Tuesday, May 31, 2011

May 31

Everything is behind this week. The long holiday weekend took me up to see my parents in their lovely new home. We wandered the woods admiring the blue and white forget-me-nots and the trillium- carpets of flowers. We saw cranes and bald eagles, loons, ducks, crayfish, chipmonks, deer, porcupine, etc. The world is teaming with wildlife. It is hard to remember that living in the suburbs-even with my small woods and all the critters that inhabit it. I heard this is a bad year for ticks so we kept an eye on that. The mosquitoes nearly picked my Mom up and flew away with her. Here we thought we wouldn't need bug spray if we walked along the road. Ha!
I hope to get back into the swing of writing and blogging tomorrow. Tell me what you did on your holiday? Curious minds want to know. Cheers~

Friday, May 27, 2011

May 27

I watched the 1981 movie, "Absence of Malice." It was very well written and Paul Newman and Sally Field were wonderful and so very thin-sheesh. (It was probably all the cigarettes people smoked back then. There certainly was a lot of smoking and drinking in the movie-so odd to see since they try not to promote that stuff in movies today.)
In the movie, she is at home working on her typewriter. Paul's character comes over and comments how she works long hours and she says no, she was writing her father a letter. She said something to the effect of, "I could call. It would be quicker, but when I hang up what would you have?"
It got me thinking. What will happen to the history of the texting, cell phone, social media generation? They are probably the most filmed generation as parent have easy access to cameras to create video. But even that isn't on actual film any more. What happens if the internet is attacked and lost? What happens if electricity changes or if technology changes in fifty years? So many books and letters and journals and notes will be lost. It will be like the mythical library of Alexandria-all the things that we once knew will disappear. You can argue that it won't happen that technology will continue to move forward. But history has shown otherwise.
I just wonder what historians will make of us two hundred years from now when the letters and notes and books are gone. When people don't remember how to write or read cursive...
It's quick and convenient-but when you hang up, what do you have? Maybe this weekend, I'll write a letter. Cheers~

Thursday, May 26, 2011

May 26

Let's face it I'm behind- again. But this time for pleasure as I had brunch with two great writing friends. We talked books, promotion, tumblr, and gluten-free. It was more than fun and a trip to Whole Foods to buy GF donuts, and raisin bread topped it off. So it was a worthwhile break for me. I hope that your day was as much fun.
What do you do to fill the well?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

May 25

In concert with yesterday's blogs about promotion I would like to share with you all a great contest~
My dear friend and fellow blogger, Judy Croome is having an amazing contest to celebrate the launch of her debut novel. Click on Judy's name to read her blog and find out the details on the contest and scroll up her blog to catch a glimpse of how her book came into being. Judy is a fabulous writer/story teller- you won't be disappointed.

For my friends who live in tornado alley- you have my thoughts and prayers. Stay safe. Same to those who are suffering through the huge flood.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

May 24

I blogged about promotion efforts on my craft blog. It seems some people have it all together with book tours and celebrity endorsements, contests and on and on. The thing about today's book market is that there are so any authors- so many salesmen- how do you as a reader pick out which books to buy? Do you listen to the person with the slickest promotion? Or are you annoyed with the "feed a family, buy my books" kind of thing going on? I've seen people threaten suicide if their books don't climb the Amazon best seller list. People tell readers that they will give a portion of their proceeds to a charity- but how much is a portion and is buying their book for charity really going to help them with a career? (Hint: send the money directly to the charity and you get a nice write off on your taxes)
If you are on the social network at all, you know the people who promote until you want to stab yourself in your eye so that you don't have to see them any more, or the people who overly/fake gush about how surprised they are that you "like me, you really like me."
So, what draws you as a reader to buy a book? Word of mouth? Favorite author? How to you pick new authors? Contest and award winner? Does promotion matter to you as a reader? Inquiring minds want to know. Cheers~

Monday, May 23, 2011

May 23rd

Happy 50th Birthday, Tom!

So I got my picture taken on Saturday. I need to purchase Photoshop to play with them, I think. I put this one up because it has an interesting border. There is one other that I like but the lack of border makes it look un-professional. Well, as much as I hate to have a camera turned on me, it had to be done. The other picture was ten years old. The happy news is that I will probably not have it done again for another ten years. YAY!
People have been very kind to me about the photos. It makes it easier to put then up. Someone said I look like I was having fun. What was really going on is the photographer kept admonishing me to give her a "real" smile and I would get embarrassed and smile.
Truthfully I'd rather be behind the camera than in front of it.
How do you feel about your photos? love them? Hate them? Want to be a model?

Friday, May 20, 2011

May 20

My goal for today is to work on the PowerPoint presentation for my teaching demonstration at school in June. If you have ever had the pleasure to work in Adobe creative suite, you know that PowerPoint is far from intuitive and is a real hassle. Sigh. But it's what schools and businesses use for presentations. Therefore I work in it. Design like writing is very subjective. What one person loves another might loathe. My design, like my writing, has a very strong voice. Often a client will say, come up with something. So I do, I might give them five designs. Guess what? It won't be at all what they are looking for. LOL I may try to give them something close to what they have and they decide they want something new. I might give them something fresh and they end up wanting what they have. At least in this instant I can design for myself. It's a lot less work.
Writing can be like this. Editors and publishers might tell you they are looking for X and yet they really want Z. So, sometimes, just sometimes, it's really not you. It's them.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

May 19

I think the robin has decided to build its nest in the tree where a certain broom-waving human won't ruin all his hard work. They certainly put up a good fight. The Mallard ducks have a nest in the woods. I've seen the pair sitting, but no sign of babies. We chased the coyote off a few days ago- so perhaps the ducks abandoned the nest or Wylie E. is waiting for the ducklings like he did last year. It's rough out there for the critters, but somehow they manage to come back every year and have a new family. I haven't seen the deer since the big blizzard I hope they survived. They are most likely enjoying the young shoots in the farmer's fields and leaving the wild plants in the woods for later. I know I would. I've also seen a tiny little turtle and our big fat garden snake-not in the same place thank goodness. The frogs sing every night. Spring is a beautiful thing.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

May 18

I have scheduled the dreaded photographer appointment for Saturday I will have a new author picture. No guarantees how it will come out, but I will try to be authentic. I am wondering what to wear... I mean I have a romance coming out next month but next year or so I'll be coming out with a mystery. So do I wear something light and happy and romantic? Or do I put on the standard black leather jacket of the mystery writer? LOL- just had a thought that I may need a smoking jacket and a pipe. I actually went out and bought the shirt for my last photo just for the picture. I am not so sure I want to do that this time. Hmmm, what do I have in my closet? If I want to be truly authentic, I'd wear paint-covered sweat pants and a slouchy teeshirt with my ratty bathrobe over it. No- trust me, nobody wants to see what you really look like when you write.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

May 17

I would like to congratulate my niece, Jessica, on her graduation from college and her wedding. She did it all in one weekend and I wish her all the best.

The view from my window this morning is stunningly brilliant. It is one of those early spring days when the sun is so sharp the leaves on the trees sparkle. The lake looks deep purple. Everything is a shade of green and the view of the water is once more blocked by unfurling leaves catching the very sun that makes them sparkle. The wind is gusty-sometimes gently rocking them, sometimes blowing hard in hopes of dislodging them. The large pink blooms on my magnolia tree are all blown away like huge pink Fall leaves. The crab apple trees are covered in small white petals while the cherry trees are a burst of pink blooms. They scent the air in sweetness to draw the bees from their winter hiding places and shower the grass in pink and white drifts. Everything is new and tender and bright.

I hope your weather is just as lovely no matter where you are. Cheers~

Monday, May 16, 2011

May 16

Last Friday- the 13th- blogger was down and having troubles so I did not blog. We had a cool and wet weekend so no gardening got done. I feel so far behind, now. Silly I know but I like a certain order to things. Even if I'm tired, I like things to get done on certain days so that they don't pile up and get away from me.
Do you do that?
As a writer I've found that creating my own deadlines and establishing a routine to sit at the computer really helps to keep me on track and focused on the job at hand. Some people write in the early mornings. Some write during kid's nap time. Some write late at night once the household has gone to bed. The point is to find your best writing time and keep up the habit of showing up every day. It really makes a difference in the quality of your writing.


Thursday, May 12, 2011

May 12

Today is the last deadline day for my Master's program. I have a research paper due on my genre and where my thesis novel fits. I am nearly done. Yes!

The weirdest thing. Remember how the robin began to build a nest near my back door? Well, when I went away, he stopped. Today is the first day I am back home to stay and guess what? He started building the nest again. I think he knows I'm home and wants to continue our little battle. Isn't that odd? Hmmm.

We have sunshine again today. It is hot and humid here. So the air-conditioning is on. Funny how we have less than a day or two of weather where we are not using the heater or the air conditioner. I keep both set at very conservative temperatures. A person would think there would be more time between needing to use one or the other.

How are things where you live?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

May 11

Better late than never- Had another adventure today. Sigh. Picked up DD from college and the car overheated. Managed to find a great place to get it fixed. They saw me right away and fixed it within 3 hours. Meanwhile I walked DD her suitcases to pack...in 89 degree sunshine...had not expected to be outside so no sunscreen- yup- sunburned. Aloe Vera is my friend.

So tomorrow-Thursday- let's hope for a drama free day. But then again, its always a story with me. ;)

How is your week going?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

May 10

I am home. (Sorry for the late, late post) Dad is doing well. Their new home has a view to die for-a wall of windows looking out on a lake. Even the hospital room had a beautiful view of a different lake. Everyone that I met in the community is very nice. I do wish they weren't so far away-in truth they area actually much closer than they were so I should not complain. Perhaps I should learn to pilot a plane that lands on water. Then I can fly from my lake to theirs and skip all the driving and the traffic. Hmmm.

Hope your week is going well. Cheers~

Monday, May 9, 2011

May 9

I am with my parents. Got a phone call on Saturday morning that Dad was in the ER. So I drove up to be with them this weekend. Dad has an upper GI scheduled this morning. We will know more after the test. It is always interesting to sit in the hospital and watch the nurses work. I will keep you posted. If you don't hear from me, it's because I'm not at work.

This weekend was my parent's 51st Anniversary and Mother's Day~ I'm glad I got to spend it with them but not happy for the reason.

Hope your week is good. Cheers~

Friday, May 6, 2011

May 6

Since I no longer blog on weekends, I want to say Happy Anniversary to my parents - May 7th. Fifty-one years is a lifetime. Your dedication and love is amazing. I love you.

Update: News on the yearly robin nest building saga. This year the robin built a nest under the deck-which is still 10 ft. off the ground. I thought yay no more fighting with him building a nest next to the back door. Then I went out two days ago and there are robins eggs smashed on the patio below the deck. Sad. I wonder what got into them? Now this morning, I opened the back door and there were nesting materials on the deck floor. Then I looked up and yes, they were building a nest right next to the door. Sigh. I got out my broom and knocked it down. I can't have them dive bombing me every time I let the dog out. Let the battle begin...

I love Spring~ Hope your weekend is wonderful. Cheers~

Thursday, May 5, 2011

May 5

Oh, man, I forgot that yesterday was Star Wars day~ "May the 4th be with you." Sigh.

Seriously, life is too short to be too serious. Wait~did I use the to, too correctly? Gah- must pull out grammar book.
Today I start writing my genre essay for my Master's program. Must come up with a thesis statement and then defend it using four critical works. The works I have. The thoughts I have. But a thesis? Man, I ramble. Must figure out my point and state it first, I guess. The point must have at least four if not five bits to it. So that I can have an opening paragraph, four or five graphs defending bits, then conclusion. Gotta love research papers. Gah- need to outline so I know what the heck it is I'm trying to say-except that my book is awesome and readers of mystery thrillers will love it. LOL.

What are you working on today?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

May 4

There is a sign in my office window that says "Beware! Guard Bichon Frise on duty." LOL Little dog likes to think she is a good guard dog. She lets me know when anyone is in the back or the woods. This is not helpful if said people are yard workers or kids. But is helpful when I'm not aware of someone coming to the door. She has decided that she sort of likes riding in the bike basket and now does not want to walk even a half mile. She'd rather ride. But the point was she needs to walk but being small with genetically bad knees, she should not walk/run farther than a mile. Thus the basket because I want to go farther. We are having a bit of a tiff about when she gets to ride and how far. It is a pain and I'd as soon leave her home, but then I'd still have to walk her. Perhaps if I stay consistent she'll finally settle into a routine of some sort.
Writing can be like that- it's always rough when you start out. But if you remain consistent about when and how long you put your bum in chair- you will get a story done.
What do you do for exercise now that the weather is somewhat better?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

May 3rd

Happy birthday to my niece, Kelly!! I hope this is your best year ever.

The month is just beginning but my calendar is full of deadlines and birthdays and school things. Since starting my Master's program I have written 8 books, sold five and hit monthly deadlines, plus home work for residencies. There are days when I think, I'm tired. I need a break. Life just seems to zip on by regardless. The funny part is I have friends who go on vacation and come home more exhausted than ever. The American work ethic is nuts. I like the idea of a month off to celebrate the summer. Or perhaps afternoon breaks to rest a bit when the heat is at it's highest point. Other countries do it. Why can't we? It might even help our healthcare system. Perhaps I'll stop for five minutes today and sit on my swing and watch the ducks and geese sleep on the lake. It's just a thought...
What do you do to relax?

Monday, May 2, 2011

May 2

Happy, belated, May day my friends, I hope you have flowers blooming and no sign of snow. We are cool-jacket weather- but the sun is out and the early flowers are in bloom.

Happy, belated, birthday to my niece Carissa. May this be your best year ever!

I've spent the morning on the phone talking to family and friends. It's so nice to chit chat, but it does put my blogging behind. I know, I know, I could pre-blog and have everything set up to post at the same time ever day. Sorry, but how dull. lol. This weekend I bought a bike. It's a Panama Jack beach cruiser from Huffy. It has been a long time since I've been on a bike and when I go slow I get wobbly. But it is a lot of fun. The goal is to bike 3 miles a day. Unfortunately the dog still needs walked. So I've improvised a basket. She walks the first mile. Then I pop her in the basket and we go as far as we can. It's tough biking up hill in a strong wind with a dog. She tells me she needs goggles and a scarf.
Meanwhile, I'm hoping to keep the bike up and not end up going toes over teakettle. I think we need to build her a side car. It would certainly be more stable. What do you think?