Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Wicked Witch of Doctorville

Last night we had dinner with friends at their house, and after dinner, while the younger kids played video games, we older kids played Pictionary. The Girls Team won, in spite of the fact that I was half of the team. My partner looked at my drawing of a circle with a small square in it and immediately said, "Eight Ball!" It took about 16 seconds. Well, it looked like a circle with a small square in it. If the roles had been reversed, I probably would never have gotten the answer from that drawing.

Fortunately my partner has a young brain. We established that in several ways last night. Like the fact that she now has, and uses, a Nintendo DS with games on it to improve the health of her brain. She demonstrated her abilities on it, while I demonstrated my disabilities. Ouch.

I was thinking the other day that I really need to do some cross-training for my brain, because mostly I sit in this chair and do word stuff. I had thought of picking up knitting again. I once made a six foot long neck scarf--my crowning achievement before I put the needles away in junior high.

But, wow, last night was a huge wake-up call. I had a heck of a time drawing a bear (which again, she did get, but I'm amazed that she could see "bear" in that mess I drew). "Neighborhood" she got when I drew two tiny squares with triangles on top (the houses). That was another really quick one.

And when it was my turn to guess and her turn to draw, she did wonderful pictures. I got frustrated when I couldn't guess from her drawings, because she did a great job. Obviously I wasn't a total failure at this--we won after all--but I do think I need to get my brain doing some different things in addition to the every day reading and writing.

Like the two pictures here? She drew these--really quite similar to these pictures--and after some mumbling to myself I shouted out, "The Wicked Witch of Doctorville!" Famous book title or desperate call for help from a brain that constantly thinks about books?

It took me a few more seconds to get the correct answer: Witch Doctor. And, as I said, the Girls Team did win. I just think yours truly needs to train some before the next game.

Magdalena

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Ithaka

You may recall that I'm re-reading Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy, by Sarah Ban Breathnach. (And yes, I did go ahead and buy the electronic version too. Now if I forget to do my meditative reading first thing in the morning, I can do it whenever I remember--on the IPAQ.)

The December 30 meditation is about Ithaka, the home of the Greek hero, Odysseus. As you may recall, he spent many years trying to return to Ithaka after he'd served in the Trojan War. (Amazingly, I do remember this. Thank you, English 11!) When he finally reached Ithaka, he was a changed man--changed by the journey.

Constantine Peter Cavafy wrote a poem about it, called Ithaka, in the early 1900s, and in Simple Abundance, Sarah shares her adaptation--written especially for women. It really resonated with me, and I hope it will with you. So, with many thanks to Sarah Ban Breathnach...

***

Ithaka

Pray that your journey be long,
full of many summer mornings
when with much pleasure and much joy
you anchor in harbors never seen before;
Browse through Phoenician markets,
to purchase exquisite treasures--
mother-of-pearl and coral, ebony and amber
and sensual perfumes of all kinds--
as much as you desire.
Visit many Egyptian cities, content
to sit at the feet of sages, eager
and open to receive learning.

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Your arrival there is your destiny.
But do not hurry the journey at all; be patient.
Better that it lasts for many years--
longer than you can even imagine.
So that finally, when you reach this
sacred isle, you will be a wise woman,
abundantly fulfilled by all you have gained along the way;
no longer expecting Ithaka to make you wealthy,
no longer needing Ithaka to make you rich.

Ithaka offered you the profound journey,
the chance to discover the woman you have always been.
Without Ithaka as your inspiration, you
never would have set out in search of wholeness.

And should you find her poor, Ithaka did not deceive you.
Authentic as you have become, full of wisdom, beauty and grace,
enriches and enlightened by all you have experienced,
You will finally understand what all of life's Ithakas truly mean.

***

If you are on a journey to your own personal Ithaka--I call mine Magdalenaville, but oh well--take a look at the Simple Abundance website. You could definitely lay in some good provisions there.

Magdalena



Monday, December 29, 2008

Have you tried a book diet?

I recently heard from a reader that she had been so involved in one of my stories that she forgot about the Christmas ham in the oven--until it had dried out.

Another reader told me, when she was reading Midnight in Legend, TN in the Ladies of Legend: Finding Home anthology, she was so caught up in the story, when she realized she was hungry she didn't want to put down the book to prepare a meal... So she took the book into the kitchen with her and quickly fixed a PB&J sandwich.

Is it wrong of me to enjoy these readers' tales? No one really went without food, after all.

The ham was still edible, and there were also other dishes being prepared for the family Christmas dinner.

And the lady with the PB&J sandwich was alone that evening, so she didn't inconvenience anyone, and didn't actually skip a meal.

Maybe I should try a new marketing plan: Not a diet book, but a book diet...

Whaddya think?

Magdalena

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The tiara is optional

As I wrote in a recent post on SisterWriters, this is a great time to try ereading. There are lots of great sales on ebooks--some of them are even free! I'll let you hop over to that post and check out the details.

One of my goals for 2009 is to educate more people about ereading. There are so many great things about it, and so many options that won't break the bank. And believe me, I'm a frugal person!

I'm not very serious about myself, but I am serious about some things. Writing and reading are two of them. So, whether or not I earn a tiara for being an Ebook Educator or Promo Princess, this is something I'll spend part of my "free" time doing next year.

Of course, I really wouldn't mind having a tiara...

Magdalena

Friday, December 26, 2008

The bright side

This is what it looked like at my house yesterday afternoon. I gave each guy a book, and for once, I did really, really well with the choices. Yay! So after gifts were opened and dinner consumed, while I was cleaning up the kitchen (what's wrong with this picture?) the guys were reading their books. The dog was less enthused with his tennis balls, but what can you say?

I've blogged about goals over at SisterWriters. Goals achieved, goals discarded...but like with the tennis balls, I've chosen to look at the bright side--and keep looking ahead! It's all part of the reinvention...


Magdalena

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

MERRY CHRISTMAS!



The gift of time

I received a wonderful gift yesterday--the gift of time.

My godson gave it to me, and I'm so very grateful. At 29 years old, he's certainly not a kid anymore. I congratulate his parents on raising him to be such a terrific young man. He lives several hours from here, but came to our little town on his own, to visit his grandmothers. I think that's fantastic, and I'm sure they do too.

While in the area, he called to see if he could stop by with a gift from his mom, one of my best friends from high school. She's also several hours away, and if we're lucky we see each other a couple of times a year. That wrapped gift (feels like a book) is under the tree, but the other one--the visit--I enjoyed right away! Two blessed hours of drinking coffee and getting to know each other better. He asked about my writing, I asked about his art. This visit has become a pre-Christmas tradition, and I love it!

I've always felt sorry for him, being stuck with me as a godmother. I'm lousy at it, and that's the truth. But I am grateful.


Magdalena

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Radio Show. Check.

Checking things off my to-do list this week. Last night was a biggie.

We got through the radio interview. We missed Janet. She had one of those real life intervenes days, as we all do sometimes. Darn--I was looking forward to hearing her soft Southern accent on the program.

We talked about how the four of us got together and created the Ladies of Legend book series, and about some of our other books, too. I'm trying to block out of my memory anything stupid I may have--probably did--say.

Fortunately Maddie and Jan were comfortable with it, and Cat Johnson, who did the interview, did an amazing job. She had visited our websites, MySpaces, etc., and had lots of interesting questions. She even mentioned the Heart-Shaped Potato. So you know she did her homework, right? (Sheesh, now I'm in web radio archives giggling about my Heart-Shaped Potato.)

I giggled too much, probably said "hmmm" and "uhhhh" too much. And who knows what else. But I did not pass out, or hang up, so it was a good day, and such a wonderful opportunity!

Radio show. Check.

Magdalena

Monday, December 22, 2008

Radio Show Tonight

Yikes. Sick to my stomach, contemplating tonight's opportunity to make a fool of myself on the radio. I made a fool of myself on a local radio station eons ago, but that was in a different persona, and not about my writing.

Tonight it's not just local. And it's definitely about the writing--the Legend series in particular. For your chance to hear me blather, alternating with vigorous head nodding, please go to http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Whats-Hot-In-Romance tonight at 9:30 EST.

The highlight, of course, will be listening to the other Legend authors--Jan Scarbrough, Janet Eaves, and Maddie James.

Here are instructions from the moderator on how YOU can be a part of it:

"Your listeners can participate in 2 ways:
They can just open the browser for the radio show and it will stream live through their computer
They can enter the Chat room and post to other listeners already in there. The "CHAT" link will show up when they go to the webpage to listen.
There will also be a recording of the interview/show they can listen to anytime afterwards."


My understanding is that if you want to be part of the online chat, you will need to sign in and get a user name. I suggest doing that at least half an hour ahead of time, as it may take a while for your request to be processed.

Magdalena

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Just Visiting

My son is here for a while. Just visiting for the holidays, you know, from college--which he calls "home" from time to time in conversation. It surprised us all the first time that slipped out, but really, it's true, isn't it?

That tiny cluttered dorm room, shared with a guy who was a total stranger to him in August, is now his home. The campus and the town it's in are very familiar... And now this little town he grew up in is seen with new eyes.

He'll be here three weeks. He'll goof around with friends he hasn't seen for a while. He'll go to the high school before they let out for Christmas break, and check in on his favorite teachers. He'll likely play piano for the choir, because the director will ask him to.

He'll play the pipe organ at church too, and sing. And he'll work a few days at his old job. I think they've kept a chair open for him.

We'll have a great visit, but we'll also have spats just like the high school days (oh--maybe not as much as the high school days--please?).

And, sooner than we expect, he'll load up his stuff and head back...home.


Magdalena

Friday, December 19, 2008

For the Reinventor in your life


I received this lovely bracelet as a late birthday gift yesterday.

Hope. Dream. Believe.

Encouragement, now wrapped around my wrist.


Magdalena

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thank you

I would not be where I am without my writing friends. It's as simple as that. I have learned so much from other writers, from my editor--and the debt of gratitude to Resplendence Publishing is huge! I have much more to learn, and I look forward to that.

Today, though, I want to thank my friends and family who are so very, very supportive of me, even though they are not "involved" in writing. I would guess some of them get tired of that being my main topic of discussion. Yet I get almost nonstop encouragement. I live in a small town, and anyone who reads the paper knows at least a little bit about my writing. People stop me in the grocery store and ask about my books, and so many have signed up to receive my email newsletter. Plus I get emails from friends and family who live far away, asking me how the writing is going. Encouraging me not to spend too much time with email--get back to the project!

I try to work diligently each day at the process. But even though I'm home all day long, I seldom get a phone call. Everyone is so respectful of my writing time, and most calls come in the evening, "after work."

Yesterday one of my friends came to the house with a darling little gift from him and his wife: a door hanger that says, "Quiet, please. Novel in progress." How cute! Now, these are people who will probably never read one of my books, yet when this item caught her eye, the wife bought it for me.

Today I met one of my readers for coffee--she and I became friends at my most recent job, and at some point I began to blather about my writing...and she bought the first anthology. She recently purchased A Legendary Christmas from Amazon, and emailed to ask if I would meet her to sign it. Well heck yes! As if that's a task I want to avoid?!? I look forward to signing the first copy of The Blank Book. I haven't even seen a print copy of that one yet. But one of my friends will have hers tomorrow, she said--and would I mind to sign it?

You know the answer to that, right?

Because so many people believe in me, it's easier for me to believe in myself. Thank you all!


Magdalena

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Blank Book! Yikes--it's here!

I was so surprised to see that The Blank Book is available at Amazon! Silly me--I thought everything in the world slowed down about this time of year. After calculating the paperback release date, and seeing it land smack in the middle of holiday madness, I assumed paperback wouldn't actually be available until early January.

Wrong.

Huh. I usually hate being wrong. Not this time!

So... You have choices, though they are rather limited. Buy now from Amazon, or wait until a booksigning comes to a city near you. So far my beloved book and I are scheduled to appear together at Salem Apothecary, Salem, Indiana in late January or early February. On February 7 we will be at an independent bookstore in LaGrange, Kentucky.

Gosh, what a great week! First the potato, and now this.

Magdalena

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Is this...a sign?

Sometimes, in the long and mostly solitary days in the life of a writer, one may wish for a sign that one is following the correct path.

One may, while preparing the evening meal, be second-guessing a whole lot of stuff. Until one reaches into the bag of potatoes and pulls out The Heart Shaped Potato! Yes, I took a picture of a potato...on a fancy pillow. No, it did not go into the mashed potatoes that I made to go with meatloaf.

But hey--back to the matter at hand. Is this a sign? Does this mean I'm meant to be a romance author?

Or is it just the beginnings of potato soup later this week?

Magdalena

Monday, December 15, 2008

It's still Christmas


This Christmas money is tight. Did I buy gifts? Yes. Piles of gifts? No. Is this unusual for me? Absolutely not.

Although it's fun to see someone open a gift that I carefully chose and that they truly enjoy, that is far from my favorite part of Christmas, and certainly not the focus of our family's celebration.

I think what says "Christmas" most to me is the music. I put up trees and threw some festive touches around the house one Saturday afternoon with help from the sound track of "A Charlie Brown Christmas." Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, and friends also helped, as did Mannheim Steamroller.

And the live music! The Madrigal Dinner and concert early this month. The Living Christmas Tree cantata last night. The music every Sunday morning at church, and the darling little children's choir this coming Sunday, dressed as Mary, Joseph, shepherds, angels, and kings, nervously singing "Silent Night" so quietly it almost is silent.

When the rotten economy threatens to get me down, I try to be a little more like the Who's down in Whoville, from "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." When the Grinch stole the decorations and gifts, it didn't stop Christmas from coming. Remember? "It came, just the same."

And everyone was singing.


Magdalena

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Simple Abundance

Ah, here's a road map toward reinvention. Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy, by Sarah Ban Breathnach. I was thinking about this book last night, so I set it out to start re-reading this morning.

My print copy is from 2004, and I've been through it several times. I also have it on my wish list at Fictionwise, and may eventually download the electronic version. Lots of lessons to learn in this book, but you do it in small doses. It is best read beginning January 1, though you can fudge if necessary. I definitely recommend it, especially if you find this quote meaningful:

"Often people attempt to live their lives backwards: they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want so that they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, and then, do what you need to do, in order to have what you want." -Margaret Young

That is the quote that begins the foreword. Sound like a road map toward reinvention? It does to me.

In the book I found a folded piece of paper I had used as a bookmark. Judging from the font I would say it was given to me by a very close friend who has talked reinvention with me over the years. I don't know the genesis of these words--looks like a collection of short quotations--but here is what's on the paper:

*Courage is not the absence of fear, rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.

*The brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all.

*When traveling the road between who you are and who you think you can be--the key is allowing yourself to make the journey!


Magdalena

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Working...

I'm working today. Except for Monday of this week, most of which was spent in stomach flu misery, I work every day. Sometimes twelve hours or more. Writers out there know what I'm talking about.

I've actually finished the online stuff this morning--always the plan, seldom the reality. The wood fire is stoked and should burn merrily for a few hours without my attention. The dog has been out, and I've even had a brief chat with my son who called to give me some unsolicited computer tutelage. Nice!

So now I get to settle into my comfy chair and do what it is I always mean to do--write. I have a deadline approaching, which is one of my favorite feelings. (More about that later.)

Have a lovely day.


Magdalena

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Featured on Publishers Weekly!

Even though I knew it was coming, this is a huge thrill! A brief review of A LEGENDARY CHRISTMAS is on Barbara Vey's Publishers Weekly blog column today. Check it out! Comment! Go completely nuts--I am.

Many, many thanks to Barbara Vey--and to Joysann, who wrote the review, and, it would seem, is falling in love with Legend...


Magdalena

Here's an important point... No! Wait! It's over here...

Not sure if you've sensed my frazzledness lately. Or if, in fact, frazzledness is a word. I suspect it isn't, but I believe I'll stick with it because it is so descriptive of the many directions I've been going lately. I apologize if I've been sending you in too many directions, too.

It's hard not to be swept up in the excitement that our Christmas novellas seem to be doing so well at Fictionwise. All four of the Ladies of Legend authors have been excited about it, but probably I'm the only one who's frazzled.

Last night I realized there are two big ebook sales that I should tell you about:

Fictionwise has all holiday books discounted 30 percent through December 25. That's a good price for a brand new book. ALL ebooks--not just holiday themes--are 20 percent off at Resplendence Publishing, through the end of 2008! So if you've taken the ebook plunge--another of the many directions I've sent you--maybe you're glad of that.

I have a tendency to get swept up in things... Watching the Fictionwise pages, watching the Amazon pages to see what our current rankings are. And then there is all the publishing news that comes into my Giant Blog Feed Reader. If you don't already know, much of the news is not good for print publishers. Not to mention other news that's not good. It's such a scary time for all of us. Last night I barely slept. What am I thinking, trying to reinvent myself in the midst of all this uncertainty?

I don't know. I really don't. Yet I cannot believe this journey is wrong. I just have to remember even though my map is sketchy, I should refer to it occasionally. That will help me feel less frazzled, I hope.


Magdalena

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

More About E-Reading


Here is a link to an annual guide of ebook reading devices, found at Dear Author. When I was shopping--and smacking myself on the forehead repeatedly due to the confusion of it all--I found last year's guide to be very helpful.

In other ereading stuff, today I changed over my investment prospectuses, etc., to be received via email instead of on paper. I mean, the numbers are bad enough already--why put them on paper and send through the mail, making the whole thing even more expensive?

I also subscribe to the electronic version of our local newspaper. Of course, for free I can read some of the paper online, but I like seeing the whole paper, and I don't like ads that flash while I'm trying to read--something you get with the free version. The electronic version is available hours earlier than the paper can be delivered, and it arrives inside one's comfy house instead of in the neighbor's hedge. On your lunch hour, if it's allowed, you can pull up your subscription on your work computer and read an article the co-workers have been discussing. You can even email interesting articles to friends. You might check and see if your newspaper is available in an electronic version. Wall Street Journal is!

Some magazines offer the choice of an online subscription, and I hope this is a trend. I am more and more bothered by paper waste, and for me, these are good solutions.

Magdalena

Monday, December 8, 2008

Sale! Thirty Percent off Christmas Novellas!


Ugh. I'm still sick, but can't stay away from the laptop too many hours at a time.

Just noticed at the Fictionwise page for Resplendence Publishing, our four Christmas novellas are on sale at thirty percent off. No idea when this happened or how long it will last, but wanted to share with you.

You'll want all four of them, of course:

The Christmas Gift, by Janet Eaves,
Christmas Collision, by me,
Santa's Kiss, by Jan Scarbrough, and
Home for the Holidays, by Maddie James.


A sale. This is a very GOOD thing!



Magdalena

Sick


Yucky. I've felt rotten since about 2:00 a.m. I'm writing this at almost 5:00 p.m.

This clip art gal? Seems to have a headache, doesn't she? Boy, is she lucky! The headache part of whatever-it-is has been the highlight so far.

Sorry, just here on the couch being pathetic and trying to remember to drink my soda.

Take care! Wash your hands frequently and pay attention to any other health assurance methods you have.


Magdalena

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Ebook Reader, Part II - the one you may already own!


First things first. I apologize for not posting this when I said I would. One of my least favorite personality traits in others is promising something and then not following through. And now I've done it. So very sorry! I won't even lay any excuses on you. Instead, let's get to the promised topic: The Ebook Reader You May Already Own. Well, how cool would that be--you already have it and didn't realize?!?

Behold, suspended above this tiny woman's head, a giant old-fashioned Palm Pilot. Now, I know you can't read ebooks on the oldest versions. But any of the newer PDA's--maybe not even as new as you think--are quite capable of reading ebooks. Why not give it a try? Maybe you have one that you use every day, or maybe someone in your house has chucked an old one in the drawer along with the cable to link to the computer...

A friend of mine has a PDA that's several years old. Yes, she uses it on a daily basis, but had not tried e-reading. One day (probably to shut me up) she agreed to give it a try. I had purchased an ebook for her, and she went through the process of downloading the reading software, then moving it from her laptop to her PDA. Then she went through the same process with the ebook.

Dare I say it? Voila--a new lover of the ebook was born that day!

Seriously. She's into it. And this is a woman who said she could never curl up with an electronic book. She was so in love with the feel of the book in her hands, the smell of the ink on paper. You know how it is, right? Yeah, great stuff, even though I'm allergic to certain inks. And I get frustrated when books are printed with narrow margins in the center, so I feel as if I'm breaking the spine to read some of the words.

But I digress. Now she loves that she can read a snatch of story in a ten minute break at work. She can pick up where she left off when waiting in the dentist's office, and then at the end of the day, complete the novel while curled up in bed.

Of course she immediately noticed you can buy business-related books on Fictionwise too. *Yawn*

If you're feeling adventurous, here's a place to start: The Palm eBook Store has this great help page. They also have lots of ebooks to sell there. Or you can get some ebooks free in order to try the software and see how you like it. I suggest trying a free one, but to be honest, some of the free ones (classics) I've downloaded didn't work nearly as smoothly as the ones I've purchased. One thing for sure, if you have a rocky time with the first one, don't feel that it's the end of the world. It took me a while to get the hang of it. Of course, you want to be sure the sites you're downloading from are safe for your computer.

Some places I've seen recommended for free books are Munseys and Project Gutenberg. Harlequin and Fictionwise also have a few free ebooks, and there are lots of other locations that I haven't tried.

If you want to go with inexpensive, for just a small price, you might try a short story or novella from Resplendence Publishing, Fictionwise, Harlequin... again, so many choices!

Happy hunting!

Magdalena

Friday, December 5, 2008

I Fibbed

Yesterday I said I'd be talking today about an ebook reading device that might already be in your home. I'm excited about sharing that information with you. It's so cool, and easy, and...already paid for!

But one must be flexible, and today is that kind of day for me. So I fibbed about today's blog content, but not intentionally...

The reason I can't do that today is BECAUSE MY AUTHOR COPIES OF A LEGENDARY CHRISTMAS ARRIVED! YAY!

And...copies of A LEGENDARY CHRISTMAS are selling at a little venue called Salem Apothecary, and selling very quickly! Yay! They're even taking orders for more copies.

I've been busy with emails and telephone calls and the delivery of a print book to a contest winner. And as you might guess, I love every minute of it.

I'm into the Print Book Thing pretty heavily today. By coincidence, the book I'm currently reading, Susan Wiggs' Snowfall at Willow Lake, is also a print book. It was an impulse purchase at the grocery this summer...I buy most of my books in ebook format. I have three of Susan's waiting in the IPAQ right now!

I hope to be back into the ebook state of mind by tomorrow. Don't lose that thought, because as pretty as print books are, ebooks have so much going for them...

Magdalena

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Ebook Reader, Part I - the pricey route

I love to read. Love it! But one problem with this is that it's wasteful of resources. Books, magazines, newspapers...that's a lot of dead trees. Also a lot of potential for costly returns to publishers if books don't sell from a bookstore's shelves. Painfully costly!

That's why epublishing is so neat. Resplendence, my publisher, does every book first in electronic format, then later the print version is available. Made sense to me that I needed to try ereading, if I expected to tout it to my potential readers.

So I forced myself to buy an ebook. I read it on my laptop, and it was an okay experience. Very nice to be able to enlarge the font and skip the reading glasses. I could sort of curl up with the laptop like I do with a paperback. Then Christmas began to approach, and I kept hinting, not very delicately, that I needed an ereader so I could promote my books better.

When Kindle was first introduced, I wanted one, but the expense stopped me. Then I paid more attention to the dimensions and realized it was too big to put into my little bitty purses.

I hadn't met any of the devices in person, and was too overwhelmed by all the information about them online, so didn't know which one I wanted.

For Christmas 2007 I received an Ebookwise dedicated ebook reader. Nice big screen! Reasonable cost! Simple to use. Hm...but, for me, too big and bulky. I wanted something that could go everywhere with me, and I like to travel light. *Sigh* We returned it.

Then at Lori Foster's Readers and Writers event in June this year, one of the RP authors showed us her Sony eReader. Very nice! Big screen, nice looking page... but still, too big. And the rebel in me--or should I say REBEL in me--wanted something that would do it all. Or at least more than a dedicated ereader.

So later in June I bought last year's Christmas present. An IPAQ 111. It is called a "pocket PC" and not only will it read any format that would work on a regular PC, I also keep my calendar on it, synced with the laptop. I have copied photos onto it from the laptop. And I have lots and lots of books! Mobipocket format, Adobe, Microsoft Reader. I even have several versions of the Bible on there, as well as the book we're studying in Sunday School.

AND it's wireless compatible. It's a PC, remember? I can check my webmail anywhere there's a WiFi hotspot! I can also go online and...buy books. And then read them. Anytime, anywhere. If I'm reading in bed one night, wherever I stop, my place is kept. I put IPAQ into my purse, and if I have to wait somewhere, I pull out my book and continue where I left off.

Yes, it's pricey. But you know what? I betcha there are used ones. If you know what you're doing buying used electronics online, it might be worth a look.

Tomorrow I want to tell you about another ereading device you may already have in your house.


Magdalena

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Sun is Shining on Legend, Tennessee


We've got lots of excitement going on about the Legend book series! I just wrote a blog about it over on SisterWriters. Cutest little animated clip art, too. Wish I could move like that! Better hop over and read our news!


Magdalena

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Working Hard

Yes, I've been working hard today. It might not look that way to the casual observer, I suppose. Which is why I close the door.

Today I ate oatmeal for breakfast, trying to make up for the quantity of cholesterol that entered my body over Thanksgiving. I took a two mile walk in 20-something degree weather. Brrr! An invigorating start to the day.

I checked my blog reader and saw--GASP--I won two free books on the Harlequin American Romance Authors blog. How cool is that? Anyone who comments during the month is entered into the drawing. I don't even recall commenting. Okay, that part isn't a surprise, but the free books are!

Then I made a computer cozy for my laptop. It's darn cute. I have even received a compliment on my ingenuity. That was my creative activity so far.

The rest of the time I've spent with paperwork. Last weekend a friend and her daughter were visiting our hometown, and when she called to say they'd like to come over, I excitedly said SURE--and then unceremoniously dropped a mountain of paperwork into a tote bag and stuck it into the closet. Voila--tidiness!

I spent hours today with the paperwork--typing minutes, updating spreadsheets, sending emails to follow up on notes to myself, recycling/shredding--and filing away the absolute minimum of paper. I have three items that still need to be acted upon, and those I am leaving for tomorrow. I'm happy with the progress. I work much better in a tidy environment. Seeing clutter around me makes my mind feel cluttered. And why should it have yet another roadblock?

Aack! I wanted to remind you if you haven't already done this--you can win a Sony eReader from The Wild Rose Press. Well, somebody can win it. Might be you. Jan Scarbrough, one of my SisterWriters, blogged about it here. Check it out! (And if you haven't read Jan's Tangled Memories--ohmygoodness, it's excellent!)

Okay, enough for now. Off to the kitchen for my second act of creativity. Spaghetti or--spaghetti?


Magdalena

Monday, December 1, 2008

There was never a question

There was never a question as to whether I would buy this book--Suzanne McMinn's newest, Protected in His Arms. It just became available today at Fictionwise, but I pre-ordered this past weekend. In fact, I've been waiting for it since July. It's also available in brick-and-mortar stores, of course, since it is a Silhouette Romantic Suspense title.

It probably doesn't surprise any of you who enjoy series, or who know Suzanne's books, that I determined long ago to purchase this. Protected in His Arms is the third in the Haven series. I read the first one on my laptop a couple of years ago, and loved it. The second one, A Hero's Redemption,I read on my ipaq this past July, sitting next to a hospital bed.

I'm not telling you that so you'll feel sorry for me. I certainly don't deserve it. The reason I tell you that I read the book in that situation is to try to express what it did for me. There wasn't much I could physically do there in that hospital room. I mostly just sat in a chair. Sometimes I cried. Occasionally a thoughtful friend or family member would come to sit with us, or call on my cell phone. But there were a lot of hours that week of just feeling very sad and helpless.

One day when I ran home to shower and change clothes, I also loaded up the ipaq with books I hadn't yet read. Suzanne McMinn's A Hero's Redemption took me vicariously out of the Southern Indiana hospital room in mid-July, and transported me to December on a Christmas tree farm in West Virginia, where a lot of scary, strange, and exciting things happened to the hero and heroine. And of course there was a happily ever after, because it's a romance and that is a given.

I'm not a fast reader, so the book lasted me a whole day. What a wonderful gift.

Did the book change our situation? No. Did it change the week's outcome? No.

Romance novels aren't magic. They don't provide a knight riding a big ol' white horse into your real life and swooping you up into his arms, yadda yadda... But hey, for a little escape, I definitely recommend a romance novel. Real life quite often stinks--big time. I certainly don't suggest that anyone constantly hide out from reality, but I do know that losing one's self in a book for a little while can make it easier to deal with whatever you're up against. And with romance novels, you always, always get a happy ending. These are some reasons I read romance.

This is also why I write romance. Because I want to make a difference in readers' lives, take them away from whatever boredom or unhappiness they're dealing with. I want to give readers a happily ever after, and I want them to close my books at THE END with a sigh and a smile--and look forward to the next title.

I'm no one special. Never have been. But I think this genre is special. I know it is. In fact, maybe I was wrong earlier. Maybe romance novels are magic.

Magdalena