Friday, December 29, 2006

Holiday Snowstorm #2

For those who read my last post, yes we made it to Breckenridge just fine and had a wonderful time skiing. There were no lift lines because a lot of skiers' air trips to Denver got cancelled or they were stuck in Denver. The stories from those who DID make it were pretty interesting, showing their resourcefulness in getting around the travel snafus.

Anyway, the second snowstorm of the holiday season moved into town yesterday morning, and we're socked in again. A fresh 8-10 inches of snow is on top of what hasn't melted from the previous storm and dreary gray skies are spitting more flakes down on us. I'm staying inside with my cup of hot chocolate, thank you very much.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

A blinding blizzard and a Farsi translation

What a title, huh? Denver and Colorado Springs are socked in, all roads closed due to a blizzard that arrived yesterday morning and 3000 people are stuck at the Denver airport. I went out in the storm in the morning to take my son to a doctor's appointment, and it was much worse coming home than it was going out. The driving was slow due mostly to poor visibility. My studded snow tires had no problem with the road surface, but I saw other vehicles spinning their wheels and going nowhere. I was glad I had no reason to go anywhere after that. This afternoon, though, we hope to drive to Breckenridge for a few days of skiing before returning home to celebrate Christmas. Hopefully by then most of the storm will have blown through and the roads will be plowed.

Now, the Farsi translation, you ask? My "Biscuit Connection" short story, which won the fall contest for Mom Writers Literary Magazine, is now up on their website, . It's a nice little holiday story, so if you have a chance, please read it. A few days after it appeared, I received an email request from a translator in Iran, asking for a photo and bio to appear with a Farsi translation of the story in the Iranian publication, Atiye, which means Future. Cool! This will be the first translation of one of my stories into a language other than English (that I know about). The translator will ask the publisher to mail me a copy or two of the magazine issue that will contain my story. I'll have a blast showing it to my writer friends!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Fourth and Fifth Winners!

I awarded gift baskets to two more randomly-chosen folks who signed up for my email newsletter. That means I have over 500 members! The December winners are Anne J. from Stoughton, Wisconsin and Barbara from New Jersey. They both chose the mystery lover gift basket. I hope to collect some postcards and bookmarks from published members of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of Mystery Writers of America at their meeting tomorrow evening to enhance future mystery lover gift baskets. It should be a fun meeting--they're putting Santa on trial for operating an illegal sweatshop!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Advance Review Copies Arrive!

Much excitement today--the doorbell rings, the dog barks, and a large package is dropped off by the UPS man. The box contained my shipment of the Advance Review Copies (ARCs) for A Real Basket Case. These are trade paperback versions of the book stamped "uncorrected proof--not for sale" that go to reviewers. My publisher, Five Star Publishing, had already sent about two dozen directly to their list of standard reviewers for their mystery line. My copies are for reviewers at ezines, reviewers at newspapers in cities where I'll be conducting signings, and for bookstore POCs when they request a copy of the book to review prior to booking a signing.

I spent a couple of hours writing letters to a half dozen ezine reviewers and packaging up those books. I'm sure the demand for the ARCs will outpace my supply, so I'm trying to choose where I send them wisely. Now, here's hoping I get some good reviews!

Friday, December 08, 2006

I Won a Short Story Contest!

Hey everyone,
Here's a lesson about retargeting a story you wrote for one market to another. I wrote a story for my local newspaper's short story contest last Christmas and it lost. The first sentence had to be "Samuel didn't know how his tie got stapled to the wall." and the last one had to be "All that was left to do was sit down and eat that biscuit."

Since then, I've edited the story and sent it to a few places, such as religious magazines. I also entered it into the no-fee quarterly short story contest run by Mom Writers Literary Magazine ( and it won the Fall contest--a $100 prize! That has to be better that whatever the newspaper was offering. My story will appear in the December 18 issue of their ezine.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Celebrating Page 200

I just finished page 200 of my WIP, which equates to about 55,000 words. I'm celebrating, even though I'm behind schedule to finish the rough draft by the end of the year. Not by much, though. I'm in Chapter 17 of a total of 21 planned chapters. My rough drafts tend to be spare, and I go back and add internal thoughts/emotions, deeper/more descriptions, and missing research after the first draft. So, if I come in at over 65,000 words, I'll be happy, because I'll be able to pump that up to 75-80,000 words during editing.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

A Chocolate Tasting

Are any of you familiar with the Slow Food Movement? I found out about a Chocolate Tasting that the local "convivium," as they call the chapters, was having and said "That's for me!" My hubby and I went this afternoon. After a brief talk about the varieties of cacao trees and the process of making chocolate, we had a tasting where we sampled a half dozen different kinds of chocolates. The beans were grown in different countries, and the chocolate was manufactured in different countries. They were all dark chocolates, from 53% to 75% cacao. My favorite was a 70% cacao chocolate made in Belgium by the CacaoBerry company from beans grown in Saint Domingue, S.A.

After the comparative tasting, we feasted on desserts including a beautiful Bouche de Noel chocolate log complete with merengue mushrooms and chocolate curls, polenta cookies with chocolate nibs (raw ground cacao beans), truffles, chocolate cake, etc. This wasall served with a fortified red dessert wine from France. Lovely! I actually couldn't finish my plate of desserts because it was so much chocolate. Needless to say, this chocoholic was in hog heaven.