The Briefcase – trying to understand a travesty

Is anyone else appalled that Channel 9 has chosen to put this shit on television?  This is the same channel whose Sixty Minutes producers chose to go with the bungled Lebanon kidnapping story. The same channel’s flagship news show,  A Current Affair, has been nothing more than an infomercial for the past few years, so perhaps it isn’t surprising that they have chosen to pursue an Australian version of a show that was cancelled in the US in 2015, ostensibly because it was a ratings dud (read distasteful and unappealing to the viewing public).

The whole premise of The Briefcase exploits families who are disadvantaged or under stress by turning a moral dilemma into a spectacle.  A family in need receives a case with $100k and then spends the rest of the show hearing about the disadvantage of another family in need with the view to deciding how much, if any, they will give to the other family.  Therefore, The Briefcase seems to encourage the disenfranchised to enter into a demonstration of ‘my disadvantage is bigger than yours’ while we all watch on embracing our (their) altruism.

There is no defensible argument for this trash and I can’t believe that advertisers would get behind it.  I’m all for helping out families in need but not through this sort of one-dimensional format.  This is right up there with the incomprehensible policies that governments come up with to ‘save the nation’ and ‘close the gap’ through parachuting in missionary-style zeal and barely concealed segregation to ‘turn communities around’.

But I suppose we should be used to this sort of unhealthy voyeurism in reality television.  Mary Elizabeth Williams unpacks the unhealthy state of US reality television in this gem –  where she says, “reality TV largely runs on two speeds: the backstabbing dramas of bored rich people, or the trashy antics of economically underprivileged ones”.  I think I would like to think that in this part of the world, our television execs might have a bit more class.

So I’m asking you Channel 9, when are you going to have a look at your ethics?  Is there any way that you can defend this sort of decision so that I can understand?  Is it just that when you (television channels) bid for these television formats, you get a whole raft of crap that nobody particularly wants to see but which you feel compelled to try to produce to get your money’s worth?   A situation where if you buy the format for The Voice, you have to buy the format for The Briefcase, Honey, I Overindulged the Kids and Housewives of Walmart, as part of the package.  Surely there is a choice to ignore some of these shows, or at worst, bury them in low ratings slots.  Do your programmers and producers ever challenge each other over this lack of taste and decorum?



24 Things Women Over 30 Should Wear

Look at this wonderful blog post that just appeared in my newsfeed.  Whatever the fuck I want will be my new mantra when choosing my daily wardrobe.

This morning, as I was perusing through my Facebook timeline, I happened upon an article that a lovely friend shared. It was entitled “24 Things Women Should Stop Wearing After Age 30”,…

Source: 24 Things Women Over 30 Should Wear

Making Mia Relaunch 2016 Prologue


Mia Prologue: Girl from Ipanema

Jean-Claude, the prick, chuckled as he glanced at the book on his lap and turned a page, like her, preferring print in an age of emergent technology. “Ah, my friend. You have your work cut out for you.”

“You have no idea.” He stifled a groan, wondering how he was going to get through the next few months without killing her or fucking her.

A/N: Thank you to anyone who is still waiting for updates for this story.  I have taken an extended and unavoidable break from Fanfiction. The past few weeks, I have made the decision to complete this story, however, this required me to revisit all my stories and reacquaint myself with the storylines. I have now done a major structural edit of Making Mia to realign it with the story that I intended to tell but was losing sight of a long while ago. So, with your permission and endless patience, I will start to upload the updated chapters first and then I have some new chapters to give you. In the revised author’s notes, I will try to give you an idea of how each chapter has been altered. Sorry for making you reread but it was important to me to tighten up the many strings.

In the original prologue, which I wrote part way through the Creating Kate, we met Mia and Ethan on the beach. Significant difference here is the detail around the birth certificate. This becomes important toward the end of the story in a conversation with Grace and Mia. Also, the original had only a hint of a connection whereas this one lets you know very clearly that Ethan and Mia have history. The reason for starting so overtly is that I didn’t like the pace of the first chapters when I read them all together. I’ll explain a little more soon.

I hope that you enjoy and I welcome your reviews. Cheers, Sasha xxx

Making a Commitment to Myself

Well, Sasha has purchased a new toy.  A computer that is dedicated to her writing and her work.  I know, I’ve got to stop talking about myself in the third person.  I know, I have to get off my proverbial and start writing with the intention to finish something (I’ve written a lot in the past two years but not a lot of it is ready to share).  I know, I have to complete the fanfiction stories that I’ve left hanging (can someone tell me what Making Mia is all about?).

Well, life hasn’t been kind in that regard, but I’m going to push through.  So, this is my commitment to myself.  Sasha is going to make a writing comeback.  There will be blog posts, snippets of the my WIP and more creative sharing.  I will go back to fanfiction and finish what I started.  If you’re still out there, I’d love to hear from you.  At least jump on board and wish me luck.  Now… where did I leave my pen?


2015 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 40,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 15 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

What do Cliteracy and Erotic Fiction have in common?

A terrific short commentary to stimulate…well, I leave that up to you.

Elizabeta Brooke

Cliteracy101I’ve just read the Huffington Post online project #CLITERACY . I have to admit, as I read the article, I was astonished to discover that the medical profession had deleted the clitoris from the main textbook Grey’s Anatomy in 1947, and that in other literature there was so little mention of what the clitoris actually did (while there was heaps of info out there on how the penis produces pleasure). In fact, it was only in 1998 that Australian urologist Helen O’Connell published findings that rocked the medical world. Through dissection, she’d mapped out the clitoris in its external AND internal entirety, demonstrating not only its immense size (it’s comparable with the penis), but its sizable stock of nerve-endings,  far more than in the penis.

I’m sure those findings surprised a lot of people. They surprised me, and, probably because I don’t have a penis, I’d assumed that because of all the hype around male orgasm, it had to…

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Spies In The Night – An Excerpt from Blackheart Legacy #3

The streets emptied quickly as footfall of twenty soldiers echoed off the cobblestones. The rain lent a slack cadence to the wet leather as they made their way steadily toward the town square.  Locals knew better than to be visible but he wasn’t a local.  Still, sliding into the narrow gap between buildings, he would do better if he made his way to the cathedral rather than stay where they could find him.

He cursed. The girl had disappeared into the shadows like a ghost and now he had to play cat and mouse with the cavalry while she vanished into thin air, yet again.  How very like her to bring such luck down upon her sorry arse just when he was getting closer.  He had to hand it to her though, as far as chameleons went, she was one of the best, maybe even better then him.

The cloisters were ringing with the sound of angelic singing. There was a time when that might have brought him some peace but under current circumstances the chanting only served to grate on his nerves.  Moving with stealth, he climbed the monastery wall and began to circumnavigate the square via the rooftops.

The troop make its way across the square to the main avenue and he observed as they merged into the shadows beyond.  He assumed that they were on their way to the general’s palace.  They wouldn’t return until morning.  A movement to his right, caught his attention.  She was there, peering out from behind the statuary, probably ensuring they were gone before she made her move.  Just as he raised his head, she looked up and froze.

Seizing the moment, he leapt from the low roof and ran as fast as he could toward her.  She had twenty feet to work with and made the most of it as she picked up her skirts and charged for the gap to the south of the square.  She was fast, but he was faster and he caught her just as she was about to climb a garden wall.

“Not so fast, Mademoiselle. I believe you have something of mine.” Holding a small dagger to her throat was effective enough to halt her struggles.

“I have nothing of…” Before she could finish the lie, he hoisted the heavy skirt and slid one hand between her thighs.  Her breath hitched and he would have been tempted to linger a little while as the scent of her arousal hit him but then his fingers brushed over the leather strap and his mind came back to the task at hand.  Following the line of leather he pulled the string until the satchel fell from her thigh into his hand.

“Now, you don’t, Mademoiselle.” Weighing the satchel, he figured he had what he was after and there was no need to waste a moment checking the contents.  Slipping the satchel into the opening of his jacket, he tucked it safely against his side so that it was secured by his belt.  All the while he held her tight against his thigh, the knife against her pretty throat, so that she would not attempt an escape.

“I would have given them to you, for a price.” Her hands were tugging at his arm, even though the blade had to be doing damage.  She was a feisty one.

“Really. Come now, little one. We both know that they will be useless if they don’t reach the right people tonight.  Waiting until tomorrow to give me what I need tonight makes your offer less palatable. Besides, why would I take your soiled goods?”

Her heel met his chin with surprising force and he almost let her go. “You bastard. Neither you nor your damn letters are worth the price of my body.” She followed that by spitting at his feet.

“You missed. And since you’ve never had my body, how would you know.  I assure you, I’m very good.”

“I would not let you fuck me, Monsieur.  I fear whatever diseases you might carry.”

The temptation was far too much.  His free hand went to her breast and he squeezed as his mouth descended on the skin of her neck.  She should be filthy with the street but there was an essence that washed away the dirt.  Turning her head to look at him gave him enough purchase to crash his lips against hers and their tongues swept around each other in a pure battle of will.  He dropped the knife and turned her in his arms, crushing her against his chest as her arms went around him.

“Benjamine.  Why do we play these games?” He whispered into her mouth with a moan and prayer.  Christ, this woman was perfect.

“Because you love the thrill of the chase.” She ground her hips against him, teasing his hard cock between the layers of thick fabric. Her foot slipped around his leg, hooking him firmly against her body.  It was all too much. The scent of her, the feel of her. Damn, if he didn’t take her now, he would explode with lust.

“Let me…” He didn’t get the words out before she pulled him off balance and he landed squarely on his arse on the hard, wet stone. She bent to pick up the knife in one hand and then revealed the satchel in the other as she laughingly backed away. “Fuck!”

“That is no way to talk to a lady.” The heavy French accent filled the air.

“You’re no lady, Benjamine.”

“No, and that is why you love me.” Giggling, she picked up her skirts and started to run toward the avenue.  “I’ll say hello to Haverstock for you.”

For a moment, he thought about giving chase again but there was no sport in that. She would make her way to London and away from this hell hole soon enough.  At least for a little while, he could imagine she was safe. Instead, he stood up and brushed himself off before slipping back the way he had come.