Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Why I write mysteries

“I write my mysteries for pleasure, mine and I hope yours, and for money.”- Joe Gores
That's why Joe Goes writes mysteries, which got me thinking about why I write mysteries:
Puzzle1.    I like solving a puzzle.
Puzzle structure
2.    I like the structure of the mystery.

3.    I love bringing the bad guy to justice.
4.    I like that you can add romance to the mystery.
5.    I like that there’s a beginning, middle and end.
6.    I like figuring out fresh ways to kill people.
7.    I love researching different poisons, weapons, and household objects as murder methods.
8.    I love the mystery community – everyone is so supportive and friendly.
9.    I love bringing together characters, settings, and plot.
Pulp mystery
10.    Most of all, I love reading mysteries.
So why do you write or read mysteries?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

An Interest in Pinterest

 I need an intervention.

I’m addicted to I can’t seem to control my impulse to just “take a quick peek” at the latest social networking site. In case you don’t know about Pinterest, I’ll share the explanation I found on the world’s most trusted authority—Wikipedia.

    “Pinterest is a pinboard-style social photo-sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, hobbies and more.”

In other words, it’s a place where you can see cool stuff. And it’s updated constantly so there’s always something new to see. According to Wiki, it’s one of fastest growing social services in the world, with 11.7 million visitors. Not surprisingly, 83% of the site's users are females ranging in age from 34 to 44. I’m a little over that demographic, but then I’ve always been immature for my age.

    A “friend” turned me on to Pinterest about a year ago, and since then I’ve checked the site more often than I check my email. Before Pinterest, I used to spend what little free time I had doing something worthwhile, like playing Drawing with Friends, texting my kids, updating my Facebook page, and reading the latest news on TMZ.

Pinterest has replaced all of that.

    Unfortunately, while the site is fun to visit, it’s also very addicting. Thanks to Pinterest, I now own four pairs of Tom’s shoes (buy one, send one to a needy child), I’ve tried numerous new recipes (like Cake Mix Rice Krispie Squares), I’ve painted my nails to look like Angry Birds  (mostly they just look angry), I’ve learned how to dress like a Disney Princess (Snow White, in a yellow top, blue shorts, and red Tom’s), I know what to do with leftover Peeps (turn them into Peep S’mores), and I’ve cut up a perfectly good t-shirt in an attempt to make it a shawl (mine looks like a cut-up t-shirt).

    Yes, there’s a plethora of information on Pinterest—How to make Pumpkin-Nutella-Jack Daniel Cupcakes, How to Hard Boil Eggs in the Oven, How to Use Glow Sticks in the Tub so Your Kids Will Take a Bath, and so many other ideas, I wouldn’t have time to try them all in my lifetime, let alone “repin” them.

    So why is the site so addicting? Maybe it’s because I’m bound to find important tips on making a hostess gift (stuff a bottle of wine in a Sock Monkey), creating beautiful artwork (out of melted crayons), whipping up a snack for the grandkids (Hot Dog/Noodle Octopus), and announcing my engagement to my next husband with Scrabble pieces (so far no need). The list goes on forever.

It’s only when you realize that you haven’t eaten for days (not even Cake Mix Rice Krispie Squares), haven’t gotten dressed (in that T-shirt/scarf), and haven’t turned off Pinterest since you logged on days ago, that you realize you need help.

Please feel free to join me at a P.A. meeting, where we can share stories of our addiction (and tips for making Sweet Potato Boats), enjoy some real-time social interaction (and “like” each other), and rid ourselves of this insidious disease called Neurotic Infectious Pinterism (PIN spelled backward).

I’ll be there as soon as I’m done getting a tattoo on my backside that looks like Ryan Gosling.


Friday, April 6, 2012

Sunday Family the wine...

Sunday dinner is a tradition in our family. Ever since the kids left home and married and had kids of their own, we've invited them all over for a weekly home-cooked meal.

My husband does the cooking -- I left the kitchen behind when my last child left for college -- and he always whips up something wonderful, like veal saltimbocca, chicken cordon bleu, or pork tenderloin carnitas.

The kids often ask what we're having, no doubt afraid that I might return to the kitchen and try to prepare my famous chicken Kiev (in which I accidentally left out the chicken.) So far, they've been lucky.

My daughter likes to eat early so she can get the kids to bed and therefore shows up at 5 p.m. My son prefers eating late and doesn't come until 6 or so. It's not a problem, because that gives me plenty of time to have a glass of wine.

When everyone is here, the grandkids play until they fight, then we serve them dinner. Since they won't eat what Tom cooks, their parents scrounge through our refrigerator in search of anything their kids might swallow -- cheese pizza (microwaved); frozen peas (still frozen); blueberry yogurt (with the blueberries removed); cheese slices (orange, not white); peanut butter sandwich (creamy, with the crusts cut off); avocado (meant for the salad); or bell pepper slices (also meant for the salad).

After the grandkids are done eating, 2-year-old Lyla hides in the pantry and helps herself to ice cream cones, sans ice cream. Three-year-old Stephanie heads for the play kitchen to make us "hot coffee" and "birthday cake." Four-year-old Luke wants to watch a video, but not the one 7-year-old Bradley wants, so we turn off the TV and they go to the guest room to jump on the bed.

Meanwhile, I have another glass of wine.

While the adults enjoy Tom's cooking, I bring up interesting topics to discuss, such as "How was your week?" or "Got any new apps?" but my grown children prefer to share stories about my latest embarrassing moments, such as how I got that big bruise on my backside (I was standing on the bathroom scale -- on one leg, of course, so I'd be lighter -- and lost my balance, grabbed the towel rack, which came loose in my hand, and ended up falling into the bathtub, bruising my tailbone.

Luckily, during their story retelling, I help myself to what's left in the wine bottle.

Once dinner is over, the grandkids return to the table for ice cream -- each one wants a different flavor. We adults try to play a game, like Rummikub or Farkle, until the grandkids try to take over and we lose track of who's winning.

Then my kids pick up their kids and head for home, leaving behind a family room that looks like a preschool after it's been ransacked.

When we're done cleaning up the mess, Tom and I collapse on the couch, put in a video we've been looking forward to seeing, and sleep through it, having survived another Sunday Family Dinner.

Can't wait until next Sunday for more "birthday cake," more jumping on the bed, more embarrassing stories, more interrupted games and lots more wine. It's a tradition.