Sunday, June 28, 2009

Loveland Book Signing

Yesterday I traveled to Loveland, Colorado, to sign books at the Barnes & Noble at the Promenade Shops at Centerra.

What a lovely shopping mall, and what a great Barnes & Noble. Their hospitality is overwhelming.

The best part of the day was doing the signing with my friend Tina Forkner. Her second novel, Rose House, just came out this past May.

We had a great afternoon chatting with book lovers and discovering some new writers. It's always fun to talk about the business and encourage other writers.

We had a pleasant surprise when our friend and fellow author Kathy Kovach stopped in for a visit. She chatted with us for a bit and hung out in the cafe to work on her next book.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

WFTJ Photo Day

Yesterday several of my Words For The Journey friends got together to support the five of us who were getting new headshots. We had a blast!

As you can see, a photo session is a group project with the WFTJ crew. In all there were about ten of us milling around enjoying each other's company.

Terri Michael is the model of the moment in the above photo. Darcie Gudger is holding the reflector, photographer extraordinaire Pauline Fortuna is coaching Terri, and Darcie's boy "Booger" is chatting with Lucille Zimmerman. That beautiful spot is O'Brien Park in downtown Parker.
Here Genevra Bonati's posing while we look on and encourage her smiles. I should have taken more photos to show the support we had. Several ladies who weren't getting their photo taken came along for moral support. This part of the session was held in my neighborhood, there were some attractive shady spots that made a good background.

If I weren't holding the reflector when Michele Cushatt was getting her photo taken I'd have a cool picture of her coming headfirst out of a twisty slide. Trust me, it's going to be a great headshot.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

New outdoor workspace

The past few years I've enjoyed working outdoors during the nice weather. I would install myself on my chaise on the patio and work there until it's too cold to stay outside.

Now I'm thrilled to have a new outdoor workspace. I got an Adirondack chair for Mother's Day, and I have it nestled on the side of the yard alongside my Aspen clump.

It's very comfortable, and from noon-ish on it's in the shade, which is important because you can't see a computer screen if you're sitting in the sun.

My little Jack Russell Terrier, Bayle, thinks I should be ready to play at all times. Can you see two of her toys next to the chair? She keeps me company while I work.

It's not an oversized chair, and my lap desk sits comfortably on the arms, so working is a breeze.

I even have a nifty little table for my phones, water, etc.

It sure doesn't take much to make me happy. A comfy chair, a shady spot, the sounds of nature to listen to while I work.

Here's a photo of my little distracter, Bayle. If she could speak, she's be saying, "Play with me! Play with me! Play with me! Play with me! Play with me! Play with me! Play with me! Play with me! Play with me! Play with me! Play with me! Play with me! Play with me!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Thinking of the ACFW Conference

Can you believe it's nearly July? And before you know it, the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) conference will begin (September 17th - 20th). This year it will be held in Denver, my home area.

I can't wait for the conference to come to my hometown and to welcome all my friends to one of the best locations on earth.

In the next few weeks I'm going to be posting on the ACFW Conference blog. I'll be highlighting some dining options to suit most tastes and budgets. Are you familiar with It's a great site for reviews. You might want to go online to check out some of the choices that I'll list.

We'll discuss restaurants you can walk to as well as those a quick light rail ride away. The light rail is about a five minute walk from the hotel, and the fare is $2 each way/$1 each way for seniors. The fare box takes quarters or bills but returns change in dollar coins only.

Most of the meals are included in the conference fee, but Friday night's dinner is a fun break to get out and investigate what's around with new friends and old. There are also some great, close restaurants you can visit if you want to get away for breakfast or lunch.

Price range is a relative indication of cost. Some restaurants did not list prices online.

$ = Inexpensive

$$ = Moderate

$$$ = Pricey

$$$$ = Ultra High-End

The Lift, $$ located inside the Marriott, serves all-American cuisine (burgers, sandwiches, steaks, pasta, etc.). $10 - $20. They don't have a website but the Marriott promises to email me a menu that I will share with you.

There are several restaurants within walking distance from the Marriott. The hotel address is 4900 S. Syracuse St., 80237. Feel free to Google directions from the hotel the restaurants so that you'll have some context to where they are located and how to get there.

By the way, it's always easy to tell which direction you're heading in when you're in Denver. If the mountains are in front of you, you're heading west. If they're on your left, you're going north.

Darcy's Bistro & Pub is about .03 miles if you don't mind walking through parking lots to get there. Basically, it's due east of the hotel. Darcy's combines traditional Irish fare, such as corned beef and cabbage, with great steaks and fresh seafood, delicious tapas (Spanish small plates), salads and sandwiches. Reviews.

Garcia's Mexican Restaurant $$ is about .02 miles down the road from the hotel on the same street, located at 5050 S. Syracuse Street. There's no website, but here's the reviews on

Paradise Bakery
$ is .01 miles south on Syracuse Street. They're a great option for breakfast, lunch, or an early dinner. They stop serving soup, salad, and sandwiches at 3:00, and are bakery only from 3:00 to 4:00.

If you're willing to walk ½ mile, there's a strip mall at 8000 E. Belleview Ave. with several dining choices. From the hotel, walk south on S. Syracuse St. to Belleview. Cross Belleview and turn left (right). Continue walking about .02 miles and the strip mall's on your right.

The Original Pancake House $$ is open seven days a week with limited hours: 6a.m. to 2 p.m. It's very, very good if you're looking for breakfast food.

Bara Sushi $$$ The reviews on yelp rave about the bento box which is a lunch box with a little of this and a little of that. The biggest raves? The bento box is $10! Unfortunately their website looks like a work in progress, and the menu/prices are not listed.

Il Forniao $$-$$$ serves delicious Italian food. Their menu is online, and depending what you get (share a pizza?) the price varies.

Chipotle $ is a Colorado company known for gourmet burritos and tacos (no kidding!). The helpings are so large that you might want to share a meal with someone.

Erbert & Gerbert's Subs and Clubs $ serves sandwiches, soups, sides, and desserts.

Santoro's Pizzeria $ (303) 770-7428, is on 8101 E Belleview Avenue about .07 of a mile from the hotel. Walk south to Belleview and turn left. It is on the left side of the road about .01 mile off Belleview on a private lane.

The next ACFW Conference blog dining post will discuss restaurant options south at Park Meadows. Some may call it a shopping mall, but they refer to themselves as a retail resort.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Choosing the right word

As writers, we work with words the way a sculptor uses chisels, files, and hammers.

The words we choose and the way we arrange them determines our success, so choosing the exact word needed to convey an idea, emotion, characterization, or setting is crucial.

As Mark Twain said, “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter--it's the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”

All words carry connotations, both personally to the reader and also culturally to the society. Authors need to be conscious of the connotations of the language they select. Keep reading...

Monday, June 15, 2009

I'm Sorry

I’m sorry.

Why are those two little words so difficult for some people to say? I’ve been thinking about it lately, and then David Letterman’s offensive remarks and abysmal apology to the Palin family became news.

Apparently, Letterman’s succumbed to pressure and is finally trying to act like a decent man and really apologize. Although at this point I think he’s being PC rather than authentic, but then I’m a girl from New York.

Aside from Letterman, I’ve been thinking about the phony baloney “apologies” that are tossed about in public, mostly from politicians or media stars. To be honest, they make me gag.

The most egregious apology, in my humble opinion, is the, “If I hurt you, then I’m sorry.” Excuse me? Does anyone else see that for the rhetorical failure that it truly is? Saying, “If I blah, blah, then I’m sorry,” is not taking responsibility because the “if” gives the apologizer too much wiggle room and allows them to avoid ownership of the misdeed.

How about if I knock you down with a baseball bat and then when you’re on the ground I mash your face into the mud, and then later I say, “If I knocked you down with a baseball bat and then mashed your face into the mud, I’m sorry.”

Where’s the honor and integrity of admitting your mistake, owning up to it, and sincerely apologizing with heartfelt words? Where’s the offer to try to make the misdeed right?

Why can't people simply say, "I said/did blah, blah and I'm very sorry. How can I make it right?"

It’s a shame that our society is forgetting how to say, “I’m sorry.” It’s just a crying shame.

Rant over. Thanks for listening. Now please, go out and be kind to one another. And if need be, apologize. Really apologize.

*** I just watched the Letterman apology. Sorry, Dave. It didn't do it for me. His apology was based on the fact that the public misunderstood the joke. Give me a break! He simply needed to say, "I shouldn't have said that, and I'm sorry."

Letterman's gobbledegook uh, I mean, his words:
It’s the perception rather than the intent.’ It doesn’t make any difference what my intent was, it’s the perception. And, as they say about jokes, if you have to explain the joke, it’s not a very good joke. And I’m certainly – ” (audience applause) “– thank you. Well, my responsibility – I take full blame for that. I told a bad joke. I told a joke that was beyond flawed, and my intent is completely meaningless compared to the perception. And since it was a joke I told, I feel that I need to do the right thing here and apologize for having told that joke. It’s not your fault that it was misunderstood, it’s my fault. That it was misunderstood.”

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Yippi for ParkerFest

I had a blast at ParkerFest on Sunday. I love Parker, it's such a sweet, pretty, friendly place.The Douglas County Library system paid for the booth I occupied and furnished a nifty canopy, table, chair, and banner. I brought along my books, a poster, and some marketing materials.
I really enjoyed meeting and chatting with book lovers and hanging out where folks were having fun. Of course the fun only lasted until the tornado warnings came. Fortunately my husband kept me company, and my darling daughters stopped by just in time to help dismantle the canopy and pack up. The tornado touched down not far from where we were.

It was amazing to feel the temperatures drop so quickly and the sky cloud over. You can see how beautiful it was from the photos, and then the Colorado weather took over and changed the day.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Join Me at ParkerFest

This Sunday, June 7th, I'll be meeting folks and signing books at ParkerFest in downtown Parker.

Every Sunday during the summer the Town of Parker closes a few blocks of Mainstreet to traffic and hosts ParkerFest, a lovely street fair. There is a farmer’s market, food, craft booths, musical entertainment, special events, and a “Kid Zone” each week.

I think I fall under the category of special events. Our wonderful library system, Douglas County Library, funds a booth and loans it out to a local author or illustrator each week.

I'm going to be at ParkerFest from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. I'll be visiting with folks and signing my novels, Searching for Spice and Out of Her Hands. Please stop by and say hello.