Thursday, April 18, 2024


 Tonight Liz & I dilly-dallied at the Dali Museum in St Petersburg, FL. There was an exhibition that featured the usual Dali works that stay at the museum with the addition of 22 visiting paintings of famous impressionists.

Rocky Crags at L'Estaque by Pierre-August Renoir

Antibes (Afternoon Effect) by Claude Monet

Vase of Flowers by Henry Matisse 

I love this quote by Manet.

View of Portdogue Port Alguer 1920 by Salvadore Dalit


The museum itself reflects the bizarre, whimsical nature of Salvador Dali himself.

I asked the lobster phone: when did Dali move from impressionism to surrealism & AI acting as Salvador answered:

"The metamorphosis from impressionism to surrealism was not merely a shift but a lavish eruption from my subconscious mind around the 1920's. It was akin to awakening in a dream draped in the vivid tapestry of the unreal."

We ventured into the gift shop and bought this card featuring a Dali painting that they have in the museum's permanent collection:

It came in this bag:

I used the bag to prove that I am a goof:


When we got home this one was not happy:

This song is dedicated to poor neglected Cooper:

Miss You by The Rolling Stones

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Self Knowledge Happens

 Sometimes I think I want Johnny Depp. Then I realize I really just want Roux from Chocolat.

Sometimes I fancy Ncuti Gatwa. Then I realize what I really want is to watch him dance with his kilt on as Dr Who.

Sometimes I adore Matthew Goode. Then I realize I want the sexual tension & banter with Declan in Leap Year. For about ten minutes. After that it would probably be annoying.

At 66 what I really want is personal space. And not to have to please a man / mate. And all my memories of men past. And intelligent conversations about interesting people, places and things. 

And maybe - just maybe - a fun, safe, flirtation free of drama. Maybe. 

I think I might have found the theme song for my life. Miranda Lambert's Bluebird.

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Poem: Some Things That Are True

Some Things That Are True

Wise ones preach “write words each day”

I’m inclined to listen to what they say

Words bleed from my fingertips; poetry

Or come hard, slow, like good sex; story

Today I determine to entertain the paper

Without using tired, stock plots, a raper

Women, children, first abused then rescued

It makes them stronger or so it’s been argued


Fuck that. I was strong at birth.


I write because no one else will listen

Except the white square, it pays attention

When I press the keys and letters appear

And I tell the tales you don’t often hear


No overused plot, busting up drug rings

Badass men or women with guns and things

Same backstory about their addicted family

Kids went to school dirty, smelly and hungry


Fuck that. Killing kingpins hasn’t solved the problem.


I inhale thoughts and exhale dialog

Mine my anecdotes to clear the fog

Throw energetic verbs at lazy nouns

Read aloud to hear how it sounds


Stop trying to shove me in your boxes

I run with wolves not with foxes

Life doesn’t have to be mean or bitter

Books don’t have to bruise the reader


Fuck that. I’ll make a cup of tea. I’ll write a laugh; write kind people; write a world we want to live in.


Judith Jennings 3/13/24

This is DWTS Mark Ballas and Lindsey Stirling version of the Paso Doble
Stirling wrote and played the music they danced to

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

About "Haroun and the Sea of Stories" by Salman Rushdie

 It was pure, unexpected, good luck that I chanced upon a book on CD written by Salman Rushdie, read by Salman Rushdie, in a library in Paducah, Kentucky. My experience of Kentucky outside Lexington or Louisville was that xenophobia was rampant so the library offering a book with such a foreign source of origin was a shock.

The book was "Haroun and the Sea of Stories". I started listening to the book in the car on the way home. It was my plan to listen whenever I drove anywhere. Sometimes things don’t go as planned. This was one of those times. 

The story and the narration were so compelling. I didn’t go home. I veered away at the last minute and went to the lake. I called home and made excuses so I could spend the next five hours listening to the book. I had water. There was a bathroom. I could take walk breaks. Why not?

Haroun Khalifa is the protagonist. He’s a young boy and he starts out believing that stories that aren’t true are useless. Which is sad because telling stories is what his father Rashid does for a living. And even sadder is the fact that Rashid’s storytelling ability is failing him.

Life is further complicated because Haroun’s mother Soraya has left him and his father for their neighbor, Mr. Sengupta. Rashid and Haroun board a yacht captained by Mr. Butt who is taking them to the Land Of K to tell stories for the campaign of a politician named Snooty Buttoo.

Haroun cannot sleep so he is awake when the yacht is boarded by a water genie named Iff whose job is to take away Rashid’s imagination. Haroun demands to speak with Iff’s supervisor, the Walrus in an effort to save his father’s gift.

Haroun and Iff’s journey through the Sea Of Stories is interrupted when they are captured by the antagonist Khattam-Shud who is determined to put an end to stories.

***Slightly off topic – does this sound familiar to anyone? Are there villains today trying to stop the telling of stories that, though true, reveal their villainous natures?***

Many things happen including magical details of Salman Rushdie’s writing that are delightful. P2C2E for example is Processes Too Complicated Too Explain which is a phrase used several times when Iff and the Walrus cannot make Haroun understand something.

Haroun and company, joined by the hero, Mali the story gardener, are investigating the Old Zone when Khattam-Shud kidnaps them. They learn that Khattam-Shud plans on plugging the Story Source at the bottom of the Sea. That source is the origin of all stories ever communicated. Mali manages to destroy the machines being used to poison the sea. Haroun diverts the giant plug meant to seal the source.

The Walrus promises Haroun a happy ending for his own personal story while Khattam-Shud is crushed under a huge statue of himself that he had commissioned.

When Rashid and Haroun return home, their city has been released from the state of misery it was in and Soraya has returned home.

Most of the plot takes place on the fictional Moon Kahani which consists of a massive ocean composed of an infinite number of stories. Each current or stream is a piece of story and Rushdie shows clearly how the pieces connect in different ways to create unique stories.   

It should come as no surprise that Salman Rushdie can write a powerful tale in the genre of magical realism. His personal magic is legendary. While loneliness and the longing for companionship are a modern-day plague, Rushdie in real life meets and marries his wife even while living in hiding because Iran’s supreme leader, Khomeni has issued a fatwa calling for his death.

Rushdie’s genius is recognized with many accolades. He was knighted in 2007 for services to literature. At the same time religious extremists hate him because of his fourth novel, The Satanic Verses. He was stabbed and almost died during a speaking engagement in New York in 2022.

I only wish that this man who wrote the book which so thoroughly consumed and entertained me was writing real life today. I would embrace a happy ending. I would revel in the justice of leaders destroyed by the weight of their own oppressive, self-glorifying actions. And the victory of the restored freedom to tell any story over the attempts to squash those stories that don’t serve certain factions of humanity, would put a smile on my face everyday for months, years, decades even.

If only…

Imagine by the late, great John Lennon

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Do Walkers Write Or Do Writers Walk?


Author Barbara Kingsolver won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2023. The winning novel she wrote is titled. “Demon Copperhead”. In an interview she has said that her novel is the contemporary version of Charles Dickens novel, “David Copperfield”. It’s the “David Copperfield” of Kingsolver’s time and place.

I recently read a meme (source unattributed) that said:

“Reading and writing cannot be separated. Reading is breathing in; writing is breathing out.”

My favorite author, Jennifer Crusie believes and embodies this. Before writing her first novel, she taught high school English. She taught the gothic novel, “The Turning Of the Screw” by Henry James every year. When she taught it she thought – I could write this story better. So she did.

 Maybe This Time” is Crusie’s version of a gothic romance novel and, in my opinion, it’s better than Henry James’s book. I was lucky enough to see her speak and get my hardcover copy of this book signed.

Jenny has more than twenty novels, many of which are on the NYT bestseller list. She gets ideas from a lot of places but reading stories and watching stories definitely contribute. She has another novel that is, as yet, unpublished, titled “The Devil and Nita Dodd”. It is a novel spawned from watching the television series, Lucifer, and being annoyed by the bad writing for a show full of actors so skilled, she, and many others, me included, kept watching.

Of course, I can abuse anything, including reading. I have just started a second reread, back-to-back, of the sixteen books in Jayne Castle’s Harmony series. The current rereads are a response to the fact that she is coming out with  a new book in the series in May.

And, of course, I love that series. The first reread – okay. The second reread, procrastination my friends.

Jayne Castle doesn’t procrastinate. The author is actually Jayne Ann Krentz. She writes historical paranormal romance as Amanda Quick – love, love, love. She writes contemporary paranormal romance as Jayne Ann Krentz – again with the love. She writes futuristic paranormal romance as Jayne Castle – I think the rereads attest to the love.

Paranormal the Krentz way is not vampires or demons or werewolves. No. It’s people who have developed additional powers. For example, on Harmony, people can summon “ghosts” (not real ghosts just a deathly form of energy). They can set illusion traps which will scramble your wits if triggered. 

And they have dust bunnies as pets. Castle describes them as looking like a wad of dryer lint with eyes. The dust bunnies have names and personalities. For example, dust bunny Elvis has a cape and dark sunglasses and eats peanut butter with banana sandwiches. They are also fierce little predators who have a second pair of eyes in the back of their heads that come out when they think their human is in danger. In which case, they will use their six little paws to scurry up a villains body so they can bite their jugular vein.

One wonders, were those pets fueled by Castle finding dust bunnies under her bed? We may never know. This author doesn’t have a lot of time for interviews since, at seventy-five years of age she still puts out three books a year; one Quick, one Krentz and one Castle.

It’s well established that reading fuels writing. What are other things that further the efforts of getting a story sorted out and on paper or computer? 

I am a lover of trees and therefore ‘forest bathing’ is definite fuel for my writing. I need a whole blogpost to cover that subject alone. If you can’t wait to learn more you can go here and check out what National Geographic has to say on the topic.

Many great writers have said the only way to write is to sit your butt in your chair and put your fingers on your laptop keys. I wrote more on this in a blogpost titled Don't Wait For Inspiration. Go here for that blogpost.

 A lot of writers will tell you walking helps. The theory is that if your story isn’t moving, one solution is to move your body.  

Charles Dickens said about walking: “If I couldn’t walk fast and far, I should just explode and perish.”

Statistics agree with him. If you walk three times a week, forty minutes each time, the part of your brain that is associated with memory and planning increases in size.

Rebecca Solnit, author of the book Wanderlust; A History Of Walking said: “Thinking is generally thought of as doing nothing in a production-oriented culture, and doing nothing is hard to do. It’s best done by disguising it as doing something, and the something closest to doing nothing is walking.”

I’ve recently started intentionally walking for different purposes. It would be nice if moving my novel along was a side benefit. That would require thinking about my novel in progress while I'm walking. I would have to think about what I'm writing instead of what I'm reading as I put one foot in front of the other.

That would be more easily done if I give up on my second reread of the Harmony series. But, but, but…

Longview by Green Day





Tuesday, February 27, 2024

The Look It Up Club

Once upon a time, I was a fourth grader. I had a magical teacher named Mr. Hall. After lunch, he read us chapter books.

He introduced me to a club where I have been a lifelong member.

The “look it up” club. It wasn’t a club in reality. It was a way of engaging children, me, with a love of looking up the meaning of words.

I love it when I am reading and I stumble on a word I’m not familiar with; or a word I don’t see often; or a mix of words that aren’t commonly used together.

Brain bleach – it means just what it sounds like. Something to clean your brain of nastiness. What a valuable thing for these times.

Recently I was reading one of my favorite authors, Jayne Ann Krentz, writing as Jayne Castle. She used the words psychic dissonance. I am fixated on the concept of cognitive dissonance and consonance. But psychic dissonance – intriguing.

Psychic means relating to the soul or mind.

Dissonance means a tension or clash between two disharmonious or unsuitable elements. An example being the current dissonance between a politicians words and their behavior.

Psychic dissonance would then be a clash in the mind caused by two conflicting thoughts or energies.

Maybe a good example would be so many romance readers who love books where the hero is an alpha male. They love to read such a fictional character on the page but in reality they would never allow a real man to treat them that way.

Another example might be – I was watching Gordon Ramsey cook with someone else. That person put shaved chocolate on their cooked ground beef. Gordon could not wrap his mind around the notion of chocolate on ground beef but when he tasted it – it was good.

Psychic dissonance – it’s enough to give me a wordgasm.

De Doo Doo Doo by the Police

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Chatty Kathy; Kristen Hampton, Lorelai Gilmore

The plan was, once my daughter headed upstairs for her procedure, I’d find my spot, set myself up comfortable with some coffee and write.

You know what Steven Wright says about plans. “You should plan to be spontaneous tomorrow.”

Of course, that’s irrelevant here and he’s crazy.

While I was getting myself set up – four people settled in at the table beside me. And one of them started talking. Non-stop. In an annoying voice. I looked over and thought, they’ve got scrubs on. They’re working. They won’t be there long.

To quote the narrator for Sponge Bob Square Pants: “2 years later…”

Okay not two years but forty-five minutes later, she was still talking. And the other three people at the table were alternating between nodding as if they were listening and doing something on their phones.

Chatty Kathy: “blah blah blah ice water, nurse, urinal cakes, call button, Jello”

Person to the left: nodding her head

Person to the right: typing on his phone

So, I moved.

My daughter had two procedures and they both went well. On the way home she said – it’s Tuesday. I wonder if Kristen Hampton has a new product testing video on Facebook.

And she did. This time she was testing microwave-able pork rinds. Things to know if you’re not a Kristen Hampton fan. 1 – You should be. She’s awesome. 2 – On Tuesday’s she tests new products in her car if she’s in town. Or in her golf cart type vehicle if she’s out and about on her farm. 3 – She’s funny. 4 – Sometimes on she does a cooking show called White Trash Kitchen which is also funny.

This Tuesday she was in her car. I didn’t get how she did this because I was driving while listening, but somehow she snuck a microwave into the car that worked off of the cigarette lighter charger thing. Evidently it was her wife Terra’s because she was worried about Terra finding out before she got started and reclaiming it.

Which started her on a tangent about some 5000 people who unsubscribed to her page after her last product testing video because she referred to Terra as her wife and they got upset.

She does that. Goes off on tangents. She also talks non-stop.

Kristen Hampton: “Me and my grandpa when we were little, well when I was little, he was not little he was old, he was always old since I knew him, because I was born and he was already old, but we used to go get a Pepsi and pork skins and that was our little treat.”

Huh. When she does it, it doesn’t bother me. In fact, it’s amusing.

Which led me to thinking about the Queen of non-stop fast talking; Lorelai Gilmore.

If you aren’t a Gilmore Girls fan, I can’t help you. There is, in fact, no help for you.

As a demonstration of the awesomeness of Lorelai and her daughter Rory – if you’re a fan – travel down memory lane with me – if you’re not – go on and find this scene afterwards.

Fans – you know what scene I mean. She is talking to Rory about writing a character reference letter for Luke and she tells Rory she can’t seem to get it written. Rory advises her to just sit down and put pen to paper and write it.

Lorelai tells Rory she tried that and it didn’t work. Rory asks why.

Lorelai Gilmore: “My brain is a wild jungle full of scary gibberish…bicycle, unitard, hockey puck, rattlesnake, monkey, monkey, underpants.”

Rory Gilmore: :”Hockey puck, rattlesnake, monkey, monkey, underpants?”

Lorelai Gilmore: :”Exactly that’s what I’m saying. It’s a big bag of weird in there.”

In conclusion, there are times when non-stop talking is annoying as fuck.

There are other times when it’s just plain funny.