Tag Archive for: The Body Business

Gay Yellen: Name That Car!

Does your car have a name? One that captures its true personality? I’ve named some of mine. After all, boats get names. Why not cars?

By my mid-twenties, I’d already owned two really fun cars: an azure blue Impala convertible and a Corvette Stingray. They were so cool, they didn’t need any other identity.

But for reasons best left unexplained, I sold the Stingray and bought a Ford Pinto. I drove it just like I’d driven the ‘Vette, fast and furious, up and down the freeways and the canyons of Los Angeles. That little car didn’t know it wasn’t sporty. I gave it an identity upgrade and named it Penelope, after the wife of Odysseus, because she had spunk.

Fast forward to the 21st century, when my decades-old Mercedes was on its last wheel. Facing a total overhaul, I opted for a new car. At the time, most new designs looked all the same to me. I wanted something I could easily spot in a crowded parking lot, one that wouldn’t have me trying to unlock a stranger’s car that I’d mistaken for mine. I’d owned some really nice cars by then, and my husband still had his. I only needed a scoot-around-town car. Nothing fancy.

On a fluke, I discovered the Nissan Cube and bought it the same day. I named it Roobix, a play on the name of the guy who invented that other famous cube. Matter of fact, I placed one of his on top the of the little circle of factory-installed shag rug on its dashboard. Roobix is neither sexy nor aerodynamic, but it looks like no other car, and turns out to be one of the most fun cars I’ve ever driven.

The car is so distinctive that it made a CBS News Top 15 list. Okay, so the list was for the World’s Ugliest Cars. But hear me out. It’s small on the outside and big on the inside, which is a neat trick if you ask me. It gets a lot of thumbs up as I drive through the city. It has a gizmo that delivers an array of psychedelic lights inside. And the swirly ceiling has a hot tub vibe, minus the heat and the water.

I’m not the only one who’s ever been inspired to name my ride. Beyonce called her Jag Honeybee. Obama dubbed his car The Beast. Lady Gaga rolled in her Bloody Mary Rolls Royce. In my Samantha Newman Mystery Series, Sam gives her lowly little subcompact the name Ferret for its ability to squeeze into and out of tight spaces.

And, by the way, my Cube isn’t the only car of mine to make that CBS ugliest list. Coming in at #1—Ta DAH!!— the Ford Pinto. Two award-winners! Life is good.

Have you ever given your car a name? We’d love you to share it in the comments below.

Gay Yellen writes the award-winning

Samantha Newman Mysteriesincluding:
The Body Business and
The Body Next Dooravailable on Amazon.
Coming soon in 2022: Body in the News

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Gay Yellen: Finding Comfort and Joy

In the before-times, the term “twenty-twenty” usually indicated good news.
“Hey! Your eyesight is normal!” Or, “Wow! Your logic is clear-sighted!”

This year, a not-so-good connotation arose. At the end of December, when calendar turns, twenty-twenty will forever signify our historic year of global pandemic.

At our house, the trials we’ve endured have led us to count our blessings. We survived. So many things that we once took for granted have sustained us and saved us from running naked in the streets, howling like banshees. Through social isolation, family separation and, yes, fear of infection, we’ve learned to count our lucky stars, dim as they sometimes have seemed.

We’ve found a few uplifting—and often downright silly—activities to keep us sane. A friend turned us on to the old TV mystery series, Murdoch, about a 19th Century police detective who sometimes invents forensic tools to solve crimes. The show is easy on the psyche and a much-needed antidote to our relentless daily news.


Even better, we’ve dug out some of my parents’ old LP’s of original Broadway shows. We plunk them on the turntable, sing along with great gusto, and dance around the room until we’re breathless. No worries about looking foolish. After all, no one’s watching.

On nice days, we walk in the park, feed the squirrels, and summon the wintering ducks. My husband’s spot-on Donald Duck impression can spark quite a lakeside conversation.

And sometimes, he cooks. Today, he’s making turkey vegetable soup, a seasonal change from his delicious chopped salads. There’s some to give to neighbors and plenty to freeze for later.

And there’s joy to be found in books. Reading is a great way to while away hours in isolation. Because finishing Book 3 of the Samantha Newman Mystery Series has been my top priority this year, I’ve read less than usual. But gobs of books are in my to-be-read file, and I look forward to the day when I can start whittling the list down.

Finding comfort and joy in small pleasures helps lift our hearts. I hope you’re finding ways to grab some for yourself.

What have you found to spark joy these days?

Wishing you a warm December, full of books and love.

Gay Yellen

P.S. Oh! I almost forgot: Mark your calendar for the last week in December when you can pick up The Body Business, Book #1 in the Samantha Newman Mystery Series, free.

Gay Yellen is a former magazine and book editor. She writes the award-winning Samantha Newman Mystery Series, including The Body Business and The Body Next Door. Book #3 in the series is slated for release in 2021.

Gay would love to hear from you, here, on Facebook, or at her website, GayYellen.com.