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Showing posts from June, 2008

Busy Weekend

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I intended on posting something later last week, but time slipped away from me. Or to be more accurate, it raced away from at the speed of an Indy car. I hate how September rolls around and we all look at each other and ask “where did the summer go?” That happens because we over schedule our time and get so busy that we completely miss out on what summer is supposed to be. FUN.

Over scheduling is exactly what I did this weekend. And today. And tomorrow. That’s not to say I didn’t have some fun. Friday night, I attended my friend and fellow Sister in Crime, Kathryn Miller Haines’ publication party for The Winter of Her Discontent.

Kathy always has the best dressed parties. Her books are set during World War II, so her theatre group dresses the part in 1940’s attire. We were all invited to do the same. I love the 1940’s look, but I have nothing that qualifies.

Saturday, I attended my niece’s bridal shower. I haven’t been to one of those for quite a while. It was nice spending time with som…

Shots Fired

I'm over at Working Stiffs today where I cover a variety of topics ranging from George Carlin to local graffiti to how we and our characters respond to the sound of gunshots. Come on over and check out the conversation.

Strolling through the Bookfest

I must say, I really enjoyed my day at the Bridgewater Bookfest even if a good part of my time was spent chasing flyers and business cards that blew away. We had some rather breezy conditions, but nothing with enough oomph to rearrange the tents. And it was the last weekend of the Three Rivers Arts Festival during which we are notorious for some wicked weather.

My table was set up next to a food booth selling hot dogs and Haluski. Have I mentioned my diet? I’m in the midst of Phase Two. The really strict phase. The phase where all food (especially the greasy, nasty stuff) smells fantastic. But I behaved myself and brought my own lunch, which I actually ate.

I handed out a lot of brochures and flyers and business cards. Those that didn’t blow away, at least. I talked about Pennwriters and the 2009 conference. I hope a few of the people I spoke with will follow-up and join.

For several hours of the day I had company at my booth. New Pennwriters member Lisa Spahr came to assist me and to se…

Bridgewater Bookfest

I am a promoter in training. One of these days I’m going to have a book of my own to promote. Until them, I’m practicing. In my darker moments, I think of these events as missed opportunities, as in “DAMN! If only I had a book out to sell!” But then my rational side reappears and I realize that the opportunities will continue to crop up. For now, I’m honing my skills.

One of these opportunities occurs this Saturday, June 21 in the form of the first annual Bridgewater Bookfest. My fellow Pennwriter, Val Brkich, is organizing the event and invited me. Since I still don’t have anything of my own to promote, I accepted on behalf of Pennwriters and will be manning a booth, plugging both Pennwriters and the 2009 Conference. Plus I’ll have my own business cards and a few for Working Stiffs.

Today, I am trying to prepare. I’m printing out flyers and brochures. I’ve packed a box full of Pennwriters coffee mugs. Five bucks each. What doesn’t sell, I have to store until next May for the conference…

Working Stiffs Wednesday

Citizens' Police Academy is over, but I'm still blogging over at Working Stiffs on Wednesdays. Today, I'm musing on the brain defect that allows me to say yes to projects when I really should say NO. In other words, I'm blogging about the 2009 Pennwriters Conference.

Playing Hooky

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Sometimes a gal just has to play hooky.

My duties as 2009 Pennwriters Conference Coordinator kicked into high gear this weekend as we prepared to apply for a grant. I basically needed to plan the entire conference in four days. Mind you, the conference isn’t until next May. But I needed as much detail as I could gather and put together. Nothing like a deadline and a little pressure to force me to focus. Saturday, I spent about ten hours at the computer working on the thing. By Saturday night, my brain was fried. Sizzled. Burnt to a crisp.

Calgon, take me away!

Sunday morning, I basically turned over what was left to Pennwriters’ president, vice-president, and this year’s conference coordinator with orders to “deal with it.” Hubby and I were outta here.

Every year, Pittsburgh hosts the Three Rivers Arts Festival in the heart of the city. Every year, I say I want to go. NOT every year does it happen. More often than not, the festival comes and goes before I realize time has escaped me once …

An Expensive Decision

I have never been a fan of the news. At some point, probably around my senior year in high school when I was co-editor of the school newspaper, I decided I didn’t want to be a reporter. It was a good choice considering that to this day, I’m a lousy interviewer. This came to light once again during my recently completed fifteen weeks at Citizens’ Police Academy. Others asked many, many questions of the instructors. I asked very few. I preferred to listen and to take notes on what was said.

Besides the interview thing, there’s that little problem with the news always being bad. If it bleeds, it leads. And what is bleeding most profusely these days is our economy.

Everyone is cutting back. I’ve been cutting back for years, which leads me to ponder how ELSE can I cut back? I already drive a car that gets around 36 miles per gallon. Even most highbreds don’t do as well. Still, it’s costing me almost fifty dollars a week to fill my tank. FIFTY DOLLARS! I remember when it cost me around ten.

So…

Working Stiff at Work

It’s been a hectic week with critique group meetings, Citizens’ Police Academy graduation, a doctor’s appointment and two meetings regarding Pennwriters. But today, I am in my office, working on my novel. I am proud to announce that I have hit that blessed 50-page milestone. I survived the beginning. Phew.

While I continue to work, I invite you to visit my report on the previously mentioned graduation, complete with photos, over at Working Stiffs.

The Lipstick Chronicles

One of, if not THE, hottest mystery writers' blogs out there is The Lipstick Chronicles. Michele Martinez, Nancy Martin, Harley Jane Kozak, Elaine Viets, Sarah Strohmeyer, and Rebecca the Bookseller offer the reader wit and wisdom every day. I was stunned and deeply honored when the book tarts invited me to guest blog about my experiences with the Citizens' Police Academy.

That guest blog post by moi is up today. I invite you to pop over and check out my visit to TLC.

Belmont Blues

The Belmont Stakes did not go as everyone thought it would. And I do mean EVERYONE. Big Brown went off a 1-4 odds. Basically, your dollar bet would win you a quarter.

I don’t know why, but I wasn’t all that fired up. Maybe it was because I’ve been disappointed so many times. I was so convinced that Smarty Jones was going to provide a Triple Crown win a few year back. That loss in the Belmont burst my bubble in a big way.

But I was sure hoping that I was wrong. I was hoping to see a Triple Crown winner THIS YEAR.

Alas, it was not to be. As I write this, there has been no report on Big Brown other than he wasn’t lame, wasn’t hurt. All good news. There are so many reasons a horse doesn’t win a race. Especially THIS race. Hopefully it was just the heat. I know I feel sluggish today. Maybe Big Brown did, too.

Friday Odds and Ends

In one day’s time, we have slipped out of my favorite time of year to my less-than-favorite time of year.

I love spring. I love the freshness of reborn trees, the smell of locus blooms floating on a warm breeze. I love taking walks, riding Admiral or my bike. In the spring.

Yesterday, the western Pennsylvania summer sauna arrived. We put in the window air conditioners. The sounds of birdsong drifting through the screen has been replaced with the mechanical rumble of AC. I can’t breathe the air because I didn’t come with factory equipped gills.

I’ve lost a total of 14 pounds since my rude encounter with the scales early this spring. But when the soggy, sultry heat of summer hits, I tend to want to do nothing. Or less than nothing if possible. I need to get some cardio in today, but I know it will be torture.

Okay, my whining spree is over.

I finished (FINALLY) chapter three of my current WIP this week. It’s been like pulling teeth, getting these opening three chapters complete. But I’m …

The Graffiti Squad

Monday was our final Citizens' Police Academy class. We still have graduation next week, but it's winding down. Once again, I've written about my experiences over at Working Stiffs today. Come over and check it out.

The Travel Bug

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Today, over on The Lipstick Chronicles (where I will be guest blogging this coming Sunday, by the way), Michele is talking today about the travel bug and where it has taken her in the past.

Let me just say that the travel bug has been gnawing on me for years. But the moths in my wallet have prevented me from actually going anywhere. Plus the fact that I’ve spent the last several years caring for my parents has kept me close to home. Now that dad has passed on and Mom is finally on the verge of independence again, I have the time and freedom to indulge.

I also still have moths in my wallet. We pretty much blew the vacation budget for the year on the trip to Williamsburg. Gas has just topped four bucks a gallon around here and with our pickup holding a nearly forty gallon gas tank…well, you do the math. Also, it’s a three-quarter ton four-wheel-drive circa 1990 version. The sucking sound you hear as we go down the road is that precious petroleum being burned, never to be seen again. We ha…