Daisy Dukes Versus Cargo Shorts

In preparation for a camping trip, I went shopping for some shorts. In both sports stores, I walked down the dividing aisle between men’s and women’s clothing. To the left, there were rugged, cargo shorts in every earth tone and print. To the right, low-rise, butt-cheek-skimming daisy dukes in garish colors. Apparently, men require comfort and practicality when camping or engaging in sports activities and women do not. I was frothing at the mouth by the time I made my way to the end of my department, with nothing suitable for camping in hand. In the end, I bought myself…

I’m Alive…and 49 Pages Closer to “The End”

Another heavenly week has come and gone. This was year 2 of my Virginia Beach writing retreat with the Doll Babies. If that’s conjuring up images of sweet, little ladies popping bon bons as they write, well, the bon bons are not far off course, but sweet…nah. If you saw us coming, you might think we were a gang. We’ve got the thriller-writing motorcycle mama, and the tattoo-covered fantasy writer. Then there’s the one that sounds like My Cousin Vinny. Ahem. Throw in a former investigative journalist, a nuclear plant engineer, and a flamenco-dancing biologist. Don’t let the two southern…

7 x 7 Link Award

My pal over at Celluloid Zombie passed along this award, which led me to revisit some old blog posts. The rules to the 7 x 7 Link Award are simple: Tell everyone something about yourself that nobody else knows. Link to a post I think fits the following categories: Most Beautiful Piece, Most Helpful Piece, Most Popular Piece, Most Controversial Piece, Most Surprisingly Successful Piece, Most Underrated Piece, Most Pride Worthy Piece. Pass this on to 7 fellow bloggers. And we’re off. Tell everyone something about yourself that nobody else knows If not one person knew some deep, dark secret of…

On Writing: When Outlines Attack

Back in my early days of novel writing, I was addicted to reading how-to books. I raced through one after another with barely a breath between them, let alone time to apply what I’d just read. Eventually, I became disgusted with my lack of progress after eight years of working on the same novel and decided to read a book and actually do the exercises in it. That book was The Weekend Novelist by Robert J. Ray: “A dynamic 52-week program to help you produce a finished novel…one weekend at a time.” I can already hear the groans of the…

The Willing Suspension of Disbelief

For many of us who read novels or watch movies in genres outside the realm of “this could happen in real life,” there is a willing suspension of disbelief before we enter the theater or open the cover of a book (or press whichever Kindle button). We’re excited. We’re ready to be entertained. And we participate in the experience by opening ourselves to what realists would call the impossible… Tonight I am guest blogging over at Celluloid Zombie about the willing suspension of disbelief. Though Richard Lamb and I disagree on this topic (just one of many), he’s busy at work and will permit…

WordPress, Search Engine Terms, and a Constipated Baby

As a technical writer, I enjoy reading documentation. The WordPress people do a good job explaining options and functionality. However, I’m having a difficult time finding an answer to a question about search engine terms. “Search Engine Terms” is one of the features on the Stats page. According to the WordPress documentation, it lists terms that people entered in search engines to locate your blog.     So, can someone explain how the search terms “my baby is constipated what can I do” brought someone to my blog? We talk about a lot of odd things here, I know, but I don’t think I’ve…

Chocolate Gelt, Bobbleheads, and Hormonal Women: A Recipe for Disaster

If you are even slightly hormonal, I warn you: Stay away from the chocolate gelt. This holiday tradition is capable of turning women of a certain age…well, that’s just say peri-homicidal. I know there are some countries that have the tradition of chocolate coins for Christmas, but living in New York, I know it as a Hanukkah tradition. I’m not Jewish, but chocolate eating is a nondenominational kind of thing for me. So I welcomed that cute mesh bag filled with shiny, foil-covered chocolate coins from Trader Joe’s. With the craziness of the holidays, I never got to eat them….

Typical Day in the Life of a Writer

7 AM – Wake up early, roll out of bed, and go for a walk. This is part of the writing process, you tell yourself; the beauty of nature opens your mind and allows your thoughts to combine in new and creative ways… 8 AM – After doing a few floor exercises to tone your saggy writer’s butt, shower and don your lucky writing sweater. Sit down to a breakfast of oatmeal with walnuts and raisins. You can’t concentrate on writing when you’re worried about the state of your ass or when the grumbling of your stomach is louder than…

Customer Care?? Yeah, right!

[A rant rated OFME–Okay For Mom’s Eyes (sort of) I wonder if bank officers ever phone into their Customer Care lines to see the torture they are inflicting on their loyal customers. Here’s what happened to me today. I received my home equity line statement and wanted to pay off the loan in full. Usually, I do all my banking online because it’s quick and easy and I don’t have to deal with automated voices or incompetent, couldn’t-give-a-care Customer Care representatives. However, it states clearly on the statement that the amount listed is not the pay-off amount and that I…