Friday, August 24, 2007

Two Interviews in One Day

Today was a red-letter day for interviews for me, with two interviews, one in print media and one on Internet radio. You might think I was a famous author or something. :-)

The Summit Daily News in Colorado ski country included an artist profile of me in the Arts & Entertainment section of today's newspaper. The link to the article is:

Also, I was interviewed by Lillian Cauldwell of Internet Voices Radio. The interview was recorded and is available in their archive at:

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Relaxed and Renewed after a Writers Retreat

Yesterday, the President of Pikes Peak Writers held a Volunteer Appreciation Retreat for all the volunteers who've put in a lot of hours on the spring conference or year-round on other activities. She provided breakfast and lunch at her home in a lovely forested area and organized a series of writing workshops, solitary writing exercises, and social times. Since I couldn't stay for the afternoon, I arrived first thing in the morning to participate in a "Sun Salutations" yoga class. We greeted the sun as it rose above the hills while learning a few yoga moves. After breakfast, five of us went for a brisk walk around the neighborhood to get the blood pumping. Then I participated in two guided meditation exercises, a clearing meditation to open creative pathways and a "celestial library" meditation to inspire us with the ideas our library held for us. Both the yoga and the guided meditations were new experiences for me and left me feeling refreshed and open to new possibilities.

Next was a workshop on new and different ways to help you define characters, like assigning them a Native American animal totem and the characteristics that come with that, or giving them psychology personality tests, or doing a Tarot card reading for them. I spent about half an hour after the workshop going through the books the presenter brought and generating ideas. Then it was time for lunch and socializing with the other volunteers. It was really nice to be able to chat in a relaxed setting, versus when we're hauling furniture, registering attendees, or whatever. Before heading home, I picked up a book on mystery writing from the craft book exchange table. Relaxed and renewed, with a new book and a new set of characterization tools, I headed home ready to tackle my next writing project.

People came and went throughout the day and engaged in workshops on plotting, beginning lines, query writing, read & critique, improv writing and more. What a wonderful way to be thanked for our service to Pikes Peak Writers!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Working on my Birthday

Last Saturday was my birthday, and I had a group signing event with the "Five Stars from Five Star" at the Barnes & Noble bookstore in Centerra. It was a 2 hour drive away--so, I drove two hours, signed two hours, and drove two hours home. The other ladies bought a sheet cake that we cut up & served to customers to make the signing more festive. It was kind of fun being the "birthday girl" and having customers give me their best wishes.

That evening my son, who wants to be a pastry chef, cooked dinner: homemade crepes filled with a chicken, mushroom, and swiss cheese sauce, fresh asparagus, and for dessert, puff pastry tarts with a dark chocolate filling topped with fresh berries and a sauce of sour cream mixed with cassis. Yum!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Free (almost) Hawaii Trip

In January, Conde Nast Traveler magazine notified me that I had won the 2006 Word Trips puzzle contest. The prize was airfare for two and two nights accommodation at one of the top 25 North American spa resorts, according to their latest poll. My husband and I dithered over which one to chose and when to go. We decided to go when my daughter was home from college for the summer, so she could keep our 17-year-old son company while we were gone. We wanted to go to an exotic locale, yet not spend forever traveling there, so we picked one of the Hawaii resorts. And, we splurged for a third night. Here's the thank-you note I just emailed to the magazine:

Thanks Conde Nast!

This is a huge thank-you for the top North American spa resort trip I won as a result of the 2006 Word Trips puzzle contest. My husband and I chose the Kahala Hotel & Resort ( in Honolulu, Hawaii, and we just returned from our early August visit. We had a wonderful time biking & hiking to the top of Diamond Head, snorkeling the reef & watching the dolphins at the Kahala, meeting a friend to take an outrigger canoe ride and eat sushi, toasting the sunset with Mai Tais at Duke's on Waikiki, and indulging in lots of lounging on the beach at the Kahala. The service and accommodations at the hotel were superb, and the whole atmosphere exuded relaxation. It was a wonderful way to decompress after a busy season of promoting my debut mystery novel, A REAL BASKET CASE. We returned with smiles on our sun-kissed faces. Thanks again for the lovely trip. Now, on to solving this month's Where Are You? contest!

The friend we met up with was Debby Turrell Atkinson (, author of the Storm Kayama mystery series set in Hawaii and published by Poisoned Pen Press. Her latest, Fire Prayer, is due out next week, and I can't wait to read it. Many thanks to Debby and her husband Bob for their hospitality!