Category Archives: Personal
I thought I would swing by the blog and check in since I have mostly been posting other peoples writing and events the past few posts. Besides, I like to think you follow the blog because you’re genuinely interested in what I’m up to, or better yet, are a fan of my writing. (hey, a girl can dream)
Anyway, here’s what is up with me. 🙂
Nano comes to a close tomorrow and quite frankly, I won’t be winning two years in a row. Bummer — kinda. I mean, I’m not all depressed about it, but I am a little disappointed in myself. I’ve never been an excuse maker, so while I have theories on what worked against me (aside from my own excellent procrastination skills), it really doesn’t change the missed goal.
I basically content myself with the knowledge while I didn’t win last year either, I did finish Call of the Sea during Nano in 2011. Back then, it had the working title, The Pirate and The Selkie (real original, right?) The point here being — I “won” in the end, since you all know Call was published by Inkspell in June 2012.
The holidays are around the corner, and I’m stuck in that in between space where I want to get excited for Christmas, but it’s too early to see the Christmas specials and the commercial bombardment advertising its arrival. So, I’m in this weird sorta protest against getting into the Christmas spirit –yes, I am stubborn, a bit bull headed, and very Irish. 😛
My alter ego has had a busy month last month promoting authors for her publisher, Evernight –but her first of 3 December releases on 3rd. Hehe — three on the third — go figure. Feel free to go give R. Brennan some love if you are over 18 and enjoy erotica and erotic romance. (https://bexbooknook.wordpress.com)
December will be a VERY busy month for the blog with visits from every author in the J. Taylor Publishing release, MAKE BELIEVE. As one of my favorite YA authors would say — I’m chuffed about that.
So that’s what I’ve got brewing. What’s up with all of you. Any of you have news to share with the class? Feel free to shout it out in the comments section. 🙂
As some of you may know, I had my first real “Author Event” on Tuesday night at my local indie bookstore, Battenkill Books in my little town of Cambridge, NY. I had a great time talking with the attendees about my “road to publication” and about my debut novel, Call of the Sea.
Anyway, today in my email box I had a note from the owner of Battenkill Books, Connie Brooks, stating that Call of the Sea made their weekly Best Sellers List. She went on to say they report the list to the local paper here, The Post Star, and to the NY Times.
Now, I realize for many agented and top selling authors who are on the BIG Bestsellers lists, this is a no big deal sort of thing. But, for me, a debut author with one novel out with a small indie publisher, this is HUGE STUFF. Just the idea my story may be mentioned in either the local papers or, heaven forbid and dare to dream, the NY Times, gives me a big warm fuzzy 🙂
So, from the very bottom of my heart, thank you to Battenkill Books and all the guests who came to the event and bought copies of Call of the Sea. You have made my year!
For the rest of you, if you are wondering what all the fuss is about, you should go out right now and get yourself a copy of Call of the Sea — now officially a Best Seller (in my little world). There are bunches of BUY links in the sidebar on the left side of the page.
Now that things appear to be finalized, I am happy to announce that I will be a participating author in ALBACON 2012 being held at the Holiday Inn and Suites in Latham, NY from October 18-21, 2012.
I’ve never been to a CON of this sort before, so I am beyond excited to see what it is all about, and hopefully meet some amazing authors and Sci-fi/Fantasy readers as well. If you were interested in attending, tickets will be available at the door for $40.00 — completely reasonable when you take a look at all the panels, autographing and reading events they are offering visitors.
If you do happen to come, please stop in and say hello. Would love to meet you!
Here is my schedule of events for the convention:
All Day – Writer’s Workshop
8pm – Ice Cream Social (who doesn’t get excited about ice cream?)
11:00am – Panel: Anything Good on TV? — What TV shows are worth watching this year.
1:00pm – Reading: Call of the Sea
3:00pm – Panel: Happily Ever After — Is it true that readers don’t want upbeat stories, or is it just harder to sell them?
4:00pm – Autographing Session (copies of Call of the Sea will be available for purchase at the Flights of Fantasy dealers table)
6:00pm – Panel: Strong female characters who don’t need guns (yes, I call this the Ellie panel:P) — Can a heroine be compassionate and cool?
Unfortunately, I won’t be able to participate in the events on Sunday, as I have other obligations, but I think the above will make for a full Saturday.
What about you guys out there? Have you ever been to a sci-fi or fantasy convention? What did you like about it? Hate? Help a girl out — share your experiences so I don’t worry about what to expect for the next two weeks.
Ahh, to be young again… to not feel the aches and pains of age, or notice the little gray hairs starting to come in at my temples. To be able to look at the world with all the excitement and vigor of a child… what a neat thing that would be, eh?
Now, if I were truly pressed, and had to choose to go back and live my childhood again or stay where I am now, Im not sure I would really go back. I mean, heck, there were a lot of hard life lessons between then and now, some of which I have absolutely no desire to see again. But, there are some moments in my youth, if given the choice, I would decide to live in forever and ever. I would agree to never grow up if I could just experience what I did on a particular day, or feel what I felt at a particular moment.
Then I take a look at my children. My oldest is grown and on his own now, starting a life with his girlfriend and my job where he is concerned is done. My two daughters are still home with me, but the oldest, Casey is 17 and a senior in HS — off to college in the fall and on to adulthood. My youngest daughter, Shelby is 11 (12 June 1st) going on 35, and while she is the one I will get to experience childhood with for just a little longer, soon she will find Mom as boring as the other two did when they got a bit older. But, each time I look at what they have each grown to become, I smile — I am so proud of them, and of me for all the things we overcame and did together.
Being a single parent isn’t easy, and some days I feel a hell of a lot older than my mere 42 years, but when things get hard and I start to feel old, I just look at my kids, spend a bit a time with them, and that youth each of the oozes seems to rub off on me just a little bit, and once more I feel like a little kid, excited by a new sunrise and the prospects of a play date after school.
Thank God enthusiasm and feeling young is contagious! I may never grow up at this rate 🙂
For fun, I thought I would share some before and after pics with you — an illustration of youth, as it were.
This is my very special gang 🙂
WHERE THEY ARE NOW — TIME FLIES!!!
Me and My Little Gang of Youthful Exuberance!!
Casey is a high school senior heading to college in the fall. Besides being an amazing daughter, she’s a budding poet, and has graciously agreed to let me feature one of her original poems on the blog today.
This particular poem is aptly named Taken Over (see what we did there?) 😛
When my book was accepted for publication by Inkspell Publishing, they suggested I have my work officially copyrighted with the government. I hadn’t realized this was even necessary until this publishing foray, but apparently it protects me with a bit more oopmh than a standard copyright notice in the book when it comes out.
Anyway, I must squee, share and wiggle, because the official copyright arrived in yesterday’s mail. Isn’t it just so purty?
I think this just might make it official… My novel is going to be published!!
Happy Friday to Me!!
I promised you all last week when I started to give you a peek at my family trip to Boston in late February that I would return to post the rest of the excellent family adventure.
Welp, here I am. (You were waiting with baited breath, weren’t you?)
Best bet is to start where I finished off on the last posting, right? Right.
The Salty Dog… where anything can happen…
We had a nice lunch there and then the family decided to head out for a bit more exploration. We also wanted to be sure the restaurant we had prebooked a reservation at (Union Street Oyster House) was really within walking distance. As soon as we got outside, my youngest daughter, Shelby noticed a vendor selling silly balloon hats outside at Quincy Market. She, of course, HAD TO HAVE ONE!!
Okay, how much are they? She tells me, four dollars. Welp, I have no cash, so I truck over to an ATM and pull a bit out and tell her, “Sure, you can have one, but you have to wear it.”
So, Shelby sits herself down with the vendor and he makes her a wonderful “Very Shelby” hat.
Here you see the glorious finished product, the Most Fantastical Silly Hat of All Time!
Once Shelby was properly attired in her fancy new hat, it was time to continue our walk to the restaurant. This went without a hitch as the place was indeed just a short walk from the hotel on the other side of Quincy Market.
Once we’d assured ourselves of this fact, we decided to head back to the Market area and take a walk down the second row of shops. As we traversed, it became clear that there were far too many cool places to poke in for a drink (more a draw for Pete and I than the girls, but still). Not to mention shops full of interesting souvenirs and knick knacks.
My eldest daughter, Casey decided she needed the lobster beanie… (yes, she is 17 and yes, it looked silly — absolutely I made her wear it all the way back to our hotel. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a pic of this fancy lobster hat, but trust me, it is exactly as you would picture it might look. While I was there I also grabbed a T-shirt for my son (who didn’t take the trip with us). Purchases made, we decided to head back to the hotel to relax for a bit before our dinner reservation.
On the way back to the hotel, we came across one of those board things with head cut outs and I had to make the girls poke their little faces in it so I could get their picture.
So back to the hotel we go. I spend the next hour or so taking pictures out the window at the view from our room, while Pete relaxes and the girls head up a few floors to check out the hotel’s “arcade” and “family activity center”.
I don’t have a heights thing, so when I had booked the room, I asked for a high floor.
Definitely worth asking. I had not expected the amazing views we got from our bedroom window.
See? Unbeatable. It looked even more amazing at night, to be frank, but I am not capable of taking night pics without blurring them beyond hope, so you will not be getting to see that view. I guess you will just have to go to Boston for that one 😛
So evening comes and it’s time for dinner. So the gang heads back out into the Boston evening. We make the short walk to Union Street Oyster House, which Pete has been excited about since we left New York. And dinner is on him, what could be sweeter? Not much, I can tell ya.
The dinner… didn’t quite live up to the lofty expectations on any front. The food was fine, but super expensive for what you got from a portion and taste standpoint. The tables were small and you sorta felt packed in. I can’t remember what Pete ordered, but I had the American Bouillabaisse, Casey ordered a steak and fries, and Shelby had Butterfly Shrimp. My meal looked GORGEOUS!!
The taste was pretty good too, frankly. I was a bit disappointed in the amount of lobster contained in the meal, being it cost $36.00 for the bowl and only had half a lobster in it. But, overall, tasty vittles.
Here are my attempts to take a lovely picture of Shelby (reminding you she refuses to take “normal” pictures). Yes, she is a trip… (to where, I’m not quite sure)
After dinner, we walked back to the hotel for the evening. The girls headed back up to the arcade with a pocket full of quarters and Pete and I relaxed in the room.
This is when I started talking pics of the room and Pete decided to don the “Fabulous Silly Hat” and prance about the room in his tightie whities and toast me in each and every pic. Here’s an example of what my room pics all look like. (Some areas blocked out to keep things G-rated – but you get the idea).
So, after some fun with wine and silly hats, we retired for the evening. The plan: get an early start, grab something for breakfast and be at the gates of the Aquarium at 9am opening time. Why so early?
The penguin feeding at 9:15am. Gotta be there for that! Plans made. The evening was a bit rough for me. Not sure if it was the wine or that gorgeous bowl of boulliabaise, but I had to get up about an hour after going to bed to empty my stomach into the fancy toilet. Wee… there goes that $35 dollar meal… Once I was on empty, my tummy felt great. A quick teeth brushing later, I was back in bed and feeling sooooo much better. Fell right to sleep, and had a quiet rest of the night.
We managed to get up on time, but Pete was having some muscle issues, so I took the girls across the street to Dunkin Donuts to grab a quick breakfast before we went and dragged Pete out of bed.
We managed to do that, but also managed to miss the penguin feeding.
Oh well, stuff happens. We got to the Aquarium at about 10am and got our tickets.
Right behind the ticket booth is the tank where they have the harbor seals, so we beelined there to see them swimming back and forth (upside down – though I have no idea why).
Shelby LOVED these guys. If she could have, I have no doubt she would have climbed right into the big tank area with them if the wall surrounding them wasn’t so high. The tank was neat because you could see them above and below the surface swimming.
We managed to drag Shelby from the tank to actually go INSIDE the Aquarium, but didn’t make it more than a few steps before we found a penguin statue where we had to take another picture of the girls. In this particular picture, we find Casey giving us her best “ghetto pose”. She looks so intimidating, doesn’t she?
After the photo op, we finally made it into the actual Aquarium. I took oodles of pictures while we were there, but I will spare you the loin’s share of them, because, well, some of them are only exciting to me.
Instead, I will just share with you a few of my absolute favorites. You can thank me for that later. 😀
When you first enter the Aquarium, you are greeted by a massive tank of penguins… like the entire bottom floor of the place surrounds the massive penguin tank. Let me tell you, I could have spent the ENTIRE day right there. That is how much I love watching the little suckers. Here are just a few of the snaps I grabbed of the little cuties:
Once I managed to drag myself away — or rather the family managed to drag me away from the penguins, we explored the rest of the three floors of aquatic exhibits. We saw everything from Atlantic Salmon to … I can’t think of an aquatic exhibit that ends in Z… but you get the idea.
Shelby was a bit disappointed they didnt have a manatee or any dolphins, but she adored hanging in the back pool with the seals and sealions. And I did manage to grab a few cool pics of the little cuties.
This little fuzzy guy was probably my favorite. He just seemed so laid back and unimpressed with everything going on around him. Shelby’s favorite was the sealion she said was named Zoey. I am taking her word on that one, since she was glued to the presenter doing the talking during the presentation, so she would know. I gotta admit, she was a cutie too.
The family and I spent the next four or so hours wandering around in the Aquarium and then we found the Giant Ocean Tank…
Let me tell you, a person could spend the entire day staring into that thing and would probably never get bored. Between the giant sea turtle, the massive sharks, and the stingray… not to mention the parrot fish, groupers, angelfish… well, you name it and it was probably in that tank someplace. I took another million pictures of the tank, though some came out, and others didn’t. It is hard to take a picture through glass with no flash and actually get it to come out. But, in this effort, I got some amazing pics of my girls in the glass reflections.
Check these out. (pay close attention to the expressions on their faces).
The last is Shelby again, this time she is checking out the massive shark, also in the Giant Ocean tank.
So, as you can see, the gang had quite an excellent time in Boston and especially at the New England Aquarium.
If you are from the Northeast, and have never been there, I would highly recommend it. It is the perfect day trip for anyone who has kids that love ocean creatures as much as my girls seem to.
Thanks for stopping by. I would love to know what you think about the trip or any of the pictures posted in either this or last weeks Part 1 of “The Clan Takes Boston”.
Happy Friday, everyone!