Friday, March 23, 2018

Ready to Send

I feel like I’ve been in a tunnel all week. I was on the last round of finishing my edits for the book that may or may not be called The Chain Gang. My editors comments were not major, but the thing with a mystery is that everything has the domino effect.

So every time I made a change I had to make sure it didn’t screw up something that happened up ahead. All I can say is thank heavens for the go to and the find tools. I have been tethered to my computer all week.

At the same time I was dealing with the family business which meant that where ever I went in the house I was carrying two phone because we have two lines, my cell phone and my appointment book.

My final job was to make the recipes that are in the book. It is my family’s favorite part. I’m including a coffee cake and something I used to make for my son. He called it Chinese Jello, but since Jello is a trademark, I changed it to Chinese Jelly for the book.

It’s not really even Chinese. We used to go to a sushi place that served something like it and he liked it so much I created my own version.

I am almost ready to push send and send my manuscript hurling across the country to land in my editor’s office in New York. But I ‘ll let it sit until morning in case I suddenly realize there is something I want to change.

And then it is back to the living with the mountain of laundry and work for the family business to do.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Crafting Away --Pooh and Friends

I have a crop coming up the first full weekend in April (5-8) and the theme for the weekend retreat is Once Upon a Time Storybook. Usually, I don't decorate my table (or myself) to match the theme but decided this year to give it a go. I choose Winnie the Pooh as I had a costume in mind, most of the required pieces I own and only need to make two items. Then there was the fact that I could make use my Pooh Cricut cartridge to create some characters.

At this crop, I'll have 2 tables (one cropping, one for my books) the theme for one will be scrapbooking mysteries and the other Winnie the Pooh. My first big decision was deciding on the main size for the characters I thought about going "big" but didn't want to just toss the die cuts away or have no real use for them so I went with six inches, big enough for them to be seen at my table but not so large they wouldn't later fit on a scrapbook page.

Today I've taking a break from writing to work on my decorations (the crazy weather also sets off my migraine and while I can craft with a lingering headache...writing not so much). I have a five of them done and still need to make Kanga, Roo, Owl, Eeyore, and of course Rabbit. I've looked in my designs and don't see one for Christopher Robin so unfortunately he'll be left out.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Viva Las Vegas

Last week my husband had a business conference to attend in Las Vegas, and I went along for the ride.  And it was fun!  Plus, I actually got some research and writing done.

We saw three shows while we were there: Piff, The Magic Dragon, which I wanted to see because I had viewed him on America's Got Talent--plus Piff, the dragon-magician, had a little dog named Mr. Piffles who was somewhat in the show.  Mr. Piffles is a small and very quiet Chihuahua and I hope he enjoys what he does, although he's mostly carried around and hugged and not much else.

Next, we saw Carrot Top, and I enjoyed the show despite Carrot Top's potty mouth and risqué act.  Or maybe partly because of them.  He did a lot of prop humor--grabbing props and finding ways to make jokes out of them.  He made fun of a lot of different people, which somehow was enjoyable.  Plus, Carrot Top is getting a little older than he was when he started out, so his bright red carrot top has faded somewhat--and I, a former brighter-haired redhead, can identify a bit with that.

Finally--and best of all--we saw Terry Fator, the most fantastic ventriloquist.  I'd seen him on America's Got Talent, too, many years ago and actually saw and enjoyed his live Vegas show a few years back--and he's gotten even better!  He has a much larger and talented background group, he sings sometimes on his own and not as one of his puppets, and his ventriloquist voice ranges from lowest bass to fine tenor to high, female soprano.  And no, he still doesn't move his lips.  Great show!

Then, during the day, I visited several fun venues--the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay and the Siegfried and Roy's Secret Garden & Dolphin Habitat at the MGM Grand among them.   And, delightfully for my writing and some research, I participated in CSI: The Experience at the MGM Grand and got everything correct in my test at the end.  I also visited the Mob Museum and learned not only about gangsters of old but also organized crime of today--which may be very helpful in writing research.

And speaking of writing--yes, I had a day in which I mostly did edits and wrote a bit on my small laptop computer, which I'm not adept at but it all went well.

So, yes, I'm home now and back to writing, but I'm delighted that I went!

And by the way, I'm also delighted to say that my first book to be published this year, Second Chance Soldier, is currently available.  It's the first in my new K-9 Ranch Rescue miniseries for Harlequin Romantic Suspense, and it's all about dog training, mystery solving and, yes, romance!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Love of Money, Part II

I was very briefly on television at the coin show on Saturday!  Channel 11 came by to interview coin club members, and the producer found my display of “1,000 Years of English Money” to be photogenic.  One question I was asked, “Do other collectors share your interest in medieval English coins?”  And, caught unprepared, I blurted the truth, “No, and that’s a good thing, because it leaves more of them for me.”  LOL!

Here’s a picture of me being interviewed.

The show was great fun, as always.  The variety of money on sale at the show was mind-boggling.  There was a bucket of Peace Dollars, badly worn or damaged, your choice for seventeen dollars.  There was a Harold II (medieval English king) for eight thousand dollars.  And the Harold was not at all the most expensive coin for sale, nor the Peace Dollars the least costly.  An artisan from the Society for Creative Anachronism came to the show and sat hammering aluminum roundels into coins to demonstrate how money was made in England until around 1600.

Friday I am going to have that painful right knee “aspirated” to remove some of the fluid accumulating in it.  I hope it reduces the pain and  presume the result will be closely examined to see if it contains bacteria.

Speaking of the Society for Creative Anachronism, the local small publisher who brought out a new edition of Murder At the War is looking for a reader to help her turn the book into an audio version. That first novel of mine certainly has legs!