1

First installment here.

Second installment here.

Third installment here.

god_emperor_trump

You know, I'm not sitting here like some little woman standing by my man, like Tammy Wynette. - Hillary Prima

She began following the God Emperor's cart down a long curved hallway. Upon the walls were paintings - large rectangular portraits. Portraits she recognized from her lessons.

Jeb Bush. Carly Fiorina. Ted Cruz. Bernie Sanders. Marco Rubio. Al Gore. Arianna Huffington. So many, many others.

...continue reading "God Emperor of Soon – Installment 4"

First installment here.

Second installment here.

god_emperor_trump

It’s freezing and snowing in New York – we need global warming! - Trump, before the Apotheosis

"So Hillary, let's talk about you and about how you feel. You doing okay? Your lessons going good, yeah?"

The waitstaff began filing in with the most delicious-smelling and beautifully presented meal she'd ever smelled and seen, and arranged the table just so.

...continue reading "God Emperor of Soon – Installment 3"

2

First installment here.

god_emperor_trump

I've had a beautiful, I've had a flawless campaign. You'll be writing books about this campaign. - Trump, before The Apotheosis.

Hillary the Ghola had the same upbringing as her predecessors.

Born from one of the mysterious axlotl tanks in a lab deep in the bowels of the God Emperor's palace, she proceeded to be educated about Hillary Prima and His Imperial Greatness. Their history together from circa 30 BA (Before Apotheosis) to 1 AI (Anno Imperator) was the main subject matter.

When she asked her tutors and other Duck-Speakers (who were all women for whatever reason) why she had to learn such boring fare, she was told it was to prepare her for her day of awakening.

...continue reading "God Emperor of Soon – Installment 2"

3

Hello children, it's me, your favorite aggravated husband of a Crazy Duck Lady.

Aforementioned Crazy Duck Lady has said to me repeatedly that she thinks I should write something - an anthology of comedic quips or quotes, or possibly even a narrative.

After seeing the meteoric rise of Donald (Duck) Trump on the national stage and the internet's somewhat sarcastic rebranding of his personality, I felt that burning itch of a muse that Mary Anne speaks of.

Either a muse or a fungus, I can never tell which.

Anyway, today I start (cue dramatic score) ...

The God Emperor of Soon (a bad sci-fi parody)

...continue reading "God Emperor of Soon – Installment 1"

My original Facebook page will be fading away soon.... and I have a brand new Facebook page to share.  But first, of course, I have a story. (Otherwise, this would be a really short blog post!) My story begins a couple of months ago, when I decided to do a "boost" or Facebook ad campaign to promote one of my Olivia Outlaw Books.  I did the post, clicked to boost it, it started boosting and then - the boost was rejected.

A few days ago, I decided to try again, because I've run FB ads before and found them a great way to promote books for a reasonable cost.  Again, it got rejected and this time I got messages about "explicit content" and violating FB ad policies.

Seriously?

Well, okay, perhaps Facebook has hangups about Male/Male Romance and I was trying to publicize one of my Olivia Outlaw books.  So, I tried again, with three - count 'em THREE- of the books from my Mary Anne Graham "Forever" series.  Nada. The same result.  I beat my head against the brick wall, and grabbed my computer guy hubby and slammed his face against it for a while.  More nada and managed to royally perturb computer guy hubby who recalled anew his wife's technical stupidity.

While hubby cooked breakfast - yum- I had a "light bulb" moment.  Maybe I needed to do a full reboot.  After all, my original Facebook was created before FB had some of the tools to help authors create pages.  So, I slogged off to create an AUTHOR page.  Added each book series to PHOTOS and plan to give each book/series its own FB page.  (It'll take a while, people, I'm on the last book in my Seducing the Guardian Series and hope to publish soon).

For now, though, I have a brand new author page and am running a promo of my "shop now" button which connects to my list of books on this blog.  If you've wandered over here from that shop now button/promo - HI!  *waves*

Be sure to check out the new FB page and give it a like while you're there!!

 

 

Editor's Note:  My new project is writing for "Constant Content."  I wrote this and submitted it, but it was rejected as "newsy" or "dated" content.  Well, my blog is the PERFECT place for this content!  Y'all will have to let me know how it goes -- I won't be watching Grey's, but I have been watching, with great interest, the FRANTIC promo for the upcoming season.........

*****

McDreamy died. Did ABC’s Thursday night lineup die with him?

McDreamy was the nickname of a doctor on Grey’s Anatomy, a TV show on ABC. Shonda Rhimes created it and then she created Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder. The trio forms ABC’s blockbuster Thursday night prime time lineup. McDreamy, Dr. Derek Shepherd, was the romantic lead on the show, opposite Dr. Meredith Grey, the female lead, played by Patrick Dempsey and Ellen Pompeo. After a feud that made headlines, Derek Shepherd died on the April 23rd episode. 67% of the show’s fans say the show died with him, according to a poll cited by The Daily Gazette.

TV actors get written off and their characters die, but McDreamy is different. On March 27, 2005, the first scene of Grey’s showed the morning after between two strangers who hooked up the night before at a bar. Those strangers were Derek and Meredith, famously known as MerDer.  Their romance launched and anchored the show until Dempsey’s character met an undignified end. McDreamy backed across a highway and grabbed his cell phone. A speeding semi struck his car.

Fans took it as a betrayal by Rhimes. Loyal viewers followed the romance through his divorce, her drowning, explosions, gunshots, separations, and reconciliations. After the couple, at long last, wed in a sticky note ceremony, Rhimes promised a happily ever after. She kept the promise until trouble developed. Rumors of Dempsey having an affair with an intern followed his separation from his wife. Other gossip claimed Dempsey’s behavior on set had alienated everyone. Rhimes kept him out of many episodes last Season after sending Dr. Shepherd to Washington. She brought him back long enough to kill him.

Fans protested Derek being killed instead of sent back to Washington or to Zurich where Cristina (played by the departed Sandra Oh) runs a high tech medical clinic and lab. The manner of death disturbed them since the traffic accident was a swipe at Dempsey whose involvement in auto racing is well known. Fans denounced the lack of a real memorial. Former colleagues not attending Derek’s funeral diminished his death in the eyes of viewers. Fans concluded that Rhimes showed little regard for McDreamy and less regard for them. 67% of them vowed not to watch again.

Vanity Fair quoted Rhimes calling McDreamy “incredibly important” and an example of what “young women should demand from modern love.”  But Rhimes emphasized that “the carousel never stops turning.”  Fans didn’t find it a fitting memorial, but it sufficed for Rhimes until polls showed that the carousel stopped for many viewers. ABC President Paul Lee said that Rhimes decided Dempsey’s death “was the way to go.” The Season premiere approaches with the network laying blame at her door, so Rhimes developed a two-pronged strategy: rewriting history and paying late tribute.

Although Dempsey’s contract, like Pompeo’s, extended through the upcoming Season, Rhimes ended Dempsey’s run early. In the Entertainment Weekly exclusive posted the evening of the death episode, April 23rd, Dempsey said he was “surprised” at how the story unfolded and didn’t find out he’d be written out and killed off until February or March. In a piece posted August 7th, The Daily Gazette quotes Rhimes that Dempsey wanted to leave after 11 seasons so, “For God’s sake, let the man go.”

Rhimes eulogizes McDreamy on the Season 11 DVD set for release on August 18th. E News spoke with Rhimes who said the choice came down to death or leaving Meredith “high and dry.”  If Derek left, Rhimes said, it meant that “the love was not true, the thing we had said for 11 years was a lie, and McDreamy was not McDreamy.”  Rhimes did not discuss the mutual contract terms designed to allow McDreamy and Meredith to leave together.

According to the poll, 67% of former viewers will not watch Meredith’s solo journey.  That number has execs casting blame and the show runner writing a new script. Time will tell whether Ms. Rhimes’ fans continue to “Thank God It’s Thursday” or turn to another channel. All 3 of Rhimes’ shows – Grey’s, Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder – premiere on ABC on September 24th.

 

I needed to hear this today!!  In fact, I often need to hear this.  Author Amity Lassiter posted this on the "Romance Divas" forum.  (Thanks Amity!) I've bookmarked it and have watched it several times already. Of course, I had to share it with y'all.

Shia's RIGHT - there's only one way to change something from a dream, a goal or an ambition into a living, breathing reality.

https://youtu.be/nuHfVn_cfHU

As the whole world knows by now, in this week's episode of "Grey's Anatomy," Dr. Derek Shepherd, a/k/a Dr. McDreamy died.  Yes, died.  For a huge, massive number of viewers, when he died, the show died too.  It will continue, in a living dead sort of fashion, but the numbers will not justify it living long, and the plug will be pulled.  But it will have company --- ABC will be shopping for a whole new Thursday night.  Why?

Because in killing Dr. McDreamy, Shonda Rhimes killed more than a character -- she killed the bond of trust she spent a decade building with viewers.  That's a bond that can't be re-built.  We'll never trust Shonda again and we'll never risk watching any of her shows -- not Grey's, not Scandal, and not How to Get Away With Murder.  Shonda's as done as her shows.

Shonda's feud with Dempsey gained a lot of attention recently.  She who doesn't like leaks suddenly liked them a LOT now, didn't she?  She fed the media a bunch of stories about how Patrick Dempsey was suddenly too much of a "Diva" to tolerate.  It was entirely too sudden and entirely too convenient.  When Katherine Heigl's movie career blossomed, tales of her Diva demands blossomed too.  But they didn't start as a full grown rose - they started as a bud that grew and grew and grew.  But Dempsey became a Diva overnight. Ain't that peculiar, people?

The truth is that Dempsey has wanted off the show for a while.  His whole life has been on the sids recently.  He's lost a marriage and couldn't figure out how to balance racing and Grey's.  He discovered racing too late and it's grown into an addiction of sorts, or so it seems to me.  And I completely understand how much it must enrage Shonda that the poor, "no-career" actor she cast a decade ago, now doesn't have time for the show that changed his destiny.  I get that.  I just think that Shonda let her rage overcome her judgment.  Couldn't any of the writers talk her off the ledge before she jumped?

Apparently not.

Rhimes and Dempsey are both people who have duties to the American public. Yes, they've entertained us for a decade but we've given them careers beyond any they could've imagined a decade ago. Just as Shonda changed Patrick Dempsey's destiny, America changed hers. And Shonda was Queen of the Grey's empire so she responded with a ruler's rage ---- "Off with his head," she commanded. In killing her creation, she has killed her empire.

It didn't have to be this way.  The pair could have sat down and pared Dempsey's appearances down to Skype chats with Meredith and loving bits and pieces that could be pre-recorded and played back over all of next season.  Shonda could've brought an amazing offer from Cristina that required Derek immediately. Because Cristina is Mer's "person," she'd offer Mer a job that would be open whenever Mer was ready.  As Mer's person, she'd know that Mer wasn't ready now, but she'd be ready very soon.

But Shonda wanted to do more than kill Dr. McDreamy.  She has decided to diminish him until Meredith begins again......  a new man, a new father, a new life....  And she can do that because Grey's is HER Kingdom, right?  WRONG.  It was only hers until the first show aired.  Just as a book only belongs to the writer until it's published, a show only belongs to its runner until the first episode airs.  Then it belongs to its fans, the way a published book belongs to the readers.

Queen Shonda forgot that.

The romance between Meredith and McDreamy captured viewer's hearts. They rewarded it with their loyalty. A decade of magic ensued. Grey's could have continued after McDreamy left.... it could continue after Mer leaves.  Except now, it can't.  Now, it's dead. Shonda killed it when she committed the ultimate betrayal.  Grey's might have grown in a strong new direction with a "shadow" Derek and a "shadow" Cristina, appearing in the occasional voice over.  A Derek alive, elsewhere doing other things and a Meredith alive in Seattle responding to some of those things and acting in ways that caused others - now that is quite a different proposition.  It could be an odd notion from the odd duck lady or the distressed ponderings of a fan -- or both.  Regardless, it's not to be, absent a giant "mea culpa" from Shonda.  It would take a new season beginning with Mer awakening from a dream (in an over the top nod to "Dallas") or with Mer awakening to find a concerned McDreamy beside her bed, relieved that she'd stopped her fever-produced hallucinations. None of that is likely, because a Shonda who could kill McDreamy is likely beyond redemption.

MASH killed Henry Blake but learned its lesson.  It never killed "Hawkeye."  Perhaps the runners of that show had more respect for magic or perhaps they were wise enough to know that a knife in the back of Hawkeye landed most painfully in the backs of every viewer who adored him. It's too bad that Shonda killed Izzie and still didn't learn that lesson.

Grey's began with a one night stand that grew into an epic fairy tale romance so fans believed it would end with the happily ever after we were trained to expect, the same one we've always awaited. But Shonda killed the hero and now she says viewers will watch Meredith discover what life is like after the fairy tale ends.  But viewers won't discover that because you know what we do when the fairy tale ends? We close the book. That book is closed for me, and a group on Facebook has started a page to boycott Shonda's shows.  You can find it here.

America has not YET adopted my romance novels with the fervor it once reserved for Grey's, but now is a fine time to start.  Pick up a Quacking Alone Romance by Mary Anne Graham, also writing as Olivia Outlaw.  At the end of any of my books you'll never be pulling a knife out of your back or wiping away tears after the hero is brutally killed by a semi-truck.  Instead, you'll be cheering for the fairy tale, full-on happily ever after that I guarantee you'll find when any of my couples' tales end.

The tombstone in next week's episode should read:  "Here lies Grey's Anatomy, born March 27, 2005.  It died at the hands of its creator on April 23, 2015." Let me know what it says because I won't be watching.

I'm convinced that one of Shonda Rhimes' favorite songs must be the old gospel hymn - "Will The Circle Be Unbroken."  The woman does love to close a circle - as most fans of her hit ABC TV Show, "Grey's Anatomy" will know and sometimes rue.  An interesting word that - "rue" sounds very akin to ruin which is what I think will happen if Shonda closes the latest circle.

Yo, Shonda Sunshine - some circles should stay broken.   Derek does not need to vilify himself further by closing this one.  The Mer/Der partnership does not require a "dark and twisty" member.

In case you've missed it, the latest drama on "Grey's Anatomy" puts the show's "raison d'etre"  (reason to be) at risk.  [Some things just require French.]  Yes, believe it or not, Shonda's newest plot would do MORE than destroy the couple whose rendezvous started the show off with a bang & propelled it to the ranks of television royalty.  It may turn out that Derek has been cheating in DC -- (I know, what's new about that, right?  Imagine - someone doing the down, dirty and dishonorable in DC!!)

The show started when McDreamy neurosurgeon Derek Shepherd discovered that his wife had been cheating on him with his best friend.  He walked in on them one evening - and walked right out and away from the marriage, fleeing to Seattle to accept a job long-offered by his old friend Richard Webber.  Of course, the viewers didn't know either his identity or his history any more than Meredith Grey knew it when she hooked up with him for a one nighter the night before she started her new hospital internship. The viewers knew what Mer knew - the man had a fabulous ass. (How naughty showing that was on TV at the time....)

We found out he was her bosses boss at the same time she did, and it soon turned out that their one night stand turned into love that looked strong and true and honorable.  Only, it turned out - not quite so honorable.  Derek was married, as we found out when his wife strolled into the lobby to greet the slut sleeping with her husband.  And don't forget - Addison (the then-wife) told Derek he'd have known she was coming if he'd answered any of her phone calls.

Now, flash forward.  Derek flies off to DC after a royal battle with his wife who refused to leave her career so he could go be a DC big shot.  And episode before last Mer called him and a woman answered.  She started asking herself and her friends -- Could Der be cheating on her?  Could history be repeating itself?  (Popular wisdom says - if he did it once, he'll do it again.) Previews for next week's epi show Derek telling Mer that they're in trouble -- and APPEAR to show him having a Mer/Der type hot and heavy moment with a lady in a lab coat (a new Grey's doctor?), complete with one of THOSE looks he only shares with Meredith.

Shonda Sunshine is a master illusionist, so perhaps we'll find out that things aren't the way it appears.  I hope so, anyway.  I hope that she who created Shondaland will not resort to cliches to close yet another circle.  Yeah - in strictly geometric terms, it would make sense for Der to have left for a new hospital, found a new woman, and be trying to shed the old one.  It would close a circle big style.

The problem is that many viewers, like this one, do not think or feel or grow attached to characters for reasons that have anything to do with logic.  As a romance writer, I thank every lucky duck in the universe for that fact.  I just hope it's not one that Shonda has forgotten.  And no, Sunshine, I don't think we need to explore the other side of infidelity.  I don't want you to introduce us to a new lady doctor and try to make us like her even though she's cheated with Derek, wants to cheat with Derek or may be about to cheat with Derek.  Because Shonda, we won't like her and we won't be too fond of you either.

Romantics everywhere have been convinced that Mer/Der are the real deal -- and we desperately need to believe that the real deal still exists somewhere outside of our own happy marriages (my case, Mr. Duck is a sweetie) - or for others, that it will exist for them in their next boyfriend, husband, wife, lover or partner.  The danger in Shonda convincing us that Mer/Der are the real thing is that if Der cheats, it means they're not.  And yeah, McDreamy would become the doc we love to hate and hate having loved, but he'd take Shonda and her show right with him -- especially if it turns out this is Dempsey's ticket off the show and onto the racetrack.

Making viewers love the lovers made Grey's Anatomy a television phenomenon and keeping viewers in love with the lovers has kept Grey's at the top. Breaking viewers' hearts will send Grey's on a shark-jump to television infamy.  And I hope that Shonda is smart enough to stay far away from turning Grey's into Heartbreak Hospital.

Here's one Grey's viewer who will be watching next week to see what rabbit Shonda pulls out of her hat this time.  And if there's no rabbit?  #TGIT will mean - "Thank God It's Thursday" because I can write all night.  And I'll take special care to keep my readers heart-whole and cheering for love.

I was never a country music fan -- until recently.  I discovered an affection for country music after I switched my reality-music-TV watching from "American Idol" to "The Voice." I wasn't very far along into watching "The Voice" before Blake Shelton's easy-going, strong as satin-wrapped steel demeanor struck enough of a chord for me to go into my Amazon Prime account and check out his music. And Blake connected me to country.

Why I had no appreciation for the genre before, I can't say.  A whole lot of country music speaks of life with a "Southern Voice" (Love that one by Tim McGraw, BTW). My Southern eyes see life just that way.  I've always adored Beach Music, the tunes to which Carolina Girls (Love that one by General Norman Johnson and the Chairmen of the Board) shag.  The shag is the official state dance of South Carolina because its a step that was, like me, born and bred in the Palmetto State.  Music connected to the South has always held an appeal for me, but for some reason, that didn't hold true for country.

Growing up, my neighbors and family liked country music and laughed at my love of rock and roll. It was scorned as "the devil's music." During my college years, most of us went out to clubs that played rock and roll, disco, and beach music.  The clubs that played country were the haystick places where you didn't go unless you were armed and appreciated watching a good bar fight.  My musical tastes matured as I grew, but somehow that never, ever included country music until "The Voice" introduced me to that "Playboy of the Southwestern World", Blake Shelton.

Blake's evangelism for the genre made me wonder how I'd never appreciated it before. Mr. Shelton speaks fervently of how country must be felt before its sung and of how it can only be sung well if it comes from the heart. Most great country songs revolve around the same core as my books - love, in all its good, bad, ugly and life-affirming variations.  It might be first love, back seat "love for tonight," brokenhearted love lost, love never returned or forever love found - but if its love, there's a country song with lyrics that tell the tale. (Blake's amazing wife, Miranda Lambert, has one about a "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" that delights an insane duck lady.  Any song that celebrates crazy is a good thing. I think Loretta Lynn said that first. )

There are country songs that celebrate having fun, loving family, appreciating friends and having a drink or ten while you're doing it.  But I've come to realize that other than a love for pick-up trucks,  the rebellious, raucous, loyal-beyond-a-fault country attitude describes my approach to life and writing. And it was something I was closed to - an automatic shut-off valve in my brain activated whenever a country song came on the radio.  That was 'change the station' time.  Now, I listen, enjoy and appreciate.

How much of life do we miss if we have automatic shut-off switches?  Whether it's different ideas, different values, different views of life or love - why not let it in enough to consider, to ponder,  to evaluate?  There is much absolutely abhorrent out there, and I'm not advocating that we accept or endorse every idea floating around the universe.  I'm just saying that what we should "shut off" are those switches that deprive us of the opportunity to grow and learn and to become and to keep becoming as long as we've life left to live.

Lots of folks who love country music may have their automatic shut-offs programmed to screen out over-the-top, avidly erotic tales of love between a man and a woman (Mary Anne Graham titles) or between two men (Olivia Outlaw titles - to date, but Olivia will expand too).  Well, a whole bunch of those folks are missing some stories that will read a lot like a country song sounds.  In my author's voice they'll recognize familiar notes sung in a different tone. If they give it a chance, their worlds might grow a little too, just like mine did when NBC's "The Voice" and country charmer Blake Shelton convinced me to override my shut off valve and re-consider country music.

I see it now -- my books read a lot like a Blake Shelton song sounds - and that's a very good thing.