Sunday, May 29, 2005

In Memory

Below is a photo of me and my brother at Disneyland. He was a navigator/bombardier in the Air Force and flew in the F-111 which was at that time an experimental fighter jet. His plane crashed in New Mexico a year after this picture was taken. He was twenty-five years old at the time of his death.

He did not die in the jungles of Vietnam, but he served his country nevertheless.

Both of my grandfathers served in World War I. My father served in World War II and his brother died on an island in the Pacific. My mother served in World War II, too, as did her brothers.

For all those who protect our country, I offer my thanks and prayers today.

May we soon have peace.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

An Opening

The students of Parsons School of Design had their thesis show last night. Hubby and I took the train into Manhattan again to see daughter #2's exhibit--which you can see below.

She replaced the door leading to a rest room in the gallery with another door that had an LCD screen. Instead of the usual man or woman symbol, the picture changed--or morphed--from a man into a woman and back as people passed the sensor installed above the door.

It was a popular exhibit and a few people actually used the rest room--both men and women. Daughter #2 stood by filming the reactions. Hubby and I presented her with roses to celebrate the occasion.

Of course, getting to Parsons by subway was a new experience. Neither my husband nor I had been on a subway in at least thirty years. We've gone into the city, but we've driven our own car. So last night, when we tried to get the Metro card to open the turnstile to enter the subway, we did not have any success until the subway attendant told us we had to swipe the card through with attitude. "You're in NY now," he said. "You've got to do it with attitude."

Okay. I swiped that card more forcefully and it did work.

There are homeless people here and there in the city. Yesterday was a cold, rainy, and dreary day. I saw one bag lady so covered in black plastic bags leaning on a cart also covered in black plastic that at first I thought she and her cart were a pile of garbage.

Nevertheless, I find the subterranean world of Penn Station fascinating with all the shops, restaurants, and bars far beneath the street. We had arrived in Penn Station at rush hour and the swarms of people running for their trains is--in itself--an amazing sight to see.

Friday, May 20, 2005


Today daughter #2 graduated from Parsons with a Masters in Design and Technology. The graduation ceremony was held in the theatre at Madison Square Garden. My hubby and I took the train to Manhattan. The weather felt more like March than May--cold and rainy.

We emerged from the depths of Penn Station into the hustle and bustle of Seventh Avenue. I contacted our daughter by cell phone and discovered she had not left her apartment yet--29 blocks south of where we were. However, she said she would be there in a half an hour.

We went across the street to a Roy Rogers restaurant for lunch. Afterwards, we stood on the corner of 33rd Street and 7th Avenue looking for our daughter. I called her on the cell phone and she said she was at the same intersection. However, she was on the opposite corner and it took a few minutes before I finally spotted her face in that sea of people.

After the graduation, we had to use the cell phones again to locate each other. (Cell phones are a wonderful invention!) Then we took some photos. Here's one of us.

After the pictures, we ate supper at Sbarro's restaurant--also across the street from Madison Square Garden. Daughter #2 showed us where to catch our train home and we left all the hustle and bustle behind us. New York is a rather exciting place, but I like peace and quiet, too.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

My Friend, the Harp Player

There's an article on my friend, Mary LeBus, in the Asbury Park Press. You can see it at:

Harpist is happy to pull some strings

What the article does not mention is Mary's skill in playing Scrabble. She plays Scrabble like some people play Poker. Her harp playing truly is wonderful, but I'm just jealous that she always beats me at Scrabble. :^)

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Pet Cemetery

In today's Asbury Park Press there is an article about a very upscale final resting place for pets.

You can read the article at:

Final resting place for pets

In the story, Bob Jordan quotes Howard Schoor as saying pet funerals will cost "from a couple of hundred dollars to a couple of thousand dollars." Schoor has big plans.

We have always buried our pets in the backyard. It hasn't cost us anything. Of course, we never had any large pets. I can understand that the burial of a dead horse would be a gigantic undertaking. However, for parakeets, fish, and guinea pigs, the backyard has been sufficient.

We have always embellished the burial with a pertinent reading of the scriptures and a prayer. One of the most distressing pet burials happened to be the one for Pansy, a sweet little guinea pig. She happened to die on one of those miserable winter days when the weather outside consisted of sleet and freezing rain. My husband, at work, instructed me to use the post hole digger. I did that, but then the hole filled up with rain. I had to use the old manual boat pump to remove the water before we could place the deceased Pansy in the hole.

I was rather broken up about the event, in addition, I was exhausted from all my digging. My middle daughter read the twenty-third psalm.

When spring arrived, our youngest daughter planted some crocuses and daffodils at the site. I think it is much nicer so have our furry friends here in the backyard. Maybe there are some people who don't know how to use a post hole digger--or those who have a dead horse--but I won't be spending large amounts of money for our little pets.

Friday, May 13, 2005

If You Want To Know...

Romance Junkies posted the review for Prince of the Mist. So for anyone interested in reading it you just go to:

Prince of the Mist

My favorite quote by Romance Junkies reviewer, Billie Jo:

PRINCE OF THE MIST is a charming, sexy, and fun read.  Penelope Marzec outdoes herself again with another magical love story that kept me enthralled from the beginning to the end."

I located the review by searching for my name on the internet. Often, a reviewer will send an email to let the author know that the review has been posted on the internet--but sometimes they don't. Then I have to go find it--and I am not the only author with this problem.

My writer friends who do this sort of thing on a regular basis have coined a new term for it--"googling." I google myself frequently. When I'm procrastinating, I google members of my family.

At last count, I received 308 links for my name in .29 seconds. Compare that with 1,420,000 for "Nora Roberts" in .08 seconds.

Such is life. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Our Changing Society

I teach in a pre-k class. Most of the kiddies in my class are already five and they will all be going to kindergarten in the fall. Five is a wonderful age.

Today I read them a book titled OWEN, a Caldercott Honor book, it was written by Kevin Henkes. It's a cute story about Owen who has a blanket named Fuzzy which he refuses to give up. Finally, with kindergarten approaching, Owen's mother gets the bright idea of cutting up the blanket and stitching it into handkerchiefs.

At that point in the story, the kids all looked up at me and asked, "What's a handkerchief?"

I wish I had brought one in to show them. However, I suggested that perhaps their grandfather might carry one in his pocket. A few of the kids nodded with understanding. One of them said her grandmother carried a handkerchief.

Times have changed. Everyone uses tissues nowadays. I still have a few dainty, embroidered handkerchiefs tucked in my drawer--one of which I carried with me, tucked underneath the bouquet, on the day I was married.

Next time I read that story, I guess have to bring in a handkerchief. Such a simple thing, but it's becoming obsolete in a society where everything is disposable.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Stroking My Ego

I received two more terrific reviews on "Prince of the Mist" yesterday--one with 5 Coffee Cups from the Coffee Time Romance review site, and a 4.5 review from the Romance Junkies' site. Getting wonderful reviews is one of the perks of writing. I get my ego stroked and I feel absolved from the responsibility for the layers of dust in my house.

Writing each of my books has been a long process with lots of hours spent in a chair in front of the computer. For me it has meant not watching television, not going out to lunch, ignoring friends, and being in a fog most of the time whenever one of my family members is talking to me--although my family has gotten rather used to it. They can tell when I'm not "in the real world."

My writer friends all talk about "filling the well"--that's what we do in between writing projects. For me, it mostly means cleaning the house as well as contacting all the people I have ignored while I've been submerged in my fictional world.

So fueled by my great reviews, I'll tackle some of that dust today. No doubt, some other story idea will attack me while I'm dusting though. I'm at the mercy of my muse.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

My New Review

I just received the first review on my latest release, Prince of the Mist. It's at ecataromance for anyone who wants to read the whole review. Here's the link:

Of course, there is one sentence I adored. "Penelope Marzec is a very talented author who keeps her readers hooked with this fabulous story which is full of fun, passion and intrigue." It made my day. :^)

Yesterday, I was up at 4:30 am, my head swirling with ideas for my current work-in-progress. I started jotting down notes, but even after that I found I couldn't sleep, so I gave up trying to rest, turned on the computer and typed.

Then I went to work as usual. Fortunately, I did not fall asleep on the job.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Homemade Music

We visited with my hubby's nephew and family this past weekend. The nephew's daughter was to receive her First Communion. We drove five hours in the pouring rain on Saturday and arrived in time for take-out pizza. We stayed at the house and slept in the First Communicant's bed. Oh well. She didn't seem to mind.

We haven't seen the nephew and his wife in a year, so it was nice to catch up. The conversation flowed, helped by generous servings of wine.

The most unusual part of the visit was how truly fascinated the children were by my husband's accordion playing. The night we arrived, my hubby pulled out the accordion and proceeded to go through his usual repetoire. The kids rearranged the furniture in the living room to resemble something more like a theater.

The next day, after the First Communion, the kids clamored for my hubby to put on another show. The kids and their small guests watched in fascination as my hubby entertained. Some of the adult guests enjoyed the music, too.

My hubby loves an audience. He used to play the organ at church for a while--that way he had a captive audience. However, these youngsters who listened with such rapt attention made him very happy.

I wonder if any of them will ever be inspired to play an accordion.