Monthly Archives: August 2008

Hurricane Gustav

Gussie will just not make up his mind. While we anxiously wait to hear whether he’s going to smack down New Orleans again, or turn left and try to blow our little island away, Gustav is out messing around with Cuba, heading for the Gulf. Folks are shutting things down, just in case, so they don’t have to come back and do it over the holiday.

I haven’t been out to the Seawall yet today, but yesterday, there was no wind whatsoever. The water was like glass. We’ll see what the next few days hold.

Today was a better writing day. I got 5.5 pages written.

I would have done more, but I had to stop early to head out to lunch with the newsroom folks because the Mainland Editor has taken a new (better paying) job, and today was his last day. Lunch was at the Original Mexican Cafe (Restaurant?), and I had some excellent fish tacos (fried, battered fish with crispy corn tortilla shells–I’m amazed at the variety in fish tacos). It’s in an old house in the historic East End, not far from the medical school, and there’s NO parking. I did finally find an easy-to-get-into spot about a block away, in the shade, even. And then I had to go to work. I have had lunch out several days this week. I guess I need to go ride the bike tonight to make up for some of that, huh?

The older son is flying down tonight to pick up our excess car. With one car per driver, when you add a car, you get an extra one. Better to let him have it than trade it in and get virtually nothing on the trade-in. We will see whether he has to evacuate with us.

Off to put more pictures in for Monday’s Applause section…

Day by day

Not such good writing day today. Got 2.5 pages. Sigh. Much of it probably cuttable. Mostly transition-type stuff, which sometimes you need, but… Tomorrow, can go visit the dead zone. Play with metal machine cog critters. Need to give them cogs.

Beach was beachy. Saw a couple of catfish just washed up lying dead on the beach. Lots of crab prints. Lots of crabs–didn’t pay attention before. A guy had a couple of St. Bernards out walking–they looked like they had played all they could stand to play and were almost too tired to walk home again. The water was ultra calm. No signs whatsoever of Gustav.

Boring blog post. Sorry. Feeling boring today.

Newsroom Faradiddle

Well, I can’t seem to make Blogger upload a photo from another site, so I’m just going to have to make links to the pictures.

It seems that Clay Walker, the country music singer/star, has a house somewhere on the island. And he was at Home Depot the other day, buying bug spray for mosquitos, which have become a sudden problem due to recent rains. And the photographer with the newspaper where I work part time took his picture. And it didn’t make the front page.

This has been a huge topic of conversation in the newsroom this afternoon. Yes, it apparently really is Clay Walker. Although those of us who did not have a clue as to who Clay Walker is (because we don’t listen to country music) had to go look him up online to be sure it was him. There is much discussion, and laughter, and “Really?” and okay, some “Who’s Clay Walker?” Anyway. That’s the cool weird thing going on at the dayjob today.

I wrote almost six pages this a.m. New, fresh-as-a-daisy pages. With ranting. (The characters, not me.) Now, we are about to go into exposition. Over breakfast. The story, she progresses.

We are watching Hurricane Gustav to see whither he goeth.

Life begins again

Boy, it is REALLY easy to tell when school starts when you live in a tourist mecca. I could have lunch at Whataburger today. During tourist season, no way can I get through the door, much less find a parking place. There usually aren’t many people out on the beach at 8 a.m., but today–I saw even fewer–though the beach still was groomed. (They take a big bulldozer out with a rake and rake up the sand every morning.)

The seagulls have all lost their pretty black heads. And there are brown gulls amongst them. I saw a brown seagull the other day and was very confused. Laughing gulls are not brown. They are shiny white and gray and have black heads–or dirty-looking white ones. (They never do loose all their black feathers.) And then I remembered that the babies are brown. They are the same color as the beach sand. I didn’t see one of them sitting in the groomed sand, until I looked really close.

I saw crab tracks this morning. I couldn’t figure out what they were at first. They look sort of like a 4-inch wide net was pressed into the sand, a delicate-looking pattern. Then I saw the hole in the sand at the center of all the tracks. I suppose I could take my camera next time and hope I see the tracks again. They were really cool looking. I’m pretty sure it was blue crab, or something besides hermit crab (though they are local too), because there was no tracks of a shell dragging behind the skittery leg tracks.

Also saw a couple of seagulls carrying shrimp around. I decided they must have stolen them from the fishermen out on the jetties, because shrimp are bottom feeders, and seagulls don’t dive. It was pretty funny looking though–white shrimp dangling from the gull beaks.

Spent much of the weekend shopping. Didn’t intend to go out and shop, except for books. (The boy wanted the last Terry Goodkind Sword of Truth book. I haven’t read any but the first one, and don’t intend to, but he’s been caught up in the series. I bought 4 paperbacks.) But they were having a big sale at Dillards. HUGE sale. The fella and the boy bought suits and shoes and sport coats. I bought pants. That are Long Enough!! (This is an issue for me, especially since most of the pants I already owned are too short, and the mirror in the bathroom at the newspaper tells me every time I go in there.) I had to hunt amongst the britches on sale for the ones that did not say “Short”–but I found them. (I’m really only average…) And I bought tops and shirts. I wasn’t sure about one pair of pants and one top, and wanted the guys to come upstairs and give their opinion–and while I was waiting for them to finish buying sport coats (they’d already bought suits), and show up, I found two more tops to buy. So it was their fault I bought more. But I look fabulous. (My pants are long enough now. 😉 )

I am reading lots. Need to be writing lots–but I did finally get all that I had written typed in. Tomorrow, it’s time to start with new stuff. And I have 240 pages typed. I don’t think I’ve reached midpoint in the story. Maybe the 1/3 point. (sigh) Which means there will be large amounts of whacking and thinning and trimming going on later. (sigh again) However, I’d rather whack than add, so…


Going to take a bit of time, (I’ve been talking to the English guy in the newsroom too much, I think. Ian’s rubbing off on me.) before I have to run to pick the son up at the airport (from England–hmm) and do that blog about RWA workshops I went to, while I have it. Time, I mean.

Okay. The first workshop in my little notebook (a non-spiral composition book in a smaller size I bought just for conference, and have decided I really like), is MEDICAL FACTS AND FALLACIES. This was presented by an actual doctor, who said that movies are really bad places to get information about how doctors and hospitals and emergency rooms and the like actually work. For instance, in one movie, a man was trying to look up poison someone had been given by thumbing through the Physician’s Desk Reference to match pills. A doctor would actually look in one of the books called a “toxidrome” which lists poisons by their symptoms. She gave lots of juicy little details. Like, bullet wounds don’t get infected like knife wounds, (the bullet’s speed of travel makes it too hot for germs to stick, or something like that) so they don’t dig them out, unless the location is dangerous. She recommended a book GREATEST BENEFIT TO MANKIND (according to my notes), and said that writers could fudge the facts for the benefit of the premise of the story–as long as you don’t fudge too much. This was a great workshop, and if you can get it on tape, do so.

I went to HOW TO REVIVE A DYING PROJECT OR A DYING CAREER. This was more of a motivational workshop than a crafty “how-to.” Yes, it was How To, but it was How to deal with fears and perfectionism and the stuff that gets in the way of getting the writing done. It was pretty good too, and in it she recommended the books by Ralph Keys, COURAGE TO WRITE and THE WRITER’S BOOK OF HOPE.

I also went to Theresa Meyers’ DOWN AND DIRTY MEDIA TRAINING which had a lot of great ways to handle interviews and how to get interviews. Like, in order to get a media interview, you need a hook to connect yourself to the audience, so first you can identify a problem the audience might have, and then shoot it down. “The economy is bad and people are depressed. But Romance makes people feel good, and it’s cheap.” Had some really good stuff in this one too. I’ve been impressed by Meyers on line. Now I was impressed by her in person.

I went to the PLOTTING WHEEL workshop, but the original person who was supposed to give this workshop couldn’t be there, and the sub wasn’t very good.

The workshop on how to make the Regency Historical connect to today’s readers was a good one. It gave me some good ideas for my own works–like creating a place on my website where my readers can experience my fantasy world. The early 1800s is far enough away that it’s like a foreign universe, so that’s what these speakers did.

I went to a Writing the Selling Synopsis workshop. I always need a good way to write a synopsis. I’m not sure I use any of the stuff that I’ve workshopped on, but maybe it’s soaking in. Anyway, this workshop gave one way to organize things and did a good job of it. And since I sort of use this method, maybe it helped and will help me refine what I do.

I think I went to a couple of other workshops, but they weren’t the kind where you take notes. I went to the theft of intellectual property/plagiarism workshop and got a lot out of it, and I went to a “What RWA can do for you” workshop that I liked a lot. And as I said earlier, I went to the Tor spotlight and saw my cover.

Okay, time to go. Though the boy’s (and girls’) plane is about 2 hours late, this will give me time to go by the bank, and mail the son-in-law’s birthday present.

Rain, rain!

I still want to do a post about the workshops I went to at RWA National, but before I do that, I want to do a little blog (hopefully I can keep it short) on what’s been going on in my life since I got home again. Lately it’s been raining. Dolly the granddog is afraid of lightning and thunder and rain, and she’s been pretty frantic. We do have the garage open so she can get into a more enclosed space…

Mostly, I’ve been trying to keep up with a more hectic work schedule, since we’re now trying to do with two people what used to take 3 people to do (actually, that’s 1.5 and 2.5, but…), plus keep up with everything else that’s going on. Which is mostly trying to get back into the writing, though we did take the son to the airport so he could fly to England with the gf to visit her parents. (He’s visited them before, but they didn’t live in England then.) And then we went car shopping the rest of the evening. And ate dinner at a new-to-us restaurant over on the mainland–very good local Mexican food place. Given the pack of cars parked around it, I figured it would be.

And yes, we did get a new car. I will still be driving the Beast, but the fella will now be driving a new white Toyota Avalon. Car shopping is exhausting.

We also hit some of the end-of-summer, back-to-school sales on tax-free weekend. We were afraid the stores would be crowded, so we just went to island stores, and they weren’t crowded at all. Apparently tax-free weekend is old hat now. Or we went to the right stores. Got some really good deals, so didn’t feel the need to go anywhere else. (I may go back and buy another pair of the shoes I got, because they’re so comfortable. If they still have my size.)

Other than that, I’m trying to get this story written by typing in what I have written. I’m up to 180 pages typed in–getting about 20 pages a day–and I really haven’t got the main part of the story untracked. I guess I do, but I don’t. It’s going to come out WAY over again, and I’m going to have to cut again, but… I am picking out places to hack away. And not hacking anything out yet. It’s hard to know what to take out till I get to the end.

But, by doing this, when I get to the end of what I have written so far, I’ll be back in the story and be able to go on.

And my pinky finger hurts. My keyboard has gotten INCREDIBLY stiff. The keys have to be pounded with a hammer, almost–especially the right shift key–and my poor right pinky finger is really sore. Not hyperextended–almost jammed. And because it’s not straight up and down when I hit the key, it’s a little twisted. Anyway, it’s sore. And of course, I have to type at the pt Dayjob–but at least the keyboard’s not so stiff there. I’m going to have to find some kind of something to pry that stupid key up so I can clean out underneath it.

And, since I changed villains in the story, I’m having to do some little tweaks. Very little ones. The stuff I have still works, but –knowing he’s the villain makes things feel creepy to me. Because I know. It’s hard to find that balance between keeping the secret from the reader, while giving all the same information my characters know. And since they know squat at the moment…

Okay. Time to go home.

The Rest of the Story

I will tell you about the rest of my trip to San Francisco…if I can remember it. I was really tired while I was there, and it’s been a whole nother week since then. I have been working very hard at the paper, too.

So, I think we’re up to

Friday a.m. was breakfast with the agent. We met at the hotel restaurant. (I had an omelet.) And we talked about stuff for at least an hour and a half. Told her about the new book. Reminded her about Thunder, the historical which is languishing just now, but I WILL get back to…sometime. I think I’m close to halfway on it. I gave her a little issue to check up on. And we just talked about stuff. My agent and I get along real well, even if she does look younger every time I see her. (She’s not one of these “child agents.” Probably around my own age, given she’s dealing with a lot of the same issues, parental and otherwise.) Anyway, that was a good visit.

I think I made it to a workshop–I did find my notebook (I took a different totebag to Conference than the one I take to work every day), but I think I’m going to do one big workshop blog…whenever I find time to do another blog. I went to the luncheon, and would have enjoyed it more if the hotel had Turned Off the Freaking Dinner Music so I could have talked to more people than just the two or three on either side of me. The music wasn’t loud enough to hurt, like it got at the Pazzia restaurant when the owner turned Frank Sinatra up to vibrating-bones volume, but it was too loud for much talking. And that’s one reason I go to the luncheons, because I enjoy meeting people from other places and learning what they write, etc. The speaker was good. She had a super-hero Powerpoint show about how writers are superheros. (No, I cannot remember which one she was, and I don’t want to go look it up. I take this as a sign that I should never get all up into wishing to be an RWA keynote speaker. ‘Cause nobody would remember my name.)

I went to workshops in the afternoon. My roommates went to the Night Tour of Alcatraz. I went to the Harlequin party (I had an Asian chicken salad with lo mein noodles for supper, if anyone cares). I had arranged to meet Robin Owens to walk over together, but she had a blister to tend and had to be late, so I found some sparkly people (I had on my black skirt with the sparkly beaded design along the tulip hem, and a white and silver lace tank with a sheer white shirt-thing over it–and my black leather jacket, because it was cold out at night.) and followed them. Slowly. Because I had on my sparkly silver strappy sandals with not much heel that I can’t walk fast in. The shoes came off Very early in the party.

I hung out with Robin and Kristi Gold (who was one of my first critique partners, way back when) and Leigh Riker. I danced in the vicinity of Cathy Garbera and Susan Gable and Bron Jameson and Lillian Darcy and waved at Fiona. I talked to Jodi Thomas for a bit, and Cindy Dees and Karen Whiddon/Kara Lennox and other people, I’m sure, but I can’t remember who at the moment. I danced a lot. I had one of the “signature” drinks that they do every year. Don’t know what it was, but it was pretty good. Had some dim sum and a little chocolate fountain (did NOT spill it on myself). I actually got out of there without wearing any of the food. I didn’t stay very long, because I danced so much I was tired. But it was fun. And now we come to


I got up at 7 a.m., as usual because, hey–California time is 2 hours earlier than Texas time, and you go with what works. I like to go to all the stuff. I made it down to breakfast, met up with somebody from the Romance Readers Anonymous Loop ( — a really good place to talk about romance books and get suggestions for new, good stuff. It took me the length of time to type that to remember who she was–Karen Harbaugh. I could remember it was someone whose books I liked. We had a really good chat about the loop and about writing and about her books and even about kids and such. It was nice to talk to her.

Then I went to workshops. I went to the Nora Roberts, Jane-from-Dear-Author, Sarah-from-Smart-Bitches plagiarism workshop which was good, and surprisingly sparse. I was inspired again to double-check my stuff to be sure I used my research info properly. I don’t think I took notes, tho, so I’m mentioning it here.

I wanted to hang back and introduce myself to Sarah, but had to run grab something to eat, because there wasn’t much time between the end of that workshop and the beginning of the Spotlight on Tor, where I wanted to see the cover for New Blood. So I ran across the street (Amy Atwell (Golden Heart finalist and friend of a friend) told me about the food court at the Metreon mall) and grabbed a burrito (it was a California-style burrito, okay? I had been told by my daughter, who spent the summer in San Francisco as her honeymoon, that the burrito is the national food of California.), and ran back to the Tor workshop. And I heard about some major awesomeness of the books they’re bringing out, and I saw the draft cover for New Blood.

Heather was right. It was more of a horror cover than a romance one–it looked really cool, but the woman on the cover (more of a close up than I expected) looked a little as if she’d been wading in a blood river. There is Never that much blood in the book… I’m not sure how they’ll tweak it, but she’s promised they will. And when she segued to the Q&A part, all the authors there, who were signing books in the next hour, left to help set up the room.

It took a while to get all the books down there, so we wandered around an empty room for a while, being paranoid that the books were wandering lost around the hotel. Heather had been rooming with them since Wednesday, so we knew they were there. The three of us that had bound manuscripts, rather than ARC’s with the actual covers on them–Sylvia Day’s EVE OF DESTRUCTION had a plain pale-blue wrapper, the one coming out just before or after mine (I have it at home, but I can’t remember her name or the title)– a fairy-tale Sleeping Beauty adaptation–was in a plain lavender wrapper, and mine was–of course–in a plain red wrapper.

We all ran around getting copies of everybody else’s books, and then it was time. The doors opened, and the crowds did rush in. I think some of the folks who came in looking for free books didn’t realize that Tor published fantasy/paranormal romance. But the books flowed away fast. I had a lot of fun signing books. Signed one for Frances H. and one for Nalini, and one for Anita L. from Dallas, and some for other people I know but who I can’t remember right now. It was just fun talking to people and giving books away.

I think I tried to go to another workshop, which was supposed to be one thing, but the presenter got sick, and the substitute didn’t really know what she was supposed to be doing and wandered all over the place, and a lot of people walked out. I felt bad for her, but last thing Saturday afternoon needs to be a really gripping workshop. It was supposed to be–but… So I went to dinner with my roomies at the hotel (had chicken), and got all gussied up in my seafoam green cocktail dress and my sandals that hurt my feet for the RITA/Golden Heart awards. But I was sitting, so they didn’t hurt quite so much. It was a good, smooth program, moved fast. I teared up a couple of times at the lovely thank-yous so many gave. Cheered for my friends (don’t think any of them won, alas). Then I had chocolate at the after-party (and dropped it on my dress, which is now at the cleaners to get the chocolate off), hugged Rosemary and all my other friends, and crashed.

Sunday was sightseeing day, since I’d booked my flight for 4 p.m., due to the San Francisco marathon being run on Sunday, closing down a number of downtown streets. I didn’t want to worry about it. But one of the streets it closed down was the one the streetcar went down on the way to Fisherman’s Wharf. I could have taken a taxi, or the cable car, but I didn’t think about the taxi in time, and didn’t want to wait for 45 minutes to get on the cable car, because I didn’t have that much time. So I decided to walk to Chinatown (which is why most of my pictures are of Chinatown). I looked fairly close. Which it was, except I forgot to factor in the hills. I stopped to rest at a lot of little parks and plazas. Union Square was only the first. I bought some cool stuff–jewelry (but not earrings, oddly enough), T-shirts, tablecloth–took some pictures, and hiked back to the hotel.

On the way, I got the phone call that my boss at the paper had quit and wouldn’t be there when I got back. At all. (She has done some stuff from home online.) And it seems they’re wanting the two of us left to take up all the slack. It seems to be working so far, but it’s tiring.

I got to the airport in plenty of time, and got home around 1 a.m. I’ve been recovering ever since.

I e-mailed Old Spirits to the editor yesterday–the 1st 5 chapters and a synopsis. Now I need to get back to the writing. But not today, because I’m going along to take the boy to the airport to fly to England with the girlfriend. Her parents live there now. They’ll get back just in time to start classes.

Trivia item: I saw a car with a license plate from British Columbia yesterday, of all places. I can’t imagine driving that far. It’s kind of an idle hobby, looking for out-of-state obvious-tourist license plates. Besides the BC car, I saw two from Missouri, one from North Carolina, one from Tennessee and one from Oklahoma. More than I’ve seen in one day in a long time. Except for the Canadians, all this was on one drive along Seawall Blvd. at about 8 p.m. just before sundown.

Next time, the workshops blog.

A Coastal Texan in San Francisco

What that title has to do with anything, I don’t know, except maybe that–being a coastal Texan, I do not do San Francisco’s hills very well. So. (The picture is of Union Square and an art show–that is some other hotel in the background…but it IS San Francisco.)

Wednesday. I got up at O-dark-hundred and got off to the airport about 15 minutes later than I wanted to. Because of the gathering traffic, (due to my lateness, it was starting to get heavy) I was worried about getting my bag checked and through security on time, but I made it. Whew! Finished one book on the first leg of the plane. (Can’t remember what it was, right off hand.) Got to LA, had time to grab some food–since it had been about 4 hours since breakfast by this time, but only 10 am. California time. When I got to the gate for the next leg of the flight, one of my two roommates was there and we got started on “Conference Voice.” See–as writers, we don’t spend a lot of time talking in our regular lives. And when we get to conference, we start talking before we get there, and don’t stop till we get home again. And everybody gets hoarse or loses their voice entirely. (I don’t lose mine–it drops in pitch, till you would swear I sing bass.)

Got to the hotel, met up with our third roommate, and went across the street to Annabelle’s bar and grill for lunch with Australian writer Denise Rossetti. (She’s got a book coming out in the spring from…Berkley, I think, but could be someone else…with a gorgeous cover.) I tried really hard to eat California cuisine the whole time I was there, so I had a Hawaiian pizza for lunch. Then it was pretty much time to get back to the room and get organized for the literacy signing at 5:30.

Juno Books and editor Paula Duran really came through for me and had a dozen books there for me to sign. The Tor people brought by light-up keychains and purple Tor M&M’s to give out–and if they took any Ms, they took one, or maybe two. Like they were rationed. I am still eating Tor M&Ms. I took them to the newsroom, and even Rhiannon, the M&Ms addict, has stopped eating them. Not me. However, they have lasted me all week…

I tried to run around and see all my friends, and all the people who had books I wanted, but invariably, I missed somebody. I stumbled across Liz Carlyle and her new book, and picked up a book from…Hmmm–it was one that I wanted, and now I can’t remember which one it was. (I have washed my brain and can’t do a thing with it.) I can’t remember who took this picture, either. One of the North Texas RWA folks who came by to see me, I think. I would name the people who came by to say hello, but I’m afraid I’d forget somebody, or–worse–forget half their name, even though I’ve known them for years. Y’all this is pitiful. I can’t remember squat any more!! I did go by and gush at the people whose books I’ve read and loved, like Nalini Singh and Jane Graves and Carlyle and Terri Garey (who won the RITA) and a bunch of other people.

After the book signing, where I bought the copies of Eternal Rose that were left and two other books (shock! only two!), I went with a group of online friends to dinner at a little Italian restaurant called Pazzia. I had seafood risotto with mussels and calamari and things I didn’t know I liked. (I don’t like oysters–taste, not texture. I liked the mussels.) It was very good. And the evening and the morning were the 1st day.

Thursday. Thursday morning was the opening ceremony and the general meeting. I had a couple of granola bars and a cup of tea (I brought my own teabags–I’m not old enough to drink coffee) in the room, wandered downstairs and had another cup of tea there. I basically wandered around most of the morning. Went to the book fair and bought a really cool research book on Victorian London, as well as a couple of new releases by various people. Went into the opening ceremony for a little while. Went by the bar and saw some people I know.

(This picture is from Wednesday nite dinner. From left, are Marie, Carolyn and Cai (my newspaper habits are showing).) (I’m not sure I ever caught Carolyn’s last name…)

Then at 1:00 it was time for my lunch with my editor, Heather Osborne at Tor. We walked rather aimlessly…down 4th street, I think, until we spotted a couple of interesting restaurants. We decided on the Irish pub, or the Chinese place across the street, if the pub didn’t have food. But they did. I had fish and chips (you do not get Irish-style fish and chips here). We had a great time talking. Her excitement about New Blood made me all excited, and I told her about Old Spirits, which she said sounded cool. (She liked the heroine’s conflict.) I really need to get that off to her… And eventually, we walked back to the hotel and parted ways. I went to a workshop. I like workshops. I will have to look at my notebook (I bought a smallish one Just For Conference) to remember which one it was, but it was pretty good. More of the motivational type. I found it pretty motivating.

Then I headed down to the bar to catch up with the Brainstorming Desirables. Some of us don’t write for Desire any longer, but I like all the people (have roomed with them in the past) and really wanted to catch up with them. Got to hang out with Marilyn Pratt from Writer’s Playground, and caught up with Bronwyn Jameson and what her boys are doing these days. Nalini Singh came, and Mary Lou Wilson, and Tessa Manley, and I know I’m forgetting several someones, but I definitely remember talking to these folks. It was great. We hung out for an hour or so, and they had another place to be, and it was time for an online chapter gathering, anyway, so I went upstairs to it.

Those of you who know me, or have followed the blog for a while, know that I can be dangerous around food, mostly to myself. However, at this party, I became dangerous to others. First, I somehow turned and slung all the chips and empanada off my plate. Thirty second rule–I picked them all up–then I got something else off the buffet, and when I set the tongs down, they flipped off the tray and landed in the meringue tarts on the shelf below… Then I went to sit down, whacked my knee into the table and knocked over half the sodas on the table, some of them into people’s plates. I had to promise not to move again, until everyone was done and departing. They would bring me food. I would not get up.

This was a nice party. Scott Eagan of Greyhaus Lit Agency spoke. He’s looking for a big contemporary romance, not suspense or paranormal. He only handles romance and women’s fiction, and is very open to new authors.

By this time, it was time for the PASIC party to start. I walked over with Bron Jameson and a bunch of Aussie/NZ folks–Frances Housden, who I stood in line with at Reno and has been a great friend since, and Fiona somebody–I’m not sure anybody ever told me her last name, but she writes medical romance for Harlequin and is a lovely person, and Lillian Darcy who I got to sit next to at one Literacy Signing because all the Dawsons and Davises and Days were gone that year. There was one other American in the group, tho, so I wasn’t totally outnumbered. I hung out with Frances a while, and went and sat down with Bron and Fiona a while. They were talking to Virginia Kantra of the Sea Witch selkie books–she’s written a lot of others, but these books are hot right now–and we had a great talk too. I really enjoyed getting to visit with Virginia. I spoke a little bit to Allison Brennan, and that was about it. The party was at the restaurant in Nieman Marcus and was just a gorgeous location. Fabulous party/place/people.

And the evening and the morning were the second day.

The other days will have to wait for another blog. But I will post another of my San Francisco pictures…. This last one is from my one day of sightseeing…

Edouard is a wimp

I’ve downloaded my few pictures from San Francisco (my camera is getting old and creaky, and it’s rather large, and I didn’t carry it much), and will post the best of them as soon as I get my brain together. For now, though, since I do live on the Texas coast, and since there is a tropical storm wandering around the area, I thought I’d mention that Edouard is obviously French, because he has no follow-through. He got things all churned up, but in the end, never amounted to a whole lot. As storms go.

The fella wound all the hurricane shutters down–the house is pretty much a cave–but we didn’t even get any high winds. It rained for a couple of hours this morning, but by noon had pretty much dried up. It went ashore north and east of us, and headed west for downtown Houston. By the time the last bands of storm come ashore, it will be west of us, which actually makes me sad. We could use the rain. But the rain will be very good for those places where it does fall. Hopefully Austin and the parents will get lots of nice rain.

I did have a wonderful time in San Francisco at the RWA conference. My calf muscles are killing me, because I went out to sightsee in the little time I had on Sunday and wound up walking to Chinatown on the street that went up all the really steep hills. I definitely got my exercise. But I had a whole lot of fun, and when I go home tonight (hopefully to opened windows), I will get my brain functional again, and get some pictures and stuff posted. (Stuff being “what I did at RWA.”)