Showing posts from January, 2008

It Oughta Be Against the Law

First, I'm on a bit of a rant over at Working Stiffs today about stuff that should be illegal, but isn't. I'm building a list and invite you to come on over and contribute your favorite pet peeve in an effort to make the world a better place. Yeah, right. Second, I found out that there are no residency requirements for the Citizen's Police Academy so I sent my application in yesterday.

Divine Intervention

Divine intervention is a grand thing. Take today for example. It’s Monday. I try to post something here on Mondays. Usually, something happens over the weekend that I can create a post from. I spent this weekend in meetings. Interesting meetings. Interesting to me and to the others in attendance. Probably not interesting to anyone else. So all day, I’ve been looking for inspiration. I watched the birds outside my kitchen window. I listened to the snow melting off the roof and drip, drip, dripping in the downspout. Boring. I’d about given up and decided to hope for a more interesting life tomorrow when divine intervention dropped something in my lap. Okay, my friend, Joyce , isn’t actually divine, but her e-mail stuck joy in my heart on so many levels. She sent me a link to an application for the Pittsburgh Police Department’s Citizen’s Police Academy. Another friend of mine, Donnell Bell , has attended the Citizen’s academy in her own home town and told me wonderful tales about i

Picture It

I need an author photo. There are a number of problems with this, however. First being that I never like photographs of myself. I like pictures that were taken five or ten years ago, but anything current…YUCK. What happened to my face? When did I develop jowls? Who carved those lines around my eyes? When did my skin get so blotchy? And we won’t even discuss my hair. Those pictures from five or ten years ago look pretty good, though. Of course, I hated them at the time they were taken. But they look a good deal better than the current me. Which leads me to tremble at the thought that the pictures of me NOW will look good in another five or ten years. ACK! What will I look like then? No, don’t answer that. I don’t want to know. Anyhow, I know I need an author photo. One of the comments I’ve gotten about my website is there isn’t a good photo of me. Well, yeah. There’s a reason for it. Jowls, lines, splotches, etc. I want to look good in my author photo and that takes some work. That r

What IS an expert?

That's what we're discussing today over at Working Stiffs . Come on over.

Lost: One Desk

I’ve lost my desk. Again. I’m sure it’s under that pile of papers somewhere, but I can’t be sure. I’m not talking about my computer desk, although it’s only slightly better. No, I have a second desk (actually a table that I use as my writing desk) in my office and it has become buried. Two weeks ago, I cleaned it off. Filed everything in its appropriate place. Threw stuff out. Made two neat, small piles of what was left. It was a thing of beauty. Now, you’d never know. As I mentioned last week, I’m good busy. My desk shows the strain. Here are some examples of what is currently piled on it and threatening to tumble to the floor: Pages of notes and printed-out hard copies of e-mail communications from my freelance client. I have a file for the project in my file organizer, but some of the latest stuff hasn’t made it that far yet. AAA Tour book for Ohio and printed out reservation confirmations for my upcoming trip to teach at a writer’s retreat at the Twinsburg Library next month.

Baltimore or Bust

At some point last year, I had a list of writing conferences I planned on attending in 2008. A long list. I was saving my pennies to cover expenses and making pretty good headway in that department. Then there was the episode last month with no Internet that required a large outpouring of cash for a new satellite dish. My conference fund suddenly vanished in to the hands of my new Internet provider. So I’m paring down the list. A lot. The Romantic Times Convention is coming to Pittsburgh in April. I’ve heard such wild tales about that one that I really wanted to see it for myself. And the fact that it’s going to be right here, thirty miles from my front door, made this the ideal year to go. Well, probably not. It’s rather on the pricey side. I’m not writing it off completely, buy right now, it doesn’t look promising. I attended Malice Domestic a couple years ago and LOVED it. I have promised myself that as soon as I have a book contract, I will go back. Here it is: 2008. No book

A Punny Working Stiffs

My post on crime and cows at today's Working Stiffs has deteriorated into a battle of the puns. If you're up to a few groaners, come on over.

Good busy

As anyone who follows my exploits in this blog knows, last year was not a really good year for me. I was busy, but in a bad way. Busy with funerals, busy with hospitals, busy with doctors’ appointments, busy with veterinary appointments. In other words: BAD busy. Twice last year, I signed up for online courses. Mid-way through the first one, which I can't even remember the topic, my dad took a turn for the worst and passed away. I never did complete the course. Then I tried again. I signed up for a Kills, Chills, and Thrills online workshop. That month, my cousins were in that horrific car crash and I spent a great deal of time visiting the neurological ICU instead of keeping up with my lessons. I still have all those lessons saved and plan to at least read them sometime soon. I’ve been saying that since last March. But I will. Honest. After that, I flat out refused to sign up for any online courses no matter how appealing they might be. But it’s a new year and I’m tempting fate


My big project this week has been brainstorming. LOTS of brainstorming. First there’s the marketing course. My homework for week one is to come up with one sentence that sums up my novel and includes who my target audience is. And the sentence should be shorter than the one I just wrote to explain the assignment. I’ve been filling notebook pages with variations on the theme and still don’t have anything close to what I want. I figure my target audience is grown-ups who read The Black Stallion and Nancy Drew when they were kids, but that’s too long. Besides, if I’m coming up with a promo line for MY book, do I want to instead do a blurb for someone else’s? I think not. I may use that line in conversation, but I don’t want it printed on my business cards or on a banner on my website, which is precisely what this one sentence is supposed to be used for. When I feel like my head is about to explode, I trade that notebook for another one in which I am plotting murder. Relax. The intende

House on Working Stiffs

Any fans of HOUSE might be interested in my post today over at Working Stiffs . Come on over and join the conversation.

Starting Anew

We may be an entire week into the New Year, but for me, today feels like a new beginning. Last week I was still finishing up 2007 stuff and playing catch-up after the holidays. Today, it’s time to get serious. And there are plenty of new things on my plate to keep me busy. New yoga session : I started back last Thursday, but I’m still formulating my class plan for the next eight weeks. Planning a yoga session is a lot like outlining a new novel for me. I must decide where I want to be at the end of the eight weeks and plot out how best to get there. What easier poses help prepare the body for the more challenging poses I want to present a few weeks from now. New novel : And while I’m plotting my yoga classes, I am now officially ready to get to work plotting the new novel. It’s been rumbling around in my head, but I’m now sufficiently excited about it to start filling a new notebook with ideas on new characters, locations, motivation, victims, and suspects. New marketing course : Mo

Saturday at Working Stiffs

I'm stepping in for an extra day over at Working Stiffs , doing a follow up to an earlier post about a local crime and an old high school pal. Come on over and check it out.

Mars in Retrograde

I heard somewhere recently that Mars is in retrograde. Or maybe it was Mercury. Anyhow, it was one of the planets. Obviously, I’m not much in tune with astronomy. The point to what I heard was that small and large appliances are prone to breaking down during this time. Over the last month, two radio/CD players of mine have both gone kerphlooey. And, of course, there was the little problem with my wireless Internet equipment. Things happen in threes and that makes three, right? Last night, I lay in bed thinking I was having the mother of all hot flashes, when it occurred to me that the furnace was running. And had been running for what seemed like a long time. I got up to check the thermostat and discovered that it was 85 degrees in the house. Outside, it was something like ten. I turned the furnace off. It kept running. We have a very small house. We don’t have stairs to the basement. To get there, we must go outside. Most times I don’t mind. Most times. I bundled up in cover-alls a

Resolutions and Goals

I'm over at Working Stiffs today talking about my goals and resolutions for 2008. Come on over and post a comment telling about YOUR resolutions.