Susan Van Kirk's Three May Keep A Secret has been republished by Harlequinn's Worldwide Mystery. The WWK interview about the book can be accessed here. We're so glad another publisher picked up this series.
KM Rockwood's "Burning Desire," and Paula Gail Benson's "Living One's Own Truth," have been published in the anthology Heartbreaks & Half-truths. Congratulations to all of the WWK writers.
Please join Margaret S. Hamilton's Kings River Life podcast of her short story "Busted at the Book Sale" here. Congratulations, Margaret!
Look for Kaye George and Margaret S. Hamilton's short stories in the new Mid-Century Murder by Darkhouse Books. Kaye's story is "Life and Death on the Road" and Margaret's story is titled "4BR/3.5BA Contemporary."
Grace Topping's second novel in Laura Bishop staging series, Staging Wars, was released by Henery Press on April 28th. Look for the interview here from April 29th.
Kaye George's second novel in the Vintage Sweets mystery series, Deadly Sweet Tooth, was released on June 2. Look for the interview here on June 10.
Annette Dashofy's 10th Zoe Chambers mystery, Til Death, will be released on June 16th. Look for the interview here on June 17.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Monday, July 30, 2012
Sunday, July 29, 2012
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Friday, July 27, 2012
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Those of us who live in the often frigid north look forward to summer "when the livin' is easy." No more coats or boots. No more shoveling snow or driving on icy or snow covered roads. No lengthy dark nights. We look forward to those long, warm, sunny days with flowers blooming, birds singing, vacations, shady walks through the woods, fishing, baseball, picnics, amusement parks, sun ripened tomatoes from the garden, corn on the cob and other pleasures associated with summer that go back to childhood memories.
The time of year that seemed so perfect last winter when I was using a hammer to break ice out of the ponies' water buckets is here, and life is blissful, right? Well, not quite. Now I'm hauling buckets of water to my ponies several times a day. After too much rain this spring and early summer, we're now in drought conditions. Instead of pleasantly warm days,there have been many hot humid days with heat advisories, and I hate hot muggy weather, maybe even more than the cold. It saps my energy. And all that rain we had earlier? Well, the weeds are thriving even though my potted plants, hanging baskets and the new plants I planted this year need lots of water to thrive or even stay alive. I can't worry about the perennial gardens, they're too extensive, but I am watering my vegetable garden every day and praying for rain.
Speaking of insects, my nemesis has returned early this year. Japanese beetles. Every year I patrol my garden, sometimes twice a day or more, knocking them off into a jar of water I carry. Roses, grapes, beans and my 'Harry Lauder Walking Stick' bushes are their favorites. So far there aren't as many as other years yet. When I get a fair amount in the jar, I feed them to my hens. They love them.
Last year my vegetable garden was a disaster. Too much rain left me with few tomatoes. Not enough to can. And groundhogs ate almost everything else. This year my vegetable garden is thriving. I've already picked half a dozen ripe tomatoes, not counting the cherry tomatoes I eat off the plants. My tomatoes plants are laden with green and ripening tomatoes. They're a month early. Perfect. I'll be able to can lots of tomatoes for the winter months. Well, maybe not. I'm heading off for a two week vacation with siblings just when I fear most of them will be ripening. It's the same with the cucumbers I was planning to use to make bread and butter pickles. At least I've already picked all the peas and a lot of lettuce, and the beans will probably wait until I return. I'm picking and freezing blueberries now, but many more will ripen when I'm gone.
My siblings planned a July vacation so we'd be back in time to harvest and can our vegetables, at least the three of us in Ohio who plant vegetable gardens. Who was it that said, "The best laid plans of mice and men oft go astray?" Ending on a positive note, my hundreds of daylilies are absolutely specatacular, the BLT's I'm eating are delicious, and the vacation with my three sisters, brother and brother-in-law will be great fun. They always are.
What do you enjoy about summer - or not?
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Don't worry, you don't need protection from watermelon chunks . . . I'm talking about when Gallagher points out the absurdity of the English language.
In my day job, there's a cafeteria where the daily specials get posted on a chalkboard. The people who run the cafeteria are not from this country, so English is a second (or maybe third) language for them. Because of that, sometimes the board will say that a Ham and Chedder sandwich (or something similar) is available for lunch that day. While that seems minor, when it says we're having Sweat & Sour Chicken for lunch, the problem becomes very unappetizing.
But I don't see it as their fault. E-a-t is pronounced "eet," so it makes sense that they would think s-w-e-a-t sounds similar. It's our lexicon that's messed up.
When I lived in Prague, I took a course so I could teach English as a Foreign Language (or EFL). As part of the class, we had to do some on-hand training with actual Czech students (both children and adults), to learn firsthand the difficulties that we might encounter in our new careers. It took me a very short while to realize I wouldn't be a good EFL teacher, because I wasn’t able to answer the questions that students would ask for clarification purposes.
Like, why is t-h-r-o-u-g-h pronounced "threw" (which is another word that means something completely different), but r-o-u-g-h is pronounced "ruff?" And b-o-u-g-h is different still, as "bow" (which is another homonym). During my training, whenever the students would ask me these quite pertinent questions, all I could say is "It doesn't make sense, but that's the way it is."
Now, maybe I would've been able to find the "proper" answers if I had done more research into the etymology of words, but I didn't even fully understand my mother tongue, so I felt very inept in trying to teach it to someone else. I’ve heard that English is one of the hardest languages to teach, and I believe that. There are so many exceptions to nearly all of the rules of our collective vocabulary that it’s hard to tell someone to just accept them without question, when the words in their native tongue follow that language’s rules quite precisely.
Even now, all I remember of my education was that we were told to memorize the pronunciations of the words, and not question them. There’s even that childhood rhyme “I before E, except after C . . .” that’s used to teach us how to spell. And even that rule has some exceptions to it.
*Side note, why do you remove the "o" from "pronounce" in order to make a "pronunciation?"*
I'm sure I don't have the answers to these questions, and it would probably hurt my brain to try to figure them all out. I just have to keep on my toes when reading my company's daily lunch board, and make allowances for the kooky rules of English.