Sunday, November 30, 2014

Get Over It

Fiorella has spent most of her life pursuing perfection--and failed.

She's made mistakes and wrong choices.  She's let golden opportunities, as Frank Sinatra would say, "pass her by."  Her book has typos in it.

But according to theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, nothing in this universe is perfect, which means Fio is right in line.  Imperfection, according to the BIG BANG THEORY star, is what makes our universe work.  So maybe Fio's been doing it right all along.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

In Regard to a Certain Office Staff

Do not cross the mighty Fiorella.

Do not screw around with her doctor appointments so she is running weeks late for treatment.  Do not try to blame it on Fiorella's insurer.  Do not lie to Fiorella about the date you called the insurer for pre-approval.  Do not advise Fiorella not to contact the insurer herself because then the insurer would make her wait longer.

Fiorella figured you out, took notes each time she talked with you, and did contact the insurer, who then called you with Fio still on the line.

Fiorella knows the score now and so do you.

Friday, November 28, 2014


I love you, Big Bang Theory.  I love it that no matter what I'm doing or how I'm feeling, I can give half an hour of my time to utter and complete nonsense and be the better for it.  You lighten my heart.  Thank you.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Family and Friends

Fiorella is thankful.

She's thankful that Austin Son celebrated his first wedding anniversary earlier this week and that Minnesota son has twenty years racked up with his sweet bride.  She's thankful that Daughter has a new job and better prospects.  She's thankful for Brother Bill and the wonderful sister-in-law he brought into the family.  She's thankful for her relatives up east and for Cousin Mimi and her husband's recent visit.  She's thankful for Nephew Barney and his wife, Great-nephew Aaron and his fiancee, Great-nephew Barrett and his wife.

And she's thankful for friends.  Those who live in this country and those who live overseas, those she's known a long time and those she's just met, those who like her book and those who wish she'd stuck to poetry.

And she's especially thankful for those who read her blog.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Ten-finger Regret

Just as Friend Jeanell is hitting her stride in WHERE THE HEART LEADS, her right hand is going out,  Somehow she's sprained the muscle below her thumb, and the pain intensifies whenever she uses her pointing finger--the only finger she types with on that hand--which means that, for the rest of the day, all her writing will have to be restricted to the two fingers she uses on her left hand.

Just three fingers to write a book--who knew that Jeanell would ever regret not taking a typing class in high school?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Fiorella learned something yesterday as she sat waiting hour after hour for her car to be fixed.  She learned her writing self-consciousness had been totally healed.  Yes, Fio hauled out her laptop and revised two chapters while she was in the dealership--and one of them included a love scene.

And when she spotted a young woman reading a paperback while waiting, Fio put a smile on her face, asked what she was reading (a romance), announced herself as a romance writer, and gave her a promotional bookmark.

To top it all off, one of the technicians sought Fio out and asked if she had written the book in her car that had her name on it.  Then he told her his wife writes romances and is trying to get published.  Fiorella recommended RWA, gave him her card, contact information, and a bookmark, and told him to have his wife get in touch.

What a day!

Monday, November 24, 2014


So many sorrows within me
So many secrets I cannot say
So much I cannot speak aloud
That will not go away

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Fairy Tale Ending

Friend Jeanell turned into Shakespeare yesterday.  After coming home from the wonderfully exciting book signing that she, Carmen Falcone, and Claire Ashby had participated in, her fingers flew across the keyboard and, like Rumpelstiltskin, she spun threads of pure gold.

Now--was it the book signing, or the company, or the bag of chocolate kisses she ate because no one else did and one shouldn't waste food?

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Theatrical Triumph

Fiorella was a spy last night.  She'd sent a nice letter to Georgetown's Palace Theater several weeks ago explaining that she wanted to give it a plug in the book she is currently writing, but needed to set up a a one-hour tour for accuracy.

No reply.  Fio bitched.

Friend Suzy told her that there was a cast party backstage every opening night which the audience could attend so Fio showed up at Shrek's debut last night. She started taking notes the second she passed through the door.  During intermission she walked up to the balcony and found the light booth.  After the show she followed the cast up the steps onto the stage and out the back door to the auxiliary building where she peered into restrooms, dressing rooms, storerooms, and the green room.
She asked questions about the construction of the stage.

Then she packed up and drove home.

Hah!  Fio thwarted you, Palace Theater!  And don't think she's going to give you a shout-out in her book either! Besides, Shrek sucked!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Used Books

Fiorella was reading a book set in the 1950s in which black students resented being issued second-hand school books. Now, there were many inequities back then, but hand-me-down schoolbooks were not one of them.  In those days, EVERYBODY got school books with several names listed on the inside front cover.  The trick was to get a book that had been used by a top-notch student because it might have good underlinings in it--not that students were supposed to mark on the pages, of course.

Fio remembers getting a book that had eight names written in the printed grid, then four more below it.  But Kenny Jones's sister's name was one of them, and the teachers still talked about how smart she was.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Genetic Alcoholism

Fiorella is convinced that at least one gene for alcoholism travels through the female line and expresses itself in the male line,  She knows of two families in which the grandfather was an alcoholic, as was the son.  Both of the sons fathered daughters who were not alcoholics, but their sons were.

Coincidence?  Fio thinks not.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Sonja Wendysdottir

  • I'm sitting in front of the dying fire and thinking about Wendy the Weimer tonight.  I remember the compliments our gray lady got from strangers as she pranced around the drive, how seductive she looked when she reclined like a canine courtesan on her princess bed, how amazed we were to learn that her cast-iron stomach could handle Kleenexes, paper towels, acorns--even mustard--before, at ten years of age, it finally turned on her, a common affliction of big dogs.
Wendy was part of the fabric of my life.  I burst into tears the morning after she died when I saw that her princess bed was empty and realized that there was now no reason to put my cereal milk on the floor after breakfast.

Four months later, we acquired Sonia, a mastiff, very different from Wendy, with whom we knew there could be no comparison, but we claimed Wendy as her spiritual mother and gave our new doggie a second name in the Icelandic tradition: Wendysdottir.

Sonia is my darling, but she is, indeed quite different from Wendy,  While she does like to walk around the driveway and will drink my breakfast milk, she is quite discriminating about what she eats, and she won't use the princess bed.

So, after three years, it's time to let it go.  I'll donate the bed to The Caring Place for another dog to enjoy, but not without a tear in my eye.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Friend Jeanell is going to be at BookSpot in Round Rock, 1205 Round Rock Avenue, signing copies of What the Heart Wants at 11:00 on Saturday.  You, your mother, your cousins, and your aunts are all invited to join in the fun.  Swag and chocolate kisses will be available as Jeanell and friends Claire Ashby and Carmen Falcone shamelessly hawk their romance novels.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Last Night

All is well
All is swell
The computer quits
The battery emits
The fire glows
The cold wind blows
All's been said
Going to bed.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Fire Trumps

All is not well in Fiorellaville.  Her car battery is refusing to take a charge, and her computer is refusing to shut down.

On the other hand, Husband has chainsawed wood and built the first fire of winter, a moment of magic and wonder.  With flames leaping and snapping in the fireplace, who cares about car batteries and computer glitches?

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Road Kill

Fiorella has always had a sorrow for dead deer on the side of the road and a poor opinion of the people who ran them down--until she herself almost hit a little doe who sprang out of nowhere.  Thank goodness, Husband's gasp alerted Fio in time.

Deer are designed to be invisible.  Their colors blend in with the woods, and they freeze when anything approaches, and, at the last moment, they bolt--across driveways, over fences, and onto roads,

It isn't so much that the cars hit the deer as that the deer hit the cars.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Cousin Mimi

Fiorella's Ohio Cousin Mimi and her husband visited on Tuesday, and Fiorella is still basking in the glow.  She hadn't seen her cousin in about ten years, and this was the first time Mimi had ever been in Fio's home.  The house was its usual chaos, of course, but who cared--the important thing was that Mimi was sitting on the couch beside Fio, talking to her, laughing with her, catching her up on everyone and everything. And through it all, Fio felt the kinship, the pull of blood to blood.

Family is everything.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Heaven's Choice

"I ain't riding off into the sunset, ever.  I'm a real believer in the Lord's will, and He's got something else He wants me to do," former Lt. Governor David Dewhurst recently told the Houston Chronicle.  Dewhurst said he's thinking of running for mayor  or starting up a large public venture. The article is accompanied by a picture of the newly made-over 69-year-old--smooth forehead, clipped hair, rejuvenated face and all.

You can tell Dewhurst is campaigning in Texas because he's using backwoods grammar and claiming he's one of God's chosen.  But Fio thinks that, while God can forgive bad grammar, there's a special place in hell for false prophets.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Physics and Perception

If a tree falls in the wood and no one hears it, does it make a sound? Some people consider this to be a philosophical question, but to Fiorella, it is pure physics.

Think about it.  What causes sound--something coming in contact with something else.  If Fiorella  goes outside, she can hear the wind rustle the trees.  Inside, if she tries to to play her violin (laugh, chortle), the bow scrapes the strings. Even small motions produce sounds--Fiorella suspects that atoms emit a tiny squeak of horror when they splat against each other.

"Sound," according to Fiorella's analysis, is what we call our perception of this event, this contact between two entities. But what sort of things are happening in our universe that we don't have the physical equipment to perceive?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Socially Awkward

Fiorella leaps in where others fear to tread.  Not because she's brave--because she's dumb.  She should have been born with a muzzle on her mouth and a ball and chain around her ankle.  If there's a wrong thing to be said, she says it.  If there's something that shouldn't be done, she does it.  And all with the best of intentions.

Actually, Fio prefers to let what she writes or paints speak for her, but--let's face it--whatever she produces in whatever medium is just as "different" as she is.

And, yes, she knows she shouldn't have written this blog, but confession is part of her messed-up psyche.  Forgive her, move on, and have a nice day.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Sonia's World

Sonia Dog lives in a world of love and always has.  She was a favorite in her kennel, then became Fiorella's darling.

Fio and Husband have fed her, walked her, and cuddled her. She's had the best of medical care, been taken to PetsMart training classes, sleeps in bed with Fio and Husband, is petted, cosseted and accommodated.  Her food bowl is always full, her water is regularly changed.  She receives a retriever stick every morning and Milkbone treats throughout the day.  The back seat of the car is fitted with a hammock in which Sonia reclines in comfort and grace when she rides around with Mommy and Daddy.

Every child in the world should be so lucky.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Adventures with Air Conditioning

The upstairs air conditioner went out earlier this month, when we still really needed it, so Husband called the big-name AC company that had "repaired" the machine a month earlier and set up an appointment for the following day,  When the repairman came, he told us this trip was just diagnostic, then charged us big buck$.  He came back the next day, charged us big buck$ again and told us that the condenser coil was shot, and that it would cost at least $2K to repair.  However, he was doubtful if he could find a replacement coil because our unit was almost ten years old so he strongly advised us to get a new AC instead--approximately $4K on up.

Fio and Husband were aghast.  A new AC had not figured into their retirement budget,

And Fio was also suspicious.  So, Fio being Fio, she called a neighborhood friend for the name of her AC people, and the guy came out the same day.  Funny thing--he said the only thing wrong with the AC was that two seals were loose, and he charged us moderate buck$.  He asked if anyone else had worked on the AC recently and we told him about our experiences with the big-name company.

He didn't say anything, but did takes Husband outside to show him how easily the seals could be tightened or loosened--by hand.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Trying to Understand

Okay, let Fio get this straight.  The jobless rate, which was horrific under the previous administration, is the lowest it's been in years, and salaries, which were stagnant under the previous administration, have gone up--so why do people say they voted against the current administration because of the bad economy?

Does Fio sense the power of The Big Lie somewhere in the woodpile?

Friday, November 7, 2014


Fiorella's cousin is visiting for the first time ever next week, which means Fio is running around like the proverbial headless chicken trying to get the house in shape.  It's wearing, but, on the other hand, it's also invigorating--all that action is pulling Fio out of her funk.  And talking to Friend Suzy across the ocean also buoyed her up, as did attending the San Gabriel Writers' League meeting last night.

Action and social communication--that does the trick!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Sociopathology Revisited

Sociopaths are charming, clever, and have a wicked sense of humor.  They woo you with compliments, profess their loyalty, and say you are their best friend--until, of course, someone better comes along.

They murder the soul.

But forgive them.  They can't help it.  They were born that way--without a conscience.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Another Fad down the Pike

Years ago, a romance writer was always asked if she was a plotter or a pantser.  That is, did she plot out her stories or write them down as they came to her--by the seat of her pants.  The correct answer, Fio was informed, was "pantser."  Some years later,  being a pantser went out of style and "plotter" became the correct answer.

Now there's a new fad one has to answer to, a special technique--writing for wordage, sitting down at the computer and banging away until one reaches a certain word count. When talented, seasoned writers do it, the method works.  But, let's face it, they could write bestsellers while hanging upside down from the proverbial chandelier.

Fiorella tried the forced-word technique, but it left her with a literary mess so she's back to chapter-by-chapter and what-would-logically-happen-next.

Wish her well.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


Maybe it's because, with the reversion to "real time," the night is coming on much earlier, maybe it's because her new printer has developed a negative temperament, maybe it's because the house is a mess, the garage is a mess, the yard is a mess, and she is a mess.

Whatever, it is, Fiorella is in a deep blue funk.  

Monday, November 3, 2014

Luann Revisited?

Hang on, Luann, and Fio will love you again.  The past couple of days, the strips have been sorta fun, like the good old days.  Fiorella got a kick out of everybody getting together in that old building, and especially yesterday, when TJ was obviously looking it over as an investment property.  Hey, author--let's get some redemption going for TJ, and maybe a sweetie too.  And let's see more of the other characters--Ox, Leslie, Miss Phelps and Mr. What's His Name, for instance--and whatever happened to that soldier brother of Bernice's that Luann was corresponding with?

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Post-Halloween Trauma

All work and no play has made for Fiorella gaining about five pounds.  Yes, slumping on the couch in the den and working on the new book the whole day long means she has skipped those twice-around-the-driveway walks with Sonia Dog.  And, well, an overload of Halloween candy hasn't helped.  Yes, Fiorella's hips are currently all too well padded with miniature Milky Ways, and Husband has been finishing off the Butterfingers.  We are both into Halloween big-time--and Halloween is into us,  For about a week longer, I estimate.  Then the dieting begins.

Saturday, November 1, 2014


Friend Sharon was overloaded the other day so Fiorella took charge of the church baby doll for her--the lifelike dollie that the pastors use to teach the children about baptism.  The baby had the most darling face and the cutest little nose. It's times like these that Fiorella understands Giuseppe and Pinocchio.

Yep, in a couple more years, you'll probably find Fiorella putting her $150 down on an advanced model--one of those baby dolls that warms up and seems to be breathing.

The maternal instinct never dies.

Thanks to Friend Janece for telling Fio why Ebola is spelled with an uppercase E--it's the name of an African river.