Did We Really NEED a ‘Free’ Movie?

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Yes, boys and girls, Rocket News announced earlier this week that Free, one of the most unintentionally homoerotic anime ever, is going to have a theatrical release. “Oh great,’ many anime lovers might say, “we’ll get to see the boys move on after high school, right?” I’d be down with that…at least the majority will be legal to ogle by then, so the skimpy swimsuits and bare skin will be less complicated. However, the upcoming movie is slated to be a prequel…about the boys in middle school. Head meet desk. It almost feels like the franchise is unintentionally catering to the shota lovers of the world. Meanwhile my skin is crawling. Will I watch it if the movie travels to the US? Probably. Will I feel like a very dirty old lady if the accidental boys’ love moments make an appearance? Most definitely! However, the desire to know details will probably block out everything else.

Now for the update: I have a new job! I have to finish filling out paperwork today, but my several month quest to find non-familial employment has ended. I’m excited about my new opportunity, and I hope this will become something long term. My blog posts may become more sporadic as I ease into the new schedule, but I intend to find ways to keep on the once a week routine even if I can’t post at work.

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I’m Beginning to Understand the Frustrations of Chronic Pain Sufferers

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I haven’t been diagnosed with fibromyalgia or any of the other ailments associated with chronic pain, but I have been struggling with varying levels of pain from injuries for several months. My plantar fasciitis has not completely resolved despite following the prescribed medication regimen, icing my foot regularly, and buying special insoles for my shoes, which frustrates me. I am going to slowly try adding running back to my exercise regimen since I miss it, but I know that serious distance running is not in my near future. Patience has been a good sport about not running, but she made it very clear that she is over the bike when she backed out of her harness a week ago. At least I like the bike, so the tune up wasn’t wasted.

The other chronic issue I’ve been fighting with is my right lower back. First, I hurt it last week sneezing when I was bent over, which is one of the craziest injuries ever. Icing my back helped relieve the pain enough to function, but I reinjured the same area getting a storm door out of the back of my mini-van on Tuesday (surprisingly my efforts dealing with the sliding glass door Monday night didn’t cause as much damage…or maybe it was cumulative). I ended up spending the day at home yesterday with pain killers and an ice pack. I did walk the dogs, but it was tiring enough that despite sleeping in I needed to lie down during the afternoon.

I definitely don’t have to deal with this sort of pain all the time, but I can sympathize better with the frustrations, anger, and depression of those who do. Yes, I got the dogs walked, but it was at the cost of not being good for much else the rest of the day. If I had children or a spouse who also needed attention I would have been screwed. If I’d had other errands that had to be done yesterday I would have had to choose between getting them done and walking the dogs since I only had enough stamina for one. Yes, I will eventually get over my fatigue and pain, but I hope I can remember what it’s like to feel exhausted from normal every day tasks. People with chronic pain aren’t lazy, unmotivated, or faking; they literally can’t do things sometimes because their reserves are tapped.

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Rundown of Staple! Independent Media Expo March 7, 2015

Staple Program Guide

I haven’t attended any sort of fan media convention in over ten years, so when I stumbled across mention of Staple! Independent Media Expo in one of Janelle Asselin’s Hire This Woman series on Comics Alliance I got very excited. Unlike the majority of the cons I hear about online this one was local to me, and the entry fee was reasonably priced enough to fit my budget ($10 for one day and $15 for both days…I only had the energy for one day). I pulled some money out of my bank account for shopping, programmed the location into my Google maps on the phone, and packed my Fanboy Comics business cards for a day of meeting, greeting, and promoting.

I arrived at The Marchesa Hall and Theater a little after 11, but the parking lot was already full with exhibitor, visitor, con guest, and organizer cars. I was lucky enough to find a spot directly across from the sidewalk crossing between two parts of the theater, so I just jetted through to join a group of comic fans heading to pay the entry fee. One day visitors got a purple wristband that I promptly managed to stick to my arm hair as I fumbled with it (note to self: in the future put the sticky band on the left wrist, so my dominant hand is doing to the sticking). I received a program guide when I got my wristband, but instead of wisely looking at it to determine where things were I just kind of wandered with people who seemed to know where they were headed, which lead me into the Annex portion of the con.

Initially, I just meandered between the booths trying to figure out who was where and what caught my eye. The first order of business was shopping for a birthday present for a 9/10 year old, so I was particularly eager to find anything that appeared to be all ages. Somehow my first real contact at Staple ended up at booth 79, peopled by creators Bis Thorton, Sara Goetter, and Angus Henderson. Not only were they lovely to chat with, happy to take business cards, and offered me some of their free comics for the birthday boy they had FINGER PUPPETS! One will be staying with me, and the other two will be going on a journey with the rest of the birthday stuff. I also ended up buying a couple of Bis’ more mature titles when she mentioned they included LGBTQ characters (reviews to be coming). Sara also had an excellent fantasy adventure title that I think will be appreciated by someone in the birthday boy’s home. All in all they were such sweet, lovely people that I can’t thank them more for starting the con off on a positive note! I believe they were the first group to clue me into the rough indie comic scene in Atlanta as well. Apparently, getting your books into a comic store is nearly impossible, and store owners won’t reimburse indie creators for damage or stolen merchandise. Since I’m not directly involved with the publishing side of FBC I don’t know if this is common or not, but I think it’s awfully harsh to put the entire burden of loss and cost on the creators. One of the things I kept hearing from the Atlanta crowd was that it’s just better for them to sell online only. Maybe I’m spoiled because Austin is a pretty indie friendly scene regardless of your particular art?

Somehow I started the con in the back corner, so when I turned to head back down another aisle I stumbled across Rachel E Kelly’s display of her Colorworld series of novels. The family lives in an RV and travels from con to con (they told me that they had 46 conventions to attend this year from coast to coast!). After Rachel told me the premise I broke out the spiel about “maybe I can help you” along with the FBC business cards. What I expected was that sometime in the future I’d get an email asking for reviews and to get them in touch with Barbra, my managing editor. To my pleasure and shock Rachel passed me over to Brad, her husband and publicist, once we determined I did not need print copies to review (good grief, I know how expensive those are for poor indie authors to put out!). Within minutes I had Kindle editions in my email on my phone, and I hashed out what would best help promote the novels. Wow! Sometimes asking is really all it takes! I’ll be starting the first novel tonight, so I hope to have that one reviewed before the end of the month.

The order of checking out booths gets a lot fuzzier from this point on, probably because I already began to overload from the con. I’m not sure if I visited Mittie Paul’s or Meghasissues’ booth first, but given how closely they were located (only a number or two apart) I’m not sure it makes a huge difference. Mittie Paul’s adorable comics were all completely handmade works of art. Some were more traditionally printed and stapled, but she had a wire bound spaceship (Unfortunately, this one will probably be phased out due to supply issues with good, inexpensive wire binding) and one made out of nifty cardstock with cut outs to show the shiny material underneath and a reflective sticker in the upper left corner to provide a simple mirror for the story (apparently, she had used glass mirrors in the past, but the fragility was an issue). I ended up passing up the adorable comics but did take home a sticker sheet of Anxious Dragons! Meghasissues offered a wide variety of fun comics as her booth as well including one that made me snicker, but would not have met the humour needs of a tween, Damn Hipsters. However, I know that her adorable comic, Cat Therapy, will be greatly appreciated by at least one person in the birthday child’s household. It’s a collection of cute and funny cat drawings created when Meg spent about a year in the hospital. As a typical comic artist she couldn’t not draw during that time, so she created something to help cheer up her fellow patients. I’ll have to pick up a copy of Damn Hipsters at another time when I can use more of my budget for myself.

I believe the next booth I visited was David Lujon’s Nerida booth, which had been tucked into a corner due to last minute registration. Someone had provided a standing lamp, but it was still a little hard to see exactly what was happening in the space. His comic is a blend of various legends about paranormal creatures who can be trapped when they lose important components of themselves i.e. selkies, tennyo, and Nerida is a mermaid who has lost her special skin that allows her to live underwater. David is also one half of the dark indie pop duo, Bitter Birds, and I snagged a card for a music loving friend who I thought might enjoy their tunes. Ironically, I think we chatted a bit more about the Austin music scene than comics since I have an acquaintance who is a member of the band Flametrick Subs.

My exact timeline gets a ton fuzzier around this point due to overload and exhaustion. I know at one point I wandered out into the lobby and chatted with the ladies at the Literacy Coalition of Central Texas table and the Jerry’s Artarama table including putting my business card in a box to win a free comic (using comics to promote literacy for the win! I also mentioned Reading with Pictures as a resource for their clients.) and getting some swag (art contrast pen for inking…but I can barely draw, sticker, button). I also got a card for Austin Writers Roulette, which is a regular function in South Austin for spoken word and poetry once a month. Austin area writers, check it out and maybe prep something on the themes for one of the events! Teresa and Jasmyn (the LitCo ladies) also showed up in costume, which was awesome!

I’m going to babble about the amazing author/publishers/Bond aficionados I chatted with before going into the incredibly talented crafty ladies I encountered before the Hire This Woman panel. When I left the Annex to try to find the location of the panels I actually stumbled across into the main hall where there were even more booths (yes, I could have avoided this surprise by actually reading the program)! I was transfixed quickly by a display of books with geeky and witty titles. Seeing my interest Rick Klaw invited me to talk to him, which startled me since I’m used to older men ignoring me at conventions. Obviously, Klaw and his companion, Mark Finn, are not the type of scary old skool comics types. Also, they recognize the value of connecting with potential customers. I chatted with them a little about their wares, picked up Mark’s freebie card for his novel, The Transformation of Lawrence Croft (yes, I will review it even if he was giving it to anyone who bothered to check out his display), and did my best to promote FBC. As I was explaining what I did as a reviewer and contributor I mentioned the Bond op-ed I did earlier this year, and a light turned out for both Mark and Rick. I left the table with both men’s business cards, the card for a free Kindle copy of Mark’s book, a connection for possible reviews, and a list of Bond films to check out beyond the ones I had already seen (although Mark did insist that I’d done well seeing Goldfinger and Live and Let Die). Hilariously, these guys are close enough friends that they engaged in a friendly argument over best movies and best Bonds with me, and I will be tracking down some of the more current Bond flicks as the need for slick spy action hits me.

I suspect I hit the crafty lady booths before my Bond loving writer duo because all three were located in the Annex. I believe I stumbled across Kristin Hogan’s Squid Friends display first because I was hit with dismay that my budget was not nearly big enough for incredible plush stuff (nor do I need to have more stuffed animals in my home that I have to keep from the dogs). Kristin is one of those crafty people I envy deeply because she can paint and sew, and her critters all look the way she intended (I can make pillows…kind of). While cephalopods are Kristin’s main love I suspect she’d be willing to try her hand at any sea critter you can dream of and maybe some land ones as well. She also has quite a following based on the likes to the photo on my Facebook!

Valerie G and her Cultured Critter Collective is a Houston based urban vinyl and mixed media crafting enterprise. She does a lot of work in polymer clays, and I was fascinated by her skilled use of varnish to add shine to each item (I thought a vinyl pig was ceramic…but I also did not touch the pretties). Her tiny polymer monsters are adorable, and if money were no object I would own the sushi monsters in the Japanese style spoons…all of them! Valerie also will do commissions, time permitting.

Tanya Davis’ sculpture, custom vinyl toys, prints, and jewelry had some similarities to Valerie’s offerings, but Tanya definitely focuses a lot more on steampunk and less on cute. Don’t get me wrong…there’s something downright cuddleable about a steampunk ducky, but her aesthetic is a little different. I didn’t get to talk with Tanya as much as I did with Kristin or Valerie, but she was thrilled I wanted to take a photo of her booth and just asked that I tag her on Facebook (already done!). Tanya is also willing to take commissions if she isn’t prepping items for cons.

Oh…and I learned one good thing for any con attendees: artists are usually pretty willing to let you take photos of your stuff if you ask first! I asked in advance, and not one of the three ladies turned me down. Valerie just declined to be in the picture, and I respected her wish. This stuff is their bread and butter, so if they don’t feel comfortable with you snapping pics just respect it and move on. It doesn’t make the artists bad people; it makes them sensitive about intellectual property theft.

I stumbled into the theater at the end of the Life in Panels: Autobio Comics panel with Jess Fink, Kate Leth, and a young woman who had been added to the panel as a pinch hitter whose name I didn’t catch…embarrassing since I grabbed her to concur on her adoring The Chipmunk Adventure. I took a moment to gush at Kate Leth about her work on Adventure Time and actually spent several minutes with Jess Fink and the lovely lady whose name I didn’t catch gabbing about Chipmunks trivia and craziness in voice acting. Okay…Staples posted a photo of the panel and ID’d my mystery lady. She’s Rachel Dukes of Mixtape Comics!

Okay, honest truth…I managed to make a bit of an ass of myself with Hire This Woman panelist and talented trans*woman author, Jeanne Thornton, by generally being a little bizarre and self-deprecating every time I saw her. She is a much kinder soul than I am, or at least recognized that I was probably just overstimulated and nervous, and gave me a copy of her publication Rocksalt when I visited her booth as well as a print of her upcoming book releases and was thrilled to accept my business card when I wandered nervously back on a fourth pass (Kristine…I did kind of imply you’d want to review some of her stuff because it’s very trans* positive…please don’t hurt me). Thank you for your courtesy!

The other ladies on the Hire This Woman panel included Jamie Kinosian, CM Bratton, EK Weaver (she currently is running a Kickstarter for a TPB of her work TJ and Amal; just search for the title if you like her stuff!), and Maria-Elisa Heg. Janelle Asselin kept the tone similar to her famous column, and all five panelists seemed to enjoy sharing their ideas and experiences with the audience. I’m glad I caught it!

However, the real highlight of my Staples! 2015 is probably when I accidentally stumbled on Mark Nasso’s after browsing and purchasing a necklace at Jessica von Braun’s booth. Okay…why was this such a big deal? I reviewed Mark’s editorial compilation Doom Ranch 5000: Texas Artist Anthology</em, so this was my first opportunity to meet a creator in person after I reviewed their work. Mark generously gave me a hard copy of the anthology, signed his page, and tipped me off that several other contributors were at Staple. Between Mark’s advice and the program (yes, I finally used it) I tracked down Jessica again, Chris Ruggia(first con for Chris, and he was so excited that I wanted his autograph that he also gifted me with a collection of his comics; a review will be forthcoming), Isaiah Broussard (the cutest creepy stories you’ll find, I swear), and Chris Sweet. All of them were thrilled that I wanted their work signed, and when it seemed appropriate I passed out FBC cards.

By the time I gathered my last autograph I was exhausted, and I still needed to hit AHS for my regular dog walking shift. I hadn’t managed to see Babs Tarr, but I didn’t feel gipped at all. Meeting creators and seeing that they appreciated the work I do as a reviewer was a much bigger positive reinforcement. I may have felt like roadkill the next day and struggled to fight off con crud, but it was fun. I think Staples! is one con I will keep on my list for next year.

As my managing editor, Barbra, said in an email after I reported my work to her: “Indie creators, unite!”

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Coming in March 2015 from IF? Commix and Under-Belly Comics: The Bullet Girl TPB Complete Collection!

BULLET GAL_Its Not You Its Me_Collection_COVER

I’ve known Andrez Bergen for a while through my connection to Fanboy Comics although I read his novel, Who Is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa? while still just a fan. The honest truth is that I’m not a huge fan of noir, but Capes is one of those interesting blends of genres that managed to draw me in to the complex world. I heard about the Bullet Gal comics via Steven Alloway’s amazing FBC reviews, and it piqued my interest since it’s a sort of prequel to the events in Capes.

I was gifted a digital copy of the upcoming twelve issue trade paperback as a thank you for my support and enthusiasm for the series (aside from my FBC ties I helped spread the word about the Kickstarter for the series since I wasn’t in a position to financially contribute) plus Andrez and I share another bond, a love of Japan (although I have not considered moving there permanently or starting a family!) even if we are from different English speaking countries. You don’t need to know anything about Who Is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa? to enjoy Bullet Gal, but it’s even more fun to pair the two together. The story combines unique artwork with the quirky storytelling from the novel that makes the weird and wonderful world of Heropa really blossom.

I haven’t read the individual Bullet Gal issues, but allegedly the beautiful guest artwork is an extra for picking up the full TPB. It also includes a few extra stories and an interview with Bergen himself, so it’s definitely worth the cost of admission! If that’s not enough the single issues will not be released fully until June, so picking up the TPB gets you the full story sooner!

The exact publication date is not yet available, but the collection is expected to be released via Under-Belly Comics in the US in March 2015. If you love noir, quirky stories, interesting art styles, or just want to try something a little new with a pair of intriguing women (yes, two female characters who are distinctive although fit into the noir tropes a bit) I recommend giving The Bullet Gal Collection a try. There are much worse ways to spend an evening of your time.

 

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Suddenly Three: Perdita Scaife January 21, 2002 (approximate) to February 24/25, 2015

Perdy

Exactly a month after Akane’s death I received the unwelcome news that something was seriously wrong with Perdy, my dobie/greyhound girl who had been Akane’s archnemesis in life (I had to keep them separated their entire lives because of how deeply they loathed each other). Initial bloodwork during a routine exam had shown anemia, and the second blood draw showed that Perdy was getting worse and needed an ultrasound to identify the problem. Due to the kindness and generosity of some of my dog loving friends the procedure was completed the following week, and the news was not good: my big, cuddly, child hating dog had masses in her liver, spleen, and right kidney and probably only had two to eight weeks left (life expectancy for a dog with hemangiosarcoma). I got about five, and I spent those last weeks coaxing Perdy to eat increasingly human foods, letting her sleep in my bed three nights a week (still have one dog Perdy didn’t get along with), and trying to make sure she knew how much I loved her. When I tucked her into bed on February 24 I could tell that Perdy didn’t feel well, but I was hoping that it was just another bad spell, although they had been becoming more frequent, and that she’d feel herself in the morning. I put a blanket over her, forced some peanut butter and gabapentin into her mouth (not wanting to eat peanut butter concerned me a lot), and gave her a kiss and a gentle cuddle. Some time during the night her body just gave out, and she was cold when I found her in the morning. I just hope she slipped off peacefully dreaming of sunny days and lying outside in the warm grass.

I have to laugh when I see the “no memory like that of a good dog” memes on social media because neither of my late girls precisely fit the definition of “a good dog.” Perdita developed child aggression and had severe overarousal issues, but her love for me and mine for her was strong enough to make up for it all.

January 21, 2003 my friend, Bernita, and I saw a pair of scared dogs slinking around the houses on my street. I’d seen the small brindle one before, but now there was a bigger red one as well. We unsuccessfully tried to lure the dogs to us with treats; they were just too scared to approach us, but Bernita had an idea. We’d gotten a roasted chicken from the grocery store for dinner, and we could do a treat trail from the sidewalk near the dogs into my backyard. Due to luck, fate, or circumstances the chicken trail worked, and after carefully allowing the dogs to come closer for chicken pieces I was able to get them inside and into my spare room. They destroyed the mattress that night, which was just the start to the various things Perdy ripped up/ate over the years, but they were happy to be safe, warm, and fed. I tried to track down their owners, but no one in the neighborhood recognized them (I walked them around my entire neighborhood and the adjacent ones as well). After a week of no luck I opted to just get them vetted and try to find homes for them through Charlyne’s Pound Puppies. The big red male became Kou, and Perdita got her name for being a found dog (Perdita means lost).

Kou moved into another foster home and eventually got adopted out, but Perdy had a hard time making adoptions stick. Her first adoption fell through because of her destructive tendencies, and she developed aggression issues with one of the small females in her second home (the other dog was a lot like Akane I gather). The third and fourth adoptions lasted even shorter amounts of time due to Perdy’s overarousal and increasingly concerning behaviour around children. After the fourth return I enlisted the help of a behaviourist while I continued to try to adopt Perdy out (she and Akane had had one serious fight at this point, which left Aka badly injured). The spare room worked as a space for Perdy while Aka was out, but I hoped that she could find someone without children who could give her 100%. However, I finally realized that I couldn’t put that liability on the group or someone else, and Perdy became a permanent part of the family when she was about four.

For a while she had a good buddy, Niko, who was a GSD belonging to a friend, so she got regular outings to play and hang out in a child free environment. After Niko moved to Colorado Perdy’s life narrowed to regular walks in the early morning hours when no children were out and quality time in our house and yard. I felt guilty, but looking back she was never unhappy with the arrangement (even if she did break the window in her room three times and chew through the door); Perdy really just wanted to get time with me, which I made sure she received.

I know I’m much harsher on potential aggressive behaviours in adoptable dogs because of what Perdy taught me, but I don’t regret sharing a large part of my life with her. She gave the best cuddles and sloppy full tongue kisses and rocked fuzzy sweatshirts like no one else. Hopefully, she’s sunbathing at the Rainbow Bridge, seeing Niko again (he also died of cancer a few years ago), and able to deal with Akane without acrimony.

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Bound by Bliss by Lavinia Kent Book Review

Bound by Bliss Cover

Bound by Bliss is the third installment and second full novel in Lavinia Kent’s intensely erotic historical BSDM series that started with Mastering the Marquess. Lady Bliss Danser would prefer to never marry and avoid the pain caused by love. When her brother Swanston (the Marquess from the first novel) demands she find a husband by summer’s end or marry his friend, Lord Duldon, Bliss goes into a tailspin. Duldon sparks dangerous sensations and feelings in her, and she can’t let go of a misunderstanding in their past. Stephan, Lord Duldon, on the other hand, has longed for Bliss for years, but fears his darker sexual urges could destroy any connection between them. However, when the innocent but headstrong Danser asks for his help in finding a safe fiance, Duldon is happy to oblige; if he stays close, there’s a chance to turn Bliss’ heart towards him…and her reaction to his orders hints at a darker side to her own sexual desires.

Bliss is a much more conventional historical heroine than either Louisa from Mastering the Marquess or Ruby from Revealing Ruby in that she is young, never married, and inexperienced. However, as a member of the Danser clan, she definitely not a traditional young lady (her father has an obssession with breeding llamas…). In the previous novel she gets drawn into the predatory Countess Ormande’s circle, and while Bliss was not ruined, this precipitates Swanston’s sudden insistence on marrying his headstrong younger sister off before the younger Danser girls follow in her path. As a result of Bliss’inexperience the story is more about a young woman’s sexual awakening than a tale of consent, but the heat and passion of Kent’s previous works continues, creating an erotic tale that is more The Story of O than The Awakening.

I initially struggled with Stephan, Lord Duldon as a hero because his attitude of knowing Bliss better than she knew herself felt like straight up alpha male jerk territory. As the plot unwound I realized that Stephan has watched Bliss grow from childhood, so he wasn’t just assuming that he understood aspects of her personality. His presumed ownership of Bliss rankled a little, but the young lady did ask him to marry her at the tender age of twelve! Also, I believe that if Stephan truly thought that Bliss loved someone else he would stop his pursuit of her and allow her to simply be happy. His single minded behaviour stems from the hope that pushing the matter will force Bliss to examine her feelings instead of constantly running from them.

Now to the bits everyone is reading this review to learn about: the erotica! Because Stephan and Bliss are dancing around a relationship initially the sex scenes are a slow burn, rather than leading the the novel as in Mastering the Marquess. Bliss has no concept of how exactly sex works or that it can be pleasurable because, as an upper class woman, she has been protected from any hint of sexuality (she wasn’t even allowed to see horses mating because it was unseemly). Stephan analyzes her reactions, touches her, allows her to watch at Madame Rouge’s, and calculates what arouses her, finally bringing Bliss to orgasm with measured skill. For readers unfamiliar with various kink practices Bliss may be an easy heroine to identify with as she learns about the spectrum of sexual acts through Duldon’s tutelage which culminates in an intense, passionate, and soul bearing night. As in the previous works the women have agency in their sexual encounters, and Stephan carefully lays out the rules and safe guards, only asking that she think about whether a certain practice is merely uncomfortable or truly repellent before asking him to stop. The true power is in her hands, which is part of why I love Kent’s work: she understands that kinky sex should not be abusive, coercive, or frightening but rather safe, sane, and consensual.

Ultimately, I didn’t love Bound by Bliss as much as Mastering the Marquess, but it’s still a wonderful addition to the world of kinky erotica. If you enjoyed Kent’s other works, would love to read BDSM stories that don’t make your skin crawl, or just like really sensual historical sex Bound by Bliss should be on your reading list.

4.5 Teasing Feather Touches out of 5

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So You’ve Tried To Cripple Yourself Through Exercise…

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Yesterday morning I got some of the worst news a runner can get; I had developed plantar fasciitis, probably because I increased my running after the start of the year (I was up to about 18-20 miles a week).  Unfortunately, the best remedy for PF is rest, which means no running until my feet are 150% healed. I tried running on Tuesday when I had mild aches, and I could barely walk after I finished the run and walking my dogs.  I am not a happy camper…I like running plus it’s a wonderful energy burn for my youngest dog, Patience, who has no play buddy at the moment (Suzu and Miki never played a lot because of size differential, and Perdy is too tired from the cancer most of the time).  What’s an insane endorphin junky to do?

I pondered my options Tuesday night before my Wednesday morning doctor’s appointment.  Patience and I needed more exercise than walking, but running made me feel like I walked on broken glass or sharp knives.  Fortunately, I remembered my bike living abandoned in the garage since Akane blew out her right rear ACL about 3 1/2 or 4 years ago.  I have a special attachment on the bike that hooks to a dog’s collar or harness, so Patience could run behind me, and I wouldn’t have as much pressure on my feet.

The CareSpot doctor okayed cycling during my recovery, so all I needed to do was convince Patience this was a good idea.  When I first tried introducing her to my bike she freaked out so much that she pulled the bike over; obviously this would not work to exercise anyone.  However, this morning I tried a new method: I put Patience’s running harness on and took her outside on leash to hook her to the bike.  Our months of running together paid off; after an initial attempt to bite the leash part of the bike attachment Patience settled in to run.  She’s not crazy about the arrangement so far since she can’t investigate the grass (I don’t bike on the sidewalk), but we put in a 4.14 mile ride in the dark, trying to avoid getting hit by the few cars we saw (I wore a reflective vest and rigged my head lamp to shine behind me on my bike helmet, but we could have been more visible).  The bike definitely needs some serious service after sitting idle for so long, but it felt good to be moving more quickly again.  For the time being it’ll do, and maybe we’ll switch off running and biking when my foot finishes healing.  The difference is good for both of us!

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