2014 Sex Scene Championships: Round Twenty-one and Twenty-two (adult content)

Moving along! Here are the next set of excerpts for our intrepid readers.

Round Twenty-one has Sami Lee squaring off against Sidney Bristol.

Snippet 1: M/F power games and fast sex against a wall.

Snippet 2: M/F bondage, multiple orgasms, and a female sub flying high on more than rope suspension.


Round Twenty-two features Tonya Burrows vs Diane Albert (pen name of Jen McLaughlin)

Snippet 1: M/F everything she wants, the moment she says his name…

Snippet 2: M/F the handcuffs keep her there, but he’s the one trapped in pleasure.



2014 Sex Scene Championships: winners of Rounds Eleven through Fourteen

The winner of round 11 is Amber Belldene! Massive thanks to Katriena Knight  for joining in

The winner of round 12 is Lexxie Couper! Massive thanks to J.Hali Steele  for joining in.

Round 38 (on the 29th August) will feature these two authors.


The winner of round 13 is Holley Trent! Massive thanks to Jeffe Kennedy for joining in.

The winner of round 14 is Kelly Jamieson! Massive thanks to Jess Dee for joining in.

Round 35 (on the 27th August) will feature these two authors.

2014 Sex Scene Championship: Round 19.2 and 20 (adult content)

(Housekeeping note: we’ve maybe had some numbering errors on the main site – no round 17 – so expect some tag and heading changes in the next few days. Until then…)

Round 19.2 (see above note) is Gail Bridges vs Kacey Hammell.

Snippet 1: (M/F) an illicit meeting, footsies, and magic – foreplay is just the start of this adventure.

Snippet 1: (M/F) …and sometimes neither party needs foreplay at all.


Round 20 puts me, Crane Hana, against the formidable Vivian Arend. Hope you enjoy!

Snippet 1 (from my debut novel Moro’s Price): M/M anal, and mind control broken in the most basic and enjoyable way.

Snippet 2: (M/F) a day’s unrequited lust, female masturbation, and sex up against a car.

2014 Sex Scene Championship: Round Eighteen and Nineteen (adult content)

Wow, this tournament is moving along! Today’s contestants are a talented bunch, so it’s going to be difficult to choose.

Round Eighteen is between Amanda Usen and Blaine D. Arden

Snippet 1: want a dynamite combo? Try wicked humor in contemporary M/F foreplay.

Snippet 2: in a nuanced fantasy setting, M/M foreplay takes on a sweetly desperate tone with bondage and weaponry.


Round Nineteen pits Joely Sue Burkhart vs the deadly duo of Shari Slade & Amber Lin

Snippet 1: (M/F) a strong, confident Domme takes down a powerful male sub with bondage and denial, proving again that sexual tension can be as effective as many actual sex scenes.

Snippet 2: (M/F) a jaded male rock star, a mousy female preschool teacher, and a one-way window high above the city – who is on display, and who holds the real power?


Quick reminder to anyone following along: my entry will be up tomorrow, Tuesday August 19. I’ll have a M/M scene familiar only to those who have already read Moro’s Price; I haven’t used it in any of my Love Romances Cafe promos or here on the Blue Night blog.

Why I hate ‘The Giver’ (adult language)

Okay, I don’t ‘hate’ Lois Lowry’s famous children’s novel.

I loathe it. I’m disappointed by it. I’m extremely irked by it, and what it has said about ‘mainstream’ Middle-Grade and YA writing for over 20 years.*

I am too old to have suffered through it in my own school years, but I had the opportunity to read it seven years ago, when it was on the curriculum of a friend’s private school. I’d of course heard about it for years: it was ‘groundbreaking’, ‘compelling’, ‘controversial’. Schools were either lining up to ban it for (gasp!) sexual references, or celebrating it as an absolutely necessary socially-relevant rite of passage for all students.

Since the book is less than 200 pages, that was about an hour’s effort for me at cruising speed.

My first thoughts on reaching the final page? I felt sorry for the kids who had to read this drivel. Where was the goddamn ending? Oooo, ambiguous ending, how literary and philosophical – not.

Or the worldbuilding? Some critics say you can’t create a rich setting and backstory in a short book for pre-teens and teens, but nope, other authors did just fine in books just as compact. I’ve already read this plot or seen it in numerous forms, all of them better-done than Lowry’s book.

Try ‘Pleasantville‘, for one. Or Jeanne DuPrau’s ‘City of Ember‘ books, which attempted worldbuilding on a far better scale.

Going wide from Lowry’s plot, into general coming-of-age stories, here are some great examples. I’ve said before that Patricia McKillip’s ‘The Changeling Sea‘ is probably one of the finest YA fantasy novels I’ve ever read, for emotional portrayals of a girl weathering both grief and magical upheavals. Or the late Kage Baker’s magnifcent, gentle YA story ‘The Bird of the River‘ – the story of a teenage girl discovering her aptitudes in a vividly-detailed fantasy world, with recognizable real-world problems and triumphs. Terry Pratchett is one of the masters of doing this sneakily, and well. His YA ‘Tiffany Aching‘ books are worlds better than Lowry’s. They actually teach worthwhile messages while giving us characters and settings we adore.

That ‘The Giver’ is meant for children is no excuse. Yes, there are vocabulary and cognitive thresholds present in stages of childhood development, and great books for those age ranges take such thresholds into account. Pre-teen to teen readers should have a better awareness of story and theme, and enough exposure to better examples to call their own private bullshit on Lowry’s supporters.

I’m not a huge fan of dystopias in general, since I find most of them one-dimensional, illogical, and depressing. There’s a belief in YA publishing that holds ‘YA readers love dystopias because most teenagers can identify with such dramatic high-stakes worlds.’ Okay, maybe. But give them better books, please. ‘The Hunger Games’ has giant plot holes. The ‘Divergent’ series, often believed to be HG 2.0, is objectively even worse. ‘The Giver’ falls back to the root of that trend, I suspect: excusing any level of technical mediocrity because of the important message or teenage affinity codes within such books.

Fuck that. Authors: if you’re going to plaster a message in your book, kid’s or adult’s, look toward Baker and Pratchett for great examples. Wrap it up in the story and let your readers find it on their own. Don’t hit them over the head with it, screaming ‘Behold my glorious message!’ I’m an old fart, but largely forgiving when it comes to hot plot messes. Millennial and younger readers are nowhere near as kind; what they do in social media when they scent incompetent and dishonest blood in the water? Makes Shark Week look like Disneyland.

Most of all I’m angry with the branding on ‘The Giver’. This isn’t very good science fiction or fantasy; it barely qualifies for them at all. It’s written by someone who appears to have no grounding in classic SFF, mythology, folklore, or even halfway solid anthropology. It’s equally obviously written by someone who consciously set out to write A Very Important Book, and managed to convince other people to accept it as such.

It’s also an able-ist slam against Actual People who are Actually Colorblind. I would know, since one of my best friends has no color perception at all, and is hardly the meek and dull human described in ‘The Giver!

Rather than go into a exhaustive post detailing my observations, I’m linking to this review, which covers most of my major issues.

That this book gets a movie? I’m not that surprised, given Hollywood’s love affair with YA dystopian fiction right now. After ‘Ender’s Game’, ‘The Giver’ couldn’t have been that far away.

*I have even incorporated ‘The Giver’ in my list of books/movies/themes/philosophies I use to sound out potential friends and/or business colleagues. There were SFF literary agents I never bothered querying, for example, because they insisted they loved this book, which told me enough about their experience with SFF.


2014 Sex Scene Championships: Rounds Fifteen and Sixteen (you guessed it – adult content!)

Step right up, folks: Round Fifteen opens with Danni Price’s M/F sizzling reunion in a truck, against Misa Buckley’s M/F lovers discovering more than just pleasure.

Round Sixteen is all about opening moves: Lisa Fox gives us some serious M/F foreplay, while Lucy Felthouse’s female protagonist discovers what oral and anal can be like from lovers who aren’t selfish jerks (M/F/M).

Read. Vote. Because, prizes. Check out author’s homepages, buy links, and Amazon page and Goodreads pages, if you liked what you read. We’re mostly doing this not to ‘win’ anything, but to have a fun standoff against each other, and promote the heck out of everyone’s books. <Eyebrow waggle> Is it working? Hmm?

2014 Sex Scene Championship: Winners of Rounds Seven – Ten

I’m a bit late in posting this (sleep-in Sunday!) but I wandered in here eventually.

We have the winner of rounds 7 – 10 from the 2014 Sex Scene Championships, right here.


The winner of round seven is Tessa Bailey! Massive thanks to Kit Rocha for joining in (and filling in last minute!)

The winner of round eight is Ambrielle Kirk! Massive thanks to Ayla Ruse for joining in.

Round 36 (on the 27th August) will feature these two authors.


The winner of round nine is Laura Kaye! Massive thanks to Anne Kane for joining in.

The winner of round six is Scarlet Day! Massive thanks to Anne Kane for joining in.

Round 37 (on the 28th August) will feature these two authors.


2014 Sex Scene Championship: Round Thirteen and Fourteen (adult content!)

Yes, there are adult warnings. Heed them. You know something’s hot when even my summaries need warnings!

Four very steamy links today from four very talented writers, over at the Sex Scene Championship page at Scorching Book Reviews.

Round Thirteen pits Holley Trent against Jeffe Kennedy.

Snippet 1: a searing M/F/M double-penetration scene shows the most fundamental of threeways. Love and trust? Extra bonus points.

Snippet 2: M/F bondage, an experienced and pushy male sub, and a new Domme just learning her power.


Round Fourteen engages Jess Dee against Kelly Jamieson.

Snippet 1: M/F mutual masturbation as a worthy act in itself, not mere foreplay.

Snippet 2: a M/M/F menage with a lot of emotion amid the physical acts, and where the guys are not just focused on the woman.


And now for the ranty portion of today’s broadcast.

I use many benchmarks to rate erotic romance publishers to read/write for.

One big factor is their insistence upon (or lack thereof) M/F/M stories where the males may *only* interact with the female partner, and never with each other. That’s fine if the characters decree it so – I may be going there with a story of my own later. But when it becomes a publisher’s firm guideline, as if somehow avoiding all that ‘creepy gay stuff’ that their sheltered het readers can’t stand?

I call bullshit. I find it a cowardly cop-out, and a dismissal of the fluidity of well-depicted bisexual relationships. I wonder how many of those staunchly ‘heterosexual only’ readers are secretly imagining the guys on the page getting closer to each other. It also reflects badly on the female character in the middle: is she so needy that she has to be the center of attention *all the time*? By extrapolation, does that describe her most passionate readers, as well?

Let everyone play, I say.

It’s the same reason I tend to cringe away from M/M publishers, writers, and readers who make their female characters into total bitches, or who won’t allow anyone but a side character to have a current, on-page M/F relationship. I understand building a safe zone for M/M publishing, since the het romance crowd has been so virulently anti-gay over the years. But fiction can be as messy as real life, and some relationships are not as harshly defined.

I treasure publishers, writers, and readers who honestly understand that.

2014 Sex Scene Championships: Round Eleven and Round Twelve (adult content!)

Quick drive-by from me, as I’m in the middle of some rare and precious revision time (the Singer novella is now at 43K and counting, and I still have great scenes to add: the black harp, more tension between E and H, a handsome male earthwitch in a cave, more backstory. This may end up being big enough for a real novel.)

Here are the next rounds of the sex scene tournament, for fun. And research. But mostly fun. Follow the links to Scorching Book Reviews to read and vote. (Pssst. There are prizes.)


Sex Scene Championship Round 11 : Amber Belldene vs Katriena Knight

Amber Belldene: afterglow with a vampire has unexpected consequences (M/F).

Katriena Knight’s excerpt: what’s better than M/M vampire hockey players*? Two of them, indulging in oral and some good old fashioned friction.


Sex Scene Championship Round 12 : Lexxie Couper vs J.Hali Steele

Lexxie Cooper brings us a hot little M/F scene about power games in a limo, orgasm denial, and the thrill of discovery.

J. Hali Steele plays with M/F wingsex, for those of you who might have thought Sharon Shinn’s ‘Samaria’ books were a little on the tame side…

* I’m sorry. I’m still contemplating the incredible visual impression of ‘M/M vampire hockey players’, and remembering a Tumblr image that I am not, no way, not happening, not linking to right now. But I will selfishly go look again, and yeah, wow.

2014 Sex Scene Championships: winners of Rounds Three – Six

Wow, things are really heating up over at Scorching Book Reviews. We’re already up to announcing the winners of rounds 3 through 6:

The winner of round three is Leela Lou Dahlin! Massive thanks to Gina Gordon  for joining in!

The winner of round five is Regina Kammer! Massive thanks to Dakota Trace for joining in!

Round 34 (on the 26th August) will feature these two authors.


The winner of round four is Jack L. Pyke! Massive thanks to Mina Kelly for joining in!

The winner of round six is Jade Lee writing as Kathy Lyons! Massive thanks to Beth Matthews for joining in!

Round 35 (on the 27th August) will feature these two authors.




2014 Sex Scene Championships: Round Nine and Round Ten (adult content warnings, duh)

Advancing along the championship roster, Round Nine features authors Laura Kaye and Ann Kane squaring off in two M/F excerpts. Snippet 1: love sneaks in during raw pleasure. Snippet 2: a wild reunion and bittersweet plans.

Round Ten has Renee Luke’s sizzling M/F sexual power plays against Scarlet Day’s M/F/M menage, in which having an audience changes everything for a sub learning her power.


An aside, not about this tournament specifically: writing challenges this big are great resources for writers and readers, as I mentioned yesterday. We readers not only get to browse parts of a book that might not be in the regular online vendor listings, we get to see what the authors can do within the very broad categories of sex scenes. Spicy? Searing? Funny? Tender? Three-ring-circus? All of the above?

Since this is my blog, I’m going to add: we writers can use contests and group-theme features like this to scope out publishers and other authors, too. Does the sample show great editing and formatting? Did the story need developmental editing before it was released into the wild? How about the cover? If this is a self-published author, did they do a professional job on it? Is the story – and the sex – fresh and exciting, or formulaic and confusing? Is this a writer we’d love to collaborate with in the future, or are we better off staying solo in this case?

As a recreational reader, I either like the story or I don’t. I’m only going to analyze my reaction if the story is just good enough to merit it. Otherwise I won’t finish reading, or I’ll forget about it minutes after reading the last page. When I’m in writing or beta-reading mode, I can’t avoid making those judgments, heartbreaking as they may be. Nearly everyone’s writing comes out of serious effort – that still doesn’t make all of it a worthy read, or even wank material.


Now back to our regularly scheduled smut.

2014 Sex Scene Championships: Winners of Round One, Round Two

The votes are in: the winner of the Round One bracket is Samantha Ann King. Round Two’s winner is Cris Anson. These two fine writers will square off during Round 33 on the 26th of August, 2014.

Tournament brackets can be seen here in the initial lineup post.

2014 Sex Scene Championships: Round Seven and Round Eight

In another writing forum, someone asked more or less: ‘How can I write strong sex scenes without turning everything into Twister: the Adult Version’?

I’m a big fan of letting emotion and the character’s internal reactions drive everything, more than just a ‘insert Tab A into Slot B’ sex scene. But everyone has different likes and dislikes…so I was really glad to direct the questioner to Scorching Reviews and the current championship. It’s homework and research, really. See how other authors wrote hot, hot scenes that actually got published…

Yeah, right, it’s just homework.

Swing by for today’s lessons at Round Seven: Tessa Bailey vs Kit Rocha. Snippet 1: (M/F) one woman’s illicit fantasy becomes daring reality. Snippet 2: (M/F) slow and intense hits the spot.

Then try Round Eight: Ayla Ruse vs Ambrielle Kirk. Snippet 1: spicy drinks and semi-public pleasure heat up a M/F/M futuristic menage. Snippet 2: (M/F) turnabout is fair play.

Remember, you have 48 hours to judge entries from the time they’re posted over at Scorching Book Reviews. So take your time, re-read, go check out the authors’ buy links and other work. Then make sure you vote.

You’ll get up to three chances per entry to win the ‘Carnelian Spice’ necklace or a whole bunch of other prizes, just for playing along and making this championship a major blog event.

carnelian nest necklace 8-10-2014

Last Chance Tattoo, by Karenna Colcroft

My fellow AbsoluteWrite author Karenna Colcroft has a new book out today from Loose Id: Last Chance Tattoo. With a cover from the multi-talented Fiona Jayde.


I’ll let Karenna explain this book, in her own words:

“This past spring, I took a trip to Ludington, Michigan to visit a friend. I had never heard of the town until my friend told me his job had sent him there for a couple of months, so I did some online research before I flew out to see him.

The research didn’t prepare me for the small town on the shore of Lake Michigan. I can’t describe the place well enough to do it justice. The downtown area is neatly laid out, a mix of stores and restaurants for the locals and the tourists who flock to town during the summer to take advantage of the ferry to Wisconsin. The atmosphere of the place just felt calm. I knew I had to set at least one story there.

The first of the stories I have planned that take place in Ludington is Last Chance Tattoo, which I wrote for Loose Id’s Homecoming submissions call. Ludington just felt like a place someone might go home to. And a place that someone who’s lived in a big city—like Boston, my home—for several years might struggle with a bit, even if they were from Ludington originally.

Last Chance Tattoo is now available from Loose Id, http://www.loose-id.com/last-chance-tattoo.html.

You can find out more about me and my books on my website, http://www.karennacolcroft.com.

Last Chance Tattoo blurb:

After “failing” to make a life and a drag career in Boston, Rad Morris has returned home to Ludington, Michigan, where his primary goal is to avoid his disapproving family. Only his grandmother accepts him, and Rad feels guilty for taking her support and money. Tattoo artist Dorsey Bellamy moved to Ludington three years ago after the death of his lover in a gay-bashing gone too far. Until Dorsey meets Rad, he keeps to himself, but something about Rad catches Dorsey’s attention. They form a friendship, which soon turns sexual, and then emotions enter the picture. But after confrontations with family members, Rad wants to leave town again, and Dorsey can only try to persuade him to stay.”

2014 Sex Scene Championships, Round Five and Round Six

Sizzling away on Day Three of the Championships, we have Round Five: Dakota Trace Vs Regina Kammer.

Followed by Round Six: Beth Matthews Vs Jade Lee writing as Kathy Lyons.

All four excerpts are M/F today. Go. Read. Judge.

Then wander back here for some other fun promo stuff not related to the contest.

CreateSpace and Chernobyl

If you look in the right places, you’ll see the internet simmering this week over many different cases of plagiarism brought to light. Some of it is mind-boggling. Some is just pathetic.

Wait, didn’t I write this post last year? Yes, something similar. This may become an annual thing.

Amazon’s Kindle and CreateSpace may have been the best inventions in the world for self-published authors. (I may try to join the ranks of the self-published sometime soon, so I understand this very well.) But that same free, easy publishing (plus relatively high ebook royalty rates) has spurred a rash of brazen plagiarism and unethical, if original, for-profit writing.

Kindle and CreateSpace are to publishing as nuclear power is to the world’s energy future: incredibly useful if managed responsibly, but chronically lethal if not. Kindle and CreateSpace can be the California Gold Rush for some self-published authors. They can become Chernobyl for others.

Amazon does not tend to police uploaded work for plagiarism issues, only the more-sensationalized problems of outright pornography, child abuse, and extreme violence. (And even in those territories, Amazon seems to apply widely-varying standards.) It’s not Amazon’s core function to police intellectual property theft. The logistics alone are insane.

This is where the internet, search technology, and networks of authors and readers come in very handy – on both sides of the battle. Some estate/trust copyright holders are thrashing it out long after the contested works should have gone into public domain. Some living copyright holders are just now discovering their work has been stolen. Some plagiarists fall back on sympathy ploys or bizarre excuses. Some make return attacks, or escalate to criminal threats.

I am an unrepentant fan fiction writer. I draw the line at selling it in unchanged form (and frankly, most fan fiction can’t survive separation from the framing stories that inspired it).

Likewise, I can’t see the point in trying to pass off someone else’s unattributed original work as my own. The ease of research now makes that pure folly. I can copy and store any text, then compare it with online databases to see if anything matches. Public schools and universities are using more sophisticated versions of the same search technology to spot pirated term papers and other required assignments.

So anyone doing this, repeatedly and openly? Has to be young, or stupid, or obsessed with self-validation to a dangerous degree, or possibly all three. There are darker reasons, but I have good reason not to air them in public.

The world is very big and very connected. Similarities eventually get noticed.

Some writers plagiarize because they think that’s the only way they can build a huge backlist quickly enough to draw in maximum profits. (Their Amazon sales ranks usually tell the opposite story of steep drops in rank after publication, instead of the steady pulse of real word-of-mouth advertising.) They’re counting on sympathetic, credulous readers who will rise to defend them against any perceived attacker. When the plagiarist pirates images or text from a company known for aggressive intellectual property management, shit gets real. Expensive lawsuits happen, families are shocked, lives are ruined, and reputations are shattered.

The secret here is not – as I’ve begun to see in Twitter posts – ‘Don’t Get Caught!’

Don’t start plagiarizing for profit.

2014 Sex Scene Championships, Round Three and Round Four (adult content advisory)

Things are heating up!

Today’s links take us to Round Three: Gina Gordon vs Leela Lou Dahlin, and Round Four: Mina Kelly vs Jack L.Pyke

These are an interesting mix: kitchen implements in M/F foreplay, M/F exhibitionism, zero-G male/male lovemaking, and a stark reminder that M/M sexual tension can be every bit as hot as the act itself.


2014 Sex Scene Championships, Round One and Round Two (adult content advisory)

(Warning: the following links lead to the Scorching Book Reviews blog, and graphic adult sex scenes. If you don’t want to read them, if you are underage, or if you live in a place/culture/family where you are not allowed to read them…don’t follow the link. Simple, yes?)

For the rest of us, the Championships are open. They work this way: every day, Nix at Scorching Book Reviews will be showcasing four different steamy excerpts from published erotic romance novels. These excerpts will be every variety from M/F, M/M, F/F, and menage scenes. If there’s a grouping you don’t like, feel free to skip it. If you want to play along as a reader, read and judge each pair of excerpts (#1 or #2). You can earn extra entries by tweeting the contest, and through the contest’a Facebook page. You’ll have 48 hours to vote on each round. Winning entries will be drawn at the end of the Championship.

If you like what you read, check out the individual author’s websites and buy links!

Four great M/F snippets start out the championship:

Round One: Samantha Ann King vs. Jocelyn Dex.

Round Two: Sarah M. Anderson vs. Cris Anson

carnelian nest necklace 8-10-2014As promised, I’m throwing a 20″ (51 cm) knotted gemstone bead necklace into the prize pool.

This one is ‘Carnelian Spice’: red-orange carnelian, red jasper, smoky quartz, and multicolored agate beads are hand-knotted onto eight strands of brown waxed saddle-grade polyester thread, secured with a red agate disc toggle closure, and accented by a long beaded tassel.

The necklace can be worn several ways: with the tassel in front, to either side, down the back (think backless dress!), or split open for a long Deco-style necklace with the tassel at near waist-level.

Enjoy the contest. Judge entries. Post comments, and I may be sending you this piece in early September (I can ship all over the world, wherever UPS or the mail goes).

2014 Sex Scene Championships T-1 day

Sex Scene championship bannerAdult content warning: for the next two weeks this blog will have daily links taking people to the Scorching Book Reviews website, where they will find some very short, very filthy excerpts squaring off for this year’s Sex Scene Championships.

There will be smut of all types. Be forewarned.

There will also probably be spirited voting, heckling, attempts at bribery, and shameless begging, if I know anything about writers competing with each other. It’s all in good (dirty) fun, and it’s a way for readers to get a taste of some very skilled erotic romance writers’ works. There will be prizes for comment posters (including books, gift cards, swag, and one necklace from yours truly.)

Here’s the overview page.

Nix at Scorching Book Reviews is doing a great job of lining up the entrants and the rules. Here’s how to play, from Nix:

‘Now, as you know the event starts on Sunday the 10th. There will be two contests running per day and all contests will have 48 hours voting rounds. All odd numbered rounds will go up at midnight GMT and all even will go up midday GMT. All polls will be run through rafflecopter. On a side note, I will not be asking anyone to follow/like the blog for this event; entries will be earned by voting (compulsory) and extras will be available for promoting the contest on social media or commenting on the post.
You have all been very generous. We have 50 eBooks to giveaway, 2 signed paperbacks, 2 INT paperbacks, 4 Gift Cards, a necklace, some pens and more swag to give away. Basically, I’m going to collate all the winners, use random generator to pick a top winner (who will get their choice of 8 prizes limited to one GC), a second place winner (who will get their choice of 5 prizes limited to one GC) and a third place winner (who will get their choice of 3 prizes limited to one GC). I will then randomly draw names until all the prizes are gone as this spreads the winners out and spreads the word on the books.’
I’m also lining up some other great content for this blog, including reviews of new books, pics of new artwork, and at least one or two of my rambling essays.