Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Internet: A World of Information at Your Fingertips

One of the most life-changing events for me has been the Internet. It has made researching my three novels a piece of cake. I can hardly imagine authoring a book without it. Although my major use of the Internet is to ensure authenticity in my novels, I also use it to locate general information and answers to just about any question I might have. As a child I loved to browse through the encyclopedia picking up all sorts of information. Now I do the same thing except I do it electronically. If you have not already jumped into cyberspace, consider doing it today. I guarantee you will be as delighted as I am.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

My Novel: Murder in a Teacup. A Winner.

I ended 2009 on a great note. My novel, Murder in a Teapot, placed second in the California Writers Club Jack London Contest for a first novel. I even received a cash prize. Wow! For the first time I earned money in my new profession. My goal is to publish something in 2010.

Send good thoughts.

Friday, December 4, 2009

How to Handle the Holidays

The holiday season can be somewhat overwhelming. There are so many events and parties, not to mention preparing huge dinners, baking cookies, shopping, wrapping presents—how to handle the holidays?
First, I begin preparing early, slowly and gradually. I call it my "nibble at the mountain method."
Second, I ask for help from relatives and friends.
Third, and perhaps most important, when I feel overwhelmed, I force myself to think only as far ahead as the next day or even the next hour.
Do you have strategies for minimizing holiday stress? Share them.

Friday, November 20, 2009

More of Life's Little Irritations

I've noticed that most people find that similar types of behaviors irritate them.
My friend, Art, shared some of his own:
• I dislike people who don't say thanks when I do something out of the ordinary for them. (That includes my own children and women I hold doors open for.)
• And waitresses who address my wife and I as "you guys."
• And people who talk loudly on cell phones on BART and (when) walking along Lake Elizabeth.
Most people I know, including me, would agree with Art. Now the question becomes: If most people are annoyed by behaviors like the ones mentioned by Art, then who is engaging in the irritating actions?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

School of Life

I often encounter people who seem to take pride in being outspoken, "speaking their minds." Usually these individuals are just plain rude. They often like to begin their caustic remarks with a caveat like: "I probably shouldn't say this but..." My reply is always: "Then don't say it!"

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Humor that Victimizes Mothers and Mothers in-law

There are many ways to express humor. I love a good laugh. However, I don't enjoy humor that requires a victim in order to be funny. I much prefer situational jokes. Strangely enough, in our country of "motherhood and apple pie," mothers and mothers in-law are far too often victimized in our humor. Our media puts down mothers and mothers in-law so frequently that foreigners sometimes question how much we really value these people. After all, there's truth in jest. Maybe we need to ask ourselves how much we really treasure our mothers? Perhaps we should alert the generators of this type of humor that we don't enjoy the message it sends.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

School of Life

When a door is slammed shut, a window is sure to open. This has proven true for me. The door slammed shut when my agent quit the profession, leaving me without a link to a publisher. A window opened when I got notification that my novel, Murder in a Teacup, came in second in the California Writers Club Jack London writing contest. The cash prize is nice, but adding it to my resume will be great.