Friday, July 25, 2008


One of my favorite things to do is go to the movies. When I was a kid, many, many, years ago, our family went to the movies every Friday night. (This was during World War II) It didn’t matter what was playing, we went. It was always a double feature. The first movie was always a big name movies with famous starts, then an intermission with a game called Keno where prizes were given like a set of dishes. (The only prize I can remember.)Then there was a cartoon followed by news–we saw all the war news this way–scary stuff for little kids–and last, a B movie. We saw a lot of really bad and gory movies about gangsters.

I suspect there were also previews, I just don’t remember. Previews are my favorite today, so I suspect I liked them back then too.

Things haven’t changed much, I still love to go to the movies–or watch them on DVD. When we go to the theater we always go early. Sometimes we’re the only ones there for that showing. Today we went at 10 a.m. to see the new Batman flick, The Dark Knight. Not really my favorite kind of movie, but my great-grandkids stood in line to watch it at midnight when it first came out. They told me it was fantastic and I had to see it. Though I can’t say it was the best movie I’ve ever seen, it kept my attention all the way through–though a couple of times I thought, “This is really a long movie.” My hubby didn’t fall asleep and that’s also a good sign. The special effects were wonderful! The Joker was spectacular. Sad to realize that young man won’t be making anymore movies. This wasn’t as campy as the previous Batmans. My one criticism might be that they tried to hard to give a message. Sometimes “messages” are irritating in movies. I go to movies to be entertained, not preached to.

We watched Sweeny Todd on DVD. This one was mesmerizing–a musical with gushing blood-letting. Way over the top, this one was definitely campy. Johnny Depp may be one of the best actors alive today–and he certainly doesn’t mind playing strange and eccentric characters.

Frankly, I like most any movie, and I’m sure that’s because I grew up on them. My least favorites sometimes are the ones that one Academy Awards. Why? Though the acting may be wonderful, sometimes the main characters have no redeeming qualities as in There Will Be Blood. I’m not fond of movies that are so realistic that they cease to be entertaining. Like reading mysteries, I want to be caught up in another world. I want to be able to identify with the main characters and cheer them on. And if there’s a bad guy, I want him to get his just desserts in the end.

The one thing that’s changed since my childhood movie-going days is I no longer have nightmares from scary movies. I still have some pretty scary dreams, but they don’t seem to have any connections to movies I’ve watched.

Because it costs so much to go to the movies these days, I can’t go as often as I'd like. And I try to decide which ones I can wait to see when they come out on DVD.

Have you seen any good movies lately?


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

If you’d like to watch a video taken when I was at the Hanford Library talking about my books, here it is: . I had an extremely runny nose that evening.

Despite that, the talk went well and the people were receptive. Saturday, we drove to Oakhurst where I gave a talk on Self-Editing to a writer's group in the Willow Bridge Bookstore. Again, the group was extremely receptive, listened attentively, and asked lots of good questions and made valid comments. I enjoyed myself and I hope they did too.

Though most of the people were new to me, there were two familiar faces which also makes it nice.

I thoroughly enjoy giving talks about my books and the craft of writing.

Right now I'm busily preparing for the launching of my next Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery, Kindred Spirits, which will be coming in September from Mundania Press.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Me on You Tube

A friend sent me this URL which is a video of me at the Hanford Library talking about my books. I didn't remember, but it's obvious I had a runny nose that evening. I loved being there, the patrons were receptive, laughed at all my funny stories, and purchased books. Libraries are wonderful places.


Monday, July 14, 2008

One Night in a Haunted Room

Because this is the most interesting thing I've done of late, I'm cross posting to other of my blogs.

Hubby and I stayed in Room 17 of the Bella Maggiore Bed and Breakfast in Ventura CA because the room is supposed to be haunted. We did not have a ghostly visitor. My daughter looked up the ghost and said it was because the ghost, a prostitute in her former life, only visited men who stayed in the room by themselves. Guess I ruined it.

However, we did have a rather intimate romantic encounter with a real live young man. Room 17 opens on a balcony shared with another larger room. There are no windows in these rooms, only doors that open to the balcony with no screen door and a transom. We were sitting in our room with the door open, when this darling young man popped in to inform us he was having a surprise party for his girlfriend’s birthday at 10 p.m. on our shared balcony complete with music, a Spanish harp and guitar along with a singer. We were invited.

Both of us were tired, but assured our visitor we’d enjoy the music. Of course we had to shut the door and the drapes in order to go to bed, because the chairs and table were only a few feet from our room. At 10 p.m. the music began. It was lovely and very romantic. It was over by 11.

The next day, after we’d had our wonderful breakfast and hubby was transporting our bags to the car, I was sitting on the bed with door open and in pops the young lover. He wanted to know if we’d enjoyed the music, I assured I’m had. I said, “I hope your fiancee appreciates you, not many men are as romantic.” She came out and meet her (cute young thing) and told her that her boyfriend was definitely a keeper. He said, “Thank you.”

From there we went to the Premiere Author event at the Crowne Plaza hotel. Though it was nice, we didn’t have much traffic. The talks about writing and poetry reading were scheduled back-to-back with no time in-between for the attendees to step into the book room. I sold two books and I don’t think anyone else sold more than one. Of course, the organizers realized they’d made a mistake. But it was wonderful to see and smell the ocean air.

From there, we headed to the Bank of Books (bookstore in a former bank) and set up for a talk about mystery writing. This was planned spur of the moment, so didn’t expect much of a turn-out and I was right. Three people came to hear me and we all had fun. We will plan another event, with a bigger lead-in time for the fall.

No matter what, we had a good time. We spent Saturday night in our youngest daughter’s new home, beautiful and huge. Five bathrooms! Can’t imagine having to clean them all. Of course she says my grandchildren are responsible for their own. (Their grown or nearly grown, so it is possible this might happen.)

After a great breakfast, we left the cool temperatures by the ocean and headed back to the hot temperatures of the San Joaquin Valley.

Now, my energies will be focused on promoting the book that I have coming in September, Kindred Spirits.


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

West Coast Author's Premiere/Bank of Books

On Saturday, July 12, I'll be at the West Coast Author's Premiere at the Crowne Plaza Hotel at the beach in Ventura from 10 to 3. At 10:30 a.m., I'm going to give a presentation on electronic publishing.

At 4, I'll be at the Bank of Books in downtown Ventura speaking about How to Write a Mystery. I'll have handouts for both presentations.

And as an aside, on Friday night before the event, hubby and I are spending the night in a haunted room at the Bella Maggoire Bed and Breakfast in downtown Ventura. How much fun is that?

Anyone in the vicinity, please do stop by.