Monday, October 31, 2011


For me, Halloween kicks off the holiday season. 
Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year!
When my kids were little I loved making their costumes for Halloween and they can tell you some of their costumes were really out there!  There are no costumes this year, but I still have my favorite holiday images that always make me smile. 

This one always makes me chuckle out loud and for some reason I can't stop thinking about pie!

Happy Halloween!!!

Monday, October 17, 2011


My beautiful daughter-in-law has joined the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Team-In-Training to run a half marathon in honor of my late son and her husband Allan Mello Jr.  I have written about my sonshine here before.  November  3rd will be the anniversary of his passing, Allan Jr. having died after a too short battle with a very rare T-cell lymphoma. 
Always the meddling in-law I would like to do everything possible to support her endeavor so I am sharing this information in hopes that there will be some who might lend a hand and make a donation toward her fundraising efforts.  I’ve written my check and only wish I had much more to give.  But since I don’t, I don’t have any qualms about asking for a little bit of help. 

This incredible young woman has raised two amazing children without her life partner.  She continues to amaze and delight me with her fortitude, her spirit, and the sheer will with which she has persevered.  My son loved and adored her and she has done him and the entire Mello family proud.

As part of her mission baby girl is looking to raise $3,800 help find cures and better treatments for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma.  She is running for a cause and with everyone’s support can help improve the quality of life for patients and their families as well.  Every dollar helps get a step closer to finding a cure for cancer.

So, please, won’t you DONATE?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I read book reviews today, something I do periodically to remind myself what I’ve done right with a story and in some cases, what I might have done wrong.
I happened upon the most interesting review of PROMISES TO A STALLION, the story of Luke Stallion, one of my billionaire brothers from Texas.  The reviewer HATED the book, acknowledging that she was clearly not my target audience.  The story was deemed MATURE and she noted that her mother would be more open to such a story line.  My book was reviewed with one other, a collection of homoerotic sodomy tales set in South Central LA, both books purchased for their potential use as masturbation tools.

I found the whole scenario quite amusing (and slightly disturbing that my book was purchased for its masturbation potential).  But I also couldn’t help but wonder why a reader who acknowledges that they prefer hard-core erotica and urban literature would even bother to read a traditional ROMANCE just to snub their nose at it and deem it unreadable?  After all, it is ROMANCE.  It’s marketed as ROMANCE and that in and of itself would tell someone they are not going to get blatant pornography and profanity in the storylines.  In ROMANCE the characters actually become friends and fall in love before they jump into bed with each other and the jumping into bed is preceded by a lot of sensual, very sappy foreplay before the deed ever gets done.  There is rarely any sodomy, bestiality, or hardcore sadomasochism and definitely not an ounce of homoerotic adventure. 
As a ROMANCE writer I don’t use the F-word, the N-word, the B-word or any other word that would be deemed insulting and unacceptable in church or a public place where adults who are older than I am might be congregating.  But there are writers who comfortably write those words and publishers who happily publish those books and not one of them lists the genre as ROMANCE.

There is a generation of young people who have no moral boundaries.  There are no limits to what they will say or do and there are no restrictions with what they will read, view, or listen to.  Fortunately, there is more than enough stuff out there for them to enjoy, that will satisfy what they do like. 

But why buy and read what you know from jump is not going to be your cup of tea just to spit it out because it’s not what you like?  When I want porn, I buy porn, not something faith-based!  I would think that if you want stronger, then you would buy stronger so that if you do end up spitting it out, it’s because it just didn’t suit your taste buds.

I guess it’s a good thing I don’t get paid to think!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011


Steve Jobs, the visionary in the black turtleneck who co-founded Apple in a Silicon Valley garage, built it into the world's leading tech company and led a mobile-computing revolution with wildly popular devices such as the iPhone, died today, losing his long-time battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 56.

With the ability to transform entire industries with his inventions, Jobs was one of the great innovators of our time, pioneering the concept of the personal computer and of navigating them by clicking onscreen images with a mouse. In more recent years, he introduced the iPod portable music player, the iPhone and the iPad tablet -- all of which changed how we consume content in the digital age.

In 2005 Jobs spoke to the graduating class of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.  He said:

"Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.  If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on."

Words for all of us to live by. 

He is survived by his wife of twenty years and four children.  My condolences to his family and friends. 

Monday, October 03, 2011


Well, I didn't win that contest but I'm delighted to share news of the man who did.  Although I didn't come close to his 2,832 votes, I am still very proud that I placed in the top 5% and again, want to extend my sincerest appreciation to everyone who supported me.  So again, thank you, thank you, thank you.

Times Square Awaits Stratford Artist
Stratford resident Ricardo Murillo will have his name and a photo he took displayed on a billboard in Times Square next month for winning an online contest.
By Jason Bagley - Stratford Patch
 The story of a Stratford resident who will soon have his face on a billboard in Times Square begins 15 years ago.

As a teenager growing up in Norwalk, Conn., Ricardo Murillo would sketch designs on T-shirts with a marker.

"Art has always been a part of me," said Murillo, 30, now living in Stratford with his girlfriend of seven years and two sons. "I used to draw to clear my head."

When, in 2009, Murillo lost his job at a sports clothing store in Southport, he bought his first camera and started to capture the culture of the street through film.

"I had nothing to fall back on to feed my family," said Murillo, who would post the "random street photography" and photos of his two boys on various Internet and social media sites.

A year after the photography endeavor began, Murillo was invited to San Juan, Puerto Rico -- though he had to pay his own travel expenses -- to take photos of the 2010 Latin Billboard Awards. While wandering around city streets between shoots, Murillo stumbled across some graffiti, which featured a depiction of a ragged blue whale with a dopey eye. Naturally, he had his camera on him and took a photo of the facade.

And come Oct. 8, that image -- along with two photos of Murillo and his first and last name in big blue letters -- will look down on the tens of thousands of people who bustle about Times Square on any given day.

The image, photos and letters are all part of
Murillo's online social-media-gathering profile on a website called Murillo submitted his profile into a contest sponsored by the website in August, and last week he was notified that his "digital business card," as he calls it, received the most online votes with 2,832.

The top ten vote getters are awarded play of their one-page profile on a revolving digital billboard in Times Square starting Oct. 8, and running for four subsequent weeks after that. However, the top three get the most face time and are treated to an all-expenses paid, three-day trip to New York City on Oct. 10.

"Millions of people are going to see it every day," said Murillo, who started two of his own businesses,
SELFMATHEMATIKS Clothing Co. in 2006 and SELFMATHEMATIKS Photography in 2009. "Who knows who will look at it ... It's huge for my career."

Saturday, October 01, 2011


I have a favorite little haunt that I frequent too many times each week for dinner.  Having refined my eating habits, I’ve eliminated most meats and all fried foods from my diet.  At my favorite little haunt I usually eat the same foods with an occasional variation and I always leave feeling that I’ve had a substantial and healthy meal.  The veggie plate is my favorite, an eclectic mix of three vegetables, a fresh baked yeast roll and my must-have sweet tea.  The cooks are all Southern born and bred and it is home cooking at its very best. 
Yesterday I met a friend for dinner.  I ordered my favorite plate with collard greens, pinto beans, macaroni and cheese, that roll, and my tea.

After blessing the food, we dug in and I began to extol the many virtues of my very healthy vegetable dinner.  My friend smiled sweetly, nodding in agreement as he enjoyed his own meal of green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy and an oversized breast of fried chicken.

When we were sated and contemplating whether or not we would share a dessert, my friend laughed, his head waving back and forth.  “You do know that mac and cheese is not a vegetable, right?” he said.  "There's really nothing healthy about it."

There was a moment of pause as I took in his comment.  “It is here,” I finally responded.  “Otherwise they wouldn’t put it on the veggie plate menu.”

He shook his head.  “If you say so.”

And I do.  I know that mac and cheese isn't the best choice and it certainly isn't a vegetable but it makes all these vegetables I have to eat a little more palatable.