Magpie Moments: Not the Cheeseburger Pie!

We haven’t talked about food for a while, so I thought it was time. Or maybe I’m just hungry. I took a wary bite. The last dish my sister prepared for me was probably a bowl of cereal, so I was pleasantly surprised. “I’m usually not a fan of chilled quiche, but this …” “I know,” Lisa said, smiling. “It doesn’t just taste like cold eggs with some cheese thrown in. It has depth and subtlety.” “And sausage.” My eyes twinkled. “Of course, I should be easy to impress. Thank God mom never tried quiche. We’d have all ended up Read more…

Stories I Thoroughly Enjoy: Zero Effect

Raise your hand if you remember the 1990s. (Unless you’re wearing a T-shirt you bought at a Nirvana concert; then you can keep it down.) Bill Pullman is one of those actors that I don’t initially remember being in things (my sleeping brain thanks me for blocking out The Serpent and the Rainbow, and all other Wes Craven movies), but he was in a lot of movies in the 1990s. They ranged across multiple genres, from the romantic comedy While You Were Sleeping to David Lynch’s Lost Highway (yes, I consider Lynch to be his own genre) to the blockbuster Independence Read more…

Magpie Moments: Using the Whole Road

“I’m a taxpayer. I paid for it, so I’m using the whole road.” Who hasn’t made (or cringed as the driver made) similar remarks after drifting across the highway’s center line or onto the shoulder, or going the wrong way down a one-way street. A couple of weeks ago, a woman in a coffee shop parking lot heading straight for me veered at the last moment, leaned out the driver’s window and yelled, “Watch where you’re going!” Apparently she’d had too much caffeine and didn’t notice the painted arrows going both ways. Back in high school, I remember traveling with our band director Read more…

Magpie Moments: I Don’t Have a License, But I Drive Very Well

This week, I’m making a shameful confession of a different kind. (Last week’s was word count-related.) We’re going back to the third Sydney Brennan book, The Perils of Panacea, for a Magpie Moments post today, and back into the recesses of time and memory to find the real world source material that acted as inspiration. A little context with as little spoiling as possible: in the following excerpt from the book, Sydney is driving a car with … let’s just say, someone she’d rather not be. I started the engine and shifted the gear on the steering column, passing Drive the Read more…

Shameful Confessions and Permafree Book News

This week, I’m sharing a shameful confession and some book news, both in a rather scattered fashion. First, the confession: I’ve fallen way behind lately on my word count. Prepare yourselves for the justification/excuses section, without which no confession of underachieving would be complete. Our household menagerie has gotten complicated lately, what with two stray dogs with health issues and a resident perfect dog that we’re suddenly realizing is not quite so perfect. I suspect single dogs are like only children this way; you don’t realize the level of their dysfunction until they have another dog/sibling to bump up against. Read more…