Nancy Robards Thompson
Nancy Robards Thompson

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family, Jaunty Post, Nancy Robards Thompson, Uncategorized

We have a pair of sandhill cranes that have a nest near the lake behind our house. Where you see one bird, the other is always close by. They sandhill crainsstrut around the neighborhood, and when they return from a journey, they always announce themselves as they swoop in.   I love their quirky, rusty squawks. It’s such a strange mournful (and loud) cry,  I’m always compelled to get up and look out the window when I hear them.

 

Something about them tickles me.

 

According to Wikipedia: “Mated pairs of cranes engage in “unison calling.” The cranes stand close together, calling in a synchronized and complex duet. The female makes two calls for every single call of the male.”

 

Imagine that. I guess some things are universal no matter the species.

 

We named the birds Wacky and Nunu after a ridiculous local appliance store commercial where this guy jumps around and says, “If you didn’t buy from us, you paid too much! And that’s wacky-nunu!” I have no idea what  the literal translation of wacky-nunu is, but our daughter and her friends found it hilarious, and we ended up naming the sandhills accordingly.  That was five years ago. Since then, Wacky and Nunu have become members of our family – well, more like distant cousins, but we adore them nonetheless.

 

Before they built their nest, they used to come and go, sometimes disappearing for months at a time. But about a year ago, Wacky and Nunu decided to settle down. They built their lake-side nest in our backyard and started their family.  Just the other day, I got my first look at their baby. She was out walking around (it seems Wacky and Nunu aren’t very good parents and frequently leave her alone while they gallivant). I was so excited to get a look at the baby, I took a picture of
Judyher and immediately texted it our daughter (who is away at school). I meant to say, “Look, it’s Wacky and Nunu’s baby!” Somehow my phone autocorrected to, “Look, it’s Wacky and Nunu’s Judy!” So, yes, you guessed it. We named the baby Judy. Wacky, Nunu and Judy are a happy family. I’m so glad they decided to settle in our backyard.

 

Do you have any strange obsessions? If not, what tickles your funny bone? I’m giving away a $10 Amason.com or Barnes & Noble gift card (winner’s choice) to one person who posts.

 

 

 

 



KathrynSmith

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Kathryn Smith, Uncategorized

I watched the movie Possession last night. It’s based on the book by A.S. Byatt. In it, two modern scholars research (through happenstance and creative digging) the lives of two 19th century poets. The poets seemed to have little connection in the beginning, but our modern couple discovers that the two had a torrid affair and a great love, which they managed to conceal from the world. They had one month together and then they had to return to their lives, never to be together again. I won’t give away the entire plot, but there are surprises thrown in, and some wonderfully bittersweet moments. The historical couple is played Jeremy Northam and Jennifer Ehle. The modern couple is Gwyneth Paltrow and Aaron Eckhart. The two of them grow closer over the course of the investigation, and the whole theme of the movie seems to be — in my opinion — is if love is worth the risk of giving yourself to another person. In the case of the poets, he is married to a lovely, but seemingly frigid woman. Being with his lover risks ruination for them both, and so they have their time together and then go back to their lives.

For a romance author, you can see where this would be heartbreaking. Frustrating. I would have found a way for them to be together. Of course, adultery is frown upon in the romance world, so I would have had to make the wife the heroine, which sort of defeats the point.

Anyway, while I really enjoyed the movie, I lamented their lost love (as I was supposed to). And I think I wasn’t so upset by their lack of HEA because the main couple seems to have a good thing going by the end. Nice ploy on behalf of the author and those who wrote the script.

So, I want to know what YOU — romance readers and writers — think of the lost love plot. And please, fans of Byatt let me know what I should pick up by her. I’m ashamed that I have not read her yet!



KathrynSmith

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Jaunty Post, Kathryn Smith, Uncategorized

Last night my husband and I went out to dinner to celebrate an anniversary. When I told him we needed to go out, he said, “Why?” To which I replied, “It’s November 17th.” That was all that needed to be said. He chuckled, and pretended not to know what I was talking about, but it was obvious he did.

You see, on November 17th, 1995 we had our first date.

We were thrown together by mutual friends based on the fact that both Steve and I liked comic books. I suppose it was as good a base as any. The first time we met I thought he sounded like John Lovitz (He does a great impression), and was not terribly impressed. Imagine my disappointment — I had seen a photo of him a year earlier and thought he was cute, only to find out he was married (he married quite young). When I discovered he had gotten a divorce and was coming to visit this friend, I was a little eager to see if he lived up to expectations. Physically he did, but that VOICE! lol.

Needless to say I eventually heard him speak in his own voice, which turned out to be surprisingly pleasing. I asked him out — he was only newly single, after all — and he said yes. He was late and I had decided to engage in experimental cooking, so it’s a miracle we ever made it to date #2. However, when he left later that evening, he gave me a kiss good night. As I watched him walk down the street my heart was in my throat. I knew right then and there that he was him — the guy I was going to end up with. Of course I didn’t tell him that. lol.

You know, later on we discovered that his divorce had been finalized two days before that first date. I’d like to take this occasion to thank his ex for being such a cow that I looked like a princess by comparison.

So, every year we do something to mark the date. Sometimes I think we put more effort into that anniversary than the one that marks our wedding day. And you know what? I think I like the look of him even more now than I did back then. And yes, I still engage in experimental cooking, and his impressions are a hit at parties. I’m extremely lucky to have found not only a great husband, but a best friend as well.

Now I’ll stop bragging and start the conversation. :-) Are there any special milestones or anniversaries that you and your significant other celebrate? Or maybe you have something in your family or with an old friend instead? Spill!



KathrynSmith

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Kathryn Smith, Uncategorized, Writers and Writing

I haven’t been around much. I wish I could say it was because I was running around Europe having a grand ole time, but it’s not. It’s because I’m on deadline with a book due Nov 1. It’s the second in my YA Steampunk series and it’s giving me a hard time. Plus, I’ve been sick as a dog, which has slowed me down. So, now have to accept that the book won’t be as polished as I like when I turn it in — unless I’m late.

Here’s the thing. I don’t like to be late, even if it means the book will be better. The hubby and I are often late to gatherings because we have to drive almost half an hour to get to most of our friends’ homes. It drives me nuts every time.

Thankfully, writers have the revision process to help ease this feeling of  ‘Oh no, I just turned in a crap book’. I don’t really think the book is garbage, it’s just not going to have the atmosphere I want it to have. I tend to vomit the book onto the page, laying the ground work and plot down fairly thickly and precisely. The stuff that I come back to do once that foundation is laid is mostly setting, ambiance, and making sure I don’t have six characters with spastic eyebrows, gazing at each too often.

Still, even though I know the plot will be strong when I pass this book in (and plot is one of the most important aspects), I wish the rest of of it could be as firm. Meanwhile, my darling hubby is concerned about me pushing myself too hard since I’m still under the weather (I’m one of those people who gets sick in stages, so it can take me a couple of weeks to get over a simple cold). But, the book has to be written. I gave my word that it would be done on time, and I really, really, really hate going back on my word.

So, as I crawl back under my rock and attempt to meet my page count — while battling a head cold — I ask that you all forgive my low profile. I promise I’ll be more attentive after Nov 1.  I will also go one step further and ask you to indulge me. Do you hate to be late? Or maybe there’s something else that drives you nuts? Maybe you have a code to which you hold yourself but not necessarily others?



KathrynSmith

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Okay, so this post has nothing to do with Cheech and Chong, or Dave for that matter. As you’re reading this me, and many other Jaunty authors are at the Romance Writers of America’s annual conference. So technically — I’m not here. Man. Since it’s *almost* the weekend and I’m next door to the Happiest Place on Earth, I thought I would simply leave you with the following:

Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester on the CW’s ‘Supernatural’. Fave show. Fave smarta*s hero. You’re welcome. ;-)


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