Author Archives: Susan Kaye

About Susan Kaye

Writer who avoids writing and a foodie who dislikes cooking.

Val_banner_JSI_Blog

 

Writers write to explore the world. Most of the time, those stories include love. All sorts of love.

We want to wish our readers a happy Valentine’s Day. Whether the love of your life is romantic or not, treasure it while you can.

Barbara, Gayle, Laura, Pamela, Robin, and Susan 

Advertisements

Takin’ a Break From Love

I first published this in October of 2011. Wow, how time does fly. And things do change.

The relentless romance of Valentine’s Day has me a little weary today so I thought I’d bring back this wonderful photograph.

I call her Joy. I call the camel Fred.

matchless joy

Look at those precious little fingers!!

Photo credit: sueswink.tumblr.com

Give a Lady a Break

 

I prefer showers, but evidently today is Read-in-the-Bathtub Day. (Sheesh) In honor of the day, Laura Hile is offering her book, Marrying Well for Fun and Profit for FREE. This book is all the wit and wisdom of Sir Walter Elliot collated one handy reference guide. If you’ve ever hesitated when confronted with a challenging social, ethical, or moral dilemma, let Sir Walter help you out!

 

Now, you can download this book for free today–links in the post and graphic–but I would adjure you to wait until Sunday when it goes back up to the budget blistering price of $.99. Why would I encourage you to spend when you can save? Because, I’m a nag. I am also passionate that a writer’s time is worth something. Even the paltry amount that a 99 cent books brings in.

I’m betting that in the last week you have blown a buck on something caffeinated, fizzy, sugary  or savory. You’ve lost more pocket change than that recently.

The point is, laughter is a great medicine and you can get this without having that walloping co-pay to worry over.

Pry open your coin purse, let the moths fly free, and spend some money so Laura Hile, can make a living and keep writing YOU great stories.

</NAG MODE>

Prezzies on the BIG Day

Next Wednesday is Valentine’s Day and I’m sure, like me, you’re being inundated with ads for gifts to give your beloved.

If you believe the day is being prostituted by the flower and card cabal, I’m sure you do your best to ignore it all. I think it’s funny that we’ve taken a day dedicated to a saint, who died a gruesome death, and made it over as a day for lovers.

We won’t even talk about the massacre that took place in Chicago in 1929.

Leading up to the big day I thought it would be interesting to take a quiz.

You can view the poll results by clicking on the link right above.

And what do I want? I’m big on kitchen gadgets and lunch at my favorite Mexican restaurant, Lupe’s Escape.

Well, I’ll be

DIME

Thank you, Matthias Shapiro, displayed under CC license,

This weekend the grandkids were with us. Actually they came over on Thursday and left about two on Sunday afternoon. If I had a dime for every, “No-o-o-o-o,” or “M-i-i-i-n-n-n-e,” that came from our two-year-old grandson, and the accompanying “Sto-o-o-p it” from his eight-year-old sister, I’d now be on a sandy beach with a cold drink in my hand. (No umbrellas, I don’t care for sticks in my drinks.)

 

VERAThe Super Bowl was played this past Sunday. Again I didn’t watch. And, again, by Tuesday I don’t remember who won. My biggest upset on Sunday was not having a new episode of “Vera,” (a cop show, nothing to do with Wang or Bradley),  to watch on Brit Box. This is why we stream at our house. When networks are so callas as to preempt shows, I can get my fix by watching old episodes while waiting for the new.

If you’ve never seen Vera, it’s typical cop-with-probs show. But, for a writer, it’s a great lesson in character evolution. In the first season, Vera is pretty terrible with people. Murderers, muggers, and victims are all treated the same. Children are anathema. We are now in series eight and Vera has grown! She is now able to put her hand on a weeping victim’s shoulder without gagging. The gesture is awkward as hell, but I suppose when your mother dies when you’re young and your widower father is a sullen poacher/taxidermist, who lives at the crossroads of No and Where, there is little need for deportment.

If you have access to Hulu you can see the first three seasons.  Acorn TV (streaming) has seasons 1-7, and Brit Box (streaming) is the only place to get season eight.

And so, I wait.

 

 

 

A Little Contagion for Christmas

If you’ve read the stories in A Very Austen Christmas anthology (and if you haven’t, why NOT?) an accidental theme in three of them was illness and its ability to bring people together. Not to be outdone, I present to you a story I wrote years ago with the same theme: The Little Particulars of the Circumstance

In the course of the original Persuasion, Frederick Wentworth goes to Uppercross Cottage looking for Louisa and Henrietta.  Instead, he finds himself alone with Anne Elliot. He then rescues her from the naughty antics of little Walter. In this version, the apothecary, Mr Robinson, has come to check on the injured little Charles and in a twist of the story, declares a quarantine! When Anne and Frederick are forced to stay alone together in one room, with a sick child to care for, will they overcome their pride and anger? This story combines a little bit of “Outbreak!” with a lot of “It Happened One Night.” Happy ending included at no charge.

 

One morning, very soon after the dinner at the Musgroves, at which Anne had not been present, Captain Wentworth walked into the drawing room at the Cottage, where were herself, Mr Robinson the apothecary, and the little invalid, Charles, who was lying on the sofa.

The surprise of finding himself almost alone with Anne Elliot deprived of his manners of the usual composure: he started, and could only say, “I beg your pardon. I thought the Miss Musgroves had been here—Mrs Musgrove told me I could find them here,” before he walked to the window to recollect himself and feel how he ought to behave.

“They are upstairs with my sister—they will be down in a few moments, I dare say.”

He continued at the window; and after calmly and politely saying, “I hope the little boy is better,” was silent.

Anne turned back to Mr Robinson, the apothecary, who had come to check on the young patient.

The man glanced towards Captain Wentworth. “As I was saying before the interruption, the boy’s spine is undamaged and he is doing well enough in his recovery. I am heartened that my instructions have been carried out with such scrupulous attention.” He removed his glasses and put them in his breast pocket. “It is not always the case when I make recommendations here.”

Anne suspected her sister’s delicate health made it necessary for Mr Robinson to make rather a lot of calls to the Cottage, but she doubted Mary did more than enjoy the notice, with no intentions of following his orders. Mr Robinson once again looked over his little patient. He frowned and pulled up the boy’s shirt. “How long did you say this rash had been evident?”

She came closer. “As I said before, I saw it last evening. It is more acute this morning. I think it may be—”

Robinson grunted and sighed heavily. He put on his glasses and began to carelessly prod and turn the boy this way and that. Anne was appalled that he wholly disregarded Charles’s sharp cries. He touched a place or two, and then looked over the tops of the spectacles. “You say it is more intense?” Anne nodded. “Was this rash on him the other day?”

“No. I am not sure when it appeared, but I saw it yesterday evening, around seven.”

He opened a small notebook and flipped through a few pages. He sighed again. “There is a pocket of fever in Crewkherne. It became evident just a week or so ago. There is fear it is smallpox.”

“The place looked positively asleep when I came through.” Wentworth glanced towards the others.

Robinson turned and looked over his glasses at the Captain. “Come through Crewkherne did you? When did you arrive?”
Continue reading

It Could Get Cra-zy Up There

One of my favorite website is COLOSSAL. It’s about art, design, and just a lot of interesting stuff. I ran across something that should be of interest to many of us aging book types:

stairs-1

In Japan the houses are small, and the country being prone to earthquakes makes this slanted, climbable bookcase the center of the home. Even in a good shake, the books stay put.

I see problems.

I’m going to be 60 this year and I really don’t want to climb to the top of the bookcase to fetch my favorite copy of Little Women my husband gave me decades ago. My question would be, is Louisa May worth the risk of a broken hip? Put it on a lower shelf you say. That’s a great idea, but if you buy enough books, eventually, you’ll have to get off the ground.

Have someone else do it. Good, good. The problem is that someone else would wind up being a grandchild. Those of you who have had a climber know that this is a bad, bad example to set for them. We have a grandson who could go either way at this point so I know I don’t want to try and explain to him how shinnying up the bookcase to get Grandma’s pretty blue book is different from shinnying up there and swinging from shelf to shelf like a monkey. Or better yet, playing tag on the shelves with a like-minded friend.

Here’s another picture of the house with this bookcase:

stairs-6

The bookcase is not the only recreational feature of this house. I am guessing the lower room is the kitchen and the seating upstairs is for contemplation and work-from-home space. All I see is Olympic-level pancake flipping from the lower to the upper level. Or, shaking the soda bottle hard enough to see if you can hit a glass on the upper counter.

I’m sure there are a thousand and one more activities that could be devised with this configuration.

Maybe my family is out of whack, but I only see built-in challenges to kids and teens, and lots of visits to the emergency room with these features.

In reality, this is an interesting take on how architecture can evolve to meet challenges of the environment. Read about it HERE.