Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Rock and Roll Reborn

Any dear, regular reader knows I am a huge music geek. I also tend to take things to the extreme, have since childhood. Now my more fiscally conservative self doesn’t buy every available piece of merchandise. Nor do I cover my bedroom walls with articles and posters.

I do know just about everything the brothers of Palaye Royale have ever shared about themselves. They are not shy about telling all on social media.

L to R: Remington, Sebastian, and Emerson
For example, two of them were born in Las Vegas, one of those (lead singer Remington) endeared as a vampire by his fans. Big brother and Canada born guitarist Sebastian dresses in coats and ascots, thus dubbed ‘the gentleman’ of the trio. He also likes his gin.

Then there is drummer Emerson, the youngest, a high school dropout and self taught philosopher. His attire of choice evokes thoughts of a certain long-lived Johnny Depp collaboration with filmmaker Jerry Bruckheimer.

They are already done recording their next album and are back living on the road touring as I type. I can hardly wait for "Boom Boom Room (Side B)" to drop.

Yesterday morning I woke with a rather poetic summation of all this going through my head. My first act of the day was to write it down. Then I typed it and shared on Twitter and Facebook to fellow fans.

Have you seen any of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies?


Tuesday, February 27, 2018

A Pun for the Day

All animal lovers will have to forgive me for what I’m sharing today. My sense of humor is twisted. And please know in advance that both times my defensive driving failed to save a mammal I burst into tears.

That said, I’d like to share an exchange with my SO. For those who find my silly posts on Facebook, you may have seen this already.

Are you fascinated, as I am, about prehistoric plants and animals?


Monday, February 26, 2018

Positive Sparks Monday - A Departure From Formula

To quote Annie of McGuffy’sReader, the bright spirited blog where she created Sparks Mondays, “I believe we are meant to be lights in this world. If we allow our light to shine, we can see where we are going. It is then that we can begin to truly see each other clearly. Together, we can light up the entire world!”

As mentioned in the title, this spark is a different take on Annie’s lovely idea. I hope sharing humor counts. Knowing many of my delightful blogger friends are also fellow writers, this seemed especially fitting for those native English speakers among us…

Rules Were Made to Be Broken
Do you have any special plans for the coming week?


Saturday, February 24, 2018

Rainbow Snippet for February 24/25

Okay, before getting to the heart of the matter, let me warn my regular readers. This post references racy elements to my writing. You may wish to give it a skip, though my snippet itself is mild.

Thank you, Charli Coty, for finding this image

For those of you who wish to keep reading, this weekend I’m once again joining the talented group from Rainbow Snippets, all of us GLBTQ+ writers of one genre or another. My main body of work is unpublished erotica set in the mid 1990’s about highly sexual shapeshifters. So far, I fear my love child being rejected too much to try publishing.

At any rate, besides all the romps, I enjoy writing angst. And nobody manages to inject it into a scene quite like Alexandra from my BloodMoon series. In fact, I don’t know if anyone else could start an argument after her D/s switch of a fiancé gifts her with a private, mixed group BDSM orgy where she gets to be their sole cherished submissive.

Wow, that’s a mouthful in more ways than one. ~evil grin~ Anyway, these six work friendly sentences showcase her acting like a brat following the party her fit interrupted.


I turned my attention to Nickolas, still flushed and gorgeous with anger, who glared at me and threw up his arms. I sensed him daring me to make yet another stupid move. Who was I to disappoint him? I stepped close and shoved against his chest.

Silent, Nickolas regained his balance. Johnny gasped and I opened my mouth, uncertain what might emerge.


I hope you enjoyed it and check out what others have shared. Have a good weekend!



Friday, February 23, 2018

Learn Something New Every Day, and Laugh

Watching television last night, SO and I learned that a Japanese architect wants to build the world’s tallest wooden skyscraper. Let me reiterate. This is a tower fabricated out of wood… In Japan, a country prone to earthquakes.

It boggles the mind. Without missing a beat I turned in my seat. SO hit pause. Forgive me for what comes next.

Not Sure He Intends to Add Plants (which seems even more disastrous)
“I have the perfect name for it,” I said.



“And we’ll next hear about Jenga Tower on ‘Engineering Disasters’.”

I almost choked. We paused the streamed Internet broadcast for about five minutes to recover.

Given the chance, would you choose to live in any skyscraper?


Thursday, February 22, 2018

Darla's Discoveries - Tips & Tricks for Around the House

Tip #2: Safety First

Hows That for a Slice of Fried Gold?
Welcome to another household tip for your Thursday! And please forgive my obscure reference to a line from “Sean of the Dead”, one of my favorite movies of all time. It will make sense in the end, I promise. ~grin~ First, let me say I feel blessed to have been born in the Generation X era.

Not only were many modern conveniences becoming commonplace in my youth, my family could generally afford them. And the same can be said for SO and me. At the same time, the wisdom of conservation began to take root in my childhood, which makes me proud.

I do feel environmentalism is now a religion burdened with some true fanatics. Now the consumer takes a back seat to it. I’m not saying that’s all bad, but there are limits.

On that note, I have finally gotten to my tip for the week. ~gets off soapbox~ Are you familiar with the option to run an electric dishwasher cycle without the heat dried finish?

Sounds good, doesn’t it? Save electricity, a few bucks over the (many long) years, and the planet while you’re at it.

But there’s one thing nobody bothered to tell me. That accumulating wetness eventually leads to black mildew at the bottom of your appliance.

I think we can all agree that isn’t healthy. So I implore you to either use the heated dry option on at least a semi regular basis or make a point of sanitizing inside your dishwashing machine now and then.

Are you familiar with the dangers of black mold infiltrating the walls of buildings?


Knowing Your Strengths

There is a skill to photographing food, making the plate look appetizing. I lack it.

That admission aside, I want to share the first course of my simple lunch yesterday, vegetables in lemon caper sauce. That may seem like overkill before a sandwich of deviled ham, but I can explain.

You see, SO plated the remaining leftover sauced salmon, finished heating that last serving as I strode toward the kitchen. We passed through the entryway, at which point I noticed the casserole dish with some vegetables inside still sitting on the counter.

“I guess I’m supposed to put that away,” I said, tone acerbic.

“What? It’s just some carrots.”

Looking closer, I replied, “And water chestnuts.”


“In lemon caper sauce,” I answered, thereby winning the argument.

Well, I took a minute and found some tiny broccoli florets plus two sugar snap peas buried beneath capers and the cold, hardened butter sauce. Yum. And I hate wasting food.

Taste Those Vitamins and Minerals
Did you eat your vegetables today?


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Wakeup Call

Yesterday morning around 5:30 both our cats started going crazy. They wanted their canned food, which I rather regret reintroducing into their diets. SO usually takes care of them but seemed dead to the world, presumably up earlier as I slept sound.

At any rate, I decided to get up because my body decided it was time. However, that meant a trip to the bathroom first. Well, Jezebel would have none of that.

Usually the quiet one, she attacked our sliding ‘pocket’ door while I splashed water on my face, then ran away as it opened. Not wanting to disturb SO with the light I shut it again only to hear another scratching assault. Again, she ran away as I admonished her.

The third time, she opened the door. I can only figure there must have been a small gap between the door and the molding that her frantic clawing found. She sure seemed surprised, though it didn’t stop her waltzing in and mouthing off.

Needless to say, I fed them shortly thereafter. As predicted, Tilly still went back and cried until her favorite human got out of bed.

Do you, unlike me, have a regular sleep/wake schedule?

Not How I Wanted to Treat My Grey Demon
But Isn't This Adorable?

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Please Pass the Salt

My Mimi Mummy, Still Out Since Halloween
The other day, SO found a new pot roast slow cooker recipe. It calls for an entire packet of dry Italian dressing seasoning, a whole envelope of powdered au jus gravy mix, four tablespoons of butter, and four or five pickled pepperoncinis. Seeing the ingredients laid out on our kitchen island and feeling suspicious, I started reading each packet’s nutritional content.

Holy cow. Agreeing to try the dish before dismissing it outright, I did remark that I feared waking up mummified. Fortunately, the huge chunk of roasted meat came out tasting delicious and I woke no thirstier than normal. In fact, I ate some for lunch the next day.

There is still a lot left. I think it will last us a while for the sake of prudence. Maybe I'll even freeze some servings.

Do you monitor your sodium intake?


Monday, February 19, 2018

Happy Presidents Day!

As SO reminded me, there will be no postal delivery service today in the USA. Knowing me, I’ll forget and check later, anyway. Heh…

For now I’d like to share something cool about President Abraham Lincoln. Maybe you’ve heard about this. It was mentioned on our cat-of-the-day calendar for this date.

When asked about her husband’s hobbies, Mary Todd Lincoln replied with one word. Cats.

Did you know that about Mr. Lincoln?

No Doubt Photoshopped, But I Like It


Sunday, February 18, 2018

Low Tech for the Win!

Of late I have found myself using valuable writing time pouring over and polishing the same words instead of putting down new. Or I’m taking a ‘break’ and nosing about on social media. Yesterday I decided that needed to change.

I set aside the laptop and pulled out my trusty AlphaSmart 3000. Thanks are owed dear friends, talented writers A. Catherine Noon and Rachel Wilder, for telling me about these gadgets. To warn you, their web page is NSFW; like me, they like it spicy. A few years ago I found mine on eBay for under $20! And that included a wall power plug and the cable for transferring data to any computer.

Dead Rechargeable Battery Taken Out, AA's Last for Ages!
Besides not granting Internet access, these babies limit how many sentences you can see at a time. That helps sharpen focus, as well. In fact, I replicate that by shrinking my MSWord and Scrivener document screens as you see below.

Added Bonus, My Inspirational Eye Candy is Visible
By the time SO returned from the grocery store wanting assistance I’d written 1,474 words worth of new story in a few hours. I was one happy camper.

Have you ever seen an AlphaSmart?


Saturday, February 17, 2018

A Rainbow Snippet for February Seventeenth/Eighteenth

It’s time again for more Facebook frolicking alongside the delightful LGBTQ+ writers of RainbowSnippets. Here are six more sentences featuring my pansexual, aspiring rockstar guitarist werewolf. ~grin~ In this scene he takes matters into his own hands after learning his shy friend shares an attraction.

No automatic alt text available.

Story snippet:

Nickolas turned sideways and grabbed Andy’s skull two handed, dragging his head down until their lips met. To Nick’s delight, Andy’s thumbs slid along his jaw, fingers lacing through the long auburn fall at the back of his neck.

Andy tilted his face, mouth opening. Groaning, Nickolas slipped an exploratory tongue inside. They hummed in harmony.

In deepening shadow as the sun set, they nipped and licked at one another's mouths. Nickolas heard a twig snap and jerked back.


Thursday, February 15, 2018

Darla's Discoveries - Tips & Tricks for Around the House

Tip #1: Kitchen Cleanup
Mmmm... Lemon Fresh
Welcome, dear reader, to what I hope will be a new and helpful Thursday feature offering various household tips I’ve picked up over the years. Today I will address an aspect of kitchen cleanup.

You are surely familiar with disposable disinfectant wipes. Well, I adore them, and not just for convenience.

You see, during my childhood our mom (rest her blessed soul) wiped down kitchen and dining surfaces using a seldom washed dish cloth. I don’t know if she couldn’t smell the rotten stench (as with skunk, the lucky lady) or was ‘nose blind’. Either way, I didn't refuse the offered cloth when on kitchen duty, for some reason not having the heart to tell her how the thing reeked.

I look back and marvel that we all didn’t die from E. coli or something.

So, years ago this new advancement thrilled me. Of course, in this age of environmental awareness I try to do my part by not cleaning too often and risk flooding our garbage dumps with discarded wipes. You understand; we all make sacrifices for the greater good.

Anyway, containers emptied of cleaning sheets always contain a good deal of liquid remaining at the bottom. I despise wastefulness and subsequently discovered a simple fix you may well already know (my new Thursday feature needed to start somewhere. Heh…).

Anyway, I use paper towels to soak up the remaining solution and continue wiping away. Or, conversely, you can drizzle the liquid directly overtop a large enough countertop so that you don’t have overspill and scrub things up that way.

It feels good getting every last drop out of a product, don’t you agree?


Monday, February 12, 2018

Mixed Blessings and Tremendous Joy

Just to warn my Facebook friends, this has already been shared there. But it seemed worthy of repeating as my busy morning explains why I am not joining in the Positive Sparks Monday blog hop.

Anyway, only I would develop an impacted ear canal during a deadly flu season while my doctor is on vacation. As a result I had to go to an urgent care center. There I spent two hours with a roomful of desperately sick people and had to shell out $100(USD). That stung.

In addition, my social anxiety kicked into high gear again, partly because I was nervous about potentially losing my hearing. Also, I fear catching this flu that is killing my fellow US citizens.

Before leaving I coating the insides of my nose with antibiotic ointment hoping to create something of a germ barrier. Returned home, I washed every exposed surface of skin, put my clothes in the laundry hamper, and sanitized everything I could think of. Paranoid much?

But the staff was great and my ear is better than before (wax was building up for a while, no doubt). I’m ecstatic to be able to enjoy music again. Yesterday and this morning sounds echoed in my head and made me feel claustrophobic.

And now that half my head doesn’t feel stuffed with cotton, my jitters receded. I feel wonderful at the moment, about to get better delving back into my latest WIP. By the way, I write strictly for personal pleasure, which I’ve failed to make clear. So there is no publishing or financial anxiety involved. ~shakes head~ Anyway, I appreciate all the kind words regarding this condition.

Oh, we also have a health savings account (!), meaning the money came from a predetermined, dedicated source. So it could have been much, much worse. The universe is very kind to me, generally balancing out small nuisances with great fortune.

A Random Bit of Hilarity That Cracks Me Up
Back to being serious, I feel bad for all the really ill folks. One little girl in kitty slippers and coughing behind the medical face mask her socially responsible mother put on her made me want to cry.

~raises hand~

Does this influenza bug strike you with fear?


Sunday, February 11, 2018

An Even Better Day

Wow! For the first time in two full weeks I woke with no pointless anxiety. And I believe I have figured out what triggered it. This is probably going to sound strange, but here we go.

My Ongoing Effort to Find Calm
Besides pushing myself too hard to get out every day (though I really enjoyed myself for the most part), I let my joy of writing get carried away. Weird, right?

Let me explain. Thinking of a plot twist, or how a new character fits in the storyline, I almost skip to my laptop sometimes, raising my heart rate with a mild adrenaline rush.

I am certain that what has been termed the ‘lizard’ brain confused my raised heartbeat and perhaps pure intellectual stimulation with a reason to flee. Does that make sense?
My Brain in Plushie Form
In retrospect, creative self help guru Julia Cameron suggests artists channel drama into their creations. Why shouldn’t excitement be the same way? I'll try to keep it 'on the page'.

On a nice side note, I confessed this idea to my SO. Half expecting a scoff, I instead heard, “Oh, no! Writing is the greatest joy in your life!” How’s that for sweet compensation? Meanwhile, I’m gearing up to write today and reminding myself to take deep, slow breaths.

What do you think of my hypothesis?


Saturday, February 10, 2018

A Good Day

It’s always good to hear from my father. Yesterday he made me laugh so hard that tears squirted out my eyes.

“How’s your little red suitcase?” my father’s friend asked.

“My what?” replied Dad.

“Your Minnie Winnebago.”

Actual Size
If you were to go camping, would you go with a tent or trailer?


A Rainbow Snippet for February Tenth/Eleventh

I'm diving into new Facebook fun in which authors belonging to the Rainbow Snippets group share six sentences of a current LGBTQ+ related work in progress. This is a tad over six sentences due to brief dialog. Anyway, my werewolf OC accidentally bit his best friend/burgeoning lover. Andy’s sister guessed Nickolas’ slip had to do with the super moon...
No automatic alt text available.

“Actually,” Nickolas answered, impressed despite regret at revealing his inner wolf, “yes, seeing as I was an idiot…”

She snorted, an exaggerated head nod sending stick straight locks flying. Nickolas gave a shaky laugh in response.

“Well, a bigger one than usual. I completely forgot there was going to be a super moon this month.”

“What were you doing when…? Wait. You were kissing, weren’t you?”

Friday, February 9, 2018

Friday Fill-Ins

(Disclaimer: to anyone visiting from the Feline Friday blog hop, I apologize if I don't visit to see your beautiful feline. I didn't expect the lovely host of Comedy Plus to include my Luna, whose photo is at bottom. I am busy with rewrites/editing and thus limiting my time on blogs right now. Be well!)

Thanks go to two lovely bloggers at McGuffy's Reader and Fifteen and Meowing for hosting a blog hop today. Every week, these lovely ladies provide open-ended statements they compile together. I didn’t join the hop officially because I need to write but decided to share here anyway.

Feel free to join in, however. And visit as many blogs as you can. There are some truly nice folks around, like you, dear readers. Here are the prompts:

1. The Winter Olympics are _________.
2. I think the most romantic movie (or book) is _________.
3. Recently, I had an odd experience when _________.
4. I believe that love _________.

1. The Winter Olympics are something I watched as a kid. Now, I don't care about them, though I wish the athletes all the best.
2. I think the most romantic movie (or book) is my 'BloodMoon' series. Heh...
3. Recently, I had an odd experience when I realized my character's early love interest becomes an unwilling villain years later. He and his sister 'gave it away' with their hair and eye color when I was working on their origin story yesterday, which was super cool.
4. I believe that love from my cat Luna was the soulmate type.

RIP Luna (1999 (?) - August 5, 2014)


Thursday, February 8, 2018

David Bowie and Nicola Tesla – Two Different Types of Genius

I’ve made no secret of being a music geek. Few may know I also have a strong appreciation for the sciences, even if my intellectual strong suits never fit a scientific career. Deep sea, forensics, and outer space in particular fascinate me.

In the nineties I made a point of viewing every space shuttle launch possible. In more recent times I ate up footage of the space jump and have watched our recording more than once since.

Yesterday when SpaceX test launched their Falcon Heavy rocket, I rushed to the television with dripping hair after almost forgetting to put on anti-perspirant. You see, I’d gotten distracted writing and showered later than intended.

Anyway, I enjoyed every minute. Those reusable rocket boosters touching down like a pair of ballet dancers took my breath away.

And I liked the homages: music by David Bowie (“Life on Mars?” !!), referencing “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” (a sign saying ‘Don’t Panic’ inside the car cracked me up), and classic movie “Heavy Metal” (the Tesla mimicking the Corvette’s pose from the opening sequence complete with space suit – brilliant). Then I found the following on Facebook…

SO and I Nearly Stroked Out
Have you seen “The Prestige” with David Bowie portraying the scientist?


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Still Pimpin'

I shouldn’t do this to you, dear readers, at risk of turning you against my favorite rockers. But I can’t resist in hopes this will give you a chuckle. The other morning SO and I went out for breakfast. Hearing the barista singing to a decent tune, I grabbed a napkin and my pen.Then I handed her a note.
I wrote: Like this song? Check out Palaye Royale's album "Boom Boom Room (Side A)".

For a second she might have feared I was hoping for a date. To her credit, she didn’t appear horrified and the chilled decaf peach ginger tea tasted out of this world.

Twenty Year Old (!) Artist, Philosopher,
and Classically Trained Musician
Drummer Emerson Barrett
Do you prefer coffee or tea?


Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Ah Ha! Moment

I don’t usually like to post more than once a day. But my character spoke to me a while ago, giving me incredible insight and no small amount of relief that I'm not a total sociopath…

Green Tea and An Experiment

Each week, our favorite grocery store offers coupons for something free (well, at no cost beyond what we plan to buy, anyway; I believe everything in this world has some cost). Usually the item is something upon which we don’t normally splurge, like expensive nutritional supplies.

Last weekend was no different. We brought home bottled water with added electrolytes. A taste test at home proved it really flat, as if distilled (don’t drink distilled water, by the way, I understand it is very bad for the human body).

So I decided to steep green tea bags (flavored with Açaí, pomegranate, and blueberries) in a small portion of heated Body Armor. I was curious to see if it made my favorite iced beverage even more thirst quenching.

Typical for me, I ruined my own experiment by adding Brita pitcher filtered water to chill the drink. ~sigh~ Trying again, I put two more tea bags directly in the remaining bottled water.

Already Gaining Color...
I’m going to let it steep at room temperature for a few hours, chill the bottle overnight, and drink it lightly sweetened in the morning. If I can drag myself to the gym I might take that instead of plain water.

Is it just me or do you find warm beverages less thirst quenching?


Monday, February 5, 2018

Sad But True and Why I Don’t Have a Smart Phone

Thanks Vidya Sury, for Sharing on Facebook

Positive Sparks Monday – Back to Music

To quote Annie of McGuffy’sReader, the bright spirited blog where she created Sparks Mondays, “I believe we are meant to be lights in this world. If we allow our light to shine, we can see where we are going. It is then that we can begin to truly see each other clearly. Together, we can light up the entire world!”

I am an obsessive music geek who only toned back purchases because retirement is so worth the minor sacrifice. That said, I did order a “Rock Sound” magazine from the United Kingdom because they featured Palaye Royale. Within its pages a silly advice column stood out.

This young bloke, previously unknown to me, is the American lead singer of British pop punk band As It Is. Part of his answer to the question about making New Year’s resolutions really resonated.

I Like How the Column Adopted the Band Name - Cute
“Generally, I just aim to be nicer and work harder. I like to think that I’m already a nice, hardworking guy, but there’s always room to improve, and I think any day of the year is as good as any to invest in and love yourself.”
- Patty Walters

Thanks, Annie!

My Mag - Great Cover, No?
Do you like punk music?


Sunday, February 4, 2018

Fifteenth Century Architecture - NSFW

As mentioned in the title, this post is not safe for work, but that part is reserved for the bottom if you want to sneak a peak. I just found this on Twitter a few minutes ago.

In case you can't read the print, Black Pigeon Speaks typed, "People didn't have social media in the 15th century, so it would appear that they used gargoyles to troll their local village." What dedication to serving cold revenge!

See That Little Arrow Over the Roof, Several Stories Up?

That's Craftsmanship!

I can only guess this was found during restoration. What do you think?