MJ’s Musings: Three Things I Hate About Summer

Summer is my favorite season. I love being warm. I love not having to bundle up to go outdoors. Flipflops. Loose, casual clothing. Baseball. Lightning bugs.

However, there are three things I hate:

  1. Fireworks being set off in the neighborhood as soon as it gets dark.  It was bad enough when fireworks were illegal in my state. Now there are pop-up kiosks everywhere, and they’re doing kick-butt business. As soon as Memorial Day weekend hits, the noise is annoying  and disruptive. All night, every weekend until Labor Day. No, I don’t have pets who are traumatized by the noise. I don’t suffer from PTSD. I’m a woman who values peace and quiet. Setting off firecrackers at midnight, even on the weekend , is rude.
  2. Air conditioning set at Sub Zero Temps: TV Stevie and I went out to dinner the other night, and I was too cold to enjoy my meal.  If the restaurant kept the temp that low in January, they’d go out of business. Why does 80 degrees mean to keep the indoors at 60? You are not a meat locker. Stop pretending to be one.
  3. Too much to do: I am lucky. I have friends who want to do things. I have a husband who wants to do things. Summer in central New York is too short, so we cram a lot of living into a few short months. Sometimes I look at our calendar and weep. I want to spend more time kicking back on my patio and chilling. I work hard all week at Day Job so I could afford my home. I’d like to enjoy it more. Summer is too short.

MJ’s Musings: SEP-Heaven Texas

I really like this book. I love how the heroine is the only one who can see through the hero’s BS–and calls him on it. The hero is a lot deeper than many romance heroes.  He is a genuinely good soul all the time. Even at the black moment in the story, and events turn ugly, his innate goodness shines.

Some of the town folk and athletes are stereotypical, but I think the author does that to enhance the qualities of the hero.

The reason the book is so low on my list is because of the secondary plot/romance between the hero’s mother and the bad-boy who’d loved her from afar in their youth. I’ve read this book numerous times , and while that plotline is  not as creepy-icky as it seemed the first time I read the book, and is really handled quite well, I still find it creepy-icky. In this reader’s opinion, there’s a scene that occurs in a dark closet that should have remained in the dark closet and not on the page.

Overall: 4 stars.

MJ’s Musing: Word Nerd

There used to be a board game called PROBE. Used versions on Amazon are shockingly expensive. When my parents cleared out their games a couple of years ago, I “called” PROBE, but one of my nieces ended up with it.

The purpose of the game is to come up with a word (using letter cards, face down on a rack) and other people guess the word, letter by letter. There are blank cards, too, a player can add to the beginning or the  end of the word.

To this day, I will see a word and think, “Oh, that would be a great word for PROBE.”

Some of my favorite words are: gypsy; rhythm, awkward, squirm, swarm.

I confess: I am a word nerd.

 

 

 

MJ’s Musings: The Creativity of Writers

Sometimes an author’s creativity isn’t in only her writing.

Twice a year, I go out of town on a long writing retreat. A fellow author’s family has a cottage on a creek in the woods they let us use.

The first time we walked in (and oohed and aahed )and noticed there wasn’t much shelf space–certainly not enough for the wine. One of my companions turned to me and said, “Did you bring a baby?”

“No.”

“Neither did I.”

I wasn’t sure what she meant–until I spied a wooden high chair in the corner. That became our wine bar. For many years.  I have  lost the photo I took of this innovation.

This year, we didn’t bring as much wine as usual for many reasons. We no longer needed the a wine bar. But I was deep into revisions and needed something to prop my printed pages so I could input my changes.

The high chair-wine bar became something totally different.

Wedging the bottom of my binder against the tray while using the back to prop it upright worked like a charm.

But the high chair isn’t the only thing with multiple uses.

The weather turned wonderfully balmy and most of the attendees opted to write outside. Most also prefer to stand as they write. Enter: the Grill.

That’s right. The arms on either side of the gas grill are the perfect size and height for laptops  and writing.

The heat of creativity isn’t only on the page.

 

 

MJ Musing: SEP-It Had To Be You

The first of Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ Chicago Stars books, It Had to be You is a fun romp through the world of professonal sports. I am not a football fan, but a reader doesn’t need to be fond of a sport to enjoy a well-told story.

The heroine wants everyone to believe she’s a sexy bimbo. Her camouflage works all too well. When she inherits her estranged father’s professional football team,  she needs all her assets–including her brain–to survive.

The hero is a sexist he-man trying to manage a team whose owner is a sex kitten with no interest or respect for the sport.

The author introduces us to football players as people, not merely oversized-thugs. The focus is on the team, not the game (thank goodness!) which makes this the first great sports romance.