New Worlds: Respect Your Elders

(This post is part of my Patreon-supported New Worlds series.)

Just as every society recognizes that children are not the same as adults, I think every society, to one degree or another, has respect for its elders.

After all, age brings knowledge and experience, which are valuable things. When you’re young, everything is new, and nearly overwhelming; the first joke you hear is the FUNNIEST THING EVER, while your first broken heart means YOU’LL NEVER BE HAPPY AGAIN. As your experiences grow, you gain perspective, and can maintain your equilibrium in the face of things both good and bad. Your toolkit for problem-solving expands, and you know which solutions are more or less likely to work. Small wonder, then, that elders tend to be leaders — at least in the absence of something like strict primogeniture that can transfer a title to a babe in arms. But the force of age reasserts itself even there, with the practice of regency, an adult ruling in the child’s place until the child reaches their majority. (And sometimes past that point.)

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Hold the art, gimme a flick with great extras

I find it almost impossible to watch cinema. This is for two reasons:

One, my palate has been irretrievably vitiated by a constant diet of trashy teen pix, romcom, bromance, vilely stupid adventure flicks, indie gay comedy, and B-minus monster movies dated pre-1977. This means I fall asleep after ten minutes of Babette’s Feast, and I have a perfect 0 for 0 record at having seen the Oscar nominees in any year before the ceremony.

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The Language Attic: Ovine

by Brenda W. Clough

 One of the pleasures of magazines on the Internet is finding great writers. I am not for instance in the readership demographic for Esquire magazine but now I read their splenetic political columnist Charles Pierce daily. And the other week, denouncing an incompetent politician, he wrote:

“He’s terrified, and he should be. He’s desperately shoring up the bubble that his ovine followers helped him build to insulate him from the truth and from empirical reality.”

Immediately my ears pricked up. A word new to me: ovine! I had to go look it up, but before I did this there was the pleasurable speculation about what it might mean. Perhaps it has something to do with being oval? But we have ‘ovoid’ for that. And ‘oval’ makes no sense in context; the political enablers that Pierce is complaining of may be dolts but they cannot be oval. But those of you who have ever been in the 4H Club already know that ovines are sheep. In veterinary and animal husbandry circles it’s in common use. Here is an EU food safety page discussing ovines and caprines, the sheep and the goats. Continue reading

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A Personal Fantasy

ThrowingI’ve had variations on this particular fantasy for many years, but here’s the current one. A rabid puppy or other type of fascist or garden-variety male asshole a lot younger than me is looming over me in a threatening way, and I say:

If you try to hit me, one of two things will happen. Either you’ll hurt me, in which case you’ll go to jail, because society frowns on young men beating up old women and I guarantee I’ll file charges. Or I’ll defend myself effectively and hurt you, in which case everyone will mock you because there must be something wrong with a young punk if an old woman can beat him up

And then he probably slinks away, though in the best of all possible fantasies, he throws a punch and I take him down. Continue reading

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Sexism and Shopping

Steven Harper PiziksI found this display at Meijer:





The left is for girls, the right for boys. Continue reading

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No, I Won’t Put You in My Book

My daughters gave me this t-shirt a few years ago. I don’t wear a lot of t-shirts–particularly t-shirts with slogans on them–but I keep it for exercising and for those times when a t-shirt is required. However, as regards my own work I fundamentally disagree with its message. Continue reading

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BVC Announces Mad Maria’s Daughter by Patricia Rice

Mad Maria's Daughter by Patricia RiceMad Maria’s Daughter
Regency Love and Laughter, Book 2
by Patricia Rice

Tainted by the gossip about her mad mother, Daphne Templeton defies family and society by spurning the only gentleman to make her an offer. Fleeing London rumors, she’s captured by a highwayman, who believes her mad for not fearing him when he rides off with her. Even her beloved aunt fears she’s lost her wits for not encouraging her neighbor, the quiet but handsome Lord Griffin.

And Daphne has to question her own rationality when she prefers the clandestine kisses of a masked stranger to those of a gentleman who openly declares his love. . .

Download an Ebook Sample:


Buy Mad Maria’s Daughter at BVC Ebookstore


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BVC Announces Crossed in Love by Patricia Rice

Crossed in Love by Patricia Rice
Love and Laughter 1
by Patricia Rice

Three novellas and a short story from Regency author Patricia Rice:

“The Borrowed Groom”
A bride-to-be’s sister borrows the groom left standing at the altar.

“Deceiving Appearances” Continue reading

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A Trip to France 5: Pont du Gard

by Brenda W. Clough

 This beautiful site is not actually a bridge, as its name indicates. It’s actually an aqueduct, a fantastic work of engineering that supplied water to the regional Roman capital of Nimes. Later on, the medieval residents repurposed the lower tier to support a footbridge over the river Gard, hence the name.

Pont du Gard is not only a World Heritage site, it’s one of the main glories of France, and as such it has rated a vast and state of the art museum and guided tours right through the water channel at the very top of the structure. It is just barely tall enough to walk through, and very narrow, but passable. We walked across and then had lunch on the terrace on the other side, from which I took the first picture.

 The very different site we went to in the afternoon is Ambrussum, also a bridge and a town as well. But because it’s decidedly unglitzy it didn’t get as much love. But we were able to walk on the rue Domitia, which is in surprisingly good shape for a road that was made two thousand years ago. I have seen driveways in my home state that look shoddier than this Roman road, which originally connected Italy with Spain. And the remaining arch of the Ambrussum bridge is unutterably Impressionist. Can you see the water lilies, lower right? Artists have perched here for years, I am sure, with their oil paints and easels; if I had the time I would. The water was the color of every blue and green jewel you have ever seen.


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Of Hurricanes and Fires and Life

It seems the last couple of weeks have revolved around hurricanes and fires. Actually, most of my summer, if you begin with the house fire my parents had in June. Most of the west is on fire. Smoke hangs everywhere. The light is brassy and uncomfortable. Ironically of course, Harvey and Irma bring all too much water and wind to the impacted areas. Not to mention Katia, and of course, who mentions that one, so little and only hitting Mexico. And on top of that, the earthquake there. Massive.

My cousin and her husband were in St. Maarten when Irma went through. They are okay. Got evacuated in a C130 with some other people. Scary, but memorable, I suppose. The worst part is Irma is heading for their home after Florida, so hopefully their house comes through okay. Continue reading

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