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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Oh, What A Pain!

Is there anything more distracting than pain?

I have a toothache. Four years ago I was at the beach and a grain of sand got caught between teeth and I couldn't get it out. When I got home I went to the dentist and he said I needed a filling. Hmm. Because every tooth I have already has at least three. My first love was candy and let's just say all kinds of love hurts.

Anyway, since he filled the spot my tooth has bothered me – It's that enamel looking color stuff, unlike my sparkly sliver ones – not painful bother just weird. I thought I was just being a baby ... sad and not 100% positive that I needed a filling. But the hygienist, dentist they're all nice there, friendly and I figured they hadn't screwed up on a cleaning - so we stayed with him twice a year.

But when one of my girls needed a filling about a year ago and she had the same complaint. My belief solidified. I'm not a baby, he isn't any good. Later, her tooth hurt her so much we took her in - it was a baby tooth and close enough to falling out he pulled the thing.

So, when I went in for a cleaning (the tooth sometimes hurts) he said it had a fracture and wanted to make me a queen by giving me a crown.

Now I have a toothache and in need of a dentist. But who is to say this one will be any better? How do you chose a dentist or a doctor? Don't get me started about the odd doctor my friend recommended. He was right out of a Stephen King novel. Carried a picture of an OBGYN that the thought was pretty in his coat pocket. I do have to admit, she was attractive.

Monday I have to tract down someone who knows what they are doing - in the meantime I'm practicing pain deferment.

Hope your weekend is better and you're out chowing down on all things tasty and not soft and not counting the hours until you can have another pill. On a good note - my face hasn't swelled.

Gumming through my weekend,

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

From Bladders to Underwear - Who Is Funny Now? Bam!

Are kids more mature these days? My 6th graders are learning about the urinary system in their biology class. They had a test today and I helped with their studying. They were talking about bladders and urine without a hint of humor.
All I can say is that when I was 12, I'd have been giggling behind my hand every time the teacher talked about ureter tubes. I asked the girls if anyone in their class thought it was funny and they looked at me like I was nuts.
Today they were doing ratio tables in algebra and I scolded one because she wasn't supposed to be playing tic-tac-toe. They didn't get the joke.

Now I'm happy that they're learning so much ... but what's the use of being smart if you don't understand good humor? I'm funny, sort of. Does it count that I make myself laugh? How many people have to agree that you're funny to qualify for that label? I tell my mom all the time that funny and amusing aren't the same thing. It's amusing that she thinks she's funny. And here's a secret - if you want her to love you ... laugh at one of her bad jokes.

On a gorgeous note - David Beckham is in town! Tiger Woods is too, but he's a cheater and that lowers his attractive points while increasing his ugly ones. He can play golf but David Beckham rules in a pair of Armani underwear (I'm not in love with H&M). I might have to make it out to the soccer field and find myself a muse for my next athlete.

It's a tough job. But how else can I develop character descriptions? I sacrifice daily for my craft. We all should.

Love all,

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Three Simple Solutions to the Decline of Civilization

You know those days at work where you feel as if you've actually accomplished more than you set out to do? Happened to me today.

I usually don't write at home. Too much laundry, dishes ... stuff I have to do that never ends. Plus I've got the neediest dogs on the planet. They knock my elbows around so I can't type then crawl under them and into my armpit ... it's fishing for a hug. And I sort of like it. But back to my point - I write at locations where they don't kick me out after two hours of hogging one of their tables. (you know where I'm talking about) Anyway, everything has a price and I have to say there is a price and I don't mean the dollar soft drink.

Daily I get a visual of someone's butt crack. It's upsetting. I can't help butt see. Not my fault. I even turn my computer around so it covers the crevasse. They know it's happening because eventually they reach back and pull up their jeans. So, in the past year I've sort of been doing a study. In my half second observation - nearly 365 times - I've noticed that there are various rises to these cracks and I've come to the hypothesis that it is dependent on how tight the jeans are. Tight pants cause the crack to start near the small of their back while looser pants are less offensive.

I'm not looking for government intervention here ... but fashion, modesty or my plain human rights ought to be enough for some kind of revolt. Longer shirts, old lady underwear, mom jeans ... come on people butt cheeks pulled in tight and peeking out the top of your pants is not attractive.  

I would just like to say to all of you who made it this far in reading my rant Thank You and I'm Sorry. But my feelings aside, I really am trying to make this world a better place for all of us.

Love One Another,

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Real Info RE: Promoting Your E-Book - Amazon's KDP Select

I realize I add observations and other non-pertinent life stuff here on this blog. I think it's all important for a writer - it's not a 9-5 job where you can clock out or get weekends off. Instead it's like motherhood. Constant. So, all aspects of life play a part in your story and I think that to be aware of that builds stronger characters. Understanding personalities is essential to realistic relationships.

With that - credit going to neighbor Seth – Brent got an email about an author's blog who told his story. It goes something like this ... his sales in December were low (20-ish) on Amazon for his fiction novel. He signed up for Kindle Select and gave the e-book away for the first two days. Which accounted for 25,000 downloads! He shot to #1 in free Kindle e-book ranks. I checked his stats yesterday (not free) and he was #1,683. Still awesome.

Being in the same position as this guy ... we looked into it and didn't have the outstanding results as he did but we still had 8,000 downloads in three days. The second day was Valentine's and though I thought it would boost downloads (I do have a pink book) I was completely wrong. Downloads slowed. I guess there was a lot of love going on and not enough reading!

The other author said that he was featured on big Amazon blog sites - I looked into this but still don't know how you advertise to them about the free days. If you know ... please, pass along the info! I did get to # 61 on free Kindle e-books, #43 in fiction, #6 in mystery #3 in women sleuths, #2 in action and adventure and all day Living Lies was #1 in Spy Stories and Tales of Intrigue! Also, I sold 16 of Second Chance. Today Living Lies (not free) sold 22 and still going.

I obviously don't know what it means in long-term sales but it has gotten Living Lies into 8,000 new hands. Reader hands. We have two more 'free' days sometime in the next 86 days and I'm going to spend the time figuring out how to promote. I'm going for top ten in this next run. When I learn more, I'll give up my tips here on this blog.

It's exciting because I'm in the middle of receiving Moon Over Monsters rejection letters. My query letters stink. I'm wordy - ask my mom - how can I explain a complicated concept like man's natural need to be top of the food chain in one paragraph? Failure builds character? That sucks!

Oh, check out the Tucson Festival of Books website. I'm there both days ... but mostly Sunday.

Well, remember to love one another - no wonder I didn't get more downloads ... my own dang fault. Do people still say 'dang'?


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Arizona Celebrates 100 Years Of Statehood!

This past school year I've been catching up on US history - my girls get notes daily and we walk around the neighborhood studying for their Friday tests. It's been an eye opening experience. It's incredible how much I've forgotten - this is just one class - imagine over the years how much knowledge has gone in and out of my brain! Why - I could've been a Genius! But I guess I've just got to settle for ... forgetful.

Anyway, what was I saying?

Oh, yeah, AZ Statehood. I just got back from a visit of downtown Tucson where there is a big celebration going on. Truthfully, this is a huge month for us in the So. Arizona. We've got the Gem and Mineral Show, the Accenture Golf Tournament and the awesome La Fiesta de los Vaqueros - the Tucson Rodeo. 

Today, we went to the Fox Theater (one of those old places your parents say they used to get in for a dime). It took forever getting through traffic, finding parking and finally making our way through the promotional booths and roping a pvc bull. Then we stopped at the Rodeo Museum display of old wagons – that are still used annually in the rodeo parade and spoke with a man who knew about my great grandfather. My great grandfather, Adolfo Vasquez, was a blacksmith who built wagons. 

Once inside the Fox we sat down right as the program was starting. We were supposed to be late. And the first thing the man portraying an important Tucsonan back in 1912 says is that he was an apprentice and influenced by Adolfo Vasquez!

It was like we were meant to be there. 

So, there Willow Smith! Have your big, fancy, famous, rich, gorgeous parents and open for Justin Bieber because I've got Adolfo Vasquez!

Happy 100 Years!


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

I Am A Victim Of Tiny Towers - Someone call a psychotherapist, quick!

If I'm too old for zits – how did I fall for the most boring app ever? My oldest 12 year-old started this a couple of weeks ago. And truthfully it is as boring to play as it is to watch. But my youngest 12 year-old asked if she could download it on my ipad. Why not? It's free.

She and I were going to 'share' the tower. I didn't want it - I don't have time for video games, apps, wii - Now I have 20 floors. I write on my laptop and use the ipad for research so I don't have to toggle .. yesterday I wrote with Tiny Towers by my side ???? Really?

Please don't tell Brent! Not that he's Shrek but ... I would have to explain what the heck I'm doing and I just can't. I still have a Moon Over Monsters dust jacket to write, a query letter to revise and a 90K Melanie book to write.

That's it! I have seen the light ... or wait ... no, it's just "a time to restock" box.

But there is good news - if you're going to be in Tucson March 10 and 11 - Saturday, I will be on a panel at the Book Festival. Sunday I'm speaking in the Alumni Author's Tent and selling books at the Mostly Book table.

I'll let you know more when I get more info - but this is way cool!

My advice today is stay away, far away from free apps - they are not free!

Be safe,

Friday, February 3, 2012


I went to the funeral of my cousin's daughter yesterday. She was placed beside her mom.

It's been a difficult week. And I'm tired to trying to make sense of the whole thing. The best I've come up with is that I have no idea how anything works. People speak of fairness and injustice. I don't know but if there was ever a case for unfairness in life ... this feels like it.

What do you think about fate vs. free will? Does it matter how you live or do we all just have an expiration date stamped on our soul? Everyone dies. Athletes, young kids, drug addicts, the elderly, those who don't look both ways – the only ones who seem immune are celebrities. Crazy.

I am so sorry for the loss of Jennifer. She was sweet and smiling and I'm very sorry for the gap this has left in people's lives. For some the gap is great and their grief is unimaginable.

Was it last week when I suggested Love All? Well, feels like ages ago but it still sounds like a good idea.