Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

I wanted to wish everyone Merry Christmas today, and for those of you who don't celebrate the holiday, Season's Greetings!

I was in Cancun, Mexico December 16-23 with my family soaking up the sun before returning to snowy Colorado for the Christmas and New Year's celebrations. We had a great time there, but there's nothing like being home for Christmas with those you love around you.

Yesterday, I opened a lovely Christmas card and letter from my friend Julie who is disabled with lupus. Even though her health took a downturn this year, her letter is full of gratitude and praise for her daughter, son-in-law, and three grandchildren with whom she lives, and for the friends in her life. I feel really blessed to have Julie in my life, because her deep faith and attitude of thankfulness have been eye-opening to me. I have so much more than her to be thankful for in my life, particularly my health. Julie's optimism is a shining example for me of what I should strive for in cultivating a feeling of gratitude and banishing thoughts of what I should have or should have been or should have done.

I recently read an article in Reader's Digest how research has shown that grateful people are both happier and healthier than ungrateful people. They are also more generous and willing to help others. So, I encourage all of you to thank God, or whoever you pray to, for the blessings you have in your life. No matter what your troubles are, there's always someone in the world who is worse off than you are. When I'm feeling down, I think of Julie, confined to her bed and in constant pain but who can still feel such tremendous gratitude for her life, and say to myself, "What do you have to complain about?"

Julie, I hope you're surrounded in that bed by grandchildren, cats, and loving arms offering you lots of hugs. Here's one from me.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Watta Ya' Know, I'm a Mid-list Author!

Joan Reeves, on her Sling Words blog ( http://slingwords.blogspot.com/ ) talks today about mid-list authors, what they are and how difficult it is for them to get public notice. Then she lists a few examples, and I'm included in the list for my debut mystery, A REAL BASKET CASE. I've read books by many of the other authors on the list and recommend them. What Joan has to say is definitely food for thought.

Monday, December 10, 2007

A Holiday Market in a Snowstorm

Last Saturday, Cottonwood Artists School in Colorado Springs, where we hold our Pikes Peak Writers meetings, hosted a Holiday Market all day. They invited PPW to run a bookstore during the event and the Colorado Farm and Art Market to bring their food/produce vendors. PPW had recently been given two large donations of used books from a library and a used bookstore that is moving to Atlanta, so we set up many, many shelves of used books available for donation. We also had new books about the writing craft and by PPW member authors for sale.

Unfortunately, a snowstorm blew in that morning, and we awoke to treacherous roads--a layer of icy sleet/slush that fell before the temperature dropped, covered by Colorado's infamous champagne powder. I made it to the school all right to be there for my 9 am - noon signing time, but we had a much lower turnout than expected. I still managed to sell three books before I took a break to do some shopping of my own at the market. By then, with snow continuing to fall, there were very few customers. Bummer! You can't fight Mother Nature, though.

And tomorrow, when we have our Write Brain meeting scheduled, and I'm on the panel talking about Brainstorming Techniques, ANOTHER snowstorm is predicted. We plan to decide in the early afternoon whether or not to cancel the event. Winter weather requires nimble planning!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

A REAL BASKET CASE in over 300 Library Systems!

Today I checked calcat.org, the California interlibrary loan system that reports a book's availability in both California and "worldwide" library systems. The system doesn't lists all the libraries in the USA or the world, because not all libraries participate in the interlibrary loan system searched by the website. However, you can get a feel for your book's availability from the website.

Calcat.org reported today that A REAL BASKET CASE is available in 300 library systems accessible to its search engine. So, I'm going to celebrate crossing the threshold of 300 library systems. As I've said before, I'll use any excuse to eat chocolate. :-)