Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Just One Single - Now in Book Form

The entire blog of Just One Single has been placed in eBook format and is now available at the following retailers for download:

Amazon










Friday, February 12, 2016

Long Time Since I Rambled



It's been a long time since I've rambled on this blog.  Let's face it, I've neglected it terribly.  I guess, to be frank, it's because I don't think much about single life any longer.  It's become a way of life, rather than a mourning hole in my soul.  It's been seventeen years since I left my ex-husband.  I was married to him eighteen years.  Funny how it's taken so long to adjust.

Have I dated?  Well, not since my heart got broken in 2004.  Have I tried?  Oh, yeah, met some guy online, talked on the phone, and met for lunch a few months later.  I swore after he rejected me upon first sight that I would never put myself through that kind of humiliation again.  You know what?  I haven't.  

Instead, I've immersed my life into my authorship of romance novels -- frankly, it's a joke since I haven't experienced romance in years.  I work full-time.  See my son and two grand children, and just turned sixty-six. 

So, you see, I'm no longer the typical single.  I started a growing-old blog last year on WordPress.  Saucy & 65.  Rather than bitching about being lonely and without love, I bitch about growing old instead.

Nevertheless, my single blog is still here for those of you looking for help, a shoulder to cry upon, a soul that understands, a few jokes, and some suggestions.  I'm going to let it die a quiet death, while I focus upon Medicare and drooping body parts.  Take from me....everything droops, drops, stretches, etc.

To all of you singles out there, here are my parting words.  There is life and a good one to be had, even if you do so without someone at your side.  If you are young enough, perhaps you will find love again and a mate to support and care.  If not, dogs, cats, and birds come in handy to fill the void (unless you prefer snakes, rodents, and other assorted animals).

I leave you with this parting thought taken from the last words of the recent War & Peace 2016 BBC adaptation:

 "When our lives are knocked off course, we imagine everything in them is lost. But it is only the start of something new and good. As long as there is life, there is happiness. There is a great deal. A great deal still to come."

All my best,

Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Death of Desire

February 1, 2000 marks the last time I had intercourse. Wow, fifteen years ago and it was with my ex-husband. We were separated at the time, and it was the day my mother died. Perhaps I thought it was comfort. Perhaps he thought I'd be an easy lay in my grief. To this day, I regret ever having the experience.  Now that I've shocked you...

Fifteen years later, I've forgotten what it is like. Desire has died. There used to be a time that I longed for intimacy. Even though I was single, I wanted to be loved. I yearned for the touch of a man, a tender kiss, arousal, satisfaction, and most of all being a wanted woman (maybe I should say being wanted as a woman). 

As a result, there were quite a few years of longing in a sexless drought. It didn't matter that I had passed the big five-0 age wise, sweat through menopause, and watched myself wrinkle, droop, and dry up--the desire remained, and the thought of it brought torture.

It seems, though, in the last six months there's been a death. Frankly, I'm not sure if there is a physical reason. To be honest, I think it's the death of hope that I will ever be wanted again. You can be assured that I have often complained to the power above that my sentence in life has been cruel and unusual punishment. 

When I watch people kiss in movies or on television, it is such a foreign thing to me that it doesn't compute any longer. I've lost the knowledge of the feeling of a man's lips or the tingle that once traveled through my body. When I see R-rated movies or risque television programs of naked lovers, it's a hollow experience that resurrects no emotions in me whatsoever. There came a point in my life that I became so starved for affection and love, that when it went unfulfilled, desire died in my soul. 

Oh, I know, all you satisfied singles may shake your finger at me and say, "but there's so much more to life than sex!"  Sure there is, but none of it really fills the need for love, passion, and ultimate satisfaction (which is good for your health, by the way).  To love and be loved is what life's all about.  Unfortunately, the words to that old song are as by-gone as my sexual experiences.

I suppose if I live another 15 years of physical drought, it will all have faded away into an obscure memory of what was once the prime of my life for the purpose of procreation. To pass the time away, I'll visit the tombstone of "Desire is Dead" and leave a few flowers behind. Then probably sit down and write another smutty book.  

Cheers,
Vicki

P.S. Once again, another brutally honest post.  :-)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Valentine's Post: My Fifty Single Experience


Stars:  Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson

Let me preface this review by saying that I struggled about whether to see this movie. Of course, if I didn't see this movie, I would never be able to write my review. I had other reasons that I wanted to see it -- I won't deny. 

The book was given to me some time ago, which I read.  About the only thing it did is incite me to write Conflicting Hearts, my own book about being fifty shades of screwed up due to my childhood experiences. In spite of the juvenile writing style of E. L. James and rather erotic porno content, the book contained one iconic statement that has stayed with me since I closed the cover. Spoken by Christian Grey: "I don't know any other way, Anastasia. This is who I am."  Rather than bore you with my tendencies, I will continue.

The theater on a Saturday afternoon was surprisingly filled with one-quarter men and three-quarters women. About half of the female population were giggling young ladies in the rows behind me.  As I sat in the seat, I figured what I was about to watch couldn't be any worse than the carnage of the last movie still brewing in my brain from the evening before.

So let's break the storyline down for the mentally healthy:
  • Christian Grey is a manipulative control freak, stalker, and possesses "singular" sexual desires.

  • Anastasia Steele is a virgin, gone bonkers over the rich and hot Mr. Grey who shows an interest in her and showers her with attention and gifts.

  • He introduces her to his kinky playroom and then takes her virginity. She doesn't seem to mind losing her virginity, but is a bit shocked over the red room of pain and the fact he's a sadist.

  • Afterward, he pulls out the contract. Will she or won't she become his submissive so that he can dominate her in all things -- dress, eating, lifestyle, and most of all sex.

  • The man is damaged.

  • The woman is naive.

  • A decision must be made by Anastasia whether to agree to his kink or leave.

Psychologists, churches, feminists and quite a few family value human beings have warned the population not to watch the movie. The message is evil.  Men are not supposed to manipulate and abuse women. It creates a false idea for the youth of today of what constitutes a normal relationship. There is nothing romantic about how Christian Grey treats Anastasia. It's abuse -- plain and simple, even if it is consensual. (What is she thinking?)

Photo Credits: Chuck Zlotnick/Universal Studios
On the other side of the camp, are the swooning ladies sucked into a fairytale of riches, a hot guy, and being taken care of for the rest of their life, even if it means a bit of pain to gain.  Why did E. L. James hit the jackpot on such a controversial subject as BDSM? It's hard to say, except that she created characters that are both different and a tad intriguing. Then again, it might just be that elusive fairy of success who indiscriminately flies above authors and touches one here and there with her magic wand of worldwide success.  Sadly, she's been avoiding me.

As I watched the movie, knowing the story, I wondered how others who had never read the book would perceive the tale. Since I had prior knowledge of events, dialogue, characters, and the scenes, it took on a different life of its own while being acted out rather than imagined in my mind.  Is it a great movie? No. But I will admit I found it surprisingly -- heaven forgive me -- better than I expected -- minus whether I agree with the premise of the story or not. The movie isn't all about sex -- it focuses on the characters and the struggle in their budding relationship.

Here are the points:
  1. Dakota Johnson is a sweetheart. I really liked her being cast as Anastasia. She embodied all of the innocence, naivety, and conflicted heart that Anna deals with regarding Christian. Her lines brought a bit of humor to the story, making it lighthearted in spots. She's spunky, and frankly manipulates Christian in her own way to lead him on.

  2. It took me a while to get used to Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey. After seeing the movie a second time, I liked him a little better than the first viewing. There were scenes where he fit Christian well, and others where he felt totally out of place and uncomfortable in the role. I didn't feel like he embraced the character to his fullest capacity.

  3. The sex scenes were R-rated. I've actually seen more graphic use of flesh and copulation in other movies. Of course, the main difference in most of these sex scenes, is that someone is tied up and helplessly exposed to the dominate male. The red room activities were very docile, with little discomfort. He treats her tenderly, for the most part, with a quick slap here and there. The difference between a drunk beating his wife in anger and Christian giving Anastasia pleasure, is clear as day.  Being tied up turns her on. You'll see a lot of Dakota's body, but very little of Dornan's. He refused to show his front parts, but his rear is exposed.

  4. The ending exposed more than Anna's rear to Christian's belt. Dakota did a great job bearing the shock and pain of how bad it could get if she signed the contract. Jamie's portrayal of the scene fell flat, as far as I was concerned, and even flatter as he struggled over Anna's insistence that he never touch her again. Each of the six wallops with the belt, he looked like his facing was screaming, "I don't want to do this - I'd never treat a woman this way," rather than a dominant male enjoying the moment. I don't know what it was about Dornan, but he just didn't bring Christian across on the screen as I had hoped. 
You may be asking me what is inherently wrong with me for thinking anything good resides in this story and movie?  I'm fascinated by flawed characters.  It's the humanness that authors often tinker with in those we create on the written page.  It's what makes them human with all of their pain, flaws, sins, and mistakes that mirror back to us our own brokenness at times. Of course, the story also implies that Anna is the cure-all for what ails Christian, and it's her love alone that brings about his redemption. Psychologists say there's not a chance in hell - he's damaged for life so don't believe that could actually be possible. The man is doomed, as well as Anastasia. Yes, it's a dysfunctional union.

A lot of controversy swirls around the story and its message and that will continue.  Whether the story is right or wrong is a decision I'll let you make, while leaving my deeper sentiments privately tucked away. So why did I give it three kernels? Definitely for Dakota, and the fact that I didn't have to sit for two hours and watch the human race brutally murdered on screen by Colin Firth inside a church sanctuary. Which is worse? A little slap with the palm of a hand and crop on the slim butt of Anastasia, or the rampant disregard of human life where we find such stimulating entertainment on screen. Both are equally abusive, in my opinion.

And coming soon to Starz is Jamie giving Claire a beating with his belt in Outlander, which readers and lovers of the tale shrug it off by saying, "But that's just the way it was back then. She deserved it for putting everyone at risk." Hum...

Laters baby.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

"The Holiday" - Loner, Loser, and Complicated Wreck



It's that time of the year when I watch my favorite movies for the holidays.  Right at the top of my list is "The Holiday," staring Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, and Jack Black.  Though I never saw the movie in the theaters when it was released, I stumbled across it a few years later on DVD and fell in love.

Every Christmas season, I dust it off, pop the corn, and watch an endearing tale of lonely singles navigating the world trying to find love. The movie contains some iconic lines that only miserable singles can relate to, but also other lines that will stay with you for years to come.

Let me preface by saying that Cameron Diaz has never been a favorite of mine on screen.  This is probably the only movie I've ever watched where I fell in love with her portrayal of a character named Amanda Woods.  Amanda is a rich woman with a business of making movie trailers, who has recently broken up with her cheating boyfriend.  Out of the blue, she decides to take a vacation and get away for Christmas. 

To plan her trip, she sits down and puts in a search term in Google about where to travel.  Since she wants to go where they speak English, she picks England.  Her search takes her from Los Angeles to a small cottage in Surrey, England, where she does a house swap arrangement with another pathetic, brokenhearted single played by Kate Winslet, whose character is Iris Simpkins. I was surprised to find out that there are services where you can swap houses with people from around the world.  It's a scary prospect, as far as I'm concern, but works perfectly for the movie. 

From the onset, the single humor is spot on.  As they correspond via instant chat on computer making arrangements, a few iconic lines are spoken:

Iris: [reading aloud what she types to Amanda during live chat discussing home exchange] I'm Iris, by the way. I'm very normal, neat-freak, healthy, non-smoker, single...
[stops, fighting back tears; then adds to herself]
Iris: Hate my horrible life!
Amanda: I'm Amanda.
[to herself]
Amanda: Loner, loser and complicated wreck!

They switch homes and their lives are drastically changed forever.

Poor Iris is the typical woman caught up in unrequited love with a man she adores, who is now engaged to marry another person. Iris is really pathetic, and Kate plays a normal, down-to-earth woman with endearing qualities as well.  She arrives at Amanda's huge home in LA and is overwhelmed by its size and beauty.  She meets Miles, played by Jack Black. He writes music and loves a woman who continually breaks his heart.  Jack Black, by the way, has never been one of my favorites either.  This is the first serious role I've seen him play and actually enjoyed.  

Iris and Miles have much in common and spend time together helping each other get over their pathetic love interests.  Another interesting character that comes into Iris' life is one of Amanda's neighbors, Arthur Abbott (played by Eli Wallach who recently passed away). They strike up an unusual friendship.  Arthur helps Iris find her self worth again, and she helps him in many ways.

Kate Winslet gets to deliver some fantastic lines that are frankly haunting.  Here is a favorite:

Iris: I suppose I think about love more than anyone really should. I am constantly amazed by its sheer power to alter and define our lives. It was Shakespeare who also said "love is blind." Now that is something I know to be true. For some quite inexplicably, love fades; for others love is simply lost. But then of course love can also be found, even if just for the night. And then, there's another kind of love: the cruelest kind. The one that almost kills its victims. Its called unrequited love. Of that I am an expert.

In England, Amanda meets Iris' brother, Graham, played by the handsome Jude Law.  Gosh, he's awful cute in this movie.  Amanda is a different sort of woman.  She doesn't cry and has trouble falling in love. Because her parents were divorced early in her life, Amanda is cynical when it comes to relationships. She is convinced that she cannot love like others. Graham enters her life and everything changes, but he has two secrets that Amanda knows nothing about.  If you haven't seen the movie, I'll keep that little spoiler under lock and key.  All I will say is that it a very touching and endearing.

I think why I love this movie so much is because it's emotionally moving in many ways, the dialogue is great, it's filled with truths and profound thoughts about love lost, love gained, and love wasted.  Among the seriousness of it, too, is the humor and lighthearted scenes that make you sniffle.

The movie is set during Christmas time, but it's not heavily Christmas oriented. If you haven't seen The Holiday, I highly recommend it. Now streaming on Amazon for a whopping $2.99.


Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Need to be Understood

In the past I've written about our need as singles to be loved and seen.  However, it wasn't until recently that I realized how important it was to me to be understood.

I think loneliness comes to us in many forms.  It's not the mere companionship of a mate that heals are lonesomeness in life. I think our needs go much deeper than a warm body next to us in bed at night.  If anyone of you have ever been in a relationship and still felt lonely, you know what I mean.  Sharing a room with another human being doesn't always cure the emptiness that we feel inside.

As I've said before, we all have needs as humans.  The fact that the number one post on this blog is entitled, "Why Can't I Find Love?" tells me that search term is placed into Google and other search engines often.

In July of 2010, I wrote about the need to be seen.  I was going through a period in my life of not feeling noticed, I guess.  It's that feeling you get when you want to wave your arms back and forth and say, "Look at me!"  I exist.  Doesn't any one care?

Even if someone looks over and thinks you're a real dork for acting that way but decides to walk over and talk to you, it doesn't mean another important need will be filled.  Deep down inside, I've come to realize that I really want to be understood as well.  In that understanding, I want acceptance and an ounce of empathy, I guess, for some of the crap I've gone through in my life.  Frankly, I don't feel anyone really understands me. You know, it's that thing that makes you tick inside -- the life experiences that have molded you into the person you are today.  They contain your deepest secrets, longings, and hopes.  Does anyone really give a damn?

I suppose I could ask myself that question when I think of the people that I interact with every day.  Let's face it, I'm just as guilty.  Maybe because they are married, successful, and financially secure, I don't think they need to be understood, because they have others in their life. 

One thing that used to grate on my in my earlier days, was the attitude prevalent in the churches that I attended that every singles group had to be run by a married couple.  Frankly, I felt like they were babysitting us, acting as parents, and not really understanding what we as singles were struggling and facing in life.  That was especially true of divorced singles being guide by a happy married couple.  How can they understand the pain, the loneliness, the feelings of failure?  I never felt that one married couple in that leadership position really cared to . . . understand.  It just made me feel like we needed to be morally watched, and a single in leadership couldn't do that job because of temptation. 

Well, I've said all this to say that this past week I met another person who understood what I had experienced as a child and how it formed who I am today.  Just having the chance to exchange a few emails spilling my guts, sort of perked me up a bit.  I felt . . . understood.  Until then, I really hadn't realized as a single that not having understanding from another human contributed to my loneliness. 

As I've said in the past, I don't have the answers.  If I did, I wouldn't be writing this after 14 years of being alone.  I guess if I want to say anything to you today, it is that I understand what you're going through.  I don't know if that makes you feel any better, but I know it did for me.

Cheers,
Vicki


Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

That's about my life.  Me and my cat.  I'm definitely looking for hairballs when I get home from work tonight.

Check out the link to Stephanie's blog below, if you're a dog lover.  You'll get a great laugh on Valentine's Day...or a least a smile.

Have a great day!  Go out and buy yourself something! 

Vicki
Copyright Stephanie Piro 2014

"The Tasty Heart"


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Now on Audio - Conflicting Hearts - My Single Romance

Conflicting Hearts, my contemporary romance novel, is now available on audio.  Andi Arndt narrated the story for me, and I'm extremely thankful for the wonderful portrayal of the story and characters. It's about two single people, both who struggle with secrets and failures of the past, and come together to find healing and acceptance in each other.

It touches on a taboo subject, but one that is very real to many women in today's society. Though this is a fictional work, that actually documents a factual event in another person's life, it has the power to open the eyes of readers to better understand those who have suffered sexual abuse as a child. Written with a sprinkle of humor, believable characters, brutal reality, and sizzling romance, it is a book that some claim should be read by every woman.  


You can purchase the book in print and eBook worldwide; and find it on audio at Amazon, Audible.com, and soon iTunes.

Picture Listen to any of my books free! With an Audible membership, the first book is free, then one book a month for $14.95.  Sign up for an ideal introduction to Audible.  

Below is a sample of Rachel Hayward and Ian Richards.  


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Hey, It's THAT Time of the Year Again!

Well, you know, I try to be humorous for all you singles out there on Valentine's Day.  Last year I gave you Maxine.  This year, I give you funny cartoons from a Facebook friend of mine. Here are a few good ones for the season.  Enjoy!  

(You can visit Stephanie's blog HERE for more inspirational cartoons for Valentine's Day.)


Copyright 2014 Stephanie Piro

Copyright 2014 Stephanie Piro

Happy Valentine's Day!
Vicki

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

HER

If you haven't seen it, you might enjoy it - then again, you might not. It's a movie about the human condition and the need to connect with others.

Set a few decades ahead of 2014, HER is about a society that is in touch with technology.  If you think it's bad now with everyone's telephone in their face, you've seen nothing yet.  Society is technology hyped, though I can't see that the clothes have evolved much.

Basically, it's about a man going through a divorce, who is lonely and broken. His dating endeavors have not been going well.  Theodore finds it hard to connect and open up to anyone - even his former wife.  However, when he's given the opportunity to buy the latest technology - an OS (operating system) - his life changes.

Just think about it.  A perfectly programmed mate to your life made just for you.  You can choose a male or female voice.  The system grows and adapts and learns everything about you.  And while doing so, it evolve to discover what it means to be human by getting in touch with its own electronic "feelings" if you will. 

Theodore finds Samantha (his OS) easy to talk to.  They go places together.  He walks, she's in his shirt pocket. They explore the world, talk, keep each other company, and have make believe sex.  She tells him that she is in love, and Theodore has fallen in love with HER.  

Well, it's a complex relationship. At one point he almost walks away because of the absurdity of it all. It's obvious he has trouble with human relationships, so should he pursue the electronic ones instead?  After a brief struggle, he throws all caution to the wind.  However, even like real relationships, it ends in heartbreak after he learns that Samantha is not a one-guy OS.  In fact, she has over 8,000 other companions and declares love to over 600.  Talk about fickle! Of course, the news devastates Theodore, and in the end, the OS's evolve and abandon humans for their own kind (or at least that's what I got out of it).

It's a strange movie, but it is filled with the honesty of struggling to be a single and sole individual who has a deep need to connect.  If one can't connect humanly, then companionship can be found electronically.  However, I strongly believe that our society is becoming disconnected because of technology.  Our phones are in our faces, along with computers, iPads, Kindles, and every other device that we use to get lost in, so we can depart from the human race.  Rather than giving us a stronger society, it is giving us a society that connects through electricity, but cannot connect humanly.

If you're single, I think you would enjoy and relate.  Joaquin Phoenix is brilliant.  Absolutely brilliant and heartfelt through the entire movie.  He's a man who wants to be loved and accepted.  And if that love comes from an operating system named Samantha that understands him more than any other thing on this earth, then so be it.

That is HER.  Now, if I could only have a HIM with a voice like Jeremy Northam, I'd die a happy woman with my OS next to me in bed.

Vicki