The Dog Days Of Summer

August 1, 2014

Yesterday was 98 degrees, with a heat index that made it feel like it was 102. That’s hot.

We are in the long, sultry, humid days of summer. The dog days have always been associated with uncomfortable heat, unforgiving sun, booming thunderstorms and sidewalks that make you feel like you’re a roast in the oven.

Ancient Romans took note that really hot days occurred with the rising of Sirius, the Dog Star, in the Canis Major constellation. The scientists of the day decided, since it was the brightest star in the heavens, it must be connected to the sun and the sweltering heat. Not true. (In fact, the stars change over time and if we wait another 10,000 years, it will appear in the middle of winter.)

Even so, the “dog days” stuck and it was also noted there was a large increase in rabid dogs during this time. Attacks on humans became common place and the results were anything but pretty. It caused an acute inflammation of the brain, uncontrollable jerking, confusion, a fear of water and ultimately death. Their answer to this? Feed the dogs chicken droppings.

Really??bulldog-laying-on-ice-cubes

In 1729, a British publication called The Husbandman’s Practice preached that during this time “men should abstain from women” and “take heed of feeding violently” (Who feeds violently?) It also goes on to say, “The heat of the sun is so violent that Men’s bodies at Midnight sweat as at Midday: and if they be hurt, they may be more sick than at any other time, yea very near Dead.” (I think they thought everything was violent.)

It is hot out there. Take care of yourselves, Musetrackers and try to keep your cool!summer-heat1

 


I Should Put Pants On – RWA 2014 in Pictures

July 30, 2014

Song of the Day: Without You by Motley Crüe

I should put pants on. Yes, that seemed to be the running theme of MuseTracks in San Antonio. But in our defense, we’re too carefree (and perhaps too old) to care.

Have you ever just been so spent that the moment you get home you take off your pants? Sure you have. Stacey and I both had intense activities we attended in San Antonio prior to the (RWA) Romance Writers of America’s four day conference. By lunch on Wednesday, we were both ready to strip down to our skivvies and crawl under the down comforters of our beds. Never mind we had visitors who stopped by our hotel room. But did we put our pants back on? No! What an eyeful they received, especially since my green undies were emblazoned with “Lucky Angel” across the bum.

The next day, I couldn’t keep my favorite stretchy jeans on. *sigh* I’d forgotten to pack a belt. Thus, I repeatedly tugged at the pants. Ultimately, I gave up on them, changing into a dress. The following day, I wore a skirt. But the workshops were so frigid, I wished I had my pants back on.  Saturday, after several more workshops and a seminar, I headed for the room to, you guessed it, remove my pants and rejuvenate before night’s festivities. Damn pants! I was so comfy without them, I dozed off and missed dinner.

Here are a few pictures of the conference – all of which clothing was worn.

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The Alamo – a different view.

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All I needed on this river walk boat trip was a frosty Margarita.

Hotel Lobby early morning

The unsuspecting hotel lobby – before the hordes of romance writers.

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Signing books! Both awkward and exciting!

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My bestie and partner in crime. Making pacts and being generally awesome.

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Only a portion of my local Northwest Houston chapter. There were a bunch more not pictured. Can you imagine us running loose?

workshop Eliza

Great workshops galore! This room was so packed, people were sitting on the floor.

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Hobnobbing with Boroughs Publishing. And look! Musetracks follower and killer friend (to use the term loosely) Ruth, too!

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Editor Chris – always fun!

mallory2

Speaking of editors…my slave driver, er, I mean, A-freakin’-mazing editor, Mallory!

glasses

Divas spotted!

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Took a spooky ghost tour and heard chilling tales. Hotels, street corners, and even churches were plagued by otherworldly happenings.

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One of the most haunted places in San Antonio.

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Liquor, s’mores, and fluffy socks. Jealous you weren’t at the Harlequin party?

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Made to order banana splits, too! *sigh* Heaven…

harlequin

Put your hands in the air like you just don’t care! Dancing at the Harlequin party!

Sarah

MuseTracks Hump Day Kick Start diva, Golden Heart finalist, and beauty queen, Sarah!

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The view from a terrace at a super secret party on the last night.

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My book booty!

 

Hope you enjoyed the tour. Watch your step as you exit to the left. And be sure to leave a comment for your tour guide – me!


Link of the Week – Weird Al Yankovic’s Word Crimes

July 29, 2014

This is just for fun. And why not? We all need to laugh, everyday.

Watch your grammar, yo!


Friday Fun Facts- Get Your Liquor On!

July 25, 2014
Oh My! Seriously?

Oh My! Seriously?

 

I don’t know about you but I love a glass of nice wine with a good meal. However, by the pool on a hot summer evening, give me a margarita, pina colada, or a rum and coke! I distinctly remember the first time I tried a Tom Collins (Gin, limeade and sugar).downloadMy family was in Bangkok at the Siam Intercontinental and we went to the piano bar for drinks before dinner. Why that memory is so crystal clear in my brain, I don’t know. It was a lovely evening and one I will always cherish. (The drink was really good too!)

I’ve found some interesting bits of information for you today on liquor and I hope you enjoy them. If you wish to get a cold Manhattan, Martini, Cosmopolitan, Harvey Wall Banger or gin and tonic, go ahead, I’ll wait……………..Oh, here you are!

Glad you're back!

Glad you’re back!

 

Sit back, take a sip and enjoy learning some Friday Fun Facts.

1. Even though Islam forbids drinking alcohol, the whole distillation process producing pure spirits was perfected in the Arab world. An alchemist, Geber, did this in the 8th century!fa-2000001085

2. There are four elements in the process- yeast, a carbohydrate, the fermentation process, and the distillation process.

3. Liquor has a higher concentration than beer or wine because the distillation process increases the ethyl alcohol. (No wonder the Long Island Iced Teas in college knocked me for a loop!)alembic2

4. The gin and tonic was one of the only cocktails created for medicinal reasons. When British troops were stationed in hot, humid climates back in the 19th century, they often fell prey to malaria. Tonic water made with Peruvian quinine was found to be the best way to combat the disease. Unfortunately, the quinine water was very bitter so those young chaps came up with a solution! Add gin, sugar and some lime juice and the bitterness dissolved into a lovely cocktail. Brilliant!

5. Prohibition in the U.S. lasted for nearly a decade and created a whole sub-culture. Speak Easy much?S5702-lg

6. The Cotton Club which opened in 1922 was a well known Speak Easy. Most were just hidden rooms with barely drinkable whiskey and run by gangsters and the Mob.

7. As Al Capone put it, “All I do is to supply a public demand … somebody had to throw some liquor on that thirst. Why not me?”

I just love word games!

I just love word games!


Hump Day Kick Start – Texas Edition

July 23, 2014

Song of the day:  Round Here by Florida Georgia Line

Hump Day Kick Start – for your muse, a writing picture prompt, or just a visual treat.

texas cowboy

 

MuseTracks is taking San Antonio by storm this week for the annual Romance Writer’s of America conference. But don’t let that stop you from paying tribute to this sexy Texan prompt. Drool, stories, snarky comments from male followers, and one-liners welcome.


Link of the Week – Book Boost PR and Summer Author Promo Blitz

July 22, 2014

blitz14 buttonSometimes, okay, lots of times, authors need a little boost to help promote their books and their brand. Enter Book Boost PR. Book Boost offers “a wide variety of services and levels of service from simply creating media kits to full-service publicity campaigns.” The site is run by a librarian and an author, both of whom I know personally. :-D

Check out their services here!

http://www.bookboostpr.com/home.html

http://www.bookboostpr.com/services.html

It just so happens that Book Boost PR is hosting a SUMMER AUTHOR BLITZ. Lots of authors to explore and lots of prizes to be given away. And I’m one of the featured authors!blitz 14 banner

http://bookboostpr.tumblr.com/

https://www.facebook.com/bookboostpr


Friday Fun Facts- For Readers And Writers

July 18, 2014

We love our Musetracks’ followers!

This blog was originally created to track the journey of a group of new writers. It’s changed in many ways. Our membership has grown and it now includes readers as well as writers. Jennifer and I wanted to create a day of information that would appeal to everyone.

This world is full of interesting, sometimes bizarre, amazing things. As a writer, these tidbits of information can add depth and texture to your story. As a reader, it’s just plain interesting to discover! Welcome to Friday Fun Facts.

The Wild History of Men’s Underwear- (Who knew?)

1. Otzi, the centuries old ice man, was found wearing a leather loin cloth under his grass cloak.Otzi

2. King Tutankhamun was buried with 145 linen loincloths in his tomb. (He’ll be fresh in the after-world!)

3. Teutons and Romans wore undergarments as well. I think it was to protect sensitive parts being chafed raw under leather skirts.

4. Knight wore thicker and more fitted apparel to fit under all their armor.knightstemplar

5. Renaissance men knew what women liked so they developed the cod piece- a stiff and stuffed gusset for under their tights. (Naughty, naughty boys.)men-outfits

6. In 1935, a company named Coopers Inc. made underwear called “Jockey” because they included a jock strap built into the fabric.tighty-whitey

7. Boxers came into being after WWI. The soldiers liked their regulation briefs so much, they demanded to get them after coming home.

8. We won’t discuss men’s thongs.

Just Say "NO!"

Just Say “NO!”


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