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Dazed and Confused
Lorraine Bartlett's Blog
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25th-Mar-2011 11:59 am - Get me on Willy's Bus!
couch potato

At least once a week, someone on Facebook will ask me when I'm going to come to their town for a book signing.

Rooster-flying When the Booktown Mysteries started to do well, my agent asked me about doing a book tour.  Knowing what that entails (FLYING -- and usually on little regional carriers, you know--puddle jumpers), I told her up front that I am a CHICKEN.  I do not fly.  I always was a nervous flyer and during 911 I was across the pond in Scotland.  The next ten days were nerve wracking.  I don't even know how they got me on that plane because I was not sedated.

I have never flown since.

But, book tours mean flying. No can do.  Not negotiable.

She said if my publisher really wanted me to tour, they'd hire me a bus.  (I'm so gullible, I didn't realize she was kidding.)

I mentioned it to my editor.  He laughed.

Well, I don't drive anywhere that takes more than an hour to get there.  Why?  I fall asleep at the wheel.  My designated driver (Mr. L) is not enthusiastic about leaving the cats for an extended period of time.

And still people ask me over and over again:  "When are you going to come to my city?"

Willy's bus Here's the answer.  Convince my editor that I need a tour bus.  Like Willie Nelson has.  (Sans pot. And I guess I don't need one quite that big.  How about a Winnebago?)

Go on, I dare you!



Lorraine writes

Last week we had a couple of days of spring--before spring officially arrived.  Temperatures in the 60s gave people the idea that it was time to break out the sunglasses, shorts, sandals, and sun screen.

Not quite.

Car_Accident with snow Yesterday we had a 12-hour snowstorm.  There were lover 100 accidents on the roads because of it, one involving a school bus full of handicapped children.

Why all the accidents?  Because people suddenly forgot how to drive in winter.

Actually, they didn't forget.  They were in such a hurry they decided that while everyone else around them was driving carefully, they didn't have to and could go the speed limit (or above).  They could continue to talk (or WORSE YET TEXT) on their cell phones.  They could put on make-up, eat that burger, or just plain not pay attention to the road conditions.

Ambulance-in-the-snow Consequently, it tied up a lot of police officers, firemen, EMTs, and ambulance drivers, as well as delaying traffic, causing health care and insurance rates to rise.

I did have to go out in that mess, but I was home before the worst of the snow hit. I also saw the aftermath of an accident that put the fear of Mother Nature in me.  I stayed home for the rest of the day.

What is wrong with people that they think THEY don't have to use common sense when the weather turns nasty?

And what's bugging you today?

21st-Mar-2011 07:26 am - The Cart In Front Of The Horse
Monkey at typewriter

There isn't one traditionally published author alive who hasn't felt s/he could've done a better art direction job than our big NY publishers.  (For the most part, I'm pretty happy with my Berkley Prime Crime covers--especially for the Booktown Mystery series.  But there have been a couple I would've made rather extensive changes to.)

One of the best things about self-publishing your own work is you get to play art director.  Okay, my first attempts were pretty lame, but thanks to eavesdropping on discussions on good cover presentation, and the marvelous covers my cover designer has made for my Jeff Resnick books -- I think I'm getting better at it.

Lonely B&N Here's the cover for my latest short story, a sweet romance called Are You Lonely tonight.  I got input from my friends Ellery Adams and Leann Sweeney, and my graphic designer husband put it together.  What do you think?

It's Available On/From:




(And did I mention it's only 99 cents?)

Spirit_Cover I'm currently working on a new Jeff Resnick short story.  I figure I'm only halfway done writing it, but I got so cranked up by it I went looking for pictures to illustrate it.  Here's what Mr. L and I came up with.

I allowed myself all of last week to catch up on stuff (a quick rewrite, and some other work that needed completion) so I'm back on the WIP (the third Victoria Square Mystery) which means that working on the short story is relegated to the evenings.  But I hope to have the story available in a couple of weeks. 

Meanwhile, do you like the cover?  Would it make you want to read the story?

15th-Mar-2011 07:28 am - Sping?
Green thumb photo

Look what came up in my yard!!!

Frank's Snowdrop
The first snowdrop of spring.  Weeee!  It's really going to happen!  (Although not quite soon enough for me.)

I know some of you live in places where the spring flowers are already in bloom or -- heaven only knows -- done for the season!  What is it you like best about spring?

9th-Mar-2011 09:03 am - I love Iceberg Lettuce -- NOT!
couch potato

Scale I've been on a diet for more than 6 weeks now. The first 2.5 weeks were on Atkins. I really don't know if I lost any weight because our scale died.

That was not good. Before it died it blurted that I had not only regained the 2.5 pounds I thought I'd lost, but gained another 1.5 pounds. Then we bought a new one almost a month ago. When I got on it, it said I had lost five pounds that the other one had said I'd gained. I like that scale MUCH better than old one. (We tossed the old one in the trash and did not even wish it well in it's new afterlife at the Millseat Landfill.)

Iceburg lettuce So ... new scale is telling me I'm losing weight VERY SLOWLY but steadily and all because of . . . Iceberg lettuce.

Do I need to remind you how BLAND iceberg lettuce is?  The only thing that makes it paltable is adding one hard boiled egg.  (I LOVE hard-boiled eggs.)  I've been experimenting with different light dressings and so far Wishbone Lite French is the best. 

Brownie Meanwhile, I've been dreaming about SWEETS.  Cake, cookies, scones, even roasted carrots.  But I'm determined to lose weight so Mr. Iceberg is my friend.

Sort of.

What do you think is the best diet food that will satisify someone who is REALLY hungry? (And remember, I'm eating for three.)

Lorraine's signature and L.L.

8th-Mar-2011 02:06 pm - Another Reason To Celebrate

Today is Fat Tuesday...what are you doing to celebrate?

Fat Tuesday

I'm going to eat an entire jellied orange slice along with the millionth salad of my diet.  I can't complain too much, I've lost a MINISCULE amount of weight and hope to lose more.  But I'm looking forward to that piece of candy (which is left over from BEFORE the diet).

Have you ever been to New Orleans for Mardi Gras?

3rd-Mar-2011 08:41 am - Pet Peeve Thursday: No More Bullies
Stressed II

No bullies by guest blogger Ellery Adams

My father went to high school in a rough area of New Jersey. He was a skinny nerd and quickly became the target of a bully and his gang of followers.

In class, this bully would prick the back of my dad’s neck with a thumbtack, warning him that if he ever “squealed,” he’d get the beating of his life.

My dad believed him.

As the days passed, he just couldn’t take it anymore and he decided, even if it meant getting the beating of his life, to confront this bully. He went after him in a hallway where there would be lots of witnesses, deliberately acting as crazy as he could, and paid for his recklessness with more bruises than he could count. But after that, the bully left him alone, in search of easier prey.

When I was in the 3rd grade, a girl named Ingrid used to steal our lunch money in the Girls’ bathroom. One day, my best friend refused to give it to her and this girl, who’d been left back two times and was therefore much bigger than your average third grader, slammed my friend’s face into a wall of lockers, giving her a bloody nose. I jumped on Ingrid to stop her from hurting my friend further and that’s when the teacher came in. We all got suspended and Ingrid continued to steal lunch money for the rest of that year. She went on to be a terror in middle school.

Bullied on computer I know that bullies are usually insecure, self-loathing individuals. Once upon a time, they were simply the biggest and meanest, but in today’s schools they are harder to spot. They use text messages and emails to wound their peers, deliberately trying to ruin another student’s life. Even in the adult world, we face bullies. We’ve seen them at work, at sporting events, and on the highways.

In my recent release, A Deadly Cliché, I write about how bullying can mutate the darkness inside a person, drawing forth ugly responses and a desire for revenge. Wouldn’t it be something if our every day bullies had been put in their place from those first days at elementary school and not allowed to grow into monsters?

Do you have any experience with bullying?
Deadly cliche Ellery Adams writes the Books By The Bay Mysteries.  The first book, A Killer Plot, and her latest release (just this week!) is A Deadly Cliche.  Ellery is a woman of many talents--and many names, too.  If you haven't read her other books, now's a good time.  She also writes as Jennifer Stanley (The Hope Street Church Mysteries) and as J.B. Stanley (The Supper Club Mysteries and the soon-to be re-released Collectibles Mysteries).

She also blogs every Thursday with The Cozy Chicks.
23rd-Feb-2011 07:30 am - SOME PLACE WARM . . .
cottage view

Tropical morning For weeks now I've been playing a new age CD called Tropical Morning (by David Arkenstone).  Except for having too many wild bird and insect noises (Mr. L complains about them), it's lovely, background music with gentle waves lapping.

Best of all . . .it's WARM.  I mean, TROPICAL.  The cover has a sunrise and palm fronds.  It's been cold, Cold, COLD here in Western NY since November.

I have been bundled up since October.

The calendar says we have four more weeks of winter, but let's be honest,it isn't going to be warm until at least May (around here, anyway), and I'll still be wearing sweatshirts until June. Then suddenly, it'll be too hot for three months.

Mr. L says we should've moved to San Diego where the weather is fine all year.  But we're stuck here in Western NY and I don't think we're going anywhere else.

Where would you live if you could afford to move/live anywhere?  (I'm thinking England, which can be just as raw. Go figure!)

22nd-Feb-2011 07:41 am - I LIKE THE OLD ONES BEST . . .
Angel on cloud

Yesterday I finally took down the Christmas cards.  They had decorated the cork wall in our entry since early December.  Now the wall seems so ... BARE.

Now I have to decide which ones to keep.  The thing is, I love cards.  I love getting them, I love giving them, and I love BUYING them.  I have so many cards you wouldn't believe it.  I have every birthday card I've received since age 8. 

I buy cards at yard sales, at crafts stores, and even the Dollar Store.  (The one place I don't buy cards is the Hallmark store.  Wow!  They're gorgeous, but boy do they cost.)

Vintage b day card I've got boxes full of new cards I'll probably never send, and boxes full of old cards that somebody else once sent.  (I love those the best.)  Last summer I bought a small box made out of laminated Christmas cards.  I was going to put my vintage Christmas cards in them for display . . . and somehow never got around to it.

(Isn't this card cute?  She'd make a perfect girlfriend for Captain Haviland, the black standard poodle in the Books By The Bay cozy series by my chum Ellery Adams. The second book in that series, A Deadly Cliche, comes out next Tuesday! Can't wait!)

Do I really need all these cards?

Nope.  But I guess they've become a collection now.

What useless thing do you collect?


Only two days into the WW program and I fell off the wagon.

Indian buffet

Yesterday Mr. L and I drove all over the area to do drop-in signings for A Crafty Killing at area bookstores.  And darnitall, didn't we end up near my favorite Indian restaurant?  Those of you who know me well know I brake for Indian food.  Any time--any where.

Indian food
Luckily for my waistline, we don't have an Indian restaurant in my part of town.  But when I hit Henrietta--watch out.  And didn't I hit the buffet twice.  And didn't they bring us a EXTRA basket of fresh-made naan!

Red wagon I'm back on the wagon today, but I dreamed about aloo matar last night.

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