Casey Come Home

Casey goes to Italy to escape her grief, but she meets soccer star Alessandro…

Casey goes to Italy to try to forget her husband’s tragic death. She doesn’t mean to fall in love, but then she meets Alessandro, a fabulously wealthy and charming Italian soccer sensation, and sparks fly. However, Alessandro’s fans are against her, and life with a celebrity suddenly turns into a nightmare. Worse still, photographers stalk them during even their most intimate moments. Alessandro is vibrant, intellectual, and desperately sexy. When they’re together, everything is perfect, but Casey wants a quiet life. Alessandro is a star and his fans are many…and vocal. Will these two different people be able to save a romance that they both need but never thought they would find?

What can I saw about this book? That it’s one of my all time favorite romances – one of the first books I poured my heart into. I love this story on so many levels – it is tender, yet passionate. It brings two very different people together – they have nothing in common, and that is a recurring theme in my stories. In “A Polo Passion”, the difference is less marked – both protagonists are young, inexperienced in love, and although from different backgrounds, Juan and Rennie are basically the same – and they find each other like magnets. With “Casey Come Home”,  Casey and Alessandro come from worlds apart. They are older, have had more experience (and heartbreak) in love, and the people around them conspire to keep them apart. They find out who their real friends are, and where their real lives should be. They are not “fortune’s fools”, as Shakespeare would have it – no, these characters fall in love, but keep their heads and their hearts. Only when it’s clear they they cannot possibly live without each other, do they find a way to be together. Alessandro is one of the most endearing hero I ever created – read this story, and let me know what you think!


“I’m not letting you go,” said Alessandro leaning forward. “I won’t.”

Casey looked at him. Her heart seemed to be thumping so hard her chest shook with each beat. “I don’t want you to,” she said. A prickle ran up and down her arms. A breeze could pick her up and carry her away. For the first time since David had died, there was a spark of warmth in her heart. She wanted to laugh aloud, or weep. She wasn’t sure which, but it was a feeling of being alive and she reveled in it.

“Your cheeks are glowing,” he told her.

“It’s because of you,” she said. “I think…” She blushed even harder.

“Yes?” His grin was infectious and Casey found herself grinning too.

“I think I like you, Alessandro Sottini, and I’m glad you decided to give me a second chance for the interview.”

“Oh.” His face fell. “The interview. I forgot all about that.” He looked at her, but his eyes no longer held their spark of fun. “Is that the only reason you came to dinner tonight?”

“I have to admit, it was,” said Casey. She sighed and tilted her head. “I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings. The only reason I came to dinner was to interview you. But I’m finding more reasons to stay,” she told him.

He gave her a brilliant smile. “Really?”

“Do you need to ask?” Casey peered at him. “No, don’t answer that question. I’m sorry. It’s just that you put me off balance. I didn’t expect you to be…well, as you are,” she finished with a shrug.

Alessandro stared at her with his uncanny, amber eyes. His lashes made spiky shadows on his high cheekbones. He didn’t smile. Instead he reached across the table again and took her hand. “When I touch you, I feel something I’ve never felt before,” he said almost to himself. “When I saw you, my heart nearly stopped beating. I’ve never had to beg a woman to go out with me—usually they are throwing themselves at my feet. But I was ready to beg for you.”

To buy link:

All of my sports based books at Totally Bound:

Hot Line (car racing)

Ranger’s Woman (sailing)

A Polo Passion (polo)

Caset Come Home (soccer)


Happy Halloween: Werewolves in Greek and Roman Culture

In book V, Chants to Persephone, we meet the Thief of Souls for the first time. A druid, with strange powers. Is he a werewolf? A witch? At any rate, the ancients believed that some men (and women) could transform themselves… SALE


This week we charged full speed down a lykanthropic rabbit-hole. (Well, maybe I should call it a wolf-hole or something?).   One of the many reasons we started this site (in addition to combating all the false and unattributed quotations online, bringing lesser known material to wider audiences, and entertaining ourselves) is that we wanted the impetus and opportunity to explore material only tangentially connected to our work inside and outside the classroom. More often than not, these boundaries blur–sometimes the classroom spills over here.  Other times, our ‘discoveries’ and fleeting obsessions start here and end up back in the classroom.

Did the Wolf Win or Lose this FIght?

Here are the sources I’ve gathered in rough chronological order. Most of the material is mentioned in the Oxford Classical Dictionary, although the entry says nothing about the medical texts.

  1. Herodotus’ Histories: A Description of the Neuri, a tribe near the Skythians who could turn into wolves and back.
  2. Plato’s Republic: Lycanthropy is used as a metaphor for the compulsive behavior of tyrants.
  3. Pliny the Elder’s Natural History: Pliny describes the origins of ideas about lycanthropy and blames the traditions on the credulity of the Greeks!
  4. Petronius’ Satyricon: A character tells the story of a companion transforming into a wolf at night and back at day.
  5. Pausanias’ Geography of Greece: Like Pliny, Pausanias tells the story of the human sacrifice performed by Lykaon as an origin of lycanthropic narratives.
  6. Greek Medical Treatises on the Treatment of Lycanthropy: Medical authors from the time of Marcus Aurelius to the fall of Byzantium treat lycanthropy as a mental illness.
  7. Augustine of Hippo, City of God:  St. Augustine (5th Century CE) gives an account similar to Pliny’s, but attributes it to Varro.
  8. Michael Psellus, Poemata 9.841:An 11th century CE monk wrote a book of didactic poems about medicine. His description of lycanthropy is clearly influenced by the Greek medical treatises.

What I have learned from these texts:

  1. The early Greek tradition is harmonious with some structural aspects of Greek myth.  Lycanthropy is related to sacrilegious eating–in a system where what you eat communicates who you are, human flesh is taboo (monsters eat it).  In the Greek lycanthropic tradition, this is non mono-directional. Werewolves who abstain from human flesh can turn back again.
  2. The later ‘folkloric’ tradition (e.g. Petronius) is separate from this structural logic. in the earlier tradition, men transform for 9-10 years (in something of a purificatory period). The other tradition has shorter periods (nightly) that don’t correlate with sacrilege: Petronius’ werewolf doesn’t eat human flesh (that we know of).
  3. The moon-association may be a later accretion on the tradition. All of the medical texts associate werewolves with the night; the Roman texts agree. The lunar cycle may be implied in the Petronius tale (where the transformation happens when the light is almost as bright as day) or in the later medical texts vis a vis the connection with menstrual cycles.
  4. There is one hint of a dog-bite being associated with lycanthropy, but no foundational notion that you contract lycanthropy from a werewolf.  In addition, there are no specific suggestions or methods for how to kill a werewolf.

The most fascinating thing for me is the therapeutic approach. First, the evidence provides us with an invaluable perspective on the rationalization of a superstition. The medical world reflected in these texts seems not to believe in lycanthropy as a literal transformation but instead as a psychological phenomenon. Such a response is really important on its own.

But another angle to be explored is the extent to which phenomena we recognize as psychological maladies are “psychogenic” or “sociogenic”, that is, the tendency for some psychological conditions to manifest and cluster only in certain cultural contexts–anorexia in North America, Hikikomori (shut-in syndrome) in Japan, and magical penis thieves in Nigeria. (These examples all come from a brilliant article years back in Harpers, “A Mind Dismembered“, by Frank Bures.

Far from being merely ‘academic’ in interest, an example like that of lycanthropy as a mental illness–if taken seriously–can contribute to the comparative and historical study of the culturally constitutive and regressive nature of mental health. Taking this perspective can help us put the absurdity of the medical treatises in a different perspective. While it may seem insane to us that the behavior described as lycanthropy would be treated with bloodletting and pumpkin salves, imagine the critique that early psychological treatments for homosexuality, post-partum depression vel sim might receive in just a few generations?

Bringing historical and comparative perspectives to bear on such issues can help us better conceptualize the conditions that make the most pernicious of cultural syndromes thrive. In a recent issue of the New Yorker, Malcom Gladwell addresses the issue of mass school shootings and applies–in a typical Gladwellian move–the work of a sociologist named Mark Granovetter (his threshold hypothesis) to situate these acts of violence in a larger cultural context. The basic proposal that such behavior does not require individual psychosis but may instead that cultural models and trends can lower the ‘threshold’ for non-psychotic individuals to engage in such acts may help to explain the clustering and concentration of certain aberrant behaviors in specific times and places.

I know that it is a long way from werewolves in Ancient Greece to mass shootings in Modern America–and I may be too hopped up on sugar from candy stolen from my children–but I do think that the psychology aspect of Greek medical treatises probably needs a lot more study.

(But probably not by me…)



This week we charged full speed down a lykanthropic rabbit-hole. (Well, maybe I should call it a wolf-hole or something?).   One of the many reasons we started this site (in addition to combating all the false and unattributed quotations online, bringing lesser known material to wider audiences, and entertaining ourselves) is that we wanted the impetus and opportunity to explore material only tangentially connected to our work inside and outside the classroom. More often than not, these boundaries blur–sometimes the classroom spills over here.  Other times, our ‘discoveries’ and fleeting obsessions start here and end up back in the classroom.

Did the Wolf Win or Lose this FIght? Did the Wolf Win or Lose this Fight?

Here are the sources I’ve gathered in rough chronological order. Most of the material is mentioned in the Oxford Classical Dictionary, although the entry says nothing about the medical texts.

  1. Herodotus’ Histories: A Description of the Neuri, a tribe near…

View original post 780 more words

Chants to Persephone

Chants to Persephone

by Jennifer Macaire

Alexander lives, but his soul has been stolen by the mysterious Thief of Souls, a druid with the power to change time. Now Ashley and Alexander must find Alexander’s soul and somehow get history – or rather, the future, back on track.
In book V in the Time For Alexander series, the Oracle of Amon tells Alexander he must go to the Land of Ice and Snow, so they leave their home in Alexandria and head north, to Gaul. But the Thief of Souls not only captured Alexander’s soul. He also wants Paul and the druids have raised an army to capture him. In the heart of winter, in ancient Gaul, a terrible sacrifice is made to Persephone, goddess of the Underworld – and Ashley finds herself taking part in a deadly ceremony.

 I’d brought my map with me and we looked at it every evening to see how far we’d gone. Maps, back then, were very rudimentary, so mine was like a television. Nearchus and Axiom would ask me questions for hours. The men and Paul would pore over it, tracing routes with their fingers, asking about the different mountain ranges and deserts.
Alexander frowned. ‘I could have conquered that,’ he said haughtily.
‘That would have been interesting,’ I said reflectively. ‘I’m not sure it would have changed the Europe as I knew it. The Romans are very like the Greeks in many ways, but it would have spread Persian civilization much further. I wonder …’
‘I was just wondering how that would have changed the story of Jesus.’
‘Do you mean the man who died when he was my age? Who changed the world even more than I did? And who never led a single army, nor killed a single man? That one?’
‘That’s him. He was born in a country under Roman occupation, and the Romans were less tolerant than you were about religion and things. They will try and force their gods on everyone else, and the Christians will become martyrs, thrown to the lions and all that.’
‘Ah yes, the entertainment.’ He tilted his head to the side. ‘Do the Romans invent television as well?’
‘No, you’re getting your history mixed up.’
‘It’s not history yet,’ he told me.
I made a face. ‘You’re right. What else do you want to know?’ He was so curious that once he got started on his questions, he could go on all day. ‘Why don’t you come with me in the wagon?’ I asked him.
‘All right. I want to find out more about these barbarians.’ Alexander had picked up the Greek habit of referring to anyone who didn’t speak Greek as a barbarian. It was a form of antique snobbery.
That afternoon, Alexander and Paul rode in the wagon with me, and we talked about the future. I was in charge of Paul’s future education, and Alexander took care of his reading, writing, and history. Axiom helped him with arithmetic, and Nearchus gave lessons in navigation, geography, and astronomy.
Millis loved to listen. As a slave, he’d never had any schooling. I was astounded that one of Darius’s sons could be treated so badly: enslaved, castrated, and made mute. Persians had their own terrible rules applying to their royal family. Poor Millis, his father had been one of the most powerful men in the world, but his mother had been a lowly slave. Babies of slaves were slaves, no matter what.

 Jennifer Macaire is an American living in Paris. She likes to read, eat chocolate, and plays a mean game of golf. She grew up in upstate New York, Samoa, and the Virgin Islands. She graduated from St Peter and Paul High School in St Thomas and moved to NYC where she modelled for five years for Elite. She went to France and met her husband at the polo club. All


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The Disconnect

I must have been a strange child. I was happy to be with people, happy to be alone, happy to sink or swim – it really didn’t matter. I wasn’t competitive, if someone else wanted to win, that was fine. Prizes or parties meant nothing to me. I hated loud noises; the sounds of fireworks and celebrations startled and frightened me as much as gunshots and fights. But through everything, I struggled to make sense of the world. I needed things to be organized – not in my closet, or even in the sense of neatness – I needed actions and words to match, I needed ideas and ideals to coincide. The disconnect started early.

I went to Sunday school. I don’t know how old I was – I was preparing for my first communion. We learned about Jesus, about God, and already I was confused. One of my first picture books had been about Greek myths. Where were Zeus and Hera? Where was Heaven? Was it the same as Mount Olympus? My questions were met with a patient smile.  “Greek myths,” the priest informed me, “are fake stories made up by pagans. We are studying religion, the Christian religion, which was founded by Jesus more than a thousand years ago. He believed that you should love one another, and his religion is founded on brotherly love.” 

I loved the sound of that. A whole religion founded on caring for people! I was on board. I didn’t question the priest any more until we started learning our first song. “Onward Christian Soldiers.” I suppose the tune is catchy enough, but the words confused me. Wasn’t Jesus against war? Why did Christian soldiers have to carry swords? If Jesus preached love, and God said, “thou shall not kill”, then who were these Christian soldiers going to kill?

This time, my questions were met with less patience. “There are people who will try to go against God’s teachings. They will try to turn you against God. You must arm yourself against them and be Jesus’s soldier in the war against Christianity.” I wasn’t convinced. Killing someone to make them believe in something didn’t sit well with me. I was the original “live and let live” kid. I raised my hand. “If someone wants to believe in Zeus, and tries to get me to…” I was cut off.  The priest was starting to sound exasperated. “I told you, Zeus does not exist.” 

But I had a book with all his stories in it, and I’d seen statues made of marble of him. I had a book with illustrations even – it showed a bearded man holding lightning bolts. And all I had of Jesus was a book with his stories in it, and a painted statue (not as imposing as the marble) and a folder that the priest had given us showing a man sitting under a tree with a child on his lap and a lamb lying by his side. Timidly, I raised my hand again. “How do we know God really exists?” I asked. “Can I talk to him?”

To my relief, the priest smiled broadly. “Of course you can talk to him! It’s called prayer, and the first prayer we will learn is ‘The Lord’s Prayer’. It starts off ‘Our Father, who art in heaven…'”

I caught the word ‘art’, and thought that if they did drawing and painting in heaven, it must not be a bad place. And Jesus wanted everyone to love one another, so that was nice too. But talking to God through prayer wasn’t proof for me. I asked if he would answer back, so I would know for sure he was there, and the priest finally lost all patience and pointedly ignored me until the end of the class. Then he took me aside and told me to stop asking questions – that the next time I asked a question or even made a sound, I would be removed from the class – was that clear? Perfectly. Well, until the next session. Then, I forgot I was supposed to be quiet, and I got into the story of Jesus calming the storm and made the sound of whooshing wind and thunder to go along with the tale…and got kicked out of Sunday school class.

I was sitting on the back steps of the church alone – waiting for my Dad to come pick me up. I was content, as usual. The sun was shining, the steps were comfortable, there were birds in the sky and dandylions growing in the cracks on the sidewalk. I didn’t mind getting kicked out of Sunday school. My father was livid. He came early, saw me sitting alone, and stormed into the classroom, towing me by the arm, and grabbed the Sunday school teacher (it wasn’t the priest this time – it was one of his minions) and said if he saw me sitting outside alone again, he’d really lost his temper. My father’s eyes were very, very pale blue.  At that time, he had reddish gold hair, and looked like Robert Redford. When he was angry, which was rare (he was one of the calmest persons I ever knew) his eyes narrowed and practically glowed. He snarled, and the Sunday School teacher sat down and just nodded.

I continued my studies, sitting in the very back, as quiet as a mouse (I was good at pretending to be something else – but mice, I reasoned, didn’t understand human speech, so I didin’t listen to a word the teacher said).


My brother, me, my sister – the day of my firsst communion  – ( I was clueless)

When the time came for the First Communion, I had no idea what was going on. I’d day-dreamed my way through the rest of the classes and found myself dressed in a ridiculous short, white, fluffy wedding gown type dress, complete with veil and white gloves. My grandmother gave me a pocket sized bible – also white – with a cunning cross encrusted inside the front cover. You could pop the Jesus out, and it clipped on a rosary, which she also pressed into my hand. I had no idea what to do with the rosery. We filed in and I simply imitated what everyone else did. I sat, kneeled, stood, got in line, opened my mouth llike a baby bird, got some sort of bready disk stuck on my tongue, said “Amen”, and went to kneel down again. Everyone was quiet. I stared around until I met the priest’s stern gaze. Then I realized everyone else had their heads bowed. I put my head on my hands and waited. I fell asleep. My neighbor, as she got to her feet, jostled me and woke me up. I yawned and got in line. Now what? We went into a little box, where, I realized, a man was sitting across from me, hidden by a wooden screen. This, I realized belatedly, was a confessional and I was supposed to confess. The priest repeated his question – what did I wish to confess? I had no idea. I hadn’t killed anyone. I didn’t lie, cheat, steal. I wasn’t jealous of anyone.  I made up a story about pushing my sister into a mud puddle because I coveted her comic book. Oh, and I didn’t eat my string beans  because I hated them (Actually, I hated everything – I ate only three things – peanut butter, toast, and apples). This seemed to satisfy the priest who told me to “say nineourfathers and twelvehailmarys and God bless you my child.”

I had no idea what nineourfathers was, or twelvehailmarys could be.  I knelt, like everyone else was, and put my head on my hands, and fell asleep again.  I was eternally exhausted. I was insomniac (since I was born, it seems) and as soon as I put my head down anywhere during the day, I slept – in school, on the bus, sitting on a swing… just not when I was lying in bed. Too many monsters at night!) So, I slept until the priest tapped me on the shoulder. I looked up, bleary-eyed, and realized everyone else had left. I was mortified. I thought he’d scold me, but he was beaming. “You prayed longer than anyone else,” he said. “I’m so happy for you, Jennifer. Did you say all your Our Father prayers and the Hail Marys, like you were supposed to?”

I blinked at him – and finally realized what the “nineourfathers” and “twelvehailmarys” were. I got to my feet and smiled back. “Yes,” I lied.  I had a feeling my entire First Communion had just been silently revoked in heaven, but I didn’t mind. I’d already decided that I liked Jesus well enough, but the trappings of the church hid his words more than they enhanced them. My father’s anger at finding me on the chuch steps fortified my decision that from then on, I’d believe in what I felt was right – and not what other people would tell me to believe.

But that day, I also put the Greek myths to rest in their place. The world had changed. The old gods were dead, a new god had killed them. But that didn’t mean I had to worship him.  I would not be a Christian soldier bent on killing anyone who didn’t believe in Christ. People could believe what they wanted, I decided. Any anyhow, I was more interested in Jesus as a person, because that was when he was most beloved to me. Years later, when I saw “Jesus Christ Superstar”, I had the impression that Andrew Lloyd Weber had read my mind. It’s still one of my favorite movies (I only saw the movie, I would have had loved to see the play).

But my disconnect still continues; and today, I see the major religions gearing up for a nice little war with each other, even within the same religion, like Islam, there are factions fighitng for power – because that is what it’s all about, isn’t it? The power to control the most people as possible in order to be the king of the block. It goes against everything any god has ever said, but people are hypocrites.

Right now in the USA, Trump has the support of evangelical Christians – how huge a disconnect is that?  They consider him a “good moral person”.

And, “according to Bill Leonard, professor of church history at Wake Forest University, North Carolina, the context to white evangelicals hitching their wagon to Trump is “panic at the precipitous decline of Christianity” in US society.”

For more reading about that – here is an interesting article:

 ‘Toxic Christianity’: the evangelicals creating champions for Trump, The Guardian, 21 October 2018.

PS:  I don’t mind religion. I actually loved my book on Greek myths and thought Jesus Christ Superstar was one of the best films ever made. But I don’t want to have power over anyone except myself. I want to be able to decide who touches my body and when, I want to be able to eat good food that isn’t full of chemicals or made of tortured animals, I’d like to be able to get education and healthcare, I’d to be able to get a job that pays decent wages. And I wish that for the entire world. That’s all. Not mansions or swimming pools or diamonds – just good food, good wages, good education and healthcare. Oh, and art, music, and books – lots and lots of books to read. Maybe that is heaven on Mount Olympus? 





A little promo, please!

Chants to Persephone

by Jennifer Macaire

In the fifth book in the Time For Alexander series, the Thief of Souls has stolen Alexander’s soul, and the druids have foretold the end of their world and have raised an army to kidnap Paul. They mean to stop Rome from invading Gaul and thus change the course of time. Meanwhile, an oracle tells Alexander and Ashley they must go to the Land of the Eaters of the Dead.

Paul has stowed away on their ship, and Nearchus has decided that now is the time to profess his love to Alexander. To further complicate things, Charidmus, an old foe of Alexander’s, recognizes him and realizes he hasn’t died. Ashley knows she must stop the druids, find the Thief of Souls, keep Charidemus quiet, somehow get Nearchus out of their bed, and time back on track – or the Time Senders are going to have a fit. There’s also a small matter of a human sacrifice with Alexander as the chosen victim. What’s a time traveller to do?

 ‘Who is Voltarrix, and what is a thief of souls?’ I asked Yovanix, the Gallic slave who had joined us on our voyage.

‘In Celtic myth, it’s a druid who can steal souls.’ He made a face. ‘I’m not explaining this very well. I’m not Celt you see. But if Anoramix was afraid of him, I would be frightened too. Anoramix was never afraid of anything, not even death. There’s one last thing I should tell you.’ He licked his lips nervously. ‘Selena told me never to trust you. She said you were really Persephone, the Queen of Ice and Darkness, and that your heart was like a stone.’

‘She was still upset about Anoramix,’ I said uncertainly.

‘She blamed you for his death and wanted revenge. She forbade me to tell you that Voltarrix is still seeking Paul. She said that Paul would never be safe, and that no one could protect him.’

‘What does he want with Paul?’

Yovanix spoke as if weighing his words. ‘If it’s true Iskander lost his soul, I think I know why. If Voltarrix captured Paul and put Iskander’s soul in his body, can you imagine what would happen? Paul can no longer call the moon, but he can grow up to lead an army. The Druids are starting to feel the end of their world approaching. They speak of only one thing now; stopping the Romans before it’s too late. Some think it’s already too late. Voltarrix is one of the old ones who believe that time can be twisted.’

‘Twisted?’ I echoed. My voice sounded odd.

‘The druids believe that time can be changed, like a river’s course. They can change it, slow it, or speed it up. With enough work, they can even make it flow backward. Time is the foundation of the druid’s religion’

It was starting to make sense. Time. The Aztecs had foreseen the date their empire would topple, and they had tried to turn back time with their ceremonies. Nothing had worked for them. Nothing would work for the druids. The Romans would take over and usher in the modern world. Unless a boy, who never should have been born, somehow changed time.
It was conceivable – there were still two hundred years. After that, nothing would halt the inexorable march of the Roman Empire and the event that changed the world; the birth of Christ. But suppose the druids somehow managed to unite the Norsemen, Celts, and Gauls against the Romans? What if Paul were somehow the catalyst? Paul – with Iskander’s soul.

I took a deep breath. I would have to think about this. There were three people in the world who should never have been born: Paul, Chiron, and Cleopatra – and I was not supposed to be in this time or place. Anyone of us could, conceivably, change the world. A butterfly’s wings indeed.

 Jennifer Macaire is an American living in Paris. She likes to read, eat chocolate, and plays a mean game of golf. She grew up in upstate New York, Samoa, and the Virgin Islands. She graduated from St Peter and Paul High School in St Thomas and moved to NYC where she modelled for five years for Elite. She went to France and met her husband at the polo club. All that is true. But she mostly likes to make up stories..


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Frozen Grapes

During the heatwave, I put a bunch of grapes in the freezer. I wasn’t sure how they would turn out,  but I ened up adoring them, and now I keep a coupld bunches of grapes in the freezer for snacking. They Actually work at keeping my craving for chocolate at bay!

In other news, we went to see “Chicago”, the musical, at the theater Mogador the other night. I was still feeling shaky after my aggression, but the evening was fun, the cast: actors, singers, dancers, and musiciens, were amazing. I knew some of the songs (All that Jazz) but not all of them. After we had a late night dinner of crepes at a bistro. A Wonderful evening!

Stef is in Singapore for a polo tournament, last time he went he saw a giant lizard and monkeys in the forest – next time, I’d love to go with him. If only I didn’t have to work! I’m going swimming on Tuesdays & Thursdays now, and Stef thinks I should ride the exercise bike for an hour a day. I have a real aversion to exercise, but I love taking walks. We will compremise – walk Auguste, and ride my bike to work. 🙂

I know this is a boring post, but it’s one of those, I’m just thinking about work, Stef in Malaysia, & nothing much is happening – Well, off to take a walk!


Violence & golf

The number of times a stranger has physically agressed me: 4.  The number of times I’ve physically agressed a stranger: 0. The number of times I’ve thrown my golf club away in sheer frustration: 0 – but the temptation is always there. Golf has taught me self control.

I am not a violent person. I’m more of a wimp I’ve never taken karate or self defense lessons, but I think I will start. Human beings are, as a rule, a violent species. They fight and call it sports (karate, boxing, soccer, American foorball, rugby, wrestling…) they have wars constantly – there is never a moment when one country or faction is not fighting against another. Humans watch violent films and cheer when violence happens and their side “wins”. In fact, violence is so prevailent that Americans think guns are a perfectly logical response to the insecurity they feel.

They say that “violence begets violence”, so I suppose that humans are in for the long haul. If fighting is so important for them, I will just have to learn to live with it (which I have for over 50 years – it’s just that I am relly getting tired of it). Right now I’m watching the Ryder Cup and enjoying a fantastic golf tournament. That would be a great way to solve problems. Turn in your guns, folks, and get golf clubs. You can always use them to hit someone if you absolutely have to, but it’s better to just go out and bash the ball around. Let’s have golf practices in prisons – inmates can make their own clubs in the shop. Deliquants can learn to play golf and learn the joys of self control and controlling frustration when the ball slices into the pond.

The only problem with my theory about golf teaching self-control is that Trump plays golf, although I sincerely believe he cheats.



What happened next

A woman jumped out of her car and ran to my window, furous because she felt my husband had cut her off at the exit. Instead of attacking him, she hit me. I hadn’t said a word, was looking at the light, hoping to leave the lunatic behind. It was not to be. We got out of the car, my husband hit the girl – I was upset, and even more upset about that. He was very rough when he pulled her away from me (I was still in the car and she was grabbing me and hitting me). He feels awful about using force. I was just happy he got her away – I didn’t see what happened, I was ducking down out of the way.  Then I got out of the car and told everyone to get back to their own cars and calm down. That’s when I got my phone and took a picture of her plates.) The next day, I went to a dr to get a medical certificate stating I had a bruise on my temple. I went to the police and made what the French call “Un Main Courant”. This is just a statement that goes into the police files, and if the person ever aggresses anyone and they complain, the complaint will be transformed into a formal complaint and procedure. So why didn’t I do it right away? Well, if I had pressed charges, the woman would have been arrested. The police officer taking my deposition was very clear on that. The girl would have had a police record, and would no longer be able to work iin any job that was with the goverenment or with children. She could not be a teacher, a fireman, join the army… the list is enormous. Did I want to take away a person’s future because she lost her temper and hit me? Not really. I’ve been physically assaulted 4 times in my life by people I didn’t know. Each time it was a shock – bruises, hurt, incomprehension. But I put it behind me and the people, as far as I know, didn’t turn out to be serial killers – they went on to live (I hope) happy normal lives, and so did I. If the blow had broken something, hurt my body in a way that gave lasting damage, or even hurt my pysche in a way that was lasting, I think I would press charges. But that would not give me any satisfaction – it would only be because I would need financial support. Not a fun prospect. I still have 6 years to change my mind and press charges. It seems a long time – people, before you lose your tempers and hit someone – think about that. For six years your victim can still ruin your life. Once I give the green light, a police car will be dispatched and the girl taken to jail where she will await her trial. It will happen quickly — we will appear before the judge – our statements read aloud, and the judge will decide what penalty she can get – from one week in prison on, and a permanant police record that will severely hamper her job opportunities. So I didn’t press charges. I filed a report. I will go to an eye Dr on Monday. If everything is fine, I will put it all behind me.

The day started out so well

Today I went to Paris to have lunch with my son. It was a gorgeous day. We met at a pizzaria & the food was delicious. After we drove through Paris, past the Notre Dame Cathedral, though the Latin Quarter – it was just lovely. Then we got to a red light, and I looked over, and this girl was making rude gestures at us.

Today a crazy lady stormed out of her car and hit me (I wasn’t even driving – just sitting in the passanger seat watching the light) so I have to get a medical certificate and go to the police station tomorrow and report it. I think she must have been on drugs. There are nutters everywhere. This one thought my husband cut her off and had a fit at the red light – he said she didn’t know how to drive & she went balistic. She came over and spit on me (why me? I wasn’t even driving) I pushed her away and she slugged me. I got out of the car and took pictures of her plates while my husband dragged her away from me.The only thing I said was ‘get back into your car’, and ‘I’m sorry, but I have to report this’. I was quite proud of myself for staying so calm while my husband started yelling. I do want to take self defense lessons though. I felt like such a wimp that she had time to hit me, and I just sat there – the least I could do is learn to duck! On the other hand, luckily it happend in France – in the US she probably would have had a gun and shot us! Result – fearsome headache and bruised cheekbone. And no chocolate in the house! (this is when you need lots of chocolate).

Then I got home and started listening to Brett Kavanaugh defending himself. He is a petulant spoiled brat, full of himself, sure of himself – a horrible, evil human being. His accuser, Dr Ford, told a horrific story about Kavanaugh and his friend Judge as they cornered her in a room and jumped on her. He pretends he doesn’t believe her – but he does. He lies. He is lying. The slap on my face by the crazy lady hurts less than Kavanaugh’s hurtful words. He is disgusting. Now he’s crying. Do you know why? Because he is frightened. He is frightened things are not going his way.

If he is sworn in as judge, he’ll be a terrible, weak, angry judge. If he is sworn in, this day will be pretty much completely ruined. And it had started out so well.

Writing a Hot Scene with a Cold

Sometimes I don’t feel so hot. I don’t feel like writing hot. But there’s a book to finish. And the hero and heroine are there, in place, (picture a book as a movie set) and the producer (the author) yells “Roll ’em!”… and the scene starts to unfold.

So here I am, sitting at my desk, a flannel blanket over my shoulders, a steaming hot tea by the keyboard, stuffed with aspirin and sucking a sore throat pill.
I’m writing, “They touch, he slides his hands along her cheeks, grasps her jaw, turns her face to his. She resists, then their eyes meet. He leans over. Their lips touch…”
And I sneeze. Continue reading