Author of Suspense Thrillers talks writing & stuff

Archive for the month “February, 2013”


“Holy birthdays, Batman, I never saw it coming!”

Yesterday I was fit, forty and feeling fabulous. This morning I woke up sluggish, saggy and just this side of sixty-five. No way! Can’t be! But one look into the magic mirror and my fears were confirmed – a youthful spirit is cocooned inside an old person’s body. When did it happen? How could it have sneaked up on me like that? It doesn’t matter; the reality is another “magic birthday” is approaching with alarming velocity.

What are magic birthdays? They’re the milestones of maturity. At the age of twelve, you can’t wait until you’re sixteen and can drive dad’s car. At sixteen, you start counting the minutes to eighteen so you can move out, go to college, and become your own person. At eighteen, an eternity stands between you and magic twenty-one, the “legal age!” and then it happens. A month later, you’re forty and two weeks after that you’re collecting social security!

Funny thing (funny “strange,” not funny “ha ha”), old age was always fifteen years older than I happened to be at the moment. But somehow in the great race of time, I caught up with it! Or maybe more correctly, it sneaked up on me. And it moved in like the proverbial thief in the night. Oh, the signs were all there, but quite obviously I had been in an impervious state of denial. It started with my mind. Little things at first, like misplacing my keys or forgetting somebody’s name. But then it began to snowball. I found myself putting Preparation H on my toothbrush (would it have been worse the other way around?), using hairspray instead of deodorant ,calling my puppy by my son’s name, constantly losing things,  putting the car keys into the refrigerator. At least once every day I find myself standing in a room asking myself, “Why did I come here?”  Nowadays my mind not only wanders, sometimes it disappears completely!

And then, as if losing one’s mind isn’t bad enough, the body begins to morph into some kind of ancient alien being. Aches, pains, grey hair, thinning hair on your head and new hair growing from places that never had hair before! And, then those telltale, unmistakable signs of maturity: wrinkles.

Just the other day as I was bending over to pet our young bulldog, Emmett, I remembered a scene from an old episode of “The Golden Girls.” Dorothy says to Blanche “You know, when you’re twenty everything stays where it’s supposed to. Now, when you lean over, it looks as though somebody has let the air out of your face.” After Blanche looks down into the hand mirror and is utterly horrified, she says, “Oh my God, Dorothy, why didn’t you tell me about this sooner?” To which Dorothy replies, “Only on your back, Blanche. That way everything slides back and it looks as if you’ve just had a facelift!”

Sometimes the truth hurts. Looking down into that adorable little Bully face the stark reality hit me between the eyes, and wrinkles.  We have the same face! The big difference is his wrinkles are cute. Oh well, maybe he thinks mine are cute, too.

But wait, maybe it’s not as bad as it seems. Maybe my magic mirror just needs some Windex. When checking out a bottle of wine at the grocery store, I had to show my drivers license to the clerk to prove I was old enough. Well, yes, it is the store’s policy to require proof of age before purchasing anything with “proof” in the product’s description no matter how old you look or are. However, when the young man looked at the license, he paused, looked up at me with a twinkle in his eyes and said, “Wow! I would never have guessed that year!” Genuine amazement or not, he made my day. For a few minutes I was fit and forty again.

Well, I’ve been young and I’ve been old, and even though young is often better, we all know that growing old is much better than the alternative.

I love happy endings.

(Check out  for more humor on aging)




Thank you for this guest blog.

Love & Acceptance

They give us love and acceptance without complaint. When we come home grumpy and fed up from a lousy day at work who greets us with wild abandon and glee? Not our children. Does any one of our pets care whether we are twenty pounds overweight or having a bad hair day? Pets appreciate and accept us no matter what we look like or how much money we have. Pets give all that unconditional love for a bowl of food and a gentle hand.

 They Are a Great Audience

Pets allow us to indulge our fantasies. Admit it. You can dance your happy dance or sing along to a song that no one else you know likes and not one of your pets laughs at you in mocking tones. In fact, your pets even get a kick out of your performance. They are the perfect audience and you are a great singer. corn, fillers, artificial colors, and preservatives.

They Make Us Proud

They make us proud and we can brag shamelessly. Whether it’s winning a ribbon in the show ring or just being well behaved when company comes over, our pets have the ability to make us proud even with the simplest effort. Are they healthy and happy? Be proud you are a great pet parent. Did your dog make someone smile today? Be proud of your buddy’s ability to make the world a nicer place. Social media was made for this sort of bragging so shout it out, tweet it or blog about it.

The Connect Us with Nature

They give us a connection to the natural world. If you have ever set up an aquarium you probably learned more than you ever thought possible about water quality, good and bad bacteria, ammonia levels and fish habitats.

Taking a hike with your dog through the woods or in the mountains is a lovely way to immerse yourself in nature and the beauty of our earth. Plus, your dog will think you are a super hero for the time well spent together.

They Protect Us

Sure, the barking can be a bit much when a friend is at the door, but a low growl late at night when the wind is howling and you are watching the latest horror flick. It makes you feel safe. You aren’t facing the boogeyman alone. Your pet is with you. Ready to spring into action and keep you from harm. Boyfriend doesn’t like the cat? Goodbye boyfriend. In-laws scared of the dog? Well the less of them the better, right? House guests overstaying their welcome a bit? Let your cat or dog loose with their alarm clock skills.




Thank you Tina Costanza for this guest blog.

The 85th annual Academy Awards, or Oscars, will be handed out Feb. 24, 2013.  Following are facts and figures about the Oscars to help revelers get into the spirit of Hollywood’s biggest night.

1. How much does an Oscar statuette weight?

  • 8.5 pounds

2. What year were the first Oscars given out?

  • 1929

3. Who has most often hosted the Oscars?

  • Bob Hope hosted the Academy Awards 19 times.

4. Who was the youngest actress to win an Oscar for best supporting actress?

  • Tatum O’Neal. She was 10 when she won the Oscar for her role in Paper Moon, 1974.

5. Who gave the longest Oscar acceptance speech?

  • Greer Garson, when she accepted her award for best actress in 1942’s Mrs. Miniver. She reportedly spoke between 5.5 and seven minutes.

6. How did the Academy Awards come to be known as the Oscars?

  • Academy librarian Margaret Herrick remarked that the statuettes looked like her uncle Oscar.

7. What film won the most Oscars without winning best picture?

  • Cabaret won eight Oscars, but lost best picture to The Godfather in 1973.

8. What movie won the award for best picture just last year (at 2008’s ceremony)?

  • No Country for Old Men

9. What two movies have been the most nominated in Academy Award history?

  • Titanic (1997) and All About Eve (1950), with 14 nominations each.

10. Who is the youngest person to earn six Oscar nominations?

  • Actress Kate Winslet. She received her sixth nomination for The Reader at 33.

11. Who is the person to have received the most Oscar nominations?

  • Actress Meryl Streep. Her 2009 nomination for Doubt brings her total to 15.

12. How many categories are there in the 2009 Academy Awards?

  • 24

13. What was the shortest performance to win an Oscar?

  • Judi Dench’s portrayal of Queen Elizabeth in Shakespeare in Love. She received less than eight minutes of screen time.

14. Who was the only Oscar to win an Oscar?

  • Oscar Hammerstein II (best song, 1941, 1945)

15. What is the only animated film thus far to be nominated for best picture?

  • Beauty and the Beast, 1991.

16. Where do Emma Thompson, Elizabeth Taylor and Susan Sarandon each keep their Oscars?

  • The actresses each keep their Oscars in their bathrooms.

17. What is the only fantasy film to date to have won the Oscar for best picture?

  • The Lord of the Rings- The Return of the King (2003)

18. What was the first color film to win best picture?

  • Gone With the Wind (1939)

19. What is the first film to be released on video before winning the best picture Oscar?

  • The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

20. What two families include three generations of Oscar winners?

  • The Huston’s and the Coppola’s

The Academy Awards ceremony can be unpredictable (it’s a live show, after all), which will no doubt provide more facts and figures to keep movie fans entertained until next year’s ceremony.

Copyright Tina Costanza

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