Friday, July 24, 2009

Addicted to love

I have a humiliating confession to make...

I'm addicted to romance novels.

Now millions of people read romances, and I'm not knocking them. It's just that I've been a voracious reader my whole life, and my milieu of choice has always been mystery/ suspense/ thrillers. Six months ago I'd have said, proudly, I've never read a Harlequin in my life.

Then Harlequin celebrated its 60th anniversary by giving away sixteen free books.

Ah, free books, I thought, downloading happily. Just in case I run out of things to read. And romance, well, it turns out that most of the fan fiction I've written has been of the romantic genre, so what the hay?

One evening in March I was out of things to read so I opened one of the free Harlequins. It gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling, so I opened another. And just like that I was hooked. I started bidding for lots of Harlequins on eBay and even got my friend Mud to ship me a box from halfway across the U.S. And four months later I've read over 150 Harlequins, average one per day. (And btw, that picture on the left is one of my actual bookshelves, filled with romances.)

I really didn't understand why my reading tastes had taken such a dramatic turn toward the romantic until dearest Noel, the Great Google Goddess, found a story from the Washington Post, "In Tough Times, Romance Is Easy to Love." To quote Megan Scott's AP article, "Love may not conquer all in real life, but its power in relatively inexpensive books is quite a comfort in this economy."

So that's it. Now I understand. When times are tough, the tough read romances.

Whew! I'm normal.

What a relief.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

What animal are you?

My "special" friend Noel is always coming up with "special" links to unusual, crazy or pornographic websites and pictures.

This morning I got up to "What animal are you?"

Noel smugly announced that she is a unicorn, one of the most rare animals. Less than 2 percent of people that take this test are the unicorn. Unicorns are good at almost everything they do, and are very well liked!

So of course I had to take the test. What animal will I be? I wondered. Maybe a racehorse, fast and brave and true. Or a dolphin, bright and sociable. Perhaps a kitten, cuddly and adorable. Or a bird, soaring and graceful.

So what animal am I? I quote the website...
You are a Catterpillar! Many people are often envious and jealous of a caterpillar. Caterpillars may not be quick, but they are quite wise and often think about things before they do them.!

Not only am I a caterpillar, but a mis-spelled one! And mis-punctuated. And redundant.

One small consolation: Caterpillars turn into butterflies.

Still waiting on that one.To find what animal you are, go to

Monday, July 13, 2009

A friend in e

I have a clear memory of the first time my daughter Molly went to meet in person a guy she'd met on the Internet. She was 18 or 19 at the time, but I made sure I had his full name and address before she started, and doublechecked it to make sure it was real. And I had her call me on her cell phone several times during the evening. She kept assuring me he was a nice guy and it was all going to be fine. And it was.

But you can't help but worry about predators and frightening possibilities when you make friends online.

So nobody was more surprised than I when I invited several friends from the Stephanie Plum fan fiction community to stay at my house recently. The author of the Plum books, Janet Evanovich, had a signing event in Cherry Hill, NJ, not far away, and I was looking forward to meeting some of my online friends.

Now why was I so brave? And why would people I've never met be brave enough to spend a night or two at my house?

I think the main reason we were all comfortable with the idea was that we've been corresponding for a year and a half. While initially we kept our personal information confidential, as we got to know each other better and better we revealed more and more about ourselves and our families. And in the smaller, private groups we shared our addresses and phone numbers, and even posted pictures.

Our group got together in Cherry Hill and had a wonderful time, and the three that stayed at my house couldn't have been nicer.

I guess the moral of the story is, when it comes to online friends sometime you have to go with your gut. And this time my gut was right on.

So to the lovely ladies of the Plum fan fiction world, I salute you. Love ya, babes!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Pond Tales

Did you ever notice how whenever you get your hair done it always rains? Or snows? Or fate in some way manages to fuck up your temporary gorgeousness?

I went to the salon this morning and my guy Marc gave me a lovely color and trim and style. I looked GOOD.

After lunch Dave wanted help cutting back and yanking out some of those yellow flag irises so they don’t fill in our whole pond. So I put on my grubby shorts and tank top and set out to help. I managed to get myself straddling the little runway from the small upper pond into the main pond and went to work yanking out irises.

Of course you know what’s coming next. I grabbed hold of a bunch that I thought I could uproot, pulled really hard, putting my not insignificant weight into it, and…


Flat on my back in the middle of the pond, completely submerged. Dave said it looked like a tsunami, scared the crap out of the koi.

Only good thing was, at least I didn’t lose my glasses in the pond. And at almost three feet deep, I didn’t hit my head on the bottom. Just my ass.

I knew there was a reason I left the pond work to Dave.