Friday, December 28, 2007

2008 Almost Here!

Hard to believe, it’s nearly 2008! Now the challenge will be to remember that and put it on my communications and checks.

What are you looking forward to in this coming year? For myself, I’m hoping the year includes continued good health–always something to think about when you get to be my age. However, I’m always optimistic and this year’s calendar is already filling up. I’ve even sent in money for a mystery con in 2009.

The end of January we’re flying to Chicago for the Love is Murder conference. All my friends in California feel that is being truly optimistic if not a bit foolhardy. I remind them that I went to Alaska to a mystery con in February and had a great time.

I’m planning a book launch for Smell of Death, the next in my Rocky Bluff PD series in February.

In March, hubby and I will fly to Portland OR for Epicon. My latest Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery is a finalist in the mystery category for an Eppie. Whether it wins or not, Epicon is a great conference and I have many author friends I’m looking forward to spending time with. I’ll also be presenting while I’m there.

Writers of Kern is having their conference in March too, and I’m honored to have been asked to present a workshop on writing mysteries, in particular how to keep a series fresh. I’ll also be headed to the Kings’ County Library in Hanford to talk about writing and my books.

April will find me at the Jackass Mail Run with a booth–no, it’s not about a bunch of jackasses running–it celebrates the delivery of the mail from Porterville to Springville and a bunch of horses and riders along with the mail wagon make their way to Springville where a mock battle ensues with would-be robbers and the men on the wagon.

April also is the time for the Public Safety Writers Association’s conference. All the information is available at > This is another favorite of mine and I’m also in charge of the program. If you write about any of the many public safety fields–either fiction on non-fiction–you ought to try this conference.

If you want exact dates and times for any of these events, go to my website or email me:

And that’s probably enough of what I’ve got planned for the coming year.
For all of you who read this, my wish for you is a year full of love, happiness and prosperity.


Saturday, December 15, 2007

Feeling Really Old or Aftermath of Attending Daughter's Retirement Party and some exciting news!

How on earth could I possibly have a daughter who is old enough to retire? I don't have the answer to that question--what I do know is hubby and I traveled to Oxnard yesterday to attend daughter Dana's retirement celebration from her job as an administrative assistant of the Oxnard School District.

The party was given by her boss and held in her boss' home--a gorgeous home beautifully decorated for Christmas. Besides about 50 of Dana's fellow employees, of course her husband attended, along with her daughter (my granddaughter, Genie) and her two kids (my great-grands--Peyton and Garrett), and my youngest daughter, Lori, and her hubby.

The food was abundant and delicious. Everyone was friendly and spoke so highly of Dana--it really made me proud. One of the highlights of the evening was when Peyton who is four, donned her dance costume and performed her Irish dance. She did wonderfully.

I met the current superintendent of schools and it certainly brought back lots of memories. When my kids were attending school in the Oxnard school district, I was PTA president four years in a row--two at the grammar school and two at the high school and knew the then superintendent quite well and his successor was one of our family's friends. Being around all those people made me think about events I'd nearly forgotten.

Dana and her husband hope to spend more time traveling in their motor home. I was extremely proud of her last night--and she looked beautiful.

We spent the night at Dana's and had a little bit more time enjoying everyone before heading home. For awhile, I put aside my writing life.

And now other news. Judgment Fire, the latest in the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series, is an Eppie finalist in the mystery category. I haven't had a book final in a few years and I'm truly excited. The Eppie's are presented at Epicon, Epic's annual convention--this year's will be in Portland OR in March. And yes, I'm going, I wouldn't miss it even if I didn't have an Eppie finalist.

This has truly been an exciting few days.

Next week I absolutely must spend some time on my work-in-progress.


Saturday, December 8, 2007

Merry Christmas

The house is decorated and I'm exhausted. We don't have nearly as many decorations as we used to because we gave a lot of them away--still it seemed to take forever to put baubles and balls on the already lighted tree. Of course it was extra fun this year because it was the first thee for our three cats and they think it's a giant play toy just for them.

Yesterday I took one of my daughter's Christmas shopping. Shopping is not my favorite thing to do--but we had a great time together.

Hubby decided this was a good time to transfer closets--to put the decorations in the closet where we keep the luggage and vice versa. Since it's his idea he can do it.

Last night we were invited to dinner by my good friend, Saralee. She also invited a friend she used to work with--a delightful young woman. Why anyone would want to spend an evening with two old folks like us, I'm not sure--but I'm glad they did. We had a wonderful time and a great meal.

Had a bit of good news today via e-mail. One of my publishers, Tigress Press, wanted a dedication and some back cover copy as my latest Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery, Smell of Death, is nearly ready for printing. What that means for me is I must get busy and start planning my promotion campaign.

It's hard to do normal jobs when the season is so festive. We have a lot to look forward to this holiday time. Our eldest daughter is retiring from her long time job as a secretary for the Oxnard School District. We've been invited to her retirement party and will definitely make the trip. It will give us the opportunity to deliver our Christmas gifts to the two families still living in Ventura County. I can't believe I have a daughter who is old enough to retire!

My critique group is going out to dinner together with spouses invited. We always have fun doing that.

And of course we'll be doing our usual Christmas Eve and Christmas day get-together with my son, his wife and kids.

Everyone, I hope your holiday--no matter what you may celebrate--is wonderful. Filled with love and friendship.


Thursday, December 6, 2007

It's Beginning to Feel a Lot Like Christmas

I've received a few Christmas cards and I'm thinking about putting up the tree. My Christmas shopping is under control--well what I mean is I've purchased the majority of gifts.

The weather is cooperating too--we finally are getting some rain. I know, in parts of the country it's flooding--but we haven't had measurable rain for ages.

Yesterday, we had a grand surprise. Lee Emory (one of my publishers--Treble Heart Books) called to say she and her husband were heading home from Oregon and would be passing near out place and could they come visit. Of course I said yes.

Lee and I met at Epicon in Seattle WA years ago. Over the years she republished Guilt by Association and two of my Christian horror novels--Deeds of Darkness and Cup of Demons. Every year we met and visited at Epicon--in Tampa, Long Beach, Oklahoma City, and San Antonio. We enjoyed catching up on one another's news, enjoying the sights and having dinner together.

They arrived and we learned it was Lee's birthday. We went to a steak house to celebrate. They stayed the night and we bid they goodbye in the a.m.

It was a nice treat--and really felt like the start of the holiday season. There's nothing like being with old friends.

Merry Christmas to you all.