Monday, March 9, 2015


Last week felt like I was running around with my tail on fire.
Here are some highlights (and, unfortunately, some lowlights).

On Wednesday, my fellow Minnesotan authors and I travelled to Altoona, Wisconsin for an author panel at the middle school. The library was packed with interested young authors bursting with questions. We easily could've used another hour, but sadly the kids had to go home at the end of the day. Kudos to their great teacher, Mrs. Kim Wardean, who does so much to encourage their enthusiasm and imagination.

Kristin Van Risseghem, me, Derek Sullivan, and Mike Kalmbach

My TOTALLY AWESOME lifelong friend,
Colleen Chmelik, who also teaches at Altoona middle school.

On that same day, my darling old girl Daisy developed a painful partial tear in her cruciate ligament.

Cruciate ligaments criss-cross in the knee joint (in both people and dogs), stabilizing the knee so it can't be bend too far forward. When the ligaments tear, the joint is destabilized, which leads to improper and excessive movement, which in turn leads to arthritis.

Generally, the best solution is surgery if the tear is complete. However, Daisy has kidney disease and hypertension and is a very poor surgical candidate.

Hence my sadness. For now, her plan (set by her private veterinarian--me) is rest and pain meds. Thankfully, she is doing pretty well.

While in Eau Claire, Wisconsin (which is right next to Altoona, Wisc.), I discovered that my interview in Volume One magazine had already been printed. You can read it HERE.

(mini lowlight)
Unfortunately, I couldn't find a copy before I left, so had to beg others to save one for me for the next time I visit.

The Leader Telegram newspaper attended the author panel at Altoona middle school and wrote up a nice story. You can read it HERE. (My friend, Colleen pictured above, personally had to bribe the LT not to publish anything about the embarrassing things she told when she introduced me to the crowd. These are the risks you take with lifelong friends--they KNOW you too well.)

I started a Pinterest account. Yeah, I know it's a great way to get new recipes and learn new things... but it's also a potential huge time waster.

Yeah, because I need another time waster in my life. (sarcasm, in case you didn't notice that)

Time waster or not, it is a lot of fun (except when I can't figure things out on my computer--which is often--and I want to hit my head against the wall).

I already made a page entitled MY BOOKS, filled with pictures of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire campus, people (or my pets) reading my book, and anything that makes me think of How to Date Dead Guys. Please visit and let me know what you think. What's missing?

Normal life, of course, plus I'm reading this:

I'm still not sure how to pronounce it, but I love it anyway.

Reading is great--I'm learning all about steampunk, but it's interrupting my editing of my fairy tale. My fairy tale entwines around the lives of two sisters, Maria and Anna, and it always makes me think of an art show I attended years ago featuring stained glass by Laurie Bieze (also from Eau Claire).

Isn't this lovely? I've always wondered if she'd let me purchase the use of her images for a book cover. Guess I should just ask her, right? (more about Laurie Bieze HERE)

Update: I'm sad to say that I'll never get the chance to meet this marvelous artist. I found her lovingly written obituary HERE. Too bad I was never brave enough to ask, but the time was never right. Chances slip you by when you wait too long. My condolences to her family. She sounds like she was a lot of fun to be around.

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