Sunday, May 28, 2006

Many Miles Shall Ye Travel

And so we did. It was a movin' sort of weekend from Thurs at 4:30 a.m. until last night at 9:00 p.m. We started our tour in the fair city of Richmond at Creatures n Crooks for a book signing Thurs night. It'd been a long drive (over 8 hrs.) but we caught some food, a nap and had a brain by the time we reached the book store. Got to meet Leila and Hamilton, the store cat. Hamilton wasn't too interested in us, he was waiting for Tony Ruggerio. Tony is his favorite even though Tony isn't that fond of cats. Once a cat knows that, you're doomed.

Tony was dressed in a sharp-looking tux, Tee in his pirate garb. Hubby and I were in full Victorian (hot). (Mental note -- write characters who wear less clothes). I finally got to meet Tony's daugher, Alex. She has a dry sense of humor I can appreciate (like her dad). Tee (Morris) was in his usual fine form and taped a podcast during the signing. We had about 10 folks present, did an impromptu 'panel' and then signed books. Lots of fun!

Tony's newest book (Alien Deception) debuted at the signing and it's a beaut. Aliens in the White House... hummm... After the signing the gents (and Alex) were off to Balticon. Hubby and I headed south so that we could be in Columbia, SC by Saturday afternoon.

Aliens & Alibis have two stores cats -- Serena and Bertie. Welcomed by Deb and Gary (the owners) we opted not to put on full Victorian garb as the day had turned downright blistering. Again we had about ten folks in, chit-chatted about books, life and the universe and had a good time. Aliens & Alibis was about to pack their books into boxes and move into a new space, so I was the last signing at their old location.

All in all, a grand weekend. Since we got home on Sat evening, we plan on spending the rest of the holiday weekend doing little odd jobs around the house, grilling a few pieces of dead bovine and kicking back. I'm hoping I get to return to both cities sometime down the line and visit Leila, Deb & Gary again. They treated this author very well.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Fiddling While Rome Burns

You gotta love your elected officials. It's either that or you'll be reduced to tears.

Two burning issues were addressed this week in Washington --

A Senate vote to ensure that English is the official language of the USA

Taking the first steps to amend the Constitution to ensure that marriage is a union between a man and a woman

Riveting stuff, that. I was really worried that foreign gay folks were going to run out and get hitched in their native language. Definitely a threat to our democracy and the 'sanctity of marriage.'

You folks are pandering again. The only danger to the sanctity of marriage is divorce. But since some of you are really troubled by a same sex couples marrying, give those folks the right to a civil union. If it's a sin, it'll get sorted out by the Head Office. If not, it's none of your business.

English the official language of the country? That's a no-brainer. It is. Yes, there are pockets of this country that speak another language. But the language of commerce is English. I expect those who come here from somewhere else to learn the language. That doesn't mean I expect you to be fluent or forget yours. Being bilingual is a leg-up in the world. I've never achieved that what with my smattering of French and Russian. If I had intended to stay longer in Hong Kong, I would have fried my brain trying to learn Cantonese.

If I ever settle in a foreign country, I will learn the language. That's the way it should be. However, that country does not need to waste time and money passing a law that tells me that Outer Googlesnap's Official Language is Marzipan. Unlike our elected officials, I suspect the Gogglesnappians will have more sense.

Friday, May 12, 2006

We, the People...

The average American is not a happy camper. I won't relate the litany of reasons why, but deep in their hearts they know things need to change. No, this isn't a diatribe against Washington.

This is one citizen's list of suggestions to make America a strong and decent country.

1) No one should be able to skirt our laws and not be in jail. Doesn't matter if you live in the White House or a third-floor walkup in Manhattan. The laws are there for a purpose. Use them.

2) Stop wrapping yourself in your religion. The more you tout your piety, the more you prove yourself a hypocrite. If you want to be a moral and decent person, walk the walk. Everything else is just sound bites and photo ops.

2) To the Democrats -- grow some balls, people. Ditto for some of you Republicans. I hold all of you as responsible as the people at the top. You let them have their merry way because you were too afraid you'd not get re-elected next time. Well, that's likely to happen anyway. So get with the program...

And the program is?

WE, the people, are you employers. WE pay your salaries and WE expect competent, caring leadership. If you accept bribes, you're gone. If you pay fast and loose with our nation's laws, you're gone. If we wanted leaders like you, we'd move to Iraq. We have a Constitution for a reason. Let's use it. It worked great for the first 200+ years. Nothing in the world is different (yes, there were terrorists even then) so there is no reason to tinker with the system.

And now to my neighbors -- get involved, people. Pay attention to who is running for office. Ask questions and demand answers. These officials will be holding your life and that of your children in their hands for years to come. Think that's a bit dramatic? Just remember the folks in New Orleans or the soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Two final steps -- vote and then keep an eye on these turkeys. American can't handle any more governments like the one we've had over the past 6 years. We need to get back on track and that's not going to happen if WE, the people, don't kick some ass.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Once More Dear Friends...

into the breach. Yes, it's that time again... time to start another book. So begins the round of lip gnawing, butt aching, hair pulling and ego bashing work that is creating a novel. There are moments of triumph and moments of depression. It's what I do. A part of me loves that brief interval between novels as there are no characters tugging on my pants legs, nattering in my ear or waking me up in the middle of the night. But that bliss doesn't last. The voices in my head are a bit too strong for that.

Next book is due Feb 1. That sounds like a very long time away. It isn't. If I get it done before that, I'll rejoice. That's very unlikely with the Con(vention) Schedule from Hell I have this year. The cons aren't hell, just the schedule. 11 total and that's not counting the booksignings. I did it to myself. In fact, just to add to the horror, I booked a convention in Seattle (Left Coast Crime ( for Feb. 1, the day the book's due. Nothing like pushing the envelope.

So for those of you currently reading Sojourn ( take heart. The adventures of Jacynda, Alastair and Jonathon will continue. After all, by my count, I left some five or six things unresolved at the end of the last book.

Bad, bad author :)