Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A New Year's Resolutions Report Card

Since today marks the completion of 1/3 of the 2014 calendar year (where does the time fly?), I decided to provide a report card on the progress of my New Year's resolutions.  You know - RESOLUTIONS - those promises we make to ourselves each January then usually forget by President's day.

 In January I made the following 2014 New Year's Resolutions:

1) Make my bed every day
2) Balance my check book every month
3) Stick to a workout and eating program
4) Read at least 30 books this year.

And the progress report:

1) Um, the first month I was great on making my bed.  February less so. Now it's back to the old habit of making my bed whenever.  But if I have to fail on one of my resolutions, this is the least important one. I still have high hopes for it for the rest of the year.

 2) Yes! Balanced!  Every 2 weeks, right after pay day, I balance my check book to the penny! Amazing!

 3) Yes! With help from George (see post on My New Man), and this resolution I have lost 15 lbs since the first of the year and feel so much better in my knees and other joints. I still slide into old bad eating habits once in a while but nothing like before. For the most part I've cut out fried foods, most dairy, and a lot of sugar, and about half of my meals each week are vegetarian or vegan.  Like I said, there are still slips and slides, but it's interesting how yucky I feel now when I have a burger or fried food.  And I discovered I love veggie burgers. Who knew?!

Not part of the resolutions, but I also gave up soda. I haven't had one since mid-January. I wasn't a big soda drinker anyway, either diet or regular, so this wasn't that difficult. Every now and then I get a hankering for one then remember an article I read in January on healthy eating. It called soda the "Devil's piss."  Colorful, yes?  Now every time I see one, that's all I hear in my head. 

Wonder if I could get that to work with chocolate?

 4) Yes! I just finished reading my 10th book for 2014 and have two more in progress.

Who'd a thunk it, but New Year's Resolutions can be kept.

At least 3 out of 4...

Monday, April 07, 2014

LA Times Festival of Books Time Again!

This weekend, April 12-13, is one of my favorite events of the year: The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books!!!  And I particularly like its theme this year: INSPIRE YOUR FIRE!

This is the largest book festival in the country and a fantastic celebration of the written word.  There are panels, special signings, and activities for kids of all ages. It's a place where people who love knowledge and reading can come together for two days of fun and sunshine on the lovely USC campus in Los Angeles.  Admission is FREE and there are even public transportation options on the Info page of the FOB website.  

I will be at the Festival only on Saturday, April 12th, this year.  Below is my booth signing schedule:

10- 11 am Mystery Ink Booth #376
12-2 pm Sisters In Crime Booth (right next to Mystery Ink)
3-4 pm Mysterious Galaxy Booth #368

Come on down and bring the family for some good wholesome fun! And if you're there on Saturday, don't forget to stop by one of the above booths and say "hi!"

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

A Root Canal On Christmas Day!

Today may be April Fool's Day, but more importantly, it's launch day for GHOST OF A GAMBLE, the 4th novel in my popular Ghost of Granny Apples mystery series!!!

Every time one of my books, novellas or short stories is sent out into the arms of the public, it feels like a root canal falling on Christmas Day.  There's the excitement of the launch and sending the next baby out into the world, followed by the worry and pain of wondering if the public will embrace or spurn my child.

If you add up all the work I've launch to date, that comes to 6 short stories, 2 novellas and 14 novels, with 2 other novels to be launched in the next 12 months.  Still, I worry. I worry that my publishers will decide not to publish my work. I worry that I will run out of new ideas for future books. But worst of all, I worry that my faithful readers will grow tired of my characters and their adventures.  That's a whole lot of worry while trying to remain creative on the work currently in progress, which, incidentally, is GHOST IN THE GUACAMOLE, the 5th Granny Apples novel.

But until those fears manifest themselves, it's business as usual. I write, I research, I publish and I promote.

Speaking of promotion, I have a whole lot of events coming up in 2014. In the next 6 weeks, I'll be pairing up with my good friend and Edgar-winning author Naomi Hirahara, who is launching the first book in her new Ellie Rush series, MURDER ON BAMBOO LANE. (I'm currently reading it and it's great!)

Here are the bookstores where you can catch up with Naomi and me. If you can't make a signing and would like a signed book, I'm sure most of these bookstores will be happy to assist you in that:

Thursday, April 3, 2014, 7:00 pm
695 E. Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91101
(626) 449-5320

Saturday, April 5, 2014, 1:00 pm
Book Carnival
348 S. Tustin Street
Orange, CA 92866
(714) 538-3210

Sunday, April 6, 2014, 2:00 pm
Book ‘em
1118 Mission St.
South Pasadena, CA 91030
626-799-9600; 1-800-4BOOKEM

Saturday, April 26, 2014, 12 noon
Mysterious Galaxy – San Diego
7051 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.,
Suite 302
San Diego, CA 92111
(858) 268-4747

Saturday, April 26, 2014, 3 pm
Mysterious Galaxy – Redondo Beach
2810 Artesia Blvd.
Redondo Beach, CA 90278 (310) 542-6000
Sunday, April 27, 2014, Noon
Mystery Ink Book Store
8907 Warner Avenue, #135
Huntington Beach, CA 92647