Archive for April, 2022

A Remote Blog

I’d hoped to attend the Edgars banquet at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square this year, but—maybe next year!

It may not be quite as busy this year, but it will still be Times Square. (pixabay photo)

In case you missed the January announcement of the nominees, here they are.

I’ll be reporting on the winners next week!

And here I am finally with the winners:

2 years and counting

About two years ago, on March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic. Covid-19 entered the rolls of “where were you then?” along with 9/11 and a list of assassinations.

I know where I wasn’t—at a conference in San Diego. I’d cancelled the trip 3 days earlier, thus beating the WHO to the punch.

At the time, we (I) thought it might be a couple of weeks, then a couple of months, and now a couple of years, two shots and two boosters later, and we’re still not to the next stage.

In April of that year, 2020, I wrote this blog. Something silly. It’s still necessary.

Are you ready for something silly?

These days I’m finding it hard to be cheerful, to see the humor in life. I wake up in a land I’d thought of only in fictional terms. A flare-up. An outbreak. An epidemic. A pandemic? When someone cracks a joke (rarely), my smile or laugh seem foreign to me, as if my lips and mouth are not used to the configuration.

So for this week, I thought I’d look for Quotes that make me laugh, or, at least not depressed.

from Steven Wright: I used to work in a fire hydrant factory. You couldn’t park anywhere near the place.

from George Carlin: May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house.

from Woody Allen: My one regret in life is that I’m not someone else.

from Steven Wright: A lot of people are afraid of heights. Not me. I’m afraid of widths.

• and this one is an original from my colleagues in our physics lab at Fordham U., c. 1965.

Me: the spectrograph is off kilter again. It’s going to take hours to adjust it.
Ron, a classmate: Let’s just rotate the Bronx.

Keep safe, everyone.

Travels With Jo

I’m delighted to host author and friend JO MELE today, and to celebrate her latest book!

The latest of Jo Mele’s Travel Mysteries.
Cover by Brian Shea

What’s better than a cozy travel mystery? Two Travel Mysteries.

Writers know that their protagonists can lead them anywhere. Jo Mele’s tour director, June Gordon, seems to stumble into trouble on every trip.

In Death on the Danube, a relaxing cruise with her best friend Irene, June takes us to many tourist sites from Vienna to Serbia, and introduces us to the local culture, customs, and food.

At Hungary’s Iron Lock, they hear a scream, then a splash. Someone has gone overboard. A suicide note is found from a professor on the cruise. After speaking to a friend of the dead professor, June is convinced it was murder.

Don’t read this book if you’re hungry or love dessert, especially jelly doughnuts.

As a reward for helping to solve the professor’s murder, June is offered a free cruise for two, on the Rhine. The castle cruise has been on her travel bucket list for five years. Now she and her husband get to go for free.

Irene tells her that since she was already involved in solving a crime on her first cruise the next one should be peaceful.

The title of this second book, Corpse in the Castle, erases any chance of this being a relaxing cruise. June and Joe soon get involved in the murder of a CIA agent working on recovering stolen art. They learn that the Nazis hid over a quarter of a million pieces of art, before and during the war. Stolen pieces are still being smuggled across borders, and sold to private collectors.

June and Joe are asked by the police to follow a pair of suspected smugglers, fellow passengers.

Joe realizes how easy it is to get involved in finding justice for a victim, and apologizes to June for thinking she simply volunteers for danger.

Still, he is a little worried about her next trip, to Sicily. Delicious desserts, an active volcano, and the mafia. What could possibly go wrong?

Josephine (Jo) Mele is a world traveler, tour guide, and life-long mystery reader. Four books in her Travel Mystery Series, and The Odd Grandmothers, a memoir of three generations of her family have been published. She thought it was time for a cruise, or two, with more crimes to solve. Jo is a member of Sisters in Crime.

Jo Mele’s books are available at Reasonable Books in Lafayette or on amazon.

aka Camille Minichino

Most of my readers have already heard many stories about what it’s like sometimes for a woman to have a different name from her lawfully wedded husband. You may have read an article I wrote on the topic that appeared in Ms. Magazine in 1996.

But here we are, more than 2 decades later, and the issues are still not resolved. Here’s the latest story.

My husband and I had adjacent appointments for our Booster shots at a local pharmacy, his at 10:20, mine 10:40. He signed in at the counter, got paperwork, and to make it easy for the staff, told the pharmacist “My wife is next and she’s right here.”
The woman looked at the schedule and said, “I’m sorry, we have someone else booked for that time.”
Time for me to step up. I had email proof that I should be on her list. There was no one else in the area, so I decided I could beat this other person to the shot. I swiped my phone to show my reminder email and pointed to my time and confirmation number. “See, I’m next.” I smiled through my mask.
She looked at the message and frowned. “Oh, that’s you,” she said. “A different name.” As if I should have warned her.
I wonder what would have happened if I had the earlier appointment? Would she have put my husband through the same process?

** Full disclosure: while I declined to change my name to my husband’s, I didn’t hesitate when my publisher required a new pseudonym for each series. And so I acquiesced to Margaret Grace, Ada Madison, Jean Flowers, and Elizabeth Logan.

“They’re fake,” I tell my friends.