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Minette

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Henrietta of England, Charles II’s sister, is my namesake. Her sad, short life is intriguing and unfortunate, but I like the history and gossip surrounding her. Born in June of 1644 during a civil war, Henrietta was whisked away at the age of three and raised in the French court. Her father Charles I was eventually beheaded. There she was called Minette. First cousin to Louis XIV, she lived with her mother in the Louvre for a time. There was talk of her being married to the French King, but his mother, Anne, arranged a different alliance, and Minette was married to his brother Philippe I, Duke of Orleans. As the Duchess of Olreans, she was rumored to have had an affair with her own first cousin LouisXIV, and the Count of Guiche. There were many letters between her and her brother, Charles II. She took part in diplomatic relations between England and France and had a wide interest in the arts, having associations with famous artist and musicians of the era. She died at the young age of twenty-six, thinking she had been poisoned, but most likely died of  gastroenteritis.

 

Various sites used to gather information include Wikipedia, Google photos,and Historical Honey

Welcome to more social media…

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I created a Face Book account for Minette Lauren and deleted it within an hour of opening the page, then reopened it, trying to be brave. I have always been a private person, who doesn’t like putting too much out there for the world to see. Zoe Tasia has a page, so I can do this, right? After reading emails from other authors about advertising and book sales, it seems that FB is where they get the most coverage for their books. I have opened a twitter account, though I know nothing about tweeting, and I worry where this will all end. I love the ease of email submissions for manuscripts and editors contacting me directly through Gmail, but most have informed me that social media is a necessary evil. Zarireede.com, Minettelauren.com, Face Book and Twitter have given me a foot print in the cyber world. Go easy on me young whipper snappers…Rome was not built in a day.

Water Nymph

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I love to write outside, and especially by water. I once saw a fortuneteller, who said she saw me writing by water and I should try writing in the bathtub. She said water is a conductive source and my spirit guides can help inspire me. I admit I have never written in the bathtub, though I installed a luxurious double slipper tub when I remodeled, after a disastrous water leak. I love my backyard, and when I travel, I love to spend time by a lake or an ocean. Water is not my only inspiration. I write stories in my head from the doctors office, driving my car, or even dreaming while I sleep. I was a constant day dreamer in school, and I suppose I have never outgrown a fanciful imagination.

Sometimes I freak myself out.

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So, I’ve been busy researching for our book. Found some wonderful sites and learning a lot. One thing I’ve learned is I am woefully unprepared for certain circumstances. Do you know how to pick locks? Could you get free from zip ties? Are you aware of proper techniques needed for fighting with a firearm from close quarters? If you can answer yes to any of these, color me impressed. Realistically, I probably will never need these skills, but, having an overactive imagination, I can worry myself sick that I don’t. I’m overwhelmed by how much I don’t know. I have to remind myself that nobody knows everything. This doesn’t mean I’ll stop trying though. So, excuse me, I need to practice my handcuff knot. Never know when I might need to subdue a foe.

Is it our age?

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Another distant family member has passed away, and I am on my way to another wedding. Do weddings and funerals just happen in pairs and is it life’s little reminder that time is short…or is it in your forties that everyone starts to get sick and die? I’ve been watching a masterpiece theater series, Any Human Heart, and it is intriguing. I love thoughtful pieces that span through generations and especially a writer’s life. It takes you from the character’s college days through decades of love, marriage, children, war, aging and death. My favorite line is, It’s all just luck in the end, all the good luck and all the bad. I might be inclined to agree. I have failed in life giving my all, and I have succeeded where I hardly tried. The important things were mostly achieved with effort, but every now and then, life throws you a winning lotto ticket. When that happens, enjoy the ride. As with all of life’s ups and downs, the time spent in them is finite. Today a wedding, tomorrow a funeral. They are all inevitable and they are all a part of life.

Vegas Baby!

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Something must be wrong with me because my husband has asked me if I wanted to go to Vegas for my birthday, and I said, “I don’t know!!!” I think I might be plain spoiled, but after LA, Greece, Scotland, New York, and soon traveling to Kentucky for a wedding……I think I’m just tired of running for the plane. I also admit I am a white knuckle flier and hate to be in the air. Missing a current trip to North Carolina this weekend because of the hurricane, and there is a California trip still in the wings.

I love Vegas. I have been there many times and it is never lacking fun. If I go, I will have a ball and possibly come up with more to a romance story I started eons ago, about a VIP host, who worked at a big casino/hotel. Sometimes I keep waiting for my life to slow down, but when it does, I just fill it up with more things to do.

Vegas, no-Vegas… I’ll enjoy my birthday either way and the memories made will be everlasting.

Tour de Cure

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In the interest in finding a cure for diabetes, I have ridden the Houston Tour de Cure seven years in a row. My sister recently died of multiple health issues caused by diabetes, at the young age of forty-eight. My mom has type 2 diabetes, as do many other friends and relatives. Riding along this year, they asked us to cheer, “Go Red rider,” every time we passed someone wearing a red jersey that said, I ride with diabetes. It was a nice token, and I tried to say it whenever I noticed a red shirt. Every year before, I was happy to ride and felt like I was doing my bit to help a favored charity, but this year I was a little sad. My sister lived with diabetes for almost forty years, there is still no cure, and she is gone. I wonder if they found a cure, would they share it. There is so much money to be made in pharmaceuticals, it would be like putting a tire on the market that lasted forever….who would buy new tires? So many people suffer from diabetes. I have heard conspiracy theories before and thought hmm… but it is my wishful thinking that there actually could be a cure. The day was hot and sunny, we finished our goal for the year, and that was a positive end to my day. Go Red Riders near and far, and I’ll keep hoping they find a cure!

The games people play…

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Football season is upon us. Shake those pom-poms and show your team spirit! I don’t ‘do’ sports. I am not a team player. I was the last one picked for the kick ball game and the first person tagged during dodgeball. I, the quiet, obedient girl, skipped one class as often as possible – P.E. Yet, I do keep up on sports for one reason. They are important to people I love. My dad was an avid football fan. I grew up watching pro and college games. We viewed anything and everything physically competitive that was televised. Golf to figure skating, professional wrestling to tennis, we debated the outcomes during commercials. Cheering the Sooners to victory with my dad is a cherished memory. This weekend, I watched the Texans play and as I clapped, I remembered my father. Win or lose, he favored me with this big grin because, bottom line, the most important part was that I was with him. Whatever I do, whereever I go, if I am with those I love, I am happy.

Self-serve and technology for the future…

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On my way to Greece, Scotland, and New York, I noticed a trend in American Airports. Order-yourself restaurants are popping up all through the terminals. Tables are lined with i pads for each guest. I sat and order everything I liked, selected a gratuity–before ever seeing a server– and had the option to pay by credit card or use airline miles! This sounds cool, but I wondered about our older generation. They still travel but are not always up on advancing technology. Who will help them to turn on the menu?

My experience was that you order, there is a one time beverage drop off, followed shortly by food. I did get a refill on my drink when flagging someone down, but no one ever asked how the meal was or checked on our table. Why should they…they already have their tip! These cafes look cool, chic, fast, but if I want to wait on myself, I would rather eat at Mc Donald’s.

Chili’s has been doing the i pad order and check out for years, but still has attentive, friendly staff to assist. Groceries offer self-checkout in most stores, and I fear it may be the wave of the future to select our food before even seeing a table.

New York city is full of bustling cafes and diners that you hustle in, place your order at a bar,then slide down to pick it up at the end of the counter.  You take a table and hope you have everything you need without having to return to the counter ten times. The amazing thing is we still tip! I’m a generous tipper, but the time may come, where I expect to be waited on for the gratuity to continue. It was a novel experience, but I will look for an i pad-less table in the future.

New York, New York

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I am visiting New York for the memorial of my sister. It’s been almost two months, and I have been dreading the trip. I am not keen on the Big Apple because there are too many people. I feel a little claustrophobic when I am here. My sister loved the city! My mom loves being a tourist, but I have this fear she will be ran over by a bus, as she stops in random places to take pictures of flowers. Lucky for me, it is a short trip and I will be sleeping in my own bed again soon.

We had lunch in Bryant Park, with the lovely white Birch trees canopied against the clear blue sky. Temps are eighty degrees here, and you might just sizzle if you sit too long in the sun. The pavement is hot, and the metal benches searing. The pictures above are from my window overlooking Times Square, the Bryant Park Grill, architecture in front of the library, and the famous lions that guard it. Having dinner with a friend I haven’t seen in ten or more years. I’m looking forward to a nice meal, catching up over a bottle of Salon champagne and then flying home to my furry family. Missing them to pieces.

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