Living Vicariously

If I’d known before how much fun it was to live vicariously through one’s characters, I’d have gotten involved in writing books years ago.

My life hasn’t held all that many remarkable moments, but my characters’ lives are full of excitement and drama, adventure and romance. And when I’m in their world, I’m totally engaged.

As I nudge the characters in my little romance novel towards a satisfying ending, I’m already pondering where my next characters will take me. Best of all, there’s no virus in their world.

Peace, people.

Peace, people!

Sometimes Bad is Bad

My copy of Manhandled by E. L. Scobie arrived in the mail on Saturday afternoon. Studly brought the mail in, and I didn’t see the book until Sunday.

This is me before reading the book.

Immediately I set about reading this salacious looking novel that was published in 1963, a Midwood Book, by Tower Publications in New York City.

Having read my share of romance novels over the years I imagined this particular book would be tame in comparison to the bodice rippers I’d devoured in my twenties and thirties. I was both right and wrong.

This novel is hardly tame; however, the sex scenes aren’t titillating at all. With one really sweet exception, they’re just sad and tawdry. The front and back covers had more campy sexual appeal than the entire contents of the book combined.

I tried googling Scobie, with no luck, and I’m certain the author used a pen name. This seems to be his/her only published work, but it was, indeed, published which makes me think the author might have been trying a different genre. I’ll give the author this much—he/she wrote lyrically about the beauty of the area in which the book is set.

The book was disappointing. It didn’t make me want to lure Studly Doright to my boudoir for a night of passion, which had been on my mind. Instead, it inspired me to daydream about fishing in a cold mountain stream. And I dislike fishing. Go figure.

Peace, people!

Deep Thoughts on a Sunday Morning

Does anyone else think that the so-called “panhandle” of Texas, land of my birth, might be better thought of as a cutting board?

Hardly handle-sized.

At one time I believe there was a campaign to change the nomenclature. A panhandle resident argued that the term “panhandle” was derogatory because it was also a term used to describe begging.

As I recall, his campaign for change didn’t get much traction. Maybe if he’d lobbied for “cutting board” or “postage stamp” he’d have gotten some support. Maybe not

At any rate, the panhandle in Texas is one of several in the United States.

Currently I live in the Florida panhandle. I’d argue that its shape comes closer to fitting the description of an actual pan’s handle.

Although, to me it’s reminiscent of the barrel of a gun with the peninsula as the gun’s handle.

I found something kind of cool while searching Pinterest for pictures of panhandles. Earlier this year, “Rolling Stone” did a feature on a West Texas band called The Panhandlers, including a link to one of their songs. I got a kick out of the song, and thought it worth sharing here.

Here’s a link to the “Rolling Stone” article:

Peace, people!

The Worrying Gene

If there’s one thing I’m really good at, it’s worrying. I come by the skill honestly, having inherited it from my mother who was a world class worrier.

She was full of “what ifs” and “might could happens” and she handed them down to me in a messy little package made up of sleepless nights and tied up with great big bows constructed from fatalistic flights of fancy.

Studly Doright, on the other hand, never worries, or if he does he never mentions it. Oh, he ponders deep stuff, like how to rig his bicycle with a battery and a throttle and a golf bag holder so he can use it on the golf course instead of a golf cart.

He might obsess a bit, but he never worries that he won’t get the bike to work or that he’ll crash and break a leg on the hole farthest from the clubhouse and have to crawl to safety. No, he leaves those worries to me.

His mom, Saint Helen, is not a worrier either. Even when she was on her own, raising five kids, she didn’t expend any energy worrying. She knew worrying wouldn’t solve a thing.

So, is this a nature versus nurture issue? Did my mom pass the worrying gene down to me, or did I learn from observing her that one should fret over situations one cannot control? Did Studly choose to emulate his mother, or is there a single speck on a gene that prevents him from worrying?

It’s probably a bit of both. We may never know. What I do know is that the old saying that opposites attract rings true in this case. Thank goodness.

Peace, people!

Summer Evening on the Back Porch

Chris Stapleton on the radio, singing about Tennessee whisky

While I’m drinking Merlot and dancing with the cat

She’s not much of a two-stepper, but she sure likes to waltz

Although, waltzes make me cry now—the boy who taught me one, two, three, one, two, three

Spinning me around the dance floor is gone, too soon, we were not worthy of his grace.

Do you think Roy waltzes in heaven? Twirling angels ‘til they’re giggling and giddy?

If heaven has a dance floor, he’s made it his own. Pop a top and watch him go.

Long Cool Woman

The Hollies’ 1972 hit Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress, has always fascinated me. Until very recently (today, August 5, 2020, at 6:45 a.m.), I only kind of understood the lyrics.

Some dude working undercover for the FBI was in a club when all hell broke loose, and there was a pretty, tall woman wearing a black dress involved somehow.

Turns out, I was mostly right, but I always thought there was a bouncer involved and that the woman was also working undercover for a rival organization, maybe the KGB or the CIA, and was leading our hero on so that her side could triumph. In the end, I thought the two of them agreed to work together and lived happily ever after. My imagination filled in the blanks.

This morning I found a YouTube version of the song with lyrics. Now, 48 years after the fact, I know the whole truth and nothing but the truth. What a great song.

Peace, people!

Too Hot to Handle?

A couple of days ago I used a photo of the cover of a vintage western romance as an illustration in a blog post. (Link below)

A friend asked if this was the cover of an actual book. I wasn’t sure, so I googled it. And it is, indeed an actual book. Guess who ordered herself a copy?

I’ll keep you posted.

Peace, people


Late Friday afternoon I received a text from my dentist’s office reminding patients of all the safety precautions patients needed to abide by during an appointment. Instantly I thought my appointment must be imminent. I looked through my calendar, though, and couldn’t find an entry.

I left a message with the dental office saying I’d apparently neglected to enter the date and time for my appointment, and asking them to contact me with that information when they opened on Monday.

Over the weekend, though, I began thinking that my appointment was for early morning on August 3, so I set an alarm and was at the dentist’s office a few minutes before eight this morning, prepared to wait awhile in case my appointment was at nine. As soon as I parked my car I called the office number.

“We just listened to your message,” the voice on the other end said. “Your appointment is for November 4, at 8 a.m.”

I don’t think I’ll wait around that long.

At least I wouldn’t have suffered the fate of these dinosaurs.

Peace, people.