Archive for May, 2013

Excuses…and an Idea

Friday, May 31st, 2013

The nice thing about not blogging often is that I don’t have 60 spam comments waiting for me to wade through when I log in. The bad thing is it looks like I’m getting lazy.

I’m not getting lazy; I’m just super busy with non-writing stuff and am just getting back into writing again after a trip to China with my husband, during which a family member had a nasty fall that eventually led to her demise. We made it back home in time to see her—thank God—but I have needed time to grieve as well as support other family members in their grief, and now, thank God again, we are gearing up to a happy time. Youngest Son is getting married this summer! Also, a niece is having a baby. Yay.

As for writing, I am working on revising and updating BORROWING ALEX for Indie re-issue, and it’s going very well when I have time to work on it. I’m looking at a July or August release, but I can’t get any more exact for awhile. I also have two other manuscripts in various stages of needing-to-revise or needing-to-polish, and I also plan to Indie publish those. Maybe one in 2013 and the other in 2014. Plus, I have my short story series to finish.

So, there’s lots going on, but behind the scenes.

Once June is here and a host of family obligations are behind me, I will try (note emphasis) to get back to a more regular blogging schedule. I would ideally like to blog twice a week, and I am considering making one of those days, or a third day, a post devoted to other self-published authors and their books. Nothing too fancy. I found when I hosted guest-bloggers that I spent precious writing hours working up posts and then trying to get people to comment so I could give away books from those talented authors. I can no longer afford the time to host guest bloggers, but I am thinking of doing a Monday Deals type of thing, where every Monday I would post covers, blurbs and links to a few Indie-published books that are either new or on promotion. I need to put some more thought into it and then get a lead-time going so I don’t feel inundated. Other authors do this type of thing on their blogs. For instance, author Lauren Royal featured one of my books on her Friday Freebies day not long ago. That is the type of feature I am thinking of implementing. It would still allow me to get the word out about authors and their books while also pointing my readers to some great ebook deals—other than mine!

What do you think?

Finally on Sony

Sunday, May 19th, 2013

Lo and behold, after months of waiting, Deceiving Derek and Catching Claire, the first two short stories in my romantic comedy series, LOVE & OTHER CALAMITIES, are finally both available on the Sony eReader store! I need to update my website links, however, due to a personal matter I might not get a chance to do that for awhile. In the meantime, I am including the links here. WHERE SHE BELONGS, my Golden Heart finalist emotional contemporary romance, is also available at Sony, although the cover isn’t showing yet. At least it’s there. HEAD OVER HEELS is there, too.

Sony Store links:

Deceiving Derek (LOVE & OTHER CALAMITIES, Story 1)

Catching Claire (LOVE & OTHER CALAMITIES, Story 2)

HEAD OVER HEELS

WHERE SHE BELONGS (Destiny Falls, Book 1)

For links to other formats, please visit my Books page.

Gone, Gone, Gone, I Been Gone So Long

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

My last three posts about the Galapagos appeared while I was in China. I know, I’m tricky, scheduling them in advance like that. I couldn’t in all conscience jet off to China to explore smog and history and visit my son without finishing my Galapagos posts, could I?

We returned from China early, last weekend. A personal situation at home developed soon after we landed in Beijing, and the situation pretty much followed us around the country. We had a good time and met some great people, but if I did not have a full camera card to remind me of the trip I would almost think I hadn’t left home at all. In that regard, it was the most surreal vacation I’ve ever taken.

I’m glad we returned early. It was necessary and cathartic. And, in some ways, continuing. But such is life.

I have a lot on my plate right now before I can get back to editing BORROWING ALEX for reissue. In another week, I expect to feel more settled. Eventually, I’ll blog about China. Of course, I said in 2011 that I would blog about Newfoundland, too, and look how that turned out…. (Ahem.)

Galapagos, Days 20-21: Lonesome George, Long Travels

Monday, May 6th, 2013

There were those who doubted I would ever finish my Galapagos travel posts. Need I remind you that wrapping up these posts was one of my 2013 New Year’s Resolutions? And it’s only May. I think I did pretty good. In fact, today, the day this post appears, is the day we actually arrived back home in Canada. May 6, 2012. One would almost think I’d planned my year of posts this way, no? One would think I had that much foresight. That I am that clever. Or one might think something else entirely. I’ll leave what you think up to you.

Galapagos Cruise: Day 15

Ecuador Trip: Days 20-21

I switched around the headings just to keep you on your toes.

On the last day of our cruise, we had to get up super early because the flight home from Baltra Island left in early afternoon. I don’t know about you, but I have a tough time going to sleep when I know I have to catch a plane the next morning. It’s dumb, because not only did my husband have an alarm set on his Blackberry but Harry, our guide, woke us up every morning with an announcement over the loudspeakers. Harry was quite imaginative with his wake-up calls, and we smiled with sadness that this would be our last one.

When you’re on a Galapagos cruise, though, it’s unlikely that you’ll wake up, eat, and travel to the airport. There’s always something to do along the way. Whether you accomplish one or both visits on your itinerary depends on what time your plane is landing or departing. When we arrived on Baltra at the start of our cruise, it was late enough in the day that we didn’t have time to visit both sites on the itinerary. The same occurred the day we left. We had time to visit the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island, but we did not have time to visit the Twin Craters, although we passed them on our way to the airport.

In all honesty, if you do a two-week cruise in the Galapagos and follow the same itinerary we did, by the time you get to visit Charles Darwin Research Station, it’s the third such visit and might not feel strictly necessary. We visited similar sites on other islands, during Week 1 and Week 2. But the Charles Darwin Research Station WAS home to Lonesome George, who was about 100 when he died on June 24, 2012, about six weeks after we saw him (we had nothing to do with it, I swear!). And visiting the icon was something we did not want to miss.

Here he is, in all his lonesome glory:

A lot of fuss was made about Lonesome George, because he was the last of his sub-species, also famous for not wanting to get jiggy with it with any of the female tortoises. In other words, George didn't make any babies once he was in captivity.

A lot of fuss was made about Lonesome George, because he was the last of his sub-species, also famous for not wanting to get jiggy with it with any of the female tortoises. In other words, George didn’t make any babies once he was in captivity.

Lonesome George was the last of the land tortoises found on Pinta Island. In 1972, he was transported to the Research Station to encourage mating with other, similar tortoises found on other islands. Alas, George would not have it. Meanwhile, another tortoise at the Charles Darwin Research Station, Super Diego, has been having babies out his whazoo (or the females’ whazoos) for several years. Hence the “Super.”

Apparently, Lonesome George did manage to impregnate a couple of females at some point, but the eggs were not viable. Lonesome was determined to remain Lonesome!

Bye-bye Lonesome George!

Bye-bye Lonesome George!

After seeing Lonesome George (during which one of my fellow travelers told me that I have “too much energy” – can you believe that, anyone who’s met me?), we boarded a little bus and headed back for the tiny ferry that would take us to Baltra Island. Then we boarded another little bus and went to the airport.

It was sad saying goodbye to Harry, because when you develop a rapport with your guide, he begins to feel like a friend, not “just” a guide. So there were many sad faces amongst our group as we left Harry at the airport. And, we were also sad that WE would be parting ways. There were many hugs, talking and laughing on the flight from Baltra back to Quito. First, we had to leave a lovely couple from Australia at the airport at Guayaquil. The rest of the party got off in Quito, but of eight of us who had become quite close during Week 2, only the Group of Four were actually flying home that night. Our flight wasn’t until 11 p.m. out of Quito, which isn’t the largest airport in the world. So when a couple from Ontario invited us to leave our suitcases in storage at the Quito airport and join them for dinner in a couple of hours, well, that seemed like a very good idea. Two other cruisers had massages booked back at their hotel, but when they found out the Group of Four was spending the evening in Quito, of course they dropped everything and came to see us!

The six of us went out to dinner, and although we were all exhausted by then and eager to get back to our respective homes, we had a lot of fun.

The Group of Four got up before 5 a.m. to have breakfast on The Cormorant and then go see Lonesome George. Our flight left Quito, like I said, at 11 p.m. at night. No sleeping was done in the interim. And we had to change planes twice before we finally arrived back in Canada on May 6th, 2012. Despite the exhaustion that long hours of travel brings, though, My Liege and I were both full of a weird energy those first couple of weeks after we arrived home. Yes, he got sick at the end of the cruise and had to miss the last excursion, and, yes, I got sick because he got sick, but I managed to wait until we arrived home. But the feeling of utter joy and freedom and happiness, when you are getting along with people and you have a fantastic guide and crew at your disposal, you’re exploring new islands every day and having amazing experiences…the Galapagos stays with you for a very long time. Even now, writing about it, I smile. Because I miss the Islands. I don’t know if I would ever want to visit again, because I know it would not be the same. However, one couple we met on Week 2, from Germany, were staying for two weeks, and their Week 2 was the same itinerary we’d had on Week 1…our trip with them was their second or third to the Galapagos. They just love it. I’ve also heard from others who have visited the Galapagos more than once that even if you follow a similar itinerary, it isn’t the same. You go at a different time of year, a slightly different route, and the people are different, the time of day you visit a site might be different. You might not get to see the Waved Albatross and you might not get to swim with young sea lions, but you will see baby sea turtles breaking out of their eggs and rushing down to the ocean (something we didn’t get to see because the eggs were still in the sand nests), and you might see more sharks and tropical fish and porpoises and pilot whales (the latter two which we didn’t see). Or you might island-hop instead of going on a cruise. Or you might take up diving and have a totally different experience than on a snorkeling cruise. It would be awfully tempting to go again.

If I won a mega-lottery, I would totally go again with my husband and take my sons and their respective S.O.’s along. In the meantime…

Gala_May5_Last

C’est fini!