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Glad you stopped by. I hope you'll stop by again for Monday Morning Musings, Meet the Author Thursday, Friday Favorites, Weekend Writing Warriors, and guests whenever they drop in.

Monday, January 24, 2022

Monday Morning Musing: Snow, Cabin Fever, and Snowpiercer

 


When we moved to the west side of Michigan, I expected snow. Our first winter (2012-14) we got over 350 inches. Yep, you read that right. It reached the top of our mailbox and you couldn't see around corners. You had to creep out and hope nobody was coming. I hope we don't see that much snow this winter, but the winds are blowing across Lake Michigan and bringing all the white stuff with it. We have a lovely neighbor who uses his snowblower on our driveway and shovels our sidewalk. What a guy! If we have to go anywhere, we can do so safely.


Cabin Fever is a common ailment in the Midwest in the winter. First, the lack of sunshine is a biggie. Something about all that water around us sends up enchanted clouds to block our sun. (That's the technical explanation. LOL) Then, there's lake effect snow. I heard about that the first time we moved to this side of the state. The wind blows cold, arctic air across the open water Lake Michigan creating snow. It's not a big band of snow, either. The farther you are from the lake, the less snow you get. It's common to see school closings scrolling across the bottom of the TV screen. Snow day, yay! Poor moms (and dads) who have to put up with kids who can't go outside and/or need sitters so parents can go to work. For us retirees, we enjoy staying home. But only for so long then, like kids, we get antsy. One good thing about west Michigan: we get so much snow, the county is prepared with heavy duty snow plows that keep our roads clear.


Speaking of snow. Have you seen the TNT presentation of "Snowpiercer"? The premise is that seven years ago, the world froze up, and the remnants of humanity are on a perpetual motion train traveling around the world. The very rich (those who could afford tickets) are in the front of the 1,001-car train. Class divisions all the way to the tail. Like any good post-apocalyptic story, politics, class warfare, and efforts to survive abound. I watched the first season, got sidetracked during the second, and today the third season starts. Guess I'd better catch up before watching the new season. With all the cold outside, I'm not so sure a frozen wasteland will be fun entertainment.

Keep warm and stay safe. 

 


 


 

Saturday, January 22, 2022

#WeWriWa ~ The Case of the Wedding Wrecker: Alex is Ready

 


Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, where writers share snippets from their work-in-progress or new release. Thanks to everyone who stopped by last week. I really appreciate your support.

I hope you're doing well and staying healthy. I'm sharing snippets from the 4th Alex O'Hara cozy mystery, The Case of the Wedding Wrecker. This follows immediately after last week's snippet.

Snippet:  

The church was packed. So many people there to watch us tie the knot and to wish us well. Our parents had lived in Far Haven for over forty years. Nick and I had grown up here. I’d never left. Long-time friends, recent ones, and shirttail relatives stood and turned to watch me.

Oh, God, I hoped I wouldn’t trip like I’d done in rehearsal. I clasped my father’s arm.

“Are ye sure you’re wantin’ to do this, darlin’? You can always back out, ye know.” Pop’s exaggerated Irish brogue made me smile. The man was born right here in Michigan, yet he could turn on the Irish in the blink of an eye.

And a little more: 

I gulped. I could do this. Mom had said she’d be watching me from heaven. And I believed her. That was why I wanted to do the big, white wedding thing. Not for me or Maria—dear sweet Maria—but for my mom who couldn’t be here in person. Tears gathered in my eyes. I swallowed hard and blinked several times.

I drew in a breath. “I’m ready.”

To the strains of Pachelbel’s Canon in D, I walked down the aisle, knees shaking, clutching my father’s arm like a lifeline. Until I glanced at my man at the altar. Dear God, what had I done to deserve that ruggedly handsome guy who looked fantastic in a black tux? He’d gotten his hair cut sometime that morning. Last night, the near-black hair had curled over his collar. I loved running my fingers through his dark locks.

Through the white netting of my veil, I could see his grin, as broad as mine. His rich brown eyes shone with love for me. I was truly blessed. Tears shimmered in my vision, and I had to look away before I started bawling.

  

 Be sure to check out the other WeWriWa authors. Stay safe and have a great week.



Friday, January 21, 2022

My Favorites: Scene From a Favorite Movie


 credit: IMDB

I could never name my favorite movie. Too many are favorites. The closest I can come to that is a favorite scene from a favorite movie.

The other day my husband was watching a World War II flick with James Cagney. He played Admiral Halsey. I’m not into war movies, but that got me thinking about my favorite Cagney movie. Yankee Doodle Dandy, the story of George M. Cohan. Released in 1942, it was a patriotic movie. 

My favorite scene comes near the end of the movie. Cohan is getting on in years, gray-haired and slower in his walk. He’s been invited to the Oval Office, where he’s given the Congressional Medal of Honor by President Franklin Roosevelt. The President expounds on all Cohan has done for the country, the inspiring songs—"Over There” and “Yankee Doodle Dandy” to name just two. Although Cohan has done his duty for his country, Roosevelt asks for his help again. That so inspires Cohan, and invigorates him, as he leaves he dances down the curving staircase to the tune of “Yankee Doodle Dandy.”

Side note: After writing this post, I checked IMDB to make sure I had facts right. The top review lists this same scene as her/his favorite, even goes on about Cagney’s dancing talent. Glad I read that after writing this or you’d think I copied. 😊


James Cagney as George M. Cohan  (credit: IMDB)

James Cagney was known for gangster movies. Most people didn’t realize that he grew up in vaudeville, like George M. Cohan. And like Cohan, he was a song-and-dance man. Could that man dance! He won his only Oscar for Yankee Doodle Dandy, the first actor to win the Best Actor Award in a musical.

I’m going to start searching all the channels to find Yankee Doodle Dandy. Can’t wait to watch it again.

 

 

Monday, January 17, 2022

Monday Morning Musing: Grandchildren, Covid, UFOs, & Boba Fett


How was your week? I don't know how the days fly by so quickly. We're past the middle of January already. I wish I could say they've been productive days for me. Alas, my writing tanked momentarily.

Our four-year-old grandsons came over and helped with the Christmas decorations. They took down the small nutcrackers, Santas, and stackers that were in the bookcases. Standing on stools worked for two shelves, but the top shelf became a problem--unless we let them stand on a rolling walker. That's a big no-no. Daredevils that they are, they try to get away with that. They are pretty good thinkers and it's fun to watch them figure out how to do something. They  ended up taking Hubs' extension grabber and wielded it well enough to bring down the nutcrackers. 

There's a saying that goes if I'd known grandchildren were so much fun I would've had them first. A lot of truth to that. Or maybe they are our reward for surviving our children. 


Moving on: the covid virus is rampant here in Michigan. From what I've heard, the omicron variant is highly contagious, but the symptoms aren't as severe. Nevertheless, our hospitals are full of people who have been hit hard. Hubs and I mask up when we have to go anywhere. Most of the time, we stay home, even though we've been vaccinated and gotten our boosters as has the rest of the family except for the twins. Still, it's better for us not to take chances. Cabin fever time again. Thank goodness, there are new shows on TV, not just reruns.

Speaking of new shows, have you seen The Book of Boba Fett on Disney+? Fascinating. I'd forgotten that at the end of Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi, Han Holo knocked Boba Fett into the pit where a fearsome beast (sarlacc) would slowly consume him. But then he showed up in The Mandolorian last year. Apparently, all that happened to him had to be explained to us Star Wars fans (short for fanatics 😊).


Did you know the Pentagon has launched a new UFO office? Their job will be to investigate sightings of unidentified flying objects. Aren't they a little late? The first UFO sighting (we know about) was in 1947.

Are you watching Around the World in 80 Days with David Tenant (my favorite Doctor in the Doctor Who series)? It's on PBS Masterpiece. Another fascinating show.


Time to get back to The Case of the Wedding Wrecker, my work-in-progress, which I'm sharing on weekends with the Weekend Writing Warriors. See you next week. Stay safe!


  


Saturday, January 15, 2022

#WeWriWa ~ The Case of the Wedding Wrecker: A Perfect Day


Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, where writers share snippets from their work-in-progress or new release. Thanks to everyone who stopped by last week. I really appreciate your support.

I hope you're doing well and staying healthy. As if we don't have enough on our plates at this time of year with flu, we have a resurgence of covid cases filling up our hospitals. If you haven't gotten vaccinated and boosted, please do so right away. Don't become a statistic.

That was my public safety announcement for the week. 😊

 I'm sharing snippets from the 4th Alex O'Hara cozy mystery, The Case of the Wedding Wrecker. This follows immediately after last week's snippet.


Snippet: 

We trooped downstairs where a limo awaited us, a black vehicle with room for two in back. Dottie and Ellen drove off together while Maria and I rode to the church in the limo. “General” Maria had thought of everything. Thank God, she was so organized.

Several people waited outside St. Mark’s. They clapped and cheered as I exited the limo—gracefully, I might add, though I had to hike up the slim skirt. My two besties, who’d managed to beat us to the church, ran over to help me out. Considering the enthusiastic well-wishers waiting for me, I couldn’t help grinning. I even waved, no stilted “Queen” turning of the hand, but a genuine, enthusiastic wave. God, I felt great. What a perfect day.


A little more:  

Abby—self-appointed wedding planner—directed the bridesmaids into place. Dottie’s boys, ages five and a half and three, my ring bearers, wore tiny tuxes. Correction. They were ring masters, according to the five-year-old. Dottie’s toddler, my goddaughter, was the flower girl. Dottie and Ellie looked lovely in their sky-blue halter dresses. Even the color of baby Emmy’s dress matched her mother’s.

Everything was perfect.

Ellie led the procession with the boys behind her, holding their baby sister’s hands between them. At the halfway mark, Emmy dashed back to her mother who carried her the rest of the way. Then the music changed, and the fanfare announced . . . me.

Holy shit. It was my turn.

 

Be sure to check out the other WeWriWa authors. Stay safe and have a great week.




Friday, January 14, 2022

Guest Blogging & a 99 cent #sale


Today,
 I'm delighted to participate in N.N. Light's Book Starter Series, featuring the first book in my Alex O'Hara PI mystery series, The Case of the Bygone Brother.

Hop on over to see why I enjoyed writing Alex's character.

 https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/post/the-case-of-the-bygone-brother-bss


The Case of the Bygone Brother is on for 99 cents until Sunday.

Monday, January 10, 2022

Monday Morning Musing: 2022 the First 10 Days


 

Good morning! Last Monday, I wrote about my plan to be more active on my blog. I'm doing pretty good with a post here on six out of seven days. 

I also planned to write more on my work-in-progress, The Case of the Wedding Wrecker (An Alex O'Hara PI mystery). I only missed one day so far this year. Since I started at the beginning of the story so I could ground myself, I haven't written that many words. I've tweaked, added descriptions, and deleted the first two chapters. That hurt. I didn't just delete, though. I saved the chapters in my "leftovers" file. It was good stuff, but it felt like it was dragging down the story. I needed to get to the wrecking part sooner.

Like revisions and edits, this is taking a lot longer than writing new. Oh, well. It needs to be done to get me back in the story. What's also helping is that I'm using it for my snippets each weekend with the Weekend Writing Warriors. 

On Fridays, I'll be writing about my favorite things. (Did the Sound of Music just zing through your mind, too?) Last Friday, I wrote about my favorite quote, one from Stephen King. If you know me, you know that scary things and horror are not my thing, so you're probably surprised I'd chose a Stephen King quote. Check it out.


I'm looking at my nutcrackers and Santa figures on top of the bookcases across from where I'm sitting. I hate taking down Christmas decorations. They are such a reminder of the holidays. Our tree is still up, too. I didn't do much decorating this year. My grandkids helped bring up the nutcrackers and Santas from the basement storeroom. I was hoping they would be back to help take them downstairs. 
😊  Unfortunately, the boys were sick and the others went back to school and all their after school activities. I can wait a while longer.

Procrastination is my middle name.

Hope you have a great week.