Thursday, April 30, 2009

Getting Ready for Vacation

Vacation is fun, but getting ready is not fun. It's so hard to decide what to bring with. I just know I'll forget something and wish I'd thought of bringing it along.

One year my husband forgot his travelers' checks, another year, one of his pairs of glasses.
I forgot the change purse once for the tollway. That was a while ago. Now we use one of those transponders,or whatever they call it, to sail through. I forgot jeans another year.

What about you? Do you hate packing,too? Have you ever forgotten to bring something with on vacation? Please share.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Come on Over

Hi Gang,
Another detour. I'm asking you to come on over to because today I'm hosting mystery writer, Chester D. Campbell's on his virtual book tour. He's got a fun post over there for you to read.

As always, comments here, there, or both are welcome. You may even win a prize over there.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Who Likes Chocolate?

I saw a flyer in the paper about the 10th Annual Long Grove Chocolate Fest taking place May 1-3. I'll be in Wisconsin then, feeding my other obsession, which is playing slots at Lake of the Torches Casino.

I'll be missing the Chocolate Fest, which is a shame since I do love chocolate. For a while I'd get headaches after eating it, but thank goodness that hasn't happened lately. I discovered some years ago I was hypoglycemic, which appeared to have happened because I'd gone on this great diet where I ate deserts but skimped on regular meals.

To recuperate, for an entire nine months I had to go without sugar, which turned out to be in many more forms than you'd ever guess. Gradually I was able to again indulge in sweets, but with caution. If I eat sugar in the morning, I'm usually tired the rest of the day. My body just can't handle sugar after fasting all night. For a while I missed my usual breakfast of chocolate long john and coffee with sugar, but I've adjusted well over the years.

The important thing is I can still eat chocolate and I love it.

What about you? Do you like chocolate?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Rascal Celebrates At Bentley's 1st Anniversary Party

Saturday the DH and I took Rascal to the 1st Anniversary Party at Rascal's favorite hangout, Bentley's Corner Barkery, where Lisa and Giovanni, the Owners, had special cake for dogs and also human cake at the back of the store.

It was a crazy day weatherwise, so we drove and parked a few blocks away to avoid getting caught in the intermittent downpours. Anyway, the party was well attended and probably would have been even more attended if the weather had been better. I took a video of the event, so you can see how the party went. Also, we got a call that Rascal won a raffle prize, so we came back on Sunday to claim Rascal's basket of goodies. That's on the movie also, but here's a pic to the left with Mia showing Rascal her basket.

Here's the Youtube Link:
Have you ever been to a dog party before? Do you go to stores that allow pets inside? Do you prefer going to family businesses rather than large company owned places? Please share.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Meet Sherrill Bodine, Contemporary Romance Author


NOW UP ON THE PLAYER IN THE LEFT COLUMN AND AT - Interview that was aired today.

Sherrill is the author of TALK OF THE TOWN
Available at
and Barnes&

Here's What It's About -


Darlings, what a to-do at the Daily Mail today! After fifteen years as Chicago's gossip guru, Rebecca Covington has been demoted from divulger of secrets for the city's elite to headlining recipes in the Home and Food section. Apparently, a touchy senator is threatening legal action for Rebecca's latest extramarital scoop. But Windy City rumor has it that new CEO and dreamy Pierce Brosnan look-alike David Sumner downgraded Rebecca in favor of fresher, younger blood on the social beat.

Industry insiders expect Rebecca to fight her denouement, and inquiring minds have already seen the feisty maven trading quips and searing glances wtih her arresting new boss. Rebecca swears she'll reclaim her shining star status, but can the dishy diva even cook? And how can she ignore David's arousing effect on her sensibilities?

Sherrill Bodine

We welcome comments here before or after the show.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Facebook's New Rules

Power to the People!

I just read in the Daily Herald that Facebook's new rules specify that users do own their own information when posting to Facebook.

Some months back a great storm brewed with Facebook's attempt to hold rights to certain personal content posted by members. Objections were overwhelming. I, among others, rushed over to our Facebook accounts and removed photos and articles we didn't wish to be claimed by Facebook.

Anyway, a vote was taken, the members spoke their minds, and we won!

Goes to show, if you don't like something, don't gripe where it doesn't count. Speak up to those that matter and you could make a difference.

What about you, do you use Facebook? Why? If you don't, why not? What do you think about the new rules and/or speaking up? Please share.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Are You Organized?

Every time I try to get organized, it seems I slip further back into chaos. Thursday night I thought I'd get my business accounts in order online, but my password wouldn't work. I had to get another one emailed to me. Then I decided to take money from my business acount and put it into my personal account to pay some writing bills I'd put on my Amazon Visa card. I use the Amazon card to rack up points at Amazon, of course. Soon I'll get a business card that can rack up points also, but I don't have it yet.

Anyway, I got that all figured out. I made out a check to go into my personal account which I planned on depositing in the morning. Then I remembered I really should put more personal checks in my purse. I thought I'd ordered some not long ago. Well, I discovered after rummaging around that I don't have extra personal checks. I swear I ordered them, but they're nowhere to be seen. That means I only have four left. So then I wondered if there's a way to get checks fast so I have them before vacation May 1. Turns out there is a next day service for around $21.00, but it's worth it when you're desperate.

What about you? Are you organized, or do these things happen to you?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Administrative Assistant's Day and Green Thumbs

Wednesday was not only Earth Day, but also Administrative Assistants' Day. I don't know why both were designated for the same day. Somehow it doesn't seem right. After all, we have 365 days in the year, more than enough to go around.

Anyway, I whipped out my Iphone and took a photo of the flowers I got from the bosses at the firm on Wednesday. Actually, in the foreground are the flowers from this year, and I'm proud to say, in the background's a plant I got for Secretary's Day, as it was called then, at least 10-12 years ago. I don't have a green thumb, but somehow this plant has survived despite being owned by me.

What about you? Do you have a green thumb? Do you have a job that's celebrated each year? Or, would you rather not celebrate your job? Please share.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Are You Cutting Back?

Lots of people aren't spending as much as they used to. I guess that's part of the reason the economy isn't bouncing back. Another part is that people don't seem to have money to spend. Or, is it that they realize they were overspending before, and now after hearing all the warnings, they're afraid to shop?

I know I'm not spending as much as before. One reason is the DH is semi-retired, so not as much money is coming in. Another reason is much of what money I have left after paying bills goes toward my writing related expenses.

What about you? Are you spending as much as before? Are you Cutting Back? When you do shop, what kind of items do you buy? Please share.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Balanced or Unbalanced

As I walked home from the train Monday after work, I saw a woman on roller blades skating along, holding a dog with each hand. She certainly had balance, one thing I really lack.

I've never been good at roller skating,ice skating or other balance sports. I can ride a bike, but have trouble turning corners sometimes.

In other aspects, I'm not exactly a balanced person either. When I get interested in something, I go into it with all my might. I remember when I started going to Bingo, I collected all the little doo-dads to put on the table next to my cards to bring my luck - little brass dogs, even a cupie (Is that how to spell it?) doll with hair sticking up. I bought a great bag with holes on the sides to hold my dabbers of varying colors. In those days we also used magnetic chips, so I had little boxes of those to go in my bag, along with a magnetic wand to scoop them up.

That's one example of how I'm unbalanced. Another is blogging. I'm so addicted to it I feel compelled to blog daily no matter what. I also feel guilty if I don't visit the friends on my blogroll.

I'm also unbalanced when it comes to writing. I've spent the entire night going through the edits to get my new novel, Killer Career, in order. I'm almost through, but not quite. I still can't give it up. I rarely watch TV anymore, since I'd rather write.

What about you? Are you balanced or unbalanced? Confess, please.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Make Mine Mystery

Yesterday, I interviewed romantic suspense author, Margot Justes, on Blog Talk Radio Books and Blogs. If you missed the interview, you can find it on the player in the left column here.

Today, at I'm featuring mystery writer, Richard Roach and his new book, Scattered Leaves. I'd appreciate your hopping over to read all about him and his book.

As always, Comments here, there or both are welcome.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Hear Margot Justes Today on Blog Talk Radio


Margot Justes, romantic suspense author, was today's guest at . Show time
4-4:15pm Central Daylight Savings Time (Illinois) time.
Call in Number is 347-308-8605.

Meet Margot:

Born in Poland, Margot Justes has lived in some of the world’s most wonderful places, including Israel, France and South Africa. Currently living in the Midwestern United States, she has taken her love of art and travel and cultivated it into unique settings and stories for her writing. A Hotel in Paris is her first novel.

A Member of Romance Writers of America and Sisters in Crime, she is the current President of the Chicago Chapter of Sisters in Crime.

In her spare time she enjoys travel, museums, summer art fairs, reading, gardening, music, and the occasional shopping spree. She is now working on her second novel,
A Hotel in Bath.

You can visit Margot’s website at

As always, comments are welcome.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Do You Watch TV?

Just wondered how many of you have time to watch TV.For one thing, I don't like sports. For another, I can't seem to get into the sitcoms out there lately. Also, there don't seem to be as many of them as before.

American Idol is fun to watch, though I don't get to see it very often. Most of the time, I'd rather watch and listen to GAC, Great American Country, which mostly features country videos. I also watch the news, Chicago Tonight and Jay Leno. What I mainly prefer are movies, either on the Hallmark or Lifetime Channel, or ones I choose from On Demand. I also rent movies from the library and watch them.

All in all, TV doesn't seem as important to me any more, probably because my focus has shifted to writing and networking on the Internet.

What about you? Do you like TV as much as you used to? When you do watch TV, what do you like to watch? Please share.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Scary Signs of the Times

The DH and I were at the library Thursday night to catch a great program which I'll feature here later. Anyway, on the way out, I happened to notice these scary signs
of the times. I'm glad the library is helping people with job searches, but sad that it's necessary.

Already two people were laid off at the law firm I work at, while another is leaving voluntarily. I've already mentioned how another secretary's salary has been cut, while I'm working five days a week there now and being paid for four. I just heard the owners of some popular area malls are declaring bankruptcy. Where has our prosperity gone? Is the U.S. still the land of opportunity?

What's your take? Please share any good or bad signs of the times you've noticed or experienced.

The Mighty 100 - Appreciation Day

I just want to thank every one of the Mighty 100 who follow my Double M blog. I appreciate your checking out what I have to say each day. By now, you probably know pretty much about me - I have a DH I dearly love, a mischievous dog named Rascal, a mystery, named Two Wrongs, and romance, called Girl of My Dreams, published, with more books in the works. I also have a day job, but wish I didn't need one. I'd rather spend more time online with all my buddies.

Anyway, enough about me. Today, is appreciation day for my online friends, so take a bow.
If you're one of the Double M blog's followers, please leave a comment saying a little bit about yourself, and be sure to include your blogspot or website link for everyone to find you. And if you're not a follower, but just stopping by, I appreciate your interest also and invite you to introduce yourself if you so wish.

Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Dog In the Window

Yesterday, I did a blog about Cat in the Window at . Today is a follow up on that blog.

Many readers had a burning question. They wanted to know what happened to my neighbor's dog.

You'll all be glad to know the dog is back and barking as usual. Since I don't converse with that neighbor as often as I do others, I may never know why the dog was absent for a while.

Now that that mystery is at least partially solved, I invite you to hop over to my Are You Serious blog today at

As always, comments here, there or both are welcomed.

Cats and Dogs

Why did I, a dog lover, write a post called Cat in the Window at ?

I invite you to hop over there and find out.

As always, comments are welcome here, there, or both places.

Monday, April 13, 2009

How Many Books Do you Have In You?

How many books do you have in you?

A single (standalone) book or a spinoff or a series
My mystery, Two Wrongs, is a standalone, as is my romantic comedy, Girl of My Dreams. My new release this summer, Killer Career, will also be a standalone. So far, my work in progress, Forever Young, is intended to be at least two books, maybe more. One with the central story, heroine vs. villains, at least one or two spinoffs expanding on the core plot.

What about you? How many books are you working on or have you done? Are any of them spinoffs or series material? Please share.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!


Forecast here in Illinois is a beautiful Spring day, a rare treat around here for Easter.

I saw only one lady with a hat on at Church, but it was deep blue and didn't look at all like an Easter bonnet. Any Easter bonnets around you today?

We went to a brunch today at the Concorde. A pic is on the right.
Now I'm home and relaxing, but a little
bit too full. What's everyone else doing?

Have a HAPPY EASTER, however way you spend it!!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Juniors Cave Online Magazine

I first learned of Juniors Cave Online Magazine when its owner, Isaac Davis Jr., joined my book network at Book Place. I asked if he needed any book articles. That's how I became the magazine's Books and Literature Editor.

My spot there is called Big on Books, and wouldn't you know it, it's about books. Anyway, I've sent fresh content to the magazine in the form of new pics, plus my Blog Talk Radio player, which just happens to contain the last 4 episodes of my Books and Blogs Sunday shows, including interviews of JA Konrath/Jack Kilborn, Robert W. Walker, L. Diane Wolfe, and Barry Eva. Also included is a feed to this blog, which Isaac ingeniously set up in a rotating pattern, so readers can pick which blogs to catch.

I invite you to check it out when you get a chance at
Please comment here and let me know how you like it.


Friday, April 10, 2009

Cell, Land Line or Both?

When I was getting ready for bed Thursday night, I checked the power on my cell phone, as I often do. I happened to notice I missed a call from my friend. I had spoken to her fifteen minutes before, but she got another call and was going to call back. In the meantime, she called my landline. I had wondered at the time why she did that, but didn't ask.

Apparently the call to my cell didn't go through, or maybe I just didn't hear it with the TV on.
It's a good thing I have both kinds of phones.

What about you? Do you use a cell, land line or both? Which do you like better, or does it depend? Please share.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Carry Out or Go Out?

The DH and I prefer carryouts for dinner. We rarely go out to eat. We call, place our order, pick it up and dig in. Carryouts are so much easier than getting ourselves all fixed up, driving to a restaurant, waiting to get seated, waiting for the food, waiting for the check, and figuring out how much to tip.

We do have certain friends that we do like to go out to eat with, but not that often.

What about you? Do you prefer carryouts or going out to dinner?

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

A Good Night's Sleep

Since I so often fall asleep on the couch lately while watching TV, then stumble upstairs in the dead of night, sometimes not falling asleep again for a while, this got me thinking.

What's a good night's sleep? If I get close to six hours, I consider myself lucky. If I sleep more, most of the time I feel dopey all day.

What about you? How much sleep do you need? What do you consider a good night's sleep? Please share.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

My Favorite Person

I like reading books in the third person, though if a book is well-written, I'll forget my preference and read one in the first person. Why? The only thing I can figure out is although I like to identify with the characters, first person seems a bit too intrusive.

As far as articles and non-fiction go, first or second person are fine with me.

What about you? What's your favorite person? Please share.

Monday, April 06, 2009

ACMs and Twitter

Sunday night I watched the ACMs (Academy of Country Music Awards) Show while on Twitter. What fun, tweeting back and forth about the performers. It was like we were all at a party together, dissing or cheering for favorites, commenting on clothes, voices, you name it.

Twitter makes it easy to do this. If you enjoy something popular on TV, you'll probably find the topic in the right hand column there. You click on it and you'll discover everyone that's doing tweets on it.

For a few minutes, Twitter went Over Capacity. Must have been the ACMs that did it!

Anyway, I enjoyed listening and watching. You can catch my tweets in the Twitter box to the left. Just use its scroller.

And if you're in the mood for something totally different, check out my blog today about Killer Career at

Are any of you country music fans? Did you catch the show? If not, what kind of music do you enjoy? Please share.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Today's Guest - JA Konrath a/k/a Jack Kilborn at Blog Talk Radio Books and Blogs

JA Konrath/Jack Kilborn with Morgan Mandel at a 2008 mystery authors booksigning, Barnes & Noble, Arlington Heights, IL.

I'm excited to offer my new guest, JA Konrath, also known as Jack Kilborn, or just plain Joe, at Blog Talk Radio Books and Blogs today, Sunday, April 5. Please tune in from 4-4:30pm Illinois time (Central Daylight Savings Time) at to listen to the show live. If somehow you can't make it at that time, by all means stop by that site where you'll find the player. You'll also find the player here in the left column not far down.

Not only is Joe the author of the Jack Daniels mystery series, he's also got a scary new book of horror out called Afraid.

Joe is also responsible for a great blog called A Newbies Guide to Publishing, a great reference tool.

Let us know if you plan to listen or, if you comment afterwards, tell us what you thought of the interview. Have any of you read one of Joe's books? Do you want to? Please share

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Frustrated, Aggravated, Determined

Don't be afraid to tune in to this Sunday, 4pm Central Daylight Savings Time (Illinois time) for my special guest -mystery and horror author, JA Konrath a/k/a Jack Kilborn. Learn about his new release, Afraid. You can hear it live at that time from the above website or about 15 minutes later on the player there or in the left column here.

I'm frustrated and aggravated because yesterday I lost one of my most valuable commodities - Time. The law firm I work for deals in workers' compensation law, which pertains to injuries on the job. Not as many people are working. Those that are, don't want to rock the boat when they're hurt. It all boils down to the firm not getting much business.

So, on Friday the boss called us each in separately and laid out new rules. What pertains to me is my 4 day work week is history. Starting immediately, I'm now working 5 days per week, but only getting paid for 4. This hits me especially hard, since I barely had enough time as it was to write, promote, blog, and spend time with the DH and Rascal.

I know the economy is bad. At this point, I can't afford to quit my job. I don't see any point in looking for another one either. On the plus side, I still get to keep my vacation time and sick days, which total 23 days. I don't want to lose that, since it's almost summer and that's when we visit our cottage in Wisconsin. Also, I still have health insurance, and definitely don't want to lose that.

At this point, I know I should be grateful I have a job at all, but I'd already put in my time by working 16 years full time at the firm before getting the privilege of a 4 day work week. The irony of it all was yesterday was my 37 year anniversary of starting work there.

So, right now I'm stuck. Losing a free day each week means I don't have that valuable time any more to play catch-up. I have less opportunity to visit my friend's blogs and leave comments, less time to get a few of my own posts ready ahead of time, less time to concentrate on Forever Young, my work in progress, less time to finish my edits on Killer Career.

When I was called in, I'd almost hoped to be fired, so I could go on unemployment and get my writing life in order. That didn't happen to me, but it did to another secretary who was actually a good worker and depended on her 2 days a week to make ends meet for herself, children and husband. Realistically, if I'd been laid off, I couldn't afford living on unemployment, but I would have loved to have that extra time. It's such a valuable commodity.

Anyway, the bright spot is I'm over 60. Who would think that would be a blessing, but it is. When I hit 62, I'm going on social security and taking a 2 day job close to home. Until then, I'll tough it out, unless a miracle happens. I'm determined to get my books completed and published, because they're important to me. It will require more finnagling, but I'll manage somehow.

What about you? Has the economy affected you? If you're a writer with a full time job, do you have trouble getting writing and promotion done?

Friday, April 03, 2009


The Olympic Evaluation Committee is in Chicago for six days casing out the city to determine if it's the best choice for the 2016 Olympics. Suddenly I see signage on buildings, buses, and streets everywhere saying We support the Olympics and other such messages.

I can't get into the spirit, though the signs are lovely, with their yellows and oranges. For one thing, I'm not a sports fan and usually don't watch the Olympics. For another, I'm still not convinced that somehow the taxpayers won't be stuck with a large portion of the bill, though Mayor Daley says otherwise. I don't live in Chicago, but I work there and grew up there. It seems the money could be better spent elsewhere.

Still, even if none of the expenses were borne by civilians, my chief concern is terrorists. It's happened before with Olympics and it could happen again. I've heard all the arguments about not giving in and getting on with life since 9/11, but I still don't like the idea of Chicago setting itself up as a target. Even with top security, I foresee problems.

Am I being too much of a scaredy cat? What about you? Would you like the Olympics in your City or town? Please share.

Thursday, April 02, 2009


Marvin Wilson practically dared me to do a blog on cheese, so I am. It won't be too long, since I'm asking you to hop over to my other post today. More on that later.

Okay, here's how you can apply cheese to characters in your books.

Sharp Cheese - A sharp-tongued, clever, sharp thinking person

Mild Cheese - A mild mannered person.

Spicy Cheese a/k/a Cheezy - Sexy, hot person.

Runny Cheese - A person all over the place, can't handle life.

CheeseHead - Wisconsin resident. (Don't get mad at this one. I happen to love Wisconsin. It's my second home where we have our summer cottage. Notice my sweatshirt in the left column of this blogspot.)

Can you think of other characters from cheese? Please share.

Also, if you never saw my post on initials, please check out my On Demand post at


Wednesday, April 01, 2009


Today is supposed to be worm day, so I thought it appropriate to blog about them. There are good and bad worms. After a rain, sometimes you'll see them crawling on the sidewalks. Those are good worms. The birds are happy to eat them. Fishermen love to collect them for live bait.

There's also creepy worms like maggots, that are really gross to look at.

Anyway, unless you've been in seclusion lately, you probably know what this post is leading up to. I dare not say the name for fear it may go on the attack. A worm is supposed to slither across the Internet today, April 1, and attack computers. Because of the threat, I've scheduled this blogpost early, so I won't have to turn on the computer to make it appear. Whether or not I have enough courage to go online at all today, I'm not sure. You'll know if you see me.

It would be a great challenge for me to go cold turkey and ignore the Internet for one day, but I'm not sure if I can do it.

Since I wrote the above, I found out it doesn't matter if you're online today or not. It could attack you some other day. I may as well tough it out, so here I am again.

Okay, are there any brave souls out there who are reading this blog? If your virus protection is not updated, I suggest you do it right now. Comment first if you wish.