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Bertrice's Blog

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February 28, 2010

While not a fan of winter or snow I like February. It is the most orderly month in the year. 28 days. 4 weeks. And this year it was even more perfect. It began on a Monday and ended on a Sunday. Of course it snowed a lot during those 4 weeks. But while January seemed to drag on and on and on, February has just whizzed by. And tomorrow, Monday morning, we will begin a brand new month. March. A transitional month. 19 and a half more days of winter. 11 and a half days of the new season, Spring, which begins at 1:32 p.m. on the 20th day of the month. Wouldn't it be nice if with the equinox the seasons actually changed? Keep your fingers crossed.

~ Bertrice

February 24, 2010

Okay, I admit it. I like reality television. Not all of it mine you, but some of it. I haven't missed a season of "Survivor". As an author of fiction I find the inter-action between the contestants on this show fascinating. It's a better study in character than you could gain from any college course. And the way human nature plays a part in who wins is equally good. In some of the past seasons the winner has been the nice guy. Last season the winner should have been the bad guy because Russell played the best damned game of "Survivor" that I've ever seen anyone play, but he lost because anger, jealousy and ageism in the young jury, most of whom Russell was responsible for torpedoing, and who were out for revenge, got the upper hand. The jury didn't vote for the guy who played the best game. The voted against him. But that's life. Right now I'm in hog heaven because both "Survivor" and "The Amazing Race" are back. I got hooked on the race by a former editor. The stress of the race is fierce. Nice teams melt down, and work against each other. The challenges are wicked hard in most cases. But in the end while the winner might not be your favorite among the last three teams, you aren't unhappy. Race winners get there on their own merit. It's a lot of fun. Would I like to be a contestant on either show? Hell no! My mama didn't raise a dumb daughter. And as for "Dancing With The Stars" even the gorgeous, sexy, brooding Max couldn't tempt me off my couch. But fifty years ago when I was young, limber, and slim? Well that would have been a different story. I've always believed I was born in advance of my time.

~ Bertrice

February 22, 2010

The book was finished on the 12th of February. I finished the editing on Friday, the 19th. And then Murphy's Law kicked in. The printer that goes with the PC I write on gave up the ghost having printed out twelve chapters. Well, it's three years old, and has worked hard. It certainly didn't owe me anything. But the book has eighteen chapters. So into the county seat Aneta and I went this a.m. My old friend, Best Buy, had a grand selection of printer/copier/faxes. I don't need a copier. I have a perfectly good one. I don't need a fax. Just bought a new one a few months ago. What I needed was a garden variety printer. Try and find one. My theory is that the more crap on one of these machines makes it more likely it will implode sooner and you'll have to buy a new one. Next stop was Staples. They had two printers. The ink jet now takes four ink cartridges instead of two. What if you use more red than yellow or blue? You replace it, but that means you're replacing those color cartridges more than you use to do. So I bought the laser jet printer which prints only black. The printers are cheap enough, but the cost of the ink is astronomical. But the last 6 chapters are now printed out, and will go into New York tomorrow. The cover is already posted on the For Fans page, and you can read the book come October. Once again I have survived today's technology. I think.

~ Bertrice

February 22, 2010

When I was growing up we didn't have mid-winter break. But February was the month of two federal holidays, and we got 2 days off from school. February 12th which was Abraham Lincoln's birthday, and February 22nd which was George Washington's birthday. And in certain years like this one we would have had 2 three day weekends! Those were the best years. The worse were when those dates fell on a Saturday or Sunday. We learned how Lincoln had to walk several miles to get to school, and how he studied by the light from his hearth. We learned that George was honest, and when as a boy he was asked by his father if he had cut down a cherry tree he manfully admitted to the deed. How true these stories were I still don't know. But the lesson imparted via Mr. Lincoln's tale was that it was a privilege to get an education, and if a boy worked hard he could one day as a man attain great heights. Women's lib hadn't kicked in at that time. And Mr. Washington taught us that honesty, no matter what, was the best policy for everyone. Today we celebrate Presidents Day in mid-February with a long weekend when everyone goes skiing, or takes their kids to Disneyworld. We don't celebrate Mr. Washington, or Mr. Lincoln any more. We don't really celebrate the presidents at all. Of course there are some presidents since 1780 I would rather not celebrate. But GOD bless America!

~ Bertrice

February 18, 2010

Kathryn Grayson died today. She was a big star back in the days of the movie musicals. Her voice was pure and clear. I grew up in the day of the movie musical when singing stars like Grayson, June Haver, Jane Powell, Doris Day, Judy Garland, Betty Hutton were paired with singing/dancing male stars like Howard Keel, Gene Kelly, Dan Dailey, Gordon MacCrae, and Donald O'Conner. For a quarter you could go to the movies on Saturday afternoon see a newsreel, five cartoons, a serial chapter, usually a Western, and two movies. One of them was always a musical, and it was the Featured Movie. I always stayed to see the musical twice. The songs were romantic, they were fun, and you understood the words. I used to sing all the way home.

~ Bertrice

February 14, 2010

A Valentine gift for you all. The cover of the October 2010 historical, THE BORDER VIXEN, is now posted on the For Fans page. Let me know how you like it!

~ Bertrice

February 14, 2010

I write romance so I suppose I should have something to say about Valentine's Day. Here are some random thoughts.

My parents were a great love story. My mother broke her engagement to the son of a wealthy and important man 3 weeks before their wedding. She eloped shortly afterwards with my dad, the son of a chauffeur to another wealthy man. They were married 62 years before that clause, i.e., until death do us part, kicked in. My dad spent the next 6 years missing her. I'm happy to say they're together again for the last almost 7 years.

Newsday, Long Island's local newspaper had a Bridal Showcase section today. I have to say I don't like the strapless wedding gowns shown that every girl from size 00 to size 22 feels she has to wear. They look like overblown 1950s prom dresses. Trust me, ladies, necklines, and sleeves in varying lengths are far more flattering.

My friend, Kathryn, sent us an edible flower arrangement for Valentine's Day. It's not just pretty, it's delicious. George used to send me yellow roses every Valentine's. They're my favorites. His dementia doesn't allow him to remember special days any more. That's okay. "That" clause hasn't kicked in yet, and we'll be celebrating our 47th anniversary come October. We're a love story too.

~ Bertrice

February 11, 2010

Okay. It's winter. I'm not a fan. Particularly of the white stuff. But once upon a time in a kingdom far away I was. The kingdom was called Albany, NY. It was the late 1940s. I'd get off the bus after school, walk the half-mile down Colonial Avenue past the fields that in summer grew our "Victory" gardens to the Garden apartments called Stonehenge. My parents both worked, and I was a latch key kid. I'd let our neighbor, Mrs. Wiltrout, know I was home; make my peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwich; then join my friends playing in the snow. We had a snow fort in the woods, and met there after school. It was glorious! But the best memory I have of those times is the night after a particularly big snow when all the neighborhood parents built a big bondfire near the foot of a steep hill. There were cookies, and hot chocolate, and a big full moon. It was like something from an MGM musical movie of the day. And I sledded down that hill for over an hour with my dad before he and I went home, toes and fingers and noses frozen. Mittens and snowpants crusted over with icy snow, and melting as soon as we got into the house. Mom used to make me take off my snowpants and boots in the hall outside the apartment. But now I am many years past that time of innocence. I look out my window this morning to see the results of yesterday's storm, and groan. My guy hasn't ploughed the drive and shoveled the walk yet. Bummer! Will it be April anytime soon?

~ Bertrice

February 8, 2010

I received an e-mail recently from a woman whose pre-teen nephew is a fan of fantasy novels. I suspect the kind he likes have to do with Harry, Percy and Eregon.

However auntie went out and bought him "3 fantasy novels" for Christmas. Among her choices was THE TWILIGHT LORD. How she finally discovered this was not a novel for a pre-teen boy I do not know. She didn't say. But she felt a "Warning" label for the book would have been appropriate.

However I think taking a little personal responsibility might have been more in order. Auntie obviously did not know her nephew well enough; nor did she shop too carefully. The cover of this book was totally inappropriate for any boy let alone a young boy. Didn't she read the cover copy where it says your most faithful author brings "her trademark passion and sensuality" etc.? Passion and sensuality in reading material are hardly appropriate for a pre-teen boy. However I did sympathize with her in my response. As the grandmother of 4, and the mother of someone who was once a pre-teen boy, I realized she wanted to be cool; to make an impression on her little nephew. Knowing the attributes belonging to Kol, the Twilight Lord, I can only hope she didn't traumatize the poor kid for life.

~ Bertrice

February 5, 2010

I recently checked out the Help Desk and saw a message complaining about the loss of the Message Board. It was posted a week into the new year, and elicited very few responses. But the truth is, dear ladies, there hasn't been a big hue and cry over the loss of the board. I received 2 personal e-mails on January 2nd, and that was it. I think that makes my point.

If at a later date I am proved wrong I will reconsider, but right now I don't see it happening. It's like that line from a song in the musical 1776. Is anybody there? Does anybody care?

~ Bertrice

January 31, 2010

Willa and I have decided to create a bulletin board to keep you updated on author stuff I want you to know in between the new Quarterly News Letters. Hope it will be of help to everyone.

~ Bertrice

2012

January 2011 | February 2011 | March 2011 | April 2011
May 2011 | June 2011 | July 2011 | August 2011 | September 2011
October 2011 | November 2011 | December 2011

February 2010 | March 2010 | April 2010 | May 2010 | June 2010 | July 2010
August 2010 | September 2010 | October 2010 | November 2010 | December 2010



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