Books an’ Travel an’ Stuff …

THE FIRST DAY OF SPRING ARRIVED with a bang … rain and wind that I’d prefer not driving in—but I did. The third Tuesday of each month is the Central Coast Writers meeting, on the Peninsula, tucked away in a corner of Pacific Grove. This meant I was driving in the wind on very wet roads … and the wind was ferocious enough that I felt like my car would hydroplane at any moment (if it wasn’t already …). Speed didn’t seem to be a factor at all. Let’s just say I was glad to get off of the highway and onto surface roads that were protected from the wind. The roads were dryer when I headed home (thank God!), so the winds (which were still pretty stiff) were no problem.

The meeting was wonderful—the guest speaker, C. S. Lakin, was quite engaging. She’s written quite a few books—the one she spoke about on Tuesday was Shoot Your Novel: Cinematic Secrets to Supercharge Your Story. She shared visual storytelling techniques and I was surprised at how many techniques I was already utilise in my series. Perhaps not as well as the examples she used, so I listened carefully to what she had to say. It was well worth the trip in the horrific weather. Well worth it! (And … by the way, I bought the book.) The timing is very good, since I will be republishing each one of the books in the series. I am still (insert rolling eyes) working on getting book one’s first edit done for the editor—or, would it qualify as the second edit, since the book was already published (insert impish grin). I am a third of the way done transcribing all of my corrections into notes for him. In any case, I can take a good look at the whole thing once he sends it back to me with all of the changes. And I can start on book two—and three, looking at them in the same light … then move forward with a more critical eye in the edit of book four and five.

It’s times like these that I question my traveling abroad this year, but I am committed to the trip, and I know I’ll enjoy myself—once I get over there. I’ve been vacillating back and forth ever since I paid for the non-refundable airline tickets. I did this last time, too … but I ended up not being able to go last time due to my neck surgery. I truly love my time across the Pond. I’d live over there if I could figure out how to afford it (and keep my home here). Not in the cards unless I find myself a “deep-pockets” hubby. Sigh. Don’t think that’s in the cards either (insert major giggling here). I will be taking photos for book art and for my photopolymer etched printing … but I will not be taking any of my usual promotional materials—or even books. Well, maybe a few books, but my supply is limited and freebees are going to be few and far between. I say no promo material because the books are not really available for anyone to purchase over there—Amazon is not carrying any of them (or will not in the very near future) and I think overseas shipping for me to mail anything would be outrageous. Hmmm … mayhaps I should find out how much it would cost before I make too many assumptions.

Anyway, back to reality. I’m serious when I say (in one of my previous blog posts) that I may need to take a hiatus once I return from my trip. Distractions abound. It will be the only way to get editing, artwork (which I’m afraid I’m going to have to start from scratch …) and publishing done in a timely fashion. But when? Almost immediately after I get back, there’s a Scottish Games that our clan tent needs to be at—a friend and I host the tent every year—I cannot back out. Then the book signing season starts up with a bit of a sputter in early September and goes all the way through the first week of December. One of the November weekends, I’ve signed up to be in Columbia, South Carolina at a book fair. I know … I am plum loco. I committed (monetarily) to that before my publisher passed away. Before the headache of regaining rights to my books. And the artwork. Sigh.

So, the challenge will be finding time, saying no to friends and OGS (insert huge pout)—unless it gets me closer to my goal, cancelling commitments that can be cancelled … and focusing—not procrastinating—on the task at hand. I don’t know how long it will take, but I’ll keep you apprised of my progress. Blogging will stay—possibly much shorter posts than my usual blogs (and I do apologise for the length of this one!), but I won’t disappear.  I promise (I may link to my other blog account, since things look nearly full again—I do not want a repeat of what happened in January!) I promise to keep you up to date.

Please make sure you subscribe to both blogs so you don’t miss anything.  I’ll add links later—or in the next blog—it’s not like I’m leaving tomorrow. Not until May, so there’s time.

I leave you with wishes of a delightfully blessed Spring—even if you’re presently knee deep in snow. It will pass (I know—not soon enough, I’m sure). Have a delightful Friday and weekend … and I will be back next Friday! Toodles!


may the Fourth be with you …

ONLY THREE MORE DAYS … and the celebration begins. It’s a big deal in my little may the Fourth be with youcorner of the world. I believe we’ll be celebrating the 240th birthday of our United States. (sorry … I love the Star Wars take on the saying … please forgive me.)

Salinas will have a fireworks display, safely confined to the Salinas Sports Complex (aka Salinas Rodeo Grounds) — one of the few towns to do so, since many counties have pretty much outlawed any type of fireworks. California remains a tinderbox and people can’t seem to play safely, which has caused unnecessary and devastating fires. Information for the celebration:
When: July Fourth. Gates open at 6 p.m. and the fireworks show will start at 9 p.m.
Where: Salinas Sports Complex
Cost: Free
Parking: $5

July 4th Flag

Click on image for full view

Monterey and Pacific Grove will have celebrations, too — along with probably a few others I’m not aware of. Pacific Grove will have a BBQ. My writers group, Central Coast Writers, will be participating in the annual Fourth of July Parade (and their famous BBQ/party following) in Monterey. I joined CCW in the Monterey parade last year … and plan on it again this year, though … though I’ll not sure how physically fit I’ll be, I’m determined to make it the whole length (less than a mile)! It will be fun. Many organizations walk in this parade … I can’t begin to list them all, but I do know (a little birdie told me) that the Pacific Repertory Theatre will be there — with the cast from Mary Poppins!

God Bless America

Please click on image for full view

Then there’s the lovely BBQ afterwards, with music, entertainment and lots of food to choose from (or bring your own picnic lunch). Grab a spot on the lawn at Colton Hall and join in on the celebration. This link has all the info about a pancake breakfast, the parade, the BBQ —and an evening concert— all wrapped up into one page.

I’ll try to take photos at the staging point (the only time I’ll see all —well, most, I guess— the different groups walking in the parade), along the parade route and at Colton Hall to share in the coming weeks.

So, until next time … may the Fourth be with you. Have a blessed Friday and extended holiday weekend. Stay safe.