Friday, October 21, 2016


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

The song for the October 15 Battle of the Bands was The Ipanemic Girl (I made that up; I think it sounds like a freaky disease), and the contenders were Amy Winehouse and Nat King Cole.

I thought Nat would run away with the battle, as did Favorite Young Man and some of you who said so in your comments. Nat did indeed win, but it was close.

Amy Winehouse   11
Nat King Cole      13

Amy's count includes my own vote because I wanted to bring her a wee bit closer to Mr. Smooth. I love Nat King Cole. He was such a stylist.

But sad Amy has my heart.

Thanks to all of you who voted. I love your comments.

Amy, you may have lost this battle, but will you please sing us out?

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

In 2007, American student Amanda Knox was accused of murdering her British roommate, Meredith Kercher, while the two participated in a college study abroad program in Perugia, Italy.

I didn't know all the details of the crime, but I heard that while Knox and her Italian boyfriend of one week, Raffaele Sollecito, waited outside as the police examined the house that she displayed strange and inappropriate behavior. The police said Knox laughed, talked, jumped around, kissed Sollecito . . . Who acts that way when a roommate's corpse lies nearby?

Some kind of sexual activity was supposed to be part of the murder, too, and allegedly Sollecito joined Knox in a sex "game" that resulted in Kercher's death.

Knox and Sollecito were arrested, tried, and convicted in 2009, with twenty-two- year-old Knox sentenced to twenty-six years, while Sollecito received twenty-five years.

Amanda Knox on trial.

I didn't hear about Knox again until several years passed. She had been released, but accusations lingered. I didn't understand the case.

I learned much more when I watched the documentary Amanda Knox (2016) on Netflix Streaming.

The documentary features Knox herself talking about the case, backed up by evidence used to exonerate her. And all that talk about her being a she-devil? It came from the police and was blown up by tabloid reporters who learned that Knox's Facebook name was "Foxy Knoxy"––which they didn't hesitate to use. Later they called her "Knoxy."

I also learned about alleged abuse by the Italian police. The laboratory that tested items for DNA mishandled them. The list goes on and on. Sollecito and Amanda Knox were acquitted by Italy's highest court, but not until prison time and media accusations––she feels, and understandably so––destroyed her life.

And Foxy Knoxy? It's a name she probably used in jest. Knox is attractive, but at least in this film, not charismatic. Even after a murder conviction and prison time, she seems young and naive.

Now what about you? Do you remember this case? Did you think Amanda Knox was guilty?

If you want to learn more about Amanda Knox and her unfortunate run-in with the Italian Police, Amanda Knox is an excellent documentary, but we mustn't forget Meredith Kercher. Her family has suffered. They lost a family member. Later, they lost what they believed to be justice because they remain certain that Knox is the murderer.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Last week we discussed differences between British spelling and American spelling, and the fact that The Chicago Manual of Style wants those of you who publish books in the U.S. to use American spelling.

Now we turn our attention to vocabulary. Wilma of South Englishtown Gazette shared this information in her comment: Regarding pants and trousers - pants means underpants in British English and I believe trousers work the same in Britain or the US, but stay away from grey underpants in either nation!

Thank you, Wilma. Right you are. We need to know the correct vocabulary for our audiences. If you're British and you're not J.K. Rowling but you hope to publish your book in the U.S., or if you're American and you're not J.K. Rowling but you hope to publish your book in the U.K., know appropriate usage.

This Web site has a list of differences between U.S. and U.K. words. 

As the outstanding student Hermione can tell you,

the American editor of the Harry Potter series asked author J.K. Rowling to make some vocabulary changes in the books because Americans would have been confused by certain words and phrases. In fact, in the U.K. the first book is called Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone, whereas in the U.S., we read Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone

But as the series progressed, changes became minimal, which, as I recall, led to some American parents protesting that the students in the books had started snogging. Horrors! 

They were making out, not shagging.

As the parent of a Hurricane who went to school in England, I know that Brits study maths, not math, and a fanny is not what you think it is if you're an American.

So, Dearly Beloved, write appropriately for your audience because I am not J.K. Rowling and neither are you––unless J.K. Rowling reads my blog in secret because she swears by TIP TUESDAY. 

Not likely, eh? (That's a little shout out to our Canadian friends.)

Next week's TIP TUESDAY will feature a guest post by Linda Kay, the author of three published books, who is at work on Book #4. She blogs at Senior Adventures.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Hey, you. Yes, YOU! If you haven't voted in my current Battle of the Bands, vote now or forever eat your peas. It's Amy Winehouse v. Nat King Cole. The song is The Girl From Ipanema, and I have The Actual, Factual Ipanemic Girl (I made up Ipanemic) in a nice video of an interview with her.

Saturday, October 15, 2016


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

It's time for the October 15, 2016, Battle of the Bands.

Our host, Mr. Stephen T. McCarthy, provides us with this information about the bloghop:

The whole thing is really quite simple: You select two different versions of the same song (versions  you feel might give each other some competition in the voting) and you post them on the 1st and the 15th of each month. On the 7th and 21st of each month, you add your own personal vote to the mix, total up all the votes and announce the winner on your blog.

Beyond that, just try to have fun with it and let your readers/voters have fun with it.

All right! Let's have fun!

I think some Band-Aids have used The Girl From Ipanema in the past, but I hope they didn't use either one of these versions.

Friday afternoon I sat in my girl Sam's chair as she improved upon my golden tresses (although it's difficult to make them even better). Sam Sam introduced me to Amy Winehouse, and when I requested more on Friday, this is the song Sam played. Thus, our first contender is the late, great Amy Winehouse:

Now we have Mr. Smooth, a singer whose records my parents played, records I loved to hear while I played with my dolls and put puzzles together. Our second contender is the late, great Nat King Cole:

Now it's your turn. Do you prefer The Girl From Ipanema by Amy Winehouse or by Nat King Cole? Please vote in your comment and tell us the reason for your choice.

I hope you'll visit our fearless leader, Mr. Stephen T. McCarthy, to get the entire list of Battle of the Bands participants. Maybe you'll even sign up to join us.

I'll be back on October 21 to count the votes and announce the winner.

Now, would you like to meet the real girl from Ipanema?

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Friday, October 14, 2016


HI! Hi hi hi hi hi hihihihihihihihihiiiiiiiiiii! Hi, Every Buddy! It's me it's me it's me it's me it's me me me me meeeeeeeeeeee, Franklin the Bordernese. I'm the bee's knees. I don't know what that means, but some buddy said it to me.

I haven't gotten to write to you for a long time because Mom and Penlapee are always hogging the light-up thing that you live inside. I can't see you, but I know you can see me.

Do you know what this is?

I can't hear your answer, but I bet you know that IT'S A BIG DOGGY BOWL.

I like to drink out of it. Sure, we have doggy bowls in the kitchen. They have nice water in them. But why should I go all the way to the kitchen when this doggy bowl lives right next door to Mom's office, which is where I like to hang out?

The thing I don't get is that when I drink out of the big doggy bowl, Mom gets all pissy and says, Franklin, that is not for you.

Well, if it's not for me, then why is it there? Huh?

I bet Miss Smarty-Pants Mom doesn't have any answer to that.

After she has one of her pissy fits, here's what Mom does to the big doggy bowl:

I betcha I can open that up with my nose––if I feel like it.

And if Mom goes outside or something.

Heh. Heh heh. Heheheheheheheheheheheh. HEH!

Look at me, all innocent:

I'm not doing anything, Mom. Just gonna take a little nap.

Till you're not looking.

Okay I love you bye-bye.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Kitty Genovese: It's a name that's become synonymous with apathy and a refusal to help others since twenty-eight-year-old Genovese was murdered in 1964. New York Times metropolitan editor A.M. Rosenthal wrote a well-known article that alleged thirty-eight of her neighbors watched the attack and did nothing to help Kitty Genovese because they didn't want to get involved.

But what if it's not true? What if "Genovese Syndrome" (a.k.a. "The Bystander Effect") is a misnomer?

If you don't want to watch the video, my summary of Genovese Syndrome is that if a number of people are aware of an emergency, they tend to ignore it, while one witness is more likely to take action.

I think I learned about Kitty Genovese when I was in sixth grade. It was horrific! All these people watched while she was stabbed over and over and did nothing. Bill Clinton brought it up when he was president and recited the story as an example . . . of something. That we don't care about each other?

Earlier this week on Netflix Streaming I watched the documentary The Witness (2015), in which Kitty Genovese's youngest brother, Bill Genovese––who was sixteen when Kitty was murdered in New York––examines her case in detail to try to find out what really happened to Kitty.

I don't want to tell you everything that Bill Genovese learns because the documentary is great, so I hope you'll watch it. It's available on DVD, in addition to Netflix Streaming. If you can't get the movie, you can Google it to read a summary online.

What I will tell you is that the story of Kitty Genovese's neighbors is more urban legend than fact. She was attacked in the middle of the night during the month of March, a cold March, while her neighbors slept with their windows closed. They heard screams, but eyewitnesses? One, who shouted at the attacker to "leave that girl alone."

When the others didn't see anything, most went back to bed because they thought it was a drunken brawl.

However, more than one person called the police, who took their time about responding, reportedly because they thought it was a domestic dispute.

When someone realized that Kitty was in the foyer of her apartment building, bleeding, a neighbor who was a particularly close friend of Kitty's rushed to her aid and held her as she died.

Kitty Genovese was not alone in the world. People cared about her. Her family loved her. Her neighbors did not ignore her during her last moments of life.

The Witness is a well-made documentary with evidence to back up its claims. If you've never heard of Kitty Genovese, this is your opportunity to learn her story––and the story of her neighbors.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Kitty Genovese in 1961.
Her murderer died in prison earlier this year.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

If you're publishing a book in the United States, then you need to use American English spellings and conventions. The bible of U.S. book publication, The Chicago Manual of Style, states that American publishers change British usage to American usage, unless the word is in quoted material or you're J.K. Rowling about halfway through writing the Harry Potter series.

Let's talk about spelling today.

I think most of us know the difference between color and colour. Our British--and Canadian--friends use neighbour, flavour, litre, meagre. In the U.S., we've dropped that "U" and changed the "-re" to "-er." A British spelling we often co-opt is theatre. Maybe some theaters think it makes them fancy-schmancy to be called theatres. A former friend in Illinois once told me that theatre is the correct spelling, and no, that's not why she's my former friend.

But some spellings are not as well known. When I edit, I see many errors in books with gray spelled as grey. We're gray. They're grey. The next one might be more of a usage issue, but it also falls under spelling. We go toward the chocolate bar in the kitchen. They go towards the tea kettle in the kitchen. Toward written as towards is another common mistake.

Now here's a spelling many Americans use––and you might disagree with me about it––but both the Associated Press and Chicago insist on adviser, not advisor. But hey, if you're not writing a book for publication, then go ahead and consult with your advisor. It's no skin off my . . . teeth.

Here's a Web site you might find handy: has a list of American v. British spellings along with some rules and other resources.

Happy Writing!

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

I'm touched––and not by Donald Trump––that so many of you expressed concern for our welfare during Hurricane Matthew. Thank you.

Fishducky sent me this link and told me that everyone should read this blog post:

If you're a committed unto death Trump supporter, then you can read it if you want to get even more angry. However, if you want some affirmation for your support of Secretary Clinton, then you'll find it here. More important, if you're undecided or think that you won't bother to vote because you don't like any of the choices, then please read the post. It might help you understand the importance of voting for Hillary Clinton.

And for God's sake, don't vote for Gary "What's Aleppo?" Johnson.