Saturday, July 20, 2013

Happy July 20th to Everyone! 

Okay, let’s see….

For the minutiae of last week: 

Last weekend Rosie got her hair layered and highlighted.  It’s very sophisticated and of course beautiful.  She looks like a little beach baby!  And I was glad she and Mommy got to spend some significant time together girl bonding.  It had been awhile and I think they both needed it. 

Cait and Joe went to his dad and Lauri’s for dinner last Saturday night and got back after eleven.  That’s as late as I’ve been up in months!  It’s funny how things come around.  I used to stay up until two and three writing.  Now I get up at three thirty or four to write.  I used to do that when my kids were young so I would have a couple hours of silence every day to string my thoughts together and now I’m repeating history with my grandchildren. 

I read that Cory Monteith from “Glee” died from a heroin overdose and really can’t help feeling pissed off.  My daughter-in-law with Cystic Fibrosis, no matter how healthy she lives, how hard she tries, still has a life of difficulty that may very well be abbreviated anyway.  She’s my best friend and a cloud over her.  I’m supposed to give a rat’s ass about a rich, spoiled moron who threw his charmed life away with both hands?  Bullshit. I feel for his family and friends who are hurting from the loss, but him? Nah.  Sorry. 

I was a hero on Monday.  I made strawberry ice-cream sandwiches on whole grain waffles for lunch for ROJO.  Hey, ya gotta treat ‘em every now and then.  I AM their grandmother, after all, right? 

And on that same train of thought, I left them taste my coffee this morning (DECAF!!!!!).  I make mine really creamy and sweet with Hazelnut Coffeemate.  Rosie said it “tastes weird.”  Joey loved it! 

Rosie loves Blackjack.  She got the hang of it really quick.  We’ve been playing a lot this summer.  Too bad neither of us has any money to bet.

Cait was out in the back yard the other day in heat wave weather to finish the e-fence before vacation, bless her heart.  It has to be working properly before everybody leaves on vacation.  I can’t bend to leash dogs and wrestle with them at the door.  Just not in my capabilities.  I’ve been really stressed about that.  I can handle them okay otherwise, I think. 

I saw this hysterical post on Facebook: 

“When you see me in heaven don’t shit yourselves you judgmental pricks!” 

Swear to God I almost peed my pants. 

OMG!  Joe just played this for me: 

I almost wet my pants laughing so hard!  Seriously hilarious. 

Okay, all over Facebook, people are badmouthing Rolling Stone Magazine for their cover of the Boston Bomber.  Naturally, being the opinionated bitch that I am, I have a viewpoint which is: 

You want to tell me why people are threatening to boycott this magazine because they did an article about an average kid falling in with radical Islam and turning into a monster?  It’s not like the article celebrates his action.  Why is it all right for Time Magazine to show Hitler, Jim Jones, and other horrors of humanity on their covers, slating them as persons of the year (meaning the most newsworthy) and Rolling Stone includes a serious story about a monster and they are condemned?  Why is this considered a ‘rock star’ cover?  The cover blurb calls him “The Bomber” and describes him as a monster.  How is that making him out to be a rock star?  Perhaps the people protesting are illiterate. 

That was my Facebook comment when I posted the article from MSN’s trending stories. 

I also posted this comment:  I will say it again:  I fail to understand how a cover, indicating a story about how a relatively decent kid falls into Islam and turns into a monster is sympathetic to The Bomber?  I haven’t read the article, but I have read at least the cover title, and the picture is self taken by the bomber.  It’s not like they went into prison and conducted a glamor shots photo shoot.  And the article examines how this kid went down the tubes.  Am I to believe that Time, Newsweek, US News, and every newspaper in America never ran a picture of this criminal?  Rolling Stone was the only magazine in the country that ran a picture of Tsarnaev? 

Then I posted: 

and said: 

Time Magazine often chose controversial (Hitler, Stalin, Khomeini) “Person of the Year” people.  Not to glorify them, but to illustrate that they made a mark on history.  I don’t see the difference her.  There are a lot of people, young people, turning to violence and extremist ways and I actually commend Rolling Stone, as well as other media, for examining why. 

I think it’s dangerous to take things at face value without taking a closer look.  While gut reactions may often be the most accurate, not always.  Maybe Trayvon Martin would be alive if Zimmerman hadn’t jumped to conclusions and gone with his gut reaction.  Because sometimes there’s a whole world of story below the surface. 

So that’s how I feel about THAT! 

Okay.  I think I’m done. 

Except perhaps to leave you with this sentiment I came across: 

The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits. 

And on that note I will depart for this week. 






Saturday, July 13, 2013

Touched by Dustin Hoffman, Chilled by Andy Deane, bummed by Broken Old Broad body...

Good Morning Blogees!

Welcome to my headful of scattered thoughts that I will be attempting, in this blog, to sort out so I can dazzle you. 

Sometimes I come across tidbits on the Internet that truly touch me, and the other day someone posted a segment of an interview with Dustin Hoffman that, as a woman, warmed my heart and increased the respect that I already had for him. 

He said that when he read the script for the movie “Tootsie”  he told his wife that he had to do the movie because when he was considering the part, he had makeup people turn him into ‘Dorothy Michaels’ to make sure he would be believable as a woman.  He was disappointed that they couldn’t make Dorothy more attractive.  Then he realized that ‘Dorothy Michaels’ was an interesting woman he started thinking about all the interesting women he’d overlooked previously in his life because they hadn’t been attractive enough by standards he’d been brainwashed into believing, to draw his initial attention.

And, with tears in his eyes he said, “That movie was never a comedy to me,” which is probably the most honest and sensitive thing I’ve ever heard come out of a man’s mouth—ever. 

While there were hilarious aspects to that movie, I completely identified with Dorothy Michaels’ frustration and struggles to gain respect.  Not only have I been ignored because I’m less than the physical standard of a beautiful woman, but because I chose to be a stay-at-home mom instead of working outside my home when my children were small. 

Even though I’ve written six novels, three novellas, and dozens of short stories, many of my husbands’ friends (both male and female) ignored me completely, even when they were sitting around my dinner table eating food that I’d prepared.  It’s like I wasn’t even in the room much of the time. 

When I read about Dustin Hoffman’s epiphany, it touched me very deeply, and provided a little much-needed balm to a very sore spot.  Thank you, Mr. Hoffman, for your honesty and your sensitivity, for your respect for women, and for making such a wonderful movie. 


Okay, while looking up that link, I came across this appearance of Dustin Hoffman and Robert DeNiro on Letterman which cracked me up. 

Okay, next subject. 

I’m reading a well written book called “All the Darkness in the World” by Andy Deane.  I love reading Andy’s stuff because he has a gritty, non-pretentious literary style that is just perfect for the horror genre.  He has a gift for writing seriously vivid imagery that I admire and brings to mind some of the imagery of Stephen King, though Andy’s style is all his own.  (For instance, there’s a scene describing another character as ‘meaner than a hungry piranha with a hemorrhoidal flare up’ and then a scene where his character is describing the worst thing he could imagine as ‘an asshole full of shit-eating ants.’)  Can you say immediate cringe?  Well done, Andy! 

I had the pleasure of meeting Andy face to neck (He’s about six-three or four, topped off with another six inches of usually blue Mohawk),
when he appeared with his band, Bella Morte, at DragonCon in Atlanta, Georgia a few years ago.***  I’d been a fan of the band long before his books came out, and walked up to him at his merch table across from the Cruxshadows’ table and reached up and pinched his cheeks, saying, “Andy, you’re so goddamned cute!”  He was taken aback, and George shouted across the aisle from the Cruxshadows table: “Oh my God!  Somebody has finally rendered Andy speechless!”  I am honored, because Andy is not the shy type.  I’ve spent many pleasurable hours at DragonCon panels (writing, Goth, Music) laughing at the hilarious ‘on the road’ stories tossed back and forth by Andy and Bella Morte, The Cruxshadows, Ego Likenesss, The Last Dance, and Voltaire (who, appropriately enough, wrote an intro for “All the Darkness in the World.”) 

Okay, I digressed in a big way, but I like that story.  Almost as much as I like “All the Darkness in the World.”  Andy Deane is a top shelf horror writer, and pens a great read in “All the Darkness in the World” as well as in “The Sticks.”  Grab copies of both and enjoy the chills! 

*** Thanks to for the image of Andy Deane! 


On the home front things have been relatively quiet.  Been running on fumes the last couple of days, waking well before my usual four a.m., which is my writing time (Because even the dogs are unconscious at that hour!).  I used the time to my advantage and got the “From the Perch” column of “Owl’s Eye View” plotted out for the coming year, plus penned some disquieting short stories.  But I’ve been kindof stressed recently.  Sometimes no matter how much I want to pitch in and be a help I simply can’t physically manage it, which pisses me off like you wouldn’t believe, and at those times there isn’t enough St. John’s Wort in the universe.  Writing and being here to help my daughter-in-law with the munchkins and the household as much as I can is pretty much my raison d’etre.  When my freaking broken body gets in the way of the “Broken Old Broad” title gets a little too real (even though, when my 4 year old grandson says it, I can’t help but laugh, no matter how pissy my mood is).  Ah well, fiddle-de-fuckin-dee….tomorrow’s another day. 


There’s a five hour respite from the rain before the next freaking storm is predicted.  Cait and Joe are taking the kids and the dogs to the park to burn off some energy.  Thank goodness—everybody’s been cooped up because of bad weather all week—it’s the stuff of horror stories.  Muahaha! 

Okay.  Back to writing short stories. 




Sunday, July 7, 2013



I hope everyone had a great Fourth of July.   This year marks my third Independence Day in Pennsylvania, and can see fireworks from my window, which is rather extraordinary since I love them and am disabled and almost never leave the house due to physical limitations. 
Cait and Joe are installing an electronic fence today which will make it much, much easier for me to handle our dogs and keep them from getting squished on Bethel Road when everyone goes on vacation and when both kids are in school next year.  But today they are having their share of problems because the trench digger machine broke about two thirds of the way through the job, there were no machines to exchange it for at the place where they rented it, and it’s getting hotter as the sun climbs in the sky, and well, ugh, just a series of annoyances.  But I for one, really appreciate their efforts…and I think once the fence is operational and the dogs are safer by not being able to escape the yard, everyone will benefit from the added peace of mind, and less hassles when letting the dogs outside.  We have Australian Cattle Dogs and they are both incredibly smart and will no doubt learn the boundaries fast. 

I woke up this morning to a lovely dawn surprise: there was all this lacy design seemingly etched into the condensation on my window.  It looked like I’d had the window frosted and etched.  I put my glasses on and realized that there were a couple of teeny tiny little snails moving around on the window, leaving the trails through the condensation.  I wrote a haiku: 

Tiny snail artists
Tracking designs for me on
My window each night.

The other day I was upstairs with the kids and the dogs, sitting and reading and minding my own business when suddenly Kato launched himself off the sofa and started pawing at the rug.  He sniffed, pawed at something, then sniffed, pawed, rolled on it, then grabbed it in his teeth, threw it up in the air, caught it in his teeth again, watched it drop onto the carpet, pawed it, rolled on it again, then tossed it in the air again, caught it in his mouth and swallowed it.  Thank you Captain Kato, Bug Catcher Extraordinaire, for ridding our home of man-eating ear whigs and other assorted creepy crawlies.  But mostly for keeping me well amused by your antics!

I have been writing myself ragged trying to finish the Zeons series that will be published in the "Swooping through the Years" column of “Owl’s Eye View Magazine” starting this month and continuing on through December.  I’m working on Issue 11’s installment and it’s long, but pretty intense. I’m at the place in writing this novel where a laboring woman gets in childbirth:  Just get it the hell out of me! I’m hoping Zeons is well liked.  I got a lot of frustration out of my system writing it.  Muahaha!  I always tell people not to give me shit, they’ll end up written up in one of my stories or novels.  Imagine what I will do with corporations, banks, government hassles, and other societal frustrations that have been pissing me off for years!  I hope you enjoy reading my form of venting as much as I enjoyed writing it. 

Update:  I just finished writing "Swooping through the Years" Issue 11, Zeon Attacks!  Wahoo!  While it will require some serious editing and polishing, it is complete and I anticipate Issue 12’s ‘Zetopia’ column to be a breeze to write in comparison.  So all is well on the writing front for the moment. 

I may even treat myself to breakfast today!  But then it’s right back to work keying in the 60+ pages of text I hand-wrote yesterday and this morning.  I will go at it happily because it is a done deal. 

Taught Ro how to play Blackjack which she loves, but we vacillate between that and “Go Fish.”  She is only seven after all! 

Joey is improving his “Go Fish” skills too, and has graduated to playing his own hand without help.  By the time Rosie goes back to school I’m sure he will be hoarding books as well as his sister. 

So much for the exciting life of a writer this week.  Makes up for all the horrific stuff I scrape out of the gory lobe of my brain. 


There’s a note in my datebook for blog day (Saturday) to talk about learning to let go of things, and I have to smile.  I do all kinds of research when I’m putting a novel together, or when I just Google information out of curiosity.  I have files upon files of information that I’ve looked up, taken notes on and saved.  I will probably never use it again, and it takes up whole gigs of space on flash drives, and external hard drives.  I’m always afraid I’ll go to find it again on Google if I need to and it won’t be there.  I was cleaning out files last weekend and after hours of sifting through dozens and dozens of computer files, realized I hadn’t really deleted anything, just reorganized it and removed it to an external hard drive.  Ugh!

I used to be that way with everything: clothes, paperwork, bank statements, books, name it.  I had so much stuff.  I eliminated a ton of paper by scanning everything (files full of notes, segments of text omitted from manuscripts but too good to just throw away, bank statements from forever ago from accounts long closed, medical files, old essays, photographs of people I didn’t even recognize, and nor did my mother who’s the only member of her generation of my family even alive) into my computer and summarily dumping the hard copies—to the tune of 7 extra large file storage totes, and 8 jumbo photo albums!  Literally weight off my shoulders!  I also, while watching movies, scanned several books into my computer, mostly ones I refer to when writing—books on supernatural and other horror lore.  And several health and nutrition books as well as writing and editing reference books like “On Writing” by Stephen King and of course Stunk and White’s “The Elements of Style.” 

I still have books, but they’re mostly signed copies I’m saving to give to the grands.  And I’ve let go of any personal belongings that don’t have serious sentimental value to me.  I used to save clothes that I’d worn for special occasions, or that were made for me by loved ones, and knick knacks that reminded me of good times.  I let go of a lot of them.  I realized that the object wasn’t special except for the memories it triggered.  So I took pictures of furniture, clothing, knick knacks, and other memorabilia, so that I would always have the memories I associated with them, and then gave away the objects or donated them to charity.  Then I went one step further and scanned all the family pictures into my computer and saved them on a flash drive.  So liberating not to have to sift through all kinds of junk and heavy photo albums in search of a few memories!  I highly recommend scanning your memories and placing them on ‘shuffle’ display on your computer. 

Okay.  That’s my big thought for the day.  If everybody I know shows up at Goodwill or leaves huge bags of stuff out to donate to Purple Hearts, I will know you tried my idea. 


My quote for the week: 

“If you die rich, you die disgraced.” – Andrew Carnegie 

I intend to use this as an intro for “Zeons.”  You’ll see why.  I always liked this quote.  Speaks volumes, and garnered respect from me for Andrew Carnegie. 

Okay.  I’ll be going now.