I Read Too Nuch

Beautiful Red Head Woman With Freckle SmilingAnother review just came in for Finding Mr. Wrong. This one is from Patricia Hamill of I Read Too Much fame:

Finding Mr. Wrong is exactly as described. Tookie is back, and in her direct way, she has begun her search for a man who will provide her with a daughter and stick around to help her raise her. This story, while channeling Tookie’s quest in a straightforward manner, still tugs at the heart. All the close, but not quite right fits. Tookie has her standards. And then she’s running out of time. Truly, I found myself fretting at her single-mindedness. Her lowering of standards in favor of getting the one thing she refuses to give up, a daughter of her own. But though it frustrated me, it came across as true to character. And in the end, she really doesn’t mind landing with Mr. Wrong, so long as she gets what she signed up for in the bargain.

The struggle to control her urges and desires in her quest to land a stable father for her future daughter added an interesting edge to this installment in Tookie’s story. There’s a lot of growth for her, and she tackles much of her previously destructive behavior in the process.

On the downside, I found it hard at times to suspend reality and accept her as a realistic portrayal of a woman. She can be jarring in her words and tendencies. I’m not entirely certain whether it was intentional or otherwise. I want to believe it was intentional. Overall, I really liked the story, though I was frustrated for Tookie. Folks who enjoyed Only Tim Sent Flowers will likely enjoy this one, too.

 

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Review of Finding Mr. Wrong

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This review of Finding Mr. Wrong just arrived:

Reviewed by Sheri Hoyte for Reader Views (4/18)

“Finding Mr. Wrong” is the fascinating sequel to “Only Tim Sent Flowers” by George Kaplan, featuring Tookie, a girl on a mission. Her goal: to have a child – well, more specifically, a daughter of her very own. With the days of her reproductive opportunities whittling away, there’s no time to be picky with her prospects, any sperm donor will do. Or will they? After several ‘Mr. Wrongs’ Tookie realizes she wants her daughter to have a father figure in her life – an inconvenience to be sure, drastically limiting the number of qualifying candidates, as well as the chance for success.

Wow, this book was such an entertaining read! I fell in love with the author’s voice immediately. With a quick wit, a seemingly limitless imagination, and a sharp tongue, Kaplan brings Tookie to life in full magnificent display. Tookie’s trysts from man-to-man and bed-to-bed in search of the perfect partner are hilarious, and Kaplan uses his gift with dialogue to keep the story flowing almost impulsively, and always enticingly. What I want to know is how does Kaplan capture the very essence of Tookie’s personality? It’s almost like he has lived through her experiences directly! So fun!

Tookie’s character is only matched, in my opinion, by Rose, mother of one of Tookie’s conquests. Rose is on a mission as well – to find a vessel for her son to provide her with grandchildren. When Rose and Tookie go head-to head, it’s hard to imagine who will come out on top. “Finding Mr. Wrong” is character-driven action at its finest.

I have a horrible habit of reading series books out of order, and though “Finding Mr. Wrong” stands solidly on its own, I will definitely be back-pedaling to read “Only Tim Sent Flowers,” so I can learn more about how Tookie came to be the woman she is in this story. I highly recommend “Finding Mr. Wrong” by George Kaplan as an engaging humorous read that will leave readers wanting more.

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Second Tookie Book Released

FMW cover with outline.pngLast Saturday, even though Tookie wasn’t wearing green, her favorite color, probably due to her red hair, her publisher, Black Opal Books, released the second book in the series named after her. Finding Mr. Wrong picks up where Only Tim Sent Flowers left off. After being dumped unceremoniously by Isaac and convalescing with first boyfriend Tim, Tookie unwinds on a windjammer cruise unmolested (her satirical term for making out, an activity she thoroughly enjoyed) with girls from work.

A chance remark by one of her shipmates, who’d had too much wine, piqued her curiosity about mechanical devices as a substitute for a man on dateless nights. After a few tests, she shelved her long-held restriction against props.

Her biological clock ticked deafeningly and no vibrator could get her the daughter she longed to have. Acquiring a husband and getting pregnant, not necessarily in that order, became her highest priority. She broadened her filter and accepted dates from men should would have ignored before. Tookie’s main criteria became an income capable of supporting her daughter in the manner she wished she had lived and an ability to impregnate her. She even started going to church.

She “auditioned” man after man, but none proved adequate until she was set up on a blind date with an engineer her age who still lived at home. That his old-country mother wanted grandchildren was a major point in his favor. But would his mother squelch the deal after her P.I. uncovered some of Tookie’s indiscretions?

If you’re interested in reviewing Finding Mr. Wrong, contact me.

Blocking the Boys

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swimmers cartoonHow do we give the girl sperms a major edge over the boys? Men have little control over the proportion of female to male sperms they produce. They just produce a mix of about equal numbers of each. So, it’s up to the woman to take control.

Sperm must swim through the uterus to have any chance at reaching the egg and fertilizing it. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on one’s viewpoint, the uterus isn’t a neutral environment in which all sperms are treated equally. Depending on the woman’s diet, her vagina’s pH may be acidic or alkaline. An acidic follicular fluid favors female sperm by rendering male sperms weak and directionless. How may a woman cause the pH of her follicular fluid to be acidic?

Eating a diet higher in magnesium, calcium, and acidic foods such as corn, meat, beans, fish, plums, coffee, eggs, liver, and yoghurt and avoiding alkaline foods such as bananas, oranges, potatoes and watermelon create an acidic environment. Supplements such as calcium, folic acid, magnesium, and vitamin C help make the cervical mucus acidic.

Men can help by keeping his genitals warm because heat destroys male sperms faster than females.

According to The Shettles Theory, boy sperm travels faster and have a shorter life span. Having sex two or three days prior to ovulation pretty much guarantees few male sperms will still be alive to do the deed.

The depth of penetration during intercourse affects where the sperm will be deposited in the vagina. Shallow penetration leaves the sperm near the acidic entrance to the vagina where deeper penetration favors male sperm.

While none of these approaches have been proven to work and would never guarantee a girl, they could help. Regardless, testing them could be quite enjoyable.

 

Stacking the Chromosome Deck

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spermsWhen Tookie’s biological clock became perceptible to her near the end of Only Tim Sent Flowers, her wish to have a daughter of her own became a quest. Finding Mr. Wrong journals her pursuit of that goal. Unknown to her (and the author). Methods exist to stack a woman’s deck in favor of conceiving a daughter rather than a son. Before exploring those options, a little biological background is needed.

All sperm cells men produce are not equal: some carry an x-chromosome (female sperm) and others carry a y-chromosome (male sperm). When the sperm fertilizes a woman’s egg 23 chromosomes (only one of which is a sex chromosome) from the sperm and 23 chromosomes from the egg normally fuse together, forming an XX or XY pair for the child. Since the egg only carries x-chromosomes, the sex of the child is determined by the sperm cell that fertilizes it. So, if a female sperm does the deed, an XX pair results and the baby will be a girl. But if a male sperm succeeds, an XY pair is created and a boy is created. Since a male injects millions of sperms into the mother to be with each orgasm, getting pregnant must be as easy as falling onto your back. Wrong!

A woman can usually only get pregnant during a single 12-24 hour period each month, when she’s ovulating. That’s actually a good thing if you want a girl—like Tookie does—because it limits the time the aggressive male sperms have to impregnate her. Left to their own devices, male sperms slightly outperform their female competitors with 51% of conceptions being boys. For our heroine to get the daughter she yearns, it’s necessary to set the stage to female sperms’ advantage.

Sperm cells differ in more ways than the chromosomes they carry. That female sperms are more resilient to acidic environments than are male sperms, may be the key to Tookie finding a daughter in her womb. An acidic uterus will kill off most of the males trying to find her egg, but there’s more to getting the opportunity to buy pink baby clothes than that.

<continued next time>

 

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.

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.