Saturday, March 28, 2009
Those rankings are mighty volatile, of course, but such a big gain is a sight to see. It shows how getting and leveraging one review can make a difference.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
We just returned from a great trip with two other couples to Big Bend in Texas. Two of us took our RVs, and the third took their car. It was a good time to go, as the weather hasn't turned hot yet; summmertime heat down there can be brutal—110 to 115 degrees, we're told.
Big Bend, of course, refers to the bend in the Rio Grande that shapes western Texas. Travelers can tell they are getting close to the river by the strip of green that stands in sharp contrast to the barren, beige landscape. In the middle of a massive cliff is a notch that's visible from miles away; that is the Santa Elena Canyon, through which the Rio Grande flows.
We also spent time in Fort Davis, an old fort designed to protect a travel route against marauding Apaches who might be bent on stealing some of their land back. The fort is in the Davis Mountains, which is also the site of the McDonald Observatory, where we spent our first evening watching the stars on a perfect night. Our guide used a Star Wars-like laser pointer to show us Aldebaran, Polaris, Betelgeuse, Sirius, a passing satellite, and many other celestial objects. The laser itself was a wonder, as it looked like the fellow was scraping the stars.
On our first morning, our friends saw javelinas, but all I saw were some tame deer that seemed to have no fear of humans.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Monday, March 09, 2009
On March 9, 1916, Pancho Villa led a raid on the village of Columbus, New Mexico. Shortly thereafter, General John "Black Jack" Pershing led a punitive raid into Mexico.
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
I woke up in the dark, shivering to the bone while searing pain sent yellow and purple flashes across my eyes. I could hear the wind but couldn’t feel it. Maybe this was hell, where eternal punishment came as a grab-bag of assaults to the skull, the back, the noseGod, the stench! My maker must have condemned me to die and smell my own rotting flesh, its cold vapors drifting up to my nose and corroding my insides as well. Mixed with the smell of Clay Webster’s carcass was a sweeter smell, but one no less sickening: I must have drunk myself to death with cheap booze and fallen into a slag heap of unrecycled waste.
Maybe I could come back in another life and try again. In my next life I would study library science. Librarians didn’t go to hell. They didn’t wake up face down in turkey carcasses, smelling like peach brandy, feeling like they’ve been sleeping in a.
I looked straight up and saw the stars.
I was in a Dumpster.
HARDCOVER FLAP/PAPERBACK COPY
When beautiful Bonita Esquivez hires P.I. Clay Webster to find her husband, Lucky, Clay expects an easy missing-person case. But when Bonita bites a poisoned bonbon, more than a quick buck is at stake. Clay needs to establish exactly who Lucky is and determine if his client could be lying to him.
Fifty-five-year-old Clay Webster knows pain; he lost his thirty-year marriage, his son, Sean, and his twenty-eight-year police career. Trying to build a new life, his wit is his weapon, and humor is his first line of defense against life’s assaults. His search for Lucky centers primarily on Lowell, Massachusetts, where he tries to save a drowning teenager in a canal and hires yet another teenager, Denton La Rock Junior, who has been making prank phone calls to his home. Clay looks for links between Lucky and A Touch of Love, the new porn shop in town.
Meanwhile, Senator Carleton Swinburne rails against the city’s perceived moral decay, personified partly by ex-cops such as Clay Webster. Perhaps Chantal Ladoute, Clay’s old friend the ex-nun, will be his moral gyroscope as he navigates an increasingly dangerous course.
WHAT WOULD HELP YOU WRITE 500-1000 WORDS A DAY?
For me, it's fewer distractions. I can work on a million writing-related activities such as blogging, email, marketing my books, reading about writing, going to meetings, updating websites, critiquing, chatting, and on and on. Then there are critical activities like putting out the trash, taking a walk, playing with the cats, having lunch, putting away the dishes, watching Morning Joe, drinking coffee, photgraphing flowers blooming in the yard... Can you tell that I'm retired? By the time all this activity is out of the way, can you see that I lack either time or energy to write?
Maybe I need to make writing a higher priority. I'll do that tomorrow for sure. Right now I'm meeting a friend at Starbucks.