Friday, August 29, 2008

Do you FB?

Facebook. It's become impossible to ignore but I feel like I'm not really getting the point.

- Friend requests ... most are not really my friends but acquaintances, writing contacts, and distant contacts of more distant friends.
- Packrat invitations... what does that even mean?!
- Green Patch requests ... patch of what?
- Wall writing ... can't I just send you an email?
- Cyber gifting ... what's the purpose?
- Hugs, events, groups ... ARGH!

I joined Facebook after pressure from all those trying to "friend" me but, truthfully, I just don't GET it!

All of you who are successfully using/enjoying/loving Facebook please enlighten me. What am I missing?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Cleaning Up Beijing

After every big party some people stay to help cleanup while others go home. Did you watch the Olympics in Beijing? With the help of Tivo, I managed to catch quite a number of events including the opening and closing ceremonies. Wow!

Of course now the world turns their eyes on London as the next home for the summer Olympics. I don't know how the Brits will pull it off. It's a good thing they've got 4 years to get ready. Then again, the winter olympics will be in my own home town in just a couple years. Just. Two. Years! I feel like a hostess who just found out that her two dozen dinner guests are all arriving a day early!

Of course you can't really compare the summer and winter olympics. The Beijing games had twice as many athletes, four times as many tickets and over a $40 billion budget. The Vancouver Olympics will operate with a $2 billion budget. Beijing's Olympic green area is many times bigger than Vancouver's Stanley Park, but Vancouver will be the largest metro area ever to hold the Winter Games.

Even though my city is gorgeous in its own right, I still can't help but feel like my two dozen early-arriving dinner guests are expecting filet mignon and lobster thermador while I've got Kraft Dinner simmering on the back burner.

To relate all this to writing (and you knew I would)... with the release of Devil May Ride just a few months away, I'm beginning to feel a tiny bit queasy. I love all the complimentary emails I've received from fans but I know they'll be comparing book one with book two and, of course, I want them to love 'em both.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Got milk ... oh and a really big bottle?

Have you heard about this? A poor little ol' humpback whale calf thinks a yacht is its mother. And I think I'm confused.

What am I confused about? One of my characters is putting me through the ringer. I can't figure out whether I should make him very evil, or very good. You'd think such a decision would be easy. You're either good or bad, right? Hmmmm. Perhaps I should make him good with a tendency to do bad things.

Do you believe that most people who commit crimes are basically good?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Say it isn't so...

Just read an article on CNN that claims Chef Julia Child "served in an international spy ring managed by the Office of Strategic Services" during WWII.

Julia Child an international spy?! What did she contribute, secret German recipes like wienerschnitzel?

Can't help but wonder whose next. Maybe Mr. Rogers will be revealed as a secret agent for the CIA?

Now what if Julia Child is STILL a spy? They say she died in 2004 of kidney failure but whose to say she isn't right now operating under cover in a covert operation hunting terrorists? Hmmmm.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

ghostly travels

It's been a while since I posted a ghostly picture so I thought I'd put up a few. Of course, the fact that Europe is filled with old buildings as well as history filled with bloody battles and brutal monarchs lends itself to many ghostly tales.

Like the Tower of London ghost.

Or the dancing ghost of France.

And of course Rome has a few of its own.

However, my favorite ghost-like photo was this one featuring a hand reaching out to grab me through the Colliseum.

The shot was actually taken by my son through a bus window. Because of the flash, his hand reflected in the window. Not a real ghostly pic but I still found it pretty cool!

Off to write about more ghostly stuff. What are you haunting today?

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Sherlock Holmes

When I was in London I visited the Sherlock Holmes museum on Baker Street.

Sherlock Holmes (in case you've lived under a rock) is a fictional detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and, as far as I know, Sherlock is the only fictional character in the world to have a museum dedicated to him. One of the most fascinating things about this museum is the mail box. Sherlock Holmes still receives letters from people asking him to help them solve their mysteries.

Have you ever read any of the Holmes mysteries? I think my personal favorite was The Hound of the Baskervilles.

I'm not a Holmes addict like some and certainly not a member of either the Sherlock Holmes Society, in London, or the Baker Street Irregulars in New York. However, I aspire to create the kind of characters that receive their own mail! Oh to create characters that outlive the author - wow!! It inspires me to write deeper, more genuine characters. I'd love my Sadie Novak to receive letters asking her to help in mysteries!

Well off to breathe life into my own mystery ... the game's afoot!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Promo Shmo Mo

For a while now I've been working on my promotional ideas for Devil May Ride, the second book in the Ghost Dusters series. Have you ever noticed that there is a cagillion things on the market that you can put your name on?!

So I'm wondering, as readers, writers, and all-round knowledgeable and fun people :) what kind of items do you actually pick up and keep?

Saturday, August 02, 2008

There's just something about a fun pen...

I've mentioned before on this blog that shopping is not my favorite thing to do. While in Europe I had to be flexible about this because souvenirs needed to be purchased. And apparantly kids think they need something *anything* from every single place you go to. As a rule, I'm usually the one outside the shop holding the bags. However, there is one exception to that rule. I love a fun pen.

So while the kids were scanning the shelves for things too large for our suitcase, I'd walk to the front of the store and glance at the jar of pens that would inevitably be for sale next to the cash register. Mostly the selection was disappointing but I did find the above pictured syringe pen at the Sherlock Holmes museum in London. I also found a darling pen in London where the clicker is the head of a London guard. Very cute!

Pens hold endless possibilities. Hidden inside their tiny pools of liquid ink are love letters, lists and murder plots. To hide all that inside something fun, weird, or fanciful just makes me giggle.

So how about you? Are you a suvenir shopper? Do you fill your suitcase with collector spoons, thimbles and t-shirts, or do you prefer all your memories on kodak paper?