Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Say Cheese Before You Die

I've been thinking about writing a murder mystery, called "Say Cheese Before You Die." It is about a young woman, a photographer, who discovers--too late--the man she married is abusive and violent. She wants to leave him but he threatens to hunt her down and kill her if she does. He has money and the means to track her. She's trapped, tortured, terrified.

She decides to kill him. Slowly. Little by little. Every day she takes another step toward murder, toward freedom. She attends cooking classes and learns to make cheese cake, macaroni and cheese, cheese sauce, cheese balls, cheese enchiladas, cheese fondue. She tosses feta over salads, melts cheddar into quiche, and grates Parmesan onto vegetables. Occasionally, for a change, she feeds him Fettuccine Alfredo, with garlic cheese bread, and serves a cheese crepe for dessert. All the while she claims she is vegan, eating only beans, rice, fruits and vegetables.

He never suspects anything while he dominates and exerts his power over her, but then one day he clutches his chest, gasps for breath, falls to the soft cream carpet, his eyes wide and vacant, one hand outstretched, fingers splayed as if he is reaching for one final cheese doodle.

She leans over and tucks a small photo album under him, containing pictures of him eating a cheese dog at the ball park, nachos at the Cinco de Mayo festival, cheese and crackers at the Art and Wine celebration. She strolls into the kitchen, scrubs the cheese grater clean, deletes all the cheese recipes from her hard drive, takes her packed suitcase from the closet in the extra bedroom, and shuffles out the back door to his Lexus.

At a sunny resort in Belize, she meets a lactose-intolerant retired detective who becomes suspicious when he learns her husband has just died and she is showing no signs of grief.

Anyone think this is a good book idea?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Better your life with Amazon deals

My email inbox is littered with "deals". Google deals, Living Social deals, Best Buy deals. But the one that caught my eye today was this one from Amazon:

Half Off Facial - Portland Eastside / Vancouver

I should get this one. It would be so great to have the bottom half of my face removed. It might prevent me from putting my foot in my mouth in future.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Isn't it pretty? Can we eat it?

The cats are curious, and hungry and they have no respect for nature.

A couple of years ago I had a sick 100 ft Douglas fir. I hired a guy to hack it down before it fell on my house, but asked him to leave 20 feet standing for wildlife. The guy left 40 feet. I guess I shouldn't complain, after all it is housing an entire ecosystem for even the tiniest wildlife. When the cats led me to the back window yesterday to point out our newest neighbor, I thought they were sweet. A beautiful Pileated Woodpecker was making his mark on the dead tree, and the three of us watched for a couple of minutes. But then I heard the cats doing the little clicking sound cats make when they want to pounce on their prey and eat it.

Good thing the window was closed.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Fiery Sky in Morning

What good would life be if one could not pull over on a busy road during the morning rush hour, and take a picture of the sunrise while being buffeted by the squall of passing log trucks? This was the rise over Mt. Hood, taken from Vancouver a few days ago.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Thanks to the following authors


It is important to acknowledge people who have made a difference in our lives. It is also important to acknowledge people who have made a difference to our blogs. I’d like to thank the following people.

1. Lilith Saintcrow

Lilith is the New York Times Best-Selling author of a number of urban fantasy and young adult books and is a fabulous, caring person. I don’t have to tell you she is a fabulous writer, because you don’t get on the NYT best-selling list if you can’t string two sentences together to make a reader laugh, cry, or fidget on the edge of their seats. When she talks, people listen. And when she tells people they should read a blog, they do. Immediately. She is the reason “Confessions of a Seven-Year-Old” and "It may seem as though I don't like Christmas" are on my ten most popular blogs list.

Check out her books here.

2. Bill Cameron

Bill is a clever murder mystery writer, who tortures his protagonist with great cunning, while incorporating fabulous bits of Portland into the book. He wrote a guest-blog on here, A Dream to Some, A Nightmare to Others, which remains on my top ten blog list. He is one of the sweetest men I know. On twitter he told of his ukulele lessons, and I asked him to post a video of it, which he did. It was endearingly pitiful. Reminded me of when I took piano lessons in second grade. Oh, no, he was much better than that, come to think of it. Throughout the video, I smiled.

Check out his books here.

3. Linda Collision

I found Linda Collision when I was researching The Pirates’ Reckoning. She writes nautical fiction with a female protagonist and does a ship-shape job of it. Although I’ve never met her, she has been very helpful and encouraging, even agreeing to write a guest-post, Tension and Conflict on the High Seas, which also remains on my top ten blog list. If you liked Master and Commander, or the Horatio Hornblower books, you’ll enjoy her books. Word of warning, however, is to refrain from reading about the surgeon's mate’s shipboard surgery while eating your lunch. It’s enough to make you queasy.

Check out her books here.

4. Carolyn J. Rose

I want to thank Carolyn J. Rose for the awesome guest posts she did for me, Coping with Rejection and Self-torture Techniques for Writers. Besides being a good friend, Carolyn has taught me how to not be a bad writer. Now all I have to do is put into practice all she has taught to become a good writer. Carolyn writes great novels, well worth the read, from love stories set in the 1960s to murder mysteries involving the entire bizarre population of a fictional coastal town in Oregon. Both of Carolyn's guest blogs are in my top ten blog posts, but you'll notice the self-torture one is #1. Why? Because people from all over the world enter "self-torture techniques" into their search engine. Who knew?

Check out her books here.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Cat or Rats?

The government is like a cat. Sure it can be silky and cuddly and its purr can lull you into a feeling of contentment, but, like a cat, it can purr one moment, and draw blood the next.

The New Year is here, and I imagine the government is going to want us to pay taxes all over again. What did they do with this year’s taxes? Did they play with the dollars until the life drained out of them, or did they buy every cat toy on eBay, for double the price, and have them sent FedEx Overnight? I’ll bet the government is going to start whining about taxes, just like it did last year. And, like a cat, they’ll keep meowing, and meowing until you give them what they want. If you don’t, you’re likely to feel the sting of claws raking down your legs.

You may think it is worth it, that they appreciate you, and want to use the money to make your life better, but my cat just let me know I’m chopped liver. He got a new cat tower, and he no longer wants to snuggle into the bed I have for him in whatever room I’m in. He wants to sleep on the top level of the tower and to heck with which room I’m in. It is the same with the government. They’re in the top level of their towers and do they care if you are living in your car, or a cardboard box? Well, they might care about the cardboard box—cats love cardboard boxes—but they don’t care about you. All they care about is the food bin or your wallet.

It wouldn’t be so bad if the government actually worked for the money, but they spend their entire day, eating, sleeping, bickering and spitting at each other, playing with toys, making a mess, and expecting you to clean it up. They overindulge, eat forbidden things, hawk it up, and expect you to continue on as if you don’t know they’ll do it again the moment your back is turned. Local government is just as bad as the feds. Rest assured they will want you to pay your property taxes, sales tax, and local income tax all over again, even though you paid them last year. Have they never heard of recycling?

And don’t think that a gray cat is better than an orange cat, a tabby is better than a calico, or a Siamese is better than a Persian. In the long run, they all want the same thing. They want you to support them in the style they’ve decided they deserve. You can try to limit their intake, but the moment you leave the room they are up on that counter, pilfering from your dinner platter.

So why do we put up with it, with them? The rats. R-A-T-S. They have us convinced rats carry various plagues and without government/cats, all of mankind would succumb. Nations would collapse. We’d all be reduced to pirating passing ships.

Admittedly, they eat the occasional spider, and protect us by shooting down incoming birds. Once in a while they refund a stimulus shrew, or give us a gopher. There is no denying they provide that sense of well-being only the vibrating purr can offer. And on that rare occasion, their antics even provide a laugh.

Might as well dust off those 1040 forms.

Happy New Year.