Thursday, April 27, 2023

True Love

Above are my maternal grandparents in 1975. They are sitting on a seat from an old automobile on their backporch. Married in 1919 (you can see their wedding photo HERE), they spent fifty-nine years together and had seven children. My grandfather was a coal miner, but he did some farming, too. My grandfather died in 1978 at the age of 86, despite black lung and a few heart attacks. My grandmother died in 1990.

They argued all the time. 😊 My grandmother was the most lovable woman I ever met, but she could be feisty, too. When my grandfather kept insisting they did not need a new stove, she decided to go on strike and refused to cook. Eventually, my grandfather gave in and Grandma got a new stove.

They had plenty of trouble in their fifty-nine years of marriage, but they stuck together and worked things out. That's true love.

Thursday, April 20, 2023

2.2 Million Words!


     The New Jersey Romance Writers  met last weekend in person for the first time in three years. It was a big celebration marking the 2.2 million words written by the members of the group in February of this year. Every February NJRW provides the JeRoWriMo challenge for each individual author to write 30,000 words in that month. It's like NaNoWriMo but less stressful since it is 20,000 words less than NaNoWriMo AND it occurs in a month without Thanksgiving or holiday preparations. In fact, February's best holiday is Valentine's Day! What could be a better incentive than to write about love in the month of love. 


     Those who finished the challenge received a pin to commemorate their success. Everyone who took on the challenge got chocolate, whether or not they reached the goal. Some of us also received pins to mark how many times we've joined in and triumphed. I received a pin for doing this five times. 

     Nancy Herkness started this event many years ago. However, she does have help because it is a big job. There are cheerleaders who urge us on every day. There are those who add up the numbers. Plus we have someone who likes to make chocolates! 

     Every author needs a nudge to get writing now and then. JeRoWriMo is a sweet way to do just that. 


Thursday, April 13, 2023

Spring Cleaning

Every year in April, our parish's youth group hosts a rummage sale in the gym. April is the perfect time to hold a rummage sale when spring cleaning is in full swing. 

We donate to the sale, but try not to buy anything. In the past, we've donated some large items. So, it's always nice to walk into the sale and see that the things we donated aren't there anymore. 😊

This year, the majority of our donations came from Daughter #2 who is still eliminating things from her former room in our house. But hubby also parted with his old jigsaw, which he hasn't used in approximately ten years. We also got rid of two bikes: one very old English racer and one nice ten-speed which is missing the seat. We decided we ought to pump up the tires before we donated the bikes. However, we discovered our very old bike pump didn't work anymore. We went to Walmart and bought another for only $9.96. The original pump cost $6.98. Of course, we didn't get a fancy pump. We got an old style one quite similar to the one we had. 

Hubby asked me this morning if we can donate anything else. We should. But I find I have emotional attachments to some items and it's difficult to let them go. I'll give it a try though. Less is more after all. 


Wednesday, April 05, 2023

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 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?