Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from December 6, 2015

30 Days of Christmas Day 18: The Cat's Christmas

They've started again with the cruel season. They put toys all over the house and then freak out when I play with them. There's a tree full of shinies and danglies in the corner of the living room, but "NO! Don't touch!" happens when I get anywhere near it. I managed to get in a few minutes of exercise with several of the things they hung on it while everyone was somewhere else. First I had to un-stick the nice things from the tree, which was hard. Then I had fun chasing them around on the floor--at least until Dad came in and bellowed like an angry bull, "Mary! Come see what your cat did!" They put pretty things on end tables and shelves too, but again, I'm just supposed to look at them. A grouping of half a dozen figurines in a little wooden shed sits on the coffee table. I knocked them onto the floor to see if they'd roll nicely on the carpet. Only one of them did, but that one was fun to bat around until it went under the piano too far for

30 Days of Christmas Day 17: Giveaway

A Lethal Time and Place is an old favorite of mine, so I'm sharing it as today's giveaway. It's a paranormal mystery set in Chicago in the late '60s, and you'll love the twist in the middle. I think you'll also love the characters: they're weird, they're wonderful, and they will surprise you with their cleverness, their oddness, and their support for each other. If you want to try the book, go to Instafreebie and download it in whatever form you need for your e-reader. Here's the link:    http://www.instafreebie.com/free/KqhUH   You've got one week. Merry Christmas!

30 Days of Christmas Day 16: Pet Peccadilloes

A peccadillo is a behavior that is a little odd and particular to one person--or in this case, pet. I've listed some pets we've had and their idiosyncrasies, and I invite you to share your list. *A cat named Fred who went hunting with my husband, following at his heels like a hound whenever he left the house with a gun. *A horse named Dolly who guarded the water trough and only let the cows and other horses drink when she felt they deserved it. *A cat named Ching-a-ling who (somehow) climbed to the top shelf of a floor-to-ceiling bookcase and sat as still as a statue until just the right moment and then scared the bejeebers out of guests. My sister & I with Laddie and Ching-a-ling *A dog named Laddie who stayed under the bed as long as there was thunder outside. *A dog named Gertrude who slept on our bed without permission but never got caught. When you started up the stairs you'd hear a thump, and on the bed there would be a small imprint, but

30 Days of Christmas Day 15: All Those Other People

At first, writers write in a vacuum. We go to whatever place works for us and we write--for hours, days, weeks, and months. If we’re lucky, we produce a book. That’s the last time we’re alone with it. If you like a book, here’s who to thank--in addition to the author. The Beta Readers : Authors write from inside their heads, but beta readers help us see what needs more explanation or less. They find those crazy little factual errors that ruin a book. Their feedback turns one person’s story into something many can enjoy. The Editors: A finished story needs content editing, copy editing, and line editing. In every case but one (long ago), I’ve been lucky to work with good ones. Sometimes it’s difficult. At first I skim the comments out of the side of one eye. Then I walk away for a while. Phrases like “How dare she?” come to mind, but after a day or two, I go to work to fix the manuscript. The Cover Artist : Covers are supposed to attract a reader’s eye and give him

30 Days of Christmas Day 12: Author James R. Benn

Since yesterday was Pearl Harbor Day, I got to thinking about WWII, which led me to recall a series my husband and I both enjoy, the Billy Boyle Mysteries by James R. Benn. I planned for Tuesdays in this 30 Days thing to introduce readers to some authors I enjoy who are not big names but perhaps should be, so I thought I'd showcase Mr. Benn. I've never met him, though we've crossed paths a few times online. He's just published a new book, The White Ghost, and while I haven't yet read it, the others have all been worthwhile. Billy Boyle is a soldier in WWII who gets assigned to the investigative services. Even in wartime crimes are committed, and Dwight Eisenhower knows Billy was a cop back home. His adventures take him all over the war theater, and along the way he picks up some memorable friends. If you have a WWII buff on your Christmas list, you might want to look at the first book in the series, Billy Boyle . I also like the '40s look of the covers.

30 Days of Christmas Day 13: What Do You Watch?

Christmas is a time for stories, and the TV people are certainly aware of that. They show old favorites, knowing people will tune in no matter how many times they've seen the show, special, or movie. We don't seem to care if the animation is jerky or if Santa's belt and boots look like cardboard. We watch. If we do mind the zillions of commercials inserted, we watch anyway, because--Christmas! We watch with family when possible. I just read of a woman whose family is spread all over the country, so they plan a time and each family gets the show in whatever format they need to watch it at that time. That's dedication. What's your favorite Christmas show tradition? If you can't stick with one, we'll take your top 3.