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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Fashion Flashback, The Granny Dress


Once upon a time, the "Granny Dress" was the height of fashion. That's me in 1972 looking like I am ready for an afternoon tea party with a bunch of Victorians. Granny dresses were all the rage and I loved them. Most of the time I lived in my jeans--and I still do. However, it was nice to dress up for a few hours in ruffles. Sort of like going into a time machine, but only temporarily and while still having all the modern conveniences available. (I hopped into my Chevy Nova and drove off. I would not want to deal with a horse.)

I wish I had a photo of the pink gingham granny dress I made. I sewed that dress to wear for the special party the graduating class of 1971 (of what was then Jersey City State College) had on a Circle Line cruise around New York instead of a prom. On the boat I danced to the latest rock tunes in my granny dress.

My affinity for the style is even stranger when you consider that the dress code for women was only abolished a few years earlier. Until my sophomore year in college, all women were required to wear dresses to class--every day, all the time.

Styles come and go, but it is wonderful to have the freedom to choose what you want to wear.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Old Time Music

Here's hubby entertaining at Longstreet Farm in Holmdel Park. Since the house at Longstreet is from the Victorian era, hubby plays old time songs. There's an antique piano inside and he tickles the ivories of that instrument as well. However, the accordion is his favorite. When he sits on the porch in nice weather, he attracts a lot of attention. The accordion puts out a lot of volume (without amplification) for its relatively small size. Occasionally, children and adults come up and ask him what is the name of the instrument he is playing. Some people have never heard of or seen an accordion.

The accordion is a great instrument for ethnic music. You can find a history of the accordion here. It was very popular in this country in the 1950s. (Even I took accordion lessons briefly.) When Rock and Roll took over, the guitar became the instrument most young people wanted to play.

Hubby started accordion lessons when he was seven. Later, he took up the guitar, too, briefly. But he enjoys the versatility of the accordion.

I enjoy the old time songs. They are so sweet--all about love and romance--and I can understand every word! :^) Click on the link below to listen to one that hubby plays all the time.



Tuesday, April 23, 2013

What Would You Miss?

Last week, I received a contract for The Pirate's Wraith. I was thrilled! (I've mentioned the book several times on this blog, such as here, and here.)

The Pirate's Wraith is a time travel romance where a heroine from contemporary times winds up on a pirate ship in 1711. Unfortunately, she resembles the captain's dead wife and she is carrying the toy horse he carved for his son who passed away.

It was tough back in that century--no electricity and an appalling lack of knowledge when it came to disease. Despite a lack of caffeine, my heroine rises to the challenge.

So many luxuries we take for granted did not exist in the early part of the 1700s.

If you were thrown backward in time, what would you miss most of all?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Idioms...To Use or Not to Use...That is the Question


I love idioms. Our language is peppered with these colorful and pithy phrases.

One of my mother favorite phrases was, "Why buy the cow when the milk is so cheap." She often repeated it undoubtedly because she had three daughters. Mom's generation used idioms liberally to express themselves. However, people today are using those same idioms and newer ones are being added to the English language all the time.

Other languages have their own idioms. One of our neighbors was a small Mexican grandmother. What a sweetheart! She was much smaller than I, but she called me mamacita. :^)

She had a favorite phrase, "A woman's work, the donkey eats it." It made perfect sense to me.

You can find a terrific list of idioms at Idiomsite.com. There's even more at Using English.

I use idioms all the time when I talk. Who doesn't? The phrases are repeated over and over. For instance:

Did you get up on the wrong side of the bed?

He's sick as a dog.

I'm going to make a long story short.

Should a writer be liberal in her use of idioms when writing a story? Idioms are cliches--old, hackneyed phrases and many have been around for centuries.

I think it all depends on your characters. Having a character speak a few choice idioms can help round them out--for instance an older woman with three daughters to marry off might use Mom's favorite saying.

Having a character make up their own unique--and funny--idioms would add freshness to a story.

But I don't think all the characters in any one story should be spouting off idiom after idiom. I especially believe avoiding tired old phrases in the narrative of the story is best.

What do you think?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Better GIF--I Think...


I sat down and redid my little gif. I hope this works better. I also hope it helps to sell books. On the other hand, I could go into business making little gifs...

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

A Little GIF for You

With the second round of edits out of the way, I am gearing up to promote Daddy Wanted. To me, promotion is more work than the actual writing of the book. However, I love little animated gifs. This one is currently destined for the Romance Junkies website, but it may wind up in other places as well. I spent a ridiculous amount of time making this--mostly because I haven't done it in a while so I forgot the procedure.

After I finished the gif, I went on to make an Advanced Reading Copy of Daddy Wanted so I can send it out to reviewers. (If you are a reviewer and enjoy sweet, contemporary romances without sex, let me know.)

I had postcards made and still have to send those out, too.

I'll be putting up an excerpt from the book here--and probably on my Facebook fan page as well. So much to do!

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

If You Only Have A Little Time to Read....

I am currently bogged down in the second round of edits for Daddy Wanted, which should be released sometime next month. (I can hardly wait!!!!) But in the meantime, the rest of you should be reading. Summer is coming with long, lazy days (I hope), where you can sit outside in the shade and devour lots and lots of books. So get your reading muscles in shape now and download some short, free stories.

Once upon a time, two people met--Luke and Rachel. You really should read about them--especially since you can do so for free. Prism Book Group has free short stories available at their website as well as at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. At 24 pages, Lightning Stikes is great for your lunch break. After the Storm, which comes in at 31 pages, is a sweet dessert. I helped to write the ending for After the Storm, so you really MUST read it.

Blizzard Wedding, part of the continuing saga of Luke and Rachel, will soon be available at Prism Book Group, too.

Get your reading muscles in shape now! You don't want to have a flabby brain when the warm weather hits. :^)