Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Coincidences you couldn't get away with in fiction

I had an ooh wee ooh moment yesterday. I received an electronic picture frame for Christmas, and after dinner yesterday, the frame was displaying this photo.



It's the log home (more pictures here) I built and lived in for a decade in northern Vermont. The photo was one of the ones on a webpage we'd used to sell the cabin over 7 years ago. We discussed how we loved that picture and wondered how Ted and Beth, our buyers from way back when, liked it there. I recalled how Ted told me that this was the picture that made Beth fall in love with the cabin in the first place.

No more than five minutes later, that cabin picture still displaying on the electronic frame, I got an email from a couple who identified themselves as Ted and Beth's daughter and son-in-law. The hair on the back of neck stood at attention. They were at the cabin, reading an early draft of a novel I'd left for Ted and Beth. They'd googled my name and found an email because they wanted to tell me how happy the cabin has made their entire family over the years AND how much they loved the novel I left behind.

I could never get away with such a coincidence in a novel. Ain't real life fun?

We had a nice exchange and had fun with the coincidence. Turns out, the daughter and son-in-law loved the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont so much, they bought an old house not far from the cabin I built. They're staying at the cabin while converting their house to a Bed & Breakfast, and they assured me I'd always have a place to stay if I come to visit the area.

A further bonus was their enthusiasm over the novel I'd left for their folks. I never let drafts out of my hands, but we'd really hit it off with Ted and Beth, so I'd made an exception. The current version of that novel is so much better and tighter than that draft, I cringed at first when I heard they were reading it. But I quit cringing when they gushed about how much they loved it.

It was a good evening, based on a major coincidence I wouldn't dare write as fiction.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Living in the light, wondering about the night

I'm an early-to-bed, early-to-rise kind of guy. I've been this way since I was too young to be this way, but that's who I am, so that's who I've been. But while waiting up recently, staring out the windows in the wee hours waiting for Santa (he came but I missed him...again!), I got to wondering what all I miss in the night. What would it be like to sleep during the day and live during the night?

"Moonlight in Vermont"
With everyone else asleep, it'd feel like I had the world to myself. That thought has a certain appeal to an introvert like me. Granted, I love a bright day and the playfulness -- and predictability -- of sunlight. Could the reflected light of the moon, on nights when there's enough moon to matter, fill my needs? Or would my needs change? Would my vision adjust to seeing in the dark, my hearing become more acute to pick out softer night sounds? Would I start to think differently?

This isn't the first time I've speculated about what I'm missing as I sleep. A strong childhood memory is a sleepover with a friend when I was in elementary school. We snuck out in the middle of a warm summer night and rode our bikes through streets that were busy during the day but deserted at 2 AM, pretending we were being hunted and chased. I probably played similar games hundreds of times during the day, but I don't remember those, only this one time at night.

My strongest memory of my home in Dracut, Massachusetts, is a night near the end of my five years there. Normally one to sleep undisturbed all night, I couldn't drift off one warm summer night. My bedroom was on the second story, my windows wide open, and I sat and looked out on the calm night for hours, spotting owls and tiny movements in the brush, watching the moon and moon shadows, the beauty of nature in shades of blue and gray.

In Vermont, summer nights still occasionally pulled me to the windows or porch, but winter nights also drew me from bed. Moonlight reflected off the snow, and even the inside of the cabin would glow with it. I'd look out and spot deer and moose, sometimes rambling within a few yards of my cabin. I'd hear coyotes and sometimes the tiny sounds of mice stirring within the walls. Every sight and sound seemed so BIG in the night, even the smallest rustling or the slightest movement I barely noticed in the woods.

Then I'd return to bed and to sleep and wake in the bright light of a new day, a time I loved then and love now. But things had changed. Maybe it's only because it all looked familiar again, but nothing seemed quite as large. I'd begin my morning routines, start my day, and focus on what I always focused on in the light. But it felt like I'd lost a little magic.

So I wonder about the night. Maybe that's what I'm supposed to do. Shifting my life twelve hours might only make the night mundane and kill a fun and compelling curiosity. Or maybe I should take action and see what lurks in the dark?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Florida & Caribbean Cruise Vacation, part 2

As promised, here are some pictures and words about the Caribbean cruise part of our recent vacation. We sailed on the Celebrity Solstice, which carries nearly 3000 passengers in addition to crew. It's a grand ship with some spectacular common areas.

Me in San Juan, posing with the ship
Looking down

The grand staircase
The upper deck has over 1/2 acre of real grass

We had a wonderful time, onboard and off. In St. Thomas, we put on what look like spaceman suit head bubbles filled with air and rode scooters 8' below the ocean surface. It was great fun and a good way to see a shipwreck below us and fish all around. In St. Maarten (or St. Martin, depending on which half of the island you're on), I went zip-lining in the rain forest. I can prove it, thanks to a hidden camera planted in the trees which took my photo. We also dressed up nice for formal night, another thing I can prove thanks to all the photographers stationed around the ship that night.


We like cruises. I toy with the idea of writing a novel set on a haunted cruise ship. I've begun outlining it more than once, but I've never been excited enough about the outline to begin writing. I'm getting closer though. My ulterior motive is that the novel will sell well enough that a major cruise line will put me up for multiple cruises while I give talks on the book or hold writing tip classes or whatever.

Sounds fun, right? I do wonder how big I'd get after eating fantastic cruise food for a month or two. Maybe those trees I zip-lined between have a weight limit. Or maybe the cable does. I'd hate to end my zip-lining days so soon.

Aw well, maybe I should hold off worrying about those type things until I come up with a haunted ship outline that juices me up enough to write the novel. Hmm, where did I file that outline?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Speculative fiction contest at ChiZine Publications

ChiZine Publications, a Toronto based small press, is holding a contest for speculative fiction and speculative poetry. I don't have the expertise to endorse or discourage any particular contest, but this one looks interesting to me, interesting enough that I've selected an excerpt of about 7,000 words to use if I decide to enter. Click the CZP logo to the left to go to their website, where rules, details, and entry information are listed.

Let me know if you enter. Maybe that'll encourage me further.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Florida & Caribbean Cruise Vaction, part 1

We returned last night from a wonderful vacation. We started off visiting good friends in Wilton Manors (Ft. Lauderdale), Florida.


Ed, Brad, and Sage always make us feel welcomed when we visit, and they show us a great time. This year, we went to The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens. Wow. It was one photo op after another.




I don't know what we enjoyed more, the museum, the ponds, the various styles of gardens, the pagodas, the streams, the plants, or just the feel of the place.



It's safe to say all of it was enjoyable, proving to us yet again that Ft. Lauderdale is a great place to vacation, especially when you have wonderful friends there to share good times. I'll post some pictures from the Caribbean cruise part of our vacation in a few days.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

"Segway" to a new age

Yesterday we climbed aboard Segways and toured historic Tucson. It was a great and unexpected birthday treat and a wonderful way to get to know our new home town a bit better. I'm still trying to understand why standing on a machine that did all the work of moving me about built up my appetite so much, but the tour ended very conveniently at a restaurant with outdoor seating at lunchtime on a beautiful day. So we segued right into my birthday lunch.

Birthdays are still fun, as long as you have the right person planning them for you. I do.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Abbott & Costello, a Halloween treat

I watched "Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein" when I was in grade school. I vaguely recall the details, but I remember loving it. I remember where I watched it, who I was with, and the general feeling of the day.

This Halloween, we're full-out busy with the moving/remodeling/refurnishing, but a week or two ago, we purchased tickets for us and another couple to see a matinee showing of this classic at a theater here in Tucson. I'm really looking forward to it.



Anyone else have fun plans for Halloween?

Edited to add: I had high expectations, and the movie exceeded them. Great way to spend a Halloween afternoon.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A backward step

As I mentioned in the latest edition of my newsletter (if you're not subscribed, CLICK HERE to see a copy on Gather.com), I made a tough decision over the weekend and asked for the rights back to my novel Dark Knowledge. It was published as an ebook a year ago, but now it's no longer available for purchase.

Here's what happened. My publisher for that novel didn't have the success they hoped for when they expanded beyond romance and erotica novels, and they announced they will no longer publish several genres, including all the genres Dark Knowledge might be considered -- paranormal, thriller, and horror. This development meant my novel would never be printed on paper and I had no real future with this publisher. I asked if they would relinquish the rights to Dark Knowledge so I could try to get it published elsewhere, and my publisher graciously agreed.

I have no complaints with the publisher. They were always a pleasure to work with, and I agree with their decision to pull back, even though it impacts me negatively. They did a great job developing my novel, always treated me right, paid promptly, and released me when I asked. They could have held on to the rights for two more years.

So it's sad news and feels like a step backward in my writing career, but I'm glad for the experience. I got to be read, which I love, and I got to puff out my chest with reviews like THIS ONE, THIS ONE, THIS ONE, and others. And I remain hopeful that by taking this step back, I'll find a new path forward for Dark Knowledge and other novels.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Tucson house takes shape

Some pictures as the house we bought in Tucson is transformed into our home. Things are coming together nicely now. We had all the carpet replaced with tile and wood laminate, we had new lighting fixtures installed, all switches and outlets replaced, new ones installed. We had ceiling fans installed everywhere (not easy in a house with no attic or pre-wiring). Today Jack and I installed a cabinet in the kitchen and worked in that room until we can see what it will become. We're pleased. My office is coming together well. We dined for the first time at our new dining room table. We have a living room. We have all sorts of furniture. Appliances are on order. We whacked back at the overgrown back yard and are making maintenance strides on the pool. Whew, a busy 3 weeks.

Now some photos:

New living area (in progress) with new tiled floors


Old hall lighting/new hall lighting

Sunday, October 10, 2010

How to celebrate a round day

Happy 10-10-10 Day!

What will you be doing (or what were you doing, depending on when you read this) at 10:10 AM on 10-10-10? I'm thinking that since it's so many nice round numbers, I should celebrate by getting rounder. Maybe I'll munch down on chocolate eclairs with one of those high-end, ultra-high calorie coffee-ish specialty drinks. That ought to soften a few of my edges.

However you celebrate this round event, hope you enjoy. It won't come round (hehehe) again for quite some time.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Making it ours

This has been an expensive week for us new Tucson residents, but soooo worth it. We bought this house with a joint vow to follow a 2-step plan. The plan: 1) Make all desired upgrades immediately, and then 2) Enjoy.

The desired upgrades included replacing all carpet with wood laminate and tile; repairing pool pump's motor (it was LOUD); having ceiling fans installed, modernizing lighting fixtures, electrical switches, and outlets; buying a whole housefull of furniture, kitchen appliances, tv's, etc.

Tomorrow evening, we'll have been Tucson residents 2 weeks, and we've come a long, long way toward meeting our goal. By week's end, we'll be close. We're so happy about all this. We're so tired from all this. We're so broke because of all this.

But happy. I did mention we're incredibly happy, didn't I? Yep, we are. This has already been ruled a "good move." The house feels like it's ours.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Live from Tucson

We're here!

Our move from Albuquerque to Tucson was anything but smooth, but we made it. I'd have posted something sooner, but we had very limited internet access for the last month plus. The buyer of our Albuquerque home had ongoing problems with his loan that set things back 5 or 6 weeks. He had plenty of money, but his job isn't a typical kind of employment, and in these banking times... Anyway, when this problem surfaced, we had already sold all our furniture, cleared out our house, and we were all set to move. So it was a major complication for us, especially as it dragged on and on, but through it all, our buyer kept faith in us, we kept faith in him, and that mutual respect kept us all going until the deal was complete. We're so grateful he hung in there.

Huge thanks to our friend for letting us stay in his house with our dogs. What was supposed to be a two night stay turned into a month plus residence. If it's true house guests are like fish and get stinky after 3 days, you can imagine how rank we got as the weeks rolled on.

But now we're here. We're thankful we made it, and we feel incredibly lucky to have the friend and buyer we had to help us through it all. We love our new home, our new community, and Tucson. The frustration of the helpless, extended wait, always with the risk of everything falling through, is already fading into the place were bad memories go. There are way too many positive things to concentrate on to let past frustrations get us down.

After all, we're here, reporting live from Tucson.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Tucson: The next adventure

We've loved our 7 years in Albuquerque, but we've decided it's time to love another place. We have a contract on our house in Albuquerque, and we just learned our contract to buy a house in Tucson was accepted. We're excited! I walk into this house, and I'm happy. Love the neighborhood and the general area too. WooHoo!

Now we're hoping all the inspections and the myriad of activities involved in selling and purchasing a house go well. With some luck, we'll be in our new home before August ends. If you have any to spare, wish us luck!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Tripp & Tasia

We don't know the birth dates of either of our rescued dogs, but today is the day we choose to celebrate their birthdays. They've already been on a neighborhood walk and then taken to the country where they could run.

Happy Birthday, Tripptasia!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I write like...

I stumbled on an interesting site, especially for writers. You input writing samples, and it analyzes your style and tells you who you write like.

I put in the prologue from my unpublished novel, Above Haldis Notch, which is a paranormal thriller/magical realism novel. It told me I write like James Joyce.

Then I tried various other sections from Above Haldis Notch -- single chapters, multiple chapters, and multiple chapters that included the prologue. Using early chapters, I always got the same response:

I write like
Stephen King

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!


I did several runs using the last chapters and just as consistently got matched with Margaret Atwood.

For another unpublished novel, a literary horror/paranormal, psychological thriller I call Daeva, I tried various chapters and combinations of early chapters, and I always got this result:

I write like
Chuck Palahniuk

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!


Using chapters closer to the end of Daeva, it again told me I write like Stephen King every time I entered chapters.

CLICK HERE to visit the I Write Like website. Who do you write like?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

T-shirt advertising

Today I used my chest as a billboard for one of my novels. No one inquired.


Maybe if I had a bigger chest...

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

BookWenches review Dark Knowledge

I had a great surprise today. BookWenches reviewed my paranormal thriller Dark Knowledge. Not only was the review glowing, it was detailed. The reviewer must have read carefully and put great thought into the review. Thank you BD Whitney of BookWenches for finding the horror and the heart in Dark Knowledge.

I included BD's review in its entirety below. Click the BookWenches logo above to visit their site and read the review firsthand. Be sure to look around. You're certain to find many other helpful reviews on their site.
Wesley has been a resident of Brookside Group Home for the Mentally Challenged ever since his mother abandoned him there nine years ago. He has been content with his life and his limitations, training for a job at Goodwill and interacting with his friend and attendant Bobby. Lately, though, he has found himself drawn into a world within his own mind, a world of colors and thoughts and memories that frightens him yet also beckons and promises. With each subsequent trip into his mind-world, Wesley emerges with increased mental capacity. He also has developed the ability to heal the sick and injured, a fact that would make him happy if he didn’t sense that all is not good in this landscape within his mind.

This newfound intelligence comes with a price. As Wesley plucks his thoughts out of his mind-world, the void is filled with a dark knowledge, an evil that is just waiting to take over him. He wants nothing to do with this darkness, but others lurk in the background of his mindscape who are desperate to embrace it. Now Wesley finds himself thrown into the middle of a life-or-death competition with brothers and sisters he never knew he had. This is a competition that Wesley is not even sure he wants to win, because the spoils of victory are so horrible that they may very well be worse than death.

********

Keith Pyeatt’s novel Dark Knowledge is the story about a good versus evil struggle, difficult choices, and sacrifice, as a man finds that some gifts come with unexpected consequences. While it is essentially a horror story, it is also a story of caring and friendship, and I found it to be a very interesting and involving read.

This novel is set in two worlds: physical reality and the world of the mind. We start off taking brief dips into the mind-world along with Wesley, and it is a somewhat surreal mix of colors, shapes, and textures in a bizarre landscape. As the story progresses and the conflict increases, the mind-world changes into something much more threatening, and what initially resembled a dream turns into a nightmare. I found this strange and distorted mindscape to be very well conceived, and while it is easy to get lost and confused while visiting, I believe this is exactly the impression we are supposed to receive.

Mr. Pyeatt has given us a memorable cast of main characters in Dark Knowledge, whether they be personable or not so much so. Regardless of his mental capacity, we connect with Wesley right away. He is one of those pure souls whom it is impossible not to love, and he broke my heart a little bit in this story. Although we celebrate his growing intellect, we also see the negative affect that it has on Wesley’s psyche. His sunny simplicity disappears as he realizes that with the good also comes bad, and he must struggle within himself against the seductive quality of the dark knowledge.

Another character we quickly become attached to is Bobby, Wesley’s attendant. He is almost too good to be true. Here is a man who can see beyond the surface of his charges to appreciate their spirits, regardless of their intellect. He sees Wesley as a friend in spite of his mental challenges, and it is that very caring and friendship that makes him step outside his boundaries to try to keep Wesley from harm.

Wesley’s mother, Lydia straddles the line between good and evil. Mr. Pyeatt has made her a wonderfully creepy character – in fact, she frequently made my skin crawl – and it is impossible to like her, yet we can’t hate her either. Even though she is truly not a nice person and seems hateful and thoughtless towards her son on the surface, she is in fact doing her best to ensure his survival. Her twisted sense of love manages to redeem her somewhat in the end.

There is plenty of violence in this novel both in the physical world and the mindscape, although in the mind-world it takes on a surreal quality. A number of scenes are gruesome and bloody as the conflict escalates, and it peaks for Wesley in a climax that combines physical combat with a desperate psychological struggle.

In all, I found Dark Knowledge to be a very unique reading experience. It is fantastical, fascinating, and well-written, and it touched me emotionally as well as providing a bit of a thrill. I don’t think I’ll be forgetting Wesley any time soon. I don’t think I want to.

--Bobby

Friday, June 04, 2010

Fun with Wordle

I've been playing. I found this site called Wordle. You feed in a document, large or small, and it spits out a word cloud. The larger the word is in the word cloud, the more times it appeared in the document. I made a word cloud for my paranormal horror novel Daeva, and here's what I got.


Obviously, my characters' names are the most used words (other than words like "and," "the," "a,".... Wordle eliminates those for you).

I found it kind of interesting, so I fed in my paranormal suspense/thriller Struck.


Again, the names dominate. For my paranormal thriller Dark Knowledge, I didn't include the proper names. Here's the resulting word cloud.

Excluding proper names, I'm not surprised to see prominent words like eyes, time, something, or looked. I'm not surprised to see pueblo in Struck's cloud or demon and mind in Daeva's cloud. But I am surprised all three novel clouds show back as a prominent word. Odd.

Knowing myself the way I do, I'm sure I'll look into it further. I just can't help myself.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

A literary agent's action contest

Nathan Bransford, a literary agent, is holding a fun little contest he calls The ROCK PAPER TIGER Chase/Action Writing Contest Extravaganza!! Writers may submit a 500 word "chase and/or action and/or suspenseful sequence" to be judged by Nathan Bransford. Finalists are voted on by his blog readers.

If you're a writer, hurry. The deadline is Thursday at 4 PM Pacific Time. Click here to visit Nathan Bransford's blog, where you can enter if you're so inclined.

I entered an action/suspense sequence from my novel Daeva, a paranormal thriller. Because there are already so many entries on Nathan's blog, you'd probably never find mine if you went looking for it, so I posted it below. If you read it, let me know what you think. Suspenseful?
_______________________________________

The demon shadows nested in the far corner, twisting and churning in continual motion. Chris heard their movements clearly tonight: muffled ripping when a large shape tore itself in two, dry papers lightly rubbed together as shapes folded or stretched, wet smacking sounds as two or more shapes combined to form one larger shadow. Faces appeared in the black shadows and spoke to him between hisses.

Friday, May 21, 2010

When reality flashes back to fiction

We live in Albuquerque, in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains, and an arroyo abuts our back yard. For those not familiar, in this area, it doesn't rain often, but it can rain very hard. When that happens, a bunch of water needs a place to go. Fast. Arroyos channel water and prevent flooding. Our arroyo also acts as a corridor for wildlife coming down out of the mountains. Remember, these things are dry 99.99% of the time.

The other morning I looked outside and saw a huge and beautiful coyote across the arroyo. It jumped up on a concrete block fence and gracefully and alertly paced the length. I figure it was looking for rabbits. Rabbits are abundant here and have become too fat, lazy, and cavalier for their own good. I loved watching the coyote move as it searched the area from its elevated vantage point, and somehow the experience resonated with me for days. I told a friend, and he said, "Keith, that's a scene from your novel Struck."

By gum, he was right. Change that concrete block wall to the ruins of an Anasazi kiva in Chaco Canyon, and you're in the climatic scene of Struck. No wonder the sight resonated.

The coyote returned a couple days later for a repeat performance. Even knowing part of my infatuation was that it flashed me back to my fiction, something more captivated me. For a second time, I wouldn't risk going for a camera, afraid I'd miss an experience trying to capture an image on film. I guess I'm satisfied to have captured it in words. Before I saw it.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Nice ladies with phone cameras

While I was setting up for the Authors Event at Bookworks, a nice lady used her phone to take my picture and then emailed it to me. Her attitude set the tone. Nice crowd at Bookworks. Note my smile.

Monday, May 03, 2010

A protagonist's mother

I'm already looking forward to participating in the Mother's Day Local Author Fair at Bookworks this Sunday from 3:00 - 4:30 PM, and I hope to see some of my Albuquerque friends there. I'll be one of five authors participating. CLICK HERE for details on the books featured.

I'll be there with Struck, my paranormal thriller that's set in Albuquerque, a fictional pueblo, and the Anasazi ruins in Chaco Canyon. Since it's a Mother's Day event, I've been thinking about my protagonist's mother, Sally. Her life was drastically changed by a bolt of lightning years before the lightning strike featured in the first scene of the novel.

I love my character Sally and made her a huge positive influence on my novel's hero. Like so many of us sons, the more Barry grows as an adult, the more he realizes how incredible his mother was.

So in anticipation of my upcoming Mother's Day event, here's my favorite Sally chapter from Struck. I hope you love her too.

_____________________

Sally Andrews had delayed her lunch break to help a customer find a size ten yellow blouse when pain shot through her body, a vivid reminder of the lightning bolt that had struck her over twenty-three years ago. She grabbed her left shoulder, the lightning's point of entry, as it blazed pain. Shifting weight off her aching right foot, the exit point, she almost toppled over.

"Are you all right?" her customer asked.

Sally looked up at the woman. Afraid trying to speak would unleash the scream she barely contained, Sally shook her head.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Ready for Mother's Day?

The high winds in Albuquerque today are playing havoc with our blooming irises. One with three large blooms was blown to the ground, so I clipped it and made it an indoor cut flower. It looked so nice I photographed it and posted it on Facebook. See?


My highly talented artist friend, Cullan Hudson, liked it, so I gave him the photograph. He added a great background and enhanced it to look like this:


He liked it so much, he turned it into a series of Mother's Day gifts here: Mother's Day Iris Gifts.

Bottom line: My rescued purple iris is now famous, all thanks to this annoying wind and my talented friend.

Moral: When Mother Nature slaps you (or your irises) around, take a picture.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

5 Days in AZ

We returned yesterday from a quick trip to Sedona and Tucson. Both places were having record cold weather, but we still managed to have a great time. In Sedona, we got in a nice hike up Mount Doe before a snowstorm hit. Beautiful. Lots of green this year.







It was a great hike. See how happy we were?



Then Jack and I pushed on to Tucson. One day we drove to the top of Mt. Lemmon. What views! Here's one from part way up.



At the top is a very small and picturesque ski resort. I tried unsuccessfully to befriend the local feline. She was either pregnant or old (I'm a terrible judge of cats), so I didn't push it, but she still added to the charm of the little resort.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Cover contest

I've loved Dark Knowledge's cover since I first saw it. The artist, Renee Rocco, did a great job of capturing the feel of the novel.


The cover was recently selected as a finalist in a contest. Take a look and vote for your favorite cover over at Susan Whitfield's blog.

And while I'm on the subject of Susan's blog, here's a direct link to my interview with her: My Horror with Heart Interview.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Struck book signing in Old Town Albuquerque

I haven't had a book signing since Halloween, so I'm already looking forward to the one this Saturday. It'll be at a favorite independent bookstore. Here are the details:
Saturday, April 10th
1 PM to 3 PM
Treasure House Books & Gifts
2012 South Plaza NW
Old Town Albuquerque
(opposite the church)
It's predicted to be sunny and mid-70's, so it'll be a great day to stroll around Old Town, sit under a tree or on a park bench, and read your freshly signed copy of Struck.


If you want a teaser, read a couple chapters by clicking here. Hope to see you Saturday.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Today's Hero of the Treadmill

I missed most of my runs last week (I ran once instead of my usual 4 or 5 times), and I thought I might cut today's run short. Then this song came on. Love running to this beat.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Remodeling

We've been remodeling. Jack's painting fences, door frames, assorted moldings, and any worn spots on eaves, trim, etc. We're doing lots of little things not worth highlighting with a photo, but here are some of our bigger projects.


New sunroom. We installed the floor a couple years ago, and hired a contractor to rebuild the outside walls and replace doors and windows this year.


Sunroom again.


They finished the stucco on the outside of the sunroom Thursday. There used to be 3 dilapidated aluminum sliders, cheap white siding, and no insulation in the walls.


Outside of sunroom again.


That window used to be a door. The sidewalk looked misplaced leading into a wall, so I made the curved concrete connector this week, joining sidewalk to patio.


New oven I installed yesterday.


Now that the sunroom is well insulated, we made it part of the main house. We yanked out two big OLD aluminum windows this week, trimmed the openings, and dubbed them pass-throughs. We also removed the door. We really like it this way. The kitchen cabinet top, sink, stove, & vent were last year's projects.