Monday, September 25, 2017

BEACH BASH--Celebrating National One-Hit Wonder Day

It's amazing to me what all is on our National Days calendar, celebrating fun, unusual or forgotten designations on our annual calendar.  It's fun to follow, and every now and then I plan to jump in and celebrate with everyone. Here is my first Beach Bash... 
Sirius music source is seriously making me listen to music in a whole new way.  Especially when making two long trips with hubby over the summer.  Hubby is the KING of music trivia, or so he thinks. With more than 2,000 miles under our tires, I got a lot of trivia. He knows who sang just about every hit song.  Me? If it wasn’t The Partridge Family, then I didn’t know, or even care.  (For the record, we listened to classic music exclusively growing up but we were allowed to watch Friday Night TV! It opened up a whole new musical world for me, and my mother who liked to listing to David Cassidy while doing housework.  But that's another topic for another day!)

Monday, September 18, 2017

BEACH MUSINGS: You Can Tell A Lot About a Girl Based on her Mahjongg Set



      Faithful followers of me on Facebook will know I play Mahjongg.  A lot.  Not the solitaire game on the computer where you match and remove tiles (oaky I play that a lot too!), but the REAL game that resembles Gin Rummy, only more challenging. MUCH more challenging.  The game features prominently in my latest release, “Life is a Cabernet” in the 50 Shades of Cabernet anthology, a collection of stories that combine two of my favorite things: mystery and wine!  Add in my story about mahjongg, and this is perhaps my favorite story I’ve ever written.
    I’ve been playing for 10 years now, different versions with different ladies.  It is a bit of a thinking game, so I’m hoping it keeps my cognitive wheels from rusting out. If not, well, I always enjoyed playing, even if on days I didn’t win a single round.

Monday, September 11, 2017

BEACH WRITING: More Writerly Advice from Jayne

   
  
Latest post on my Writer-ly Advice page: "When Bad Things Happen to Good Characters."

     As I learn more about the craft of writing, I'm happy to share with anyone willing to listen.  I've given a few workshops, and written a slew of articles, and often talked the ear of anyone who asks a simple question about the writing life.  The things I've formalized are sitting in a bin under my desk, where it is dark and they are not seen by anyone.  The purpose of writing is, of course, to share with the world.  After much thought I decided I'm going to start sharing these musings more freely, hence the new "Writer-ly Advice" tab on this blog.  You can read it by clicking here
     Write on, my friends! 

Monday, September 4, 2017

BEACH ESSAY: What I did on Summer Vacation....1972

The “educational” tag is SO over rated.  Especially when it comes to summer vacations.  My parents (a self-employed business man and an elementary school teacher) made it their mission to make sure we learned something over the summer break.  So while my friends were water skiing on Lake Michigan or riding donkeys down to bottom of the Grand Canyon or hanging out with Mickey & Minnie, my family was marching through the Smithsonian in DC or traipsing along the Freedom Trail in Boston or sitting/snoozing through historical lectures in the City of Brotherly Love. 
Did I have VA-CAY Envy?  You bet I did!

Monday, April 3, 2017

BEACH MUSINGS: You CAN Judge a Wine by its Label

A perfect pairing!
     My dear friend and fellow writer, GinaWarren Buzby, served a bottle of tasty 19 Crimes 2015 Red Wine when I visited her home a few weeks back. The label spoke to me (as labels often do), and somehow that just seemed such an appropriate blog topic for a mystery writer who loves all things vino!  So here goes…
     As readers, we read everything we can get our hands on.  That means at breakfast we peruse the back of the box of cereal. (That reminds me, I’ve been meaning to look up pyridoxine hydrochloride. It sounds positively toxic!) So it seems to follow that when we sit with a bottle of wine in front of us, we read that label, too.  This is on the back of the 19 Crimes wine:
     “NINETEEN CRIMES turned criminals into colonists.  Upon conviction, British rogues, guilty of at least one of the 19 crimes, were sentenced to live in Australia, rather than death.  This punishment by ‘transportation’ began in 1788, and many of the lawless died at sea.  For the rough-hewn prisoners who made it to shore, a new world awaited.”
     That got me to thinking (as wine often does), what were the 19 crimes?     I expected a list of serious crimes, such as murder or rape, but those were handled in Britain and punishable by death. Add “impersonating an Egyptian” to that list, too.
     So what 19 types of crimes were punishable by “transportation”?
    

Monday, March 27, 2017

BEACH TALE: SATURDAY MORNING CARTOONS--THE FABRIC OF MY CHILDHOOD


     Way back when I was a young girl, my parent’s would park us in front of the TV on Saturday morning and toss us a box of Cap’n Crunch or Fruit Loops cereal (both great for leaving a “trail of crumbs” a lá Hansel and Gretel.)  Mom and Dad would then slink off to the kitchen where they could enjoy a morning of peace and quite with their coffee and paper.  I know your first thought is quite possibly, “Why didn’t anyone call Child Protective Services?” But let me explain that 1) the cereal was fortified with 14 vitamins and minerals (I think) and 2) there were some teaching moments on Saturday Morning TV back in the day.  Like Aesop’s Fables.  I can almost hear the music now as a cartoon fairy flies onto the screen and opens a voluminous book of Fables, and I would watch with rapt attention as I learned my moral lesson.  You might remember the classics such as “The Tortoise and the Hare” or “The Ant and the Grasshopper” or “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” or “The Fox and the Grapes” (from whence we get the phrase “Sour Grapes.)  Classics, all. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

BEACH WRITING: Writerly Advice from Jayne

As I learn more about the craft of writing, I'm happy to share with anyone willing to listen.  I've given a few workshops, and written a slew of articles, and often talked the ear of anyone who asks a simple question about the writing life.  The things I've formalized are sitting in a bin under my desk, where it is dark and they are not seen by anyone.  The purpose of writing is, of course, to share with the world.  After much thought I decided I'm going to start sharing these musings more freely, hence the new "Writer-ly Advice" tab on this blog.  My first post is up...BEACH SEASON IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER...TIME TO GET (YOUR NOVEL) IN SHAPE. You can read it by clicking here
     Write on, my friends!