And words are all I have

Some of you who are up with these modern, trendy things (Yes, I’m doing my best 30’s girl impression here!) may have heard of something called Patreon. Less than world famous writers, and musicians use it as a method to support their career, by having patrons donate money on a regular basis, so they dont have to worry about earning it in other ways. Hey, one of my favourite groups, Post Modern Jukebox (now quite famous) started off down this route.

No, dont worry, I’m not going to request money to support my story writing, despite what some tell me, I’m really not in that league, and I know it! And believe me, my singing is as good as Jean Harlow’s, and thats not a good thing! And lastly, unlike CJ, I have no plans to break into the movies either at present.

But one thing I do lots of, as some will know, is story reviewing. Now me, I cant see why anyone would be prepared to pay me to produce story reviews, but it seems, there might be some. And yes, a few extra pennies would be handy, I must admit. My primary area would remain the EMCSA, but I have realised that ebook writers, looking for reviews to post on Amazon, and the like, might be prepared to pay small amounts to get a guaranteed story review?

To show how little I know about the concept, I was asked tonight how much a review would cost, for a book on Amazon, and I hadnt got a clue! Has anyone got any idea on this? I guess it depends on how many words you have to read (fee, per 1,000 words?), but I wouldnt have a clue as to how much.

Yes, I’m not sure how much this could possibly raise, anyway, but I guess that unless I add a lot of extra words to my reading week, anything is a bonus? Though in truth, unless I can raise a reasonable amount (though I have no idea just how much?), I’m not sure how much of a benefit it really would be? I suppose book publishing companies need readers, to decide how good stories are, but breaking into that field, at my age, and with only having online experience?

Anyone able to offer advice, either through here, or to my email, at would be appreciated.

Right, the video, a double delight, of the same song. Firstly, the famous group version,

Secondly, an ‘old friend’, Gary Simmons, and his Bee Gees tribute group, Jive Talkin’. I do wish he would make more solo videos, or even better, with Kirsty Marr, but anyway…

Reviewers, you have to love them…maybe?

It seems that getting reviews on Amazon, is a bit akin to finding gold dust, unlikely to happen. So when I discovered that one of my stories, No Place Like Nome, had actually got a review there, I had to go and have a look. Now, before we go any further, let me add that this story is tagged as lesbian romantic fiction, so you would not unreasonably assume there’s going to be some lesbian sex involved, wouldnt you?

Well, my reviewer didnt! And clearly he isnt a ‘new man’ as from his comments, he was pretty revolted by all the lesbian sex in the story, and didnt enjoy it in the slightest. Why he bought it, given the tags then, I have no idea!

Anyway, I left a diplomatic comment in reply, pointing out it was tagged as a lesbian romance, and left it at that.

As I say, reviewers, you have to love them!…facepalm!

Oh, and in case you hadnt noticed, that romantic day of the year occurs again tomorrow, and I’m waiting to see if I can take the ‘nothing’ streak up to 16 years. Alright, fine, I’m an asexual lesbian (who could be bisexual?) with no interest in love, but…a card, or something would still be nice. , if you were wondering? No, thought not! ūüėõ

Oh, right, the video. Well, it isnt lesbian sex, but its pretty sexy, and considered downright racy in its time, back in 1968. Now, well, maybe its not so saucy?

But, if any amour wants to say those magic words to me tomorrow… ūüėČ

You’re a star

One of the benefits of being a prolific reviewer of stories seems to be I get to make ‘cameo’ appearances in other peoples stories from time to time, under various versions of my name and guises. They are generally great fun, and play to my kinks, or my talents, or indeed both.

Sometimes I know in advance they are coming, the previous time this happened with him, my friend J Darksong tipped me off in advance, and lo and behold, a character called Meredith Gardner appeared in his story, Sleepers. yes, think MC Garden for the surname, I assume? And shock horror, her mind got interfaced with a computer, and for a while at least, she was pretty much turned into a robot. And fine, I was jealous of her, no great shock I guess.

As I say, a few others have played the same nice tribute over the years, they are much appreciated, and much enjoyed.

But this time…I was reading one of the 2 stories he put up this week, and enjoying it a lot, when suddenly to my surprise, a new character enters the tale. To quote,

I took the liberty of calling in a colleague of mine, a certain expert in all things dealing with digital imagery and data extrapolation, Dr. Stephanie Brooks.

Yes, me! Well, not literally, my surname isnt actually Brooks, its …….. but of course the surname I use nowadays as an author, and on the forum, is Brooks!

As to what the author has in plan for her, I have absolutely no idea, but I’m looking forward to finding out. Of course, my real life job actually involves data, though more the inputting of it, but anyway, more than close enough to be very flattering.

Just wanted to say thank you publicly for this, and to say to my readers out there that dont know his stories, to go read some, he’s a very talented writer, and dear online friend.

The video, well just for me,…

Any Brits at least might recognise a few (very much younger) faces here.

Feeling Loved

No, not in a literal sense, heaven forbid. Not that I think anyone would be crazy enough to want to get romantically involved with an “independent soul” like me. I was going to use another word, but James has told me off often enough for self deprecation, so lets settle for that.

As those of you visiting from the 2 MC Forums, or who know those places will know, I review a lot of the stories in each weeks update. There used to be a few more doing the same thing, but I seem to be the only crazy one left, doing that on a weekly basis! Err, lets just say it can be an entertaining experience at times, and not always in a good way. But most of the time, yes, it is.

For me, its just the least I can do, to let the authors know what I think of their work, even if one or two have suggested they’d rather not hear lol. Thankfully, it is literally only a very tiny number, considering all the authors I must have reviewed over the years. But anyway, tonight, when I log into the MC Forum, there’s a thread called ‘Merry Brookmas’ on there, a play on my forum name, and when I click on it, like the nosy woman I am, I find its a thank you thread for my reviewing. Personally I dont think there is any need for it, I like to support writers, and thats the best way to do it, but its still nice to see people thinking about you that way.

So yes, though I have no desire to be loved in a literal sense, its nice to know that you’re appreciated all the same.

And no, anyone thinking I’m hinting for a beau, no, no, no! Friends, yes, lovers, definitely not!

Anyway, the video, a slight adjunct to that comment, but its a great song from the 70’s. Sadly I seem to have found one of the few videos where she’s not wearing leather, but… Oh yes, thats a hint, the arrival of the latex skirt had me hunting around for my leather trousers. I might have a pair or two (three actually), and a pair of skirts too (one genuine, one leather look), but I might not look as good in them as Suzi Q, all the same

One of us reviews

Its just one of those things that I never realised fascinated so many people. What, you’re asking, my review marking scheme for the EMCSA updates, thats what.

I came home late last night, after a long shift, and a further delay due to the train running late (shock horror, I know) to find that someone at the MC Forum had tried to crack the method I use to rate stories on an enjoyment level. Funny thing was, he’d got it totally wrong! Maybe it was a man thing, but he’d assumed my ratings related to the sex factor of the story, when in fact, thats the last thing that would ever appeal in a story to me.

Strangely enough, at 11.30 last night, beyond telling them how hopelessly wrong he was, I left it at that, with a promise that this morning, I’d give them some idea as to how its done. Snag is, its not an exact science rating stories, and as has been shown recently, when a story was revised a few years on from the original, I gave it different grades! Maybe the revised one was better, but I suspect its more likely it was just my mood when I read it. I’m not really a robot lol, after all!

What really got me though, was just how popular the thread was, both before I posted, and answered, are authors really that dependent on my remarks? I’m only one reader after all, so…I guess that I am the one who posts most reviews though! But I’d hate to think that all authors would just write to pander to my tastes, all the same. But OK, its nice to know they are appreciated so much all the same.

The video, well, I almost decided not to bother, as I couldnt think of anything suitable, and then I came up with this very tenuous one

Reading & Reviewing

I know when I first started reading stories at the EMCSA, it would be in 2000, soon after I got a computer, and typed robot stories into Google, lol!

What I dont remember is when I first started churning my way through the bulk of each update, or indeed when I first started actually reviewing nearly everything, as I have been doing for quite a long time now. I suspect the answer to when I started bulk reading would be around 2004/5, after I regained having my own computer once again. But for some time after that I just sent the odd email for any story I really liked, and left it at that. So no, when I changed style, I havent a clue.

I used to review everything apart from mm stories, even though the green fd stuff really wasnt my scene, even if ironically thats just what I’m working on at present. Recently due to work commitments and the like, I’ve cut¬†the green stories pretty much out, though¬†there are a¬†few writers on that front I will still read. Same with the mm stuff, I do read a very occasional one, but you could count them on the fingers of one hand lol!

Its funny, nowadays I¬†almost wonder if I’m more famed for my reviews than my stories, which would be kind¬†of¬†ironic¬†given they dont tend to be in depth on the whole, but mainly because I dont like to give too much away, and get people to read them. There are some (think the long running ones like ‘The Jilliad’) where there is no point hiding spoilers, but on the whole…I do my best not to give too much away.

I suppose the one thing I find really ironic is that there are a few people who seemingly expect a review from me¬†when they post a story, but are not so quick to post anything when I write a story! C’est la vie, I guess? For the foreseeable future, I think its fair to say that the reviews will continue, more likely than story writing, its easier to grab time to do that. There will be the odd story, but far less than the number of reviews I churn out. There may come a time when they need to be cut back as well, but not for now.

The video, rather apt for the number of reviews I’ve turned out, maybe?

When I was young…

…I used to write, to corrupt a line from a great Gerry Rafferty song, Family Tree. Nowadays I have unofficially retired from writing, and just settle for churning out brief reviews on many of the stories on the weekly updates. Its fair to say that was mainly a time thing, basically changes in roles in jobs just ate more and more into my time, and something had to give, and basically it was the writing. Though in all honesty, after 82 stories (yes, I know there are only 78 on the EMCSA for various reasons, but 3 more are on the net in various places,¬† and 1 is theoretically stored on this computer, so…) I’d basically ran out of fresh ideas within the MC genre, so I thought it was time to stop anyway. At least 1, and quite possibly 2 of those stories might struggle on the MC¬†front by Simon’s standards anyway!

Shame really, because those 2 are among my favourites of those¬†I’ve written, but thats irony for you!

So yes, in theory, I might write again some day, but I wouldnt hold your breath waiting lol, well not before retirement at least! And even at my age, under current UK rules, thats 14 years away, assuming I last that long!

I havent yet lost the love of reading though, and most weeks manage to hammer my way through the weekly update, and post a few quick words about stories posted there. The funny thing is, with some at least, its the non flattering reviews that are the most popular! I’d never call my reviews works of art, more a¬†‘been there, read that’ sort of thing quite often, with a few words thrown in¬†for good measure. Having said that, several have told me that my reviews have either inspired writers, or readers, so there must be something to them?

Mind, when I say I used to write when I was young, I was 43 when my first story was posted to the EMCSA, so not that young lol! Its funny, its a topical time to post this, my first story made a ‘search for a story’ list at the Forum, and strangely enough, the one it inspired by a one hit author.

And also, given there will be a gap this weekend on updates, the weekend after is going to be one of those this reviewer hates, on the bulk update situation, too many stories to read! There are times when being a reading robot would be handy, but never mind…

Ah well…