Monday, May 22, 2017

Let them eat cake! :-)

Of all the hobbies I've attempted the one I excelled at the least was cake-decorating. I had taken a class with my friend Cindy who, of course, turned out to be a natural--brilliant with buttercream, a Michelangelo of fondant flowers. Although I tried and tried to pay attention in class, my roses flopped over, my crumb layer was uneven and my frosting palette looked like a psychedelic album cover from the 60's. By the end of class I had more frosting in my hair than on the cake, in vivid streaks of neon green and screaming purple. Twenty years before people dyed their hair like that on purpose I was a trend-setter. I forgot to mention the homework, LOTS of homework, namely, baking a cake hours in advance so it would be cool enough to frost in class.

By all measurable standards I was a failure, although there is one person who wouldn't agree. Not my teacher, he knew I was hopeless. No, it was my wonderful husband, who forced himself to stay awake until I came home from class so he could "help" me into the house with my Frankenstein cake. He praised each of my creations as if it were a Monet instead of Picasso in his Cubist phase before shyly asking if he could have a piece. He LOVED my cake-decorating class.

I've since given away all the tools I bought for that class keeping only the cake container I used to transport the cakes back and forth. I remembered the teacher telling us about elaborate wedding cakes he'd created and how he prayed on the way to deliver them that they wouldn't fall over. Likewise, when I had a cake perched on the back seat, I drove like a little old lady on her way to church, barely hitting the gas, stopping carefully at each red light, nervously checking my precious cargo through the rear-view mirror. As a result I've become a more understanding driver, inclined to give people the benefit of the doubt instead of laying on the horn. Now, when I'm stuck behind a slow driver, I just smile to myself and think they must have a cake in the backseat. And maybe if I'm extra nice they'll give me a piece.  

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Fabulous review of "Jeopardy in July" & Giveaway! :-)

One of my favorite blogs, "Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book", has just published a fabulous review of my latest Jamie Quinn Mystery, "Jeopardy in July". Oh, happy day! And along with this gem of a review is a chance to win one of three copies of my book.  Hurry, the contest ends May 25th. Thanks, Lori!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

My Extra Key :-)

Of all the mysteries in my life, the one I someday hope to solve is the mystery of my extra key. Like most people, I have a ring of keys, the keys to my own little kingdom. There's a key to my house, shiny and silver; a key to my sister's house, a bronze colored key that always sticks in the lock and takes all my strength to turn; two keys to my office, a square one for the door, another for the front gate, and my extra key. For the life of me, I don't know what it's for but I'm afraid to throw it out in case it's critically important, the one key I need for an emergency yet to be imagined. 

I've wracked my brain trying to figure this out. Is it a key to my neighbor's house? No. Is it a key to my former neighbor's house? No. (Apparently I'm the go-to girl for spare keys to your house.) Is it a key to a suitcase, a safe deposit box, a jewelry box, a bicycle lock? A treasure chest, a magic closet, Pandora's Box? What is it for and why is it here? I don't remember putting it on the ring, let alone why it's there. Am I losing my memory, or even my mind? Is this how Alzheimer's starts?

I wonder how I can figure this out. Maybe a Facebook post to my circle of friends asking if anyone needs their key back? A lost & found ad on Craigslist? Maybe I could reverse-engineer the problem, try the key in every lock I find in all my usual haunts. I could undergo hypnosis and return to the time I acquired the key, maybe resolve some phobias along the way. Or I could do the unthinkable--take it off the ring and stick it in a drawer. (You thought I was going to say throw it out, didn't you?) No, I won't do that. I'm going to keep it on my key ring and imagine it's the key to my happy place, my refuge from the world, my cozy corner. There's a rocking chair there with a soft tattered quilt, a purring cat, and my favorite book, its pages dog-eared. It's always raining outside in a steady downpour that taps on the window as I stay snug and dry. Nobody has a key to this secret room except for me. And every time I see my extra key, I'll smile a secret smile and think about my secret room and what I'll do the next time I go there.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Don't Mind Me--As I Read Over Your Shoulder :-)

I'm afraid I have some bad news, Big Brother really is watching you. It took a while for George Orwell's dystopian world of "Nineteen Eighty-Four" to come to pass, but here we are. Your computer is watching your every move, your phone tracks you--heck, even Uber knows where you are after you've deleted the app. And no, you're not paranoid if you think your toaster is judging you or your fit-bit is giving away all your secrets, it's true. Welcome to the "Internet of Things"! Here's some more bad news, I've been watching you too. I never meant for it to happen, I swear, but the temptation was too great. If Big Brother is watching you, Little Sister is right behind him.

It started innocently enough. I wrote a few books and self-published them to Kindle. I eagerly agreed to be part of the Kindle Unlimited library in order to gain exposure for my books. Then KU switched from paying authors by the download to paying them by the pages actually read. You probably don't know this, but Kindle is watching you read every page--and so am I. I have an up-to-the-minute website telling me which of my books is being read, how many pages, and what country you're in! It's astounding, it's fantastic, and it's terribly addicting. Like watching the clock in Times Square tick down the seconds to the new year, I can't stop watching you read. It's lonely for me, I wish we could talk. I have so many questions for you. "Did you like that part? Were you surprised by the ending? Did my corny joke make you laugh?" You're so close, yet so far away...

Anyway, I didn't mean to freak you out. Please keep reading and don't mind me as I look over your shoulder. I'll be cheering you on!