As usual, when faced with too much to do and no time to do it, I am sick. Very sick. Like, go to the hospital-except-you-no-longer-have-insurance sick. I've not been far from bed in 10 days and doc says I shouldn't be near anyone for another five days. Supposed mycoplasma pneumonia, both lungs, with aggravated sinus infection and...short story, I'm sick.
I wish I could just go to sleep and wake up when it's over, but it doesn't work that way. My body rejects sleep after 9 hours no matter how many Melatonin tabs I put under my tongue or how many Nyquil sleep tabs I take. I may get drowsy and grumpy but I won't sleep. So, I've tried to entertain myself.
Remember the photo shoot in Florida? I don't remember whether I posted any of those pics in here or not, but I've had a blast checking out every online filter and effects software I can find. These are some of my favorite results. So, if I put a profile back online on a dating site, which one should I use?
I didn't stop with just my photos though. I also had fun using my book covers in various filters.
So, that's how I'm spending my recuperation period. How is your week going? Tell me something interesting. I need to live vicariously through you guys!
After all of the anxiousness of awaiting publication of a new book, the days after are filled with the heavy noise of...silence. Now what? Up til now my days had the anxiety in them of trying to fix the Table of Contents so that it links correctly, getting the special pages formatted correctly, reading and re-reading looking for typos and other editing mishaps. Then, it goes to print, and...crickets.
I am not a fan of lonely. That's way different than "being alone." I love being alone, but lonely just sucks. And it doesn't help that I'm coming down with something and I'm coughing and can't breathe. It's raining a beautiful, steady rainfall and more than anything I want to take my clothes off and go lay on my upstairs balcony, closer to the stars and let the rain wash away all the bad stuff and leave me refreshed. I didn't ask the doctor about doing that, but I'm guessing it's not recommended when you have bronchial issues. Just a guess. Although I'm not a doctor and don't even play one on TV.
So, that leaves TV. And nothing catches my interest. I tried to watch Bones, but frankly by the time it was over I not only didn't care who murdered the requisite corpse discovered in the first few minutes, but I was ready to line all the characters up and shoot them. The Middle was too silly. Sherlock, for once, didn't hold my interest. Whose Line Is It Anyway is always good for a few laughs at least, but tonight not even Ryan Stiles (whose baby I would still have, even though there would be a star in the east and wise men would come bearing frankincense and gold...but wait....there's myrhh) could make me grin.
I'm just in that time-honored tradition of writer's funk.
I wish I drank.
I always forget how much it wipes me out to get a book ready to go to print. That combined with being away from home for 18 days. And making an 11 hour drive in 8.5 hours. And coming home to burst pipes and a house trashed by a visiting raccoon. And I'm ready to sleep for a month.
Tomorrow starts my new gym experience, guided by a trainer. We start at 11:00. Expect some grunts and groans from me in the days ahead. If I can get out of bed to come to the computer that is.
The next in the Early Grove series is well on its way. Callie's friend Serena is coming back to Early Grove and it's a pretty sure bet that with Callie and Serena both in town, things are going to pop. The title for the next book is "Sticks & Stones." Hopefully ready before Christmas!
I'm off to bed. Sweet dreams.
Many years ago I won the "Governor's Award" as a volunteer with an environmental group for designing an anti-litter brochure that was available at every rest-stop in Alabama for a while. It was a lovely achievement presented in Montgomery with a lot of muckety mucks in attendence (and you know how I love mm's), but the thing that made me happiest was it gave me the chance to use the line I heard decades ago on the Academy Awards that cracked me up then and still does. As I shook his hand I turned to the microphone and said, "Thanks to all the little people. You know who you are." Luckily, the very esteemed group had seen the same program years ago, or were just so tired of the normal speeches that they gave mine the appreciation I thought it deserved.
But, every book publication DOES depend far more on what happens after it leaves the writer's computer than it does on what the writer wrote. All I can do is tell a story. It's what the editor does with it, and how the illustrators see it in their minds after reading the book that truly breathes life into it. And I am so grateful for the "little people" that turned my funny story into a real live touchable BOOK! They are the truly gifted ones.
To Susan Wright, who did the line drawing of the cover illustration and tried to complete it but suffered a computer breakdown as well as job and personal issues. To Madeleine Paddock who stepped in the when the hours were counting on the last day and added color to our world through her magic pad and stylus. To Lauren Ogburn who opened heart and home and provided me with a lush background to the last minute rush and kept us fed and watered. To Lori Carter who took me to the beach where I made my pronouncement to the Universe that started the flurry of blessings that I hope continues well into the future (see previous post). Some of the biggest people I know. Thank you. All. So much.
Click on the ad below to go directly to the Hot Bubbles page (for some reason it's not showing the cover yet, but it will later maybe.) Buy early, buy often. Supplies are limited. Especially on the e-edition!
P L E A S E let me know (publicly, in here on a post preferably) after you've read it.
I am tickled pink to announce that "Hot Bubbles and Chocolate" is now available in e-format on Amazon.com. The paperback edition should be available very shortly.
This book introduces a town to the world that I hope to make a popular stop for all of you at least a couple of times a year. Early Grove, Alabama is a place that I can clearly see but that so far hasn't shown up on any maps. It's located halfway between Fyffe and Geraldine, AL, which makes it about six or seven miles from my house. It's filled with interesting people and delightful shops offering a surprising variety of goods and services. This is the blurb from the back of the book:
As if Callie Jones didn’t have enough on her plate with her job as mayor of Early Grove,
Alabama (population 840) someone found out that she has an online dating profile
and soon her love life has become the hot topic of conversation among her neighbors.
Before long everyone in town appears to have gone internet crazy looking for love against
Callie’s protests that it’s not as great as it seems. Thank goodness Callie has her best
friend Sam to turn to in times of crazy. Except that Sam has a secret that he’s not sharing.
He hasn’t learned yet that you can’t keep a secret in a small town forever. Especially a
Southern one. The only person who seems to be listening to her these days is her dog,
Petunia, so Callie decides her only recourse is to drown her sorrows in a tub of bubbles
while she dips into her dwindling stash of chocolate. Luckily it’s a very big stash.
Those of you that know me IRL (in real life) know that I was a serial internet dater eleven or twelve years ago. I went on more dates in the period of a few months than most people do in a lifetime. Or two. And only a handful of those men were worth the effort. Then I ended up with someone I met IRL. Not online. Not on a dating site. Finally, twelve years later, I get to put all that "exhaustive research" to good use in the pages of a book as Callie Jones gets to go on the same dates I went on over a decade ago. Yep. Even the unbelievable ones. Yep. No kidding.
The rest of the characters are a melding of all of the wonderful Southern folks I've known growing up in this corner of the world. No one was modeled after any particular person. If you think you recognize someone, I would LOVE to hear about it. And see if perhaps subconsciously they did indeed, as my t-shirt warns "end up in my novel."
Each book in this series will be standalone. We'll peek into the lives of a different Early Grove citizen in each installation. I really hope you enjoy reading...if you have as much fun reading as I did writing, it will be a huge success. See you in Early Grove my friends. Drive safe!
After all of my whining about not wanting to be a typical Southern belle, I sure felt like one yesterday. I had my very own makeup artist working on me and then a flurry of photographs taken hoping for at least one good one for the back cover of "Hot Bubbles and Chocolate" which should be available in e-format any day now and in hard copy before the end of the month. The makeup part was fun. I never look at myself in the mirror any more. It does no good. When I try, there's this old fat grey haired old woman who jumps in front of me. I don't like looking at her so I just try to avoid mirrors as much as possible. I really hadn't noticed that my eyelashes had completely grown back in after I lost them all during chemo. "Your eyelashes are amazing" were some of the nicest words anyone has ever said to me. I was wondering if I could learn to flutter them like Scarlett O'Hara did (without falling over) when someone said, "No no, no powder. It will just make her wrinkles show up." And my bubble burst like a balloon landing on a porcupine. C'est la vie.
An hour spent being wrapped in scarves, herded into rays of dying afternoon light, earring changes, shirt changes, dog changes, and finally it was all over. And I was really expecting to see the new me that I feel inside when I looked at the pictures. Sadly, most of them looked a whole lot like the old me. But, I see a twinkle in my eye that hasn't been there in a few years in some of them. And I can slightly tell a loosening of the brow. Maybe even the gentle tug of a smile that hasn't been quite as ready as usual recently. All in all, it was a successful shoot and I'm so grateful to everyone involved. Thanks Arliss for setting it all up. And to Madeleine Paddock for her gracious help with the makeup. If any beauty showed up in the final pictures, it's only because she channeled it through her brush. What a very lovely lady she is!
I'm not sure which photo will end up on the cover. But, it will probably be one of these. Which one do you like best?
THAT'S MY STORY
I've never been normal. I've never tried to be. I can't imagine anything more boring.
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