Thursday, January 31, 2013

For The Birds

So what if it isn't Paris.

This is what happens when I'm stuck inside, wheezing, sneezing and set on coughing up a lung.
My normal attention span of a gnat gets even shorter.  Its tether is cinched up tight on my wind pipe, but good.
I'm supposed to be penning something or other about Hot Cross Buns, but seem to have a problem getting down to it.  First of all, I don't have anything to say about HCB.  Bless it's paper bound, Kindled heart, there ain't nothin' about HCB in me today.
But, the pigeons!  They have my attention.  Here's  how the day(s) played out.
These grey birds, who Parisians drop kick around town on a daily basis, have kept me company all week.  Try as I may to work from home, answering e-mails, mostly (Aha moment: Work = e-mail.), this flock has captivated me for hours upon hours.  You see, they've encamped on the roof of the Roosevelt, my urban dwelling, and I live on the top floor, so that makes us neighbors.  They've pooped on my windows. I don't mind. Downtown Spokane's winter city-scape is actually enhanced by their droppings.  Shakes up the drab landscape a little.
So, when I'm not flinching each time they swoop to and from their digs just above my windows, I look at their grey against grey silhouettes.  Once I reach complete detachment from work stuff, I tried to get a picture of the little piggies (endearingly pronounced pijjies).  Prior to this jail-house take, I knelt on the floor, iPhone posed upward, ready to capture a wheels-up shot.  You'da thought I'd never seen a dozen pigeons take flight, I was so patient.  So I knelt. Nothing happened.  I banged on the window.  Nothing. I opened the window and hollered. Nothing. Then, I realized I very likely was going to attract the attention of the ever-so-slightly-a-bubble-off people in the neighboring building who just might ask me over for coffee or meth or something.
I approached another window.  I only had to move one it-takes-two-people-to-move chair to get this photo.  And this is what I got.  What the ????? 
Okay, it's not much of a photo, but is does have that grey Paris pigeon look to it, don't you think?   I thought so.  It also reminded me of my junior year in college, when I went to Paris to see my friend, Carrie.  Of course I had to dig out the pictures...
Thanks, pigeons. We killed another day. 
And again, I'm reminded why it took six years to write HCB. 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Steppin' Up


HCB (top center) with neighbors.

Hot Cross Buns has found a new hood in the General Fiction section of Aunties -- and Hastings!

Now, this may not seem like a really big deal to you, but to a book, it is an event -- a chance to hang with the big kids.

Since December, HCB has been hangin' in the Local Authors section at Auntie's.  If you haven't visited the LA section, do.  There's a smattering of every type of authoring, all by local authors. It's part of what makes Auntie's a great place. But, the thing is, you don't exactly trip over the LA section when you walk in the front door.  You do trip over the General Fiction section. I think People In The Know refer to it as "placement."

So, in the last week or so -- and I don't exactly know why -- HCB got moved up front to GF.  As you can see (above), it even merits one of Auntie's "New" signs!  I liken this to flying up from Blue Birds to Campfire, or Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts (or whatever Scouts do), or novitiate to full-fledged nun, or, well, you get the idea.

Make no mistake, the competition is stiffer here in the GF section. Case in point, look who is right below us!  Same thing at Hastings (below).

Yep, we're stylin' now!

We'll definitely have to keep the yard tidy.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


"Sarah Porter" On Amazon

If you search Sarah Porter on Amazon, you not only get Hot Cross Buns (Remember?  The book I wrote with Judy?), but you also get Sarah Porter's Leg Lotion, which is even cooler than the fact you also find Cole Porter's Song Book. 

It may not seem like a big deal that Hot Cross Buns comes up fourth among an Amazon Sarah Porter search, but come now, think about how much stuff  -- all of which has a name attached to it -- is on Amazon! Millions!  And I'm not just talking books!  I'm not sure, but I think you can buy dogs on Amazon.  (Note to self:  Try to find the oddest thing you can buy on Amazon.)

Oh yeah, to be fair, the first thing that comes up is some other Sarah Porter's books (Yes, bookSSS.), The Lost Voices Trilogy. You go you other Sarah Porter!

Back to the Sarah Porter's Leg Lotion.  This is potentially big and may make working on HCB for six years REALLY worthwhile.  Catch this. It is January.  A dry, parched January.  Dry as in my skin feels like someone crammed my body into a pair of panty hose fit for a toddler. My skin looks like this:

Crepe Paper, a.k.a, My Skin

In no way am I sucker for fancy pants creams for whatever ails ya.... even skin that by age 70 will be draped around my ankles like droopy crepe banners the day after the big party, but when Sarah Porter's Leg Lotion popped up right above HCB, well, I see it as an omen.
I'll keep you posted. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

RIP Vivian Brown

Marian 'Brown On Her Own

Just about a year ago, Judy and I were at the San Francisco Writer's Conference, swimming upstream among hundreds of wanna be published writers, a plethora of already published writers and some dang picky agents.  Yeah we learned a lot.

But, the single best part of the laborious week was seeing the infamous San Francisco Brown twins, Vivian and Marian. (If Only These Two Could Write A Book, Sept. 17) We didn't even know they were SF landmarkettes when we ran into them at Vito's their regular Sunday night haunt located just the hill from our hotel.  After we got home, people applauded our twin sighting.

They were a two woman parade.

The Twins
I've been bird-dogging these two all year. This fall I read the twins had been separated for the first time.  Vivian had to leave their small, one bedroom SF apartment to live in a care center.  Alzheimer's hit.  There was talk of finding a way to get her home but the curse of so many elderly today, affordable health care, tapped even these two firecrackers.  Nope, Marian wouldn't be able to bring Vivian home, so she set a new trap line and each day visited her si

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Whoa, Now! Cyber Book Group?

That's me, the computer sitting in the chair. 

Lordy lordy, I have met Google Hangout.  Now, that was weird.
In case you don't know, Google has this Skype type program that allows people to "hang out" cyberly.  Friday, my cousin, Coleen, who lives on Orcas Island -- as does a covey of other cousins -- had this swell idea:  I'd "hang out" with a bunch of her friends she'd invited to her house to talk about Hot Cross Buns.  Me and her cyber hip daughter (as in she at least knew this Google program existed) spent a good hour early Friday evening getting the cybernautics working. 
And then I spent a good chunk of Friday night waiting for the girls on Orcas to call me to hang out. The open-ended scheduling was my call. If I was going to sit in a chair on a computer screen, I wanted these women to have a few slugs of vino in them before we attempted the experiment.
I wish I could have been so booked Friday night that I had to turn down this awkward book group session. I wasn't and I've learned to live with this.  My biggest worry is I'd be off changing laundry loads when they called.
Anyway, they called.
I'm not sure who had the stranger experience.  I mean really, look at these women hunched over peering at my 6-inch by 6-inch face. Oh, yeah, you can't see my face.  I rest my case. Now, picture me sitting on the floor of my place (We got the best lighting if I was on the floor.) looking at my computer screen, which looked like a black screen with two bright lights.  I was talking to a black hole. I could no see a face.
Oh, yeah, and you're wondering where Judy was.  It was a last-minute deal and SHE had plans for Friday.  Buh,
 I flew solo.  I have two traits that make flying solo a not-so-great-idea.  I easily slip into the mode of having the attention span of a gnat. Also, if pressed, and believe me, I felt pressed, I will babble about anything I think is interesting.  Screw the people I'm talking to. (Hey, jump in and take charge of the conversation, but until then, I'm going to babble.) Cyber book group appearances provide the perfect storm for both these characteristics to go wheels up on me.  I was off and flying. It is really hard to read a crown when you can only see shadows and a couple of bright lights.  Bob Hope would have a hard time with this group.
Oh, and then there is the whole thing about seeing yourself at the bottom of the screen.  I'd like to think I don't gaze at myself in the mirror for long periods of time, but shoot, there I was, bobbing my head around playing with the reflection of my glasses.  Good god.
And then I spotted a dust ball under a table I was sitting near.  Of course I immediately interject midsentence, "Huh, I have a dust ball on my floor!"  And from what I recall, that's the most interesting thing I said. 
BTW:  The live bookgroup visits are a blast! 
Cyber?  It needs refining.
Lesson learned,.