Thursday, May 31, 2012

Buddy at the Palace

Fio googled it, and Buddy Holly's life was a lot more fraught and complicated than Buddy, the Buddy Holly Story, portrays it.  The musical, now playing at Georgetown's Palace Theater, is really a tribute to the music of  the '50s which uses a storybook version of Holly's life as its vehicle.  The songs, of course, are what everyone is there for, as with Beehive--and just as people who attended Singin' in the Rain expected dancing.

And it's a good thing too, because  most of the cast was GREAT musically, but only competent as actors.  It's Fiorella's old complaint--they were declaiming rather than acting.  Ah, where is Stanislavsky when you need him?
There were, however, three stand-outs.  The first was Jacqui Cross, who imparted a joi de vivre to her roles that outshone everyone else on stage.. The second was set designer Barbara Jernigan, who made canvas look like cinderblock and brick..  And Fio loved the red lights in the recording studio and  the spotlights hanging off the proscenium.  The third stand-out was an accident. Justin Wright, playing a hip-swinging Richie Valens,  ripped out the crotch of his tight, tight pants during his energetic number.  In the great stage tradition, Wright and the cast covered as if it had all been part of the show.  At that point every character on stage was energized.

Okay, why is Fiorella so much more aware of "being" the character than she used to be?  She thinks it's because romance writing has tilted more and more toward "deep point of view," a sort of Stanislavsky of the literary world, and your Fio's tilted along with it.

She wants to not just observe, but to experience..  

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Surgical Deprivation

Fiorella is in recovery today, just like Sonia.  Doggie had one end of her body operated on--she was spayed--and Fiorella had her other end fixed--her face was lifted.  Both of us are feeling miserable, Sonia less so than Fio because her operation was last Friday.

Sonia's not supposed to run, jump, or climb for ten days, just like Fio isn't supposed to drive for two weeks. TWO WEEKS WITHOUT DRIVING?!

No way.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Facing the Future

Pray for Fiorella. She's scared, but she's going through with it--the surgery, that is.  You got it--she's getting a facelift today.  That passport photo was the final straw.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Antique Values

You won't ever see Fio in line for the Antiques Road Show.  Between inheritances from her mother and her mother-in-law, she is loaded with old furniture, but she also uses each and every stick of it.  Furniture is not sacred to her.  She paints it, re-upholsters it, changes out the original pulls and knobs for ones that will work--all of which lower the value of the pieces.

Too bad.  Fio is busy taking care of people and doesn't have time to take care of things.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Agent Gains

Whatever the delay in The Divine's response, Fiorella has gained a lot from having an agent--in fact, she's become downright heady, writing with confidence, daring, and zing.  And when Fio zings, it's no holds barred, which means she's plowing through chapter seven of Princess Redlander right now and will probably have it totally laid out by Tuesday.  And that means the first third of Princess Red, the introduction of the situation, will be finished by the time she hits the operating table.

Another thing Fio's gained from having an agent is that she's now free to replace "single-title contemporary,"  the tag line at the upper left of each ms page as requested by romance-writing contests, with her own name.  Liberating and exhilarating!  On to the supermarket shelves!


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Fiorella is concerned.  When she emailed her revision of the first five chapters of Princess of Bosque Bend to her agent  a week ago, the divine Liza  said she would read it over the weekend--but Fio hasn't heard a word from her since.

Is it a sign
That Liza divine
Is no longer mine?

Friday, May 25, 2012

Poetic Hyperbole Revealed

Your Fio is a rhyme slut.  Anything to repeat that final accented syllable--like yesterday, when, in the last stanza of her ditty, she used "Jake," when she doesn't even know a Jake, and "birthday cake," when it isn't her birthday.  In her defense, she first wrote "chocolate cake," then realized she could squeeze out another line if she wrote "chocolate shake" so she had to find a different meaningful adjective for "cake."  "Birthday" seemed to fill the bill, it being indicative of a calorie-laden dessert and sounding just a little intriguing.

Actually, while Fiorella does not partake of any of the foods she so blithely slandered, she also would never even consider a spread like she described in the final stanza.  The stomach pump is not her idea of fun.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Health Food Lament

Red wine is bitter
Yogurt's too sweet
Honey is yucky
And sticks to your teeth.

Limas are gritty
And so are peas
And I wretch at the thought
Of eating goat cheese.

Granola is nasty
Bran flakes too dry
Brown bread is rank
Whether whole wheat  or rye

So com'on, Jake
Gimme a break
A chocolate shake
A pan-fried steak
And top it off
With birthday cake

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Upcoming Politics

 Is it already four years since Fio wrote about the last presidential election?
Of course, Romney nixed his minions' plan to slam Obama with his past relationship with the raving Reverend Wright.  If he hadn't, the gate would have been left open for Obama's people to snap the elastic on his Mormon underwear.
It amuses Fiorella that the newscaster and pundits yammer on and on about issues. Fio's theory is that the only use voters have for issues is to justify supporting the candidate whom they've already decided they like best--image is the thing.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Wendy was a prancer,
A head-held-high dancer
Sonia is a prowler
A head-held-low growler
Wendy ate like
She'd never eaten before
Sonia acts like
Food is a bore
With dogs so different
I'll say it again--
Why do we think people
Should all be the same?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Fly Away

Your Fio is not in the same league of the German tailor's  "seven with one blow," but she's doing okay.   She can't kill a fly by hand anymore like she did when she was in junior high and all the windows were open to the breeze because it was blazing hot inside and out, but she's gotten adept with the swatter.  In fact, she has to be because she leaves the patio door open during the day so Sonia can takes care of her necessaries without visiting the mat in front of the kitchen sink, her favorite alternative depository.

In case you're in the same situation, Fio will share her secret of success: approach the nasty little beasties from the shadow side so they won't be aware you are stalking them until the swatters swats. 

Try it.  You'll like it.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


Fiorella had a wonderful experience yesterday.  She and Husband drove up to Waco, first to lay flowers on her parents' graves and tell them the latest news, then to visit the Mammoth Site.  Yes, Waco finally has something other than David Koresh to be famous for.  And, by the way, that raid on the Davidian compound was no surprise--the staff of the Holiday Inn, where the guvmnt  guys stayed, had picked up the date it was coming down, which meant half of Waco knew it too.  So did wives and friends as far away--and as near-- as Dallas, as one of those wives, a student of  Fio's a couple of years later, confided..

But Fio digresses.  What she wants to tell you about is the Waco Mammoth Site, which you must visit some day.  In 100 acres of lush, untamed parkland (also inhabited by a couple of wild boars), the Site is a large, arresting building constructed around a dig site, which means visitors can catch all the action in comfort.

Fio digresses again, because what she really wants to tell you about is her experience there.  She had her little tablet open and was making frantic notes and sketches from the second Husband pulled into the parking lot in front if the Welcome Center, where one buys the little shirt sticker that indicates to the guides one is paid up.   But Fio wanted more than a sticker.  She wanted info and an aerial plan of the set-up.

Now here's the good part.  "I write romances," she explained.  "And I have my characters visiting the Site."

I write romances.   Fiorella has never admitted it before without a qualification such as, "I'm writing a romance"--self-deprecatory titter--"but who knows if I'll ever get published."   This time she said it loud, said it proud. 

Yes.  Fio writes romances. 

Saturday, May 19, 2012


While Fiorella's first five revised chapters of PRINCESS OF BOSQUE BEND are off in New Yawk City being checked out by agent Liza Dawson (cue celestical choir), Fio has been progressing on its sequel, PRINCESS REDLANDER.  Got six good chapters, about 25,000 words, of that sucker in the bag. 

Fio aims at 90,000 words when she's writing a romance, and she works in thirds.  The first third of the story introduces the characters and the situations, and PRINCESS RED is almost to that point.  The second third mixes everything up--it's the complications section.  The third section, of course, resolves everything. 

Happily ever after.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Newsworthy Deaths and Then Some

Yes, Fiorella extends her sympathy to the Kennedy family, but she extends her sympathy to all families that are experiencing hard times or loss, which includes everyone at one time or another.  The Kennedies are more public and a much larger family, like the Duggars, in fact, so they have a greater chance of having several things happen at once, but we all, no matter the size of our families, have  tragedy and sorrow in our lives.

But we all soldier on because what else can you do?

Thursday, May 17, 2012


So much difference between the two dogs.   Sonya drinks water, normal water like it's going out of style while Wendy turned her snout up at all but bottled water and eau de toilet.  Sonya has dug trenches across our backyard while Wendy was prissy and never stooped to dig a hole in her life.  Sonya buries the remains of rawhide bones between couch cushions while Wendy never had anything left to bury because Sonya is a picky eater who always leaves some kibbles in her bowl while Wendy wolfed down not only her kibble, but anything else that came with her purview, even mustard. 

There's more. Sonya is clumsy on the stairs. frequently falling halfway down, while Wendy zoomed up and down like a pro.  Sonya, even without a leash, sticks around when Husband and Fio take her outside, and she never pushes through the partly-open door to escape, like Wendy did.  And Sonya is more docile at Puppy Training, while Wendy was more--uh--willful.

It's all in the genes.  And again, if dogs behave differently because of their heritages, shouldn't we understand that's what's going on with us?   Even close relatives has wide genetic possibilities, some of them not too nice.  That's where we hope  the nurture comes in.

After all, sweet Sonya is the same breed as Cujo.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Free-range Snippets

Not only is TJ getting a makeover in Louann, but her father is too.  Both of them are beginning to look less like cartoons and more like people.
We are all the descendants of survivors.  We've been genetically culled.
When I am old and my brain has shrunk so much that you must institutionalize me, please provide me with a nice baby doll to cuddle when you're not there.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Fiorella went to bed last night feeling vaguely dissatisfied, and she woke up this morning to a rainy, dreary-looking day, but she feels good.  Apparently whatever was bothering her got solved by her pop-up toaster brain during the night because today she's hopeful, confident, and optimistic. 

Sonia may have piled the remains of her rawhide bones in her water dish and eaten the feather duster.  There may be a leak in the roof above the kitchen sink.  Fio may not have gotten together all her business expenses yet, but all is well.  And all will be well.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Fine Art

                    Sonya sleeps.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Pax Materna

Good morning and happy Mother's Day.  Fiorella's one request is that everyone be totally positive all day long, no matter what.  Yes, Fiorella likes happy, happy, joy, joy around her at all times.  Otherwise, like most mothers, she has the urge to commiserate and try to fix whatever is wrong.

Let's give Mother a vacation today.  Happy, happy, joy joy!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Genteic Immunity to Plague and AIDS

Fiorella is excited and awed by the cracking of the DNA code.  It's being used to track dinosaurs and dynasties, to solve crimes and send the perps off to jail, to establish and prove blood relationships.

More important, it's being used to understand what each of us carries within us, our individual genomes. Every day, the range gets more amazing.  Apparently there's a lot more we owe to nature than Mann dreamed of in his philosophy, Horatio.   But then, we knew that all along--if dogs can have inborn personality traits and talents, why not humans?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Baby Picture

Thank you
Pamela Tu
This cartoon view
Of Sonya sweet
We think it's neat
What a treat
And you
Are too

Thursday, May 10, 2012


To Sonya Dog, Fiorella is Keeper of the Gates.  She controls the barriers that define Sonya's territory of the moment.  There's the one at the head of the stairs, which Fiorella opens for Sonya only at night so Baby Dog can have access to her personal boudoir, the roomy crate she sleeps in beside Fio and Husband's bed.  There's the one that Fiorella props up between the den and the dining room so Sonya won't be tempted to make deposits in that room or the living room.  There's the one Fio uses as needed to regulate Sonya's travel into the guest room, currently occupied by Son.  Then there's the door to the back yard, which Sonya, lacking a thumb, cannot operate.

But don't we all have boundaries of one sort or another?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Revision Kind of Gal

What has Fiorella been doing lately?  Well, she's been working on revisions of PRINCESS OF BOSQUE BEND, as suggested by the divine Liza.  "Aaw, poor Fio," you say, but actually Fio enjoys improving things.  In fact, she'd revise till the proverbial cows come home if you let her.   And why not?  She's been working on herself ever since she was born, smoothing off the rough corners of her personality, finally dropping some weight, decorating her house, her yard, and herself.  She's even revised her face with eyelid surgery.

But now comes a biggie--a face lift.  That weight loss did more than shrink her thighs--it sagged her jowls.  Um--not that turning a year older had anything to do with it, of course.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Fio Is a Wienie

Ah, the joy of country living.  Last night's thunderstorm knocked out the electricity--no lights, no TV, no phones.  Somehow it affected the cell phones too.  Husband and Fio couldn't even sit around and stare at each other until they felt their way into the kitchen and broke out the candles and flashlights. 

And did Fio mention the air conditioning also went off?  We had to open the balcony door for cool air when we went to bed last night.

Your Fio would never make it in a post-apocalyptic world.

Monday, May 7, 2012


This is one of those mornings when Fio's fiendish brain chooses to dredge up every stupid, idiotic thing she's ever done in her life--and there are plenty to choose from.

They date back to the time when she was three years old and grabbed the wrong woman's hand in a department store. Fio's has finally forgiven herself for that gaffe--mothers' hands all looked alike to her at that stage.

Then there are the ones when she was trying to help someone else, like the time a friend asked her to sing the high note at the end of the song with her, which Fio did--one measure too soon. 

And when  she was curious, like the time . . . .  But she's not ready to own up to that one yet.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Bigger Bang

Fiorella couldn't sleep the other night so she worked out more plot solutions for Big Bang Theory.  I think she's already told you that Howard's unseen mother should move to Florida--maybe with a man--and give the house to Howard and Bernadette. And that Penny should get an acting job and plan to move, then marry Leonard, leaving Sheldon to audition a bevy of roommate candidates, only to come to the conclusion that only Amy Farrah Fowler will fit the bill.

Now to get Sheldon and Amy--uh--together, and to do something about Raj's psychosomatic muteness.

How about having Sheldon and Amy sit down to discuss creating a child to benefit mankind--by in vitro and surrogate, of course, to avoid all the ridiculous things people do when they're sexually aroused, which they'll start enumerating and describing.  Five minutes in, they're tearing off each others' clothes.  They'll end up holing up in the apartment for two weeks, phoning their friends to leave food at the door.

Now for Raj.  Let's say he sees a lovely young woman about to have a piano fall on her head or fall under a truck or something, yells a warning, and rescues her.  Not realizing he has saved her life, she tongue lashes him.  He responds accordingly, shocked out of his silence. She apologizes, introduces herself; he gives his name and realizes the curse is broken.

Hollywood, are you listening?  

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Musical Key

Musicians of the world, beware!  Fiorella has taken up the piano again.

Actually, it's been going on for about three years, which was as long as Fio took lessons when she was a kid, stopping when she was in junior high and discovered boys. Now, your Fio wasn't ever a virtuoso, but she did okay, and she's finally at  the same level again--not too good, not too bad.  And while her fingers aren't as obedient now, she's more aware of patterns, of major and minor, of chord shifts, probably because she's had some music theory classes along the way.

But the important thing is the reason she's on the piano every day--not because she doesn't want to disappoint her teacher at an upcoming lesson, but because she enjoys playing.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Sonya Ponders

Arf!  Sonya Wenysdottir reporting in on Fiorella Plum.  Mommy's great about feeding me, even sprinkling little bits of treat in my kibble to appease my uber-discerning taste buds.  And she trusts me enough to let me run loose when we go up to the road to get the mail.

But I don't understand the arrangement of her limbs. I'm grateful that she has an extra set high on her body that enable her to open and close those pesky kiddie gates her mate has situated at key points around the house, but what exactly happened to her front legs?  Poor thing--now she has to balance, sometimes rather precariously, on just her hind ones. 

There's only one thing to do--I must smother her with slobbery kisses.  Arf!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Daily Flood

This has gone on long enough, the sprinkler system malfunctioning, that is.  Sure, we're not in a drought anymore, but we don't want to water all of west Georgetown either.  Sonya dog has established a mud wallow in the backyard from the run-off, our plantings must have the shallowest roots in the world, and our concrete driveway has been so wet down it should be growing corn.

Husband tromped out to the control panel last week and tried to fix the situation, but to no avail..   He and Fio tackled it again this week, but the sprinklers foiled them.  Time to call in the experts.  Will keep you informed. 

Never thought we'd have a problem with too much water.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Fiorella Freud

Fio went to bed exhausted last night, which is how she likes it. It isn't a good day for Fiorella unless she's crossed off as much on her ever-present list as possible.  And once she's finished off that list, there are back-up lists. 

Yes, Fio is a doer, an up-and-at-'em kinda gal.  Sitting around and smelling the roses isn't for her.  Partially, it's the challenge. Partially, it's the exhilaration.  Partially, it's knowing that time is passing-- precious time which she can never recover again.

More than you wanted to know.  But then, Fio also is a relentless self-analyzer.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Not Quite a Dog?

Sure, Sonya chews bones and buries them.  Sure she chases her tail, occasionally catching it.  But she really isn't interested in eating unless her kibble is interlaced with  a treat so vile-smelling that Fio suspects it of being dog crack.  And when Husband tosses a ball at her, she lets it bounce off her nose.  And she's a slug-a-bed.  And even with her crate door open, Sonya will lounge around on her comfy doggie mattress for up to fifteen minutes before wobbling to her feet and venturing out to greet the morning world.

Whoops--Sonya just yelped and dashed into the backyard after a squirrel.  Hooray!  She's a dog after all!