Wednesday, December 30, 2020

"That Scene" from Bridgerton

I've been having thoughts and so I'm writing them down. There's a lot of dicussion about 'that scene' from Bridgerton so it's almost impossible not to be having thoughts. 

Personally, I like to think of it as an AITA (Am I The Asshole) Reddit post and I keep coming up with the same answer - Equally the Asshole. Though... him more so. But because of her actions, equally. 

Let's start off as if she'd written to AITA - 


Dear AITA, 

Before my husband and I were married, he knew that my fondest wish, that my ONLY view of the future, was to have children. In fact, he initially refused to marry me because of this. Upon discovering his reason was that he cannot have children, I decided I loved him enough that I was willing to sacrifice that dream and marry him anyway. After all, he should not be punished for being incapable and we loved each other. 

It pained me immensely and it hurts as everyone asks about when we'll start our family, and the clear expectation that we will because they know what's what I've always wanted - as well as it being expected of me because of his need for an heir - but I keep his secret and my pain hidden away. It's no one's business but ours. 

After weeks of being married and becoming accustomed to the new future I had chosen, it felt like he began to pull away from me. We live out in the country now, away from all my friends and family, and are surrounded by his staff and people loyal to him. I am doing my best, but I keep making mistakes and a lot of them don't seem to like me very much. He's had less time to spend with me. 

Because of that, I was able to discover that he lied to me. It is not that he cannot have children. He has chosen not to. When I confronted him about it, he said he thought I loved him enough, that he would be enough for me. Am I the asshole?


At this point, I'm pretty sure people would screaming about that lying, gaslighting son of a bitch, and asking if she needed money to escape her situation. 

Now, add in her actions to the letter - 

It is not that he cannot have children. He has chosen not to. 

At first I could not believe it, so I pushed the issue and in the middle of love making, ensured that he finished inside me without protection. He's angry at me for taking his choice away from him. Am I the asshole?


Now, my reaction is "yeah, what you did was wrong, but I get it... and wtf he's mad at you taking his choice away? What about him taking YOUR choice away?! He married you under false pretenses!" 

Daphne never gets to make an informed choice about her future because Simon lied to her from the beginning. A lot of people are getting hung up on her taking his reproductive rights away from him, but he did it to her as well (and not saying it's right when EITHER of them does it, but just pointing out that they both made choices for each other and it's not all her doing it to him). 

Because of the time period - escape is not possible. 

In every way, HE has the power. 

Legally - she's his property and there's no way she'd be able to get a divorce on her own (literally)
Socially - he's a duke and far more powerful than her and her family. 
Financially - again, he's a duke and has lots of $$$$. 
Physically - I mean, especially in the tv show, like she's tiny. In the book I pictured her quite a bit more sturdy, honestly lol. 
Geographically - they're on his lands and far, far away from any meaningful support for her
Knowledge - he's the only one with a sex education AND he's also well aware of exactly how naive she is and he uses that against her

What if he wrote to AITA about the same situation? 


Dear AITA,

Before my wife and I were married, I initially refused to marry her because I knew the thing she wanted most in her future was children. I swore an oath to never have children, to spite my dead father who abused me since that was all he wanted, and so I told her I cannot have them. She chose to marry me anyway.

She knows almost nothing about sex and so it was very easy to keep from having sex that would result in pregnancy.

After weeks of being happily married, she figured out what I was doing and tricked me into having sex with her in a way that makes pregnancy possible. Now I'm fucking pissed at her because she stole my sperm without my consent. She's mad at me because she says I tricked her into marrying me. AITA?


I think the answer would be a resounding YES DUDE, but with many people saying "yeah, she also shouldn't have done that, but YES you're def an asshole." 

So, in summation - Daphne was lied to, tricked, and kept completely in the dark. She was removed from everything familiar to her, thrust into a living situation where she had very little support, and her days revolved around her husband who eventually began doing his own thing (understandable, but he doesn't do much to help her settle in or advise her so she doesn't make missteps). She found out she'd been married under false pretenses, having never been able to make an informed choice about her future, and that her husband used her ignorance against her. 

Does that make what she did right? 

Of course not.  (At least not by modern standards.)

But do I understand why girl went off her rocker even if I don't approve of it? 


And I would be a lot more gentle with her than I would with him if they were friends coming to me for advice. He would get a lot of yelling about how he's a stupid, selfish asshole and he needs to make it up to her somehow. She would get gentle "Your feelings are absolutely valid, he's a stupid selfish asshole... but you do know you shouldn't have done that last thing, right? I mean, I get why it happened, but you shouldn't have done it."

As for "Well, what if he forced her to take his sperm and she didn't want it?" 

I don't know that a case can be made for a fair turnabout. In both situations, no matter who is doing it, because of the time period, their respective social standings, and geography, he is always the one with all the power in every way. So if he did it to her, yeah I'd feel differently about it than I do about her doing it to him, unless ALL of that context was removed and altered so that she was the one with all the power. In which case, if he was a naive, powerless, spouse who had been lied to, tricked, and had their dream broken, yeah, I'd be pretty sympathetic to him. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

The 2020 Wrap Up

Oh man. This year has been a whirlwind. I looked back at my post from January with all my hopes and goals for the year and felt a little bit like I was looking at the words of a stranger. Granted, I do recognize myself in it, because some of that relentlessly, determinedly positive person is still here within me, but I also feel some sadness because life veered so far away from expectation. 

Still, as the relentelessly, determinedly positive person that still resides in my heart, I do have to look at the good things. Those are always the things I like to focus on at the end of the year. And there have been good things this year. 

Did I hit every goal? Nope. Big nope. It was a second year of not getting my new series started. 

I did start writing Bondage Buddies, the first book in the Master of Marquis series back in February and became completely derailed by the pandemic. After about two weeks of trying to force myself to write it, and only being able to produce one chapter, I finally bowed to the realization that I was not going to be able to write it. Definitely not on the schedule I'd written out for myself. 

In fact I was so behind that I ended up jumping straight past several of my plans and digging straight into The Lady for the Dirty Heroes Collection. Which... doing that project may or may not have been a great move for Golden Angel. At the time I'd thought about writing it as Sinistre Ange and I do wish I'd held a little tighter to that thought. 

One thing I can say about 2020 is that it has been a year full of learning for me. Not just learning about myself, though that too, but also a lot of learning about authoring (as opposed to writing) and making decisions for my books and my pen names. I don't want to get too deep into that because I should save some of it for when I do my blog post about my hopes and goals for 2021, but suffice to say The Lady may eventually be moving to becoming a Sinistre Ange title and I am shifting away from writing any Kindle Unlimited books as Golden Angel. Though Sinistre Ange will continue to do so. I wish I had given her a little more love this year and not just packed her into the end. 

Ack. Speaking of packing in. Once I got over the hump of Bondage Buddies, I really did pack it in. So much. 

Partly because of the big goal for 2020 that I did hit - becoming a full time author. For which I am so, so very grateful. Seriously. It is the best thing that's ever happened to me professionally and I am so much happier for it. Being able to concentrate on writing and getting books out is amazing. 

However - back to that learning thing - if being a full time author for half a year now has taught me anything, it's that I still can't write quite as fast as I wish I could. Sometimes I can! I really can! Their Harlot Bride took me 3 weeks to write. Everything came together perfectly for it. I had the enthusiasm, life wasn't too crazy, my anxiety was feeling pretty good, etc. I thought If I can keep this pace up, I'll be golden (heh heh, pun intended).

But of course, I could not keep the pace up. Life intervenes. Sometimes the baby doesn't sleep through the night and that means neither do I (I'm a lighter sleeper than hubby so even when he gets up to take care of her, I'm awake the whole time too). Not long after I finished writing Their Harlot Bride, I was diagnosed with frozen shoulder. I now have to go to physical therapy twice a week (and have been since late August), which is 2 hours out of my work day twice a week. Which, doesn't sound like a huge thing and I thought it wouldn't make too much of a difference, but it's harder to get into the mental space on those days and my shoulder often aches and makes it hard for me to concentrate because I'm fairly constantly in low level pain. 

And it's creative work. Some days I'm depressed. Some days I have anxiety. Some days I am incredibly distractible and nothing I do can get me back on track. And some days I can write full out and nothing and no one can distract me and everything is flowing and its glorious. But not every day is like that, even when I have three weeks of it in a row. Eventually, I falter again. 

So I'm learning to schedule for that. 

I am so excited about my schedule for next year, but I'll get to that in my next blog post. 

Back to the positivity! Another big thing that happened for me this year was becoming a USA Today Bestselling Author after the second annual Dirty Daddies anthology hit the list (in the top 50 too!). I was SO thrilled. I love being an admin in the Dirty Daddies Party Room on Facebook and I had so much fun with the first anthology and just as much (if not more!) with this year's. While Daddy Doms are definitely not all that I write (heck, they're not even a majority of it), they have such a special place in my heart and I know I'll be looking forward to the anthology every year (Foosball Daddy... 2021... it's happening... I've already warned them! lol). 

So seeing that on my covers now has been a highlight of my year. It's a cool thing to have. 

Even though I didn't get out every book that I was hoping to this past year, I am really proud of those that I did and that's a pretty big thing. I'm also happy to say that I will be starting work on Bondage Buddies again, before 2020 ends, and the preorder for it is already up. The first book in the Deception and Discipline series (which according to me in January was supposed to release this past August... *sigh*) is written and I am so in love with it. A Season for Treason releases next month and it is kicking off SUCH a fun series. So those were two of the biggest things that I didn't get done this year, but they're still happening and I'm taking that as a big win. 

Other than that, I'm just grateful for everything I do have. My family and friends are healthy. Those family members and friends who have caught COVID have all recovered so far, making us extremely lucky. My daughter is amazing and astounds me daily, as well as brightening my day with her sunny outlook and happiness in the smallest things. My husband is wonderfully supportive and let me put him on a book cover this year, which I've been dying to do for ages (Logan, if anyone didn't know =). 

And I am so, so grateful for the many readers who have picked up my work, enjoyed it, and kept reading. The thing about dreaming about becoming an author is that it's not a dream one can achieve on their own - it's a community effort. And I am so lucky to have so much support from fellow authors, from my PA, from my beta and ARC readers, from anyone who picks up one of my books. 

I saw a meme going around that said something along the lines of 2020 teaching them to be grateful for the things they have, and I feel like that was very true for me. I am so grateful for so many of the things I have.

No, 2020 did not go the way I expected, but I am proud of the books I released and I am excited about those still to come. And, you know, looking at it - I really didn't do too bad. 

January - Pirates, Passion, & Plunder Anthology (no longer available... keep an eye on my 2021 releases for the story I wrote for it ;) & the Venus Rising Quartet Boxset

February - Black Light Roulette War (which, the couple I wrote WON the war!!!!! #crazyexciting) and Blood Lust as Sinistre Ange with Raisa Greywood

March - Chasing Tail (the first Big Bad Bunnies boxset)

April - Chasing Her Lion (finishing out the Big Bad Bunnies series! #shedsatear) and Chasing Tail... Again (the second Big Bad Bunnies set)

July - The Lady (I still love this story even though I think I should have written it as Sinistre... a filthy retelling of Lady and the Tramp?! Yes! lol)

August - Re-releases of the Poker Loser Series - Forced Bet, Back in the Game, and Winning Hand. This one made me really happy, to have one of my oldest series get a new life (yay better editing and new covers! lol)

September - Logan (woo hoo! I finally got to write my Dad Bod Doms book! AND put hubby on a cover!) and the Dirty Daddies Anthology (USA Today Bestseller, baby!)

October - Their Harlot Bride (getting to write a Bridgewater book was SO freaking cool. I'm still thrilled and honored that I got to be a part of this). 

November - Serving Her Sentence as Sinistre Ange (I only made people wait... what? 3? 4 years? LOL) and the Poker Loser Trilogy Boxset

December - His Pretty Kitty as Sinistre Ange (another SA title that was loooooong overdue) and Steamy Stocking Stuffers (woo-hoo! so many anthology stories that no one had access to after the anthologies went away, until now!)

I mean... that's a packed year. A little too packed at the end, like I said, but that's just about how much energy I have to put into releases. I still love all the books. I also know I won't be able to do the double releases that I've done for the past two months. It's too much! But I'm so happy they're finally out in the world, especially because I'd started to think His Pretty Kitty was going to end up being another book that I'd promised for 2020 and had to be pushed back till 2021... but made it in just under the wire! 

I hope everyone is having a good holiday and staying safe and well. Let's go into 2021 and hope that it will make up for 2020!

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