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We are getting into the spooky time of year with Halloween right around the corner and to kick things off today is Stephen King’s B-Day. When he was 10, he was at the local theater watching a matinee of Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, and the manager interrupted the film to announce that the Soviet Union had launched Sputnik. He says that for the first time, he saw a connection between the world of fantasy and current events and figured that the main purpose of horror was to form a liaison between our fantasy fears and our real fears. In my humble opinion he succeeded in spades. King scares the bajeebers out of me. I like spooky things okay, hey I even got a cat names Spooky so that counts for something, but scared to death isn’t for me. Maybe it’s because I live alone and having the wits scared out of me makes me not sleep for months. I don’t even go to scary movies. Those chainsaw things make my hair stand on end and every time I hear a growling motor I think someone’s out to get me. My first really scary movie was War of the Worlds. When those things landed in a pod, the pod screwed open and something crawled out I knew Earth was in for a bad time of it. I still see those creatures to this day and feel my skin crawl all over again. There was this other movie called House on Haunted Hill with this really scary actor Vincent Price. After that I never had the... read more
Life’s pathway rarely takes us where we anticipate. When I received my Chemical Engineering degree at age twenty-two, I never dreamed I’d one day write murder mysteries. When I started my job at Microsoft at age thirty, I hadn’t yet taken my first yoga class, much less taught one. I’d have been crazy to think I’d quit five years later to open my own yoga studio. But from the time I was five, I knew I’d someday own a German shepherd. At least a decade before I adopted her, I had already selected her name: Tasha. I barely remember the German shepherd my parents owned when I was a toddler. She was far from the perfect dog. She barked, she chased the farm’s cows, and her passion was hunting anything smaller than her. But in my memory, Duchess is a veritable Lassie. When Duchess’s hunting skills became more than parents could handle, they decided to re-home her. Through my heartbreak, I vowed that I would someday own a German shepherd of my own. Fast forward twenty-five years when I began dating the man who would eventually become my husband. Our road to three-year road to commitment was rocky, to say the least. We each had to compromise on many individual plans before we could envision a joint future. I was steadfast on only one thing: I wanted a family. In my definition, family didn’t mean kids. Family meant a German shepherd. My now-husband pretended cave in, in spite of his allergies to furry creatures of all kinds. Eight years of marriage and one memorable fight later, he finally agreed... read more
Gosh. That sounds like a good book title. Death of the Kindle. Hmmm…. Seriously. Years ago when the Kindle first came out I didn’t want one. I refused to get one. It was the worst thing you could buy a writer! I’m mean kill me now. I wouldn’t even pick it up to hold it. I just couldn’t imagine not being able to flip and dog ear my pages in my books! The horror! Until. . . My mom did the unthinkable! She gave me a Kindle with a really cute pink cover and a pull up light, pull up light~smh. But she didn’t stop there! She gave me an Amazon gift card to get started! What on earth? Was she sabotaging me? This is my MOTHER we are talking about. MY MOTHER! Yeah…you guessed it. I bought a cute pair of shoes with the gift card. I’m not going to lie. But it wasn’t until the next day did I pick up the Kindle and look at it. I shrugged. It wasn’t soooo bad. But it wasn’t a book! No siree-bob, it wasn’t a real book. Though I didn’t mind the light contraption. I did like the light. That was cool. The pink cover did catch my eye…. It wasn’t until I opened Amazon Store on the Kindle did I officially drink the Kindle juice. Oh yeah. With my cute new shoes on my feet and this Kindle thingy in my hands, my one click finger trick racked up a lot of books…Slowly but surely I started to read more and more on it, though it took me... read more
When a book conference becomes just the “change of scenery” you needed…
In another lifetime–which really means before kids–I worked as a journalist. My career began at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc. in downtown Washington, DC. At the time, the Radio broadcast news and information about countries behind the Iron Curtain before the Internet and Twitter changed the face of revolution. During the late 80s and early 90s, the Radio broadcast in over 40 languages to Eastern Europe and the countries that made up the Soviet Union. I started out in the Russian Language Service of Radio Liberty, which made sense since I majored in Political Science and Russian Language in college and grad school. At first I did mostly administration and translation work for the broadcasters who wrote and recorded the programs. I eventually moved on to actual production of the programs, working the equipment in the studio. For a while, I even had a small part on the air about life in America. Eventually, I was transferred from the Russian Service to the English News Service where I was hired as a correspondent to cover everything in Washington, DC from the White House to Congress to the Pentagon. One of my favorite memories is standing on the White House steps and looking out at all the protestors shouting at me. They probably thought I was someone important when in reality, I was just a lowly reporter covering the news of the day. It was a pretty exciting time for a young writer, and I learned a lot. I think one of the most useful things I learned as a journalist was the importance of a deadline. There were no... read more
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