Monthly Archives: June 2009

I can’t find my cell phone


     I hate cell phones.  In an earlier post I wrote about not wanting to be connected twenty four seven.  Today it’s more about the size of the darned things. 

     Now I’ve lost my billfold and many smaller items in the depths of my purse, but today Dear Hubby lost his cell phone in his pants.  Yep, that’s what I said—in his pants.

     The disembodied voice came from upstairs.  “Honey, I can’t find my cell phone.  Will you look around down there and see if you can find it?”

     “Sure.”  I also checked outside because he had mowed the grass.  “I don’t see it anywhere.  Did you try calling the number?”  Yes, we’ve been through this before.  It’s easier to call the cell phone number than it is to tear up the house looking for the damned thing.

     My disconsolate DH walked downstairs, picked up the cordless phone, and called his cell phone number.

     From somewhere upstairs we could hear it ring.

     “At least you didn’t lose it out in the yard.”

     He glared at me and went upstairs.  A few minutes later I hear, “I can’t find it.”

     I climbed the steps.  He’s sitting on the bed looking puzzled.

     “Dial it again.”

     He does.  I hear the phone’s distinctive ring coming from the foot of the bed where his recently discarded jeans were in a heap. 

     I picked them up.  Yep, they were ringing.  “Found it!”

     “But I looked there.”

     He had but he hadn’t checked the end of the belt that hung inside the pants.

Writing for the long haul


     I managed to finish another chapter today.  I hate that this has dragged along so much but I’ve had so many days where other things around here made demands on my time and, when I could finally sit down to work, I was so tired I couldn’t think straight.

     There aren’t enough hours in a day some days.  I don’t know where they go.  One minute I look at the clock and it’s early the next time I look it’s Oh My Gawd is it that time already?  Off I dash to cook dinner or jump in the shower and head to bed. 

     Dear Hubby isn’t in a frenzy running back and forth to the nursing and rehab hospital.  He is less frantic now that his mother is back in her home.  The energy in the house is calmer.  It seems that lately I’m writing at a steadier pace. 

     I know that I can now do the long haul and finish the books.

The Siamese connection


     With her post on the Lipstick Chronicles yesterday, Laurie Moore got me thinking about my dearest friend.

     A long time ago, when I was in Jr. High I went with my mother, grandmother, and sisters to get a cat.  We hadn’t had one for quite a while.  Dad had always griped about our cats and after the last one, well…we hadn’t replaced old Butch yet.  We’d moved several times and had a few dogs but no cats that stayed around for long. 

     So there we were just settling in to a new home when my mother spied a mouse running across the room.  My father grumbled under his breath, “I guess we’ll have to get a cat.”  We all heard it.  The next day found us in a woman’s living room looking at her Siamese kittens—she had two left.  One was a blue point male and the other was a seal point female.  The male looked us over and wandered off.  The female snuggled into my sister’s lap and purred.  Can you guess which one we brought home?

     Once she got to our house, she spent the rest of the day and half the night snooping into every nook and cranny.  She earned her name, Snoopy.  Finally exhausted, she climbed into my bed and slept with me.  From that day until twenty one years later, she and I were inseparable.  Where I went so did she.  She would ride in my bicycle basket to the stables, spend the day there, and ride back home with me in the evening.  She would always come when I whistled for her from wherever she had wandered.

     We used to laugh at my father when, after all the cats we had over the years, we caught him petting her and talking baby talk to her.  When I got married, she came with me.  She melted my Dear Hubby’s cat hating heart and that of his father’s too.  She ruled over and outlived 3 dogs.  When she left us in her twenty-first year, our hearts broke.

Raising the stakes in our writing


     How do we do that?  Gee, I’m glad you asked.

     We give our protagonist a problem at every turn.  It can be a small problem such as a flat tire, or BIG problem such as what to do about that dead body in the middle of the living room.

     Cliffhangers, don’t we all love those?  End your chapters with one that will ensure your readers keep turning the pages.

     There’s the old time honored ticking clock where our protagonist must solve a big problem within a set time frame or there will be dire consequences.  Think about all those suspense movies that you enjoy, they have a deadline.

     Keep raising the tension, releasing it, and raising it again.  You can even do that with the scenery.  Is it night?  Foggy?  Is your hero heading into a mudslide?  You get the idea.

     Make your readers’ hearts pound.  Put your protagonist into so much danger that they catch themselves holding their breath.

Do not try this at home…


     Don’t you love when you hear that?  You know some danged fool will try IT, whatever IT is.  Are some people hard wired to do dumb stuff?  Other humans wouldn’t dream of doing those ‘don’t try this at home’ stunts because they have some common sense.

     Ah, there’s the rub.  Where has it gone?  What has happened to common sense, horse sense, practicality, plain old good judgment?  Is it old fashioned?  Is it out of style?  Has it gone the way of good manners and respect for your fellow man or woman?

     Today, on my way to Borders, I watched some young fellows of about twelve years of age riding their bikes.  They were playing a deadly game of tag with cars and trucks out on a major thoroughfare.  Then there were the skateboarding guys who were weaving around cars in the busy parking lot—I almost ran one over when he darted out in front of me.  Hey Mom, was that your kid out there?  I bet he doesn’t pull those stunts anywhere near home because you’d kill him.

I added a new page

     Check out my newly added page ‘The Bull Pen’ I’ve begun to put some pictures of Gavin and Patty there.   As I take new ones I’ll add those too.

     I’d love to get some pictures of them jumping through their Hula Hoops but that’s up to Dear Hubby.  I need him to take them while I put the pups through their paces and since the weather is getting hot he is seldom outside. 

     We’ll try doing a little begging.  Speaking of that, maybe we can get him to snap some pictures of Patty doing her famous stick ’em up routine while we’re at it.

     Later, we might add some pics of our God Puppy, Charlie and our Bulldog friends, Brutus and Diamond.

The dogs are turning into AC sissies


     With his MS, Dear Hubby needs to have the air conditioning on as soon as the temperatures begin to climb into the eighties and the humidity begins.  The dogs don’t need it.  However, Patty and Gavin have decided that they LOVE being cool and comfy.  No, these dogs aren’t spoiled…much.  When it’s hot outside, they don’t want to stay out in the yard with me, they want to be inside with DH. 

     If it is humid and hot, they won’t go out unless they HAVE TO GO.  It’s not as though they have heavy, long, or thick coats.  These two have short coats.  You would think I was dragging them to their deaths to watch them.  Patty will make a circuit or two around the yard and then she’ll stand at the back door begging me to take her back into the cool.  Gavin is worse.  He’ll go out into the yard as few steps as possible to squat and pee.  Why lift a leg when to find something to lift it on would mean walking across the yard. 

     DH’s need for AC has turned these two dogs into sissies. 

     “What do you mean go out there in the heat?  We might melt!” 


Books, an addiction, or a love affair with words?


     I recently purged my library of paperback books.  I kept my favorites, books I hope to get autographed one day, and my autographed copies.  I gave away a large number of books.  I still have tons.  What’s a book nut to do?  I love books. 

     Is there a book lovers anonymous?  I can picture this now.  I sit down with my fellow book addicts and slug back coffee after coffee, while listening to others tell their tales of addiction.  Then it’s my turn to stand up.

     “Hello my name is M and I’m a book addict.” 

     “Hi, M!”

     I can’t go to a conference and  come home without books.  I can’t walk into a book store and leave without buying at least one book.  I devour books, sometimes reading two in a day.  I’m so far ahead of our local library’s newest acquisitions they should ask me what’s new.

     I take pleasure in a great turn of phrase, an imaginative simile, a good joke, a skillful mystery, a story that paints a vivid picture with words.  Maybe it’s not an addiction to books but a love affair with words.

Big city wild critters


     Wild critters wander this big city at night.  At least they do around my neighborhood.  Tonight I had a skunk trot along behind me as I walked into my back porch.  You’d better believe I closed the door quick.  He was within two feet of me.  I’m so glad he didn’t spook and spray.  That would not have been fun.  The dogs would’ve barked at me for days.  Dear Hubby would’ve laughed his assets off while handing me tomato juice and a bucket.  I would’ve been mad as hell because I’m wearing my best jeans.

     A couple of weeks ago a neighbor had to kill an opossum who had somehow managed to get his teeth stuck in the wire fencing that’s beside their house.  The critter was truly stuck.  He didn’t want to kill it but there was no way he could free it easily.  As it was, he had to cut the fencing to get the critter off it. 

     We’ve seen deer, raccoons, and hawks of all sorts, tons of rabbits and squirrels, ducks, Canadian geese, wild turkeys and even a pheasant or two near our home.  DH says that when he was a child they had foxes roaming about.  I think the only wild critter we haven’t seen in our neighborhood is a bear.  We are NOT out in the country.  We are smack dab in the center of Pennsylvania’s third largest city.

Evolving into a water creature


     I may be a Pisces but I don’t want to turn into a fish.  When I woke up today, I thought I saw the beginnings of webs growing between my toes.  I checked myself in the mirror for fear I may have some rudimentary gills erupting too.  Is that moss covering my north side?  Am I growing mold?  Scifi or Darwin?  You decide.  All I know is, I want at least a week straight of sunny weather.

     Since April, we’ve had 43 days of rain.  Yes, I said 43 days of rain.  It’s no wonder my yard is a swamp.  When we actually do have a day of sun everybody stops, looks at the sky, and wonders if we should make a sacrifice to Ra.  I forget what does the sky look like without clouds?

     Farmers around here are worried that we are getting too much rain.  I know if we had more sun I might have more green tomatoes on my plants but with all the rain a lot of the blossoms have dropped off the plants.  I’m glad that some tomatoes had time to set, but at this sunless rate, they may never ripen.

The blank page


     Here I go again.  I stare at a blank page on my screen wondering what I’ll write to fill it.  I type in the chapter number.  I hit the enter key twice, and then tab.  Hmmm, do I begin this one with dialogue?  Maybe I need to set the scene first.  I scratch my head, adjust my chair, walk to the kitchen, and pour another cup of coffee.  Sitting in my chair again, I stare at the monitor.  My brain screams, “Type something you idiot!”

     The quick brown fox….  “Not that.  Quit playing around and get to work.”  Delete, delete, delete.  The air smelled of…of…hmmm, what did it smell of?  Was it night?  Day?  Delete, delete, delete.  When he sat up, the strong odor of gasoline assaulted his nose.  He moaned.  “You’re getting warmer.”  Funny.  Ha ha.  Delete, delete, delete.

     The side of his face felt warm, sticky, he knew it was blood.  His brain hammered against his skull in time to his heartbeat.  At least he had a heartbeat.  “I should’ve known better than to follow the dame into a dive like that.”  But, she was all curves and….All right now we’re getting somewhere.

No nip, tuck, Lasik, or Botox for me


     It seems that most of the commercials on TV are to promote remedies for growing older.  Some are surgical and others for make up to cover up.  What’s so gosh darned wrong with showing your age?  There’s beauty in those crows feet and laugh lines.  There’s experience behind them, joys and sorrows that only come with growing older.

     Yeah, without my glasses I’m as blind as a bat.  I know several people who have had Lasik done and of them only one who didn’t have any problems afterwards.  I think I’ll keep my glasses.  Sure, I could have a tummy tuck, my boobs made perky, and lift my face but I’m happy with me as I am. 

     Botox my forehead?  No thanks.  I’ll keep my wrinkles.  I’ve earned them.  I want to be able move my eyebrows and show some expression.  You can’t do a Groucho Marks imitation if you can’t move your eyebrows.  Egads, I’ve seen those Botoxed faces and frankly, they scare the hell out of me.  Shades of the Stepford Wives.  I don’t want to be a Pod Person.