried a purse because I was not a girly girl. I had no desire to carry everything I owned with me.  My Momma and my Grandmother always had huge bags but they never carried money in them.  The money was put in their bras where it was safe.  I always wondered what they carried in their purse but as a kid we were not allowed to get in it.

It wasn’t until I hit my mid-twenties that I discovered my passion for bags.  It started innocent enough. I was out shopping with my sister and she was looking for a new handbag.  She was asking me what I thought of several of them and we debated the pros and cons of what seemed like an endless supply.  She talked to me about all the stuff she carried and I was surprised.  I had no idea that you could fit all that stuff in one bag.  I tried to figure out why she would carry half of medicine cabinet and what seemed like everything except the kitchen sink in there.  But then I found a cute little bag and couldn’t resist it and out I walked with my first purse.

I soon found that it was very convenient to have someplace to put my gum and my small wallet. Yes, I broke my family rule of carrying my money in my bra because it was embarrassing to have to search under my big boobs to get a buck.  I then came to realized that this small cute bag was too small.

I then had to shop for a slightly bigger bag. I searched high and low for the perfect bag and it seemed like it took forever but I found a medium sized bag. It fit just what I needed. You know the essentials. At this time I was only carrying my wallet, lip gloss, a book (this was an actual book), music (Walkman) and gum and mints. So a medium bag worked just fine.

My progression started out slowly.  I was doing family research which meant that I had to go to several places and needed multiply notebooks, pens, post-it notes and notes that my Momma had written out for me not to mention the directions to every cemetery, county court house and church she knew.  The never ending search began. I went to a multitude of stores not only in town but every time I went somewhere, if there was a store that I could find a bag in, I was there.
I think I finally found one really close to home in Target of all places. It was what they called a Doctor’s bag. Yes, the kind from tv and movies but bigger.  Everyone who saw me did a double take looking at my bag, then at me and back at the huge bag that I carried.

With the extra room I found that I began to carry even more things.  Soon I was collecting more and more bags. I had bags from every store and in a variety of sizes. My favorites where big bags, and I mean really big bags.  One of the girls I work  said she carried more and the most bizarre stuff in her bag and that she would win a contest so we sat a table and emptied our bags.

We gathered quite the audience.  We had the essentials like books, music, candy, gum, notebooks, lots of pens and pencils, makeup, medicine, sewing kits, first aid stuff, jewelry but I won with flipflops.  Yes, I had flipflops in my bag.  You can ask Mia if I am in a car I like to be barefoot.  I know it is strange but there you have it proof that I am a freak.

To this day, I get handbags or really just huge bags for gifts. I love it.  People do love to make fun of my bags but they know that if they need something there is a decent chance I have it in my bag. Then they no longer get to make fun of the fact that I carry something that you could put a small child in.  

Now onto my new passion, luggage! Again it stared out small. I needed to get a piece of luggage because I was taking a trip to Philly. Now before I had always driven to my destinations but this time I was flying so I wanted one bag and not the variety of bags that I normally carried on a trip.  I unfortunately couldn’t find a bag in time. My sister had several pieces so I just snagged one of her since it was going to be a weekend trip.

I decided that I was going to be traveling a lot more to conventions so I started the never ending hunt for luggage. I wanted something well-made and I did my research online and asked people I know and found that there was no definitive winner.   I kept looking for a couple of years with no luck.  Either was not well made or way too expensive for what I was going to get.

Then it happened I was flipping through channels and found Samantha Brown on HSN. Now, I have never watched HSN before but I had watched Samantha’s show on the travel channel so I stopped. I now know why people are addicted to HSN.  It is like crack. I just stopped because of Sam but before I knew it was unable to change the channel and ended up watching a couple of hours of them talking about Sam’s new luggage collection. I was hesitant to buy something that I personally didn’t see or touch.  Or that someone I know didn’t already have.  I waited and waited and debated and argued with myself on it. I am not going to lie it was expensive.  I just wasn’t sure about it.  Finally this year, I decided that I was going to take the plunge and buy a bag that had free shipping and was just what I was looking for.  I did read all the reviews on it and ordered that bag.

I was like a little kid at Christmas when the box arrived. I grabbed it out of the UPS man’s hands and didn’t even notice that it was a man in a uniform.  I know shocking.  I shut the door and ripped into that box like a police dog with a suspect in range.  My sister was staring at me like I was a freak but I whipped out that bag and started checking out all the pockets and was already planning on all the stuff that I could fit in there.

I carried that bag for well over a year and still love it.  Now, comes that fact that I was going to Mia’s and Savannah.  I was saving my money for the trip but I had kept tabs on Samantha’s luggage on HSN.  I had my favorites already marked for when I had the money.  When I got home from Mia’s I had a plan already in mind.

I started out small with one 21 inch bag. I packed that baby with all the clothes that I would need for a weekend trip and still had room left over.  Then HSN sucked me in with special deals on a makeup bag and wallet so yep, I ordered them too. Now because they we on special they had limited quantities so I took whatever color appealed to me the most that they still had left in stock. 

Then I found yet another bag that I loved and it was a duffle that was hard on one side and was soft on the other so I could cram even more things in it. Yet another color ordered. Then there was another computer bag that I could fit my 17 inch laptop in and yet another color. I took this luggage to NOLA with me and people loved it.  I loved that I could pack all I wanted and still have room for more stuff if I needed it.

Now, I am feeling the need to buy one bigger piece or maybe two.  I think I want a 25 inch or maybe a 28 inch.  I can’t decide but after traveling with two bags and my computer bag I think I need the bigger piece since it would be easier to check one bag instead of two and less to keep track of. 
See now you know I have a bag and luggage problem and I am not sure if there is a 12 step program for either of them. Someone please help me before my apartment is taken over!!!!

Sinfully Sarcastic,


Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Translator Required

Kia Ora, ( Hello) Perverts.

Hey Cherie here. I live in New Zealand in a City called Palmerston North.  It is the main City in the Manawatu area, 80,000 people live here apparently.  New Zealand is the first place to see the sun on a new day.  I love it.  And that means we are at the bottom of the Earth. So this is why I speak a different language to you even though it is still English.

So now you may understand while in chats or in threads that often I would either ask for a translation please or I was sitting with my laptop smiling and nodding until the shoe dropped and I finally figured out what the heck you were all gabbing on about.

I had no idea what swag was for an author, in Australia which is the west Island of New Zealand ( you know you love me Fi) your swag is your bedroll when you are out camping, so when I was entering competitions for swag I was floored.  I did not have a clue.  If you find the words for Waltzing Matilda I think it has a swag man in there too. J

When I was reading Mia and or Lori’s books they had playlists attached and they nearly always had country Music on them.  I went and I listened and I loved most of them.  In NZ we don’t get alot of Country Music.  Most of the songs that are played on our Radio stations are pop music with a little mix of Rock.  We may get a sample taste tease at the best like Taylor Swift or the really popular Lady Antebellum song.

 From this group though I have purchased Maroon 5’s album mainly because of the inspiration it gave Mia and because listening to more of it not only the released singles I really loved it.  I have been exposed to music and artists that I have never heard of, I am one of those people who will listen to a song and love it and never have the foggiest idea who actually sang the song.  So I listened to Adelitas Way from Tina putting up the link for the song that she thought fit the Perverts “Dirty Little Thing”, then I asked Luna if she knew any folk kind of mellow songs and she has hooked me up with Loreena McKennitt and I chill out with her when my brain feels like I am about to explode.  I love it.  I have been searching you tube so much more and finding so many artists that I have never heard of.

Then I have learned about great TV shows Like Arrow and I was very linched when I said that I had never watched Supernatural so now I am watching my sisters DVD collection.  In NZ we don’t have Netflix or the like, we have 12 free to air channels and If we are lucky we get good shows.  Just this past week Arrow aired for the first time on our TV, before that I have been watching it on line through a free tv site.  I still cannot get into Vampire Diaries though there is some great specimens of creation to be admired I admit a lack of interest in it. (please don’t hate me Heather Long and Chris No one Walker)  It sucks being in the future but realising you are so far behind in regards to so much.  Do you know it costs me 17 dollars to go to see a 3D movie over here and that even though the Hobbit is a Kiwi film we only got it on DVD last week.    So okay, now you know that the future is not all its’ cracked up to being lol.  Sorry rambling there for a minute now back to it.
 Another thing that I noticed was the way you North Americans use insults to show affection to each other.  For example there is Chris and Tina, Tina is Chris’s Heifer and Chris is Tina’s Hooker hard to understand when you rock up to a chat.  I still remember that chat that Tina logged off and came back on as Heifer it was Chris’s Birthday and Chris cheered that Tina truly loved her so of course Tina said that she was drunk so it didn’t mean anything.  I still find it really hard to curse in type so I use Duck a lot like I am so Ducking excited to be trying to write this blog, I can see Luna doing a face palm at this, she is trying so hard to get me to let loose in our facebook Fun Box.  It totally made my day one day when I was commenting on something and Tina was like I am sorry but do I know you?  Then I felt like I truly fit in.

So now that I have “met” all of you I find that I need a map of North America to pin point where you all live and so that I can understand the abbreviations of the states that you all live in.  I get frustrated then have to laugh at how confused I get at your geography, just ask Tracey Reid I was mocking the Kansas Border that it had become similar to a twilight zone line because once Tina and Mia crossed it they were giving hugs, Tracey had a little giggle and said ah Cherie we are in Missouri, Kansas City but it was not in Kansas!! Talk about confusing the Blonde kiwi chick so I amended my line of influence to the Kansas City limits so there crazy US geography I still got my point across.  This was of course when you all had fun at RT and I was at home enjoying it through your photos with my  IRPP partner Luna Wildwood.  We stalk well together. (Different Time Zones to catch all info.)

There are so many other things that I am trying to come to grips with but that will alas have to wait to blog for another day.

Is there an understanding barrier for you guys too when talking to people who live outside of North America?

Kia Kaha (Be Strong) and Arohanui (With Deep Affection).
From your perv from Middle Earth. 

Cheri Clark 

Thursday, 5 June 2014

My Nightmare

I can’t believe I am writing this blog. I really don’t want to but I want someone else’s opinions.  I feel like such a girl right now, I am freaking out.  I guess I should let you know what it is about, underwear.  Yep, the worst thing in the world to me but for other women it is the most decadent thing they can buy. Freaks

Here is the thing, I have always hated buying underwear or as some like to call them panties.  Growing up there wasn’t a lot of choice. Momma went to the store and bought the cheapest undies for us kids because we just grew out of them so fast and at that point I didn’t really care about what I wore, that would come later.  Underwear was just something that you put on first and on hot days you could sit in your room and play in. I guess I should tell you that this was when I was 5 or 6, not when I was a teen.  When I became a teen was when my undie issues began.

When I started 6th grade I was still really shy and I developed a lot faster than other girls. I had the start of my boobs, no one else did so already I was different from the other girls because I was wearing a training bra.  Of course, this is also when the dreaded changing for P.E. started as well.  I had never really thought about my undies till all the other girls had cute day of the week panties and flowers and stuff on theirs and when I looked down I had plain white granny panties.  I felt so out of place because of the bra thing and add in the granny panties and I was mortified.  No one ever said anything but I still felt like I was being judged. I asked my Momma for some cute undies and she said they were too expensive and she was right.  But at that point I just didn’t care about that I just wanted to fit in.  I finally got over the undies thing till I hit puberty head on like a Mack truck.

The summer between 8th grade and my freshmen year I put on weight and my curves kicked into high gear.  I was a 14/16 when I started high school.  I was the only girl who was not thin.  I was by far the biggest girl in school. Now let me tell you that I went to a smallish school.  Most of the kids there were upper middle class so they all had bikes and did summer activities but I had a job starting when I was 15 which didn’t allow a lot of time to do sports or anything. The fact that I probably would have rather had my limbs ripped off is beside the point.  My favorite thing when I had spare time was doing research on my favorite topics and reading.  How does this relate to my issues with underwear, you ask?  I didn’t get enough exercise and I couldn’t seem to lose weight so I was reduced to staying in the granny panties or going commando.  Now we are talking mid 80’s so not a lot of cute things for girls who were in double digit size pants.  Once again I felt out of place because once you reach a 14 you only had granny panties to choose from and if you were lucky they had different colors.  Other girls had really cute undies and they pranced around while I was hiding in a corner wearing my D-cup bra and granny panties.

The dreaded granny panties became a staple of my wardrobe and if I was lucky I was able to find some high cut ones that looked less like my Momma’s undies.  I figured I was never going to find cute undies and I was past caring for the most part.  My boyfriends didn’t really care what I was wearing as long as I was taking them off soon.

As I got older and clothing designers finally decided that bigger size women wanted to look sexy too and they started to make cute undies. I found all kinds that I liked till I put them on.  I swear they either climb up my crack or they were way above my waist. I tried all kinds of underwear when I found Jockey.  I found that I had no problems with them other than the sticker shock.  I didn’t really care that much as long as they fit.  I thought my undie issues where finally dead.

Alas, that was so not true.  I hit my late 30’s when I put on weight again. I went from a 16 to much larger size in nothing flat.  I now have a gigantic booty that would scare Beyonce.  I had to go back to the granny panties of my youth.  I decided that I was going to go commando for a while because I was tired of looking old when I put on my underwear.  I found it was a little strange at first but I got used to it. Then I decided that I was going to give undies another shot. I lucked out and found so really cute boyshorts when they first started making them. Fruit of the Loom was my hero. I bought every package I could find because finally I had the perfect undies. They didn’t become thongs when I moved and they were cute.

Then I realized the horror of undie shopping once again.  I had noticed that they had changed the way they were making boyshorts but I needed some new undies. I have looked for months with no luck. Most stores do not carry larger underwear because I guess women over a size 18 don’t need underwear.  As much as it pains me I went to Lane Bryant and bought a few pair and same problem just with a more expensive price tag.  I have tried a variety of cuts and fabrics but they all just don’t feel right. The one that really bothered me was some boyshorts that were the right size but when I put them on the front was perfect but the back only came half way up my butt.  I swear my butt will be the death of me yet.

I am going to give the new Boxer Brief’s a shot. If I don’t find some soon I will be back to going commando because I refuse to revert to Granny Panties again.

Does anyone out there have any suggestions for me to try and am I the only one who hates shopping for undies.  

Sarcastically Sinful,