Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Katrina has left a wake of destruction and heartache from her landing - pictures of debris and memories of places we know so well, the displaced people and lives lost, structures that look like they were put into a giant blender. Places are set up and more being set up here to send food, supplies and bottled water to NO. Mountain Valley is sending 16 trucks of bottled Mountain Valley water. When I retired, I was working as Exec. Sec. to the Claim Manager in an insurance company in Little Rock. I remember shortly before I left, taking a file back to the file room for my boss and looking at about a square block of files and thinking of the big chunks of people's lives in that room. To those of you who don't know what a CAT Team is, it's a group of their best adjusters gathered from all over the country (some from the retired ranks too) to send into the area hit by whatever the catastrophe is. There's no immediate repair - they have to use the construction companies just like everyone else - but there is the immediate help they can get and the assurance of what your insurance will cover, right down to out of pocket expenses. I've got some neices and nephews right now who are sympathetic but pointing out all coast areas are just as dangerous as California. (Every time there's a big rumble out there either my sister or I hint they should send out resumes closer to home : - )) They also remind me Jim and I are not far from the San Andreas fault. Supplies and water are now on their way to our neighbors in LA and MS along with our hearts and prayers. Hope all the writers and sibs of Sisters in Crime have made it safely out of the cities so devastated. We are remembering with sad hearts some of the areas shown on the news and Good Morning America. Robin is reporting from Gulfport, MS - that drive from there to NO along the coast is beautiful (but I also remember the damage Camille caused). Break's over!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Hellos and hope to all who still have power and a place to work and keep in touch after Katrina, she is still winding down after skirting me and my husband in Arkanas and passing my sister and their family in Memphis. The sun is out here, Jim is out looking around for broken or fallen limbs. We parked our cars in places where it would have to be a terrible blow to send limbs down on them and hoped it wouldln't be that bad. It wasn't but I talked to my sister in Memphis a few minutes ago and it's still raining there. She was at work and they have no power at home and no phone service. Along with our prayers I know there are already very efficient Guardian Angels on the the scenes and en route to the hardest hit areas. They're called CAT Claim Adjusters and the insurance companies send them out to help the ones with the wings who are always with you. Sending my prayers, more later. Break's over!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

A NO CHOICE VACATION! I'm not so sure about the 'vacation' but I'm certainly sure about the NO CHOICE. I didn't mean to take a break from cyber space at all, but my little community of metal AAs (that's for Aggravating Assistants) decided to take a break. I could still get my e-mail but I couldn't print anything out (like an address or something I want to keep) so I spent about three days trying to figure out where this little glitch was hiding. I finally gave up and took it to the equivilent of the machine's ER. I had to take in the modem, scanner, and printer. Sure enough, it was a tiny thing and it's fixed now so I'm back in business. Of course this was at a time when I'd like to print out some flyers to give away at my booksigning of Sept. 3 - wouldn't you know it? Just like Murphy's Law - "anything that can happen will, and at the worst possible moment." Guess I'd better not fuss too loud or my metallic crew might impose sanctions - again! Oh well, all is forgiven, I'm just glad to have it back. Anyone with tales of terror about similar tales of terror at the mercy of a computer, feel free to sound off. Break's over!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

"You can't get there from here!" Yep, that's how it is right now, my little home town is one big growing pain. I've been busy as a one-eyed dog in a butcher shop since my last blog, and directions are just part of the - activities. Once Burned, my new romance-suspense came out the last of April and I've been waiting for The Devil in Maryvale, the first of a cozy mystery series to come out. The cover was okayed, last of the galleys sent, an ASAP order for some copies from the printer was in, all I had to do was wait. In fact, with all the time-consuming things required to get a book into print, I'm tempted to list 'waiter' as my occupation instead of writer. However, I called the independent book store I've been talking to and promised to bring them a couple of each of them on consignment since they're in an established (reading) neighborhood. Also, the bookstore chains demand 40% when you sign books with them so you have to be desperate for name recognition to do it.

I will probably go on and do a couple of signings with a chain store in a nearby town where I've done booksignings before, but it won't be within the next two months. There is no bookstore in our small town but there is coffee shop I've been eyeing, so I took my two new books and called on them. When I opened the door I was surprised and pleased. There was a (little smaller than lifesize) chef statue standing outside and it was like entering one of the places in the French Quarter in NO, except they have more room. It was love at first sight and hopefully the signilng will be good for the coffee shop and me as well, signing is set up for Sat. 9:00-11:00 AM Sept. 3, and will be announced in our local weekly paper next week.

The direction problem is a couple of the streets may not be there by Sept. 3! Sounds like something the Three Stooges would get into, doesn't it? This place has become a contractor's dream and a homeowner's nightmare. What there is of the sewer system is obsolete, inadequate, worn out anyway, and the local politicians are still haggling over a dependable water supply. Hundreds of people are moving here to get out of the big city and causing a big problem. The secretary of our writing group said to send directions so she can announce the signing and I'm doing that - with the reminder that the directions may change by the time we have our next meeting which, fortunately, is one week before the signing. Also fortunate, the place is directly across from the post office, so anyone or the local police can direct people. (Gee! I wish I thought there would be that many people looking for me! : - )) Wish me luck, break's over!

Monday, August 01, 2005

Wall Tour Cont'd: Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend, we had a great one all around Little Rock, Arkansas. The local group of writers I belong to had our first meeting in a new location. The Penpoint Group has moved and now meets at the New Barnes & Noble in North Little Rock at 2:00 PM the last Saturday in each month. Any writers or those interested in writing, published or unpublished, will be welcome and the dues (after the first three visits) are only $15.00 a year (half if you start in July-August - a bargain, yet! Also, I know at least two of them have interesting walls like me and they're a great group : - ))

I think I'd covered most of the walls, the rest is pictures of Jim and me on a couple of those cruise ships (smart of them to take your picture BEFORE you sail, get caught in the rain and eat too much).

There's a 'going to church' picture of my sister and her husband, a couple of my children, and a couple of oil paintings by Jim's aunt. I expressed an interest in one of her pictures and the heirs saw it as an opportunity to hand me the rest they had left(!). So we've got a few more scattered here and there. There's a calendar I keep forgetting to look at which is no great loss since I keep forgetting to put upcoming stuff on it anyway and I've got it planned how I can rearrange some things if I ever get around to entering any of my masterpieces in award contests (and actually GET one!). So I guess though it looks maxed out, my wall and I are flexible : - )

I've got to get back to work on my screen play. I'm now within 31 pages of the size I want it so I've got (SOB) some more cutting to do. Break's over!.