I’ve been thinking Thursday: Baby, it’s cold outside

Seems like lots of people are up in arms about this Christmas song this year. I heard even the composers daughter has felt compelled to defend her father. How sad is that? Defending her dead father because of the way people now choose to view a song written in 1944.

It’s been suggested the song was actually written by Loesser to sing with his wife, Lynn Garland, at their housewarming party in New York City at the Navarro Hotel, to indicate to guests that it was time to leave.

It’s been viewed as a critique of drinking alcohol.

Other have suggested over the years it was a critique of a society which shunned women who spent the night willingly with their boyfriend or fiances.

And really, the lyrics can be read many ways.

In the study of history, we talk about something called temporal chauvinism. That’s where you judge the people of the past by the standards of today. A simple example is people used to bathe weekly at best, frequently once a month or less. By today’s standards, ewwww. But that was a norm then.

So when I look at the lyrics to this song, and I think 1944, I hear a woman who actually wants to stay but is afraid of what society will say about her if she does what she wants. She’s looking for any excuse to stay. And the man, a problem solver, is giving her many options to choose from.

Think of the privilege we women now enjoy that we can interpret the lyrics as something bad because spending the night with a man is a choice we can freely make.



Writer Wednesday 12/12

I recently decided to really pursue writing like it was a career, rather than a fun (ish) hobby. LOL. I know, I know, it’s been years I’ve been fannying around with things.

What does that mean, treating it like career?

Well, for one, blocking solid time each week to write and to handle writerly business.

Second, investing in some decent marketing.

Three, recovering an old book and having it make into an audio book.

Scripting the Truth is out there now on Audible, Amazon, and I tunes.

Book Review: You

It’s so weird why I picked this up. On the front cover is a line about not everyone wants to be followed…I immediately thought of previous social media books I loved and grabbed You by Caroline Kepnes. So not what I thought.

Basic Summary (Courtesy of Goodreads):

When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.

There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.

As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder.

My thoughts:

Dark, this book is madly dark.

It’s also 80-90% stream of consciousness so be prepared for a heavy lack of interaction. I loved the style but at several points it dragged for me and I found myself skimming pages looking for something to actually happen.

I found all the behavior totally believable. People do indeed act this way. Humans are flawed.

This is totally the opposite of the way I write. I am all action, either in movement or dialogue. This is all one man’s head but it was compelling. Possibly because it’s one of my own short comings. That stream of consciousness style.

I’ve been thinking Thursday: The Tube

In the last pages of one my of favorite Agatha Christie books, The Secret of Chimneys, one of my favorite A.C. characters, Anthony Cade, says “My belief in the Brotherhood of man died the day I arrived in London last week, when I observed the people standing in a Tube train resolutely refuse to move up and make room for those who entered.”

We took the tube a lot in London. It gets you around quite quickly and the schedule is so functional, 2, 3, 4, four minutes for the next train beats standing in the rain for 25 waiting on a bus. LOL.

It was often crowded but only once did I have to force people to move so there would be room for the kiddo and I.

More importantly, I watched as three perfect strangers extended their hands to keep a man from falling over backwards and landing on the floor, and he was going down hard.

The Brotherhood of man is not dead. It just needs to be reminded every once in a while that we are all part of the same Brotherhood.

Wednesday Writers 12.5

Happy Sinterklaas day my friends.

With the finish of The Body in the Pool, Wednesdays are now open. I’d like to talk about writing and writerish items again, including more interviews with great independent authors.

If you’re interested in doing an interview here, reach out and I will email you some questions.

Until then, I hope you got chocolate in klompen rather than coal.

Book Review: Died in the Wool

Died in the Wool is the second Knit and Nibble series by Peggy Ehrhart I have read. I liked the first one enough to grab the second.

Basic Summary (Courtesy of Amazon):

Pamela is ready to kick back and relax after a busy day selling stuffed aardvarks to benefit Arborville High School’s sports program at the annual town festival. But just as she’s packing up, she makes a terrible discovery—someone’s stashed a body under the Knit and Nibble’s table. The victim is Randall Jefferson, a decidedly unpopular history teacher after his recent op-ed criticizing the school’s sports program. But the primary suspect has an alibi, and the only clue is a stuffed aardvark found on the victim’s chest.  Now the Knit and Nibblers must unravel the case quickly—before a crafty killer repeats a deadly pattern.

My thoughts:

Despite this being a knit book there was very little yarn talk but I can tell you what the main character ate for EVERY meal for the duration of the book in nauseating detail. It felt like filler. And it made the book feel super slow moving.

On the plus side:

-all the clues to solve the mystery are laid out for you.

-The clues are put together by the main character in an inventive way.

-The little town this takes place in sounds adorbs and I think I’d like to live there but I won’t join their knitting club. The author is way too fond of the new person in town being both the killer and the victim.

I’ll read the next one to see if this laborious heavy food will continue because I do like the characters and I like the plots.

I’ve been thinking Thursday: Media

I only took my kindle to London, not my laptop. Why does that matter? It kind of plays a crucial role in this story. See Amazon makes everything “smart.” For example when I wanted to shop Old Navy’s online Black Friday sale, I couldn’t. I was in the UK and wanting to ship to a US address. Error, Error, danger, danger. Whatevs. I didn’t really need new clothes anyway.

But while we were gone the North Sentinel Island situation occurred. My first glimmer was posts on FB, by people I know. Their commentary was bizarre. Talking about how we’d being going to war now and Trump would use this as a means to stop immigration. I kept trying to click on the news article links to figure out what the bleep they were talking about, but….smart kindle. I kept getting denial errors, you are not in this zone.

Eventually BBC 4 filled me in. But in the mean time I had to wonder.

Which made me think about people who get all their news scrolling on FB. Is this what they think is going on in the world? Holy crap. No wonder everyone is so afraid all the time and thinking the worst of everyone else.

And second thought line was, is that really what people got out of that situation. Yikes. We were clearly not reading the same news. Makes me want to stop reading all American news outlets.

What do you think? If you read both American and European news outlets, do you think America spins everything to be tragic and traumatic and salacious?