Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Night and Day

My Lego stand-in
Who Am I?
And what did they do with the real Alison Bruce?

I Am Not A Morning Person! Yet, here I am, waking up at 6:45 and writing my blog. The REAL me would have done it last night when this ersatz me was falling asleep at her laptop.

If it was just the last couple of days, I'd blame Word on the Street. All that sunshine and bonhomie takes it out of a person. If I had been in Vancouver instead of Toronto, I would have got wet instead of sun burnt and the bonhomie and a cup of coffee would be keeping me warm.

No, this started at least a week ago. One day I just woke up and thought - maybe I can get a few things done before I go to my corner. (No, I'm not a hooker. I work as a crossing guard outside my son's school.) I looked at my cell phone/watch/alarm clock and was shocked to find out I could work for more than an hour before I had to don clothes, sensible shoes, orange vest and stop paddle.

The real me - the me I've know since I was a child - gets up at the last moment possible to get ready for school/work/whatever. She is the master of the two-minute shower and the zero to sixty start when her alarm doesn't go off.

The real me doesn't fall asleep before eleven. Last night I made it to midnight, but that's because I had a deadline to meet. I used old coffee and willpower to stay awake that long. Usually I don't have to resort to such tactics until 2 am at least.

Maybe it's Marly Lander's fault. My heroine of Under A Texas Star would, like most people in the old west, rise with the sun - not that I can see much sign of sun out my window. She's resetting my circadian rhythm in preparation for completing the sequel to her book. If so, I'd like to remind her that I wrote most of her story in the wee hours of the night.

Oops - time for the two minute shower.

PS: For more on the Real Alison Bruce and Under A Texas Star, check out Morgen Bailey's interview which I mentally subtitle "I can't believe I answered the whole thing."

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Deadly Deadlines

Have laptop... need coffee

I'm a little late with the blogging this week. I got this frightening email from my publisher asking me if my manuscript was ready. 

Almost, I said, not quite lying through my teeth.

I was doing so well with it until my laptop crashed. True, I do have a desktop computer I can work at. My work in progress resides on a flash drive just so I can go back and forth at will.

I prefer working on my laptop now. It isn't just that it's faster (excepting when Windows crashed and burned, taking all my other programs with it) - it's the portability. Even if I was willing to load my tower and monitor into the car, they wouldn't fit on a bistro table. If I did managed to get everything set up, there wouldn't be room for my coffee.

No coffee. No work.

Not that I can't make coffee at home. I have a drip coffee maker, a French press and an old fashioned, stovetop espresso maker. Sometimes when the need for caffeine outweighs my need to sleep eventually, I make the French pressed then pour a doppio espresso in it. 

What am I saying? I can drink two four-shot Americanos and still have a nap in the afternoon.

It isn't the coffee that makes me go out... well not only the coffee. It's the chance to get away from household chores, junk calls and ennui. Writing doesn't have to be a solitary profession if you get thee to a coffeeshop.

So, fittingly enough, the last few chapters of "Deadly Legacy"/"Deadly Succession" (the title is still in question), were finished next to Chapters -- at my local Starbucks.

Speaking of titles, which do you think works better: Deadly Legacy or Deadly Succession?

Vote in the poll on the side bar and/or comment below. (Choices, choices.)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9 11 Memories

This is where I came in...

I'm not an avid news watcher. I prefer reading the news. That makes my timing for turning on the TV, just as the second crash was about to take place, all the more remarkable.

A couple of seconds was all it took to glue me to the TV for the rest of the day.

Since then, I have discussed conspiracy theories and the issue of terrorism vs act of war. I have no more answers now than I did that clear September morning. Whatever was behind the attack, whatever came after, I can only claim one thing: my unshaken faith that there are heroes in the world. They are the men and women, professional and volunteer, who tried to help in a near helpless situation.
A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including my life."

Subsitute "My country/communitee/fellow being(s)" for "The United States of America" and you have a fair definition of hero. It certainly applies to the veterans of 9/11.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

BTS Book Contest

Back-to-School Special

I used to manage a comic book sale. While other stores had back-to-school specials on supplies, clothes, or electronics, we had a half-price sale on back stock comics.

Feeling a bit nostalgic, I thought I'd do the same for eBook copies of Under A Texas Star.

It's time to get back to lessons and tests, so I have a pop quiz for you. Answer correctly in the comments and receive a half-price coupon for Under A Texas Star. Just to make it more interesting, if I get more than 3 entries, one commenter will receive a free book coupon.

Pop Quiz

  1. Who is Adele Gumm?
  2. Where does she live?
  3. What subject does she teach girls in her school that boys don't need to study.

Hint: all the answers are in Nighthawk Talk