Friday, December 21, 2007

Reflections on 55

This morning I woke up to a cat licking the top of my head. I also woke up to the realization that I am officially 55 years old -- double nickles. I spent a few minutes reflecting on this fact. Not brooding about it, mind you. I'm not one of those people who freak out about getting older or who try to hide it or turn back the clock with surgery or a mid-life crisis. This is simply what 55 is and looks like in my world.

The life I live now is definitely not what I pictured for myself at this age. I'm not complaining, it's just not anything like I had expected. If you had asked me 25 years ago what I expected at 55, I would have shrugged and cracked a joke about "I should live so long!" Fifteen years ago, I would have told you that at the age of 55 I expected to be married (I was engaged when I was 40), retired from legal work, and writing up a storm.

Okay, 1 out of 3 ain't bad. Ending the engagement had been a very good thing and the law firm where I'm employed is a good place to be, with nice people and interesting work .

My mother died when she was 52 years old. I remember having a bit of a meltdown when I turned 52. I was sure that any moment I would keel over dead or find some terrible disease lurking in my body. But here I am three years later, healthy, generally happy, and with my life long dream of being a published author a reality. Not bad for an old fart.

Because of my writing career, I'm working much harder now than I expected to be at this age; an age when most folks are gearing up financially and emotionally for retirement. I'm still looking forward to retirement from my paralegal career, hopefully by the time I'm 60, if not sooner. But the hours I keep between my day job and my writing are grueling.

In a few hours, I'll be climbing aboard a cruise ship for a 3-day cruise to Baja. It's a working vacation. I'll be speaking to the passengers on Sunday about mystery writing and will be working on the last bit of Epitaph Envy on deck a few hours a day. Two friends are going with me, Susan Groeneweg and Kate Thornton, so it should be a grand time. Working or not, it's still my birthday/Christmas vacation.

Do I have any regrets? Yes, of course. I could have been smarter in many aspects of my life. I've taken risks that didn't work out. Made decisions that weren't always the best. I'm one of those people who seems to learn things the hard way. But if there's one thing life has taught me in 55 years, it's to be flexible. Priorities change or morph into other things and you have to be ready to go with the flow or you might miss something really good, even if you do fall on your ass along the way.

11 days to my deadline for Epitaph Envy. 365 days to my next birthday!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Don't Delay! Contest Deadline Coming Up!

The December 31st contest deadline is approaching for "How Well Did You Follow the Trail to the Pail."

If you have not entered, you still have time. Entries are being accepted until midnight (pacific time) on December 31st. When 2008 arrives in Los Angeles, the contest will close!

Prizes include a signed copy of Thugs and Kisses, the 3rd Odelia Grey book, along with other goodies. There will be 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes awarded.

For details, go to the Contests page on my website.

As for the other deadline ... only 18 days left to go for me to complete Epitaph Envy! And in spite of the crazy day job, Christmas, and my own inertia, I'm still on schedule.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

My Turn at Inkspot

I'm blogging today at The Inkspot. Drop on by and say hello.

The topic is deadlines.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Last Signing of the Year!

I will be at the Mystery Bookstore in Westwood on Thursday, December 6, 2007, at 7:00 p.m., signing Carols and Crimes, Gifts and Grifters, the holiday anthology for the benefit of Toys for Tots. Also signing with me with be Gay Kinman, another author featured in the book.

The Mystery Bookstore
1036-C Broxton Avenue
Los Angeles, CA

The Mystery Bookstore will also be accepting new toys Thursday night for donation to Toys for Tots.

This will be my last book signing until late January 2008.

Come on down!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Odelia Grey is Up for Sale

It's official, the film/tv option on Too Big To Miss is back on the market.

After careful consideration, an extension, and the continuing writers' s strike, the option has officially lapsed and will not be renewed by the initial optionee.

I write this announcement with a mixture of sadness, disappointment and, surprisingly, even excitement.

Who knows who is out there thinking Odelia is just the gal for them? Who knows what other exciting adventures I'll have with someone new on the other side of a contract? Only time will tell.

There has been some interest here and there from other parties, so maybe one of them will be just the ticket for this new phase in the continuing Odelia Grey Goes To Hollywood adventure. My agent will be contacting them this week. Keep your fingers crossed.

TV options make great Christmas and Hanukkah gifts, don't they?

Buy one for your family's actor, producer or director today!