WORLD SHARING: ALMOST A NEW WORLD – Marilyn Armstrong

Share Your World – April 23, 2018

If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would you get?

English muffins. No, really. You can eat them for breakfast and they make a great crunchy sandwich. They come in a million flavors, but a plain one with port wine cheddar on it? Delicious beyond human understanding.

But best? A simple toasted muffin with some orange marmalade or other jam and a cup of great coffee is one of the world’s most affordable and totally delicious treats.

List at least five movies or books that cheer you up.

Boy, this is a tough question. My head is so full of movies and books, characters and stories!

Movies

Murphy’s Romance
Blazing Saddles
Trading Places
Tombstone (all that delicious violence)
Rustler’s Rhapsody

Books:

This gets hard. So many books, so little time.

Connie Willis’s Bellwether (1996) – No matter how many times I read it, it makes me smile, laugh, and think … at the same time!

Robert H. “Rob” Reid wrote Year Zero: A Novel, the only science fiction novel I ever read with truly entertaining footnotes … and explained to me everything I never wanted to know about the music industry.

Everything by Douglas Adams, but especially The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul which I have read at least a dozen times and will probably read a few more — possibly soon.

Jasper Fforde – All seven of the Thursday Next series are a joy to anyone who loves books. In this series, “outer space” is actually the inside of novels. I yearn for another one, but I think he is done with the series.

Jodi Taylor’s entire series about the time-traveling historians of St. Mary’s make me happy. Actually, I love all her books, but anything with time travel in it is a sure winner for me. She is funny, sharp, literate, and she loves history. I just finished An Argumentation of Historians which was less funny and more touching than many of her books — and it was part 1, so now I have to wait for the next part. But I have loved every book she ever wrote.

Kim Harrison’s entire series about Rachel Morgan and The Hollows. Thirteen books long, from the start to conclusion, including a 14th book that was a prequel.

There are so many others. I’ve been an ardent reader for an entire lifetime and my head is full of books.

If you were a mouse in your house in the evening, what would you see your family doing? 

Trying to kill off the mice. We have a lot of mice and getting rid of them has become a priority. A few mice is cute. Hundreds — thousands? — of mice isn’t at all cute.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  

We went to a party. We got there and didn’t get lost. We stayed long enough to enjoy the company and then — we got home without getting lost. Thumbs up!

RELEASED TODAY! DOUBLE DOG DARE – GRETCHEN ARCHER

 DOUBLE DOG DARE  –  Gretchen Archer

From the publisher …

Print Length: 215 pages
Publisher: Henery Press 
Publication Date: March 20, 2018


Davis Way Cole has gotten stuck. Not permanently stuck, mind you, but stuck in the house, stuck with the kids, stuck in that life of children and housewifery that is a not-so-rare thing for working women. But the time has come for her to move out of the house and get back to work. There’s her family, of course and whenever they pop into her life, it just gets crazy. And there’s the Bellissimo casino. It has come a long way back from its near demise, but it has a way to go and it’s time for Davis to get back on board and help.

As it typical of all of Gretchen Archer’s hilarious yet incredibly complex novels, the dog show, the dogs, the people, the absolutely everything that could possibly go wrong or off the rails, does.

One of the truly delicious aspects of Ms. Archer’s writing is her ability to take a wildly complicated story, tie up all the ends, and come out in the end with all the hanging parts of the story neatly tied up in a proper bow. This one is no different and if it wouldn’t give away too much, I’d tell you more.

Double Dog Dare

Davis Way is growing up. Her world is still crazy. Her boss is definitely crazy and her family is charmingly wacko … but she’s maturing. She’s smart. She may not always make the perfect decisions, but she doesn’t make her decisions casually or without serious thought. She cares about people she is close to … and she also cares about all the people who ramble through her life. So the books aren’t merely funny. They are also warm and frequently touching. 

Want a sip from my Double Whammy cup?

Suffice to know that this is one intelligent, funny, thoughtful, weird, complicated book where everything is happening at the same time and it looks like it’s all different things. Yet, somehow, most of it comes together and all of it gets sorted out. This is a life and death tale that will leave you laughing, crying, and hugging your dog.

I gave all three of my dogs two extra biscuits.

A full five stars for DOUBLE DOG DARE! 


SHARING MY WORLD – MARCH 2018

Share Your World – March 5, 2018

Forward

The other night I had a seizure or something pretty remarkably like one. It isn’t the first time this has happened to me — nor is it the first time I’ve tried to discover why. I’ve had several sound theories, but none of them has been correct. Garry wasn’t going to let this one slide and I can’t blame him. I think I scared him half to death and I found it pretty scary too.

My doctor booked me for an EEG on the 15th. It has been a few years, so maybe they know something now they didn’t know last time. I’ll see.

What did you or did not like about the first place you lived without your parents?

Wow. Talk about a blast from the past! The first place I lived away from home was a room in a little house in Hempstead or maybe it was East Meadow. Near Hofstra University, which at this point didn’t have its own dormitories. It would a decade later and by then, I had graduated — and was also married.

It was a house just like this, but with less land.

What did I like about it? It wasn’t with my parents. Anything away from “home” was great. Also, no one cared who you brought home or basically about anything except whether or not you paid the rent. There was no one watching you, reporting about you, or keeping tabs on you.

We had fun. It was an old, dinky house, but we played music, laughed, and every night was a little party. It was the way dorms are supposed to be but generally aren’t.

What is your most favorite smell/scent?

Vanilla or cinnamon.

Would you prefer snowy winters, or not, and why?

I want snow twice each winter and never on New Year’s Eve because the drunks driving on snow die in heaps of twisted metal.

The gate, the dog, the blizzard

Not that I will be one of them because we have long since stopped doing anything on New Year’s Eve other than watching movies and giving each other a kiss when the ball drops in Times Square.

Snowy day

I want each snow to last 24 hours, then melt cleanly away. No ice. No pile-up on the roof. No need for $50 for each plowing of the driveway.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?

Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

Reading “Lord of the Rings” has reminded me of all the other times I read it. How much I love the books.  How the first time I read it was a couple of months following my spine surgery in 1967. I was in the hospital for 5 months and I read everything I could get my hands on. Which included “Lord of the Rings.”

These books opened a whole new world of literature for me.

ROOT, TREE AND BRANCH

As I am now in the middle of “The Two Towers, ” deep in the syntax of J.R.R. Tolkien as the peoples of Middle Earth fight the encroaching darkness. 

Speaking of branches, the Ents have taken a stand against Saruman . This is one of my favorite parts of the books and as far as I am concerned, I live amongst my Ents. I often talk to my trees because if they are Entish, they are istening.

Gandalf

I’ve passed the battle of Helm’s Deep when Theoden asks Gandalf if they can get back to the life they knew before all this ugliness. Gandalf says no because evil leaves traces. You fight it. Even if you win, remnants remain.

“But what about the peoples of Middle Earth? Will we all vanish?”

Gandalf says “Perhaps. Sometimes that’s the price we pay.” This isn’t literally what they said, but close enough.

I’m sufficiently ill this morning to feel like one of the vanishing people of Middle Earth and I am off to the doctor. I think this is going to be a missing day for me. Between the doctor, pharmacy, and grocery (it’s supposed to snow tomorrow), I’m not going to be around most of the day.

Consider me one of the vanished people of Middle Earth — an Ent’s small, lost twig.

SUDDENLY, MARCH

It will be spring this month, though in this climate, it won’t feel like spring for at least another month. Not usually, anyway. The climate has been so peculiar, you never really know for sure what you will get. But typically, March is really winter, with the Vernal Equinox showing up towards the end of the month.

I seem to forget that. My birthday is March 11th and for a variety of irrational reasons, I think of it as being a “spring” birthday. It isn’t. March is the end of winter and often, the wildest weather of the season as the warmer weather tries to upset the entrenched cold of winter. Still, we are closer. Much closer. With a little luck, maybe we are done with snow. Sunshine and a few early flowers would be very lovely.

Share Your World – February 26, 2018


What are you reading right now?

During the day, I’m finally reading Jack Finney’s “Time and Again.” It’s a book I’m surprised I haven’t read before. At night, I’m re-reading “Lord of the Rings.” Frodo, Sam, Pippin, and Merri along with Aragorn are shortly to arrive in Rivendell. They have just discovered that Gandolf has gone missing.

I’ve read LOTR half a dozen times — audio and as text — but it has been quite a while since I read it last. In between, I saw all the movies when they came out. I don’ t know why I decided to read it again. Maybe I just needed that beautiful writing and memories of Middle Earth.

What was your first adult job?

I was the continuity director for WHLI. At the time it was an AM-FM station doing a bit of new music, mostly older music. News. Advertisements. I kept the logs we had to turn into the FCC — on paper — because there weren’t any computers yet.

I also wrote the advertisements and it was here that I realized I had a bit of a flair for PR and advertising. Before this, I was sure I was going to write Great Novels. After this, I thought I might write Great Advertising. Or both. Who knew I was really going to write Great Technical Documentation?

 What’s your favorite breakfast cereal?

It used to be oatmeal, but I don’t eat cereal anymore. I can’t even remember the last time I had any. It must be years.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

I took Garry’s blood pressure and without any medication — it was NORMAL. That is very good news.

DIM PROSPECTS

GETTING VERY, VERY SLOWLY RICH … ?


We watched a TV show last night. Australian, I think, but they never actually say where it is. I just thought I saw a distant shot of Ayers rock in the background … but you just never know. The point is, the police were hunting for someone and there was this author who had published a lot of books for young adults.

She had earned her money and she had a mansion. It was the size of the New York City library on Fifth Avenue. Which is to say huge. I’ve seen smaller factories. Apparently she made all that money from selling books.

Today, I got an email telling me I had an automatic deposit from Amazon. I must have sold a book! You can never again say that authors don’t get rich selling books!

PAPERBACK RELEASED! DOUBLE DOG DARE – GRETCHEN ARCHER

 DOUBLE DOG DARE  –  Gretchen Archer

Print Length: 215 pages
Publisher: Henery Press 
Publication Date: March 20, 2018

Davis Way Cole has gotten stuck. Not permanently stuck, mind you, but stuck in the house, stuck with the kids, stuck in that life of children and housewifery that is a not-so-rare thing for working women. But the time has come for her to move out of the house and get back to work. There’s her family, of course and whenever they pop into her life, it just gets crazy. And there’s the Bellissimo casino. It has come a long way back from its near demise, but it has a way to go and it’s time for Davis to get back on board and help.

As it typical of all of Gretchen Archer’s hilarious yet incredibly complex novels, the dog show, the dogs, the people, the absolutely everything that could possibly go wrong or off the rails, does.

One of the truly delicious aspects of Ms. Archer’s writing is her ability to take a wildly complicated story, tie up all the ends, and come out in the end with all the hanging parts of the story neatly tied up in a proper bow. This one is no different and if it wouldn’t give away too much, I’d tell you more.

Double Dog Dare

Davis Way is growing up. Her world is still crazy. Her boss is definitely crazy and her family is charmingly wacko … but she’s maturing. She’s smart. She may not always make the perfect decisions, but she doesn’t make her decisions casually or without serious thought. She cares about people she is close to … and she also cares about all the people who ramble through her life. So the books aren’t merely funny. They are also warm and frequently touching. 

Want a sip from my Double Whammy cup?

Suffice to know that this is one intelligent, funny, thoughtful, weird, complicated book where everything is happening at the same time and it looks like it’s all different things. Yet, somehow, most of it comes together and all of it gets sorted out. This is a life and death tale that will leave you laughing, crying, and hugging your dog.

I gave all three of my dogs two extra biscuits.

A full five stars for DOUBLE DOG DARE!