Monday, October 16, 2017


There was a time when my son didn’t drink alcohol, days which we refer to as BC (as in Before-College.) When the occasion called for a festive drink, we served him Ocean Water.  No, not the brown, salty, seaweed-infused stuff from the Atlantic, but a sugar-based concoction as clear and blue as the Caribbean. We didn’t have a Sonic Drive-In near us then, nor the Internet, thus this recipe came to me the old-fashioned way—from a newspaper article. I've shared it many times over the years. I just checked, and it is the official Sonic recipe for Ocean Water, but I like to think they got it from me (or from the newspaper...)

3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon imitation coconut extract
2 drops blue food coloring
2 12-oz cans cold Sprite

Combine water and sugar in microwave safe bowl for 30-45 seconds.  Stir to dissolve sugar. Let cool. Add the rest of the ingredients and serve over ice. Kids of all ages will enjoy it. 

Monday, October 9, 2017

BEACH WRITING: Writing Under the Influence

<<Here we go again...another post on the writer-ly life, although this time around it isn't so much about the craft, but more about the inspiration.  Both writers AND readers should enjoy it.  Read on!>> 
I know it’s kind of like a magician revealing how his tricks work, but I am about to share with you the deep, dark secret of writers.  I mean ALL writers.  Anyone who has ever put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard or dreamed up a catch little ditty in their head.  But you have to promise not to tell anyone, because, well, then it wouldn’t be a secret any more, right?  Promise?  Okay, here it is.  Every writer across the ages and throughout the world, has written under the influence!
Oops, that didn’t come out quite right.  Allow me to clarify.

Monday, October 2, 2017

BEACH RERUN: Missing Man Table

<<Originally posted to this blog on October 17, 2011. It’s worth saying again…>>

It’s that time of year…Navy Birthday Ball! And thanks to the 7th wonder of the modern fashion world—Spanks—I will be looking svelte in my ball gown this weekend. The United States Navy will be celebrating its 236th birthday, but it’s not all one big drinking/dining/dancing party. The Navy Ball, as well as many other official military dining events throughout the year, serve as a reminder to the POWs and MIAs who yet to return home. This is done through the Missing Man POW/MIA table set at the front of the room. 

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!