This is … Something I Stumbled Upon …

… in my reading. I opened up the copy of the Federalist Papers I keep on my iPad, and saw that I’d highlighted a passage some time ago. I read it to see if it still resonated.

Yes, I really do keep the Federalist Papers on my devices, along with the Constitution of the United States.

Why, yes, I have actually read both of these documents and study them periodically. I do this because I want to understand the principles and sentiments my country was founded on, in part because they seem to be a subject of dispute and, too often, become trivialized through politicization.

I wish all Americans, and those who would like to be Americans, would read both the Constitution and the Federalist Papers and attempt to understand what they mean.

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Stories That Succeed With Flat Character Arcs

Let me start off by introducing my current distraction: Ishmael (Anara Call Me Ishmael RN RA RE).

Ish has a truly remarkable ability to make me stop whatever I’m doing, get up, and give him a chew toy or treat. I mean, all Cavaliers are pretty good at that, but Ish is in a class by himself. I have only myself to blame, as I bred and trained him and therefore I’m responsible for both his overwhelming cuteness and his keen, intelligent understanding of how to push my buttons.

However, let me see if I can focus on my laptop for half an hour or so, despite all possible distractions. Continue reading


Building Decor

The decoration of buildings is endlessly fascinating. Why do people put so much effort into adornments that are almost impossible to see? This fancy brickwork is high above the street, perhaps on the sixth floor. I can take a cell phone picture and then expand it to see it. But when it was built, only the builders got a good view of this. Were the owners able to charge more rent?

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Breezy. Cloudy. No Rain

Albany Democrat Herald

Have no idea what to write about. Thanksgiving? Which movie to play in the background? Something with beautiful clothes and Audrey Hepburn? Wait Until Dark comes to mind, although in this film she doesn’t dress up like she did in Funny Face, Sabrina and Two for the Road.

While I’m doodling my way into my blog, I may need to jump up to help the husband hang the blinds I bought for our clerestory living room windows, a procedure that requires laddering up and down. The custom blinds arrived a few months ago but procrastination felt better than actually lugging the ladder in from outside and climbing up and down it.

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The Rambling Writer’s Italy, part 22: Arrival in Venice

Your retro virtual Italy vacation continues as Thor and I take the train from the rugged coast of Cinque Terre to the canals of Venice.

NOTE: Since European travel is still a no-go with the pandemic continuing, I’m continuing my blog series offering a virtual vacation and time-travel to my first big trip with Thor in 2008. Italy! After starting with highlight photos posted here on Saturday, Jan. 30, I’ve added new installments every week (with a few blogging detours in real time). Join us in Rome, Florence, Cinque Terre, Venice, and Milan. Buon viaggio!

We loved our hikes along the gorgeous Cinque Terre coastal cliffs and quaint historic villages clinging to the rock faces… Continue reading


BVC Announces The Trouble With Magic by Patricia Rice

The Trouble With Magic by Patricia Rice
The Trouble With Magic

Magical Malcolms Book #3
by Patricia Rice

“Rice’s enchanting book is truly spellbinding.”-Booklist
In a starred review, Booklist praised Must Be Magic as “a mystical masterpiece full of enchanting characters, a spellbinding plot, and the sweetest of romances.” Another sweeping tale of love between an irresistibly magical Malcolm woman and a charmingly logical Ives man.

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Island Life: Happy (American) Thanksgiving!

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

I’ve been in a mad scramble of working and writing and list-making and shopping and pie-baking and house-cleaning and several dozen other things that I can’t even remember right now, so I have no crazy island adventures to tell you about this week…whoever even shows up to read a blog post on (American) Thanksgiving Day, that is! 🙂 We are hosting this year, a smallish group (8 around the table), but this is still larger than any gathering we’ve had since before the pandemic started. We’re a little bit out of practice, shall we say. Continue reading


The Romance of the Regency: Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and Silver Fork Novels

I discovered Georgette Heyer in high school, after reading an entire issue of the fanzine Niekas devoted to it, somewhere around 1967-8. At that time I hadn’t yet read Jane Austen, though I’d loved historical novels ever since I checked out Mara, Daughter of the Nile in grade school. My favorite by ninth grade was Annemarie Selinko’s Desiree, based on real people during the Napoleonic period (though I was to discover it was every bit as romanticized as most of the memoirs penned by the surviving principals later on) so I was instantly intrigued.

The first Heyer I read was A Convenient Marriage, and as Horry was a couple years older than I  (she was all of seventeen) I had no problem with her romancing a world-weary Earl in his mid-thirties. Seventeen was so old and sophisticated!

From then on I had to read them all. My library only had four or five, so for several weeks I walked the three miles to the stop for the downtown bus, which was almost a two hour ride one way, to check the Los Angeles Main Library, where I found a gold mine—they had everything, even the ones she later suppressed (though I could immediately see why, young as I was).

I was thoroughly entranced.

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