Tag Archive for: Super Bowl

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If you read my post from a few weeks ago you’ll know that I
was anxiously awaiting the ARC of my next book.  It was so close to perfect.  So close, but not actually perfect.  The inside looks great, but there was a
tiny little printing error on the cover and the top of the letters that made up
title were chopped off!  Sigh. But
what’s bad for me could be good for you! 
Leave a comment here or on Facebook for a chance to win this slightly
not right advance copy of Tales From the City of Destiny.  I will select one commenter at random
and announce it on the Stiletto Gang Facebook page tomorrow!

In other, non-book related news, the Seahawks won their game
and are headed for the Super Bowl. Now maybe you don’t care, but I live in
Tacoma, which is 45 minutes from Seattle and EVERYONE cares.  Although apparently, in the rest of the
country, they only care that Seahawks Cornerback Richard Sherman was, to put it
in the vernacular, kind of a dick to another player and then shot his mouth off
on national TV.  I’m not sure where
you come down on the unsportsman like conduct issue, but I come down on the
side of not giving a crap. Sure, I disapprove. His behavior violated the prime directive of proper societal
behavior, also known as the Golden Rule, also known as “Don’t be a dick.”  But considering that there are people
out there suffering from actual problems, whether or not Richard Sherman’s
behavior is a sign of the coming apocalypse (hint: it isn’t) does not occupy a
great deal of my brain space. But you know the part of my brain it does
occupy?  The part that thinks,
“That’s an interesting character. An hour after losing his temper he’s joking
and charming in a custom cut suit and a bow tie (because bow ties are cool).  Where can I use that?  I’m not sure I’m comfortable writing
someone like that.  Maybe that’s
why I should write someone like that.” 
Which is how I came to the conclusion that I should write
someone like Richard Sherman – brash, excitable, charming, angry, and talented.
Because half of writing is about challenging my skills. Not just the mechanics
of how to construct a more elegant sentence, but how to build realistic
characters that aren’t like me. Staying in the safe zone with my characters and
my emotions means that my books will become flat and repetitive. If I’m not
looking to understand other types of people – Richard Sherman or anyone else
that’s different from me – then how can my writing grow?

Bethany Maines is the author of
the Carrie Mae Mystery series and 
Tales from the City of Destiny. You can also view the Carrie Mae youtube
video or catch up with her on 
Twitter and

The Super Bowl and Me

First, let me tell you I am not a football fan, at least not professional football. I love high school football games if some kid I know is playing. We went to all of our grandson’s games when he lived with us and loved cheering him and his team on.

I certainly wasn’t looking forward to Sunday’s Super Bowl because I’d been asked to speak to the Tulare County Historical Society after their annual meeting which began at 2 p.m. I didn’t expect many would be there–and those who came I figured would bail out after the meeting part.

Well, I was wrong on both counts! The meeting room was full. Though the meeting itself was concise and over in about a half hour, no one left.

What a great audience. They all listened intently, laughed in the proper places, and asked a lot of great questions. Since it was the Tulare County Historical Society I talked about my Deputy Tempe Crabtree mysteries since they are set in the county–though in a fictional place. In the books I use a lot of the actual history of the area, again fictionalized. I write about the Giant Sequoias, the nearby Indian Reservation and people who live around recognize what I’ve borrowed for my books.

And to make it even nicer, two of my biggest fans were there and raved about my books.

Afterward, many came to my table at the back of the room to ask me more questions and buy books.

On our way home we stopped at our favorite Thai restaurant. We were the only customers (though several came in for take-out) and we watched the Super Bowl while we ate. When we left it was half-time–but we didn’t turn it back on when we got home.

It was a great day, far better than I expected.


Of All Things Super and Fat

I was going to write about teachers, and I promise I will, but since it’s the day after Super Tuesday, two days after the Super Bowl, and it’s Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday—the superest of quasi-religious celebrations—as I write this, I need to address all of these topics. Today we’ll be talking about things that are either Super or Fat. Or both.

Let’s start with Super Tuesday. I was lucky enough (or was at the top of the alphabet enough) to partake in one of those surveys from a local college about the primary. Now’s a good time to disclose that I’m not a poller, a pollist, or a pollizer, whatever the term is. I’m polarizing and want to learn to pole dance but know nothing about polls. I can answer questions (or thought I could until I partook in this poll) but I could never write a substantive or informative poll question. So, I feel a little guilty talking about polls in a mildly disparaging way, but let me detail the kinds of questions I was asked. Then you can decide for yourself. After we got through my age (somewhere between seventeen and a hundred and fifty), my race (let’s just say that I’m somewhere between the color of alabaster and whale blubber), my income (hey, I’m a writer—take a guess!), and number of children (of the ones who will claim me as mother, just one, although I’ve borne two), we were ready to go with the real questions. Which were harder to answer than I would have imagined.

First question. “Did Caroline Kennedy’s endorsement of Barack Obama make you more likely or less likely to vote for him?”

And already I was stumped. Love Caroline Kennedy but I hadn’t given the whole thing much thought.

“Well,” I stammered. “It really doesn’t make a difference.”

Now she was stumped. “You have to answer the question.”

“More likely?” I guessed.

She let out a sigh of relief. “Great. Next question. Did Ted Kennedy’s endorsement of Barack Obama make you more likely or less likely to vote for him?”

I could see where this was going but all I could think of was that I had looked in the mirror that very morning and thought that my hair was starting to look like Ted Kennedy’s. The question should have been “Did seeing Ted Kennedy endorse Barack Obama make you more likely or less likely to call Carla, the hairdresser, to set up a hair appointment?” But I decided to play it straight with her on the whole endorsement question. “Less likely?” But may I mention that my head looks more fat than super right now? No, you may not.

More relief on the pollster’s part. The questions continued in this vein until I admitted that “Project Runway” was just about to start and I needed to go. Because in my world, at this time and in this place, whether or not Romi can pull out a win over Christian is all I need to know. I also need to know if jodhpurs are coming back in style, too, because if so, there’s some work I need to do. And it has nothing to do with sewing and everything to do with liposuction. Because the legs? They are fat.

Onto the Super Bowl. I’m still in a state of shock and awe. Although I will admit that I don’t have a stomach for contests that are decided by a mere field goal and that I did go to bed with a pillow over my head so I couldn’t hear the outcome. And as a result, missed the David Tyree catch heard round the world that broke open the game and brought the Giants their first Super Bowl win in many, many years.

The moral of this story? Hang tough and watch the game as hard as it is to do it. Otherwise you will miss something super.

And onto our last topic: Mardi Gras. Tonight is our church’s annual celebration of Fat Tuesday, which is basically a pot luck supper in the gymnasium. There are silly hats, free beads, and thankfully, no exposing of one’s bare torso. (Yet. There’s also free wine and beer, so it’s just a matter of time really.) It’s a family affair and I do love me some free beads. But the weather is lousy, I have to run the gauntlet that is voting in this town (what district am I in? I can never remember when confronted with all of those tables and little old ladies eating Dunkin’ Munchkins—hey, which will make you fat even if it is Super Tuesday!), and I haven’t made a proper dinner in weeks. I owe my family at least one decent meal and by golly, Fat Tuesday is the day for it! And let’s face it: dragging the kids to a church function in the middle of the week won’t be an easy task. Even with the promise of free beads.

Oh, and incidentally, I just ordered my first pair of Spanx, from what I gather, great for the stomach fat and super tight. Stay tuned to see if I, like my friend–we’ll call her “M.”–will use the jaws of life to free myself from them in the ladies’ room during a bat mitzvah. I’ll let you know in the coming weeks.

You now have my musings on all things super and fat. Do with them what you will.

Maggie Barbieri