Finding Mr. Wrong

FMQ front coverThis has been a productive week already and it’s far from over. Finding Mr. Wrong, the second book in the Tookie series, is moving rapidly toward release. The editor’s comments weren’t hard to accommodate and I didn’t find too many typos to correct, on this goround at least. So, I was able to submit the revised manuscript for final edits. Soon, PDFs will arrive in my inbox for me to review.

Hardly any time later, a draft cover awaited my comments. Black Opal Books’ artist selected an image that suggested a scene in the book. The only problem was that the sexy woman in the photo was wearing spike heels. Forget about those. Tookie never wears high heels, even short ones. Photoshopping clodhoppers over them didn’t work. Photos that might have worked were in the wrong aspect ratio for a book cover: they had a horizontal orientation instead of vertical as needed. Eventually, I found a photo of a woman in a red dress with great legs—and no shoes.

The artist gave it a try, and it works. I’ll leave to the reader what scene inspired the artist. For a hint, read Only Tim Sent Flowers while you wait for Finding Mr. Wrong to be in print. Fortunately, that won’t be too long. It is scheduled for release in both print and ebook versions in March.

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Sex Best at 66?

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In its eighth annual Singles In America report, on-line dating site Match.com recently polled 5,000 people and had some interesting findings. Perhaps the most enlightening thing was that 66 is the best age for sex for women and 64 for men, not for decades-younger singles with more nubile bodies. Not surprising is that women are 70% less tolerant of bad sex than men. After all, many men are happy to have any sex, exciting or otherwise, where single women can get sex any time they want it, although not necessarily with the man they most want.

Women have had avenues for what they consider good sex for decades. Vibrators are available in such a large variety that a woman need never get bored pleasuring herself. A combination of the machines’ functions, the woman’s skill in using them, and how her body reacts to various ways of being stimulated provide her with an almost infinite number of ways to escape boredom. Men do not have such options—yet.

Woman with male sex robotSex robots are just now becoming available for men, although far from perfected as yet. Thirty-one percent of men say they would have sex with a robot but only fifteen percent of women admit being willing to consider doing it with a robot. Not stated was how many single women admit to using vibrators regularly. A cynic might conclude that, since women find their electrified experiences so good, few see a reason for spending thousands of dollars for an ersatz male with a human-like penis. Perhaps, having the option to replace the mechanical male organ with any of a number of vibrators might make androids more intriguing.

Something men would like to know is how sex for women a little younger or older than 66 stacks up to experiences at that age. If satisfaction spikes up at that magical age, focusing on dating 66-year-old women to the exclusion of others would make sense. Or, does pleasure ramp up to the peak and decline slowly from it. Inquiring minds want to know.

The Wedding Ring Effect

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wedding ringA recently released study by researchers from the Universities of St. Andrews, Durham and Exeter found that women consider men to be more attractive if they are desired by other women. This is particularly true if the men are already in relationships. Whether “This is because he is perceived to be more kind, faithful and a better father” came from the women in the study, the researchers or Sarah J. Young, the author reporting on the study, is unclear.

A previous study conducted by Oklahoma State University found what some call “The Wedding Ring Effect,” that by being in a relationship a man has already proven he has at least some desirable characteristics. In that study, 90 per cent of single women were interested in men they believed were taken, while only 59 per cent thought these same men were attractive if they were thought to be unattached. Hmmmm.

So this is news? I observed this phenomenon in the late 1960s when I was finally in a relationship. Girls had never considered me particularly attractive. But when they saw me with Zelda, some flirted with me and asked me to dance with them. Since this behavior was in stark contrast to how they treated me pre-Zelda, I couldn’t help but notice the difference. Sadly, I didn’t capitalize on this change and continued seeing Zelda. But that is an entirely different story.

The lesson in this for men is to latch onto a girlfriend of some sort, even if you’re not wild about her. Being able to tolerate her long enough to find someone you consider more desirable is enough. Depending on how attractive other women consider your stepping-stone girlfriend, you may need to repeat this process a time or three to find your Miss Right.

 

 

Girls Mask Their Autism

I owe readers an apology. In September, I started a short series on how autism in girls is different than in boys. The last post promised a look at how autistic girls pass as being neurotypically normal by compensating for their situation. Since making that promise, I have been distracted by a number of pressing issues and opportunities. Now, I will finally get back to exploring how girls often mask their autism.

A core difference between boys and girls on the autism spectrum was observed by Dr. Louis Kraus, a psychiatrist at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago who specializes in autism: “Girls tend to want to socialize and be part of a group, even though it may be awkward. Boys, on the other hand, tend to be more isolative.” That difference causes girls to take steps to be accepted in social groups whereas boys often don’t bother.

One young woman, who wasn’t diagnosed until she was 19, always played with boys because she found sports easier and boys didn’t talk as much. Amanda Gulsrud, clinical director of the Child and Adult Neurodevelopmental Clinic at University of California, Los Angeles, observed that girls appear to have mastered what some call “social camouflaging” to mask their autism. Girls in studies stick close to the other girls to look like they are socially connected when they’re not really connecting. They didn’t have deep, meaningful connections or exchanges; they flitted in and out of the social connection.

Girls on the spectrum tend to be quiet and behave more appropriately than do boys. At least at younger ages, girls tend to be more verbal and socially interactive than boys. As girls age, they develop coping techniques and become experts in pretending not to have autism by camouflaging it.

A common way of masking is to develop a repertoire of responses to parrot when situations occur that she does not instinctively know how to handle. Tookie, for example, has little empathy for others (a common Asperger’s trait) but, over time, accepted that she needed to respond in an appropriate way to people who were grieving or undergoing painful experiences. She adopted, “I’m so sorry” as her stock response each and every time she perceives the need to provide emotional support.

The use of a stock phrase works most of the time but becomes repetitive with people to whom she has become close. This is yet another way in which maintaining social relationships is difficult for Asperger women.

 

Rave Review

A most pleasant surprise arrived in my inbox this morning. Midwest Book Review has reviewed Only Tim Sent Flowers. Not only did they review it, they raved about it:

http://www.midwestbookreview.com/sbw/jan_18.htm#fiction

The Fiction Shelf

Critique: An imaginative, entertaining, fascinating read from beginning to end, George Kaplan’s “Only Tim Sent Flowers” is an extraordinary novel by a writer with a genuine flair for novelty and narrative driven storytelling complete with unexpected twists and turns. While unreservedly recommended, especially for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that “Only Tim Send Flowers” is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).

 

 

 

 

Tookie Entertains Family Gathering

A fellow writer who critiques my books before I submit them to the publisher unwittingly let Tookie entertain her family’s Thanksgiving celebration:

At Thanksgiving, we decided to sing karaoke. So, my husband grabs my laptop and hooks it up so that the lyrics playing on my laptop show on our HUGE living room TV. Only the last thing I was looking at on my computer was your Tookie chapter.

So, as soon as he hooks it up, BOOM. Tookie, doing all kinds of penis stuff to Reggie, in huge bold print, right on the living room TV in front of my whole family lol! I wasn’t paying attention, so it’s up there for a few minutes, and my cousin and a female friend are like, “Uhhhhhh…” I’m cracking up.

I explain who George Kaplan is and why I’m reading this on my work computer. I dig out my copy of Only Tim Sent Flowers and I’m like, “Check it out. He’s really creative and his heroine is hilarious. I’ve learned so much reading his stuff. Like, in the ’70s, IUD strings hung out of the vagina (my stepmom nods in agreement). And last week I learned what a rusty trombone is—-DON’T GOOGLE THAT.”

We’re all flipping through the book and discussing the plot. My friend opens to a page where Tookie goes into deep detail about using cucumbers, carrots, Coke bottles* and more, to masturbate and she’s reading this out loud to the room and everyone is dying. People are taking pictures of the book cover and looking up the book on Amazon. I think I just sold like ten copies of your novel today lol!!! I thought you’d get a kick out of that story.

I never thought I’d be hanging out with my dad, talking about Tookie and the sexual revolution. But today was the day lol! They thought the book was hilarious and witty and I told them I laugh every single time I critique one of your chapters.

* Tookie considered testing the possibility that using a Coke bottle as a dildo could do her serious physical harm too risky to try.

 

 

Autistic Girls More Like Normal Boys

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Research on autistic girls didn’t lag that done on boys, none was done because girls were thought to have autism until very recently. Now that scientists accept that girls can be autistic, research is finally being done. A March 1, 2016 Scientific American article sheds some light on what is now being learned about autistic female brains.

One of the things being learned is that, since autism in girls is different than in boys, girls are being diagnosed much later in life than are boys, if at all. The reason for this lag in diagnosis is that the criteria used for diagnosis are based almost entirely on studies of boys. Females mask or compensate for these symptoms much better than do boys and biological factors may prevent the condition from developing in some girls.

Francesca Happ of King’s College in London studied 15,000 twins to find that girls needed to have more behavioral problems or significant intellectual disability or both to be diagnosed. This finding suggests that many girls on the less disabling end of the autism spectrum, those having Asperger’s syndrome, were being missed.

A scientific reason for autistic girls not being diagnosed is that their brains are not functioning the same as do the brains of diagnosed boys. Kevin Pelphrey, a leading autism researcher at Yale, has discovered that autistic girls’ brains analyze social information differently not only from other girls’ brains, but from autistic boys’ brains as well.

Autistic girls’ brains function more like those of normal boys their age. Thus, the brain-activity measures of these girls would not be considered autistic in found in boys.

Jane McGillivray of Deakin University in Australia compared 25 autistic boys and 25 autistic girls with similar numbers of typically children. Autistic girls measured as high on measurements of friendship quality and empathy as typically developing boys their age, but lower than typically developing girls.

<next time we look at how autistic girls compensate>

 

 

 

 

 

Genetic Differences May Mask Girls’ Autism

Autism

For many years girls were not diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum, not even as being high-functioning Asperger’s Syndrome. The reason most commonly given for this lack of diagnoses was that girls have better communication and social skills than boys and develop behaviors that allow them to pass as neurotypically normal.

Recently, researchers have discovered scientific reasons for perceived differences between boys and girls that help explain why girls aren’t diagnosed as being autistic as often as boys. Genetics research has identified 50 genes linked to autism and may discover more. According to Joseph Buxbaum, director of the Seaver Autism Center, believes “Autism is highly genetic, and a big part of the genetic risk is inherited.” Thus, due to having twice as many genetic mutations as boys, girls have a much higher genetic threshold to be autistic than do boys. So, to a considerably extent, girls are shielded by genetics from autism.

Earlier studies found that cells involved in the brain’s process of synaptic pruning, known as microglia, are thought to be involved in the development of autism. Recent research from the University of California finds that microglia differ in number and behavior in boys versus girls, and the genes that cause microglia to develop are more active in males, especially in the months before birth.

Studies in Australia discovered that couples with an autistic child are as much as 25 percent more likely that their next child will be autistic, and boys are at least four times more likely to develop autism than girls. Not only do more boys develop autism than girls, their symptoms are often more severe. Thus, boys are often diagnosed far earlier when they can receive better supportive services. That Tookie’s autism was never diagnosed is now more easily understood.

<Next time brain differences between normal boys and girls and those with autism>

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marijuana Makes Sperm Swim in Circles

Women desiring to become mothers just got something more to worry about and those who don’t can breathe a little easier based on the findings of Canadian researchers. Dr. Victor Chow, of the University of British Columbia, said “The weight of the evidence is that marijuana probably has a negative impact not only for sperm counts but sperm function.”

Earlier studies found that marijuana can affect fertility by cutting sperm count and suppressing ovulation in women. What’s new is that these researchers observed the sperm of regular cannabis users to “mellow out” and “swim in circles.”

Lest the user think swimming in circles is unusual behavior for sperm, scientists have known for a while that they often do just that. However, they blamed it on “their erratic, asymmetric tail propulsion.” Sperm’s exceedingly long tails, smaller than the width of a human hair, will buckle trapping the cells in a circular loop if the semen or vaginal secretions they find themselves in is too viscous. This is true even if the sperm are swimming perfectly.

This past March, researchers from England’s University of York reported that they had discovered a mathematical formula to describe the “rhythmic movement of a sperm’s head and tail.” This “particular rhythm pulls the head backwards and sideways to create a jerky fluid flow.” Analyzing the approximately 55 million spermatozoa found in a single sample made creating a mathematical model all the more difficult. These seemingly counterproductive movements of the head and tail stir the fluid in which the sperm is surrounded in such a way as to reduce the friction and allow it to move forward.

To make matters worse for our intrepid sperm, women can unknowingly have hostile mucus in their vaginas. If the pH is too acidic, the sperm will be immobilized, unable to swim and will die shortly. Too little mucus and sperm will be like fish out of water and die. Artificial lubricants, including saliva, are often deadly to sperm as are some types of bacteria that grow in the vagina.

The best help a woman can give these poor sperm is to moderate sugary foods, alcohol and white flour products, drink lots of water throughout the day and to extend foreplay to help her body produce natural lubricants with the exception of cunnilingus which is to be avoided.

So, if a woman not wanting to get pregnant is into one-night stands and prefers going bareback, the best preparation she can make is to dehydrate, eat a bunch of Twinkies, drink a lot of booze, minimalize foreplay, excepting cunnilingus, which is encouraged, and share pot brownies with her Galahad for the night.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4846328/Marijuana-makes-men-s-sperm-lazily-swim-circles.html

Sperm swimming rhythm

Softcover Release & Trailer Are Out Now

 

OTSF front cover w outlineI had planned on writing about the effects of marijuana on fertility, a topic of some importance to both men and women of child-creating age, but the print version of Only Tim Sent Flowers was received yesterday, pushing the sexier topic off until next time.

A little before 7:00 p.m. yesterday, a Saturday, I saw the familiar brown UPS truck pull up my driveway. Surprised to see him at that time on that day of the week, I trotted out to greet him, thinking someone must have sent some financial papers requiring a signature that I wasn’t aware was coming. It turned out that he had the shipment of books I had ordered from my publisher, Black Opal Books.

Seeing the surprised expression on my face, the driver said, “Saturdays are a regular work day now.” It seems that UPS has contracted to deliver Amazon Prime packages within the shorter timeframe that comes with paying for that service.

But you say that I bought the books from Black Opal Books and not from or through Amazon. That is entirely correct. What has happened is that UPS hates to operate inefficiently. That means if they are running a truck on a route to deliver some Amazon prime shipments, they don’t want to send out a half-full truck. So, they also deliver any packages they have on hand for people on the route instead of waiting till Monday. I was the beneficiary of this policy.

This was good timing because I had been working on a book trailer and had it almost ready to make public. Because of a recent hardware failure that forced me to acquire a new computer that runs Windows 10, something I had been avoiding for years. One of the numerous shortcomings of Windows 10 is that the Moviemaker program has been eliminated. So, I had to acquire and learn a new program.

For reasons too complicated to go through here, I got Pinnacle Studio 21. It is harder and more complicated to learn and use than Moviemaker but has some nice features. The one I like, but don’t understand, is Scorefitter. I’ve only used it once, for a soundtrack in the book trailer for Only Tim Sent Flowers. Check it out and tell me if you like it or not. It can be found at: https://youtu.be/vAHvbJ7MEac