Wednesday, April 23, 2014

World Book Night


Tonight is World Book Night! 

Are you familiar with World Book Night?  I've blogged about it before--for the last two years, in fact.  It truly is a world-wide event, designed to encourage people to read--what else?--books!  To celebrate, for the third year in a row I will be giving away free books to strangers, special editions published for the giveaway and sent to my local bookstore for me to pick up and distribute.   

The title I'll be giving away this year is Agatha Christie's AFTER THE FUNERAL, a Hercule Poirot mystery.  But there are books of many different genres to choose from, everything from CATCH 22 to KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL to Garrison Keillor's PONTOON to WHERE'D YOU GO, BERNADETTE in regular and large print versions.  There are 38 titles in all.   

Those of us who requested to be givers got to designate our first and second choices among the selections, and weren't guaranteed which we'd get.  We also had to say why we wanted to participate, and how we'd give books away. 

What's the purpose of all this?  Well, we're to hand out copies of books to people who don't like to read!  The idea is to stoke some interest in books by giving out freebies. 

To apply, I usually say I'll talk as much as possible to people who are glued to their computers.  Some of them are probably too busy to read books.  Of course they can read them in e-versions instead, but they may be too busy with social media or games or whatever to actually delve into a book. 

For the third year I'll do this in downtown Studio City, California, which isn't far from where I live.  This year, a writer friend and her grandchildren are going to join me.  

How about you--are you participating in World Book Night?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Irk A Saint

Brushless shaving cream became a staple on drugstore shelves and Burma Vita began to worry about customers trying the competition.  One way of fighting them off was:

Substitutes would
Irk a saint
You hope they are
What you know
They ain’t
Burma Shave

I was given a few days’ grace in getting Darned If You Do to my editor in New York, so I started fooling around with the sequence of events, and now the manuscript is a mess – and it’s due (again) tomorrow.  Woe is me!

We had a fine Easter.  I went to the early service at St. George’s, then in the early evening drove over to the Smiths for a gargantuan dinner (I supplied the ham, and it was excellent!), conversation and the movie “Hugo.”  I couldn’t stay for the whole movie, I had to get up for my water aerobics session early Monday morning.  The way I’ve been eating this past week, I didn’t dare skip the exercise.

The weather has suddenly turned fine.  I haven’t worn even a jacket for three days, now.  Super.

Above is a picture of me in my new suit and that great new hat.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Email Etiquette

Are there rules for email etiquette? For example are you supposed to respond to every email, even with just a thank you to show that you received their email?

The problem with email is that you really don’t know for sure that it was received. It could have gotten lost in cyberspace or ended up in a spam folder.

I hadn’t thought much about this responding thing until something happened earlier this week. A friend from my gym sent me an email suggesting we meet for lunch the next day. She named a time and a place. I responded, agreeing to both.

The next day I was there at the appointed time at the spot she’d chosen, but she was’t After waiting about 15 minutes, I sent her an email on my phone. I didn’t have her phone number or for that matter even her last name even thought I’ve known her for over ten years in a casual way. After another 15 minutes, I sent another email saying that there must have been some kind of mis communication and that I was leaving.

I realized she had never sent an email responding to my email agreeing to the time and place. Perhaps she never got my emails, any of them. It is a day later and I have heard nothing from her. I don’t know whether to worry or blame cyberspace.

Our paths at the gym won’t cross until next Tuesday. I hope I find out what happened. One thing I learned from all this is I’m going to respond to every email even if it is just to confirm that I got theirs or ask them to confirm that they got mine.

Just curious – do you send some kind of response to all email? And then the question comes at one point do you stop replying. Like saying thank you to their thank you to show that you got their thank you.

On another note, I am going to be on the Die Laughing panel along with Connie Archer, Cindy Sample and Stephen Buehler at the Buena Vista Branch of the Burbank Library, 300 Buena Vista St., Burbank, CA next Wednesday at 7:00 pm. Everyone is welcome. It should be fun.