I’ve Got the Shutterbug

•February 24, 2015 • 41 Comments

 

Nothing in your black bag is gonna help what I got unless your black bag has room for another lens.

Nothing in your black bag is gonna help what I got unless your black bag has room for another lens.

This is cold and flu season.

But I’ve got a different kind of bug…the shutterbug.

I caught it when I made a total impulse buy.

Let me explain.

I went to my new Pacific NW dentist just to get my teeth cleaned.

No biggie, right?

Wrong.

After two hours of poking, prodding, and trying to avoid lock-jaw, I discovered several disturbing facts:

1. My NYS dentist must have gotten her degree in The Witch School of Dental Hygiene where bacteria and mercury are a mouth’s best friends.

The case that won my dentist her degree.

The case that won my dentist her degree.

2. All of my mercury fillings need to be replaced because they are highly toxic mercury (duh) and because they are degrading, thus allowing a bacteria Bat Mitzvah to happen under each tooth.

3. I have a cracked tooth that needs a crown and it’s been cracked a long time judging by the rivers of bacteria flowing around it.

4. I have some serious gum disease from all this bacteria festering in my NYS mouth.

Total cost for getting my mouth as healthy as an old camel’s mouth: $4,000 and change.

I may need a whitening treatment. Oy Vey!

I may need a whitening treatment. Oy Vey!

I left the dentist’s office:

1. Happy that all this mercury in my mouth will be gone.

2. Sad that I’m among half of the American population with periodontal disease.

3. Feeling like I needed something to cheer me up.

So I bought myself (and Phil) an Nikon DL-7100 digital SLR camera with two lenses.

Heck if I know what all that gibberish means. It has an "auto" setting. I'm using that for now.

Heck if I know what all that gibberish means. It has an “auto” setting so I’m good to go.

Yeah. I know what you’re thinking.

1. Lorna, you have to spend the equivalent of buying a used car to repair your mouth, and you go out and buy an expensive camera?

I did.

2. Lorna, you know nothing about photography (we’ve seen your pictures), and you buy a camera with more bells and whistles than a kiddie train ride in Disney Land?

Yup.

3. Lorna, do you know the symptoms of depression?

Apparently I’m a bit rusty on the checklist.

Well, to all you skeptics out there, piffle, I say!

Phil and I have been reading the 300+ page manual on how to turn the darned thing on and took our new camera for a test drive this past weekend.

We went to a local wildlife refuge where you can only drive around, stay in your car and take pictures.

So we did.

On our way into the refuge. The trees have ferns growing out of their trunks. That's wild, huh?

On our way into the refuge. The trees have ferns growing out of their trunks. That’s wild, huh?

What can I say? I like trees?

What can I say? I like trees?

Some men just have to look when their ladies are taking a bath.

Some men just have to look when their ladies are taking a bath.

Some women have no problem telling their men to mind their own business.

Some women have no problem telling their men to mind their own business.

I guess the rules about not getting out of your car don't apply to everyone.

I guess the rules about not getting out of your car don’t apply to everyone.

You may not believe this, but I saw the refection and meant to take this picture.

You may not believe this, but I saw the refection and meant to take this picture.

This one, too. He came out with some wiggly, squiggly thing in he beak. Got a picture of that, too. But...yuck.

This one, too. He came out with some wiggly, squiggly thing in he beak. Got a picture of that, too. But…yuck.

So, how did I do? Should I have gone home and flossed rather than gone to a store and shopped?

I think I’m going to take a class on basic photography once I figure out how to turn the camera off.

I also want a more powerful zoomy lens. But I many have to wait until I pay off my used car teeth bill.

Have you ever made an outrageous spur-of-the-moment purchase? Do tell!

Romance is in the Ether…er, um…Air

•February 20, 2015 • 18 Comments
Phew! I've got 11 months to recuperate.

Phew! I’ve got just over 11 months to recuperate.

Valentine’s Day is behind you.

For those of you who noshed on boxes of chocolates, maybe you can still see the effects of the day in your rear view mirror.

Well, don't blame me. You gave those chocolates to me. What was I supposed to do? Insult you on the most romantic day of the year?

Well, don’t blame me. I know I’m a hair or two larger in the behind. But you gave those chocolates to me. What was I supposed to do? Insult you on the most romantic day of the year?

But I’m not here to chide anyone about their chocoholism.

I’m here to remind you about romance and how it’s right at your finger-tips.

Not exactly what I meant, but I hope he was feeling some love. Or some something.

Not exactly what I meant, but I hope he was feeling some love. Or some something.

A wonderful writer and blogger buddy of mine, Tricia Linden, just released her latest romance-with-a-twist novel, Until We Meet Again.

Her twist is that she includes some metaphysical/spiritual/time travel/or just plain spooky element to her romance novels.

So if you love love AND you love the unexpected, Tricia is an author you might want to check out. Click here to get to her blog.

What’s this book about?

Glad you asked!

Here’s Tricia’s book blurb:

See? Romance with a twist. What's that key all about?

See? Romance with a twist. What’s that key all about?

Victoria Winters didn’t regret her affair at Woodstock, or that she returned from the past pregnant with a daughter who would never know her father. Maggie is the light of her life and her only desire is for the two of them to live happily ever after, but she’s deeply indebted to the Maestro, a mysterious man who saved her life in exchange for becoming his time-traveling courier.  Victoria has spent the last four years caring for her daughter, but she still has time to pay, and now she’s being recalled into service to travel to Manhattan in 1888 to retrieve a lost Stradivarius violin.
The Maestro has tracked the missing violin to Robert  Stevenson, a successful investment banker living the good life in the gilded age of Manhattan. After his wife’s untimely death he seeks to employ a new governess for his eight year old daughter, Lenna. When Victoria shows up at his front door it’s obvious she’s the perfect candidate for the job, even though he suspects there’s much more to Miss Winters than she’s willing to tell.
If Victoria can find the violin within three weeks, she’ll earn extra time off her ten-year contract with the Maestro. If she fails, she risks losing her daughter, and possibly her life. Before her assignment is over, she’ll be forced to decide; what is she be willing to lose to have everything she ever wanted?
The book is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other book sellers (but you’ll have to contact Tricia to find out which ones).
She's as sweet as she looks, so don't hesitate to contact her.

She’s as sweet as she looks, so don’t hesitate to contact her.

Have a great weekend, People!
Next week I have more “Newsy Neighbors” stories to share with you.
Things are just getting interestinger and interestinger here in the suburbs of Portlandia.

A Storm is Coming…And Her Name is Mady

•February 17, 2015 • 32 Comments
Preparing for an author interview takes great care and precision leg-work.

Preparing for an author interview takes great care and precision leg-work.

Hi People!

I’m at it again.

Are you ready for another zany interview?

I hope so, because an old blogger buddy of mine, James, (well, he’s not that old), is releasing his new novella, a sequel to his first novella, “I Died Once.”

You’d think he’d call it “I Died Twice,” which would be a compelling title, but he didn’t ask me.

It’s called “Mady’s Storm.”

There's Mady. Could she be in hot water?

There’s Mady. Could she be in hot water?

 

Mady is the protagonist in both books, which means she’s the main character if you’re not into literary lingo.

I invited James over for a cyber sit-down to talk about stuff (and by “stuff” I mean his book and the writerly life).

He’s a brave man. He agreed.

Here’s what went down…to the best of my recollection.

Lorna: Hey, James, ole’ Buddy, ole’ Pal! Long time no see. Remember those good times back when…never mind. So you’ve written a sequel to “I Died Once.” Wanna talk about that?

James: I sure do! Thanks for inviting me over to your blog. The book is just about to come out and now is the perfect time to get the word out.

Lorna: As you know, James, I’m legendary for my psychotic, er, um, psychic abilities. I even know all your answers to the questions I’m going to ask, but I’ll ask them anyway.

James: (looking around for the nearest cyber-exit)

Lorna: Sorry, James, the “Escape” button doesn’t work in my world. Let’s get started! Give us a no more than three sentence promo for “Mady’s Storm” that will send us rushing to buy the book.

James: Wow, you sure don’t mess around.

Lorna: Thanks, James. As you know, I’m legendary for my tidiness. Now enough stalling. Give us the goods!

James: At the beginning of “I Died Once”, people didn’t like Mady. By the end of it, they did. “Mady’s Storm” takes place eight years later and explores her thoughts while the reader joins her on her journey of becoming a woman.

Lorna: So if you want to know what makes women tick, read this book. Should be a best seller!

James: Well, not exactly…

Lorna: James, trust me, stop talking. As you know, I’m legendary for my (ahem) marketing prowess. Moving on. What or who is your inspiration for Mady?

James: Mady appeared in my head one night in late September, 2011. She has a few aspects of someone I was involved with once, but that’s about it. Mady is her own person, born in my mind.

Lorna: I knew it. Every fictional character is based on someone you know. Just better or worse, depending on how you feel about them.

James: Well, not exactly…

Lorna: James, trust me. I know what I’m talking about. I’m psychotic, shizzle, psychic, remember? If (wink, wink) you met Mady in person, what advice would you give to her?

James: (sighing, eye-rolling) Mady is an amazing person. I’m more likely to learn something from her, than she is from me.

Lorna: Sounds like she is an awesome person. Too bad it didn’t work out. What advice would she give you?

James: (shifting uncomfortably on cozy cyber sofa) I said she was mostly fictional.

Lorna: Yeah, right. What advice would she give you?

James: (sighing) Be strong. Be patient. And follow your heart.

Lorna: What happened between you two anyway? Never mind. None of my business. I bet it’s in the book. Back to business…What is the accomplishment of which you are most proud and why (it doesn’t have to be writing-related)?

James: The accomplishment that I’m most proud of is getting a short film into a New York Film and Video Festival, back in 2002. If you type “If Not Now James Mahoney” on YouTube, you can check it out. In addition to getting it into a festival, I filmed it in an hour and a half, due to time constraints. So it’s a bit rough, but delivers the message. Other than that, Self Publishing “Winter, Lust, And Wonder” (My Poetry Book), “I Died Once” (My First Mady Novella), “White Jade” (8 Page Partial Comic) were pretty huge. Also…

Lorna: Whoa, Superman! I said one. Were you always a rule-breaker? Is that what busted up you and “Mady?” Never mind. None of my business. But here is the video in case people don’t want to go searching.

I’m just wondering is the woman in the video is “Mady…” Never mind. None of my business. Finally, is there a question you wanted me to ask, but I didn’t? Go ahead an ask it, then answer it.

James: Why am I a Writer? Hmm, good question, Lol! But really, I’ve always been a Storyteller…ever since I was a kid. Originally I was going to pursue film making, which I did for a few years, but quickly came to realize I’m also a writer. I have these great stories and characters that fill my head. And I really want to bring these people and their stories into my world. Storytelling motivates me because I feel it has so many worthwhile purposes. It takes people away from their own realities, sweeping them up into another realm. A well-told story can relieve stress or at least take people out of the center of their own dramas. Creative outlets expand the imagination, too. Another important reason I want to tell my stories is that I feel people can learn a lot about being human through getting to know my characters.

Lorna: (nodding) The ones you “made up,” right?

James: (nodding) Right! Thanks so much for letting me talk about “Mady’s Storm” here on your dy-no-mite blog. It’s been fun, Lorna. (I may have embellished this last statement just a tad.)

Lorna: I teased you a bit, James, but it was all in good fun. And I wish you all the best with this book and your future projects, which I’m sorry we didn’t get to talk about today because this post is already a bit long.

He didn't look as pensive during the interview. Really.

He didn’t look as pensive during the interview. Really.

“Mady’s Storm” is due to be released later this month.To find out more about this book and James’s other projects, visit his blog. He also wrote a recent post about “Mady’s Storm,” which you can see here.

As always, if you pick up a copy and read it, remember to write a review. Indie authors depend on your reviews to help get the word out about their book

 

Don't get your bras in bundle, Bubelehs. I'm almost finished my review on Amazon, then I have to go to GoodReads and post it there. Oy! The book was so good, it would be a sin to keep it to myself.

Don’t get your bras in bundle, Bubelehs. I’m almost finished my review on Amazon, then I have to go to GoodReads and post it there. Oy! The book was so good, it would be a sin to keep it to myself.

 

 Have you read any good books lately? Have you written the author a review?

 

A Dizzy Blonde Goes to Get Her Hair Cut…

•February 10, 2015 • 58 Comments
I'm not loving the hair. Either I do something I might regret later or I shoot someone.

I’m not loving the hair. Either I do something I might regret later or I shoot someone.

A dizzy blonde (that’s me, for those of you new to these digs) goes to get her hair cut.

She’s into this whole new-life-new-beginnings-change-of-pace-what-the-heck-no-one-knows-me vibe.

It’s either unpacking tedium/delirium, Scrappy-love-withdrawal, the Pacific NW damp air creating mold in her already cockamamie brain, or some combination of the aforementioned. But she’s booting Old Lorna out and designing New Lorna.

Holy Bad Idea, Bat Man!

Holy Bad Idea, Bat Man!

Skinny Young Stylist (SYS) asks, “So what did you have in mind?”

Assuming SYS is referring to her hair, New Lorna replies, “Something short. Stylish yet sassy. And short. Don’t be afraid to make it short.”

SYS spent the next 45 minutes slicing and dicing.

Dizzy Blonde came out with very short, sassy and not so stylish blonde boyish hair cut.

Poofing it up with “product” before Phil came home didn’t work.

New Lorna looked like a boy with too much “product” in his hair trying to impress the girls.

Actually, his hair is a bit long on the top compared to mine.

Actually, his hair is a bit long on the top compared to mine.

Phil took a moment, trying to formulate the right response.

He said, “You look like Peter Pan.”

He should have taken more time.

“It’s called a pixie cut. It’s very stylish.”

“Great. It looks nice.” Back-peddling.

“I was going for the Charlize Theron look.”

“Who? Charlie Brown? Wasn’t his hair longer?”

Cleansing breathing while Googling pictures of Charlize Theron.

Smug victory smiling while shoving smart phone photo of hottie Charlize’s pixie hair cut in Phil’s face.

Yeah, Baby, That's what I'm talkin' about.

Yeah, Baby, That’s what I’m talkin’ about.

“Oh. Nice.” Looking at Charlize, looking at me, looking at Charlize. Not seeing the similarities.

“Well I like it.” I announce in my defensive authoritative voice.

“Good. That’s what’s most important. But I bet a lot of women around here will like it, too.” Phil is so diplomatic.

“What do you mean?” Dizzy Blonde is so clueless.

“Let’s just say I want to be very close to you when we go out in public so people know that you like men.”

Does Charlize have to deal with this kind of thing?

I think Phil really liked the top I was wearing.

I think Phil really liked the top I was wearing.

Dizzy Blonde calls SYS and asks if she can return for a few “adjustments” to her hair cut.

As if this day wasn’t eventful enough…

On the same day, the same Dizzy Blonde (still me, People) goes to local library to pick up books on local hiking trails.

I'm preparing for upcoming family visits and the end of the rainy season. You could accuse me of hyperadvanuary planning. I tend to plan ahead.

I’m preparing for upcoming family visits and the end of the rainy season. You could accuse me of hyperadvanuary planning. I tend to plan ahead.

Innocent enough, right?

You’d think.

On the way out of the library, Dizzy Blonde spies a free publication by the University of Washington.

She thinks it’s an annual guide to all things Portland: concerts, museums, parks, events, restaurants, transportation, you name it.

She picks one up, smiling at her lucky find.

When she gets home, she realizes that her “All Things Portland” free publication, which she thought was entitled “The Portlander,” was really “The “Potlander.”

Word Play, gets me every time.

Word Play. It gets me every time.

The only articles in it were about marijuana and the best places to get nachos in Portland.

Dizzy Blonde begins to ponder (always an iffy thing).

What a difference an “r” makes.

Horse would be Hose.

Bird would be Bid.

Arm would be Am.

Corn would be Con.

Shirt would be…um…uh…never mind.

Dizzy Blond recycled “The Potlander.”

Even though pot is legal in Washington, it’s probably not one of the touristy things my 83-year-old mom and my sister and brother-in-law will want to do when they visit this summer.

But, you never know…

There are some really interesting "health food" stores around here they might be interested in visiting...

There are some really interesting “health food” stores around here they might be interested in visiting…

Tell me about gaffes, goof-ups or just silly stuff that has happened to you recently.

 

To Make You Feel My Love

•February 3, 2015 • 41 Comments
You may need more than a little hankie before this is all over. I sure did.

You may need more than a little hankie before this is all over. I sure did.

It had to happen.

I got Scrappy’s ashes back and the peacey, calmy, sereney Me vanished.

Griefy Me returned.

I'm sure you know the feeling.

I’m sure you know the feeling.

I purchased a nice container before I screwed up the courage to pick up his cremains.

Much to my surprise, his ashes were already in a beautiful wooden container they provided.

This cremation service is a class act. They even clipped some hair from his chest and put it in a small plastic bag. I know it was his chest because the hair was all white.

“How thoughtful” I thought as I sobbed.

I opened the bag and tried to smell the hair, wanting to get a whiff of him one last time.

Nada. I have to rely on my memory of that musty Scrappy Dog smell.

I know it well. I buried my nose in his fur a million times telling him, “I love the way you smell.” I must have been a dog in a former life.

So I put the wooden box inside the box I purchased. It has room for his collar and the plastic container of his precious hair.

Anyway, I see what remains of Scrappy every time I pass my dresser. He’s front and center, between Wolfer and Humphrey, my other two furry canine companions who traveled for too short a time with me.

I picked the box because the decorative part reminded me a bit of an old time world map. Scrappy--ever the traveler...

I picked the box because the decorative part reminded me a bit of an old time world map. Scrappy–ever the traveler…

I touch the box and my heart aches. His inanimate presence makes me miss him more than his total absence did. Is that odd?

When I placed Scrap in his final resting place, I sang a special song. It was my little funeral for him, I suppose.

I have a special song for all of my furry (and feathery) loved ones who have gone but are waiting for me. I always picked the song while they were alive, knowing the lyrics held a special message about them and my relationship with them.

This is the song I picked for my Scrappy.

I picked it because, as you know, we were both abandoned souls with bruised hearts who saved each other by working on healing old wounds, trusting we were worthy of love.

Who loves ya, Baby? I do!

Who loves ya, Baby? I do!

Billy Joel wrote the song and it’s performed by Adele. This video provides the all important lyrics.

You’ll understand…He did.

Does anyone else pick songs for their furry friends, or is this just another quirky thing that I do?

 
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