Friday, 25 January 2013


Good Morning one and all, if you find yourself here to see my first review in the Artful Readers challenge and don't fancy my normal Rocking ramblings then please scroll down - I've marked the start of my review in bold further down.  In the meantime morning to all my lovely rockers and rockettes out there - how was your week, let me know because it's
Wow what a week it's been as we lurch through January, I always find it the strangest of months if I'm honest but let's see what we've got to be grateful for this week.

First up is hubby and his idea of going for a walk to the next village, we live just less than 1 mile from the next village but the roads to it contain very little pavements and are mainly national speed limit roads, so we always venture by car on a safety basis.  A couple of years ago me and hubby went out for a meal there and walked back via a public footpath, but it was dark and we got sort of lost and so have never ventured that way since.  Until this last weekend, when we found ourselves in a winter wonderland but really fancying a walk out.  So when he suggested it and in keeping with one of my words of the year - spontaneous (the other word being reclaim), both me and said 12 year old said yes, expecting to only get part way there before having to return.  Little did we realise what a fabulous walk we would have.  Now don't get me wrong in parts the track is also a bridleway and the horses have churned up the ground so in wet weather you would need some seriously decent waterproof boots to get through, but in a frozen landscape we found the ground solid even if a little uneven!

Here is me and said 12 year old on the bridge across the stream.
The next village and arty shot by hubby 
 Another shot of the steam
And the tiny church (it isn't, but is a standing joke that the church is huge when you compare it to the population of the village).
Said 12 year old was somewhat grumpy about the walk, I think in the main because he didn't know how long it would be, however, the promise of a bowl of chips in the pub was enough to convince him to carry on - he didn't manage one of these bowls but two!  You can see that he's already ailing in the photo - he looks shattered and washed out!
I'm also grateful for Mr Robin - calling to us from the trees and hubby managing to capture a shot of him!
 And said 12 year old out in the snow, he seems to be growing up so fast these days!
 Next up is dedicated workers - this is what we saw on the way back from the village shop!
Other gratefuls this week are 
  • An understanding boss when it came to a snow day and being poorly! 
  • Central heating - how I love thee
  • Facebook for allowing contact with people even when they live far away! 
  • Digital cameras and instagram - I love both and between me and hubby we've managed some pretty awesome winter piccies that will be appearing on a scrapbook page very soon. 
  • Finally Darcy's reading challenge which has seen me complete the first book in the challenge and create a piece of artwork that involved paint and my new gelli plate which I love! 
Right a quick 12 x 12 layout that I did as part of the UKS Cybercrop nearing the end of last year, I fought with this one the idea was great in my head, just didn't quite come to fruition, but it's done so I photographed it!   I'll put Mr Linky right at the bottom of the post, so it's easier to spot and add to rather than trying to find it mid-week. 

Hope you've had a grand week, if you want to know a little more about Rocking Your World posts, then have a read under the button on the right hand side.  


OK I have to admit it I was dubious about adding this book to the pile of 11 that had come relatively easily, I even considered a different book in opposition to this one, but that one wasn't a fictional read and I actually wanted a neat set of fictional books to attack this year.  I also have to admit that fiction is what I sometimes struggle with so to say I've managed to land myself with a book I could quite happily have bounced off the wall and dropped into the bin soooooooooooo many times is the understatement of the year.  Which book you're asking - 'confessions of a submissive'.

I subjected myself to the 50 shades books last year, I didn't believe the hype but was intrigued as to why everyone had suddenly felt compelled to read these books.  I struggled through the first one (50 shades that is) and could understand why many abandoned at that point, but being a true Virgoan had to read the 'set' so I did and whilst I felt overall that they were OK I felt that the story was rushed and not true to life so when I saw a 'real 50 shades' book (which is how this book was advertised) I thought why not... little did I know.  I don't know how I can explain why I was so cross with it, but I think it's because, if that is the true life of a submissive then I don't understand why anyone would subject themselves to it, all I saw was a story of consenting violence which in parts seemed to verge on actual bodily harm.  I found I wanted to put the book down more than I wanted to pick it up, but didn't want to be beaten into submission by this book - forgive the pun.  So I battled on.

The book centres around the writer who openly expresses herself and her life as a submissive with her vanilla life sprinkled in for good measure.  She explains the non-emotional attachment relationships she has and then moves onto one where an emotional attachment is achieved but becomes so complex and contrived that it's difficult to see it ever achieving a long term status.  You're left wondering whether such extremes in her private life could eventually leave her permanently marked (I'm of the view that given the nature of some of these interludes she probably already has been and again I mean literally).  But what irritated me the most is whilst on one hand she's stating that she loves what she does, she spends most of her time crying to the point of sobbing and covering herself in her own mucus from all the crying - really that floats your boat? I just don't get it and there are occasions when the description in the story quite frankly would have led me to acts of rebellion towards her dominant partner!  I kid you not... so all I can tell you is if this is a real life 50 shades and the real life of a submissive you're all right you can keep it!  Now don't get me wrong I appreciate that everyone enjoys books for different reasons, for me I like to live in the story and be totally absorbed in it in order that the story becomes real, I think that's why I struggled so much with it, I didn't want to be part of this story.

Be warned if you do attempt this book then the language is extremely graphic and not for the faint hearted.

Will it become a permanent fixture on the bookcase - nope afraid not.  Am I glad I finished it - yes?  The sense of achievement of managing this challenge in 2013 is something I'm looking forward to, I'm just hoping the next book is a book I can rave about - now which one do I go for?

Finally the art, crikey this was hard to decide on?  Do I do a mail art postcard (I thought about it but could not for the life of me think of anyone who might actually want to receive it).  Do I do an art journal page or something else.  In the end I opted for the comfort of my art journal, the pages I've created have been done in my A5 journal and go across a double page.

I'm going to try and visit as many of the artful readers as I can, I hope your first book has been a great read and I'm looking forward to getting to know you all a little better as the year progresses!  Until next month!



  1. Not sure about the book, though I did read and enjoy the 50 Shades trio. Not a life for me, for sure!! However, I love your photos and the walk looks gorgeous, if no doubt extremely cold. I yearn to upgrade to a digital camera for what I laughingly call my 'proper' photography, especially now with the demise of Jessops but can't at present. So I will continue with my 35 mm film... anyhow, I love the photos. Have another rocking good week to come.

  2. Gorgeous photos Virginia... and love Mr Robin... great post too... beautifully written... your book sounds interesting... I never did get to read the 50 shades trio... and love your art journal spread...

    Jenny ♥

  3. i lovethos photos I hope you all feel much better soon big hugs xx

  4. What a beautiful snowy walk & great looking chips !

  5. I really love what you've done with the art for this one. I actually don't understand the whole master and his slave thing that's popular these days. I mean a little is nice to spice things up but these books are over doing it I think. I enjoyed reading your review. :)

  6. Well done you for going out for a good walk in the snow – sad to admit that we haven’t managed one at all – but to be fair I was took to my bed poorly for most of the snowy spell. Maybe if we get more snow this weekend as they seem to be threatening, we’ll attempt some winter caching. Love your photos. What is your Instagram ID? I’ll have to follow you. Mine is floroo17 but I don’t use it an awful lot.

    I need to write my “rocking month” post soon for January – there won’t be much to say, it has been a very uneventful month!

    And another well done you for getting to the end of your difficult book! From your description there is no way in a million years I could read that book! Just the thought of it is mildly churning my stomach. But one good thing has definitely come out of it as I LOVE your journal page – it’s wonderful. I hope you enjoy next month’s read a little better :)

    Hope you all feel better soon x

  7. Great photos as ususal! Love the chip one! Lots of rocks and thanks for visiting me all week. Hope all is well now. I enjoyed your review. I havent read the shades books and I am not sure I would read this one but I enjoyed the review. The journal page is very thought provoking. And guess what, as I am typing it is starting to snow again! Have a great weekend, jenx

  8. The walk looks gorgeous, as do the chips! Nom! I am seeing mention of gelli plates everywhere at the mo, methinks I need to investigate. I love your lo with the message from Malachite.

    On to the book. Not for me, wasn't tempted by 50 shades, as soon as I read that it had started out as Twilight fdanfic. Nah. Your book, I have to say doesn't sound tempting either. The jourtnasl poager though - wow! Very powerful, perfect imagery as alwasys Virginia :-)

  9. Great journal page ♥, especially after such a disappointing read! I read the 50 shades and was impressed by the first part but at the third part it felt like just another Bouquet/Harlequin novel... Not really something to rave about, just an easy in between read with a happy end! :)

  10. Even the title would make it a no-no to me, and I can see that would be the right decision. How do people get this stuff published! You deserve a medal for struggling through it. Still, it inspired you to create a very powerful image, so powerful that it gives me the shivers. You should put it in for the Turner prize!

  11. Well done you!!! I wouldn't have finished it. From your brief description I already despise the main character, which is never a good thing. Excellent page you created though, very to the point.
    Loved the pics in the snow too :D XXX

  12. Never read any of the 50 shades books, and this book does not sound like it would interest me either. Having been acquainted with some folks that participate in that lifestyle has not made it any more clear why one would choose such a thing. But to each their own, I don't like people to judge my lifestyle so who am I to judge theirs? I just don't understand it :) Love the journal page, seems to have captured the essence of the book from the way you described it!

  13. I to got into the hype of the 50 shades and read all 3 thanks to my ebooks from my local library. While I don't understand how someone gives someone else so much control over their bodies......maybe I am just too old to understand. The trio was enough for me and I will not be reading this book.

    I on the other hand love your journal page. Great page with the book you read.

  14. wow awesome challenging book..i started 50 shades once and found it to boring glad u read thru it and for your honoust review..def noit a easy read before bed lol

  15. Thanks for warning about the book. I refused to read 50 Shades when there are so many well written books out there. Interesting journal page, too. Love the interpretation.

  16. Sounds like a tough read. I appreciate the honest review. For some reason, though, I'm drawn to possibly checking it out. In the end, who knows. But it's an odd interest, maybe because I always wonder what the heck people are thinking in these situations.

    Excellent art work, too!

  17. And oh yeah ... I might have to come back and check out that Rocking Your World Friday. I could probably use a little extra positiveness in my world at times! :D

  18. i never read 50 shades, the hype put me off to be honest. Well done to you on finishing what appears to have been a very difficult and perhaps disturbing book. I do know people who enjoy this lifestyle, and it has always puzzled and concerned me, but each to their own. I could never be that submissive. I dont think this will be going on my list lol you still managed to make great art from it though, very striking.

  19. Well done for getting to the end of the book, it certainly sounds like a book I do not need on my bookshelf. I was never tempted by 50 shades either but do know quite a few others that were! I think you managed to create a great piece of artwork inspite of it being a book that you could have quite easily dumped early on in the read.
    Love your photos, they certainly capture the pleasant side of all the snow we have been having.

  20. Virginia...that artwork is stunning...and sooooo right for the book! As you know, I read this in 2011 when first published as "Subtext" and promoted as a "true" story.
    Well done for getting through what was an obviously difficult read!
    Great rocking post...and those photos...the robin just screams...."Christmas Card"!!!!
    Hugs xx

  21. Are you coming to my virtual birthday party, Virginia?!?! guess what my present is... jenxxx

  22. Thanks for your honest review of '50 Shades' - I've never even considered reading it, I just know that it's not my thing. I'm definitely not averse to erotica for females it's just that I've heard so many people who've read it say "could've written better m'self!" whether that's actually true, I don't know, but it obviously didn't impress them much.

    It has inspired a great journal page from you though - I really like it. Well done.

  23. Sounds like a difficult read. Compelling and thought provoking art you've created from it.

  24. Congratulations for completing the book even though you kept wanting to put it down. Your journal page is amazing and seems to capture the emotions you described related to the book. I love the image of the woman. I'm really looking forward to seeing your artwork for your future books.

  25. You have confirmed exactly what I have thought about this type of book (never having read one yet). Well done on finishing it and for the stunning artwork you have created.

    Janet xx

  26. Stunning journal pages to accompany the book - well done for sticking with it, at least you can now have an informed opinion about the submissive/master thing. Funnily enough, I never did see you as submissive.....!

    Great Rocking list Virginia. I hope you and said 12 year old are finally starting to feel brighter.


  27. Fabulous artwork. Have to say this book is not for me. Well done you for exploring it.
    Jen x

  28. Thank you for sharing your lovely photos of family in the snow...haven't seen snow in many years and always enjoy seeing beautiful photos...your journal spread is so expressive (words/colors/position of woman)...interesting review.

  29. I admire the fact that you read 50 Shades books and survived... with your hair still attached to your hair. I had to read it for work (I worked for a publisher) and I swear that I was in pain (and in a horrible mood) for days. I can't stand less than good writing...

    Anyway, I enjoy erotica that comes with a good plot (or at least a believable storyline); graphic language doesn't bother me, so I might give it a go.

    Your artwork is a powerful description of masochism, at least I think so. The way her muscles look so strong, her body so carnal, and her posture still shows her with her head down (trusting). And the word-choices? Perfect ;-)

  30. Your art work is fabulous. Very expressive! I can't say that I will bother with the book though! Love your photos too. Snow is so beautiful (says she sitting in an airconditioned room because it is swelteringly hot outside!).

  31. I have finally arrived here! It sounds like a book I better leave at the book store. What a wonderful honest review you wrote. I enjoyed it, the bonus for me was the gorgous piece you created as a result of it. Lovely meeting you.

  32. Sounds like you had the same raction to 50 shades as me - I wanted to read the set so I could know what I was actually talking about when everyone else was discussing it. I enjoyed the books to a certain extent but thought they were poorly written and certainly not worth all the hype - there are definitely "ruder" books out there for anyone that wants to read them. So, anyway (!) I think I'll leave this book alone after your review but I like what you've done with your artwork, especially given the subject matter!

  33. Not my kind of book ... But then not the sort of thing to entice me... Prefer complete rudeness for when I want that part of my brain to fire ... Lol ... Or nothing of the kind for the rest of it!

    Love the journal page though ... Very expressive!