Sunday, September 1, 2013

Preview to MSR, Book III

Bella and Rosalie stop for a quiet moment passing through the Loire valley on a foggy, (very) early morning.

Draw me a map

I am, truly, floored.

You don't see this chart on my ffn site, so it's on my blog at twilight-dad-dot-blogspot-dot-com.

But it's there.

Firstly, and I hope you 'Top-4' forgive me, of course the U.S.A., the U.K., Canada, and Australia are there, by the hundreds, by the tens of hundreds.

By the thousands. Two thousand readers in the major English-speaking world have view pages from my stories, from My Sister Rosalie (to see that, yes, indeed, Bella Swan is a little freckled thing. Who knew?).

But then there are the other countries, after the top-4, and English is not their primary language, but they are reading these stories. They are getting something from them.

You are getting something from these stories. You, wherever you are, read what I wrote, and ...

Well, by the hundreds. By the hundreds, there are people from, ... well:

Korea, Belgium, Malaysia, Puerto Rico, France, Russia (and a review in RUSSIAN, no less!), Germany, the Phillipines, Kuwait (?!?), and Sweden, and on, and on, and on.

And my most recent review from an anonymous guest: "This story is so good! Can't wait for the continuation!" ... those're your thoughts, too, isn't it? This story (MSR) is so good! and you can't wait for the continuation, can you?

Well, I tell you what... the continuation?

Well. Yes, you can't wait for it, but it's coming. It's hard for me to write, and it may be impossible for you (not) to read (the whole train-wreck thing, right?), but it's coming, because why?

Because I can't write it sometimes. It's too hard.

But this is bigger than me, now. This is Bella, and this is Rosalie, and it's bigger than them, now, too.

Because it's you. It's yours. The story is yours.

And I have to write it, now, even as I don't want to sometimes. Because it's for you.

And you find it so good, and you can't wait for the continuation.

Well, I'm sorry, but you're going to have to wait. My stupid life and my stupid get in the way of my writing ... ooh! I so HATE it when work gets in the way of my writing! ... and the draft of this next chapter I'm writing is complete crap, as is the draft of every chapter I've written, pretty much, and so I'll have to rewrite the thing, again! ...

But it's coming. This next chapter is coming. And, as usual, it's going to be a doozy.

I hope you like it, for Bella and Rosalie's sake, I hope you like it.

love, geophf

Thursday, August 29, 2013

감사합니다, Korea!

Okay, I don't know what's gotten into you, all the way on the other side of the world. I don't know what interests you, but I have this to say ...


My dear twenty Koreans, thank you for reading one-hundred twenty pages of my stories. Thank you for your interest in them. But tell me...


What spurred your interest, inflaming it to a heat that sustained you through all those pages and pages of hurt and comfort, anxiety and tenderness, all that ...

All that drama! In English! About teen-aged girls with teen-aged problems and angst!

Is there something in my stories that reaches across the world, all the way to you in your homes or on your commute to work or to school? There must be, I suppose, and that 'it'?

I'm grateful for it. I'm grateful for the kindness and care of a total and complete stranger (me) could reach out to you, and touch you in a way that you read, then read more.

I hope in what I've written that your day is a better one for you.

I see the moon, and the moon sees me. God bless the moon, and God bless me.

This is a prayer I pray for you, my dear readers in Korean, and across the whole world, as I look up at the full moon and marvel that I've written something for someone looking up at the moon tonight, too, and then, sleeping, sleeping peacefully and happily, dreaming of Rosalie and her little Lizzie, or dreaming of Bella and her Rose.

Good night, my dears.

love, geophf

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Sing with the fishies? No: swim with the angels!

It's 4:30 am here on the East Coast of the U.S.A. After having published a new chapter of my story "My Sister Rosalie" last night at midnight, the writer in me woke me up at 4 am to check my stats ... nothing gobsmacking this time, so I could weigh in, I could go do some work, I could do a pre-dawn run (I'll do a morning run later), I could grab a little something to snack on...

Instead I'm resisting all temptations (except this one, writing this entry, of course: a writer knows she must strike when the iron is hot, that is: in the moment of inspiration, or it will never get written and will be lost forever among the hundred, the thousand other thoughts she has to share, but never will, because they're lost, forgotten, carried away by the tidal pull of the day and the mundane tasks that pull her away from the keyboard): instead of a piece of dried fruit, or a crushed-nuts-and-seeds wafer, or some chips and dip, I grabbed a bottle of water, and now I'm putting my head on my pillow, and am going to do what comes naturally in this darkest before the dawn hour: sleep.

Good night, my dears. It's a comfort to know your reading this now, not sleeping, as I am, or you glance at this, and decide: 'eh, I'll sleep now, instead. I'm tired.' ... just like me.

It feels good to be a part of a community who understands and is struggling with the same things I struggle with. It makes the fight less burdensome, more worth it.

'nite. zzzzz

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Japan, Malaysia, Kazakhstan

Last month 3,225 pages were viewed by 1,208 people from around the world.

Thank you.

Of course, the biggest readerships came the English-speaking countries: the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia (thank you).

But there were some surprises in this for me this past month.

Japan, a country whose readers have studiously not read my stories, ever, came in early this month with one reader viewing 21 pages, then, twice more? or two more readers contributing a total of 63 pages views. Japan was number seven this month.

Malaysia, another country I've never noted activity had one reader or two contribute 34 page views, and a new story follower for MSR.

Okay, and finally, Kazakhstan? Seriously? What in my writing attracted a reader or two from Kazakhstan. I don't know one word of their language. I don't have friends from there. I've never set foot in their soil. Why would somebody from there be engrossed in what I have to say about two girls stuck in a cabin in the old American West?

Each time I look at these stats, I cheer for the countries that read my works. "C'mon, Brazil," I say, "you're so close to beating out Germany for fifth!" And the people read what they read, and they win, taking something away from their reading, and I win, knowing you, in your country, are finding something in what I write.

Now, new paragraph, new thoughts.

What was read this month was also quite interesting for me.

The first surprise was ch 40: "Rule Number One."

Holy F-ck! "Rule Number One" got 46 hits from 18 visitors? That means it was reread an average of twice? Holy ... Crow! What in the world prompted this attention to this crucial chapter.

More surprising? Ch 56: "Nagging - Regrets" ... okay, my worst chapter almost got 40 hits? Were people catching up after my 3-year hiatus with me?

Then, ch 73: "totus tuus" at 96 hits. Do you know how much hate I got for publishing that chapter? Do you know which chapter gets the most views? Why the disconnect? Why hate me for writing it if the majority of you love rereading it?

Then the most recent three with 150+ hits each, of course.

So. "Rule Number One," huh? Really? Tell me why. Preferably by reviewing that chapter, hint-hint.

Thank you. I love you, too, my dear readers.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Rosalie: a study in contrasts

Some thoughts on reading "Secondhand Rose" by giselle-lx

The Cullens are a wonderfully interesting dynamic of seven people so very different from each other that a family is... so easy to look at from the outside and take for granted: 'Oh, they're the Cullens,' but on the inside, it's a lot of work, all the time, and everybody has to play the game or it all just falls apart. Emmett appears to be the most easy-going of the lot, but he also has the toughest job, being Rosalie's punching bag, and all. This story got into the mind of Rosalie, and saw her and Emmett, and her just stopping, disengaging, and looking away, even in the midst of a conversation or love-making or anything.  She has more than just anger: she has wisdom. So easy just to see her as hating Edward, but understanding him for what he is? "He's a boy"? It's hard for me to come to grips with that in myself: it's hard for me to understand people for who they are, as I so often judge them for who they are not. Rosalie actually shows compassion for Edward, and I tipped my metaphorical hat to her.

"Brava, Rose. Brava," I whispered.

Now, me calling Rosalie Lillian Hale 'Rose' ... well, she'd casually rip my face off in her affronted fury. You gave her heart, but you did not make her one ounce less than who she is: hard, broken, angry, imposed upon by the world, and hating it and everything in it with all her might.

Rosalie is the kind of person that gives me hope. I hope I can be such a person: that can be broken, but still carry on, to be angry, but still understanding. To be weak, but okay with the weakness enough that it doesn't incapacitate me. I wish I could be a person strong enough to be Rosalie. I wish the readers of my stories find enough strength in my Rose to be better persons, themselves, as I wish to be a better person, having read Rose doing just that.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

"Fan Fiction": the stigma

Twenty-five reasons to share with your friends as to why YA/Young Adult fiction (and, consequently, fan fiction) matters.

The Greatest Thing ...

siDEADde, World-famous authoress of the World-famous Twilight fan-fiction Lunière (I'm not being indulgent in either claim, both are statements of fact), has started writing a new story, and with a vengeance ... That's nearly three and a half years after silence from her (with a very brief Hollows cameo).

The greatest thing you'll ever learn ...

That's the title of her new story.

I took three years off myself from MSR, ... some readers are probably scared right now, after more than a month of silence from me, that I'm about to take another walkabout.

You see, to write is to know, to know is to love, to publish is to share that love.

To be read, as a writer, is to be loved.

The greatest thing. siDEADde knows this, better than me, in fact.

But to love and to be loved ... is that the easiest thing in the World? Sometimes. Sometimes when the chapter flows, for both the reader and the writer, and the love is so thick in the air that people start looking at the mutual admiration society and grumbling, loudly, that a room should be got for all this display.

But sometimes it isn't. Sometimes you put your heart out there, as a writer, and you risk everything, writing it, but that's just the start of the nightmare, because then you have to work up the courage to select "publish chapter," and then you have to wait, and to wait, and to wait for those reviews, and they come, filled with understanding and love, and you cry so hard with the relief that people understood what you wrote and instead of crucifying you, they honor your bravery and courage.

And sometimes the reviews come, and they are angry with you. And they hate you. And, worse, they misunderstand you. And worse, they attack your characters. Your babies.

And sometimes, the reviews don't come at all. And your 'number one fan,' you know them, writers, right? That one person who says and does everything devotedly, and swears they'll buy your books when you publish 'fer realz, yo,' and will be with you to the end.

Your number one fan. She grows distant. Then silent.

Then she's gone.

And it happens over and over and over again. A self-proclaimed number one fan, comes, burns with zeal, then burns out and is gone.

And so a new number one fan shows up, burning, ...

What do you do, dear writer? How much hurt can you take from how many people demanding even more than everything you poured out onto the page? How much can you take before you scream 'FUCK OFF!' at a young girl who printed out your story so she can get your autograph?

But this is her first time at being a number one fan, ever, even if she is your twentieth, isn't it? And even if she is your twentieth number one fan, ...

She's still a person, looking for the greatest thing, and she read your story, and she found it.

What are you going to do?

Hide? Hide from the hurt for three-plus years, and then not publish again, ever, because the hope, the terrible hope, hurts too much? And the fear is crippling?

You, dear writer (ahem: 'me, dear writer') have a gift. And you've shared that gift, and you have fucking rocked people's worlds, so much so that there is now somebody breathing, who would've killed themselves, but they read your story, and hoped. And lived. And shared that story with herself, and couldn't believe it, that somebody else in the world knew her, and understood, and wrote their love on a page, and gave it to her for her to read.  And maybe she shared it with a friend. And maybe she shared it back with you, tentatively, fearfully, tremblingly, in a review she wrote: 'oh god im peeing ur story so good update soon god i love it [backspacing over 'i love u' because she doesn't want you to think she's weird or anything like that].'

And when you replied (you do reply to your reviews, don't you?) she peed herself again when she saw in her inbox 'review reply from geophf' or 'siDEADde' or 'Eowyn77' or whomever. And when you didn't snap her head off, but thanked her, politely, for her review? She just died and went to heaven, and god (you) wasn't mean and nasty and so haughty, but was actually nice?


It's the greatest thing, isn't it?

It isn't always the easiest thing. Sometimes it's easier to run, and to be harried by the demons inside, screaming at you so loudly you can't even hear yourself think most times, calling you a chickenshit for not writing what you know you should, what you have to, just to touch one other soul in the world, to share your heart, one more time, even if that means it gets torn out and trampled into the dirt, because that one more chapter and story will do something for somebody, somebody you'll never have known otherwise, who needed these words, your words to make it through this impossible day.

So what do we do? We write, we read, we cry, and then maybe even we sigh and get on with our day, and the world is a little bit tiny better place for you and for me.

I write. I don't particularly like it. I do love it, however, and what it does for you. I do love you, even though I'll've never met you in person, ITRW. I write, you read. We love, and are loved.

The greatest thing.

MSR's Visitors, June 2013

"... but, of course," I thought to myself, "I have 2.5K visitors from the U.S., then the always faithful Canadians, the UK, and Australia follow, and then ..."

And that's when I caught myself. 'Of course...' I have 2.5K visitors to my site from my country? from any country?

Who else can say that?

And that's when I became grateful.

I'm grateful to all the people who come to my site, read something, then go about their lives, and then, faithfully, return, again and again, and read something else, something more.

And 'of course' I have the bulk of my visitors from the English-speaking world. Of course. But why would I have visitors from anywhere in the world at all?

Let me say that again, and savor it: I have visitors from the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Australia.

I've never been to the U.K. (I shall rectify that). I've never been to Australia ... I've been to 'little Australia,' ... Hawaii, and seen the people, seen how differently they carry themselves from people from the U.S. ... it was a very pleasant shock to me to see people who, outwardly, look so much the same as me and my friends in the military stationed there, but inwardly, are so different that they were like an entirely different race, an entirely different species of people. Before cell phones existed, two young girls approached me and asked me if the pay-phone was working. I held it to my ear, heard the dial tone, and told them everything was fine, they could place their call home.

Australia and the U.S. are so different from each other that we have to ask each other if working phones are working, as we can't even hear each other's dial tones and know what it means.

And I have readers, ... lots of readers, in Australia.

And then, ... the other countries, ... the countries where English isn't even the primary language. Let me reel them off for you (let me reel them off for me).

Germany, the Philippines, France, Egypt, Mexico, India, (now back to English) New Zealand, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Brazil, Sweden, Finland, Ireland, Spain, China, Portugal, Denmark, Singapore, Israel, Poland, Turkey, Ukraine*, Switzerland*, Hungary, Czech Revar, Morocco, U.A.E., Malaysia, Indonesia*, Iceland, Comoros*, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela*, Korea, Norway, Colombia*, Hong Kong*, Netherland Antilles*, Argentina*, Guatemala*, Virgin Island, U.S.*, Russian Fed*, Austria*

All those countries! Most of which, more than 90% of which I have never (yet) been to, and, being as that I'm now an old man, past my mid-life, I can fairly say most of which I will never see, unless I change my life and who I am and be a person to go see them.

And the starred countries? Those are the countries that had only one visitor, one time. That means, if you're reading this, and you're from one of those countries, you, and you alone, represented your entire country as a visitor to my site.

You. You from the Ukrain, Switzerland, Indonesia, Comoros, Venezuela, Colombia, Hong Kong, Netherland Antilles, Argentina, Guatemala, the Virgin Islands (U.S.), the Russian Federation (?!? the entire Russian Federation!!!), or Austria ... you are the single person in your whole country that got the name of your country mentioned in this post, so I could honor your country, and you.

Thank you.

And I've missed a ton of single persons from other countries who came, alone, but several times over the course of the month of June 2013, so they were recorded as not one visitor, but multiple visits, so you could've been from Hungary, for example, or Iceland, or Ireland, or Sweden, or Morocco, or from a host of other countries that had 2 or 10 or however many visitors more than one, but you, and you alone, placed your country on the above list of 'Countries who had readers visit my site in June 2013.'

Thank you. Because of you, your entire country has been noticed, mentioned, and honored.

Do you know how important you, and you alone, are just by reading my stories? That you are actually doing something? That you are actually reading (and reading in English at that!) and taking in and thinking and being, but then also representing yourself, of course, but also your whole nation, your entire people? Did you know that?

Thank you, people from here, right in my home town, whom I know and whom I don't, and thank you, people from around the entire globe, those of you whom I know, because you've PMed me or, bravely, reviewed my stories.

Thank you.

I would've never known you otherwise. But I wrote, and you came, and you read.

I hear you as you read my words, and understand them and take them into your heart, or don't understand them and struggle with them.

You know me, in the writing of these words. I know you, in the reading of them. I see you.

And I love you.


Monday, July 1, 2013

People are people so why should it be ...?

Rosalie and Lizzie. Lizzie and Rosalie.

The archetypical odd couple ... but aren't we all? And I mean 'we all' meaning every single one of us.

Both girls can, and do, so easily hurt each other, and what's worse is that they both want what's the best for the other, and they both see that they are the worst, themselves, and the worse for each other.

Ick. Icky, icky, ick!

The saving grace? Besides nothing, is they are both so pig-headed, and they keep demanding of each other that they don't give up on themselves, and they're stuck all alone in a cabin in the woods, so they have to make things work, because there aren't many other options ... you just can't glower across the room at each other can think mean thoughts. I mean, you can, but that gets silly after about five minutes, and that leaves 23 hours and 55 more minutes to get over it and do something less stupid.

Actually, all of human relations would be a whole lot better, I think, if more people started to realize this. "Hey, I can either be pissed at this (pissy) person, or I can try to make this work instead of glowering or avoiding!"

Hey! Imagine that!

Sometimes I'm okay at doing that, sometimes ... not so much.

My hat's off to both girls, both Lizzie and Rosalie. They are doing everything wrong, and all the time, at that, but Rosalie is a well of (impatient and angry) patience ... each hour she doesn't just outright kill Lizzie is a (not-so-small) victory, it seems, and Lizzie is ... well, if I were in her shoes, I don't think I'd've lasted half a day, but she keeps trying, and failing, and getting beat down for failing (?!?) and keeps trying to pick herself up so she can at least try to fail again. And she does this even though she knows she's in for heaps of trouble, but she just keeps trying.

Would I do that, in her shoes? Would anybody? Day after day, hour after hour with super-angry Rosalie who has some Serious Issues that she's wearing right on her sleeve?

They just keep going at each other and for each other, and when they go with each other ... now, that will be a sight to behold, and perhaps, when they do do that, it won't be major, nor surprising, nor Earth-shattering, ... maybe they'll just do it, and not even realize it, and maybe they will, and maybe they'll be amazed, and maybe they'll be just fine with it, and that's all.

They have worked so, so hard, fighting each other, every step of the way, so maybe when they push together, instead of push against each other, maybe they'll just say 'Oh, so that's how easy it is!'

Maybe. I guess we'll just have to ride with them, on their journey, and see for ourselves ... discover what 'this' will be, right along with them as they discover it, too.

If they don't screw it up first.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

To a young writer...

Jasmine wonders: I don't know how other writers do it. I have so many storylines running around in my head.

My response is ...

Jasmine, it sounds like you've opened Pandora's box of ideas, and, from my experience, there's no closing it, not without regret. You either write this story, and the next, and the next, ... or you don't, and let them die inside you. I've done both. I hate doing both. Writing is so hard and painful, but then readers (plural) tell me I've saved their lives with my writing? And I'm complaining about what, again? And when I let a story die, by not writing and sharing it? I die, a little and a lot, too. I wrote a one-chapter story that I was going to let die, because I was just too tired to write, and that story was deemed the best thing I ever wrote.

So, write when you are able, share when you're strong enough to, and even (especially) when you're not. You'll get attacked, savagely, when you truly open up and write from your heart ... I have. You'll make friends you'll've never have known nor made if you didn't write and share ... I have. And you'll look at that one piece you write, and marvel that you wrote that. Nobody else did. Nobody else could have. You did that, and only you. And you'll wonder if you can ever write that good again in your life, and the next time, even if it's four years later, you'll surprise yourself by topping that one perfect piece, without even trying (but crying and crying and crying as you write), and touching hearts that needed to read just what you, and only you, wrote.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Writing and Sharing

This is a note of inspiration I left on 750words-dot-com on not-writing, writing again, and sharing.

Phoenix [an award for writing at least 750 words 100 days in a row].

I had a 58 day streak going, then I lost it, and I was like: 'Ugh! I don't want to have to start over!' But that didn't matter. What was in front of me was that I was starting over, whether I wanted to, or not.

And I learned from my 58-day streak. I learned I could go 58 days, and I learned that if I let my writing slide, then the day gets in the way, and then I get tired, and no matter how much I want to write before midnight, sleep still won, at least one day in 58. So, now, I write the very first thing. I know if I write starting right after midnight and get in my 750+ words, then that's one thing that I did that I said I would do for the day, and it makes the rest of the day so much better. And, when I don't do that, when I do sleep earlier, which is occasionally, then the first thing I do when I wake up is weigh myself, take my vitamins, drink my orange juice, and write, and write until I'm done, and write before my self-imposed 9 am deadline.

And when I don't do that, which is these last two days, then I have from 9 am until midnight to get in 750 words.

AND ... I have a sense of urgency about it. I have 102 days on this streak, and I'm not interested in breaking it this time.

So, I write.

And I enjoy it, when I get it done in a timely fashion, and I enjoy it when I have 15 more hours to get it done.

So, I'm enjoying writing, very much now.

I have something to compare it to: I took more than three years off from writing, and I just bottled all these thoughts and feelings inside, and I was irritable and unpleasant to be around. My fault, and I knew what to do about it. And I didn't. For a year. Then a reader of my story "My Sister Rosalie," 'demanded' I get back to it or all kinds of ill-wishes would come my way.

So I wrote the next chapter, chapter 56, and it was terrible. But it was 10k words, and it was a start, and now I'm working on ch 79, and I'm happy again. I'm writing again, and touching people's lives, where they are, and giving them something to read and to enjoy with the promise, God willing, that they'll have something to look forward to in that next chapter forthcoming and in the next book when I finish this one.

And keeps me on track, writing, every day, a little something to keep this story going, to keep me going, and to keep hope, enjoyment, anticipation alive in my readers.

It's a very, very good thing, writing, then sharing it, then knowing that you've touched people's hearts.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Hello, the Netherlands!

Okay, site visitor stats for May, 2013:

So, the good ole U.S.A. in first (3.11k views), no surprises, then Canada (444 views) and the U.K. (378 views) for a near-tie for second (thank you), then Australia (160 views), obviously, ...

All English-speaking countries.

But then the near tie with Australia is ... the Netherlands (at 147 views)? ... the Netherlands' official language is Dutch.

So, what's the draw of MSR, a very English-y story, a story so English-y, in fact, that many English-speaking readers have difficulty with its prose, to the Netherlands, of all places?

Anyone from the country: ... would you like to offer some explanation for this? ... Am I writing this story in a Netherlandescquish style of writing, perhaps? Or is it something else about this story that has such a draw for you and others from your country? Please: do tell!

And ... down further, deeper into the chart, there are more surprises ... like Brazil (hi!) and China (howdy!), like other countries, reading my stories. Thank you all.

Then, if you look at what is read in MSR, I got another surprise. Of course, the most recent chapters are the most read, with "totus tuus" standing out, but the most read chapter? Chapter 24.

Chapter 24, published four years ago is the most read chapter of MSR.

Chapter 24: "Rain by a Rose Garden."

So, what does that tell me? I wonder.

Do you (re)read this chapter because you wish to have the table set for you, a prelude, before you dive into the (very twisted) mind of Rosalie in my story Rose by a Lemon Tree? Or ...

This is the closest that our dearly beloved girl comes to an openly intimate moment with our our aloof, hard, harsh, God-like creature. An openly intimate moment that she doesn't shy away from, no: she initiates it and goes after it with an uninhibited desire that ... well. You know.

And she goes after it with our aloof and unbendable, and that is to say, perhaps, unattainable ... object of desire, and our girl does have her moment, or, her instant, of intimacy, before she is ultimately rejected.

Are you (re)reading this chapter because you want this moment to last more than an instant? Do you want our girl to (re)pursue this moment, or do you want her Rose not to reject her this next time but to accept her? To let her in? To let her past this cold, hard exterior to warm and then to restart her still, dead heart?

What does all this (re)reading of MSR ch 24 mean? TELL ME!

... or, ... *sigh* ... not.

In any case, enjoy your moments, intimate or harsh, of your (re)reading of MSR.

love, geophf

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Amazing (Saving) Grace

So, that happened.

It wouldn't've had to have happened if we were dealing with two young women, two mature adults, resolving their conflicts with quiet grace and dignity.

Isn't that so?

Well, Rosalie isn't a mature adult. She's a poser, TRYing to appear mature and above it all, but she's really operating from hurt and doesn't have a clue how to interact with another being in a reasonable way at all.

And Lizzie, being herself, just going along with everything until she can't stand it any more and then goes too far is not helping the situation.

So there it is.

So now that the two have explained themselves to each other, the world can go on turning because now everything with be rainbows and unicorns and peace, love and ice cream?

Mmm! Ice cream.

The thing is: MSR actually is a reflection on growth, and the two characters here are very good at holding onto what they believe they should be or what they think they are, as opposed to growing up, actually, and facing new situations maturely.

Maybe they will get to that point, but it appears both of them have a lot of growing to do ...

... and there is that whole big white elephant of UST that neither of them are dealing with at all right now, and neither in a mature manner, either, right?

Chapter 73 came because ch 71, where Lizzie was being a strong, brave independent woman lashed out and said what she said. Ch 77 exists because leaving ch 73 lie? what could come out of that other than nothing: Lizzie would be a sub slave and Rosalie would dom boss her around for the rest of the very short story that would devolve into boring tropes already done to death in way too many stories on ffn.

But Lizzie is Lizzie, and she has her own unshakeable core, even if she thinks, 'Whatever! just tell me what to do and I'll do it, I don't want to think for myself, it hurts too much and now I'll cry' and Rosalie is Rosalie and she is actually a royal class-A 'b' ...

Do you see that Rosalie and Edward are exactly alike?

They aren't because Edward NEVER accepted Bella's faults, but Rosalie, in this chapter, does: 'you do have your faults,' Rosalie said to Lizzie, and she smiles at her own statement, realizing this.

Rosalie puts Lizzie on a pedestal, yes, but she knows this, a little bit. Unlike Edward who forced Bella there and refused to listen to her, EVER. Rosalie listens. Once in a while, but she does.

I think, maybe, it's because Rosalie's a girl, she can at least sympathize with Lizzie a little tiny bit, even though they be total opposites, at least Rosalie can hear a girl, as a girl, speak, and give her that room to be a girl, and have her self-doubts (even though Rosalie claims she has none), and talk and talk and talk a thing through, so she can at least try to put her hands around a thing.

Rosalie is Rosalie, but maybe, being a girl and being with a girl, she can give Lizzie the room, the space to be herself, even if that's not what Rosalie wants her to be.

Maybe that's their saving grace? I don't know. I hope so.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Just to be clear...

This is how I deal with idiocy:

Idiot writes in a review of ch 59 of MSR:

"... I am pretty sure 今日 is read as きょう, not こんにち. In fact, there is no such thing as a "ti" (Like 'tea') sound in Japanese. I think you mean "こんにちわ" or "kon'nichiwa" or "Hello". "今日は" means "Today is". Like 今日は火曜日です。 (Today is Tuesday).

Just a note :)"

And my response is a nice, succinct little:

A response to your review at

Okay, let me get this straight.

You are criticizing me on my ENGLISH transliteration of my JAPANESE as I was writing this chapter from Narita airport (that's in Japan)?

So, you spend time in Japan? How many years of Japanese did you study, from a Japanese sensei who spoke ZERO English in class? Were you a Japanese interpreter on a Coast Guard ship that did fisheries law enforcement in International waters?

Did you know the 'ti' English writing is pronounced 'chi' in Japanese? I.e. Ma-mi-mu-me-mo/Ta-ti(chi)-tu(tsu)-te-to/a-i-u-e-o? Right?

How about this for a review: "Wow! You wrote this on a plane and got it out for us to read, because you believe that much in your story? Which is awesome, by the way! THANK YOU for doing that"?

Huh? How about a 'thank you' instead of speaking out of turn about things you only have a clue from your manga comic books?

No? Thought never occurred to you? You know why? Because you're rude, rude, rude.

I'm so glad you think today is Tuesday, too.


p.s. A little digging reveals this: you write 'deep, meaningful' stories and you don't care if other people get it or not. Pretension? I looked it up. It had your icon. And your fav twilight story is an admittedly mary-sue-escque romp? And THAT is your level of sophistication?

Tsk. Tsk.

Why do people like you have to exist? Have you ever tried a different tack? How about, instead of going for the sophisticated and clever pose, how about dropping the poses and simply open up and say what you really think and feel, what really touched you, made you laugh or cry?

But no. If you opened up, there would be a chance that you could really connect with people, right? Can't have that. Or, worse, there's a very small possibility you honesty may be interpreted by somebody else as something else: scary, right? "I can't open up! I might look stupid, ... or even ... BAD! OH, NOES!"


After all, being that way, being critical is smart, and for smart people, just. like. you.

Keep on with the "I'm pretty sure ..." mode. It suits you."

So, I suggested to said idiot how the review should of been written. What's your take-away?

If you're going to pose with me, go elsewhere, because I'll give you your bullsh!t back at 300%. Get honest, get real, or get the fvck out of my face. I don't have time for posers. What I have time for is people who open up their heart, and share, from the heart.

Just like I do.

love, geophf

Monday, April 29, 2013

A few of my favorite things ...

"... when the dog bites! when the bee stings! when I'm feeling low!
I simply remember my favorite things, and then I don't feel so low!"

So, what are your favorite chapters of My Sister Rosalie? I'll show you mine if you show me yours? Okay? Okay.

Okay, your turn. Tell me your favorite chapters, and why, in the comments below.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Is MSR Platonic?

I field this question occasionally.

"Hey, geophf, love your work [shameless self-plug], but is MSR platonic?"

Hm. Is MSR platonic?

Well, what, actually, is platonic love? Is it a love of mutual admiration entirely lacking in a sexual component? Is that what platonic love is?


'Platonic' love, originally, was when Plato, and his students ... effed young boys, so they could keep their minds off the local girls, so they could think about philosophy. "Platonic" love wasn't. It never was. Platonic love was very, very carnal, and homosexual.

It's fascinating how that word, originally meaning something very clear and direct, has come to mean something nearly entirely the opposite: some vague, ambiguous, neutered, watered-down excuse to hide one's true feelings behind 'friendship' because either or both parties are too scared to show what they really feel because they might lose 'this.' 'This' being this frustrating masquerade of 'niceness' and 'sincerity' to cover over true feelings, but 'this' is all we have now, and we can't risk losing that for a real friendship or a real relationship, because I don't want to scare him or her away, because if I do that, then I'll really have nothing, instead of having this ambiguous nothing that I don't really have, anyway.

Hm. So, is MSR platonic? Oh, and by the way, how are your 'friendships' going for ya?

I always love answering that question by saying what platonic is, and then asking it right back to the asker.

MSR brings out a lot of feelings in the readers, particularly feelings of who they are as people. It's really 'interesting' to read reviewers' reactions, because it's always about how they are dealing with their own feelings and thoughts, even if they attack MSR by proxy or transference.

I like those reviews. A lot. "geophf, when are you going to get away from people dealing with their feelings already! I can't deal with mine, so I don't want to deal with other people dealing with theirs."


My best chapter, savaged by someone bored with all this touchy-feely stuff.

Or, "I'm tired of Bella whining! Rosalie should just off her. I can't deal with people being sick and when people get sick around me, I just want them to die."

Somebody actually wrote that. But that's okay, that's not really them expressing their real feelings. After all, "It's just fan fiction."

Keep believing that. Keep believing that what you say and what you think, even if it's just your thoughts and feelings about fan fiction, have no bearing on who you are and your life. Keep living that disassociated life that objectifies everything around you. Hitler didn't have bad people to do his bidding, no, he had people "just follow orders," so it "wasn't their fault."

"It's just fan fiction, so I can say anything I want about it because it doesn't matter. It's not me, it's just my views about a fictional situation that I would totally repeat because that's how I think."

Yeah. Keep believing that.

That's one type of reader, you know: the kind that lets others do the thinking for them. They typically don't like MSR, because it's "slow" and hard for them to "understand."

On the other hand, I like reading reviews where somebody got something that they could take away something I put into that chapter, my heart, that is, and carried it in their own. Because why? Because they opened their heart, maybe for the first time, looked inside, saw something there that they didn't see before, and, seeing it, left a better person.

Not because something I wrote. I'm simply a catalyst or a cipher. No, it's because they went up to the mirror and truly looked.

I'm glad I was there to see you look into your heart. Thank you for looking.

A Scar

This chapter came right from my heart. From the mommies talking at the grocery store to Rosalie holding Lizzie in her hands, trying to comfort her, trying to tell her that she knew, and that it was okay.

We never made it to 'okay.'

Lizzie wasn't the only one who grew up this way, and at a time when families breaking up were new in America, so the parents had to stay together until the kids left the home for college to avoid stigmatizing their children, so the children felt that separation, that breaking, ...

and you couldn't do anything about it.

And then they didn't wait, and so my kid sister ...

So she had to be strong, and the funny thing is that she's the most complete, most no-nonsense person in our fractured family, but she didn't have a happy childhood, at all. Ever.

And, well, me.

I identify with Lizzie here, too.

But I didn't have a Rosalie to tell me any of this, not until today, or when I wrote the second half of this chapter. And I didn't have a Rosalie to hold me and to understand.

So, I just broke, all by myself, right in my third week of flight school.

I so wanted to fly, well, anything in the Coast Guard, and I was there already. I was flying planes.

And then my career was over. Right then. Right that day. All they had to do was have the paperwork catch up with me, which took about two years, it being the military.

So I had to go do something else.

And here I am, 25 years later, doing something else.

Something else is nice.

But it's something else, and if I were flying jets or helicopters, rescuing people out of the Arctic Ocean, would I've been happy? I've saved over 150 people's lives north of Alaska and then rescued at least three teens crossing the border to and from Mexico.

Am I happy because of that?

Lizzie was scarred, and she didn't even realize it until Rosalie pointed it out.

The thing about being scarred? You did the dishes before, you'll do the dish afterward.

Now you know you have a scar there, somewhere there, while you're doing the dishes.

And you can pick at it, scratch at it, or you can pretend it's not there. Nobody else sees it, nobody else cares, so, actually, it must not be there, right? It all happened in the past. And the 'it' was nothing, it was just your parents raising you, as the best they could, and look! you turned out well! Success!

It was nothing, and nobody else sees and nobody else cares, not really. Life goes on, and so must you, mustn't you?

So you can pretend it isn't there, right? It's healed and you're fine. Scar tissue heals, right?

Actually, it doesn't. A scar is a scar, and it either stays or it leaves its mark on you. That little knock you got running into the table's corner when you were a baby? It's still there, ten, twenty, fifty years later. Nobody else 'sees' it, but you still see the bump, and you still rub it, sometimes, remembering.

So, not knowing it's there, pretending it's not there. The road to happiness? Ignorance is bliss, right?

Except that it is there, and it affects everything you say, and everything you do.

So, acknowledging it? "I have a scar. I had this happen when I was a kid. It happened then. But I still remember it. I still feel it, if I think about it, and when I don't think about it, ... I still feel it. I still hunch my shoulders that way. I still look down, or look away, or blush, or cry, and I didn't know why. But now I do know why."

Is that worse, acknowledging it?

It feels worse, so it must be worse. So let's pretend that I don't know it's there, and see if I can get by with that.

Yup. I can get by.

Look at me, Mommy, I'm getting by! I'm all grown up now. Aren't you proud?

Yes, this was a really, really easy chapter for me to write.

All I had to do was to be just a little tiny bit honest with myself.

Friday, April 12, 2013

MSR, ch 69 FBs "Friends with Benefits"

Okay, what happened in this chapter that was supposed to be light and fluffy?

Lizzie said, "I'm not a girl," and whammo! Rosalie had a choice, but either option was a bad one: she could say: 'no, actually, you are a girl" and they'd get into a fight. Or she could say: "You're right, you're not a girl ... when have you ever smiled? or played? or had fun?" leaving Lizzie, drained already, an emotional wreck, nowhere to go but nowhere. 

That's what happened.


Bummer chapter in a bummer story.

Remember my author's end note, oh, ten chapters ago, that it was going to get worse before it got better?

The thing is this was supposed to be a fluffy chapter with Lizzie playing 'ring around the Rosies' and Rosalie smirking at Lizzie's manic behavior, as she ran around Rosalie, throwing buds into the air, warning her not to crash (emotionally, that is).

But Lizzie had to open up her mouth, and out came the words.

But why? Well, of course, 'girl' is a trigger word for her, as she's always questioned her maturity, and more generally, her place in this word. Rootless and friendless (ibid), Lizzie is perfectly set up to fight any and everything, and perfectly set up to trip and fall over every trap laid out in her path.

And to Lizzie, everything is a trap to her. So she can retreat, and get into trouble, or she can fight, and get into trouble.

It happens. Somebody withdraws from the crowd, because they're feeling picked on, so they get picked on because they're the loner so they lash out and get into heaps of trouble.

So, as her friend, as her sister, what do you do? What do you say?


"Yeah, you're right, you're not a girl; sorry." When you're not sorry, and you see her lashing out from her hurt?

This chapter should've really been named "Chapter 69: FB -- friends with benefits." Because, truly, Rosalie is a beneficial friend, as opposed to a superficial friend.

Look what she tried to do: she give Lizzie a light, playful wake-up call: "Lizzie, you're saying words that aren't right."

Lizzy ignores this, gets defensive and angry, and over what?

Over the fact that she wants to pretend that she's not a little girl, and that she wants everybody else to pretend that, too. Because the world of pretense is nice and safe. And pointless. But don't think about that. Nobody else does.

That's how things work. And by 'work,' I mean, of course: 'don't work.' Everybody pretends that everybody and everything's hunky-dory when actually people are alone, isolated, and hurting. But 'I'm fine' 'I'm mature' 'I'm competent' 'I'm doing my job' so if we just ignore the hurt in their eyes and in their posture, we'll all just get along until they pull out an automatic weapon and start murdering school children or throw themselves in front of a moving train, being the seventh one to do that this month.

Rosalie doesn't play the 'I'm okay; you're okay' game we all play, as much as Lizzie wants and expects her to, even though she should and does know better by now.

If Lizzie truly is okay, then Rosalie's okay with that, ... happy even.

But if Lizzie's not okay, and says that she is, and wants everybody else to be okay with that, then ...?

Then Rosalie can say 'okay, whatever,' like everybody else does, confirming in Lizzie's mind that she's all alone in this world, and nobody understands her, nor cares.

Or she can grab Lizzie by the collar and shout into her face until Lizzie gets that she can't fuck with Rosalie's mind like she fucks with everybody else's.

Or she can do what she did in this chapter.

One day. One day Lizzie will be happy, and just be happy to be happy, ...

That's what Rosalie is praying for. That's Rosalie's hope, you see.

Because you know how Rosalie knows Lizzie was never a little girl?

Because Rosalie was never a little girl.

Rosalie wants to see Lizzie laugh and dance and play and frolic, because ...

Rosalie never did that.

If Lizzie can do that, if she can drop all the weight of growing up too fast, but never matured into a woman, self-possessed and self-actualized, that is: she knows who she is and she's fine with that ('fine' being actually fine and not 'I'll pretend I'm fine to get by'), ...

Then will Rosalie be able to do that?

That's too much to ask for Rosalie now. But Rosalie will have seen that done for somebody she loves with her empty, cold, black heart. She can't save herself, but if Lizzie is happy, just for one instant, ...

Then Rosalie will be happy. And will treasure that moment of happiness for the rest of her wretched, bleak, solitary, pointless eternity.

Like Rosalie told the girl: she's being selfish. She so wants Lizzie's happiness.

I wish there were more people selfish like this in the world.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Is MSR femslash?

I get this question occasionally from readers.

Is MSR femslash, or gfs? or bffs? or sisterhood?

Well, what is it?

That's what Rosalie would ask you as you read this story, wouldn't she?

That's the question you ask yourself when you look at a girl you're looking at, right? Is she The One? Is she even gay? or curious? will she like me? will I like her?

Do you know the answers to ANY of these questions before hand?

I don't think you do. Or, if you do, you're already judging her. If she has to be The One, then she can't be herself, and you've already doomed the relationship, because she can't be herself if she has to be The One for you, right?

If Lizzie HAS to be femslash with Rosalie, then all this wind-up is pointless, and they should've been in bed at chapter 2 if I was a slow writer and by the second paragraph in the first chapter if I wanted to get right to the goods, right? That's what femslash is, right? Skip the preliminaries and get right to it.

Well, that's what the usual fare of femslash is, but the really, really good pieces actually do let Bella and Rosalie get to know each other, get to cry a bit because college is hard and Bella's dad dies and Rosalie has commitment issues and a bit of a b-tch and maybe a little (too) slvtty because she's compensating for these wounds she carries in her heart that she has to be that way to receive love, even if it's fake or physical. And you learn to love these girls and when they do fall into each other's arms, it's because they love each other, not because it's femslash and that's what they're supposed to do ...

You know the story I'm talking about? Read: Mechanical Difficulties by HopelessRomantic79.

Now, my BxR story is a little different than that. Okay, it's WAY different than that, and different than most of what I've read on this site.

As you have seen.

But do you see where this is going?

Yeah, you do. Maybe. The thing is I have the whole story mapped out: all three books of it, but Lizzie and Rose are surprising me at every chapter. I had written three chapters ahead of this one (ch 66: Schadenfreude), and I had to throw all of that out, all 12k+ words because Rose just broke down and told Lizzie her name. She wasn't supposed to do that. And Lizzie wasn't supposed to take charge like this and start to arrange things. She wasn't suppose to do this until halfway into Book II.

But here they are, and they refuse to let the plot drive them, no: they are two people, two scared people wondering if this can work, and wondering what 'this' even is! One of them has no experience whatsoever in love, never had a bf, never been kissed, and dropped out of school because people are just too weird for her, so she'd rather live at home with her Pa, who is quiet and safe and predictable. The other girl was raped and murdered by five men, so her whole view of love is twisted and filled with hate: totally unromantic. She's given up on love, seeing it as a power-thing, useless to her, and she's given up on herself, seeing herself as hateful and broken: unfixable, unloveable.

Put those two together and what do you get? femslash? friendship? sisterhood?

Well, what you've gotten so far is 66 chapters of MSR with a lot of anger on Rosalie's part and a lot of tears on Lizzie's part. Both of them have a long way to go before they can ... what?

Well, they've started to heal, just a little tiny bit, they've started to hug some, they've started to open up, just a bit to each other, and ...

And, well ... it's a start. A real start. There's false starts because you try something, and whoops! that didn't work, but instead of being cool about it, Lizzie breaks down in tears and Rosalie gets furious, so there's plenty of backsliding.

But are they trying? And what are they trying for?

Rosalie was right: Lizzie is a little chicken-sh-t, and she has no idea what she wants.

But Rosalie? All you have to do is read my side story: Rose by a Lemon Tree to know that any criticism she has of Lizzie is nothing to the problems she's saddled herself with.

Rosalie knows what she wants. Just ask her. Or, actually, she says she knows what she wants, and is very sure and confident in saying exactly what she wants and how she wants it all to work out.

The thing about Rosalie is that what she says she wants, and what she really wants, may be two different things, but her own pride so blinds her to that difference that she doesn't even know nor acknowledge that there exists a difference at all. So she says she wants to keep her distance, that she would rather have Lizzie hate her than draw any closer to her, for, after all: she's a monster, twisted and evil and incapable of love.

She knows this: just ask her.

But then she gives Lizzie her name, and says she never had a sister ... that is, she never had a girl close to her. She never gave anyone else her heart. Not really. Not to Royce. She planned her future with Royce, with their perfect wedding and their perfect family with their perfectly well-behaved children, but she never gave Royce her real heart, her true love, and maybe Royce sensed this, her aloofness, her haughtiness, and maybe he felt threatened by that: his manhood was called into question, because no matter how much of a man he was(not), he was never able fully to possess 'his' Rose, never fully able to own her nor to make her scared of him and grovel like everybody else did, all this employees and sycophant friends.

Who has had Rosalie heart? Not even Vera, her friend. Because Rosalie could feel superior to her. Vera married low and moved on and left Rosalie behind, because Vera followed her heart.

And Rosalie never did.

Rosalie never gave her heart away, and Lizzie was never given the chance to.

So, can Lizzie muster up the courage to say 'I love you, Rosalie Hale'? because for sure Rosalie's not going to say that. Ever. That is: first. Rosalie can't give her heart away now. It's far too painful.

It really, really doesn't look good, does it?

But Lizzie has grown, and Rosalie, even though she won't admit it, has, too.

So, maybe ... maybe.

And that's my answer. It's not definitive, but does live give you a priori definitive answers? If it does, is that living life, or going through the motions in a limited little box of a maze and calling that life? Life is lived in the questions, isn't it? and finding your own answers to the questions you dare to ask. If someone else spoonfeeds you answers, then do those answers have any meaning? or any worth or value? That is, being given to you instead of earned.

You can be handed a person and told: you're sleeping with her tonight. And many, many girls in the world are told just that. But it's up to them to find in the person they choose the things to love, be in that person in their arms right now, or the one they go out, seek, and find. Or the one that comes to find them.

But you have to choose whom to love, and you have to choose why, right? And you have to make it work, every day.

Is MSR femslash? or friendship? or sisterhood?


That's up to Rosalie to let go of her pride and 'what's right' in her eyes, and up to Lizzie to let go of fear and embrace her hope.

Just as it is for you to give up your pride and fear and embrace your hope, and write your own story. That's what Lizzie and Rosalie are (tentatively) doing, and isn't it an exciting, hopeful, just so different read? And for them, living it, so, so scary, so new?

Is your life femslash, friends or sisters? Do you want to keep living the safe ho-hum life everybody else lives? Or throw your heart out there, get hurt, badly, and, maybe, just maybe, let her catch it and cradle your heart, and you, in her arms, as you cradle her?

geophf, writer of that really weird story MSR signing off; I have to get back to writing that next chapter.