Category Archives: Misc.

I won a book!

Okay, so I know it’s not that exciting but 1) I never enter contests in my own name and 2) I was quite sure if I did, I’d never win.  I was always unlucky at the annual Halloween cake walk.  Magical chairs?  Bah!  Once, on a whim, I slipped my mother’s name in a drawing for a pearl necklace, symphony tickets, and additional loot to the tune of about $1,000.  She won.  Just for clarification, she gave me the symphony tickets, not the pearls.  I was 17.

So when I discovered that my fav booksite, Goodreads, had first-read giveaways, I was skeptical.  I entered, quickly forgetting about a lovely new book possibly being mailed to my door, but alas, I won (thank you, Penguin Group!)  I can see the future already: I’m going to turn into one of those hopeful contest junkies. 

The loot:  Neighborhood Watch by Cammie McGovern

Synopsis: “A riveting and frightening tale of false accusation from the author of Eye Contact

Twelve years ago librarian Betsy Treading was convicted of murdering her neighbor, the bohemian loner Linda Sue. After DNA testing finally exonerates Betsy, she returns to her suburban community determined to salvage her life and find the true killer. As she begins to pick apart the web of secrets, lies, and love affairs uncovered in the wake of her trial, Betsy suspects that her tight-lipped neighbors may know something that she has denied even to herself.

In Neighborhood Watch, Cammie McGovern captures the nail-biting electricity of the best literary thrillers and zeros in on the subterranean tension abuzz in a town whose dark secrets threaten to obliterate the glossy façade of a perfect life. It is also the story of a woman coming into her own, finding her strength, and taking control of her life. It asks readers, what sort of price would you pay for the sake of your reputation? Intricately woven, psychologically astute, and filled with complex and surprising characters, Neighborhood Watch marks a significant step in the career of this talented author.”

Sounds good, doesn’t it?  I don’t normally read contemporary novels but I’m really excited about this one.  Keep an eye out for the review when I’m done.

Georgian word of the day:  Demy-rep (or demi-rep), 1749

Literally, a reputation split in halves.  It is considered the shortening of demimondaine, a mistress of a wealthy, upperclass lover.  A demy-rep would be a part of the demimonde, the hedonistic underworld on the fringes of society.  Of rarer use, demy-rep may also refer to a person (not specifically a woman) of doubtful respectability and reputation.

Note:  Many words originate in Georgian England and the following period, Regency,  for a woman who provides sexual services for payment, suggesting that they were not only commonplace but that many men required their services.


Spring into Reflection

As I write this, a soft, spring breeze flutters through my open window.  I am drinking riesling so cold it sweats against my glass, a much needed departure from the bold reds of winter.  On the deck, the sound of a bamboo chime rustles in a restless, hollow tune.  I listen to the birds tweet, the frogs croaks near the pond, and of this moment, I know a simple, singular thought: there is nothing but right now.

Except the blooms. 

Beyond my storied windows, the rains have greened the grass.  Buds swell from bushes, plump and heavy and hopeful.   After a long and miserable winter, tiny red shoots of  peonies stretch toward the sun.  Down in the garden, irises cluster while hyacinths preen, the first to put on a show.  A week or two from now, the flowering trees holding court in my yard will burst into pink and frosty blooms and I will sit here with a stupid grin on my face, wondering, was spring always this great? 

I watch my boston, Josie, roll around in the lawn and I can’t help but think: my dog knows this answer better than I do.

Of Hearts and Cupids

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Kiss your dog

doggies need love too!

Hug your gal friends

Call your mom

Wear your heart on your sleeve

Show a blogger love by leaving a comment

And remember, everyday is v-day for lovers!

Goodbye 2009!

My Strategies for Better Living in 2010

After a whirlwind holiday season – holing up in my auntie-in-law’s house, scarfing down toffee and pepperment bark (and truffles, champagne and cookies!), along with avoiding the dreaded malls of December – I’m more than ready for a fresh start.  But here’s the thing: I’ve never made a resolution on January 1st, not a one.   In fact, I’ve never been on a diet, never made lists and actually checked them off.  It’s not that I’m lazy or unmotivated, the opposite really, I just like taking life as it comes and making the most of my lemons.  In the spirit of the new year, however, I’ve decided to take part.  I made an Olympian size list in December, wore my eraser down to a nub tidying it up, and came up with my definitive list of attainable resolutions. And,  if you’re wondering why I’m a week and a day behind everybody else, I don’t like to rush into anything.  A whippersnapper 180 from xmas to the new year just didn’t seem wise after all that champagne.

Adrenaline Rush? Yes!

I’ve wanted to break out of my fear circle for years, always finding excused why I shouldn’t do it.  No where have I fared worse that sports.  Funny thing is, I’m athletic.  I canoe and carry my own 100lb pack in the boundary, snorkel amid sharks and barracudas, and I actually like to work out (does that make you sick?  I know, I used to be the same way).  When it comes to trying something new though, I make excuses.  I freeze and start thinking, you’re gonna suck, and you’re gonna get laughed at.  Uproariously, as if anyone ever does that.

 So I signed up for a climbing lesson this Saturday.  And I’m excited!  My wonderful husband already taught me some of the basics and I’m counting on these somewhat simian long arms.  What about you guys?  Ready to break out your daredevil streak and try something new?  I’d love to hear about it.

Locavore?  Creativore?  Create-a-Locavore?

No offense, China, I have nothing against you.  I’m just rooting for my home economy.  I’m sick of buying mass produced, low quality goods.  Make that nauseated by the glut of common crap on our store shelves.  The good news is, there are options out there.  Vintage?  Community crafts and arts?  And what about Etsy?  The talent for diy on that site is amazing!  Much of the art is recycled and even if it isn’t, the money going into the pocket of creativity.  If you’ve never perused their treasury, it’s like a warehouse of handmade, except you’re supporting an artist.  Don’t forget to check out the local section where you can buy from your own community, state, or country (the international stores are incredible, btw, if one were so inclined).

Write Three Books

Some writers whip out a book in a month.  I’m not one of them.  My first book took two years to finish, one year of straight writing, another year of editing and fine tuning.  I’ve learned a lot since then and upon starting my second novel, I’ve been cranking out 2,000 words a day, sometimes more.  The problem is consistency, which I translate as will power.  Simple as that.  So I’m gonna sit my ass in my chair and write, write, write until three manuscripts are sitting on my desk.  Have a similar goal?  Put it out there and we can keep each other accountable!  I like telling everyone I know about my most desired goals.  That way, if I fail when December comes, I’m asked about “progress”.  The horror!  I cringe at the thought of mumbling, “Oh, well, you know.  I got busy, there was really no time . . .”  Having to say that is a lot worse than doing the work!

Now for the trifles:

Read 100 books (fell short at 80 last year.  Waa, right?  I so never have time to read ;)’

Actually cook from my dust collecting cookbooks

Let my husband hear me sing

Assume the happy grin of my boston terrier, Josie

Paint my own piece of art

Read my grandfather’s book

Buy a child the beautiful smile we all deserve to have

????  There’s always room for additions on this list!