Tag Archives: funny

Bouchercon Special: Free E-books

I’m honoured to have been one of the mystery/crime/thriller authors selected to promote Smashwords at Bouchercon 2015, the world mystery convention being held this weekend in Raleigh, NC.

Never Say Spy (Book 1) and The Spy Is Cast (Book 2) were included on the Smashwords USB drive given to all Bouchercon attendees.

North Carolina is a helluva long trip for most people, though, so I’m making both e-books free to everyone this weekend.  (Never Say Spy is free through all retailers, but The Spy Is Cast freebie is only available through Smashwords.)

Get the freebies from Smashwords here:

Never Say Spy (Book 1):  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/96058

The Spy Is Cast (Book 2):  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/100014 (Enter coupon code NH25H and click the ‘Apply Coupon’ button when you check out.  The price will reset to $0.00.)

Note:  This series contains coarse language and adult content.

This deal ends tomorrow (Sunday, October 11, 2015) so please spread the word.  Thanks!



Filed under Writing

The Terrifying ‘Bearrot’

My mind goes strange places when I’m half-awake (or half-asleep, depending on whether you’re a glass-half-full or glass-half-empty type of person). So it didn’t really surprise me when halfway through my shower, my brain announced, “Parrots! We should write a post about parrots!”

Me (grumbling into my washcloth): “What’s this ‘we’ shit? I don’t know anything about parrots. Where the hell did that random thought come from?”

Brain: “Come on, it’ll be fun! You could write about the World Parrot Refuge on Vancouver Island.”

Me (still cranky): “There was nothing funny about the refuge. It’s a cool place and it’s great that they take in unwanted parrots, but I spent the whole visit wishing I’d brought an umbrella to fend off the birdshit, and that creepy little bald cockatiel kept landing on my shoulder and cuddling up like I was his long-lost Mommy. Besides, I don’t trust any bird that’s capable of biting my finger off.”

Brain: “Oh, get over it. Parrots are amazing! They come in spectacular colours, they’re smart, they can live as long as humans, they can talk-”

Me: “Yeah, great. So now we’ve got a crafty old bird that lures you over with a display of pretty feathers and a cutesy ‘Polly want a cracker’, and then it bites your finger off!

Brain: “Aw, come on. You can find something funny about parrots. How about Monty Python’s ‘Dead Parrot’ sketch?”

Me: “Well, there’s that…”  (returning to the debate): “But that’s the only funny thing about parrots. Forget parrots. Maybe I could blog about my bear belt; make a few jokes about how dorky I look striding around the garden with that strapped to me.”

The bear belt: Everything I need to frighten a bear through sheer dorkage.

The bear belt: Everything I need to frighten a bear through sheer dorkage.

Brain: *martyred sigh* You’ve written about bears. Over and over. Everybody’s tired of bears. And they already know you look like a dork on a regular basis. Parrots, I tell you. You need to write about parrots!”

Me: “Piss off. Parrots are scary. Those blank soulless eyes…”

Brain: “Huh. Like bears aren’t scary? But you still manage to joke about them.”

Me (weakening): “Well, yeah, but…”

Brain (sensing imminent triumph): “Bears are terrifying! Parrots are much funnier.”

Me: “True, bears are terrifying…” *tries diversionary tactic* “Hey, you know what’s the only thing that could possibly make bears scarier?”

Brain (distracted): “Huh? Bullshit. Nothing could make bears scarier.”

Me: “Oh, hellz yeah! What if…” *pauses dramatically* “…you crossed a bear with a parrot?”

Brain: *stunned silence*

Me: “Imagine it! A bear that can not only chase you and eat you on the ground; it can also fly. Swooping down on silent wings with claws and teeth bared…”

Brain: “A bearrot. The most terrifying animal to stalk the earth…”

Me: *snickering* “…and you’d really want an umbrella…”

This is what happens when I blog while not completely awake.

This is what happens when I blog while not completely awake.


Filed under Cartoons, Humour, Life

Shakin’ It Up

I like to try something new every now and then, so this year I decided to take “shaking it up” literally.  Yes, I signed up for belly-dancing classes.  I do not expect this to contribute in any way to building my self-esteem or maintaining what little dignity I possess.

I went to my first class this weekend.  I knew it wasn’t going to be pretty.  I’m not uncoordinated, but I’m incapable of translating verbal instructions into useful movement.  I know that.  I’ve known it for years.

I was the woman flapping around like a brain-damaged goose at the back of aerobics class in the 80s.  I’d barely have caught onto a move when they’d change.  Forget lagging one beat behind; I was a whole song behind.

I had the same problem in Jazzercise.  The instructor busted out a new move and the rest of the women nailed it in minutes.  I flailed around as if in the throes of an epileptic seizure for the rest of the class.

It’s no coincidence that I haven’t attempted anything of the sort for decades.

Part of my problem is scale.  In the studio mirror, I look as though I’ve been badly Photoshopped.  I’m in proportion by myself, but I’m scaled up 10% compared to all the other cute little women.  When my arms are extended, they span six feet.  This means I need a LOT more space than everybody else.  This is not viewed kindly by anyone standing next to me.  Particularly not if the choreography involves vigorous arm movements.

The other problem is that my body is conditioned to run, jump, kick, punch, and heft heavy objects as forcefully and efficiently as possible.  This does not translate well to activities requiring feminine grace.

But I knew all this up front.  My expectations were realistic.

I arrived at the studio early and bought a bright, jingly hip scarf.  It fit.  So far, so good.  (Yeah, I know it’s virtually impossible for a hip scarf to not  fit.  But like I said:  low expectations, yada, yada.)

The other students were half my size, but that was no surprise.  The instructor was (shockingly) almost as tall as me.  For a few moments, I had hope.  Then she moved.

Oh my God.

The woman was sheer grace.

She explained the dance posture.  Even standing still, she was graceful.

I tried to copy the position.  I looked like a linebacker with hemorrhoids:  ready for scrimmage, but poised gingerly on tiptoe.

The hip scarf didn’t help my look.  I have no hips to speak of, so where the other women’s scarves draped gracefully on their bodies, mine looked like a bandana tied to a telephone pole.

Then we started some simple choreography.

Well, the rest of the class did.  I galumphed around in the back row, seven beats behind.  I know it was seven beats because there was one merciful portion of the song where we shook our hips for eight beats, and I caught up on the very last one.  Then the dance went on, and I was lost again.

On the up side, I discovered my core strength and flexibility are good.  Maybe by the end of the course, I’ll even be able to do something remotely attractive with them.

Or maybe not.

But, hey, I’m shakin’ it up.  And if nothing else, it’ll be a character-building exercise.

I’ll keep you posted…


Filed under Humour, Life