Friday, April 29, 2011

Happy Wedding Day!

Kate and Wills mug Oh, the pageantry!  Oh that dress.  Oh, the horse-drawn carriages.

Oh the timing!  As in--way too early.  And I don't have DVR.

Oh well, I'm sure there'll be reruns

Happy Wedding Day, Will and Kate!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Coffee Klatch!

Coffee talk About once a month my friend Pat and I get together for coffee.  Of course, I don't drink coffee--but she does.  (I usually have hot chocolate.)

Pat and I are both authors and we talk business.  So far every time we've gotten together we've managed to fill three hours with just business talk.

What kind of business talk?  Selling books.  Selling print books.  Selling e books.  Graphic design.  Business cards. Writing.  Not writing.  Wanting to write different things.  Promotion.  Yada, yada, yada.

Now I'm sure many people would be bored silly listening to us go on, and especially for three hours, but when you're starved for conversation about your job, and how you accomplish all elements of it, it's fun and exciting.

Today is coffee talk day.  I can't wait!

Do you have a friend you meet with for coffee (or hot chocolate)?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Open wide!

Teeth-cleaning Every six months I go to get my teeth cleaned. I learned the hard way that if you don't, problems develop.  Big EXPENSIVE problems.  (After I lost my dental insurance, I didn't go for two years?  Big mistake.  I estimate I've paid $15,000 since.)

I hate getting my teeth cleaned.  For one thing, no matter how much I brush them, I'll be told I didn't do it right.  I'll be scolded because there tartar on some back tooth which is nearly impossible to reach with a toothbrush, or a the crooked tooth on the side where tartar builds up in the spot that the brush can't reach.

Dental flossers I have been praised for my excellent flossing, but I must confess that it's not me it's my dental flossers that have turned the tide on plaque.  Regular floss (even the unshreddible kind) splits and shreds and it got stuck in my teeth and was more trouble than it was worth.  And then I was introduced to flossers.  I keep them on my work desk and when I think about it (about 4-5 times a day), I floss.  Win-win situation!  (My dentist admits she keeps them in her car and flosses at red lights.  It drives her kids nuts.)

What fun thing are you doing today?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Anybody need some ham?

The days of big family dinners are gone due to the fact that I don't have much family left.

Ham And so Easter came around.  There were just three of us and we wanted a nice Easter ham.  Of course we waited too late to go in search of a ham and the smallest one we could find was 8.24 lbs.

EIGHT POUNDS OF HAM???  What were we thinking?

But we bought it and cooked it.  "We'll each eat two pounds of it for supper, and then you'll only have two pounds of leftovers," my mother said.


Actually, after dinner Mr. L cut off most of the spiral ham and put it in a gallon freezer bag and popped it into the fridge.  I put the HUGE bone (which still had a lot of meat on it) in two freezer bags and popped it in the freezer.  (Boy am I glad we have that little chest freezer in the garage.)

Recipe card So, I figured we could eat ham sandwiches, and I could make myself a few western omelets.  I'm not a fan of split pea soup, but would love to hear other recipes that where a ham bone can be used.

Got any to share?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Reserve one room at the mental institution, please

Tarot fool E Books are the way for mid-list authors to become millionaires.  That's what I keep hearing.

So what am I doing wrong?

Wednesday Lee Goldberg (who I have mega admiration for) said:  "any midlist author who signs another pissant three-book contract with a NY publisher (or any publisher) should check themselves into a mental institution right away."

Well, I just did sign such a contract--and for a nice chunk of change, too.  Not nearly as much as Barry Eisler just turned down.  (Did you hear, he turned down $500,000.  YES, all those zeroes are correct.)  The books I'm contracted for won't be available until 2013, 2014, and 2015.  By then maybe I will have looked like a fool for signing, but I don't think so.  Will the publishing world be drastically different in three years?  There's a good possibility it will.

Lee also said:  "It's actually possible for an author nobody heard of to become a millionaire within just a matter of months. I'm not exaggerating. Everyone talks about Amanda Hocking...but perhaps the most astonishing success story of all is John Locke. (*snip*) Locke earned $126,000 on 369,000 sales on Amazon in March alone. That's a huge uptick from the 75,000 he sold in January and the 1300 he sold in November.  John Locke went from selling 1300 books to 369,000 in four months. Holy. Shit."

(You can find the whole blog post here.)

Lee has done very well with Kindle.  He has a huge backlist and, despite a busy career as a TV and movie producer, he's also a prolific author.

Meanwhile, I have put up 7 short stories and 4 novels and I'm not seeing anything like the kinds of sales Lee is seeing.  : (

Despite great reviews, and a very small but enthusiastic audience, my Jeff Resnick books have not taken off.  Instead of hundreds of thousands of sales a month (per title) I'm not even seeing hundreds of sales per book.

Sour-Grapes Sour grapes?

Yes.  Not so much for me, but for my series.  If I hadn't believed in my characters, I wouldn't have written four books and (so-far) two short stories about them.

I've received reviews from Library Journal and Booklist, and have rave reviews from readers on Amazon and Barnes&

I believed I could do better when it came to finding readers than my former (small) publisher, and so I followed in Lee's footprints and put them up on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords (for distribution to other e sellers). So far, success has eluded those books.

(Man, those grapes are really SOUR!)

In the last few weeks I've:
  • sent out over 2000 postcards to readers and librarians
  • sent an e newsletter to over 4500 readers (although only 1675 opened it)
  • offered the first book in the series for 99¢ in hopes that it would find new readers (so far it has, but not all that many), and encourage people to go looking for the other three books.
I'm at my wits end trying to figure out how this series can find a new audience.

Any ideas?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

What's with the weather?

Weather icons I live in a part of the US that has four distinct seasons.  Except they aren't.  Distinct, that is.  Winter eases into spring, eases into summer, eases into fall, eases back to winter.

Right now we're a month into spring and the weather doesn't know what the heck it wants to do. (Maybe that's why I like spring least of all.)  It can be rainy, snowy, windy, sunny all in one afternoon.  Or it can be incredibly hot.  Eight years ago we went to a wedding on March 30th and it was 82 degrees.  The next day it snowed.

The calendar says it's spring, but my furnace will probably be chugging along every night right into June.  (One year we were still running it into early July.)

Hot as hell Once summer finally arrives in July, it keeps going into October.  I like that.  Warm days, cool nights, right into mid-October.  Winter--forget it.  Ick, Ick, Ick for months on end. And then we're back to spring and the weather doesn't know what it wants to do again.

So, what's your favorite season?  And do you have a beef to share today?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Chester the Dusting Cat

Chester stanind on desk Many people have pets that do tricks.

Our cat Chester dusts.

That's right.  At least he WANTS to dust.  That must be the reason that any piece of cloth not nailed down (and usually smelling of Pledge) gets picked up and moved around the house.

I'll get up in the middle of the night to get a drink and there will be a dust cloth in the middle of the hall.  Just like the one I found yesterday.  (I left it there until morning so I could take this shot.)


Of course, as a "wool eater," Chester is obsessed with anything made of fabric.  Kitty toys, dust cloths, dish towels (he's even hauled full-sized bath towels around, and for a small cat, that's a lot of work).

Chester's work is never done.  When he's not moving cloth objects around, he watches birds, annoys girl cats, takes leisurely kitty baths under a 200 watt light bulb, or jumps on my lap to rub his wet yucky nose on my hand or stand on my keyboard and disrupt my typing.

Yes, he's a busy boy.

And we wouldn't have it any other way.

What interesting thing does your pet do?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I'll miss you, little soap dish

So there I was, typing along, and I heard CRASH! and then the words, "Uh-oh!"

I Sink like old things.  A few years back we ripped out the 1960s double sink in our bathroom, put in an antique chest as a vanity, and gave our contemporary bathroom a little charm from yesteryear.  (See, the cats seem to like it.)

Two of the accessories on my bathroom vanity are antique soap dishes.  Yes, two.  Hubby likes milled soap and I like glycerin soap.  (Although I like his soap, too.  I switch back and forth.)  His soap dish was bought at a flea market in Maine.  It's got pink roses.  Mine was bought at a yard sale in Pultneyville, NY.

Oddly enough, when I bought both of them (years apart) they each came with "sister" soap dishes.  Three of each.  Since I was a vendor in an antiques arcade, I sold the other four, and these different soap dishes have lived quite happily on the vanity.

Until yesterday.

Broken soap dish Yesterday was the day the cleaning ladies came.  And they just happened to have two new recruits who were learning the ropes.  Guess who broke one of my soap dishes?

Ya know, there are terrible things happening in this world on a daily basis.  The aftermath of the earthquake in Japan, war in how many countries.  Little kids with no medical care.  A broken soap dish is not a big deal, but for some reason it put me in a funk.  The soap dish wasn't even valuable.  I only paid a dollar for it.  But I loved it!

Later, I told my mother about it and she said.  "You can have one of my soap dishes."  As it happened, years ago I had bought her a brown transferware onion patterned soap dish.  You see, my mother has blue onion dinnerware.  (Guess what?  So do I!  I searched for years for a dish pattern I liked and finally Mr. L said--well, what would you REALLY like, and I said, "My mother's dishes."  Duh!  I got my own set!)

Brown soapdish

Brown & blue onionskin

I'm still a little sad about my broken soap dish (today is garbage day--goodbye china chards), but in a few weeks the new one will feel like it's been there for ages.  And it does go rather nicely with the rest of the decor.

By the way, the cleaning lady felt terrible and apologized profusely.  What an awful thing to happen on her very first cleaning job.  I hope the rest of her day went better.

So, what silly thing in your house would you miss if it broke?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Gone like the wind

Ask anyone who knows me well and they will tell you I tend to lose things.  Glasses, keys, and especially papers.

I keep a folder of address and other stickers.  Since this folder is made of clear plastic, it should be easy to spot it among the rest of the stuff littering my office.  And yet, I seem to have lost it.  It has stickers three different types of stickers for my P.O. Box (well, I am writing under three different names).  Stickers for the Cozy Chicks.  Stickers for the various book series I write.  Air Mail stickers.  Local Author Stickers.  Do-you-want-signed-bookmark stickers that I add to postcards for libraries and bookstores.

Poof All these many many sheets of stickers and they're gone.  Poof!  Without a trace.

I spent well over an hour searching my file cabinets, every pile of paper in the office, looked in boxes, under furniture.  They are gone, Gone GONE like the wind.  (I'm thinking I may have accidentally put them in the recycle pile.  Tomorrow's garbage day, I'll go through the bin before the trash guys arrive.)
Absent minded professor
I feel like the absent-minded professor . . . always forgetting where I'm going (to the kitchen, looked around puzzled go back to my office--then remember why I went on a quest), get easily distracted, and losing stuff (usually because I set it down somewhere and then can't remember where I set it down--because I'm distracted).

This is getting really OLD.

Do you do the same thing?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Facing the Blank Page

Blank_word_document Between one thing and another, I haven't worked on the new book IN TWO WEEKS.  Now I find I have laptop fear.  Or at least fear of approaching the laptop and staring at the blank Word page and nothing coming out.

Okay, I actually have been thinking about the WIP while I've been up to my eyeballs in other things, so I do have one ... maybe two scenes I could attack today, but what about tomorrow?  Sunday?  Fuggetaboutit.  I'm going to a baby shower in the afternoon.  Whenever I have some kind of event on the calendar, I can never seem to fit writing into that day.  I know, it's stupid.  (Sunday's aren't my most productive day, anyway.)

Next week I really have to catch up, because the week after I have two more "events," plus need to pack for the Malice Domestic conference. Yay!  I already have an appointment with my agent, will get to talk to my editor at least three times (in person), and will see all my friends.  (Double YAY!)  Not forgetting that I get to interact with readers, too.

Malice_banner My nerves are shot just thinking about it all -- but, it's fun excitement, too.

And still ... the WIP is hanging over my head.

So, what's on your agenda for the day?

P.S.  I'm over at the Killer Characters blog today, with a post about Bound By Suggestion.  Come on over and make a comment (or two!).

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What a way to blow a diet!

Today is Mr. L's Birthday!  (Happy Birthday!!!)

Mr. L is usually a pie man, and I've made him cherry pies, lemon meringue pies, and even a key-lime pie for his natal day celebration.  But this year he requested a coconut cake.

It just so happens I have a decadent recipe that I included in one of my Booktown Mysteries (Chapter & Hearse).  This is no diet cake.  (Which is too bad for us, because we're on diets.) But it is fabulous.  Here's the recipe.

Coconut-layer-cake Coconut Cake
3 cups sifted cake flour (sift before measuring)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 pound powdered sugar
4 egg yolks, well beaten
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup shredded coconut
4 egg whites, well beaten

Measure the sifted cake flour into a bowl. Add baking powder and salt. Sift these ingredients at least 2 times. In a mixing bowl, cream butter, and gradually add sugar. Continue creaming until light and fluffy. Add the beaten egg yolks and beat well. Add flour mixture alternately with the milk, beating well after each addition. Stir in coconut and vanilla. Gently fold in egg whites. Bake in greased 8-inch pans at 350° for about 30 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Makes three 8-inch layers.

Coconut Icing
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup coconut milk, room temperature*
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups sweetened flaked coconut

(*You can substitute regular milk for the coconut milk, but also substitute coconut extract instead of vanilla extract.)

Using an electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar, coconut milk, vanilla, and salt. Beat on medium-low speed until blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Increase to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy.

Frost cake.  Gently press coconut onto the sides of the cake, and sprinkle the top with coconut, too.

Serves 6-8

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Another piece of technology goes in the drawer

I am not one to embrace new technology until it has become tried and true.  I do have a cell phone, but by the time I get it out of my purse and open it up, I've missed the call, and then I don't know how to get the number for the call I missed.

I have a Kindle, but I don't know how to change the font size, or make it talk, or even how to get to page 2 of my list of books.  (Maybe I'll read the instruction book . . . some day.)

Sandisk-sansa-m250-2gb My brother gave me an MP3 player about a month ago, and we finally had time to get together so he could show me how to load music to it.  Great little player, or it was.  It worked yesterday, but today I can't turn it on.


I didn't buy myself one because I figured I wouldn't like the ear buds.  Guess what, I was right.  See, I have a little head.  Yeah, yeah, laugh.  Go on, I know you want to.  My dentist even laughs at my teeth.  ("Hee-hee, you have little teeth.")  Yeah, well, I have little ears and the ear buds are just too damn big.  I can wear them for about ten minutes and then they HURT.  So, unless I buy something to adapt the player to something else, like my stereo, I can't see that it will be of much use to me.  Besides, wearing earphones for years has probably already damaged my hearing.

Into the drawer it goes.

So, what piece of technology are YOU avoiding?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Pop that champagne cork for Jeff Resnick

Champagne cork pops I'm celebrating the relaunch of my Jeff Resnick series.  Yeah, I know--I've been bringing it out in stages, but here we are with all the stars aligned and all four novels available as e books AND as trade paperbacks.  (Remember, a bunch of you said, "I don't WANT to read an e book -- but I will read a REAL book.  Ha! I've called your bluff!  You've got no excuse now!)

The books are: Murder On The Mind  (Special price offer --see blow!)
In print at Amazon / Barnes & Noble
E book:  Kindle ~ Nook ~ Smashwords

DEAD_IN_RED-Kindle-sm Dead In Red
In print at Amazon / Barnes & Noble
E book:  Kindle ~ Nook ~ Smashwords
Cheated By Death
In print at Amazon / Barnes & Noble
E book:  Kindle ~ Nook ~ Smashwords

BOUND_BY_SUGGESTION_sm Bound By Suggestion
In print at Amazon / Barnes & Noble
E book:  Kindle ~ Nook ~ Smashwords

Murder on the Mind is on sale at Kindle, Nook and Smashwords* (with Coupon Code PN68D) for just 99¢ until the end of April.

If you've got an e reader, I'd appreciate you giving Jeff a chance.  Hey, it's less than a buck -- not much to lose, and you might find you like my slightly psychic, crusader for good (okay, he has no cape but his heart is in the right place).

The books are not cozy mysteries.  They're psychological suspense.  But if you like character-driven stories (like my Booktown and Victoria Square mysteries), and you don't mind an edgier storyline, I hope you'll give Jeff a try.  For e readers, it's cheaper than a cup of coffee.
* Wait!  I have a Sony E Reader/Kobo/Diesel -- I can't get the book at 99¢!!!

Sure you can--at Smashwords.  They offer all e formats.  Just use the link above and go to Smashwords, use the coupon code, selecte the file that can be read on your reader and the book will be yours for 99¢.

Friday, April 8, 2011

That's not how you beg a favor . . .

Yesterday I got a note from a wanna-be writer.  Coincidentally, one of my best cyber friends got one, too.  Leann's note was from a young girl who had written TWO PAGES of her first book and wanted a LOT of advice on how to write and finish her book.  After TWO PAGES.  From her Facebook page, she appears to be a teenager.  So ... Leann can be a bit more forgiving.  (Although when she turned the girl down, she wasn't in the same mood.)

The one I got was a bit different.  The woman jumped right in and said, "It appears that you are a successful author as well as a cat lover."

Well, I'm no Nora Roberts, but three times on the Times list, yeah, I'd say I'm doing okay.  But that's not my beef.

Here was a person who apparently had a finished writing a book she wants to send to an agent.  But ... that first sentence told me a lot.  First, she never addressed me by name.  Second, she's never read any of my work.  Third, she wants me to give her the names of 10+ agents.  Lastly, she didn't sign her note.  I only know a woman wrote the note because her name is part of her email.

Delete key So, how does one handle these kinds of notes?

First, I'm always tempted to use the opportunity as a teaching moment.  Only in this case, I'm irked enough that the note might be harsher than it needs to be.  Starting out with something like "What were you thinking, turkey lips?"  But then I'd be just as unprofessional as she is.

Nope, in this case I employed the delete key.

Here's another time I (and just about every author I know) will employ the delete key.  It's a note that starts out:  "Our school (library, disease-of-the-week, glee club, sanitation department) is having an auction fundraiser and we would love one (or more) of your signed books."

Nowhere in the note will the hopeful fundraiser mention my work or my name(s).

I used to be a sucker and send a book.  Now?  Nope.

It's not that I don't care about schools and libraries--I do, passionately.  But I don't have hundreds of free books lying around the house.  My publisher gives me a few and I do give them away, but anything else I have--I have to buy.  Just because they're made of paper doesn't mean they grow on trees.  I receive a couple of these notes EVERY week.  There's no way I could afford to help them all.  (And that postage mounts up, too.)  And if these hopeful fundraisers can't even use my name, that means they've gotten my name from a list and are sending out blanket emails just hoping for a hit.  A little like telemarketing. I'm not a big fan of telemarketing, either.

Japan-tsunami-earthquake-aftermath I give to charity.  A lot.  Every time I get a royalty check I send money to at least three charities.  Yesterday I wrote out three and there's another on my list for today.  (Japan Relief.  Can you imagine what survivors in those northern seaside towns are going through?  They've lost their loved ones and they have NOTHING.  NOTHING. No home, no clothing, and they don't know where their next meal is coming from.

I've already given money, and now that my royalties have come in for last year, I'm going to send some more to the Red Cross Japan Relief.)

I guess I should have written this for yesterday and Pet Peeve Thursday.  Oops a day late.

What do you think of these kinds of notes and the motives behind them?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Aren't they gorgeous?

Sunday was a good day.  I got lot accomplished.  I also went to the store and, oh!  Look what I bought!

I've been wanting another/more orchid(s) since I got my little miniature one after Christmas. (That was a bargain at $2 . . . these were slightly more.  A lot more slightly.)  But aren't they gorgeous?

Now to see if I can keep them alive and have them bloom again.

I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Happy Book Day To You!

The first Tuesday of the month is always special when it includes book launches by some of my favorite people--my friends.  Today's launches include:

Cat_lady_and_liar_SM The Cat, The Lady and the Liar by Leann Sweeney
(Book #3 in the Cats in Trouble Mystery Series)

Cat quilter Jillian Hart finds a gorgeous stray cat belonging to the fabulously wealthy Ritaestelle Longworth, who believes she's being drugged. Before Jillian can get to those charges, a body turns up in the lake-and her cat Chablis finds Ritaestelle nearby. Can Jillian's cats aid her in solving a mystery with decades old roots?

Available from:

Amazon   ~  Barnes & Noble  ~  Independent Bookstores
The Book Depository

As an E book:  Kindle ~ Nook ~ Sony E Reader ~ Kobo ~ Diesel

Night of the Living Dandelion by Kate Collins
(Book #11  in the Flower Shop Mysteries)

Flower shop owner Abby Knight does not believe rumors that Vlad Serban, friend and employee of Abby's fiancé Marco, is a vampire. But how to explain that Vlad is from Romania, has prominent canines, likes bizarre plants such as bloodwort and Dracula orchid, and dresses entirely in black?
     When a local woman is found dead, her body drained of blood, the stakes become life and death. With Vlad the #1 suspect, Abby and Marco race to find the real killer, before Vlad's life really starts to suck.

Available from:

Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble  ~  Independent Bookstores

The Book

As an E book:  Kindle ~ Nook ~ Sony E Reader ~ Kobo ~ Diesel

Busywomansguide The Busy Woman's Guide to Murder by Mary Jane Maffini
(Book #  in the Charlotte Adams Mysteries)

Mona Pringle, the local 911 operator, is calling Charlotte Adams with her own emergency: Serena Redding, a high school mean girl" who used to torment Mona, is coming back for a reunion. When Mona talks about how good it would feel to kill Serena, Charlotte doesn't believe she means it. But when a woman who looks like Serena is killed in a hit- and-run, and another former mean girl is also run down, Charlotte realizes she needs to look both ways for the now-missing Mona.

Available from:

Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble  ~  Independent Bookstores

 The Book

As an E book:  Kindle ~ Nook ~ Sony E Reader ~ Kobo ~ Diesel

Uninvited-ghost An Uninvited Ghost by E.J. Copperman
Book #2 in the Haunted Guesthouse Mysteries

Alison and her resident gumshoe ghost are on their next case when the deceased Scott MacFarlane floats in worried that he accidentally killed a prominent local woman. Turns out she's still alive...that is, of course, until she's murdered-in Alison's house. Now, between the demands of her guests and the arrival of a reality television crew, Alison must find the killer before she sees reality from the other side.

Available From:

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble  ~ Independent Bookstores ~ The Book

As an E Book:  Kindle ~ Nook ~ Sony E Reader ~ Kobo ~ Diesel

Happy Reading!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Another Jeff Does Well

Jeff-sluman-small-poster25 I don't play golf.  I don't watch it.  I know very little about it, but I track the winnings of Champions Tour player Jeff Sluman.

Now why would I do that, you might ask?

Well, Jeff's a local boy and I like to see local people do well.

For years Mr. L would tell me on Monday mornings how Jeff did the previous day at a golf match.  Sometimes he won a lot, sometimes he didn't.  This year I decided to chart Jeff and compare his earnings to Tiger Woods's earnings.

So far this year, Jeff is wayyyyyyy ahead of Tiger.

Jeff has played 5 matches (and he just missed winning yesterday's Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic.  (He'd been in the lead all weekend and we were rooting for him.)  So far this year Tiger has played three matches.  (And got fined $10,000 for spitting on the course.  Ick!)

Jeff's winnings            Tiger's winnings
$421,373                     $197,241

Okay, Jeff has had to play two more matches, and the purse is always lower on the Champions Tour -- but who's having the better year?  Slow and steady or Flash and spit?

Go, Jeff, go!

I'm hoping Jeff makes in excess of $5,000,000 before the end of the tour.  But even if he doesn't, I love seeing him do well.  (Well, not on TV or anything, just in the newspaper.)

(Um...maybe I have a preference for the name Jeff, too.  Ya think?)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Burning the Candle at Both Ends

Burning candle both ends I've always been fascinated with the expression "burning the candle at both ends."  Usually it's applied to people who are not only workaholics, but who are playaholics, too.  And they get very little sleep.

Heck, I've gotten very little sleep most of my life, so that's nothing new.  But lately my work day has been been stretched to the max. And play?  What is play?

I'm usually at my computer by 6 a.m. doing SOMETHING.  Answering email, reading emails.  Tagging other people's ebooks (and print books), Retweeting about somebody's ebooks (and print books). I recently went through a whole twitter course online, but more often than not I feel like I'm Tweeting to other writers instead of finding new readers.

(But if you want to be my twitter pal, I'd love it!  I'm tweeting as:  @LornaBarrett  @LorraineBartlet and @LLBartlettbooks.)

I don't get to my laptop to start writing until at least 10 a.m. (and more often than not, it's more like 1 p.m.) where I attempt to get my daily word quota.  Have missed it more often than not lately, but I've been getting close to it, so I'm making progress on Victoria Square #3 (which is still in dire need of a coherent plot--but that's what happens when you don't work from a detailed outline.  It'll all fall together eventually.  It always does.)

Every day I work on promotion of one kind or another, and this month it's gearing up for Malice Domestic and the Cozy Chicks goody bags I mentioned a few days ago.  Whoa--I'm really starting to get worried about this.  I don't have one piece of that puzzle and might not for two weeks.  That's cutting it really close.  Drop dead date is going to be April 16th. If I don't have it, it ain't going in.  (And I have to go to a baby shower on the 17th -- so that kills a good chunk of the day.)

I actually have to give a speech at a fancy country club to a reading group this month, too.  Why did I take the gig when I knew I was going to be overloaded?

Multitasking And lately I've spent 90 minutes in the early evenings working on special Kindle projects and then spending the last two hours of the day inputing said writing (or rewriting) into the manuscript(s).

I am accomplishing a LOT, and that's a high in itself, but I'm also getting tired.  Not physically tired--MENTALLY exhausted.

I am sooooo looking forward to the summer and relaxing at the family cottage.  The only problem is, I seem to have forgotten how to have fun or relax.

Got any pointers?