Female Federal Judge Abused On Silver Screen in Tell it to the Judge (1949)

I am going to deviate from my usual shtick here to write about something that would have been a cumbersome heavy twitter post that maybe my followers weren’t up for.  But in blog form, it’s only a light snack.

Due to my usual insomnia, I had the pleasure of a late night viewing of Tell It To The Judge (1949) starring Rosalind Russell. Russell stars as the strong willed sassy career woman who’s up for a federal judge appointment.  The only hold up, is her high profiled, crazy, divorce. Very well dressed, she eloquently and confidently takes the floor of the hearing to state her case. She is a testament to career women everywhere.

The only problem, is that this strong sophisticated woman is manhandled no less than 5-7 times in the film. One time in particular, her jealous husband grabs her wrists and forcibly sits her down, so firmly, that she spends the next few lines of banter rubbing them in mock pain. This comes after being pushed out of the way by the side of her neck only moments before. Her only retaliations to such treatment were eye rolls and “above it all” sarcasm.

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In addition to the domestic violence, she is forced to defend herself against an attempted date rape by a suitor who thinks it’s okay to take what he wants because she has been “making a fool” of him all day. To deal with all of this harassment, she knocks her husband out with sleeping pills and hits the suitor over the head with a gavel to “out smart” them. After dusting her hands off, she exits the scene with a clever “Good night, boys”.

The bulk of the manhandling took place as a show of how much her husband loved her. Being a screwball comedy, the violence and bad behavior were made romantic and funny.

I loved the film because I will watch anything that she is in, but what an insidious idea it is to romanticize being possessed by a loving, strong, but fair and handsome captor. It’s like Stockholm syndrome, isn’t it?

My only reaction to these things was to eye roll for myself, before worrying about all the impressionable youth that saw these types of movies and then became the generations that raised our parents etc..  At one point, I worried about the brain washing that I myself was subject to by seeing a beautiful smart woman so willingly allowing herself to be tossed around without addressing the issue head on.  Only once, she warned, “You wouldn’t dare hit me.” I guess we can presume that is her breaking point.

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It was a reminder that this was blatantly ingrained in the popular culture back then, so no one batted an eye. So, what manhandling must we be seeing now and shrugging it off?  What are little boys and girls accidentally absorbing and accepting because we assume that they know better.

I still love watching these movies and it did ultimately deliver the gooey feels of romance. But I think it’s a good reminder to view the media in our modern culture with a more mindful and critical eye.  I’m not trying to lobby to dispose of questionable past works.

I’m saying that maybe we can just add the good message through discussion-right after the bad.



5 Pros and Cons of Audiobooks

People have been discussing whether listening to audiobooks is somehow cheating and not actually reading. This debate attracted my attention because audiobooks are something I’ve had a little too much experience with.

I’m hesitant to share just how many audiobooks I’ve absorbed. My Audible account alone has …70 audiobooks. Don’t shame me.  Maybe…that’s not so bad.

I’m sure there are MANY people who have more. Right? I’m even willing to bet many are professional drivers or parents on the go, like me.

Let’s review the beginnings of this…habit. As a parent with 3 kids I was always driving in the car. To add to this, we lived in a house up in the hills. It took 7 minutes just to get down the hill. -I had a lot of driving time! One awful day, I made 12 round trips.

photo of woman driving car

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After the drive, there’s much down time, just waiting. Anyone who has had to pick a kid up from anything, knows that you’re never sure how much waiting time you have when you arrive “on time.” Also, one is painfully aware that there might be more time to start something productive if one were to arrive-earlier. Good luck!

I had a lot of time on my hands that was not enough to accomplish anything of value, but enough that it felt like a waste just listening to the radio. And that’s where it all began.

Audiobooks were the solution to my problem with downtime and boredom during the daily grind.

Does it matter that it’s not reading? I know it’s not exactly the same but one can enjoy the experience and retain, almost as if you’d read it-with some minor differences.

These are demonstrated in:

5 Pros and Cons of Audiobooks:


1. Audiobooks are good for driving, waiting, kid shuttling and long car rides. Getting home is sad when the book isn’t finished. But it keeps you hanging in there and gives you something to look forward to.

2. Audiobooks are good for falling asleep at night. Just ask an insomniac. You focus on the story and not 1000 thoughts about your day. Plus, it’s like being back in childhood again, having mom and dad read you a bedtime story.

3. You can let the whole family listen for a shared experience. It can actually calm the masses on car rides. Warning! They will complain but they can be convinced to give it a try.

4. You can get through your regular book while walking, cleaning and light exercising. Audiobooks are great for busy people who can’t sit around reading. You don’t have to put your book down to finish your chores.

If you like walking, here’s your strolling partner. If you’re a crazy human that can listen to a book while running, more power to you.

5. Audiobooks are entertaining. This is especially if you are listening to memoirs read by the author. Some of the best audiobook autobiographies and memoirs, that I’ve heard, are by comedians. There’s nothing better than listening to them perform their own words. So many good ones out there! (Next blog-my favorite comedian’s audiobooks.)app-apple-business-38295 (1)


1. No, it is not the same as reading it in the book. I mean how could it be. They are different mediums.

There are certain passages/scenes in audiobooks that you can feel would have been better if read by you-the way you hear it. And sometimes, I feel that the narrator missed the author’s intention/inflection. (I understand this is a topic about audiobook production. I will save that for another blog.)

2. You can’t continue to listen to your book in situations where it’s inappropriate to wear earbuds. If you start laughing out loud while you’re staring at a book, people get it. Laughing while staring into space at the doctor’s office might get you a straight jacket.

3. You can’t listen properly during a hard work out. If my workouts get too challenging, I can’t concentrate. I’m too busy worrying about how to breathe and I end up missing a lot.

4. You can’t look up spelling, definitions or locations, without stopping everything. I like researching to learn about the topic or the setting. If you’re stationary with a book it’s far easier to look things up on your kindle or phone without much of a change of pace.

If you’re in the midst of an activity and aren’t carrying a device in your hand, it’s much harder to stop. I often try to make a mental note to research later, or to relisten to certain chapters more carefully, but sometimes I forget or tend to feel like moving on in the book.

I enjoy seeing the writing and grammar. Stop making fun! But the structure is like a subconscious reminder, egging me on to good form and spelling. It’s like a subtle reinforcement by osmosis.tea-time-3240766_1920

5. The rewinding. Unfortunately, situations occur that will distract you. People are oblivious to earbuds or don’t care. They will frivolously engage you in short conversations and then leave. Rewind!

Someone says “hello” to you on your solitary walk. Rewind!

Occasionally, while doing chores, your mind wanders or has a problem to solve. How the heck do you remove rust? Lemon juice?  Rewind!!

Okay, I admit that It’s not a perfect product and it won’t replace reading. But I’m grateful to get through books that I love when I normally wouldn’t have time to sit and partake.

Happy Reading/Listening!



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Because I Missed You- Free with Kindle Unlimited





5 Ways to Avoid Introverted Writer’s Head.

Normally, I’m a somewhat of an eloquent speaker, if I do say so myself.  That is unless I’m deep into my writing.  If I’m fortunate enough to be be fully immersed in writing, I do that writer thing we do. The one where we stare into space while running through the dialogue. Every scenario that runs through our head has to be processed through multiple character’s story lines, acted out and imagined before us. It’s almost as if we’re speaking to them ourselves in real time.

After a nice long week of this, the weekend rolls around and I inevitably attend a function where I find myself not as sharp as I normally am when speaking.  My thoughts are well formed but slower to be spoken. It just seems as if this practice of living in my head and speaking to my characters has not prepared me for a life without telepathy.  I’m slow to speak and I sound like I have a measured wisdom.  What the Heck?

Also, the long hours in front of the computer screen have made my eyes adverse to focusing on eye contact. Ack! No. I’m not shy.  My eyes are just used to looking no more than 2 feet ahead of me and I have become a little out of practice.

So, rather than wait for my two drinks to kick in at parties, I’m trying to plan the following 5 tasks on the daily..

5 ways to Avoid Introverted writer’s Head:

  1. Go for a 30 minute walk or go to the gym.  Your body and eyes will have to adjust to moving on the fly and saying “hello” to passersby. This will keep you agile, energetic and social. Plus, the increased blood flow to your brain is bound to help your writing.
  2. Make sure you have at least a small errand daily. Going to the post office, the cleaners or running to get groceries, again forces you to say  “hello.” You could also combine this as part of your walk. If you don’t have an errand, there’s always the drive through to get your iced tea, coffee or lunch. You can make eye contact with a human and this is a great chance to use your voice. “You have a nice day too!” No one suspects the selfish reasons.
  3. Don’t stare at your device or computer while you speak to others. I do this at times and don’t even notice because I am so engrossed in what I’m doing. Looking up more frequently will reduce your eyestrain. This one is a win win. Good for your eyes as well as your relationships.
  4. Try to eat dinner or at least one meal with others.  Use your voice and not your devices. Don’t forget the eye contact for reasons already mentioned.  If no one is home, maybe you could just tease your dog with your food.
  5. Make 1 or 2 phone calls that only take a few minutes. Not your best friend. Make calls that won’t take long, like dentist appointments. This isn’t as good as face to face contact but you will exercise your voice and get a little socialization  This is a good compromise when you just can’t bear to leave the house.

If you don’t have time to implement these, I guess you could just go for the tortured writer approach and pass the vodka.


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Incubating The Best Love Triangle Romance Novels in Your Dreams

Some of the best parts of writing romance novels are the dreams.  Especially the dreams that come when you are so inspired by your characters that they continue to dance in your head before and after going to sleep.  They begin to write their own scenarios and show you deeper sides of their personalities.  They even show you how much more romantic their discreet dances and stolen kisses could be. I wake up from these dreams completely inspired.

Fellow authors, the next time you run into a road block, let your romance novel write itself while you’re sleeping. Just don’t eat pizza before going to bed, because it usually turns your characters into zombies.  Of course, your zombies could always find themselves in a love triangle.

Incubating The Best Love Triangle Romance Novels in Your Dreams