Sunday, August 31, 2008

Happy Memories

I had a wonderful trip "home" last week and got to spend some time with loved ones.

And just in case you're wondering -- yes, girls with arms as strong as spaghetti noodles can kayak around a gorgeous lake.
If you can't tell, that's me. It was wonderful! I would paddle a bit and then glide across the water. I saw herons and turtles while I cruised along.

This is one of the most restful places on God's earth.

And then we watch the sun slip below the horizon. Isn't that a peaceful scene?

Friday, August 29, 2008

WFTJ & Searching for Spice On an End Cap!

My Words For The Journey writers group meets in Barnes & Noble on the last Tuesday night of the month.

This month Donita K. Paul was our guest speaker. She taught writers how to achieve backbone in their writing life. Great talk. It was very inspiring and encouraging. She helped some of us weird writers to feel more normal. Er, maybe not exactly normal, but we could understand ourselves within the context of a writer's realm. Some of the quotes she shared evoked universal understand among us. Yeah, we became one with the likes of John Steinbeck and Ernest Hemingway.

Then I took a tour through the store and was thrilled to see Searching for Spice on an end cap.
See! That's actually a self portrait. LOL. Maybe I should just stick to writing.

Then my friend Jan came over and took another photo. Isn't SFS in great company?! Brandilyn Collins, Angela Hunt, Terri Blackstock. Wow!
The other excitement of the evening was when the WFTJ Devotional Writing Contest winners were announced. Kay Day won the award for the unpublished writer, and Robbie Iobst won the published writer's award. Good job, girls! I wasn't fast enough with my camera so this is a picture of them at the WFTJ picnic lunch. Robbie's on the left and Kay's on the right.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Please Pray

Please pray for baby Jake today. He's three years old and is receiving a kidney transplant from his mom today. Jake is the great nephew of my friend Jan. When Jake was born, doctors said her would only live a few weeks, so he's already a miracle unfolding. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hometown Food

Do you have a special memory of a particular dish that you have only found in your hometown? Or a special vacation treat, like Johnson's Peanuts located on the boardwalk of Ocean City, NJ?

Well, I took a trip home to NY this past week and enjoyed a culinary stroll down Memory Lane.

My first stop was Gene's Fish Fry. Oh, my -- how delicious! My friend ate the clam roll. The fish fry is breaded and deep fried haddock smothered in chili sauce. I've never seen that style of fish fry anywhere other than the Capital District of NY.

My next stop was to Jack's Drive-In on Main Street in Wynantskill. Yes, check your atlas. That's my home town. Jack's is a local institution and has been around for 60+ years. It's a traditional drive-in and it closes come winter. You can smell the aroma before you even see the little brick building.

They only serve burgers and hot dogs, sodas and milkshakes.

I had a cheeseburger and fries. Yum!

But it gets better.

After one bite, the ingredients ooze out onto your plate so you get to scoop them up after you're finished with the burger.
That's the point. The burgers are supposed to be greasy and covered with caramelized onions and drenched in ketchup. It's a taste of childhood.

Of course when we travel to Long Island to visit family there's a whole other set of food traditions. The best of course is Grandma's meatballs. Like my father-in-law says, "If you want great Italian food, go home!"

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Five Questions

Five Questions, that's the name of the article that featured me in The Troy Record. The intro to the article said this:

"Troy native Megan DiMaria of Denver, Colo., is the author of Searching for Spice, a work of contemporary fiction published April 2008 by Tyndale House. The story features a woman married nearly 25 years who decides she wants to have an affair -- with her husband. Its sequel, Out of Her Hands, by the same publisher is due to be released in October. On a recent trip to Troy, DiMaria donated a copy of Searching for Spice to the Troy Public Library."

You can check out the Five Questions here.

Wowie!

To see more about the photo session and my time at the library, see the post below.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Dreams Come True!

This day was not only a dream come true, it was an amazing marketing opportunity. When I was planning my trip to NY I contacted the local newspaper, hoping I would get some traction out of this event.

I always dreamed of being a published author.

When I was a young girl, my first job was as an envelope stuffer for the commissioner of jurors at the Rensselaer County Courthouse in downtown Troy, NY.

That's a photo of the Courthouse on the left. (I was 15 and had to get working papers.) The County Courthouse was next door to the Troy Public Library. The photo on the right is of the front door of the library. On my lunch hour I would stroll through the stacks of books, running my finger along the spines--on the author's names, locating the spot where my book would sit.

Well, fast forward 38 years, and you can see that my dream has come full circle. Today I donated a copy of Searching for Spice to the Troy Public Library. Dreams do come true!

This is a photo of the photographer from the Troy Record Newspaper, taking my photo for the paper.

This was also a significant moment because my first job in publishing was in 1973 as a high school intern working for that newspaper. I thought I had arrived--I had a job in publishing! I wrote wedding announcements and obituaries. LOL

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Beach Dreams by Trish Perry


I was excited to read Beach Dreams because I thought it was the perfect summer book. Isn’t the cover cute? It drew me right in as a good read for relaxing on the chaise lounge, but I soon discovered that this is a great book to read any season.

Here’s what it’s about: Tiffany LeBoeuf recently lost her mother to cancer. Still grieving, Tiffany seeks rest for her body and soul at a cozy beach house in San Diego. A scheduling mix–up causes a double booking, and Tiffany ends up sharing the house with a woman named Eve. When Eve’s boyfriend, Jeremy, arrives to surprise Eve, he’s surprised to see Tiffany as well. He settles in at the beach house next door, and what happens after that surprises them all.

Beach Dreams is about being true to your faith and finding redemption from past mistakes. The characters were unique and relatable, and the setting made me yearn for a cozy beach vacation. I loved that secrets were revealed and the fall out dealt with in meaningful ways.

Beach Dreams is a fun and romantic story. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Trish Perry is an award-winning writer of The Guy I’m Not Dating and Too Good to Be True. Her most recent book, Beach Dreams, was released on July 1, 2008. She served for seven years as the editor of Ink and the Spirit, a quarterly newsletter of the Capital Christian Writers organization in the Washington DC area. She has published numerous short stories, essays, devotionals, and poetry in Christian and general market media, and she is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers group.

Trish lives in Northern Virginia with her son, and has a gorgeous adult daughter and an amazing grandson.

You can learn more about Trish at her website.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Radiant Lit!

Wow! Look!! I'm featured at Radiant Lit today. The tag line over there is, "Godly Lit for savvy chicks." Isn't that great? I had a wonderful conversation with Takiela Bynum last week that she's put on the site as a podcast.

Don't forget to check out my latest post on marketing, right below this one.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Make a Big Splash ~ Book Launch!

I am currently presenting some posts on marketing. Also check out the previous posts.

If you want to generate excitement, you need to make a big deal about the book you’re promoting.

 One way to announce that your book launch party is a big deal is to have custom invitations created. This goes hand-in-hand with my post of 8/14 that speaks about presenting yourself professionally.

I sent invitations everywhere I could think: 

  • bookstores
  • newspapers
  • magazines
  • local authors, agents, and editors
  • radio and television stations
  • libraries
  • churches
  • I even sent an invitation to the mayor of Denver. We're a very literate city, and although he didn't make it, I was flattered that it was under consideration by his office.

The image above is the front and back of the invitation. See the tower on the invitation? That's the D&F Tower. The party was held on the floor behind the clock face and the floors above. Like my bookmarks, I also carried around a handful of invitations in case I ran into someone I wanted to invite.

A word about your book launch party: the reason for the event is not to celebrate with friends and family, as much fun as that is. The reason is to generate publicity for your book.

I live in suburban Denver, and I could have found a nice venue in which to hold my party. Fortunately a friend offered me the use of the top floors of the D&F Tower, an historic building on the 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver. 

The reason for using a fabulous venue is to lure people to the party who might have declined the invitation had it been held in my local rec center. Mission accomplished! Three different editors of local magazines came to the party as well as book store employees who received the invitation.

Another consideration was the day and time of the party. I held it on a Thursday evening because professionals who are not acquainted with me (editors, bookstore employees, etc.) might be more likely to attend a function on an evening that doesn't cut into their family time. That's why the party started at 6:00 p.m. as well. 

If you're curious and want to see more posts about my book launch party go here. The night was perfect and ended all to quickly. Sigh.

Currently I'm planning my book launch party for Out of Her Hands. It's going to be a very different type of party. I'm doing a charity tie-in to help increase awareness of my books. I'll let you know about it in a little while.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Radio Interview


*I interrupt this regularly scheduled thread
on marketing for a
Marketing Announcement!*

Last week I was interviewed for Look Up Orlando, a radio program on AM810 WEUS (Central Florida). The show will air on Monday, August 18th at noon and 6:00 p.m. Eastern time.

Look Up Orlando is hosted by Mark Goldstein and Randye McLemore. We talked about Searching for Spice, marriage, family, and writing.

If you're in Central Florida you can tune in. If you're not local, you can listen online. Just figure out the time zone thing.

Mark Goldstein also publishes a magazine that's distributed to Central Florida churches and is also online, Look Up Orlando. He did a lovely review of Searching for Spice in this month's edition. I posted a clipping of the review on my blog.

Step Up to the Plate

FYI: I'm in the middle of presenting some posts on marketing. Also check out the previous posts.

I had been involved in the publishing industry long enough to know that when I got my first contract it would be imperative for me to contribute my own time, effort, and money toward marketing.

One of the first things I did was have a professional bookmark created for Searching for Spice. I did this in August of 2007. My book didn't release until April of 2008. No, I'm not crazy. I had the release date on the bookmark and started passing them around eight months before Searching for Spice released. If you want to get up close and personal with the bookmark, click on each image to view them larger.

My friend at 100 Proof Design and I worked on the design together, and I also ran it by the folks at Tyndale for their input. The Tyndale marketing people wanted me to put my photo on it, so I had it ghosted in. Apparently having an author photo helps reader connect to the author. Makes sense. I had the bookmark printed at Print Runner, an online company.

I ordered 1,000 bookmarks. They were 2x7 glossy, color both sides, UV coating both sides, printed on 14 pt. paper. Including shipping, they cost me $95.37. I think that's a good price, they were about a dime each.

I always have a handful of bookmarks with me, and pass them out every opportunity I can -- the grocery store, the Post Office, restaurants, the doctor's office, any time I can strike up a conversation with someone.

I have what my daughter calls my pick-up line. Let me give you an example, I was in line at the grocery store the other day when I couldn't resist the impulse to buy one of those recipe magazines at the check-out counter. When I put the magazine down on the counter, the lady in front of me made a comment about how good the sandwich on the front cover looked. Okay, that let me know she wouldn't freak out if I started to talk to her.

So I gave her my pick-up line: "Are you a reader?" She smiled and said yes, which gave me the opportunity to say, "Well, I'm a writer, and I've recently had my first book published. May I give you a bookmark?" When she agreed, I dug it out of my purse and gave her my one-sentence synopsis of what the book's about. Then I also asked if she's a part of a book club or knows someone who is. She says she was, so I give her a few more bookmarks to distribute.

Don't neglect word-of-mouth marketing. Most people are fascinated by writers, and they seem happy to meet an author. Having a bookmark to hand out when I introduce myself serves as a visual aid should they decide to consider buying the book, and having an attractive marketing piece (the bookmark) gives me some credibility.

One more thing, this year Tyndale gave me some Searching for Spice bookmarks to distribute. This new version also mentions Out of Her Hands releasing in October.

Sorry to say, I'm still working on my bookmark for Out of Her Hands. I'll let you see it when it's finalized. In the meanwhile, I'm still using the SFS bookmark that mentions OOHH.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Preparing for Your Portrait Session

FYI: I'm doing some posts on marketing for the next few days as well as the previous two days.

Now that you’ve scheduled your portrait session appointment, you want to make the most of it by being prepared.

Preparing yourself is more than selecting a good shirt and applying your makeup. There are a few tips to help you look your best:

  • Be well rested, and drink plenty of water in the day leading up to the session.
  • Avoid haircuts or hairstyle changes within one or two weeks of your photo session.
  • Excessive sun or tanning salon visits prior to your session should be avoided; a dark suntan may make your face look oily.
Don't stress about your wardrobe selection. Here are a few guidelines that will help you to present yourself in the most flattering way:

  • Choose collars and necklines that frame your face.
  • Clothes that are solid colors are best. Avoid anything with a bright or busy pattern. You want your face to stand out in the image, not your clothes. If you're not sure what to wear, black is always a safe color. Jewel tones are also very flattering, especially for outdoor shots.
  • If you're wearing a suit or or jacket, select a middle tone or dark jacket and pair it with a light color shirt.
  • Avoid sleeveless clothing -- that will draws attention away from your face to all the skin on your arms. See the sample image of the lady in the yellow shirt? The goal of a professional portrait is to have the viewer focus first on the face, not all the skin from the neck down.
  • Don't select high-neck clothing that will obscure your neck. See the photo on the left? The stripes are too busy and she has no visible neck. That's a no-no.
  • Wear your usual hairstyle. Don't try anything new and risk suffering regret over wasting the photo session. Make sure your hair is styled the way you want prior to arriving for your session. You may want your usual stylist to style your hair that day, if you're nervous.
  • If you wear glasses, you may want to ask your optometrist if you can borrow a pair without lenses. That way there won't be any glare.
  • Avoid clothing that wrinkles easily or doesn't fit well.

You want to look as natural as possible as far as makeup is concerned.
  • Don't go overboard on your makeup on portrait day. Simple, clean, and fresh is best. When applying makeup, pay special attention to your eyes. That's what people see first. Eye shadow adds depth. Stick to neutral shades and avoid iridescent colors.
  • Ladies, as we age the most flattering shades of blush are peach tones. I know those pink blushes used to make you look fresh and young, but I have to tell you -- if you're no longer a young woman, it will just look unfortunate. Same goes for pink lipstick. Trust me on this. Truly.
  • Bring your makeup kit with you so you can touch-up as needed.
  • Gentlemen--a light powder foundation can reduce imperfections and an oily appearance. No one will be the wiser, and don't feel self conscious about a dusting of powder to enhance your image.
For samples of great author headshots, see the previous post.

Finding a Professional Photographer

Okay, so you've decided to step up to the challenge and have a professional headshot created. Now you just need to find a photographer. That's not difficult, there are plenty around. Of course the easiest thing to do is to ask a friend who has had a professional headshot taken.

This is Kathy Kovach's author headshot. Isn't it nice?
I like it because it looks like Kathy, and the pose is open, friendly and relaxed. I also love her headshot because it is a perfect author photo, with the book shelves in the background. Notice that her eyeglasses do not have any glare on them, and the lighting is soft and flattering. Kathy is a wonderful author of Merely Players, found in the Florida Weddings compilation book and Cookie Schemes in the Love Letters compilation (Barbour Publishing).

If you don't know where to begin, I would search the Internet for local photographers and browse websites. Some things you want to look for:
  • A web page advertising that photographer's business portraiture. Usually there will be samples, prices, and an explanation of packages.
  • Select a photographer who works with digital cameras. That shouldn't be difficult in this day and age. This is important because you want to receive an electronic image on a CD or by email.
  • Make sure the photographer offers you copyright of the image. You don't want any strings attached or permission granted to use the image for a specific purpose. You want full copyright ownership to use your image at will.
  • Make sure the photo studio has skilled imaging artists to digitally enhance your photo. Don't let someone tell you this is not important. Even children's portraits are touched up to look best. And I'm not talking about someone to only do color corrections either. You want a photographer or an imaging artist who can blend your skin tones, touch up your eyes, soften shadows and necklines, etc.
  • Don't go to a studio that does heavy digital retouching and will make you look like a 1950s movie star. You know the kind I'm talking about, the ones that make you look so "beautiful" that your image doesn't resemble yourself.
  • Call the studios that you are interested in and speak with someone there. If they can't answer your questions and put you at ease, hang up and keep letting your fingers do the walking. You need to work with someone who gives you confidence in their abilities. You don't want to call a landscape photographer who will "give it a shot." You may also ask for references, if there are no testimonials on the photographer's website.
  • $$$$ The cost of a digital image should be less than what the studio sells paper portraits for. After all, there is no sending the image to a lab. The studio will provide digital retouching and put the image on a CD. The normal price for a business headshot is around $125 or less. For this price you get a portrait session and your image on a CD in color and B&W, hi and low resolution. Additional poses can run $45 per pose. (I think some photographers charge less for business headshots because it gets potential clients into their studio so the client can see the beautiful family portraits that are created there--it's a savvy business tactic.)
  • Keep in mind that business headshots are usually shorter, less expensive portrait sessions. Most are priced with one or two wardrobe changes. The more wardrobe changes you want, the more expensive the session may be. That' s because you're using more of the photographer's time. Even if you don't plan on changing wardrobe, you should expect a change of background.
  • Let your photographer know what you have in mind for your image. Some authors want to be photographed in a studio setting. Last year, when I have my author photos updated, my photographer agreed to meet me at a local park so that I could create more casual images.
  • Your photographer should give you around 6 - 8 images to select from.
See my author photo on the left? At the time it was taken, there was a family enjoying a picnic lunch -- immediately to the left of my hip. My photographer made them disappear. That's what a skilled imaging artist can do.

There are many options to having your portrait taken. Kathy's photo was taken during a local ACFW meeting, the photographer came to our meeting and provided a group discount. I met my photographer at a park, my friend Jan went to the portrait studio where I work to have her portrait created.

The samples I've shown you are three very different poses, to represent three very different authors. That's something to consider as well. You don't want a cookie-cutter image created. You want a portrait that will extend your warmth and personality.

One other thought, it's becoming popular for writers conference organizers to host a photographer on site. I know that the upcoming ACFW conference will have a photographer on hand. I believe you can schedule an appointment for a professional headshot with Heather Lombardo this year for a screaming deal of $40!

Tomorrow we'll discuss how to prepare for your portrait session and what (or not) to wear.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Professionalism

I was at one of the blogs I visit daily, so you wanna be published, Mary DeMuth's blog. Today Mary was talking about one of my hot buttons -- investing in a professional photographer for author headshots.

I commented on her post and decided to talk a little about that on my blog, and also about the importance of your marketing materials having a professional image.

Today I am going to share my business cards. I had a professional take the image and a professional designed the card according to my specifications. I wanted the card to say that I'm a writer without having to put that in the text. See what a great job 100 Proof Designs did for me?

Tash, the designer, went back and forth with me until I was happy with the look. I told her the colors I wanted (blue and brown) and that I wanted text ghosted in the background. I'm sorry that the scanned images don't do my cards justice. The background is a lovely shade of blue and the font is brown. She positioned my image and my contact text over some beautiful script, and ta-da! A professional business card. 

I also wanted to make sure the card would look and feel professional. I emailed online printers for samples and decided to work with clickbusinesscards.com. They were great to work with. I uploaded my order on a Monday and received them on Thursday. The finish I went with is called matte celloglaze. The cards are very substantial and the finish is soft like satin. You can also write over it without trouble. If you're going to the ACFW conference and want to see and feel my cards, just ask. Gosh, that's an odd/awkward sentence, isn't it??

If you're wondering why I have two it's because I was going to only get the couch one because I think it has a casual, friendly feel to it, but my friend Jan said my face was prettier in the other one. I know, "Vanity, vanity, all is vanity." But for $40, it was worth it for me to have two cards to hand out, depending on my mood.  

Those cards were made in 2006, so they're a bit dated. But I haven't changed that much. 

I'll continue this conversation in the next few days with information on how to select a photographer, how to prepare for your photo session, and what to wear (or not) for the session.

In case you're wondering about my credentials, I've worked for different portrait photographers for several years. I've got the scoop!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Shame on them!

(No, not these cute little girls!)

I’m sure most of you have heard about the misuse of two young girls by the Chinese Olympic Committee last week.

Adorable little Lin Maioke stood up before the world and sang Hymn to the Motherland. Or so it seemed. But in reality, the sweet, clear voice was that of another girl, Yang Peiyi.

It seemed the powers that be didn’t find Lin’s voice pleasing enough and thought that Yang wasn’t cute enough. So one girl sang and the other a did a lip-sync.

Does that make anyone other than myself angry?

I’ve begun to pray for those little girls. I hope the stigma of just being a pretty face doesn’t handicap Lin, and I hope that Yang doesn’t grow up doubting her beauty or feeling unworthy.

The officials feel justified in their decision because it was an image that would reflect on their national culture. Oh, also – the fireworks tracking through the city to the stadium was computer generated, not authentic.

Give me a break!

So, apparently reality is not as important to the Chinese Communists as image is.  To me that fact speaks louder than any of their trumped up propaganda.

Thanks for letting me rant. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Oh, Happy Day!

It's here! 

UPS delivered a box of ARCs for Out of Her Hands this morning. Woo hoo!


In case you're wondering, ARC stands for Advanced Reader Copy. These bound copies of the book can be unedited versions. (I think the ARC for Searching for Spice was edited, though.) The white text around the cover of the book says, "Advanced Reader Copy * Unedited Edition * For Promotional Purposes Only." ARCs are distributed to media and reviewers, people who can help spread the word, etc. Influencer copies that go to bloggers are not ARCs, they're actual copies of the book.

And speaking of cover --isn't it gorgeous? I love it! It has the same feel as Searching for Spice with the cool bubbles and the brown accent color.  The copy text that's to the right of "Linda" says, "Her son's dream girl isn't what Linda had in mind . . ."

Thanks for letting me share my exciting news with you. 

Write on! Keep pursuing your dreams!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

SFS Review in Look Up Orlando

Thank you, Mark Goldstein. Mark is the editor of Look Up Orlando Magazine, and he wrote a wonderful review of Searching for Spice. Look Up Orlando is a great publication that seeks to impact the spiritual landscape of Central Florida.
I appreciate your kind words, Mark. God bless your ministry to believers in Central Florida.

To read the review, click on the image above. To view the current issue of Look Up Orlando, go here. (The review is on page 9 of the July/August issue.)

Be faithful!

1 Corinthians 4:2
Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.


I'm very mindful of the blessings the Lord has given me, among them the talent He's given me for writing. I still don't know where God and I are heading in this writing gig, but I'm impressed upon during my prayer times again and again to be faithful. All along I've said it's not my thing, it's God's.

How about you? Do you strive to be faithful in whatever He's given you? What gifts do you cherish? Please share -- I think it's a pity that so many people hide their gifts. That wasn't the reason the Giver gave it to you, you know.

BTW, the above photo is the view from my hammock. I like to pray there.



Here's another view from the hammock.

Psalm 139:14
Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.


Thursday, August 07, 2008

Sweet!

One of our local magazines, Search Parker, showed up in my mailbox today and made my day. I always look forward to paging through this magazine. It has so much of Parker's local flavor and highlights many of the area's best businesses. 

What tickled me is the lovely article on page seven about Searching for Spice. What a very, very pleasant surprise. 
Thank you very much Mike Waid (publisher) and Pamela Waid (editor)! I certainly appreciate your support.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

A little help, please

If you've read Searching for Spice, would you please tell me what other author you would compare my style to?I'm participating in a multi-author (100+ authors!) booksigning at the Mall of America in Minneapolis next month, and the sponsors are compiling comparison charts. I need to send in the names of authors that people are familiar with that could compare to my book. You know, "If you like XX's books, you'll love Searching for Spice by Megan DiMaria."

Can you help me? Do you have any suggestions?

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Random Thoughts

So, let me just say a few things:

Let's say you have a headache. You leave the room you're writing in and go in search of a Tylenol.  You take the tablets out of the bottle, and you're heading back to where you waters is when you see an open bag of M&Ms that you can't resist--just remember which hand is holding the Tylenol and which has the candy before you pop something into your mouth and begin to chew. Just sayin'.

And also, if you have a dog and need to replace your pooper scooper don't, EVEN IF IT'S ON SALE, ever choose to buy the teflon coated garden trowel. Not unless you want to practice your balancing skills on a regular basis. No kidding. And trust me, this is not a skill that will come in handy some day, unless you want to perfect your egg-on-a-spoon-racing technique. 

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Hot Fun in the Summertime!

In case you haven't heard, Denver has set a record for the number of consecutive days with temperatures above 90 degrees. We're now working on day 20 of 90+ degree days. The record, set in 1847 and 1901, was an 18-day stretch. I heard that yesterday it was 104 degrees. This crazy photo is of a pool in Japan. If I went to that pool, I'd take one look and say, "Uh, no thanks!" I think I would rather sweat.

Anyway to get back to Denver's heat--it's not big deal. Really. I sit on my patio (in the shade) daily during the summer and work outside. I keep saying it's not that bad, and now I have proof. 

Have you heard the expression, "it's a dry heat?" Well, it is. 

The National Weather Service released data the other day shortly after noon. The temperature was 94 degree, but it actually felt like 88 degrees. 

That's not so bad, is it? Either that or I'm just your run of the mill optimist, who happens to love being outside in the nice weather. 

BTW, I'm sitting outside right now, and the temperature is a comfortable 94 degrees. Lovely!

Friday, August 01, 2008

First Lines

I'm a sucker for a good first line. How about you?

I just got Marilyn Griffith's latest novel, Rhythms of Grace, and I can't wait to dive in. (BTW, the cover is gorgeous and sexy and it intrigues me.)
Her first line: No one would miss me.
My reaction: Oh, no! What's going to happen? Why would no one miss her? 

Lisa Samson's Straight Up: Why are wine velvet curtains, soft carpets, and mellow lighting reserved for the dead?
My reaction: Why indeed? And where is this story going?

Donita K. Paul's DragonQuest: "We're going to get in trouble," Kale muttered.
My reaction: What? Why? What's going on? Why is poor Kale muttering?

I (finally) just bought Healing Stones by Nancy Rue & Stephen Arterburn. My friends have raved about this book, and I can't wait to read it.
The first line: I sneaked down to the boat that night to say this couldn't happen anymore.
My reaction: Oh, my goodness! Why did she have to sneak? To whom was she speaking? What couldn't happen any more??

So, tell me, what are some of your favorite first lines? Let's get some chatter going in the comments. I know you have an opinion.  

Oh, one more--my absolute favorite first line: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.