Ann's Blog
Ann McCauley is a Pennsylvania women's literature author, who wrote the books Runaway Grandma and Mother Love, both available for sale at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

August 2013
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Illusions of Perfection
Filed under: General
Posted by: Ann @ 8:59 pm

I worked hard getting ready for our holiday guests, everything looked about as perfect as I could make it. I’d even picked all the dead parts off the dozen large pots of red geraniums. After serving mid-morning coffee on our picturesque front porch, cousin Jack, sat down on the thick colorful pad on the white wicker sofa was suddenly surrounded by bees. Lots of bees. Thankfully he escaped without being stung. My husband bravely investigated and found a large nest under the pad with hundreds of bees. So much for the illusion of perfection…Three cans of wasp and bee spray under the kitchen sink made us feel secure until we realized they were all nearly empty! A quick trip to town prepared us for our mission tonight. We killed them all and the mess is cleaned up.

Speaking of messes, it seems several messes were slammed in our faces this week. I avoid discussing politics in this venue but I can’t stop myself from mentioning Miley Cyrus. I know that will only make her feel even more important if it somehow registers that her name has been mentioned yet again. But the truth is that poor girl is riding full speed ahead for a mighty fall…unless her long term goal is to work in strip clubs. Several weeks ago her father gave a heart breaking interview to a religious magazine. I read it online. He regrets the entire Hannah Montana adventure. He regrets trying to be her friend instead of being the father she needed, one who set boundaries as well as an example and one who’d say no when necessary. Later I talked to a friend and we couldn’t think of more than two child stars who’d lead stable adult lives. Shirley Temple and Ron Howard. Perhaps there are a few more that I don’t know about.  I wonder if our entertainment is worth all those damaged lives left craving more attention after their time in the spotlight is over. Miley certainly made it clear she is not ready to be ignored!

My article, To Use or Not to Use Pennames, was published in Sept./Oct. Working Writer The same article is also in the current Newsletter of Penn Writers Inc. Believe me, writers feel good when editors like our work and ask for more. My Masters writing courses are keeping me on my toes, but I’m enjoying it. I feel I am growing as a writer and that makes me happy.

We saw the movie The Butler and we can’t say enough good about it. A very powerful movie, destined to be a classic. Forest Whitaker and Oprah gave such fantastic performances, even though Jane Fonda was in it, her part was very small, maybe seven seconds, and she looked and acted like Nancy Reagan.

I’ve read several books but they’ve been for my classes and I doubt anyone would be interested in reading them for pleasure.

Till the next time, keep reading and remember life is too short not to live each day to the fullest.


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Good to be Home Again
Filed under: General
Posted by: Ann @ 3:54 pm

Yesterday we returned from a lovely visit family to Switzerland and England. We had a wonderful time but it’s always always good to come home. Although this time coming home was a bit strange…as soon as we opened the door the house alarm started to beep. We typed in the code, to no avail. Before we knew it, the outside siren was blaring. Soon the police called… we assured them it was only us and a malfunctioning  alarm. We were on the phone multiple times with the security company. Finally we quieted the crazy machine. What a homecoming!

We saw many beautiful sights, rode the worlds steepest cog train up the Pilatus Mountain near Luzern, Switzerland. Absolutely breath taking! But, of course, the best part was catching up with long distant family members face to face.

I also had time to do read. Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo, an unforgettable nonfiction book that read like a great novel. I found myself wishing it was fiction because the story was so heartbreaking…

Help Wanted: Female by Sara Pritchard, an anthology that made me laugh out loud. She has a keen wit and writes wonderful stories. I was lucky enough to hear her read one in June at a reading at Wilkes University. I could hear her quirky voice as I read the book. She had the audience in the palm of her hand…we laughed till we cried. She’s a master of her craft with her memorable touching stories.

She Left me the Gun by Emma Brockes, a memoir of family violence, incest, and alcoholism set in South Africa in the 1950s and 60s. A very disturbing story and I hope I don’t remember this one…but it was so well written, I’m afraid I will.

The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin, historical fiction was absolutely wonderful. The well researched unforgettable story of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh. This author is young and will be a force to be reckoned with in the literary world for years to come.

We also watched two movies. The Heat with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. It was fun and we had some good laughs though there was way more than necessary bad language which always makes me think the writers are lazy not creating more challenging dialogue. 

Mud, with Mathew Mcconaughey, was excellent. Described as a modern day Tom Sawyer story on the Mississippi River, it was well written and the acting was outstanding. Sam Shepherd played a supporting role and that’s always an indication it will be a worthwhile movie.

There’s always more to do after traveling than time to do it in. A bushel of ironing awaits me, maybe we can watch another movie tonight while I work on the boring task of ironing. Always works except for movies with captions!  But what I really want is to visit the new baby as soon as possible…maybe tomorrow.

Meanwhile, keep reading my friends. Later, Ann


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