Holiday Happenings

I’m giving away five copies of my first mystery “Blue Lake Christmas Mystery” during December 2022. On December 23 I will choose five random names from the comments section, contact you for your address, let you know you’ve won and mail a book to you anywhere in USA. I can send Kindle copies to UK, where I know so many of you from blogging, reviewing and Twitter. I have not had time to tweet, but I love and miss my blog and chatting with other bloggers. How did I let this happen? Here’s the story, short version.

Al and I moved to Florida, where we had a little condo for winter getaways. Soon we were looking for a bigger place and moved again. Al realized his lifelong dream of becoming a landlord. Yes, we kept the condo too with the understanding that I would not be involved except when shopping or decorating. Florida, we love it here. Except less than a year after we moved, a CAT 4 hurricane blasted us. We are still recovering. Most of our damage was to the outside: no more garden, no more screens on lanai, toppled trees. We’ll be needing a new roof but we have a temporary one our insurance guy says will “last a year.” He said this cheerfully, which is not a good sign.

The condo in St. Pete sustained no damage from the hurricane although we are doing a refresh for new snowbirds. I chose the carpet and furniture and Al deep cleaned everything. He’ll also wait for the various deliveries and installations. Likewise he is dealing with renters and contracts, past and present.

Speaking of contracts, I just sent in my contract for the second in my JANE IN ST PETE series, so there will be a new book in 2023. Happy Holidays!

Kindle Exclusive

Finally after two years of Covid, another year of moving three times, and a hurricane, I have started to plan and attend book events. First a great weekend at Cedar Key. No hurricane debris! Working WiFi! New writer friends! Sold many books 🙂

I’ve got two more one day events coming up in November and January at local libraries. I want to make a Kindle Exclusive thing to show off my e-only books. Tried on Canva all morning. About to cut and paste something by hand. Maybe with help from an office supply store.

Unless anyone has a better idea…

Senior (Re) Learning

Photo by Ruca Souza on

My editor will get feedback on my manuscript to me July 1. I have started book three and I need the time because Al bought me a new computer and I can hardly type my name on it. July won’t be our last work together on Body on the Bayou either. Usually we have three rounds of edits, each looks at different things. Each round takes a month or two. And then there’s the marketing and admin stuff. But I am happy to have this block of time to relearn Windows. I bought a manual that’s coming today something like Windows for Seniors. 🙂 My parents are in their 80s and have refused to learn how to use a computer or a smart phone. I suppose that makes me the senior.

There are good and bad to Mac and Windows. In a way, I wish I would have stayed with Mac because I’d know it and not have to learn new stuff. But learning is good for seniors; we need to keep our brains sharp. Also I am hoping I won’t have to deal with the photo thing (converting to JPEG). My other issue with the Mac is the keyboard was shot and I had a keyboard on top of a keyboard. I had to finish my book in good time so that’s why it’s now. Start a new book on a new computer. Especially if you’re going from Mac to PC.

I originally got the Mac because my website was being hacked. I heard Macs do not get hacked. That is the ONLY reason I bought a Mac. But I liked the lessons, too. My work was right across the street from the Apple Store and I utilized those lessons. Now I live 30 minutes from an Apple store, which is fine, but Word for Mac is just not as good as Word on Windows. I use the computer mainly for word processing. My website, my books. So it makes sense to go back to Windows. Easier said than done.

One thing I wish I could change is the mega monster keyboard. I have always had a “normal” keyboard but the new one has a whole other side with an adding machine and etc. I am a good typist. (Was once a secretary.) I type fast, almost as fast as the scenes come to my mind. This is a nice talent to have if you are not rich and do not have a typist. I am not typing fast on the new machine. I am getting better, it’s just something that will take practice.

I tried to post the blog today on the new machine but it doesn’t like my log in. Also I talked to my website admin and she says she knows basically nothing about Windows; she is a Mac lady all the way. There’s so much more to learn besides email which is the one thing I have mastered. I’m going to hop on Word and get Book 3 going. I hope that’s as easy as email. And maybe look around the internet for a trainer. All advice happily accepted. Except “you shudda stayed with Mac, stupid.”

Finished Frida!

Finished the second Jane in St Pete mystery! Wrote it, read it over, edited on hard copy, took notes on what needs to be added (not much). I dislike going from hard copy to computer but there’s not much of that. I have hung on to this computer despite all the problems; my treat once I submit to editor and finish edits is a new computer! One that works better with Word. I don’t have an idea for the third artist. I was thinking of a 1960s era feminist, like Judy Chicago.

The happy way to sustain a series is to have a theme you love and a symbol too. The theme for me is art and the artist is new with each book. I’m planning a trilogy but we’ll see. If things go as usual, I will be working with my editor for several months.

Finally got a title on the last day of writing! Body on the Bayou. My books are often released in November/December. That would be a dream.

I’m shocked that WordPress accepted my personal photo. It’s a jpeg. My artist for this book (every book has the large theme of art and the personal symbol of a particular artist) is Frida Kahlo and I just happened to come across this snap from years and years ago. It easily folded itself into the narrative. This one has been a joy to write and I look forward to revising, even with the labor of revision with hard copy and computer.

In other writing news, I tweeted the blogette again last Monday. I really like the form. I don’t usually have much to say on Twitter, so this gives me something to contribute.

Until Next Year

We finally got the deed to our new house!! Al is driving home from Michigan with our treasures (books, tools, and a few family keepsakes). I’m still in St Pete where I’ll see him Tuesday night…if I’m not asleep. And I hope we move Wednesday or maybe Christmas Eve. That is calling it close. I want to be in by Christmas. I’ve been packing a few favorite things from here (books, cookware, my favorite dishes.) I’ll pack the Christmas tree last. I do not want to take it down!

Usually about this time of year I tend to take a holiday break from blogging, but this is the best reason I’ve ever had to say “see you next year” — even better than finishing a book. Moving literally so close to Christmas is joyous but also heavy work. Mostly I worry about my husband traveling alone. That’s a quirk of mine. Worrying when we’re apart. But we’re a good team, even if we have to split up for some of the work. I know he’ll be home, and we’ll be in the best home we’ve ever owned, for Christmas. We’ll celebrate, and probably do some unpacking too, together. I hope all of you have a fabulous holiday season and, stars willing, are able to share it with those you love. xo