13 things to do with an unwanted gift

After the holidays, we’re all faced with a huge problem. What to do with the unwanted gift?
Here are some solutions:

1) The hand-knit sweater. The sleeves are unequal length, the color a sort of ‘vomitus green’, and the buttons came from the 70’s, and haven’t aged well at all. It’s 100% pure wool. It feels like 100% steel wool. You grit your teeth and smile. “Thank you SO much,” you say.
What keeps your smile in place is the knowledge that wool is the best material for buffing wood wax. Woolen sweaters can buff floor wax to a mirror-bright shine. Continue reading

Auguste helps the homeless

We have a few homeless people in our town who sit in front of the post office or bakery. I usually ask them if they would mind holding my dog’s leash while I post letters or buy bread, then pay them for dog-sitting. Once, I left my dog with a man outside the store and came back to find a huge bag of dogfood had been given to his “minder” by a woman concerned about the dog. I gave the man his fee, plus full price for the bag of dog food as thanks. He thought it was hilarious. I did too, actually. My dog is a purebred dachshund with a really posh collar, and the man had explained the dog wasn’t his – but the woman had gone back into the store to buy the dog food for him since she was worried about the “homeless dog”. What galled the man was that she’d not given him anything!


Suction, NOT (update)

We needed something in the shower to hold shampoo bottles and soap – they kept falling off the edge and I even put a spice rack on the edge of the tub, which didn’t work well because it kept rusting. So, deciding that a corner caddy would be best but not wanting to drill holes in the wall, we went for a

PowerlockSUCTION Rust Proof Stainless Steel Shower Caddy, 2-Tier Corner Shelf

Continue reading

Kennel cough cough

Poor Auguste has a cold. He has sniffles, and coughs. It started Monday evening, when he kept us up all night with a hoarse, choking cough. The next day, I made chicken broth, which he loved, and Julia gave him some honey. He was still pretty sick, and looked like he had aches and pains. He also sneezed a lot. So on Thursday, after three days of treating him to warm cuddly blankets next to the radiator, lots of chicken soup and doggy biscuits dipped in honey, we took him to the vet, who said he had the dreaded kennel cough doggy flu, and gave him a shot, a week’s worth of cough syrup, antibiotics, as well as some anti inflammatory pills for his sore throat. Continue reading


Announcement! – you can now order the first book in the Time for Alexander series to be published by Accent Press! It’s fun, it’s adventure, it’s romance, it’s a modern woman stuck in 300BC without her cell phone or decent shampoo – but with the greatest hero who ever lived, Alexander.
UK, US, FR…available for preorder on all Amazon sites!
The Road to Alexander (The Time For Alexander Series Book 1) (English Edition) par [Macaire, Jennifer]

The Siren

Happy New Year 2017! May it bring peace, joy, and good health to all!

I posted a new short story ‘The Siren‘ in the short story section – it’s one I’ve been working on , on and off, for ages. I’d like to make it into a novel, using the detective and his ghostly side kick. Mostly though, it’s just for fun.


The Warpath

OK, I’m on the warpath – who wants to join me?

“Since Breitbart staffer and online troll Milo Yiannopoulos got banned from Twitter after inciting a massive wave of harassment against actress Leslie Jones, he’s been on a college tour — including a stop at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, where he openly mocked a transgender student. He also, apparently, has been finalizing a book deal: According to The Hollywood Reporter, Yiannopoulos has received a $250,000 deal from Threshold Editions, an imprint at Simon & Schuster. “ (NY mag, December 2016)

Dear Ms Burke,
I read that According to The Hollywood Reporter, Milo Yiannopoulos has received a $250,000 deal from Threshold Editions, an imprint at Simon & Schuster.

What is wrong with you? We tell our kids, “be a good person, be honest, work hard, and you’ll get ahead” – and this dickhead scumbag gets a quarter million advance? By writing insults and hatred?  I am boycotting Simon & Schuster. Free speech – fine, but being free to boycott and not buy shit is better. Sure, it won’t make a difference. Maybe I buy one book per week, sometimes from S&S, but never more. I am tired of this soulless, money-grabbing mentality that rewards evil (as an atheist, I never thought I’d use that word in a sentence). You could have offered him nothing. A pittance of an advance. But no. You had to go and make  mockery of all authors’ hard work, dedication, imagination and integrity. In fact, your imprint has spit on anyone who thinks that being a good person is its own reward. You have made it clear that the robber barons and charlatans, the talentless and the garbage strewers are the only ones being rewarded now.

I am sad for my children. Sad for the place this world has become. I will not give in though. I will not sit down and shut up. I am boycotting Simon & Schuster, and I am shouting it from the rooftops.

If you want to write to Simon and Schuster to tell them that they are beyond the pale for offering a quarter million in advance to this scumbag, here is the email: Louise.Burke@simonandschuster.com

The book

It all started with a gift. My husband’s aunt offered a book to my son, the policeman, with a handwritten card stuck inside. In trembly writing (she’s very elderly) she wrote that she hoped the book would be read and that it was, in her opinion, a very important work of literature that showed the impending doom of our civilization. Well, I love science fiction and apocalyptic fiction, so I grabbed it and started to read the back cover. Books are one of my favorite things, along with wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings*…and you’ll see why that song popped into my head at that moment. Continue reading

Dear Santa,

Dear Santa,

Despite what you may have heard, I’ve been pretty good this year. It’s true I tend to rant a lot, especially on Facebook, and especially since the Donald was elected president of the US by a minority vote, but who’s counting? I have started telling everyone I’m from the Caribbean when they ask – I no longer say “America”, when I do, people look sympathetic, as if I’m suddenly seated in a wheelchair or I’ve just announced I have leprosy. When Bush was president, I admit things were bad – he was like a toddler with a rocket launcher. But this is worse. The Donald is a crazed toddler with the Nuclear button at his fingertips. I don’t pray very often, but lately I’ve been praying a lot. “Dear God, I’ve never asked for a lightning bolt before, but….”  Continue reading