From Here On In? From Here On Out?

This is probably one of those questions with no correct answer, but is there a difference between “from here on in” and “from here on out”?

I was listening to The Killers’ CD, Battle Born, and a favorite track is “From Here on Out.” The chorus begins, “From here on out / Friends are gonna be hard to come by / Left us wondering what it all was about / You had it easy man, you chose the hard way.”

I realized that I tend to say “From here on in.” But I’m from the east coast, and The Killers are from the West (Nevada, to be exact). So, is this a regionalism?

Looking at this literally, I can see a difference when describing, say, the physical presence of something. Let’s say you have a circle with a midpoint. There’s a point on the circumference. “From here on in” means from that point into the center. “From here on out” means from that point out beyond the circle. But the phrase usually means, I think, “From this point on,” so does it make sense to use one or the other? The more I think about this, the more I like “from here on out,” as that seems to better imply the future.

This is exactly the type of question Miss Prim would ask, methinks.


Hello, Ladies!


A couple of years ago, the local school hatched chicks–and then didn’t know what to do with them. So one of my neighbors took them in, not realizing that many of them would turn into roosters. A couple of times a week the “ladies” and their escorts (who watch over them closely) pay a visit, pecking around for whatever morsels they can find. (This a bit of a Waldo-type photo. You can see them to the right of the tree in the quasi-center of the pic.)

I actually like when they come to visit. It makes me feel as if I live in the country – one of my goals upon retirement. And they never go ’round to the back of the house, where my bedroom is, so I am never awakened to the sound of cock-a-doodle-do. In short, the best of both worlds.

It occurred to me that we take chickens for granted, but they are actually kind of pretty. Some of my visitors have beautiful plumage, and the crests of the roosters are rather impressive. Granted, their walk is ungainly, and nobody is going to confuse their clucking with the sounds of nightingales singing, but overall the chicken’s not a bad-looking bird. Just sayin’.

In Good Company

I got the shock of my life last week when The Outsmarting of Criminals was selected as an editor’s pick by Oprah’s book club. Those who would like to follow Miss Prim’s adventures can find the recommendation here.

Outsmarting was listed as one of “Five Mysteries for Women Who Read Like Fiends.” What a tremendous compliment it is to see the book described this way. I also like the fact that the title might even refer to Miss Prim herself.

I feel humbled to be mentioned alongside other writers (Julia Keller, Chelsea Cain, Chevy Stevens, and Kwei Quartey), who have all been doing this much longer than I have!

Book Club Discussion at Ithaca Barnes & Noble, September 17th, 2014

I am delighted that the Killer Coffee Club chose The Outsmarting of Criminals as its book for September, 2014. The discussion will be led by voracious mystery lover Nikki Bonanni.

I will be visiting the Ithaca, New York Barnes & Noble to take part in the discussion on Wednesday, September 17th. The address is Tops Plaza, 614 South Meadow, Ithaca, NY 14850.

The festivities begin at 7 p.m. Hope to see you there.

The View from Stuyvesant Square

Stuyvestant Park

I was walking through Manhattan’s Lower East Side and happened on Stuyvesant Square Park. I’d forgotten how pretty it is.

Stuyvesant Square is one of those parks that for me epitomizes the New York City small park. Miss Prim lived for many years on the edge of Madison Square Park, a much larger park and a major thoroughfare. Stuyvesant is more out of the way, a quiet place to eat lunch or read a book.

One of my goals is to someday get myself into Gramercy Park. This is a private park at the terminus of Irving Place in the east teens near Park Avenue. If I’m not mistaken, the buildings that surround the park own it. If you live in one of those buildings, you get a “key to the park” that allows you to open the gates and enter. After all these years of living in the NYC area, I still haven’t made it inside. Someday….