Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Very Productive Weekend

Hello, I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! The extended Thanksgiving weekend turned out to be a quite successful one for me. First off, I was able to sit down with my family for some great food and conversation. Then, I sat down with Kate Endria for an in depth interview. She gave us fascinating details about her life growing up and the history of her village, Calendria.

Then, I heard from two local papers that I had sent press releases and books to. They're going to interview me for articles that will appear December. I received a list of questions from one this morning. So that's some nice publicity. It will be nice to get the word out.

The thing that I'm happiest about, however, does not involve the current book. I began work on the next book in the Deliverers series. In fact, I didn't just begin, I wrote the first two and a half chapters! Now, for me to do that in a couple of days is just spectacular.

It was a great feeling to have the words flow so easily. Plot situations revised or fixed themselves easily, like right after I put the original thought down. So far, it seems to be a lot easier the second time around. We'll see if that continues. I'm hoping that it does. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

An Interview With Kate Endria

Today we sit down to interview Kate Endria. She is the daughter of the Lord Mayor of Calendria, and an important part of the Deliverers team. So, let's get right to it.

Editor:  Welcome to the Deliverers Publishing Headquarters, Kate. Thanks for stopping by.

Kate:  You’re very welcome. This is so exciting! I never thought I’d get to visit this place. Stig told me all about it, but I would never have believed how extravagant your headquarters was if I hadn’t have seen it for myself.

Ed.:  Well, I don’t think it’s as impressive as you’re making it out to be. But anyway, what was your family life like growing up?

Kate:  Some might say that I still have some growing up to do, especially the members of our Council. I remember some happy times when I was younger. Of course, Sharky and the pirates were always around. If they weren’t terrorizing Calendria on Tariff Day, there was always the thought that Sharky was watching.

I remember times with my papa and mother—before she died. We were happy, going to the Green for picnics, pot luck suppers at the meeting house. But, then Mother got sick, and things weren’t so good. I was seven when she passed.

But, Papa has always been wonderful, and he does his best to make up for not having a mother. And of course Gretchen, our maid, has always been a dear, and Madame Bottleneck, too. I’ve been blessed to live in a village where everyone cares about one another, and I’m proud of Papa, who’s the Lord Mayor.

Ed.:  Tell us a little bit about Calendria and its history.

Kate:  Well, Calendria has a long and rich history. It was established over 300 years ago by my ancestor, Calvin Endria. Cal Endria had been Sharky’s first mate, but he and about 40 others in Sharky’s band decided it was time to settle down and retire. So, Cal went to the captain and stated his intentions, expecting that Shaky would either laugh in his face or run him through.

I think that he was pretty surprised when Sharky didn’t do either. Instead, he agreed to let Cal and his mates retire, provided that they paid a tariff of half of everything the settlement produced twice a year for a hundred years.

So that’s how Calendria started. Calvin Endria was the first Lord Mayor, and the village was named in his honor. The position of Lord Mayor has been handed down to the eldest son in the Endria family for generation after generation.

Ed.:  You were the one who discovered the Deliverers. How did you come to be searching for them?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Black Friday Deal

Happy turkey day, everybody. So, now we're all stuffed to the gills. Some of us are watching football (Dallas came back on the Dolphins! Ugh!). Some of us have departed, or are planning to depart for the stores in that Black Friday rush. I only have one thing to say--don't go out there, it's dark!

Why go out when you can shop from home? Order the greatest gift a child could receive this Christmas right from the comfort of your couch--"The Deliverers: Sharky and the Jewel" can be obtained online. And now, for this weekend only, you can get it for $1.50 off the regular price of $9.99. How you ask? With a discount coupon. If you order the book on CreateSpace, and enter this code at checkout: Q42K3ZJ8, you'll get that $1.50 off. But hurry, this coupon will only be valid until the end of the day Sunday, November 27. And really, who wants to look like this?:

Enjoy, and have a great rest of your day!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Lots to be Thankful For

Hey, work's done for the week! Yay! Today, I'm just doing a quick post to wish you all as safe, happy, yummy Thanksgiving. Enjoy your family and friends this weekend, eat a bunch, shop 'til you drop, and just chll and appreciate life and all its blessings! We've all got so much to be thankful for.

Check back here tomorrow evening for a special Black Friday deal on "The Deliverers: Sharky and the Jewel'. I'm not one to rush out the door as soon as the pumpkin pie is done to line up outside Wal-Mart in the cold, but I'd like to reward my Facebook and blog friends with a little something, because I truly am thankful for you all. So, I'll see you tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Kids Say the Darndest Things

 My nine year old son would never read more than a few chapters of my book before it was published. Now, I know what you're thinking. That's hardly a ringing endorsement. You're right, and it used to bug the heck out of me.

I took to pestering him, "Don't you want to finish daddy's book? Don't you like it? Please read some more." I bothered him so much that I began to wonder who the child was, him or me. Insecurity can be a powerful thing.

I'd wonder, hey, if my own child won't read the blooming thing, what child will? Finally, I came right out and asked him why he wouldn't read it.

"Because," he said, "you just want to be famous."

That brought me up short and made me think. Was that true? Well, of course I'd like kids all over the world to read my book and to enjoy it. If that were to happen, then I guess there would be a certain amount of fame involved. But is that why I write, to be famous?

I know some writers who are almost compelled to write. They're not happy unless they're writing. That always kind of bothered me, because I am not compelled to write constantly. Now, once I start writing, it's a different story. Once I start, the compulsion kicks in.

But, if I don't start, I don't have the compulsion. And too often, I don't start--too many things get in the way. I think that it's not that I don't have the passion to write, it's just that I'm a lazy writer.

Take for example my second book. No it's not written yet. I've been kicking around an idea all summer, but I hadn't nailed anything down. I let things get in the way--the artwork and layout for the first book, our summer vacation, stuff at work, my Lions Club.

This past weekend, I sat down and finally ironed it out. Well, I ironed most of it out. Now, I can start writing this weekend, and we'll be on our way. Because once I get down to writing, the compulsion will kick in and there will be no stopping. No worries!

And, I shouldn't have been worried about my son. As soon as I got the proof copy, he sat down and read the book in a couple of days. He loved it. I guess his comment was just an excuse because my manuscript wasn't a book to him. But he made me examine why I write--and why I don't. And that's a good thing.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

An Interview With Stig

The voting is complete, and the readers have spoken. You’ve selected Stig as the character you most wanted interviewed. Eventually, we’ll interview all the main characters from the book, but right now, here’s everyone’s favorite owl, Stigidae Ghostwing--uh, Stig for short.

Editor:  Welcome to the Deliverers Publishing Headquarters, Stig. Thanks for taking the time to, um, perch with us.

Stig:  It’s my pleasure entirely, I assure you. I say, your headquarters is really quite impressive.

Ed.:  Oh, how so?

Stig:  Well, the sheer size of the place for one thing, and the fine art and furnishings, to say nothing of all the awards and autographed political and celebrity photographs. I mean, who knew this was such an accomplished organization!

Ed.:  Stop, I’m blushing. But this isn’t about us. We want to hear about you. What was your childhood like?  Were you an only owl?

Stig:  I was an only child. It was rather difficult. You see, my childhood lasted for about 150 years. Most of that time was spent in school. Owls are nothing if not educated. When I wasn’t in school I was with my parents hunting for mice, moles, and the occasional rabbit.

Mother was kindly and very understanding of my youthful foibles. My father was a most respectable business owl, and did not go in for any “carrying on” whatsoever. This led to some friction between us when I entered my adolescent years. I must confide that, just between you and I, I was quite the hellion back in those days. Eventually, I settled down and became somewhat respectable myself, but the entire process was rather painful.

Ed.:  What is your world like?

Stig:  Oh, much like any other, I suppose. Owls are the predominant species. We’ve developed a very learned society, known for its universities. A nice place altogether, but not really my cup of tea. I don’t spend much time there these days, what with my Assignments and all.

Ed.:  How did you first get sent on an Assignment?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Readers' Poll--One Day Left!

Just a reminder that our readers' poll is winding down. There's just one day left. Right now, Stig is leading the voting. He's preening his feathers in anticipation of the upcoming interview. But what's this? Kate is not far behind, and she's far from beaten. She's rallying support and looking to make a late push. Hallo's still in the running, too. Slow and steady could win this race. Meanwhile, Eric's a bit put out because he only has one vote. Imagine, the hero not being interviewed first?! What kind of cut rate production is this? And there sits Sharky in last place. A fitting place for a villain, but very embarrassing. Surely, some of you out there would like to read an interview with the lowest, meanest, nastiest pirate to ever sail the high seas?!

Anyhow, it's time to vote. I'm interested to see how this plays out. Who will be chosen? We'll find out tomorrow.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Now for the Rest of Chapter 1

Here's another reminder to vote in our first ever readers' poll if you haven't already. The poll is on the left.

A few days ago, I shared the first part of Chapter1 of my book, "The Deliverers: Sharky and the Jewel", with you. Now, as promised, I give you the rest of chapter 1:

In awe, Eric gaped around him. They were in a long corridor with doors on either side, each one the same. He noticed the door they had just come through had shifted to match the others, all rectangles about seven feet high with a large pane of frosted glass in the top half.

The hallway was lit by many chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, each of which held many candles that burned without a flicker in the still air. A red velvet carpet covered the floor, and it stretched as far as he could see, seeming to go forever in both directions.

Then, with a flicker of light, a desk materialized on his right. A wizened man with a long white beard and golden spectacles was sitting behind it. The desk was littered with papers. A large white quill pen stood in a jar of India ink amid the clutter. The man smiled as he rubbed his hands together. His blue eyes sparkled as he looked at the boy and the owl.

"Well, well, so this is the young man, is it, Stig?" he asked.

"Yes, quite correct," said Stig as he landed on the desk. "I have the honor of presenting Master Eric Scott. Eric, this is the Gatekeeper."

The old man stood up, his blue robes shimmering, and offered Eric a bony hand.
"Very pleased to meet you my boy," he said.

"Uh, same here," said Eric, shaking the old man's hand. He had expected the Gatekeeper to have a weak grip like his grandfather's, and was surprised by its strength.

The old man grinned as if reading his thoughts. "This job keeps me on the move," he said. "It wouldn't do to get out of shape. Now, I suppose Stig has explained all this to you. Is that right?" The Gatekeeper’s voice assumed a serious tone.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

And Now A Word From Our Illustrator...

Hello all! First off, I'd like to remind you about our first readers' poll. Please take a look over to the left and cast your vote for the character you'd most like to see interviewed. This is just a basic poll, no log in required, no one tracking your online movements or anything like that!

And now, I'm pleased to introduce the first ever guest blogger to The Deliverers blog, Daniel Vogel. Daniel is our intrepid illustrator. This is one talented young man. He did the cover illustration, the map, and the chapter header illustration...and he doesn't even drive yet! So now, heeeere's Daniel!

Hello everyone, (or the percentage of the population that will read this). I'm Dan, and I'm here to talk, or type, about the illustrations for The Deliverers.

I really like drawing, and my Mom and Dad (who are good friends of Mr. Slomba) [Mr.?!-ed.] thought it would be a good idea to turn this into an art assignment for my schoolwork (I am home schooled).

Of course, reading the book was the first step. Uncle Greg (he is not really my Uncle, our family just calls him that--long story for another time) let some of my cousins and I have advanced copies of the final manuscript for a "test" reading.

It was a very good book!

Coming up with an idea for the cover illustration was tricky. I had to develop a drawing that captured the gist of the story, not give away the story too much, yet make a potential buyer say "Huh! This book looks interesting, I wonder what this story is about."

To me, The Deliverers entering the Dead Forest was an iconic scene, and I chose that as my starting point. I had trouble placing Stig in the drawing, trying to put him on Eric's shoulder. He seemed to get lost in the scene, but was too important a character, so I compromised by making him flying above the trees. I did numerous owl studies and tried a whole bunch of angles. It was a good exercise, and I learned a lot about owls in the process.

For the chapter drawings, I first tried to do individual drawings for each of them. That didn't work out quite the way I wanted. Over-thinking the ideas killed my momentum (my mom calls me a lazy artist).

The obvious solution: one chapter illustration that captures what the book is about. After more study sketches, I settled on a drawing of a ring, with two swords crossed behind it, with two flags flying on top of it all.

That was only the beginning. After Uncle Greg approved the sketches, I scanned them into the computer and my Mom (a graphic designer by trade) and I worked together to spruce up the art on Photoshop and add the glow effects. We took out eraser lines, added contrast and brightened color, and then she showed me how to put in the fancy gold type used in the title.

Uncle Greg also wanted a map of Calendria. First try, the perspective was horrible and I got the places mixed up. Second try, I got the places right but I messed up the perspective. My Mom worked with me to manipulate the image to the right perspective in, you guessed it, Photoshop. I really like that program!

Overall, illustrating this book was a great experience, and I want to thank Uncle Greg for letting me participate in the process.

And if there is a sequel, I will pull out my pencils once again!

Thanks, Daniel. Keep those pencils handy!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

And Now For Something Completely Different--A Readers' Poll

Okay, here's something new for this blog--our first ever readers' poll. I'm planning on interviewing some of the characters from The Deliverers: Sharky and the Jewel", and I couldn't figure out which character I'd most like to interview first. Then I thought, why worry about it myself? So I figured I'd let you decide.

Over to the left of the homepage you'll see the poll. Just click on the character you're voting for, and click the "Vote" button to register your vote. In four days, the voting will close, and I'll announce the first character interview.

The five characters are Eric Scott, our hero; Stigidae Ghostwing--Stig for short, talking owl; Kate Endria, the Lord Mayor's daughter; Hallo Tosis, outcast dwarf; and Burt Sharky, immortal(ish) pirate captain. All of them should be interesting interviews, so I don't think anyone will be disappointed no matter what the outcome. May the best character win!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Sneak Peek of Part of Chapter 1

Hello. Today, I'll give you a sneak peek of part of chapter 1 of "The Deliverers: Sharky and the Jewel". Chapter 1 is pretty long, so I'm doing the first part now. I'll follow up with the second half in an upcoming post. So, without further ado, here we go:

Out of This World

The boy’s heart hammered in his chest. His knees quaked and he felt weak as he stood on the narrow mountain path, high above the plain below. Wind whipped his red hair and tugged at his clothes, trying to blow him over the cliff as he clung to the solid bulk of the rock face.

Beside him stood a man. Although the face was blurred and indistinct, the boy knew it was his father. The mountaintop was shrouded in mist, making everything around the pair hazy and surreal. A faint reddish light gave the mist a rosy glow, adding to the otherworldly feeling.

The boy’s father nodded, and they both began inching up the path, the man in the lead, each clutching the rock face. The boy took a deep breath and looked over the edge of the cliff. Wisps of cloud tracked across his vision, momentarily obscuring, then revealing, the dizzying drop to the landscape below.

He trembled, suddenly unable to move. His father stopped and turned, gesturing for him to follow. Almost without thinking, the boy took one step, then another, then one more. The reddish glow became brighter as they walked, until the air around them glowed blood red.

Suddenly, a black shadow loomed over them. The boy heard the flap of leathery wings and felt a blast of hot air as some creature flew overhead. Startled, both climbers darted toward the cliff to avoid the creature, their momentum carrying them toward the edge. The boy managed to grab hold of a boulder on the precipice, but his father stumbled, wobbled sickeningly on the edge, then toppled over. All the boy could do was watch as his father spun and twisted, hurtling down toward the plain, which rushed up to meet him. Arms and legs flailing the man tumbled, his mouth forming a scream.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sharky, the Bad Guy

I've introduced you to all four of The Deliverers; Eric, Stig, Kate, and Hallo. Now, I'd like to tell you a little about the villian of the book, Captain Burt Sharky.

Sharky leads a band of bloodthirsty pirates. He's been doing that for over three hundred years. How does he live so long? Is he immortal? Have to read the book to find out.

One thing's for sure, he's not a nice guy. The ancestors of the villagers of Calendria were once part of Sharky's crew. They decided to settle down, so they asked Sharky for permission. Sharky decided to let them, provided they did something for him in return. It was agreed, and they had a deal, but Sharky cheated. That's just the way he is.

Ever since then, he's terrorized the village, and the residents have been unable to do anything about it. He's got a strange ring that legend says gives him the ability to see into peoples' minds. And, oh yes, he's got a terrible temper. All his crew are scared of him, except, perhaps, his first mate, Mr. Marrow.

Anyway, he's quite rotten. Perfect for a bad guy. You'll love him, or hate him...

On another note, I've joined the Twitterverse. If you'd like to twit or tweet, or whatever, you can follow me at @GregDeliverers. Thanks.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Our Veterans, the True Deliverers

I spend a lot of my time writing about The Deliverers, ordinary people who save a small village from a band of pirates, and wind up heroes. While this is fiction, we're blessed with our own heroes--our veterans. Ordinary folks just like us who chose, or were chosen, to do the extraordinary.

So today, show some love to the veterans in your life, and all those you meet. They're what's built this country. Remember, too, that it's our responsibility to keep this country great by working together, so that all their sacrifice will not have been in vain.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Publication, Day 2

Well, I've been published for a day (more or less), and it's been great so far. Thank you all so much for your good wishes and support. So now, the book is out there, and you will buy it and read it. That's great, and it's great for this blog, because now you will know what the heck I'm talking about. It should allow me to go in some more interesting directions.

I'd like to have some guests come on and write some posts about the book, and what you liked and what you didn't like about it. I've also got one or two deleted chapters which are quite interesting, and some early plot explorations which I will share.

As I get more savvy about this thing called blogging, I'll be running some contests. I'll be keeping you up to date on the book signings and book shows that I'll be attending. It's a whole new world, and I'll be taking you right along with me.

I'm currently hammering out an idea for Eric and company's next adventure. I intend to give you updates on how it's going, and I'll probably ask for your input, too.

Writing today is a more communal activity than it's been traditionally. I used to lock myself away and write. Now I write in front of the whole world, letting everyone know my thoughts, challenges, successes, and wrong turns. I'm thankful for your support, and it keeps me mindful of who I'm writing for. It's not just myself. I'm writing for you.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

It's Heeere...

Well, I told you yesterday that today I would have an announcement. I wasn't lying. The book is out in paperback!!! It's available on Amazon and CreateSpace. Please buy it for yourselves, your children, and/or your grandchildren. It makes a great Christmas/holiday present!

So please buy it, and, if you like it, go back and post a review. Tell your family and friends, pass along this blog link. Okay, that's my sales pitch, I'll keep this post short. Sorry I don't have any streamers and balloons. Confetti would be nice... Thanks for checking it out.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Writing Through the Block

The strange thing about writing a blog is that I don't always know what I'm going to write about. That's kind of the case today. I'm sitting on some news, and don't want to let the cat out of the bag just yet. So, I'm looking for something else to write about that will be on par with the witty, entertaining and, dare I say, downright brilliant posts that you've grown accustomed to.

Okay, maybe I'm stretching it a bit. Okay...a lot!

So, how am I doing so far? No, you don't have to answer that one. I'm on thin ice already for my statement in the first paragraph. I'm sitting here with my 7 year old daughter, and she's giving me advice on what to write. "Write about work...Write about dinner. You can write about anything that you want."

Oh, yeah. Sometimes we get caught up in the things we have to do, or those we feel we should do. We don't always consider that we have a choice, and that sometimes we can do whatever we want and not feel guilty about it. This is one of those times.

That's kind of what happens to writers. We put so much pressure on ourselves to write, and write well, that we wind up writing nothing at all--because nothing is good enough. I think the thing to do is just write your way through writer's block. Stream of consciousness, that's the thing. A lot of times when I do this, nothing but crud comes out. But eventually, the crud clears away, and the good ideas come gushing forth again.

And the good ideas always come. That's the beauty of writing. That's what keeps me coming back. Writing is a way of life. It's a means to come to grips with feelings and emotions. To blow off steam after a hard day, or to visit places or times you never would be able to in the here and now.

When I write, I am the architect of worlds, the giver of life, more than I normally am. At the same time, when I write about these new and different things, I am more me. You might think the crud's still flowing, but it's true. When the writing's good, it's really a kind of rush. You feel like you've accomplished something.

Well, I'm glad I got that out of my system. Thanks for reading!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Writing--It's Fantastic!

So, how did I get started writing fantasy, and writing it for tweens? I've always loved to read. Reading has been a staple ever since I read my first book on my own about a farmer who takes a big wheel of cheese to the market in town in a wheelbarrow, and loses it. It rolls up hill and down with the farmer chasing after it.

But that's kind of beside the point. My mother was (and is) of the opinion that a love of reading should be cultivated at a young age, and nurtured through those "difficult" middle grade years. In an effort to do this, she started reading to myself and my four siblings at the dinner table.

Every night when dinner was over, and the dishes had been cleared away, my mom would read a chapter of a book. The first book she read to us was "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" by C.S. Lewis, the first in the Chronicles of Narnia series. I must have been 12 or 13 and I was entranced by the book. It let my imagination take flight, and took me to places I'd never known existed. Here's a picture of the edition she read to us from:

It's the 70's version. Kind of harkens back to the Beatles' Yellow Submarine. There's something a little Paul and Ringoish about Peter and Edmund.

I'd always been a fan of fantasy to some degree. In addition to my love of "Where the Wild Things Are" when I was younger, I also loved "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and "The Phantom Tollbooth", among others. But on some level, I connected more deeply with this book.

Mom read the whole book over the course of a couple of weeks. Then, she moved on to book 2 of the Chronicles, "Prince Caspian". She read one or two more, but by the time she'd finished with book two, I'd raced far ahead. In no time, I'd devoured all seven books of the Chronicles and was looking for more.

That's when my mom suggested I check out "The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien. That was well and truly it. I was hooked. From there it was on to "The Lord of the Rings". Things haven't been the same since.

This started me on my way. I knew what I was going to do. I was going to write fantasy novels for children. I started right away. I made the mistake of trying to write an 8th book of the Chronicles of Narnia--not a good idea. Then, I started a fantasy epic of my own inspiration, complete with a map and everything.

Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) I don't think anything has survived from that ill fated manuscript. After that I bided my time. Something else grabbed my writing attention around this time and on into high school and college--comedy. But that's a story for another day.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Hallo Tosis--Strange Name For A Dwarf

Hallo Tosis the dwarf is the fourth main character in my book. I know, it's kind of a stinky name. Right from the beginning, Hallo had a hard life. First, his father stuck him with that horrible name. Then, he finds that he's the least talented dwarf in the history of the Dwarf Kingdom. This gets him banished.

So, he's forced to wander the Iron Mountains, unable to get help from the dwarves of the Kingdom, and unwilling to go down to Calendria and reveal himself to the Big Folk. Finally, he decides to end it all, but changes his mind at the last minute, which is when he enters the story.

Hallo turns out to be invaluable. He helps the village in their plan to defeat Sharky and his pirate band. He also learns a few interesting things about his family history that change his relationship with his father.

He's feisty and funny and another standout character. He took a little while to develop, but once he did, he really took off. He's the perfect finish to the quartet of Eric, Stig, Kate, and Hallo--the group that became The Deliverers.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Back In the Saddle Again

Well, here we are. I can't believe it's November 5th already, and I REALLY can't believe that the photo above was taken on the morning of OCTOBER 30th. That was the day after a good old fashioned Nor'easter blew into Connecticut and nearby states, and dumped up to 17 inches of wet, gloppy snow on top of leaf-covered branches.

Do you know what happens when this occurs? Trees and/or huge tree limbs snap, crackle, pop and break, falling on to houses, sheds, and power lines. For us it meant a week long power outage. I was without power (and heat) for five days. Some people still don't have their power back. Not to worry, the power company expects (hopes?) to have power back to 99% of all customers by midnight Sunday. We shall see.

Anyway, I'm thankful that my power is back, and I hope those of you who are still out will get yours back soon. Meanwhile, I can honestly say that I was lucky. While my back yard looks like a tornado hit it:

I was extremely lucky in that nothing came down on the house or the shed and gazeebo. My wife, Stephanie, was great. She had to deal with two children all day who were bored because they were out of school and there was nothing electronic to play with. While I was at work, where the electricity flowed freely, as did the heat, she had to find places to take them to keep them entertained. And, thank goodness for the YMCA. Not only were we able to shower there, but the kids had a ball swimming. It was a lifesaver during a couple of afternoons this week.

So now, I've got some cleaning up to do. Ironically, I had just sold my chain saw (which I rarely used) the weekend before the storm, so that left me with just a bow saw. I went out this morning to make a start, and after about an hour the saw broke. So now, I'm heading out to Sears to pick up a new one. I hope they're not cleaned out, or my yard will be looking like this:

for quite a while. Oh well, all's well that ends well--although I guess I'll be losing four trees. I suppose it means less leaves to rake next year!

Now that things are sort of back to normal, I can start concentrating on my book again. In the next couple days, I'll be updating you on that front. I will also have an announcement to make sometime next week, so stay tuned. In the meantime, be safe and be warm!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

But We Never Lose Power...

Hi all. I just wanted to post something quickly to let you know I haven't disappeared. I'm stuck smack dab in the middle of the worst area of power outages in Connecticut, so no internet, electricity...heat. When the power's back up, I'll make a real post and let everyone know.

In the meantime, if you have no power (then you're probably not reading this), be safe. If you have a warm place to stay, then stay there--don't be a hero. Remember, the local YMCA usually opens up to the community for showers, etc., and look for lists of community storm shelters in your area.

We're supposed to get power back here...sometime. I'll talk to you when that happens! All the best.