Not Set in Stone–Apparently!

For over a year, my daughter and I have been planning a trip to Italy. Since I’m retired, the timing wasn’t much of an issue for me, but my daughter is a different story. She is a teacher, so we pretty much had to limit it to summer. She also usually teaches a summer school session, so we had to keep that in mind. Then there’s her boys with their busy, busy lives. Her youngest plays on a travel baseball team which takes up many of their summer weekends. I scoured the trips for one that would meet our timeline and finalized it in December to take advantage of “early bird” rates. Now our trip is only weeks away!

Last night I got a call from the travel agent. The airlines cancelled one of our return flights! My heart just sank. It means we would miss our connection in Chicago. She wasn’t clear on just what the problem was, or the proposed solution. She sent me the old itinerary for the flights and the new. What it comes down to is spending an entire day in Frankfurt, Germany and coming home a day later. They will pick up the hotel fee and maybe give us some vouchers for food.

I tried to convince them to look for an alternative route to get us home as planned, but nothing worked. We even offered to drive a rental back from Chicago, but they wouldn’t pick up the tab for that. So, looks like we will be even more international than we thought. Wish us luck–Danke!

A Little Backwards

A couple of weeks ago the city of Green Bay was the site of a huge book and author festival, Untitled Town. As an author, I had attended the first conference last year and could hardly wait for this year’s event to come around. And this time I was scheduled Sunday morning to be on a panel, making the event even more exciting.

My Saturday was booked solid, the entire day. I first attended an open discussion with a literary agent from New York. He was very well attended and answered a variety of questions . They centered mainly on topics dealing with how to get an agent to be interested in your book, writing a query and having a great hook. I enjoyed him.

The next panel featured one of my friends from our local writer’s group as well as another author I had met at last year’s event. It was so fun reconnecting with her and she introduced me to the other members on the panel. They spoke about writing about difficult topics, dealing with death, violence, etc–it was very interesting. I am always so impressed by  how generous other authors are in sharing advice and expertise.

Another panel followed, this one talking about writing for children. I again picked up some good information and added a few more books to my “want to read” list.

The final event I attended that day was an author who spoke about writing for young adults. As I was the first one in the room before he started, we chatted a bit. I took the most notes in his session and came away with a lot of suggestions I will definitely use in my writing and querying.

All in all, I came away from this day spent with many other lovers of the written word inspired and filled with so much excitement to continue my writing. What a great day!

As I went to change into something more comfy when I got home, I discovered I had my top on backwards. I thought back to all the people I had met that day and spoke with and sat next to and all I could do was laugh out loud and shake my head. Oh, brother, nothing but a class act here. No wonder that neckline felt so high!

Shovel Your Snow!

This past weekend, April 14th and 15th, 2018 will go down in history for Green Bay, Wisconsin as we were hit by the biggest snow storm in 130 years. It was epic! The final total of snow over those two days was 24.2 inches. Most of us were hunkered down the entire weekend, wondering if the blowing, drifting, freezing, white stuff was ever going to stop.

Well, yes, it did stop–then came the clean–up or so you would think. But no! It is Tuesday and I went on a walk today, as I do nearly every day. Unbelievable how many people haven’t cleared the sidewalks. This was especially true of people on corners. And if they did happen to do the sidewalk, chances were pretty good they did not tackle the huge mound that the snowplow left at the corner. Now this old girl isn’t about to start mountain climbing at this stage in her life. I need a path through the snow bank so I can cross the street! Can’t tell you how many times I had to double back and go down the driveway and walk in the road to the next driveway.

I lived on a corner for 30 years, it’s one of the reasons I finally moved, all that darn shoveling! But I did it, by myself most of the time. I cleaned out the corner banks and also the fire hydrant on my property. Yes it was a pain, but I did it.

Come on people!!  End of rant…  🙂

P.S. I am not totally heartless. I do realize there are folks out there unable to do that kind of work. They get a pass, but the rest of you…



Feeling a Little Guilty

I really wish I were a more consistent blogger, but I’m not. However, today at my second ever book signing, I had an interesting occurrence.

It was held at a local bookstore, Reader’s Loft. I just love that place! Ambience is very calming. There’s places to relax and read, Christmas music playing, antiques, and it’s just very warm and welcoming. Two of the most laid-back cats hang out amongst the stacks of books and come around for a pat or two.

Being close to Christmas, there was a fairly steady in and out of customers. I was surprised at how many men came in to buy books—is that a sexist comment?

Anyway, a very nice woman was standing with my book in her hands as I walked in to set up, which I took as a good sign. I really didn’t think I would sell more than one or two books. We conversed for a while. She teaches some writer’s workshops and was buying the book for one of her “students” who is writing in the same genre as me to inspire her. I thought that was so lovely.

Next was another woman who is majoring in creative writing at the university. She was a little older than your typical college student and I think it gave her some reassurance to know this was my first book and I am way old…

I noticed a group of nuns wandering around the store for quite a while, they were carrying a lot of books. The younger one came over by me and picked up my book. We chatted a little, she turned down my offer of one of my homemade Christmas cookies, but she wanted my book. I’m thinking, OMG, this book has some rough language. The main character even drops the “F-bomb” a time or two, to say nothing of the couple of slightly steamy love scenes. I felt like I ought to warn her, but she read the blurb on the back as she stood there, so she had a sense of what was inside. I feel sort of guilty… 😉

Doing a Great Job!

So I’ve been thinking I really do need to write a new blog post. It’s been quite a while. I couldn’t think of anything to write about until I went to Subway for lunch today-as I frequently do.

The one that I go to most often, on Shawano Ave, is in an area where many special needs people reside. I often see them come to dine at this establishment, usually walking or by wheel chair.

I want to give a shout out to the employees of that Subway. On many occasions I have seen them go above and beyond in serving those special people. I have seen them come out from behind the counter to hold a door open or fill a soda cup for someone who is struggling. They always greet them with a smile and a cheery, “Hello! How are you doing today?” It’s genuine and the customers respond in kind. I’ve observed them explaining prices and coming up with the best option for those with limited finances. At the same time remaining patient and friendly, never condescending .

It’s not a life changing revelation or an anticipated announcement. Just an observation and kudos to a crew of workers doing an upstanding job at being good role models for all of us.

Pretty Remarkable

Today I saw my book Salvageable on Amazon being offered for pre-sale. Can you say surreal? It has been an eye opening experience, this getting a book published process. In fact today I was still going through the final, final read through, looking for errors that still can be corrected. (Okay, now as you read my book and find those mistakes I missed, you can let me know…lol.)

No rest, though, now I have to try to figure out how to promote it!

Coming Very Soon!

Today I heard back from the publisher. All the rounds of editing are complete and my book Salvageable is scheduled to be released in e-book version May 17th, 2017. The print version will take longer to process and will hopefully be ready by September. I will keep you posted when I hear the date. Also, FYI, I am working on the sequel…  🙂