"The notion that such persons are gay of heart and carefree is curiously untrue. They lead, as a matter of fact, an existence of jumpiness and apprehension. They sit on the edge of the chair of Literature. In the house of Life they have the feeling that they have never taken off their overcoats."
- James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I need to be writing, but -

I'm going to a horse show instead. This time it's in Burbank, so I'll be commuting every day - an hour there and an hour back. Sue me, I can't justify the cost of a hotel. I'm about 20,000 words from finishing the third Peri mystery and I'm dying to get it done, but after you get up at 4:30 a.m. to get to the equestrian center by 6 so you can lunge your horse, saddle him, get dressed in an outfit that would make Patsy Cline weep with joy, ride, then muck your horse's stall, wash his tail (the real one and the fake one), and drive home, well...

Screw any writing at that point. It's all you can do to stay vertical.

But when I get back I hope to tell you all about the stray dog I think we're adopting, because I need another canine like I need a hole in my head.

Write well, write often, Peeps!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

A past reflection

I posted this three years ago, but I still can't think of a thing I'd add to it. So here it is again.

* * * * *

I don't come from a particularly military family. My dad was in the Air Force during the Korean War. He said he was also in WWII, but by my calculations, he would have been 14 at the time, so I have my doubts. We'll leave that discussion for another time.

As for the other family members, my mom's dad could not go to war in WWII because he was 4F due to bad eyesight. Apparently this made things awkward, since his name was Hansel Wetherholt, a very German moniker. He never spoke of it, but my grandmother hinted a couple of times about how high they had to post the flag to please the neighbors.

Their son, my uncle Larry, was a Marine, stationed in post-war Tokyo. The only stories I ever heard him tell about the service were all about he and his buddies getting drunk and causing some kind of commotion. These were interesting memories at his funeral, when the local Marines showed up to tell everyone how well Larry represented the Marines and how proud they were to have him as a brother in the Corps. Seriously?

All that being said...

I do think about the sacrifices service men and women have made for our country, and I am grateful. This includes the times I thought our country was making a mistake. I admire the people who sign up to the task of working for a safer, better United States, and who continue to work within our government to fulfill their duty, even when they disagree with the politics.

I may be a writer. I may be able to create characters in tough situations. But on a personal note, I can't imagine what it's like to be in combat, to walk through a strange terrain, wondering if my next step is on a land mine, or a meeting with an enemy's bullet. Then, to come home and not be able to lose that feeling of "waiting for the other shoe to drop," trying so hard to fit in and wishing your family understood.

For those of you who came home, I thank you, from the bottom of my heart. For those who didn't come home, I thank you also, from the depth of my soul.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Geez, where has this chick been?

Yes, I got back from Carmel on Sunday and I feel horrid I haven't posted anything since Thursday so it looks like I'm still in Carmel which I guess I am mentally but I truly meant to post something else anything else before now but I had my weekly column to write and a post for tomorrow's Crime Fiction Collective (I'm reviewing Michele Scott's latest - check it out on Thursday) so I had the teeniest of excuses.


Here's a bunch of pictures we took on our vacation, to tide you over until I think of something to say.

We stayed at Svendsgaard's Inn, which is easier to say than to spell. It's located down the street from the Hog's Breath Inn (Clint Eastwood's restaurant), and across the street from Brophy's Tavern, which serves good beer, food, and has several TVs to watch all the sports that were on all weekend.

It's beautifully landscaped with TONS of flowers. Color everywhere!
This is the view from our room. I'd love for my backyard to look like this, if I could grow anything.
From our home base, we ventured out on Thursday to walk around the town...

I SO want these dishes!

Went on a horseback ride out on Pebble Beach.
Pumpkin has to wear a muzzle because she eats too much.
Then drove up to Seaside to visit a local brewery. Beer tasting, wow!
Friday was wine tasting down along the 101. We began in Greenville at Scheid, then headed north to hit Paraiso, Hahn, Wrath, and finished it with Pessagno. Total count: 16 bottles. (One was free because we joined a wine club.)
Saturday was Monterey day. We met our lovely niece, Ashley, at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. She had a friend who loaned us their day passes to get into the aquarium. Score! The aquarium was having a special weekend about eating sustainable fish and seafood, so there was a different chef there, every hour, giving a cooking demo, followed by a free tasting. Double Score! I bought a cookbook by Barton Seaver, For Cod and Country. It's a really pretty book, but I bought it partly because Barton used the word "deleterious" in his presentation. Ya gotta love a man who throws around two-dollar words like he can afford it.

Dale's camera was taking FABulous pictures!

Inside the aquarium we also saw beautiful jellyfish, sea dragons, sea turtles, and weird sunfish. We saw a lot more, and took tons of pix, but I won't post them all here.

On Sunday, it was time to kiss the Central Coast good-bye and head home. It's only been 3 days, but I'm finally getting back into the swing of normal. I should be back to posting about writerly stuff soon.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Greetings from Carmel

Hi all,

First of all, I hope you all took advantage of yesterday's book giveaway. These are the things I do for you, people. I'm still enjoying the Central Coast of California, reveling in wine tasting and horseback rides on the beach, but I thought I'd give you a taste of Carmel - Joe Sample style.

See you on Monday.

Love you mean it,

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

On your mark, get set...

Hop on over to Amazon and get your free copies of my books. Yes, all of them! Today only!

Here's the link to my Amazon page. You can download them and read them on your computer, you can download a Kindle App to your latest toy, so there's no excuse not to get them.

I'm taking a trip to Carmel to celebrate my anniversary with my hubby. (And if you're thinking of coming by to rob us while we're gone, I'm sorry, but our son is home from college this weekend.)

Ferocious, yes?


Monday, May 14, 2012

Please leave a message at the tone

I'm not here today. I'm over at Tameri Etherton's blog, talking about writing and having fun, which is sometimes the same thing.

I'm also promoting, in honor of my 20th wedding anniversary, I will be offering ALL my Kindle ebooks for free on May 16 (this Wednesday). It's one day only, so mark your calendars to get in on the action!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Weekend funnies

I'm in a Popeye mood today, perhaps because I yam what I yam. Yams... hmm...

Sweet potato and pecan pie

Okay, maybe I'm just hungry.

At any rate, I thought I'd show you one of my favorite Popeye cartoons. The fun thing about these cartoons is they weren't dumbed down for kids. The action is timelessly slapstick, and the dialogue is hysterical for adults, too. In this episode, it seems like Olive Oyl gets the best lines.


P.S. Best line ever: "I wear a three-and-a-half but an eight feels so good." Preach it, Olive.

Sunday, May 6, 2012


My good friend, Tameri Etherton, has a kick-ass blog (and someday will release a kick-ass novel, trust me) and every month she posts a "Crush of the Month" where she waxes poetic about whatever actor or singer or Starbucks barista (okay, kidding about this one) she thinks is deliriously exciting. Check her out - her posts are great fun.

Her crushes are always very logical choices. Her guys are always gorgeous. I mean, the woman's got good taste. Her posts remind me of my own crushes, except mine are mostly not as, hm, reasonable as hers. I mean, it's not always obvious why I'm so taken with some guys. And while I'm certain, she would have a great time meeting any one of her adorable guys, I am hoping I never run into any of my crushes, because I would giggle like a schoolgirl.

This is not attractive for a woman of my age.

So these are the men I will not be meeting:

I was first smitten with Eric Clapton when I went to see Concert for Bangladesh. I didn't know at the time he was deeply ill with the effects of heroin addiction and his friends feared he might not live. He did recover, however, and he's still a major crush. I've seen him twice in concert, and given the chance, I'd see him again.

Just don't bother getting me a backstage pass. I won't use it. Or I will use it, embarrass myself completely and blame you.

Then there's this guy:

I don't know how to explain my crush on Danny Glover, except to show you this:
My hubby.

I first noticed Danny in Silverado, liked him in the Lethal Weapon series, but really "saw" him in Grand Canyon. I dunno, he's just so solid - I mean, I know he plays bad guys, too, but his good guys are earthy and real and quiet and-and-and-

Never mind. Moving on.

Okay, this is kind of a no-brainer. I cannot, under any circumstances, come into contact with this man without becoming a blithering idiot. And if you add in his latest TV partner, I would be locked away in the looney bin.

I can't really say I loved the Batman movies, but I did love Robin/Chris.

There's one guy I don't exactly have a crush on, in terms of "isn't he dreamy", but I'm still pretty sure a giggle-fit would result if I ever met him. This is a problem, because the chances of my meeting this guy are pretty darned good. You see, I've been corresponding with him about being the featured guest at our Placentia Library Author's Luncheon, held next March.

That's right. Dean Koontz. I confess, I'm in awe of the man. He's written a gazillion books, only half of which I've been able to read. Anything he writes sells an infinite number of copies. According to one of his anecdotes his books are published even when his editor hates them.

I nearly met him today, when I saw him speak at the Fullerton Library. He was supposed to sign books afterward, and I spent most of the morning practicing, "Hi, Mr. Koontz, I'm Gayle Carline, we've been corresponding about your visit to the Placentia Library," without giggling and bursting into blushing flames. Unfortunately, he had to leave early, so there was no signing. (He did feel badly about it, and gave us all a free, pre-autographed copy of Trixie's memoir.)

If everything goes well and he's our guest, I'm wondering whether I can get all my tee-heeing done in the car on the way to the event, or if I will need a big glass of something to calm me down.

Who are some of your crushes? And what goes best with being a blithering idiot - red or white wine?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Speaking of boobs

I know, we weren't speaking of boobs, but I thought I'd share my recent experience with you. I went to Hooters Restaurant.

Here's what happened: Dale and I were in Oceanside, attending the jazz festival at Mira Costa College. We had kind of a filling lunch at Daphne's, then didn't feel like dinner until after the 8:00 p.m. concert (which was GRRReat, by the by) so by the time the evening was done, we were hungry and it was late.

I suppose we could have used my lovely GPS app, Wanda the Wonder Navigator, to find a nice restaurant with late hours, but our hotel was right next door to Hooters. We needed food, and I didn't care where we got it, within reason.

Hooters fell within my "reason" boundaries.
Why is this place so big?

The first thing I noticed when we walked in was that most of the clientele were men. No duh. The second thing I noticed was the absolute dearth of any attempt to decorate the place. It was a big, echoing chamber of a room with booths on the side and tables scattered about the middle. The high ceiling and hard floors lent themselves to the high noise level.

(In their defense, I don't see why they should have invested in decor when no one is looking at the room.)

The waitresses were not terribly busty, for a place called Hooters. They were mostly just young and leggy, and their very-exposed skin was completely cellulite-free. What I really noticed about them was they were so peppy, watching them wore me out. I was never young enough to be a Hooters girl.

Our waitress, a very very tall blonde, came to our table. She told us her name was Bre (it was all I could do to repress, "Of course it is"), which she wrote on a paper towel and placed at the edge of our booth. Then she pulled up a chair and sat down with us.

The noise and music were so loud, she kept leaning in and shouting, then leaning in and listening. At some point, I considered writing on Bre's paper towel, but didn't want to invade her territory. We did manage to give her our order, by screaming and using pantomime.

A brief review of the menu: 1. There is nothing healthy on it; 2. Dale liked the wings; and 3. Even though my cheeseburger was about the same thickness as a McDonald's Quarter Pounder, Bre asked how I wanted it cooked. They could have waved the patty at the grill and it would have been well done.

As luck would have it, it was Karaoke Night at Hooters. Woo. Hoo. It was a small crowd, so mostly there were three singers who kept rotating through. We were treated to a guy named Orlando who wasn't the worst but should keep his day job, and a group of drunks who sang loud, off-key, and made up the words.

But the saddest was a cute little blonde in jeans and a plaid shirt, who sang several country selections as if she just knew there'd be a record exec in the audience tonight. She even wandered around the room, working the crowd. It kind of broke my heart.

All in all, it was a strange experience, and one I'm not anxious to repeat any time soon. HOWEVER, it's gonna make a killer scene in my next novel.

That's why I love being a writer.

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