Crushing…I’m so out of practice

Yay! I made it back this week for another round of Wednesday Ramblings. Once again my partners in crime for this tag team are Bronwyn Green, Kellie St. James, Jess Jarman, Kris Norris, and Jenny Trout.

Topic of the week? Celebrity Crushes.

Hoo boy.

Not that I’m not a celebrity crusher (wait, that’s a double negative…what did I even say?); far from it. In my heyday, which was of course the fabulous ’80s, I had a list a mile long of celebrity cuties…Mark Hamill, John Cusack, Andrew McCarthy (the list goes on and on).

Now? Well I had to think about it. I have many many characters I would retuphoto(41)rn to again and again, but a celebrity crush was hard to come up with.

In the final analysis, I came up with one.

Viggo Mortensen.

Aragorn in Lord of the Rings.

Frank Hopkins in Hidalgo.

photo(42)Everett Hitch in Appaloosa.

Tom Stall in A History of Violence.

I even like him as the super-tattooed Nikolai in Eastern Promises with that crazy naked fight scene in the shower room. (Okay, that may have given too much away.)

However, I notice that I’m listing all his characters again. Maybe I’ve grown from celebrity crushes to character crushes.

How about you? To crush or not to crush?





Come and visit…

me today at the blog of the lovely Cassandra Page, a fellow Turquoise Morning Press author.  I’ll be talking about my writing space. Cass writes urban fantasy down under, and Australia is on my to-visit list . One of these days I’m going to visit Cass in person. :)

C’mon over! or under…

Hot News: Appearances Update

Hot newsI’m not sure this qualifies as hot news, but is an update on two upcoming appearances. I will update my appearances tab soon…honest!

Tonight at 6:30 at the Saranac Public Library, I will be doing a Books and Bones presentation on Where the Werewolf Got His Bite, which will be a look into the science behind the werewolf myth. Stop in for a talk, chocolate and some special sales.

On Saturday, April 4, at Traveler’s Trunk Bookstore in Cedar Springs from 2:30 to 4:30, I will be doing a book signing with Patricia Kiyono. There will probably be chocolate involved. I’m just saying.

Would love to see you at either location. Check back on the Appearances tab soon for my summer library schedule!

Phobias that aren’t…but should be

We’re back for another round of Wednesday Ramblings. Once again my partners in crime for this tag team are Bronwyn Green, Leigh Jones, Kellie St. James, Jess Jarman and Kris Norris!

Today the subject of our ramblings is…dun, dun, duuuuun…phobias!

However, since I spilled way too much personal ink last week talking about my peeves, this week I present things that aren’t real phobias but should be.

1) Tuberosis stinkophobia: Remember that one period in your life when you were working long hours and not cooking regular meals? Then came the fateful day you opened your pantry to a horrible smell. Yup, rotten potato. If you were really unlucky, when you picked it up, your finger squished into it. The thought that said tater might return makes you quiver and you root out (get it? root! ha!) every potato in your pantry in a timely fashion. You have a bad case of Tuberosis stinkophobia.

2) Agentus rejectophobia: This one is special for writers. It’s heralded by that queasy feeling you get right before you open the response to your latest query. The one that makes you pull the bowl of chocolates closer…just in case you need them. Oh yes, my friends, you suffer from rejectophobia.

3) Corpus maggophobia: A fear of small inching white worms. I spent nearly ten years practicing forensic anthropology and completely understand your irrational fear. Every time a call came in, I prayed for a case with dry bones. Please, oh please, not a case of extreme decomposition, for I suffer intensely from maggophobia. I mean pile-my-clothes-on-the-balcony-until-I-can-double-launder-them maggophobia. Want to see me jump? Throw a grain of rice at me.

Fergus in the Box 1, 03-06-094) Feline whizzophobia: A fear that your beloved kitty is no longer exclusively using its litter box and has developed a love of your shoe. Evidenced by strange sniffing behaviors on your part. (Feel free to substitute canine for feline if you’re a dog lover.)

5) Unsantarius portapottiphobia: I think this one is self-explanatory. Rustic camp sites? Nope. Can’t do it.

Bonus fake phobia that I didn’t make up but wish I had! Thank you, Gary Larson, creator of Daisy and Tuneythe Far Side for this one: Anatideaphobia: The fear that somewhere, somehow a duck is watching you. Read here of a girl, an epileptic female duck named Daisy who turned out to be a male, and the tragic tale of how it all went south.

Join me, friends. Comment below with your phobia that should be but isn’t.


In which I ramble about peeves…

We’re back for another round of Wednesday Ramblings. Once again my partners in crime for this tag team are Bronwyn Green, Leigh Jones, Kellie St. James, and Jess Jarman. New this week…Kris Norris!

This week we ramble about Pet Peeves. Originally I thought I would expound on one of my greatest sayings (authored with my best friend from college), which goes like this, “It’s people like me who really piss me off.” DH and I have since co-opted it for our own (sorry DM). However, after a most crabby day I decided maybe this isn’t about me after all. It’s about you. Yes, you.

Peeve #1: Do not ask me a question, treat me as if my answer is stupid, then when you ask the next person in line and they give the EXACT SAME ANSWER suddenly decide it’s great. I don’t care if I am younger than you or a woman or for whatever reason you’re just feeling like an ass, don’t do it.

Peeve #2: Read the above, only substitute “let me pitch an idea” for the words “ask me a question.”

Peeve #3: When you’re at my home and you notice I’ve put the toilet roll on “upside down” (i.e. the paper is coming from the bottom), do not change it for me. I LIKE my toilet paper that way.

That’s all I’ve got. Now if we were talking about my shortcomings, there’d be many more!

Feel free to list a peeve below!

The March 17th update!

First things first….Happy St. Patrick’s Day!! Woohoo. I even remembered to wear green! My McCarthy blood is so proud of me.

Second of all…even though my creativity out of the box experiment had, shall we say, less than stellar results, I did promise you an update here on my progress. Without further ado, I give you…


We've progressed!

We’ve progressed!

Okay, so they still don’t resemble frogs yet. However, we have gotten our tops done, and I’ve picked up muslin for the bottom. Next up, sandwich and quilt! Given that I’ve machine quilted once…in a class…about 9 years ago, this could be challenging.

You will notice the lovely symmetry of the two tops in the top part of the photo. Yup, they belong to the girls. The one that looks a little funky? Yup, that’s mine. :) It was creativity out of the box. Remember, people?

And next…


I was shooting for 38K by today. How did I do?


I’ll take it!

How about you? How did you do on your projects?

Word Play

Since I’m a writer, I love to play with words. Recently fellow authors W.S. Gager and Joselyn Vaughn showed me a whole new way to turn what I write into a work of art.

Here’s the first chapter of my WIP, Reservoir, broken down to its core elements…those little 4-, 5- and 6-letter beauties that form a story.

Renny wordleIt’s a word cloud! Formed courtesy of and my own first chapter. Wordle takes what you feed it and creates these maps. Words that show up more frequently are in larger type-face. (Who knew I used the word ‘one’ so often?) You can tweak the shape and color of the cloud, but it generates from what you’ve built.

Cool! Just another way to make art from words.

Give it a try with an email, dissertation page (hint, hint), a blog, or a page from your WIP and let me know how it goes.