Some Tidbits

No Toast Points today, but here are two small shimmering jewels of delight you might have missed before we close up shop before Christmas (I mean, we’re still posting next week, but will you even notice? WILL YOU?)

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The Halifax Slasher: A Short Story

It was after Suzy served up cocktails with my suitcase that I wondered about the truth of what she’d told me. We sipped on our brandies and she said I’d have to go. She’d kept me around in the hopes I could protect her, but if this was what happened with me here, there wasn’t a need for me to stay. All of it seemed a bit too easy.

I swore the figure in the portrait of her grandmother cast a shadow like she was standing in a window, the light glowing from behind her within the frame. I could make out the shape of her broad shoulders and sculpted hair on the coffee table in front of us, but I looked around at the flickering candlelight for another answer.

“Where will you go?” Suzy asked me, like I could have an answer to that already. She asked if I wanted her to make me a couple sandwiches to sustain me, and I nodded like it was the least she could do. In truth, I wanted nothing from her. If this was the end, I wanted to get as far away as possible, even if tonight that was just the living room sofa of a colleague.

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Open Thread

The Bartender is off this weekend (they’ll return, never fear!), but in the meantime, would you like to look at vintage lesbian erotic art based on Christina Rossetti’s poem “The Goblin Market”?

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Pulping the Classics: Bad Romance by Great Writers

It’s a little-known fact that various literary heavyweights (and Ayn Rand) once tried their esteemed writerly hands at penning pulp romance novels. Certain great works of fiction and the occasional piece of non-fiction actually had their first incarnations as Mills and Boon-style sagas replete with winsome heroines (well, aside from Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Coitus, which proved to be a commercial flop due to its awkward lack of any heroines at all) whose bosoms heaved in various states of lust, uncertainty, and—when pickings were slim—boredom.

Here, for the first time, we reveal the raunchy reading list of the carnal canon:

His Shaft Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

Can the lovely Lady Brett Ashley help Jake become the lover she needs him to be? Will the couple’s romantic Spanish getaway make Jake feel like a real man again?

The Age of Losing her Innocence by Edith Wharton

Ellen could have any man she wanted—so why has she fallen for Newman Archer, the handsome lawyer engaged to marry another, conspicuously less attractive and interesting woman? Will Newman choose true love over duty?

Of Mice and Members by John Steinbeck

The lissom but lonely wife of a California landowner has her life turned upside down by the presence of a rugged but sweet ranch worker named Lennie. Does she dare to follow her heart? And can Lennie really give her what she craves?

We Have Always Loved in His Castle by Shirley Jackson

Merricat has always felt like an ugly duckling. Things finally seem set to change with the arrival of her charming cousin, Charles—but will Charles’s heart be won by Merricat’s beautiful sister, Constance? Only time—and possibly sorcery—can tell.

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A Bit Of Fry And Laurie Friday

There are only so many long-running, well-developed female relationships in popular media I know enough about to write Femslash Fridays for, guys. Please enjoy this sketch in the meantime; it’s just the single most important sketch in terms of my development as a comedy writer so it’s no big deal if you don’t absolutely love it.

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Link Roundup!

Nature is strange and a bit terrifying. There are some “ice pancakes” floating on a river in Scotland. Some deep magic is at work there.

I often want a disposable phone number from which I can make mischief. Turns out, there is indeed an app for that. It’s called Burner.

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Aunt Acid: Advice for Being Deemed Second-Best

“Someone I was dating/sleeping with chose someone else over me — someone they evidently had very recently met. How do I not feel inadequate? Knowing that someone else was deemed better than me, how do I not feel not good enough?”

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