One Lovely Blog Award? Why Thank You!

Standard

So I don’t usually do these awards which are, let’s face it, the 21st Century equivalent of chain letters. But I actually thought this one would be fun and figured, eh, what the heck!

Besides, I was so nicely nominated by Unibookworm, one of my A-to-Z Blogging Challenge buddies, so how could I resist? So thank you, Unibookworm! And also I didn’t have a ton of blog ideas for today, so thank you again! That’s Monday, all tied up!

Here’s the deal:

ūüėČ Thank the blogger nominator and link back to them.

ūüėČ Let us get to know you in 7-15 fun facts about you!

ūüėČ Share the blog‚̧ by nominating 9-15 bloggers for the award and let them know!

Some facts about me:

  1. I write weird, humorous novels, some more quickly than others. My books: Paradox Ralf KraftAunty Ida 2 correctly filled in3 Ida1
    cozy final cover
  2. I also have a collection of short stories, which is free for the taking:

gravy3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. I am an excellent procrastinator but equally excellent with a deadline. Deadlines are law.

4. Speaking of law, I used to practice divorce law.

5. I actually participated in some chain letters as a tween. Passed as notes. I didn’t know that many addresses. Also I’m pretty sure mailing them is a crime. Or maybe that’s just what our parents told us to save on stamps.

6. I wish I had a dog, but I can’t have one in my building. So I have a very serious case of dog envy.

7. In the last few months, I’ve seen more news break on Twitter than from any other outlet, and I think that’s amazing and terrifying.

And now I get to nominate other blogs for this award! At least I don’t have to hand write it nine times. Please visit them because each and everyone of them is awesome. And they are:

Writing Wibble from SloopJonB

In Search of it All from Marlene Herself

Chez Shea 

Ladies Who Lunch Reviews, Etc.

Toni 1964 Blog

Doesn’t Speak Klingon from Red

Serena Sinclair

Heartstring Eulogies from Sarah Doughty

The Spectacled Bean from Ally Bean

(Wildchild47 would be on this list if I could find the blog…)

Thanks to all of you for hanging out here, even when I’m not being the best blogger with reciprocating. You are all, as the award says, lovely.

And thanks to Unibookworm! This was much more fun that I expected!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cutest Videos Ever and My Q&A Today!

Standard

So weird not to have an installment of Jane Storegoer today! Jane’s tale is all complete, but we can still have fun…at my Comedy Book Week Q&A! Ever wonder what the other side of my head looks like? You can come find out AND ask me questions. It’s like heaven.

A very low expectation heaven.

And before it starts at noon Central U.S. time, you can take a stab at defining a word I made up to win a copy of Aunty Ida!

And now, for sitting through all of that, and hopefully clicking the links and hanging out (it’ll be fun! I assume!) here is a collection of what I got when I googled the cutest videos ever.

Please prepare for cuteness overload.

Photo Time! Independence Grove Forest Preserve

Standard

A reminder: I will be doing a Q&A tomorrow at noon Central U.S. time for Comedy Book Week on Facebook, of all places! Come hang out, ask questions, and take a stab at the fun contest, which will be live later today. I’ll update this post with the link. Here it is!¬†Can you define the word I made up? Come play!

***

Another day trip, another round of photos! I really got some beauties. It was a completely new place for me, the Independence Grove Forest Preserve in Lake County Illinois. It’s got a beach and a marina, and it’s just a lovely, lovely place. So much green!

IMG_1656 IMG_1694IMG_2622 IMG_2105 IMG_2117 IMG_2128 IMG_2167IMG_2393 IMG_2407

 

 

 

 

IMG_2412 IMG_2642

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter!

#LoveforLeslieJ Indeed Or Twitter: The Place for Bullies

Standard

A reminder, on Friday I’ll be participating in a Comedy Book Week Q&A on Facebook! Please come join us!

***

You probably know I’m a fan of Twitter. And that I’m a fan of comedy in many forms. So what comedian Leslie Jones is experiencing just makes me…sad.

In case you didn’t know, “people” are up in arms about the “Ghostbusters” reboot with a (GASP) all-female cast. And by people I mean boys who think women are taking away all the good toys, like voting, and leaving the house without an escort. And comedy.

To pile on, apparently there is a faction targeting Leslie not only because she’s funny, not only because she’s a woman, but also because of her race. And their tweets are vile. VILE.¬†From any point of view.¬†The things that people are saying to someone who should be basking in the realization of her lifelong dream are simply stomach-churning.

What I don’t understand is how people think it’s OK to talk to someone like that. And even worse, Twitter apparently refuses to do anything about it.

Oh I know where you’re going. I can see it from a mile away.

“Free speech!” and “The First Amendment!”

Well…no.

Despite the common misconception that freedom of speech means you can say anything you want at any time without consequence, that’s not true. All the First Amendment does is protect us from government interference with our speech. And even that can be limited, if the state’s reason is compelling enough and¬†the restriction¬†is narrowly tailored to prevent infringement that goes further than necessary.

Like the old standby, yelling “fire” in a crowded theater. First Amendment or no First Amendment, the government can prosecute you.

But Twitter is not the government. Twitter is a corporation that can manage its user agreement as it sees fit within the law. So why doesn’t it ban users, like¬†so many other sites,¬†for abusive behavior?

There is no question that the barrage of tweets sent in Leslie’s direction are abusive. Why would Twitter want to be the best bullying platform on the planet?

Twitter mobs come and go. But lynch mobs — and that’s what these tweets sound like — shouldn’t have a platform anywhere.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter!

 

Let’s Get our Comedy On! It’s Comedy Book Week!

Standard

It’s Comedy Book Week, the brainchild of author Ana Spoke! Who doesn’t love a funny book? (If you love a funny book, I’ve got several right at the bottom of this post, and yes, that was a hard plug. I’m only about 5/8ths sorry).

So this Friday, I will be participating in a Q&A on Facebook. Uh-huh,¬†that Facebook, the one I eschew like…someone eschews something¬†s/he¬†really doesn’t like. My brain’s got a case of the Mondays.

Bonus, if you come hang out for the Q&A, you might actually get to see my face. My face face. The front of my head.

There will even be an Aunty Ida giveaway, so if you haven’t read her yet, you could get a chance for free!

Let’s get funny!

(I just made that up. Yes? No? You don’t think the coffee is working for me?)

And check out Ana’s book! Her protagonist’s first name looks very¬†familiar…VERY. FAMILIAR. Personally, I think it’s an excellent choice. Oh, and as of this writing, it’s FREE!

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter!

And Now the Exciting Conclusion of Jane Storegoer and the Cone of Evil!

Standard

freezer(Jane parts 1-12; and now the exciting conclusion!)

Like approaching thunder, the noise grew from both sides. Iris looked from one horizon to the other, and gave Jane a curt nod.

“Go,” she said.

“But don’t you need some help?”

“Barry and I have this.” Iris cast her pimento eyes in Barry’s direction.

“What? Don’t look at me, I’m just an ice cream cone.”

“And the cause of this whole problem.”

‘I can’t be held responsible,” Barry said, “I’m low-fat.”

The Meatniks chanted as they came closer, the sound rhythmic and harsh. Primal. The Tofuratti raised their asparagus spears.

“It’s now or never, Jane,” Iris said.

“Are you sure?”

“Of course. You don’t belong here. Next time you buy a vegetarian frozen dinner, think a fond thought of me.”

“I think I’m done with tofu,” said Jane. “And meat. And ice cream.”

“You can work out your diet later. Go!”

Iris was right, if she was going to make it to the drain, she would have to go now. Barry shuffled in the snow on the tip of its cone. “Bye Jane.”

“Whatever, Barry.”

“You have to admit this was more fun than going home and sitting in front of the TV and eating…well…me.”

The Meatniks crested the hill, all of them solid muscle, their march even and determined. The Tofuratti let out a battle cry.

“In the name of Soy!” they yelled together.

Giving Iris one final smile and Barry the finger, Jane wound herself up, and then sprinted, head down, through the soft, loose snow drifts. The yelling continued behind her as she ran toward the wall.

The drainage hole was higher than she thought. She eyed the ice covering it, tested an outcrop with a hand. It would hold.

Like scaling a freezing rock face, she made her way up slowly, right hand, left hand, right foot, left foot.

“Look out!” she heard and ducked instinctively as an asparagus spear splotched wetly against the wall. The crystal under her left foot gave way with her shifted weight, and she slid, the ice rough against her skin, but she caught herself.

She took a peek over her shoulder and saw a chunk of meat, hunkered and determined, heading in her direction. She closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and propelled herself upward.

Her hands landed inside the rounded bottom of the drainage hole and, using all the upper body strength she had — while wishing she’d done more pull-ups — she managed to get herself up and over the edge.

There was a screen. She curled up in the hole, trying to catch her breath, and caught sight of Iris mowing down and entire row of Meatniks, one bonking into the other and into the other.

Iris was probably going to be OK.

Barry was horizontal, trying to make itself as small as possible in the valley of two snowdrifts. Typical.

She rammed her shoulder into the screen. Nothing. She tried again. Nope. Turning, she gripped the edge of the drainage hole with both hands and boat-posed like she’d never boat-posed before, then kicked her legs as hard as she could. The screen fell.

And fell. And fell.

She hunched over, looking at the drop. She didn’t have a choice. She closed her eyes and jumped.

***

“You OK over there?” said Tim, the store’s owner.

“Huh?” said Jane. She was in a superhero kneeling position on the convenience store floor. She stood quickly, brushing off the dirt. The warm air prickled her numb skin. “Oh, I, um, dropped…something.”

“Find what you wanted in the freezer?” Tim stepped down from the rise behind the counter, and joined her over the clear case, where ice cream and frozen meat and frozen vegetarian meals lay willy-nilly. “Every time I turn around, this thing is a mess,” he said.

“Yeah,” said Jane, still dazed, vacillating between wondering if Iris made it or if she was crazy. Staring down into the freezer, she could have sworn she ¬†saw a pimento wink.

It didn’t answer her question.

“I, uh, I don’t think I want anything,” she said, heading for the door.

“I understand,” said Tim. “That seems to be happening a lot lately.”

“Sorry,” said Jane, giving him a wave as she gave the door’s handle yank.

“Why are you sorry? I blame Barry,” Tim said.

***

I hope you’ve enjoyed your adventure with Jane! Moral of the story: always read the ingredients.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter!

TV Talk: Death Death Death

Standard

TV-T&PC (1)As usual, there are no spoilers!

There is an epidemic. They’re dying in record numbers, one after another after another. I am, of course talking about TV characters.

There was a time that a death of a character on a show was a big deal. We grew attached to our fictional friends, and yes, that friendship was a little one-sided, but when they disappeared into the great Television Beyond, it was sad.

Now we know better.

I couldn’t even begin to give you a death toll for my week so far in television viewing. And that’s just the Real Housewives of New York! (Just kidding. Only lady parts seem to be harmed in the making of that show, because they talk about them. A lot. A kind of Vagina Dialogues, if you will. And no, that joke didn’t do well on Twitter either).

Seriously, though, the deaths come so quickly and so meaninglessly that they’re starting to have nearly zero impact. And that’s bad for the shows, that’s bad for television, and it’s bad for society as a whole.

The best thing you can have for a television show is a completely engaged audience. Loyal fans who will go out and spread the word, who will tweet with the show, who will attend events and generally show support. And while possible death of favorite characters is a good way to build tension, it can’t be your only way.

Here’s the thing with that: if you keep teasing it, eventually you have to make it happen, or else that element of tension is lost. Some shows don’t care, and actually trade on the safety of knowing that one of the main characters is never going to die. Early “Castle,” for example, allowed fans to enjoy the peril and, more importantly, enjoy seeing how the characters would escape it, knowing that they would.

But if you constantly kill off characters, instead of engaging fans, they tend to disconnect. Why? Because who wants to be broken up over someone who never actually existed ceasing to exist? There’s no point in getting attached to characters who are only temporary.

Not all shows are guilty of it. But the problem is that watching so much TV death on some shows inures us to death on others. And, I think, makes us less sensitive to real-life tragedy.

Yes, TV death allows dramatic, tension-filled scenes with lots of bloody gore. But constant death and constant gore only creates a gulf between viewer and show.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter!