Objection & the #ROW80 Report

We begin with a question: Before airing tonight's Inspector Lewis mystery, PBS issued the usual disclaimer, something like, This program contains material that some viewers might consider objectionable. Viewer discretion is advised. Now. Every program contains something potentially objectionable. Objection is a matter of choice. (Why doesn't the same disclaimer run before afternoon soap operas and tacky prime … Continue reading Objection & the #ROW80 Report

The Stand-Up

Jane Austen at a PUB? Yes!
Maddie Shrewsday, Kate’s fourteen-year-old daughter, speculates on what Jane did there.
Prepare to be enlightened. And to LAUGH.

Kate Shrewsday

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She’s a stand-up, and she’s only 14.

So we’re driving down to Winchester on one of our Saturday afternoon jaunts, and I come off the soulless M3 motorway to take the old carriage way. The road the postal carriages would have taken to get post to the south and south west. The route the stagecoaches flew along moving visitors from one big house to the next.

And I am doing that thing mothers do where they repeat ad infinitum the litany of landmarks on a road; those that have personal significance (ah, that’s where our car broke down in 1989; that’s the Little Chef where I left my handbag and never went back to get it) and those which have a greater, more elevated place in history.

“Look, darling,” I gesture expansively over the steering wheel, “you see that pub?”

It is labelled ‘The Wheatsheaf’ and it’s a member of…

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Poof! Happened and So Did Phooey!

Mr. Frank Churchill did not come. ~ Jane Austen, Emma * Emma was not at this time in a state of spirits to care really about Mr. Frank Churchill's not coming... ~ Jane Austen, Emma * Remember what I said about the furniture and assorted stuff in my living room maybe going Poof! and disappearing? … Continue reading Poof! Happened and So Did Phooey!


What follows is a repost from January 2011. It's one of my rants. And it's worse than I remembered it. It's an example of what happens when I write instead of withdrawing to a funk hole to get over it. (If you don't know what in the world I'm talking about, see the previous post.) … Continue reading Tizzy

The Formula

Should I or shouldn't I? Tell, that is. Experts advise against it. When you tell people you're writing a novel, they reply. "You still haven't finished that thing?" "Why is it taking so long?" "How much longer are you going to have to work on it?" "You need to just get busy and write it." … Continue reading The Formula

Sores on the tops of the horses

Writing about his college years, James Thurber tells the story of Haskins, an agriculture student who takes up journalism, "possibly on the ground that when farming went to hell he could fall back on newspaper work." Haskins is assigned the animal husbandry beat, which comprises cows, sheep, and over two hundred horses. Unfortunately, he is … Continue reading Sores on the tops of the horses

Day 30: The Kiss

  I was twenty-eight, living in a small town in Texas with my parents, teaching English, and working toward admission to the Guinness Book as The 20th Century’s Least Socially Active Female, when a former neighbor dropped by to ask a favor: Her co-worker was worried that his son—a nice but shy young man—would take … Continue reading Day 30: The Kiss