This is my personal blog and does not necessarily reflect the collective views of Hard Limits Press

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Free books through Hard Limits Press, plus Narcissus in Chains Chapter Fifty Three

Before we get down to business, let me direct you to a promotion my press is currently offering. In the spirit of Kindle Unlimited, No Deadly Thing and The Wicked Instead are free for a week through the company website. You can choose any of the available E-formats and have it auto delivered to your inbox!

These novels are both multicultural urban fantasy tales and are set in a shared world.  Snag your copies today!

Now, on to the next Anita chapter because I haven't absorbed enough abuse today, apparently.

They go down in to the vampire equivalent of prison in order to fetch Damian. The room is just a bare concrete basement. Of course Anita doesn't seem to realize that it doesn't matter what the place looks like, because the vampires bound up in coffins can't tell the damn difference between the most opulent palace imaginable and a piece of shit cell underground. You could argue that the surroundings are intended to intimidate people who come down here who aren't yet trapped, but this is of course never handled in a way where it feels intentional.

There are two coffins here instead of one, prompting everyone to wonder who is in coffin number two. Anita is supposedly Damian's master despite not being a vampire herself. Okay granted she's a necromancer but I still don't quite understand how necromancy and vampirism are meant to intersect. Furthermore I know this will never be explained because LKH is so clearly making it up as she goes along, so I am forced to just accept the fact that Anita can control Damian at face value.

Oh noes, J.C. and Micah have fallen behind and that's upsetting because they might be getting gay cooties on each other.

Anita does necromancy woo woo to the first coffin, trying to figure out if it's Damian in there. There's a reasonably cool image of Anita standing over the coffin while having a vision of Damian looking up at her. Damian is still barking mad.

Anita says some more offensive crap about Christianity, that she has long ago given up her "narrow" ideas of what god is and that she shouldn't feel weird praying for a vampire because "the deal was, if God was okay with what I was doing, I had to be too."

So this woman has at least once this novel experienced what she believes to be God giving her a free golden ticket to a theme park full of tacky sex and death rides, but she's still guilty every time she takes a seat on the cock Ferris wheel. Uh, why? God just handed you an all seasons pass and despite how fucking unlikely I think that is, Anita supposedly believes it to be true. Now religious doubt is a thing as are crises of faith, but she doesn't seem to really go through these processes. She flip flops more than a dying fish, thrashing about helplessly in the bottom of this shoddily constructed story-boat.

Guess what? It's both!

Anita wants to know who is in the other coffin because she doesn't approve of torture and wants to rescue them. This is stupid for a couple of reasons.

1). She has no idea why the other vampire is in there. This isn't torture per se, considering it is literally the only way to control a rampaging vampire short of killing them. J.C. put Damian in a coffin as a favor to Anita, because otherwise he would have had no choice but to euthanize Damian for everyone's safety. It's safe to assume that the other vampire is locked up for the same reasons.

2). Damian clearly broke the law in a spectacular way and if Anita wanted to at all live up to the title of the book (Vampire hunter!) she would stake him without another thought. But she's actually the heal-vampires-with-her-magical-pussy-er, so that won't happen.

3). She shot Elizabeth repeatedly to teach Elizabeth a lesson. That is torture. But she doesn't approve of torture guys! She's moral and stuff!

J.C. turns up. Jason has taken Micah off to find Micah some clothes, so he doesn't put his ballsack all over J.C.s furniture anymore.

A vampire named Gretchen is in the other coffin. Apparently back in the early days she tried to kill Anita and get J.C. for herself, so J.C. stuck her in the coffin to wither. Apparently this offends Anita's sensibilities because she's a disgusting hypocrite who thinks torture is only okay if she's the one doing it.

Anita says Gretchen has been in there for three years. I am not even touching this fucking timeline.

Anita at least has the decency to take a relatively moral stance as she screams at J.C. for torturing this woman for three years, though it falls flat considering that Anita goes on and on and on about how ruthless and practical she herself is at the slightest provocation. Remember how she threatened Gil with death if he let his perfectly reasonable fear get in the way of her dark gothity goth life of violence and grit?

She wants to get Gretchen out tonight too because one more night could apparently damage Gretchen irrevocably. Gretchen has been in for three years. She can wait a little longer. Not to mention this is just a rehash of rescuing Gregory, which was also handled poorly.

Will this book never end?

J.C. points out that getting a vampire to revive after an extended time in a cross wrapped coffin is a laborious and delicate process, and that they don't have the resources to bring both Gretchen and Damian back at the same time. He reveals that Asher also knows what to do, though, so Anita suggests she and Asher deal with Damian while J.C. deals with Gretchen. J.C. asks if Anita still trusts Asher after his jealousy display. She confirms that yes she does, but then proves she's as dumb as a box of hammers by asking why Asher got mad at her.

Then she hits me with this as if she's pelting me with rotten melons:

"if it weren't for qualms, would you be doing Asher right now?"

What the fuck is your problem, Anita? Why do you hate men who love and desire other men? Is it because the idea that maybe your vagina is not required that threatening? You're overflowing with straight privilege to the point where it's drowning the people around you, because you're a manipulative narcissist who even has J.C., supposed master vampire, eating out of your hand. You're like every shitty straight person who tries to justify their virulent homophobia by couching it in sugary terms like "social qualms." Social qualms my queer ass. You hate gay people and gay sex is gross to you. Just admit that you can't stand the thought of two men enjoying themselves sexually without thinking about or interacting with you. If the intention here was to show the intersection between homophobia and narcissism I'd be giving LKH an award right now.

Even J.C. laughs at her turn of phrase, because she's a hideous child-woman.

"I am saying that Asher deserves better than a hidden relationship where we could never show public affection for fear of hurting you. I would rather give him up completely to someone else, male or female, than play second--or lower--to you forever."

I am just going to sit back and savor this moment because it's even more delicious than my holier than thou Seattle fair trade mocha. Mmmm.

"I just couldn't deal with two men and me. Yeah, yeah, it was the middle class Midwestern value system, but it was the way I looked at the world. I couldn't change that, could I? And if I could, did I want to?"

Let's see, you're a homophobic bigot comprised entirely of personality disorders and privilege and you know full well that is the case yet you don't want to change it even if you could (protip: you could)? And I am supposed to empathize with you? You're the main character?

Anita has the gall to worry that she's not being bigoted enough about Asher and J.C. as lovers, in that she's worried she isn't going "screaming in to the night" at the very thought.

Ahem. HOW ARE THERE SO MANY FANS WHO RELATE TO THIS CHARACTER? You all need to check yourselves because this shit? This shit is completely indefensible. This is NOT a character struggling with internalized bullshit, because frankly everyone has internalized bullshit to overcome. This is someone presented as smugly defending her own prejudice. I don't even have words for how gross this chapter is.

AND you'll note that once again we're dealing with relationship drama instead of getting Damian and Gretchen out of their coffins.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Narcissus in Chains Chapter Fifty Two

Dottie's chapter is here 

Let's swoop down and vanquish this piece of crap, shall we?

"I sat on the white couch with its brand new bullet hole."

1). We already know the couch is white.

2). It being white doesn't really contrast with the fact that there's a bullet hole in it, even though LKH plainly wants me to think this is a wonderful juxtaposition of refinement and violence. Out of everything she has to work with to showcase this, she chooses the fucking couch.

3). The sentence implies that the bullet hole is a character in and of itself, personified and sitting next to Anita..

Micah is actually sitting next to her and the fact that he's naked makes her uncomfortable because...actually, I have no idea why. He raped her They've had sex. She's gone on and on and fucking on about how nudity isn't assumed to be sexual for shapeshifters. Also I think shapeshifters in the ABverse can't take their clothes with them when they change forms, so presumably she's seen a lot of naked wolves and cats before now. But whatever, she's a perpetual spoiled child so she has to act like a coy Precious Moments statue at all times, because image is more important than substance.

Bobby Lee and Cris try to stand behind Anita but she won't let them, because she doesn't like people standing behind her. Interestingly in The Diva Ate Her, the author 'character' has this same quirk. I think LKH also confirmed this to be so during one of her writing Anita has given me PTSD rants (UGH). Surprise, surprise. Did you know LKH is afraid of flying, and conveniently so is Anita?

Now, in a way I can understand this impulse. I've never written anything in first person before now, and the ms I am working on does draw on my life in some minor (note: MINOR) ways because it's easier to maintain a first person voice if you know what the fuck you are talking about. At the same time, you can't blatantly recreate yourself. Your MC must be a separate person from you, distinct, with their own voice and their own challenges. Sure, you can have your MC drive the same car you drive because you know exactly how it works and it's easy to riff on it when the MC needs to mention something about her mode of transportation. What you should not do is give your MC all your personal and private tics and fears.

Merle is here, and Gil the pointless werefox, and I think Nathaniel and Jason? I can't keep all this character soup down. Asher likes to lurk around like the Phantom of the Opera with his hair over one half of his face. What with all the stupid pop culture references it would be awesome if he was the Phantom of the Opera. Fuck vampire Elvis, I want vampire Eric.

..."I could still feel the weight of [Asher's] gaze, like a hand pushing."

What is this, like the eleventy bazillion time she's used this analogy?

I think Asher is jealous because Micah and J.C. have a little homoerotic vibe going on. Even though we've been told that feeding off of someone is both emotional and sexual, Anita is going to stand by and let J.C. feed off of Micah even though she won't let Asher and J.C. be together. I hate her and her homophobic face so much. I guess Micah has been sanctified by Anita's holy vagina, so she knows he won't turn gay on her.

J.C. turns up in a black fur edged robe, his hair wet and his crazy pale skin showing through as he moves. I don't get why he's supposed to be sexy, really, but maybe it's just me. Things get super homoerotic as him and Micah give each other sexy looks and Micah blushes. Anita feels jealous now. J.C. stands behind Micah and leans in to bite him, but Anita has to interrupt and say there ought to be a little privacy despite neither man giving any sign that they give a shit who watches. Merle isn't happy about any of this but I am deriving some small measure of satisfaction because this is the only remotely hot thing that has happened in this entire book.

So J.C. finally bites Micah.

"Jean-Claude reared back, drawing him half over the couch. Micah cried out, his hands going to Jean-Claude's arm, holding on, as the vampire rocked his body backwards. Jean-Claude moved his hand from Micah's face to his waist, as if he knew the other man wouldn't move away now. He held Micah, arms across his chest and waist, Micah's hands on Jean-Claude's arm."

You'll note she just told us the same thing twice. Oh well. Onward!

"He stretched Micah's body backwards as he'd lengthened the man's neck earlier, so that Micah's body showed in a long, clean line, back curved against Jean-Claude's body, so that both of them were bowed backwards." 

Obviously this writing is terrible. It's clumsy, confusing, and absolute shit with pronouns. BUT it is also the only thing to even sort of titillate me in this whole mess. Points for effort I guess. Ugh. Though this is a bunch of horribly thoughtless bullshit again, because I can only imagine how poor denied Asher feels watching this. It's also implied that Merle doesn't like this because he's watched Micah get fed on before, but fuck emotional nuance let's do it in front of him anyway yay!

Do you think that will be enough to kill my feelings?

...seeing without a doubt that what was happening was making his body happy."

Micah has an erection. There. I just saved you a lot of trouble.

I guess it's okay if guys engage in homosexual activity if they're in front of Anita, so Anita can objectify and ogle them during. Also it's very obvious Asher's crime is that he isn't banging Anita, and thus he will be denied the cock.

In The Diva Ate Her there's a very telling scene where Miram, the author character, tells Melody, the assistant, that a big publishing name owes her because he is gay and therefore will never sleep with her. Somehow this translates to him being obligated to do what Miriam wants regarding her book release. I think that sums up this entire book's homophobia problem right there. As long as the men pay tribute to Anita's vagina, they will occasionally be allowed homosexual activity should it please her. Of course just like the stereotypical image of straight girls making out with each other in order to get male attention, the homosexual activity in these books will primarily involve Anita and will be done for Anita's pleasure.

I am sick to death of reading the words "drowning blue." 

Oh my god, Micah's eyes are also "drowning black" ! What in the blue fuck does drowning black mean? I mean blue, okay, the ocean. Obv. But drowning black? This is a new low.

Micah's gaze is "like something pushing against me."

I'm LKH and I don't edit, so you peons get to read my special thoughts as many damn times as I want.

Asher points out that they came here to rescue Damian. Anita tells him to fuck off and that she won't "salve his male ego." 

Dear Anita. You are a thoughtless avatar of callousness, sent to earth to do the gender binary's work here on earth. I hate every fiber of your being. Does it occur to you that your indefensible homophobia has kept Asher and J.C. apart, when they have a history your tiny human mind can't even begin to comprehend? And that you just allowed J.C. the intimacy of feeding off Micah the stunt cock who is a relative newcomer to this whole complex group dynamic, while making Asher watch? You are a failure of a human being. You need to be sent back to the factory and refurbished. Failing that, you would do more good if you were dismantled for parts. You are goddamn lucky all Asher did was tell you to soak your head.

Anita decides to go get Damian. Bobby Lee, Micah, and J.C. follow along.

Who gives a fuck about Damian again? Oh right, absolutely no one.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Narcissus in Chains Chapter Fifty One

Look what I got. So this next part? It's a rant. You can skip it if you like and get right to the Anita chapter.

The book pictured above is supposedly fiction, written by LKH's first personal assistant Darla after the two parted ways. The book just so happens to be about a personal assistant to a spec fic author. The author gets more and more famous and more and more crazy as times goes on.

Right. If this isn't about LKH I will pound my computer in to shrapnel and eat the pieces.

And you know what? I believe every word. It fits with everything I have always suspected about LKH from reading between the lines in the ABverse. She is a whiny, petty, emotional vampire who wants loads of praise for even the most basic of tasks completed (the assistant 'character' mentions LKH attempting to bake a boxed cake). The author 'character' is basically a container for personality disorder symptoms. It is so textbook and so fucking familiar (not to mention vomit inducing) that I had to set it down at times.

On the other hand there were points where I truly empathized with LKH. There's one scene in particular where no one buys her favorite oatmeal packets, so there are none available for breakfast the next morning. This makes LKH burst in to tears like a child. Full disclosure: I have done exactly this thing. I've done it more than once. Because if you're beset by anxiety and god knows whatever else all the time, even the tiniest break in your routine or the slightest disruption of things that bring you comfort can feel like major crises. And admittedly, I took can be very child-like. I think it comes with the territory, somehow. I never grew out of the need to be taken care of, exactly, not the way a normal person would. So lest you think I feel absolutely nothing for LKH's situation, well, I do.

I also find myself disgusted with LKH, but even more so with everyone around her. It's not always easy to recognize that a person you're close to cares absolutely nothing for you as more than an emotional food source, but good fucking lord people at some point we have to stop absorbing so much abuse and start setting boundaries. People like LKH are more or less incapable of change. The only thing we can change, or that Darla can change, is herself. The fact that it took her ten years to get away from LKH is baffling to me. Their situation could be called abusive, but Darla has plenty of options. She left a reasonable job to be LKH's assistant in the first place. (She also loves to go on about how she is superior to LKH because she shops at the discount store, whereas LKH spends soooo much money on clothes. This is a huge pet peeve of mine. You are not an earthy generous soul just because you shop at Goodwill).

So basically, they're both assholes. Also, everyone around LKH is a shitty enabler. This does LKH herself no favors, and of course means that no one else gets their needs met. I mean, really. We are seriously lacking some basic education on self respect and self validation if this is the kind of shit a whole gaggle of grown, supposedly capable humans will endure day in and day out. It bothers the hell out of me that everyone is glued to the news worried they're going to get robbed, when really? This is the kind of damage that leaves ever lasting marks. Being robbed is horrible but it's also not very likely and doesn't happen to the same person every single day for years, whereas someone who wants to in essence drain your soul of all goodness for as long as you'll let them feed off of you could be living in your fucking house right now. Sleeping in your bed. Eating at your dinner table and smiling at you when you get home from work.

Let me just put it this way. If someone is constantly accusing you of flirting with people you have no interest in, constantly changing their expectations without telling you and then getting mad at you for not meeting them, constantly bitching and moaning and throwing melodramatic fits..that shit is not normal. If a person is expecting you to read their mind, if you constantly have to walk on eggshells around them, if at any minute there could be a tantrum over the smallest things, if they imitate your successes and try to make you feel as if you failed, not normal. There are billions of people in this world, and life is short. You don't have the time to waste on people who don;t reciprocate, people who don't validate, people who don't care.

And I want to say one more thing: yes, even if they are related to you. Even if you think they're your best friend in the world. Even if they're your mother or father. No one has the right to treat you in a way that violates your boundaries. If you've clearly set your limits (you do owe people clear limits) and even after warnings and corrections (some missteps are honest ones. We all have baggage and we don't always understand other people's right away), the person in question keeps violating them? They're done. You cut them out. If you can manage it, you tell them exactly why and then you stop talking to them or seeing them. Sometimes maybe they'll learn from it and come around, but a lot of times they won't. It happens and you're better off without them.

Right. Back to Anita.

J.C. and Micah are bleeding still. Anita screams for Asher because that is sure to help in some way that is not at all clear to me at the moment. Micah shapeshifts because finally a shapeshifter is handling their problems in a reasonable fashion, you know, instead of letting themselves get carted off to the hospital so their arm will be mangled for life instead of just shifting right then and there. ANYWAY.

Anita touches J.C. and the marks "flare." This is fucking irritating. Anita basically has to power up like a Dragonball Z character for five fucking episodes before anything happens. Not only must we have the ardeur, but the marks have to make an appearance, and probably Anita's beasts will be next. It's inelegant as hell and frankly obscures the already flat characters even more. They're not even people, again, just containers for kewl powahs. Fitting considering the tell all 'novel' as "Miriam" (LKH) is just a container for symptoms and hate.

"I blinked and found Jean-Claude's face glowing like carved alabaster with white light inside of it."

So J.C.'s fingers are "like stone" and we've also had some nonsense about alabaster, and then she hits me with this rotting roadkill carcass:

"His skin glowed behind the coating of blood, like rubies spread across diamonds."

WHAP. Right across the face. Entrails everywhere.

"His eyes were pools of molten sapphire flame..."

Holy descriptions, Batman! And once more with the roadkill, meaning I will never get the smell of beaten horse out of my clothes.

"A wind sprang from his body, from our bodies..."

So a great whistling nor'easter is coming out of their no no places. Because that's what body means in this book. Or maybe it's like this:

Okay so literally? There is a breeze around them. I am not making this up. Ooh, but it's grave wind because that's so coo--no wait, I mean what the fuck is that really?

Reading this book turns you in to Anita, insofar as it will make you cry BUT WHAT DOES THAT MEEEEAN at the heavens every ten minutes.

Jason is here and he's healed now. From what? I don't even remember at this point. J.C. and Anita reach out for Richard because maaaarks. Micah touches J.C. and Anita, but then literally starts screaming "Nooo!" a second later for no reason I can discern.

This is the point in the book, more or less, where the reader should be getting the pay off for everything that has gone before. Action! Adventure! Possible death and destruction! Mysteries solved and babies kissed! Or...whatever. You get my drift. But as things come to a close for NiC the writing gets even more nonsensical--and trust me, I didn't think that was possible--purple, and fucking boring. Usually I am pretty good at translating LKH speak but I have no clue what is going on here beyond some awkward power up bullshit that I don't care about.

"We knelt, bound by flesh, magic, and blood."

This is a perfect example of an author indulgence. I bet it sounds epic and amazing to LKH but unfortunately the reader is left wondering what in the blue fuck she is dithering on about. Flesh? Blood? How is it binding them? Have they melted together like body parts from The Thing?

This chapter is terrible. So terrible. I need to invent whole new words to describe its awfulness. And just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, heeeere comes Belle Morte! Because why not? When you already have a confused pastiche of powers and hokey imagery, that's the perfect time to add honey and roses.

Anita THEN involves her necromancy because why not? This power pizza needs another topping! Belle Morte is teh evuls and has been influencing J.C. Anita casts her out, Satan.

Bobby Lee (wererat bodyguard) comes back in and tells Anita she's a dumbass for making them wait outside. Good job Bobby Lee.

So J.C. and Asher figure out that long ago Belle compelled another vampire in to killing his human servant, thereby killing himself. If I may this human servant bullshit is totally backwards. A human servant should empower the vampire primarily, not the other way around. Hence the word servant. Of course the servant ought to get something out of it too because willing servants are in some ways a lot easier to care for than unwilling ones, but ultimately I don't understand why having servants seems to weaken a vampire. Making a vampire more vulnerable because he has servants is backwards. By definition a servant is supposed to make things easier on their employer/master/whatever, not harder.

At the time they thought Belle couldn't have done it because it just wasn't possible. Anita says "I think it's like real possible..." because this is YA now and Anita is a spunky teenage girl who can see ghosts.

Oh god, here it is. I knew it was coming. Anita doesn't understand why Micah and J.C. aren't mad at each other, considering they just tried to kill each other. It's like, totally a guy thing, and now that they've had their little bullshit power display they respect each other and Anita like totally can't get it because she has a vagina.

You know what? Here's a thought I had the other day: part of a privileged person's refusal to accept that privilege exists is a lack of empathy. When you see a man get angry over male privilege he is probably feeling invalidated and offended on a certain level, yes, and in a lot of ways he doesn't want to share his power, but mostly it's a lack of empathy. Not that a man defending himself over whether male privilege exists necessarily can't feel empathy, it's that he can't or doesn't want to express empathy or learn a new kind of empathy. And while adults need to take personal responsibility for themselves, some of this issue starts in childhood. It starts, in part, when we teach little cis boys that the only acceptable emotions for them are anger and its permutations (jealousy, envy). It starts when we blunt and twist their ability to cry, or express gratitude, or hug. It starts when we take away the words "I love you." This isn't an excuse or a reason to start protecting those with privilege from the need to dismantle it, but the fact is we're taught our roles from day one. Men are taught (I am speaking very generally here) to be closed systems. To never admit they're wrong, because that would be to show weakness. Because ultimately, acknowledging that the world is inherently unfair for arbitrary reasons requires openness. It requires kindness, and humility, and compassion.

In short, LKH is perpetuating some very fucking dangerous and sick gender role bullshit here with this. While it's certainly true that for all the reasons I listed men may be inclined to settle their problems in an aggressive manner, there's no examination of the phenomenon in an LKH book. We're just meant to take it as gospel that by nature, men are inherently violent animals who can't settle disputes without resorting to violence despite the fact that Anita herself employs violence in almost every situation she finds herself in.


Look, look at this shitty book.

Anita makes a crack about how only men could make friends by throwing punches. J.C. points out that it's the same reason Anita and Edward are friends, because even J.C. knows Anita is a total hypocrite.
Just to put the rotten cherry on the shit sundae, Anita also says that Micah's ruthlessness bothers her even though she is herself ruthless.

Anita mentions Damian. Oh right him. I think it's obvious that I don't give half a fuck. J.C. needs blood and Micah offers again. Anita makes a crack about how there's just oh so much testosterone in the room, because she has to be a pissy ass and make rude gendered comments even though she's as big a swinging dick as anyone in here.

Micah shifts in to human form so J.C. can feed. We have to hear about his hair again, which is magically straight now. Kill meeeee.

J.C. wants to wash off the blood before feeding off of Micah. I think Asher is jealous, oh boo hoo. They tease J.C. about how he can't take a short bath, prompting Bobby Lee to say "I thought that was the man's line."

Gender roles are so much fun!

I hate you too Bobby Lee.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Narcissus in Chains Chapter Fifty

Ugh is this going to involve more not-sex sex? It's like the erotica I wrote when I was fourteen.

"We kissed, and it was like melting from the mouth down."

For some reason J.C. and Micah start fighting. Anita pulls her gun and fires a bullet in to the couch, which is hugely irresponsible and ought to give her and Micah hearing damage. Anita threatens to shoot them both if they don't stop fighting. J.C. has nicked the arteries in Micah's neck and there's blood everywhere. Why is this fight even happening? Micah already agreed to be fed on. I think we're gearing up for some bullshit about how men can only resolve their issues by fighting because god knows we can't go twenty pages without reinforcing the most virulent gender nonsense LKH can dream up.

Micah tears J.C.'s throat out. Anita swears a whole bunch because that's how you know she's a tough no nonsense female, I guess. She thinks they're both going to bleed to death, even though Micah is a goddamn shifter and J.C. is a fucking vampire.

Narcissus in Chains Chapter Forty Nine

Welp, here we go.

Anita natters on about J.C.'s curtains. They are " a huge fairytale tent." 

Now that is some low effort bullshit right there. What does that even mean? Fairies from what mythology? Irish, Vietamese? What? And what sort of things are fairies supposed to like? I can grasp that she probably means gauzy and floaty, but for god's sake. She fritters away every opportunity to breathe life in to her world, which is particularly sad considering it's a fucking fantasy world. 

She makes up for it a little bit by taking a stab at it after all. There's some white carnations--oh I'm sorry, a spill of white carnations--and an antique desk. Woo. So amazingly tantalizing.

"The fireplace looked real, but I knew it wasn't because it had been added later, but it was everything a fireplace should have been, except it was painted white."

What the fuck.

1). Pretty sure you can often add functional fireplaces after the fact. Even if you can't vent to the outside seeing as how this is the basement, it could easily be a gas fireplace.

2). Everything a fireplace should have been? Does it also have curves in all the right places?

3). Fireplaces can't be painted and still be fireplaces apparently, even though I had a white fireplace in my house as a child.

4). Why the fuck do I care about the fireplace?

J.C. turns up in an all white and silver outfit that matches the room. This place is fucking tacky. J.C. is tacky. He's wearing thigh high boots because of course he is. J.C. and Anita have ardeur feels at each other. J.C. can't fully shield against Anita because even in this she must be special. Micah is teh hawts and "it tightened things low in my body."

Your intestines then? Maybe your kidneys? You should have that looked at.

I think LKH has used spill approximately eleventy billion times in the span of like five pages.

Anita, J.C. and Micah fall to the ground as the ardeur takes hold of them. For some reason Anita is now terrified of J.C. and none of them want to feed the ardeur with each other even though they're all according to LKH consensual lovers. What the fuck is the problem with feeding the ardeur with J.C.? Or even Micah? Anita begs Asher for help  but he can't do anything because it will cause him to be taken in by the ardeur too. Why did LKH even include this stupid take on sex magic if she's not going to use it?

Oh it's because Anita doesn't let J.C. feed on her because she is a hypocritical rapist. I notice how Richard's boundaries being violated were all Richard's fault in Anita's mind even though he had the exact same limit, how she gave him the speech rapists like to give about how the rape is the victim's fault. Also really, what is with that restriction in the first place? She and J.C. are lovers. She's his human servant. Why won't she let him feed off of her, anyway? That's not how you properly portray someone with autonomy. Setting up random hard limits makes no sense. People usually have a reason for the things they do, or in this case the things they won't do. But Anita doesn't have reasons, because she's not a character. She is a cut out, an author avatar. It's like those scenes from Whose Line Is It Anyway where the actors have to take control of each other's bodies, making their arms flop out or their mouths move as the sketch demands.

Micah offers himself as sexual food for J.C. which is actually pretty hot.

Micah's eyes are "pale, pale green"  because repeating things makes them more powerful.

I'm confused because one minute J.C. and Micah are close enough to kiss, the next he's on top of Anita. Anita says "no, don't" but Micah touches her anyway. So does J.C. They all fall in to ardeur mania. Everyone's a rapist!

Narcissus in Chains Chapter Forty Nine

I owe you guys like three chapters. I'm sorry. I was sick and I'm still not 100%. Like, couldn't hold my head up sick.

Hey it's like me, Dottie, and Chelsea all being forced to read LKH.

Remember that scene from one of the Addams Family movies where Wenesday is forced to watch sugary princess movies all afternoon as a punishment? That's what this feels like.

And we're back at the Circus of the Damned, where Anita has to tell us about the fucking stairs. A guy named Ernie is here, leading Anita and her intrepid band of ass lickers down in to the basement. Am I supposed to know this dude? He seems like random vampire food (he has a bite on his neck). Whatever. I'm sure he'll never show up again or matter, but I need to know what his hair looks like, because of course I do.

The bodyguards argue over who is going to stand where because they're goddamn idiots. I don't know how they even got the job considering they can barely manage breathing in and out without an instruction booklet and a demonstration.

Anita angsts about how to treat J.C. and Micah because we didn't waste a whole chapter on that already.

And then...wait a fucking second. That's the whole chapter! No seriously, it just ends there!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Narcissus in Chains Chapter Forty Seven

Dottie's chapter here

"There was still a thread of light in the sky, like a slender golden ribbon, glowing against the push of dark, dark clouds..."

You know how die hard LKH fans accuse us of being jealous haters? It's not so much jealousy as PURE OUTRAGE that someone who can't even manage the bare basics of her craft is swimming through a pile of cash like Scrooge McDuck. That sentence is a magician's illusion box stuck through with comma swords, except the lovely story inside is surely dead instead of safely spirited away below the floor.

Repeating a descriptor doesn't make it more poignant.

Hey, they're going to Circus of the Damned. Anita informs us that the front of this place is "like a carnival" which is both the laziest description ever and REALLY FUCKING OBVIOUS considering Circus is in the fucking name. 

Somehow they've managed to cram this entire dysfunctional family in to one vehicle. Anita, Nathaniel, Cherry, Zane, Caleb, Merle, Micah and Gil. Even for a van that's a lot of people. Of course we're not told what kind of vehicle Anita is driving because that would be too relevant to the situation. It's like LKH believes that if she keeps everything muddy and 'mysterious' maybe we won't realize that she is the definition of hack.

Wait, they're in a Jeep? I'm blind. I don't drive. But I have a hard time imagining a Jeep with eight people in it. Can anyone tell me if this is as ridiculous as I suspect it is?

Anita is a judge-y ass about how other animators raise zombies for money. She is pure, you see, and doesn't believe in using "God-given gifts" for such lowly purposes. Caleb quite rightly points out that she gets paid for her services too and she lectures him about how she only takes money from the worthy. Anita-Christ will be here all evening, healing the sick and giving sermons on various mounts.

Merle calls her "deeply moral" and goes on about Anita's supposed ethics. You know one thing I really hate in these books? The people just exist to revolve around Anita. Their primary purpose is to explore what passes for her psyche. They huddle around fighting each other for the chance to stroke her dick, figuratively of course because real dick stroking would actually be kind of exciting after all the clean filth I've been forced to endure.

A big paragraph about Micah's "brown velvet" curls. And here I thought the protagonist of NDT had a preoccupation with his hair. Now is apparently the right time to tell us that Merle is wearing the same outfit he always wears. Also Micah's outfit, which is fancy. Great. It makes his skin look "even darker" but not so dark that Anita won't touch him.

Oh, only now do we know what the purpose of this whole joyless exercise is: they're taking Micah to meet J.C.

"Damn it, I had enough to worry about without having to juggle male egos."

Because men are just idiots right? They're barely a step above cave men, what with their massive boners and jealous rages and the objectification lasers shooting from their kitty-cat eyes. I think I finally figured this out today: LKH perceives men as holding all the power. She desperately wants that power. She wants to sit at the big kid's table. But just like an insecure child, she senses that she is not welcome. She can't handle rejection and exclusion, so to cope she twists all the men in her stories until they're caricatures of the worst cishet male traits, and yet they're also beautiful sex dolls for her author avatar who are controlled by Anita's perfect pussy. She derides and devalues everything female because she wants that brass ring--to be considered in essence a man--but because she can't have it she wields objectification as her weapon of choice and ends up treating everyone like shit.

By the way in case you were wondering about LKH's hatred of women, check out some quotes from a recent convention panel:

"The rule is if you can't take the attention, don't wear it. I'm going to stamp the card of every man that has ever been on the receiving end of a woman– dressed scantily – who got mad at them because they couldn't take their eyes off their breasts. Or whatever was showing. I'm sorry...they're men. And if they're heterosexual men, or actually, I even have friends that are gay, saying breasts are lovely. If you're gonna dress that way, you can't punish the men for being men. Looking's okay. That's it. Just so we don't all get carried away."

You guys, LKH is here to tell you the rules. Aren't you glad?

Or how about her thoughts on a woman wearing a corset at a party?

"And then I got the story that the woman who had been pissy to other people -- he just said, "You look lovely. That corset makes your breasts look absolutely beautiful," is what he said to her. She cut him a new one. She yelled at him up and down and sideways. Other people witnessed it, I got reports that he was accurate in his reporting. Freakin'...don't wear the corset! Do, or do not. There is no in-between on this one."


1). Those dirty whores are asking for it. I know it might sound innocuous at first--she's not saying women deserve to be raped if they dress scantily--but I am going to posit that such is exactly what she's saying. She's not doing it in so many words, but it's a very short jump from women who dress scantily deserve to have their bodies commented on regardless of their comfort level to women who draw the eye of heterosexual men deserve everything they get. 

2). Look, I'm 'only' a male/andro leaning genderqueeer person. I am also queer. I am not cishet and in some ways I can't understand what that's like. So let me ask you, cishet guys...aren't you insulted by this? The idea that you can't possibly rise above your base instincts and act like grown ups? That you have to be coddled and placated so you don't just rape everything in sight? I would hope the average cishet man would realize that it's intensely creepy to comment on a stranger's breasts. Men are capable of acting like adult humans. The guy she's discussing should be immediately re-educated, preferably by those among his kind that realize that men objectifying women is not a natural state of being. 

3). LKH: I totally have tons of friends that are gay and by implication I am therefore incapable of saying or writing anything homophobic, despite my books being great rambling rants about how gay people are icky and how gay cooties will only touch my main character if an exoticized Asian stereotype sex doll does it. 

Oh no wait, they're actually here to rescue Damien, the vampire J.C. has had bound up in a coffin for the past six months. I do not understand why this plot point is here. It's not needed. There's plenty going on. Rather, there would be if LKH could utilize her own ideas. 

Micah only exists to be Anita's therapist and stunt penis so of course he realizes that Damien, who has been suffering unspeakably for months, is not her real concern. No, she's in a crappy mood because she's nervous about introducing Micah to J.C. For someone who natters on about her supposed practicality as much as she does, her priorities are severely out of order. 

Interminable bullshit about the intricacies of introducing all of one's boyfriends to one another.

I like a polyamorous lifestyle and monogamous people have more than once given me a serious look, lowered their voices, and said some variation on "...but how does it work? I mean, really." And I know they're assuming extra drama. Nothing could be further from the truth. Partner A and I have been together for six years, Partner B and I for three. Partner B always knew Partner A was what might be termed a primary lover of mine. He came in to this relationship with eyes open. It wasn't sprung on him. When I told Partner A way back when that I couldn't live a monogamous life anymore it was very hard in the beginning to readjust. But we got over it. We had and have problems just like anyone. It may be complex, but since when are monogamous relationships simple?

"I was actually more scared about introducing the two of them than I was about than I was worried about Damien."

Everyone gets out of the car. Cris and Bobby Lee are Anita's new wererat bodyguards. They get described. Who gives a fuck? I am suffering from clothing and eyes overload. 

Cris and Bobby Lee are bodyguards yet inexplicably no one has briefed them on who the leopards are, so they cause a stink about protecting Anita from her own pard. Uurrgh so stupid. People are wearing clothes! There are guns under the clothes! Anita threatens the rats about interfering with her people! Clothes! Guns!

 These goddamn rats are fucking idiots because despite valuing muscle LKH also seems to think people who radiate "bodyguard badass" are complete fools. Anita is trying to explain to them that there may be a lot of posturing to come and that they shouldn't overreact and one of them says "so tonight isn't real." HOW CAN YOU BE THIS DUMB? The guy is a fucking wererat. All the shifters have done this whole book is fucking posture. How can they not understand the difference between posturing and a situation where Anita is in real danger? They're the worst bodyguards ever. Maybe Rafael is trying to get her killed. I can dream. 

The hokiest line in all the land happens when Bobby Lee says: "We're supposed to protect her body, not her heart."