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Showing posts from 2016

A Good Book Here, A Good Book There

Took a hiatus. Yeah, I am sure you all noticed. Been trying to get things moving along and with that I had to slack and so I slacked on the blog. Now allow me to share our little artificial tree that our son and his grandma decorated with glee.


In the last two months or so, I no longer bring my computer upstairs. Instead I have started to read at night. While this may not sound like any big deal, it is a little for me. I love to read, but due to school, home, obligations, and writing a novel, I somehow pushed reading an actual book to the side.  Like a lot of folks I got more caught up in the rabbit hole of the internet. Now, I do love getting sucked down various rabbit holes, but I also felt that I needed to actually unplug.
Allow me to sidebar a bit here.

I had been struggling with my book for a very long time. In the last 6 months or so it got worse. I had lost the true nature of the story and could no longer hear the character voice. I am not the first writer this has happened to…

Be Inspired By Mo

I don't watch Shark Tank. My in-laws do, they love it, personally it is not my bag, but God bless. A friend sent me a link to this young man name Mo's website.
He makes bow ties.
He is now 14.
This young man makes me happy.
Considering the world has taken quite the dark turn of late, it is always a relief to find good things people are doing out there. Whether it is assisting the elderly, giving a leg u to someone down on their luck or finding a 14 year old making bow ties and using proceeds to help send underprivileged kids to camp. Brava everyone!

Mos' Bows

Cheers!
MissFifi

Recap in Pictures

Happy Summer.

Went to Philadelphia for the weekend with a gal pal. We went to the Mutter Museum, which is amazing and does not allow photos, and to the Rodin, which is charming and does allow photos.


 The Gates of Hell are imposing and stunning.

The Three Shades which stand at the top of the Gates of Hell. This particular sculpture is stunning.
 Went to South Restaurant for tidbits and live jazz. Neither disappointed. This is my drink. Fresh to Death. I had two and I have no regrets. The ingredients are listed below.





After the Mutter we stopped for lunch at the Village Whiskey. My friend had a Bloody Mary and I had a Bee Balm. Made with lavender infused gin. Yes, I realize I am now a true fan of the "cocktail" and have reached a "certain age." Bring it on!

I have recently read "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" and was blown away. What Henrietta's cells, taken without her consent in 1951, have done for humanity is indescribable, as is the treatmen…

Good Grooming For Girls

All over You Tube are videos from the Perlinger Archives. While some of them seem sexist and hokey, it is because they are. But the are a few gems in the group and I highly recommend checking some of them out. One of my recent favorites is Good Grooming for Girls. Why? Because you can actually apply the advice today. Especially the make-up tips. Though that part of the video is a glorified advertisement for Ponds, you can move past that and take away some great ideas in regards to hair and posture as well.


Now, I am not someone who laments how much "better" things were back in the day. Every decade, hell every century, has it's positives and cons. Social and Civil issues were NOT what they are now and look how far we still have to go with some of them.
But I digress...
I myself really love the fashions of the 30's, 40's and 50's, sans the tight girdles and kotex pads that attached with a belt.




I can't even fathom having to wear this contraption. Maybe it …

The Nest

I read The Nest in 2 days. Yes. 2 days. Which is quite a feat with a 4 year old in the house, but I was so sucked into the story.
I am sure the angles and dialogue will not work for everyone. Dysfunctional families do not always make for good reading, but I felt that Ms. D'Aprix Sweeney introduced us to folks we may have actually known or were. There were moments where I found myself rolling my eyes at a few of the character's behavior. Melody got on my last nerve, but redeemed herself.
What I am most happy about is reading a current novel. Hooray for me! Now I am trolling through various Goodreads list in the hopes of coming across another winner. Wish me luck!

Cheers!
MissFifi

A Little Update

Hellloooo!

Our house is still in process of being renovated. Old 1920's wiring will cause mishaps and so that needs to be addressed now. Good times. Everything is coming along nicely, though I have to say, living on the first floor for a week so far has been interesting. I do not know how folks live ten to a two bedroom apartment. God Bless. The difference is I will get my second floor back. Our house is not massive in any sense, which is just fine by us, but it is amazing how much I miss being in my own bedroom. Right now our little dude has  his mattress down here, it was easy to carry the full size IKEA one as opposed to our IKEA foam queen sized one. One of us can sleep with him and the other stays on the couch with the dog. She is currently passed out on the couch looking like a fay, happy puppy. Good for her.

In the meantime, I wanted to let you know about some books our son is reading.

Orion and the Dark - Great book that helps children to see the fun in the darkness instead…

Poverty Does Suck

Here is another story to remind us that poverty does not always come dressed up as drug use, laziness or people who don't look like you. There are many good people out there that end up in a bad situation for various reasons, but I will only mention one. Medical.

Personally I feel that the fact medical bankruptcies happen in this Nation appalling. No one should lose their savings, their home or their dignity because they need cancer treatments or an appendectomy. I saw this a few times when I worked in the mortgage industry. Credit reports with explanations from folks who have had to deplete their savings and having to declare bankruptcy due to medical bills. We also had people begging for a second mortgage on their home to prevent bankruptcy from medical bills.
Yes, we all want top notch medical care, but we should not be put in an enormous black hole for it either.

I feel for folks who lack health insurance. Hell, I feel bad for those who have insurance. Anyone battling long ter…

Connor's Courageous Kids Book Fair

If you happen to live in the Morris County area of New Jersey, or even Sussex, Warren and Passaic, this book fair is a wonderful event to help kids with complex health needs. They are looking to eventually build what I guess would be the equivalent to a Ronald McDonald house which is ambitious and selfless. So stop by if you can and pick up a book for a child that needs to forget about tests and doctors for awhile.

Cheers!
MissFifi

Demolition Derby

Hallelujah, the upstairs bath no longer exists. The second floor was once just a plain, old attic. Then it seems the homeowners were inspired to expand and haphazardly divided it into a three bedroom, one bath space. Describing the work as shoddy is being kind. Our minuscule corner shower that could barely fit an average size female was discovered to have a wall held up with just one stud and nail. Also, due to a leak we were not able to use it for over five years. Good times all around.

I have documented the demise of this poor excuse of a bathroom.

The mounted the toilet on a pedestal. Yup. 

View from the hallway
The tight, small shower.


Did I mention there is absolutely no insulation in the walls? Wasn't a concern back in 1920. 

We are expanding the wall out and will have a sliding barn door. In the spot where the toilet was is where the sink shall go and the shower next to that. The Toilet will be next to the big window which will have frosted/stained glass.


And I would like to end…

Artichoke Quiche

My, my hasn't it been ridiculously cold here on the East Coast? Here in my area of New Jersey the schools were all given a delayed opening thanks to icy roads this morning. While we have not had a brutal winter, I am so ready to welcome spring with open arms.
One thing I do enjoy about winter is having comfort foods. A would dare to say quiche can be a comfort food. I got inspired by a friend who made one this weekend and made their own quinoa crust. I had a can of artichoke hearts and figured I could make a quiche with that. One click on Google and I found a bunch of choices, but the one on Taste of Home was the winner.
I then did a search for a pie crust recipe and found one. Allrecipes has an excellent cheesy quiche crust recipe and I was pretty impressed with myself for being able to make my own. I used wheat flour for it and and sharp cheddar cheese from Trader Joe's. It came out flaky and tasty.

One thing I noticed when re-reading the quiche recipe was that it never stat…

Sweet Potato-Chickpea Patties with Sriracha-Yogurt Dip

I made a kale salad to go with this dish. My patties did not stay together really well, but it was a delicious dinner all the same.

Sweet Potato-Chickpea Patties with Sriracha-Yogurt Dip
Everything else going on is good and busy. Our son is currently taking an empty washable paint bottle and stamping circles from the mouth of the bottle all over his arms. 

Cheers! MissFifi

Whatcha Doin'?

Immersing myself in the arts in a sense.  I have been writing whilst also deciding if I should self publish my dystopian set romance/thriller "After the Fall". Reading the instructions/soul selling on Amazon's site is tedious, but must be done if I choose to go that route. Part of my hesitation has to do with the fact that I may get lost in a sea of thousands of e-books. At the same time, I could have a publisher and get lost in a sea of thousands of hardcovers and paperbacks. Not everyone ekes out a living writing. This should be no surprise to anyone who has pursued the field. Hell, any field in arts. But let me get back to my point here, the advantage of having a publishing house behind you and their marketing budget is fabulous. Doesn't mean you still can't get lost or never found. Either way, I will make a decision soon enough. As far as "Deconstructing Angels", I would like an agent for that, but the query letter has been ignored for a few weeks a…

Sick and Two Recipes

Winter is the great bringer of sickness as most of us know. On Sunday my son had a cough and a runny nose, by Monday he sounded like he was gargling all the time and talked like a long time smoker so he stayed home from school. Was not too bad as they had a delayed opening anyway. He rested on the couch, took it easy, shocking for a four year old, and he woke up much better yesterday. That meant he got to go to school today. While he as off I hunkered down to do work for the school as well as write. I then started to sneeze a bit and had a runny nose. Dread filled me, BIG DREAD I tell you, and as of right now I am in full blown cold mode. I am not  happy Miss Fifi. Never mind the nonstop blowing of my nose, what irks me most is I have missed my gym classes Monday, tonight and will miss it Friday because I am helping parent in my son's class that day. My endorphins are displeased, but I am hoping to rectify that by working out Saturday and Sunday. I am also hoping this cold blows o…

Snowy Hollow

This is from the day after the blizzard. Our bird bath in the back looks as if it is wearing a hat.

The sun had already begun to melt where we had shoveled. Our son was beyond giddy to be out in the snow.

I was cleaning out some drawers in a guest room and found this movie ticket for Sleepy Hollow. What is amusing about this is I have moved about 3 times and this has come with me. LOL I took a picture for posterity and threw it out. And yes, it was the perfect film to see after midnight. 


Cheers! MissFifi

Lots 'O Stuff

The blizzard has arrived.



What you cannot see is the wind blowing the snow everywhere and making it impossible to really see. So while the small amount of snow looks like nothing, the wind is the ominous partner here. Are we worried? Nope. It's winter. In New Jersey. This happens. For the Southern states it's a nightmare because they are not used to this so this scenario sucks for them. They are also getting way more snow than we are and I just checked the news, it is pretty bad in places like Kentucky, DC, Virginia and Maryland and our Eastern Seaboard. Aces.

My query letter was put to the side and I began to work out kinks in the novel. I am planning to get back to the query next week and clean it up as recommended. I did joke with a friend last night that I feel like I am writing the 20 year novel. I admit it gets discouraging sometimes, but I soldier on with the belief that I will get it ship shape and out sooner than I can imagine. Right now I imagine February. Any time i…

RIP Alan Rickman

WHAT THE EVER LOVING HELL???? Does God need all my favorite British men??? DAMMIT ALL. DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT.

Once again, my heartfelt apologies to all his loved ones and my God that man had a magnificent voice and was such a great actor.


More here at CNN
Now I REALLY need to see Truly, Madly, Deeply...

Crap.

That's all I got.


Peace out,
MissFifi


Good Dogs Indeed

As someone who lost both their parents in a six month span to the big C and worked with Hospice patients, I applaud any methods we can cultivate to detect cancer cells brewing their madness. What a world it would be if we could turn cancer into a manageable, chronic disease. Sure it may kill you eventually, but wouldn't it be nice to live another 20-30 years in good health because you caught it in Stage 0 or 1?  Okay, maybe not everyone agrees on that, but what we should agree on is the work that the In Situ Foundation has been doing for over a decade.
Dogs have long been known to be able to smell an epileptic fit, PTSD attack, asthma and various other incidents right before they happen. Seems they also have an excellent nose for detecting cancer. Here is another link to a dog named Stewie.

I found this note on one of the videos for the Australian Shepherd Katy as very interesting and promising.

This is one of InSitu's most fastidious cancer detection dogs, Katy. She always wor…

Bowie

Talk about a serious creative genius. I was lucky enough to see him perform twice. It was a privilege I have never forgotten. I feel for his family as the loss of a loved one, no matter the age or how prepared you may think you are because of long-term illness, is always difficult and heart breaking. Hopefully, over time, they find comfort in the memories they have of the person they knew and loved and the incredible music/arts legacy he leaves behind.













Head bowed,
MissFifi



Have You Seen This Trailer?

We love a fair amount of Coen Brothers films in our house. Their casting is usually pretty spot on so when I saw the trailer for Hail, Caesar! I almost fell out of my seat at the theater. The fact that my gal Tilda is in it makes me even more excited to see this movie.



Was a rainy, yet sunny at times, 58 degrees today and it is going down to 28 tomorrow. Hello January!

Cheers!
MissFifi

The Query is In

And yours truly has some serious work ahead of her.

I expected it though. What I did not expect was to catch some issues with the book as well as I re-read the query. Example: referring to Giancarlo, my main Archangel, as The Commander of the Holy Army throughout the whole novel instead of ever really using his name. The position is one he assumed from his mentor Archangel Michael, the original Commander. While I thought that was clear, it seems that it has confused a beta reader or two as well as the editor of the query. Looks like I need to get in there and fix that issue ASAP.

If you have ever wondered what an edited query looks like you can check out the selections at Query Shark. Nobody gets out unscathed nor should we. We declare ourselves writers and as such we need to be better than we already think we are.  We also have rules we need to follow. Clearly I missed some. And since I am a thick-skinned bitch here is my initial query with the comments in capital letters from the ed…

Your Body

Thanks to The Magic School Bus on Netflix our son is getting his science fill. He is also now obsessed with red blood cells and asks about them everyday. As someone who loves anatomy and diseases this makes me giddy. To feed this interest I went on YouTube and found some very interesting videos, created by MagicBox Animation, geared towards preschoolers. I highly recommend them if your child has any inklings to learning more about their body.

I also grabbed my Trail Guide to the Body book so we can check out the skeleton and muscles. 
While I know this interest in the body may not last, his interest in all things science is a good thing so we will continue to feed the beast as much as we can. :)

Cheers! MissFifi

Dinner

Ever have one of those days where you are just not sure what to eat? Especially after the holidays. A blanket of food has embraced us for months and now, it's gone. Abandoned, we are confused and uncertain as to what we do next. Do we continue to dance with decadent baked goods and heaps of sugar? Or shall we tango with take-out for every meal imaginable? Too many decisions that bring about a swarm of people suddenly declaring that it is time to "diet" and soon they are nibbling on celery and drinking hot water with lemon. Some even trot off to the gym with glee. In a few months that will all fall to the wayside as it does every year and people will surrender and moan when the truth is they should ease up on themselves. Seriously people, you have to choose to make a lifestyle change and not drive yourself into deprivation mode and end up binging on donuts or pasta or beer or whatever it is you have deemed as your nemesis. All these bullshit "diets" out there pr…

And a Happy New Year

Welcome 2016. Lots of people are rooting for you so there is a lot of pressure on you. We understand it is tough, but I think you can do it. How about more humanity and less war? Tall order? I am sure, but a little goodwill in the world makes us all feel better so work on it best you can. Believe me when I say that most of us would appreciate that. Thanks.


Things have been busy at MissFifi's casa just like everywhere else. Allow me to bullet point for you all.


My query letter is being reviewed before being sent to out to various agents in the hopes that I can get my novel published. I feel excited, anxious, panicky and jazzed. Probably all the right emotions so hooray for me.My hubby built this awesome coffee table from a project at Lowe's.
We hosted our son's 4th birthday and I have to give a serious shout out to Penguin Ice Cream for the delicious robot cake. We totally did not get a picture so sorry about that, but the crowd loved it, especially the adults. As for the pen…