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Favorite Things
A Few of My
Favorite Things

Lots of other old favorites

If we didn't have dogs, we'd have to invent them. They illuminate our lives, and I don't know how I could get on without them - in particular, my magnificent Georgette (Georgie Girl) a Bernese Mountain Dog of charm and grace that I'll prattle on about if you give me half a chance - all right, a quarter of a chance.

I am dog mad. I flirt shamelessly with every dog I see. I will stop a conversation to coo over them, and every dog owner wonders why their dog is in love with me. Did I mention, I carry pockets full of dog biscuits?

But I also love cats, although I don't have one, because alas! I have allergies Modern Medicine can't yet conquer. I had cat companions all through my childhood and, in particular, remember Schmouser, Teddy and Lamont with particular fond affection. Each in turn shared my bed, morsels of my dinner, and my secrets. Cats have a sly sense of humor, and are very good at keeping secrets. Schmouser was grey with gold eyes, Teddy was ginger, and Lamont Cranston was named after The Shadow because he was black as night.


Birds are wonderful too, I've owned canaries and parakeets, and am the Ultimate Nerd Birder, with binoculars at the ready for any unusual species that sets talon in my backyard. However, I haven't had much luck with canaries of late.

With memories of past canaries who sang so much I had to put a cover over the cage to get some sleep, I recently went out to acquire another. A well meaning friend told me her veterinarian daughter advised that I look for the ugliest bird in the shop, because these days canaries are bred for beauty or song, never both. I found a truly wretched looking birdie. All stripes and patches, ragged as a wandering minstrel. I reckoned since there was no uglier, he must be a great singer.

He spent a year in my house, eating. The only sounds he made was crunching birdseed. We never bonded, and I began to think it might be me. The bird shop agreed, and gladly took him back, believing someone else might have better luck.

They recommended a bright red canary who sang like Pavorotti (only not in Italian) I was overjoyed. For a month. Then he too became mute, and not one note ever passed his beak again.

I think I'll wait a while before I try again.


Fish are good too - and I don't mean just with lemon! I have a backyard fishpond snugged in among the bamboo I grew to hid an Waterfall unsightly site. Koi and carp frolic there. And Georgie considers the waterfall a wonderful drinking fountain. She's passionate about that water. It must be she thinks it's fish soup.

The bamboo and the pond make a beautiful setting. Unlike Monet, I have only one water lilly , but I like to think of it as my inspiration too. Flowers and water, and sunlight, I wish I could paint them. I have a friend, Renee Ritter, who can, and her paintings fill me delight.

It's only natural that a writer would love holidays. Holidays are memories incarnate, they are in a way, toy boxes we take into adulthood. They never were as good as we remember them, which is why we love them. I love the joy of the Christmas Season. That's why I write a story every year for the Signet Christmas Anthologies. Did you know that Dickens wrote dozens of stories before he came up with A CHRISTMAS CAROL?

So I keep hoping...

But the Granddaddy of all Christmas stories was written by the ancestor of my dear friend, Mary Van Deusen. She's the talented lady who creates these very Internet pages you're reading now.

Her quest for the solution to a literary mystery made the pages of National newspapers, TV shows and magazines last year.

I feel so in the know, because I heard about it when it first began.

Mary was researching her ancestors and came across the old mystery involving her ancestor Henry Livingston. The more she researched, the more she came to realize that he was the jolly old elf who had writen A VISIT FROM ST. NICHOLAS, and not that other fellow who grabbed all the credit

The moment she showed me his other writing, I knew it was true too - as did Don Foster, author of AUTHOR UNKNOWN, and professor of literature at Vassar...

But take a look for yourself, it's fascinating!

I have other friends whose work delights me:

Barbara Metzger, a fellow dog lover and a Regency writer of such style and wit that it makes me quite giddy with envy.

There is Joan Wolf, a deft author of intelligence and subtlety, whose books never fail to bemuse me.

And of course, let's have a hand for my esteemed Webmaster, Mary Van Deusen! Take a look at all the fascinating things she's into!


There are so many other things that I like, that I know you would too - Tell you what. I'll add more here whenever I can. So be sure to check back again soon.

And if you have a diversion you think I might enjoy - please let me know too.

I'm always on the outlook for a new obsession.

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