Tuesday, May 31, 2016


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Beloved, adorable Michael D'Agostino, who blogs at A Life Examined, would like to attend the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.

Here's Michael:

Isn't he just as cute as a bug's ear?

Michael is as sweet and nice as he is intelligent and good looking, and he might get to go to the Olympics this summer in Rio––something he longs to do.

Now who are we to stop him, especially when it doesn't cost us anything except about thirty seconds? I am convinced that you can spare thirty seconds to help Michael, which will please Your Queen of Grammar exceedingly.

All you need to do is vote for the company for which Michael works, and when the little voting system asks why you vote for that company, you need to mention Michael D as your reason.

I voted. It was quite simple. Visit this link: https://www.olympicsforsmallbusiness.com.au/qm/quiz-meisters

You don't have to remember the name of the company. The link takes you straight to the spot where you vote for the company and then say that Michael D is the reason when prompted to say why you voted for them.

You don't have to use personal information. Michael says you can invent an email address so you won't receive spam. Coming up with a cool fake email address will add to your creative powers.

If you want to read more about Michael's longing to visit Rio, then please read THIS POST BY MICHAEL.

As Your Queen of Grammar, I do so command thee to vote for Michael so he can achieve his dream of attending the Olympics. Pretty please. With sugar on top.

Infinities of Michael love,

Janie Junebug

Saturday, May 21, 2016


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

It's time to announce the winner in the May 15 Battle of the Bands. The song is I Will Always Love You. The contenders are the composer of the song, Dolly Parton, who also performs it, and Whitney Houston, who had a gigantic hit with it after she starred in The Bodyguard with Kevin Costner. The song was part of the soundtrack.

And the winner is

Dolly Parton        20
Whitney Houston11

Congratulations, Dolly! I loved all the battles set up by the participants in this blog hop.

Perhaps we can console Whitney with an oldie but a goody.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Thursday, May 19, 2016


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

If it's possible to make you forget that Bryan Cranston played Hal on Malcolm In the Middle and Walter White on Breaking Bad, then the part that will do it for you is Cranston's Best Actor Academy Award nominated performance as Trumbo (2015, Rated R, Available on DVD).


I discovered Dalton Trumbo when I was in junior high and read his novel, Johnny Got His Gun. It expressed the anger and dismay many of us felt about the war in Vietnam.

still have my copy
I didn't realize that in 1939, the novel won the precursor to The National Book Award (Trumbo insisted that his publisher recall copies of the anti-war book during World War II). I also had no idea that Trumbo was then the highest paid screen writer in Hollywood.

Trumbo focuses on Dalton Trumbo's fall from grace. He becomes one of the "Hollywood 10" who are blacklisted by the movie industry. Their writing days, over.

But Trumbo doesn't hide his head in shame. He moves his family, including wife Cleo (Diane Lane), to Mexico, where his friends alcohol and benzedrine join him in a bathtub to write, and write, and write. His children suffer from his absence, but he's determined to support them:

Niki Trumbo: We're having birthday cake.
Dalton Trumbo: When you hear me working, you don't knock.
Niki Trumbo: But it's my birthday.
Dalton Trumbo: You don't knock. Ever.
Niki Trumbo: So the house is on fire, you don't wanna know?
Dalton Trumbo: I work in a bathtub, surrounded by water. So I'm fairly certain that even if the whole goddamn country was on fire, that I can still function as this family's personal slave. And all I ask is not to be interrupted for every little slice of fucking birthday cake. What? It's ridiculous!

Using pseudonyms, Dalton Trumbo writes his way to two Academy Awards and then to the end of the Blacklist.

Cranston stands out as the prickly Trumbo. He's surrounded by a strong cast, which includes Helen Mirren as gossip columnist Hedda Hopper––quite the menace to the Reds; John Goodman as studio owner Frank King, who accepts Trumbo's writing for his B pictures; and Louis C.K. as Arlen Hird, a sympathetic character who stands in for various blacklisted writers.

Trumbo is a triumph that earns The Janie Junebug Seal of Highest Approval.

This movie is not for children. If older children watch with you, be prepared to explain the witch hunt against Communists. Trumbo and the rest of the Hollywood 10 were sentenced, fined, and denied work because they refused to answer questions from the House Un-American Activities Commitee.

I watched Trumbo when my mail carrier delivered its red Netflix envelope.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

the real Dalton Trumbo

From the Internet Movie Database:

Dalton Trumbo won two "Best Writing, Motion Picture Story" Academy Awards during the 1950s but was unable to accept either of them, since both movies' credits had used "fronts" (real people who agreed to take credit for the scripts while Trumbo was blacklisted). The first movie for which Trumbo won an Oscar was the Audrey Hepburn-Gregory Peck romantic comedy Roman Holiday (1953). For this movie, Trumbo's front was Ian McLellan Hunter (who actually was also a screenwriter in his own right); Hunter was also later blacklisted. In 1993, after both Trumbo and Hunter were both dead, the Academy attempted to retrieve the Oscar that had been presented to Hunter and present it instead to Trumbo's widow, but Hunter's son, Tim, himself a director (River's Edge, 1986), (Tex, 1982), refused to relinquish it, so the Academy instead presented Mrs. Trumbo with a new statuette. On Roman Holiday's 2003 DVD release, Trumbo was credited in place of Hunter. The second movie for which Trumbo won an Oscar was the family drama The Brave One (1956). For this film, Trumbo's front was named Robert Rich; unlike Ian McLellan Hunter, Rich was not actually a screenwriter himself but just a nephew of the movie's producers. The Academy re-presented that Oscar statuette to Trumbo in May 1975, roughly a year and a half before Trumbo's death.

Sunday, May 15, 2016


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

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

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!

Whitney Houston had a ginormous hit with I Will Always Love You, but Dolly Parton wrote the song. Please listen to Dolly and Whitney and decide if you prefer Dolly's simple, sweet singing or Whitney's powerhouse--though still sweet--voice.

Dolly explains in the video why she wrote I Will Always Love You. Whitney recorded it for the movie The Bodyguard, in which she starred with Kevin Costner.

In your comment, please vote for Dolly or Whitney, and if possible, tell us the reason behind your choice. I'll announce the winner on May 21.

I hope you'll visit other Battle of the Band participants, too. They are listed below. Thanks for listening and voting!

Infinities of I will always love you,

Janie Junebug

Voice Your Vote @ ‘FAR AWAY SERIES’ by clicking HERE.
@ ‘TOSSING IT OUT’ by clicking HERE.
@ ‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’ by clicking HERE.
@ 'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'CURIOUS AS A CATHY' by clicking HERE.
@ 'THE DOGLADY'S DEN' by clicking HERE.
@ 'ANGELS BARK' by clicking HERE.
@ 'J.A. SCOTT' by clicking HERE.
@ 'QUIET LAUGHTER' by clicking HERE
@ 'REINVINTAGED' by clicking HERE.
@ 'HOLLI'S HOOTS & HOLLERS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'EVIL POP TART' by clicking HERE.  

Friday, May 13, 2016


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

When Penelope wrote a post about the grammar she learned, Wilma of South Englishtown Gazette asked a question about gift as a verb:

Dear Penelope,

You are such a smart dog! I hope that you and Mom Mom can help me out a grammar issue that involves fengshuition. What gives with using the noun “gift” as a verb? To give is a perfectly good, although irregular, verb; give, gave, given. Do people think using gift as a verb makes things fancier, more special? Does “I gifted her with a car for her birthday…” sound fancier than “I gave her a car for birthday…”? Is the gifted car a newer model than the given car? Did Gwyneth Paltrow gift somebody something, and now everyone gifts so they can be bright and shiny just like Gwyneth? Please help. 

Best Regards,

Our answer:

Franklin, Penelope, and I hate the use of gift as a verb. We hate it great big gobs and bunches (the dogs agree with me because they want supper). 

We hate She gifted him a larger schlossen or Don Draper gifted the world a coke.

We can't bear the use of impact as a verb, and that's been snaking its way into the English language for years now. For example, When I punched that lousy grammarian, his head impacted the wall

See how violent impact as a verb makes us feel?

Language has to change, but I refuse to accept some changes. To gift bothers me because it seems trendy, some sort of fad that will catch on similar to the tattoos that seem to cover the lower backs of so many young women––tattoos that will stretch with pregnancies and fade with age and become ugly and tiresome (please don't tell me you have a tramp stamp and pick on me about it; what you do to your body is your problem).

Of course, gift provides an example of turning a noun into a verb.

Some casual uses of nouns as verbs don't get my panties in a wad. 

You have a question? Google it.

Want to know every actor who played Tarzan? IMDb it.

I IMDb every movie I watch for backstory, and I Google the backstories, too.

So under what circumstances will I accept gift as a verb? If someone gifts us with a car. New Nissan Sentra in red, please.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Monday, May 9, 2016



I don't want you to think I wandered out of my house and couldn't find my way home.

I won't be around much for a while because I have to make some repairs and updates to my house to please my homeowners insurance company.

Never fear! Janie Junebug, Franklin, and Penelope are all here.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Saturday, May 7, 2016


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

It's time to announce the winner in my Battle of the Bands. The song is Nothing Compares 2 You. The performers are Prince & Mary J. Blige v. Sinéad O'Connor.

Although I prefer O'Connor's poignant version of the song, I thought Prince would be the champion because of his recent death.

He isn't, but the vote is close.

Sinéad O'Connor                 11
Prince & Mary J. Blige  8

When I fell in love with Nothing Compares 2 U, I didn't know that Prince wrote it.

He included it on a couple of his albums, but it became a monster hit for Sinéad O'Connor in 1990. Although most of us interpret the song as a lament for a lost lover, O'Connor sang it as a tribute to her mother, who died in 1985.

In 1992, O'Connor joined the list of those banned from Saturday Night Live when she appeared on the show to sing Bob Marley's War and tore up a photo of Pope John Paul II. Her action met with complaints, threats, and no return engagements on SNL.

She recovered from the incident and continues to record and perform in spite of health concerns.

Congratulations on your win, Sinéad, and farewell to the Purple Prince.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Friday, May 6, 2016


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Linda Kay, author and blogger of note at Senior Adventures, sent me a question when I offered to respond to grammatical concerns in my Friday blog posts. I made her wait for an answer until the A to Z Challenge ended.

Here's Linda Kay's question:

One of my critique group ladies recently attended a writing class in which the teacher emphasized not using words that end in "ly". What are your thoughts on this?

First, let's talk about what the teacher meant by words that end in -ly. 

Her concern was probabLY with adverbs, or words that modify (describe) a verb. Adverbs can also modify other adverbs, an adjective, or a sentence. 

Examples: The old man walked slowly.

Rumack: Can you fly this plane, and land it?
Ted Striker: Surely you can't be serious.
Rumack: I am serious... and don't call me Shirley.

However, not all adverbs end in -ly, and not all words that end in -ly are adverbs.

But do I agree with the teacher?

Oh, yeah.


1. Writers fall into the use of -ly words the same way they fall into repetitive sentence structures. If I read several paragraphs and see one -ly, okay. If I see -ly in multiple sentences, I get tired. Lazy writer. Bor-ring!

2. They tend to be weak words. Consider my example above. Why would I write The old man walked slowly when I can write The old man shuffled along or The old man dragged his feet as he walked? Don't "shuffled" and "dragged his feet" create stronger word pictures than "walked slowly"? 

3. Sometimes adverbs indicate that you think your readers won't get your point. "I didn't do anything wrong," Sam shouted angrily. Why do you need angrily? "Shouted" gets the idea across. Removing "angrily" gets rid of a word you don't need. 

4. Adverbs can confuse your reader. Yesterday on my blog, I used a song about suffragettes from the movie Mary Poppins. One lyric begins "though we adore men individually." Does that mean they adore individual men, or they, as individuals, adore men?

I hope I answered your question, Linda Kay. Feel free, my friends, to email your grammatical worries to me at dumpedfirstwife@gmail.com. And please don't freak out about adverbs in your blog posts, unless you plan to publish your posts in a book. Then it's freak out time. 

Hey, if you haven't voted in my Battle of the Bands, you have until midnight to cast your vote HERE. The song is Nothing Compares 2 U. The contenders are Prince with Mary J. Blige and Sinéad O'Connor.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Thank you, fishducky!

Thursday, May 5, 2016


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Today I present quite an interesting movie: Suffragette (2015, Rated PG-13, Available on Video).

If you read my blog post yesterday titled FIVE UNFORGETTABLE SUFFRAGETTE FACTS (click HERE if you missed it), then as you watch Suffragette, you'll see that the main character, Maud Watts (Carey Mulligan), serves as an emblem for the early feminists who fought for women's rights.

Maud works in a laundry, where her boss has sexually assaulted her for years. She dutifully turns over her pay to her husband, Sonny (Ben Whishaw). When she joins the suffragettes and is arrested, she becomes a pariah in her neighborhood. Sonny takes Maud back, but later shuts her out of his house, offended because she has disobeyed and embarrassed him.

Sonny Watts: I took you on, Maud. Thought I could straighten you out.
Maud Watts: What if you don't have to?
Sonny Watts: You're a mother, Maud. You are a wife. You're my wife, and that's all you're meant to be.
Maud Watts: What if I can't be that anymore?

Sonny thought he could straighten out Maud? I wonder at that line. Is it because Maud had already lost her virginity, through no wish of her own, but it's still her fault that she didn't come to her wedding night as a virgin? Or is it possible that the boss is her son's father, and Sonny married Maud to save her from bearing a bastard? 

Whatever the case, Maud then endures at Sonny's hands her greatest torment: the loss of her son, three-year-old George. She has no right to money, no right to her child, and no right to vote. How are Maud and other women to effect a change? 

Emmeline Pankhurst: Deeds, not words.

Violent acts become the modus operandi of many of the suffragettes. These acts lead to imprisonment, which leads to hunger strikes, which leads to the horror of force feeding.

Mulligan, as always, gives an excellent performance. She was nominated for the Best Actress BAFTA. Neither the film nor the actors received Academy Award nominations, although we have a favorite of mine, Helena Bonham Carter, in a fine role. Meryl Streep has a small part--but she's Meryl Streep, so she can't help making an impression--as Emmeline Pankhurst.

Suffragette is not a movie for children, but for teens? Absolutely. Watch it with them, and then make sure they know you exercise your right to vote, whether you live in England, Australia, or the U.S., where suffragettes also fought so American women can vote.  

Suffragette earns The Janie Junebug Seal of Highest Approval. I watched this movie on a DVD from Netflix, ever so kindly delivered by my local postal worker.

I'll also write a second post about Emily Davison, a compelling character portrayed in the film who was a real person.

I wish you knowledgeable viewing!

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I don't want my review of Suffragette to be too long, so I shall include some additional information on the fight for women's rights here.

In the movie, Maud Watts (Carey Mulligan) meets Emily Davison (Natalie Press) in prison. Davison was a real person, and an ardent suffragette.

She partook of the violent acts designed to draw attention to the cause of suffragettes, and as a result, was jailed nine times and force fed one hundred one times. A year before her death, she threw herself down a steel staircase in jail in an attempt to end the force feeding of all the women.

On June 4, 1913, Davison attended the Epsom Derby. During the race, she stepped out in front of King George V's horse. The horse somersaulted and rose to finish the race. The jockey's foot was caught in one stirrup. Unconscious, he was dragged to the finish line, but he survived.

Davison died four days later of a scull fracture and internal injuries. Her sister suffragettes gave her an extravagant funeral.

The question is, did Davison intend to commit suicide? At the time, many people thought she wished to call attention to women's suffrage by ending her life  in an extravagant manner. Others speculated that she wanted to pull down the king's horse. (The belief that the woman thought she could grab and stop a galloping horse is madness.)

Modern analysis of the film suggests that Davison hoped to attach a "Votes For Women" banner or scarf to the king's horse, although a book has been written to argue against this theory. We'll never know the truth.

Click HERE to see a video of the race on my blog

Some of you mentioned you had never heard of Emily Davison, and wondered why you didn't learn about the suffragettes in school. I think high school history courses focus more on dates and events. We probably learned the year that women earned the right to vote, but didn't see the faces of the women--and men--behind the event.

And now I want to chat about the first suffragette I met: Mrs. Banks, in the Walt Disney movie Mary Poppins. As a young--very young child--I saw that Mrs. Banks wore pretty dresses while she marched with other women who wanted the right to vote.

It never occurred to me until I watched Suffragette that Mary Poppins belittles and denigrates the cause of the suffragettes. The Banks' children are unhappy because their father works all the time, and their mother is out protesting for women's rights. Mrs. Banks is portrayed as a silly creature who learns to give up her cause and stay at home so her family can be happy. It doesn't matter if she's happy and fulfilled. Her home is the place for her to achieve satisfaction.

Victorian ideals remain in place in Mary Poppins.

Do you remember this song?

Mrs. Banks appears unharmed--and quite fashionable--although she's been to a militant demonstration. Did it ever occur to you that one plot point of Mary Poppins is opposition to women's rights?

What do you think of these lyrics? Our daughter's daughters will adore us, and they'll sing in grateful chorus, Well done! Well done! Well done, sister suffragette.

It would be nice if we appreciated those who fought for our rights, but how can we appreciate women when we've never heard of them?

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Tomorrow for MOVIE WEEKEND, I shall review Suffragette. First, we should learn some suffragette facts that pertain to women in England, where our movie is set:

1. Organized groups of women fought for the vote beginning in the late 1800s. Suffragette was first used as a term of derision by London's Daily Mail, but the women embraced it and hardened the "G" to show their determination to get the right to vote. Women also had no right to their children. If they brought a fortune to their marriages, the money belonged to their husbands.
    Queen Victoria ruled from 1837 to 1901,
    but she did not have the right to vote.

    2. As the fight dragged on, some of the women became more militant, especially those led by Emmeline PankhurstBeginning in 1912, Mrs. Pankhurst's followers chained themselves to railings, set fire to the mail in postal boxes, smashed windows, and even detonated some bombs. In 1913, Emily Davison stepped out in front of King George V's horse during the Epsom Derby. Whether she intended to commit suicide for the cause or hoped to pin a suffragette banner on the horse remains unknown.

    3. Suffragettes were punished with stints in prison, during which they fought to be considered political prisoners. Denied, some protested with hunger strikes and were force fed. As a history professor of mine described it, a sort of porridge went through a tube that had been forced down the woman's throat and into the stomach. Overfed, or with the stomach unable to accept the porridge, the women vomited. The porridge came back up through their nose and ears because their mouths were blocked. Nasal tubes were also employed at times. 

    4. Prominent leader Emmeline Pankhurst did not expect the women who followed her to suffer alone.

    Pankhurst was arrested seven times and was force fed on at least one occasion. During a public demonstration, a group of men threw stones, rotten eggs, and clay at Pankhurst and other women, and beat them. Although Pankhurst fought for women's rights for the remainder of her life, with the advent of World War I in 1914, she gave up her militancy in order to support the men who were off to war. She later lived in Canada for a time, visited Russia, and returned to England in time to see the beginning of women's suffrage in 1918, when women older than thirty (with several restrictions), were granted the right to vote.

    5. In 1928, women older than twenty-one gained the right to vote in the United Kingdom. Be sure to exercise your right to vote. It was hard won.

    I'll see you tomorrow with my review of Suffragette.

    Infinities of love,

    Janie Junebug

    Tuesday, May 3, 2016


    Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

    When I edit, one problem I notice is that writers--and yes, I might mean you, Dear Client--fall into a sentence structure hole. That is, writers use the same sentence structure over and over.

    We talked about slipping in a short sentence to call attention to important words, but if you've forgotten that tip, you can check it our HERE.

    I also called attention to a sentence structure I see so often that I want to mention it again:

    He wasn't that late, considering how bad the weather was.

    If I tell you that you have too many -ing words, then look for the aforementioned sentence structure. I bring it up again because I see it over and over and over . . . oh, and do you remember how to use ellipsis?

    In your comment, can you replace the sentence in blue with a different structure?

    Here's another example of a problem with -ing words that I don't think we've chatted about here:

    She was telling him that he was creating a mess.

    Let's simplify:

    She told him that he created a mess.

    Dig yourself out of the sentence structure hole. Avoid -ing, and you'll avoid verbosity. Your editor will thank you.

    This Friday, I hope to answer Linda Kay's question about words that end in -ly. I've made her wait a long time.

    If you have a grammatical concern, please email your question to dumpedfirstwife@gmail.com.

    Infinities of love,

    Janie Junebug

    Thanks, fishducky. You rock my grammatical world.

    Monday, May 2, 2016


    Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

    Michael D'Agostino of A Life Examined has a great Question of the Month for us.

    Michael wants to know, “If a friend came to you looking for advice on starting a blog, what three pieces of advice would you give them?”

     That's a great question, Michael. Here's my advice:

    1. Allow your blog to evolve to suit your needs and the needs of your followers.

    My blog began in December, 2009, as Dumped First Wife. What if I were still complaining about my ex-husband and exploring my divorce? It was good therapy for me at the time, but it would be old by now. Next, my blog became WOMEN: WE SHALL OVERCOME. Lola was the character, or persona, who wrote the posts. She was pretty sassy. A persona more similar to me took over: Janie Junebug. When I realized how many bloggers wrote books, my blog became Janie Junebug Righting & Editing because writers are hungry for tips on grammar and publishing.

    What will my blog be called in two years? I don't know, but I'm open to change.

    2. Write as clearly as you can, but feel free to be creative.

    In spite of my grammar-obsessed self, I don't think your blog has to follow every writing rule. It's fine to write the way you talk. Be casual and conversational if that's your style. What's important is that your followers understand what you mean. Make an effort to avoid distracting errors, such as misspelled words or using "should of" when you mean "should have."

    I make missteaks, too. Perfection doesn't have to be the goal. Clarity does. What good is writing if people don't understand what you mean?

    3. If you take some time off from blogging or decide to stop blogging, then please let us know.

    Before long, New Blogger, you will have loyal, devoted followers. Abandon them, and they'll worry about you. I don't know how many bloggers I've followed who have simply disappeared. We don't know if those bloggers are okay.

    I take regular blog breaks. I try to post a message if I'm sick and need time to recover, or if I'm editing a book and don't have time to blog. Usually, when I say I can't blog because I'm tired of it, then suddenly, I'm in the mood to blog. I use reverse psychology on myself.

    Well, all righty then, Michael and company. I hope you like my three pieces of advice. This is a bloghop, so you can sign up to join us, and I hope you'll visit other participants.

    Infinities of love,

    Janie Junebug

    Participants in the Question of the Month: