April 14, 2017
May you and your family have a wonderful, peace filled weekend. To those that celebrate it, Happy Easter!!
April 12, 2017
Hump Day Kick Start – for your muse, a writing picture prompt, or just a visual treat.
I mean, who hasn’t been in this situation before? Right? Riiight?
Tell me about today’s prompt. Who is he and how did he end up cuffed? Good guy or a bad guy? Could he be the dangerous fugitive who left a wake of destruction and was finally caught by heroic Johnny Law? Or was he wrongly framed? If so, of what? Is he even in a police car? Perhaps not. Maybe he’s been snatched by his worst adversary and things are looking kinda grim for him. Is he from this world, the future, the past, or another dimension? What if he is playing along, biding time, waiting for the right moment to bust out of the cuffs and wreak havoc/get revenge/save someone? Maybe a sexy detective has him under arrest for stealing her heart. Haha! Sappy, I know…
Caption the pic or give me your take.
April 7, 2017
Many of us have switched to olive oil since it is a healthier alternative to many other oils for cooking. What you didn’t know is that you are probably getting ripped off. This is big business and millions are being made by scamming the public. What a ripe scenario for a book!
- “Mafia copies of fine olive oil, wine and cheese have fueled an explosion of food crime in Italy,” said CBS News correspondent, Bill Whitaker.
- “It’s very difficult to say in any given case with olive oil exactly how many drops in a given bottle actually have Mafia blood on them.” Tom Mueller
- Many times you get a lower grade oil mixed with a small amount of good extra virgin oil.
- Sometimes it’s very low quality that has been deodorized, mixed with something that has a little color and BOOM! you have high quality, made in Italy, extra virgin olive oil. It’s illegal and its done all the time.
- You can take colorless, odorless sunflower oil, add some chlorophyll and it has the color of “olive oil”.
- Some responsible olive growers in Sicily have tried to fight back against the Mob. Nicola Clemenza started a consortium and had his car burned and also part of his house while he was still inside with his wife and daughter!
- 75-80% of the olive oil that reaches Americans is NOT really extra virgin.
- The top-selling brand in the US is Bertolli. Samples were sent to professional tasters and they described it as lampante- which means its the lowest grade of oil. Bertolli is embroiled in a fraud investigation and several class action lawsuits.
- Italy is not the only one making money this way. A company in Córdoba, Spain are under investigation for allegedly exporting adulterated olive oils to Italy to be sold as authentic extra virgin olive oil.
- Portuguese food standards y agency ASAE seized 6,000 liters of fake olive oil from a company in the town of Penamacor.
- The earliest written mention of olive oil, on cuneiform tablets at Ebla in the twenty-fourth century B.C., describes teams of inspectors who toured olive mills on behalf of the king, looking for fraudulent practices.
- “The single-minded devotion of these food artisans, who built Italy’s culinary fame, is almost superhuman when you consider how consistently they’re being undercut by olive oil crooks, and abandoned by their own government. In fact, forces within the Italian government often help the crooks.”
April 5, 2017
Writing prompts to kick start your muse.
Ooh! Makes the mind wonder what kind of person this is. Vampire, superhero/villain, scientist, god/goddess, immortal hunter, the list could go on. What kind of people would go to such extremes as to bury someone alive? Scared villagers? A family with a secret? A group of wayward kids screwing up summer vacation? Why is the undead back? To seek revenge? Expose the real enemy? Return their overdue Blockbuster tape?
Share your ideas and/or post your creations, even if it’s just a line or two. I’d love to hear them.
March 31, 2017
Now here’s a topic! Pirates have been romanticized, vilified, and sensationalized. What is the truth about them? It’s sometimes stranger than fiction!
- Pirates pierced their ears not to look devilishly handsome, but it was believed if you pierced your ear with precious metal, it was thought to improve one’s eyesight. Even respected seafaring men did it!
- No one has actually ever found a real pirate’s buried treasure map. Never too far from death, most pirates tried to enjoy their money quickly.
- The Jolly Roger with its skull and crossed bones was designed to be scary. It was not used by all pirates, but many in The Spanish Main did use it to strike fear into their victims.
- It is a fact that many pirates had eye patches, hooks, or peg legs. This was a dangerous profession and many of them were maimed.
- Pirates have been around since boats were built. In fact, Julius Caesar was twice captured by Mediterranean pirates!
- There were up to 80 pirates on most boats in contrast to the British which usually had around 30 men aboard.
- A few of the pirate ships were large. Captain Bellamy’s Whydah, for example, had 28 guns and weighed 300 tons!!
- Pirates probably didn’t have talking parrots. Sorry.
- A gang of Pirates from 1714 called the “Flying Gang” were the inspiration behind Jack Sparrow and Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
- Pirates believed that whistling on a ship could call up a storm.
- They also believed having a woman on board was bad luck!
- Pirates weren’t all men! There were several notorious and totally bad-ass women pirates.
- Here’s another idea as to why so many had eye patches…it’s not because they lost an eye! Patches were worn so one eye would remain constantly adjusted to darkness, which made it easier to fight below deck when boarding ships. The technique was so effective that keeping one eye closed is still a technique used in the military today for night survival.
- Many captains had a pay scale for extra booty if the pirate was injured. The more extensive the injury, the more they got. If fact, injured pirates who continued with that life were held in respect and seen as being very brave.
- People from all social classes became pirates, they weren’t all thugs and thieves.
*** If you loved these facts, you’ll LOVE these books!!
Romance on the High Seas: Seven Swashbuckling Pirate Romances