advice to grads

May 16, 2009 | Leave a comment

This has been around for ten years, but Baz Luhrmann’s advice is timeless. Based on a piece by Mary Schmich:

Do something good.

May 12, 2009 | 11 Comments

One copy only! Rare as hens teeth!

One copy only! Rare as hen's teeth!



Two left in the world! New, not used.
Two left in the world! New, not used.

Brenda Novak’s auction for diabetes research is legendary by now. Why? Check out her amazing items for readers, writers or just folks who want to take a great vacation. This year I’m donating two of the last first-edition copies of Lord of the Night in existence. Links are here and here. A RITA-winner that’s been out of print for years! Autographed by my favorite author, too!



And here’s an autographed advance reading copy of Lakeshore Christmas

If you’re a writer, you can bid on a meeting with an agent or editor. If you’re a reader, try for lunch with a famous author. Come on, do something good for you–for Brenda–for diabetes research.

Speaking of winners…another selection: It’s Terry! She gets the radio and the book. Time for a new drawing. I have a signed Just Breathe and a spare copy of a book I was sent for endorsement, a wonderful memoir called Remember the Sweet Things by Ellen Green. To put your name in the hat, go to Brenda’s auction and name your favorite auction item in the Comments section.

“The new needs friends.”

May 11, 2009 | 8 Comments

Two things in my e-mail today reminded me of this famous little soliloquy from Ratatouille. One was a request for an endorsement (blurb) on a first novel, which I was happy to provide because the book was terrific (Miss You Most of All by Elizabeth Bass). The other was a link to an anonymous review of one of my books.  A nasty little thing it was, too. (The down side of Google Alerts.) It was for a book that has sold well, a book readers loved, so I didn’t take it too hard.  

In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations, the new needs friends.

Congrats to Amy who won the last drawing, thanks to I am throwing in a Seattle Chocolates Truffle bar because she loves chocolate. Next question! Have you ever read a book the critics despised but you loved? Or have you ever discovered a book because a critic praised it?  Post your replies in Comments, and you’ll be entered in the next drawing, for a copy of Just Breathe and a mini-radio I picked up during a plant run to the garden shop, so you can listen to Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me while you do the weeding.

May 11, 2009 | 6 Comments

saw “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” today. Don’t believe what the critics say. It’s fun and adorable.

happy hands at home

May 10, 2009 | 17 Comments

Katherine won the last drawing! And I’m desperate to try the black cherry soda. Today’s question is at the bottom of this post.

Makeover time! I’ve written many a page in my trusty old puff rocker, but it needed a makeover.

faded old chair
faded old chair

So I dragged out my trusty rotary auction sewing machine and got to work.


It was kind of awkward to sew.
It was kind of awkward to sew.


...but at least I had a nice view.
...but at least I had a nice view.

And here is the result. Barkis gives it a paws-up!




The next drawing is for a copy of a terrific new book–Blood Bayou by the lovely and talented Karen Young. I bought a copy, and then Karen was nice enough to send me one, so I have an extra! And of course, a signed copy of Just Breathe. Today’s question–what gives you “happy hands?” Do you have a favorite craft? (even if you don’t practice it!) Post in Comments below, and you’re entered.