Living with an angry bird

I’ve been reading the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy for the last couple of weeks. For those of you who have been living under a rock, it’s the new blockbuster mega-hit in erotic romance to hit the streets. Women (and I bet some men) have been lapping it up by the millions.

I’m about half way through the second book and I’ve been enjoying it. I’ve read a number of blog posts where people have complained heavily about the quality of the writing. It’s really less of an issue for me. I am absolutely the type of reader to just lose myself in the story. Unless it’s serious continuous spelling or punctuation issues, I can overlook just about anything for the sake of great characters and a capturing plot. Especially for stories like this that are told in the 1st person. The writing style gives me a sense of the character. I felt the same way about Twilight. The writing quality lent itself to the character and thereby the overall story for me.

So….I’m loving it.

But. I’ve got one huge problem with it.

WHAT woman has THAT much sex and doesn’t get a UTI (urinary tract infection/bladder infection)?

I mean…come on people?!?!? It’s just blowing the whole believability of the book out of the water for me.

Ok, I admit, it’s quite likely a sensitive subject for me right now. I’m sitting reading this deliciously sexual book and thinking about all the wonderful things I’d like to do with hubby while there sits an angry bird screaming its freaking head off at me. I read about this woman having fabulous sex at least twice a day thinking “hey…I could do that…” and I swear at the first thought flames literally shoot out of my hooha.

It’s so bad; I’ve been tempted to shave “BURNING” in my pubic hair as a warning to hubby.

Yes….I am currently dealing with yet again, another bladder infection.

It’s like my 10th in the last year or so. I try antibiotics. I try cranberry. I drink tons of water. I pee after doing the deed. I wipe front to back. I’ve even given up my BATHS (GASP?!?!?)! It doesn’t seem to matter. I take one itty, bitty peak at hubby’s bad boy and BAM…bladder infection.

What’s a girl to do?

I read these books, watch movies or TV and see all these women having all this fabulous sex all the time and it makes me feel….less. I’m 37 years old, in the prime of my life and I want to be all that I can be in the boudoir. I want to shout orgasms from the roof top. I want to dance naked in the rain. I want to scream out in lust! I want to unleash my sexual Goddess divine. Because I know, deep down, buried under the recurring bladder infection, chronic constipation, and fatigue from a sometimes stressful job, she’s in there. Screaming and begging to come out and play.

And alas….the angry vagina burns on.

But have no fear….We continue to fight the good fight. I’m off to make yet again another doctor’s appointment and this time I’ll be asking to see a specialist. Seriously. I’ve had enough. I need to bitch slap that angry bird into tomorrow.

My inner Goddess divine says so!

Look out Fifty (and hubby)…when I get this old girl all fixed up, I plan on putting you to shame!

How do you unleash your inner sex Goddess divine? How do you  juggle life…and maintain a healthy sex life with your partner? How do you come to terms with the portrayal of women and sex in the media with real life? Any bladder infection tips or tricks? Come on…share the wealth….

More blog deliciousness here:


Author spotlight with Virginia Ripple and book giveaway

I am super pumped today because I am doing another, yes you read that right, ANOTHER author spotlight and book giveaway. SQUEEEE!

Today, I have the fantastic honor to feature Virginia Ripple. Virginia has been telling stories since she could hold a crayon but has also felt Called to ministry since she was a toddler. As long as she can remember her desire to write has been alternately eclipsed and balanced by her need to serve God. Since moving back to her home town, she has written two non-fiction books:

  • Fear Not! Discovering God’s Promises For Our Lives: when life seems impossible to cope with, God reaches out to remind us of his promises for our lives. Journey through scripture to meet God in new and unexpected ways as you discover what it means to “Fear Not!”
  • Simply Prayer: a non-fiction book that explains how we often make prayer a lot more complicated that it needs to be and gives ways to make prayer simple and enjoyable.

Her future plans include writing several Christian fantasies, as well as teaching various workshops and Bible studies. The adventure of writing non-fiction to writing fiction keeps her on her toes.

Welcome Virginia! I am so excited to have you here and to learn more about your process as a writer.

Thank you, Natalie for featuring me as part of an author spotlight here on your blog. I’m so looking forward to interacting with everyone in the comments.

So you’ve written two books that are non-fiction and are currently working on your first fiction novel, what are some of the difference between writing in the two styles?

Writing non-fiction is pretty straight forward. You have facts and anecdotes, things that will directly help a reader. While a non-fiction book can have entertainment value (and should if you really want to keep a reader’s attention), it doesn’t have to.

Fiction, on the other hand, means spinning a tale that may or may not create a change in the reader and it has to be entertaining. If it doesn’t, then there are plenty of other things that person could do instead.

In either your fiction or non-fiction, are you a plotter or a pantser? What’s your writing process?

I started out as a pantser for both, but I’ve since discovered things go smoother and faster when I have at least some kind of plan.

Generally I begin by imagining what the story might be about. I do a little work on who the characters are, but just the basics. Then I start plotting, filling in the details. After I’m satisfied with my outline, I start writing scene by scene. I don’t worry about chapters because then I get overwhelmed thinking about how many words the book “has” to have.

I can’t say I’m a complete plotter, because, as I’m writing a scene, sometimes the characters take over and lead me down a path I had no idea was there. After I finish writing that scene, I adjust my outline if I need to, make a few notes of things I made need to change later and move on.

How did you come up with your non-fiction or fiction ideas? Is there a different process for each?

There’s a very different process for each, at least for me.

With non-fiction, I look for questions to answer that could help someone. Being a former minister, I tend to see a need for people to re-connect with their spirituality, with God, but oftentimes we make it harder than it needs to be. That was the reason behind Simply Prayer. I heard a lot of people complain about spending just 15 minutes in prayer because “it’s too hard.” I wanted to help these people understand what prayer is and give some ways to do it that were fun and maybe not what they’d thought of before.

My fiction ideas come in flashes of scenes or dialogue. I rarely begin writing a story with the intent to answer a question or make a specific point. I hate fiction that is only a sermon in disguise. Why would I want to inflict that on a reader if I don’t like it?

How long does it take you to write a novel from start to finish?

So far it’s taken a year per book. I know there are others who can produce a book every month or every six months and maybe someday I’ll be able to do that, but for me it’s about quality. Well, that and my perfectionism.

My husband actually had to talk me out of scrapping Simply Prayer and starting over when I found a few typos in the proof copy.

What’s your advice to writers JUST starting out, like me? What do you wish you would have known when you started out?

What you learned in high school English isn’t enough to make a career of writing. In fact, it’s just barely a beginning.

Read as many books on how to write as you can. I like the Write Great Fiction series because it breaks everything down into components from structure to character building to dialogue. And don’t discount writing blogs.

Find people who will support your dream and make a commitment to work toward that dream every day.

What’s coming up next from you? Tell me more about your fiction work on the horizon?

Right now I plan on releasing this current book later this year, most likely around Thanksgiving. After that I have five more planned in this series.

What’s your favourite Urban Word? Ever used it?

I don’t have a favorite Urban Word, though I have to say I’ve had a hard time explaining my sudden laughter at work after reading some of the ones you’ve posted here. 😀

Would you share an excerpt from Simply Prayer?

The Proper Position

When you think of prayer one of the first images that often comes to mind is someone kneeling either in church or at the foot of a bed. But that doesn’t mean that kneeling is the “appropriate” and only way to pray. In truth it doesn’t matter what position you choose. If you feel more comfortable kneeling, then that is how you should pray. However, if you feel moved to stand, to sit, or even dance, then that is what you should do.

Imagine talking to your best friend. What do you do? You choose a comfortable position. If you’re home or in a coffee shop you usually sit in a comfortable chair. If you’re standing in line at the store you may lean over your cart. It all depends on the situation. However, when talking with your friends the position you’re sitting or standing in does not matter to the conversation. It’s the same with God.

The book sounds incredible Virginia and wonderful suggestions on how to make prayer a part of your every day life and how to keep it simple and easy. For years, I’ve used prayer as a way to feel connected with my Dad and Mamma K who have both passed on. I keep it pretty simple and basically just have a conversation with either of them in my head. Sometimes in bed before I go to sleep, sometimes when I am driving, and sometimes when I am just sitting watching TV or taking a bath. I believe they hear me and I believe when I have concerns or confusion, they speak to me by whispering to my heart. I have found it to be one of the most profoundly healing discoveries in my own life. You are right. It doesn’t have to be complicated.

Virginia, thank you so much for swinging by my blog. Your two non-fiction books sound touching and inspiring. I can’t wait to see what your fiction holds for us. I wish you all the success in the world.

Enjoyed Virginia so much you want more?! You can:

What about you; any questions for Virginia? Have you made the switch from non-fiction to fiction and have advice to share? How does your writing process differ from hers? 

Book Giveaway Details


  • 1 special edition signed e-book of Simply Prayer (open internationally).
  • Grand prize: a signed paperback of Simply Prayer (open to US/Canadian)

How do you win?

  • The book giveaway is open all week; February 27-March 3, 2012 (11:59 pm AST).
  • You will earn one entry into the draw each time you comment on any of my blog posts this week.
  • Tweet about this post and earn an additional entry (be sure to put my twitter handle @nataliehartford in your tweet so I know).
  • On March 4, 2012, I will put all the names in a hat and hubby will draw the names of the winners.
  • Check back March 5, 2012 where I will announce the winners.

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