Month: July 2015

heavens to Murgatroyd

An exclamation of surprise, similar to ‘heavens to Betsy.’ This American phrase dates from the mid 20th century and was popularized by the cartoon character Snagglepuss – a regular on the Yogi Bear Show in the 1960s. The first known use of the phrase, however, comes before that, from the 1944 film Meet the People. It was spoken by Bert…

Station Eleven

I just finished a book called Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel (Picador, 2014). It was not the glowing reviews (and there are many) that caught my interest, but the fact that it’s an apocalyptic novel, as is my Green Blood Rising. Emily got rid of most of the human population, as I did, and I wanted to see…

heavens to Betsy

This mild exclamation of surprise is an old expression, one I haven’t heard years. The earliest use of it found in print is from the US journal Ballou’s dollar monthly magazine, January 1857. It was also used in an 1878 issue of Harper’s New Monthly Magazine and again in a short story collection, Huckleberries Gathered From New England Hills (1892).…

a little editorial snark

Writing experts emphasize the necessity of a writer avoiding anything that affects what’s called “the willing suspension of disbelief.” If you jar the reader out of the dream world that is the story, he may just put the book down. Or throw it against the wall. And never come back.  Here is the first sentence of a book I started…

black sheep

This term usually means a disreputable or disgraced member of a family. It may also refer to someone who is rebellious and doesn’t conform to the ethics, morals, beliefs, or even the dress code of a particular group. The individual is typically labeled as a troublemaker. Why sheep? Badgers, dolphins, pandas and penguins are all primarily black, but are considered…

Grasshopper morning

I haven’t had coffee yet this morning, and seem to be afflicted with grasshopper mind. Fasten your seatbelt! A friend asked me to write a paragraph for her blog and I just finished one about playing bridge. Which reminded me that I once wrote a short story called Grand Slam, which was published in a collection called Fit to Die…

Welcome to my web site!

After some days of thoroughly exploring WordPress, I’ve created a web page. I’m pleased with the way it looks and I hope you are, too. It’s fun having a new learning project, even if the curve is occasionally like Mount Everest! My first post was simply a copy of my last post on Blogger, just to get things started. Rather than…