Friday, January 29, 2010


I went to bed thinking about my blog.
Today I was going to post about starting to write a synopsis.
Somewhere between thinking about signing up for an on-line course offered on the Story Sensei blog by Camy Tang and obsessing that I have to write a synopsis, I fell asleep.
And then . . .
3:00 AM.
(Isn’t that the witching hour?)
I woke up with a start. . .
Hearing a woman scream!
Normally I can always fall right back to sleep . . .
But the woman’s scream disturbed me.
Was it real?
Or did I just dream it?
Then I heard her scream again.
Her short yelp tore through the still blackness beyond my window.
I was wide awake now.
Who was she?
Where was she?
Was she outside?
I couldn’t tell.
On this clear, brisk and frigid night . . .
With the moon almost full .  .
Perhaps the wind carried her scream from blocks away.
Or maybe she was inside one of the apartments here in the complex.
What made her scream?
Who made her scream?
I waited to see if I would hear her again . . .
Or would I hear sirens?
Tossing and turning in my bed.
I finally dozed off . . .
Only to wake up . . .
My right calf felt like Jaws was biting it!
And my left foot was arching unnaturally downward looking like a goat hoof!
I jumped out of bed, walked around, and thankfully the cramping stopped.
I was OK.
And then I thought of the woman.
Would I hear about a homicide on the morning news?
A rape?
Or would she become one of the many abused women whose screams stifle with the rising sun?
Where is she this morning?
What is she doing?
I always like my blogs to be lighthearted.
But truthfully?
I can’t get this woman off my mind.
And being that I always write what’s on my mind . . .
She is what I’m writing about this morning . . .
She . . . 
Whoever you are . . .
I hope you are OK.

Always, Em-Musing

Thursday, January 28, 2010


OK . . .
I wasn’t going to mention this at all . . .
Because it sounds crazy . . .
But I think there are electronic imps in my office.
Because every time I want to print something important . . .
(Not that all the dozens of copies of various versions of my query letter aren’t important)
But print something that I actually have to mail or bring 
with me somewhere . . .
My printer goes into crazy mode!  
Like when I needed to send something for a submission to a literary contest a month ago.
Of course I waited till the last possible day.
And of course, my printer jammed up . . .
And then printed strange patterns on my paper.
And then again yesterday, all I wanted to do was print a marketing plan that I had developed for a friend.
All I needed to do was print and I was ready to go out the door.
I hit print.
I hit it again.
Again nothing.
I checked all plugs and connections.
Everything was plugged and connected.
I turned the printer off than on again.
Then I went go into the "control panel" of my laptop . . .
Found where my printer was located . . .  
Look at the properties . . .
And notice that the printer was “offline.”
Who turned it offline? The electronic imp? Because it wasn’t me.
See what I mean? 
After several attempts, I get it “online” again.
And hit print.
I hit it again.
Still nothing.
I go back into the control panel and look around.
OK! There’s the problem. I have 5 documents in queue.
No problem, I’ll just cancel all the documents that were waiting to be printed.
And they cancelled.
All except one. It wouldn’t un-queue.
It hit “delete” at least twenty times . . .
Three different ways!
Now I’m late for my appointment.
So I leave, sans marketing plan.
(Of course I could have copied the marketing plan and emailed it my friend, but I was so frazzled I hadn't thought of it.
Several hours later, I’m back.
Damn it!
The document was still deleting? Really?
So I tried “control, alt, deleting” it.”
OK, I’ll restart the computer.
Fine then! I’ll just turn the damn computer off.
Damn it! My laptop was locked-up!
Finally, 8:30 P.M. I talked with my daughter who told me to take out the battery.
I did, though I’m always a chicken when it comes to monkeying around with the back of my laptop.
And then this morning . . .
I hit on, the laptop booted up . . .
I’m back on!
I have no idea where the electronic imp went during the night . . .
But I’m glad it’s gone and  . . .
Well . . .
I haven’t hit print yet to see if . . .
Wait . . .
I think . . .
My latest version of my query is printing!
Now all I have to do is . . .
Put an agent's name on it and . . .
Send it!

Always, Em-Musing

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Funny how things evolve.
Like words.
I was watching Oprah yesterday. Denise Richards was on; Charlie Sheen’s ex.
She was talking about their intense marriage and something she said struck me.
She said, "Fur."
And she wasn't talking about animal hair.
She was saying the word “for.”
Except she pronounced it as “fur.”
And I’ve been hearing “for” mispronounced for years.
I used to think if was just a Midwest language thing.
I’m originally from New York.
When I trained to be a voiceover talent many years ago  . . .
I had to learn to drop my New York accent . . .
(actually, I thought it was Midwesterners who had the accent)
And learn to sound generic.
Specifically, I had to train to pronounce my “r’s.”
New Yorkers (and some other eastern states) drop the “r” from the end of words.
So instead of saying car . . .
We say “caw.”
People from Boston would say “cah.”
But in the Midwest, the “r” is accentuated.
So instead of saying car . . .
They say carrrr.
So, I’m very keen on hearing how words are pronounced.
And “for” is being  mispronounced all over the country.
Even by newscasters like Katie Couric.
And actors and actresses.
I even think I heard Meryl Streep mispronounce it.
And what I find it funny is that “four” and "fore" are never mispronounced.
We don’t go, one, two, three, fur.
We say, one, two, three, four.
Or if there’s a golf ball flying in the air aiming for your head  . . .
Golfers don’t shout, “FUR!”
No, their mouths go the distance and say “FORE!”
And we don’t say befur. We say before.
Or we don’t say “furtune.” We say “fortune.”
See what I mean?
When did this mispronunciation start evolving?
And why?
Lazy lips?
And why am I making a bid deal out of this?
Not sure.
Well, actually . . .
I believe I can blame my mother for this one.
She used to say this phrase to me a lot when I was a kid . . .
And she used to move her mouth and lips slowly while she said . . . 
“Enunciate c l e a r l y.”
(Actually, now that I think about it, she dropped her "r" and said, "Clee-ah-ly.) 
Anyway . . .
From this blog furward . . .
Look fur
How you and other people . . . 
Say the word “for.”
And fur now,

Always, Em-Musing

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Oh, the pressure’s on!
Oprah will not be doing her show after 9-9-11!
And according to the Mayans and Nostradamus  . . .
The world will end . . .
In 2012!
So . . .
I HAVE to get my books published by then otherwise there’ll be no Oprah or her book club to promote it.
And worse . . .
There won’t be any people to read it.
And worse yet . . .
When I have to reckon and account for my life I can see me standing before the judgment seat.
“Em, you were a good wife and mother, but did you use all the talents you were given?  
“Yes! I wrote. Several books!”
“Wrote yes, but you never got published, did you?”
“But the world ended before I could . . .
“So, you missed the deadline?”
“Uh, yeah, but . . .
“You had ample time though, didn’t you?”
“Yes, but . . .
“You did hear the predictions years before the end came, didn’t you?”
“Well, yes, but . . .
“Oh? Is there someone else you want to blame for not getting published?”
“Well, no but . . .
“And you had all the tools?”
“You had a computer.”
“Yes but . . .
“And the Internet for research.”
“Yes but . . .
“Just think of all the authors decades ago who didn’t have all of these tools.”
“Yeah but . . .
“And still they pursued and got published.”
“Yes but. . .
“I think you know you had every opportunity to get published and yet you squandered your time.”
“Did you have to take every phone call while you were writing?”
“Well, no but . . .
“And playing Spider Solitaire? Did that further your writing career along?”
“No, but . . .
“And all that research on creams for your face. Did that help?”
“No, but . . .
“I could go on and on, but I hope you’re getting my point.”
“Yes. I get it. What will my punishment be?”
“Oh, I think you already know.”
“I do?”
“You will now have all of eternity to look back and see just how much time you wasted.”
“Are there no second chances?”
“Well, if you push it, I mean work really hard, Oprah is having another show that starts in January 2011.”
“But I thought the Mayan calendar . . .
"The Mayan calendar ends in 2012, not the world. The Mayans wrote about the world 400 million years from now."
"And Nostradamus' predictions?"
"Vague at best."
"So the world really hasn't come to an end?”
“Em, snap out of it! This is your blog talking.”
“Oh, ha ha, I uh . . .
“Wasting more time are you?”
“Uh, no, I uh . . .

Always, Em-Musing

Monday, January 25, 2010


“Some people are so rude!” I said, passing a young couple who obviously boarded the plane earlier than their row had been announced causing a jam-up in the aisle.
As I made my way to my seat in the back of the plane, I continued ranting to my friend,“Why can’t people just wait their turn?” 
She just shrugged her shoulders.
My friend and I were heading to San Francisco to do a trade show at the Moscone Center.
“And what idiot left this here?” I said kicking a small bag on the floor that was blocking my seat.
“Uh, that’s mine,” the flight attendant answered.
“Oh, sorry,” I said feeling a bit embarrassed.
Struggling now to find room in the overhead compartment for my coat, I continued, “There should be a dumbo section on the plane,” I mean, what kind of  dummy doesn’t know to put the wheels in first?”
My friend looked up at me.
“I mean, how many times does a dummy have to do this to learn?” I continued, shoving someone’s carry-on luggage aside.
Just then a man stood up in the seat in front of mine.
“I tried to get it to go in wheels first,” he said, “but it wouldn’t go in. Guess I’m a dummy.”
I smiled sheepishly then plopped down in my seat wishing I were invisible.
My friend now glared at me.
“That guy heard me,” I said to my friend. 
“Are you kidding? I think the whole plane heard you.”
As I buckled my seat belt thinking about the whole plane hearing me, another flight attendant came to the rear of the plane where I was sitting.
And where the other flight attendant was who I had just been rude to was standing.
“It’s so sad about that young couple up front,” she said. “They’re taking their two-month-old baby girl to get an operation. Poor little thing. She's already had two operations.”
Suddenly I realized that the couple she was referring to was the couple that I had bitched to a few minutes earlier.
Of course they were on the plane before anyone else . . .
Because people traveling with children always board first.
I settled back in my seat feeling awful about my big mouth.
My comments were neither warranted or appreciated. No one cared what I thought or had to say. And that’s when I realized . . .
My thoughts are  . . .
Just like a  . . .
Well, if I say the word . . .
It will probably be just as offensive to some people as my words on the plane were.
So, I’m going to Google this word and come up with a softer sounding one that’s not so offensive to the ears.
OK . . .
Here’s goes . . .  
Just because someone brews a fluffer-doodle and it’d feel better to get it out . . .
NO ONE appreciates it when they’re within smelling range of a fluffer-doodle.
And the same goes with my sarcastic quips.
Just because I have one brewing in my head . . .
And it’d feel SO MUCH BETTER to rant it out loud . . .
No one appreciates it when they’re in hearing range.
Especially when it’s them I’m ranting about
So, I decided on my flight back to Toledo . . .
I’m going to take my foot out of my mouth . . .
And along with my heart . . .
Leave them both in San Francisco.

Always, Em-Musing

Saturday, January 16, 2010


It’s why you need a traveling companion . . .
And should never travel alone.
It’s why you must always check yourself in the mirror.
And it’s why I will never be that cool person I sometimes think I am.
Last week . . .
In the Detroit airport  . . .
The boarding for my flight to Miami had just begun but . . .
I had to pee . . .
Raced to the lady’s room . . .
Came back and took my place among the crowd waiting to board.
I felt good.
Great actually.
Because I was wearing my new top.
Shades of blue, turquoise and green.
It made me feel cool . . .
And dare I say, a bit sexy.
“Uh, ma’am,” a man said as he tapped me on the shoulder.
I spun around wondering what he could possible want.
“Uh, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but you have toilet paper sticking out of your pants.
My face flushed crimson with humiliation.
Yanking the toilet paper out (Thank GOD there was nothing on it) . . .
I slinked over to the trash container ranting in my head . . .
Toilet paper sticking out of my pants?
I’m nothing but a cliché!
And a yucky cliché at that.
I skulked back to my “spot” in the crowd waiting to hear my "zone" being announced to board, trying not to see if anyone was sniggering at me.
Finally, my zone was called and I boarded.
I walked down the aisle to row 26 with my head down a bit.
Was it my imagination?
Were all the people staring at me?
Did they recognize me at the “Toilet Paper Lady?”
Or were they now noticing my beautiful new top?
A few men even grinned.
Feeling cool in my new top again, I smiled back.
As I sat down and buckled my seat belt, the vision of me with toilet paper sticking out of my waistband was fading fast.
Just then, I had an incessant itch on my nose.
I felt a booger!
Poking out of my nose!
I jammed my hand in my purse a retrieved a tissue and . . .
A big, BLOODY booger!
(Because my apartment is so dry, I had a slight nosebleed during the night)
OK, universe . . .
I get it now!
Never, never, NEVER  . . .
Am I to walk around on this earth . . .
Thinking I’m cool

Always, Em-Musing 

Friday, January 15, 2010


I was bending over putting clothes in my dryer yesterday when . . .
I was terrified that it was . . .
My sciatica!
But whatever popped . . .
Had popped whatever vertebrae had been out of place causing my neck to hurt for the last few days.
Not long after, I turned in my office chair to grab the phone and  . . .
Oh no!
No wait  . . .
The vertebrae in the middle of my back that just popped back in place was the one that had been making my upper inner thigh hurt when I walked.
How that vertebrae popped by just turning in my chair, I have no idea.
But I’m damn grateful.
And how a vertebrae can effect my leg I have no idea either.
And just a few hours ago in bed . . .
I turned over and  . . .
Yet another vertebrae.
And this one is for my sciatica
Not that it was out of place  . . .
But for the last few years it’s been on the verge.
Thankfully, this vertebrae is holding its own for now.
And then a few minutes ago, when I was doing my yoga back stretches in the shower, the ditty, “This Little Piggy” that I had told my year-old grandson last week popped in my head.
And so did this one . . .
This little vertebrae pops my neck . . .
And this little vertebrae pops my leg back  . . .
This little vertebrae pops my hip in place . . .
And this little vertebrae pops my sciatica . 
And this little vertebrae  . . .
Dear God!
Hopefully won't need a chiropractor!
Thank heavens for glucosamine, Omega 3's, yoga stretches, MSM, and laughter.
Always, Em-Musing

Thursday, January 14, 2010


OK . . .
Who’s the wise guy designer that designs plastic packaging that encases products so that in order to get to the product you have to use a knife, scissors, or a hammer?
NOTE:  Teeth are not to be used as tools.
All I wanted to do was open the package to my Olay Regenerist eye cream.
Why was it so hard to do this?
The white tube was—almost suspended—inside a mostly clear plastic package making it look like it was in a kind of make-up shrine.
Very appealing.
And impossible to get to with just my fingers.
I needed a tool.
Hmm? Maybe my manicure scissors will . .
Damn it!
Now they’re bent!
Traipsing into my office, I grabbed the bigger scissors and  . . .
Damn it!
These scissors could only cut so far into the plastic.
Which wasn’t far enough to get to the tube of eye cream.
I needed another tool.
Trudging back into my office, I grabbed  my X-Acto knife and . .
Not only did the X-Acto blade pierce the plastic outer package  . . .
And the inner eye cream tube . . .
But my finger!
And damn it!
I can’t remember when I had my last tetanus shot.
Can I get lock jaw from my X-Acto?
I don’t know.
I’m afraid to take a chance.
Now I’ll have to call my doctor
And so I asked the universe one more time . . .
Does everything have to be so difficult?

Always, Em-Musing

Friday, January 8, 2010


Ever since I turned sixty . . .
It hurts to even write that . . .
I’ve been obsessed with a stupid song playing in my head.
Actually, it’s not a song . . .
It’s a yodel.
I really don’t know  . . .
Are there yodel songs?
Or is yodeling just yodeling?
I can’t say I know of any yodel songs . . .
I just know what sound I use to make as a kid.
So of course I had to Google it.
Well, I have now heard on YouTube  . . .
A Korean yodel . . .
A 92-year-old woman yodel . . .
A 7-year-old girl yodel  on America’s Got Talent. . .
Jewel yodel . . .
Someone named Bonnie who teaches yodeling.
And a few more.
Seems there always the same refrain of
Yo de lei he,  Yo de lei he, Yo de lei he hoo.
And please feel free to correct my spelling . . .
There were many versions, believe me.
Anyway . . .
As I said, . . .
Since my birthday several months ago . . .
All I keep hearing is my own yodel version of . . .
Old lady, Old lady, Old lady who?
Please stop the music!

Always, Em-Musing

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Don’t sweat the small stuff.
I hear that a lot.
Well, you know what?
It’s always the small stuff that makes me crazy!
Like these small plastic bottles I recently bought for an upcoming trip.
I bought them only because of idiot terrorists . . .
Because of them, I, like the rest of the airplane traveling population, am now forced to carry all creams and liquids in a one quart baggie.
That is, if you want to carry your creams and liquids in your “carry-on” luggage.
And I usually do.
Unfortunately for me, all my cream jars are too large to fit into a one-quart baggie.
And so I need to transfer my creams to smaller jars.
I don't know why, but the bottles I just bought, although cheap, were bright pink, green, and blue, and made me happy to look at them.
And so, with one of the plastic bottles on the bathroom sink, I was ready to start transferring my facial creams.
But something bothered me . . .
A label was covering more than half of the bottle.
And I didn’t like looking at the cheap looking label on the bottle.
Note: cheap plastic bottle—OK. Cheap label on plastic bottle—NOT OK.
And so I peeled it off.
Or rather—I tried to peel it off.
What the heck kind of glue did the manufacturer use?
Super glue is never that effective.
Anyway, after the paper part of the label came off . . .
What was left was sticky, goo.
My pretty little bottle was pretty no more.
Fine then!
I’ll just take off the goo with nail polish remover.
Damn it!
Wasn’t gonna happen!
OK, I’ll try alcohol.
Now there was smeared cloudy sticky goo all over the cheap bottle.
Damn it!
Not willing to be outsmarted by a cheap plastic bottle label, I filled the bathroom sink with hot soapy water and soaked the jar.
A half hour later . . .
For heaven’s sake!
The stupid goo still was there.
As a last resort, I grabbed the plastic bottle, aimed my thumbnail to scrape the smeared, sticky cloudy goo off  when . . .
Broke my fingernail!
Totally frazzled, I looked at the clock and realized . . .
I had just spent more time trying to get a stupid, cheap label off a stupid cheap plastic bottle than the time it would take for me to . . .
Check my luggage before my flight  . . .
Traipse down to baggage claim after my flight and . . .
Claim my luggage.
I just won’t take any carry-on luggage on this trip!
But don’t think you won, you cheap little plastic bottle!
Because you're going on a trip too . . .
To the garbage!

Always, Em-Musing

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


My blog today wasn’t going to be about Stephen King.
But how many people meet Stephen King and get to talk with him about their writing?
Well, I did!
Just last night!
In my dreams.
OK, OK don't get annoyed . . .
But I really did dream of him last night and . . .
Dreamed of him all night long .
Or so it seemed . . .
Because my cat . . .
Who sleeps by my head . . .
Was restless and kept waking me up.
But I’d fall back asleep and continue dreaming about Stephen.
And the dream was so vivid.
I was at his house somewhere in the Cleveland area.
I know, he doesn’t live in Cleveland . . .
But in my dream he did.
And then to get to his office . . .
We had to climb a ladder to the second floor.
Once in his office, we sat across from each other and talked.
It was mainly about how he still loves to write every day.
And then he was questioning me on my writing . . .
Do I love to write? Do I write everyday? Why aren’t I published yet?
Finally, his wife and daughter came home.
And that ended our visit and I left with his promise that he’d visit my writer group . . .
Oh, wait a minute . . .
I'm getting it now  . . .
Just yesterday I forwarded an email from Guide to Literary Agents to the MVRWA loop (my writer group) about literary agent who is available to come to writer groups to speak.
Anyway . . .
Just the other day I was in the Meijer grocery store looking for a paperback to read on my plane trip to Florida and noticed several Stephen King novels.
They were huge . . .
In comparison to Dean Koontz’s “purse-size” novels.
And so I bought Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz.
And then I noticed The Bone Garden by Tess Gerritsen . . .
And bought that too.
I figured one book going to Florida, and the other on the flight back.
And so the reason why I’m posting about my dream to Stephen King is?
I have no idea!
Other than to share that it was exciting meeting him . . .
(he was much better looking in my dream)
(Gee, I hope he never reads this blog)
And that I woke up psyched to write!
And psyched to pursue getting published.
And still impressed with how prolific Stephen King is.
One of the best books on writing (to me) is Stephen’s memoir, On Writing.
In fact, I just now got the book off of my bookshelf . . .
Randomly opened it and . . .
This is what I came upon . . .
And I had Hi-lited it in pink years ago . . .
Book-buyers aren’t attracted, by and large, by the literary merits of a novel; book-buyers want a good story to take with them on the airplane, something that will first fascinate them, then pull them in and keep them turning the pages."
Did I channel Stephen King in my dreams last night?
Perhaps so!
I’m leafing through his book right now and . . .
Many paragraphs are Hi-lited in pink.
You know what?
I think it’s time I re-read Stephen’s book.
Obviously the guy has a lot to say . . .
To me . . .
Even when I’m awake.

Always, Em-Musing