Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Back in California

Welcome to sunny, yep it's actually sunny, Pleasanton, Calif. I'm here tending the grandkids, ages 8 and 11, for the summer.

Let's see, since I last posted on June 2nd, I've been busy. Met with Cindi to discuss submission opportunities and techniques. She has some contemporary books that speak to real issues facing many woman today.

On the 7th was our writer's group. Received very nice feedback on my verbiage on the five senses. One person said that each description boded of a story and I believe she's right.

Had lunch with Shirley Wolford. She now has a collaborator for her next novel. She's 94 and blind! Now if that isn't enough inspiration to keep me going, I don't know what is. I'll miss seeing her, with her frank way of looking at life, this summer.

Had my monthly crit group meeting with Lois and Cindi on Thursday. Always fun, but I'm afraid we don't get much critting done. It's mostly personal items and info on writing overall. JOan wasn't there and we sure missed her. Lois and Cindi are going to meet all summer. I feigned tears of being left out, but they saw through me and agreed to meet anyway. :-) We are a special foursome and I do enjoy their company and feedback so much!!

I am managing to re-edit 'Deborah's Story' and work on it for at least a half-hour every day, but no new stories. Gotta get back to that soon!

Now, on to personal things. Had the car worked on to the tune of almost $400. Yuck, but Charles seems to know what he's doing and I feel confident that he fixed the leak.

Did a couple of nights of bingo, but no wins. Still, had fun visiting with folks that I won't see again until September.

Had lots of dinners out to say 'bye for the summer' and went to a Republican Women's luncheon. They got into a squabble about 'publicly supporting a non-Republican candidate. They wanted to add that provision to their by-laws, but it was voted down. I'm not a member of the group, so I couldn't vote. But, I agree with the premise. Why be a card carrying Republican Woman if you're going to put a sign in your car or yard supporting an Independent or Democrat. If that's your feeling, you don't have to be a member of the Republican woman. I have an issues with two of the candidates running for office this fall. I'll talk to other Republicans about it, but to the public I don't discuss these issues. And, when I actually go in to vote, I can vote for anyone I want.

On June 13, I drove to my sister Janice's place in Palmdale for our annual Sister's Weekend. Janice, her daughter Samantha, Donna, her daughter Kristie, me, my daughter Kim and my granddaughter Hailey were in attendance. We talked, went to a movie, had a barbecue (prepared by Janice's husband John) and played some poker. Then, Sunday a.m. we all went out for a buffet breakfast. A very nice time was had by all!

Oh, gotta brag a bit! My granddaughter Hailey ran an 800 meter race in Tulare, Ca. on Saturday and took a second place, with a silver medal. With the win, she was granted a place in a pre-Olympic trials meet in Detroit, Mi. this July. We are so proud of her!

So, now I'm tending the grand kids who right now are yelling themselves through some video game. I think it's time for a walk and maybe a trip to McDonald's. Wish me luck!

Monday, June 02, 2008

An Almost!

Yep, almost a win for one of my short stories in a contest. But, my story did place in the top 13 of over 60 authors and 100 stories that were submitted, so I'm a happy camper. If you care to read it, go to http://www.skivemagazine.com/issues/2008/06_June_2008/Sk_Jun_08_Scrd.pdf and check out 'Chasing Dreams'.

Gosh it's been so long since I've blogged. I need to get a job so I'll have more free time. Let's see what I've done since my last entry.

Had my last meeting with Dave for his crits of 'Lita' and my final crit of 'Drift' on the 22nd. We're putting our meetings on hold until this fall. Oddly enough, he gave a good review of the final pages of 'Lita'. Killing her off still worries me, but he said it worked well.

Then, that night, it was off to Hastings for our monthly 'readings'. Small crowd as many of our writer's have gone for the winter. But, those of us who stayed, listened to some great stories and then yacked on about 'things' until nearly ten p.m. They are such an intelligent group and I'm so lucky to have made their acquaintance.

On the 24th, I had lunch with writer, Shirley Wolford. Always a high energy experience! She is 93 and blind, but sharp as a tack and always interesting to talk with.

Because I'm leaving for Calif. on the June 11th, we moved our book club up to 5/31. We discussed the books of Clive Cussler. Everyone felt he was definitely plot driven, but most felt the plots were unbelievable and that he took liberties in believability to find solutions. Also, his characters lacked depth. About the only character that everyone seemed to like was his sidekick Giordino. Bottom line, when it came to would you read another Cussler book, the vote was 11 no and 1 yes. I arranged for Shirley Wolford to come meet the club members. When we reviewed her books last month, they gave her a 7 yes and 2 no as to another read. She had a good time and I think the club members enjoyed meeting her.

I recently had some great feedback on my 'After the War, Before the Peace' novel. Had the daughter of a friend call and tell me that she had 20 pages to go and didn't want to finish, because she didn't want it to end. Also, she said she was at her job and reading about the abduction of Danny and Patrick, when she started crying. People asked her why and she said it was because of the great book she was reading. Says she is going to buy several of my books to give out as Christmas gifts. Then, a friend had let her friend read her copy of the book (grrrr, I need them to buy the book :-). Anyway, her friend loved it and wanted to meet the author. She just gushed over the characters and has offered to edit the sequel for me. So, nice week for my novel.

I've been sending off short stores, lots of waiting to hear, but I did get a couple of rejects. Although, one editor said it was just the topic that he didn't want. He liked my writing and would like to something else of mine. That was nice to hear.

As to my personal life, lots of same old-same old. Been to bingo and the casinos a couple of times and my luck is definitely out to lunch! Did see a couple of movies. The latest Indiana Jones is well done. I saw a lot of Han Solo in the character this time. Then saw 'What stays in Vegas'. It was okay. I just don't care for Cameron Diaz. Ashton Kutcher was great, though. At home here, I watched an old Gregory Peck movie 'Gentleman's Agreement'. Good movie with some great acting, except for Dorothy McGuire. Lots of overacting on her part. But Ann Revere was excellent as Peck's mother.

On June 1st, Shirley, Lori and I went to Laughlin. Had a great time. Lori and I went to see the Gary Allen concert. It was high energy and well done. But, he didn't talk much, just sang his songs and he didn't even intro his band members. One guitarist was wearing a kilt and I'd have liked to know more about that. Had a gal in the audience sitting near us that got real pushing and started dancing in the stands and just being obnoxious. We ignored her. I think that drove her crazy because I think she wanted to start a fight. Well, she did on the way out. Lori and I were at the merchandise table when we heard girls screaming like in a cat fight. Next think you know, security had a guy on the ground and they told the girl and her friends that the guy was going to jail. It must have been one of their boyfriends, because the girls kept screaming and wanted people to come say they say what happened and it wasn't their fault. Excitement I could have done without! Don't think I'll go to another Allen concert. I can hear him on his CDs and music videos and they are a lot cheaper than going to a concert just to hear him sing.

Got to close and get busy with my writing. Two days away from the computer has me going through withdrawals!!! Night, night!