Tempe Book Festival

Last Saturday was a fun day at the Tempe Book Festival. A few sprinkles and a little wind made the day interesting but was short-lived. Thanks to every one who stopped by. Still looking for the pics of the full table display and me peeking from under an umbrella. LOL

Upcoming Book Festivals

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Saturday, November 4, 2017 – Tempe Public Library – 10:00-3:00.  Table 54. Come get your book signed and say hello. Special event pricing on paperbacks and e books.

Join me Saturday, Mesa Book Festival –  December 9, 2017 – 2:00 – 8:00. Downtown Mesa. First annual and looks like a great event!!

 

76,261

Last week as I considered putting this new story aside, I ran a word count. 76,261 words. divided by 390 words/page equals 195 pages. I ran the numbers again and made certain I was using the correct words per page for a 5.5 x 8.5 paperback – Garamond 11 font.

Darn! That changed my perspective. If I have 195 pages of garbage, surely there is something here to salvage after all. I’ve done no edits except for a few changes with dates of particular events – moving them up a few years here, shifting some to the end for the plot line.

So now here I am once again. Trying to complete a first draft to send to my editor and to discuss with a few beta readers. In the past as I wrote scene after scene the book wrote itself to a certain extent. But I want this novel to be the best I can possibly write. I want it to jump to the head of the pack – way superior to my previous three.

So I am months, perhaps another year, away from completion, but 195 pages is just too much effort to throw out for now. It may still wind up in the trash heap, but I guess it’s worth another month of hard work.

I have a title at least (Jumpers) and major and minor characters (Sarah, David, Paulie, Stephen, Maggie) and some great scenes (I think). Hopefully they will morph into chapters and then into a complete novel. Time will tell. Fingers crossed.

Albuquerque Balloon Festival 2017

I haven’t done anything that was this much fun in a long time. We are bombarded daily with such negativity in the world, it was great to simply be at an event that was happy and fun. Everyone there had broad smiles and loud voices and clapping hands. We were like kids in a candy store. Every minute the view changed and it was glorious. I had seen many photos and videos of the festival but being there was unbelievable. We had gracious hosts, perfect weather and impeccable timing. I hope I can feel this happy for awhile though I may have to turn off all media in order to retain it. I’ll add a few photos though pictures simply cannot capture the experience. Some of these were taken right over our hosts’ home. The necklaces kept our three-some from being separated among the throng of 30,000. The people in zebra stripes train for three years in order to be lead crew and they take their job seriously (thank heavens – lots of flames around those balloons.)  Hope you can enjoy it some time – well worth it!

 

Photography by Mike Wesala

These are thumbnail size prints. If you’d like to see a larger view, please leave us a message and we can provide them. Mike’s photography can be printed in a variety of sizes.

 

what jogs your memory?

Last night I grabbed an old paperback off my bookshelf as I had nothing to read and my tablet was dead. I couldn’t remember how old it was but the pages were thin and yellow and the print so small I could barely read it with bifocals. The Future King – E.B. White.

I fell asleep quickly and this morning when I moved it to my nightstand, I saw a half dozen pieces of paper sticking out along the top edge. I thought I’d see what scenes or words had moved me enough to mark them. As I opened to the first one, what fell out took me back to 1967.

Not the words on the page, not some wonderfully written phrasing – no – a hall pass for a student in my 9th grade English class – my first year of teaching at Eisenhower High School in Lawton, OK.

I was slammed into a past I’d prefer to forget: 5’2” and couldn’t see the back row of kids so I used a high bar stool behind a podium and walked around a lot. January following their teacher’s death. I don’t recall having any discussions around that issue with the students, but I pray that I did. Scared rabbit saved by a veteran teacher across the hall. Newly married a year and a half living in Army base housing. A war I protested as friends and pilots flew off on missions – weekend parties to say good-bye and fears I’d never see them again.

I won’t bore you with the rest plus there are dozens of scenes in the movie of my life I’m not particularly proud of – ah, youth. Just enough sharing on my part to perhaps take you back – to an item that jogs a memory each time you pick it up – a book you open – a box filled with cards and event stubs – what has jogged your memory recently?memory book

Uncovered…

Here in Arizona we know that Mother Nature likes to tease us with Fall. But after three days in a row of low 70-degree mornings, my patio furniture begged me to release it from its summer covers so I gave in. I kept telling it – “We’ll have one more monsoon and you’ll be covered with inches of dust. We will see 105 again; you’re just asking for your lovely orange color to be bleached out by the heat.”

It didn’t want to listen. Or I didn’t want to listen. I want to pretend we are out of monsoon season and we will only have 90 degree temperatures until Halloween when it drops to 60. So I gave in. Spent one morning hosing it all down and yesterday morning folding the heavy canvas covers and putting them on a shelf in the garage.

Sitting outside this morning with my coffee, I felt a bit chilled and I loved it! Like the cushions that needed to see the light of day, I felt released from my self-imposed claustrophobic summer lifestyle. You know the one if you live here in the desert. Up before dawn, yard work finished by 6:00, errands completed by 11:00 at the latest, hibernating until the following sunrise.

I hope I didn’t tempt nature too much by doing this, but it does look so pretty outside without those ugly tan canvas apparitions staring at me like ghosts through opened window blinds. The lively colors now brighten both my outdoor area and my spirit and I will enjoy any cool morning we are given from now on. And, yes, I know deep down that we aren’t finished with summer – just yet, but it gives me hope.