Friday, December 21, 2012

The end of the line-- Mayan Calendar 2013

This is the end.  My only friend, the end.  Bummer, Jim! 

I sit here on the eve of the end of this phase of the Maya calendar and wonder-- if the world ends, so what?  I just had one of the best weeks of my life.  My time on earth may be complete.

I sat up close and personal at a hot Aerosmith show.  Extra bonus:  celeb crush, Johnny Depp, joined them for a few numbers.  

Friday, I enjoyed Kinky Friedman singing and reading from his latest book at McCabe's in Santa Monica.  

Among other things, he unkindly remarked that people like Ellen and me, who still enjoy music of the 70s are "insects trapped in amber."  Aw gee, what does he know anyway?  

A few nights later, I biked to two spectacular fireworks shows on the same night in Manhattan Beach.  One was a holiday show, the other celebrated the 100th birthday of Manhattan Beach.  

Does it get much better than that for a fireworks freak like me?  I'm afraid not.  

Mayas~ let the apocalypse begin!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

After12-12-12 ~~ The Next Big Thing

No-- not the Mayan Death Date

Thank you, Cora Ramos,  for twisting my arm  politely asking me to do this Next Big Thing post.

Here's the deal.  I answer ten questions about my latest writing project, published by Oak Tree Press in January 2013. You now get a peek into Murder's Last Resort.

The Next Big Thing is a blog hop that’s been traveling from site to site, and I was tagged by the chipper Ms. Cora Ramos. Be sure to check out her site-- she has an interesting POV. 

I answer ten questions about my current WIP, then tag five other bloggers to play the next round.  I couldn't twist five other people's arms find anyone else interested at this busy time of year, but I did find one victim willing participant, James J. Murray. (Give him a big hand.)  

After you read the interview answers below, then peruse the list the blog at the end of this post and check out his site--give him time to get his answers up, though. You might find a new book you want to check out or inspiration for writing ideas.

Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing:
What is your working title of your book?
         Murder's Last Resort
Choice of cover art (which do YOU prefer?)

  1. or

Where did the idea come from for the book?
            Some people I knew wrote page-turners with a lot of local color.  I reckoned I could do that, too, by writing about a place I had enjoyed and experienced in a prior life.
What genre does your book fall under?
            Classic murder mystery.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
            My protagonist, Maya French, should be petite and dark-haired, like Mila Kunis or Eva Longoria.
            Jake, good-looking BFF to Maya-- some fair-haired young swain.
            Lily, Maya's gal pal-- someone down to earth with a British accent, or at least a good fake British accent-- maybe that gal who played wardrobe mistress on Ugly Betty.
            French, Maya's husband, someone with Boy Scout values and clean, dependable, blue-eyed good looks.  Think young Paul Newman or Robert Redford.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
            Maya, a renegade corporate wife, tracks down the killer or killers of her husband's business associates on the hotel resort property where she is "the first lady", risking her reputation and her life to solve the crimes. 
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
            My book was scouted at a writer's conference by Sunny Frazier, acquisitions editor for Oak Tree Press.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
            I started it in 1999, but put it down for eleven years. When I picked it up again and got serious, it took a little over a year.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
            I would compare this to mysteries that are not so hard-boiled.  They're sometimes called "cozies".  They're not so much about blood, guns, guts and violence.  They're more about the inner landscape of the characters, distinctive places, people and times.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
            My inspiration was Kinky Friedman.  Here was a man who reinvented himself from eclectic country singer to best-selling mystery writer, humorist, philosopher and politician.  
I don't think I could become any of those other things, but seeing him morph made me think about undeveloped talents that lurk in all of us.  It's about discipline and risk-taking.  Why not go for something new and different?
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
            It's a period piece set in the go-go 80s, a time of exaggerated affluence and affectation for many Americans.  Think Reaganomics and trickle-down theories.  The characters in the book are living large and loving it.
Go visit James J. Murray at: 

Prescription For Murder | MURDER…MAYHEM…MEDICINE
by James JMurray, Fiction Writer. 
(Give him a day to get his answers up and find new participants.)    

Rules of the Next Big Thing
***Use this format for your post
***Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (work in progress)
***Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.
                   (Good luck with that, James!)

Any questions, comments or suggestions? Leave a comment if you like. I would love it.

Monday, December 10, 2012

How I Cheer Myself with Kristen Bell

       Sometimes, when I'm having a crap day, I watch the Youtube of Kristen Bell on The Ellen Show.  I wish I knew myself as Kristen knows herself.  She knows she has a limited range of controlled, mellow emotions. As she blinks back tears, she looks as vulnerable as a tiny kitten.  Adorable. Where are the swollen eyelids, nose and purple lips I sport when I have a meltdown? 

       To complete my session of self-therapy, I'll add the Auto-Tuned version of Kristen Bell on The Ellen Show.  

       Dear Gregory Brothers, please come Auto-Tune my life.  

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Last Issue or Gruesome Lawn Sh*t

       I have a friend who calls pink flamingos, resin deer, painted elves, brightly colored gazing balls on pedestals-- any and all ornamental garden decor-- Lawn Sh*t.  She would be shocked to know that Mt. Sac named its literary and visual arts magazine, Creepy Gnome.
       What thinking went into this?  No idea.  I just know they put out a quality product and they want you in it. 

       The staff, pictured below, 

wants your submissions for their third issue, "The Last Issue".  Is it really their last issue?  Based on personal experience, I doubt it.  Every time I think I've tackled my last issue, three more crop up.
       For further info and deets on how to submit your masterpieces, go to the following link:

The literary and visual arts magazine of Mt. San Antonio College. Send all submissions to! Click "About" and read the "Description" section for more details on how to send us your work.

       Go on, do it.  Submit.  You'll be in good company.  My work will mingle there with yours.