Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Merry Month of June

This blog has been checked by Grammarly: 'cause what the heck. We all need help, and I need more than most.

After hurrying like a madwoman (not difficult, given the state of my sanity at the best of times) in order to get all my work done, I left New Mexico for my home state of California on June 19! The purpose of this visit was threefold:

1.    2013 is the fiftieth anniversary of my graduation (along with approximately 999 other kids) from John Muir High School in Pasadena, California, and I wanted to attend the reunion.
2.    I wanted to see my younger daughter, Robin; my younger grandson, Riki; Robin’s husband, Gilbert; and several of my old Pasadena buddies.
3.    I wanted to EAT! You can’t get good food in Roswell unless you make it yourself. I wanted to dine on Japanese, Middle Eastern, and East Indian food. And I did!

Therefore, the trip was a rousing success. Missions accomplished. Here’s a picture of John Muir High School, the school of my youth, which doesn’t seem so all-fired long ago, although everyone who attended the reunion looked terribly old:

At the reunion I also touched base with a woman with whom I played flute at the Eliot Junior High School Band. Janet Levine was her name back then. She’s Janet Levine Goldberg now, and it was mega-fun to see her again. Here are Mary Ray Cate (now a physician in Santa Fe, with whom I’ve been in touch for years), Janet and me in the Muir Auditorium. Hey, I played a Winkie in The Wizard of Oz in that auditorium! I think they left the Winkies out of the movie. Story of my life.

I got a ticket coming home from California. I deserved it, too. I was going eighty-five in a seventy-five mile-per-hour zone. However, since the ticket was given to me by a Laguna Pueblo Police Officer, it won’t go on my permanent driving record. It’s treated more or less like a parking ticket. I don’t understand why that is, but I’m grateful my insurance rates won’t suffer.

Then, when I came home again, much to the delight of my dogs and the kind people who cared for them while I was away (Ann and Barry Lasky), I participated in a Concert of American Music on June 30. It was so much fun! The only problem with singing in choruses, etc., is that I have a very low voice for a female and, therefore, sing with the tenors. I’m five feet tall. All the rest of the tenors are a lot taller than I am. Ergo, since I sat at the end of the second row for this concert, I had to take a giant step to my right in order to be seen and heard by the audience. What the heck. I guess we all use the talents we’ve been given. If I was meant to have been a soprano, I guess I’d have been born one, huh? Anyway, that was fun.

Altogether, June was a much more enjoyable month than May was. Here’s hoping good things for July.

If you’d like to enter my contest, this month I’ll be giving away a couple of copies of PECOS VALLEY RAINBOW, Book #3 in my Pecos Valley series. To enter, all you have to do is send me your name and home address in an e-mail to . Also, please visit my web site: and join me on Facebook:

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Why Does Everything Happen At Once?

Before I get into the topic of this month’s blog, let me say that something great happened: I have a new audiobook available! Wheeeee! This one is SIERRA RANSOM. It’s an historical romance novel set during the California Gold Rush in 1852 or thereabouts. It features Zenobia Gray and Sam Ransom. It’s narrated by my very OLD friend, Jim Hull, and he’s good. The book’s good, too. Honest! Here’s the cover and where you can buy it:

And LOST AMONG THE ANGELS is also available as an audiobook now! Busy month, May, but more about that later. Here’s the cover and where you can buy it:

Now. Down to business. This month’s blog is on the frustrating topic: Why does everything happen at once? Naturally, I’m talking about my own life here, but I’ll bet I’m not the only one to whom this happens.

For months, I’ve been twiddling my thumbs, begging for work, writing bits and pieces of my own book, and wishing I had work that I actually got paid to do. I know not all writers write the same way. Some can sit all day long, writing and writing and writing. I can write for about an hour or an hour and a half, and that’s it. The well’s dry. Mind you, I can pump out five-ten pages in that hour, and I wish I could write all day long. Heck, if I could, I could write a billion books a year. Well, maybe not quite a billion, and I’d still be unable to make a living at it, but my output would increase significantly.

No, I make most of my money from editing. I edit for a well-respected publishing company, but I can make real money from folks who can afford to have their books edited by a competent editor before they self-publish. There aren’t many people who want to do this, because nobody likes spending money. And there are more iffy editors out there than there are good ones. I’m a good one. This isn’t a boast. It’s the truth. There’s only one thing I do well in this world, and it’s use the English language. Well, and collect stray dachshunds, but that’s more of a curse than a blessing.

This year, things have been dry. Dry, dry, dry. I live in Roswell, New Mexico, and we’re halfway into our third year of the worst drought ever. That’s bad enough, but this year too, nobody’s wanted me to do any work. NOBODY. Not the publisher and not individuals. No one. Zero. Zilch.

Until May. Then EVERYONE decided they wanted me to edit their books. I was thrilled to death when the first person approached me. She had written what may well be the World’s Longest Book, and she wanted me to edit it. Wheee! I could go to California for my—wait for it—50th!—high school reunion! Wow. Then another person asked me to edit his book. His isn’t the World’s Longest Book, because, after all, there can only be one of those, but it’s real, live, paying work.

Then the publisher for whom I work suddenly wanted me to edit four books. And the company (ePublishing Works) I’m using to repackage and promote my first six Daisy Gumm Majesty novels sent me the first book (STRONG SPIRITS) to review. With the promise that the other five Daisy books will be sent to me at approximately twenty-day intervals.

Then there were the two Roswell Humane Society meetings I had to attend, weekly choir practice, and rehearsals for 2013’s Concert of American Music, which we’ll be singing on June 30. Rehearsals began—you got it—last week.

Gulp. So okay. I’ve been really busy lately, and I’m going to be even busier before I leave for California and my reunion on June 19th. But, what the heck, in the life of a writer/editor, I guess it’s better to be busy than not, although sometimes I do wish things would even out. Ya know?

Please enter my contest this month, during which I’ll be giving away a couple of copies of FALLEN ANGELS, Mercy Allcutt’s third adventure (which won the New Mexico/Arizona Book of the Year Award for mystery/suspense). And what the heck, I’ll give away an audio copy of SIERRA RANSOM and one of LOST AMONG THE ANGELS, too. Feel free to visit my web site: and my Facebook page: