Schedule Change & a Bit of Catching Up #amwriting


A Full House in the Little Classroom of the Enterprise Museum
(a restored 1930s schoolhouse that’s utterly charming!)

Good Morning, Everyone! Hope your week has been as eventful and productive as mine, and that you are looking forward to the upcoming one. I know I am! That’s because I’m taking a week off from blogging to focus on the last two chapters of my WIP. Yep. I’m down to the Showdown and Resolution chapters, and very much looking forward to wrapping this long overdue book up. I need to get it “out there” so I can tell the next story rambling around in my head. 

With this in mind, my normal weekly features (#ShareAReviewDay and #FirstLineFriday, along with the less regular #MondayMeme, and #ThorsDaySmiles) will be MIA for a week, but don’t worry. Everything will be back to normal (such as that is around here) by Monday, October 7. While away, I will check in daily, of course, and take care of comments or questions, but mostly, I’ll be buried in the final moments of Rabbit’s latest adventure. I will, of course, update you here as soon as I have this one ready to go. There will be a cover reveal, and I’m even going to get smart and set it up for pre-order. (As soon as I learn how.)

Now, as to the picture at the top of the page, that’s from yesterday’s Autumn Tea at the Enterprise Museum, with a somewhat stern looking me chatting to our guests. Not sure why it looks like I’m scolding them, but I promise, I was merely  giving the group of 35 or so the very first public look at my new cover. (I’ve edited the picture so that I can keep it a surprise from the rest of the world until the “Official Cover Reveal.” But these people have been begging me for weeks and weeks for news on the release, and I figured if I didn’t give them some proof it was actually going to happen, things were going to get ugly. 😀 ) Continue reading

#HealthNews – #BuildingALocalReadership – And a #MondayMeme (Or three!)

Every now and then, it’s good to stop and take stock of things–where you’ve been, where you’re going, how you’re planning to get there, and stuff like that. Thought I might do that today. 

Some of you may know I’ve had some health issues crop up in the last few months. Skin cancers, which aren’t new for me, Type 2 diabetes, which is, and other age-related things that plague all of us who persist in sticking around a long time. My thanks to everyone for all the support and encouragement! Hope you’ll forgive me if I update you all at once.

After having had many, many basal cell carcinomas removed over the years–I grew up under the Florida sun before we’d ever even heard of sunblock–I finally developed my first melanoma. Luckily, my dermatologist and I are old friends who see each other at least annually, if not more often, and it was caught very early and totally removed. Whew. The basal cell in my ear was a bigger problem to get rid of, though not as dangerous, and I was quite happy to keep the top of my ear. 

In May, I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, and I’ll tell you, it scared me more than you might imagine. My father passed away due to diabetes when he was a mere 8 years older than I am now. So, I took my doctor’s advice seriously, and determined that while I have no way of knowing whether I’ll be here in 8 years or not, I would NOT let diabetes be the reason I wasn’t. Continue reading

#BuildingALocalReadership – And Having Fun Doing So!

I’ve said it before and I’ll no doubt say it again, my favorite part of marketing is getting out to spend time with folks face to face. I love making new friends and seeing old ones, and for me, that means doing several presentations a month on various topics, with a signing table set up for afterward. 

I’ve spoken on all sorts of things, from writing-related themes to anything at all to do with Florida’s wildlife and natural places, always a favorite subject of mine. The point is, find something you enjoy and maybe have a bit more knowledge about than the average person, then–SHARE it! Over the past year, my talks have been focused on Central Florida’s Fabulous Wildlife, and they’ve been very well-received, happily. I love doing them, especially if I can provide some laughs along with the information I pass along, and I hope to continue doing at least 2 a month for another year or two, at least.

What are you interested in that would appeal to local audiences? Don’t forget, you can research your favorite topics online for extra information and statistics, and putting together a PowerPoint presentation is pretty easy, too. Think about it, and I’ll bet you can come up with a topic that would draw an audience. Then check your local venues for speaking opportunities. I visit with private book clubs, too, but my main focus is on the really special Enterprise Museum, and a local historic site, DeBary Hall. Both venues have wonderful staff to work with and treat me like a honored guest every time I visit with them. I love all of  them, too!

Let me know if you’ve tried anything similar, or are thinking about doing so. It’s fun. It’s FREE (and in some cases, you can charge a speaker’s fee, though I don’t), and you’ll be surprised at the folks who come to hear about local birds and leave with a book in their hands–hopefully to become a regular reader of your work.

Today, I’m off to DeBary Hall to do Part 2 of my Backyard Birds program, offering tips on how to identify the birds who pass through our yards less frequently, for various reasons. (And we have some stunning ones!) I can’t wait to get there! It’s FUN, I tell ya!

Try it. You’ll LIKE it!