Wednesday, November 14, 2018


"So I'd like to know where, you got the notion…"

My brain likes to sing. I know that sounds like fun--except it's not. My brain gets stuck on one phrase, singing it over and over without any help from mouth or vocal cords. How does it do that? Is this what madness sounds like? When King Lear said that a person's notion weakens he meant they were losing their grip on reality. It shouldn't be surprising then that an antonym for notion is reality.

"Don't rock the boat, don't rock the boat, baby"

Notion comes from the Latin word notio (idea) and from notus (known) and is remarkably similar when translated into a number of languages, all of which use a variation of the word notion or idea. Seems like everyone has notions, wherever they live. Only in North America does notion also mean a sewing item, like buttons, pins, zippers, and hooks.

"Our love is like a ship on the ocean
We've been sailing with a cargo full of love and devotion."

A cargo full of love and devotion. Ah! Who wouldn't want that? We have The Hues Corporation to thank for this catchy song and lovely rhyme. What other words could they have picked to rhyme with ocean? Not as many you would think: Emotion or potion could have worked, but I don't see any possibilities when it comes to commotion, promotion, demotion, or lotion. Personally, I would have loved to see them try to use Laotian.

A notion can simply be an idea or it can be so much more. A notion can be an idea that springs to life because of your beliefs, your impressions, your opinions, and most importantly, your perception of the world. There's a Spanish phrase, cada cabeza es un mundo, which translates to each head is its own world. In other words, your perception of reality is your reality.

A notion can also be an impulse or desire, especially the whimsical kind. Oh, whimsical, you're one of my favorite words but, Shh…don't tell the others.

According to, a notion is lighter than a theory and embraces a whimsy that a simple idea never could. If you share a far-fetched idea with others, someone might respond with where did you get that notion?

You just tell them, "Be quiet, I'm singing."

Friday, November 2, 2018


Everyone has a hobby, no matter how strange
It may seem to others who think you're deranged.
Collectors especially are looked at askew,
What's normal for them seems crazy to you.
An oologist collects eggs, which makes them quite reckless
Especially when they're eyeing your breakfast.
A dipterist collects flies, much like a spider.
If they spin their own webs, does that make them a writer? (Some pig!)
My hobby is harmless, I collect funny words.
And I'm gobsmacked by the ones I find most absurd.
English is chockablock with odd words, I'm chuffed to say.
I feel panurgic, like I could do this all day.
I'm not knackered or peckish, though it seems dodgy to you
I could lollygag all night on a word like jejeune.
The world is on fire and it may seem Quixotic
To spend my time on words so exotic.
If you prefer someone who seems like they care  
Find an arctophile, they collect teddy bears.
But I'm a logophile and I won't apologize.
Just be grateful I don't collect flies,

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Blast from the Past--The Witches of Eastwick!

Time travel with me to 1987 when the film "The Witches of Eastwick" debuted with its musical score by John Williams and its coven of lovely witches played by Cher, Susan Sarandon, and Michelle Pfeiffer. When the trio conjure up the perfect man (played by Jack Nicholson with a maniacal, diabolical flair) their lives spin out of control, delightfully at first, but then the danger becomes apparent.

Who will win this battle? Listen to me join the discussion on the Literary License podcast episode of "The Witches of Eastwick"--where we delve into both the book and the movie. 

You can find the podcast here:





Halloween Tradition :-O

In what has become my Halloween tradition, allow me to share with you a creepy little film that you shouldn't watch alone...

Before he became the iconic Joker, Heath Ledger spent a month in a hotel room trying to find the character. This film imagines that transformation.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Being the change...:-)

For those of you who don't know, I have an alias: Barbara Markley. This is my maiden name and although I've been married for almost 32 years I still use that name for work and for my activist alter-ego. Yes, I'm an activist who is passionate about many causes but the one that takes most of my time is gun safety. When you live in a country where you are 25 times more likely to die from gun violence than in any other developed nation, and you live in a state (Florida) where a child is shot every 17 hours on average, you feel compelled to take action.

I started a program called Lock it Up!, a non-partisan program to protect children and teens from unlocked guns. This program is through the Broward League of Women Voters' Gun Safety Committee, which I chair. I was thrilled when WLRN, our local NPR station, did a feature story on our project this week. 

Check it out: 

Monday, September 17, 2018

The Bookworm Drinketh :-)

Love this blog! The Bookworm Drinketh not only reviews books, but pairs them up with alcohol. How fun is that? Their motto? Give Tea to the Tillerman, but booze to the Bookworm!

Thanks, Nicole, for the great review and for showcasing my guest blog post.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Calling All Audio-Book Lovers :-)

Do you love audio-books? Then you should check out AudioFile Magazine, a great online source of audio-book reviews. Their website is 

While you're there, you can read their new review of my audio-book, "Jeopardy in July (Jamie Quinn Cozy Mystery #5). They love my narrator, Fay Annette, and so do I.:-D