Friday, November 19, 2010

Up Up Up & Awaaaayyyyy . . . Again; Unplugging & HAPPY THANKSGIVING WISHES

taken from airplane prev trip

Well, guess what? I'm not here! By time you read this, I'm, again, either thousands of feet in the air inside a metal tube (eeeeek!) hoping I don't have to pee because I hate those teeny little bathrooms; or I'm in a terminal; or already in Arlington, Texas (between Dallas & Ft Worth).

shot from airplaine - rip in the sky!
I haven't had Thanksgiving with my family (childhood family - not husband or son family) since I was a teenager many many moons ago, so this will be a good TG reunion type trip.

Don't feel sorry for me leaving poor dear GMR in the little log house in our cove again - he will be surrounded by good good friends who we love and adore. And, I have promised I am not scheduling anything else out of town until the book conference in February ("as far as I know clause" is understood *laughing*).

I will be gone about 10 days. However; I had already planned on taking a break from blogging during the week of Thanksgiving - I want and need this for myself and family *smiling* And I know many of you may be doing this as well. So this will be the last blog post for at least a week. And I don't expect to be twittering or Facebooking either.

My brother Tommy & I in shadow :-D

Check out Wednesday's links if you would like to - and The Best Damn Creative Writing Blog will probably have the Sweetie Review somewhere on this link up today - lawd!- go read it and if it's a good one, then tell me it's good so I can go read it when I have a chance (if I have a chance) while in Tex-arse  - you know I don't like to read reviews unless someone else reads them first and sees if they will make me happy *laughing* -- *bawk bawk bawk* I'm chicken that way . . . *grin*

So, how about you tell me your Thanksgiving menu? And your traditions? In MY house, when I grew up and all through my life, I have had Cornbread Dressing - not that nasty bread stuff - Harumph - GMR makes the nasty bread stuffing and sometimes puts oysters in it -ewwww (he's from New Orleans). My mom always made Cornbread Dressing (and it don't belong in no danged turkey's arse either - it goes in a pan of its own! huhn!) and I continue that Cornbread Dressing tradition. GMR makes his nasty old bread stuff, and I tolerate it by sniffing it and taking about a teaspoon of it ...haw!

This book, Somebody Stole the Cornbread from my Dressing, tells about the dressing/stuffing debate (and many others, too) - love it!

And what are you thankful for right here and now (remember the post from Monday!)?

I will now say So Long until after Thanksgiving, then I will return.  If you don't celebrate Thanksgiving, or already have you Canadians!, then you can still feel thankful for many things, right?


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Time for Links!

If you've not been by the The Best Damn Creative Writing Blog, go check them out, and not just because they did a "Five Questions" thing with me (no, really! *laugh*), but because they are chock-a-full of gooey goodness. They also are reviewing SWEETIE and that will be up in a few days. They are on Facebook, and twitter, too.

Deborah Riley-Magnus has had a series of posts about "Author Success - A Well-Planned Future" - I need to catch up on them, but I've been reading many of them and find them interesting and informative, even if I don't follow all the advice, there is something for everyone I think.

For those of you doing the Nanowrimo, the beautiful and brilliant Alexandra Sokoloff has some advice: Nanowrimo: Creating Character.

I've been reading on Behler Blog, a publisher who gives some advice on querying and et cetera and has a cute little beagle that likes margueritas :-D

Also, Bellebooks exploded with manuscripts after opening their doors to more lit fiction, and they received other submissions as well, of course, for genre fiction, et cetera. They had a great year last year and hope this trend continues. They're even having to close submits until probably March or so. This is a good thing for BB and for their authors, too, (although it means if you were interested in submitting you will have to hold off a little while). Any business, publishing/book business, that is growing right now is doing something right. So, congrats and yayyys to my wonderful Bellebooks!

That's all I have right now. Hope you'll go by Five Questions at the Best Damn Creative Writing Blog - and while there, take a look around.

And remember, two weeks of living Here and Now and Enjoying What We Have Right Now (below).

Monday, November 15, 2010

My challenge to you: the Here and the Now; Right now.

Saturday's event went well. I had a nice turn-out and we raised some money for Share the Warmth/Mountain Projects. My face was red and hot like it gets, and I fidgeted around nervously, like always *laugh* - but people seemed happy and I was happy, so that's all that matters. GMR's jambalaya, cookies, and brownies were gobbled up, and that's a good thing, too. I met and talked to some wonderful people - and again, that's a good thing.

I was thinking about things and my blog and all, and notice where I generally tend to shy away from giving out "writer's advice" even though this is a "writer's blog." But, thing is, there's so much of it out there. So many places giving advice, what else could I tell you? I'm always willing and love to answer questions and help when I can, but, really, all our paths are different, and all our many ways of writing are unique, our journeys varied.

We all just do the best we can do. We all just put our hearts in it and hope that the path we're on is the correct one -- well you know what? There's no way to know whether you are on the correct path until you come to a fork in it and have to make another decision, or you come to the end of it and either there's something you've always wanted there that makes you completely happy, or there's nothing there you want and you have to turn back around and go back the way you came - or, you decide to plunge ahead and make a new path.

I read a blog yesterday where the writer, Cathy West, talked about "is this the fun part?" Because she knows the publishing path isn't all roses and easy strolling along - you can feel as if you are stumbling down some rough road as you are writing your work, then as you query for it that path can be full of thorns and shifting dirt and uphill uphill uphill, but once you are published, the work is not over - unless you are satisfied only with the idea of having a book published, printed, and on a couple of bookshelves. Once you are published, you must decide what your goals are and then take that path. My friends, the writing of the work is the wonderful magical time - unless you are one of the few who hate the process (and there are writers like that - much as I don't understand it, they are there -perhaps they aren't writing what they want but want is wanted from them or what they think is wanted from them?)

If one isn't careful, the frustrations along the paths to and when published can tarnish the joy of the business--the business of books, of words and language, of characters, of stories.

I will tell you, too, that someone will always be more successful than you are, as long as you define success outside of yourself - as long as you look outward to what someone else is doing and what they have and who they are, you may never find joy and contentment in what you have accomplished.

Well, guess I am giving out advice after all, though I didn't mean to! Thanksgiving is round the corner, so maybe this week and next week is a good time for us all to consider what we have instead of what we want, or what we think we want. Maybe this week and next week is a good time to feel Satisfied. To feel Complete. To look around at where we are on our path and actually see what is around us instead of always looking ahead, or trying to find the path another person has taken that has surely led them to Success.

Maybe this week and next week we all need to do the old-fashioned "counting our blessings" - touch the heads of our children/grandchildren, kiss the lips of our partners/spouses, hug our friends, take a walk and NOTICE something in nature, find wonder in this Earth we live on, be in the Here and the Now all  this week.

That's my challenge to you - to be Right Here and Right Now all this and Thanksgiving week (even if you do not celebrate Thanksgiving or live in Canada and already have, you can still do this). To be grateful for something or someone instead of wondering "What comes next?" Here. Now. That's what we have -that's the Sure Thing. Right this moment, there is something or someone in front of you that you haven't given attention to - even if it is your own Self.

 (I'm laughing because it just dawned upon my pea-head that Thanksgiving is NEXT week, so I added in some "next weeks" to the "this weeks" *laughing!*
(all photos are mine except for the cartoon)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Sweetie, New Orleans Jambalaya, and Share the Warmth

Norah Kathryn's Beet Mustache! :-D
I'm completely off my posting schedule, so I'll get back to MWF posting next week. Hope you all have a great weekend - Hope I see some of you Saturday, and I hope to do my regularly scheduled "blog walking" on Sunday.

It just smacks me over my pea-head that SWEETIE is now released and ready to go to bookstores, libraries, online places, where ever it will go - in your hands, I hope. I don't think it's on e-readers quite yet. I have my author copies that came in the mail and I've held Sweetie in my hands and put my own personal copy (signed with a note as I like to do) on my bookshelf. I'm feeling a little emotional this morning as I turn my head to the right and see three books on my shelves . . . oh!

Now it's time to wait for the galley for the Petey/Petunia novella where I'll be in the anthology with Deborah Smith and Sarah Addison Allen (release this winter, I believe), and to hunker down to write the final in the Graces Trilogy. Life is good.

So . . .  - We'll be celebrating the release of SWEETIE tomorrow (Saturday) at 4PM, November 13, at Blue Ridge Books Main Street Waynesville. To add to the celebration New Orleans native GMR will serve his home cooked jambalaya. The food is free, but if you wish to make a donation, all the money received will go to the Share the Warmth fund through Mountain Projects.

There will be a raffle for a copy of SWEETIE, with all proceeds going to Share the Warmth. We'll have some nice pendants Bellebooks made, as well, for give-aways.

First reviews for SWEETIE have been wonderful, so I'm feeling good. But, I'd like to really focus the spotlight on Share the Warmth - I know we are asked to give and give and give, and I know we pay taxes, but, this is what we do best - help each other.

Blue Ridge Books is located at 152 S. Main St in Waynesville. 828.456.6000.

And Suldog is again expressing his desire that we Celebrate Thanksgiving First! :-D

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day

Today I also think of my nephew, just shy of his 20th birthday, who was killed in a training exercise about 15 years ago. He was so proud and excited to be a Marine. Something went wrong during that training exercise. David died doing what he had worked so hard for and for something he felt so proud about. We miss him.

When I soon visit my parents, brothers, and neices, etc, in Texas, I will be looking for those young soldiers as I talked about below.

(ps -the image says "american" veterans, but since I have friends in many places, I extend that to others who've lost friends and loved ones - and those who have served  - and . . .well, everything)
image link

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Whole Sackful of Crazy-let it out a bit of a time, Kat, and they'be be none the wiser -hahahahahahahaahahahha

Last night when I was doing this silly dance to some commercial's music, I thought how if someone followed me around with a camera every day, America would see just how weird I am. Then I thought, well maybe most of us are a little weird or a lot weird or somewhere in between. I told GMR, "When I first met you I wouldn't have danced like this (or whatever else I do or did or will do) because you'd think I was weird or nuts - so I let my crazy out of the sack a little at a time so you'd not run off screaming..." He just laughed, probably because he was thinking about his own stuff HE let out of his own bag a little at a time. Huhn.

There was an episode of SCRUBS about that, too - when the Janitor began telling his girlfriend alllllll about himself, and Carla stopped him then later told him to let his crazy out a little at a time so the girlfriend doesn't freak out. Made me laugh - made me think of . . . well, me! haw! whoop whoop!

I try to fit myself to situations, and I also try to be myself, but being myself could mean many things according to my mood or how overwhelmed by people I am or whatever--according to how much of my crazy is out of the sack that day or if the sack has contained most of my crazy.

This isn't crazy--um, not by my standards anyway, *laugh* - but, here's an example of Me and then other Me:
I met some friends/colleagues for dinner. One of the women I hadn't seen for a long time looked at me across the table, smiling away, and asked me, "So, tell us how is it going? You have another book out, right? Tell us all about it . . . come on, fill us in!" She was excited for me. And what did Kat do/say? My innards just sighed. I felt so very tired. I just mumbled something about how yes SG was now out and Sweetie would be out soon and it was all going fine. Then I shut up. Nothing else wanted to come out of my mouth. I actually just signed and looked down at the table, then across the room, then into my wine glass, then drifted off somewhere la l a la la tee dahhhhhh. She looked at me with expectation, with puzzlement, but all I could do was smile feebly and shrug and say, "I'm feeling a bit tired." I was - I'd just returned from the SIBA conference and I'd had it up to my eyeballs with people and writing and books and authors and talking about it all or, really, mostly listening to other authors as I walked around in a daze. And I won't even talk about the auction and how difficult it was to chat up a stranger who "won" me . . . lawd!

Now, flash forward to my trip to Oregon when I met the wonderful and beautiful Deb Shucka (Oh! Lucky me! she's marvelous!). I was feeling happy and upbeat and energetic and slightly hyper (okay, a lot hyper!). When we met, we hugged and smiled and while waiting for another blogger/FB friend (we never did see her--somehow we missed each other), I tried to reign in my crazy. But by time we had our coffee/chai tea, I was near bursting out of my skin. Maybe because I'd been with Little Boop and not writing or corresponding or whatever and had all kinds of words backed up. Maybe I'd had too much coffee. Maybe it was just my crazy spilling out of that sack. But I talked and laughed and carried on doodley doo dah day! I don't remember nary a word of what I said except a couple of disjointed sentences - haw!

If someone had been watching footage of both those Kats, they'd wonder which was the "real me," when both are the real me.  You never know which Kat will show up -- the quiet one, the shy one, the jittery wild one, the chatty-kathy one, the weary one, the wise one, the surprised one. I'm like one of those weird dolls they sell that you turn their head to change their mood and expression - haw! And those Kats can show up all at the same party on the same night, even - yup. Teeheeheeheehee.

There's more I can say about my crazy and the sack I try to keep it in, but I see I'm in my Babbling Phase, so I will reign myself in . . . yes. The post I had in mind about this was completely side-tracked by babbling - which is par for the crazy course . . . dang.

I'm off my MWF schedule, but will get back to that soon. Tomorrow the 10th I will be back at The Tartitude's place for Part II of the interview. There will be another give-away. Come by, say hi, ask a question, or just wave at me. If you aren't following The Tartitude, please do! She's brilliant and funny and kind.

Also, I'll be at Blue Ridge Books & News on Main Street Waynesville this Saturday at 4:00 for Sweetie release "party" -there will be Jambalaya made by "Chef" GMR, and it is also a charity event for Share the Warmth. Above is a pendant image Bellebooks made that we hope to have those there as part of the event--they used part of the cover. Nice--fits with the charity event very well.

Later y'all.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

"Mom" away from home in the airport & First WNC snow

First Snow came early to our cove!

Before I forget I wanted to suggest something to y'all if you haven't thought of it: On a trip about a year ago, I sat next to a young soldier. We chatted a bit, and right before departing the plane, I handed him some cash and told him to get something to eat and drink. I said just to think of me as a mom away from home, so he wouldn't feel weird about it. It gave me a warm feeling and he was so grateful. So, flash forward to this return trip from Oregon. I was rushing to get to my plane in the Atlanta airport and as I passed by, I noticed a young soldier waiting for his flight. He looked so sad and stressed. I looked into my purse and all I had was nine one dollar bills. At first I thought, "That's not very much to give," but then, I thought, well, it's something. So I went over and held out the money and told him to get him a snack or something to drink (airports are EXPENSIVE!) - he said, "Oh, that's okay," but I placed the cash in his hand and said, "Thank you so much. . . " and walked away so he wouldn't feel embarrassed.

So, now I'm going to make this a "tradition" - whenever I am in the airport, if I see a young soldier, I am going to be his/her "mom" and hand him/her some spending money. Traveling is expensive and I have no idea what the government pays them or if their flights are paid or if they have spending money or or or - and, I don't know - I just like feeling like I'm some mom who makes sure these young "sons and daughters" have a little extra money in their pocket. I'll make sure I tuck extra in my wallet just for that purpose.

Just something to think about.

Now - Go LSU!  GO NC STATE! and y'all enjoy your weekend! Here's some pictures that show the snow mixed with fall colors here in our cove (and one of lil boop!).

I'll be round to visit either today or tomorrow -- see you soon. Thank you and hello to new follower-friends.

Granny Kat bought this outfit (boots too!) so cute

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I'm Home & a Fun Interview/Give a way at the Tartitude's House

Mt Hood taken from airplane
Hi Y'all --- arrived home yesterday evening without my luggage! yipes! Yup, it's the first time I've ever had lost luggage. GMR bought me a new toothbrush and we headed home . . . without my luggage. Did I say I do not have luggage? *laugh*

I have much to catch up on, but for now I am a bit whoogly in the head. Today was to be a guest blog for a new young writer, Tamara Hart Heiner, whose book image/photo is to the left, but I'm waiting on something from her, so I'll post that later.

However, I am over at the Taritude's House - she did a wonderful 'interview' with me with these really interesting questions - and she's having a give-away of Tender Graces and then in Part II of Sweetie. Head over and say hello or ask a question and check out her blog -it's a cool place.

Meanwhile, I need a nap even though it is still morning *laugh*

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Last Day to spend in Oregon . . .

Well, tomorrow I fly out from Oregon back to my little mountain town in my little mountain cove. While I miss my mountains, I am going to have a hard time leaving - harder this time than last time because Norah Kathryn has responded to me with recognition and hugs and smiles -before she was so little she didn't know who I was; now she does *sob*.

 This morning, as has been for most every morning for the last 2 weeks, I've gone into little Norah Kathryn's room and she's smiled at me and reached for me to pick her up. This morning I just grabbed her up and hugged her so tight - because this is it. This is the last full day. She'll probably still be sleeping when I arise and leave early tomorrow morning to fly out. Trying not to cry here...*wahhhhh*

I'll miss my son, too, and my daughter in law. My family. This is sucky.

what an imp!
My home and roots and 'soulness' to use a cliched word is in the Appalachian area, in the Smoky Mountains, in Haywood County, in Maggie Valley, but, my heart and wants are also with my little family here. It's a crappy thing to have to be separated from those you love.

I'm quickly writing this, so if it is full of errors - pardon, but, I'm keeping one ear out for lil Boop's waking sounds.

All morning I've felt this "offness" - this sadness.

I've done some thinking, too, while here. While here, many times I've not been able to be online, or just not bothered to log on, and just as when I visited here last time, nothing 'bad' happened - nothing went kablooey - no one threw rotten eggs at me for not being around or for not being able to visit so much or to be slow in answering emails, yada yada yada . . . so, when I get home, I'm altering how I do my online status. Spending less time on social networking and more on my little log house, on GMR, on, WRITING my BOOKS *laughing* Yeah. I've also thought about priorities, and how in the big mess of life and love and happiness, how my books do is really quite small. I'm happy for the success I've had and love it when people enjoy my books, and sure, I like to know they are doing well, but, this here, my little family, has put things into a bigger perspective.....yes.

I have some thoughts I hope to set down later  - on families, young families. How hard it can be, but how joyful and wonderful, too.

Oh, and before I forget - somewhere along the way I said I'd have someone as a guest poster who has a book coming out - I'm going to put that up here sometime in the next few days while I'm getting myself settled in and home and unpacking and etc etc etc! I don't do guest posts often, but I do like helping out other writers.

Later - Almost time for my dear one to wake from her morning nap ..............