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Showing posts from May, 2011

Kensi and Skye Update

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Considering that Skye refused to be in the same room with Kensi when we first brought the new baby into the house, the fact that she's sharing desk space with her now is a major victory. Oh, they still fight on occasion. Okay, daily. But Skye no longer retreats in a snit. She's put the pesky little sister in her place and is back to being the Queen, while Kensi claims the title of Princess.
And, no, I haven't found the memory card yet. This was taken with Hubby's little camera.

The Mysterious Case of the Missing Memory Card

The sun has finally come out. My rhododendron is in full bloom. The locust tree across the road is dripping with blooms. Photo ops abound. This morning, I lugged my beloved Nikon to Mountaineer Racetrack bright and early because my friend Jessi had a horse in an 8:30AM schooling race. I found myself in prime photo op territory, perched right next to the starting gate. I pulled out my camera, giddy at the thought of the great pictures I’d make. But to my dismay, the window on the top of the camera read –E-That means EMPTY. As in no memory card.And that means no photos. I said some bad words. Shoved the Nikon back in its case. And tried to shake off my state of total annoyance in time to at least enjoy being there.Jessi’s colt broke well and the exercise rider was pleased with his performance.But I have no photos.I spent the next hour or so pondering the location of the missing memory card and decided it certainly must still be stuck in the slot of my laptop at home. The last photos I s…

The Times They Are A-Changing

Late last year I wrote about my farmer neighbor who was in the process of selling off his cattle herd. I’ve missed watching those cows and steers from my office window.

At some point in the last several months, the neighbor on the other side of us sold his herd as well. I didn’t miss them right away since they generally spent the winter months on the far side of the pasture where the farmer kept their hay and feed. But as spring approached, I started looking for the annual crop of calves only to discover there were none. In fact there were no cows at all.

After living in cow country my entire life, I find myself surrounded by empty pasture. It’s kind of lonely.

But I have a feeling I should appreciate the quiet while it lasts. As the farming business is dying off in my corner of the world, a new industry is taking its place.

Drilling for gas.

I’ve known for several years that we’re living on what amounts to the Saudi Arabia of natural gas. Marcellus shale is the hot button topic in southwe…

Anthologies R Us

I forgot to mention that I was posting more memories of the Pennwriters Conference at Working Stiffs yesterday. If you missed it, you can still see it here.

Last night I attended the launch party for Pittsburgh Noir at Mystery Lovers Bookshop. I had so much fun catching up with old friends, I didn't think to take any photos. You'll have to take my word for it. It was fun. And the book is great. But you don't have to take my word for that. You can order a signed copy here.

Since I'm plugging anthologies, and in case you haven't bought it yet, Mystery Lovers also still has signed (by me, Beth Groundwater, and Daryl Wood Gerber at least) copies of Fish Tales in stock.

More on the Conference at Working Stiffs

I'm at Working Stiffs today with more on the conference and a bunch of photos.

Conference Flattery

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Another Pennwriters Conference has come and gone. Almost two years’ worth of planning goes into the weekend event that’s over in a blink of an eye. Having been the coordinator two years ago, I know all too well what’s involved. It makes me appreciate it all the more.
Julie Long and Meredith Cohen did a fabulous job. FABulous. I’m saving the bulk of my report on it for this Wednesday’s Working Stiffs (hey, I’m just too lazy to try to think of another topic!), but I’ll share a
few highlights here.
First, there was the bellhop who lugged my stuff to my room Thursday afternoon and asked if I was in town to run the Pittsburgh Marathon, because (he said) I looked like I was in good enough shape for it. Okay, yes. I’m a sucker for a compliment. I gave the guy a really good tip. Which was probably
his goal all along.
Then there was the guy who told me I looked like Susan Sarandon. HA! THAT fellow needs glasses. Seriously. But I told him he was my new favorite person. Near sightedness and all.
All…

Back-to-Conference Shopping

Tomorrow, the 2011 Pennwriters Conference gets underway with the Thursday Intensives. I didn’t sign up for one this year in an attempt to save some pennies. But I know I should have. These workshops are fabulous.

Instead, I’ll head to the hotel in plenty of time for the Board of Directors meeting. I’m now Vice President of Pennwriters, which sounds like a bigger deal than my old Area 3 Rep title, but in fact is much less work.

And, NO, I have no intension of stepping into the president’s position next. Ain’t gonna happen, folks. Don’t even joke about it.

Anyhow, the conference itself gets underway bright and early Friday morning. I’ll be helping with the Twitter for Twits workshop at 10:30AM led by the incredible Tamara Girardi.

There are sooo many workshops that I want to see. It’s overwhelming. And wonderful. Meredith Cohen and Julie Long have done a phenomenal job putting this thing together.

But before I get there, I have to handle one important bit of preparation.

What to pack?

When I w…

Not According to Plan

As I mentioned earlier, I had grand plans for the weekend. What I didn’t mention is that the “cave” I was crawling into was our camp in Confluence. I usually get lots of work done there.

The first sign of things going awry was the news on Friday that my Kentucky Derby pick, Uncle Mo, had been scratched. But writing-wise, I was on a roll. Hubby was off doing his fly fishing thing. Both cats were napping. Life was good.

Then Hubby came back to camp complaining about his shoulder. By Saturday morning, he was totally miserable. He hadn’t been able to sleep. And when I asked him if he wanted to go home early, he said, “Yes.” Not the answer I expected, so I knew he was in serious pain.

So my writing plans went up in smoke, and we headed home.

My consolation prize was getting to watch the Kentucky Derby on TV instead of online. By post time, I’d finally made my picks: Soldat, Dialed In, and ArchArchArch. Typical of my weekend, none of them finished in the money.

I thought, well, maybe I’d get som…

Bugging Out

It’s been a busy week…for everything except writing. So I’ve decided to bug out for a few days. I’m not exactly going “unplugged,” but I’m avoiding such distractions as the Internet and phone. Basically, I’m crawling into my cave and hanging out the DO NOT DISTURB sign.

My goal is one chapter by Monday morning. The only distraction I’m allowing myself is a bike ride each day. Plotting on wheels. So even that distraction counts toward production.

Okay, I will come out of exile on Saturday afternoon for a little thing called the Kentucky Derby.

Generally, when I make predictions about who will win, the wisest thing to do is bet on any other horse. However, I’m still going to be cheering for Uncle Mo. I picked him for the Breeders Cup Juvie last year and he won. Hopefully, he’ll do it again. Yes, I know there are lots of unanswered questions about him. Is he recovered from the ailment that plagued him in the Wood? Can he handle the extra distance? Can he overcome his post position (18)?

Only…

Working Stiffs Wednesday

Today at Working Stiffs, I'm sharing my experience and photos from Monday's Festival of Mystery in Oakmont, PA. What a blast!

Monday News

I had a post all drafted out about our weekend camping, but with the news this morning, it seemed too trivial. So I’ll save it for another day.

Instead, let me say GO USA. Thanks to all our armed forces all over the world. You rock!

Okay, I do have to add this: if you’re going to be in the Pittsburgh area this afternoon, come to the Festival of Mystery in Oakmont. I’ll be there with two of my anthology mates signing copies of Fish Tales.