Saturday, March 28, 2015

Top Ten Ways to Get Un-friended on Facebook

 It took something like Facebook to show us that some of our friends simply don’t have a sense of humor. Have you ever been un-friended?

I have and it hurts.
 First of all, I visit Facebook to: 
1. Communicate with friends 2. Talk about writing 3. Entertainment purposes only. 
There are a myriad of other places available to find pain and agony. If someone is spewing hatred, violence or anything that turns my stomach, I don’t necessarily un-friend but I might block that kind of post from my news-feed. 
Anyway, here are my lighthearted suggestions for things you should steer clear of on FB.
And admittedly, I'm guilty of a few....

Top Ten Ways to Get Un-friended on Facebook-
or as Dirty Harry would say, "A man's got to know his limitations."
1.       Be honest about politics.
2.       Be honest about religion.
3.       Over promote your novel.
4.       Promote your friend’s books.
5.       Share one too many dog videos.
6.       “Like” the embarrassing family photo.
7.       Admit you eat things with Gluten.
8.       Be critical of everything and have a low tolerance for the opinion of others.
9.       Spell like a caveman.
10.   Use profanity freely. (There are kids on FB.)

Are you on Facebook? Did anyone un-friend you? Did I miss anything? 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Breaking News! It's Spring!!

It’s spring and the Earth lined up with the sun 
and the moon just to tell us about it.

It’s spring and the ice floes are melting, 
except in Brooklyn.

It’s spring and Easter is around the corner 
reminding me to forgive scumbags and liars.

It’s spring and morning glories are popping out of the ground—
angel-wing shaped leaves reach for the sun.

It’s spring and that means the excuse called winter is chimney ash.
 Sober green rivers have returned to blue and clouds dissipate as I sit to write.

Where will this season take us? 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Reading and Reviewing: Something for Everyone!

When not writing or chasing chihuahuas around the backyard, I'm usually reading. Here are the best from the last few months. Check out all my reviews on

Hocus Pocus 1ST Edition
Hocus Pocus 
by Kurt Vonnegut
32 used & new from $2.83

 Creative Satire! 

Vonnegut has created a fictional satire comparing a prison riot to Vietnam. 
His main character, Gene Hartke narrates the story with flashbacks from
his life as soldier and teacher. With small political jabs but deep introspection
about weapons, bombs and ruling the Universe, even a nod to Tralfamadore,
his fictional planet from Slaughterhouse Five. The book asks brave questions by
using humor to instill humility. Who’s in charge? Who ordered you to follow protocol
and would you follow those orders if it meant everyone would die?

BLACK DIAMOND (McLean Twins Book 1)
 (McLean Twins Book 1)

by Jennifer Loiske

 When Innocence Meets Evil
I usually shy away from books about witches and demons but Jennifer Loiske’s book
pulled me into her pages, gripping my attention with carefully constructed 
descriptions and a fascinating plot. Move over J.K. Rowling, there’s a new
wizard in town and it might be this author and her book about Shannon 
and her dad. If sleep is important to you, I suggest you don’t read this 
before falling asleep because you’ll keep turning pages, wanting to find
out what happens next. Fortunately, it’s well written, easy to read and
there are magical spells throughout, making sure you’ll enjoy every haunting word!


by Alan Hardy

 Daring Spoils of War!

Here’s a book of dark satire combining 50 Shades with the
Hunger Games in one supercharged mutiny that will surprise
even those who've seen everything. But first, can you handle real, 
provocative language that begins in the street and ends up on a sleazy bed?
Did I think the author is a misogynist? Yes--but I also think he has great outfit
descriptions and lurid sex scenes culminating on a blood-gorged battlefield
filled with murder and mayhem. This book about Royals is not for the faint 
of heart or those easily offended. Fortunately, you’ll know right up front whether 
you'll want to continue. Sorry for using a pun, but Hardy doesn't beat around the 
bush and he’ll dare you to decide right up front. Are you voyeuristic enough to
turn the pages and find out what happens to Beth and Mandy? Will Jason ever
get it... well, you know...up...or does HE want to be Queen? Was everything
Sandy’s fault or was she just a pawn in a giant game of chess? More importantly,
what about the delusional Prince Farts, his out of touch mother the Queen and
that disgusting character the King? Will they have to resort to cleaning up their
own messes? Will basic animal instinct bring down the throne or will a 
checkmate ensue, proving that power and authority need to rule? 
Though well written, I'm sad this book exists and I’m sad that 
Camelot was fantasy. Maybe I’ll watch a reality show now....

Gryffon Master: Curse of the Lich King (Crystal Sword Chronicles Book 1)
Gryffon Master: Curse of the Lich King
 (Crystal Sword Chronicles Book 1)

Schuldt, Freed,
Shaughnessy, Lemon and White

 A Fabulous Yarn

This is the most unusual fairy tale I've had the fortune of reading. 
First of all, it combines myths and “stories dating back to 
the beginnings of recorded history.” Secondly, this remarkable book
was written or was magically woven, by several authors, into a smooth,
well-executed and exciting tale. Like a tapestry worthy of a royal palace,
you’ll marvel at the colors, the creative characters and the sprinkling
of darkness twisting around the edges and expected in a fabulous yarn.
Ragnar is a man who worships Odin and dreams of Valhalla. Ahmad is 
from a desert near Damascus. Once they land in this ‘far distant’ mystical 
land full of flying griffons, a frost giant, evil dragons, giant spiders,
dwarves and a talking lizard called Calyptro, they get separated and
have to keep dodging obstacles of terror around every bend.
There seems to be a curse upon both of them but the gryffon 
called Rostok, a giant scarab and a crystal sword are working 
with all their new-found friends like a wireless system designated
to help them escape the Lich King. Will the rugged man from
the North and the slim man from the desert make it home?
Read this exhilarating book and find out.

A Suitcase Mystery
A Suitcase Mystery

by Ned Stevens

 Big Screen-Style Excitement!

 If you like excitement, mystery and adventure
 you’ll find all that here and more. If you enjoy intrigue, espionage,
 blackmail and murder splashed with something along the lines of the
 new film--The Imitation Game-- you’ll love reading A Suitcase Mystery.
 The story begins in Latvia with two suitcases and a missing diary. 
The war's over but the country is still in turmoil and Ben is only an innocent boy.
 The diary is extremely important to the Russians and they want it back.
 Spring ahead to the U.S. where a veterinarian is dead and detective
 Dokes wants to find out what happened. Of course the FBI is involved and
the story swirls deeper and deeper into more plot twisting action than
 a six-foot pole dancer auditioning for the circus. Can Ben and his mother 
run from their past? Meanwhile, agents Sawyer, Books and John Holt are
all over the place trying to solve everything but you’ll keep reading just 
to find out what happens with Berg, his fur business and what about
that diary? Why did the limo get hit? Will they be able to decipher
what they need and what happens when they do?

Love Poems: Listen to your heart...
Love Poems: Listen to your heart...

by Estella Eliot

 Amazing Collection

It's raining and it's too chilly to write, so I picked a great day to read
 these tender poems of the heart. Sitting next to my fireplace, classical
 music plays on the stereo and our Christmas tree twinkles, while my
 small dogs burrow under this decidedly California-esque, cotton blanket.
 Some of the author's poems rhyme and others sound like creative ad copy
 for a chocolate factory. Some are simple as in 'don't leave me' and others
 are complex. She has experienced love like the pebbles on the beach or
 the clouds intertwining. Great alliteration, metaphors and talent, went
 into this collection. I'm so glad to have spent this afternoon enjoying these poems.
One of my favorites is The Poetry Cocktail but all of them warmed my heart.

Rhyming Children's Stories, Poems and More: 2nd series
Rhyming Children's Stories,
 Poems and More: 2nd series

by Peter and Pattimari Sheets Cacciolfi 

 Beautiful Stories and Poems

Funny and sweet words from the heart. I especially enjoyed
the poem Morning News. This is a book you can pick up and
read out loud when you want to make someone smile.

Most Recent Amazon Purchase: Dry Bones by Carole Morden
Any of these titles sound good to you? Have you read some of them?
Do you buy books from Amazon? 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

49 Shades of Gray

What do you think of when you hear about shades of gray?

Will the color gray always remind us
 of the famous, erotic book?

Is that called conditioning? Branding? Being brainwashed?
Even though I haven't read it, 
the sound of that title distracts me
from years of newsprint memories,
smudged sleeves  and 
discussions about ink saturation percentages.
 Late night press room dilemmas, deadline dramas 
and a limited spectrum, all based on black  and white.

(News photos were not printed in color until the late 80's.)

Right before a storm, this is my idea of at least 49 shades.
Can we return to innocence? 

Or is it too late?