Stories from the waiting line…

Once upon a time, my public outtings were free of clutter and pollution, a well of mental purity, unsullied by the unsolicited comments from strangers. Not so anymore. Nowadays, stepping outdoors means being on the receiving end of a one-way flow of information, the kind that a stranger on a plane will give because he (or she) knows you will never again run in to one another, so you are perfectly safe place to dump all sorts of burdensome information. Let me give you an example.

Last Thursday, I’m sitting in a public place, waiting for my name to be called after I have dutifully taken a number. To my left is a large man studiously reading the local paper. To my right is an empty chair that remains vacant for about thirty seconds until a well-dressed woman takes a seat. She’s thin, early sixties, short, blond hair in a v-cut, fashionably touching her brown and gold leopard print shirt. Her left hand is void of a wedding ring, but adorned with the nice, thick metal watch. Her leather shoes are polished and appropriately narrow for the 2011-2012 fashion season. I’m tapping away on my iphone, virtually conversing with my friends who are equally happy to spend their time getting thumb callouses when she begins to speak to me.

“I’ve never been in here,” she half-whispers, embracing me as a temporary confidant. My first time as well, I say, looking up long enough to notice her face is tan, smooth save for a few age-given lines. Divorced mother of two or three grown children, maybe a first time grandma I hypothesize. I continue typing. “My oldest son is getting married soon,” she continues (I inwardly preen), “and I gave him my wedding ring for his second wife.” I have two thoughts. The first is that the woman is determined to tell me her life story. The second is that I might as well listen. People’s lives are far more interesting than my own, and what the heck. I’m a writer. I like to listen.

“It’s worth $25,000,” she tells me. “It has six diamonds scattered in gold metal chunks…” yadee yedee yadaa She’s not worried I’m going to stalk and rob her. . I visualized a ring fit for Liberace. I’m far more interested in whether or not her soon-to-be daughter in law thought it was as ugly as it sounded.

“Did he like it or get offended?” I boldly ask. She enthusiastically tells me she floated the idea to her son, referencing the ring in her vault.

“She told me ‘that’s pure love.'” Sounded more like Mom got pragmatic. I calculated the odds. Second marriage. 30+ yr old fiance. 50-50. “She had it resized and loves it.”

I turn back to my phone, slightly disappointed the story ended at that point. I shouldn’t have worried. She started in again on the next thing. Her recent job offer (to another division of a local company), a promotion from one executive position to another. This woman wasn’t hurting, at least not financially.

“In the middle of it all, I feel this lump in my belly—this big,” holding up her clenched fist in the air. I put down my iphone. Her OB tells her its nothing. “I had a hysterectomy, and everything falls you know.” No, I tell her, trying to hold back the revolting feeling that graduates up my inerds, I didn’t. “Yeah, it all sort of drops since nothing is there to hold it in. Your kidneys, sometimes your liver.” I ask her if it hurt, and if they figured it out. With her hand still raised in the air, she triumphantly annouces that she got to the bottom of it.

“It was my rectum!” she says, “this big!” pointing to her closed fist with her other hand. “It was at the bottom of my vagina.” Did—wait–did she just say that, in the middle of a public place?

At that point, my name was called, which was a good thing. I had no words. I had no air. I had to leave, without hearing the rest of the story. I have no fear the next story I receive from another random stranger will be just as interesting.

Major milestone Tuesday

Vin Diesel, he of the bald-head and triple-X fame (the movie, not the lifestyle), famously said he was the 20 yr overnight success. Sadly, after his major breakthrough in this film, his agent tried to squeeze a $20M fee from the studio and he went back to doing comedies with children. All that aside, he and I have more in common than being the proud owners of big mastiff’s. Today I learned I may finally have my breakout role equivalent, and it all started with great news from my New York based agent.

For the wanna-be writers out there (e.g. unpublished, non-represented), it’s been 7 yrs of fiction writing (and another 3 in the trade/non-fiction world), 3 agents on 2 coasts, and many rejections. Over the years, one gets inured to the dismissal, the silence of the phone, it’s inability to ring a sign of disinterest from the powers that stand between me and my readers. Today, the sun broke through the clouds.

“It a great story,” my agent said today, referring to Chambers. This was an upgrade from last Friday, wherein she told my editor “it didn’t suck.” I guess the 2nd 100 pages really changed her mind. “I really like the strong characters…it’s about time we had another strong female,” she continued, telling me that martial arts in a young adult series is totally new. She had a million questions about the movie end of the business, what it’s like collaborating with a producer, and then we discussed the timeline for publication.

“It’s normally two years if we get a deal in October (which is pushing it)” but she thinks she can get a book out in October of 2012 “with the right motivation.” Motivation equalling the movie goes in to production, the on-line game is ready to come out etc. Interesting news on that front, I’ve been approached now for on-line gaming applications based on the book itself. That’s great. What kills me though is waiting another year for a hard copy. You’d not believe how many people say they’d get the book but don’t want to read it on-line.

I don’t blame them really. I’m a physical book lover, usually reading my ebook on while exercising, though I admit to having it in my purse for quick escapes from the monotony of life.

My agent was surprised I had the 5 book overview written (the studio required it over a year ago) and that I am half-way through the 2nd book (which btw, is due to the producer tomorrow!).

One other bit of news on the book front. The proposal for the Sue Kim book (The Greatest American Story Never Told) was accepted by yet another agent (at the same agency). This may not seem like much but here’s the deal.

The book took me 1.5 years to research (it was supposed to take 6 months). It was another 1.5 years to write. The agent took a read through the manuscript and wasn’t that interested. Why? My proposal sucked (that’s a technical term for us authors). Not to be stopped by such a small thing as this, I promptly threw away my 25 page piece of crap, and collaborated with a professional who does nothing but write professional book proposals (don’t ask about the $ please. it’s depressing). That started in April. Five months later, the proposal was accepted (yesterday).

“I think I can sell this,” said the agent for the bio. “This is a really great story.” Yup. Sadly, my marketing writing failed to convey how truly cool the Kim story is. Today, the proposal went out to publishers.

All this may be completely boring to you, and for that, I’m sorry. I just didn’t get enough satisfaction from skipping through the house, and my 6 yr old failed to catch the excitement. I celebrated this little milestone by washing my hair. It was a big day at the Gerdes household.

Release your inner Oprah: Starting Journaling in Style

Mom gave my first journal when I was eight. I know this because it was the same year my ears were pierced, the same fateful year my brother got made at me and yanked both out (nearly through the bottoms), giving me at age ten, what looked like long-hanging granny earlobes that I’ve had to suffer with lo, these many years. (wound. wound.) Back then, writing out my pre-teen woes was today’s version of blogging, except in private.

Oberon tree–you can see
the leaves are hearts. coo

Over the years, journaling has gotten a bad rap, outside writing classes. “Get it down,” implored the teachers, “get it out” counsel the therapists, “write it down,” say the inspiration gurus. Whatever the motivation, journaling is a great (truly private) way to be uninhibited. My mother was thinking more along the lines of geneology and preservation of my actions for future generations, never stopping to consider I may do things I don’t want the next gen to know a thing about. Alas, it was unavoidable. Cher was right.

If you love journals, get the coolest one possible. A hand, custom-made Oberon Journal from Oberon Design. Rog gave me my first 10 years ago, and was truly the best gift (and most original) he’s ever given me. Forget rings and baubles, automobiles and clothes. This was it.

I used and abused this dear journal for the last 10 years. It saw me through 2 children and a whole lot more. In my closet are several boxes full of the insert books.

The dragon theme

Now…you can’t see the oil spots and minor scratches, but I was loathe to upgrade, fearful I’d hurt Rog’s feelings in the process. Then came Chambers, and the scene where I bring the dragon to life. It’s China, 1403, and super cool. Guess what I found?

The pages are blank, but come with a page insert that has lines (so you can keep the writing even). It was a nice upgrade from 10 years ago. Another nice touch? Oberon included a charm. In my case, it was a charm of a dragon. Now, I’m not a charm girl, nor a person to wear kitchy-type things made out of silver or pewter. But you know what? I liked this so much–it’s heavy, hand-crafted and simply said-cool, that I stripped off the item I was wearing on my neclace and slid this charm on. It’s way cool.

The size for both is large, though they are only 5X8, so it’s more like medium. Check out the detail on this leather strap.

Beyond getting it all out on the page (how many writer’s have said that inspiration comes in the middle of the night), it’s fun to have such a cool product. I liked it so much, I ordered a totally different model for my Kindle. It might pain me to cover up the Chambers skin, but it will go a long way to protecting the screen.

Girls and guys will love this. And seriously, for a woman who loves her books, Oberon designs book covers (upgrade your favorite person’s clothe book cover. those are soo horrid), or get one for the ipad etc.

Time management tips

Mondays are for practicality. Kids in camp. Cleaning. Work. The fun stuff. For men, it’s the thrill of escaping the madness at home for the relative calm and peace of the office.
Don’t deny it. You know it’s true. It’s what I have felt for the brief times I’ve gotten to leave the house for a  meeting. Rog, in his big moments (and by big, new readers may not know this means the antithesis of being small, OTW, you acknowledge a trueism), will say “wow! It is so much easier to go to work than stay home.” All stay-at-home people unite and sing koom-by-ya. It don’t matter if you are on an aisle in Greece, kickin’ it is an apartment in Moscow or chilling with homies in MV, WA. It’s not easy feeding, cleaning, wiping, answering and in general, keeping the sanity, all the while looking prestine when your other (assuming you have one, or want one) walks through the door.
Since you are taking a break from your day to read this ditty, let’s get to it.
1. Don’t stress. Obama and abt everyone else on the planet is doing that already. Push some good mo-jo out in to the world. Smile. I read it actually helps increase endorfens due to the number of muscles in the face.
2. Compartmentalize. In other words (IOW), break down your tasks in to 10 min allotments. 10 min is better than nothing in my humble opinion (IMHO). I’ve had 3 children and written lots of books in 10 min alotments. (and no, i won’t answer the question abt creating the children vs having them. It’s Rog’s bday today and I don’t want to out him. we are nothing if not efficient in this household).
3. This is important. Prioritize around tasks where you must have quiet or alone time. E.G. things where you need a) the dogs quiet, b) the kids asleep, c) no plumbers coming over d) you can do when you have your spouse or other help. I save all my interviews and writing until the kids are out, down or with my husband, but this time must be shared with phone calls. I split it 60/40, and try and keep the phone calls to 10 min (yes, now all of you who I get off the phone know why). This also means that my personal convo’s that aren’t hindered by a child or dog in the background are before or after my quiet time.
4. Put yourself first and last. This isn’t being selfish, it’s being sane. Rise early (or earlier), study your scrips, praise your mahatma, exercise or do 10 min of whatever you need to do to find your happy place. This will get you centered by reaffirming you aren’t sacrificing yourself for everyone else (this concept annoys me, even though I’ve been guilty of it myself. How can one truly give to another when resentful? I don’t think it’s possible). Then, when the day is over, retire after–and only after–you’ve found your happy place again. It’s the notion of never going to bed angry. Why? It’s stupid and pointless, since an angry person has bad dreams, tosses and turns, and wakes up worse than he/she was the night before.
5. Be flexible and make adjustments. I’ve had times of 20 min time management and 5 min time management. The difference was my circumstances and what I  needed to feel like I was progressing in all areas of my life. Remember, even 5 min on the treadmill will do a body good. 5 minutes of writing. 5 minutes of praying. 5 minutes of kissing…:) A little something is better than a whole lot of nothing.
Happy Monday, Sarah

Not so much

It was the Tues before the book launch, and I was in the newsroom of an editor friend, where we stood side by side with cutters, chopping up 3,500 book covers. We’re girls. We passed the time in a girlfriend type of way. The chitchat was all over the place, from food joints to on romantic subjects, then family. I noticed an interesting trend in her responses. When she felt like giving a qualified answer, she’d do so. When she didn’t, Q & A went like this:

“Still w/ X?” I asked, knowing the man had asked her to live w/him and his son.
“Not so much,” she responded a smirk on her face. It reminded me of being half-pregnant. One is either ‘with’ a person, or they aren’t.
“But you’re still in love with him?” I continued. This time, she kept her eyes focused on the cutter but curled up her mouth. “Not so much.” Though I laughed at her answer and let it go, I didn’t feel it was wise to pry. It was her joint after all, her cutting machines. I moved on, and we started talking family, or in her case, the lack thereof.
“Do you see (family member X) often?” This time, same reply. At that point, I called her out.
“It’s great,” I told her. “You validate that I’ve asked a question, you give me a quasi-response, and then I’m supposed to be satisfied with that.” Imagine when Morpheus asked Neo if he could go back, would he really want to, and Neo saying..”not so much,” or Jane, responding to Elizabeth’s revelation that Darcy proposed by saying, “and he was in love with you, all that time,” and Lizzy saying, “not so much.” Oh, how latter and modern day literature can be revolutionized with this short, pithy phrase.
He's Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding GuysThis led us to believe that nearly every answer, save a straight yes or no, can be given the “not so much,” response. It’s like the “He’s Just Not That in to You,” except applicable to more things.
Q: Life’s good?
A: Not so much
Q: Have fun at the party last night?
A: Not so much
Q: Getting along with your spouse?
A: Not so much
Q: Feel like your going to get that job?
A: Not so much
Q: Want to go on a date?
A: Not so much
The best part of this phrase is that it can be said in such a way as to not offend. It’s neither a flat-out No Way, nor is it some long, drawn-out, painful turndown. I’ve used it frequently with my husband “Want to go to dinner?” asks he. “Not so much,” I say, offering up an alternative. “Feel like going to the neighbors for the bbq?” I asked him later in the week? “Nope,” he returned. See the difference? Not so much sounds so much…softer.
It’s become my fall-back phrase, and hopefully no one will become the wiser, at least in my local MV-circle of friends. And when I’m asked if I miss blogging on topics a little funnier or at least, educational, I thoughtfully consider, and reply ‘not so much.’

Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich

Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich
Isn’t that a great title for a book? I took a flyer on the purchase, glancing through the imagery and immediately liking whimsical pictures. Well, that and the sub-title “and other stores you’re sure to like, because they’re all about monsters and some of them are also about food.” What foodie can’t appreciate that?

Now readers of this blog know I never write reviews of other books but this defies my logic. Why bother, think I? So many already exist that my humble opinion isn’t going to sway a person’s purchasing choices. Furthermore, aside from the errant reporter who recently provided me his own book after an interview was over, I’m not solicited for a review or opinion. Frankenstien Makes a Sandwich is so good, I’m taking the time to tell all my readers– buy it. Buy it now. It’s awesomely funny.

Age group begone. This isn’t just for my six year old. As I’m reading about  my 41 yr old husband is piping up in the background “what’s that?” and “that’s crazy!” he continues, before busting up. Some stories mirror a contemporary story mixed with a rhyme, like Phantom of the Opera. Another makes fun of Dracula’s son that has a lame tooth. One of my favorites is “an open letter from Wolfman’s best friend,” about the saga of wolfman’s roommate who is sick and tired of cleaning up after him
“Please just konw, and I’ll happily open the door.
 And if I’m not home please don’t howl anymore.
‘Cause each time you do it, the neighbors complain.
And since we’re complaining, perhaps you’d explain
how you manage to leave
SO MUCH hair in the tub.
I constantly clean it. I scour, I scrub,
and I think I should mention it’s REALLY a pain.
Today I removed a big clog from the drain,
and I tell you, this hair-clog was of SUCH A SIZE,
it could go to a CAT SHOW
So…anyway, that’s all I wanted to write.
Please take out the garbage. It’s your turn tonight.

Another favorite is Godzilla Pooped on My Honda, The Phantom of the Opera Can’t Get “It’s a Small World” out of his Head and The Middlewich With-Watchers Club. In between each of the poems are the most amazing drawings of fun types of witches like the Frazzled Warthog and the Speckled Crone or the Long Beaked Harpy.

Every now and then, I come across a book that is so fun, so well written and engaging, I get depressed. “I wish I’d written that,” I say, a whistful sigh that instills in me an overpowering desire to get back to writing something a bit more meaningful. This is one of those books. Adam Rex, you are my idol.

What the walk-on role really means

One of the walk-on role winners was a doctor that
got to kill the patient (in the movie!)
Turns out a few readers are a bit confused about what the walk-on role really involves. Sure, it’s nice to think about winning a chance to meet actors, go “on set,” get hair, make-up and costume folks all dithering about, but the other details are vague. This is the blog to eliminate the vaguery and ensure people actually sign up to win this thing (do you know, at this stage in the contest for the book naming, I had more people sign up to win the diamond hoop earrings? What does that tell you? It tells me people of both sexes thought that the earrings were easier to win, or wear!).
For the last 2 years, Warp donated a walk-on role for my daughter’s school auction. This is the same write-up we used for those descriptions. 
Warp has brought Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Law Abiding Citizen and many other blockbusters to the big screen. In the last 10 years, Warp has filmed in Toronto, Japan, Mexico, New York, LA, Philadelphia, Germany, Egypt, Louisiana, and more. Depending on the winner’s schedule and desires, filming will take place in any one of the existing locations where Warp is developing films: this includes filming locations in Alaska, Venice Beach, Serbia, France, South Africa, Montreal, Italy and Spain.
During this amazing, one of a kind experience, you will visit the set, meet Lucas and the other key members of the cast and crew.  The role itself will depend on your schedule, and the preferred times to attend the shoot. It does not include hotel accommodations or airfare.  This one of a kind item doesn’t have an expiration date, due to the unique elements of movie production scheduling. Time and location of project will be worked out directly with Warp Film.

Attracting a producer

Blinc Mascara-black 0.21 oz.
latest fav of my studio
make-up artist

Really, this blog should be about the bruise that’s healing, how a non-friend recently asked for my make-up cast-offs, and my inability to wash lettuce, thereby causing me to puke till my face blew up like a puffer-fish, but resulted in the make-up artist telling about a great, new mascara called Blinc. It neither smudges or flakes. Instead, this ditty is going to be about what writer’s consider the impossible: attracting the attention of a Hollywood producer.

No. It’s not about Lucas, for that was due to a business connection that never could have been planned. This is about networking to get your product (e.g. screenplay, printed work or idea) read.

Attend a networking event. I had to be taken, nearly kicking and screaming to the Women in Film networking social in Seattle. I’ve never been on set. I’ve only come in contact w/the celebrities. Most of the time, I’m in the background with the producers et all, talking about our projects. To me, this didn’t justify my presence at the event. I was wrong. This even was full of directors and producers (including men) who were looking to pitch and be pitched. (call someone, beg, plead, offer to buy them a dinner).

Be casual. Be yourself. I’m not one to make small talk. It bothers me. I’d rather have one or two meaningful conversations (I supposed this parallels my monogomous self, but I’ll save that philosophy for another day). So out of about 50 folks, all lounging around the beautiful Seattle backyard that was tiered by flowers and vines, only one person came up to chat with me. I meandered. I ate. This eventually led me to the kitchen, a place where I feel most comfortable. Another man stood by himself, happily munching on a kosher hotdog. He was my people. I started talking about food. He asked me why I was there. I was honest. He laughed. When he kept asking questions, I continued to answer, and in the end, he was trying to convince me to write a screenplay. “Why stop at a book when you can take it all the way?”

Turns out he had to leave, and gave me his card. “If I can’t talk to you later, I want to be sure you get in touch with me.” Only when he got on the bench with 2 other producers did I realize he was reason I was supposedly there. He was on the panel of producers for the Q & A, and he was the producer behind Sex Lies and Videotapes & abt 3 other pages worth of movies.

Ask Questions. When he and the others were taking questions, I didn’t hold back. I asked about their best and worst experiences collaborating with authors. They enthusiastically responded, also including thoughts on screenwriters. No surprise. The response was generally…make sure the creator/author is flexible, and aligned with the producer. Easier said than done. My second question concered filming locally. The reality is that cities/states/provinces/countries give away incentives (free money or money in trade) that allows films to be made. The philosphy being that the local economy will benefit (liken it to what the government is now doing. give and it will come back). In any case, Seattle is not about giving on a promise.

Regardless, the questions were less important than the result. Two producers of recently funded films approached me to learn more about my background. “You asked intelligent questions,” said one woman, who wrote and is producing her latest film. “I figured I had to meet you.” We went on to share funding sources and thoughts in general. It may turn out to be a great connection, all due to the fact I didn’t keep my mouth closed (yes. I know you are shocked).

Don’t bring business cards. This is important. When the orginal producer I mentioned was finished, he and his wife came over and we all had a good convo. He asked me to contact him. The part about not having a card is key. If they really, really want to talk to you, they will fork over a card with contact information (my friend was given cards that had no information, just the title of a movie. boy, was she mad). This puts you in the power position. I waited 24 hours, as I didn’t want to come across as a stalker. He responded in less than an hour and recommended a meeting.

Lastly, be blunt. What have you got to lose? Nothing.
When I was wrappin up the conversation with said producer and his wife, I touched his arm and said, “Save me some time X,” I said. “What are you looking for?” My approach startled him a bit. He smiled. “I want to know if you have any properties (e.g. books or screenplays) that haven’t been optioned. BINGO! That was what I wanted to hear. Now I’m prepared.

Bottom line. I Do have 3 projects I never let my agent send out, nor did Warp want (they weren’t a demographic fit). It might turn out that these projects will have a life after all, and someone may read or watch them on tv or film. You never know, and it all started by meeting a producer at event I didn’t want to attend in the first place. Who knew?

Sugar free = more energy

A real Boehms Frualine–
I actually no her! She works there!

To satisfy the unwashed masses who have afeared for my safety, I’m here. In spirit that is. My physical body is beaten down, an inch smaller from this new naturopathic program that eliminates sugar from the ol’ diet. Sadly, this includes Boehms chocolates. It’s been 8 days and 2 hours that I’ve been away from it. But like a dog to its vomit, an hour doesn’t go by where the craving doesn’t rear it’s ugly head. I’m sure meth would have been cheaper, but I’d have teeth loss, Starbuck’s more expensive; I’d have my teeth, but they’d be black. (I know, I have a fixation with teeth). (FYI-Boehm’s has great father’s day selection. I got my dad the toffee and an assortment of milk chocolate…and FYII…on Saturdays, all the young girls actually wear the traditional Swiss outfits. Apparently, Julius, the founder, was quite a ladies man with an eye towards….busty, young woman. Don’t hold that against him though. Apparently he was a great skiier, and that has to count for something).

In other news, I’m ready to throw my husband out for invading my space. Ok, not out as in, out-out. But out of my little hobbit hole I call my writing space. He’s announced he’s taking July off to focus on “my business,” which, loosely translated, means the business of Sarah Gerdes writing. What business, you ask yourself? 3 national orgs have come on board to have in-store events in July, though I can’t announce the names. The studio is going to give away 3 walk-on roles to people who register by downloading Chambers. Great idea. $2.99 gets you a shot at hanging with Angie and Brad. It’s surreal actually. One day, I’m typing away in anonymity, the next, I’m on the phone with a division vp who runs entertainment and merchandising for a national chain, then I’m talking with the producer, who will be signing autographs.

“What about security? do you have a hander to move people through? how many seconds for each autograph? where will the stand be?..”) All good questions, for which I have no answers. Yet. Will I know it soon? “You betcha” (my one and only channeling of Palin).

This week has been full of the minuteau of things like trying to track down a videographer, a photographer, extras, what to put on the registration cards…blah blah. If you have a vision that “authors” arrive at an event, sit down and look glamorous, perish the thought. Reality is perhaps a bit less exciting (I’ve heard that truly famous authors ride around in limos until the last minute, whisk in, smile and leave), but as my Dad says “I don’t want to hear it!! Don’t diminish my vision of you!” Yeah, whatever. This is bloody hard work, that’s all I’ve got to say.

On the bright side, I’ve never been so motivated to get rid of the stuff and puff that lines my muffin top and jawline, leading us full circle back to the no sugar thing. It’s actually working, by the way. Good thing. I need the energy!

A letter of apology

Dear mom,

I hope this late night blog ltr finds you well. I’d call, but you have the ringer off, though you are probably texting your sisters or playing a righteous game of scrabble with a stranger.
I’m not avoiding you. I know it seems I’ve gone in to my She-cave, retreating from the world on the eve of my book coming out, preparing for the onslaught of attention (or lack thereof). No, it’s not Roger, believe it or not, he’s actually been pretty awesome lately, with the small exception of looking straight at me and not retaining a word I say. This might be marital self-preservation policy he’s adopted for the short term craziness.

The last forty-eight hours has been a little…rough. Let me start at the top, since you want to know the latest with the book launch. The publisher rejected my edited manuscript, positive me (or my editor) were incapable of using the spell check in Word. After four hours of sleuthing & trying to replicate the error, my uflapabable proofreader suspected the epublisher was using an out of date version of Word. Turns out, she was right. Sent in a Word 97-2003 .doc version, and all was well. The publisher’s note said…sorry for the scare. It was no big.  I really didn’t need to get to sleep before 3 am, as it gave me time to catch up with my buds in Europe.

The HobbitAlso bonding w/the in-laws. Each night, I’ve been walking 30 mins w/ my father-in-law,who will go along with me on my ‘torture walks,’ that certain family members compare to the Bridge over River Kwaii death march. I’m panting like a dog as he goes up and down the hills like a billy goat, even tho he’s 20 yrs older. That’s what living year round in 7,000 feet elevation will do to the lungs.

We get back in time for me to make the third lunch/dinner of the day (I’m not kidding either). 3 pm, 6ish, then another one at about 10 pm. It’s the constant feeding of 5, bi-pedal termites, for the Gerdes family eat everything in site. They are like Hobbits. Each major meal is separated by snacks that are in themselves, full meals. If this is what happens when a Swede crosses a Spaniard, count me in for the next life.

Guess what? I busted out my Mother’s Day chainsaw to help cut down branches on a tree and trim back hedges. Worked out the writer’s cramp alright, but gave me a lower back ache like nobodies business. How many author’s can say they get busy with heavy machinery instead of a glass of wine I ask?
Which brings me back to the real reason I’ve been dark, even ignoring my music section (and why is it I’m always putting up dance music, instead of the other genres? Hm, have to dwell on that when I have time. I think it’s because She loves dance so much, I’m pursuaded in that direction). One other bright note….my amazing brother in law sketched out some cool dragons that I forwarded along to the publisher. The marketing manager loved it so much, he merged it with the chapter headings, and now I have the coolest chapter markers ever. Thanks David! I hope the producer and publisher etc continue to play nice with the reporters. I’d really like to get off this allowance thing.
Will promise to write more often, or at least throw up some backlogged recipes that have been building. For now, it’s off to the treadmill to get out some energy. Europe is awake now, and I’m rarin to go.
Yours truly, Sarah
Page 3 of 512345