A mix of stuff, i.e. a potpourri (without herbs)

  • My latest post “How are You Feeling?” was written in hopes followers of this blog would respond with their own comments and stories about coping with the pandemic. I was disappointed in the lack of response.
  • I’m coping by working on my next novel. It seems to be about halfway done, though I’m usually the last to know. It continues where my Florida Folk Magic Trilogy ends, though it’s by no means a sequel (unless my publisher tells me it’s a sequel).
  • I’m also coping by re-reading old books, currently James Patterson’s Instinct about a serial killer who leaves cryptic clues to his next victim by placing a playing card next to each person he murders. The novel came out in 2017 and was co-written by Howard Roughan. It demonstrates the problem with the police using the services of an expert. If the murders keep going on and on an on, the expert really isn’t solving anything. If the murders stop right after the expert solves the whole case on page 20, you don’t have much of a novel.
  • My wife and I see to be trading the low-grade flu back and forth. Not sure how to fix that except for both of us to take it easy and get extra sleep.
  • I listened to Queen Elizabeth II’s brief pandemic speech on TV last night and though it was a reasonable appeal for working together to solve this crisis as Brits have done before. She’s old enough to remember the Blitz, the country’s attempts to find safe places for the children, and the resolve with which everyone mobilized for efforts in battlezones and on the homefront.
  • Comfort food is a high priority with us right now. I just took a squash casserole out of the oven to be warmed up for several meals. My wife’s been making pies and rice casseroles. We usually pair these with whatever we can find on TV, including “How to Get Away With Murder.” Our joke with that series is that (like “Lost”) we seem to know less and less about what’s going on after watching each episode.
  • Stay well.



Splattering probably makes most people think of the crime writer’s ever popular “blood splattered room” or the seaside bombardments of sea gulls. However, I slightly altered the title (Smatterings) that author J. T. Ellison (I like her books) uses on Sundays for a potpourri overview of the previous week.

I don’t think this post will live up to any of that. (You’ve been warned.)

Those who follow my personal profile on Facebook know that my wife does a lot of quilting and that in the evenings I sit in the sewing room while she works and watch old movies. On Facebook, I refer to these as our quilting movies.

Wikipedia Photo

Recently, we watched an old navy movie called “Destroyer” starring Glen Ford and Edward G. Robinson about an ex-navy man (Robinson) who works in the shipyard building a new destroyer and then rejoins the navy as a chief petty officer. He quickly finds out he’s out of touch. Since I was in the navy, I have fun watching these old ships-at-sea movies, though in this one, it was weird seeing tough-guy Robinson as a navy chief rather than a mobster. I saw a few accuracy problems with the film, including non-commissioned personnel saying “aye aye sir” to other non-commissioner personnel and the crew of the ship wearing navy dress whites once in a while at sea. Fun movie.

Our discussions on the new Literary Forum are slowly drawing in more people who like to talk about the books they’re reading or the books they’re writing. I hope you’ll stop by and join the discussion.

Finally, the three Thursday night shows my wife and I watch have returned after being on hiatus during the holidays: “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal,” and “How to Get Away With Murder.” “Grey’s” is getting a bit worn out by now since it’s been around a while, and “Scandal” and “How To Get Away with Murder” are ending after this season. “How to Get Away With Murder” has such a tangled plot that my wife and I believe we know less about what’s going on with each new episode.

If you haven’t been watching the series up to now, forget it. You’ll never catch up.

I had fun reading and blogging about the mystery/thriller Madame ZeeZee’s Nightmare this past week. I started reading the book before I went to sleep one night and continued reading it the following day–all day, as it turns out. I was supposed to be working on Lena,  the third book in my Florida Folk Magic series, but was reading Pat’s book instead. My story–and I’d sticking to it–is that I reserved a break. Time well spent!

I’m drinking a glass of red wine right now because, frankly, I don’t care whether it’s 5:00 o’clock anywhere. I urge you to do the same because red wine is a medicine that makes us better persons.

I hope you’re having a great weekend.