Goofing Off

Sometimes it feels like being an author while holding down a full-time Day Job makes my life all work and no play. It’s a good thing I love writing–almost as much as I love having written!

But I do tend to goof off a good bit. Facebook and Pinterest are two of my favorite time sucks. My very favorite, however, is reading. I could read 24/7. I read the way most people I know watch television.

What’s your favorite way to goof off?

Let’s Laugh

Today is National Let’s Laugh Day and in observance, I’m sharing a list of some of the funniest books I’ve read.

In no particular order:

  • The World According to Garp (John Irving)
  • Up Close and Dangerous (Linda Howard)
  • Drop Dead Gorgeous (Linda Howard)
  • One for the Money (Janet Evanovich)
  • Two for the Dough (Janet Evanovich)
  • Three to Get Deadly (Janet Evanovich)
  • True Confessions (Rachel Gibson)
  • Metropolitan Life (Fran Lebowitz)
  • Bet Me (Jennifer Crusie)
  • Welcome to Temptation (Jennifer Crusie)

Beware the Ides of March

Even though a soothsayer warned Julius Caesar to “Beware the Ides of March,” all he meant was March 15.

March, July, October, May:   the Ides fall on the fifteenth day.                                                                           

In every other month of the Roman calendar, the Ides fell on the 13th day of the month.

But Caesar’s assassination isn’t the only bad thing to happen on March 15 (yes, this is a historical fact, not just a line from Shakespeare).

According to the Smithsonian:

  • In 1360, a French raiding party began a 48-hour spree of rape, pillage and murder in southern England.
  • In 1889 a cyclone in Samoa wrecked three US warships and three German warships, killing over 200 sailors.
  • Czar Nicolas II of Russia abdicated his throne in 1917.
  • Nazi Germany began its occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1939.
  • Over 60 people were killed in the US and Canada as a deadly blizzard plummeted the Great Plains in 1941.
  • World record rainfall hit the Indian Ocean island of La Réunion in 1952–73.62 inches in 24 hours.
  • CBS cancelled The Ed Sullivan Show in 1971.
  • In 1988, NASA reported the ozone layer was depleting three times faster than predicted.
  • In 2003, the World Health Organization identified SARS–(Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome.

Have a great day!

Daylight Savings Time

This is the Sunday we “sprang ahead” to Daylight Savings Time.

Everyone seems to hate when DST ends in the fall, because it’s darker “earlier”.

Well, no. It’s darker at the same time; we simply look at our clocks differently.

DST is actually the “unnatural” way of measuring our days.

I’ve often wondered if the advice I read about avoiding  the sun between eleven in the morning to one in the afternoon takes DST into account? Isn’t the sun supposed to be directly overhead at noon? Then wouldn’t the sun be hotter, brighter, more dangerous between ten in the morning and noon during DST because the sun would be at its zenith at eleven?

Several studies have found evidence suggesting that Daylight Savings Time is actually bad for our health.  There are more heart attacks, strokes, and road accidents in the days following the spring ahead than there are at other times. And “falling back” triggers depression and earlier onset of Seasonal Affective Disorder in some people.

On the other hand, there is something to be said for the extra sunlight at the end of the Day Job day.


National Proofreading Day

Happy National Proofreading Day!

This is a day anyone who writes anything should celebrate.

I really try to turn in as clean drafts as I can to my editors, but sometimes things slip through anyway. Extra eyes are always welcome.

The best method of proofreading for me is reading aloud what I’ve written. That’s when I catch the missing words, the double words, the echoing words, and the (I blush to admit) places I’ve used the wrong version of it/it’s, your/you’re, their/there/they’re, and to/too/two.

Sometimes the brain and fingers are racing so quickly the weirdest things make it onto the page. Sometimes I use a word incorrectly and need to look it up to make sure it means what I need it to mean at that moment in the book. And sometimes I simply make mistakes.

So here’s a big THANK YOU to all the proofreaders out there who are on top of the written word.