Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Feast of St Thomas Becket.

"Well played, Thomas...[you've] made mincemeat of them."

Monday, December 28, 2015

On the Fourth Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave to Me...

... one whopping case of the cutting-edge norovirus that is sweeping the Upper Midwest.

What, you havent' heard of the norovirus?  It's all the rage here.  No fever, but a stomach-and-intestinal assault that will knock your socks off.  And it comes on fast.  One minute it's "I'm starving, let's go out to that nice restaurant and order some sliders" and the next it's "my stomach hurts"  and the next thing you know your kid is puking in someone's driveway.

The good news is, it's only a 24 hour bug, they tell me.

The bad news is, while the daughter has kick-started the thing, I fear it will spread to husband and self sometime today.

And to top it off, weather forecasters are predicting a blizzard.

So it's off to the store for Desperate, to lay in supplies of ginger ale and chicken broth and possibly Gatorade.

Cross your fingers.  I hope to go down in history as the first mom in history not to get the same thing her family has.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Good King Wenceslaus Looked Out...

... and saw we got a white Christmas after all.  What an invigorating way to start the day, shoveling one's driveway, brushing off the car, envying the neighbors with their snowplows.  Ah, the joys of the season!

Other traditions were observed yesterday, on Christmas Day itself.  The traditional last-minute panic at the loss of the  most important gift!  (Where did I hide that box?  Think, dammit, think!)
 The traditional viewing of "Die Hard."  (It just isn't Christmas until Hans Gruber takes that plunge off the Nakitori Plaza building, am I right?) 
And of course, the traditional I-know-I-swore-off-carbs-but-after-all-it is -Christmas indulgence. Okay, indulgences.

And one of my favorites:  the traditional ignoring of the news media for the day.  Go ahead, take your polls, see if I care.

Happy Feast of St Stephen, everyone.  We have another ten days to go, I think.  Party on.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Eve

Amazingly all the shopping is done and all the presents are wrapped.  I'm watching "Christmas in Connecticut" on TCM to pass the time while I'm trapped in the bedroom, waiting for the daughter to finish her wrapping in the kitchen.  We are going to a vigil Mass at 4pm, that is if I can get the car down the skating rink of a driveway without crashing into something.  Then in accordance with Desperate family tradition, we're going out for Chinese.
Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 18, 2015

On Gift Giving

I have come to a sad conclusion regarding gift giving:

Apparently I am terrible at it.

For the past couple of years it's seemed like no one wants the gifts I give them. Not coincidentally, I suppose, this timing coincides with the presence of a teenager in my house.

Time and agin I have found the various Christmas and birthday presents I gave my kid- all very graciously accepted, thanks mom it's beautiful etc.-- I keep finding them tucked away in a closet, still in their boxes. untouched.

Hm, I said to myself.  I thought I was good at this "giving the perfect gift" thing.  Apparently not. I mean, if the kid liked the "Psych"-themed bracelet she would have worn it at least once, right?

This got me thinking about gift giving.
Someone shows up on your doorstep with a gift. You never asked for it; it was all his idea.  Now you have to figure out what to do with it.  If it came by UPS you have to dispose of the oversized cardboard carton.  If it came with a gift receipt you have to make an unwanted trip to the mall to see what can be done about it.  Or, you could just use or wear the the thing, regardelss of whether it appeals to you or not.

A couple of weeks ago I sent someone a mink coat.  No, really, a mink coat.  (Consignment stores rock.)  Waited for response.  Finally got one: "A generous gift but I don't wear fur."

At first I was a little hurt.  I mean, if I got a mink coat in the mail, well WOO HOO!!!

But the operative word there is "I."
I sent someone something I would love.  I never asked her if she would love it.  In my defense who the hell wouldnt' love to get a mink coat in the mail?  What madness is this??  And it's from a consignment shop, those critters have been dead for 40 years!  It's a little late to get all PETA on this!

(BTW that's the last time I try to surprise someone, it just doesn't work out.) 

Now instead of a delightful surprise I've saddled her with a chore.  Now instead of wearing a beautiful mink she's going to haul it to the UPS store, shell out 17 bucks to mail it back, and try to get it done during the busiest time of the year when she has a million other things to do.  Intending to lighten up her life, I inadvertently complicated it.

So I am done with gift giving, or at least the so-called "creative" side of it.  From now on nothing but specific requests for me.  Everyone will probably be happier and I won't waste any more time I should be spending on writing, anyway.

Bah.  Humbug.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Coffeeshop Christmas

Ok, I admit it, I spend a lot of time in coffee shops.  I have my favorties, my less-than-favorites, my compromises.  I come to one place that has awful coffee but there's a fireplace and the people are friendly;  I sometimes sneak over to the shop across the street because the coffee is so much better, but there's no fireplace and the staff are kind of surly sometimes.  Maybe I just catch them on bad days.

The one thing these places all have in common is Christmas music.  Mostly of a pop/rock variety.  This brings me to my subject of the day.

Here's the thing: half the people who are producing these Christmas songs would easily fall into the war on Christmas camp.  You know, Christians are the bad guys, it's all just a myth, get your Nativity scene off my town hall lawn, etc.

But they're all pretty happy to cash in on the holiday.

Not that they violate the anti-Christmas sentiments.  The pop Christmas songs I've been sujected to over the past few weeks could have been about anything.  Substitute any other word for hte word "christmas" and the songs still work fine.

Take Elton John.  "Step Into Christmas" goes like this:  "Welcome to my Christmas song, I'd like to thank you for the year, and say it's nice to have you here."

Allow me to translate:  "Welcome to my bank account, I'd like to thank you for the amount you've poured into my lap this year."

That's it.  That's the whole message. 

The more Christmas music I hear as I prowl the malls and supermarkets,  the more I  wonder how long it will be before real Christmas music is banned from the public square.  Songs about Christ and His coming- think Bing Crosby and "Silent Night,"  or Nat King Cole's rendition of "O Little Star of Bethlehem."  Does anyone think they could be made today and broadcast freely?  The anti-Christmas set would be on the producers like a shot.

A few years ago I was in a work out class at the Y.  You know the kind, hand weights and loud music and impossibly toned young women shouting encouragement into their microphones.  After about twenty minutes the instructor sai, "OK, everybody, this next song's a great workout tune!  Just try not to listen to the lyrics, okay?"

The song was "Spirit in the Sky."  When I asked her afterward what was wrong with the lyrics, she tol me, "We really can't have people hearing stuff about Jesus."

I figure the great Christmas songs have another five years in the malls.  Then it will be just Cindy Lauper bleating "It Feels Like Christmas" and  the adorable Darlene Love giving us "It's a Marshmallow World."

Wait a second- a Marshmallow World?  Where are the anti-obesity cops?  Somebody get on that right away!

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Storm Warning

Had our first snowstorm last night.  Of course it was the same night the daughter announced she'd left a crucial textbook at school.  So we had the thrill of driving through it.

It's about a seven minute drive, usually, from our house to the school.  I didn't notice how long it took us last night.  I was too busy counting the crashes.  Total  5.  Not bad for a stretch of just a couple of miles.

But the good news is the snow has stopped, and according to the weatherman we are in for what I think of as the "dessert" after a winter storm:  Yes, folks, we have sleet on the way.

Every year I ask myself, Who was the joker who thought it was a good idea to plant a city here?  Did someone look around and say "yeah, headwaters of the Mississippi, horrific winters but sure, let's go for it!"  Are we keeping an eye on Canada?  Or worse, Iowa?

Well, I put my Christmas lights up early just to pierce the gloom.  I know it's not Christmas yet but someone's got to take a stand for sanity around here.

And if those boneheads currently jabbering away in Paris want to talk about climate change, I want them to know I'M ALL FOR IT.

Monday, November 30, 2015

And So It Begins

On the plus side:  I bought our Christmas tree yesterday.
On the minus side:  I can't get it to stand up straight in the tree stand, and I am out of enthusiasm for trying.  Also every time I look at it I find myself tilting my head, and my neck is starting to ache.

On the plus side:  I found the lights for the tree in a big carton labelled 'lights."
On the minus side:  so far only about half of them work.

On the plus side:  I found my Christmas cookie recipes.
On the minus side:  no one in my immediate family eats cookies any more.  That's right, no one.  Except me.  And I'm not going to be the fall guy for all those calories.

Advent is a season of pluses and minuses.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Advent 1

Ok, I'll admit it:  Advent took me completely by surprise this year.  There was barely time to breathe a "thank God Thanksgiving is over with" before the calendar hit us up with today, the first Sunday of Advent.

There are other reasons I'm disoriented of course.  I mean, come on, my December issue of "Magnificat" has been sitting untouched (and for once, unlost) on my nightstand for weeks now.  Now here it's the first Sunday of Advent AND IT ISN'T EVEN DECEMBER YET!  What am I supposed to do now, twiddle my thumbs until Tuesday?

Needless to say, the moment I realized Advent had started-- that was at the vigil mass yesterday afternoon when I noticed the priest was wearing purple- I got right on the annual search for the Advent wreath.  Amazingly I found it in the basement last night.  It's a fake wreath with fake candles- battery-powered beauties I can keep lit 24/7 without fear of the house burning down.  So, Advent wreath, check.

I have also managed to get rid of all the Thanksgiving decorations. There may still be leftover turkey in the refrigerator, but those orange candles and ears of Indian corn (can we still call it that?) are history.

So I have to say, under the circs, so far I'm doing pretty well on the Advent season front.  I suppose I'd better go out and buy a tree today, since they're predicting 10 inches of snow for us tomorrow. This house is seeing the fastest Thanksgiving-to-Advent transformation in history.

And we can thank the mistress's disorganization and the bad weather for it.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Vive la France, and Hollande for Presdient

Bon jour.
Apres les attacks a Paris, j'ai decide a apprendre le French.  J'ai ordered une course online pour a few bucks and will commencer ce soir.  Je will keep you posted about ma progres.

Je feel off to un bon start.  Et ce soir  et Lundi- le jour when un petit restaurrant francias I know of serves un page de "Mastering the Art of French Cooking,"  le levre de la great Julia Child.   Cette seems like une bonne idee a moi.  If je go there chaquce Monday je will never have to cook through the book myself.  Cette would require annees de dedication.  Mais Desperate est nothing if not dedicated, non?

Monday, November 02, 2015

All Souls' Day

All Souls' Day can come off as the ugly stepsister of All Saints' Day.  All Saints' Day:  there's that great Litany of the Saints, kids dress up, maybe score some extra Halloween candy, - it's a Party Day!

All Souls' Day:  you contemplate the Four Last Things, and not one of them is Tootsie Rolls.  You think of all the dead people you know. You probably hear mournful chant running through your head all day.  And for real excitement,  someone suggests a visit to a graveyard.  It is Not a Party Day.

I probably haven't mentioned this before but I have a real devotion to the souls in Purgatory.  I say the Prayer for the Dead twice a day (luckily it's a short prayer, otherwise those Holy Souls would probably get short shrift from me), and I offer up two specific things  year 'round for their souls.  Two things I hate doing:  pumping gas, and blow-drying my hair.

Oh, and visits to the dentist.  I cannot tell you how much I hate going to the dentist.  I figure I've cleared Purgatory a couple of times now.

I mean, I have to fill the gas tank.  I have to dry my hair.  And I want to keep my teeth.  I hate, hate, hate doing the tasks those goals require, so I might as well put them to good use, right?

And it's all for a good cause.  Souls that are freed from purgatory are grateful souls.  They will be your friends forever.  And face it, you need all friends you can get.

At least I do.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Saturday Rally #DefundPlannedParenthood

Twitter followers- you can see some of  the pics I took at the #DefundPlannedParenthood rally in St Paul yesterday.  Right outside the brand spankin' new and absolutely enormous PP facility in St Paul.  About 4,500 people showed up.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Real Estate Thoughts

My house has been on the market for a couple of months now.  We've all been there, right?  And we all love it, right?

 So let's start a conversation:  What is your favorite part of this experience?

Is it the constant inconvenience of people saying they have to see the house "right now" and then don't show up for days?

Is it the "Customer comments?"  Fave so far:  how dare you people have the nerve to (fill in the blank).

Or is it when the realtor text you about some dire situation that needs your immediate attention, and the "situation" turns out to be a dandelion on the front lawn?

One thing the experience has taught me is no one should ever own furniture.  Over the years I've collected some really cool antique pieces-- a 19th-century Chinese opium bed, an 18th century American tavern table.  Did I go to some fancy antiques dealer and pay top price?  Please.  I got them at estate sales.  You know, you get up at 5 am on Saturday and drive to some unknown address and hope for the best when you get there.  Usually a vast waste of time, but once in a blue moon, you get lucky, and come home lugging something nifty.

Then the day comes when you have to sell your house.  And the realtor takes a look at your living room and announces your furniture is cr*p.  Then he calls in a "stager" who ditches all your hard-won things and fills the house with mass-produced stuff from HomeGoods with the tags still on.

Lesson learned:  do not buy furniture.  You're only going to have to store it anyway.

I'm sure I'll have more advice for you home sellers as time goes by.  Watch this space. You might learn something valuable!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Tee Shirt Thoughts

The tee shirt is much on my mind these days.

I have a pretty nifty tee shirt I ordered on the internet.  It's a navy blue v-neck that reads, in the classic "Keep Calm" typeface, "KEEP CALM AND SAY A HAIL MARY."  Which is excellent advice in any situation.

Last week I wore my shirt while strolling along the boardwalk at the Jersey Shore.  I must have gotten a dozen comments- all positive.  They ranged from "Love your shirt!'  to "Where can I get one??"

Yeah.  I'm all about the New Evangelization.

After the first few comments even the spouse wanted a KCASAHM shirt.  So yeasterday i went online and shopped for one.

Now for the stunning coincidence:  This morning my sidebar ads are for tee shirts.  All, of course, obscene.  Complete with pictures.

I don't know who's playing games over at Amazon but I'm pretty sure they can't be of legal age to have a job.  To say nothing of the IQ it takes to fill out an application.

But now I have a new tee shirt idea. 

Here it is:  Print up shirts that read "MARGARET SANGER WAS RIGHT."  See who buys them.  See who wears them.

Then send them to Baltimore, and see how long they last.

Hm.  Probably a little rough.  Okay, sell them on college campuses.  I'd be sure to make a fortune.  Then watch  parents storm the bursars' offices and demand their tuition money back, on the grounds that even after shelling out 65K a year their kid is clearly an ignoramus.

This could be fun.  Any investors out there?

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Now I Know How Lady Macbeth Felt

Advice to the home chef:

When working with jalapeno peppers, wear latex gloves. 

Alternatively, be prepared not to touch you hands to any part of your body for the next six weeks.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Terrorist Attack in France During Ramadan

The problem: (from today's WSJ)
PARIS—A U.S.-owned industrial gas factory in southeastern France was targeted in a suspected terror attack on Friday morning, French authorities said, noting the decapitated remains of one victim were found at the site of the assault.
Authorities found a decapitated body along with an inscription, French President Fran├žois Hollande told a news conference in Brussels. Two police officers said a severed head was also found at the site. The officers said the inscription was in Arabic.
The Interior Ministry said Yassine Salhi, 35, who had previously been under surveillance by French intelligence services and is believed to have links to an ultrafundamentalist strain of Islam, had been detained in connection with the attack.
Witnesses said they heard an explosion around 10 a.m. on Friday. Mr. Hollande said a vehicle drove into the plant with an intent to “provoke an explosion.” The president said the driver of the car might have been accompanied by someone else.
French police and firefighters gather at the entrance of the factory. ENLARGE
French police and firefighters gather at the entrance of the factory. Photo: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
“The attack is terrorist in nature,” Mr. Hollande said, adding that two people were injured. “We must carry our values and never give in to fear.”

The solution:

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Country Life

I suppose I should call it "Life in what is still now technically 'country' as it has farms but is probably going to be a suburb in five years' time, what with all the new developments going up."

I live in one of those new developments, but once I leave the development it's just me and the cornfields.  When I walk the dog in the mornings it's mostly farms we pass.

Farms and greenhouses.  This morning a dog from the greenhouse followed us a ways- bored, I suppose, with greenhouse life.  We walked her back to her owner.  The greenhouse lady told me not to touch her dog-- "I prefer that pedestrians don't interact with her"-- and lectured the dog on "not being a good listener."  I guess that's what constitutes country talk in these parts.

I am a suburbanite, born and bred.  The worst kind of suburbanite, in fact: I grew up on Long Island.  To me "wildlife" is cats and squirrels.  The only birds I can reliably recognize are robins and pigeons.

Now, though, I'm seeing some amazing birds.  The other day I saw two bluebirds.  Not bluejays--  real bluebirds.  I'd never seen one in my life, and there they were, two of them right in front of me.  I have to tell you it was kind of a thrill.

I'm also encountering quite a few wild turkeys.  They are very loud.  Does anyone know if they're edible?  Just a thought.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Happy Feast Day, St Thomas More

 This clip from "A Man For All Seasons."

Stormy Weather

I have the best intentions, I really do.  I wake up early enough and I have my running shoes all ready.  The dog's leash is hanging on its hook, just waiting for me and the dog. 

But I don't fight with the weather.  When the sky is that weird color and the "severe thunderstorm warning" thing flashes on my computer screen, I believe lazy self-indulgence is my best option.  So I'm sitting in my living room, warm and dry (as is the dog), happily sipping tea and watching the storm through the window.

I've always loved thunderstorms.  They're exciting, dramatic, freaky.  Even after experiencing some serious storm damage, I still enjoy them, provided I'm inside and the roof isn't leaking.  And the power stays on.

So despite my good intentions I will probably not do a long walk today.  That's too bad;  I'm always inordinately proud of myself whenever I get a little exercise in.  I'll have to find some other way of inflating my self-esteem today.

The floor is open to suggestions.

Friday, June 19, 2015


Does anyone need any further proof that Evil is a reality?

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Rick Santorum

Yesterday my daughter's school hosted a speech by Senator Rick Santorum.

Santorum was there to talk about his new book,  "Bella's Gift:  How One Little Girl Transformed a Family and Inspired a Nation."  The Santorums' eighth child was born with Trisomy 18, a profoundly debilitating condition.  90% of children born with Trisomy 18 don't live past their first birthday.  Next week, Bella will be seven years old.

So we are talking about Victory here, with a capital "V."  The Santorums, as a family, are victorious.

Rick Santorum also know something about defeat.  He lost the 2012 Republican nomination to Mitt Romney, and Romney went on to lose the country.

For all the astonishing, mega-stressful, beyond demanding circumstances in his life, Santorum struck me as -- well, how to put this.  Calm?  Sane?  Normal?

I don't know how people it the public eye do it.  I especially don't know how Rick Santorum does it.  This morning I read that the Disney is planning a sitcom based on the "comedy" of Dan Savage.  You remember him.   The guy who's go-to line when disagreed with is "S*ck my d*ck," and who harbors a special hatred for Rick Santorum.  I won't quote him here.  If you want to read the kinds of things Savage says, here's a link for you:


In a world where people like Dan Savage are offered truckloads of money and televisions contracts, Rick Santorum stands up for sanity and class.  Choose your side, reader.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

The Move, Cont.

Well I finally had it:  I had The Move Nightmare.

We all remember the Final Exam Nightmare.  The one where you walk into a room to take a final, and it dawns on you that all semester long, you never attended the class.  My version of the drean always continues the same way:  at first I think, Okay, I'm just going to have to fake it.  I'll bluff my way through.  Then I realize the subject is physics or chemistry, and I can't bluff science!  Then, hopefully, I wake up, usually in a cold sweat.

We moved into the new house ten days ago,  and are still surrounded by boxes and boxes and boxes.  I had to go out and buy a new remote before we could watch tv, and I still haven't found the coffee pot.

Last night I dreamed that, boxes or not, I was going to invite some friends for dinner.  Then it dawned on me I only had one pot.  OK, I thought, I got this:  I'll make clam sauce, pour it into a bowl for the microwave and then use the pot again to cook the pasta.

I could only find one can of clams,  I was psyching myself  up to deal with that. Then I realized:  I still haven't found the box with all the spices.  I have no oregano.  I have no dried parsley.  I have no garlic powder,

I  am screwed!

I was just begging my husband to gather our guests together and stall them with some dazzling monologues when I woke up.  In a cold sweat.

I gotta find some more pots.

Friday, May 01, 2015

Ben E. King

Rest in peace.  A great voice matched with a great song.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

New House, Continued

"I know what moving means!" Oblomov went on, growing more and more impressive.  "It means noise, breakages; everything is heaped together on the floor.  The portmanteau, the back of the sofa,  picture, pipes, books, all sorts of bottles one doesn't see at other times are sure to turn up from somewhere!...One half is here, another on the cart or at the new flat.  One wants to smoke, takes up the pipe, but the tobacco is gone; one wants to sit down, but there is nothing to sit on! And if one is thirsty, the decanter is here, but there is no glass! And t the new flat, everything is in the wrongplace:  pictures on the floor by the walls, galoshes on the bed, boots in the same bundle with the tea... 

"And you think the moving will be over by the evening, but no, it means at least another fortnight's bother. Pictures to hang, curtains to put up- it's enough to make one's life a misery!  And the expense! ... Why did you talk of moving!  No man could stand it!"

- Ivan Goncharov, "Oblomov," 1859.

New House

We have moved to a new house. 

Until last week we lived in a lovely old neighborhood in the city.  Now we live in a new development in the country.  Until a couple of years ago my front yard was part of a cornfield.

It's a big change.  I no longer live a five-minute walk from a lovely bistro and a wonderful independent bookstore.  But I think I'm going to like it here.  It's a ten-minute drive from my daughter's school. a ten-minute walk to church, and it's very quiet.

I know there's a lot I'll miss about the old 'hood.  But change is a good thing today.

So while I'm on the subject of "change is good," I'm going to make another:  I hereby re-dedicate myself to this old blog.  I will post every day even if it's just "yippee, I unpacked another box."  Or "Hey whaddya know, Hillary has another scandal cooking."  You know.  Boring stuff.

As my readers know, I'm pretty good at boring.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Happy Easter!

I'm a couple of days late, but it's Easter all week long, right?
And hang in there with that Divine Mercy novena!
Are these great days, or what?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ash Wednesday

Whoooaa.  Headache.  Why, why...oh, right.  Yesterday was Mardi Gras.

Which would make today Ash Wednesday, right?


Well.  We have two options in my parish.  Go to the 8am mass with the schoolkids and get your smudge then, or wait until a special mass at 7pm.

I've decided to go with the 7pm option.  Partly because it's God knows how many degrees below zero outside and after I dropped my kid at her carpool-- at 7am-- I had to get back inside. I suppose I could have waited around in some drafty coffee shop for the morning mass to start, but that seemed like torture.  Which would have been an okay way to kick off Lent, but I guess I'm just not saintly enough for it.

The downside to attending an evening mass is this:  I can't do dinner before 7pm. Which means I will probably spend half the mass thinking about how hungry I am after a day of fasting, and should I have linguine with clam sauce or just grab a (meatless) pizza on the way home.  Pasta, pizza, pasta, pizza....  shoot, is the sermon over already?  So sorry I missed it.

So.  Who's got any ideas about how to observe Lent this year?  DIH is all ears.

Monday, February 16, 2015

The By Now Totally Required "50 Shades of Grey" Post

I just read that the number one February release of all time, according to box office take, was Mel Gibson's 2004 "The Passion of the Christ."  And the Number 2 February release of all time?
"Fifty Shades of Grey."

So.  Let's agree, for the moment, that what America goes to see at the movies tells us something about who we are.  What does this little tidbit tell us?

Hmm... that we love God best and porn second best?

Nah.  Too simple.

That we've come a long way in a downwards direction in the past eleven years? I could believe that.  I mean, what with Average Barbie and all. 

That.. oh, let's see.  Women are bored with chocolate and roses?
 Yeah, that'll be the day.

The fact is, Desperate doesn't feel like speculating.  She is, in fact, 100% sure who is behind this thing, as I imagine my readers are too.  Put it this way:  he's the guy the "hero" of "The Passion of the Christ" defeated.

But even losers can rear their ugly little heads once in a while.  As FSoG pretty much proves.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Writers' Digest Awards!

I know what you're thinking.  You're thinking, Gee, Desperate, it's Friday the 13th and the day before Valentine's Day-- I wonder what's on page 46 of the latest Writers' Digest Magazine? 

Why, isn't that a list of the winners of the Writers' Digest Self-Published Book Awards?  And say-- isn't that Breakfast with the Pope by Susan Vigilante? 

Why, yes.  Yes, it is.

Thank you Writer's Digest and everyone who loved the book.  You can order copies of it here:


And of course at Amazon.com:

Friday, February 06, 2015

I Have A New Blog!

Come and visit me at

I did the designing myself, can you tell?

Tuesday, February 03, 2015


I've started a new blog:  susanvigilanteauthor.com.  Stop by and see it some time- ten points if you can guess who designed it!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Peppa Pig, Your Days Are Numbered

Oxford University Press has announced that authors who publish books through their house may no longer mention pigs.  Or pork, or bacon, or ham, and it won't be long before they add Spam to the list.

Why?  Because the mention of pork offends Muslims.

From today's International Business Times:

"The move was revealed during a discussion on free speech during BBC Radio 4's Today programme in the wake of the attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hedbo and its decision to use an image of the Prophet Mohammed on the cover of its latest issue.
Presenter Jim Naughtie said: "I've got a letter here that was sent out by OUP to an author doing something for young people.
"Among the things prohibited in the text that was commissioned by OUP was the following: Pigs plus sausages, or anything else which could be perceived as pork."

An OUP spokesman added, An OUP spokesperson said: "Our materials are sold in nearly 200 countries, and as such, and without compromising our commitment in any way, we encourage some authors of educational materials respectfully to consider cultural differences and sensitivities.

Read the whole thing here: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/oxford-university-press-bans-mention-pork-pigs-books-avoid-offending-muslims-jews-1483378.


Thursday, January 01, 2015

Happy New Year!