Monday, July 8, 2013

50 Shades Freed chapter 19 recap, or "I did not see that coming."

In the links department, today we've got two from Thea K. The first is an entry from her own blog, The Editor's Notes, highlighting 44 Reasons Twilight is Better Than 50 Shades.

The next is a blog called Yes Means Yes!, which given our discussions of enthusiastic consent around here seems to be pretty on topic, even if it's not expressly 50 Shades related.

Okay, onto the recap, which is another short one because this chapter was basically thirteen pages of nothing.

Ana's father has just woken up from a coma upon hearing that the Seattle Sounders have lost a game. That's pretty much all I can say about the first page of the chapter. Ray is awake, he doesn't remember the accident, and he wants some water. That's it.

One the next page, Ana tells Christian that Ray is awake and not remembering stuff, and Christian's response is:
"That's understandable. Now that he's awake, I want to get him moved to Seattle. Then we can go home, and my mom can keep an eye on him."


This was one of those things where I read it, and then I thought, "Goddammit. There are so many things wrong with this, I won't hit all of them. My brain will just cramp up and I'll start watching Merlin to soothe it."

Where does Christian get off making care decisions for his wife's father, without being asked? It was stepping over a line when he got his mom and some other doctor to take over Ray's care- I'm not sure he can even legally do that without being Ray's medical advocate- but now Ray is awake, from what we've seen his cognitive functions haven't been affected... why is Christian Grey making medical care decisions for him, then? Oh right... because Christian Grey knows what is best for everyone, and he has a pathological need for control in situations he has no business trying to control.

We know that Christian controls Ana completely. How far does this control extend, though? I can't imagine being in a situation wherein my husband could make a lofty proclamation about one of my family members' medical care and I would go, "You know, he's right, we better do what he wants, instead of what [family member] wants, or what other members of my family who are closer to this person might want."

Ray didn't marry Christian. Ray didn't choose to have Christian breeze in and control his life. But that doesn't matter. In the world of 50 Shades, if you have any interaction with Christian at all, he owns you now. He makes the decisions, and he runs the show. It doesn't matter if you're his parents, his friends, his brother's girlfriend, or someone who just works with his wife and never actually meets him. He runs everything about your life from the moment he becomes even accidentally aware of it.

This is sociopath behavior.

To Ana's credit, she doesn't just roll over this time:
"I'm not sure he's well enough to be moved."
"I'll talk to Dr. Sluder. Get her opinion."
"You miss home?"
"Yes."
"Okay."
I'm sorry, did my phrasing mislead you guys? I should have been clearer. What I meant to say was, "To Ana's credit, she doesn't just roll over this time. It's more like a barrel roll as she spirals toward the ground, possibly slamming through a barn or a windmill or a fireworks factory. Anything flammable, really." Damn what Ray wants, Christian wants to go home! That means Ray is going to be moved, even if it's medically unsafe.

Oh, you're right, he's going to talk to the doctor first. You know, the doctor he's paying, the one who's chummy with his mom. He'll talk to Dr. Sluder and tell her what her opinion is, and then Charlie Ray will get moved.

Ana and Christian go back to the Heathman, where she immediately forgets about her father, who has just come out of a coma that she was super duper worried about:
"Shall we celebrate?" he asks as we enter the foyer.
"Celebrate?"
"Your dad."
I giggle. "Oh, him."
I just... what? Your father just woke up from a coma and you forgot on the drive back to the hotel? I... what? Or is it just that you don't feel it's something worth celebrating?

They do celebrate, in the creepiest way someone possibly can celebrate the emergence of their father from a medically induced coma. They have sex.

But first they have dinner, and I have to pointlessly snipe about this:
"That was delicious," I murmur with satisfaction as I push my plate away, replete for the first time in ages. "They sure know how to make a fine tarte tatin here."
I read that line and suddenly had an image of Laura Prepon's character from How I Met Your Mother in my mind. Also, I have a theory that tarte tatin was invented on the spot by a cook who dropped an apple tart on the floor.
"That's the most I've seen you eat the entire time we've been here," he says.
Her father has been in the fucking hospital in a fucking coma, remember? I mean, I know she doesn't remember, but you surely must? That shit affects your appetite.
"I was hungry."
He leans back in his chair with a self-satisfied smirk and takes a sip of his white wine.
Why is he self-satisfied? Was he in the coma? Did he put Charlie Ray in a coma to make Ana want to eat for the first time in three goddamn books? Don't get me wrong, I'm glad she's eating so we won't have to continually hear about how alarmingly thin she is from not wanting to eat as some kind of last grasp at anorexia as an escape from your overwhelming need for control, but seriously, how are you taking credit for this shit?

Unless he's read the last page of this chapter, and he knows what's up.

The plot thickens.

So now it's kind of a watery broth.

Christian asks Ana what she wants to do now that she's stuffed herself with fancy dessert:
Reaching across the table, I grasp his hand, turn it over, and skim my index finger over his palm. "I'd like you to touch me with this."
Keep that line in mind as we continue.

Christian pulls Ana into his lap and says:
"I like having unfettered access to you."
Unfettered is a weird word choice, considering he ties her up all the time. He ties her up in this scene, too, which makes it even stranger.
"Don't bite your lip," he whispers, then rises suddenly with me in his arms. I gasp and grab his biceps, fearful that he'll drop me.
That would be hilariously extreme BDSM right there. But why is he still telling her not to bite her lip? I'm starting to believe she has Lesch-Nyhan syndrome, and he's seriously concerned about it.

Christian uses belts from the hotel bathrobes to tie Ana's legs to the sofa, so she's sitting up and spread-eagle.
"You have no idea how hot you look right now," he murmurs and rubs his nose against mine.
I feel like I should write E.L. James a thank you note for improving my writing. I'm sure I've had a hero tell a heroine that she has no idea how hot she looks before, and after these books, I'll never do it again. Because every time Chedward says that to Ana, I think, "How do you know what she knows, bitch?"

Christian changes the music:
Immediately, a sweet, almost childlike female voice starts to sing about watching me.
Oh, I like this song.
Just in case you missed the author's habit of infantilizing Ana, now Ana is doing it herself during sex scenes. "Oooh, we're going to listen to a child-like voice while fucking! That's so hot, because I'm a fucking child myself!" But I looked up E.L.'s YouTube playlist, and this song... it doesn't really match the description. If you want to listen to it, it's here. And it's pretty good. But the chick has a voice like Amy Winehouse at 7:30 in the morning. It's not child-like at all. Which kind of makes the description of the song against the context of the scene more disturbing.

Remember when Ana asked Christian to touch her? Now that he's got her legs all tied open, he wants her to touch herself. I'm torn on this scene. On the one hand, it's not all that unusual for a Dom to tell a sub to do it her/himself, especially if the Dom is making the sub wait as part of the game. But this just seems like another instance in which Ana wants something, sexually, and Christian doesn't deliver because his ideas are better.

On top of that, we have to remember that Ana has never masturbated before. When she first has sex with Christian, she's never done anything sexual, ever, including getting herself off. She touches herself with his body wash in the shower once, but she doesn't come. I can't remember a single scene of her just getting off without his help or command in any part of these books so far. So it bugs me that when she finally does touch herself, she makes like, two circles around her clit with her fingers, then this happens:
Grabbing my hands, he bends down, running his nose and then his tongue back and forth at the apex of my thighs.
and when she tries to touch him, he says:
"I'll restrain these, too. Keep still."
And then he makes her come by fingering her and telling her "surrender," which obviously she does, because with no orgasm training at all, she comes at his command. The "child-like" song, Ana's reluctance to masturbate in front of him or at all, ever, and the fact that when she does finally touch herself down there, he restrains her hands and makes her come on command, makes this entire scene just... it's fucking gross.

After Christian does her doggy-style over the couch, this conversation happens:
"I think we should go again. No clothes for you this time."
"Christ, Ana. Give a man a chance."
I giggle and he chuckles. "I'm glad Ray's conscious. Seems all your appetites are back," he says, not disguising the smile in his voice.

Swoon. Amirite or amirite, ladies?

Then they talk about stupid bullshit I don't care about:
"And I think there's a lot that's sweet about you," I murmur, referring to the song still playing on repeat. His smile fades.
Oh no.
"You are," I whisper.
 You ah!

Just before the section break, Ana tells Christian:
"I am going to fuck you with my mouth."
And then after the section break, she's all:
"Good morning," I murmur shyly from the doorway.
How do we get from "I am going to fuck you with my mouth" to "shyly?" Timidity born of shame over one's sexuality is NOT ATTRACTIVE. I don't care how many copies of these books sold to women who believe that. They are fucking WRONG. It's not cute and adorable. It's gross.

Christian tells Ana that a detective wants to come to talk to her about Jack Hyde. Then there's a section break, and Ana is visiting Ray in the hospital:
"Dad, you've been in a major car accident. It will take time to heal. Christian and I want to move you to Seattle."
No, Christian wanted to move him to Seattle, Ana. You didn't.
"I don't know why you're bothering with me. I'll be fine here on my own."
So, Charlie Ray doesn't want to move to a different hospital. Glad that's settled.

Charlie wants coffee and donuts, so after a break, Ana tells Christian they need to go get coffee and donuts.

This chapter is gripping, y'all.

Christian tells Ana that detective Clark will be in Portland at four to talk to her, and to take Taylor on the donut run. Ana rolls her eyes, so you know what that means:
"There's no one here." His voice is deliciously low, and I know he's threatening to spank me.
In the ICU waiting room. Which is, of course, the perfect venue for D/s spanking games. Way to know when shit is appropriate, you two.

The spanking doesn't go down, though, because:
I am about to dare him, when a young couple enters the room. She is weeping softly.
She, singular, is a couple, two people, and both of them are weeping from their giant, fused eye.

My dad is in the hospital! 

There's a section break, and Detective Clark has arrived at the Heathman. He wants to talk to Ana alone. Good luck with that, pal. This portion of the scene reads alarmingly like a battered woman's visit to the ER:
"Anything you wish to say to my wife, you can say in front of me." Christian's voice is cool and businesslike. Detective Clark turns to me.
"Are you sure you'd like your husband to be present?"
I frown at him. "Of course. I have nothing to hide. You are just interviewing me?"
"Yes, ma'am."
"I'd like my husband to stay."
Christian sits beside me, radiating tension.
All that's missing is the detective asking if anyone "helped" her walk into the door.

Detective Clark tells Ana that Hyde is alleging she made "lewd advances" toward him while she worked for him at SIP.
Oh! I almost burst out laughing, but put my hand on Christian's thigh to restrain him as he shifts forward in his seat.
I really, really want Christian Grey to punch a cop.

Well, not really. Because he would just buy the police force and fire the cop for letting his face get in the way of Christian's golden fists. I should rephrase: I want Christian Grey to punch a cop in the real world. And then I want real world consequences to ensue.

Shit, he could just buy his way out of that, too.

Jack told the police that Ana sexually harassed him and was after his job. And Christian responds to this news in the guiltiest-sounding way possible:
"Detective, please don't tell me you have driven all this way to harass my wife with these ridiculous accusations."
That sounds like something the murderer would say on Midsommer Murders.

Detective Clark tells them that they've spoken to some of Jack Hyde's past personal assistants, but they only had good things to say about him.
"We've had that problem, too," Christian murmurs.
Oh? I gape at Christian, as does Detective Clark.
"My security chief. He's interviewed Hyde's past five PAs."
"And why's that?"
Christian gives him a steely glare. "Because my wife worked for him, and I run security checks on anyone my wife works with."
She wasn't your wife at the time, Captain Fucko. You ran security checks on your girlfriend's new boss and then bought the company because you couldn't stand the thought of not being in completely control of yet another aspect of her life. But I'm sure the police are totally cool with you having an investigation of your own going on. Especially when you're acting all suspicious and weird toward the cops when they're just doing their job.

Christian wants to know why Jack hasn't been charged with attempted murder in the helicopter sabotage. Ana thinks:
What?
But I thought she already knew that Jack was suspected in the Charlie Tango crash. I'm pretty sure they talked about it before.
"We're hoping to find more evidence in regard to the sabotage of your aircraft, Mr. Grey. We need more than a partial print, and while he's in custody, we can build a case."
"Is this all you came down here for?"
 Clark bristles. "Yes, Mr. Grey, it is, unless you've had any further thoughts about the note?"
Note? What note?
"No. I told you. It means nothing to me." Christian cannot hide his irritation. "And I don't see why we couldn't have done this over the phone."
You know, so Ana wouldn't overhear any other details she didn't know about the case against the guy who broke into her home to try and kidnap and rape her. If I were detective Clark, I would be suspecting that Christian hired Jack to murder Ana. He's acting like a total lunatic and hiding a lot of shit from her.

After Clark leaves, Christian suggests they go see her father and arrange the move to Seattle for the next day. Yup. Two days out of a coma after internal bleeding, brain swelling, and cardiac arrest, still in the ICU, let's move this patient for convenience.
"He was adamant that he wanted to stay in Portland and not be a bother."
"I'll talk to him."
Section break.
The follow day Ray is examining his new surroundings- an airy, light room in the rehabilitation center of Northwest Hospital in Seattle. It's noon, and he looks sleepy. The journey, via helicopter no less, has exhausted him.
NO SHIT. YOU THINK MOVING A GUY WHO HAS JUST HAD MASSIVE INJURIES FOR WHICH HE HAD TO BE PUT INTO A MEDICATED COMA MIGHT BE WORN OUT BY AN UNNECESSARY TRANSFER VIA AIRLIFT? WHO COULD HAVE POSSIBLY GUESSED THIS?

But it all works out, because Charlie Ray has seen the way, the truth, and the light of the Gospel of 50 Shades, which is that Christian Grey is always right about everything, all the time:
"Tell Christian I appreciate this," he says quietly.
"Hey, Christian, I really appreciate you forcing me to switch hospitals against my wishes after my nearly fatal traumatic injuries."

Ana tells her dad she's going back to work, and she leaves him some newspapers to read. So, "Hey, dad, we're moving you to a totally different city so we can be close to you. Now that you're here, I'm leaving! See ya!"

As she leaves the hospital, she runs into Dr. Greene, her gynecologist.
"Mrs. Grey, how are you? Did you get my message? I called earlier."
"No." My scalp prickles.
"Well, I was wondering why you'd canceled four appointments."
Four appointments? I gape at her. I've missed four appointments! How?
Because you keep canceling all of your appointments. Forget visiting the doctor, how are you even doing your job?

Dr. Greene is going to give Ana her birth control shot, but first Ana has to take a pregnancy test.
Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit.
In case you didn't get it the first four times, shit.
How could I have let this happen... again?
WHOA. HOLD THE FUCK UP.

What does she mean, AGAIN? Did they get pregnant before and we just skipped over it? What the hell does this mean?

And then Ana finds out she's pregnant, and the chapter is over.

95 comments:

  1. The thing that stands out most for me is how many times Ana 'whispers' things. I get that EL James is going for 'said' synonyms, but consider how many conversations (at parties no less) in which Ana whispers. In real life, the conversations would be Mia/Kate/Christian/etc going "Huh? What? What'd you say? Can you speak up?"

    Also, I went back and reread all the recaps over the last week and a half. I'm going to miss dis shit when it's over. Though here's to book 4, which is going to centre around the pregnancy and how wanton and sexy it makes her feel and book 5, where Christian pushes Ana into sex when she's trying to care for their kid, or them having sex while listening to the baby fuss on the baby monitor to really bring that infantilizing thing full circle.

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    1. And the murmuring these fuckwits do, do not get me started! When I read 'murmur' I imagine someone purposely hushing and slurring their words so people around them don't hear it correctly. With all the murmuring in these stupid books it's no wonder people can't communicate for crap.

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    2. Grab some tissue. You're going to cry when you find out what's said when the second baby moved during sex, and grab a bucket for the sensual-finger-sucking of a toddler. Don't say I didn't warn you....

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    3. I agree. What the hell is with all the murmuring? Speak up for God sakes!

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    4. Always whispering? It just makes me think Ana's always scared or something... Gee, I wonder why that is... >.<

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    5. Book 4 & 5?? They'll never be written....unless there's another Meyer book or another movie James can lift ideas/scenes from.
      GFB she be original!

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    6. I want to see a pardoy of these whisper/murmur scenes acted out, just for laughs so that everyone can see how ridiculous they sound. Someone on Youtube, get on this!

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  2. Oh, my God, Jen, how do you manage not to die of absolute boredom and indignation while reading this shit? This sounds as exciting as watching the grass in your garden grow.

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  3. lmfao "how could I have let this happen again" what?!

    oh my god what a mess

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  4. Lesch-Nyhan syndrome-oh, I love it!! You're totally right about that- all this lip-biting has GOT to be a disease!

    I have missed these recaps. I know you feel like you're losing brain cells with every read-through (I feel that way, too, actually), but I hope you continue!

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  5. "But it all works out, because Charlie Ray has seen the way, the truth, and the light of the Gospel of 50 Shades, which is that Christian Grey is always right about everything, all the time"

    Awesome quote! By the way, no way this is Charlie! Charlie had too much integrity and would've never accepted this.

    Awesome, as always, Jen.

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  6. I think by "again" she means messing up her birth control. Didn't she forget to take the pill or something in the first book? Or between the first and the second book?

    And good lord, this reminds me of Ana being super-confused as to why her boss was angry at her when she was late, emailed around with Christian, didn't do her job, etc.

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    1. It was in the first third or so of FSD. She went off the pill because she'd just broken up with Christian, and after they got back together, they fucked a few times before she went back on it.

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    2. is this the same doctor who said Ana was 'bright'? i bet she feels really fucking stupid now eh.

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  7. I love your recaps! I do. However, I can sort of sense your irritation growing with each passing chapter. I almost get the mental image of your eyes glazing over and rolling back in your head or something. I read these books once and felt like that. I love your tenacity in finishing these recaps no matter what. I also wanna give you a hot cup of tea and pat you on the back for comfort, awkward Sheldon Cooper style.

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  8. Could someone explain to me why Ana's name is considered to be such a bad name? I've read this is some of the reviews for these books. Why is it a pon-star name?
    English is not my native language, maybe that's why I don't get it ^_^

    Laylee

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    1. I think the porno suggestion comes from the fact that her last name is Steele, which is apparently a common last name in porn pseudonyms. I dislike Ana's name, however, because it's Anastasia, and then she complains about other characters having European-sounding names. Which makes zero sense.

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    2. There's also the fact that in some circles, Ana means Anorexia, and with how Christian hounds Ana to eat... cue Karen Carpenter.

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    3. I also can't help but notice "Anastasia rose steel" sounds like a subject-verb-object sentence, and given that erections "rise", and, like steel, are hard... yikes.

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  9. God, I miss Taylor! Where the hell is Taylor? Just doing donut runs?

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  10. My dad is in the hospital! <(o)>

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    1. I thought Kelly Anne was playing the role of Ana, with an icon of bending over. I've never seen an emoticon like that, but that is what sprung to mind lol

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    2. I was going for the pictured cyclops monster. Emoticon fail.

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    3. I knew it was a cyclops, but then I was like, "What if I say, 'Naw, man, she's just making a cyclops,' and she really meant her dad was actually in the hospital but she added the cyclops to be funny and then I'll just look like an asshole... what do I do?!"

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  11. So, a female voice sings about watching her and she likes it?
    More evidence to the 'Ana is a closeted lesbian'-argument, methinks.

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  12. The way this book is going, I think I'm starting to suspect Christian of sabotaging her birth control, by keeping her so "busy" she forgets to go. Even though he insisted that she get on it in the first place. By setting her up to mess up, he now has another reason to hit her!

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    1. Chedward doesn't hit Ana (He throws several mean, callous, verbal jabs at her though) when she gets around to telling him she's pregnant. That whole chapter should be a primer (to anyone who has NOT read this drivel) on how to spot OTHER abusive asshats you may be involved with.

      When Jen gets to said chapter, I think her headline should read:FSF recap: Chapter 20, or "'DIAPERS, VOMIT, AND SHIT!'"

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  13. Twilight lost me at "My grandma is horrifying and gross and disgusting because she is old," since I actually love my family (I think that was at the beginning of book 2). I think this book would have lost me at "I don't give a shit about my dad, lol he is/was comatose," because I actually love my family. I'm torn between "E.L. James should read A Grief Observed or something to get some kind of realistic idea of how normal people deal with the fear of/the actuality of losing people they love," and "Wow, Ana is a really shitty person." I'm going to go with all of the above.

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  14. While I can understand your reluctance to waste any more of your life on this horrible series, please know that your recaps are SO appreciated. I laughed so hard at this one that my one merged "giant eye" could not stop tearing up. Jen, you are the BEST!!

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  15. The fact that people are reading this equivalent to EL James eating a dictionary and shitting random words onto a page makes me sad. That they LOVE it makes me weep. That there's going to be a film has made me despair for the future of humanity, to be honest. So much woe.

    I need to go back to watching Doctor Who and perv over David Tennant some more now, in order to heal myself. Props to you Jen for reading this crap so we don't have to. ;-)

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    1. I feel despair over how many people say these are the best books ever and are about such true love and how Christian changes so much. Um, no he doesn't. He's still the same self-centered jerk as always, including threatening a severely injured man into switching hospitals because being in Portland is an inconvenience.

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    2. "EL James eating a dictionary and shitting random words onto a page."

      That is the most accurate description of these books I have seen. Ever.

      I'm making my way through A Song of Fire and Ice trying to keep my own brain cells intact.

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    3. Ugh my thoughts exactly.

      David Tennant is an excellent choice to perv over, far better than Christian "I'm a massive unrepentant jackass" Grey.

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  16. I feel like I should write E.L. James a thank you note for improving my writing.

    So true! These books are like a carcrash course in grammar alone. I can't tell you how many dangling participles and messy prepositional phrases I've weeded out of my own writing since reading these hellish word salads.

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    1. Her book on how to write could should consist only of:

      Do NOT do anything I did in the Fifty Shades trilogy.

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    2. Agreed. I've learned so much from these recaps.

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  17. Wanted to tell you that I am going to go see that 50 Shades of Gray parody called Spank! Friday. I will let you know if its any good.

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    1. I swear I think that Jenny posted a guest blog by someone who went to see it recently (Jenny is my source for all things 50 Shades).

      But a friend of mine just posted about 50 Shades! The Musical:
      http://50shadesthemusical.com/tour/

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  18. "It was stepping over a line when he got his mom and some other doctor to take over Ray's care- I'm not sure he can even legally do that without being Ray's medical advocate-"

    Nope. Getting hospital privileges requires more than just getting permission from a random doctor. In addition to needing to be cleared by admin and insurance handled, but medical licenses don't automatically transfer from one state to the next. You might have heard of someone called Octomom, and how her fertility doctor lost his medical license. Right now he can't practice in any other state...because he hasn't applied. If he applies, he'll be able to practice somewhere else. He can't just cross the state line. Christian's mom can't just cross the border either. I highly doubt she's licensed in multiple states. That would be the first step to getting to go from a Seattle hospital to OHSU. This stuff doesn't happen with a few phone calls. It takes time. It takes more time to get hospital administration approval and everything else set up. I guarantee you OHSU wouldn't risk their world-class status and state approval to even operate as a hospital just because some rich guy wants his mommy to go take over his property's father's care.

    In fact, I doubt they'd approve that transfer. The risks of someone so recently after a coma with such severe injuries would be very risky. He is still hurt enough to be in intensive care. Moving someone merely out of some rich guy's preference would put a ton of liability on OHSU.

    ""Christ, Ana. Give a man a chance."
    I giggle and he chuckles. "I'm glad Ray's conscious. Seems all your appetites are back," he says, not disguising the smile in his voice."

    With how that's written, you'd think at first she's the one glad Ray's conscious.

    Mouth-fucking followed by donuts. I hope Ana got the cock-and-balls. ctrl+f that here: http://voodoodoughnut.com/doughnuts.php Cream-filled tip pand balls. James didn't know about VooDoo though. She totally missed a chance to make a local reference that everyone in the entire PNW would get in two seconds flat, if it took that long.

    I guess Doc Greene just carries around Depo and pee-tests.

    It's so obvious James had given up by this point. This chapter is terrible, even by the low standards she's already set.

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  19. That reminds me, I need to go take my birth control.

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  20. First Time CallerJuly 8, 2013 at 8:58 PM

    I've always loved these recaps, but I have to give you particular credit for:

    "The plot thickens.

    So now it's kind of a watery broth."

    I laughed ridiculously hard at that!

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  21. So, you've probably already seen this, but just in case you haven't, it seems to be designed to be your personal perfect video accompaniment to 50 Shades recaps: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ay--HHEP18c

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    1. Thank you for that. Danny Tejo is a badass, I might not love the song but the video made my girly parts tingle.

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  22. Hi Jen

    I can't tell you how much I love your recaps. Your writing is the only thing that can make me laugh when I am too depressed about my problems. The Boss was excellent. Love you.

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  23. I keep being stunned at how accurate a description of how a relationshipwith a controlling, abusive sociopath would be! :-O
    The scene with the cop is just... wow!
    I'm waiting for the day that EL James announces 'ha! You all fell for it! This wasn't a romance novel'

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    1. That is what I like to think. These books are just a big social experiment and EL James is an actress.
      Either that, or humanity is doomed.

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    2. Let's keep our fingers crossed O.o

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  24. 'She, singular, is a couple, two people, and both of them are weeping from their giant, fused eye.'
    Hahaha!
    And shouldn't that be 'the woman with the tacky red lipstick was weeping softly' followed by some shit about her staring at Christian?

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    1. Don't forget about her dyed blonde hair.

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    2. And her inexplicably European hairstyle. The bitch!

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    3. And her slutty earrings.

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    4. Omfg, she's totally having sex with Christian, the whore!

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    5. Little Miss Teary-Eyes gawps at Christian, and her jaw drops as she sobs and sniffs at the same time. I bristle. She peeks up through tear-decked eyelashes at my husband, and I take a protective step towards him. That's right. He's mine, bitch. HAH. I WIN! She chews her lower lip, and undoes the top button on her blouse, gazing up at my husband. Christian's jaw tightens and his mouth presses into a thin line.

      'Control your woman,' he hisses at Little Miss Weepy-Face. 'Or I'll have you both horsewhipped like the plebs you are.' I tear my gaze from Christian's beautiful, sulky, chiselled, spoilt, angry, ridiculous face. I gawp. I flush. Why is there a toilet in here, I wonder idly, as my mouth pops open and he stares at me, his gaze blazing like a ludicrous simile. Whose gaze, I wonder idly, as my mouth... hang on, I did that bit, didn't I? Remember, I'm really bright! Everyone says so!

      Little Madam Grief-Stricken's husband is still gawping at me. I toss my artfully arranged hair - damn Katherine Kavanagh for lending me her hairbrush! I flush again. And again. Christian's grip tightens round my arm, which is so delicately thin he has to encircle it with long thumb and long forefinger.

      Christian's mouth presses into a thin line, and his jaw tightens. He hisses in my ear. 'That man wants into your knickers, Mrs Anastasia Grey,' he whispers sibilantly. 'I told you to wear full burka at all times in public! But you defied me.' Dread and terror are burnished into his delightful face. 'When I think what could happen... Oh, Mrs Anastasia Steele-Grey Property of Christian Grey Holdings Enterprisings Incorporated Limited GmbH PLC Esquire, I am so mad right now. To be seen is to invite rape, and Only. I. Am. Allowed. To. Rape. You.'

      Double Crappity Crap on a Cracker! I should have just worn the burka. Christian is threatening me again. I roll my eyes and stick my tongue out at him. Silly old rapist control freak! d'awww. I hope he hits me! I'm terrified he might hit me!


      repeat ad nauseam

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    6. Sophie...

      http://spacecadet.tumblr.com/post/44185284442

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    7. Sophie that was SOOO good... you should start your own blog :)

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    8. :)

      I did do a pastiche twitter for a while - @50shadesofSue - but haven't updated that in ages.

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    9. Thank you for that Sophie. I didn't think anyone could make me laugh as hard as Jen does but that was hilarious

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  25. Oh my god, I laughed like a hyena through this whole recap. The thin, watery broth! The giant fused eye! Hey girl!

    It's amazing to me that you can take thirteen pages of shit writing & non-existent plot and turn into something so smart & hilarious.

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  26. I think by "How could I have let this happen again?" She's referring to her last pregnancy scare - when she stopped taking her birth control and Dr. Greene was all "You could be pregnant."

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  27. So, I read the link 44 reasons why Twilight is better than 50 shades.... 50 Shades = awful... but to say Twilight is bad too? I don't know... I mean, I'll admit...I've always steered clear from the Twilight Saga because it was too much of a hype and I saw sparkling vampires and I thought "uhm, no, nevermind", but a couple of weeks ago, I went into the store and the Twilight movies were on sale and I had nothing to do that weekend, so I bought them and had a movie marathon. I loved them! Then I bought the book set and finished them in days, loved them too... so now I don't get where people are coming from saying that the Twilight Saga is bad? :s And I know FS is a Twilight fanfic, but I don't see the resemblance between Christian and Edward? Bella and Anna... I see some resemblance there with the awkward behavior, but Bella is at least likeable, Anna is... just horrible. Anyway... I'm going to stop because I'm starting to sound like a Twihard, lol.

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    Replies
    1. Because my daughter was into it, I saw the first two movies. Hated them. They seemed to last FOR.EVER. And were dull, dull, dull. Then I watched them again with friends and still hated them.

      But at least they were original work, so I'll leave them alone. lol Still, I don't get what people liked about the story.

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    2. I didn't mind Twilight either. I found the last movie a little dull, but enjoyed the others and enjoyed the books despite them having a lot of filler. I knew Edward's behaviour wasn't perfect, but I figured he's a vampire and was supposed to be creepy.

      I actually think Fifty Shades probably worked a lot better with Christian as a vampire, because at least then the asshole behaviour could be excused somewhat and the whole women staring at him thing wouldn't look so fucking weird.

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    3. lol at the staring thing! that's so right! I mean, when I see an attractive man I'll look at him, but then I'll look away after a few seconds...It would be SO awkward if I were to just stare at him for minutes.... I'm pretty sure he'd feel so uncomfortable XD

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    4. Also, I actually liked the last movie the most because I loved how Bella wasn't her old whiny shy self... She was confident, strong and independant. Bella worked better as a vampire.

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    5. A lot of people make fun of Twilight for a variety of reasons - it's YA fiction, it's a romance, it was popular with women (books that are popular with a female audience aren't generally taken seriously.) It was written by a woman, with a very obviously feminine name (part of the reason J.K. Rowling chose the pen name that she did was because she was afraid her novels wouldn't be taken seriously if they were written by Joanne Rowling.)

      Plus, the books aren't very well written - not by a technical standard. They're written in purple prose which a lot of people don't respond well too. And reading from Bella's perspective is...awful. (Bella's not a very good character.)

      When the stories got turned into movies, they carried the same stigma, plus a lot of people think the movies are slow and dull. They're targeted towards a female audience as well (people always make fun of how often the men take their shirts off and the romance and whatnot.)

      It's all subjective, honestly. I don't really have a problem with the stories or the movies - I'm not that into them but also not against them. These are just things I've observed from the Twilight backlash.

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    6. On a personal level, Twilight frustrates me. There was so much in the books that could have been epic to me, but it felt like Stephenie was forcing her characters to do what she wanted and not what they wanted. She was forcing a happy ending when she'd set up for failure. She had so much potential that she never met.

      Plus, I read it a month into remission for TTP, I'd just had an intense learning curve on blood and there was so much wrong with the physiology of what she was putting. Like, two days in hospital and she's had five pints of blood donated? She'd still smell funky to Edward. Blood takes ten days to break down and be renewed.

      Also, don't people with an extra chromosome tend to have Downs Syndrome? And yet that's what Meyer attributes to the Werewolves and Renesmee ... smooth, Meyer!

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    7. I haven't read that link yet- but I plan to next. I am almost done reading the last bok of the Twilight series right now. For a long time had avoided it because all the "serious" women I knew were so against it.

      But reading all these recaps and knowing there's no way Twilight could be as bad as 50 Shades, I finally decided what the hell. I'd read the first book, and if it sucked I'd stop. Well, clearly I didn't think it sucked. I really liked it.
      Is it perfect? No. But most writing has flaws.

      I'm relieved to finally know what I'm talking about with Twilight, too. Before, I'd just kind of go "yeah!" to anybody talking about it, good or bad, and just pretend I agreed. I hate doing that. I feel so fake. But I'm awkward in social situations, so, yeah.

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    8. Warning: Twilight spoilers below.

      Edward breaks into Bella's room without her knowledge to watch her sleep before they have a relationship, or he even has any indication that she likes him. He does it repeatedly, and in the leaked version of Midnight Sun we find out he actually oiled her bedroom window's hinges in order to sneak into her room better.

      Later, when they date, and he disapproves of her friendship with Jacob, he has her kidnapped and held hostage by his family and disables her truck so she won't be able to see Jacob.*

      So, just off the top of my head, we have stalking and isolating her/controlling who she can and cannot see. Both classic abuser moves, both things Christian also does. So yeah, I can see plenty resemblance.

      That's not even going into some of the other deeply troubling issues with Twilight, such as:

      - The whole "werewolves imprinting" thing, and the way the question of the imprinted-upon partner's consent is blithely handwaved away by saying "oh, but the werewolf will love his intended so much, he will treat her like the center of his universe and do everything for her, so what else can she want? Of course she will love him back!" Which is some utter Nice Guy logic right here. If you treat a woman nicely enough, she will inevitably owe you love/sex/a romantic relationship.

      - Adult men imprinting onto 2-year-olds. Onto newborns. And then fawning over the child obsessively until the girl is old enough to "take the relationship to the next level". How does that not sound like a pedophile grooming a target? Shudder.

      - Women being absolutely defined by whether they bear children. Rosalie cannot have babies and she is forever embittered and psychologically destroyed by that fact; Leah is infertile and considers herself a "freak" and a "genetic dead end" and "good for nothing else". Bella, on the other hand, starts out with no intentions of having children, opposed to getting married too young, and plans for college... and then when she meets "the right guy", she gets married at 18, forgets about college, and gets pregnant (and has a baby!) on her honeymoon. And of course this is what makes her truly happy.

      - I could keep going...

      Yeah, Twilight may not be as bad as 50 Shades, but it's plenty bad still.

      -------
      *His excuse is that he's worried about her safety, which would still not be okay even if that was the truth (seriously, he breaks her car to control who she can and cannot see, I just can't get over that), but it is obvious BS. You're worried about her safety when she's around a supernatural creature who has so far not harmed her at all, so you have her held hostage in a household where she has actually been attacked by a dangerous supernatural creature before (remember the Jasper attack)? Right. Jealousy and need for control had nothing to do with it, I'm sure. Hey, does "I have a list of people you're not allowed to see because I'm so worried about your safety" sound a bit like... some character we've been reading about in these recaps?

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    9. I have to agree that Twilight is still really bad.
      Thing is, Edward admits that he is jealous of Jacob so that whole 'I was protecting you' excuse doesn't wash. The stalking is psychotic behavior that you can't put down to him being a vampire- he knows that it is wrong but chooses to do it anyway. Edward, like Christian, constantly makes important decisions for Bella and exerts complete control over their sex life.
      The werewolf/ child-grooming thing is absolutely disgusting and, for all the creepy infantilization of Ana, Fifty Shades at least points out how fucked up Christians relationship with Mrs Robinson was.
      And I do think Twilight is very misogynistic. Bella's life revolves around Edward- she gives up literally everything to be with him. The other women are split into two groups: women who love Bella- good; women who hate Bella (usually due to jealousy)- bad. As for the 'good' female characters- Esme is just there to be a mother, Alice is incredibly superficial even though we're made to believe Rosalie is, Angela seems ok but Bella pretty much uses her when its convenient. Both Fifty Shades and Twilight tell us 'that woman is a bitch' rather than, you know, letting us make our own decision about the character.
      And there is so much blonde hatred in the books- there's a scene in Breaking Dawn where Jacob keeps making these jokes about how stupid blondes are to Rosalie, which had me rooting for Rosalie to kick his ass.

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    10. Yes, I agree, the whole werewolf imprinting thing had me so weirded out, I actually stopped at random points in my day and thought back to it, "No... just, no, wtf?" But then again, it's a supernatural book, Jacob doesn't age, Renesmee will age until she's a young adult and then stop. He won't feel anything sexual for her, until she wants him too, that's the rule of imprinting "he'll be whatever she wants him to be". If Renesmee is like "I just like you as a friend", then he'll just be her friend and be happy with that. But it's something that only happens between soulmates, so why wouldn't she fall for him?

      did not know about a leaked version of a book, I shall check that one out! It would seem weird to me that a vampire needs to oil hinges to get in :s but okay, lol.

      As for keeping her away from Jacob, he admitted he did it because he was jealous. Also, Jacob could have hurt Bella. Sam loved his partner too, and he still hurt her on accident, there was no ill will there so it could have happened to Bella/Jacob easily too. Later he lets Bella spend time with Jacob because that's what's best for Bella. So Edward does care for Bella's well being, as not just his own (like Christian).

      Also, Edward is vampire...and even if you think not everything can be rationalized by Edward being a vampire...he's a hundred years old, he was born in a time where women were viewed differently. It's part of how he was raised.

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    11. I was also weirded out by the imprinting thing. See, the thing is, Jacob imprinting on Renesmeee IS sexual. It's even said in the book that they imprint on their mates, which makes it pedophilia.

      In biology, there are two types of imprinting: filial (baby-mother) and sexual (mates). Meyer's books are full of holes in logic and biology (ie. Edward couldn't have had an erection or produced semen according to Meyer's descriptions of her vampires), so you could argue that Twilight actually takes place in an alternate universe where those things can happen. But still.

      If she really wanted to have Jacob lose interest in Bella, she could have simply made him grow as a character. If she wanted him to have a mate, she could have written a epilogue where he imprints on Renesmee when she's an adult and has mutual feelings for him. Jacob imprinting on a baby, aside from being disgusting, is lazy writing.

      I like to look at Meyer's books as a what-not-to-do lesson, which unfortunately teen girls probably don't see. I thought the books were actually really good at capturing what it's like to fall in love for the first time when you're young. The thing is, even if you feel like you need to give up everything to be with someone... you shouldn't. That's where the books really fail to send a message.

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  28. Time for a patented E.L. James Grammar Moment (I'm assuming this is not a typo, feel free to correct me on that):

    ". . . an airy, light room . . ."

    What the fuck does that mean, "light room?" Did they weigh the room? Are they talking about the pale paint on the walls? It's "light-filled." E.L. should know this, as someone who belabors the light/dark theme to grim death.

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    Replies
    1. "Bright room" could have also worked.

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  29. I think it's hilarious (in that sad, frustrating kind of way) how Christian thinks the conversation with the detective is between himself and the detective, not between the detective and Ana. (Sorry, awkward sentence.)

    "And I don't see why we couldn't have done this over the phone."

    Dude, if that had been the case, he would have been talking just to Ana. (Which perhaps would have been a good idea.) I mean, holy Jesus, he acts as if ANA is the one who's graciously allowed to participate in the conversation, when actually he is the one who needed permission.

    "Anything you wish to say to my wife, you can say in front of me."

    Yeah no. Ana should be saying this, not Christian. This sort of scene is a cliché, but at least it usually serves to confirm the trust between the two persons. This does the exact opposite thing: Christian must have total control over Ana, and the second she knows something he doesn't, he punishes her.

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    1. A good writer would follow this up with the detective calling his Seattle friends to investigate Christian ...

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  30. Did anyone else get grossed out by Dr. Greene doing the pregnancy test on her desk? Ususally tests are done in a lab and involve gloves and sanatary conditions. The whole, Ana brings a cup of her pee to the doctor's desk and then the doctor puts a stick in it, just, just gross.
    Also, Jenny you're awesome and I love your recaps. If you need help to get through the last chapters, you could use Jack and Karen again or maybe Hannibal and Will.

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    1. That's actually pretty much how my pregnancy test went - sent out to pee in a cup, brought it to the doctor who dipped a stick in it. This is in the UK though, is it different in America?

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    2. May depend on your doctor, but yes, doctors in the US do it that way, too. It's also the way they check for ketones when you have terrible, awful morning sickness. James wasn't so off on this one.

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    3. Usually at my doctor's office they do tests like that in the lab area. Maybe, it's a Nevada thing.

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  31. My friend just sent me this .gif with the caption, "New 50 Shades of Grey Novel In The Works" and I had to post it here.
    http://i.imgur.com/uSxUVVK.gif

    Thought you might enjoy it!

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    Replies
    1. OMG BLACK BOOKS I LOVE YOUR FRIEND I AM GOING TO MARRY HER

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  32. Imagine - after you finish recapping the behemoth you'll have more time for Buffy and your own books:-)

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  33. Although I still don't like Twilight, I think that Fifty Shades makes it look like a masterpiece.
    Found this pretty funny video of Stephenie Meyer pitching Twilight to a publisher (wish there was a fifty shades one!):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X71ohiAZ-mo

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  34. I don't know which is better...these brilliant recaps, or the comments below.

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  35. It's only taken me almost three books to figure this out--all these blonde chicks that Annabelle has such issues with are really Fembots! She is Jamie Somers and Chedward is Steve Austin. Now I am just waiting for the chapter where they all meet up and the Fembots have "smoke come out of their jumblies." Oh behave!!

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  36. "Captain Fucko" made me giggle right out loud.

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  38. I was in a horrible car wreck and didn't have head trauma and even then they kept me in ICU for 2 weeks and after then they still wouldn't move me out to the hospital for another to weeks to an aftercare center. I did break a lot of bones and my back, collapsed a lung, and got a bit of a hit on the noggin but I have a solid head so I am fortunate.

    Even when I ended up in the aftercare center they had my surgeon come to me (it was owned by the same hospital that I ended up in) for the first two weeks to check my progress in healing. I didn't start getting transported back to the hospital for check ups until then.
    The idea that they'd move Charlie without his consent and after such a horrible wreck made me so annoyed. I vaguely remember being consulted about my medical choices after I woke up in the ICU and if I wasn't comfortable moving they would have kept me there. If my boyfriend came in and told me it was too inconvenient to visit me in that hospital and wanted to move me, I'd be single now. As it was he traveled an hour to see me every day despite working 60 hour weeks, even though I begged him to just get some rest (I fell asleep at the wheel and am now paranoid about everyone driving while tired).

    I keep working on my book but the storyline features a strong female lead, although I'll be using my nickname as my pen name which is androgynous, but when I read books like this I wonder if there is an audience for a strong female character is intelligent. The book is a bit heavy on the science because I always wanted to write something that girls could read and realize that it is okay to love science and math (I was raised with the "girls are bad at math and science" mentality). Granted my writing is not as good as my knowledge of physics and my grammar is terrible I do feel a bit comforted that it could be much, much worse. I suppose if I insist that someone properly edits my book if it happens to work out, then I won't have to worry so much about it.

    On a positive note, the more I read about these books the more I'm inspired to write so I can combat this stupidity and I'm notorious for my lack of productivity on my personal projects.

    ReplyDelete
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