Holding Up His Arms


So many things change as we age. And now this..

Holding Up His Arms.

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The Pluck of the Eyebrow


So, the other day, I looked down and wondered whose hands were those attached to my wrists. They looked too dry and wrinkly to be mine. They reminded me of my grandmother. Well, she was a hard working woman. Having her hands might not be such a bad thing.

Then I looked at myself in the mirror. And I realized that my teeth weren’t exactly in the same place as they were yesterday. But my smile was still a good one.

And my ears. Well, let’s just say, I knew from family photos, that this particular part of my body would someday get larger.

In fact, it seemed that the entire landscape of my face was experiencing a shift in its foundation. From a geological point of view, I was experiencing eruptions (old age spots), floods (eye leakage), and quakes which were producing in new fault lines everyday.

Most of these changes I expected and was having no trouble dealing with them.

But the other day, I discovered something quite unexpected.

I took off my glasses. Something was missing. I leaned closer to the mirror. And closer still. Until my nose pressed against the cool surface. Yes, this particular part of my anatomy had vanished.

My eyebrows!

Where there should have been a nicely shaped arch covering the length of my eye and beyond, there was this little apostrophe. Just hanging there. Like it actually belonged on my face.

When did this happen? I have a ton of hair everywhere on my body.  On my head, it’s thick and curly with a mind of its own. The ones under my arm are long and snaky. If I don’t shave regularly ( I know, I should wax) they sneak out from the sides of bathing suit. There are several making a regular appearance above my upper lip. And no matter how many times I pluck that nasty one on my chin, it keeps growing back like a garden weed.

So why had my eyebrows gone missing?

I thought about all those wonderful adjectives associated with one’s brows, words used  to describe feelings and  emotions.

Sadness:  Her eyebrows dipped inward.

Confusion:  His bushy eyebrows crinkled.

Determination:  Her eyebrows, straight as a ruler, told me she played by the book.

Flirty:  He lifted one eyebrow and winked at me.

Eyebrows scrunch, gather, stray, lift, sag, tilt. They are an important part of our face.

I couldn’t help but stare at myself.

I was totally shocked.

But, of course, you couldn’t tell by looking at me. Because I no longer have eyebrows to raise in surprise.

Read about my last visit from Aunt Flo!

Posted in Aging, eyebrows, hair, Plucking, Surprise | Tagged , , , , | 19 Comments

Father Does Know Best

Dad with three kids

My dad reading to his three grandchildren

Today is my third fatherless Father’s Day.  That’s not to say that my dad isn’t with me.  Because he’s always in my heart.

When I was growing up, my father brought in the bacon.  All of it.  He went to work every morning at 6:00 and came home every evening around 5:30.  When he walked in the door after a hard day at the office, my mom handed him a cocktail, the newspaper and a slice of rye bread.  (Don’t ask.  I’m not sure why he wanted this, unless of course, it was a symbol of being the bread winner.) For the next half hour he would sit and relax while my mom finished making dinner and my sister and I set the table.

I guess you’d say he was a lot Jim Anderson on “Father Knows Best.”  And back then I believed he did know best.  After all, he was the man of the house.  My father.

This routine lasted for many, many years until my sister and I started high school, at which time our mom wanted to go to work.  Not so much for the money.  But how many times can you change the bedding, scrub the toilets, rearrange the pantry, or play golf in one week?

But Mom going to work wasn’t the only change that took place in our household.  Now my father’s daughters were dating.  Goodbye Jim.  Hello Archie Bunker.

My father wasn’t exactly like good old Archie, but when it came to the boys his girls were bringing home, he could be quite judgmental.  After all, he had once been a teenage boy and he knew how boys could act toward girls.  When their daughters start dating it must be a scary time for fathers.  And of course, as a teenage girl, I knew my father did NOT know what was best for me!

Some of my boy friends were definitely  “undesirables”  in my father’s eyes.  In looking back, I can’t say as I blame him.  With only two daughters, he had five son-in-laws.  So, I guess he had reason to be concerned.

Eventually I left home in order to discover who I was in life. Always with the security of knowing where to find my father.  In his workshop.

Throughout the years he was always building something.  From gigantic wall units, to roll-top desks to rocking horses.  Toward the end of life he turned to small wooden objects such as stamp holders, bagel tongs and boxes with secret openings.  Sometimes he actually made me guess what it is that he had made.

But I never had to guess how much he loved  me.  And of all the things he built, the best is the strong foundation upon which I live today.

And I’ve since learned one truth:  My father really did know best.

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Who doesn’t love summer? Who doesn’t love reading? Who doesn’t love reading on the beach or by the pool or in the spa or inside a nice air-conditioned room.

Don’t miss this huge giveaway by my friend Kim from Let Me Start By Saying.

62 Books! 37 Authors!  Click here to enter.  Giveaway ends on 6/8/15.

Happy Reading!

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Private Dancing


My old, trusty friend

The act of masturbation has been around since the beginning of time. But a large scale celebration of this action is relatively new. And what could be larger than an entire month dedicated to playing with oneself? Yes, you heard me right.

Here in the United States,  it is Masturbation May.

At first, I assumed this celebration was put on the calendar by Hallmark. This greeting card company has a line of salutations for just about everyhing else, why not one for whacking off?

The jilted lover could send a card saying,  “Since you won’t play with me anymore, I have to play with myself.”

The health conscious consumer could buy a card with the slogan, “A diddle a day, keeps the doctor away.”

But I was wrong.  In 1994 U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders suggested that masturbation be taught in sex education classes. As a result, Elders was fired. My God, how could she suggest such a thing?

The sexually active folk in San Fransciso got their panties all in a bunch and set out to right her firing.

On May 7,  1995, California sex advocate Dr. Carol Queen with the assistance of Good Vibrations,  a retail store in San Francisco, held the first National Masturbation Day and thus  Masturbation May was born.

I’m not sure it was ever included in the cirriculum. But I do know that most of us don’t need any concrete lessons.  Besides,  the act is unique to each person.

In my case, I have early memories of lying on our livingroom floor in my favorite flannel nightgown. I’m not even sure how old I was. Old enough to know what felt good. At the time my grandfather lived with us. My behavior was quite alarming to him (as my mother tells it.)

She quietly explained to him that I was Private Dancing. Then she firmly, but gently told me that it was something I should do in private.

And take it from me, there are a lot of private places where one can release all that built up tension.

The way I see it,  a month devoted to masturbating is really a month dedicated to loving oneself.

And as my mom told me a long time ago, if we can’t love ourselves, how can we expect anyone else to?



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Travels with My Dad

Janie Emaus and her dad


Some of my fondest childhood memories involve trips I went on with my parents.  Every winter we went to Crestline where we tobogganed, ice-skated and drank hot chocolate around the fireplace inside our cozy cabin. In the summer we went to a resort where we swam in a large pool, ate in a dining room, and engaged in “family fun” activities. Looking back, it was bit like Dirty Dancing, although no one called me Baby and I never found my Johnny Castle.

Yet, the vacations which occupy most of my memory (what little I have these days) are the ones we took to New York and Hawaii.

In Hawaii, I walked around in white pedal pushers, carrying a large, white straw purse, (even larger than my mom’s) thinking that all the boys would surely notice me. Well, if they did it wasn’t as anything but a flat-chested twelve- year-old carrying a purse way too big for her and smiling like a complete dork.

In New York, I was a bit more sophisticated. Sort of. I actually fell in love and had my heart broken all in one night. This incident caused my father to go into a rage and want to go kill whoever had made his baby girl cry so horribly. (The closest I got to a Baby moment.)When he found out I was sobbing hysterically because I would never see that boy again, he wanted to kill me!

But no matter what age I was when we traveled, I knew my father would get us to our destination safely. He would take care of everything (hotels, car rentals, food, souvenirs, fun) while we were on our vacation.  And see to it that arrived home in one piece.

On our last family vacation we traveled to Mexico. And before we left, my father, who at the time was eighty-eight-years old, the one I always counted on, took my hand, looked me in the eye, and said, “You’ll get us there okay, won’t you?”

As a teenager, I never thought my father would be saying this to me. His words tugged at my heart, yet, at the same time, made me feel good that I could answer, “Yes, of course. I’ll take care of everything.”

And so off to Mexico we went. My husband, me, my mom and my father. I wore my responsibility like a second skin, knowing that I owed it to my parents for all they have done for me.

Now, that’s not to say that I didn’t lose my patience a bit. Especially when my father was asking for a cocktail only a few minutes after we had taken our seats on the plane.  But then I couldn’t blame him. The first class passengers were drinking wine and eating hors d’oeuvres, while the coach passengers were still boarding. The combined age of those first class passengers was probably only a few years past that of my dad’s.

We arrived safely in Mexico and as I had promised my father, there was a wheelchair waiting to take us through customs. And as I had also promised there were beautiful sunrises (well, I guess I didn’t have much say in that event) and delicious huevos rancheros  (again not something I prepared)  and many wonderful hours playing cards, drinking margaritas and laughing.  I can take credit for some of those.

Upon returning home, my father grasped my hands, looked me in the eye and said, “Thank you so much. We made it home safe and sound, didn’t we?”

“Yes, we did,” I said. “But you don’t have to thank me.”

And he didn’t to have. It was the least I could do for the man who had done so much for me.

To be honest, it was difficult at time. Traveling with elderly parents presents many obstacles.  But the truth is- now that my father is gone, I wish I could do it all over again.

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Tina and me

I believe everything happens for a reason. Most of us sign with agents hoping they will further our careers and sell our books. That doesn’t always happen. In my case,  I moved on from the agent, but took with me a lasting friendship with a wonderful and talented writer – TINA FERRARO.

Tina, a two-time RITA finalist for her young adult romances, has her first paranormal YA, HALF-LIFE, releasing on March 24th.  To get the party started, she’s offering a free gift link of a YA short, STUPID CUPID, to anyone who preorders HALF-LIFE.  Find out more by contacting her at admin@tinaferraro.com.

Young Adult stories don’t get any better than this!

half-life official

Half a life is not worth living.

Probably not a good idea to take advice from your dead twin sister. High school sophomore Trisha Traynor and friends have played the Halloween mirror game for years, the one that’s supposed to show a glimpse of the guy they’ll marry. But no one’s ever seen anything.

Until tonight­ when Trisha is gob smacked by the candlelit arrival of her long-deceased twin sister, instead of her crush, Kirk Maxwell.

In a voice and vision that only Trisha can hear and see, Chessie claims to be back on a compassionate journey. Trisha fears she’s gone nuthouse crazy. But she nonetheless follows the instructions Chessie outlines in their nightly conversations, until she finds herself stepping across some ethical lines, and probably ending all chances with Kirk.

When a sisterly showdown ensues, resulting in the shattering of the mirror, Chessie’s gone again, and a heartsick Trisha sets about righting her recent wrongs. That is, until she stumbles upon the real reason Chessie had come back and the most important glimpse yet that the mirror could never predict.

Pre Order Half-Life and receive a free copy of STUPID CUPID.


Thanks to the mythical god of love, Cupid, 16-year-old Sydney’s love life is about to get complicate…even though technically she doesn’t have one.

Like I said, everything happens for a reason. The reason for ordering Tina’s book is simple. You’ll be happy that you did!

Posted in Books, Giveaway, Young Adult Novels | Tagged , , , , , | 30 Comments

The Lost Art of Writing Love Letters

Mom and Dad wedding


I learned so much about my parents from reading their love letters. What will the future generations be reading?

I can guarantee you it won’t be this.

Happy Valentine’s Day!



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Four Generations of Hands

The Hands of Time

Four Generations of Hands

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Hooters, Bazooms & Jugs, Oh My!


Bazongas.  Tatas.  Melons.  Chichis.  Years ago, when I worked in the porn industry these words were part of my daily vocabulary.  Now, in case you get the wrong idea, I was not in front of the camera, but rather that creative voice behind the box cover blurb.

In order to get a gist of the plot, I would watch each movie until I had a total understanding of the intricate emotions driving the action

Often times during this work, my husband would come up behind me and do a bit of his own driving, which of course made concentrating on the story almost impossible.

And yes, there were stories to some of these films.   Even if they were as simple as: Bored housewife sits by the pool.  Horny pool man arrives.  Wife takes off her top.  Pool man takes out his pole.

But more often than telling the story, I had to entice the viewer by describing the lusty bustiness of the actresses.

Thus my knowledge of every conceivable synonym for that ever talked about body part: breasts.  The job also became a study in human behavior.

Boobs sell.  I discovered that there are more “breast man” in this world than “leg man” or “butt men.”  This fact led me to the question – Why men are like this in the first place? Breaking down a woman’s body into favorite parts, sounds like one is talking about a product that can be purchased at your local grocery store.

I rarely hear a woman announce, “Oh, I’m a penis girl.”  Or “I’m a hairy chest girl.”  Of course, women do favor different parts of their lover.  I always loved arms, strong, muscular arms.  But if they didn’t come with a good personality and some brains, well, those arms soon lost their sex appeal.

But, back to the boobs.   My favorite alternative word is “breasticle.”  I have no idea why.  I suppose it sounds rather sophisticated.  Or maybe because it rhymes with testicle.

In any event, I actually miss those days of conceiving alluring blurbs and in fact, I haven’t even seen any porn in a very long time.

I’m sure the actresses have changed.  The ones I watched are now middle aged.  Who wants to see that on screen?  Get hot and heavy with horny Grandma Maybelle.  Her banana boobs will bring you to orgasmic pleasure.  Not!

But I wouldn’t mind viewing some of those older films.   I’ll have to read the box covers and see which ones promise a night of orgasmic pleasure.

Porn ad copy



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