Book Review – Anonymous

I picked up a free Kindle read. It had a lovely cover. The picture intrigued me and reminded me of other books I had read with similar quality covers. Also, it was free.

So, a few things. The writing isn’t bad. Truly. But the beginning has some holes which completely lost my interest.

First: The Trope

The MC has fallen for the cutest, most unattainable princeling despite the fact that she’s “plain” (as expressed in the narrative.) I’m never a fan of the “I’m plain Jane” narrative even though I’ve been guilty of such myself. Let’s break the habit together. The MC’s delirious hope escalated during literally one incident where the princeling caught her from tripping.

Booooo. *YAWN*

Fix: Entertain us with a wildly outrageous series of interactions in which these inevitable love birds keep running into each other. THAT would be interesting.

Second: The Hook

The story starts during climax but keeps patching the reader back to this singular exchange so you’re trying to figure out what’s going on and what happened to make what’s currently happening relevant to what did happen.

Right? Confusing. The hook brought you in with a promise, but then goes through a poor job of bringing you up to speed.

Fix: Begin by setting up the readers with your cast. Plain Jane has a crush on the princeling and they keep bumping into each other, either romantically or awkwardly. I’ll take either. Or both. Definitely both. Then flash forward to present day so we can panic along with her.

Third: (And this is only the first three pages, mind you.) The Investment

The MC is unduly concerned over [incident] which she suspects involves her princeling (who probably doesn’t even know she exists, yada yada) and she abandons her post to find out. Dilemma:

  • A) we don’t know WHO she is.
  • B) we don’t know WHAT is going on.
  • C) we don’t know WHEN this story transpires.
  • D) we don’t even know WHERE she is or WHY her post is important or TO WHAT DEGREE (sorry, just had to had that last one.)

Why should we be concerned or feel for this MC’s situation? We know nothing about her, except for the “desktop patching” we keep getting which is pulling us from the action.

Fix: This story can still be viewed from present day moments before the action. The MC could be seen daydreaming over said encounters with her princeling. We could learn her status, her job, her plainness, all at once, then cue the action. Now we’re invested. We know the stakes and we know the reward. We have a firm grasp of the world and our heroine, and we’re ready to follow her.

Readers genuinely want to care about the main characters. We do. We are looking for escape, adventure, or relatability. Hopefully all three at once.

I know some famous writers get away with this all the time, but there are reasons it works and reasons it doesn’t. Here’s a few reasons it didn’t.

This has been,

A FanTC Reader

PS the book title and author has been intentionally left out because I do not trash books publicly, and I do not wish emotional harm on the writer. Their writing was good. They have a few tropes (so do we all.) Maybe with a stronger editor, they could have created an edge-of-your-seat beginning experience.


Foodie Favorites

My husband and I both grew up with this tuna pasta salad served cold. It’s almost identical to what you might find on the internet.

Shell noodles
Dash of salt and pepper

The only difference is, GW prefers shredded cheese. I like mine cubed.

For him, it’s a consistency matter. He likes the blended flavors, you know? There’s nothing surprising or out of place. It’s balanced. Everything belongs.

For me, I guess it’s a memory. A childhood summer with a bowl of cold pasta and getting a whole mouthful of tiny cheese cubes. The burst of creamy flavor and the absolute delight of eating glorious amounts of cheese.

Have you ever bitten into a brick of cheese? You should definitely try it.

Unless you’re lactose intolerant. Then you should definitely not.

So what do I do? I whip up a big batch of pasta salad, divide it in half. Shredded cheese goes in one, cubes in the other. It’s no biggie. We both have our food charms. There’s no reason to change anything.

Although we’re trying this low carb thing so I dumped a bunch of “riced” cauliflower instead of shell noodles. It totally messes with the consistency, but you hardly notice a flavor difference.

It will have to do for now.

This has been,

Fanny T. Crispin

PS: If you’re looking for the recipe, I listed the ingredients above. Literally nothing is measured. Mix to your desired consistency. ❤

Ponderings, Thoughts

Strength in Love

I was wondering why you always look so put together every day, then I remembered: Oh yeah, you don’t have kids.

Women should never come down on other women. Some fight battles every morning. Some have obtained their peace through much hardship.

Women notice the appearances of each other. One could say we’re hyper-alert to our fellows. Mostly it’s innocent – admiring a new handbag, collecting tips on matching colors or prints. But many times, if we’re honest with ourselves, we’re looking for the ranks.

You know what I’m talking about. She didn’t do anything with her hair today. At least you look more put together than she does. She went over-the-top with that outfit. You feel assured others are probably silently mocking her too.

Ladies, this ought not be so among the fairer sex. Whether sporty or girlie, let’s all agree to harbor lovely thoughts toward each other. Build someone up if you are able. Graciously accept a compliment. And never admit how cheap (or expensive) those shoes were. People love them. You love them. That is all that matters.

Be beautiful.

This has been,

Fanny T. Crispin

PS: Shut up. I use filters, and I love them.

Mind & Body, Raw, Thoughts

Quarantine -Wait, It’s Over?

Week #11

Wisconsin is starting to open up slowly, but civilians are rushing to their regular establishments. Masks are left flapping in the wind, hand sanitizer is disregard, and there is waaaaaaaay less than 6 feet between them. Should we continue to be angry at them for breaking social distancing? I’m not sure. What do you think?

Eventually, the fear must end. Concerned individuals are still welcome to remain in the safety of their homes, but for the rest of the healthy, immune-stable folks, Corona season is over. And truly, how different was this from flu/influenza season, pneumonia season, pox, measles, mumps, cold season? (I guess colds don’t kill, but to someone with a compromised immune system, a cold could be deadly.) You know, peanuts are deadly to some people. You don’t lock yourself up for that, do you? No. You take precautions and ask people not to eat or have peanuts in your direct vicinity.

All I’m saying right now is it’s time, people. It’s time to crawl out from our caves. It’s time to toss off the fear blanket. If you’re not ready, then stay in and take care of yourself. That’s a good lesson learned from all of this. It’s up to us to take care of ourselves – despite the criticism of others and their political agenda. Even if hogging toilet paper is your self-care, I guess… We shouldn’t judge. But I will laugh at you.

Stay safe, dear readers. Get some sunshine.

This has been,


Raw, Thoughts

Quarantine Week #10

This is normal.

I don’t know why conspiracies bother trying to stay hidden. They inevitably crawl out of the woodwork and blow their cover. I’m friends with hard rightists and hard leftists, and it’s been whiplash watching them battle it out on social media. I’m not sure I prescribe to the political religion, but I do think there’s always something going on behind the curtain which certain persons don’t want the general public to see. This I believe all day long. But there are other people more gifted in this field of study than I, so we won’t get into it here.

I had a strange encounter with political religion the other day. I made a light-hearted comment about modern plumbing on a friend’s meme they reposted, and one of their acquaintances made due purpose to comment on my comment. Again, I was talking about plumbing. They made it about capitalism shaming. I’m not sure the point they were trying to achieve, because I was in no humor to humor them.

If we were in a cafe – I and my friend – and one of her friends happened to show up, overhear our conversation, and decided in that moment rather than introduce himself politely, talk of the weather, the coffee, any number of other pleasantries, he decides to immediately conversation shame someone he has never met before and turn a half-heard subject into his political platform, it would be like that. It would be exactly like that.

We comment on other people’s comments all the time, sometimes positively, but sometimes negatively. Social media has put all of us into one big room together and provided permission for us to talk to anyone we want without proper introduction or pleasantries.

I suppose it would be odd if everyone went about introducing themselves and providing small talk on Twitter…

“Good day! My name is Robert. How do you know Anne?”

“Hello! I’m Clara. Oh, Anne and I met at the library. We shared a love of dragon fiction!”

“Jolly good! I love dragons myself. The meme she just posted on which we are both commenting rather makes me envision Capitalism as the great evil dragon of our time!”

“Oh… You’re in the camp of depicting dragons as evil villains? That’s really disappointing. I don’t like you. Good bye.”

“Well, if you didn’t want to get hurt, you really should have private messaged Anne rather than comment on her meme!”


This has been,

Fanny T. Crispin