Monday Musings – Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day Everybody!

This holiday has become known as the holiday where we kick off summer and have great barbecues. But it’s so much more. It’s a time to remember all those who have died in service to this country, to keep up safe and ensure our freedoms. And we have always been free in the United States, freer than in any other country in the world. To repay those who have died to keep us free and safe, let’s do our part…we don’t need to put ourselves in harm’s way like they did…all we need to do is continue the fight to retain our God given freedoms. Right now that seems almost an insurmountable task. But it’s the least we can do for those who died in our stead.

On this particular Memorial Day, I’d like to remember my father, Lt. Col. Earl M. Cheever, who served this country well as a young man of 18 in WW2, and continued to serve in the Air National Guard throughout his life. God bless you dad, and God Bless the USA!


Monday Musings – Is Power Sexy?

Book 3: Hoale Construction Mysteries

Book 3: Hoale Construction Mysteries

I think the answer to this question would have to be a resounding YES! I mean, let’s face it there’s nothing sexier than a cop, a soldier or a fireman. Any job that requires strength and aggression creates an image of power and raises the sexiness potential of a man exponentially. But there’s another kind of power that’s sexy too. Extremely wealthy men are generally more interesting than men with a normal amount of money. Wealth equals power. It isn’t physical power, but it’s the type of power that can be even more useful and interesting. This type of power can get you those tickets you wanted for a sold-out concert, or that table in the best restaurant in town, where tables are rarely available. It’s the kind of power that gets things done when others can’t. A man who can pick up a phone or snap his fingers and get you anything you want is incredibly sexy.

Fiction is full of both kinds of men and each is extremely sexy in his own right. But there is one more power that you might not have considered.

Bad boy power.

Yeah, this is a kind of power. Not everybody has the strength of will to buck the system. And nothing heats the blood like the rebel…the dark-eyed bad boy with the smoldering good looks. This man’s power is his ability to conquer his world while breaking all the rules. And more importantly, given the right bad boy, you’ll find yourself wanting to break the rules with him!

Happy reading!

Monday Musings – The Reader Dichotomy

It’s a conundrum…a mystery… an enigma. How can a population that prefers its news and information in snippets, slogans, and  jingles, favor novels of over 100,000 words?

Mark Coker, the founder of Smashwords and a man who has shown a singular ability to read the tea leaves in the publishing industry, recently posted an update on ebook sales trends. One surprising finding? Most readers seem to prefer their fiction lengthy. A hundred thousand plus lengthy. At a time when authors are being encouraged by their publishing houses to write shorter, hotter, faster.

It seems perfectly logical that, in our fast-paced, busy world, readers would prefer books that they can consume quickly. The evolution of reading material would seem to support this. Jane Austin and Leo Tolstoy took hundreds of words to say what today’s author might say in a sentence or a paragraph. The pace of yesterday’s story was much slower than the pace of a contemporary work. So it seems logical that people would prefer their beginnings, middles, and ends to happen in fewer pages. Alas, that doesn’t appear to be the case. So where’s the disconnect? It’s possible that, as things tend to do when human beings are involved, we’re moving full circle in our reading preferences. Or, maybe, in our fast-paced, busy world, when we pick up a book to escape into, we’re looking for something to soothe and settle. But if that were the case it seems we’d be reaching for the classics, because today’s authors have been trained to move a story along, to be succinct, to feed the hunger for thrills and excitement that today’s readers seem to want. Maybe it’s just as simple as immersion. Readers who happily immerse themselves into a great book don’t want that immersion to end…because then real life comes crashing back in. Whatever the reason, it’s good news for those of us who like to embrace more complex stories that support nearly endless tomes. But it’s gonna take a little retraining. Because, to make a long story short…

‘Nuff said? #:0)

Monday Musings – Reese Witherspoon Apologizes? Good on her!

I’m unlike a lot of Americans, I think, in that I really don’t care much for the Hollywood gang. They tend to be shallow in thought and deed, moving through life like giant, squishy blobs of feeling without rational  thought. Plus I don’t appreciate their constant preaching and inserting of their agendas into movies and television meant for entertainment. It has nothing to do with whether I share their viewpoint or not. I liken it to being approached by a Jehovah’s Witness member at my home. I understand they believe what they believe…I can respect their right to believe it…but I’m not sure what part of their DNA tells them they have the right to foist it on me. Which makes it a surprise, even to me, that today I’m going to give one of the Hollywood crowd giant Kudos.

Have a fist bump, Reese Witherspoon. You showed great maturity and class by admitting you were a drunken ass-wipe and apologizing for it. I’m giving you a virtual standing O. Nicely done. Let’s face it, we’re all asses once in a while. And admitting it is dang hard. Especially when you live in la la land, where everybody around you makes it their vocation to constantly tell you how wonderful you are…how much better than the common man you are…and it takes everything you have to stay humble and grounded.

But Reese apparently has kept a grip on her humility. She’s still got her humanity firmly within her grasp. She’s got enough class to not only admit when she was wrong, but also apologize for it.

You’ve convinced me, Reese Witherspoon. You are a notch above most of your peers. You’re truly a class act. Well done.

I’m definitely going to see your next movie. Even if it sucks.