Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Rest assured--the EPA is on the job

Amazing. At the same time the Environmental Protection Agency blankets the airwaves with warnings about the danger of radon gas in our homes, they are encouraging the deliberate introduction of deadly mercury into literally every residence and office in the United States by mandating the use of Compact Flourescent Lightbulbs (CFL’s) instead of incandescent bulbs. Never mind that even the manufacturers of CFL’s caution users about their potential danger nor that billions of CFL’s will end up in landfills across the United States, where they will certainly leak mercury into our ground water. Never mind that the government warns about the danger posed to human life by the rising levels of mercury in seafood, and never mind that mercury is highly toxic to humans. No, never mind. After all, the EPA assures us that the potential threat of “global warming” far outweighs the proven dangers of mercury poisoning. Can anyone say hare brained?
Kathleen Lamarche
author of THE PLOT and THE GUMSHOE

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A Taste of Tampa

Ahh, Tampa. Home of the Bucs, the Rays, and drivers who can go from 0 to 60 and back to 0 in three meters or less. Who needs Disney or Six Flags when you get the thrill of a lifetime by merely driving through downtown?

Of course, that’s not the only fun thing about Tampa. There was the bellman at the hotel whose name tag had “Puerto Rico” etched beneath his name. Curious, I asked why that was there, and he replied in perfect American English, “That’s where I’m from.” Being me, I had to ask if everyone had that on their name tag, at which my dear hubby looked wide-eyed at me and said, “Honey, they’re not all from Puerto Rico!” Predictably, the bellman laughed at my husband’s oh! so funny joke, and I, also predictably, felt a little miffed at the deliberate misinterpretation of my question. On the other hand, since I’m such a snob about proper speech, maybe I deserved it.

Tampa has a lot going for it—if you can overlook the incredibly busy streets and highways—such as a beautiful Bay and myriad restaurants. My favorite restaurant was a quaint and casual Irish establishment named “Four Green Fields.” Gaelic posters celebrating Irish history and scenery cover the walls, and the menu boasts everything from authentic Irish soda bread to corned beef and cabbage as well as various brands of Irish beer that I’ve never heard of (besides Guinness). I was told by our hosts that a live band plays Irish ballads on Friday evenings. Being an aging colleen myself, I couldn’t help wishing I could have been there on Friday to hear all my old favorites, and I found myself humming “I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen” all the way back to Tallahassee. The evening before, we had discovered “The Capital Grille”—a decidedly posh restaurant catering to those wishing to “make an evening of it”—which featured gracious waiters, an extensive wine list, and abundant gourmet food served in courses over which diners were encouraged to linger. Upon leaving to return to our hotel, my stomach complained, “I can’t believe you ate so much.”

At any rate, it’s great to be home at Shell Point (40 miles south of Tallahassee) where our Bay is also beautiful, the atmosphere is decidedly casual, and golf carts go from 0 to 15 in 100 meters or more. Kathleen Lamarche, author -- The Plot and The Gumshoe

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Kathleen McCabe Lamarche- Award Winning Author

It was 1991, and the Gulf War was unfolding in front of me on television as I recuperated from melanoma. Spurred by the drama I was witnessing, I began to think about my own life, the dreams I'd held close to my heart since I was just a little girl–to complete my long-delayed college education, to write and sell a book that would make a difference like "1984" and "The Grapes of Wrath"–and I realized that time was running out on ever seeing those dreams become a reality.

The panic syndrome that had kept me a prisoner in my own home for nearly ten years stood like a barrier between me and those dreams, but I decided that if I could overcome cancer, two teenaged children, and the stresses and strains of nearly thirty years of marriage, I could overcome anything. So, I hitched up my courage and stepped out into the world, first as a columnist for the local newspaper, then as a Creative Writing student at FSU, and finally as a successful novelist traveling to book events and speaking engagements throughout the southeast.

When I was selected "Woman of the Year" in 2004 by Tallahassee Community College for "inspiring hope and possibility," I knew for certain that "dreams are just reality waiting to happen" and that it isn't fairy godmothers but courage, determination, and faith in oneself that make dreams come true.

Kathleen Lamarche is the award-winning author of The Plot