Sunday, June 29, 2008


Please help me welcome the newest member of our family.

Tasia is a catahoula mix we adopted from the animal shelter two weeks ago.

I don't think those ears are typical of the catahoula breed, but wherever they came from, you just got to love them.

Tasia is 3 or 4 years old, about the same age as Tripp, our Siberian husky. We fell in love with her immediately. To repay us, it took her about ten minutes to decide this was home and another ten minutes to fit in perfectly. An added bonus to having such an easy-going, loving dog join us is that she's the first dog who's willing and able to wrestle with Tripp and chase him around until they're exhausted. Then we relax at the end of a long summer's day. That's the part I like best.

So welcome to the family, Tasia.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Preferable to Death

In an earlier blog post, I referenced a statistic that most people fear public speaking more than death. Bucking that sentiment, I survived my presentation this week at a SouthWest Writers program without once wishing for the grim reaper.

My topic was Novel by Novel: Learning as You Write, and I discussed some of my experiences writing and revising five novels. A few jitters set in the weekend before my program when I saw my name in the Sunday paper, but they didn't last long. I was surprisingly calm during my talk.

Photo courtesy of Lila Anastas

The presentation seemed well received. The audience laughed in all the right spots, remained attentive, and asked great questions. I couldn't have asked for more. In fact, I gladly give the lion's share of credit for a successful night to the audience. SouthWest Writers is made up of folks who support each other and want every speaker to do well. You can feel the positive attitude at each program. I actually enjoyed the experience.

So there's my promised report. I'll conclude by strongly suggesting that if you're ever actually forced to choose between death and public speaking, pick the podium.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Friends in Print: Joylene Nowell Butler

I'm thrilled to see my good friend, Joylene Nowell Butler, now has a book available to the general public. It's called DEAD WITNESS. I've read it twice, but now I have my very own published copy, so you know I'll be devouring it again soon. It's a wonderful thriller about a Canadian housewife named Valerie who witnesses the murder of two FBI agents, does the right thing by testifying, and gets her life destroyed for her trouble. Valerie undergos tremdous personal growth when it falls on her to reclaim her life and protect her family.

Joylene is an incredible writer, and DEAD WITNESS showcases her talents beautifully. To learn a little about Joylene, VISIT HER BLOG. Or jump right in and BUY THE NOVEL. I hope you will. It gets my highest recommendation.