Archive for November, 2013

Trade Paperbacks for the Holidays!

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

Knowing me, it’ll take awhile before I add the info to the BORROWING ALEX book page, so I’ll update here that the trade paperback edition is now available not only on Amazon, but also Canadian AmazonAmazon UK, and Barnes and Noble. Just follow the links!

The book is “in stock” on both the main Amazon site, UK Amazon and Barnes and Noble, however, if you want to order from Canadian Amazon, the estimated shipping time is 4-6 weeks. I usually find the shipping times shorter than Canadian Amazon says, but it looks like if you wanted to order paperback copies of BORROWING ALEX for Christmas prezzies, well, I wouldn’t count on getting them before December 25th. Mid-January prezzies are more like it. New Year prezzies!

However, WHERE SHE BELONGS and HEAD OVER HEELS are both “in stock” at Canadian Amazon with the customary free shipping for orders over $25. And they are available on the Amazon, UK Amazon, and Barnes and Noble stores mentioned above. WHERE SHE BELONGS is available in both hardcover (Five Star/Cengage) or Trade Paperback (Blue Orchard Books).

BORROWING ALEX, as well as HEAD OVER HEELS and WHERE SHE BELONGS should also be available for Special Order from your local bookstore. Special Order means that the store can order them through the distributors Ingrams or Baker & Taylor, but whether the store WANTS to order them is another matter and out of my hands. There’s no harm in asking, though. These decisions vary from store to store, depending on whether they feel they can cover their overhead for ordering the book.

All three books are published by Blue Orchard Books. Here are the ISBNS (number identifying the book for bookstore staff to look up in their distribution networks for Special Orders):

BORROWING ALEX: 9780988088436

WHERE SHE BELONGS: 9780988088467

HEAD OVER HEELS: 9780988088429

Go forth and elf yourself. And don’t forget to spell Procter-King with an E!

A Galapagos Journey, Day 11 – Guest Blogging at Galapagos Eco-Lodge Blog

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Day 11 of our 2012 two-week cruise aboard the Cormorant Catamaran gave us our first glimpse of beautiful Kicker Rock, a swim at Pitt Point, and also a wonderful surprise about Witch Hill that is not to be missed! The mysteries of Witch Hill are awe-inspiring.

Pop on over to the Galapagos Eco-Lodge blog to read my stories and see my pictures.

Visit and like Galapagos Eco-Lodge on Facebook.

How To Turn Into A Zombie

Saturday, November 23rd, 2013

I know I’m a little late for Halloween this year, but for you Halloween die-hards who want to gain a head start for next year or for all the zombie TV and movie buffs out there who wish that they, too, could become zombies, an actual zombie infestation is not necessary! You can easily become a zombie by following the tried-and-tested steps listed below.

NOTE: Do not abandon the process until you have achieved your desired level of zombie status! Abandoning the process requires you to start all over again, losing yourself precious zombing time (zombing is whatever you choose to do while you are a zombie, and if it’s not already a word, it should be).

  1. Develop chronic insomnia. It REALLY HELPS if you already have a history of insomnia, particularly if you have suffered for over a decade. If you only have “trouble sleeping” now and then, then note that is it vitally important to practice poor sleep hygiene habits until your insomnia is entrenched. Poor sleep hygiene habits include, but are not limited to, sitting at your computer, TV, or staring at your tablet until right before you want to go to bed (repeating on a daily basis); quaffing huge amounts of caffeine; over-stressing, over-working, and forgetting to wash your hair; not going to bed or getting up at approximately the same time, yadda, yadda.
  2. So, you’ve mastered the chronic insomnia. Sorry if you had to go through the poor sleep hygiene habits to get there. Some of us come by insomnia naturally. We are the lucky ones! But the trick to becoming a zombie is for any insomnia-coping mechanisms that you have developed over the years to suddenly stop, without warning and for no discernible reason. Believe me, this step, which, I admit, might require a tad of the supernatural if you are not already super and natural yourself (we can’t all be), is of tantamount importance. If you can not persuade your insomnia-coping mechanisms to abandon you, continue repeating Step 1 until you feel half-dead. Because FEELING zombie-esque takes you halfway to getting there!
  3. Try new insomnia-coping mechanisms that plain old don’t work and just make you feel worse. For some of us, taking melantonin, which others recommend for fixing a faulty sleep cycle, will result in restless nights with Alice-in-Wonderland-like dreams where everything feels so vivid and horrible and anxiety-ridden that you’ll wish you could wake up and when you do you’ll be exhausted…well, I can’t recommend this step enough for achieving zombie status.
  4. Stop using hand sanitation gel or washing your hands. When you see someone sneeze on a shopping cart at the grocery store, wait until that person puts away the cart and then MAKE SURE you get that very cart. Do NOT wipe down the cart handles with an anti-bacterial wipe, and, after finishing your shopping, make sure to touch your face, your lips, or even your eyes. If you need to put in eye drops often because your eyes are dry from laser eye surgery, so much the better. The dry eyes help you feel even more like a zombie!
  5. If you have not gotten sick in quite a long time, it might be necessary to repeat Step 4 as needed, be around sick people as much as you can, and eventually, if you’re lucky, you will catch a nasty virus that dries up your sinus cavity on one side of your head, completely blocks one ear, and renders your eye drops essentially useless. So your eyes are red, you are unbalanced (zombies hate balance), you are dizzy, and your brain begins to resemble Swiss cheese, because the insomnia combined with the weird sinus-blocking virus such as you have never before experienced will, essentially, turn you into an idiot unable to concentrate or focus on anything resembling creativity. Good work!
  6. Sometime before Step 4, book a flight somewhere to coincide with the timing of Step 5. DO NOT MISS THIS STEP. A plane trip is the perfect way to ensure that your blocked ear will remain blocked for three weeks, thus contributing to your coveted zombieism in a big way.
  7. Plan your destination carefully. I find that if you go somewhere where you can attend three rock concerts, or stage shows, or huge musical extravaganzas, in a row, that are so loud that despite your blocked ears you believe you can still hear them – that’s half the battle. Or a quarter of the battle. I’m not so good at math, so don’t quote me. Just pummel your ears with as much noise as you can, meanwhile continuing with as little sleep as possible and also maintaining the blocked ear syndrome for AS LONG AS YOU CAN.
  8. Through your “suffering” of the virus, do not take any cold or flu medications. They will disrupt your path to zombieism. WARNING: Do not take so much as an over-the-counter ear drop.
  9. When you return from the trip, which hopefully required several plane changes and the necessary noisy events, have the blocked ear move from one ear to the other. Back and forth, back and forth. You get the idea. For a day, have the blocked ears nearly clear. Go to your doctor for another issue, discover you have too much wax in your ears, and he or she will wash out the wax with blasting water. This step is essential for developing tinnitus.
  10. Tinnitus is when you hear ringing in your ears. The ringing, if you’re not used to it, can easily drive you insane. The most blessed among you will discover that your Eustachian tubes are completely blocked despite the wax removal, and that your ear tubes will remain blocked for a good two or three weeks. All efforts to unblock them prove fruitless. This is a good sign!
  11. Just when you feel like your mind is the consistency of Swiss cheese combined with tapioca pudding is a wonderful time to develop an allergy to a substance you may have slathered all over your body. In absence of an allergen, dry shave your legs (while you’re at it, dry shave your entire self). In the absence of an allergen, the rash from the dry-shaving will make you feel most zombie-like!
  12. For some of you, this is the point where you will feel that you have reached Zombie Nirvana. If such is the case, go out and commence your zombing. But! You might not get the full enjoyment out of your zombie status without completing the next step.
  13. Trip and fall on your face. You might have to precede this “accident” with a previous injury to your hip just to reinforce it. The idea is that it will then feel totally natural to have to drag one of your legs behind you. If you already have an old rotator cuff injury or carpal tunnel issues, so much the better! You’ll get to drag your leg and have your arm slump! This will make you much too slow to catch up to humans, because who really wants to eat human brains, anyway, while still maintaining your zombie status.

That’s it! Thirteen easy steps to becoming a zombie. Have fun!

Fine Print: Do not attempt without parental authorization or a physician’s note. Author is not responsible for those who take her seriously (or those who do not). Author is not responsible at all.

A Galapagos Journey, Day 10 – Sante Fe and South Plaza Islands

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

Okay, so the Tuesdays aren’t as bright and shiny anymore. It’s November! But join me as I transport you to a beautiful, warm paradise, the Galapagos Islands off mainland Ecuador, as we near the end of my two-week journey aboard the Cormorant Catamaran in 2012 with Naturalist Guide Harry Jimenez.

Day 10 featured Sante Fe and South Plaza Islands, which features vegetation and landscape that we hadn’t seen before. The Galapagos are very unique!

Enjoy my stories and photos over at the Galapagos Eco-Lodge blog.

Visit and like Galapagos Eco-Lodge on Facebook.

Next week, we encounter Kicker Rock for the first time!

A Galapagos Journey, Day 9 – Up to My Neck in Lava on Sullivan Island

Saturday, November 9th, 2013

Ah, Tuesday, bright and shiny, just perfect for reminiscing about my two-week cruise aboard the Cormorant Catamaran in 2012 with Naturalist Guide Harry Jimenez, owner of the Galapagos Eco-Lodge on San Cristobal Island.

Day 9 featured a wonderful excursion to Sullivan Island, where I found myself up to my neck in lava and where my husband practiced snow angels on a human barbecue.

Enjoy my stories and photos over at the Galapagos Eco-Lodge blog.

Visit and like Galapagos Eco-Lodge on Facebook.

Next week, Sante Fe and South Plaza Islands.

A Galapagos Journey Day 8 Guest Blogging at Galapagos Eco-Lodge Blog

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

On Day 8 of my Galapagos journey, we said goodbye to several guests and another 8 joined us. We were officially on Week 2 of the cruise, with stops at North Seymour Island (Blue-Footed Boobies galore!) and Bachus Beach, where I saw a beautiful Blue Heron.

Enjoy my journey and photos over at the Galapagos Eco-Lodge blog.

Visit and like Galapagos Eco-Lodge on Facebook.

Next week, I find myself up to my neck in lava!