It has been a tiring holiday with all sorts of distractions for us. But let’s have a moment of being-in-the-moment in honor of Memorial Day. To all those who have served and are currently serving, thank you.


For Your Holiday Reading Pleasure (Shameless Promotion)

I thought it might be fun to post a few excerpts from the novels I have on the Kindle and in trade paper, all available at Amazon. Feel free to click on the links and buy . . . this message brought to you by the Author Who Should Definitely Do More Promotion But Who Hates Obnoxious Blatant Self-Promo So Much. Just sayin’ they’re out there. If you think I am a crappy writer and you want something you can mark up to prove it, here’s your chance! Maybe you’ll accidentally become a fan. (GRIN)
# # #

You remember my YA fantasy novel, Dulcinea: or Wizardry A-Flute, now available in trade softcover. This book was the first runner-up in the original Warner Aspect First Fantasy Novel contest.

# # #

The Dragon’s Head Inn was a nondescript little pub at the edge of the Ladenia city limits. I was so happy to finally get to sit down that I almost forgot why we’d come so far. I threw Raz a questioning glance, but he seemed completely occupied with ordering our meal.

My father still seemed vague, but set to eating with his usual eagerness as soon as the food was placed before us. He paused to speak only once. “Well, this is more like it. Can’t fathom any establishment staying in business serving only the glop and water I’ve had so far in my stay in this town.” He bit into a roasted turkey leg with gusto.
Continue reading “For Your Holiday Reading Pleasure (Shameless Promotion)”

Send a frog card–special Random Act of Kindness

I’m participating in a special “Random Act of Kindness” visual artists’ event. I made a frog-themed card for Jayme, the sister of an art blogger whose art journal I follow, because she needs cheering up. The request was that I post the card on my blog and link back to her event, so that if anyone wants to participate, they can join in. Then I’m going to mail the card. Mail art!

Visual arts are not my strong suit, but that’s why I don’t feel any pressure to succeed or excel. If I do something that’s slightly cute or humorous or whatnot, then that’s enough. (Whereas in piano, my teacher and I both expect an artistic and accurate performance at the advanced level of the advanced repertoire, which turns out to be terribly pressure-filled. I may need to tell her “no more virtuoso repertoire–I need some good old chestnuts that aren’t so tough.” And with fiction writing, my standards are also set up to make me feel hopeless. So . . . I turn to visual art now and then for some pressure release.)

Anyhow . . . frog!

(You could even buy a frog-themed card to send to this lady. If you wanted to participate, I mean. Don’t feel any pressure to participate, though. I just needed to fulfill my link-promise.)

And . . . for no reason . . . Garfield in a car, made for a card I’ll send to my sister-in-law, the Garfield collector. (NO, *I* don’t know why she started the collection–I only know I’ve kept it up for 25 years now by giving her Garfields for her birthday. Her husband also feeds the habit.)


Today is National Tap Dance Day!

I assume this is USA-only, but heck, if you want to celebrate, why not?

May 25 is National Tap Dance Day!

Celebrated annually on the birthday of Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, this is an invented holiday for those who love musical theater and/or who can actually manage a time step. Jazz hands, everybody!

Supposedly, tap came out of the traditional clog dance of northern England, the jigs and reels of Ireland and Scotland, and the rhythmic foot stamping of African dances. But I dunno . . . kids have ALWAYS skipped and hopscotched, and it’s a short jump from there to some of the famous tap steps. From the old soft-shoe to “Riverdance,” tap has epitomized the type of musical in which people burst into song-and-dance to explain stuff. Nobody’s ever going to do it like Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, but many of the Golden Age performers were dancers: Dan Dailey, Alan Hale Jr. (“Captain!”), Dick Van Dyke (and he could still dance when he was on Diagnosis: Murder!), Donald O’Connor (he is an overlooked great–watch him in “Singin’ in the Rain” sometime), et alia. And don’t forget greats like Ben Vereen and Gregory Hines! But nowadays you don’t see too much tap dancing or very many great musicals.

One . . . two . . . one-two-three!

I feel a SIN coming on

There are no consequences for mistakes/misdeeds if you just have enough money and influence.

That plagiarist teen goes on to be a lawyer


I suppose you’re going to say that I’m simply jealous because if *I* had gotten that book deal, you can bet your Mary Margaret McBride Guide to Perfect Behavior that there wouldn’t have been any passages copied from anyone except Dennis (grin). I’ve been working towards a book deal for the better part of *bleep* years, since I was in fourth grade and my best friend Theresa and I wrote a parody of THE GODFATHER (illustrated, yet!). What a waste. And then she just blithely goes on to law school so she can use her talents for lying and stealing to make lots of money.

Why, yes, this IS the sin of envy. *sigh* I told you in the subject header that I felt a sin comin’ on.

Tell me about someone who needed a break and got one. I need to hear it. Where are the “. . .And Ladies of the Club” authors today? Helen Hooven Santmeyer worked with an editor on that one, but every night she’d go back and restore most of the passages they’d taken out during the day–and the book went on to be pubbed at a kajillion words and became a best-seller. Santmeyer was in her nineties and living in a nursing home when she typed it . . . on a big ol’ typewriter, if I remember correctly. Now, THAT is a heartwarming story of success.

Whatever. I’m now searching for a shocking hobby or occupation to take up so I can blog about it and get a book deal out of it. A New York taxi driver who started a blog had two literary agents emailing her within a few months of starting the blog, and her book has been out for a while now. You see the success of the “I Can Haz Cheezburger” genre. There are so many bloggers whose books are **YAWN** boring. Somehow it was way more interesting written as a blog with photos and sketches and such.

My tentative title for the blog will be “Confessions of a Streetwalker.” It’s all about how I walked up and down the streets of Richardson picking up dropped pennies and other detritus off the sidewalks. Think it’ll take very long to get a book deal out of it?


See Several States

visited 15 states (30%)
Create your own visited map of The United States

Of course, been all over TEXAS.

California is sitting all lonesome because I flew both times I’ve been there. It was the hubster who got to take the Sunset Limited across the country to L. A. and then drive down to San Diego by himself. Sigh!

Been to Oklahoma several times over the course of livin’, either to Turner Falls, going across Lake Texoma, even once to Ardmore to visit a friend’s family.

Louisiana hosted my church group for a couple of retreats. Almost went to the World’s Fair in New Orleans the year we married, and really REALLY wish we HAD after all (ran out of money, alas.)

The first “across” path is from our family trip to Washington, D. C. the summer I turned seven. My dad was delivering a bid for his company. We drove across the country in our white 1964 Dodge Dart station wagon. What I remember most vividly is that we went into Tennessee to Chattanooga and then up Lookout Mountain and ended up at Ruby Falls and THE GREAT ROCK CITY GARDENS. If I could go back to Rock City, I’d do that in a New York Minute. In fact, I would buy it just to live there. I think part of my fear of sloping floors and heights relates back to our trip up the Incline Railway, too. Man, that’s a gorgeous view of seven states from the lookout point. Anyway, I also remember Washington a little bit, but mostly my frustration that they wouldn’t let me climb up in the Lincoln Memorial to have my photo taken sitting on President Lincoln’s lap. Santa never minded!

The north-then-east path took us to the other states shown during our train trip on the Texas Eagle to Chicago and then across to New York City via the Lake Shore Express. We may not have seen as much of those in-between states, but we’ve been there.

Wonder if we also went through New Jersey? To get to NYC, I mean. We entered Penn Station and we came through some sort of tunnel or across a bridge. . . .

I got a review!

I got an actual review of _Camille’s Travels_! It’s on the Red Adept’s Book Blog. I ran across it through a Google Alerts widget.

This is why I don’t tell the publishing industry to bite the wax tadpole[1]. I reached someone I would never have met. My work stood alone. I would have liked to meet this reader’s expectations more thoroughly, but everyone will experience a novel a little differently (and fantasy is always a tough sell to people who don’t read a lot of it, I believe.) She posted many complimentary remarks as well as one major issue with the book, which I’ve asked her to expound upon. I’m willing to contribute some commentary or whatnot if she’d like more on that page. Anyhow, a review! Huzzah!

_Camille_ is kind of an odd duck. I’m happy with the way it turned out, although when I started writing it, I had no idea that it would become what it did. I probably won’t revisit that territory, because I’m working on the mystery/suspense and mainstream angles now. Still, I’m glad I told that story.