Thursday, December 29, 2005

I'm LOST without you In bigtime withdrawal here. I'd settle for a couple of new episodes of The Office to tide me over. Usually I'm all snooty about reading books and stuff because I love to do that too and most people don't make enough time for it. But I want my television fix. Now.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

I resolve...

to train my dog. Discipline my dog. Whatever you want to call it. I usually eschew making New Year's resolutions but this year it popped out of my mouth before I could recall it. And my husband heard me and now poor Bella (a little Who dog who is not more than two) is going to have to learn a few manners. Sorry, Pup, it's for the best.

Ooh La La

Next week I'm off with the family to France. The South of France, to be precise. The land of my ancestors where they know how to pronounce my last name (boo-shay: in France it's as common as Smith). I'm going to do research for my next novel which is in the final stages. If I don't have the best job on the planet, I don't know who does. Having said that, I am likely to be cursed with what they call Le Mistral, a wretchedly cold wind that can blow for weeks. If anybody has any suggestions for bistros, sightseeing, and the like, please post-away. And I'll share with you a story from my first trip to France after college. If I tell you that what they call the first floor is what we call the second floor (their bottom floor designated as the ground floor), you'll guess where I'm going with it. To make it short: lots of vin (wine) at a bar, the need to find the W.C. (bathroom), and me barging into somebody's apartment as five residents were sitting on a long couch watching television. No Wendy, the bar's public bathroom is one more floor up. Duh. You should have seen the sharp looks of surprise on those five faces. Pardon moi!

Thinking Pink

As in Mary Kay. Today, I get my "pampering session" with a freshly stamped Mary Kay consultant. She doesn't drive the pink Town Car yet but she's probably on her way if she got somebody like me to agree to a session. I'm useless where make-up is concerned. I usually just go without or slap on some tinted sunscreen and a little mascara. But as I get further into my ... uhm ... creative years, I find myself looking for that little something in a bottle that will hide my wrinkles or even better, prevent new ones. I like the idea of an at-home consultation. No strangers lurking about making odd faces by lifting their eyebrows as the make-up consultant applies ginger colored eye gel to your lids. I'll feel more adventuresome without thousands of shoppers strolling by. Of course I'll spend lots of money, use the new stuff religiously for two days, then go back to my old habits which date to my teens. But it's all fine if it helps my Mary Kay gal get her pink goods. If I can, I'll post a photo of the before and after. Ciao.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Happy What Were We Thinking Day

1. You can't play Twister by yourself. Girlie drafted me and I thank my lucky stars that nobody but me knows how to operate the digital camera. 2. If your Girlie gets a kit to make gummie bugs, she's going to want to make gummie bugs (and since she's six, she needs help). Then she's going to want to watch you eat a gummie bug. After having seen the chemical piles those bugs started as, I'd almost rather eat a real bug (almost). Ditto the camera comment in 1. 3. Everything, EVERYTHING, is sealed into slice-your-hands-off hard plastic these days. Paper cuts feel like little kisses by comparison. Note to self: buy stock in Energizer or Duracell next year.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

I have a creche on you

Last night, per family tradition, Hubby, Girlie and I drove around to see Christmas light displays. As we drove past one house, Girlie said: "Hey, I saw some light up Gods!" Me: "Do you think that maybe it was Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus?" Girlie: "Well, it was some Christian thing, that's for sure." Me: "It's called a nativity scene." Hubby: "Sometimes it's also called a creche." Girlie: "No, a creche is when you REALLY like a boy, and he doesn't like you back." Me: laughing, choking on spittle. Hubby: "That's a crush, honey. It's a different word." Girlie: "Oh, okay then."

Saturday, December 24, 2005

It's the lack of a warrant that gets me

Since 9/11, I too have been anxious for "us" to be able to catch "them." The terrorists, of course. I'm even willing to acknowledge that sometimes it might be a good idea to listen in on some phone conversations. Heck, I was doing internet research about bomb ingredients for a novel I was writing back in 2001 (before 9/11 (since shelved)). If I've never been on some sort of watch list, I'd be very surprised. But I have never signed up for the idea that the President should be able to order that kind of surveillance without any judicial oversight (like warrants). Sure it's cumbersome, but if the framers of our Constitution thought it important enough to have checks and balances, so do I. If W, or any other President for that matter down the line, can just do whatever he or she freakin' wants to do by using national security as the catch-all justification, what makes us different than other countries run by tyrants?

Each minute is an hour...

Poor Girlie -- Every few seconds she asks me what we're going to do today, as if my answer will change. What I think she wants to hear me say is: "Why, we're going to get into a time machine and jump forward to tomorrow morning when you get to see what Santa brought you." Instead she's hearing: "You need to put your clean clothes away and help me clean up the family room before our one-year-old nephew comes over tomorrow. Then we'll go to the grocery store and maybe do some baking." She'll comply, of course, because she's never been quite sure if I was kidding or not about having Santa's cell phone number. This day must seem impossibly long to her.

Friday, December 23, 2005


Girlie says that yesterday's Cirque de Soleil performance was the best event we've ever taken her to, ever. (I might add that this girl has been to LOTS of events and on LOTS of trips so her comment means a lot). But she won't be running away to join Cirque do Soleil any time soon. This is the same girl who dropped out of dance class because of all that, "whine, whine," stretching. She must have been very impressed with the contortionist (the apparently boneless and jointless contortionist -- yikes!).

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Florida Suncoast Writers' Conference

One of the top writers' conferences in the USA takes place every year in St. Petersburg. This year, the 34th Annual Suncoast Writers' Conference will be held Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 9-11 at Sirata Beach Resort. The keynote speaker this year is US Poet Laureate 2001-2003, Billy Collins. The Banquet speaker will be Augusten Burroughs (Running with Scissors, Dry, Sellavision, etc.) I've gone three prior years and seen Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood, and Frank McCourt. It's a GREAT conference for writers of any type -- fiction, non-fiction, poetry, screenwriting, journalism. Check out the website if you are interested.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Thank you, Senate

They voted to block drilling in the Alaskan refuge. Hurrah!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Girlie has gone to the dark side

She won a free pink sparkle phone for selling a subscription to Reader's Digest to my husband! How can I live in a house that gets Reader's Digest? And that's not what I set out to write about. With that pink sparkle phone, she has taken to dialing up all of her relatives every day (fine, except that many live in Oregon which is way long distance). Speaking of Oregon, Girlie actually understands the time difference thing but she has decided that Nana Banana and Papa Schmapa can get up at 7:00 am... every day. Still not the problem. The problem is that the phone is in her room and when I came up the stairs, I heard her talking to my husband's mom, Grandma, and what I heard was, "Don't tell my mommy I told you that." YIKES! She told my mother-in-law what? The possibilities were endless and alarming. She's an only kid and it's easy to forget that she's sitting around eavesdropping. Luckily, I'm very crafty and managed to very casually inquire about said comment only to find out that Girlie had had the nerve to tell my mother-in-law that ... I put chocolate soy milk in my coffee. Phew.

Now That's OCD

When you're sitting in a concert hall and they announce that you should make sure your cell phone is off you: check that it's off at least 20 times and then still "obsessed" with the idea that it will spring to life on its own and magically download a loud fart novelty ring tone and go off during some quiet introspective part of the concert, you feel the "compulsion" to dash it to the ground, stomp on the pieces and scatter the remains. Yep, I have OCD. But when friends ask me about my symptoms, it's hard to even remember them sometimes because I invited big pharma into my house and I'm virtually symptom free now. But at my husband's Master Chorale concert last night, I was amused to remember the feeling that makes me leave the cell in the car these days. Of course I have to check several times that it is in fact in the car, but at least I'm not coming close to breaking it.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Blowing Up Christmas Cheer

I don't know where the tradition began to decorate your house for Christmas. My guess is that people made decorations and hung them on the door to welcome their neighbors who might be stopping by for a glass of egg nog at any moment. And now? The trend is to put out giant inflatables that have to be staked and weighted and tied to the house so they stand up. In a pinch, you can use that sign telling your neighbors which security company is guarding your house as an additional ground stake. That way, your neighbors need only do a drive-by to see your Christmas cheer. Before you go throwing that bah humbug back in my face, let me say that I adore the holiday season, I put lights up on my house, my daughter believes in Santa, and I've got carpel tunnel syndrome from whipping out my credit cards. I'm as commercial as the next gal. But these giant things make houses look like department store displays. The personal touch is gone and I'm just a little bummed about it.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Putting the "Bah" back in "Humbug"

Long before "putting the Christ back in Christmas" became all the rage this year, another turn of phrase became popular -- "What Would Jesus Do?" Let's ask that now. Would Jesus tell us to boycott businesses that say "Happy Holidays" and instead spend all our money on consumer goods at "Christian" businesses while we celebrate a holiday that began with pagans but became his birthday celebration? Would Jesus like the fact that some of his followers are so incensed about being wished a happy holiday that they feel victimized, when there are plenty of other issues to spend their energy on like say, poverty and world hunger? Would Jesus listen to that song, "Christmas Shoes?" I'm your basic heathen so I am not in any position to answer these questions. But after wishing people a happy holiday after signing copies of my book for them in Sarasota, one lady hanging about was bothered enough to whisper about it to somebody else who remarked loudly enough for me to hear, "That's why I always say 'Merry Christmas' just as often as I can!" Sorry to have stepped on your Christian toes, ladies, but I stand by my decision to use a nice, inclusive greeting for people whose religious beliefs I can't possibly tell by looking at them. And you know what? I don't think Jesus would have minded.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Merry Christmas Sarasota

I am going to be at Borders Sarasota from 2:00 to 4:00 today signing copies of my novel. It's my first out-of-town book signing and I really don't know what to expect. If you're in Sarasota today, come by and say howdy. Cheers!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Mother of Pearl, Fire on the Poopdeck!

Here's another reason to add to the list in favor of living in Florida, where we don't have basements.

The Christmas Tree Doctor

He's ready to fix all these messed up trees. I like the droopy one second from the left -- Girlie says it was overwatered and that made it droop.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


"No doe of mine is going to be seen with a red-nosed reindeer!"

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

A life of its own

You know you've really made it as an author when your book appears at Wal

Girls pants have flies too...

Trying to prove that her pants today were actually made for boys (not true but she rarely wears pants with a zipper fly), Girlie unzipped her pants for some boys at school. And then, since she could see her underwear under there, she showed them those too. Why she did it in the classroom where it could get her in trouble, I have no idea.

At the fabulous Lyssa Morgan Gallery...

I was a guest and a vendor tonight at the Lyssa Morgan Gallery. If you haven't been there, go check out her collection. She has lots of work from lots of great artists. She also hosts lots of fun events that are also charity fundraisers. Tonight was ladies night and Toys For Tots was the beneficiary. I signed copies of my book and drooled over purses, accessories and of course, great art.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Girlie, there are better ways to protest...

My daughter goes to a Montessori school where she is in the equivalent of first grade. This week, because of dawdling, she had homework for the first time. She had to practice some spelling. Being good parents faced with a homework situation for the first time, we made her complete her work before she could watch television. That met with a lot of resistance but in the end, she did her work diligently and was done in no time. The next morning, still feeling bruised, she told us that "ever since I had to bring schoolwork home, my life has been ruined." Poor dear. My husband told her that she should remember how she felt and be sure to get all her work done at school. After she was dropped off, she took her final spelling test and then was supposed to collect up all her spelling work to put it in a folder. Instead, she crumpled it all up between her legs and scissor-stepped around the room telling the teacher to check out her new "buttsie pack." Hello Principal's office. Bad Mom confession: when she told me this story after school, I laughed my fool head off. Then of course I had to tell her that even though I was laughing, it was a terrible, rotten thing to have done at school. Yeah, like that lesson's gonna stick. Sorry Dr. Spock. On the same day, she had to apologize to the teacher and principal for perfuming the entire school. I'm not exactly sure what she was supposed to have been doing, but it involved making fragrant water with perfume and I guess she got carried away and triggered a bunch of people's perfume allergies even two doors down. I know she stank like a bomb had gone off at a perfume counter when we picked her up, and that was after she'd washed her arms. Girlie, Girlie, Girlie.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Gina, did you want the Barbie?

re: more me, me, me author stuff I just remembered that I also sent a copy of my book to Gina Vivinetto at TBT (operated by St. Pete Times). I haven't heard from her either but to be fair, that was pretty recent. Gina, if you read this, you should know that in the '80s I went to concerts by: Billy Idol, The Clash, Prince, Warren Zevon (twice), Thomas Dolby, and Neil Young, to name but a few. I'm not as cool as I used to be but it was easier to be cool when you had mile-high mall bangs.

Book Club Barbie Loves Parvenue...

Re: author stuff In my last post I thanked City Times for including me in their round-up of local authors. It made me reminisce about my early efforts to get a book review in the St. Pete Times. The Book Review Editor is Margo Hammond, a famousy sort of person who is also a "Book Babe" for Good Housekeeping. I sent her a galley, a copy of the finished book, emails, letters and yes, a Barbie doll that was dressed in a suit. I might have called her Smart Barbie. Sadly, I never heard a word back from Ms. Hammond. The Barbie might have put her off. When I was selling my book at the St. Petersburg Times Festival of Reading last October, the organizer came up and said she'd purchased my book at some sort of sale that they'd had at work. I guess I know where Margo's copy of PARVENUE ended up. I just wonder who got the Barbie?

St. Petersburg Times Coverage

Thank you Rick Gershman for the nice write up in today's City Times, the Tampa section of the St. Petersburg Times that comes out on Fridays. It was nice to see some attention given to all the mentioned local authors, not just me. Excerpts from the various books can be viewed online. The excerpt that they used for PARVENUE THROWS A PARTY is from the prologue where the main character is in junior high school. I promise you that the book is actually about grown-ups.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Enough with the lame cat photos

Pictures speak a thousand words so that's what I use when I'm busy putting a thousand words into my next novel. Obviously, I've been busy lately. Today, my buddy Tommy got the recognition he so deserves from the St. Petersburg Times. His Sticks of Fire blog is simply the most worthwhile blog in Tampa. Full disclosure: I contribute weekly to Sticks but his are the posts that make the blog worth reading. Tonight I'm going to hear Lisa Miscione, a great local writer of thrillers. She's well-known and well-published and still very nice to newbies like me. She'll be at the Safety Harbor Public Library at 6:30 this evening, December 8th. And now a question for somebody like Chase Squires of the St. Pete Times. Am I the only person who liked Threshold? Lost is my favorite television show but I always watched Threshold too.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Because Mindy did it.

And Mindy did it because two other bloggers did it. I don't know what happened to O. A: Area Code You Are In Right Now: 813 B: Birthday: March the 30th C: Current Crush: Ewan McGregor (whose isn’t?) D: Favorite Drink: Venti Soy Latte and Venti Red Wine E: Eating Currently: Just had Mexican. F: Favorite Food: Peanut Butter G: Who Do You Go To For Advice: Hubby and that British friend of mine H: Happy or Sad: Very happy. Typically happier than most. I: I think: I have the best job in the world. J: Job: You’re looking at it. Plus travel writing and my novel adventures. K: Any Kids: one, age 6 11/12. L: I Love: My fabulous family. M: Favorite Movie: Is Ewan in it? N: Your Phone Number: Unlisted. P: Favorite Perfume or Cologne: Elizabeth Arden Green Tea. Q: A Little Quirk About Yourself: I’m absolutely nuts about my dog. R: Last Road Trip: Last trip was to London but it wasn’t by road. S: Tell Us One Secret: I have obsessive/compulsive disorder. I’m washing my hands right now. T: Favorite TV Show: Lost. U: Color of your Underwear: Multi-stripe. V: Last Time You Were in Vegas: March. And April. W: Wishful Thinking: A big publisher. Hi Random House. X: X-Rays Taken This Year: Sinuses. They found bumps. Y: Your Favorite Year of your Life: The one I’m in. Z: Zodiac Sign: ARIES!

Appearing Today at Waldenbooks International Plaza

Come say "hi." I'll be at Waldenbooks Int'l Plaza from 2:00 to 4:00.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

The Jambon's connected to the . . .

Funny bone. Sorry, my coffee maker is broken and my venti soy latte is still too hot to drink. This morning Girlie brought in her book about France to discuss our trip in January. She's remarkably excited. She wants to practice ordering a ham sandwich in french (thus the title of the post). Anybody who knows my Girlie knows that new situations are tough on her. But I guess the near constant traveling we've done during her short lifetime has made a trip to France seem exciting rather than dangerous. (If any of you tells her about the rioting I swear I'll punish you.) She won't play sports involving balls (too dangerous), she won't ride a bike (too dangerous), she panics at loud noises, she's already decided that she's going to adopt because childbirth sounds too tricky, and don't even ask her about roller skates. BUT, ask her to spend 12 hours in airports and airplanes flying off to very different time zones where you have to say sok jablkovy (or something close to that in Poland) to order apple juice, and she's as cool as a cucumber. She's unbelievably good on airplanes and at fancy foreign restaurants. She loves art museums and we can spend hours in foreign grocery stores looking at food labels. She's Mini Me!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Only for the hardy

International travel can be grueling at times. To make sure that you are up for it, you have to pass the "get your child a passport" test. It doesn't matter that your child is in fact renewing an old passport, you still have to show up at the passport office with: both parents or one parent and an oath sworn in blood in front of some stranger with a stamp from the government; the child's old passport; the child; proof of parenthood (some umbilical cord will do); identification of your own; and a completed application. Oh, and don't forget the money. Lots of it. Especially if you are traveling any time in the following two years and therefore need expedited service. The last thing that you need is time (and the ability to hang on for dear life to the number you ripped off the dispenser because without it you're toast). However long they tell you the wait might be, triple it. We're talking hours here, dear. Just try to find a time when both parents can be off work, the child can be out of school or not in one of too many scheduled activities, and you are flush at the bank. Good luck, I bid you. Today, my family triumphed and in January we are going to France. We just have to count on the post office making delivery as promised. Right at Christmas. Good Lord, we're doomed.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Friday, November 25, 2005

And I've tried to get on Oprah...

More on the book promotion front. Everybody tells me to send a copy of my book to Oprah. Nice thought but really, they must receive millions of unsolicited texts from around the world since Oprah started making authors famous. Even if I could hand deliver a copy of my novel to Oprah herself, I think it's unlikely that she would "pick" it for her show. It's not that my novel isn't fabulous, it's that it's not gloomy enough. But there are other ways to skin a cat. I found at a suggestion box of sorts to get your story on Oprah. I've been waiting 36 years for this moment. 36 years ago, when I was six, my girlfriend across the street moved to California. She's been my pen pal ever since. We haven't spoken on the phone (except for once in fifth grade) or seen each other or even exchanged email addresses. But twice a year, more or less, we correspond the old fashioned way via snail mail. Pen pals for 36 years! Are there others out there like us? I would love to see my friend again after all this time but don't you think moment like that should be captured on Oprah? I hope her producers do. And then I might just have to mention a certain little novel...

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Jennifer? Can you hear me?

This is what authors do. They write loads and loads of emails to famous authors hoping that one of them will take a look at their book and supply them with what's called a "blurb." I don't mean a big time review. I just mean one of those little quotes that you can then slap on your book cover and other promotional materials. I just wrote to Jennifer Weiner. But I've written to lots of authors in my genre and some who are not. The most helpful author so far has been one who writes thrillers. She's right when she says that a blurb from her doesn't make much sense for my book but she's been really, really awesome with advice. Incidentally, I had an email conversation with Jennifer Weiner a couple of years ago before my book was published. I hope she remembers me now that it is published! Stay tuned. When I'm not emailing famous people, I'm stalking local celebrities. Okay, not really, but I'm sure that's what Nancy Alexander thought when I caught up with her in Sam's Club and handed her a book. Luckily, I've got some good press coming out soon so maybe I can use that to my advantage when contacting other authors for blurbs. I'll let you know.

What I'm thankful for this year...

Little girlies that like to fish. My hubba hubba hubby. Pets, extended family, et al. Fabulous friends. Good health. Good books. And about a gazillion other things. Life is good.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Happy Tuesday

I'm almost done reading The Historian (it's thick). On December 1, I'll be posting my remarks about the book at Tampa Book Buzz. I have resisted reading any other reviews or comments about the book. I'll say this much so far: it is hard to put down (and not just because it's heavy). Lisa Ciurro (of Tampa Book Buzz) has a book club for anyone to join. Check out the details at her site. The Historian was this month's pick.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Aurora Aravena -- You're a Star!

This post is all about my niece, Aurora. She felt slighted that I didn't give her an acknowledgment in the front of my novel where it appears I acknowledge pretty much most of Tampa. So I would just like everybody to take a moment and think about how great my niece Aurora is. Thanks. As you were.

One hot dish

No, not me. That's what I asked a bunch of people to bring to my daughter's school's Thanksgiving Feast. Truthfully, I asked for a few cold dishes too. The Feast was last Friday and I just want to say thanks to everybody who participated. Planning a pot luck for 150 people is no picnic but it came off very well and we all left with full tummies. What we didn't eat went to a great charity. So thanks again, everybody!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Best Job in the World is . . .

A cop. That was the most popular answer from the six classes of second-graders I got to visit for the Great American Teach-in today. Next most popular was dentist because I kept following the visits by somebody in that profession. Finally, a few bright brown-nosers offered up author as the best job in the world. That's what I was there to talk about. I'm just glad I didn't follow the veterinarian who brought dogs -- that would be a tough act to follow. I brought dictionaries. I told them that the best job in the world is one that you love. I do love writing but after looking at all those adorable faces, even the little guy who decided to give his hair a trim during my talk, I can see why teachers love their job. I can't wait for next year's Teach-in.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Where's the love?

Re: publishing Did you get a newsletter from "The Independent Bookstore" today? I did too. I love independent bookstores and I try to support independent businesses. I have one! Their newsletter was all about supporting independent business in the area, especially this Saturday. Great! Then they listed their November book picks. Nine out of twelve were published by large publishing houses - not independents. Call it sour grapes, because that's what it is, but why didn't they use this newsletter to support independently published novels, such as ... mine of course? I'm getting lots of support from my local Borders and Barnes & Noble (thanks guys). Borders even has a stack of Parvenue Throws A Party on their New Paperbacks table. I'm having my third signing with Borders next month in Sarasota and I'll be at South Tampa Barnes & Noble in January. "The Independent Bookstore" carries my book on consignment, two at a time on a shelf in fiction. I appreciate them carrying the title but it's funny that major chains have done much more for me than the only independent bookstore in town. Go figure.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Not my pajamas, but...

Tommy over at Sticks got recognized while shopping at a yard sale in his pajamas. Hah! Or so I would laugh if I hadn't been recognized while purchasing dictionaries at the local Barnes & Noble this morning. Old jeans, even older faded pink tee, and a full array of drips and spills from my morning making Chicken Marbella and Pumpkin Curry Soup for tomorrow night's book club meeting at my house. Orange curry stains look bad on light pink and it was all I could think about while talking to the brand new Community Relations Manager at the Barnes & Noble branch where I shop. "Tell me about yourself," she said. "I was making curry soup," I wanted to say. Then I felt dumb for fretting about my looks but now I feel okay because ultra-cool Mr. Sticks fretted about his pajamas. Hah.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Certificates of Achievement

I'm so proud of my Girlie. She tried going Exorcist on us. She tried the sympathy cry. She tried everything to get out of participating in the activities at her school's three day retreat run by the awesome Pathfinder organization. But in the end, she tried. And then she tried again. And by the end of the three days, her objections before each activity lasted only a few minutes or even seconds. Throughout the three days, kids earned certificates of achievement for doing the right thing, be it helping others, picking up trash, spotting wildlife, etc. Girlie got hers for "Not Afraid to Try." And along the way, at least five other kids got theirs for helping Girlie during a melt-down. So she was a facilitator as well. Way to go!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Re: Publishing

I placed an ad. Against all advice from people who have reason to know, I placed an ad. The wisdom in the self-publishing world seems to be that an ad just won't create many sales. Granted they were probably talking about print ads. But I'm hoping that this will be different. I placed an ad on The Mommy Blog for a month. It's the kind that you can click on and get directed to my author site, where you can then purchase an autographed copy or click on over to Amazon if you prefer. Furthermore, The Mommy Blog posted a very nice discussion of my book recently (along with a picture of the cover) so there should be some familiarity with the viewers. I'm watching my website traffic carefully to see if there's a bump. I'll let you know.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Adopt a Greyhound

These adorable dogs, and other retired racers, are available for adoption from Bay Area Greyhound Adoptions, Inc. Check out their website!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Tampa Writer's Alliance

Re: Writing Last night I attended another meeting of the Tampa Writer's Alliance. I've been a member for about half a year and it's been very satisfying. Last night our speaker was science fiction author, Dr. Rick Wilbur. He's a prof at USF in mass communications. I don't write science fiction. I don't even read much science fiction (some fantasy and the occasional horror bit), but he gives a good talk that is relevant to beginners in any category. His most important message? If you're going to write, you need to read. And then read some more. And then read a whole lot more. He was preaching to the choir. I'm a book junkie. Now log off and go pick up a book. How about The Cold Road, Wilbur's latest? And consider dropping by a meeting of TWA on the first Wednesday of every month at the something something Germany library in downtown Tampa. See you there!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Only in Florida -- where python meets gator.

Monday, October 31, 2005

When Bloggers Collide

I got to meet the fabulous Lisa Ciurro of Tampa Book Buzz at the St. Pete Times Festival of Reading. That's me on the left.

Eat my dust, L. Ron

Re: writing and publishing If what I overheard is true, my book outsold Dianetics at the St. Pete Times Festival of Reading. Their booth was in the same tent as mine (along with Healed by Jesus and another company with religious books). Of course that's not saying much. I wasn't the only vendor who was disappointed by the lack of foot traffic. I can't speak to the event as a whole because I was stuck peddling my novel at my Hoyden Press booth but it looked like there was a pretty good turnout. The book signing lines for Carl Hiaasen and R.L. Stine were tremendous. But the crowds were not funneled in any way throught the vendor tents. Considering how much money we had to contribute to be there, they'll need to fix that for next year. Of course next year I will be among the featured authors!

Friday, October 28, 2005

And Mommy

I gave my Girlie some old business cards that had outdated phone numbers, etc. They say, "Wendy Boucher, Author." Girlie took a whole bunch of them and made them say, "Wendy Boucher, Author and Mommy." Ahhh. Then she went and asked Dad why I hadn't made them correctly in the first place.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

One of These Things is Not Like the Other

Re: writing and publishing Saturday is the St. Pete Times Festival of Reading. I just found out that my company, Hoyden Press, which published my novel, PARVENUE THROWS A PARTY, will be sharing a tent with Healed by Jesus, Hubbard's Dianetics et al., and JNC Publishing (cultural, religious, children). I'm thinking of wearing a devil costume.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

My Book Cover (so pretty)

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Book Blogs

Re: writing and publishing Anybody who knows me knows about Tampa Book Buzz. Now I'm starting to find some other great book blogs such as Myki After Dark. I'm always on the lookout for great book related blogs so feel free to make suggestions!

St. Pete Times Festival of Reading

Re: writing and publishing I'm very excited about this weekend's Festival of Reading in St. Petersburg at the USF campus. I'll be there in the vendor plaza. It's a great event for the whole family. I'm bringing my six year old. Next year -- if it kills me -- I'm going to be one of the featured authors. There are many but I was not even permitted to apply because I own Hoyden Press, the publisher of my novel, Parvenue Throws A Party. Funny how that works. If my mom owned the company, or if it was any one of the other small publishers in the US, no problem (I could at least apply). The Festival has automatically weeded out anybody who is self-published. Now before you jump on the bandwagon and say that you can't blame them -- I ask you how often you have picked up a paperback at the airport and it turned out to be the lousiest book you ever read? Did you know that a lot of well-regarded books started out like mine? Why would a newspaper, of all sponsors, decide to let other publishing houses decide who is worthy to even consider? It's not sour grapes. My book is doing very well. You'll find it in a lot of stores where you don't normally find many self-published books: Borders and Barnes & Noble for example. It doesn't look self-published (whatever that means -- I just hear it a lot). In fact my printer, United Graphics, is probably going to pick up some extra business thanks to all the people who have asked me who did the printing. It's exciting to be part of this business and as I open my eyes about publishing, I want to share what I find with all of you.

Girls and their horses

Girls love horses. Just check out the comments on my latest post at Sticks of Fire.

Monday, October 24, 2005

My notes on The Notebook, by Nicholas Sparks

Cloying. I'll be sharing a more developed review with my Tampa Book Buzz online book club on Monday, October 31. If you like to read, consider contacting the wonderful Ms. Lisa Ciurro at Tampa Book Buzz about joining the site's online club. Next month we are reading The Historian.


My little girlie recently visited MOSI's exhibit called "Bodies." For those of you who don't live in Tampa, MOSI is a hands-on science museum and the Bodies exhibit is just what it sounds like; an exhibit of people's bodies and parts thereof, including demonstrations about how various internal operations work. Real bodies, scientifically preserved. Girlie loved the exhibit BUT there were a few preserved fetuses on display and one of the fetuses had a cleft palate. The fetuses didn't bother her. Just that hole where the undeveloped baby's mouth should be. Yesterday, we received a request for a charitable donation to a foundation that helps babies born with cleft palates receive corrective surgery. Girlie jumped right on it and decided to donate six dollars (a whopping sum for a six year old). I told her I was proud and she was happy but then she explained: "Those babies freak me out. I donated the money so that they can fix all those babies' mouths." So she made a nice donation for totally selfish reasons. I'm always being reminded that she's six.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Go Matt Winter at the Green Iguana!

I just have to give my hearty thanks to singer/guitar player Matt Winter -- a regular at the original Green Iguana on S. Westshore on Sundays where we are regular eaters. He's an awesome singer and a great sport. Little Missy loves to request Jimmy Buffet tunes and tonight, Matt invited her up to sing a song into the microphone. She picked "Home on the Range" and did a bang-up job, with Matt's accompaniment. Thanks, Matt, very much!

You have to check this out.

Look at my new friend Mindy's blog (where more than a million people have gone before you). It's called "The Mommy Blog" and as it turns out, Mommy has very good taste in literature!

Friday, October 21, 2005

You're going down, mister.

Little Missy takes swimming lessons at this great place that everybody in South Tampa seems to patronize. At her last lesson, she got mad when one of the male instructors lifted her out of the water during play time and spun her around. I couldn't hear her but I could see her get out of the water and shake her finger at the instructor. When she was released to me at the end of class, I asked what she'd said. They told me she was upset with the instructor and had told him: "You're going down." Such a tough little 6 year old. She likes Dora and The Little Einsteins but somehow I suspect her favorite show, Spongebob, is the culprit here.

Could you hear me over in Brandon?

I'd like to think it's one of those "When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen" phenomenons but really it's one of those, "wow, you have a really loud voice" kind of situations. I go to writer's conferences and the like since I am, in fact, a writer. Invariably, I'll introduce myself to someone at one of those nice receptions that they have in the evening and that person will say, "I know who you are, I heard you talking at lunch." Huh? I don't know why I'm always surprised. I think I just get even more wound up than usual when I'm in a crowd. I am attending a conference this weekend in Tampa and already it's been pointed out to me that I have a lot of energy. An interesting comment subject to several interpretations, I know. I choose to take it as a compliment. I love what I do and that makes me both good at it and loud about it. But I promise to keep it down after 11:00 pm.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Wendy on Wilma

A first for me in ten years. I bought refundable airline tix for me and my family in case Hurricane Wilma heads to Tampa as a Cat 4 or worse. I also bought stuff at Sam's Club in case Hurricane Wilma heads to Tampa as a Cat 3 or less. The upshot? We are now hurricane proof here in Tampa now that I'm so prepared. You can thank me later (I hope).

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

This is the picture that I want to put in the upper-right hand corner of this site but I can't do it. If anybody knows how to use Picasa or Hello, please let me know. Thanks! Posted by Picasa

The Good? Mommy

Re: writing Yes, regarding writing -- as in, I can now relax and write. After asking my daughter if she thought that yelling and screaming was a good way to get what she wants ("Nooooo....") I got her to agree to go to sleep with a glass of milk (she wanted another 3-course meal) but first I had to figure out something: Her: "Oh no, now I'm worried about Santa!!!" Me: (thinking that somehow the man in the red suit has been identified as a stranger): "What about Santa?" Her: "I've been mean and he won't bring me any presents!" Bawling, sobbing, etc. Me (suckered as usual): "Santa knows that you are a good girl almost all of the time. He'll just say, 'Gee that Little Missy was in a bad mood on Tuesday, October 18.' and he'll chuckle and plan to bring you lots of what you want." Her: "Ahh, I love you Mommy." Me: "I know that even when you're being a Bambaloo, you love me. Don't you worry about that. I love you more than anything." Hugs, kisses, and in the end, yes, she got her way for the most part because she was demanding food and I gave her drink and really, what's the diff? But now I can write.
RE: writing I do not have writer's block. I have writer's ... incontinence. I'm well into the sequel to my first novel and it's better, funnier, yadda yadda. I'm also well into several travel articles, blog posts, website updates and agent pitches. I want to write, write, write. But what am I doing instead? I'm planning my daughter's Salvadore Dali costume for her class's Halloween presentation; planning her snake costume for Halloween trick-0r-treating (we are going to add in the alligator legs sticking out); helping her with plans for both a class retreat and Brownie camp-out; helping her with her travel journal from our trip to Texas; and right at this moment, I'm trying to ignore her yelling from her bedroom that I don't like her anymore and that she's surely going to die of hunger and that I don't have a good attitude. Wait... she says she is starting to starve ... she's warning me -- I'm not a good mommy... she doesn't love me or like me (this is real time folks)... I'm not her mommy anymore... I'm a bad, bad, bad mommy... I don't follow the mommy law that says that mommy's always give their children what they want. Oops, now she's threatening to hit me in the head if I don't follow the mommy law. OR ELSE!!! The creative juices will have to stay in the bottle a little bit longer. Bye folks.

The Bad Mommy

RE: writing I do not have writer's block. I have writer's ... incontinence. I'm well into the sequel to my first novel and it's better, funnier, yadda yadda. I'm also well into several travel articles, blog posts, website updates and agent pitches. I want to write, write, write. But what am I doing instead? I'm planning my daughter's Salvadore Dali costume for her class's Halloween presentation; planning her snake costume for Halloween trick-0r-treating (we are going to add in the alligator legs sticking out); helping her with plans for both a class retreat and Brownie camp-out; helping her with her travel journal from our trip to Texas; and right at this momen, I'm trying to ignore her yelling from her bedroom that I don't like her anymore and that she's surely going to die of hunger and that I don't have a good attitude. Wait... she says she is starting to starve ... she's warning me -- I'm not a good mommy... she doesn't love me or like me (this is real time folks)... I'm not her mommy anymore... I'm a bad, bad, bad mommy... I don't follow the mommy law that says that mommy's always give their children what they want. Oops, now she's threatening to hit me in the head if I don't follow the mommy law. OR ELSE!!! The creative juices will have to stay in the bottle a little bit longer. Bye folks.

Today at Sticks of Fire

I posted about ethanol today at Sticks of Fire. Yawn. Just kidding. I was interested to see that there was (at least a year ago) a look-see into making ethanol out of orange peels here in Fla. What a great idea. I hope it works and is ecologically sound and cheap and all that important stuff. Then maybe when I finally get a Prius, it will run on electricity, gas, and/or ethanol. Now if I could only fuel a car by stuffing the tank with the leftover cookies I bought when I had a sweet tooth at the store and then regretted later having them around the kitchen.

Friday, October 14, 2005

I remember, I remember

I've been in San Antonio, TX this week. I really enjoyed the history talk at the Alamo. I confess I always thought that it was a bunch of hard-headed fools who held out there for no good reason. But history seems to indicate that they were a bunch of hard-headed fools who held out there for very good reason: they had little other choice. As for the rest of San Antonio -- I'm a little underwhelmed. It's so geared towards tourists that the entire downtown seems to be comprised of hotels and restaurants blaring country western music and serving Mexican food. There's a store selling "jackalopes" at every corner. I think that the over-the-top, this-is-Texas approach is unnecessary. Our resort blares country western music from hidden speakers all over the property. You can't float around the lazy river without being reminded that you're in Texas, darn it. I'm looking forward to my return to Florida where we wouldn't dream of overplaying our image (yeah right).

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Future Hostile Take-overist

At the San Antonio Museum of Art: Little Missy to cashier at gift shop: "How much are these?" (holding up a small package of stretchy snakes) Cashier: "I don't know why don't we look it up?" Little Missy: "Because if it isn't $1.00, I ain't buying it."

Friday, October 07, 2005

The Globulist

In another installment of our ongoing discussion about religion, my daughter has decided that she is a Globulist (stay tuned for change -- last week she was a "Traditionalist" meaning that she didn't want to have any religion but she did want to celebrate family traditions like, uhm, Christmas). I'll explain globulism in a second. But first a little background. Around our house, religion doesn't play much of a role except for these existential conversations that I have with Little Missy (age 6, by the way). I think that it is up to Little Missy to choose what she believes and so we discuss all kinds of religion possibilities at our house. Yesterday, she asked me if there couldn't be both God and evolution too. (I swear she reads the news.) Her reasoning was that something must have created the cells from which evolution spun out. So God made cells and evolution took it from there. She's a thinker (yay). When we revisited the topic today, I asked her who made God. "He just formed." "So why couldn't the cells just form?" "You just want me to only believe in evolution." She's a thinker (yay). "No," I said, "you know I what I think. You get to believe what you want to believe." "Well, God was made from globs of air that kept getting pressed together until they formed a body and a head and that was God." "So you're a Globulist?" "Yes. Now let me tell you about ghosts." But I think I'll save that topic for closer to Halloween.

Texas Hold'em

Re: Travel I'm going to San Antonio and Austin on Sunday for a week with my family. If you wish to recommend a good place to eat, by all means please do.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Take me to the Glass Forest

Proving that they are actually aliens, my pets attempt to form the symbol from the TV show, Threshold.

A Laughing Matter

Did I really see that? Heading south on I-275 from USF to downtown, there is a billboard sign for a funeral home with a tag line that says something like, Celebrate Life. All good. But the image is of a way too happy woman laughing at ... You tell me?

Tampa Writers Alliance

Last night I attended the monthly meeting of Tampa Writers' Alliance. It meets on the first Wednesday of each month at the downtown Tampa library (German something). Warner Conarton gave a great talk about using the Karpman triangle (victim, rescuer, persecutor), a psychotherapy theory, when plotting. I guess you had to be there. And really, you ought to be there if you are a writer in the Tampa area. It's a great, eclectic group of writers supporting writers. Next month the topic will be science fiction writing. Look for the Tampa Writers' Alliance booth (and the Hoyden Press/Parvenue Throws A Party booth) at the St. Pete Times Festival of Reading on October 29.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Link to my Sticks of Fire post

Click here to see my post at Sticks of Fire. There are lots of comments already!

London Pix

re: Travel To view a few more of my London photos, click here.

Look At the Last Post Entitled Alison Lapper Pregnant

Re: Travel In Trafalgar Square in London, there now resides a beautiful, controversial, powerful, moving piece of art: Alison Lapper Pregnant. It sits on the Fourth Plinth and will be there until sometime in 2007. It was just unveiled a couple of weeks ago. For more about the artist and the real-life subject of the sculpture, check out this article. For my snapshot, see the last post. It really is amazing.

Alison Lapper Pregnant

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Hi to Tampa Book Buzz fans too!

Thanks for the notice, Lisa of Tampa Book Buzz and Tampa Film Fan fame. And hello to those of you who popped over for a look.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Hola friends from Sticks of Fire!

Hi to those of you who popped over to pay me a visit today after Tommy made my introduction on his site. I'm sending him a post tomorrow for Sticks of Fire from my London trip (which technically I'm still on because I'm still in transit as we speak). I'm delighted to collaberate with the Sticks of Fire gang because I too love all things Tampa. Chat with you soon. Wendy

Don't forget the motor city

Re: me I'm sitting in the Detroit airport on my way home to Tampa from London. Can I just say that London is my favorite city? Yes I can. London is my favorite city. On this trip I did some research for my next novel and I got to see Ewen McGregor in Guys and Dolls. He really is not a great singer but he looks good and his rendition of Luck Be A Lady had me swooning. My hotel was a bit dodgy, to say the least. As you opened the door it smacked into the bed. When you sat on the toilet, your left foot was in the shower. High on one wall was a hole that looked suspiciously like a bullet hole. Oh, and my door had a very flimsy little handle lock so I felt compelled to lodge a chair in front of it so that the three sozzled blokes who overheard me asking for my room key couldn't try to pay me a visit. And London is still my favorite city. Next time, however, I may not jump at the too-good-to-be-true bargain package offered on Travelocity. The upside to having paid next to nothing for my hotel? I could afford high tea at the Savoy, two shows, one tour bus, shopping at Harrod's, and a bunch of other stuff on my whirlwind weekend abroad. Life is good.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

London Calling

Re: Travel What a week. One minute I'm in a four vehicle smash-up and the next, well I'm off to London for a long weekend. Quite unexpected really. My friend H., a Brit, is off to celebrate her Mum's birthday in London and at the last minute, I'm going too. Me. Just me. A third of my next novel revolves around London so a little refresher was in order anyway. I got to live in London for six months several years ago and I've been back with my hubby and child for a two week visit but I've never been to London with just the girls. Can't wait. Very supportive of my husband after his car got smunched. Oh, and I have an assignment. Sticks of Fire's new guest reporter (moi) has been asked to watch for Tampa links whilst abroad. Aye, aye. Cheerio, Tampa.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

How Does He Do It?

Re: Blogs I'm new to blogging (obviously I guess). I haven't told anybody about my blog just yet although I did put up a link from my website at Curiously enough, Tommy from Sticks Of Fire (a Weekly Planet pick and one of my faves) found my blog anyway. Could it be that he can tell when somebody's put up a link to his site? Tommy? Are you out there? Is Big Brother watching me? Do you have the technology? Can you tell me how?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Why Wait?

Re: Family Little Missy (6 1/2) said recently: "I'm going to get married someday so I might as well start liking boys now." stamp, stamp, stamp ... That's the sound of me running from the room screaming (silently) Okay, I didn't run and I didn't scream and I didn't laugh in spite of the various urges. I decided to be encouraging because this is the same girl who last week decided that she didn't love G. anymore because he'd said to her, "Your loving me is ruining my life." Admit it, you would have been crushed in her situation. She was simply matter-of-fact. She brushed off her hands and thought about her next love candidate. Watch out boys.

A New Review of Parvenue

Re: Author stuff Gabi Lorino, a fabulous judge of great literature and a fellow local author, just sent me this review. How great! Read the review and go check out her site. Book Review for Parvenue Throws a Party by Wendy Boucher The angst and awkwardness we know as preteens can follow us well into adulthood, as Wendy Boucher’s heroine, Janice Darcy, shows in “Parvenue Throws a Party.”Janice knows what it’s like to be on the outside, looking in. She’s never really belonged to the glittering circles that she’s admired, although she has hung out on the fringes enough to learn their rules and ways. Armed with this information, she becomes a “consultant” to newcomers in the SOK (South of Kennedy) wonderland. When her attempts to mix with these SOK types lead to more and more embarrassing party debacles, she has to reassess her priorities and decide what’s really important! Told in an easy and fun style, we get to see Janice reevaluate her life and choose substance over glitter. -Gabi Lorino, author of “The Independent Woman’s Guide to Life”

A Little History

re: Publishing Always a can-do kind of girl, I set out this year with a resolution to get Parvenue Throws A Party into print. I had previously let a very nice agent take a look at it, read it several times and after keeping me on pins and needles for a LOOOONG time (or so it seemed), ultimately pass on the project. Then I let a very nice editor at a very nice publishing company take a look at it, hold on to it for a LOOOONG time (or so it seemed), and ultimately pass on it because it was just a little too sarcastic for her imprint. Sarcastic? Who me? So rather than hit the four hundred zillion other agents and publishers up for a look-see only to die a shriveled and unpublished old hag at age 96, I decided to publish the darn thing myself. I would say the war on publishing officially began in February when I incorporated Hoyden Press, LLC. Prior to that, I spent some time deciding that Print-on-Demand wasn't going to work for me. (A story for another day, I promise.) Some definitions: A "parvenue" is an upstart in the bad sense, somebody who makes a claim of importance without having earned it. There was another lesson for me here too. I put the definition, "A female upstart" on the cover of my book which is entirely correct. But it turns out that on the street and in real life, the word "upstart" has developed a positive connotation. Oops. Nobody told me or Merriam Webster. Anyway, calling somebody a parvenue is a bit of a put-down. Finally, a "Hoyden" is a girl who behaves boisterously. Enough said.

Another victory in the war

I found out yesterday that Barnes & Noble has put my book in their warehouses. Wowee! That means it is easily available to any B&N store in the universe. And South Tampa B&N is going to keep my book in stock for awhile. Wowee number two.

Monday, September 26, 2005

I was just in a car wreck

Re: Me This afternoon, a red car hit a black car which hit me right into the back of a city bus. No obvious injuries except to the cars. Mine is probably totalled. Although it was really my husband's car. And wouldn't you just know it. I've been looking for any excuse to dump my old Mom-van for a hybrid Prius and today I happened to be driving Hubby's car, a practically brand new luxury sedan. So he'll get a new new car and I'm still stuck with the Mom-van. ugh. The interesting thing is that after the accident, I realized that I had no idea what I should do. Call the cops? Call my insurance company? Cry? I opted for calling my husband because somebody else was calling the cops. And I learned that one should never travel without a cell phone. Thank you Verizon!

Re Author and Publi

Re:  Author and Publisher Stuff

On Friday night I was the privileged guest of a most awesome book club in Pinellas County.  I’ve visited a few book clubs now and it’s always fun – if you have a book club, feel free to read my book and invite me to chat.  I love it.  This group was especially dynamic and they even gave me a present.  Boy do I feel like a big shot.  It made up for my frustrations earlier in the day.

Note change from Author hat to Publisher hat.

On the same day that I filled an order for a bunch of books to one of my book distributor’s warehouses, that same warehouse inexplicably returned five books.  My book is made from great quality paper stock but even the best doesn’t endure multiple mailings all that well.  And as much as I enjoy paying a fortune to ship my books from state to state, I don’t wish to do it over and over for no apparent reason.  This morning I spoke with my buyer (a super nice woman that actually returns phone calls) and she had no idea why the return happened.  She shows demand for books from that warehouse.  Anyway, she said she would place a magic spell on the computer so that the warehouses can’t return any of my books prior to January 1st.  Another battle won in the war on publishing.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Re: Family

A conversation today between me and Little Missy about learning to ride a bike (She's six). Me: "Sometimes things seem scary when you haven't learned how to do them well yet. Remember when you were afraid to climb on the playground equipment? Then you learned how and now you think it's really fun." Little Missy: "So?" Me: "So when you learn how to ride a bike properly, you'll think it's fun." Little Missy: "And when you learn how to poke your thumb with a needle properly, you'll think that's fun." Pause, "And then you'll learn how to eat grass properly, and that will be fun too."

Friday, September 23, 2005

Re: Me

I have been informed that any self-respecting author these days has a blog. Never one to sneeze at shameless self promotion, I am offering up my attempt at a blog. Going forward, I expect to write about 1) my book, my travel writing, and all things authorly 2) my family because in a pinch, my six-year-old always offers up material and 3) anything else that comes to mind. Before I even get started, let me link you to a few of my favorite blogs so far: Sticks of Fire , Tampa Book Buzz , and The Mommy Blog. I swear to you, I read those blogs every single day. I also read a lot of books and at least one newspaper every day. My favorite book that I've read lately is Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood. And that makes me think of a funny anecdote. I'm at a writers conference and one of my favorite authors, Margaret Atwood, is the keynote speaker. She's a small woman with a shawl and she sat as she spoke, the microphone aimed down from the nearby podium. Much to my surprise, she's a laugh riot. She has a slow, dry delivery and a Canadian sense of humor. I was reminded at the time about my similar surprise the year Salman Rushdie gave the keynote address. He was funny too. Fast forward to me standing at the end of the book signing line clutching my copy of Oryx and Crake and getting sweaty palms about meeting one of my author heroes. It's finally my turn and being me, I get tongue-tied and star-struck and blurt out to Ms. Atwood, "You are funnier than Salman Rushdie." Imagine the look on her face, not having had any context given for the comment. She actually made some sort of reply but by then the sound of blood rushing in my ears drowned out all sound. I just pushed my book across the table, got my autograph and skulked away. Remind me to tell you about other celebrity run-ins sometime. Ciao.

Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3 . . .

This post is just a simple test of my new blog. If you were so lucky as to stumble across this site, then WELCOME!