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Sunday, 22 September 2013

Wine is the Key

What I know for sure:
A child or a chicken will get sick the day before I leave for a trip. Especially the “getaway” trips.
I am most productive when there’s no time for anything. When I have time set aside to work, I find anything else but work to fill that time.
I am afraid of very few things, but well-dressed, rich French women are among them.
Sometimes I wonder if it’s too early to have that glass of wine.
Sometimes I have it anyway.
Fish and chips wrapped in newspaper is the food of the Gods.
French fries in Amsterdam taste better with mayonnaise.
Everything tastes better with bacon.
Sometimes all you need is a perfect pair of shoes.
You can’t go wrong with leopard print.
Writers love reading, but hate writing. We write so we have something to read.
My best friends are the ones who read and drink like me. Even better if our kids are friends too.
There are few things more frustrating than chickens who hide their eggs.
I rarely crave a salad.
When I was nine, my favorite weekends were spent reading until 2am and then waking up to finish the book. They still are.
“Truth or Dare” is overrated. “I Never” is not.
The best movie quotes are from The Princess Bride.
Val Kilmer in “Real Genius.” Christian Slater in “Pump up the Volume.” Yeah, seriously.
Huge Actorman in anything.
The volleyball scene is 40 minutes into “Top Gun.”
Tom Cruise has weird shoulders.
Patrick Rothfuss is a genius.
My kids love it when I read his blog posts out loud. Especially the inappropriate words.
Apparently seventy is the new forty. Just ask our mothers.
Guilt is overrated. Except when it’s the reason you stayed home from the trip, and the other child got the fever from his brother. Or the chicken died.
Very little can repay the friend who packs your dead chicken in ice on Saturday so she can UPS it to the lab on Monday.
But it can be done.
And wine is the key.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Tumbles and Catches

I got a very intriguing e-mail in my inbox today from a retiree living in Arizona who had read Marking Time, enjoyed it, and had found four typos to correct for the next edition. That was all - he didn't include the corrections, just let me know he'd found the mistakes.

That was about the most awesome way to get notes I've ever encountered. Not "here's where you screwed up." Just "I found some, let me know if you want them." I e-mailed him back right away and he very thoughtfully provided the location numbers, percentages, and line corrections. They were tiny errors - only two, in fact, that hadn't already been corrected on the final drafts of both print and e-book (which was odd in itself considering he found four), but the extra "it" and the missing "he" are the kinds of things that garner poor reviews and make readers put down books without finishing them. Both of which draw gasps of horror from writers.

I'm currently writing my way into the heart of Tempting Fate, and it was so good to revisit Marking Time to make those corrections. It showed me that Saira's voice has matured with her experience, like mine has, and reminded me how much fun she had discovering her own abilities.

Re-opening the e-book copy also inspired me to include the thing I miss in most kindle books - the back-cover teaser. When it's been a month since I bought a kindle book, and twenty more are stacked on top, and it's time to choose which one to read next, having the teaser right behind the title page makes me ridiculously happy. Then that sparked the idea that the teaser from book one should be at the beginning of Tempting Fate, maybe even with a link. Pretty fancy, huh? Now to channel all that creativity back into writing book two...

By the way, Karen, the Awesome Parkour Moves video you tagged me in on Facebook was VERY inspiring in the (spoiler alert) Saira-and-Ringo-escape sequence I just wrote. Thank you!

And, thank you, Bob! You've made a wonderful contribution to my day, not only with your very astute catches, but also with the reminder that sometimes looking back is a necessary and fun way to run, leap and tumble forward.