Sunday, May 31, 2009
My spot in the Pavilion at the Fireman's Flea Market in Arbor Vitae, WI, was quite cold, mainly because of constant wind gusts, but the comaraderie amongst the vendors was warm enough to make up for any discomfort I felt. I had tucked four magazines and a book into my tote bag to read in case of poor attendance, but was so entertained I never read them.
A slow, but steady stream of customers came through, but not many felt like sticking around too long when they felt the chill winds in the Pavilion. In the picture, I'm holding up the poster for my upcoming release, KILLER CAREER, which I've begun advertising.
On Monday, I'm hoping to get over to the St. Germain Flea Market, this time as a customer. One of my neighbor vendors will be selling again there and I'll stop by the say hello.
Then, next Saturday, I'm back again to Arbor Vitae again to sell more books at their Flea Market and have fun with the other vendors.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Anyway, I couldn't find the charging cord, but after a long search found it in a different bag than the radios themselves.
That cord was only one of the many things I had to find and put where it belonged. I think I've got everything where it should be for the 10 days we're here, but can't tell for sure. I wish I were more organized, but it's not in my blood. I just do the best I can. So far, I'm lucky. I don't think I forgot anything I wanted to bring with.
What about you? Do you have trouble finding stuff or getting it all together when you go on vacation?
Friday, May 29, 2009
Anyway, I saw something on Thursday that warmed my heart. I saw some people selling raffle tickets for cars to benefit Children's Memorial Hospital. Nothing unusual about that. They do it every year.
What was unusual was one businessman stopped and shook one of the volunteers' hands and said something like, "Thanks for being out here."
Another few blocks later, the same businessman put some coins in one of the street person's cups and went on his way.
He probably had no idea he'd left an impression on me, but he did. All I could think was Wow, this is a nice man.
Have you encountered anyone who does something simple which made an impact on you? Maybe you can think of how to fit something like this in a book you're writing to show and not tell the goodness of a person. Or, maybe another author written something that made an impact. Please share.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
A cousin's son
A friend's grandson
That's the tally so far, but I wouldn't be surprised if there were more on the way. Going to one could be a good thing or bad, depending on how you look at it. I consider it a mixed blessing.
It's wonderful to be with friends and relatives, having a good time and eating great food. It's not so wonderful to eat too much, which I tend to do when the food is terrific. Also, we're a bit short of money this year, but we still want to give the graduates nice gifts.
What about you? Are you going to any graduation parties or maybe holding one?
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
For about 20 years, the DH and I have spent Memorial Day and the week after in Wisconsin. Due to a conflict in vacation plans at my job,this year we had to change our vacation week.
We were surprised to learn The Salute Run, a track event, had been going on in Arlington Heights for 6 years. We decided to check it out and brought Rascal along for the walk there. Before the races began, Pat Quinn, the Governor of Illinois, and Arlene Mulder, the Mayor of Arlington Heights, gave short speeches.
When the Governor was through speaking. The DH went up to get his picture taken with the Governor, along with Rascal. The picture's above.
Afterwards, the DH laughed. He said the Governor asked for the dog's name and said she was cute. He didn't ask for the DH's name.
We're used to that by now. Like I've mentioned before, when we walk Rascal people are always stopping us on the street and saying things like, "That's the Target dog," or "That's the Patton dog," or "That's the dog from Little Rascals."
Some even say, "That's the Youtube dog," since Rascal's Mom put up a number of videos there. (If you search for morganmandel, you'll find them, by the way)
It's obvious Rascal has clout, even with politicians.
Does your pet get more attention than you? Please share.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Afterwards, we went to a Memorial service at Memorial Park in Arlington Heights. It was a sad event. Mayor Arlene Mulder read a poem called The Soldier which hit home to us how we owe so many things to soldiers who fought for our country. One of the things mentioned was a street sign made to honor a 23 year old resident who'd given his life in Viet Nam, only after 23 days of service. His mother was on hand to speak about her son. Also, a list of over 200 names for Arlington veterans who died in the past year was read. They played the Star Spangled Banner, and taps and gave a 21 gun salute. A great tribute to our fallen heroes.
Did anyone else go to any Memorial Day events?
Sunday, May 24, 2009
I was going to post about something different today, but a news article on Yahoo caught my eye. The Dad in the story suffers from hypoglycemia, which I have, but it's under control. I also refer to this illness in Killer Career, my upcoming romantic suspense.
This article reminded me of when I was young and one of my brothers got into the car and it started moving. Fortunately, Dad got in and applied the emergency brake before anything bad resulted.
Do you have any car scares to share?
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Here's a sneak peak at my updated website and the cover art for my upcoming romantic suspense, Killer Career. You can check it all out at http://www.morganmandel.com/
I've changed the main page and some other pages. Still have more to update, but it's not as hopelessly behind as it was not long ago. Somehow I kind of forgot the website existed after I got caught up in my daily blog here, but it deserves to have its own life also.
Hope you like it.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
This is the season for people in cages. Every day on the way home from work I see them.
They sit on iron chairs in front of iron tables and they're happy, despite the fact they're caged in. Maybe the reason for their great mood is they're outside in the fresh spring air and enjoying the good-looking food and drinks in front of them. Also, I guess they don't mind being in cages because they know they can get out whenever they want to - when they finish their meals and/or drinks, or conversations and pay their bills.
If they don't pay, I wonder if they have to stay inside until they do?
Have you seen these people in cages also? Or, maybe you've been one of them or would like to be. Or, do you hate outdoor eating and drinking? Please share.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
As usual, comments here, there, or both are always welcome.
Monday, May 18, 2009
I happened to meet the talented and all around nice guy, Barry Eisler, at the Love is Murder Conference a few years ago when we were on the same panel. Today, I'd like to share some info about him and his new novel, Fault Line.
Bio: After graduating from Cornell Law School, Barry Eisler spent three years in a covert position with the CIA's Directorate of Operations, then worked as a technology lawyer and startup executive in Silicon Valley and Japan, earning his black belt at the Kodokan International Judo Center. Eisler's thrillers have won the Barry Award and the Gumshoe Award for Best Thriller of the Year, have been included in numerous "Best Of" lists, and have been translated into nearly twenty languages. The first book in Eisler's assassin John Rain series, Rain Fall, has been made into a movie starring Gary Oldman that was released by Sony Pictures in April 2009.
Silicon Valley: the eccentric inventor of a new encryption application is murdered in an apparent drug deal. Istanbul: a cynical undercover operative receives a frantic call from his estranged brother, a patent lawyer who believes he’ll be the next victim. And on the sun-drenched slopes of Sand Hill Road, California’s nerve center of money and technology, old family hurts sting anew as two brothers who share nothing but blood and bitterness wage a desperate battle against a faceless enemy.
Alex Treven has sacrificed everything to achieve his sole ambition: making partner in his high-tech law firm. But then the inventor of a technology Alex is banking on is murdered, the patent examiner who reviewed the innovation dies--and Alex himself narrowly escapes an attack in his own home. Off balance, out of ideas, and running out of time, he knows that the one person who can help him is the last person he’d ever ask: his brother.
Ben Treven is a military liaison element, an elite undercover soldier paid to “find, fix, and finish” high-value targets in the United States global war on terror.
Disenchanted with what he sees as America’s culture of denial and decadence, Ben lives his detached life in the shadows because the black ops world is all he really knows--and because other than Alex, whom he hasn’t spoken to since their mother died, his family is long gone.
But blood is thicker than water, and when Ben receives Alex’s frantic call he hurries to San Francisco to help him. Only then does Alex reveal that there’s another player who knows of the technology: Sarah Hosseini, a young Iranian American lawyer whom Alex has long secretly desired--and whom Ben immediately distrusts. As these three struggle to identify the forces attempting to silence them, Ben and Alex are forced to examine the events that drove them apart--even as Sarah’s presence, and her own secret yearnings, deepens the fault line between them.
A full-throttle thriller that is both emotionally and politically charged, Fault Line centers on a conspiracy that has spun out of the shadows and onto the streets of America, a conspiracy that can be stopped by only three people--three people with different worldviews, different grievances, different motives. To survive the forces arrayed against them, they’ll first have to survive one another.
Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Fault-Line-Novel-Barry-Eisler/dp/0345505085/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1242648099&sr=8-1
Are you a fan of thrillers? Have you read any of Barry's books?
Sunday, May 17, 2009
When the DH tries to use it, he gets very perplexed, since he only knows the hunt and peck method. Sometimes I even forget where the letters are and do a double check, but it doesn't do much good when looking at the keyboard doesn't enlighten me. How can it, when I can't read the letters?
Anyway, I called Dell today and spoke to the Gold Plan guy. He'll replace my keyboard this time, but he says what it's experiencing is normal wear and tear, like when a car's paint gets faded because it's out in the sun. I don't get the analogy, but I'm glad I'm getting a new keyboard for now.
Have you had such problems with your keyboard? Any other problems with your computer hardware? Were you able to get it replaced, or did they say it can't be covered since you're equipment experienced "Normal Wear and Tear?" Please share.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Speaking of changing houses, the publisher for my first and second books was Hard Shell Word Factory. Since it no longer fit my needs, I'm changing houses. When my new romantic suspense, Killer Career, comes out hopefully by the end of the summer, my new publishing house will be Choice One Publishing Co.
I'm not sure where any of my following books will be published. I'll see how Choice One does.
What about you? Have you changed houses, either where you live or where you're published, or do you stay put? Please share.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
If you have some extra time while doing
dishes or some other chore around the house,
I invite you to listen to part or all of the
podcast from my radio station interview
last Friday, May 8.
You may learn some things about
me you didn't know before.
It was so much fun being actually on WJJQ
92.5 FM, the station I listen to all the time when on vacation, also the one that got me hooked on
Many thanks to Mark Everett, the morning host, for suggesting the interview and also for doing such a great job of asking just the right questions and putting me at ease. He's the one standing in the back of the picture below. Phil Richard, the morning host that follows Mark on weekdays on the right.
Also, thanks to the station owner, Gregg Albert, who allowed the interview and also helped set me up in Studio B.
Here we are in Studio B
To access the podcast, go to http://wwww.wjjq.com/FORUM58.m3u
There are drawbacks to DSL, since nothing's perfect. Last night I wanted to go online, but that didn't happen because it was down. My modem which should have been a steady green, turned orange, then red, both very bad signs. Still, I'd rather use DSL than cable, since I can go wireless in various spots of my house and at other locations in the area.
When I was in Wisconsin, I used my network card, but in that neck of the woods, actually the North Woods, my card only got up to 2G, making it very difficult to put graphics up on my blog and open large files. It was very slow.
On the train in the Chicago area, when I use my network card, I can usually pull in 3G, which is faster, but not as good as DSL. I still have trouble at times when I click on the comment section in blogs and it doesn't always come up, or when I try to upload pictures.
What about you? How do you connect? What's good or bad about your method?
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Before you think I've flipped, I'll explain. Many years ago, when I was on vacation in Wisconsin with my good friends Jeanne and Debbie, we decided to go to Dairy Queen. While we were waiting in line, the sirens went off. In that area, sirens are not unusual since the fire department was and still is manned by volunteers.
So, we didn't think anything of it. We waited to get our ice cream and got into the car. After a few minutes we noticed the sky was this weird greenish black color, it was raining ferociously and the wind had turned gale force. That's when it hit us. The sirens were not about a fire, but about a tornado.
By the time we realized what was happening, pebbles and other debris had already started flying at the windows and sides of the car. We had to get to safety, so we headed to the Lakeland Motel, not far away.
As I rushed from the car to the motel, I locked the door with one hand and held onto my uneaten Dairy Queen sundae with the other. We made it inside and down the stairs to the basement, where we were reunited with our husbands who had gone fishing on the bridge next to the motel.
Everyone was surprised I'd managed to lock the door and carry my sundae without blemish through the storm and down the stairs. In case you're wondering, the tornado passed us without harm.
So now you know why tornadoes remind me of Dairy Queen.
Do you have any such adventure stories? Or, maybe you just like Dairy Queen. Please share.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
promises another fun evening ahead this Thursday evening at the Arlington Hts Memorial Library and it's free!
Left to right in Photo: Raymond Benson, Dann Gire
Monday, May 11, 2009
Usually, we're gone to Wisconsin more during the summer, but this year we've got a long gap between the 2nd and 3rd vacations. That means, I might even be able to plant flowers and take care of them.
Still, since I'm a busy author, I won't be going overboard. I think geraniums are a good bet. I seem to remember they don't mind as much as other flowers if I neglect them and don't get around to watering them that much.
Any other suggestions of easy care flowers? What about you? Are you planting a garden? If so, what are you planting? Please share.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
When we get home, we do have something to look forward to. That evening we'll be going to dinner at his godmother's house with many other family members on his side in attendance.
Since I've never had a child, except for Rascal, I won't be getting any Mother's Day gifts or special honors. What about you? How are you celebrating Mother's Day? Please share.
Saturday, May 09, 2009
Friday, May 08, 2009
Thursday, May 07, 2009
14,665 as of the time I wrote the blog. It's up to 14,704 now, because I went out with my friend to Bingo this afternoon, then worked on my manuscript tonight.
That's my business blog. I also have a personal blog which only has 3,119 messages unread.
Enough confessing. Someday maybe I'll get caught up, or maybe not.
Anyway, I won at Bingo, thank goodness. I did need the extra money, since I'd lost twice at the casino and have done a bit of shopping.
Friday, it's the radio station interview at http://www.wjjq.com from 9:35-10am streaming audio if you want to listen - Central Daylight Savings Time, since it's coming from the Tomahawk, Wisconsin radio station.
After that, my friend, Jeanne, and I must go back to Kohl's since we got free money from all our purchases there on Tuesday. $10 for every $50 spent. I ended up with a $40 coupon and she has one for $30, plus we have coupons for 15% off also. If you do the arithmetic, you can tell I spent pretty much at Kohl's, but I also got a lot that day. I couldn't pass up jeans marked down to $8, and tops at $7.99, plus some other clothes and costume jewelry at reasonable prices.
The good thing about it is, unlike at the casino, when you spend money, you always get something back for it. What about you? Do you like to shop on vacation? Or, are you like the DH who basically dislikes shopping and only goes when he absolutely has to? Please share.
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
I must confess it is astronomical. I belong to so many egroups and organizations, and also network with so many people in the writing business, I can't read all the messages I receive each day. What I usually do is delete junk mail first, then go to the quick messages, then save ones I have to think about or which will take longer to read. The problem is lots of times I never get to those messages I wanted to read. They just keep piling up. That's sad because I do remember a few years ago I was hung up and hunting down the 2 unread messages I couldn't find in my inbox and were probably junkmail placed in a spot I'd already bypassed.
I didn't mention that I also save lots of my mail after I've read it, instead of deleting it.
Can you guess how many unread messages I have in my inbox as of this moment? I'll leave the answer here tomorrow.
What about your inbox? Are you behind with reading your messages, or do you diligently keep up with them? Do you delete most of them after you've read them? Please brag or confess.
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
If anyone read my Where Am I blog yesterday at http://makeminemystery.blogspot.com/
the answer is -
Heading North on Interstate 39/US51 near Wausau, Wisconsin, with a west view of Rib Mountain. The snow's still on it because the sun doesn't hit that side of the mountain.
When you write a novel, one important aspect to consider is setting. You need to ground the reader in where the story happens. It's not enough to mention where everything takes place. You need to go deeper, and include sights, smells, sounds and taste.
You can go for the obvious by mentioning famous landmarks, such as Rib Mountain, near Wausau, and/or you can describe other scenery, such as office buildings, lakes, or farm lands. Don't forget sun or rain. You'll find lots more sun in places like Arizona all year round, than in spots like Illinois. Ireland and England are more famous for rain.
Smells are also easy. No matter where you are, you'll smell something. Hospitals have that antiseptic odor, fresh air has its own clean smell, cars, buses and trucks let off exhaust fumes. Bakeries have an aroma to die for. You get the idea.
Some ways to describe sounds are songs of birds specific to the area, such as the cry of the loon in the North Woods of Wisconsin. Cardinals, robins, sparrows, you can find in a lot of places, but you may not hear their songs in certain parts of the U.S. unless it's Spring or Summer. Jets zooming across the sky are a daily occurrence in metropolitan areas, but not as much around farms. The sound of a helicopter almost always means trouble, since they tend to hover around news scenes. School bells, boat motors, and other specific sounds can identify where you are.
Taste is also a great way to describe where you are. Certain foods are more popular in certain countries, areas and/or populations. On Taylor Street in Chicago, known as Little Italy, you'll probably find more people eating spaghetti than corned beef. More examples are popcorn at movies and hot dogs at baseball games.
Can you name other ways to identify location? Have you included such tips in your own novels, or perhaps you've noticed a great example in someone else's book. Please share.
Monday, May 04, 2009
See if you can figure out the location. Tomorrow I'll reveal the answer here, and also give you some hints on how to include setting in novels.
As usual, comments, here, there or both are appreciated.
Sunday, May 03, 2009
What about you? When you go on vacation does your pet come with? Or, maybe sometimes you wish you could bring your dog or cat with, but it's impossible. What do you do?
Saturday, May 02, 2009
We spent a long time getting to the cottage - 7 1/2 hours. Once we arrived, we had all sorts of mundane things to take care of, like unpacking clothes, putting away supplies to use for the rest of the trips, turning on the hot water heater, the gas heater, all sorts of fun stuff.
Then we noticed the cable wasn't working, so I called and waited. We discovered it wasn't that they hadn't turned it on right, it was an area problem. That didn't stop Charter from calling with an automated message saying they would come the next day. Automation is not always a good thing.
Anyway, we have hot water, but have some sort of problem from when Culligan connected the tanks, so we're still getting the minerals, which turn it a slight brownish color. Hopefully, that will be attended to on Monday. In the meantime, we have bottled water for drinking and pop.
I didn't mention the piers aren't in yet. They're sitting in front of the cottage. This is Saturday and the guy was supposed to have put them in the water on Friday. Supposedly he'll arrive Sunday to do the job. That doesn't surprise us, since that sort of thing happens a lot around this neck of the woods.
The good news is I'm up to page 111 out of 300 pages in my edits for Killer Career. I hope to finish them in the next few days and concentrate on getting reviews, among other related matters with getting my romantic suspense published.
What about you? Do you go on vacation? If so, do you ever write while you're on vacation?
Friday, May 01, 2009
I'm anxious to visit my good friend, Jeanne, again, and also to feed my slot playing weakness at Lake of the Torches. Since we're both short of cash, this vacation we've pledged to only bring with a certain amount of money yet to be determined each trip and not bring our checkbooks and credit cards along. When the money's gone, we're gone.
One good thing - I cashed in my loose change jar at home and my jar at work and now have $187.00 and $64.00 respectively, to play with at the casino. I'll probably match that with fresh money for other trips, but not sure if I can afford more. Unless, that is, I win. (G)
What about you? Are you a gambler? Do you like to play slots? I love them. The DH hates them.