Reporting for Sleep Monitor Duty

Y’all, I slept last night. I mean I really slept for the first time in weeks. It was the LAST thing I thought I’d be able to do with a danged monitoring device literally stuck to my forehead and tubes dangling from my nostrils.

Maybe that’s the key! Hook me up and watch me sleep.

Seriously curious as to what can be learned from last night’s adventure. In the meantime, I wish they’d let me keep the monitor one more night to see if last night’s performance could be replicated. Since we all know that’s not going to happen, maybe Studly Doright could rig something up to simulate the whole experience. I seem to remember a miner’s style flashlight among his tools, and right now, I’m up to the challenge of finding it.

It’s amazing what a good night of sleep can do for one’s mood. Watch out world!

Peace, people!

I Like Your Glasses

This morning I have an appointment to be fitted with a sleep monitor. I’ll wear it tonight to help determine if sleep apnea is the cause of my memory gaps/lapses.

I tried writing something for my next novel (FYI, book 6 in the Happy Valley series), but ended up just staring at a blank screen because last night was the third (or fourth) in a row of little to no sleep.

Finally I gave up and took myself for brunch at Canopy Roads Cafe on Apalachee Parkway in Tallahassee. The server was a bubbly twenty-something who took my order then said what I understood as “I like your glasses.”

Apparently that wasn’t what she said at all because when I thanked her she gave me an odd look. Now I have no idea what she said as she walked away. Maybe “I took some classes?” Or “I like big asses.” Who knows. Maybe the sleep doctor can offer a suggestion.

Peace, people!

Piped-In Music

Yesterday I attended a book signing. It was absolutely marvelous. My friend and fellow water aerobics enthusiast, Paula Walborsky, signed copies of her first book, Unpacking Paula, Volume One, at a local indie bookstore. Again, MARVELOUS. I can’t stress this enough.

Friends from every facet of Paula’s life showed up at My Favorite Books. Members of her family came all the way from Tennessee to Tallahassee to support her. Our water aerobics group, The Clownfish Asylum, was there in full force, including a surprise visit from a member who “escaped” from a hospital to be there. Tears were shed and shared. Dare I say it again? Marvelous.

I’m not sure how many books Paula sold, but I do know her husband made more than one trip to their car to fetch more copies. And then Paula read selected essays from her book and we laughed and cried and nodded along. As a former NPR commentator, Paula has that voice—calm and clear and measured. Everything mine is not.

But as she read, I found myself becoming annoyed at the piped-in music. Often, from my little corner, I couldn’t make out what Paula was saying because the music was a little too loud and it seemed to be emanating from the stack of books on the bookshelf where I’d placed my purse.

“Interesting place for a speaker,” I thought. “And it’s hidden cleverly. Not even any telltale wires.”

I contemplated finding a bookstore employee to have them turn the volume down or perhaps completely off. “That’s just what I’ll do!”

So I gathered my purse and walked down a side aisle. The music followed me. As I turned a corner, the music followed me. As I approached the counter, it followed me. And that’s when I knew that I was the source of the “piped-in” music.

Somehow I’d activated the sleep song track I have downloaded onto my phone, and it was providing background music for my friend’s event. My hope is that only a few folks in my immediate vicinity heard my musical accompaniment and were bothered by it.

And I’m so thankful the music I use as inspiration for writing steamy scenes wasn’t queued up. This might’ve been an entirely different kind of tale.

Paula’s book is available on Amazon, by the way. It’s, well, MARVELOUS!

Post Test

I’ve always been a great test taker. Give me an essay to write or a multiple choice question and I’ll probably ace that old test.

Yesterday I took a different kind of test—an assessment to measure my memory. It started out simple enough, and I’m proud to say that I could correctly identify a variety of common zoo animals. I also drew the clock as directed, but now I’m wondering if I mixed up the hour and minute hands. I was a little bit anxious, so it might’ve happened.

After a couple more questions, the doctor gave me a list of five words that I was to remember until she asked for them again. That one did not go well. I think when all was said and done I recalled three of the words on my own, and one with a hint. And for the record, my words were harder than Trump’s. 😂

I did well on repeating sentences word for word, as well as repeating a string of numbers. My favorite part of the test was getting to slap my knee every time I heard the letter “a” when a long string of letters was spoken. I felt a bit like a kindergartner. Slap, slap, slap,

There were a few physical assessments—pushing, pulling, walking across the floor heel-to-toe. I had trouble with the last one. My size eight feet didn’t like that task. If I’d been barefoot I could’ve done it.

At the end of the assessment the doctor asked a great many questions about my daily life and the incidents that had prompted me to schedule an appointment. Was I depressed? Did I get enough sleep? What meds do I take? Etc.

They’ve scheduled some bloodwork, an MRI, and an EEG to rule out any other issues, but I think overall I did okay on the tests I took yesterday. But who am I to say? If there’s was problem, I likely wouldn’t realize it. And that’s a bit scary.

Thanks to everyone who sent me good vibes!

Peace, people!

A Thousand!

My first novel, Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort, just gained its one thousandth review on Amazon. Even better, the book has managed to maintain a 4.5 rating.

It’s not a perfect book. I often tell people that I wrote it with my training wheels on. But I’ve been fortunate to find readers who’ve embraced my baby, warts and all.

I’m still learning. There are now four books in the Happy Valley series with another in the works. With each book I’ve learned something new, gotten better at the craft, but there’s still much to learn.

I appreciate everyone who’s come along on the journey—even those few reviewers who’ve been less than impressed have contributed to my growth and helped make each book better than the one before.

Tomorrow, Valentines Day, 2023, Mayhem will be featured as an Amazon Daily Deal for a mere $1.99 on Kindle. So, if you haven’t yet read it, it might be the perfect time. And if you do, I’d love your feedback.

Peace, people!

Congressional Fashion

I’m not a fan of Kristen Sinema—the Democratic Senator from Arizona who skews more to the right than the left. She’s a DINO—Democrat In Name Only, like West Virginia’s Joe Manchin.

On Tuesday night, Sinema wore a bright yellow dress to the State of the Union address. It’s a dress I wouldn’t have worn, but she did and has been attacked by Democratic pundits for her choice.

That infuriates me.

Men in her position basically have two choices: a blue suit or a black suit and a tie that says “I’m in charge or send more money.” Whereas for women there awaits a minefield. Too colorful? You’re an attention whore. Too bland? You’re outdated, boring.

Attack Sinema all day long for abandoning her constituents in favor of accepting money from conservative special interest groups, but ignore what she’s wearing, That shouldn’t matter at all.

Peace, people.

Close Call in Alexandria

As I embarked on my journey to Hemphill, Texas, I had this brilliant idea: I was going to take copies of my first novel, Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort, and place them in Little Free Libraries as I neared my destination. Since the series is set in that part of the country I could picture readers being excited to find a book about a fictional campground on Lake Toledo Bend.

So, when I drove through Alexandria, Louisiana, near the Texas state line, I googled the nearest Little Free Library and headed to that address.

The route took me away from the interstate and into a neighborhood that grew less and less savory with every turn.

I told myself I wouldn’t get out of the car if I didn’t trust my surroundings. Sure enough, when I found the right place, the little library was sitting well back on the property—near the front door, and it didn’t appear to have any books inside at all. So I pulled over to the curb and reset my GPS. When I looked up, there were three law enforcement vehicles there with me. 😳

My heart kind of stuttered for a moment, but they didn’t have their lights on, and no one approached my car, so I kind of waved and drove away. As I headed down the interstate I kept glancing in my rear view mirror wondering when they were going to come after me.

I wonder if they’d have accepted a book or two in exchange for a ticket? Guess we’ll never know.

Peace, people!


I wonder if I’m too old or too dumb to understand all the stuff I need to know to get my author website up and running. The website is there, it’s just missing important stuff and even after a thorough and wonderful tutorial from one of the smartest guys I know, I feel like I’m trying to put together a 500 piece puzzle in which more than half the pieces are missing.

Things I need:

1) A Reader Magnet—that’s a free story offered to folks who sign up for my newsletter.

2) An Automated Onboarding Process—these are the emails that are generated automatically when someone signs up to receive my newsletter.

3) A Newsletter—exclusive information about my books delivered at regular intervals to those subscribing.

Now, I can write that darned newsletter, but I’m struggling with the reader magnet and the onboarding process. The reader magnet needs to be a peek inside my stories. Maybe a tale told from the perspective of a character other than my main protagonist. Or maybe a prequel to the whole series, say, perhaps a look back at my characters during their teenaged years. I’m told it can even be an outtake—a scene I cut from the published book. I’m wrestling with this mightily, y’all.

And once I have it written, then what? Do I save it as a word document? Do I publish it and make it available for free to my subscribers? Do I send up smoke signals? At this point, option three sounds simplest, and I’d need to learn how to make smoke signals.

But that’s nothing compared to my angst over the automated onboarding. I took copious notes during a tutorial session. I’ve watched multiple YouTube videos. And yet, I’ve still got next to nothing. I am clueless; hear me sob. I think I need to hire someone to come sit beside me as I learn how to complete the task.

In the meantime, I’m going to continue working on that reader magnet. Maybe Paula and Cassie as cave people? Circus performers? Heh. Maybe not. But just in case you’re wondering who Paula and Cassie are, check out my Happy Valley series on Amazon.

Peace, people.

Swiss Cheese

I woke up at 3 a.m. I’d say it was exactly 3 a.m., but Studly Doright’s clock runs fast, so it was likely only 2:57. At any rate, it was early.

Of course I’d gone to bed around seven last night because I hadn’t been able to sleep at all the night before. Do I lead an exciting life or what?

My brain and I have been having some intense discussions lately. The old girl just isn’t as sharp as she used to be. I always dreamed of being one of those elderly women that people would describe as being sharp as a tack. Instead, I fear they’ll compare my mental capacity to a slice of Swiss cheese or worse, a dull knife.

And as they carry me away to the memory care center, I’ll protest that I once was able to memorize Shakespearean soliloquies with the greatest of ease. And they’ll ask, “Did you say Swiss cheese?”

Peace, people.

About Last Night

James Patterson and Mike Lupica stopped by Tallahassee to promote their newest collaboration, House of Wolves, last night. And even on a cold, blustery January evening, folks left the comfort of their homes to hear what these two accomplished gentlemen had to say.

I think it’s safe to note that most were there because of Mr. Patterson’s hugely popular body of work. The woman beside me had talked her unenthusiastic husband into bringing her from Orange Beach to Tallahassee for her birthday so she could see her favorite author in person. I told her husband he’d gained sainthood and set a new bar for all spouses.

Now, as a long time fan of the ESPN show, The Sports Reporters, I was equally excited to see Mike Lupica in person. His wit and wisdom on that talk show always made it a favorite for me. I cried when it ended in 2017.

He and Patterson were terrific last night. Lupica is hilarious and Patterson has a dry delivery that makes them the perfect duo.

When it was over I turned to the saintly husband and asked what he’d thought. “I didn’t realize Mike Lupica was going to be here! He’s great!”

I imagine there were quite a few pleasantly surprised husbands in the audience.

Peace, people!

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