It’s a Dry Heat.

frodo ring hotThis is my tenth summer in Phoenix, Arizona. I traded the moderate (mostly) summer temps of Southeastern Pennsylvania for the front porch of Hell itself.

dry heatBut yes, it is a dry heat. Today’s humidity is 13%. On Thursday, it’s expected to be cloudy with humidity of 26%. That’s getting up there and it’s noticeable. And then you really start to sweat.

Summer is our winter. We avoid going out in the afternoon if at all possible. Even though the kids are out of school, you won’t see many in the parks before sundown. I can’t imagine not being able to send my kids out to play. People with pools wait until the evening to use them. Sometimes the water is even too hot to get in.skip-dinner-heat-wave

But, at least we don’t have to shovel sunshine.

A friend born and raised in AZ posted something this on Facebook recently: “Turn your hair dryer on high and point it at your face. That’s what it’s like outside.” It was a breezy day.hot wind

I’m a white girl of Northern European descent. I don’t have the genes to enjoy the sun. It’s like little needles being shot at my skin. I pity people I see working on roofs and on roads this time of year. And police officers in their body armor. Of course, not everyone is as sensitive to the sun or physical discomfort as I am.two face az hot

Besides extreme sunburn and heat stroke, there are lesser dangers from living in extreme sun and heat. A car can be as dangerous as open flame. Opening a car door can hurt! So can touching the steering wheel and gear shift knob. The metal of seat belts are hidden dangers that you learn how to avoid. Some folks drape a towel over the steering wheel and know, especially if you don’t have one of those window shade arrangements.hot knob

Or we just do this. Seriously. We do. Or use those gloves we wear twice in the winter.
oven mitt

So while the rest of the country is enjoying their beaches and lakes and barbecues in the parks, we here in the Valley of the Sun entertain each other with memes posted on the internet.

melted ic truck ice guy fan melt arizonaheat

And patiently wait for winter, which is our reward for enduring summer.

endure this salt

Play Ball With Your Enemies or Baseball Rivalries I Have Known

A Facebook writer friend who lives in Israel posted that someone gave her an MLB something for her birthday and now she can watch the Dodgers. She used to live in Los Angeles.

That reminded me of the baseball rivalries of my life. I touch upon this topic in Another Place on the Planet.

   “I wonder,” I (Lily) said absently as we walked past Chase Field on Jefferson Street, “if the Diamondbacks open the season at home this year.”

     “You like baseball?” he (Charlie) asked with the first smile I’d seen in a while.

     “I do. I’ve been hoping to meet someone to go to games with.”

     “If I go to some games here with you, you’ll have to go to Dodgers games with me in L.A.,” he said.

    “Yikes!” I cried with mock—mostly—fear. “Going to L.A. to see the Dodgers? That might be a little more trauma than you’re worth.”

    “What do you have against the Dodgers?” he asked, his step lightening a little.

     “Everything. It’s a Phoenix thing. Like hating the Yankees is a Boston thing.”

     “A beautiful woman who loves baseball and understands its rivalries. I’m in heaven.” He kissed my cheek as we waited for the light to change. His mood seemed to lift a bit. Mine did.

Dbacks General Manager Kevin Towers. He probably never said this, but probably wanted too.

Dbacks General Manager Kevin Towers. He probably never said this, but probably wanted too. I know I’ve wanted to hit Puig in the face. At least.

I grew up in eastern Pennsylvania watching baseball with my Dad. The Phillies. Occasionally the Mets. I tried football but didn’t understand it very well. Baseball I could keep track of. A few season, I sent away for theyear book. Once when the star pitcher at the time, Steve Carlton, was having a bad season, I sent him a letter of encouragement and was awarded an autographed photo for my effort. I think I still have it. I also drew a poster of various players copied from photos in the yearbook. Guys in white and red uniforms on a blue background. Guess I was a baseball geek at the time.

This is the photo I received that was autographed by Carlton. It would take all day to find the actual photo. longer if I don't have it any more

This is the photo I received that was autographed by Carlton. It would take all day to find the actual photo. longer if I don’t have it any more

2506_philadelphia_phillies-jersey-1973

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When we moved to Maine in 1975 for my dad’s midlife crisis (there really is something to be said about getting a sports car your family won’t fit in as opposed to forcing them all to move to another state and subculture, dads) we became Red Sox fans and I learned about rivalries in baseball. That the Red Sox Nation (although it wasn’t called that at the time because TV was harder back then) detested anything to do with the New York Yankees. That’s just how it is. If you’re a Yankees fan in New England you had better be tough. We all know how much fun it is to hate a rival, even though we know if our location was New York, we’d hate the Boston Red Sox.

i love to hate the yankees

don't be a dick

 

 

 

 

 

In Maine and I met and fell in love with my native New England husband and appreciated the Red Sox even more. (He was actually scouted by several major league teams in high school, but a book-adapted-into-a-movie worthy car accident ended his baseball career when he was a senior.) We even got to a few games at venerated Fenway in Boston.(I saw the Yaz hit one of his last homeruns.)

fenway-park

He quickly adopted the Phillies when we move to Pennsylvania. The Phillies rivalry with the Braves was in full swing, made worse by the fact the Braves almost always tromped the Phightin’ Phils.

After 20 years, we ended up in the Phoenix area with the Diamondbacks and marveled at how easy it is to get to games in downtown Phoenix at Chase Field as opposed to the nightmare of Philadelphia.

The Dbacks have only been around since the late 1990s and the state of Arizona still has Dodger holdover fans from when there wasn’t a major league team here. Plus the thug element sides with the Dodgers because they’re a bunch of thugs anyway. This was perfectly illustrated when, after winning pennant in a postseason game, the LA thugs desecrated the pool at Chase Field by jumping the outfield fence and rollicking in it, cleats and all. Every Dback fan there ever was was supremely insulted by that deliberate action of disrespect, as was the intention.

Lord, help me forgive.

Lord, help me forgive.

But sometimes, you have to put the rivalries aside. Our lovely daughter fell in love with a Yankees fan (and a New York Giants fan which is hard to ignore when you grew up in Eagles territory.) This was something we had to work through. She was with us (albeit in my belly) when we witnessed Yaz and his homerun at Fenway. But we decided to love him anyway, for the sake of our daughter. As far as we can tell, being a New York fan is his only fault. But he grew up there, so you can’t blame him too much. If he grew up in New England and was a Yankees fan, that would be a completely different story. We might have had to disown our daughter.

Not really. We’re not hardcore. It’s just fun. When you finally realize it’s only a game and your life won’t change one iota if your team wins or loses, even the World Series. (I’m talking about you, 1986 Red Sox) you can let go of the red-hot-gut-churning-soul-consuming anger of being defeated by the entity you hate more than ever hated anything in the history of your existence (and oh, how we know that agony, given the histories of these teams) and move on and live a normal life.

Music That Inspired Another Place on the Planet

Many writers write to music. I can’t do that. I need quiet or coffeehouse sounds to focus my thoughts. But that doesn’t mean that music doesn’t inspire my writing. It’s pretty amazing how the perfect album comes along just when I need. Read below about the music that inspired the story and characters of Another Place on the Planet.

All the way at the bottom is information about a giveaway of yummy caramels Whitney’s Goodies! Visit each author for another chance to win.

ChickLitRocks

I happened upon X & Y by Coldplay about the time I was developing Charlie’s character. White Shadows sounded like the journey he was on and remains on for most of the trilogy. He has an idea of what he wants but doesn’t know what he has to give up to get it.

300x300

Maybe you get what you wanted
Maybe you stumbled upon it
Everything you ever wanted
In a permanent state

Maybe you’ll know when you see it
Maybe if you say it, you’ll mean it
And when you find it, you keep it
In a permanent state
A permanent state

He tried, but when he lost what he couldn’t replace, he gave up on himself.

Which is where Lily and “Fix You” come in because that’s what Lily wants to do for Charlie.

The whole album inspired Another Place on the Planet and really, all of Lilyland. I sang song after song on the way to and from work for I don’t know how many months. (When I find an album I love, I wear it out.) What If, Low, Swallowed in the Sea…well, here’s the whole thing, Coldplay’s X & Y for your listening enjoyment…

In Chapter 17, Lily’s relationship with Charlie suffers a setback at the swankiest of dinner parties. She finds an understanding ear in the person of Adrien Fulbert, a friend of Charlie’s and the foremost European director. He woos her into playing the piano, which she does well. As she plays and sings, she attracts a crowd of mostly men and an old dream of hers is fulfilled. I have her singing a song from the mid- 1950’s Now At Last, which was originally recorded by Blossom Dearie and more recently by Fiest. Both versions are lovely and perfectly captures Lily’s heartbreat at the moment.

Visit my writer friends and see what inspires them as they create their characters and worlds for our enjoyment.

 Laura Kenyon           Gina Henning           Lauren Clark

Laura Chapman           Jennifer Farwell           Bethany Turner

Clodagh Murphy           Stacey Wiedower           Tracy Krimmer

Jillianne Hamilton           Kristina Knight           Jennifer Collin

Whitney Dineen             Maggie Le Page            Karen M. Cox

Rachel L. Hamm            K.J. Farnham           Heather Balog

Serena Clarke

As promised, the…

CARAMEL GIVEAWAY!  

Holy cats, these sound good!

1poundcaramelsforchicklitmay

GRAND PRIZE: A one-pound package of caramels from Whitney’s Goodies http://whitneysgoodies.com/  Winner can choose their flavor from those listed below. Visit all the authors for 37 chances to win.

This giveaway is open to residents of the USA only.

The Girl Next Door (Crème Caramels): A scrumptious, full-bodied caramel. Old fashioned, melt-in-your-mouth bliss!

The Charmer (Chocolate Crème Caramels): This smooth, chocolate cream caramel will add panache to your day. An exquisite and elegant morsel, simply irresistible.

The Movie Star (Orange Crème Caramels): A timeless treat that will satisfy caramel fans of all ages. “The stuff that dreams are made of!”

The Bombshell (Lemon Crème Caramels): A bodacious bit of heaven with a bold citrus pallet. They will leave you satisfied and refreshed. Caramels are a girl’s best friend!

Always a Lady (Rose Caramels): A delicate bouquet of rose essence infuses this lovely caramel: alluring, tantalizing and reminiscent of another era. They are perfect for weddings and bridal showers. A definite for ladies who lunch or breakfast at Tiffany’s.

HOW TO ENTER: To enter, answer the following question in the comments section below. “What’s you’re favorite song from my playlist or the album X & Y?”

Entrants must leave their full name, along with an e-mail address (so we can contact the winner.) A winner will be chosen via Random.org on Wednesday, May 20th.

What’s on Page 45…Another Place on the Planet

I’m the serious girl in our troupe of ChickLit writers. When I started writing, I thought I would use my sense of humor more, or write fantasy. Applying fingers to keyboard, I have found neither to be true. Yet.

All the way at the bottom is information about a giveaway of yummy caramels Whitney’s Goodies! Visit each author for another chance to win.

What'sonPage45

Another Place on the Planet

Lily met Charlie just over a year ago at a fundraising gala. She was trying to recover from the horrifying end of her first marriage. Charlie was a bad boy film director just trying to score. There was a magical connection between the two that Charlie respected. In return, Lily is clued into a deep sadness that he carries. After many provocative dances, they exchanged contact information and went their separate ways. But by chance, they meet up again a year later in a film course Charlie is teaching at the community college in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Now they are getting to know one another. After what looks like to Lily could have been a date, she invites Charlie in for coffee.On page 45, Lily learns the cause of that sadness that she has glimpsed again in their time together.

“Oh, Charlie, your son died? I’m so sorry! I didn’t know…I’m so sorry.” That was his sadness, and it sunk my heart…“And you’re being sued? That’s awful. That’s so sick.”

He nodded quickly, his eyes and hands pleading with me to hush so he could continue. “Welcome to Hollywood, baby,” he muttered. “Our little boy, Matty, was in my care when he died. It was the nanny’s night off. Alex, my wife at the time, Matty’s mother, was on location in New York and had to leave because… and well, the movie flopped, and they say it was because of her emotional state when she returned to work.”

“And they’re suing you? I don’t understand.”

“Rational people wouldn’t. They say his death was caused by my neglect.”

Lily finds out Matty was only fourteen months old. They also find out, on page 45, that they are both Christians, even though living out their faith hasn’t always been a priority, especially for Charlie, embroiled in the Hollywood lifestyle as he is. 

That being said, this isn’t “Christian” or “Inspirational” fiction. Their faith is a factor of their lives that helps but also hinders them throughout the Lilyland trilogy.

Another Place on the Planet is happily–ever–maybe. Book 2, Places Bright and Dark is darker. If they’re too intense, you can read some lighter fare by one of these fine chicklit authors in between. 

Both another Place on the Planet and Places Bright and Dark are available as Kindle ebooks for 99 cents. Book 3, tentatively titled Places Like Home is being written. Paperback editions will be available shortly.

Click on the Newsletter tab above and sign up to be informed when the paperback versions and book 3 are being released.

See what’s on Page 45 of the books by these fantastic authors–and enter to win-CARAMELS

Kristina Knight – http://www.kristiknight.blogspot.com

Pippa Franks – http://pippafranks.blogspot.com/2015/05/whats-on-page-45.html

Laura Kenyon – http://wp.me/p28QA1-1JR

Jayne Denker: http://wp.me/p2yU7r-gy

Amy Gettinger – http://amygettinger.com

Gina Henning – http://www.ginahenning.com/blog/2015/5/4/whats-on-page-45

Cat Lavoie – http://www.catlavoie.com

Jennifer Ammoscato – http://jenniferammoscato.com/blog

Lauren Clark – http://www.laurenclarkbooks.com/2015/05/12/pie-girls-whats-on-page-45/

Laura Chapman – http://www.change-the-word.com/2015/05/chicklitmay-whats-on-page-45.html

Celia Kennedy – http://womanreinventsself.blogspot.com/2015/05/whats-on-page-45.html

Jennifer Farwell – http://jenniferfarwell.com/2015/05/12/whats-on-page-45/

Glynis Astie – http://blog.glynisastie.com/2015/05/whats-on-page-45.html

Clodagh Murphy http://www.clodaghmurphy.com/blog

Stacey Wiedower – http://staceywiedower.com/blog/

Bethany Turner – www.abbyphelps.com/musings-from-abby-and-friends

Franky Brown – http://frankybrown.com

Tracy Krimmer –  http://www.tracykrimmer.com/2015/05/11/page45

Jillianne Hamilton – http://jillianne-hamilton.com/whats-on-page-45/

Catherine L. Hensley – www.catherinehensley.com

Becky Monson – http://www.beckymonson.com/#!blog/c1vi7

Georgina Troy – http://georginatroy.blogspot.com/2015/05/chicklitmay-whats-on-page-45.html

Zanna Mackenzie – http://www.zannamackenzie/blogspot.co.uk

Jennifer Collin – http://jennifercollin.blogspot.com/2015/05/whats-on-page-45.html

Monique McDonell –

Samantha March – http://samanthamarch.com/chicklitmay-whats-on-page-45/

Sky Greene – http://livinglifewithjoy.com/2015/05/11/chicklitmay-whats-on-page-45/

Whitney Dineen – http://whitneydineen.com/2015/05/04/page-45/

Maggie Le Page – http://hellopreciousbliss.com/

Kathryn Biel – http://kathrynbiel.blogspot.com/2015/05/whats-on-page-45.html

Meredith Schorr – http://wp.me/p2PJqp-xV

Karen M. Cox – http://wp.me/p3IgXQ-nH

Rachel L. Hamm – http://rlhammauthor.com/2015/05/03/whats-on-page-45/

T. A. Munroe –  http://tamunroe.com/2015/05/04/whats-on-page-…-on-the-planet/

Heather Balog – www.thebadmommydiaries.com

Jennie Marts – http://celiakennedy.weebly.com/promotions.html

Serena Clarke – <a title=”http://wp.me/p2Z7wj-XU&#8221;

 

CARAMEL GIVEAWAY!  

Holy cats, these sound good!

1poundcaramelsforchicklitmay

GRAND PRIZE: A one-pound package of caramels from Whitney’s Goodies http://whitneysgoodies.com/  Winner can choose their flavor from those listed below. Visit all the authors for 37 chances to win.

This giveaway is open to residents of the USA only.

The Girl Next Door (Crème Caramels): A scrumptious, full-bodied caramel. Old fashioned, melt-in-your-mouth bliss!

The Charmer (Chocolate Crème Caramels): This smooth, chocolate cream caramel will add panache to your day. An exquisite and elegant morsel, simply irresistible.

The Movie Star (Orange Crème Caramels): A timeless treat that will satisfy caramel fans of all ages. “The stuff that dreams are made of!”

The Bombshell (Lemon Crème Caramels): A bodacious bit of heaven with a bold citrus pallet. They will leave you satisfied and refreshed. Caramels are a girl’s best friend!

Always a Lady (Rose Caramels): A delicate bouquet of rose essence infuses this lovely caramel: alluring, tantalizing and reminiscent of another era. They are perfect for weddings and bridal showers. A definite for ladies who lunch or breakfast at Tiffany’s.

HOW TO ENTER: To enter, answer the following question in the comments section below. “In 4 or 5 words, why do you think Another Place on the Planet would be a good read?”

Entrants must leave their full name, along with an e-mail address (so we can contact the winner.) A winner will be chosen via Random.org on Tuesday, May 19th.

A Poem A Day #6 The 37th Anniversary of My 21st birthday.

Please excuse this indulgent piece of my past. It makes me feel old to write it, but I am grateful. Not everyone in my high school class had made it this far.

Source: imgarcade

Source: imgarcade

Back In the Day (on the occasion of my 58th birthday)

Party line

Single ring for the other party, double ring for us.

Or was it the other way around?

I didn’t know who the other party was but I think I answered

Her phone for her once or twice.

Not much of a party, really.

Record players. (And records.)

Small—move the switch to 45

Medium—move the switch to 78

Large—move the switch to 33.

Little Toot gave way to American Pie.

The nuns called the record player a school the Victrola. Seriously.

 The TV lived in a piece of furniture.

Black and white, sometimes snowy.

Get up and change the channel for your dad, wouldja?

Turn the knob on the antenna box, wouldja?

You make a better door than a window.

Humph! The neighbors have a color TV.

Going to the movies was an event!

Driving downtown in the afternoon.

The red velvet ropes and red velvet seats—

Like Hollywood itself.

Snow White. The Jungle Book. The Sound of Music.

Larger than life stories I imagined myself in for weeks.

Flip up the lid of the brown box camera to view the scene.

Press a button and the flash kills your eyes.

Turn the knob to advance the film

Replace the flashbulb, but not until it cooled down.

Send the film away and wait and wait and wait.

Now, I take out my phone out of my pocket

And make a call

Listen to music

Watch a TV show

Watch a movie

Make a movie

Take a picture

Send it to someone

Send a message

Find out where I am and how to get there

Read a book

Write a book.

Look up when all this stuff was invented and what was the number one song on the day I was born. (Perry Como was my mom’s favorite crooner.)

Dang, I feel old.

A Poem A Day #5 85…90…95

85…90…95…

The snowbirds are roasting on the golfcourses

Featherless turkeys in the Sonoran sun

As cactus bloom from the precipitation

Of winter that wasn’t snow

With temperatures not 20 below.

 

The year rounders are waiting impatiently

Put upon hosts of unwelcome guests to

Pack their slow ass American gas guzzlers

And head back to Michigan

Wisconsin Minnesota Montana

And get the hell off our roads

And out of our spots in the parking lots

And our seats in the restaurants.

 

Bye-bye. See you never.

Sigh. Make that October

A Poem a Day #4 In the Wee Hours of Easter Morn

In the wee hours of Easter morn

The Moravian Trumpet Choir roved the town

Playing the horn

The trombone

The tuba

Christ the Lord is Risen Today Aaaa-aa-lay-lu-u-ya.

As welcome as the hyacinths and crocuses

And tulips and daffodils in my garden.

The desert has none of that.

Only the sun and the blue sky,

Almost as sure as

My risen savior.

A Poem a Day #3 Suffer the Little Children

I think this is something I’m going to be messing around with throughout the month because this is not the tone I want.

Suffer the Little Children

Jesus loves me this I know

For God so loved the world he sent his only begotten son

For the Bible tells me so.

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness

Red brown yellow black and white

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost

They are precious in his sight

Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows

Jesus loves the little children of the world.

Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not

Jesus_and_the_children

This is similar to a counted cross stitch piece I made when my daughter was a baby. Notice all the white kids. Someone didn’t get the red brown yellow black and white memo.

 

A Poem A Day # 2 One Year of CoCo La’Tay

#2   I feel childish writing a poem about my pup.

By Theresa Munroe 4/14

By Theresa Munroe 4/14

CoCo La'Tay the day we brought her home, about 8 weeks old.

DSCN1468

 

 

Poem A Day Challenge or NaPoWriMo

I started my “writing career” with NaNoWriMo in 2008. NaNoWriMo is an international event where people accept the challenge to write a novel of at least 50,000 words in the 30 days of November. I’ve written a rough draft of a novel every year since then.

Deciding I should experience different forms of writing instead of only multi-book sagas, I will endeavor to write one poem every day in April. There are various websites supporting this idea, but I think I’m going with NaPoWriMo.

I am not guaranteeing any type of quality. I’m not even going to be upset if I don’t get a poem out every day. And they sure as heck won’t rhyme of have any kind of standard form.

Here’s #1

#1

#1 T.A. Munroe 4/1/15

 

 

My challenge–expressive adjectives.

And I think I’ll have to use screen shots taken from Word because I can’t seem to get rid of the space between paragraph on WordPress, if that’s even possible.