Saturday, November 10, 2012

I Like Punch

Was this Eagle Rock, or Highland Park?

I was on York Blvd., near Avenue 50, at a bar called The York, for a book signing. The book is Things I Want to Punch in the Face, from Prospect Park Books, and this was a few weeks ago. The author, Jennifer Worick, is currently on a book tour (I can tell from her blog). The book's doing well; the trailer gives you a good idea of what this funny book is about.

At the book signing they served punch. I like punch.

Things I want to punch in the face include labels that remove the peel when I take them off my fruit, our floor lamp that sometimes works and sometimes doesn't, and gargantuan SUVs with one teeny little driver in them.

You see how I suffer.

I do not want to punch this man in the face, or anywhere else for that matter.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Camelot Where You Are #29, Rebecca

"This is a sports bar in Claremont where we live," says Rebecca M. of her entry. "I've never patronized the sports bar and have always been a little amused by it as I drove by.  When I heard of your contest, I went to snap a photo."

I'm glad you did, Rebecca. I don't spend a lot of time in sports bars myself, but I know enough to assume that sports are watched on TV there as opposed to played in person. Still, it's fun to imagine an arena inside, with beer-drinking revelers betting on the joust.

Thanks, Rebecca!


Let's vote! Starting this evening, you can vote for your favorite of this week's Camelot Where You Are entries. The poll will be at the upper left corner of the blog all weekend. The winner receives a free copy of my new novel, Camelot & Vine, as soon as it's published.

Is there Camelot where you are? A castle, a knight, a...whatever you think Camelot looks like?
Take a picture of it and enter it in the Camelot Where You Are photo contest. Details are here.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Camelot Where You Are #28, Lisa D.

Lisa D. sent in this remarkable bulletin.

"I stumbled on what I thought was a romance wanted ad in a local convenience store, I posted the photo on my blog and a commenter led me to you and your contest. . ."

That commenter was the Chieftess, of Mammoth Lakes Daily Photo. I'm guessing Chieftess knows Lisa via Macro Monday, a worldwide photoblog meme hosted by Lisa herself at her fun blog, Lisa's Chaos.


Is there Camelot where you are? A castle, a knight, a...whatever you think Camelot looks like? Take a picture of it and enter it in the Camelot Where You Are photo contest, to win a free copy of my new novel, Camelot & Vine. Details are here.

The pace of publication progress is picking up. I enjoyed this interview with Maurice Sendak where he called the publishing business "just stupid."
Agree or disagree, Sendak was always interesting.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Guest Author, Margo Sorenson

With her latest middle grade/tween ebook TIME OF HONOR (MuseItUp Publishing) featuring a prep school debater catapulted into the middle ages to prevent a murder, Margo Sorenson has written twenty-eight books for young readers. A Minnesota Book Award Finalist in YA Fiction and Milken National Educator Award recipient, Margo and her books can be found at and, and of course, our beloved Vroman's. Please welcome today's guest author, Margo Sorenson.

You couldn’t imagine that growing up in Altadena and Pasadena could have a medieval influence on my writing, could you?  Seriously, my most recent tween/middle grade mystery, TIME OF HONOR, involves Connor, a smart-mouth debater heroine who is catapulted back to 1272, and the medieval aspects of Pasadena helped me put her right back in the middle ages.

There’s more that’s medieval about Pasadena than just the history books in the Pasadena Library. Stop at Westminster Presbyterian Church, and just imagine it transported to a medieval city. Its gothic architecture would fit right in. Sitting there on Sundays as a kid and staring at the vaulted ceilings, I used to daydream (apologies to the ministers!) about living in the middle ages, so it wasn’t a big leap to write about Connor having to swap her jeans for a velvet gown (after a flea-check!).

My family, being the geeks we were, would often drive to the Huntington Library to look at the exhibits. There, too, the medieval influence of Pasadena worked on my brain. Looking at china and silver goblets on display fired my imagination about the people who used them and the conversations they must have had at the table. Granted, Connor had to learn to make do without a fork, since only knives and spoons were used in 1272, and – gross – she had to share a wine goblet with her dinner companion, but to see ancient utensils and plates really helped create the ambiance of medieval meals.

Even the white-glove Pasadena image of years ago was important for this book. Decorum was key; I dreaded attending the young people’s cotillion at the Hotel Green every month, in white gloves (absolutely!), hoping that I could shrink against the wall and not have to dance! There was a genteel rhythm to Pasadena life back then, and, although I didn’t appreciate having to behave, the adherence to etiquette translated well back to courtly life in medieval times. Connor also finds she has to squelch her impulses to fit into 1272, so she doesn’t get found out by the murderers!

Pasadena isn’t a medieval city, but living there helped me write about living in the middle ages. Do you think the castle in the cover’s background looks a bit like the Hotel Green?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Camelot Where You Are #27, JB

JB took this picture in Shaker Village, New Hampshire. I'm not sure how he got there, but he's a worldly guy. He and Ms. JB live part of the year in Mainz, Germany and part of the year in New Zealand, and the rest of the time they're away.


The Camelot Where You Are photo contest returns! We have a guest author tomorrow (yay!), then more entries Thursday and Friday. 
The rate of entries has slowed but the contest is still open, so if you'd like to enter I'd love it if you did. Please read the rules here then send in your photo.

I still don't have a publication date for Camelot & Vine. I appreciate you all being so patient with me. I step on the rug and it moves, 
but it doesn't get pulled out from under me, so I keep on stepping. To quote Kat Ward, owner of Hometown Pasadena and author of Amy's Own
"Publishing is like construction; it always takes longer than you think (and can cost more, too). Hang in there!"

Monday, November 5, 2012

Zen Monday #219

There is much I could tell you about this photo, but as is my wont, I won't. Instead, how about you tell us?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Ground Level

I've got a collection of photos I call "Ground Level." I bring one out every once in a while. You can find a lot of nice stuff by keeping your head down.

It's my brother's birthday (happy birthday, Stuart!). We've got three contest entries and a guest author this week on the old blog. Camelot & Vine is closer and closer to ready. Boz is snoring at my feet. My feet are cold. I would like to tuck them under Boz (dogs are warm!) but I don't want to wake him. Plus I'm dying for some ice cream.

There you have my list of important things to to keep in mind for Sunday.