Thursday, December 13, 2018

New Speak

As cats will, ours decided to wake us at five o’clock this morning for a feed. My husband grumbled something and I said, “The natives are restless.”

After that, all I could think was how language evolves. That phrase, an outdated colloquialism now, would strike fear in past generations. And that led my ever curious mind to this strange moral panic, as social commentator Styxhexenhammer666 puts it, in which some folks can find the most minor slip of the tongue offensive.

How, my sleepy brain wondered, would today’s terminology and linguistic acrobatics force a colonist to word such a warning? Perhaps, I thought, one might be expected to say, “The aboriginal peoples suffer insomnia.”

Did you know the phrase ‘letting the cat out of the bag’ came from a time when a pig might be sold in a poke (an ancient term for bag) and a dishonest vendor might switch out the valuable livestock for a feral feline?


Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Author Spotlight - Tina Holland's "Finding Your Path to Publishing"

The Lovely Tina Holland
Today I am honored to spotlight a book by the delightful Tina Holland. She is a talented writer, dear friend, and active supporter of her fellow artists. Take for example her latest publication, “Finding Your Path to Publishing”. Without further ado, I present this helpful guide in Tina’s (and fellow author A. Catherine Noon’s) own words.

About the Book

Finding Your Path to Publishing is a book designed to help authors find a home for their work.   Whether that is to find an agent and get a New York Contract or to Indie Publish your works, every path is different.  This book will help you find the right path for you. 

Questions about your process and style will guide you to help make the best decision for your project and you as a writer.


The first time I met author Tina Holland, she asked me what I was doing as an author. She shared a genuine interest in my success and gave me several suggestions that I incorporated into my plans, which ultimately resulted in Rachel Wilder and I being offered our first publishing contract.

Tina’s passion for writing is second only to her passion for helping other writers succeed, to truly pay it forward in the writing world in a way that enriches and lifts up the people who come in contact with her. I first took her FEARS workshop, which stands for Finish, Edit, Analyze, Research, and Submit, several years ago and loved every minute of it. She makes what can be a bewildering array of options and tasks seem doable. She creates a clear path forward, whatever the writer’s ultimate goal – to land a “New York contract,” find an agent, publish with a small press, “Indie pub,” or blog.

I’m as excited about Finding Your Path to Publishing as I was when I first met Tina, because it does exactly what the title promises: guides you, teaches you, inspires you, to find your path.

~ A. Catherine Noon, Author

Founder of Writer Zen Garden

Buy Links:


Tina Holland on Amazon

Hello, my fellow writer!  Congratulations on writing your first book, or maybe even your fifth.  

My name is Tina Holland.  I’ve written over ten books, am published with two houses and have been nominated for awards.   I write Contemporary, Paranormal and Fantasy Romance, and now I can add Non-fiction to the list.

Writing is a journey for many of us, myself included.  Very few of us navigate the sea of words without discovering more about our characters, the subject matter, or even ourselves.

This book is intended to help you navigate the publishing world to find the best home for your book, even if that home isn’t quite finished.

While I am not an expert on everything, I do have a very healthy knowledge of the publishing industry, simply because it fascinates me.  I probably should’ve been an agent, but I love writing too much.   The business is changing rapidly and some of the material within will be dated within months of publication.  However, I hope to provide you with the basic principles and etiquette of the industry. 

Tina Holland  

Author Social Links:






In the classic words of Ms. Holland, have you been naughty lately?


Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Fussing with Floss

For whatever reason, our latest package of dental floss has a manufacturing flaw. The product performed fine for weeks before the strands all of a sudden unraveled last week and forced me to open the case for a fix. Today that happened again and it took three tries before I found a solid length of sturdy intact ribbon. We’ll see how the rest goes.

Meanwhile, I thought about two other minute issues with super simple solutions. The first involved waste. There have been numerous instances through the decades when I failed to pull out an adequate amount and couldn’t get the proper grip to hold on. Then one day several years ago I had an eye rolling moment.

After one successful cleaning, I held out the used thread to gauge its length. That turned out to be the same as my forearm.


Works like a charm. But be warned, I have short arms. ~grin~ So user results will vary.

As for another complaint, I have mentioned an increasing gag reflex which builds during the flossing and brushing processes. For whatever reason, thank heaven, the sensitivity doesn’t extend beyond my own fingers.

Now before your mind goes into the gutter, maybe I’m just talking about not gagging in the dental chair.

~shakes finger~

Anyway, I found an ability to pretty well clean between either my upper or lower teeth without retching. This allows me to rotate between them and maintain good health.

In addition, my hygienist recommended flossing in the afternoon as opposed to morning per some anecdotal experiences. Some other, less fortunate patients struggle through the professional cleaning. Since I’m pretty satisfied with my results, I haven’t made a real effort to test this. But I will keep my prescheduled appointments to late morning at the earliest.

Did you know there is an alleged link between poor dental hygiene and heart disease?


Monday, December 10, 2018

Morning Fix & an Imposter

For whatever reason, caffeine no longer agrees with me. I have gone from a few (complimentary, I might add) cups a day at my former office job to using caution when ordering iced tea at restaurants. No refills, please. Don’t feel bad, though, my caffeine intake really isn’t missed.

A few years ago I found a fruity green tea that seemed interesting. And boy, howdy, is it ever refreshing served over ice, even better than hot. To make a box last longer I first steep a plain green tea bag in a small amount of boiling water for two minutes.

The Good Stuff
Then I swap out the bags and let the concoction sit for as long as I can stand. More time equals stronger flavor, of course, not that it needs any help in that department.

It would seem I’m not the only area resident who is a fan. Sometimes the shelf is empty of this particular flavor. During this last shortage, my dutiful husband waited while I perused other brands.

At last I selected a Lipton product boasting the same fruits. No. Never again. That stuff tasted synthetic. Yet the box boasted ‘more fruit flavor’ than before. Odder still is the fact it contains soy.


I tried various ways to make it palatable to no avail. Doubling up on that instead of using plain green to use them up faster, I ended up tossing out the last three bags. For me, that’s rare. It bothers me letting any food stuffs go to waste.

Have you ever had anything açaí flavored?


Sunday, December 9, 2018

Rainbow Snippet for December 9, 2018

It’s been a while since I posted six sentences from an LGBTQIA+ body of work. My November project ended up being pure het, and kept me too busy to read from the other talented authors of the Rainbow Snippets FB page. I’ve missed these folks and hope you’ll check them out.

The following is a bit of ugliness from a disturbed mind. I hope you enjoy nonetheless!


Nickolas turned his head as if to say more. Shadowed by ruddy carmine and burnt caramel waves, his stoic wide-eyed face in profile was the most beautiful, erotic, and damning thing I’d ever seen. If I could pin him to a butterfly board and look at him forever like this my soul wouldn’t even scream sliding into hell.

That made me feel more unworthy, uglier and dirtier than my bastard of a father ever managed and I cursed this cocky kid for his silent, smug dismissal. Why was his body so slim and perfect, hair long and shiny while I got stuck with this doughy body and a crappy crew cut my father wouldn’t let me grow out? Nickolas taunted me with a placid smile.


If he could read this mind, do you think Nicky would run?



Saturday, December 8, 2018

Tech–Nonsense, First World Gripes, and a Lucky Discovery

The other morning I heard interesting music coming from my husband’s computer. I stepped near the door and was instantly captivated. Along with nice, heavy rock and roll, I saw footage from what looked like a remake of the movie “Mortal Kombat”. Well, I’m no gamer but that first flick remains a favorite.

Before I had a chance to get too excited, my husband said, “It’s a video game trailer.” What? I walked away grumbling. If that’s not a ‘first world’ problem, I don’t know what is.

To drown my sorrows, I decided to play the original film’s soundtrack. Great stuff! I turned on my Soundfreaq and proceeded to pull up the music on my iPod.

Well, I encountered another issue. For whatever reason, the software separated the first song from the rest of the tunes.
Isn't Bile a great band name?
I ended up putting my classic iPod on my old docking station and it’s playing as I type. On a cool note, I figured out how to work the little alphabet to the right of my iPod screen.

Maybe George Clinton and the rest didn't want to hang with Bile?
Tapping the letters does nothing, you have to touch the screen over that which you want and swipe left. That was a lucky find. I figured there had to be a point to listing A-Z.

Msb stands for Michael Stanley Band, an old Cleveland favorite of mine.
Do you see now why I refuse to get rid of old tech?


Friday, December 7, 2018

Christmas Decor, a Clever Man, and an Oops Moment

Well, I managed to put up the last of my Christmas tree ornaments. Since I saw some friendly interest (thanks, Strayer, in particular), here is a photograph. The star is about one inch from the ceiling.

Many ornaments were gifts, some from my teen years!
Below is one of my favorite ornaments, purchased a decade or so ago from The Christmas Store in Manteo, on North Carolina’s Roanoke Island. That place also has an awesome Halloween department, gifts for the home, and beautiful art. I can’t help thinking of Pam Jackson with that lovely purple gift bag the artist worked in.

Love those 'fuzzy' sparkles!

As for my man’s cleverness, he helped me out yesterday with his earlier fix for a painful pinky. Holding down a key for his video game character to ‘run’ caused the overused first knuckle to ache. I found the same problem yesterday from slapping the back arrow key in the process of copying and pasting edits between MSWord and Scrivener documents.

The solution? Use first aid tape to stabilize said knuckle. I needed to cut the tape in half along its length so as not to mummify the entire teeny appendage, and taping it feels wrong when I’m flat-out typing, but I’m keeping the stuff handy. It's difficult photographing your own finger, I discovered, even with your dominant hand.

Not the Actual Pinky as I'm right handed. Heh...
As for my oopsy, it’s quite amusing. For the sake of my husband, who is a Halloween fanatic, I’ve kept out some of those decorations, including our creepy clown monster. His leer is astonishing.

Soon after I moved my Christmas bear to a better location to ‘converse’ with Dancer the reindeer, I entered the room at just the right angle to help explain the creep’s expression. Check out what he’s touching.
Proctologist Clown
I have since moved the clown.

Santa Bear got a clean bill of health, at least.
Was it OCD, as my oh-so-funny spouse suggested, to move the clown?